Posted in Live~Laugh~Life

September Blog Challenge, part III

Sept. Blog Challenge, part III
Sept. 17-21

*Favorite Quotes

3. During my final semester in college, my classmates and I were preparing to give a dinner to our professors and other community stakeholders. I was given the task of reciting a poem. As I was thinking about what we’ve learned over the course of the years and how I could translate that, I came across a quote from Maya Angelou and til this day it still resonates with me.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote is special because early on I learned through giving back to treat all people with kindness, from the church to the hole-in-the-wall. We’re all people, we just come from different walks of life. And because one wasn’t raised like me, have the same religious beliefs or dress differently doesn’t mean they’re any less deserving of a hug or a smile.

2. As a kid after we left New Testament, we started going to Antioch in McNair and my mama joined after a few Sunday’s. When it was time to “open the doors of the church” I remember her telling me to c’mon as she made her way down the aisle to sit in those 2 gray cushiony seats as the deacons stood there in all black suits and Sis. Gray played a hymn on the organ. I sat in my seat and watched her walk. Not sure why I didn’t get up other than I wasn’t ready. When she was making her “welcome to the church” testimony speech, the first words out of her mouth was something about me being a disobedient child. In my head I thought “oh no she didn’t” and felt slightly embarrassed because all eyes swarmed my way and how dare she shade me in front of all these people. From that point, I knew she ain’t care what came out of her mouth.. Or maybe I was just the throwed off one. About a year later we ended up going to Mt. Rose MBC, which I joined as a teen and is still our home church today but I never completely stopped attending Antioch. The youth would always do retreats once/year in Conroe and the people I met became life-long friends that I still cherish today.

At this particular retreat we were taught about writing down our vision, praying over it and watching it manifest. I didn’t really grasp the magnitude of how powerful those teaching’s were at the time but as I fast forward to August 21, 2018 I was on the phone with my God-Ma explaining where I was in life. Both jobs had me in a funky/unhappy place and I was slowly losing sight of my direction. She had me read Psalms 143:8- “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life…” which has stuck with me since.

1. Last week I went to Mt. Rose to celebrate Pastor Davis’ 20th Anniversary. The entire program flowed beautifully from beginning to end from the singing, the speakers, heartfelt gifts and the good food afterwards. It was truly reminiscent of 20 years. Lisa B, a good girlfriend of mine, spoke on the topic, “Persistence and Tenacity in my Pastor” and one thing she said as she was speaking is “… people are not your problem, they’re your purpose.” The congregation let out a wave of amen’s, “yessss” and claps as she was speaking facts! Somehow, I blanked out after that statement and thought back to situations where people have tested me but I have always come out on the winning end. Be it my character, my faith or favor, there was truth in that quote as it replayed in my head over and over, “… people are not your problem, they’re your purpose.” As I explained in my blog post last week, I try to find the positive or lesson in each situation I encounter and quickly realized what drains me now is only preparation for what I’ll be able to handle with ease later.

*My Life Soundtrack

Save the Last Dance- This movie is one of my favs and is a combination of dance, romance and finding your way despite fears or the opinions of others. The 14-song soundtrack is a replica of the stories told featuring hit songs from Jill Scott, Snoop, K-Ci & JoJo, Montell Jordan, etc. I loved music from that era!

*Favorite Comfort Foods

I’m not sure if comfort food is described as your favorite meals growing up or fatty foods you eat when you want to pig out. Either way, here’s my tops:

-Favorite meal from my daddy is his salmon and rice. It’s salmon mixed in with sautéed onions, whole slices of bacon and a lemon pepper flavoring served over rice. Or one of his steaks. Favorite from momz is her okra with chicken, shrimp and sausage with a tomato-based flavoring served over rice.

-Caramel popcorn, cookies n cream ice cream, peanuts, sunflower kernels, Pepperidge Farm strawberry cookies, strawberries dipped in chocolate, funnel cake, Paul Masson peach

*10 Favorite Foods

10. Cheddar honey-butter croissants- Look! If you haven’t tried some fresh honey-butter croissants you are missing out! I could dine in or order a quick to-go just for these croissants. They’re best when they’re fresh!

9. McDonald’s French fries- Keep everything else on the menu but after all these years they still have the best fries in the fast food market, hands down!

8. Strawberries dipped in chocolate- Feed me these and I’m a happy girl! I’ve always had this vision of having one of those chocolate fountains at my reception with strawberries, marshmallows and pineapples on a stick.

7. Oxtails in thick gravy (or 40 weight gravy as B3 would say)- Oxtails is one of those foods that’s popular in the soul food world, Caribbean world or any Wilson household. Whether served in a stew, over rice or solo, oxtails are a finger-licking treat when cooked to perfection.

6. Fish- I love a good piece of seasoned and sautéed fish, baked fish thrown in the oven or blackened fish. A topping of shrimp etoufee, a nice white wine sauce or a few slices of lemon is always a bonus. I embrace fried fish around Easter or on occasion.

5. Crawfish- The start of crawfish season is another bill, no lie. I force myself to budget more and cut out other pampering habits because crawfish can easily be a daily occurrence. With all the specials that go on around town, it’s hard to pass up a few lbs. of Cajun-flavored crawfish.

4. Lemon Pie- Big Mama has me started on these when she would make them and give them as birthday gifts to the husband’s. Light and simple in preparation and taste but one of my favorite desserts w/ the toasted meringue on top.

3. Big Mama’s peach cobbler- Big Mama hands down had THE best peach cobbler I’ve ever had in life. But when somebody else makes it I would either look at it in disgust or wait until somebody else tasted it before I try it. Unfortunately before she passed none of us got her recipe so I’ve been working on perfecting my own. I’m on attempt #3 in trying to get the crust right but I’m almost there! Stay tuned.. 😁

2. Gumbo- Big Mama didn’t mind cooking gumbo year-round but it was something special about when the temperature dropped, fall was creeping in and she would sneak in a gumbo for the family. Big Mama was simply a queen in the kitchen!

1. Okra- Whole okra from the grocery aisle, fresh okra from the country, pickled okra, fried okra from Luby’s or boiled okra, this is my absolutely favorite! Momz and my God-mama make this quite often with chicken, shrimp and sausage over rice and I never get tired of it!

*A Letter To Your Teenage Self

Dear Courtney,

Hey girl! I wrote you this poem, dedicated to you as a teen, keep it safe & close and in 20 years you’ll see what I mean. Behind your beautiful brown eyes OH the things you’ll see, trust God and one day you’ll be part of history.

From the womb you were special, never once think you were a mistake, trust Him as He guides you, keep an open mind and be prepared to learn something new each day. There is no one else that has your pizzazz, humor, lime green nails and caring heart all wrapped in one. You will be tested, your toes will get stepped on, everyone won’t like you but in due time you’ll build a stronger backbone. Stand with your head held high and demand your respect, pay your tithes, stay away from gossip and keep your business to yourself.

Throw slumber parties, dress-up and have fun with your girlfriends. Play in make-up, capture those moments as you dance to ‘Tootsie Roll’ over and over again. Find your rhythm, feel the fun, learn at your own pace, float to the beat of your own drum. Study and always strive to be the BEST, be it a doctor, dancer, secretary or a baking chef. Stray away from saying “I Know” for you will never know it all, keep your street smarts in check and book smarts on lock to avoid some of the pitfalls.

Family will keep you grounded, friends make life go-round, there may be times when you fuss or disagree but keep it mature and speak your mind. Learn to own up to your mistakes, never have an ego too big to apologize, that is how you maintain your blessing’s in disguise. Life is fun yet short so always show love and give each other high-5’s. Sprinkle words of ‘I Love You’s’, give hugs and laugh, for we never know when it will be our last moment, last smile or the last time we get to have girl chat.

You’re a child of God, you’re being raised around Kings and Queens, never forget where you come from, never forget where it all begin. Kings Colony is the name, Royal Avenue to be exact, ride bikes through the court yard or play on the swings in the back. Wave to the neighbors, take time and assist the elderly, keep attending Juneteeth parades, trail rides and all those fun neighborhood things.

Don’t rush the process for your teen years fly by, you’ll have plenty of time to be fascinated by boys, lies, corny jokes and romantic pick-up lines. Be happy, embrace your flaws and look at life like dice, one day may be up, the next may be down but it’s all apart of this thing called life. As you embark on the next chapter in your life, know you’re different and uniquely you, a special gift, a rare soul and no one is cut out for what God designed strictly for YOU.

I 💛 You girl, go get em!

Courtney

Posted in Live~Laugh~Life

Maleah Davis 💕

I’ve never been a fan of the news because over the years it seems like every story is becoming more and more depressing. I enjoyed little segments of the weather or sports but since the emergence of smartphones, I can see it all with 2 clicks. In my field of work I see, hear and deal with enough traumatizing incidents so when you look at it from that standpoint the news has only increased the heartbreaking feels of what I deal with hands on each day. Severe physical abuse, teenage runaways, drug-infested newborns, sex trafficking- I see it all and sadly nothing surprises me anymore. You put on your investigator hat and learn several cases are full of side-eyes and lies.

The case with little Maleah started around April 30, 2019. When I started paying attention to TV clips and heard about the case it hit differently. Houston, TX. It was right at home. But from the moment I heard snippets of what occurred I instantly knew something didn’t add up with Derion Vence and the kidnapping (clue 1), the mother ironically being away in another state for a funeral (clue 2) and the car (clue 3). First 48 is one of my favorite shows and in watching those detectives you’ll see it’s only a matter of time before forensic evidence or an eye-witness reveals the truth. Technology in this day and age is both impressive and scary and it’s only so much a person can get away with. I assumed from the jump Vence committed the gruesome crime and it would only be a matter of time before he disclosed where the body was. Once the video footage was released and he was arrested and charged with ‘tampering with evidence relating to a human corpse’ it would only be a matter of time before he disclosed other details. The heat was on and time was ticking. Then boom, his bond went from 1mil to 45K in 2 days? What?? I started doing all types of internet research trying to figure out how/why his bond was lowered, how bonds are set, who is this Judge, etc. I didn’t understand but I stopped and put my thinking cap on. I thought the only way they could’ve lowered his bond was because there’s more details in the case. He talked! He must’ve given his attorney or someone details that his hands weren’t the only ones in the pot! As more of the nation tunes in, eyes are starting to point towards the mother.

According to KHOU.com news articles, Maleah’s mother had history with CPS a number of times. Details discussed multiple emergency room visits, unexplained injuries and brain surgery. Pictures surfaced of Maleah’s bruised and swollen face as she slept in her father’s arms, Craig Davis. She was returned back home months after with the Judge’s approval. I’m sure we all had those burning questions:
-Where was the biological father?
-Was there a family monitor or other relatives?
-What are the details of the mother’s funeral trip?
-Who is the Judge?
-When was Maleah last seen and what did she disclose?

…And many more questions. I’ve also come across comments about it being CPS’ fault that little Maleah was placed back with her mother, how the system failed her, etc. If you’re familiar in any way with how the system works when CPS becomes involved LEGALLY, there is only so much power CPS has. A lot of decisions are determined by CPS’ testimony, the courts and attorney’s but the FINAL decision is rendered by the Judge. Some years ago there was a media case involving a sibling group where the youngest had been physically abused by the parents. Over the next 8 months or so they appeared to make some progress so per the Judge’s order the children were returned back home. Shortly after the youngest child ended up deceased and the other sibling was removed, again. All fingers pointed towards the parents. The news article included the Judge’s name as the responsible party for sending the child back home. The Judge was very remorseful and since that time any physical abuse cases that involved a child returning back home to their parents were given extra precautionary measures. Not to bunch all Judge’s together because they are their own decision-makers but we all make mistakes. And in this case with little Maleah I can’t help but think of hurt and heartbreak many of the parties involved are feeling.

Breaking news emerged that the step-father revealed he dumped Maleah’s body bag off the road in Fulton, Arkansas. From Houston, that’s about a 5 hour drive going north on 59. On May 10, Quanell X came out with a statement stating “[Brittany Bowens] helped [Derion Vence] shield the truth about Maleah from doctors”. X continued that the mother called off the engagement prior to leaving for Massachusetts for her father’s funeral and that may have caused Vence to snap. On May 28, X withdraws from representing the mother. 2 days later Vence’s attorney also withdraws. On May 31, X announces that little Maleah is deceased and details his conversation with Vence in jail. Our minds now knew what our hearts had been feeling. Little Maleah was gone.

From a legal standpoint, I question Quanell’s ability to “represent” the mother without having the appropriate qualifications of any other attorney. However, I applaud him for not only speaking to Vence but releasing himself from the mother’s case and disclosing locating information on the whereabouts of Maleah’s body. I’m unaware if the reward money was given to Quanell X for disclosing crucial information or if he’s allowed that but I do wonder if Quanell was used as a pawn to help HPD by speaking with Vence? When X agreed to represent the mother, did he know all details? We all have many questions as to how did this happen, what was the mother thinking, where was the biological father, etc. And honestly, some of those questions may go unanswered. I appreciate Quanell X for not prolonging the search any longer and getting to the bottom of it. After he withdrew from the mother’s case he hit us with a hard truth, “you have women that desire to be loved so bad, even to protect a rotten man”. It makes you question if mental illness played a part, which is oftentimes a topic that we ignore. Maleah’s case is a true testament that things like this happen more often than we think and it could easily be your family or someone you know. This case is far from over as bits and pieces are still being disclosed. Now the main question is what part can YOU play in ensuring your little niece, neighbor or student is protected at all costs?

Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, announced that City Hall will turn its lights pink on June 9 to honor the life of 4-year-old Maleah Davis as pink was her favorite color. “Just as the light will shine in her memory, we must continue to shine a light on the horrific circumstances that lead to her death and make a promise to protect all children in our community.” As we wear shades of pink Maleah’s honor on this beautiful Sunday, let’s keep all her loved ones, communities and other innocent souls uplifted in prayer. Until next time– Corrita 💕

*All detailed information pertaining to this post came only from http://www.KHOU.com news articles. Thank you.

Posted in Live~Laugh~Life

Graduation 🎓

Graduations are always an exciting time full of family, friends and food. Certificates for the Kindergarteners and money/gift cards for the older ones. Well, that’s the fun part. The seriousness comes in with going off to school to continue your education, pushing yourself to achieve the next career goal or numbing the pain from thinking of student loan debt. Funny but for some it’s true. However you look at it, graduation is still an achievement and a step in the right direction so whichever path you take, don’t quit. Set goals and keep going.

This graduation season we’re celebrating the neph.. and a few others as they recently graduated from high school. I talked about him a little in my May Photo Challenge and highlighted a few of his accomplishments. But now real life begins where you learn to balance work, school work, playtime.. and a little Boosie in between. 😝

Congrats to all the 2019 graduates! 🎓

Enjoy the vid.. Volume up! 🗣🗣

Posted in The Psychoanalysis of Tom and Tina

Relationship Talk 1-on-1

Back in 2015, the ladies and I embarked on an Urban Ski weekend trip in the mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Also there was Karlie Redd and Rasheeda and Kirk Frost from Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. I’m a follower of the LHHATL brand and through watching I became utterly disgusted at watching Kirk disrespect his wife on national TV week after week, not realizing it could be all for TV, so when I seen him checking into their hotel in Tennessee I kept that same energy and look of disgust on my face as I did on my couch watching the TV screen. Anywho, Rasheeda and Karlie were nice, danced and allowed us to take pictures with them while Kirk sat and watched.

In watching the show they’ve been married for about 17/18 years and have 2 sons together. Kirk has 5 or 6 other kids from previous relationships but I’m not sure if that came before or after the marriage. You can do the math. I always thought Rasheeda was too naive and easy on him. Or was the LHHATL check so good that they chose to make a fool of their marriage on TV. Whatever it was, they looked crazy as hell. Fast forward to this past Monday. I was a few weeks behind so in playing catch up on old episodes that I missed it’s 4 years later and Mr. Kirk still doing the same ol dog sh*t. He done had a WHOLE baby with a young broad from the strip club and now wants to walk on eggshells with the baby mama to protect his peace with his family. Ok sir. After being in the dog house with his wife, Rasheeda finally let’s him move back in the home, they have their family back and all seems good.

On a recent episode, Kirk and Rasheeda took the other TV couples on a camping trip, did some activities and gave advice on how to keep it fresh in the bedroom, how to juggle being a mom and wife and tips for a long-lasting union. Now, this may not be the two best people this info is coming from but I see the point when you look at the big picture- they seem to have a strong union, no matter what the hell Kirk does she ain’t leaving and they’re sorta the faces of the LHHATL brand since Stevie J and Joseline didn’t work out and Mimi is just.. there. As I watch now, I no longer let it get under my skin why Rasheeda doesn’t go harder on him or why Kirk keeps screwing over his wife. If they love it why should I care? That’s they business and who knows, it’s probably all for TV. It’s my weekly dose of ratchet so I watch and chuckle like the next.

We’ve all been in relationships or situations where your friends or family don’t like the person you’re dealing with, don’t agree with your decisions or just can’t understand of allll the men in the world, why’d you have to choose that one? There is no one right answer but I believe every decision made is a part of life and learning more about you. In a social media world it’s so easy to get wrapped up in other people’s stories or how they portray life to be in private vs. public. It’s also easy to insert your opinion in someone else’s life when they put every second on Facebook. And I’m the first one to scratch my head and ask, why put it out there if you dont want people to comment then get mad when something is said that you don’t agree with? But I’m also in a space of “who cares” when I have my own things to worry about. Life is more simpler this way when you just do you.

I dated a guy years ago (we’ll call him Buddy) and neither of the parentals cared for him as a man (because he had a number of kids) or a boyfriend (because he was almost twice my age). But, I wanted what I wanted. Over time things started changing and I found myself slowly distancing myself from him. Things I wanted to do, he made excuses. Trips I wanted to take, he wasn’t interested. Areas I needed assistance in, he wasn’t supportive or helpful. I started asking those real life questions- Is this what I want in a mate? How will this impact our future little ones? At some point if it’s not helping you grow it’s hindering you.

But what I didn’t realize is all along he knew he wasn’t the guy for me and me succumbing to his lifestyle wasn’t elevating me to reach my full potential of where I wanted to go in life. He seen it but I got comfortable. The warning signs were there and I had to learn and make that decision on my own. He let it be known he was stuck in his ways and didn’t want to change. Whether I agree or disagree, I respected him for not wasting another second of my time or his. We parted ways with no hard feelings or baggage and moved on.

When friends come to me with problems I now learn to listen first and ask questions later. I’ve learned that everything doesn’t require a long, drawn out Dr. Phil answer or counseling session. Sometimes people just need to talk it out to vent and need you to listen. That’s it. 9 times out of 10 a person knows if they’re going to stay in that unhealthy situation or relationship you may not agree with. They may not hear nothing you have to say the first 4 times you say it but allow them the space to figure it out without feeling like it’s more weight between your friendship. You don’t have to agree but you must know your place. Did you hear me? Know. Your. Place.

We all go through things in friendships, situationships, relationships and marriages and it’s not always easy having someone listen without placing judgement on your issue. All advice isn’t good and unsolicited advice is not always warranted so if giving advice, be sure it’s truth (even if it hurts) and coming from a place of love. Until next time.. — Corrita 💛

Posted in Live~Laugh~Life

Happy Birthday from Punta Cana! 🌴🎂🌴

A month ago I said I would keep my birthday simple this year- road trip, massages, mud bath, ride bikes, play with birds, yoga, etc. Different kind of birthday turn-up, right? Lol, I know. Well, my little Gemini mind changed and I wanted a beach so Punta Cana it was!

My friend Keysha and I have the same birthday and some years ago 5 of us ladies celebrated in Cancun, imagine that dosage of Gemini fun!  🤸🏽‍♀️ The year after I did Cabo with an ex-boo (we’ll call him Milo), took on Jamaica in 2018 and 2019 the beautiful Punta Cana with Keysh. Some things fell through with her arrangements and I was indecisive about where I was going up until a week ago when she hit me up so we made it happen. We arrived on Wednesday, 5/22 and stayed until 5/26. Ironically, when we seen each other our nails were the same (white powder, rhinestones on each nail and designs) and our hair was similar.

We arrived at our resort, Breathless, and it truly takes your breath away with it’s beautiful landscaping, palm trees, lazy river, the different pools and easy access to the beach. There were other things I loved as we walked through the resort but that’s what I noticed first. And our amazing ocean view room. We opted out of doing any excursions this trip as we had the same things in mind- turn-up for the birthday, lounge on the beach, eat plenty, drink plenty, girl talk and relax. We met lots of new faces from Australia, Baltimore and New York, to name a few. That’s one of the good things about vacationing, you meet people from so many areas of the world with different accents but serving the same purpose of enjoying their home away from home.

Resort- We stayed at Breathless Resort, about 20 minutes from the airport. The hotel had everything I wanted- all inclusive food and drinks, top shelf brown liquor (because I’m not your vodka girl), wifi, ocean view, pools, easy beach access, good reviews, etc. The hotel is adult-only and known as a party hotel through their number of pool parties. You get 24/7 room service and good entertainment throughout the day and at night. Because it was our birthday the hotel gifted us with a white and chocolate-drizzled cake and a bottle of champagne that never made it but I’ll save that rant for the full review on Trip Advisor. The cake looked yum but we got 2 tipsy the day they brought it and forgot 2 put the cake in the fridge before we left 2 go party so it sat out all night next to the coffee pot looking lonely. But anyway. Overall, I would recommend this hotel if you’re traveling to PC. Good crowd and good times.

Food- The food was good (not great). It was several restaurants to eat from: Steakhouse, Mexican, French, Japanese, etc. We tried a different restaurant each night and liked them all but none really stood out to make me want to go back twice. If I was to say, the hibachi grill at the Japanese restaurant was the best.

Staff/Service- Majority of the staff spoke Spanish but a good bit knew English also. Keysh knew all the words so I just nodded in agreement to whatever she said. Cumpleaños = birthday though. Lol. The service was good and they’re very attentive whether you’re lounging on the beach and need another Bahama Mama, in a restaurant or need more towels from housekeeping.

Though the resort lacked in some small areas the entire trip was nice and beautiful. I loved the beach, upkeep of the resort and feeling safe at all times. The purpose was to celebrate another birthday and an even added bonus was celebrating with my friend Keysh.

Turn the volume up and enjoy the vid below. Thanks again for all the birthday wishes and cheers to another year! 🥂 I’m truly blessed. Oh, towards the end of the video you’ll hear the driver say Happy Mother’s Day, 5/26 is the day they celebrated Mother’s Day in DR — Corrita 💛

 

Punta Cana 2019- Turn your volume up!! 🔊🔊