35

starting each post off with its first sentence is always the hardest part for me.  coming up with a title is second.   today, 10.28, is my 35th birthday and i thought i would share my ultimate beauty secret with you.  her name is bernice.  from as far back as i can remember my mother has always exuded femininity, sexiness, strength mixed with a bunch of sass making her one hell of a woman.  whenever i want to describe my mother, i liken her to a rose – my favorite flower. roses are the most sought after flower all over the world because of their beauty and the representation of love.  just like the rose, my mother is beautiful and is the perfect example of love.  my mother’s rose garden consist of seven children, 5 girls and 2 boys; 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. i’m always being commended on how well i’m raising my children, that’s because i learned from the best – my mother.   IMG_8831 my mother mothered in styled.  whether she was going to work or to the grocery store, she looked fabulous.  my mother made no excuse to give a reason as to why she looked a mess; that’s because she never looked anything less than a million dollars!  IMG_8778

unbeknownst to her, for the past 35 years my mother has been my beauty instructor. my mind is filled with countless memories of my mother taking the time out of her day to pamper herself. manicured nails, flawless hair, well dressed and not to mention her petite chiseled frame that was to be envied.  IMG_8782

over the past 35 years, i’ve seen my mother strut around the house in her short shorts, polished toes and nails picking up our toys off of the floor.IMG_8787 i’ve observed the way my mother walked into the room and heads would turn.  i saw the attention she silently commanded.  my mother was and still is a powerhouse.  roses are known to tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions.  the strength that she posses is to be compared to none.  no matter what my mother faced, she remained victorious.

the smell and color of a rose is its signature.  my mother has a signature – her perfume and her lipstick.  the perfume she’d wear was giorgio by giorgio armani; this was in the 80’s!  her scent would warm up whatever room she was in and she always smelled sweet and spicy – kinda like her personality!  this woman is rarely seen without wearing her red (go figure) lipstick.  anyone that my mother greeted with a kiss would leave with her lip imprinted on their cheek.  her signature!  IMG_8776

i’m often asked if i take time out for myself.  yes.  my mother may have not verbalized the importance for a woman to pamper herself, but she showed it.  on sunday afternoons, my mother would be watching the basketball game while polishing her nails or watching a movie while sitting underneath the hair dryer with a facial mask on!  she made no excuse for looking and feeling good.

roses are used apart of a decor or brought to brighten up someone’s day.  my mother was always put together.  bernice would come home, after working all day, and cook dinner – in her heels!  because she worked in corporate america she had to dress the part.  my mother is fancy and grand, so jewelry, high heels and furs were an essential part of her wardrobe.  my mother never walking around the house in baggy sweat pants, an oversized sweat shirt with a scarf on.

a scarf for her was usually paired with her coat or it was placed on her head to protect her freshly curled hair.   her lounge wear consist of nike biking shorts or leggings.  one time i was going through my mother’s clothes and to my surprise, i found her lingerie collection!  where most children would feel embarrassed with knowing their mother wore lingerie for her husband, i tucked that away in my memory bank to do the same for myself once I got married.

IMG_8793 bernice has always had a small frame, but one thing that my mother held herself accountable to was her health. growing up, not too many of my friend’s moms were running laps around the local high school’s track or doing pilates.  when i was in high school, my mother had me drinking raw apple cider vinegar each morning.  she knew all of the benefits that came from just a small daily consumption of acv.  she also knew how beneficial is was to soak your body in a warm bath – hence her weekly bubble baths!  once i hit puberty i began to slouch over my shoulders to hit my budding breast – my mother quickly put a stop to that.  she knew that having rounded shoulders would create bad posture for me.

IMG_8775IMG_8794-0in my eyes, my mother has been very well-rounded, which in turn allotted me a well-rounded childhood.  my mother placed me in extracurricular activities such as track & field, beauty pageants, piano lessons, modeling school and a host of others.  also, being that my mother was my first beauty instructor she taught me how to care for my hair, cleanse my skin & body parts properly, clip and polish my finger nails – i mean the list just goes on and on….  but, you know how people say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree?  my grandmother, johnnie, was that tree!  my grandmother embodied everything my mother possess.  my grandmother was in a league of her own.

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there are so many nuggets that my mother has deposited in my 35 years, that i can write a book.  i’m thankful to come from such a beautiful garden of roses.  sometimes i like to think that i’m still blooming and blossoming through life. so on this very special day i would like to extend my gratitude towards my two beautiful roses, my daughter – taylor and my mother – bernice.  it’s because of the both of you that i’m free to owning my femininity while embracing motherhood.  my relentless pursuit to being best woman and mother that I can be comes from you two.  mommy, i hope you enjoy your 35 roses….because i’ve been blessed to have enjoyed you for 35 years and look forward in showering you with plenty more.  taylor, this single rose represents you being my first love, my only daughter and my number one.  because of you, the little treasures my grandmother and mother taught me will live on through you.  i love you, princess! 

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