The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 2

Being single can be HARD! It can also be very helpful in shaping women and men to become better for the next level of life whether marriage is included or not.

As mentioned in my previous blog post The ABC’s of Singlehood pt. 1 , in March 2017 I had an opportunity to speak to single women and married couples at the Can You Relate Conference 2017 hosted by Algernon and Taneisha Tucker. It was great for me too as my newlywed husband and I learned so much from the others. I spoke on the ABCs of Singlehood and thought I’d share a few more tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.

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Here’s 9-17. Stay tuned for pt. 3 coming soon!

  • I-Improve those qualities you know you need improved whether single or not.
    • If you know your attitude is bad (and you know you know) or you are selfish, or you’re lazy, or you have problems committing singlehood is the season to get those things together…by yourself.
  • J-Join groups to help you grow and stay occupied…a church small group, a book club, a Sassy Singles dinner club, etc.
    • Do something with yourself while single. You can boost your resume, build up your “team” and who knows, bae or boo might be waiting on you in the very group you join.
  • K-Keep the desires of your heart. If marriage is your desire, don’t let anything or anyone take it from you.
    • Do. Not. Stop. Believing. Marriage. Is. Possible. For. You. Point. Blank. Period.
  • L-Learn new hobbies and skills like cooking, how to change a tire, how to refurbish a chair, how to install hardwood, how to cut coupons, how to fly fish or something.
  • M-Make sure your expectations of a mate are being matched by you. Don’t want what you can’t give.
    • If you can’t afford steak don’t be mad because he can only afford hamburger helper. If you don’t have good credit don’t place unfair pressure on a man to have it because you don’t. If you aren’t bringing just as much to the table don’t be mad when you aren’t able to eat. Expectations of a mate should be matched by what we have to offer. A man is not your ATM, TransUnion savior, heart fixer, daddy do over or ticket to come up. Come up on your own time and own dime so you can help him come up even more.
  • N-Never let social media deceive you, make you feel less than, lead you to comparisons or have you become hopeless.
    • Don’t let Facebook, Snapchat and any other mode of media make you think married people are perfect, or that you, somehow because you’re not married are less than or will never have the love you desire…and all the extra good, and not as good stuff which comes along with it.
  • O-Open up your list of “I Want” in a mate to include, at the top, God’s list of “You Need” in a mate.
    • Be rid of those superficial things like how he dresses, what his salary looks like (now), where he’s from, how long he’s had the removable goldfront and all that good, not so good stuff which WILL NOT matter at the end of the day when you look back and laugh at how far God has brought you both because He brought you together.
  • P-Pray for yourself, for the mate you desire, for you all together, for patience, etc.
    • Pray. Pray. Pray…for him, for you, for his friends, for his mind, for his future job, for your patience, for his tolerance of you and all your “quirks”, for your future children, for everything that comes along with marriage. You can do this even before you meet the man.
  • Q-Quit settling.
    • I like to say Settling is for Quakers. Whatever you do while single don’t settle for less than who and what you know you deserve. Know your value and stop slinging discounts like a KMart Blue Light Special.
      • And if you don’t know what you deserve ask somebody who knows better.

To be continued…

@AngelaMichele316

 

I Don’t Like Your Wig

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Growing up I subscribed to the list of so many myths of what a good husband was about. Bless my heart.
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Yes, ladies, he could be handsome. He could be 6ft 4in with wavy, salt & pepper hair (hey boo!). He could have a fly car, a great job, some flat abs, superhuman “powers”, a generous wallet, a funny sense of humor, be super smart, or be your college school sweetheart with the best shimmy or shake you’ve ever seen. He could spoil you to pieces, give the best birthday presents and back rubs, wash a car better than a machine, know how to grill a steak like nobody’s business and smell like he’s oozing Bvlgari cologne on a perfectly timed schedule.
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However, recently, my husband whispered words that elevated my love for him to the next level as he gingerly gazed into my half-mascaraed eyes and said, “Uuuummm, yea, so, I don’t know how I feel about your new wig on you. I’ll get you another one that does what you’re trying to make that one to do.”
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Of all the thoughts and hopes and wishes I had growing up regarding marriage, there are a few staples which must be and remain. To the list of my mature “must haves” in a husband, some of which are listed above and certainly fulfilled, having a husband who can have my back is a blessing! Even if it’s in sharing something I may not want to hear, I would prefer him telling me the truth from a point of sincere love rather than have my out in the mean streets of Birmingham looking like a silly OLD lady, with scattered blonde highlights.  Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir. That kind of tell-it-to-me-like-it-is-with-love kind of love is definitely not a myth and permanently on my list.
Stay tuned for the new ‘do!

The ABC’s of Singlehood Part 1

Recently, I had an opportunity to speak to single women and married couples at the Can You Relate Conference 2017. It was great for me too as my husband and I learned so much from the others. I spoke on the ABCs of Singlehood and thought I’d share a few tidbits of what God and a lot of mistakes in life afforded me to know.

As a newlywed of only three whole months, I realize I’ve been single in every decade of life. From my first high school heartbreak to all of college, to part of my 20s, to my divorce in my 30’s to my early 40s and now, finally I’m married again to my very best friend. With that, came a lot of opportunities, as I now like to call them, to see singlehood differently, realize the error of my (old) ways, work on fixing those things which had hindered me (like my sassy, quick-witted mouth), learn from those around me and get myself together. I, by no means, know all there is to know about singlehood, but let’s just say singlehood and I tangoed enough over time for me to at least figure out 26 nuggets to share with you. The most important of them all is that being single is a blessing, if you allow it to be.

Here’s 1-8. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!

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  • A-Attitude adjustments are a must through each season of singlehood. You won’t always like it, but that doesn’t have to affect who you are or how you see yourself.
    • I would be dishonest, also known as a liar, if I painted being single as peaches and cream with a cherry on top. It’s not. With that said, there is a LOT about it which single people may not like. When those times arise, it’s important to keep attitudes in check as not to further delay the process and progress.
  • B-Be not deceived by the myths of marriage…It’s not always fun. It doesn’t cure whatever was wrong before you said “I Do”. A slothful single woman can easily become a lazy married one.  An angry single woman can easily become a married bitter wife. Marriage is WORK!!!! It’s more than about cuddling, cute selfies and hot sex.
    • Reality shows, social media, other people’s marriage, possibly even one’s own first marriage might have painted a picture of marriage which simply isn’t real, or isn’t real all the time.
  • C-Celebrate the milestones of others who are walking paths you desire to tread…weddings, anniversaries, new babies. (Even throw the celebrations yourself!)
    • Wanna show God you trust Him? Do something for someone else in the very area you’re waiting on Him to do something for you.
  • D-Do things now which will benefit you later…save money, protect your credit, balance your schedule and bank statements, manage your household duties, take care of yourself.
  • E-Enjoy controlling your coming and going, your calendar, the remote, the thermostat and the radio.
    • That really is a blessing!!! (Ask me how I know as I have to watch movies and sports sometimes when I’d rather watch Food Network and HGTV all the time.)
  • F-Forgive any and everyone who needs to be forgiven, including yourself.
    • Do this as often as needed.
  • G-Get out of your head with the “by this age I shoulda” dates and age ranges which aren’t fair or feasible.
    • God does NOT operate on your calendar, schedule, timeframe or deadline. And that’s a GOOD thing! The sooner that’s realized the better life will be.
  • H-Heal from past hurts, self-inflicted and otherwise.
    • You know what’s hurting you. Do something about it now. Get help for it so that you don’t run the risk of hurting that man God is preparing to find you. (If you think God is going to let your pain hurt a husband…well, let’s just say He loves him, and you too much for that…which may explain the delay in delivery of your beau, boo or bae.)

To be continued…

@AngelaMichele316

 

 

Single Ladies, Get It For Yourself

Single Ladies,

Why in the world would you expect God to give you a man to love you, cherish you, compliment you, help you with your stuff, enjoy time with you, and tell you you’re beautiful when you won’t, or don’t do that for yourself?!?!

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God is a God of order, something which took me a while to realize, particularly while dating. He does things decently and in ORDER. What that means is that He’s not going to bypass you getting it from Him just so you can get it from a man. So go ahead get it for yourself. Tell yourself you love you and mean every single syllable of it. Value your time, your worth and your whole being (even those wiggly and jiggly parts you may not like). Whisper sweet nothings of candid compliments in your own ear. Take your own self out for dinner and a movie. Get your business all the way together from the spiritual, financial, physical, mental, social and emotional points of view. (Pause for the Cause….please don’t feed into the age-old fairytale of a man being your savior. You already have a Savior who knows you and knows what’s best for you. So, just in case this applies, no more waiting around for a man to come in and pay your bills or buy you $30 steak dinner. Pay our own bills. Buy your own steak (or make it yourself). No more waiting around for a man to love you like your father did or love you like your father didn’t. Your Father God loves you WAY more than that, and I dare you to do the same for yourself.) No more thinking a man is going to elevate you in the game. Oh, contraire, homegirl. We actually elevate them. Don’t believe me. Read Proverbs 18:22. So go ahead now and step your game up so you can catapult his.

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Preparation for the future is the best way to make good of the past and make the most out of the present. Wanna be boo’d up, tied down, married off,  lawfully wed, in wedded bliss, or wifeyed? Good! I want you to want too. Listen, I know the Single Sister Struggle can be real. I just got married again less than two months ago and had many years before my first marriage, and many years between my first marriage and my final marriage of wanting to be married. Marriage is WONDERFUL, but it’s also the hardest job in the whole wide world. It’s hard as the dickens! What helps is when the two parties coming together have been getting themselves together under the watchful eye and loving hands of God. So sisters, while you wait you might as well handle you before God hands you to him. Capiche?

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@AngelaMichele316

The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 3

 

The above video of our wedding day was such a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us, our love for each other and the journey of over 19 years (not including knowing each other since 10th grade when we would talk on three-way until his dad made him hang up). When I tell you that NEVER in a million and a half years did I imagine that my forever would include Aquil. I am sure he would say the same, and for similar reasons (that’s a book waiting to be written), but I am so glad God knew we needed each other.

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We had a lot of people ask for the who, what, where, when and how of our secret marriage we held on December 30, 2016, surprising a few of our family and friends who thought they were coming to a holiday party.

In my first blog post The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 1  I shared special nuggets on how our plot to plan a surprise wedding took root and the unusual circumstances which led us there. Check it out here: https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/the-secrets-of-a-secret-marriage-pt-1

In the second installment The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 2 it was all about the food, fashion and unbelievable frugalness of it all. Check it out here: https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/the-secrets-of-a-secret-marriage-pt-2/

Now, in the final offering I have to shout out my peeps who so generously shared their gifts to make our moment simply magical. We are so very grateful to be able to hire such gifted friends to join in this journey of what God allowed in our lives. I’m not saying you should book them for your next “whatever”, but that would be a wise thing to do.

First up is the preacher. Yep, for those of you who know my sister/friend Charmel Taylor, some of you might have been shocked to know that this sassy, southern belle who works so very hard helping take care of our country’s veterans, is so generous and supportive, raises an amazing son, cooks like nobody’s business, is uber-insightful about the goings on of this world and is as funny as funny can be is also a licensed and ordained minister. So there was no other choice for us to help make this special day spiritual and, again, special. In true Char fashion she plotted along the way to help me plan the surprise and offered us the most meaningful marriage vow exchange I’d heard in a long time, and she did it in time for the beef short ribs, grilled salmon and pork chops to arrive. She is simply the best!

Can we talk about the pictures??? Oh! My! Goodness! Our pictures were perfect! Birmingham-based Taneisha Tucker Photography is stellar. There are no other words sufficient. Her vision and work are incomparable, offering a high end photography experience with a unique, personable touch. I’m always in awe of her professionalism and ability to capture a moment and make it an undeniable memory. She is simply the best!

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Our videographer WOWd the crowd, and I don’t just say that because he’s also a talented musician. However, Patrick Johnson of Blaq Angel Media is the BUSINESS!!! He’s like the real deal when it comes to taking a single event and making it last forever. He works with such poise and humility, often maneuvering through the space with his keen, creative eye capturing shots, actions, reactions, and sound that mere mortals might miss. He is simply the best!

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I know by now you’ve seen our décor. Yep, it was cute. I know. And I can say that because I didn’t do it. Jasmine Pickett of Jazzi B’s Custom Creations heard my thoughts, took it and ran with it turning a restaurant space into an elegant atmosphere. She thoughtfully created a feel of warmth, luxury and love that captured hearts and eyes as soon as they entered the space. She is simply the best!

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The path to our lives together was not perfect, but it couldn’t have been written by a greater Author. God deserves all the glory. We are grateful. We are grateful. We are grateful. Signed, #theAteam

@AngelaMichele316

The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 2

I’m approaching the ripe old benchmark of one month as a wife to my fabulous final husband, Aquil. I’m still tickled, delighted, a bit taken aback and in awe of the come up God provided us and the coup we pulled off…also known as The Secret Marriage. If you want to know the beginnings take a gander here: https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/the-secrets-of-a-secret-marriage-pt-1

One of the frequent questions I’ve received is “how did you do it”. Not how did we do it as in how did we invite 55 of dear family and friends to a restaurant under the guise of a holiday soiree, prompting them all to be SHARP, then sending out a fake “secret” message from Aquil saying he was going to propose, only to have a faux holiday soiree, a fake proposal and a real wedding all in one night. No, the question I’ve received from those who know me well is how did we manage to coordinate it all in a month in a half, while I recovered from major surgery and pull off what looked like a million bucks for what probably equaled the monthly salary of some.

From the beginning we didn’t want and couldn’t afford, at this time, a big wedding, and wanted to position ourselves to focus more on a beautiful marriage. That fact made things simultaneously easy and complicated. The easy part was, whatever we had was what we had. Period. The complicated part was the daily dwindling list of guests knowing some wouldn’t understand their omission from the invite and still finding ways to express our sentiments toward them void of a little list. So with the fact of the matter at hand, we busied our hands and feet searching for deals.

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The Rings: Let me just say I *heart* JC Penney’s. Say what you will and think what you might but they are alright with me. A black Friday deal with extra online coupons was a blessing. They’re not traditional rings, and we’re not a traditional couple so that made the deal even sweeter.  I would tell you how much we paid, but you may not believe me if I did.

The Attire: My boo was fresh to def! Yep, I took it back to the old school because that’s how long we’ve known each other. His paisley inlaid, Cranberry-colored, velvet sports coat and our little or not so little guy Jordan’s tailored, designer suit jumped off the rack at Belk with, you guessed it, coupons and cost savings that would blow your mind. Would you believe it if I told you a pair of slacks was $6?

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My dress, well, let’s just say that Mr. Lauren, Ralph, that is, must have made that gorgeous gown with me in mind. The fashion fairies at Macy’s, with yet another sale on top of a sale, must have hidden that jewel just for me after weeks of disappointment trying to find something which whispered holiday party, but would end up screaming wedding, while masking my swollen, post-surgery tummy at the same time. My hair, not to be forgotten in this post, was Vivica Fox’s finest purchased from and styled by my girl Leslie at my fav Alabaster beauty supply store. I wanted lights, camera, action locks and Ms. Fox did not disappoint. Altogether, our digs were the perfect picks for about the cost of a fru-fru steak dinner for two, a few grown man beverages for the grown man, a hot appetizer and a warm chocolate dessert on the side.

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The Food: And speaking of food. Wow!  Tormeika and the staff at Grille 29 worked so professionally and patiently with us on the menu, honoring our budget and desire to celebrate those who had continually celebrated our love and individual lives. If you’ve not been to Grille 29 in Birmingham please do yourself a favor and skedaddle. They were Heaven sent after days of calling and emailing for quotes from hotels, event spaces, conference rooms and other restaurants. In fact, Grille 29’s total tab on EVERYTHING was the cost of what one small, Shelby County location wanted to simply rent the space. And the cake. Oh Baby! That three-layer Caramel-Pecan top, Lemon center, and Chocolate bottom cake from K&J’s Elegant Pastries in Alabaster, which mirrored one I found on Pinterest, without the price was perfect. Perfect, I tell ya.

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I was hesitant to write this post because I didn’t want to paint of picture of lack because the truth of the matter is that we’re firmly placed in a beautiful season of financial resurrection and that’s a great place to be. Before embarrassment creeped in about the temporary state of things my spirit screamed, “Girl, if you don’t tell these people what God allowed and encourage them to NEVER give up their dreams even on the strictest of budgets, you betta!” I could go on and on about how God reminded me of how much He loved us by showing that He truly is our Provider. In the words of a famous songstress and reality star, “He Did That!”. I could go on and on about my friends with gifts who stepped up to the call and wowed us with their talents to bring it all together…and I will in another post…coming soon.

@AngelaMichele316

The Secrets of a Secret Marriage pt. 1

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December 30, 2016 is a day I’ll never forget. It’s the day I said “I Do” to my best friend, my answered prayer and prayer partner wrapped up in one, my laughing buddy, my vision stretcher, my comfort-zone challenger, my cheerleader who needs no pom-poms, my personal couch pillow, my fellow foodie (whether he admits it or not), my proper “do over”, my own private kitchen and car dancer, my defender, my dude from way back in the days of Big Pun and Bun B, and my resuscitated heart’s cause for celebration and acceleration.

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Having both been married to others before, and with weddings far too big in hindsight, we opted to go “less” is more for this marriage. I specifically remember the pain of the lingering expenses which can come from a large wedding, and we both are undergoing financial reconstruction (do it Jesus!) so we decided the less we spent the more special the wedding would have to be. With thoughts of the marriage taking top billing to the wedding, in early October of 2016 we decided to get married soon. Fast-forward to November 1, 2016 and I awaken from major surgery feeling really “lovely” from my heavy meds and not so “lovely” from major pain to hear excitement in my mama’s voice as she said, “Aquil asked your daddy if he could marry you. He said yes!!!! I’m so excited!” With blessings from our parents we set in motion a plan which morphed into one of the most wonderful days in my life.

Thoughts of the living room, backyard, Courtyard (our favorite spot for hot wings) or courthouse had been tossed around for this simple ceremony. Now, let me be truthfully shallow. I was on a budget. True. But I must have a little bling even in on a budget and none of those first options defined the miracle from a MESS which transpired over the course of 19 years to get us to this point. So with a little praying and a lot of planning we chose to host our wedding at Grille 29, one of my favorite restaurants. The prices were amazing. The food is amazing. The location is amazing. The staff is amazing and again the prices were amazing when compared to the $25,000 spent the first go ground way back in the early 2000s. Yet still, something was missing.

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What was missing was the element of surprise. Literally. The wedding needed to be a surprise. I don’t prefer surprises, but boy, oh boy, do I love surprising. So the idea of keeping the wedding a surprise for our guests shimmied its way into our plans and found itself smack dab at the center of attention. My husband Aquil and I have been through a great deal collectively and individually. But by the grace of God and the wonderful people He surrounded us with we made it through. So we wanted the wedding to be our gift to some of our closest loved ones for them being such a tremendous gift to us. Being that I was in the midst of my 6-8 weeks of surgery recovery with no driving and no working, cringing while walking, sleeping a whole lot and on powerful pain pills, my physical capabilities were limited. Thank sweet Jesus from on high for internet shopping, a great mom, a super secretive sister, a wonderful boo who was as excited as I was and a fake theme of A&A Holiday Soiree to kick the ulimate plan of the sneakiest proportion in motion. How did we do it??? Great question.

Part two is coming soon…

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@AngelaMichele316