Category Archives: Family Fridays

Family Fridays: The Sunshine of My Life

Nine years ago today, a little boy with the sweetest smile was born. He stole my heart from the minute he wrapped his little finger around mine. Now, as a boy not a baby, he still is the most loving little man I’ve ever met.

Antonio1Maybe I’m biased, but how could you not fall in the love with the face you see to the left. That is Antonio, with his wild child hair and larger than life smile. He was about three in that picture but is still the same. Ask anyone who has met him even for a second and they will tell you how sweet and lovable he is. It’s true he’s a bit rougher than when he was younger. But, I still get hugs and cuddle time. He promises me that he will always hug and kiss me, even when he’s a “big boy.” I hope to the high heavens he will.

By now it’s clear how much I love my siblings. But, I’m not sure it’s clear how much they love me. Antonio loves me when I’m with him, when I’m gone, when I’m unhappy and even when I’m mad. He loves because I’m his big sister, not because I have a great job, or because I’m a good listener. He loves me just because. There isn’t any pressure to show up, to act a certain way or to be anyone but me. Spending time with him is the best stress reliever and lets me be a kid all over again.

I can’t believe my little man is nine years old today. Time certainly flies just a bit too fast. But, I have such an amazing relationship with Antonio that I kind of comfortable with him growing up. Whenever I need a laugh or want to shoot some hoops, I can count on Antonio. He truly is the sunshine of my life. Happy Birthday baby boy!

2

Family Fridays: The Power of People

HigherI think I’ve mentioned this quote before on the blog. I believe in what it means and lived it out firsthand last week.

Self-confidence is has always been hard for me. I’d like to believe I’ve become better over the years, but I know there’s still room for improvement. Additionally, I can keep myself motivated usually because I know someone else I respect is relying on me. When all of this is taken into account, it’s easy to see how working virtually can be a struggle for me sometimes.

I was lucky enough to be with my entire team last week and reaped the benefits in more ways than one. Everyone had such a positive attitude that was contagious. You couldn’t help but feel happy and excited about the work you were doing. Each of us demands excellence and holds one another accountable. When excellence is a requirement, everyone strives to be better, reach higher and push themselves further.

More than anything, I completely felt part of a team, of a family last week. I’m finally comfortable andwe-are-what-we-repeatedly-do have earned my wings so to speak. We are like a family: we have each other’s backs, talk one another down and genuinely care about each other’s well being. This new family also continuously challenges me and pushes me far outside of my comfort zone, helping me to grow both personally and professionally.

The people you surround yourself with both at home and at work absolutely impact your attitude, behavior and decisions. Take advantage of this and use their positivity and ambition to thrust yourself forward. Remember to thank them occasionally too…a big thank you to the team I was with last week!

Family Fridays: Heaven Must Have Sent You

April is an action-packed month meaning there’s a bunch of very important birthdays. If you stopped by the blog yesterday, you heard about my friendship with Trish who celebrated her birthday yesterday. Today is another very important Aries’ birthday…

There’s no one quite like my mom. If you’ve been lucky enough to have met her, you’ll completely understand what I’m saying. She has these little whit-isms, snippets of advice, if you will that make total sense but also make you crack up. For example:

“Some days you’re the bat. Some days you’re the ball.”

momThink about it. It makes complete sense but you absolutely smiled while reading it. There’s more than just these pieces of advice too. She’s an NYU graduate, put herself through college while working, raised  two kids and is an executive director at Morgan Stanley. She makes jokes about everyone, including herself. She raised me on 70’s Disco, The Beatles, Mariah Carey’s 1’s CD and TLC, among many others. She works very hard but also knows how to enjoy life. She listens to all my crazy stories, gives sound advice and is the best cook I’ve ever met. She’s my mom so you’d assume I’m a little biased, right?

Ok, I probably am biased. But not entirely. My mom is tough in every sense of the word. Tough meaning her expectations for everyone including herself are exceptionally high. Tough meaning she’s good at hiding how she really feels. Tough meaning she can take on the world but demands we all do the same. At a point in time, I didn’t see any of this or understand it. It took years,  going away to college and several screaming matches for me to realize I’m lucky to have the mom I do.

We never used to get along the way we do now. Trust me, there’s still moments when I wonder what inmom2 the name of all things holy is she thinking. Guaranteed she thinks the same thing about me. We figured it  out despite our differences. Our personalities are not exactly alike though there are some similarities: how we cook and host parties, the music we like, how hard we work and how passionate we are. There’s a bunch of differences too: I’m more OCD, she’s more focused, I’m more emotional and she’s better with money and numbers. We’re certainly not the same person, but the important traits have stuck. When I say I got it from my mama, I’m not lying.

In 22.5 years, my relationship with my mom has grown and changed over and over again. She is my role model, the reason why I believe I can do both, the career and the family. We don’t get it right every day or even every other day. But, we try to learn from each other. I’m so lucky to have her as my mom  and can’t wait to celebrate her birthday tonight! The song that inspired this post’s title is below.

Family Fridays: Sister, Sister

As you may have noticed, I like to write posts for people’s birthdays. I feel like birthday shout outs are simple ways to thank the people who keep me going. Tomorrow is a very special someone’s birthday so here’s her shout out.

little samMy little sister Samantha turns ten tomorrow. I really am not okay with double digits and often wonder where the time has actually gone. I can replay every detail from the day Sam was born, from what I was wearing to what I watched on television that night. Excited was an understatement; my cousins wanted to tranquillize me! For the longest time, I wanted a baby sister, though I’m not entirely sure why. I saw sisters and how special of a bond they had and wanted that too.

At first, that bond revolved around playing peek-a-boo and teaching Sam a variety of cheerleading moves. Yes it’s true, I was showing her motions before she could walk. There’s 13 years between Samantha and I so we’re both in very different life phases and probably always will be. But, the older she’s gotten, the more we talk about life, about school, even about work. She is wise beyond her years and is the toughest little girl I know.

samSam certainly walks to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t care what other people think and will tell you exactly what’s on her mind. She’s a lot like grandma in that sense. She reminds me a lot of myself; the way she knows the words to every song on the radio or how she loves to perform for people (dancing and doing cartwheels in my living room). She likes things a certain way, very particular about how she organizes everything, just like her big sister.

I can’t believe Sam is going to be ten tomorrow. I have had the best time watching her grow up and am so lucky to have such a crazy, fun little sister. I can’t wait to see how our relationship continues to develop within the years to come. Happy Birthday Sammie Girl!

Family Fridays: Young At Heart

For most people, today is just an ordinary Friday filled with fear of snow. But, today is a very special day for me. Today is Nana’s 86th birthday.

Nana is my mother’s mom who had lived with us for about ten years. She is 86 today but doesn’t look a day over 65. She is addicted to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and usually is humming Frank Sinatra from my kitchen table. I have become Nana’s hair dresser as well as personal driver over the last few years. They’ve been the best jobs I’ve had yet.

nanaNana has shared a lot of pieces of advice through the years. Most are fun little quips but one has stuck with me for a while. Nana always reminds me to stay young at heart, to work hard and be serious but to also have some fun. She used Frank Sinatra’s song to reinforce her message. For me, it was an important lesson because I typically over think things and obsess on every detail. Nana’s message helped me to loosen up, laugh at the messes life makes and smile at the chaos.

I am beyond lucky to have my grandmother still with me today. She has seen all of my life milestones including my college graduation. It was such a big deal for me to have her there that day and in turn, she couldn’t have been any prouder. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that Nana is older and cannot do everything on her own. I have at times lost my patience, something I always end up regretting. Today, I am reminded how much of a blessing my amazing Nana is.

Happy 86th Birthday Nana!

 

Family Fridays: Just Let Go

At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, one of my best friends got me a mug that read “Just Let Go.” I used to stand by my window staring at the Philadelphia skyline and repeat the phrase over and over again. It has become my mantra over the last few years, though at times it is exceptionally hard to do. That leads me to today’s post featuring no one specifically:

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.

I find letting go of people, places or experiences an art form. It takes careful review of the situation, usually a pro/con list and then an uncomfortable conversation. It is also very much a process; there’s no way you can just let go of something or someone in five minutes. For me, it is always an excruciating process where I waiver and over think (shocking!) my decision. At the current moment, there’s a lot of letting go I’ve been thinking about.

just_let_go_thumb[2]I have mentioned in previous posts that there is a lot of drama with my family. Additionally, I’ve talked about how most of my friends aren’t in the same locations or have conflicting schedules. All of these circumstances have made me think about who to keep or who to let go of in my life. Family is especially hard because there will always be occasions when we are in the same room. Similarly with friends, there are lots of people who run around in the same circles as me. So I might want to let go of one friendship while my other friend might stay friends with that person. Right now, my letting go definition is not to go the extra mile and to only make an effort when it will be reciprocated.

Since letting go is so hard for me, I’ve come up with a few questions to answer before initiating the process:

1. How frequently does this person impact your life? Is their impact something that positively enhances your existence?

2. When you interact with this person, is the conversation balanced or does it shift one way? Does the person spew toxic comments about others?

3. Do you feel your efforts towards the relationship would be/are reciprocated by this person? Is there a mutual effort to keep up a healthy relationship?

These are just some of the thoughts floating around in my head. Sometimes, you absolutely should fight for certain people, especially if your history with them is a mostly positive one. I’ll admit that I’ve let go of people too soon or let others ruin a relationship for me. I often wonder what that relationship would be like today. But, we all make mistakes and thankfully, I’ve learned from mine.

The choice to let go is ultimately a very personal one. With family and close friends,  it is very hard but sometimes necessary in order to preserve your own insanity. Just remember, you’re human, you’re allowed to feel whatever you want.

Let-It-Go-SPin

Family Fridays: These Are My People

“There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better. These are the people who lift you higher”

I think by now you’ve come to see that people play a big role in my life. But not just any people, my people. These are the family and friends who motivate me, console me and make my life worth living. People have asked me if I live for these people because sometimes it seems like I do. That’s not the case at all.

In the spirit of catching up on the 30 Days of Truth Challenge, in this Family Fridays post, I am going to answer the seventh prompt of the challenge:

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

My people make my life worth living. I don’t live for them, they just enhance my existence and support me in all the decisions I make. I was asked the other day where I draw my energy from. I thought it was an odd question but immediately knew the answer. I gain energy from being around my people. Anything from intelligent conversations or jam sessions rejuvenates me and at times, has brought me back to life. These people remind me how fortunate I am to have such an amazing circle of trust that surrounds me through the good and the bad times.

As with all relationships, there will be arguments and moments where you just want to walk away. It’s hard in those moments to think clearly and remember why you value these people. I’ve learned that in some cases it’s necessary to let go (expect a post about this soon) and in others, you have to fight fearlessly for those you love. Only you will know what to do and it will never be easy. The group known as my people has changed over time for the better and because of it, I’ve learned to embrace change in all its forms.

The Rodney Atkins song “These Are My People” truly embraces the concept of having your go-to group who are there no matter what. I will warn you that it is a super country song so if that’s not your thing, you may want to just look up the lyrics. While it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, no one compares to my people!

 

jeetphiladelphia.wordpress.com/

Exploring Philly's international food scene, one cuisine at a time

Of Undisputed Origin

Life Advice from Brilliant Minds

Filter Me, Please!

Ramblings of a Chronically Ill Chick

ChickpeaCards

Handcrafted custom made paper goods

Chit Chat Tracker

Keeping You In Touch, One Story At A Time!

Pint-sized Girl in the Big World

Daily musings from across the pond

Kerry Patricia Creations

Film. Photography. Life.

The Official Blog of PPRA

Inspiring Excellence in Public Relations

today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

United We Eat

all for the love of food

Temple PRSSA

The Temple University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America

Jade & The City

Dreaming & scheming my way through the city

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

Social is a Lifestyle

Love what you do. Do what you love.

Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

PRactical Politics

A place to share my opinions and thoughts about all things public relations & politics. Look out for the occasional travel post as well!

One Guy's Journey

A Hub of Growth, Learning, and Evolution in the World of Communications and Public Relations

Bake Sales and Boot Camp

Surviving one cupcake at a time!