Fitness Friday

Completely forgot to post yesterday. Truthfully, I was all headache-y & tired, so I didn't use the computer long. Anyway, January is ending. I didn't do too bad with sticking to good eating habits and exercise. I did fall - several times, in fact (didn't feel like exercising, savoring junk food here and there), but the important thing is I got back up. The result? I've lost a total of 3 pounds this month. Yay me! Starting next month, I'm following inches lost too. So, yeah...I'm doing my thang! Now, if I could just lower my BP even more, I'll be in heaven. It was still high last week when I went to the doctor. I have to go again next week so they can monitor it again. Hopefully, it'll be ok. It is decreasing though...slowly, but surely. Did I mention that patience isn't a strong suit of mine?


Random Thoughts Thursday

Jury Duty. Ugh. Had to do it yesterday. Spending hours in the jury assembly room, waiting to see if they'll call my number to go on the jury selection, only to find out that they (the court) won't be doing jury selection at all...not how I wanted to spend my day. And all this for a whopping $6. Yay me.

Child Abuse. I can't, for the life of me, understand how someone can physically harm a child. I'm not talking about spankings, which I do believe in. I'm talking about beatings, torture, sexual abuse. The "Baby Grace" case is so sad. Her mom beat her and dunked her head in a tub full of cold water while her stepdad flung her across the room several times, which eventually led to her death. They placed her body in a trunk and dumped it in Galveston Bay. I mean, really? The baby, a beautiful, sweet-faced girl named Riley, was only 2! During the torture, she even reached out for her mother and said "I love you" in pleas to make it stop. My heart is breaking just thinking about the pain little Riley had to go through before she died. She didn't deserve it at all. I don't care how difficult she may have been. My nephews are a handful, but NEVER have I thought about flinging them across the room, dunking their head in a tub full of water, or anything even remotely close to that. They're my babies! I can't even fathom harming them in those ways, not even in their most challenging times.

And what about the Missouri father who not only allegedly sexually abused his teen daughter for years, but also fathered her 4 children. Three of the 4 children are deceased (the remains of 2 of them were found in coolers). The father said he knew for sure that 2 of his daughter's children were his, which means he did commit incest, there's no "allegedly" about it. The other sad thing about this, besides the abuse, is that the mother allegedly knew about the abuse and did nothing about it.

My heart literally hurts when I think about how horrible some parents/adults treat children. It takes some very sick people (and maybe even demented) to hurt kids like that. WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR CHILDREN, PEOPLE?

Let me move on before I cry. Now on to a lighter and happier topic...

Essence Superbowl Hotties. So, the Superbowl is this Sunday and I'm looking forward to it. Who will I go for? What team will I be cheering on this Sunday? Choices, choices! I like the Steelers, but I'm a sucker for underdog teams, so, this is hard for me. I think my heart belongs to the Steelers, though. I was with them when they won in 2006 and I'm with them now.

Anyway, in honor of the Superbowl, Essence Magazine showcased a few of the players (online) from both teams ( You know I had to look - can't pass up ogling...I mean, admiring gorgeous men. My favorites? Larry Foote (first pic) and Troy Polamalu (with his GORGEOUS hair - 2nd pic)...both Steelers men.

I'm looking forward to the Superbowl commercials, too. GO STEELERS!!!!


Tickle-Me Tuesday

As someone who works with kids, I always enjoy hearing their "words of wisdom". My 4 year-old nephew, Sydney, is good for saying something cute and funny. Earlier this month, he was upset because he really wanted to come over, but couldn't get here. My mom asked, "Well, why didn't you call me? I would've came to get you." Sydney responded in a sassy, kind of "duh" tone, "I don't have your ishmail, GG." Apparently email and the phone are the same to him.

Here are more kids sayings from KIDS .

Little Tony was 9 years old and was staying with his grandmother for a few days.
He'd been playing outside with the other kids for a while when he came into the house and asked her, 'Grandma, what's that called when two people sleep in the same room and one is on top of the other?' She was a little taken aback, but she decided to tell him the truth. 'It's called sexual intercourse, darling.' Little Tony said, 'Oh, OK,' and went back outside to play with the other kids. A few minutes later he came back in and said angrily, 'Grandma, it isn't called sexual intercourse. It's called Bunk Beds. And Jimmy's mum wants to talk to you.'

* * * * *
A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery store. As he waited, he was approached by a man who asked, "Son, can you tell me where the post office is?" The little boy replied, "Sure, just go straight down the street a couple of blocks and turn to your right." The man thanked the boy kindly and said, "I'm the new pastor in town, and I'd like for you to come to church on Sunday. I'll show you how to get to Heaven." The little boy replied with a chuckle, "Awww, come on; you don't even know the way to the post office!"

* * * * *
"Dear Lord," the preacher began with arms extended and a rapturous look on his upturned face, "without you we are but dust..." He would have continued, but at that moment one very obedient little girl (who was listening carefully) leaned over to her mother and asked quite audibly in her shrill little girl voice, "Mommy, WHAT is butt dust?"Church was pretty much over at that point...

* * * * *
A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found," the boy called out. "What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"


Inspirational Sunday

What are you teaching our children?

A Life In Your Hands - Dorothy Law Holte

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn;
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight;
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy;
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty;
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient;
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence;
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate;
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice;
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith;
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself;
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.


Mindless Chatter

So, I've gone through another change...nothing important. I am now a red-head. Well, it's actually a copperish red, but red nonetheless. Those who know me also know that I get bored very easily with my hair. The change before this one was a haircut, where I went from hair past my shoulders to a cute little bob.

The time before that, I'd had cornrows...and the time before that I'd died my hair honey blonde - which made my hair, skin, and eyes kind of the same color...sounds weird, but oddly enough, it was cute.

Last weekend, I was at the store (to buy a spiral and pen, mind you) and my legs led me to the hair aisle. I'd text my sis so she could be the voice of reason (she's normally the one that stops me), but she didn't answer back. Clearly, my becoming a red head is her fault...she wasn't there when I needed her. So, anyway, I picked up the honey blonde color, figuring, why mess with a good thing? But I saw 'Vivacious Red' and knew I had to have it.
I've always wanted to try red, and my sister wasn't there to be my voice, so, I got it. Really, I picked it up, put it back, went to get my spiral notebook & pen, headed back towards the hair products, changed my mind and went to get a Pepsi, then walked back to get my know, to give my sister time to text me back. She failed to answer the sister/best friend in crisis call. So, what could I do? Ignore the urge to try something different? I think not!

I was a little nervous - okay, I was very nervous. What if it didn't turn out right? But last Sunday, I went through with it and I love it. I'd have to go to my beautician to get my hair the exact red on the box, which is actually a thought. Here's a pic of my new hair color. Now, in the picture, you can see the color more on my ends, but you'd see it better in person, especially in the sun. Hmm...I wonder what my next hair change is going to be? Braids? Cornrows? I'm actually really feeling that red on the box, so, I'm thinking, trip to the beautician...or another try at home. I know, I know. I'm crazy!


Fitness Friday

Still hanging in there. We didn't get a chance to do the Knockout workout, but we did do legs are still feeling that workout.

So, I started using Alli this week. I've heard both good (weight loss) and bad things (side effects & no weight loss) about it and was curious to see what it was about. The main thing I've heard is about the gross side effects (gas w/oily spotting, loose stools, more frequent stools that may be hard to, ew), which I haven't experienced, thank God. You usually experience these side effects if you eat fatty foods while taking Alli. Basically, eat right and you'll have little or no side effects; don't eat right and, well, things could get a little messy for you. Yuck! I don't want the side effects, so that's motivation enough for me to eat healthier.

The deal is, Alli is supposed to help you lose up to 50% more weight than dieting alone. It's not a rapid weight loss pill, so you won't be losing 10 pounds in one week. You'll lose the weight over time, like you're supposed to (10 pounds on a week = so not healthy). The good thing for me is, I've been eating breakfast faithfully, which is normally difficult for me. For the most part, I've been eating 3 meals/day when, usually, I only eat once/day. So, my eating habits are changing. Also, I haven't been snacking as much. Because I only ate once a day, I'd snack on chips or something. My snacks have basically been fruit cups, yogurt, or grapes. If I do get chips, I'd get like the baked chips or something less fattening than regular chips. So, I'm getting there. Is Alli worth the money? Only time will tell for me. If not, I'll just put the experience in my "Lessons Learned" pile and go on with life. Anyone experienced Alli? Did it work for you?

Goal: Lose 65 pounds; 2.4 down; 62.6 to go


Random Thoughts Thursday

President Obama's Inauguration. Words that describe Tuesday: awesome, cool, inspiring...the list goes on. It was a historical moment and I'm glad I'm alive to witness it. Did I think America would really elect it's first African American president in my lifetime? Well, I'd hoped and prayed, but always had doubt.

That this country, with its history of racism/sexism towards minority groups, can look past a person's color and elect him as president...awesome. Looking at the sea of people who were blessed enough to be in D.C. in person and seeing the different races/colors together cheering, crying, and hugging each other...very tear-worthy. It's like I wanted to say, "Your work wasn't in vain," to all the countless people - whatever the race - who were instrumental in the civil rights everyone, living or deceased, who fought for equal rights for everyone. America still has issues - and what country doesn't - but I'm proud of how far we've come. I can only pray that the younger generations truly see and understand how significant Tuesday was. There's a cool video on the 44 presidents at:

Did you see how they looked at each other during their first dance as pres/first lady? I love Etta James' song, 'At Last', so much, that I'd decided (last year) that it would be the song my hubby and I would dance to - when the time comes for me to get married. Great minds think alike, huh?


Tickle-Me Tuesday

*In honor of the presidential inauguration, I'm posting funny presidential quotes.*

George W. Bush

“Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.”

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we should allow the world worst leaders to hold America hostage, to threaten our peace, to threaten our friends and allies with the world’s worst weapons.”

“There’s an old…saying in Tennessee…I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says Fool me once…(3 second pause)… Shame on…(4 second pause)…Shame on you….(6 second pause)…Fool me…Can’t get fooled again.”

“The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the — the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice.”

"I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions --but I don't always agree with them."

Sarah Palin

"As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?"

Barack Obama

"Now that's my phone buzzing there. I don't want you to think I'm getting fresh or anything." -- while posing for a picture with supporters in Indiana, when he apparently felt his phone start to vibrate in his pocket, against which one woman was closely pressed.

Dan Quayle

"Hawaii is a unique state. It is a small state. It is a state that is by itself. It is a --it is different from the other 49 states. Well, all states are different, but it's got a particularly unique situation."

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."


"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people."George Wallace, 1968 presidential campaign.


Inspirational Sunday

*NOTE: Every Sunday, on my Myspace blog, I post what I call the Inspiration of the Week (IOW). I take a quote I like and write my own words of inspiration for it. For today's post, I'm using this week's IOW.

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Barack Obama

Rae’s Thought: On January 20th, Barack Obama will be sworn in as America’s 44th president. Five days after what would’ve been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 80th Birthday, America will officially receive her 1st black president. President Obama saw that this wonderful country was in major need of a change. Instead of sitting back and complaining, he got up and did something about it. Instead of waiting for someone else to make a change, he decided he was going to make the change. Unfortunately, many people are leaving America’s “makeover” to Obama or anyone else in leadership. The truth is it’s not only up to Barack Obama to make things better…it’s up to all of us. You want to know who’s responsible for America’s change? Look in the mirror. You are.

What I love about Obama’s story is that, in spite of encountering resistance, he kept going. He pressed on even when times got rough. His unwavering determination has paid off. Not everyone likes change. Once you’ve decided to go for it, you may experience trouble. In fact, there isn’t a maybe about it: you will experience trouble. We can take inspiration from our 44th president and others who are fighting in spite of opposition. Keep going. Think about it: if MLK and other civil rights leaders gave up, what state would our country be in? If Jesus decided the pain was too great to bear, what state would the children of God be in? They kept going and so should we.

This country will not experience a transformation of its citizens won’t get up and make that change. See something wrong with our education system? Do something about it. Think our justice system needs work? Do something about it. If you find something wrong with the way things are happening, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I want this country – this world – to be a better place for our children and youth to live in, so, I’ve made a vow to go forth and make a change. I know I’ll encounter people who may dislike me for the stand I take on behalf of the kids, but, you know what? I’ve got God on my side. If God is with me, who in the world (or anywhere else for that matter) can be against me? Absolutely no one and nothing. It all starts with us. So, what are you going to do to make a change?


Fitness Friday

2.4 pounds...that's how much I've lost since January 1st! 2.4 pounds! Yay me!

My sister and I did a pretty good job this week with keeping up with our workouts. We've played volleyball (with no net, but still got a workout), walked 2 miles, and strength trained. *sigh* I felt so good, which is weird cause, it' know...exercise. Next week, we're going to try out Sugar Ray Leonard & Laila Ali's Knockout workout. Clearly, we'll be doing the lightweight first. Will it be worth the dinero I spent? Only time will tell...
Another good workout? Dance Dance Revolution. I am NOT playing when I say it's a good cardio workout as well as good for your legs & butt. That's if you do the songs that are like 130 & above (the higher the number, the faster the song is) and you do it on the basic, challenge, and expert levels, as oppose to the beginner level. My sis and I are still on basic, which is like level 2. I hurt just looking at the challenge and expert level, so it'll be a minute before I get there. I'm thinking of buying the most recent DDR game (the one we have is about 3 years old). It's a workout and it's fun. What more can you ask for?

Goal: Lose 65 pounds; 2.4 pounds down...62.6 pounds to go.


Random Thoughts Thursday

Presidential Inauguration. I would’ve liked to have been able to attend this. To be able to say I was there when history was made as America’s first black pres – I know he’s biracial, but in most people eyes, when they look at Barack Obama, they see a black man – is sworn in. That would’ve been so awesome, but, alas, it was not meant to be. I really hope and pray he is the change America really needs. I’m not na├»ve enough to believe that he’ll be able to turn this country around in 4 years nor do I believe that he is our savior. My trust is in God and God alone. I prayed (as I’m sure many people did) that God would put the right man in office…whether it was the man I voted for or not. I think I’ve said this before, but I absolutely love how much of a family man he is. I like seeing pics & reading stories of his and First Lady, Michelle’s, relationship, and the relationship between him and his daughters. Personally, I think they’d make a cool First family. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what Obama has to offer this country in the next 4 (maybe 8) years.Rae’s List. So last year, I came up with a list of things I’d like to do (or try to do) by my 35th birthday, which, now that 2009 is here, will be in 2 years (September): I haven’t really crossed off much, yet, but the fun is all in the trying, right? So, there were about 60 things on my list. So far, I’ve crossed off 2 and will cross off 8 (so far) this year.

I’ve crossed off: (a) Wear shorts in public – not as bad as I thought; and (b) Spend a whole day doing absolutely nothing (take a me-day) – I’ve actually taken more than one of these and I absolutely love it!

Ones that will be crossed off: (a) Become Dr. Rae Weakly, EdD – hopefully by the end of this year; (b) Learn Spanish - be able to hold conversation with native speakers & my sister – still learning, but getting better; (c) Travel to other countries/cities/states - Puerto Rico – in December; (d) Learn to Salsa – I go dancing with my sister & take classes; (e) Get 3rd tattoo – I think by my 33rd b-day; (f) Comfortably wear a swimsuit without cover – working on that; (g) Participate in a walkathon – I’ll be doing this in October, hopefully; (h) Buy first house – will be moving in home by March 1st…leasing w/option to buy…will buy by the end of this year.

I may have more. When we go to Puerto Rico in December, depending on how much dinero we have, we'll jet ski, para sail...all that kind of stuff. We may even stay at a hotel on the beach. So, I'm making progress. Ten ain't so bad, right?


Tickle_Me Tuesday

HILARIOUS! Found this at

There is a book called Disorder in the Court. These are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters - who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place. Some of these are excellent ...

Q: What is your date of birth?
A: July fifteenth.
Q: What year?
A: Every year.
Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the accident?
A: Gucci sweatshirt and Reeboks.

Q: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
A: Yes.
Q: And what were you doing at that time?

Q: She had three children, right?
A: Yes.
Q: How many were boys?
A: None.
Q: Were there any girls?

Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
A: By death.
Q: By whose death was it terminated?

Q: Can you describe the individual?
A: He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q: Was this a male, or a female?

Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
A: Oral.

Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him.

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
Q: And why did that upset you?
A: My name is Susan.

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.
Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A: No.
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.


Just a Question

Does anyone know how to get rid of these annoying spam-mails...emails like the following:

Hello,We believe this notification will meet you in a very good present state of mind and health. The ______ in conjunction with _________ and other Investigation Agencies here in ______ like ________ ...have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you presently have a transaction going on with the ________ Bank of _______ as regard to your over-due payment which was fully endorsed in your favour accordingly. It might interest you to know that we have taken out time in screening through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that your payment is 100% genuine and hitch free from all fact and of which you have the lawful right to claim Your fund without any further delay. Having said all this, we will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the _______ Bank office accordingly as we will be monitoring all their services with you as well as your correspondence at all level...

The email goes on and on. I've been getting tons of them in my inbox (and spam box) and it's really annoying! I've tried ignoring them, but now, it's out of control. Here's another example:

Dear in Christ.


I am _______ from ______. I am married to _____ who worked with _______ in cote d'ivoire for nine years before he died last year.We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians.Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of ( 25 Million U.S. Dollars ) with one BANK in ______.Presently, this money is still in the BANK. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a christian individual that will utilize this fund the way I am going to instruct he/she here in...

Believe me, I can go all day posting these kinds of emails. Wanna know how annoying & bad it is? I'm thinking about getting a whole new email account and closing the one I have (but it's too much work to change emails with the groups I belong to). PLEASE MAKE IT STOP! Any suggestions?


Inspirational Sunday

Are you a winner?

Winner vs Loser
Author Unknown

The Winner is always part of the answer; The Loser is always part of the problem.
The Winner is always has a program; The Loser always has an excuse.
The Winner says,"Let me do it for you; The Loser says;" That is not my job."
The Winner sees an answer for every problem; The Loser sees a problem for every answer.

The Winner says," It may be difficult but it is possible"; The Loser says,"It may be possible but it is too difficult."
When a Winner makes a mistake, he says," I was wrong"; When a Loser makes a mistake, he says," It wasn't my fault."

A Winner makes commitments; A Loser makes promises.
Winners have dreams; Loser have schemes.
Winners say, "I must do something"; Losers say,"Something must be done."
Winners are a part of the team; Losers are apart from the team.

Winners see the gain; Losers see the pain.
Winners see possibilities; Losers see problems.
Winners believe in win/win; Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.
Winners see the potential; Losers see the past.
Winners are like a thermostat; Losers are like thermometers.

Winners choose what they say; Losers say what they choose.
Winners use hard arguments but soft words; Losers use soft arguments but hard words.
Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things; Losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values.

Winners follow the philosophy of empathy: "Don't do to others what you would not want them to do to you"; Losers follow the philosophy, "Do it to others before they do it to you."

Winners make it happen; Losers let it happen.


Fitness Friday

Well, this is my first post about my journey to physical wellness. My hope is to lose 65 pounds...if I could do it by the end of the year, that would be awesome! My main reason for the goal of weight loss isn't for looks. I could care less what society thinks of my body & my shape. I LOVE my curves and wouldn't trade them for anything. It took me a while to get to the point where I can say this and really mean it. As a teen, I had an issue with my weight - so much so, that, during my junior year in high school, I tried the whole "don't eat" deal...and got away with it until my parents got hip to my game. I am so grateful to God that they found out. If they hadn't, there's no telling what would've happened. I didn't start really love my body until after I
graduated from college. Now, I absolutely love the way I look. Yes, there are a few areas I'd like to change. What woman doesn't have those areas?

Anyway, I'm doing this more for my health. I have high blood pressure and diabetes runs through my family. Also, I want to be able to play with my nephews and young foster brothers without feeling like I'm about to die, lol. This week was my sister and my first week. I'd like to say we stuck to it. We did well with the strength training, but the cardio...yeah, not so much. Did I mention this is the first week of school? Yeah, so we both have been so tired by the end of the day. BUT, we're not giving up. She's agreed to participate in a walkathon with me this year, so we're gonna start training for it. I figured, since this will be our first walkathon, we'll start small. In October, the Susan G. Koman Foundation will be holding a 5K walk/run here in Houston.
Eventually, I want to work my way to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, where they walk a marathon and a half during 2 days (13 miles on Sat + 13 miles on Sun or 26 miles on Sat + 13 miles on Sun).

So, we'll be doing cardio every other day and strength training. As far as eating is concerned, our problem isn't eating too much. It's not eating enough. I usually only eat dinner. I know, I know. Not good, especially since I find myself snacking. I'll be trying to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with healthy snacks in between. It sounds weird but it's harder for me to eat breakfast than it is for me to walk 4 miles. Weird, right?

For the next year, I'll be posting about my progress and anything that may benefit others in the area of fitness (by my experience, not cause I'm an expert...cause I'm not. An expert, I mean). So, here's to good health and weight loss for anyone who needs it. Will I succeed? I believe I will. Stay tuned...


Random Thoughts

High Blood Pressure. I went to the doctor Wednesday to get my blood pressure checked. The bad news is I still have high blood pressure. The good news is it went down considerably. Yay! The meds I'm taking definitely helps (duh, right? that's why they prescribed them). Had my pressure been too high, they would've put me on more meds. Did I mention that not only do I hate taking medication, but I'm also horrible with taking them on time? Yeah, so more meds would've sucked. Anyway, I'm on the road to controlling (and eventually getting rid of) my high blood pressure.

Dissertation. Unfortunately, unless a miracle occurs (and I do believe miracles can occur), I won't be walking across the stage during the summer ceremony this year (July 25th) in Minneapolis, MN. Instead, I'll be walking at the winter one - Walden only has summer & winter ceremonies - which is on January 23, 2010 in Dallas, TX. Am I saddened by this? Oddly enough, no. The good thing about this school is you're considered a graduate when your degree is conferred & your degree is conferred on the last day of your term. The registrar confirms that all is well then, 8-10 weeks later, I'll have my actual degree. Sounds confusing? Basically, I'll become Dr. Raenice Weakly and have my EdD before I walk across the stage. The commencement is just pomp and circumstance. The proposal (the 1st 3 chapters of the dissertation) takes the longest out of the whole dissertation process and guess what? I'VE FINISHED IT!!!! YAY ME!!!! Yep, it's being edited as we speak. I've gotten over the hump that has kept me from finishing, so the rest is smooth sailing compared to this. I'll be finished w/my research study by June 1st which means I could be done with EVERYTHING by October. THANK GOD! Another good thing about the winter ceremony is it's in Dallas, which is a heck of a lot closer to me (in Houston) than Minneapolis. I won't have to buy a $400 plane ticket...just drive 3 hours & my family can come with.

New Year, New Job. I've been a substitute teacher for 6 years. Because I wanted to concentrate on my business, writing career, and finishing my dissertation, I chose not to go back to full time teaching. Though I love the kids, it would've been too time consuming with paper work, lesson plans, staff meetings, professional development, grading, etc. Subbing helps because I still work with kids, but on my own schedule, no staff meetings, no lesson plans, etc. The ONLY cons with subbing for me were the inconsistencies - I may not get a call for the day - and the pay. Now, God has blessed me with a job that's perfect for my time. I'll be a Math support teacher for 3rd - 5th grade. Now, I must admit that Math isn't my fave subject. I'm just now getting to the point where I may have an inch of liking for it. As a child (actually from 6th grade on) I disliked Math. But, I'm okay with this job. Why? It's consistent; only 4 days/week; only 5 hours/day; and I make more doing it than I do subbing. The pay ($100/day) is nowhere near what I'd be making as a doctorate level teacher w/7 years experience ($47,600), but I'm happy. God is awesome!

No Puerto Rico. At least not during Spring Break. But I'm okay with it. You see, my sister and I started looking into moving out this year and becoming home-owning roomies (I mentioned this as one of my goals for '09). Well, an opportunity has sort of fallen into our laps. We'll start off leasing a townhome, in one of the areas we wanted btw, with plans to buy it. The landlord really just wants to get rid of it (has own house now) and just happened to mention it to my parents. Since she know my parents are good people, she knows we're good people, and is willing to give it to us rather than list it for the public. And it's affordable! She's a realtor, too. So, instead of Puerto Rico, we're putting that $ towards the deposit & first month's rent and possibly move in during spring break. Oh, but PR isn't forgotten! We're going during Christmas Vacation.


Tickle-Me Tuesday


Inspirational Sunday

Trees That Wood by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty." Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull." Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter" ... and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest. At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll take this one", and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time. Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat. Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don't always know what God's plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.



Happy New Year!

Ah! 2009 is finally here. Did you have an awesome New Year's Day? Guess what I did...rested. That's right. I slept late, then spent the rest of the day watching TV and reading. I loved it! I haven't taken enough "Me Days" in my life. One of my must-dos for 2009 is take more me-days...don't be afraid to not work every once in a while.

2008 was a pretty good year. I mean, nothing overly exciting happened - besides my 5 week trip to Cuernavaca (Mexico) in June/ 1st real summer vacation since I started working in 1992. Still, nothing horrible happened either. Now, it's time to leave 2008 where it belongs - in the past - and move forward. Every year, or almost every year, my family comes up with a motivational slogan to live by. This year's slogan is: It's Our Time in 2009! Why? Because we feel that God's about to do some awesome things for our family. He's already started putting things in place for us. And the best thing is we're doing it together (did I mention that we're a close-knit family).

About 5 years ago, my parents started a business called Weakly Family Ministries, that, as the name suggests, focuses on bettering the family. They started out with marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, family counseling, mentoring, etc. Now, WeaFam is expanding. They're looking into officially moving into an office building (they'd been counseling in our garage-turned-office). Also, now, WeaFam includes the AYM Enrichment Program, which is my sister's & my business (also looking for our own space), along with the urban wear store my brother wants to open, my children & teens novels that will published, and my other brother's poetry/spoken word books that will also be published (if you're a Houstonian, check out Freez.Eturnal's performances at clubs around brother is a talented spoken word artist). So you see, God has given each and every one of us a talent to use to help others (and glorify Him, of course) and we're about to do our thang in 2009. IT'S OUR TIME IN 2009!

I leave you with a few of my 2009 goals:

  • Complete Who's Got Tha Moves
  • Begin/Plan novel #3 (not sure of title, but I do know what it's about)
  • Move into own home (my sis & I are starting our journey of becoming home-owning roomies)
  • Start journey to become debt-free & financially stable
  • Complete my dissertation by June 1st (which means, I'll become Dr. Weakly & have my degree by July/August if all goes well, but I won't actually walk across the stage til January 2010)
  • Become more confident in my Spanish (I'm basically a chicken when it comes to speaking Spanish...I know it, just too scared to speak it. I'm getting better, though, thanks to my sis, who speaks fluent Spanish)
  • Concentrate on making AYM my full time job
  • Go to more conferences for writers and entrepreneur since I am both
  • Travel more
  • Work on crossing more things off my list of things to do by the time I'm 35 (I've only gotten a chance to cross one off, while I'm working on about 3 list is about 60 items long)
  • Take better care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually

Also, I've added more to this blog:

  • Inspirational Sundays: I'll post anything that can be seen as inspirational, whether it be my own inspirational writing (like what I do on my myspace blog) or inspirational stories I've read online or heard about.
  • Tickle-Me Tuesdays: This day is reserved for stories, pictures, jokes, or comic strips that'll make you laugh. We all should enjoy a good laugh every once in a while, right?
  • Random Thoughts Thursday: Same as last year
  • Fitness Fridays: My sis and I have started our journey to a healthier us last month. On Fridays, I'll chronicle my journey by posting any weight loss success, success in lowering my high blood pressure, great workouts, trials, triumphs, etc.