When I look back on the road that I have traveled, I rejoice at the choices that brought me to where I am today. I’ve packed up and moved my household 5 times in my life. Twice we moved to Gastonia NC and then back to Baltimore, MD. We just traveled cross-country from Baltimore to an area right above Houston, TX.

Each time I would choose the things most precious to me and pack them carefully up for the trip. After settling into my space, reverently unpacking my few treasures and displaying them for all to see.  That way anyone who enters can see a part of me and what I treasure most. I can point and say, “This is what I value, this is who I am”.

My treasures are told in pictures of “Fats” my great grandma and her husband, to my dad on his high school swim team, and my mom as a little girl dressed to the nines in her Sunday best. I have all of my children from newborn up to present day. The grandbabe needs some updated pictures because she has grown so much in the two months since I left.   My two brothers and my baby sis and all of their families.

When I walk into my house I see those pictures and remember  who I’ve come from and who I am evolving into. That good, honest, hard working American immigrant stock that has stood the test of time here; each generation expanding and staking their claim in the American dream. Fortunes made, lost and made again. Love that stood the test of time and love that was selfish and self destructive.  Brothers on the ins one minute and then fighting tooth and nail the next. Cousins who were my first best friends, but who have grown distant from me in the past decades.

This is who I am;


 A product of generations past, melded by the love of family, this blessed country and my God. Without the family, I have no history, tradition or personal value system. Without this great country I have no freedom or identity. I have no ease to pursue the dreams that I hold for self and family. Without God I am nothing at all but so much dust. ALL parts make me the beautiful, talented, caring and creative woman that I am. Mom, Grammie, friend, confidant, counselor, disciple, teacher, comedian and on and on the list goes. Lest I forget, Passionista perfecto.  God forbid!

All of these things, all of these events have made me me! I wouldn’t trade one bad mistake, one wrong choice in the love department, one adventure (or misadventure depending on who you ask!) my education, my triumphs and tests…all of it has made me into this woman that stands before declaring her spin on life. I can honestly say that from where I sit today, life IS good and I am Blessed and Highly Favored.

tia'!barbara at reunion

Love until next timepassionista


Let me encourage you

 be encouaraged

I want to start off today by simply thanking my friends and family for being my biggest supporters. Their words of encouragement have been sparks that rekindled a fire burning too low. I can feel their love and prayers when I’m staring at the computer at 3:30 am wondering how I can walk someone through what I’ve just gone through.

To say that I’ve been on a journey for the past few weeks is an understatement. I’ve been on a life changing quest of trust! Everything that I know and believe has been tested. The good news is… da da daaaaaa…I’m still standing, still breathing and still living life with passion AND flair! (Flair is important. No matter what you have going on in your life, you want to always look good for the cameras!)

It has been one of the biggest emotional roller coasters I’ve been on in years. Every time I thought I wasn’t going to make it, I would get a call, a text or just that reassuring knowing on the inside that told me it WILL be okay. Steady the course, Stand still and no matter what HOLD THE LINE!  Sure I could’ve said it’s too much for one single person.

We all have those moments when life is too overwhelming. But ask yourself, do you have any other choice but to stick and stay?  Honestly, there is no real place for me to run and hide. I have children and friends that are counting on me to make it work. I have responsibilities, just like you. It’s impossible to just “check out” no matter what we feel like.

That’s why I wanted to take this little blog spot and say, be encouraged. The battle is not lost. It may be a fierce warfare right now, but you will make it through. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalms 30:5

For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!

Can I get a whoot whoot! Can you hold on just a little while longer?

sunrise in forest

Hold on friend, the morning is coming! And with that come the freshness and joy of a beautiful sunrise on our despair.  I remember saying to myself, that IF I could make it until the morning everything would be okay. It’s the comfort of the sun rising and utterly abolishing the darkness that makes us have that hope for the new day. Yes the battle is long, and the struggle intense but you can make it.

Make it personal. Where I’m sitting right now, the sun will explode on the scene in about 3 hours. I can hold on for 3 hours. I can do anything for 3 hours. So can you. No matter how it looks right now, in your right here, you can hold on. You can decide that no matter what it looks like, you can and you will continue.

If finances are a struggle, you’re not alone. If your relationship(s) are in distress, step back, take a breath and reengage. Do you ever wonder if you are making the right choices for your family? Hey, we all have doubts at one time or another. You are not a failure if you ask questions. The journey is not over and there is time for course corrections if needed. The key is to stop looking at how far you have to go and look at how far you have come!

This too shall pass. This simple 5 word phrase has carried me through some of the darkest times of my life. What we are going through now will not be the case tomorrow. As soon as we triumph over this area, trust me, another area will rise up. Please don’t forget the lessons you’ve learned from today’s battle. Remember that you’ve made it through tough times and that tough times will be there in the future.

Be encouraged. You’re doing fine. If you need help or you need to vent ~~ ASK! Hello! Ask! I know that asking may be a foreign concept…but it is the truth. People can’t read our minds. We oftentimes have to tell them what we need. So don’t isolate…reach out!

Leave a comment I’d love to pray with you, cry with you, encourage you…whatever you need! Be encouraged, be blessed and be strengthened!