Gains...

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Every single day, for the last 21 months, I have been sharing my body with my son...

I carried him for 9+ months (he was cozy past his due date) and have been breastfeeding him since the day he was born. 

I've given every ounce of myself to motherhood since my son arrived and recently it showed up on the scale . . . 

Being a first time mom has been the greatest & most rewarding sacrifice I've ever done in my entire life. But I am definitely guilty of putting myself in last place here lately . . . 

For those who have been following me for a while, you know I love living a healthy lifestyle and I've documented my workouts a lot in the past. I was in the gym faithfully before & during my pregnancy. I was literally in the gym on a Monday and was in the hospital to have my baby two days later. That's how committed I've always been.

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After I suffered a devastating knee injury, the gym had to become a part of my lifestyle in order for my legs to stay strong to avoid any further injuries. The gym also became a safe haven for me to release stress during some of the hardest times of my life . . . 

Lately, the gym has not been so easy to get to and home work outs have been hard to accomplish. A lot of change has happened in our lives and I've began to get the "you lost a lot of weight, are you doing okay?" comments from my family. Although my breastfeeding appetite is crazy and I'm eating constantly, not being able to lift weights and workout like I used to, has caught up with me physically. I have a small frame, always have and apparently always will (sigh). It was always my hopes to hold on to as much of my baby weight as I could, but I'm far from my fitness goals, yet again. Yesterday, my husband did everything he possibly could to make sure I didn't have any mommy excuses to not make it to the gym and it felt SOOOO good to get in the gym and lift some weights again. I made it back in there today and I'm ready to get my gains back . . . 

Not only physically, but gain more control of balancing my time... gain more confidence in this new season in my life and continue to strive to gain peace along this journey of pursing Purpose.  

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I'm posting this today, not to complain about being small because I know NOBODY wants to hear that... but to simply be accountable. I know if I post about how I want to get stronger and gain muscle, I'll be more likely to make it a point to continue to balance motherhood and my workouts, along with all the other things I have going on... Working out is therapeutic for me and I didn't realize how much I missed it and needed it until yesterday. So I have to say thank you for my husband, my forever workout partner, even if it’s through text while he watches the baby (lol) for encouraging me to take time for me. And I also want to say, just because a person is skinny, doesn't mean they are healthy or happy. We all just have to work with what we have and not be so hard on ourselves and each other . . .

Everybody always posts the before & after pics for #TransformationTuesday, but today I've decided to put up a post dedicated to the process.

It's not always easy, but I'm #Ready

Good Grief

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I took some time offline to start the healing process, but I think I’m ready to start posting again...

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I lost my mother to breast cancer in August last year. I didn’t take the time to mourn in a healthy manner because I had to give birth to my son a couple of months after she passed away, in October. The year mark of my mother’s passing really sparked a lot in me. Made me really realize how hurt I truly was and how I had been holding things back because I wanted to be present with the joy of having my son and not deal with the pain of such a tremendous loss.

It was effecting my creativity and I just felt uninspired. This new chapter in my life is allowing me to take time to think about what really matters in life. It’s so easy to get caught up in things that, at the end of the day, really don’t matter. Especially when you're living in LA. But over the last couple of months, In my most broken moments, I was able to really think about my life, my family and what truly matters. It has led me to make some big decisions and go through incredibly challenging lengths to pursue peace and live in purpose. And I'm happy I've decided to walk along a path that positions me to take better care of myself and my family.

I know my lack of engagement on social media over the past few months has caused some to lose interest, but I’m thankful for those who stand by me through it all. If I’m going to be on social media, I want it to make an impact on people in an uplifting way. I look forward to connecting in a much more authentic way and start rebuilding.

I’m Ready.

#WorldMentalHealthDay #SelfCare #GoodGrief

1 Year. 1 Bond.

On 8/29/2016, one year ago today, my mom passed away....

But I'm convinced she's still here. 

I feel her spirit daily. I see her in my son's smile. I hear her in my voice. I feel her when my brothers are around me.... the list goes on and on.

On days like today you never really know what to expect. The greatest feeling I've felt today is thankfulness... I'm so thankful that this year has brought me and my brothers closer than we've ever been. One thing my mom always expressed is that she wanted her kids to get along and love each other. Well mom, that's what we've been doing. 

When my mom passed away, I was 8 months pregnant and my brothers were so concerned about me. My brothers and their beautiful loves, have traveled thousands of miles, on several occasions to see me, check on me and love on my little family. I know my mom is proud of us. We've had to grow up a lot over the past year. Not being able to call our mom three times a day for every little thing has been hard, but we've been leaning on each other through the grief and the growing pains and our bond is unbreakable. 

We miss our mom more than we could ever express but we are doing our best to take things one moment, one step at a time...

We love you Ma! When we shine, you shine. 

No Pressure... just Purpose

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I haven't posted much this month, I've been navigating through A LOT of emotions!!! I visited Kansas City (my home town) during my mother's birthday week. I had my first performance there without having her in the crowd and the weeks leading up to that was way more difficult than I imagined. But I made it through it all.

Being home... in Kansas City... feeling the warmth from my family is always something I cherish. Seeing my aunts, uncles and cousins play with Kendrix and how happy my son is with his family (even at 9 months old) just gives me a sweet peace and makes me feel closer to my mom and my grandmother.

I was up early this morning thinking about my two beautiful guiding lights...

I have a lot of big decisions to make within the next couple of weeks and I'm trying to think of what I believe they would say to me... what they would want me to do... and what would be best for me and my family. My mother and grandmother sacrificed SO much for their children and now that I'm a mother I respect their dedication to motherhood more than ever. Although the mourning process has not been easy on me this month, I'm shifting my thought process to a positive place of peace and determination to continue on the path of living a life full of legendary love (that lasts for generations to come) and positive energy.

My grandmother and mother were women of faith, integrity and compassion... there's no pressure for me to live up to what they were able to do with their years on earth because it's already in me. I get it honest and I embrace it as Purpose. I embrace it as a Gift. And I'm going to shine bright,  just as they did, in my own way. The legacy continues...

When I shine, it's a reflection of them ✨ 

August Ambition

 

August is here and my goal to Get In Tune is in full effect. I don't want August to be a sad month for me I want it to be a month of honor, celebration and reflection.

Not too long ago, I saw a little girl in the grocery store with her mom. It was clear her mom was going through chemo therapy and my heart just sank for them. The little girl looked like she was around 12 years old. And all I could do in that moment was be thankful. Thankful that I had my mom for thirty three years because not everybody gets that much time. Although my time with my mom seemed short to me, it was so amazing, meaningful and beautiful. 

I always told my husband, when we have children I want to start a bunch of family traditions. And I'm feeling like August needs to be a month where we have family traditions to honor my mom's legacy every year. I'm not sure what I'm going to do just yet, but her birthday is the 15th and I'm sure I'll come up with something. Meanwhile, I want this month to be a time where I'm able to take the time reflect on my life, make changes if need be and celebrate all the things that I am thankful for. 

I've learned over the years that when I really need a boost of energy, counting my blessings around me, even if it's something really small and simple, always helps me from going to a low place. 

I'm beginning to get excited about this month because I expect growth and getting closer to a new place of peace. This month, my goals are to go the extra mile for my health, my marriage (b/c the rookie parent romance struggle is real) and also finishing up some new music.

My mom would like all of that. And I do to. I carry her light with me, but I also understand that I have a light of my own that I have to be responsible with. So when I shine, she shines no matter what. 

My mom always wanted her children to live our lives as full as possible, which is why all three of us are so creative, and I'm determined not to let her down.

My prayer is that August is full of more smiles than tears and when they do fall, it'll cleanse my soul in a beautiful way to continue on stronger and wiser with more peace to pass on to those who long for it too. 

Getting In Tune...

In the studio with my baby this weekend...

In the studio with my baby this weekend...

As August quickly approaches, I've found myself unable to sleep. 

August has always been big month for our family. Every August we would celebrate my youngest brother's birthday, my niece's birthday, our wedding anniversary and my mom's birthday. 

This time around, August seems to be giving me anxiety. It'll mark a year since mom passed away. No matter how busy I try to be, no matter how much I try to avoid thinking about it, there's no getting around it. It happened. It's real. And it's confronting me. 

I still can't believe that this is my life right now. That my mom is not here how I wish she was. Trying to adjust to this new normal, with a new baby has shown me the true strength that I carry. Watching my mom fight the way she did, was teaching me a lesson the entire time and I didn't understand all the lessons I learned until after she passed. I look back at all that she went through and I know how truly blessed I am. I'm blessed with the same strength my mother had, it's within me. And that strength is going to carry me through every challenge and heart ache I face for the rest of my life. 

One challenge that has been tough to get through is moving forward in my career. My mom was my guiding light, my point of reference and my compass when it came to making major decisions and moves in my life. Over the past year, I feel like I've been lost on my journey without her, like I've just been in the dark. I've been searching for the light at the end of the tunnel, but all I keep seeing is little sparks of hope. that seem to quickly dim after a short amount of time. I've been struggling to find that that beam of light that leads me away from this dark, lonely path of mourning and onto a path of true peace and acceptance.

But this weekend gave me hope. I woke up the other day and felt a little lighter. Like I finally saw some light. And not just a little piece of light at the end of a tunnel, it was like a light bulb came on and there it was: A vision, a direction of where to go from here, a sign and a well lit path. 

I know that I put a lot of pressure on myself and I know at times I'm unfair, but in order to be great, I know it's going to take great sacrifice. I'm giving myself a chance to breathe and mourn, but I'm also not giving myself an excuse to give up. I'm beginning to see a bigger purpose within my pain. I'm beginning to understand how everything is falling into place and how patience is key. Embracing all that I have become and all that I have went through over the past year is so important for this season in my life. In the midst of everything, I've had the courage to continue to pursue my purpose and my dreams. And that's something to be proud of. I'm learning to get out of auto pilot and reflect on the things I've been able to do as a daughter, as a mother, as a wife, as a sister, as a niece and as a person. I'm thankful for the strength God has equipped me with and as my compassion continually grows for others going through heartache and shifts in their lives, it's important for me to continue to seek peace and balance and get in tune

As I walk along my journey, my goal is to be in tune. Not just musically, but throughout every area of my life. I want to be in tune with my feelings, my family, my body, and everything else that has to do with me living a harmonious life.

From now on, that is the goal to continue to create amazing music but also inspire others to turn down the noise, turn up the passion and live a life in harmony.

That same day I woke up enlightened, I headed to the studio with my husband and my baby to finish up a song that has taken me a while to complete. When I got to work, I felt empowered and unstoppable. Listening to the new music and seeing things coming together made me really feel a sense of peace. I still have a long way to go, but I have a feeling that the things that I have to share will bless so many people and I will get the confirmations I need along my journey to be reassured that I'm on the right path.  

Stay tuned, as I get in tune...

Reflection...

Over the past year my life has changed drastically. I've had to operate in a place of protective peace to make it through, but I've come to a point where I have to navigate through this season in my life a lot more present. I've been reflecting on a lot because this month marked a year when life started shifting in a serious way that I was not expecting. And I haven't been able to really open up about it until now. For some reason, I feel like opening up. I think it may be a better way for me to get through this grieving process better. I may be wrong, but I'm willing to give it a try...

In July 2016 my mother's battle against breast cancer took a turn and I was no longer able to call and talk to her. Just writing that made me burst into tears. I haven't talked about this much. I've tried my best to keep all the pain and hurt pushed away somewhere up until now...

Why? Well because in July 2016, I was also 6 months pregnant with my first child. I've never been so torn in my entire life. I was so excited to be a mother and was constantly thinking about my sweet, precious baby boy and I didn't want him to be exposed to such intense sorrow before he even took his first breath. I had a conversation with my mom in June 2016 and she expressed how much she didn't want me to miss out on the joy of becoming a mother because I was so concerned about her. I expressed to her how much she was not a burden and I was going to be okay. She knew that it was impossible for me to not be concerned, but it also another moment for her to teach me a lesson. In that vulnerable moment, she showed me how beautiful, strong & powerful the love of a mother truly is. 

August 29, 2016, my mother passed away. Just 2 weeks after her birthday. Just 5 days after I kissed her goodbye & flew back to LA. I never imagined everything unraveling the way it did. 

My mother was my guiding light. She was full of wisdom and strength and always helped me along my journey. Not only did she do this for me and my brothers, but over this past year I've heard countless stories of how she extended her wisdom and compassion to others as well. She was truly an angel to many people and a light that I just refuse to let go dim. 

I've decided the best way for me to get through the sorrow is to be the reflection of her light. As her daughter, I carry her light through me with great pride.  She wrote a lot and wanted to start a blog but didn't get a chance to, but I will, in honor of my mother, Ileana Watson. 

This is the beginning of a new chapter. It's time.