Our Visit to the King Center: A Photo Blog

Visit to the King Center : Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Earlier this month, we loaded the kids up in the car and went to visit the King Center.  My older daughter had been to the King Center before, but unfortunately she was too little to have really understood exactly what the Civil Rights movement or Dr. King’s dream was about.  And so, with  blatant racism, and bigotry being displayed everywhere these days, we thought that it was important for us to remind our children of their significant heritage.

As a parent, I always err on the side of caution when it comes to telling my kids the gruesome and graphic details of life/history.  My philosophy on that is that they have their whole lives to be adults and to deal with such things.  And, I simply don’t want them living in fear.  But, as we were walking through the King Museum and I was trying my best to answer all their questions and explain the things we saw.  I was reminded that the Civil Rights movement was not just for adults.  There were several children on the front lines standing up for what they believed was right.  And, it brought me back to the famous quote by George Santayana, “that those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Surprisingly enough, I do not have too much to say about our trip other than to say that it was a humbling and solemn experience.  It filled me with both great pride and waves of grief.  Pride because of the long journey that our ancestors took on behalf of the very inalienable rights we are supposed to have today.  And, grief for those who lost their loved ones in the struggle and continue to do so in the name of upward mobility and dreams yet to be actualized.

Visit to the King Center - A Day On ... Not A Day Off

A Visit to the King Center : Call To Lead

A Visit to the King Center: Signs from Marches

A Visit to the King Center: Freedom March

I'm Black and Beautiful.

I hope that you enjoyed these pictures that my husband took and, if you are ever in the Atlanta area definitely put this on your list of places to see.  It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.  How do you deal with telling your children about things that are unpleasant?  Do you sugar coat it, or give it to them straight?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, in the comments below.

End of Year Review

2016-a-year-in-review

It is the last day of 2016, and I for one am glad to see it go.  2016 has been the most tumultuous year I have experienced in my 40 years.  It has literally been filled with the lowest lows and the highest highs,  a perpetual roller coaster of emotions, blessings and disappointments.

We entered into 2017 full of hope and vision.  And, as seems to be the norm at this stage of my life the days quickly turn into months and the months into years.  This is something that most Moms tend to be cognizant of as you watch your babies speed through their younger years. And, believe it or not with a business it is not much different.  I sit back a little awe struck at times, as I watch it develop in new ways.  The most minute changes can garner the most significant rewards.

On the Business/Blog Side of Things:

We started off the new year by re-branding.  Even though we loved our original logo, we wanted a new logo that we felt represented where we were going as a company. I assume that this can be a fairly easy project for larger companies who hire out this type of work.  But, we decided to do it ourselves, or I should say my hubby did it.  And, since we both have the perfectionist gene getting on the same wave length was a bit harder than we thought.  But, ultimately we were both pleased with the finished product.

TheStagepresentsBlog got its own Instagram Page. Having another account separate from the one we already had for our Etsy Store allowed me to share more of myself, my family and my daily life with all my Stage Presents friends.  It also gave me a chance to connect with other like minded bloggers.

Our Etsy Store hit 400 + Sales and officially passed the 3 year mark.

Our Back to School Binder Covers went viral.

Increased our Social Media presence and Developed relationships with other bloggers

Collaborated with other bloggers to present the Friday Favorites Linky Party.

We had some amazing Guest Bloggers.

2016-highlights

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles BukowskiFactotum

On the Personal side of Things:

Life dealt more blows than I would like to remember in 2016.  Only months into the New Year, my toddler niece got very sick and passed away.  It is something that I honestly don’t know if I will ever truly understand. The only thing worst than experiencing that loss, was watching my baby sister go through it.  As a big sister, you never want to think that there is something that you just can not help your younger sister with or through.  But, I had to accept that this was something that we could only call on God to help and heal.   Then some months later, I had a health scare that consisted of  a spider bite and my blood sugar being way too high, that landed me in the hospital.  Though terrifying, it turned out to be exactly what I needed to get my act together as far as eating what I should eat, instead of what I wanted to eat.  This year, I also started subbing at the School System for longer periods of time.  I got a quick refresher course on just what a balancing  act it was to work full time hours and still juggle being Mommy and Wife, Blogger, Etsy Shop Owner, Cook, Taxi…  The flip side to that was being able to do more of the things we wanted to do as a family with more money coming into the household, and having a little more to invest back into our business.

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.”
― John SteinbeckThe Winter of Our Discontent

The pain makes us change. The change makes us grow, and finally the growth makes us strong.

FOR WHATEVER REASON, THESE BOOKS HELPED ME OUT THIS YEAR.

Favorite Books:

Why We Can’t Wait by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Fervent by Priscilla Shirer

Make it Happen by Lara Casey

2016 has been a year of growth for the business and for the blog and it is with bated breath that I wait to take in all that 2017 has to offer.  We are humbled by the support of our readers, our customers, and our community.  We acknowledge that without you we couldn’t have come this far.  As we end this year, and venture into the new one keep these words in mind.

THROUGH ADVERSITY, NOT ONLY ARE WE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER OUR INNER STRENGTH, WE ARE ALSO GIVEN THE  GIFT OF FORESIGHT SO WE CAN SHINE A LIGHT FOR OTHERS WHO GO THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE AFTER US. — RACHAEL BERMINGHAM

On Your First Day of Middle School

First Day of Middle School The house is eerily quiet after a summer full of laughter and yelling.  And,  as I put the last load of laundry in the dryer, and sit down to relax before bed,  so many thoughts flood into my head. You finished your first day of Middle School.  Around this time last night, your Dad and I  sat and debated all the things that could go wrong and how we would handle it, if it did.  We were both nervous for you and dare I say shook. As we sat there with the tv off for almost 40 minutes just staring out into space.  It seemed unreal that our little timid girl was turning into this tween right in front of our eyes.    On our way home from dropping you off and speaking with your counselor, your Dad told me that he wrote you a note.  I grimaced a little, after all Dad is often known for his boyish ways (less frills and curls and more blunt and direct).  But, when I got home and read the letter. tears literally filled my eyes. (I thought about posting the note, but some things should be between a girl and her Dad.)  Now, I know that this doesn’t surprise you because over the years Mom has turn into MUSH.  Long gone are my hard exterior and Sky High Walls, blame your Dad for that.

But, I am in tears for many reasons.  There is nothing like knowing that your child is loved.  I know you are saying he is my Dad and he is supposed to love me.  Which of course is true, but it’s the way that he loves you that chokes me up.  It is knowing that we were all, you, me and Dad sitting on pins and needles for the last two weeks coming up to the New School Year.  It is the little secret conversations that I would catch a second or two of when walking by, over the summer.  The way he thought of how to prepare you as best he could for what comes next. Or the pride that I saw in his eyes when you walked across the stage at your Elementary School Graduation in May.  And, it is my own understanding that there really is nothing like a Daddy’s love for a little girl.

So as I brace myself for the Middle School Years and the changes that I know you will make and the person who you will become.  I remember something that I thought of when you were just a wee little girl.  I hoped that you would always be able to feel the love that surrounds you.  And, that means when we don’t see eye to eye, or when discipline feels more like punishment and my caring seems more like “stalkery”. And, all these years later as you embark on yet another part of your journey, I hope this still.  You are one of my greatest accomplishments and you are loved, supported and wished well in more ways than you will ever know.

 

“Pin-nable” AM Inspirational Quotes

START YOUR AM OFF THE RIGHT WAY WITH OUR INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES.

Pinnable Inspirational Quotes

Are you following us on Facebook and/or Instagram?  If not, there is no time like the present.  Every Morning, we kick off the day on FB and Instagram with our AM Inspirational Quotes.  Lately, we have been getting a lot of interest in these Posts.  I always like to start my day off by reading or hearing something positive and I guess I am not  alone.  But, unfortunately, you can’t Pin from Facebook and or Instagram.  So, users have been asking us about putting these quotes somewhere that they can save  and pin them .  Seems like a reasonable request, but, we are almost two years into our Positive AM Posts, that is a lot of content to post, all at once.

So we thought that we would gradually start to post them to the blog,  where you are free to pin away to your hearts content.

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A Lie

A River

AFool

In addition to sharing these AM Posts here, I will gradually start to add them to Our Pinterest Page as well, follow us here.

Looking for some more of my favorite quotes check out these posts here and here.  Coming soon… we will have a Header Page on the blog just for these.  Stay tuned for more information.