Our April event was a huge hit! Thank you to everyone that came out to support us and participated in the event, we look forward to bringing more amazing evenings to Winston Salem in 2019! Or swag bags went in record time and we still had ladies there at 9pm. We hope you can join us at Gypsy Road Brewery on May 2nd 5:30pm - 8:30pm.
Wise Man Brewing
Elizabeth Faircloth with Restoration Med Spa - https://restorationmedspa.com/
Michelle Walker with Pure Romance - https://www.facebook.com/groups/372461313232710/
Starla Nichols with Color Street - www.facebook.com/shiningwithstarla
Madeline & Paige Boutique - https://www.facebook.com/ShopMadeleinePaige
Anna Kruger with Hempworx
Emily Stessman with Paparazzi - https://paparazziaccessories.com/117219/
With the second baby due soon, we wanted to take the time to take London on a special pre baby trip. We let her pick and was amazed when she choose Washington DC. She amazes me at 6 that she is so interested in the world we live in, history and science. Firstly I do not recommend going to Washington DC nearly 31 weeks pregnant, my feet were not too happy with me lol. We had an amazing trip and I am eager to go back when I can walk without being uncomfortable because on Thursday we walked 10 miles, nearly 14 on Friday and 10 again on Saturday. If you are not a fan of walking then DC is not for you but if you have not taken the time to visit our nations capital you should, everything is so family friendly and nearly all of the attractions are FREE. We made sure we took advantage of everything the Smithsonian had to offer, we visited the zoo, the American history museum, Natural History Museum and the Air & Space Museum.
One of our main concerns was our budget so if you are concerned about it getting expensive, don't because you can totally do DC on a budget. Our biggest expense would have been the hotel but with the credit card we have we had tons of travel points. In the hotel we had a great breakfast and we made sure to eat as much as our belly's could handle, we made sandwiches and took snacks for during the day to keep the cost down. The metro costs us around $35 for the 3 of us (children under 5 are free, if they look 5 or under take advantage of this). The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom and they were beautiful, their were tons of people taking pictures under them and it was truly a perfect start to spring.
We got to see so much but yet we still did not get to see everything. Some highlights of the trip were Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial, Capital Building, Thomas Jefferson Building (Congress Library), White House and all the beautiful buildings that DC has to offer. We had decided to stay outside of the city in Old Town Alexandria and it is a beautiful town to visit, we had some amazing food! Here are some of our pictures for you to enjoy. You can tell which ones are mine and which ones my fiance took (he has an eye for design). Get out and explore the world we live in, its a lot more accessible than you think.
It has been 7 years since I was pregnant with my first daughter and it was a completely different pregnancy. My first pregnancy I was waitress but did not already have a child, could sleep in when I wanted, get my shift covered when I was too tired to work and take the time to rest. This go around I feel like I am performing in a circus, juggling so many aspects of my life every day. I am a full time mom, work a full time intense job at a high school, taking full time college courses, going to the gym and trying to maintain my household to a normal standard (if that is possible). Now don't get me wrong I am blessed to be pregnant with another sweet baby girl but I had totally underestimated how stressed I would be this time. Pregnancy hormones are no joke, I wake up some night ten times to use the bathroom and cry because I can't decided what I want to eat. For any first time mama's out there and soon to be dad's reading this please be patient, try to be understanding and supportive because we feel like a balloon ready to burst at the seems with emotions. Just last night I ended up hysterically crying because I did not feel very hungry but yet knew I needed to get but was unable to make a decision as to what I wanted. Probably because I was craving everything that was not present in the house. I think I could eat my weight in crepes, chicken biscuits and Mexican food though (who doesn't love chips & salsa). My fuse has been short and I feel so sorry for my daughter because sometimes I am too quick to discipline or shout at her when I need to remember she is just being a 6 year old. So now I end up feeling like the worst mom in the world and that I will not be able to handle a second baby because I am an emotional mess. Everyone talks about the pregnancy glow, how pregnancy is a time to be cherished but I am totally over the waiting period, can we just skip the labor now. I had forgot how bad heart burn was, my digestive system is daily confused, that we get to enjoy constipation and hemorrhoids. My fiance is being very sweet, calls me beautiful every day and is enjoying my bigger breasts (my nipples feel like they look like dinner plates). Whilst me on the other hand can't wait to have my small breasts back, my back hurts too much and I can't stand the thought of sex. On top of the need to pee all night, I have been having bad leg cramps. I have had numerous people as me if I am OK because I sound like Darth Vader when I am trying to breath, after walking up the stairs. So overall I feel like an emotional bundle of nerves who forgets everything. The crazy thing is I have already done this one yet I wanted to do it all again.
Sorry just had to share some of my crazy pregnancy joys with you all. One thing I am not looking forward to is peeing my self when I sneeze after the baby, last time I did that it was like the flood gates had opened and I couldn't stop. By I am really looking forward to that first cold glass of wine, beer, cocktail or all 3.
As you may know this month we are working with Forsyth Family Services to help raise awareness for domestic and sexual violence. Here is the second story I want to share with you from a strong survivor Dawn.
Dawn's story started with her husband who she had known for a decade. She has a beautiful daughter, was pursuing her college dreams, lived in a beautiful condo and was employed as a family and youth counselor! Her husband had previously been a paramedic, he had 3 children and was just getting back into the medical field. He was very intelligent, and very romantic. However, soon her became more controlling, it was uncomfortable but she did not feel afraid of him initially. But soon things escalated, first stating with a push, next he was yelling, then she was being slapped. She lived like this in the relationship for 11 years, tried to leave 8 times before she made the decision that enough was enough. For some years she managed to maintain an apartment, however, she has also stayed in a shelter and various hotels for months. Many time she would receive a notice to vacate, move to a safe place, and rectify the past due rent later. Fortunately, many people understood and if those trying to escape can find the courage to explain the circumstances to their landlord or apartment manager, even if it’s at a later date, she found that they wanted to help if they could. This is where community organizations like Family Services, DSS, Salvation Army and victim advocates can be a huge help in explaining the situation to others.
This abuse made Dawn lose her sense of self. The abuse did not occur every day or even every week...sometimes not even for months. So there were periods of great times, that's why domestic violence can be confusing. Not every victim experiences abuse everyday. Anything she asked for or wanted he would provide- $300,000 homes, She drove nice cars- Audis and new Sports cars, she had never been materialistic but it was nice to have a pool guy and lawn maintenance and to be able to use her money to travel with her kids. So his generosity and romantic side occasionally made her think that if he would just get help, then life would be good. However, these things also made her a target for financial abuse. He did not want help! He wanted control!
She kept the problems to herself, never shared them with her family. Her mother had experienced her own domestic violence issues earlier in life, having survived she made it very clear that she did not want her with him and that she did not believe he would ever change. When I moved 600 miles away, my family became somewhat distant something he capitalized on it was another way to control her. Thankfully her children were never hurt, Dawn's youngest was 4 months old when she left permanently, Her oldest unfortunately was affected by what she heard and witnessed, she would often wonder why her presence was not enough for him to be respectful or get help. She was always an amazing, respectful, child and honor scholar, but he was never able to enjoy that. But Dawn made up for that by always celebrating with her daughter. Her oldest daughter has always been strong, one of the most eye wakening thing that happened when she left permanently was her daughter’s, she didn’t care about the home or cars being left behind. All they cared about was our safety and our love for each other.
On many occasions he threatened her. He threatened to burn her house down with all of them in it. He threatened to kill her and wished her dead more times than she can ever count. More often than not, when he would threaten her she would make it known to him that I was going to fight back, and she did. She had gotten so accustomed to having to fight back that she ignored the fact that he was a black belt in martial arts and had even owned a martial arts school in North Carolina. She thinks a lot of victims have the misconception that as long as they're fighting back that they will be okay. In reality, no one should fear being hit or having to defend himself/herself against someone who is suppose to love them.
Unfortunately her ex has never gotten help. She kept going back in hope that one day he would, because he always promised to get help and would even go as far as making, but not keeping, the appointments. His employer offered free mental health counseling and two of his co- workers, who were also his best friends, encouraged him to take advantage of that help. They even offered to attend counseling sessions with him. He never went and that was a big factor when she filed for custody of our daughter a few years ago and was granted sole custody. He was granted no visitation unless she deemed it appropriate and even then he is forbidden, by court order, to take their daughter out of state. The order lists, among other things, that he never sought help.
She says that she wants to tell women and men in an abusive situation that they are not alone. There are people praying for them, rooting for them, and willing to help them and we will not pass judgment. There are women who have survived domestic violence who know what it’s like to leave behind everything, and what it’s like to stay in a shelter. We know what it’s like to brazenly file for the order of protection and have that request denied. Women, like Dawn understand the fear of what may happen if you leave. We know the concerns for your children, your finances, your pets. I promise, you can recover it all! It won’t be overnight and it may not be easy, but you can do it! Of course, safety and a safe exit plan are the most important things but if you prepare yourself a little every day, even if it’s just to find a way to make a call to an organization like Family Services so that someone is aware of your situation, it makes a difference in terms of empowering and preparing yourself. Believe in yourself and remind yourself that you can and will get out of the abusive situation that holds you captive. It’s not easy but you can do it and there are people who care and want to help!
Dawn says now she very blessed now! She is a domestic violence and child molestation public speaker and victims’ advocate. She is currently completing requirements to get licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of NC, and is working to complete her law degree! She is married to the most wonderful man and “Pops” to her children. They have been together for 6 years and she has never even feared being hit, cursed, or disrespected. Her oldest daughter, who is determined, accomplished, and very loved daughter has graduated with honors from Georgia State University with a B.S. in Psychology with an emphasis in pre-med, and is completing graduate level prerequisites for Physician’s Assistant School. Her youngest, and equally loved,bright and funny daughter, is in the 5th grade. She wants women and men who are in abusive relationships to know is that your children can also go on to live very fulfilling and positive lives! They don’t have to become a negative statistic! So, yes, life is good- not perfect, but we are enjoying it!
One of the things I want to do is to be a bigger part of the community and try to make a difference. This month I want to shed the light on some unspoken but realistic things that are happening everyday around us sexual and domestic violence. As women we always try to come across as strong, capable and that we can take on anything but we all need to let our guard down at times to let people in. This is something that is very important to me and very close to home but unlike two strong women I know I am not ready to tell my story. I have recently been working with Forsyth Family Services and I wanted to share two real stories with you. Here is our first story.
First I would like to introduce you to Briana Sherrod a 27 year old mom and wife, who was raised in a typical family who raised her to be a strong independent woman who no one would mess with. But in November 2013 this all changed, she always remembered her mom "“Park under a street light in the parking lot so your car is well lite and you can see your surroundings!" which was exactly what she did, so she felt safe. But this is where her story really starts "I get about 5 steps from the dormitory entrance when out of the corner of my eye I see a man running toward me with his hood over his face. He grabs my arms and threatens to shoot me if I scream. Remember how my parents taught me to stand up for myself?...yea that all went down the drain because I froze and just did whatever this random man told me to.
We proceeded to my car where he then made me drive out into the county of an area I am unfamiliar with (this is not where I grew up I was just here to slimily get an education- but ended up meeting my husband, we were engaged at this time) he said he just wanted money from me and If I pulled down this road then there would be an ATM there. Well as I turn onto this dirt road, I knew better! He forced me to park my car at this abandoned house where he proceeded to rap me multiple times and then forced me to leave without even letting me get my pants up yet. We drove for a while until we got to an ATM where he still proceeded to rob me and Jonathan for all we have, then made me take him to the store where he bought cigarettes with MY money!
I dropped him off wherever he told me and drove as fast as I could back to the dorm where my friend was. Thank God for an off-duty cop that was on campus that night, she was also the one who held my hand during the rap kit! They found this man within about 3 hours thanks to him leaving finger prints on my cellphone! We went to court about a week later and he was sentenced to 26 years minimum in prison. That gave me a little closer but what helped me the most was my faith in God, and clinging to him because he was the only one that could’ve saved me that night! The sheriff’s department and police station worked well together for my sake and to help me with this random attack. I thank God for our officers and detectives, I feel like I have a second family now that I can count on to protect me! It took me a couple years to get where I could share my story; I think this is because I’m not one to want a lot of attention and for people to feel sorry for me. I had to realize that if I let this situation be for nothing then that man wins, and that’s what he wanted is to keep me quite and for him to get away with whatever he was trying to accomplish that night."
Since then Brianna has vowed to help others, she remains a strong, independent woman who wanted to bring awareness to other women who may have experienced anything like this. In 2014 she got married and welcomed her son in 2015, they give her a reason to fight for what is important in life. it is time to do something, this didn’t happen for any reason! She felt that "something good has got to come from this!” So she hosted a Walkin’ The Park to End Sexual Assault as her first fundraiser event and all proceeds went to Family Services for them to use in their victim’s advocate program. This year she is back at it, along with a group of close friends have created a name for themselves #WeAreFearless and they are hosting a dinner event on April 26th at 6:30 in Clemmons at The Barn at Taglewood Park! Tickets are available for purchase until April 19th.
Here are some words from her. Thank you for listening to my story and how I’ve overcame this obstacle in my life. That’s right; it’s just a speed bump, not a stop sign! Use what you’re going through or went through to help others and encourage them and it will end up helping you more than you know! If you aren’t comfortable with that or don’t think you’re ready, try writing it in a journal first to get your thoughts out then when you’re ready, start to share! I know this isn’t a domestic situation, but I still want to encourage you that you’re not alone and you can get through whatever situation you’re in!
Although mother nature decided to bring us a lovely day of rain it did not keep people away. We had such a fun night networking and meeting new friends. Thank you to everyone that came out to support us and participated in the event, we look forward to bringing more amazing evenings to Winston Salem in 2019! We have a great venue and swag items for March, hope you can join us.
Camel City BBQ
Jacquie Pane with Mary Kay
Emily Stessman with Paparazzi
Starla Nichols with Color Street
At the beginning of these pregnancy I vowed to eat healthy and continue working out at the gym whilst maintaining my strength through yoga. Well what would you know I haven't done a single thing in 6 weeks and it is so hard to find the motivation to start again. This cold weather along with the rain we are having is miserable and I am officially in a rut! I am sure I am not the only one who is wishing to maintain their health but is having trouble knowing where to start and so I have been on the hunt for some great online resources to share with you. I personally LOVE working out when I have the motivation and have always loved yoga but have never been dedicated to continuing it long enough to see any real improvement, but this week I am determined to do something! Once you get into some good healthy habits you feel so much better physically and mentally, they also say summer bodies are made in the winter!
Here are so great ideas for you all:
Yoga with Adriene
Pregnancy work out (2nd & 3rd trimester)
Prenatal Barre Workout
30 Minute Cardio HIT
Fun Hip Hop Tabata Workout
30 Minute Barre Workout
Low Impact 30 Minute Cardio
Today has been one of those days where I take a look at the society we live in, the lack of humanity around us and how we are failing as human beings. Working in education has always been a passion for me, I love seeing children grow and their love for learning. But for me it goes much further than the basic skills and subjects we teach them during their time at school. I want to make a difference in a child's life, my philosophy has always been that if everyday I can make a difference to one person I am doing something right. Now although I am talking about children here I believe that we have the capability to help someone everyday no matter what our career field and our financial situation. Sometimes it is the simple things like telling someone they look nice, to have a nice day, take the time to tell them thank you, make them feel appreciated and do something to give back. Together was a particularly hard day for me at work. Now because of my position I cannot go into details but let me just tell you that I will never understand how any decent human being can purposely hurt someone, especially an innocent child.
I am sitting at home right now after a warm meal with my family, with a roof over my head and in a household full of love. But there are so many people whose situation is far different from mine but yet they do not have the voice to speak up for themselves. Or worse yet they do eventually stand up for themselves yet the police or social services do nothing but place them back in harms way. It breaks my hurt to know that there is nothing I can do to make it better, nothing I can do to take their pain away and so all I do is offer them a trusting ear, a safe place to communicate and a kind hug when it is needed.
As humans we sometimes need to take a moment to remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs,. There are our basic needs of water, warmth, food, rest, security and safety. Then we have our psychological needs our longing to feel loved, belongingness, friends, family and our esteem needs. Finally we have our self fulfillment needs where we can reach our full potential and achieve out dreams. Now imagine those basic needs as pillars that hold up our life, take them away then our life is out of balance or even worse it would fall apart without support. That is what is happening to people all around the world today, in our local community and in the schools in our area. It upsets me that so many people are capable of making a difference, to take a step forward to help someone who is struggle and instead they carry on about their daily routine. I had a fellow employee once ask me if I would rather work with the good students, the ones who listen and do their work. I was quick to answer that no, I would always rather work with the troubled the kids. These students are the ones that require extra time, I have to invest time to build trust and relationships, they may cuss at me but at the end of the day to me these are the students that need me. Over the last few years in my position I have been cussed at, had tables/desks thrown in my room and although it is crazy to say but most of those kids who acted that way towards me are my favorites. Because eventually we established a mutually understanding relationship, I felt that I was making a difference and I would not change a thing about the job I do.
Now I know that my story has got a little off topic but with the recent stories and politics that talk about adoption, abortion, the immigrant situation and the homeless people in our country. It reminds me of an old saying, that charity starts at home, no one person can fix a situation but if we each made a little effort everyday to make a difference in one persons life a day. Them the world we live in would be a much more brighter place! We need to take the time to teach our children to see the beauty in the world and those around us, the teach them what humanity and morals are. Because recently I look around and I see humans but I see a lack of humanity!
Our January event was a huge hit! Thank you to everyone that came out to support us and participated in the event, we look forward to bringing more amazing evenings to Winston Salem in 2019!
Fiddlin Fish Brewery
Kelly Benson with Rodan & Fields
Avery & Maude with CycleBar
Taina Norris with Mary Kay
Debbie Baisden & Emily Saunders with Momsanity
Rhonda Johnson with Primerica and Limitless Empowerment
Marissa Faircloth with Restoration Med Spa
Forsyth Family Services
It is hard to believe that we are already 11 days into the new year and for many of us that may mean new opportunities, resolutions and starting fresh. But for many women and children in our local community this means something completely different. This month we are supporting Family Services of Forsyth County, I am sure most of you have an idea of what they do to support people within our community but did you know that they have:
Here are a few things that the Shelter staff shared as needs:
Towels, Sheets—all sizes—the Shelter has twin beds, but other sized sheets can be used when women move out. Pajamas—for all sizes, women and children. Household cleaning products and basket for organization—to provide to families when they transition out of the shelter into their own home, diapers and wipes. They appreciate new linens and clothing (pjs), but can accept towels and sheets in very good condition.
Please bring any donations you can afford to donate to our first event of 2019 @ Fiddlin Fish Brewery. January 16th from 5:30 - 8:30pm.