What are your favorite quotes, sayings, and words of wisdom?

Goodness, there are so many inspiring and profound statements and questions to choose from. I think that what comes to my mind first are the sayings of my parents, grandparents, and other wise souls. I also think of Bible-based excerpts that I draw upon for strength, comfort, and encouragement. I’m just going to share several that come first to mind.


Many of these you have probably heard of and said. There seems to always be slight variations across the US and around the world.

From my maternal grandfather:A person can have all of the book smarts in the world but not have a plumb nickel of common sense

From my maternal grandfather:Make sure when you walk you look down to keep from stepping on a snake or something.” My grandfather said that he could always tell when “city folks” like me were around, because we never looked down while walking, but “country folks” know to look down and look around. He taught me that when I was a child and I always think of him while walking and seeing objects and dangers right in the nick of time, and almost always before other city folks! 😬

From my mom: “You’re not a toilet seat. Don’t let people crap on you!”- now that is a great reminder and an even better visual. I don’t know why that’s the first thing I thought about when I thought of my mom’s “Motherisms”.

From my mom: “It doesn’t hurt to ask, the only thing they can tell you is ‘no’“- my mom truly believes this and lives by this principle.

From my dad: “When trust is lost it’s hard to regain…”- this reminds me to be responsible with the trust that I’ve earned and not to risk destroying it, as it’s difficult to rebuild.

From my dad: “Clean while you cook”- I know you may be saying, “What, why is this a favorite saying?” Well, it’s simple, it has been the guiding tip for me as I cook. I rarely finish cooking and have a dirty and cluttered kitchen. Cleaning as I cook helps reduce the workload after a meal is finished. This is extremely beneficial when you’re the one cooking and cleaning.

From my dad:Don’t say you can’t, just say you don’t want to“- when dad knew I could do something this was always his response. It irritated him when I said “I can’t” as it signified I had given up.

From my dad: “Is this the work of an A, B, C, D, or F student?”- this was usually a question posed to me after I thought I was done doing my chores. He would also ask me this when I would give him my homework to review. I used to roll my eyes and say under my breath, “It’s the work of an I-got-it-done student.” I never said it loud enough for him to hear. But I did make the mistake of saying one day, “It’s good enough” and I clearly wasn’t thinking when the words flowed from my mouth. Dad did not play when it came to doing things with excellence. He didn’t accept mediocrity.

From my dad: [said to me in high school] “There will come a time when you will be able to count your friends, on one hand, everyone else is associates”

[said to my sister when she was in 3rd grade] “All of those kids aren’t your friends they’re your associates”- and that was in response to my sister rattling off “my friend ___ and my friend ___ and my friend____”. So was it a surprise when my sister returned to school and when she got into an argument with a classmate, who told her “You’re not my friend anymore” my sister said, “We’re not friends, we’re associates” and then when the teacher confronted my sister, she received the same reply? Ummm…nope. That’s what happens when adults forget that children are human tape recorders and will replay everything you said.

From my dad:Women crack me up, you think you will learn about a man in three months, six months, or whatever. Men tell you everything you need to know when you first meet them…We tell you our goals, character, what, and who we value...” [paraphrased]- this was prompted after overhearing me and my friend Shari talking about guys we were dating and our three, six, twelve-month game plan for figuring out if they are boyfriend-husband material. Clearly, in the 80s and 90s, there was some nonsense circulating, probably through our favorite magazines, that men are complicated enough to require several months to figure out if they have a good or crappy character. Of course, I didn’t believe my dad and kept trusting this other way, and then decades later I had to admit, “Dad was right”.

From my paternal grandmother: “There are no accidents“- I used to struggle with this statement. Now I know that my grandmother knew and declared that there is nothing God doesn’t know and doesn’t see coming, so there are no accidents. It can be difficult to wrap your mind around, as it was for me, but once you do it’s freeing.

From my paternal aunt: “Just apply. If you can learn it, take a class for it, then you can do it. Don’t wait until you have mastered it. They will teach you their way, their method anyway, so apply…“- this sage advice is something that intimidated me in my 20s when my aunt told me, but as I got older and wiser I began to understand how true this is, and I noticed that men are more apt to practice this than women. Women tend to apply if they are 90% to 100% qualified, while men will apply if they have 40% of the qualifications. I’ve polled dozens of men who have said they would apply with less than 40%, while the majority of women I’ve polled cringed at the idea.


Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God”
Luke 17:21 “… nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you”
Matthew 4:10 “Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”
Proverbs 21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Proverbs 21:30 “No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord.”
Proverbs 31:10-31 [this is about the woman of noble character, or as many of us say, “The Proverbs Woman”] It’s too long to share here. Search online if you don’t have a Bible, and read it for yourself.

Other sayings (original sources unknown)

  • Common sense isn’t that common“- this is a reminder to me to take into consideration that someone’s words and actions may not be driven by common sense, and to give them a pass.
  • Why don’t we just agree to disagree“- sometimes it helps to diffuse escalating conversations and sometimes the people struggling with common sense choose instead to keep arguing with me. I did warn them!
  • C-Y-B, cover your butt

Feel free to share some of your favorites!


With all of our busyness and adulting, have you remained connected with your inner child, or have you blotted out the essence and sounds of that amazing energy within? I try to embrace my inner child as much as possible, for all of the good and great reasons. Allowing little Natasha to run around with glee, I light up when I recognize a beloved book from my childhood, and remember how the stories made me feel, page after page. I love going into the public library and seeing the “classics” and the “newbies” waiting on the shelves for someone inquisitive to explore them. I know that many of us have defaulted to reading eBooks and listening to audio books. I admit that I love audio books. It feels like story time and listening to an amazing storyteller. At the same time, there is something extra special about holding a soft or hard cover book, and you can smell the faint scent coming from the pages. Is it just me, or is that not oh so amazing?

Some of you have children and maybe you have found ways to introduce them to your favorite childhood books. Or maybe you haven’t. Maybe you have forgotten many of them. Maybe you’re not much of a reader and so your memory is clouded of the past fantasies that were woven through your young mind, through those moments when an adult read to you. Or maybe, well heck there’s a lot of maybe’s.

Get your fill of NOSTALGIA

I could not possibly list all of my favorite books growing up because, well, you would grow exhausted and give up, as my list would feel endless. I was a bookworm growing up. A true human sponge, soaking up as much information as I could. I still enjoy reading books, consuming one to three per week. If someone would do all of the adulting for me, I could read more books each week. Arrgh. That leaves me where I stand. One to three will have to do!

My mom taught my how to read by age two, so anything with words was bound to be in front of me. Starting in first grade, my dad would challenge me each week to see who could read either the most books or the biggest (thickest) book. I would light up every time we would visit the Los Angeles Public Library in downtown L.A. Oh my goodness, I used to have so much fun spending hours at the library. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m typing this post sitting inside of a public library. Yep! Nostalgia overload, but in a great way! Don’t believe me? Check me out…

Thinking back, I can recall sitting across from my dad inside of a Burger King, completely lost in one of the biggest books I had ever read. I was between the ages of six and eight. We were both only pages away from finishing, and although you want to win the challenge, you don’t want to rush the story, because you don’t want to miss any important moments or key elements. That made the challenge even more satisfying. I do think that I rushed through some of the pages though as I didn’t want to lose.

Do any of you have reading challenges with the children in your life?

Scholastic Book Club

Here’s something else that I loved as a child, receiving the Scholastic Book Club flyers at school. Every month I would salivate as I circled or starred which books and learning tools that I was going to hound my parents to buy. I already knew how much I could use from my allowance to cover whichever remaining items that my parents said, “Really Natasha, you already have X (number of) books in your order, those can wait until another time” and I would squeal and say, “But they may not be on the list next time” not realizing that as long as you had the flyer you could order previously featured books. When mom and dad wouldn’t budge any further in their wallet, and I didn’t want to risk calling another family member (because who in their right mind would try to go around my mom and dad?) I went to my back up, my piggy bank, and covered the rest of my order. Oh and by the way, by the time I was in sixth grade, I had upgraded the piggy bank to a grey cash box. Not as cute but it had tons of room to save mo’ money mo’ money mo’ money [*in my Wayans brothers voice*].

Haaaa do you remember these skits from In Living Color?

In case you’re wondering, yes, Scholastic Book Club is still thriving. You can find their monthly flyers here, in digital format and they are segmented by grade level.

And Although Not Books

I don’t know about you, but I was in love with the Highlights Magazine (formerly Highlights for Children). I was so grateful that I had access to them at school and my parents subscribed so I never missed an issue. And yes, they are also still in business and thriving. Check out their magazines, activity subscriptions, books, collections, and more.

are you ready for a trip down memory lane?

Let me title-drop several books and see if the titles spark something inside of you. If it does, please share. Oh and let me be clear, these books aren’t listed in any particular order and I’m only sharing books from knee-high to around third or fourth grade. And, I’m a 70s baby so many of the books that I read as a child were written in the 1940s through 1980s. Some books have been captured as cartoons and animated films, but nothing tops a good ole’ book!

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey

Frog and Toad (Collection box set) by Arnold Lobel

The Little Engine That Could (Original Classic Edition) by Watty Piper

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Just about every Dr. Seuss book I can think of, here’s a few:

  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • The Cat in the Hat

The Berenstain Bears series by Stan and Jan Berenstain (did you know they wrote over 300 books in this series?)

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (and several other Potter books

Curious George by H.A. Rey

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry (and other books by him like What Do People Do All Day?)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Rudolf Wyss

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

The Little House collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories (I read most of the collection) by Carolyn Keene (a pseudonym for a collection of paid writers who each wrote a book; starting first with author Mildred Wirt Benson)

Hardy Boys book series by Franklin W. Dixon (I will admit, I didn’t read all of this series, but I read most of the books)

What About You?

Share some of your childhood favorites. I sprinkled in some from my toddler years through early elementary school. I will save middle school and high school for future posts. I can’t wait to reminisce with you. Comment below or tag me on social media!


Did you read my Part 1 post yesterday? If not, read it before diving into this one, so you don’t get confused and lost.

If you read yesterday’s post, let’s get back to my time travel to the early 1800s. And let me answer you before you ask. Yes, I’m also trying to track the other black folks that were listed as the enslaved property of my 5x great grandparents.

I do know that some Black slaveholders would buy enslaved people to free them from white owners, and provide them safety and security. But I also know that some Black folks owned other Black folks and saw it as pure economics. I haven’t located enough of the records to ascertain which “folk” my great grandfather was. When he passed in 1832, he left his wife almost 700 acres of land, hundreds of cattle, hogs, horses, and three enslaved people (two men and a woman).

In 1840, the census shows my grandmother and everyone (over 30 children and adults) residing with her on her property as Free Colored Persons. In 1850 it shows her owning three slaves. I assume these are the same three listed in my grandfather’s estate. I’m going to find out those details. I can guarantee you, once I do find that information I will be sure to update you.

Some people shy away from that period of time. I run towards it and in a positive way. It’s history; their story, my story, and I’m not ashamed of it or angered by it—well, let me clarify that last point. I am extremely angry, disgusted, and dismayed by what I’ve learned about the enslavement and treatment of Africans and African Americans, from the moment we were snatched up as property and dehumanized, to how the US (and other countries) have chosen to not reconcile the wrongs and heal the wounds inflicted upon us, then and since.

Let’s be crystal clear about that.

But, I will not allow my feelings of hurt and disappointment change my heart. What was, has, and still being done to us (and dismissed through rational-lies) hurts my heart. Yes, for those of you who are quick to yell “What about what Blacks have done to each other” as though Black people are naive, dumb, incapable of distinguishing and properly addressing our grievances— yes, my heart hurts for the pain that Black people cause each other. And let me double back real quick, the defense of “We did but y’all did some of it too” is plain ignorant and cowardly. It’s an attempt to reduce responsibility and accountability. Guess what? That too hurts my heart.

I’m also hurt by the pain that religious people, Christians and the like, have caused, pimping God(s) in the process. No one’s God(s) would want people to be mistreated as we have witnessed before and since the 1600s. There’s not one god you’re praying to that condones the nonsense of this world. Let’s get in agreement with that.

All of the damaging energy that humankind uses against its own (and other species) is disturbing to my heart. But it will not control it. I will not allow myself to become the very energy that chose and chooses evil. I loathe that energy but I will not hate the people who choose that energy. That energy wants me to hate, to become that which I hate. I rebuke that. My heart and mind must work together, to be controlled by me, not the world.

Now that we’re clear about that, let’s get back to the story….

My grandparents both died before they could hear the battle cries of war and later, freedom. My grandfather passed away in 1832, when Andrew Jackson was President, and Harriet Tubman was still enslaved in Maryland. She didn’t escape (the first time) until 1849. Frederick Douglass escaped to the North in September 1838 (changing his last name from Bailey to Douglass) and hadn’t written his first book until 1845. So these two legends rose up after my grandfather had long passed.

When my grandmother passed away in 1858, James Buchanan was President, it was the year Harriet Tubman met John Brown, and one year later helped him with his raid on Harper’s Ferry. Two years later Abraham Lincoln would become President. The civil war was from 1861 to 1865, with the emancipation proclamation issued in 1863. My grandparents children and grandchildren grew up and lived through those periods. But none of them experienced it as the property of someone else. That had to weigh heavily on them.

One day I will share with you my take on ole’ Jim Bowie, the American hero, who fought alongside Davey Crockett and others. I will share how I’ve traced my Scottish Bowie’s (his part of our family) to North Carolina, up to Maryland (where the first Bowie’s arrived) and then all the way back to the town in Scotland where the patriarch, John Bowie Sr. lived before coming to the colonies around 1705. I will also share how I’m connecting to my Scottish roots. I know my history, my ethnic DNA doesn’t lie. I’ve got Scotland in my bones. Just as I have Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, and other European nations woven inside of me.

But I won’t share today.

Today is about me smiling, visualizing that huge chunk of a moment when the shackles of slavery were removed off a branch of my super huge family tree.

I wonder what my 5x grandparents’ prayers were like leading up to and immediately after those days; I wonder how they prayed knowing themselves to be free but knowing others near and far were still being bought, sold, and traded. I wonder their thoughts about these other people never being able to see the lands they came from or that their parents and grandparents came from. I wonder if my grandparents ever thought about the reality that they would never know their native language, culture, and customs—and neither would millions of other enslaved and free Black people.

Imagine reconciling that in your mind. I wonder what their dreams showed them. I wonder if they imagined me, their future, far-removed from their time, and what they hoped for my generation. I benefit today from all that they sacrificed, lost, and labored. I hope they are proud of my journey and the ways I honor them and their legacy.

Okay, so you read my answer. I gave you two days worth of immersed historical dreaming, fact-sharing, and truth-speaking. Now’s your turn. If you could witness a time in history when would it be? Share the details in the comments section below.


Copyright © Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Ooh this is something that I’ve pondered before, and most of us remember this exercise from elementary school. So, I will take a spin with it again. The first thing that comes to mind happens to be my 5x great grandparents on my mom’s side, and more specifically, her father’s family line (on his maternal side). My 5x great grandfather is listed in historical documents as an FMC, Free Man of Color. He was born when George Washington was President and Abraham Lincoln wasn’t even alive yet.

The family he was born and raised into were the Bowie’s—of the infamous James “Jim” Bowie (Alamo legend) that everyone swears has a story about his Bowie knife that his brother designed and had made for him. I’m still researching the particulars but somehow, my great grandfather was a free man, owning his own plantation (yep, and slaves) and even conducting business with Jim and his siblings, as well as other white men.

If I could be a fly on a wall…

But it’s not just that moment in time, it’s also the moment where my 5X great grandfather made it possible that his wife, who had been purchased by the Bowie’s (after being bought and sold 5 times by other owners), was freed. Yes, in 1818 he bought her from the Bowie’s and in 1830 he has his own plantation where they raise their 8 children. I saw the court document where all of their children were free. They never knew a day, enslaved, like their parents and grandparents. This was before the emancipation proclamation. This was before the Civil War.

That had to be empowering yet terrifying.

If I could stand in that moment and watch the weight of years being lifted off of my 5x great grandmother, hearing that for the first time since being born, she was no longer someone’s property, that no more would she be bought and sold, raped, and possibly bred like cattle. If I could witness the drafting and signing of the documents making it possible for our branch of the Bowie tree to be freed from one of the ugliest histories this country and the world has ever seen and experienced, oh how my eyes would fill with tears of joy, and I too would breathe a sigh of relief.

I’m still researching my grandfather’s FMC status and at what point he was freed by either the Bowie’s or through the British overhaul when they outlawed slavery in all of their territories, forcing slaveholders in the Caribbean to declare each enslaved person, their country of origin, and the name of the mother (of the enslaved person) if known.

There is an enslaved person with my grandfather’s name, same age and approximate date of birth, listed on an 1817 British registry. Which means he had been in the colonies (specifically, Louisiana) and then at some point taken to the Caribbean, and then later by decree legally freed and returned to Louisiana.

This could be his storyline. I’m still digging. If he and the man on the British registry are one in the same, that too is another event that I would relish witnessing. Seeing his face when the reality of his new life settled in his mind. When he returned to Louisiana and walked on the plantation as a FMC, wowsers, the shift it would’ve caused.

I’m still very much curious about this tight knit relationship with the white Bowie’s, I mean, I know they share the same blood (either Jim’s dad or uncle was the father of my grandfather), but I mean, jeesh, there was a closeness so intimate that even free, my grandfather is listed as a resident on his father (or uncle’s) land for 13 years (as a free man), and he even transacted business deals with them, even sued one of the Bowie brothers, and used his residence for a hearing when the state of Louisiana was looking at removing one of the Bowie brothers from public office. One the Bowie’s even owed him money, and had a debt repayment document notarized in 1824 (6 years before my grandfather even owned his own land). Clearly, he was acknowledged as kin, but how do you reconcile the years they had him enslaved?

My grandfather had influence and wealth…in the early 1800s! A black man. In the south. The sitting President was James Monroe, the last President from the Founding Fathers. By then, my grandfather had lived through 6 Presidencies.

I’m in awe. Let’s explore more tomorrow!


Copyright © Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

A few weeks ago I was surfing through memes, images, quotes, and more—looking for some fun and interesting content for some of the classes that I teach, and I ran across one that caught my attention. I said that at some point I would ask myself the question “If someone gifted me a free trip anywhere, I would go to ______“.

So, today’s the day. I’ve never been asked “Where do you want to go?” and then I get to go there. I’ve also never had someone say, “Here’s a free trip to anywhere in the world, have fun!” Let’s see what first comes to mind, because that’s what I’m going to type.





Why did I really just type all of those lines when you can already see my answer? Fake suspense 🙂

Do you know which island this is?

Bora Bora

I’ve been wanting to vacation there for years but I’ve never visited. About 10 years ago I thought there was a chance but that was a big nope.

Now let’s see who ends up snapping pics and posting videos, chilling out on this beautiful island within the next few months. Be sure to shout me out while drinking something fruity! Okay that was a little Friday randomness about yours truly. What about you?

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?



Earlier this morning I welcomed droplets of rain, and I smiled at how the sun peered through the clouds, like it was playing the game peek-a-boo. I walked around listening to the birds and the sounds of nature, and embraced the blessings. I started to reflect upon my favorite rainy day activities and had to admit that it truly depends on the intensity of the downpour, and if it lasts all day.

I love to open the windows and listen and watch the rain pattering, flicking, and flowing. If I’m driving and it’s possible to do so, I will test it and try to crack the windows. I feel like a little kid when I do this.

When bearable I enjoy walking around and breathing in the air, that seems cleansed of the smog and muck of our regular days. When possible, I like to go hiking. It’s amazing to see the trees and foliage gleaming from the rain and sun, and when you catch glimpses of rainbows here and there. I take in all of the energy and let it marinate within me. There’s nothing like being in nature, deep inside, disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the matrix we call the world.

Rushing River Provincial Park, Fall 2019
Lower Rapids Trail
Photographer: Laura Myers

When the weather is acting up then I like to get as much work done, in my pajamas of course, so that I can disconnect and grab a blanket or throw, snacks, and tune in to a TV series or movie. If it’s during the weekend I can commit to a movie marathon or binge the mess out of one of my shows. I also like getting lost in my favorite puzzles like Sudoku and other mind-boggling ones. I even find myself gravitating to my crochet bag and testing my creativity, focus, and care to design something that I could one day use or gift to a loved one. Sometimes it looks like that goal can be achieved and sometimes it looks like I closed my arms and crossed my hands, and when I look down I’m just looking at a crocheted mess. All I can do is laugh. I embrace the creation. It’s not about making a masterpiece. It’s just about being present and in peace.

Rainy days are also the perfect time to light candles, play music, moan over the yumminess of baked goods (like chocolate cake, fudge, or cookies), and indulge in a pamper day—a facial, mani pedi, massage, scalp treatment, or soak for at least an hour in a tub filled with bubbles and essential oils.

What do you like to do on rainy days?


Copyright 2022. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Yesterday I recorded a video about dreaming and why we should never stop dreaming and living out our dreams. I also said that we should be shamed for pooping on the dreams of children.

I just wish…well, that the child in this video attempted his dreams…ummm, well, somewhere else in the house 😂

Warning: Prepare to laugh and somewhat feel bad for laughing, and then finding yourself watching this video over and over again—laughing harder each and every time. 😂

Ah you gotta love the dreamers!



Whenever I hear someone (or myself) say “I’m fine” or “it was fine”, or any other variation of how the term can be utilized, I always giggle to myself.


Well it’s simple. There’s a line in one of my favorite movies, “The Italian Job” where Donald Sutherland and Mark Wahlberg recite the definition of the word “f-i-n-e”.

Rather than write out the acronym I’m sharing a video recording that someone posted on YouTube (because they also clearly like the scene).

Please watch and enjoy!

So will you think twice before and after saying the word “fine”? Or maybe you will just giggle as I do.


Since 10pm last night I’ve been fighting a huge tension knot in my back-shoulder blade region. I experienced this same irritant the other week.

It’s reared it’s ugly head again.

The more I chase the pain, more knots and aches surface. Stretching hasn’t resolved it. The back is an interesting place to carry stress, pain, sadness, worry, anger, and any other draining energy. I say this because unlike the limbs it is a region that is difficult to reach by oneself. You need help to cover this large space.

Thankfully I own a few myofascial rollers, one of which I’m using…right…now…as I chase this pain away.

I wish I could have a massage every single day. But my budget just laughs and says, “keep working and wishing girlfriend“.

Aches and pains remind me of my deferred maintenance. These knots make it clear that I’m not taking care of myself like I need to. My body will keep reminding me.

Our bodies do not remain silent. They tell us when they are tired of being ignored, overlooked, abused, overworked, and misused. Our bodies will always let us know when we aren’t doing enough to protect the very thing that we need to make our way through each day.

I’m painfully listening and complying….

I. Need. Release.


Copyright 2018. Natasha Foreman Bryant/Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

If you know me then you know I’m very sentimental and I cherish the smallest things that have the deepest meaning to me (even if irrelevant to others). I still have artwork, books, and keepsakes from my childhood. I’m also the designated photo archivist in my family.

I love pictures—taking them (not necessarily posing for them) and looking at them. I love reminiscing about moments captured. So as I scrolled through my photos on my phone from last December to this December I decided to create collages that highlight 2017 through my lens.

Tomorrow we begin a new year with new memories. So for the last moments of 2017 I will smile and reflect on the special times I had with the special people in my life.

I’m so excited to be an aunt to little Logan and Giavonna. Logan was born on one of my favorite holidays–Halloween, so I can’t wait to see the pictures of him as he grows and we can really have fun decorating and acting silly. Giavonna is three-years-old and already loves the camera so I already know I will have thousands of photos of her before she reaches her teen years.

As I reflect over 2017 I will say an extra prayer for my loved ones who passed away this year: my maternal grandmother—Maxine Butler Stephens; her sister Earlene Butler Slaughter (my great aunt); my maternal cousin–Donnie Pearl Fields Freeman; my paternal uncle, Archie Edwards, my paternal cousin Harold Wallace Jr., my dear friend Traci Little–and my friend Juanda’s mother, Kathleen “Kat” Smith, both of whom I was blessed to meet here in Atlanta.

My heart aches but I know that they are all in a much better place and with loved ones who have been waiting to reunite with them. When I do see them again it will be as though time never passed.

Happy New Year from me to you. I hope these pictures make you smile!

Here’s how I’m spending my NYE…



Hello world!

How’s my global family doing today? It’s Wednesday already, can you believe it? I hope that your day has started out on the right foot. Mine started with my alarm blaring my wedding song in my ear, about an hour sooner than I had expected. What a conflicted feeling to have early in the morning. Part of you wants to chuck your phone to the other side of the room, and the other side of you says, “ah that is such a beautiful song…That was such a beautiful day…I remember walking down the aisle to this song…” and then your mind goes back to, “what the heck is the alarm going off this early for? How did I end up picking this song?

See here’s the deal, last night I slowly made myself to my bed, drained, I recall grabbing my phone and selecting three alarm times and changing the ring tones from “chime”, “timba”, and something else that I had grown tired of, to selecting two more alarm sounds. My wedding song was obviously one that I decided to torture myself with. The title said, “Angel”, I mean how bad could that be for an alarm, right? But with barely 5 hours of sleep, “Angel” felt more like “devil” in my head this morning.

As I looked around the room this morning (the alarm still going off and playing this beautiful song) I began to gather my senses and then I immediately realized that today is trash day, and “I didn’t put the trash out on the curb last night“, so I contemplated for a while what the consequences would be if I just said the heck with trash day, and simply left the trash where it was until next Wednesday. Visualizing the images and smells began to overwhelm me, so I quickly got out of bed, put on some appropriate clothes so my neighbors wouldn’t think that I had totally lost my mind, and I began collecting the trash from my bedroom, closet, and kitchen.

I opened the garage doors and with three bags in hand, I took my first step into the garage. The second step didn’t go so well as I hyperextended my ankle in the transition phase from the first to second step, and the only thing that prevented me from biting the dust on the floor was the fact that my parents raised me to always hold the door knob, handles, and rails when descending or ascending stairs or escalators–thanks mom and dad, you saved me from possibly knocking a few teeth out, or knocking myself unconscious!

Well the immediate pain that shot through my ankle, foot, and part of my calf, almost sent me through the roof. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. The tears were welling up in my eyes. But instead I focused on the trash and the reality that the trash truck unpredictably pops up on my street between 8am and 1pm, and I didn’t have time to wait. So I sucked it up and began to hobble outside to the trash cans. Thankfully I only needed to roll the recycling bin and the traditional trash can to the curb, or so I thought. To save time I took them both at once and prayed that I wouldn’t lose balance due to my weakened ankle. Thankfully I made it to the curb unscathed.

As I looked back up my long driveway something caught my eye. Two wooden loading thingamajigs that my husband’s books were delivered on several days ago. They were leaning against the side steps of our home. It’s like they were staring at me saying, “what are you going to do with us, just leave us here?” Then I began to contemplate whether or not the recycling or trash crews would even pick up these things. Ankle throbbing, I said, “oh well, if they don’t then I will just have them tossed at the appropriate place later, but they’ve got to go” and with a towel I lifted the first wooden thingamajig onto my shoulder and began to hobble to the end of the driveway where I rested it beside the recycling bin. I begrudgingly returned for the second one, and at the conclusion, I walked somewhat confidently back into the house.

Inside the house I set the alarm and then convinced myself that I could benefit from another hour of rest, so I decided to go back to bed. Walking to my back staircase I noticed trash on the outside deck. Uugh. I go to open the door and the voice within, God’s voice (it had to be because the devil wouldn’t warn me), said, “don’t open the door yet“. I ignorantly thought that the voice was warning me to look out for an insect, so in a cocky voice I said aloud, “I’m in no mood for an insect, wasp, or anything else, I will knock it the heck out” and with that I opened the door, only to hear an alarm that made my cell phone alarm sound like a whisper. Aaaah.

I hobbled to the alarm pad and disengaged it, then hobbled to the phone knowing that the alarm company would be calling in 5, 4, 3, 2…”hello“. After exchanging a quick laugh with the rep I proceeded to grab the trash off the deck, and then hobble back to the front of the house to toss this bag into the trash can, making sure to have proper footing when I descended the garage stairs. I successfully evaded a wasp that was looking for someone or something to pick a fight with. Once back inside I gave up on the idea of going back to sleep, and instead made up my bed, and got on the computer to handle some quick business. Afterwards it was back to my normal schedule of Bible lessons, posting to my Breaking Bread blog, whipping up and drinking my morning smoothie, working out TRX-style, and then getting dressed for work.

I think that I need to keep an annoying alarm tone from now on, the one that forces you to quickly press the off button in hopes that you didn’t press ‘snooze‘ so that you’re not startled awake again in 10 minutes. I think that my wedding song this morning only put me in a weird space, and maybe with only 5 hours of sleep, I should have picked a more appropriate tone–a more reliable annoyance. What do you think? I also think that it’s best that I consistently put the trash out at night. There’s no rushing and scrambling involved at night. It’s just a leisurely stroll through the house, outside, and back. There’s no wasps and crazy insects to avoid at night, well at least no wasps.

Oh and by the way, the recycling collectors are just now coming through my subdivision, about an hour or two later than normal, which means the trash guys will be arriving an hour or two from now (because they never arrive before the recycling truck). Hmmm I could have stayed in bed an extra hour and then leisurely strolled to take the trash out. Uugh. Oh well!

I share my story with you today to say, there is a moral to all of this:

If your day has gotten off to a bad, uncomfortable, or inconvenient start, just shake it off and hobble along until your steps get easier!

Have an amazing day family!



Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.