Jae and Avi Back-to-School 2012

I can feel my throat becoming scratchy and it’s taking a little bit longer for the sun to come up in the morning.  The temperatures are dropping and the leaves are a’changin.  My heart is pounding with excitement as I think about what all of this means.  My dreams are literally unfolding in front of my eyes as I think about my beautiful little boys getting ready to go back to school and continue the progression of their academic futures. 

My s/o and I went shopping for them a couple of weeks ago.  Avery picked out a bright orange Jansport and Jae chose a more sensible navy blue bookbag.  It literally took us 20 minutes for their father and I to buy their school clothes this year because they are wearing uniforms at their new school.  Uniforms…which I love because of the ease of getting them dressed in the mornings.  Uniforms….I love because of its cost-effectiveness.  My s/o and I scored a great deal on their new sneakers and bought them more sensible sneakers than I have chosen in the past.  No shoe strings because I am tired of untied shoes or torn shoelaces. 

This year just feels…different.  I feel like my s/o and I have finally gotten the hang of this parenting thing.  It only took us 8 years but by golly, we’re finally getting it.  I know 8 years sounds like a long time but when something is changing so drastically almost every year, 8 years is nothing.  I remember when I first brought my oldest son, Jae home.  He was this squirmy, beautiful little newborn who couldn’t keep his head up in his carrier carseat.  His hair was straight and laying on his head and very black.  Unlike his little brother, Jae’s eyes were opened almost from the very beginning.  He was always looking around, so curious and still the same way today. 

Two years and 4 months later, Avery arrived just as calmly as he is today.  He wouldn’t open his eyes for 2-3 weeks and I seriously thought something was wrong.  His hair was sparser than his older sibilng’s and much curlier.  Like most mothers, I remember both of the days my sons were born like they were yesterday.  I remember having Avery and knowing that our family was then complete.  Jaylen had a sibling and my s/o and I had the second child we both wanted.

Now Avery is going to 1st grade and Jaylen is heading to 3rd.  And I am already sad because this is another year that will bring them closer to getting older and a little less dependant on mommy.  I always know they’ll want me around to some degree but one day, they will no longer need me.

Open house is today and I am counting down the minutes while I am at work.  I can’t wait to socialize with the other parents and meet the school’s staff.  Jae may be allowed to join band and strings this year.  Their dad and I have also signed them up for swim lessons.  Schedule permitting, Jae might be playing basketball.  He has been begging to play since he was 4. 

This is a big year for us.  Our little guys are growing up so fast, so smart and so strong.  I love sitting back and watching them progress is this big, crazy world.  I love living in this world through their eyes of trains and cars and dreams and inspiration.  They are an inspiration to me to be a better mommy and a better person.  Jae with his ready smile and Avery with his ever-calming demeanor.

I love my little guys.  Here’s to another successful year.

Peace. 😀

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What black women REALLY think about interracial dating

First, let me say, this is a discussion that I am SO SICK of that I felt it was time for me to address it, as a Black Woman.  I get tired of reading articles that I don’t believe quite describe my feelings when it comes to interracial dating.  I’m tired of being misrepresented.  I know black women who are being described in those “angry black women” articles but I’m not one of them.

Most of you know that I grew up in VA because of my About Sammi section.  Let me fill you in on life in northern VA.  Life in Virginia was/is a blast!  I had great friends and went on to become popular through middle and high school.  There was a lot to do.  My family and I were always doing super fun things like going to Luray Caverns, VA beach, playing frisbee in DC, riding huge rollercoasters at Kings Dominion.  As a young black girl, I could literally want for nothing.  My parents were divorced but they loved my siblings and I so much that life was always good.  I was in gymnastics, a cheerleader and ran track.  I was always athletic and had an active social life.  I went to the best parties and my mom let me drive her car.  She worked nights so her car was practically mine.  I lived a pretty coveted life.  I was never as skinny as the other females and that was a slight issue for me but I knew I had a great body because boys/men were always trying to talk to me. 

Nevertheless, dating in VA was interesting.  I grew up in Manassas then we moved to Manassas City and the black boys/men mostly dated white girls/women in Manassas City.  Manassas City was more of the bougie (stuck-up) side of town.  My mother moved over there to give us a “better” quality of life but I liked my life just fine where I was in Manassas.  My mom felt Manassas was too “ghetto” after she saw a drug bust go down across the street from where we lived.  She couldn’t move out of Manassas fast enough after that and now, seeing her vision through the eyes of being a mother myself, I can completely understand her perspective at that time.

The kids in Manassas City were more mature, more sexually active and just all-around different.  I used to go to parties down the street from my house where everyone was having sex and my mom had no clue.  The girl’s house that I would visit did not have any parents present.  I’ll call her “that girl” for the sake of preserving her reputation.  “That girl” was raised by a single mother and her mom would always go out of town to be with her boyfriend.  I think I might have met her mother maybe once.  I remember the first time I went to “that girl’s” house, there were people everywhere.  Children of all races.  I hope they were all kids but some of them did look old enough to be men.  Once again, another story for another day. 

I didn’t even know who half the people were because I had just moved to Manassas City.  I knew some of the faces but I didn’t know the guys personally.  This party basically consisted of the “cool, popular” crowd and I don’t think I fit in at all but for some reason everyone always loves me.  That’s another post on that subject….lol. 

As I entered middle school, I learned very quickly that I would not be able to find a boyfriend in my school in Manassas City.  All the black boys dated white girls and I only dated black boys and that math just didn’t add up.  If anything, the math (and way of thinking) cancelled black females out.  I never considered dating outside of my race.  I was a military brat growing up, primarily, in the 80s and 90s in northern Virginia and I wasn’t raised to dislike any race but interracial dating was just something I wasn’t used to.  I saw white boys who were cute but I thought they would reject me if I tried to suggest us going on a date, so I never asked.

I typically dated black guys from Manassas (the other side of the tracks), Alexandria, Woodbridge, DC…pretty much more-predominantly black areas where black males preferred dating black females.  But it was crazy to grow up somewhere knowing that none of the black males wanted to date me.

Due to the fact that I was angry and annoyed that black males did not want to date me, I started to experiment with different races right before I left high school.  I went on a date with a Filipino, a hispanic male and a Greek guy.  They were all pretty nice and cute but I felt no real connection or like we had much in common so those relationships were short-lived.  I thought I would never be able to find a man outside of my race who would “get me” so I went back to dating black men exclusively.

I went into the Army and began to date more black men but I started to date more of what I considered “exotic” men like Jamaicans and Africans too.  I guess you would call them non-American and that was exciting for me.  I fell in love with their accents and their different cultures.  I loved their dominance and passion that Black American men seemed to lack.  I also feel that the way black boys treated me growing up caused me to almost disassociate myself from them as I grew into a woman. 

                                                                                                                                                 

I am telling you my whole dating history because I want you to understand my logic and my way of thinking, my pain and why some women are hurt when they see black men with white women or women of another race.  I used to resent white women when I saw them with black men, it brought back feelings of how the black boys I grew up with treated me like I wasn’t good enough to date.  They made it clear that they wouldn’t mind sleeping with me but we would never be in a relationship.  The way black boys treated me as I grew up made me feel like I was not attractive and that white women (and women of other races) were more desirable than me.  I grew up thinking that wome of other races must be more attractive than me because males from my own race didn’t want me.  I don’t recall seeing males of other races dating outside of their race so I figured it just meant black females were the less desirable race. 

However, as I got older, I learned that all men are pretty much the same.  Men who want someone who is easy, goes after females who are easy.  Men who want relationships will take you more seriously, no matter what the race. 

Another revelation that I remember from childhood are the black boys who wouldn’t date me because they claimed white girls were willing to do things or put up with things that I wasn’t willing to put up with.   This was the case when we were children and where I grew up.  I can’t speak for other situations or locations in the world.  And if you’re wondering where did I get this information…black boys told me that information so it is not perception.  They said black girls had too much attitude and weren’t willing to experiment as much sexually.  Black girls were basically seen as prudes.  Thanks, Mom and Dad…lol.  No, I’m kidding.  But my family raised me not to be loose so I just wasn’t and I wasn’t going to change to get a boy to date me.  No thanks.  

I always prided myself on not caring what people thought of me and I vowed never to change who I was for a man.  I am a strong believer in compromise but completely turning into someone else so a man will be with you is ludicruos and makes it very clear that you don’t love yourself.  I had my issues as most people do but my parents taught me to love and respect myself and that’s something I always carried with me.

As I got older and began to date outside of my race, I learned that people date whomever they are attracted to, have sexual chemistry with and who they feel most connected to.  I begin to become more attracted to men as men and not as black, white, Filipino, etc.  One day, as I became more of a woman, I started to simply see a man as a man.  And that was the first day my eyes (and mind) really opened.

So now when I see black men with white women, I smile at them because they look happy and I am happy for them.  I love to see people in love.  There is so much hatred in the world.  It’s nice when I see genuine love and am in the presence of true love.  

I am now in love and he just happens to be a black American.  I didn’t seek him out because of his race or nationality.  We fell in love and I became pregnant with our youngest son and we’re happy and he “gets me”.  And he loves my son that I had before I met him like his own son.  If my boyfriend was white, Asian or any other race then that would have been OK too.  I guess I needed to understand what black males saw in other races to truly understand how an interracial couple could be together or why they would want to be together.  I always wondered how interracial couples dealt with racism.  Would other races ever truly be able to support black Americans and the history/baggage that comes with us?  I have seen beautiful interracial couples that work so I guess love does conquer all and every race comes with its own baggage.  The most important aspect is the love, respect and support and none of those see a color.

I used to be one of those angry black women when I was younger and uneducated about the subject of love.  Now I see clearly and I’m OK with it.  It’s funny though because now the black men I see in the Whole Foods or walking down the street with their white girlfriends/fiances/wives seem to be more uncomfortable when they see me.  Why is that?  Again.  Another topic for another day.

I think next time I see that couple, I will smile at them to let them know that there is a black woman out there who understands and doesn’t care who the black man chose to date.  The beauty of being an American is that everyone has a choice. 

                                                                                                                                                  

Peace! 😀

I’m the girl who hides in the bathroom…

Hi, fellow bloggers and readers and followers!  It’s me again, Sammii.  I have been feeling so inspired lately with the best ideas of things I wanted to talk about.  This is one of those, I-don’t-know-if-this-is-just-me moments but here goes!  My office is FULL of office drama.  I work in the IT field so I usually work around men.  I always wished I could work around more women because working with a bunch of men comes with its on set of issues but man drama is different from woman drama. 

When I worked with majority men, there was a lot of casting me out of the “good ol’ boy” club.  I had to eat lunch alone and didn’t always get support on IT questions that I had.  There was a LOT of cockiness and men thinking they were better than me.  Some of those men would even steal my ideas and pass them off as their own.  When I stood up for myself, I was the “irate black woman” not the strong woman standing up for herself.  My male coworkers refused to give me any credit.  Then, of course, there was the proverbial uninvited flirting that I had to put up with.  I didn’t want to seem too uptight for fear of being even more outcast, so I played along even when I secretly wanted to gag.

That saying, “be careful what you wish for because it just might come true” comes into play at my new workplace.  I started working for my current company about 6 months ago.  In the first few months, I have seen cattiness from young adult women to middle-aged women.  In just the first two months, I have seen at least 3 women have a breakdown and cry.  I have heard unwanted gossip and was definitely the subject of some of that gossip as some of them were so happy to gossip to me and inform me.  What does anyone have to gossip about someone who they don’t know?  I have NO clue.  And it’s negative gossip, not just idle “Who is she, we want to get to know her” gossip.

Eventually, I started to withdraw.  A couple of months ago, one of my coworkers moved cubicles and now she sits behind me.  She is quiet and kind of preppy/bohemian like me.  We were both raised partially in VA and we instantly bonded over religion, hair products and fashion. 🙂  She is so quiet but everyone likes her, sort of.  One guy told me that he finds it difficult to talk to her.  “Why,” I wondered?  I talk to her all the time.  I guess it just comes down to who you feel connected with and who you have something in common with.

It’s funny though because when I go to the bathroom now, I have found myself waiting until everyone leaves to avoid uncomfortable silences and/or small talk. 

The characteristic of my work situation that is also interesting is: my coworkers are also my customers.  I work right alongside the people who I support.  So if they are disgruntled about the service I provide or the system I maintain, I have to hear about it as much as I prefer not to.  Who wants to hear that there is something wrong with something they have been hired to maintain?  Maybe it’s my cocky IT side or maybe I am just too sensitive.  And the fact that I am right here, the comments come one and all.  I hear someone griping about my system at least once a day. 

If my users/customers/coworkers are unhappy with my system or something I said to them, it is hard to pretend everything is OK when it isn’t for them and it sometimes isn’t for me.

I am the ONLY IT professional in my office.  No one understands what I do and I have no one to bond with over what I do.  Yet they expect me to know their job AND mine.  And they all make higher salaries than me so how does that seem fair. 

Needless to say, I am the girl who hides in the bathroom.  I hide in the bathroom sometimes to get a break from the craziness.  I have learned that “out of sight, out of mind” keeps you “out of trouble”.  I hide in the bathroom when I am feeling bored/sleepy.  I’ll take a 10 minute hiatus or so then return to work a bit refreshed.  And I hide in the bathroom when I am waiting for “mean” girl…err women…to leave.  So there you go.  I am a black woman who has the same fears as any other woman.  I am not a b*tch or catty.  I don’t gossip and I don’t have anymore attitude in me than any other woman especially given my circumstances.  I don’t want to get the pity party but sometimes it’s hard being a Black woman in Corporate America.  I have feelings and I’m human.  I wish people could see that and not just the color of my skin.  To me, the racism and stereotype is so dated. 

Peace! 🙂

Denim is Making a STRONG Comeback!!!!

I was shopping online just now for more Toms shoes because I am addicted.  I think Toms might be akin to Keds in the 80s but with a bohemian, charitable vibe to them.  I saw these AWESOME denim Toms in Womens and at first I thought, What would they go with?  Hellooo!!!  It’s DENIM!  Everything!  LOL.  It’s just my practical side has not quite met my fashionista side.  I am a mother of two little boys and have been so practical for so long to save money and get more wear out of all of their clothing (and mine).  But just recently, as I get more comfortable in Motherhood and get the whole shopping/saving thing down, I am realizing how I can have more fun with my wardrobe without breaking the bank…every mother’s holy grail. 🙂  I am feeling like old Sammii again when things didn’t have to match perfectly and when I could put on pretty much anything and feel good about it.I was footloose and fancy-free back in my childhood days.  Now I am getting back to that girl again.

Recently, I have seen denim popping up everywhere.  Denim shirtdress (too cute!), chambray tops  which would work perfectly with my pink capris from Gap and now the denim Toms that are absolutely scrumptious.  I must admit that I have shied away from purchasing the denim items because I have been wondering how logical will the purchase be.  Will I be able to wear the items to work and not get a look from my supervisor?  Where I work, everyone dresses pretty much in the typical corporate manner.  I feel like I am one of the few who tries to stretch the limits of our office dress code without compromising my reputation (and judgement). 

So what do you all think?  Is Denim making a comeback especially this year or have I been under a rock for the past couple of decades?  I would love to hear from you.  I know as a mommy,  I can sometimes get lost in mini people land and I don’t know what is coming and going….lol.   I would love to hear your opinions. 

Peace! 😀

 

Toms in New York

I just bought my first pair of Toms in NY!!!  I’m a strong believer in giving back to people in need, so it was awesome to get to buy a cool pair of shoes that gave back to an impoverished community. 

I bought the black Toms eventhough I was leaning towards the perforated Toms. The fit isn’t primarily created for a wide foot so I had to go almost one size up.  It’s so funny because there is a “W” inside of the shoe.  I asked the saleswoman if the “W” stood for “Wide Width” and I could tell she was holding back a little laugh.  But she seemed to have to think for a second then she told me, “No, the ‘W’ stands for ‘Womens’.”   I asked her about the option to buy a Mens shoe in my equivalent size but they didn’t carry a size small enough for me to buy Mens.  A little backstory:  When I was a teenager, I used to buy Men’s sneakers all the time to save money plus I thought the boys shoes looked cooler than the women’s.

Ok, back to the present.  🙂  My excitement was deflated a little as I tried to fit my foot into the cloth shoe.  But I was determined to buy my Toms THAT day. 

First, let me explain why it was so important to buy my Toms at that moment.  My feet were killing me after walking all over New York in my sandals.  I NEVER bring the right clothes when I travel.  My significant other (s/o) and I are trying something new where we pack the bare minimum.  But because this is new, I don’t have the process completely down yet….lol.  So I NEVER check the weather BEFORE we leave for the trip.  I am always unhappily surprised when we get to our destination and it is either too cold, too hot, too rainy, too SOMEthing for the clothes in my suitcase.  And I am NOTORIOUS for doing this on our trips to Ohio, my s/o’s home state.  I don’t care if I bring 10 outfits for two days, I can guarantee you, I will have to buy a raincoat, jeans, shorts, a t-shirt, something.  I don’t know if that is just me but I can never get it right.

The second reason I wanted to buy my Toms that day in incredibly sunny, perfect weather New York is that I am a HUGE believer in fate. 🙂  I believe if the stars align and things feel just right, then it MUST be done.  If it is not done then I believe something in the universe will not be right in my future.  This may sound crazy but some people call it “following your gut” and when I don’t follow my gut, things do go wrong. 

The third reason is when I travel, I like to buy things to remind me of my travels.  I feel like it makes my wardrobe more exotic and it’s nice to have that memory of a place I travelled to with me on my feet, around my neck, on my wrist…a peaceful reminder of why I go to work each day.  I like my job enough but I love to travel and have adventures.  I wouldn’t be able to afford to do what I love without going to work.  But while I am sitting in my cube with my impeccable scarf around my neck, I can smile to myself and think of my travels so far from where I am sitting right now.

The fourth reason is that the sign was RIGHT THERE.  Brands and I were walking along the street and I saw a sign hanging that had Journeys then I saw “Toms”  amongst numerous other brands on the sign and I knew that was it.  I ran inside, dragging Brandon in tow and was instantly in my element.  I don’t usually shop at places like Journeys.  I feel like I am an old fogey and I like to shop at more grown-up stores now like Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Banana Republic, etc. 

But there is this side of me that will ALWAYS be bohemian no matter what career I have or what I feel I have to wear to work to get ahead.  Truth be told, if I could wear long tiered skirts and flip-flops to work and still get the corner office, I would.  I have been bohemian my whole life.  Kind of like a nomad too because I have traveled my whole life, either as a military brat, being in the military myself or marrying military.  Then my s/o got out and we are still on the search for new travels and new experiences.  I guess it is in our blood.  We love where we live but we constantly have that itch to take to the roads, skies or seas.

So there I am, sitting down, trying on a size 8.0 when I wear a 7 typically because I was THAT determined to give back to children in need, wear my new Toms from New York AND give my feet a much-needed break.  I was finally able to fit the 7.5 but after wearing my shoes for a couple of hours in NY then back on the road to VA, I think I could have gotten away with my usual 7.  The cloth seems to stretch a bit, not a lot after a few hours of walking through NY but enough for me to feel like I could have dealt with my tight 7s until they gave way some. 

I also bought a distressed bookbag from Journeys for bike rides and happily went up to the salesgirl who was singing out loud.  Everything about my first Toms experience was perfect.  It was quirky, it was random, it was in New York and they had my size for the shoe I wanted.

I changed my shoes right in the store and placed everything into my backpack.  Then time I walked out of the store, my foot began hurting.  I think because the muscles of my feet were adjusting to my new shoes.  The muscles in my feet can be weird and they are often hurting depending on which shoes I choose to wear.  Anyways, I walked through the pain after sitting for a minute then my feet were fine for the rest of the day in my new Toms.  I look forward to many adventures with my new Toms and I’m glad a child will be enjoying a new pair of shoes because of my purchase.  You can’t beat all that goodness in a matter of 20 minutes.

Peace! 😀

New York-Bound!!!

Brands and I are headed to NY for the first time and this is my first blog so this is a time for firsts! 😀

Our sons, Jae and Avi, are at their grandparents house so Brandon and I decided to grab this time to do something adventurous.  We both have somewhat serious careers in a high cost of living area.  Raising 2 little boys in that type of environment can make anyone more serious than they were say 10 years ago…LOL.

But 2012 is MY year!!!! I said that in January and it’s been an EXCELLENT year so far.  I went to Disney World for the first time this year, got back with my kids’ dad (we decided to work things out….another blog, another time for that story 🙂  And now I’m headed to NY.  I am SO excited to bring you all on this trip with me.  Let’s get it!

Peace!

Hello world!

Hello World!!! Welcome to Life with Sammii!!!! I am uber excited to be here with you, sharing my journey. I started my blog because I have things to say, I am inspired and I want to have a voice. Sit back, relax, people, on Sammii’s couch. We’re going to discuss kids, relationships, racism, my natural hair journey….ALL of life’s incidences as seen through the eyes of a Modern black woman in America. And NO topic is sacred. I hope you enjoy!!! I love hearing from everyone so feel free to post what’s on your mind. I wouldn’t put my voice out there if I didn’t want to get you all thinking and talking.

Peace! 🙂

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