Posts in Family
Split Mom Update - IAN IS 1

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Last month (ok this post is late -- February) was a busy yet exciting time for our family as we celebrated Ian's first birthday! It is so hard to believe that a year has already gone by. As the old saying goes: "time flies when you are having fun." I know for me, this first year was interesting. Complex in the first few months finishing law school with a newborn. (For those who asked, I AM working on a blog post about having kids in law school) & after law school adjusting to being a stay at home mom (also more on that later lol)  I was quickly reminded that life with an infant is no walk in the park!  I found myself re-adjusting to being a mother all over again. I had to relearn a ton, as so much has changed in the last 13 years.  

It really caused me to pause and appreciate the time! To reflect and focus on what matters & ignore the things that do not. I've learned most importantly to cherish each and every moment of my kids lives! Because here it is I have a 13 year old (& I am still trying to process that, meanwhile he will be 14 in less than 6 months -- haha) & now a toddler. They really do grow up fast.  

All in all, we have a very interesting home life for sure! 

Having Ian in the house has made me realize that for every "first" milestone were celebrating for him, were also experiencing a ton of "last" for Shaun. It's painful at times to even accept that kubb will be out of the home in 4.5 years, on his way to college or wherever God leads him. MIND BLOWN. 

Speaking of first and last, on Ian’s first birthday we also had kubbs last middle school basketball game. (They won by the way. They went the entire season undefeated, and Kubb shot the buzzer beater, it was pretty epic!-- I was so busy enjoying the moment I didn't capture it on my phone, but I am ok with that. I was there, we saw it, and we celebrated with him in that moment :) ) 

In addition to reflecting in the past 12 months, I have also found myself doing something I never want to do as a parent; compare my children. Ok I know at this age it's no biggie but I don't want to create that habit of having Ian live up to the expectations we have because of Kubb. {Moms of multiples, how do you not compare kids?}

Ian marches to his own beat! I feel like we are in for such a treat raising him because he will surely provide us with TONS of great stories as he grows up,  given the little personality he has already. Ok but back to the comparison trap, Y'all KUBB WAS THE PERFECT BABY ( I mean he's still a pretty amazing young man) but when I say he was the poster child for good babies, he was just that. He never cried, he would let family hold him (rolling my eyes thinking about how funny acting Ian is to everyone lol) he slept through the night around 6 months old (Yea, Ian is 13 months and STILL HASN'T quite figured out sleeping through the night yet,) Kubb hardly ever got sick( we had two hospital visits with Ian in his first 12months) Kubb hardly cried, or anything, he was just a good baby!!! --- I know they say all children are different but I didn't quite understand it until now... Ian is the TOTAL opposite of Kubb as a baby. I thought for sure some things would be the same, nope! lol 

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Kubb actually said to me that "God knew what I needed when I had him" insinuating that I was young, and clueless when I had him, so God looked out. I couldn't help but laugh because that is so true. I was a scared 15 year old kid myself who had no idea how to be a mom. God made it easy for me with Kubb and spoiled me in the process.  

BUT I LOVE IT. I love being able to learn to parent again through a totally different experience. I love learning who Ian is and what he likes, instead of trying to just "do what I did with kubb" I've had no choice but to reinvent the wheel and it's been an exciting year! 

What I love most about my "SPLIT-MOM" experience, because it really is an experience. (If you're clueless on what a split mom is, go here) is the relationship Kubb & Ian are developing. It absolutely melts my heart! Although they are 13 years apart, they get along so well for the most part... Y'all they even fight like brothers already, haha. Ian looks up to kubb, he tries to copy everything he does, he yells at him, tries to play the PS4 with him, they eat cereal and watch saturday cartoons together, its just cute. Ian actually learned to say Kubb before saying mama (well he still doesn't say mama, mommy,, ma or nothing! lol -  If you ask him to say mama, he will say dada and laugh! He trolls me, daily.) He likes to go in kubbs room to get his attention. By attention I mean knocking all his stuff down & rolling his basketball out the room knowing kubb will chase him for it.  He calls for him, and sometimes kubb will just come save Ian from his "boring parents!" They're such a dynamic duo already!! 

I pray as the years go by they continue to be best friends and celebrate each others "first" & "last" together as a team! 

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What's happening in this picture? - KUBB: Ian smile IAN: Nah bruh. 

Family, LifeTekey W
Why You NEED A BUDGET

"Money always flows away from those who don't manage it toward those who do"

Since my last blog post, I have had a few people ask me for a follow up post about BUDGETING. Some were really interested in how we paid down our debt, and others just interested in getting their finances in order for the new year.

So obviously I have some folks who are: tired of overspending, want to save money for certain purchases, get paid and have no clue where all their money goes; that follow me. Do any of these things sound familiar to you? Fret not, I wrote this post with you in mind.

I was once that person I just described above. After a few changes to my mindset surrounding money and some healthy adjustments to my spending habits, I can now answer those questions in the negative!  (Ok I still overspend at times on coffee - smh- it is a process.) 

Most people don’t like talking finances because it’s such a taboo topic. Myself included.

For instance Noah and I never discuss dollar figures & finances with anyone outside of our circle, (God, each other & our financial advisor.) Just because we feel as though its nobody else's business. I mean really it's not. But mainly because we have a healthy view and relationship with money that some people don't share. We view money as an object to make exchanges. We don't let money control us, we control our money. We don't think more money will take away our problems, we make it work with what we have. We spend within OUR means, and we allocate every dollar to what WE deem is important to US.

Some people really don't have boundaries when it comes to money. People also tend to think if you make x amount of dollars you have imaginary money that they like to spend for you. So to keep from having to run down the long list of expenses and places our money goes, we just choose not to talk about it with anyone outside of us.

We do however believe in discussing money with our kids, well mainly Kubb, Ian has no clue what money is right now. This is because a lot of the money habits people have are inadvertently handed down to them. So we want our children to understand money for what it is and have a healthy relationship with money themselves as they grow older and make their own financial decisions.

I also think it’s ok to talk about eliminating debt. Sometimes people just need to know that they can do it too. Wealth building and financial independence should not be a secret. (Especially when you're talking about what most millenials can relate to: STUDENT LOANS -- the added layer of Medical School  &  Law School type of student loans (6 FIGURES) yea, we all need some advice in that area - I will dedicate a post to this in the future) In the meantime if you're looking for more (Medical School Debt advice) the best place to start is- THE WHITE COAT INVESTOR

Ok, now back to the reason you're here. You want to discover the magic of mastering your finances in 2018, SO YOU CAN ANSWER NO TO THOSE QUESTIONS TOO. Guess what?! It starts with one word, BUDGET. Budgeting is the first step to financial literacy and freedom. 

Budgeting allows you to create a plan for your money and ensures you have enough for everything you need. Budgeting most importantly allows you to control your money instead of your money controlling you. 

Seeing where your money goes every month can be very eye opening.   

Realizing you over spent on groceries, gas, & eating out is not cool. Especially when that extra money could have gone to eliminating debt or building wealth.  

DISCLAIMER: I am not a money expert. I can only share what works for us & hope that it helps you! Talk to a financial advisor or CPA for individual advice and direction. 

First things first

STRATEGY

  • Note your NET income (after pre/post tax deductions- in other words what you bring home)
  • Track your spending for a month (Every item, every dollar- it is time consuming at 1st but it is for a great reason- don't skip this step)
  • Set your budget -- Allocate your money. THIS IS WHERE YOU CREATE A BUDGET. 
    • Fixed expenses first: Tithes, Mortgage/Rent, Utilities, Car Payment, Insurance (health, car, life) , DEBT, Subscriptions, Phone Bill.
    • Then variable expenses (things that change month-month): Household products, Gas, Groceries, Leisure, Personal, Misc.
    • Non-Negotiables ( Savings Categories listed below) 
  • Adjust if necessary : if you realize that you only spend x on misc stuff instead of yz then allocate that money somewhere else. 

Also, review your budget month- if not every couple of weeks!  I do a mid month and month end budget check to see where we are. 

Savings - My mantra is pay God 1st, then yourself. Don't wait to see what you have left over to save, instead use what you have after you SAVE.

Here are some suggested savings categories. Think of what is non-negotiable (things you will put money to no matter what) and start funding those things first. 

  • EMERGENCY FUND  - Life happens. You can lose your job, have a huge medical expenses and so forth- Some people suggest having 3-6 months of income in an emergency fund. [DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU] but don't neglect creating an emergency fund. Even if it is $500-$1000. 
  • RETIREMENT FUND - (401K, 403b, IRA, Roth IRA, TSP) My suggestion here again is to do what works FOR YOU. Every one's financial situation is unique. If you're able at the very least put in enough to get your employer match if there is one - it is FREE MONEY) 
  • CHILDREN EDUCATION FUND - Post about different ways to do this coming next month :) 
  • INVESTMENTS - (Mutual funds, Index Funds, Stocks- whatever you PERSONALLY decide to invest your money in. If you don't know where to start, do some research or talk to a financial advisor.) 
  • DEBT PAYOFF - (NON-NEGOTIABLE) Paying off your debt allows you to save more money. The money you would have paid in interest can go to something else, if you make extra debt payments with any extra money you have monthly (even an extra $50 a month) can save you a ton on interest. 
  • SPECIFIC PURCHASES -(If you know you're going to be needing a new car in 6 months, or planning a big party/wedding, vacation etc. those things should go here.)
  • SINKING FUND - ( Car maintenance, house repairs, birthdays, holidays etc.) 

Budgeting can be difficult the first few months but if you hang in there it will pay off -- Pun Intended ;)

It takes practice, and discipline, but you will be so happy you did this once you begin to see results.

~ HAPPY BUDGETING ~

The MAJOR Financial Move I’m making to ensure I reach my financial goals in 2018: A NO SPEND YEAR. I will go into detail about this in a later post, but yea- it means what it says! 😅  One caveat: I did purchase myself a very nice "gift" (mainly with christmas money) to sate my desires for the duration of this challenge. I also purchased a back orderderd & pre-ordered item back in 2017 before I decided I was going to do a no spend year. They will both come as a great "surprise" & I can still receive gifts ;) - Although, gifting will require discipline because shopping for others usually leads to finding things for myself, lol.  But for the most part I am not spending  money on any"THING" other than necessities in 2018!! 

Here are a few suggested  Budget Planners, & books to get you started Budgeting the RIGHT WAY. 

For those looking for great apps to track your money & budget I suggest MINT, YOUNEEDABUDGET, & EVERYDOLLAR

BTW,  If anyone ask; don't be afraid to say...

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Being on a budget doesn't mean You're CHEAP or BROKE, it means You're smart.

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2018 GOALS
 Black Style Blogger   Married to Medicine 

Everyone likes to hype themselves up as a new year approaches and talk about all of their "New Year- New Me" Goals, but I'm not really a fan. I don't believe we have to wait until the start of a new year to reinvent ourselves, to make changes in our lives, or to work towards accomplishing something on our to-do list. Each day is an opportunity to start over and get things done.

With that being said, I do believe in setting goals and crushing them (read about that here) & I do believe in taking advantage of a clean slate, I just feel as though our motivation shouldn't come only at the start of a new year.

Here are a few easy ways to prepare for a bomb NEW YEAR. 

1. Set your intention for the year. "Most people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan" I am all about getting a new planner in the new year and mapping out your goals. The planner I am using this year is The Purposeful Planner by Corie Clark and it is the bomb.com. It has a section for everything you need. Seriously- From prayer to meal planning and budgeting. The Happy Planner is also a favorite of mine and the planner I used for a major part of 2017. You can also find really cute and inexpensive planners at Target, TJMaxx or Marshalls. (I will write a full post on the benefits of planners in 2018) but in the meantime buy one & START PLANNING! 

2. Map out quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals. You can use your planner to do this, but also a journal works. Make sure you're writing the vision and working towards it daily. Seeing something on paper or written down makes it more real. One step closer to making a "idea or dream" a reality. Include the 4 main areas, that I discuss  below and edit your goals as the year progresses. 

3. Assess your relationships. It may be tough but it is so beneficial to cut off dead relationships. It's not about them(well actually it is) but this is mainly about your personal growth and elevation. You can still love someone but you don't have to keep toxic people in your life just because of who they are and the title they carry. As you change and grow as a person so will your relationships with people, and that is ok. Don't let anyone make you feel like it is not. To grow & discover new things about yourself, or move on from old relationships. 

4. Establish Boundaries. PROTECT YOUR PEACE at ALL COST. You can do this by creating healthy boundaries in every relationship in your life. If you don't feel comfortable with how someone treats you, tell them. If you don't want to do something, DONT. If you are uncomfortable with talking about certain things with certain people, YOU DON'T HAVE TO.  NOT EVERYONE will understand your boundaries, sometimes they will push the boundaries you create, but stand firm & eventually they'll get the point - and if they don't - their problem, not yours. One of the greatest Gifts I gave myself in 2017 was the ability to say NO & be done with something. NO is a complete sentence, you don't owe anyone an explanation for anything. DO YOU. 

5. Create a reading list. "Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light." —Vera Nazarian One of my short term goals before 2017 was over, was to catch up on leisure reading. Because let’s face it, in law school you don’t have time to read for fun! I really enjoy reading and could not wait to pick back up after walking across the stage in May. I started in the middle of the year & the goal was to read 1 book a month. I’m proud of myself for exceeding that GOAL.  

Here are the books I Completed: 

Each book truly enriched a different area of my life.  You should put some of these on your reading list in 2018. 

As I reflect on 2017, it has been a year full of abundance and blessings. Highlights being the birth of our Rainbow Baby Ian, Relaunching and Growing my Blog & of course graduating from Law School!! 

As I look forward to my 2018 Goals- the main thing I wish to accomplish; Passing the Bar Exam & personal GROWTH.

 4 Areas & Goals I'd like to slay

  • Family- Spending more quality time together. Communicating better (we have a teenager, peeling back layer by layer to understand him is work) & also doing more of "experience" giving instead of acquiring more things in 2018. 
     
  • Faith- Being intentional about my relationship with God. Spending more intentional time with him. Starting each day with God & purposefully working on my weekly prayer project journal (You can purchase here) Continuing to attend church regularly and allow him to GUIDE EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE. 
     
  • Finances- We paid off over $22k in Debt this year. The goal in 2018 is to continue paying down our debt, (SAY NO TO Student Loans.) SAVING for our children's education{post about saving for education coming in 2018} & retirement (Maxing out retirement accounts is a huge tax benefit) Also, sticking to our BUDGET(If you don't already budget-- in 2018 you should CREATE ONE! This is the first step to truly mastering your finances and meeting your goals.) Lastly, lowering our expenses especially in the first half of the year, in order to save more. We have a huge move coming up in the summer and if the situation is right, we'd like to buy when we relocate. 
     
  • Fitness- Since trying to conceive my body has been on a roller coaster ride of hormones and as a result, weight gain. Ive talked about that in previous post, read here. I've already started working on this goal but in 2018, I plan to continue to get back in shape. I haven't set a number or goal weight because in my opinion the number isn't as important as how you look and feel. 

Here's to slaying in 2018. 

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Spouses Guide to Survive Away Rotations

If you’re unfamiliar with the medical journey, the term “away Rotations” means nothing to you. However, for those that are on the journey with a spouse in medicine, the term can be dreadful.  

For most residents, & even medical students at some point during their training they will have to “go away” to another hospital- sometimes in different states to get the training they need in a certain specialty. 

Most of the time, if you’re in a very big program or in a metropolitan area- away Rotations are not a thing. But for those in small to medium size programs located in less populated or rural areas, away Rotations are inevitable. 

On our journey we’ve endured around 10 away Rotations, & Noah just finished his LAST one this month. Hooray! 

We may have a few deployments in our future but I feel like this has been good ground for preparation, but that part of the medical journey is finally over for us. 

As such, I thought it would be helpful to lend some key advice to those who are supporting their spouse through this long and sometimes lonely journey in medicine.  

  • Communicate when you can. Realize that your partner will probably be extremely busy on the hospital floor. Don’t expect text/phone calls all throughout the day, but communicate whenever possible. An Apple Watch honestly is a great way to send a quick I miss you, I love you, I’m thinking of you text without much distraction. You may not always get a response. Learn to be ok with that. & when you talk, try not to complain or argue. Chances are your spouse is under a lot of stress, pick you battles. 
     
  • Visit if you can: like I said above, some away rotations are in different states so this can be expensive- especially on a training budget. However if funds and time allow, go visit. If its a car ride away, pop up for a weekend. I will caution that just because you decide to visit, doesn't mean your partners obligations decrease. They still may very well be busy at the hospital, but at the very least you'll be able to spend some quality time when they're done working :) 
     
  • Find a hobby. I can’t stress this enough. Really keeping yourself busy makes the time fly. Find something you enjoy & DO THAT. 
     
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder, thats still a thing. Distance can force you to have a greater appreciation for each other, if you view it correctly. Now if you're just going to be resentful the whole time your partner is away because you have no one to help with the kids, dishes and laundry- tough. However, if you look at it from the lens of appreciation for all that they do when they are around, when they return you appreciate them more. Its so easy to lose sight of each other going through life day to day doing the mundane. When a person is physically absent it causes you to pause and appreciate their presence. Although you may not feel like it, I’m sure they’d rather be with you & they miss you just as much as you miss them. Cherish the time apart and use it as a chance to date again: talk on the phone, plan your next date, get to know each other better. 
     
  • When all else fails, curl up with a bottle of wine & watch Netflix. At least then every once in a blue moon Netflix will check on you to see if you’re still there ;)  

P.S. If you have children and can afford it, get some help. Pay a baby sitter to give you a day off. Take care of yourself. Go to the nail salon, do something to treat yourself. You deserve it! 

Hang in there & remember that this is only temporary!  

“ We do not remember the days, we remember the moments” - Cesare Pavese

  

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Welcome To The Military- Air Force Commisioning Ceremony

This post is late, like over a year over due - BUT better late than never :)

I know in the future I plan to write about our life and experience with Noah being a Doctor in Air Force, but after thinking about previous blog post I realized many people may not know that Noah is a Physician in the Air Force - so here is a short post to catch you up.

Before Noah & I got married, Noah briefly entertained the idea of joining the military as a physician while in medical school.  

Fast forward to a year before medical school graduation, now married, I nudged Noah to revisit the idea of the military as a career choice.  

{Random people have always asked Noah if he was in the military before he joined- I guess it’s the bald head & his love for fitness?!}

There was a lot of thought that went into the decision and after weighing the pros & cons we decided, he should give it a shot?! We almost kick ourselves that we didn't do it sooner. 

{In case you're wondering, YES I said WE because his decision to join means that WE as a family JOIN, the direction of our family's future will largely be shaped by Noah's career in the military. I've already felt the effect with graduation from law school and deciding which bar to take- more on that later- so yes WE as a unit decided to join the military.}

After a rigorous and detailed application process (almost 2 years) Noah was officially Commissioned as Capt. Wallace in the United States Air Force. YAY!! 

We had a small commissioning ceremony at Noah’s Family Home in Maryland. 

A little before the ceremony we decided since we’d have close friends and family together all at one time, we'd surprise everyone -including ourselves- with a gender reveal!  (Which totally wasn't a thing when I had Kubb, Split Mom Problems :) 

Check out the pictures below! 

 Air Force Commissioning Ceremony
 Air Force Pining Ceremony
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 OMEGA PSI PHI 
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 Gender Reveal Surprise 
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Post Baby Body- Ian is 9 months

As some of you may know, I had a veryyy tough pregnancy.

While I was over joyed to finally be expecting after suffering 3 miscarriages in a row, it was not fun, or pregnancy goals. I was not glowing, in fact if I am being honest, I was miserable most days.

I barely had the energy to do anything (working out was totally off the table with my 2 hour commute) and I was sick the entire 39 weeks so I just ate whatever my body tolerated and wouldn't reject.

As a result, I gained a ton of weight during my pregnancy. Weight that has made me self conscious as a mother (pun intended lol) 

I have to keep reminding myself that it took over a year (the 3 miscarriages & my pregnancy with Ian) to gain this weight so I have to at least give myself the same time to get it off. 

Admittedly though, it has been hard to do at 9 months in. Not one to make excuses but the first few months I was trying to finish school to ensure I graduated on time, and after graduating I've been taking care of a Ian, and our household around my husbands crazy schedule. So I just have to go to the gym when I can.

When Ian turned 6months old, I thought since he was eligible for child-watch at the gym working out would be easier. Umm yea, after about 3 workouts Ian got booted for being a cry baby. They called like ma'am we've tried everything he will not stop crying, COME GET YOUR BABY.  While it wasn't necessarily embarrassing (BABIES WILL BE BABIES - he didn't know or trust those folks) I felt like my motivation took 10 steps back. My excitement to get back in the gym faded and the business of life took over. 

While I have managed to make it back to the gym (I have to take Ian to his baby sitter) My mindset about working out has shifted. 

I've let go of the timeline, and I've learned to embrace my body for what it is a baby making machine :) 

Sometimes I post "look at me I'm in the gym" pictures to  my Instagram Stories and I usually get DM's from other moms who they too are struggling with getting back in shape, finding time for the gym, and so forth. 

I just wanted to encourage moms especially but ALL WOMEN, to love yourself. Love your post baby body. You birthed a HUMAN, thats pretty amazing. The weight will leave eventually, DO NOT BE HARD ON YOURSELF. Do not compare your journey to anyone else. Don't allow pinterest perfect mom bods to discourage you from being confident in your own skin.

Ignore Social Media’s pressure to “Snap Back” & do this on your own terms! 

There is so much Beauty in becoming. Stop waiting to become a perfect version of yourself and consciously enjoy who you are in the present. 

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me & ian
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Oh yea, this little peanut is 9 months old.

WHERE DID THE TIME GO? 

  • He has two teeth
  • EATS tons of fruits & veggies
  • His vocabulary includes; DADA, Hi, & HUH
  • And he is crawling EVERYWHERE.

 

Grown Up Guide to TEENAGE Humans -- OMG I HAVE A TEENAGER

So I was recently asked to give an honest review on a book, The Grown Up Guide to Teenage Humans. First let me start by saying; it was really good! Second, I would encourage all of those who are parents to teenagers or even mentor teenagers to read it! I'm usually not a fan of "parenting books." I follow the learn as you go approach, but I am truly glad I read this one. There were so many nuggets of information that I plan to implement and an entire section I will refer back to as the years go on. This is only the beginning for us. 

Over, the summer Kubb turned 13. I HAVE A TEENAGER. This still amazes me!

How has it been? I'm sure you're wondering, well wonder no more it has been interesting. I mean the kid had 12.5 years to prepare for this role,( & technically so did I)  but he’s got the whole “teenager attitude” down to a science already. 

Nothing too crazy, but still- the boy is feeling himself y’all. He’s open about the girls he likes, his voice has really dropped (when I’m on the phone and he’s in the room people sometimes ask is that Noah 😅) & he’s very creative with his "side" of the story.  (I can partially blame myself for this, Kubb was always my mock professor,  juror, or judge when I had to prepare for assignments in law school. He's even sat in on a few classes so he learned the skill honestly. lol)  

But overall, I’m excited about this next chapter. I know it will get "testy" - we’ll see if the horror stories of raising teens hold up, or the infamous what you did to your parents you get it back x 10.

In advance, I rebuke those things right now in the name of Jesus! 

We celebrated his birthday by throwing him a GAMERS PARTY IN THE PARK. He loves his PS4, well really just playing 2K so we rented a Video Game Bus for him and his crew to celebrate Kubb reaching #Level13 🎮

Check out some of the pics below, and feel free to share some advice on #RaisingTeens if you've been there, done that :) 

 

 GAMER PARTY 
 Video Game Bus Party 
 Skateboarding Doctor 
 Legally Med Kids 
 13 YEAR OLD BOY  PARTY 
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 Video Game Cupcakes 
5 Legal Tips for New Moms

** Disclaimer: This is not LEGAL ADVICE.**

I am not yet a Lawyer, (& even if I was I would not give FREE LEGAL ADVICE, the letters J.D. come with a price tag- that degree wasn't free lol ) however I want to share some tips to help you protect your children's future.

 Law Book Baby - LegallyMed

This is especially focused on new parents, but it applies whether you are new parents, old parents or not parents at all...here are a few things you should really consider with a big life event: 

  • 1. Make a basic will. I'm not saying go out and get a lawyer (although it could make the process easier) but just make a basic will....I don't care if it's from WILLMAKER (I love Quicken products, and have heard great things about this one ) ---------------->

You may  have legal insurance you can sign up for through your employer that covers a free will every year so go to your Human Resource department and ask. You may be thinking "I have no assets...why?" Well before law school I thought that too. If your death is by a sudden accident that involves a lawsuit, your estate may receive hundreds of thousands of dollars. Depending on your state laws, your spouse may not receive all of that money. It may go in part to you children, which means it could be tied up until they reach the age of 18 or 19, and your spouse may need that money for the next few years in order to help support the family. If you don't  have children, the state laws could split that money between your spouse and your parents. A will also names guardians for your children(real God Parents), as well as someone to manage money for them if you and your spouse are both gone. Not having a will creates more problems and family disputes as your family may get into a heated court battle over all of these things.

  • 2. Check your Beneficiary Designations. Anything you may have a beneficiary designation on, pull the documents out and check who the current person is. Whoever is named, gets the money. Things with beneficiary designations often are one of your biggest assets. (401K, Life Insurance, Bank Accounts) If you're like the average American, you'll likely put your spouse first, and as a contingent you can name your child or a trust. 

 

  • 3. Get a Durable and Health Care Power of Attorney. You may not know what these documents are, but its something I think everyone should have. A Durable Power of Attorney is a document that authorizes someone that you pick to make decisions about your property if you cannot act for yourself. The Health Care POA authorizes someone to make health care decisions for you if you cannot. It seems like a small thing, but it would be a huge hassle, extra money, and frustration if something happened to me and Noah couldn't get to all of our assets. If we were struggling financially due to a huge medical issue, the last thing he should be dealing with his not being able to liquidate assets if needed. 

 

  • 4. Get Life Insurance.  Our first couple years of marriage, Noah and I decided there was no need to have life insurance. We had no mortgage, no real jobs, and both had personal savings. That meant if one of us died, the other would be just fine. There was no one relying on us financially. Boy have things changed! Honestly, I saw one too many GO FUND ME ACCOUNTS when someone our age died. It got me thinking, I don't want that to be the case with us, I want to secure our future and funeral expenses so our families don't have to worry. Now we have two children who are absolutely relying on us financially. That means we really needed life insurance because if something happened to one of us, the other would need financial assistance to care for our children. Here is how to know if you need life insurance on one or both spouses. Consider if the husband passed, how would the wife and child be financially? Could they get by or would they need help to continue the style of living you'd like them to have? How about if the wife passed? What if you both did? Even if you're not married, if you die will your children be financially cared for in your absence. Life insurance is a way to ensure future financial stability for your children  in case of death.  Although I don't work right now, we decided we needed life insurance on both of us because I will be working eventually. Also, life insurance premiums are lower while you're young and healthy - GET IT NOW.  

 

  • 5. Run credit reports. You should do this every year, but with a new child you'll want to continue getting your finances in order, so make sure to check your credit report for anything that shouldn't be on there. You can easily do this by using a free online resource like Credit Karma or Annual Credit Report. You're entitled to a free one every 12 months, per the FTC. 

 

  • BONUS-- Consider how you want to save for college, if at all. We've been doing a LOT of research on college savings. That being said, I firmly believe you should be saving for your own retirement first, and your child's college second. If you can afford to do both, do it. The earlier you start for both of these, the better. A few options for college savings are: Using your own Roth IRA account as a way to also save for college, a State 529 plan, or an Education Savings Account.

All of these differ, I will be writing a post on college saving plans in the future :) 


There is also a great book on Amazon, that covers a lot of aforementioned stuff ------------------------------------------------->

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Law, FamilyTekey WComment
Flying with a Baby

Last month we took Ian on his first flight at 3.5 months. I've gotten questions from a couple of my friends who are also new Momma's considering flying with their babies. So I decided to write a blog post :)

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We learned quite a few thing when it comes to taking a flight with a baby, here are a few things we were glad we knew, or wish we would have known!

Almost all airlines allow children under 2 to fly free [ IF ] they sit on a lap and don't take up a seat. Some airlines also offer discounted seats for babies if you want to pay for one.

We decided to do a lap seat because there were 3 of us and we wanted to sit together, especially so I could have help with different laps for the baby to sit on haha. 

TSA checks to see if your ticket says "Lap-Infant" so even if you aren't checking bags you probably should stop by the desk if your ticket does not say this. Additionally it's probably a good idea to mention it when you're booking the flight. It's usually an option, but with airlines- you still want to double check the day of. Would hate to wait in the line for TSA only to be turned around. 

Also, some airlines require you to bring the child's birth certificate. We flew American Airlines, & they didn't ask for it but I had it just in case. 

Research online what document you need for baby in order to get the baby on the flight it's usually airline specific.  

Speaking of getting through TSA if you can do pre-check - Do IT. Less time in the line & more than likely you'll be holding the baby so time matters. If the baby is in a carrier (the one we used is linked at the bottom) the baby can stay in the carrier through security. It is a good thing to consider, because grabbing everything off the conveyor belt is tricky when you're holding a child.

& if you have formula. Take it out your bag ahead of time because TSA has to check it.  

Just as you prepare for temperature variations on planes, we did the same for Ian. Sometimes it's freezing sometimes it's warm. We dressed him in layers & made sure to carry a blanket.   

Oh, by the way. Your diaper bag doesn't count as a carry-on or additional item, so it's a great way to stash some extra stuff if you need to.  

A product I highly recommend are noise canceling headphones. (You can find the ones we used linked at the bottom.) You never really how loud or how many times flight attendants come on the speakers. Ian slept through most of the flight with those things on. 

We also sat close to the bathroom because, yea they'll probably have stinky diapers on a long flight. We were going from the east to west coast so he had at least 2 stinky diapers one flight. Which leads me to my next recommended product. DIRTY Diaper bags.  Disposable changing pads come in handy too. 

If you can - boarding the plane earlier is better. Thankfully for us Noah is Military so we get to board with the first group. Yes you sit on the plane longer, but it gives you time to get to your seat without everyone rushing you to get to their seat and get overhead space for their carry-on. I also used that time to do a diaper change before everyone got on board. 

Another major tip: Sucking at takeoff and landing helps ears pop, and baby needs their ears to pop just like you. We got him to nurse on takeoff for the first flight, but on the second one he was sleep so I just gave him the pacifier & he did just fine.  

All airlines we searched will gate-check a stroller and car seat for free!! If you're flying American Airlines however, they have a little nuisanced rule that strollers over 20lbs have to be checked with other bags at the counter. Ours was over 20lbs so we used the bags linked bellow, they get worn after a the trip but they did a great job of protecting our stroller and car seat. Only a few little scratches on the Stroller ;(  (Its also easier to identify your stroller and carseat when collecting your luggage.

Lastly, if you can find a straight flight, get it. The baby was fine but our crew was delayed 1.5 hours so trying to make it to our connecting flight with a baby in tow was a struggle. We missed it by 3 mins but thankfully were able to get the next flight to LAX within the next hour. 

We learned A LOT about traveling with a baby on our latest trip, and although we are not experts in this field, sometimes it's nice to hear from someone who did this for the first time, because our mind is fresh to compare what things are like with and without kids. So I hope this helped.

Ps.  

If you can help it...keep baby on the same sleep schedule as home and don't try to acclimate for time changes. Ian was super fussy the first day in California & the first day back home because of the time change.

Have Fun. 

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Family, LifeTekey W
Family Vacation 2017 : The Happiest Place on Earth.

Earlier this month the CGS crew visited Disneyland in California (The Original ;)) & we had an amazing time!! Flying with baby wasn't half as bad as I thought it'd be (next post is on Flying with a baby for those who asked) & he was sooooo good in the parks and other places we visited.  

It dubbed as a visit to see one of our best friends (the one who played match maker with Noah & I) Graduate with her Masters also! 

California was fun.  

I just wanted to share some pictures from our vacation, not much to say: we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it & look forward to going back.   

I mean it is the happiest place on Earth, what's not to love?!  

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If you're going to an amusement park or somewhere similar with an infant/toddler here are a few items I felt were a life saver. 

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Ian's Birth Story
 Black Pregnant Fashion Blogger - LegallyMed

It was on Fathers Day two years ago that we learned of our first pregnancy. I was so excited to tell Noah on Father's Day that he was going to be a Poppa for the first time!! Although that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, God loves to bring things full circle and last year on Father's Day we found out we were expecting Ian!  

So this year for Fathers Day I figured it would be a great time to share his birth story & honor my husband for the amazing role he played in it!  

--CAUTION--

 POST IS KIND OF LENGHY- IF YOU'RE JUST HERE FOR THE PICS-SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM 

--PROCEED--  

As I've mentioned before, I commuted over an hour both ways to law school everyday (well 3x a week last semester 3L year) so when I got pregnant, one of the first things that crossed my mind was when and where will I deliver this baby?!

I was terrified that I'd go into labor at school, my husband not being able to get there in time, or even worst - going into labor in the car & having to give birth alone on the side of the road. Thank God none of those things happened- but they did cross my mind -- almost daily. 

As I approached 35 weeks I started to think of a game plan. I had classmates who were on board to drive me "home" if possible, but more importantly get me to the nearest hospital if need be.  

When I went to my 35 week appointment I asked my doctor about induction. I was just too nervous about having the baby in some random place because everyone kept telling me the second time around "they slide right out" despite the time in between births.  So even though I wanted to go into labor naturally, I wasn't willing to risk it. {because, in law school- you don't get maternity leave. A post about having a baby in law school coming soon.} 

So after speaking with my doctor, she  recommended the earliest to do an induction to be 39 weeks. I was absolutely annoyed if I'm being honest. I had a very difficult pregnancy. Not difficult in the sense of complications. We had a Healthy baby, which I was extremely grateful for. No high blood pressure issues or anything. But I was sick. All. Day. Every. Day. Morning/all day sickness.

Zofran became my best friend. But even on that I'd still have dates with the toilet, daily for all 39 weeks. So when she said I had to wait 4 more weeks I was a tad bummed!! I was so over being pregnant & sick at that point. 

Despite how I felt, the health of the baby was all that really mattered so I sucked it up. We looked at her schedule, my schedule, & my husbands to coordinate & decide what the best day for induction would be. I turned 39 weeks on a Monday, so I asked her to do it THAT DAY and we'd figure the rest out :) I also didn't have class on Mondays so it was perfect!  

We didn't even realize until later that the Monday I turned 39 weeks was the day before Valentine's Day. I just wanted the baby out. I was ready to meet my prince, & finally get rid of the "morning" sickness.  

Noah was on hospital medicine that month- one of the tougher rotations in residency, because the schedule is so demanding. [6 days a week 6am-7/8pm] no fun! Unfortunately for us also, during this rotation no one is allowed to request days off. Yup. Even if you're having a baby.

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So we scheduled the induction for 6pm. I figured Noah could at least ask to get off early & we'd be at the hospital that evening. Well.. he was approved to get off early, but it still ended up being late - 5:30 pm lol. A friend of ours who is also a resident with Noah, agreed to allow Kubb to stay the night over with her & her husband so she could take him to school the next morning while we were at the hospital. Which was such a big help because none of our family is close by & no one would be coming until after the baby came home from the hospital.

----- Up until 39 weeks I tried everything in the world to induce labor hahaha all those "old wives tales" I tried. YUP, all of them & guess what?? NOTHING worked. NOT ONE THING- (I even ate pineapple which I am allergic to. That is how desperate I was! lmaooooo  ----- 

Anyway 6:30pm on Feb. 13th we were finally on our way to the hospital- only 2 mins from our house. I contemplated walking there to get my last few miles in to get the baby out, but we drove because who was going to carry my hospital bag, the baby bag, and Noah's bag while I wobbled up the block lol.

Once we got there all the nurses who Noah had worked with for the past 2 years were happy to see me. They were all extremely nice and super accommodating. Noah still had notes for work to finish up so while they were getting me hooked up and the cervidil (induction medication) inserted, he was on his laptop doing work. 

From 8pm to 12am there wasn't much excitement. Light contractions here and there.. but I was managing. Getting up to use the bathroom every 30 mins it seemed. Around 1am things took a turn! Contractions became more intense and closer, & I requested some paid medication which was given through my IV (stadol) I never desire to take again in life. It made me feel sooo loopy, I couldn't even formulate words so I just tried to go to sleep. Without much success might I add because sleep & labor don't mix well. 

Around 1am I asked for more pain meds. IDK what they gave me, (probably (Stadol) - but hey it worked. I was able to fall asleep for a little. But around 3am I woke up in the worst pain -- { shout out to all the women who do it natural, y'all are the real MVP// I knew I wasn't about that life. I wanted the drugs with Kubb and this Birth was no different lol I have a low tolerance for pain so I would never even attempt, call me a wimp - oh well.} 

Anyway, around 3am they checked me I was only about 5cm ughhhh progress but not enough I was ready to get him out, my Doctor wouldn't let me get an epidural until I was at least 6cm so I had to suffer through a few more hours of pain. This time I refused to get Stadol again because of how it made me feel. 

Finally around 6am my Doctor came in and checked me, decided to start pitocin and take the cervidil out. When she did that things really picked up. 

The pitocin had my contractions coming very frequently and intense, so I was begging for an epidural lol. 

My friend/classmate, who was also pregnant volunteered to come along and help because she - [ 1. Wanted to know what she was going to be facing in 10 weeks. 2. We didn't have any family around as stated before for support in the room. 3. She was going to help with getting Kubb from school and to the hospital once the baby arrived. ] She arrived right before my doctor  broke my water around 7:30 am and then I got the epidural. Whew. I felt much better, I could actually talk again. I was finally able to relax a little. & Rest! 

 Black Woman Birth Story - LegallyMed

That relaxation didn't last long, about 2 hours later my Doctor came in to check me again and I was 9cm so she said ITS TIME TO GET READY

Although I was relieved it was showtime, I was starting to get nervous. The same thing happened with Kubb. When it was time to actually push the baby out for some reason I was like ummm-  wait no is there any other way. I'm not ready. Pineapples. hahaha 

Nevertheless, thats the most beautiful part of the whole story... Pushing the baby out. Right?! 

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So Noah or should I say: Dr. Wallace at this point and my OB had agreed that he would actually do the delivery, she was there for oversight in case anything went left and she needed to take over since he was too emotionally attached. So he began to robe up. He went from Husband mode, to Doctor mode real quick...(& it was pretty sexy ;)) I was thankful that my friend had come along because even though my hubby is superman, there was no way he could hold my hand, my legs, encourage me, and get the baby out at the same time. Having her there was a blessing.

SHOWTIME  

It was time to push and I was readyyyyyy- well at least I thought I was. With Kubb I pushed for all of 10 mins and he was born. So with Ian I was expecting 2 pushes max and "He's out." lol it didn't quite work out like that. More like 6 GOOD Pushes. 

I began to push and Noah was actually a great motivator and encourager, he was telling me how much of a good job I was doing, and that the baby was coming --- after about 2 good pushes however, I may or may not have yelled at everyone to stop telling me that was a good push- because I'm working my butt off, so WHERE IS THE BABY?! 

I figured if they kept saying that was a good push the baby should be here lol so the nurse went and got a mirror so I could see what they all saw, him making his way downtown :) 

Thats when I wanted to quit though, it was 10 mins in, the baby wasn't here I was pushing the hardest and I felt defeated. {I don't know how women push for hours, OMG kudos to those SUPERWOMEN!!!} 

Noah asked if I was ready to push again, and I said "No I cant do it" everyone in the room told me I could- and he was just a few pushes away from being here. So I began to push again after about 3 mins of contemplating others ways to get the baby out, without having to be cut. lol 

So I pushed. and PUSHED. AND PUSHED. & then bam -- he WAS HERE!!! 

Poppa caught him and introduced him to me, although he was screaming at us because we ruined his peaceful womb vibes he was as sweet as can be! Then the Nurse said : "It's A Valentine's Day Baby" & I thought how perfect! This has certainly been a labor of Love. Welcome to the World- LOVE CHILD. 

Looking back it really wasn't bad. I pushed for all of 20 minutes maybe, my husband did amazing at coaching me and getting him into this world without any complications - but more importantly he was perfect & healthy! He was everything I prayed for & more. 

All the morning sickness suddenly became absolutely worth it- he was the best reward. 

It was the most amazing experience ever watching my husband deliver his first child, our son! I was finally able to see his passion and love for delivering babies shine!

My friend told me how beautiful it was to watch, & how we fed off of each other working well as a team through the entire delivery.  

Although he's been a bonus dad to Kubb, it has been a joy to watch him with his mini - {no really, he's his little twin. I did all that work, was sick for 39 weeks and Ian looks just like his Poppa. I feel slighted.} 

Noah gave "I brought you in this world and I can take you out" a whole new meaning that day.  ;)

I enjoyed seeing my husband in Doctor Mode, maybe we'll do this again someday ;)  

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Noah Ian 7lbs of perfection

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Happy Fathers Day ❣️

 

 

Having Children Over A Decade Apart
 Black Mom Blogger - Mother and Sons - Family Fashion - LegallyMed

We've all heard the old adage "you learn something new everyday"  Well today's lesson: I'm a "Split Mom" - one who has children at least a decade apart.  This can be due to a number of reasons but most popular are having a child early on, (me) or through divorce and remarriage.

Most "Spilt Moms" describe this unique experience as almost having two different families in one, and I think I can agree with that.

Although its still relatively new for me, (being a mom of two- that whole kids with an (s) gets me every time hehe)

Someone asked me the other day how I felt about their age gap so I decided to write this post. 

It's hard to believe that over 13 years ago, I took my first pregnancy test that resulted in two blue lines. Those two blue lines indicated two things: 1) I was pregnant with my son, and 2) my entire life was about to change in ways I couldn't even begin to comprehend. I was only 14 years old & hardly prepared to be someone's mother. What followed in the years to come was a rollercoaster of epic proportions during which time I graduated from high school, went to college, graduated from college & got my first job, while simultaneously learning how to be a mommy, and to a certain extent, a grown-up.

Fast forward to now. Kubb is almost thirteen (yea I still cant believe that either.) I've gotten married to the cool guy who We (Kubb & I) met in 2008 when Kubb was only 3.5 years old. That was insistent on remaining present in Kubb's life somehow to see him grow up - (you'd have to have read OUR STORY HERE to further understand that). Who now is doing a fantastic job loving him and being an amazing bonus dad.

Noah & I knew when we got married that we wanted to have children. Kubb was 9.5 at the time so we also knew that our kids would share some distance in age. We didn't have a baby right away due to some fertility issues (discussed in a previous post).. but when we finally got those two blue lines again we knew we'd be looking at an almost 13 year age gap! 

I will admit, this was both breathtakingly beautiful & terrifying at the same time!  

One day during my pregnancy I had an epiphany. It was actually happening. I was going to have children over a decade a part. I'd essentially be raising "kids" for what seems like - forevaaaaaa. I have probably played out in my head how Kubb will be starting College & Ian will be starting kindergarten over, & over, & over again during my pregnancy. Or how Kubb will be possibly getting married & Ian will likely just be heading to his Senior prom.

I think once these things actually happen I won't fret as much. But for now, it's still a little shocking to think about. If that's not classified as two families in one- I'm not sure what is! 

Aside from that, there hasn't been much of a difference. I meannn ok, one [MAJOR] difference - the smell of their rooms. One smells like baby powder & lavender.... & the other one smells like teenager! (If you've ever raised, grew up with, or been around a teenage boy- you know the smell I am talking about. . . Oh & if you haven't, just think "gym socks and outside" hahah Also know that there is seemingly nothing you can do to get rid of it.

Seriously, there are not enough air freshener or plug-ins in the world to save your nose.

Other than that, it has been great! This time around I am much more experienced & more stable. Even though a lot has changed. I'm getting into the swing of things. I might forget the diaper bag occasionally because it's been years since I've carried one, but so far I haven't gotten out the door and forgotten the baby... (if you're a parent, you know this actually happens a time or two lol)

Truthfully, I have spent a ton of time re-learning how to work some of the most basic things. These new "baby essentials" need to come with links to YouTube tutorials!! There are car seats that do everything but strap the baby in for you- strollers with charger ports - bath tubs with water temperature readings (genius by the way- one of my favorite baby shower gifts) - & swings that plug into your phone to play music. But I'm figuring it out (I'm not the first parent who's had to get the fire station to install their car seat because they just couldn't figure it out) [Thats what they're there for right? To help clueless parents. lol]

& I admit It's only awkward when you're struggling to juggle it all in public (stroller/carseat, diaper bag, shopping carts, purse, keys, phone)  & a stranger randomly smiles at you  & says "awww you're a first time mom." Ummmm no. But thanks for the sympathy lol.

While life has changed with us being a family of 4, a lot has remained the same. We're still trying to figure Ian out & he's learning us too.  

If I can use one word to describe my experience thus far, I'd  have to say it's been - AMAZING! 

Because my sons are so different in age, they have vastly different needs. I find I’m able to meet my kids’ needs independently, because they aren’t competing for the same attention in the way that two boys close in age would be. [Okay. Okay! Sometimes they do compete for attention. If I say "hey Mommy's baby" to Ian Kubb will say "but I thought I was Mommy's baby" or if I say I love you to the baby "Kubb will respond with "where's my I love you?!"]

It's cute, at times. Other times I have to remind Kubb that he has been the baby for over 12 years- let Ian live & have his moment. Besides both of them will always be my babies for Life! 

Truthfully speaking though, Kubb is doing a great job at his role of big brother (something we were admittedly nervous about because he was having only child syndrome the closer it got to delivery but he's adjusted wayyyy better than expected.) 

One major perk of this age difference is that Kubb is really able to help out and be an extra set of hands. Which is so important. With Kubb I had all hands on deck, his dad, my moms, dad, sisters, cousin, everybody. This time around, we're 2.5 hours away from the closest family member so Kubb's set of hands are much needed. Him stepping up and volunteering to hold the baby, share his Saturday morning cartoon time with him, & run up and down the stairs whenever I need him to grab something for me has truly been a blessing.  

// We may or may not be counting down to when Kubb is able to drive so that he can be on errand duty to further assist with our chaotic lifestyle.  // 

 All in all, it's been a joy to be their mom! 

The reality is: 

  • There is no ideal way to time the birth of your kids.
  • There will be pros and cons to any age span.
  • Chronological age often has little to do with what your children will need. Sometimes they want to be babied and other times they crave independence — you just have to take their cues & adjust accordingly. 

You just have to enjoy raising your children & YOUR Parenting Journey! 

I know for me it truly been amazing watching them learn to LOVE each other & I'm excited to continue watching them grow! 

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SIBLING WARS 

 {YOU STICK YOUR TONGUE AT ME-----------------------I PUKE ON YOU}

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 Brotherly Love - LegallyMed

My Heart is FULL.

#BOYMOM  

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What Does #RelationshipGoals Really Mean

Everyone loves to say Noah & I are #RelationshipGoals & while it's cute, sometimes I cringe because I'm always thinking "you have no idea!!" People see the external success of a Doctor & Lawyer- to be- duo & they are mesmerized with the titles having no clue what it takes to make this unit function. 

So since our anniversary is tomorrow I thought it would be ideal to share some insight for those who have similar #RelationshipGoals as us.  

  • SACRIFICE  - You have to be willing to sacrifice! I put this one first because I can't stress it enough.

There is a lot of behind the scenes that comes along with the title of "Doctors Wife."  A bunch of people assume because your husbands a "Doctor" everything is perfect, you're rich, & you have no problems in the world- & if you do -money can fix it! Ummmm All of those things are FALSE. Don't get me wrong, I love our life and I am not complaining at all, but it is not liken to the image people have made up in their minds for it to be!

I've gotten comments before like "You're lucky your husbands a Dr. y'all are gonna be rich" or my favorite "Why are you even in Law School? You can just be a stay at home wife who shops all day". LOL I can't laugh at these misconceptions hard enough. Breaking News: Being a "Doctors Wife" is not that glamorous.

Granted there are a ton of Doctors in certain specialties that are what the world would consider rich because of the money they make, but that is not the case for most Physicians. It is true however that we personally are rich, but it is only because we have things money cannot buy- each other :)  

A lot of people want the "perks" without doing the work.

I am here to tell you, being a Doctors Wife usually means at times you come second. Ok, first after God but seriously, your husbands patients come first! So why yes I'm lucky I get to live a totally unpredictable life most of the time. It makes for some excitement occasionally but it can also be a total buzz kill.

That date you planned & got all dressed up for can easily be put on hold when he's on call. Those typical holidays or times that are spent "with family" can sometimes be spent ALONE, yup that includes your birthday, your kids "important" events & even anniversaries. Set your expectations low- actually you might be better off having none. lol 

I joke all the time about being a "single wife." I learned the game quickly and how to master getting things done without my husband being present. Now I will say we get a lot of family time compared to some, but that was because of his sacrifice: he intentionally chose a specialty that would allow him to have a balanced family life- which means more than the monetary gain of other high-income specialties. 

Also, being married to a  law student is rough. Most of their days and nights are spent studying.  ALL. THE. TIME! If you can't sacrifice your needs for the betterment of your partners academic obligations, sorry, but It ain't for you.

I was sooooooo fortunate that Noah had gone through 2 years of medical school before I decided to go to law school. He understood my life and struggles in a way a normal Spouse or just people in general might wrestle to comprehend.

My friends would call me all the time & here's how the conversation would go

Them: What are you doing?

Me: Studying.

It got to the point that they didn't even ask when they called because they always knew the response but it was 100% accurate. Whenever I was not in class, I was usually studying. I did give myself one day a week (typically Sunday) to do nothing related to law school, but aside from that even on my longgggg commute or in the gym I listened to my outlines that were pre-recorded on my phone. I was constantly learning.

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The times where I was not studying were few and far between. It takes true sacrifice to know that there isn't much "free time" to spend with your partner- so just sitting in the same room with them while reading or making up raps to help prepare for final exams, can sometimes  be "date night." {This is a picture of Noah acting as though he was in a section popping bottles, while we rapped rule statements for me to remember for an exam 1L year} 

While I enjoyed those moments and wouldn't trade them for anything, if you're not willing to understand that you can't do/date/be on the scene like everyone else (the training years are straight up Grind Time) you'll have a hard time making it work with any person in a high demanding career.  

Oh & speaking of misconceptions & sacrifice, most physician spouses who are SAHMoms/Wives that you think are with their husband for his money and stay home because they got it like that! (where?) lol  - are usually well educated women who had to put their lives on hold for their spouse.

#BecauseMarriedToMedicine

I've come to learn that for many physician spouses the decision to stay at home was typically because their partners training made it difficult with so many moves.  Most couples move at least 3x on the medical journey, if they're together from the start. (Med School, Residency, Real Job.) Usually all are different places. It's HARD to just pick up and find a new job in your career field at a beneficial pay grade every time your spouse relocates {& this isn't even adding the extra layer of being a Military Physician} I am not saying this only because it is my current reality. IT IS 100 PERCENT TRUE.

I belong to a private group on Facebook comprised of ONLY Physician spouses, and many of them are not at home because they chose to be. Sometimes on this journey - medicine will make that decision for you. THAT IS A TRUE SACRIFICE. 

Putting your career and needs on hold to ensure that your spouse fulfills their dream isn't always the fairy tale that people think. 

You can't be #RelationshipGoals if you are not willing to sacrifice things for one another. Be it a job, being close to family, starting your own family, & even simple luxuries (like a cup of coffee from Starbucks) when you're on a tight student/residents budget! 

In relationships period you have to die to self daily, but in a Marriage - it's so much more pertinent. 

  • SELFLESS- You have to be Selfless! I know it sounds cliche but for real, there is no I in Team! 

Acts of sacrifice, sprinkled freely throughout a marriage, make love richer and deeper. We all know that, so what's the problem with doing it?! Self. Self always gets in the way. 

Self constantly asks for more: What about my needs? What about my hurts? What about my time? Sacrificial love challenges us to give to our partner in uncomfortable or unreasonable ways — ways that cost us emotion, time and pride. If you can't put SELF aside, your relationship will surely die. 

Selflessness is not a marriage strategy but a heart transformation in Christ. Jesus defines selflessness from the Incarnation to Calvary, so to be selfless is to identify with Him. You can't teach your spouse to be selfless, if they ain't got it- you can only pray & let God do the rest.

You should desire (it shouldn't be a burden- but rather intentional) to value your partner so much that their best really is your goal too! 

Which leads me to my next point: 

 Black Couple Church Fashion - LegallyMed

A power Couple is A PRAYING COUPLE. If not for our relationship with Christ- this marriage would not work. It is so easy to fall short in your relationship when God is not the center of it. There were times when I couldn't even pray for myself, but Noah would literally get on his knees and pray for me!

There were also times where I wanted to argue [I meannnn that is what lawyers do right? Lol -I like to call them healthy debates though] and the Lord would tell me not now...and then Noah would come home and talk about losing a patient that day.

In those moments my pettiness would go out the window because what I wanted to argue about wasn't even that important. (No joke it's usually things like- him stealing my hangers or leaving closet doors open lol-OCD just a tad) But if the Lord wasn't helping me to discern- instead of being teammates comforting one another when the world seems to be getting the best of us, we'd be the source of unnecessary stress.

Don't get it twisted, we're not perfect! We "debate" but it is never that deep. 5 minutes after we go right back to being best friends (another thing that's super important, you have to be FRIENDS) and playing on the same team. (Ok sometimes a grudge may be held for an additional 10-15 minutes lol). Nevertheless, that is how it is suppose to be. We took a vow in the sight of God, for better or for worst- so we fight TOGETHER never against each other. 

Our success and love for one another is heavily influenced by our love for God. If you don't have that, in my opinion you don't have anything. 

However, when you combine sacrifice, selflessness, & Christ you have a nice blueprint to success. 

  • SUCCESS: that is so much better when you're Together - Team Work is what makes a family successful together.

Children included (of course not the babies - although their nap schedule is vital to getting things done- but the older children should contribute to the success of the family as well.)

I cannot stress enough how important Kubb's role was to my success. Whether it was the occasional mom I love you for motivation or helping around the house. But most importantly he did his job! SCHOOL. I tell him all the time how important it is for him to do well in school, to study without being told, & not to get in trouble. Mainly because I have very high expectations of him. I know he's beyond capable of doing all the things I ask of him, but also it is because I didn't have too much "free time" to be up at the school ironing things out for him. The fact that he's always stepped up is such a blessing! He's always gone above and beyond at his "job" and at home. I'm proud to be his momma! 

When you're playing for the same team you do your best to hold your team down! Usually that just means just doing your part.

Not worrying about 50/50 but stepping up & filling in the gap whenever & wherever it's needed. Marriage isn't 50/50 marriage is 100/100.  If you want to argue because it was his/her time to do something and they forgot or didn't because of a long day at work/school... again, it isn't going to work for you. You gotta be willing to roll up your sleeves do the job yourself, and NOT keep score. 

True love brings out the greatest version of you. It takes a real man/woman to help your partner achieve their goals, support each other when you have nothing, push each other when you feel like giving up, shower each other with positive energy, compliment each other on a regular basis, & never kick the other while they're down. Instead- rising together in LOVE because you're ALWAYS helping each other Up!! 

If you're not willing to Sacrifice & be Selfless, your #RelationshipGoals will forever remain just that. A goal that is never achieved.  

Next time you feel the urge to hashtag #RelationshipGoals  on someones picture, take a moment to ponder what may happen behind the scenes. The highlight reel isn't always as it seems. 

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 Black Law School Graduate - LegallyMed

Faith.Love.Commitment.

Selfless.Sacrifice.Hard Work.

Grind &Shine,Together. 

WHAT NOW?! Life After Law School

Since graduation & even the months prior, I've gotten a ton of questions as to "what my plans were after law school?" So here it is: Nothing.  😅

haha ok, not exactly nothing but as many of my classmates begin their bar studies this week. That chapter is kind of on hold for me! 

Thanks to the US Air Force, we have no idea where we will be relocating to once Dr. DO completes his residency in 2018. So I am in no rush to take the bar in one state- wait on results- and then "find a job if I'm lucky" to only work for 3 months until we relocate.  

Instead, we made the decision that I would stay at home (fortunate to be able to do this) until we relocate and are settled. This way we know we'll be in one area for at least 3 years. Before moving again.  

 Split Mom - LegallyMed 

Although I plan to be a mom-preneur & household engineer 😎  For the next few months, I have decided & signed up already to take the Bar Exam in February 2018! 

With us not knowing where we are headed I'm going to take the D.C. Bar which is a UBE state. This potentially puts me in the clear to practice in 26 states {when I pass} instead of just 1. 

There is also what is called "Military Spouse Reciprocity" thanks to the beautiful efforts of other Military JD Spouses. Under the Obama Administration, a bill was passed to allow attorney spouses of our lovely service men & women to have privileges to practice in certain states without having to sit for additional bar exams. Because let's face it, bar fees are expensive & military life is unpredictable. #ThanksObama.  

So that covers me for 24 states! 😬

(Some of which are also UBE) 

On the off chance we end up in a place that is not UBE or Military JD - I will have to sit for another bar. 😅 But we'll worry about that when the time comes!  

For now, I plan to fully enjoy mom life! My "Maternity Leave" has been extended since it was very short lived while in law school. 😂 So for everyone who felt bad for me having to return to school so soon after having a baby, I survived because I knew it was only temporary!

Cheers to being a Full-Time SAH (Stay at Home) Rock Star Mommy for the next year or so! 😁 

 Black Mom Blogger - LegallyMed
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 Split Mom - Mom of Teens - Legally Med 
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❣️ The Family ❣️

Life Update :: WE HAD A BABY, It's a Boy.

*Smiling for a whole 'nother reason, all smiles through all Four Seasons*  

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If you are friends with me on Facebook, & Instagram then you already knew this.. but on the off chance you didn't & read the "Who We Are" like who is Ian?! ... lol - WE HAD A BABY!  👶🏽

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I know you're probably thinking "people have babies everyday B" 🤣 But still.. for us, this is a miracle as you know if you follow my blog.

After suffering 3 miscarriages we finally got to meet our Rainbow Baby- Noah Ian on Feb 14, 2017 (his birth story will come at a later date) so we're beyond Excited. & Thankful. & Grateful. & Hype. & Blessed.

      God did that!! 

So before going any further allow us to introduce the newest edition:

  #BabyBae  

 

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           📟 Paging Dr. Cutie  

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For this child we have prayed & the Lord granted our petition. 1 Samuel 1:27 💙

Engagement Pics

I know I haven't posted in a while .. It's been a busy beginning of the year for me.  

Been so excited planning our "Wedding" & enjoying being engaged to my best friend. This weekend we had our engagement pictures taken at our Alma Mater (HU) & I couldn't have been happier when the photographer sent a sneak peek to Facebook this AM. 

Here they are!  Dying to see the rest :) 

--- Love. Love. Love.