Bon Voyage! Leaving on a plane to Paris!

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Written on 3:53 PM by gracefully discovering:

Tonight I am leaving to go to Paris, France (on a 9 hr flight) with 13 of my wonderful students from YES Prep Southeast.
I will be gone for 10 days and am very excited. I am looking forward to dispelling some of the myths that I have heard about the French.

1. The French are MEAN and RUDE
2. The French drink wine with all of their meals...and the kids too!
3. Everything in France is hella expensive
4. French people smell bad
5. French women don't shave under their arms
6.A person visiting France must speak fluent french in order to survive
7. All French people smoke stinky cigarettes
8.. French people hate Americans.

I am going to France very optimistic and hoping that these myths are in fact only myths and not TRUE!

I'm very excited because I'm meeting up with my pen pal who lives in London. We have been friends since 1998...we were matched up by our exchange teachers in 9th grade. She did a great job of making sure that we kept in touch throughout the years...so I cant wait to see her. We have met twice before...she spent thanksgiving with me and my family in 2002 and she came to my wedding in 2006! We are gonna party around Paris like it's 1999!!!

I will be sure to post pics and let you all know what I found to be true in France as soon as I get back in town!

France, here we come!

need to get it together

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Written on 1:56 AM by gracefully discovering:

somebody help me realize that i have about 36 hours hours before i leave for france...and i should be all packed up by now...but im not. i'm not at all. i have thrown some clothes in my suitcase..but i keep taking them out and putting different clothes in there. ive made several checklist...only to not go and get the stuff that i have on the checklist. maybe monday morning i will feel a sense of urgency. i mean, dang...im going out of the country for 10 days...to a place where the dollar aint worth shiznit....and im not trying to get over there and have to buy anything that i could have and should have gotten while i was sitting here procrastinating.
(deep sigh) i need to get it together....quick fast and in a hurry. maybe after church tomorrow i'll get my act right.
lol...help me!!!!!!!!

stay at home mom...OVERRATED

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Written on 11:23 PM by gracefully discovering:

I have been bored as hell at home this past week. I find myself leaving the house...only to go to Target and roam around like a lost puppy!
It's so funny because I was telling the hubby that I would be a terrible stay at home wife....all this week- he comes home from work..NO FOOD COOKED and the HOUSE THE SAME WAY IT WAS WHEN HE LEFT!
Good thing I got a job...because he would have probably ditched me by now! I just be chillen at home! Watching TV, surfing the net,halfway packing for France, playing with Ryan....errythang but doing what stay at home wives are supposed to do!
So all i'm saying is- when I have kids..they are going to school..and I am going to work. No stay at home mommy for me. I ain't gone be able to do it!

National HIV testing day

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Written on 9:37 PM by gracefully discovering:




Tomorrow is National HIV testing day.


If you haven't already been tested (and even if you have) please go out tomorrow to your nearest location and get tested.

My first HIV/AIDS testing experience was in 2003- a sophomore in college. I was attending a Founders week program put on by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Lambda chapter (i was just an eager interest at that point). One of the Delta'a (my soror now) asked me if I was going to get tested. My initial thought was- "I don't need to get tested..I've only been with one person (who is my husband now) and I know I don't have HIV...because we are each others only partners."

But because I was VERY interested in this WONDERFUL organization...I got tested!
Did I get tested because I was interested in finding out my status? nope
Did I get tested because HIV is an epidemic that is affecting people who look just like me and are my age? nope
Did I get tested because it's important for anyone who is sexually active to get tested and know their status? nope

I GOT TESTED BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE A DELTA!

So tomorrow, I am going to get tested for every reason that I didn't get tested the first time!
Although, my situation hasn't changed...I have still only been with my husband...and he with me...we both are going to get tested.

So grab everyone you know...both folks in monogamous relationships and those who are in not so monogamous relationships!

This is serious and people are getting infected daily.

Don't wait- KNOW YOUR STATUS!

shout out to my ship Billye dka F.L.O.E.T.I.C

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Written on 5:32 PM by gracefully discovering:







So one my beautiful and talented ships (line sisters for anyone who isn't from the midwest) posted this poem on her blog and I love it because it's so real, open and vulnerable. I thought I would share it with those of you who maybe wouldn't stop by her page...but feel free to check her out erry now and then! http://rhdschlr.blogspot.com/

naked: stream of consciousness
nappy hair covers my forehead which
gets awfully greasy for no reason at all and
i've been fighting the battle for flawless skin since
the summer of fourth grade when i got chicken pox from my best friend quiana and
everytime i eat a piece of dark chocolate pudding cake
i think about how long its been since i hit the elliptical
with my knocked knees
and i swallow harder and faster,
make the indulgence all the more sweet
learning not to attack myself since
i've long since stopped counting the number
of men i've slept with
and remember the ones i've loved,
with my whole spirit not just body parts
and the ones that loved me back, calling me
best friend, niece, sister, cousin, the daughter i am grateful for
remembering to call my mother for advice that never made sense when
i watched her struggle through abuse,
yet now carefully examine her trajectory
from widow to matriarchal diva
share the wisdom with my sisters
without having to prove how smart i am
to disguise how dumb i've been
laugh at myself
become the perfect extroverted introvert
and no one has ever really seen me boil from anger
because i was told to be stronger than those who misuse me
and when i was afflicted the screams bellowed inside
so that no one has ever really seen me cry
except that one time when i offered you a penetrated soul
oh, and maybe that one other time when you didn't see me balled up in the right corner of the couch...so now
when i throw my hands up in Solomon
drowning my face in tears of desperation
i feel the pulling of my heart toward God
allowing His peace to sing to me,
His favor to promote me
His word to strengthen me and i scream out louder
because somehow i still feel like used and abandoned broken body parts
numbed with spiritual schizophrenia
moving through miracles that i can see but can't hold
i can smell but cant taste
i can taste but cant swallow
and i settle for that fat piece of dark chocolate pudding cake
questioning the mirror which always contradicts how beautiful you say i am
because i can not live in your mirror
with my forehead which is quite greasy and my skin which is not flawless
and my mood swings are scorpion and i muster a smile and speak a promise, that i can be transformed
by the renewing of my mind... but today, i'm tired.

We have a baby boy!

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Written on 4:16 PM by gracefully discovering:

NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS DID I THINK THAT I WOULD HAVE A DOG....AND NOT ONLY A DOG...BUT A DOG THAT LIVES IN MY HOUSE!

Last week...I spent several days at the Houston Humane Society in an attempt to find the perfect dog to bring home to my husband for his birthday. He has been asking for a dog for quite some time...and I felt bad because he always gives me EVERYTHING that I ask for...and I had been kinda playing him about this whole doggie issue.

So....I decided to stop being selfish...and get a dog for my husband...bc after all he would have done it for me.
So anyway- I end up at the Humane Society- because (they are cheaper) and there are so many dogs that need good loving families :)-

Now, we had already talked about the kind of dog that we (he) would want....Boxer, Beagle, Lab, Golden Retriever...thats it!

Well neither of them were available at the shelter...so I almost gave up. I mean, I had picked out a few dogs..but there always seemed to be a problem...either they were adopted, super aggressive, or not the kind of dogs I thought they were!
Then this nice little lady introduced me to Ryan. I had been talking with her a lot that week...telling her what I was looking for and that this would be my very first dog EVER...so she said that I might like Ryan bc he would be a good first dog to have. My first thought was...is there really ever a good first dog to have?!

But anyway, she takes me to the kennel a little further down- where they keep the dogs that have been there a while....and there he was!

The cutest little reddish/orange doggie that kinda looked like a wolf. She goes to take him out of the kennel and..he doesn't bark...just politely comes out and gets on the leash (good sign #1). We go outside so that we can get to know one another...and he plays really well....he lets me pet him and he didnt even jump on me (great sign #2!)...and he didn't try to bite me (super great sign #3)

We played for about 45 minutes and he had bamboozled me.....he made me fall for him!

So I went to the front and filled out the application to take Ryan home.
This was Ryan's story on his profile sheet
" Hi, my name is Ryan and I am a 17 week old male chow chow mix. I was found on the side of the road and some nice person brought me to the Humane Society. I am loving, kind and love to play. I am looking for someone to take me to a loving home. Please take me home today"
Needless to say, I bought Ryan home on Thursday.....now Nick tried to act really excited...but I could tell something was up...HE DIDN'T LIKE RYAN! Ryan wasn't the dog that we had talked about...so he was a bit throwed. See Ryan is a Sheba Inu and Chow mix! (not a Boxer, Beagle, Lab or Golden Retriever). But just like Ryan bamboozled me...he bamboozled him too...HE FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM! (even after contemplating taking him back to the Humane Society)

Now it's official, Ryan Richardson is our first child..a part of the Richardson clan for life!

He is such a good dog too..very lovable...doesn't chew on stuff and stays exactly where he is supposed to be...anywhere but on the carpet! (until he is trained).

He still doesn't bark much...but I don't think he will do much of that.

And he is doing well on his house training...even though he had 2 accidents in his crate :(

I think I want to buy him a t-shirt!!
I'll be sure to keep you all posted on Ryans journey through life...as well as document my experience with my very first dog!
Say hello to RYAN SANFORD RICHARDSON. (Sandford came from Sandford and Son because he looks like a red fox!


10 Things I want to do before the summer is over

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Written on 4:08 PM by gracefully discovering:

1. Potty train Ryan ( our new dog!)
2. Finish 3 scrapbooks
3. Read at least 4 books for pleasure
4. See my nephew Deylon and my niece Alyssa
5. Lose 10 pounds
6. Get my kitchen faucet replaced
7. Get my car windows tinted
8. Get my hair dyed
9. Learn to make good lasagna
10. RELAX

been MIA for a minute....lo siento

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Written on 9:25 AM by gracefully discovering:

So working in education has its perks! I am OFF OF WORK for then entire month of June and a few days in July! I'm loving it....I don't think i'll ever leave....well....not for now anyway!

I have been enjoying my break...sleeping in, spending time with family and reading my book club book...which isn't all that good...but the reviews say that it'll get better soon. ( I feel bad because I picked this book and I know my friends are probably suffering just like I am...dang)


Anyway, I was in Atlanta for about a week. I spent a lot of time with my mom...and the funny thing is...she didn't get on my nerves NOT ONE time...which is very unusual for us. I normally can last...maybe 3 days..maybe! But I was with her everyday...almost all day for about 6 days! We had a lot of fun together...maybe it's because....hell I don't know what it is...and I can't even sit here and try to come up with a lie! But I do know that me and my mommy had some great times together this vacation and.....i'm happy about that!
Here are some photos to prove that i'm not lying...bc im sure that some of my friends won't believe me!
Me and mama hanging out "shop-looking". It was fun...drinking the almighty stomach killer...but for some reason I just gotta have it!

Me and mama getting a spa pedicure! She was too excited when she realized that the chair had a massager on it! In heaven...that girl!

BUT the thing that no one is really going to believe...my whole family (minus big brother Fadale) was together. Got a picture to prove that too....see!


yep......that's him.....MY DAD WAS THERE! So I only have 2 pictures like this in my whole young adult life....well since I was about 9 years old. So thats my mom, baby brother Nico, the fabulous one, my dad and my younger brother Frisco. The Rivera clan....I guess! (can you call it that if the head Rivera wasn't quite around???!!)

Anyway, also during my time between Atlanta and Augusta...I may have caught a small smidget of the "i want a baby" bug! Look for yourself


3 different days...3 different peoples babies!!! So to remedy this bug....I came to Augusta to hang out with none other than...my personal birth control himself.....ol KJ. He puts me right back in place....not ready for kids!

I am enjoying my time in the great state of Georgia! My husbands birthday is tomorrow. I sure hope that he likes my gift! Tomorrow, we are going to Huntsville, AL to hang out with his childhood best friend and his girlfriend! I'm excited because I like both of them a lot.

So come Monday, i'll be back in action...blogging regularly because i'll be back at home...relaxing, sleeping in, reading and trying to scrapbook! Any ideas on how to do a really good scrapbook?? Please leave comments, photos or whatever you have! Preciate it and Peace.

Oh and Billye, how dare you say that I don't read your blog....honey I get on your page errytime I get on mine!



Today I am proud...VERY PROUD

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Written on 10:06 PM by gracefully discovering:

I AM SO HAPPY TO BE ALIVE IN THIS HISTORIC TIME IN OUR COUNTRY AND IN OUR LIVES.

Tonight, Barack Obama SECURED the Democratic Nomination and words cannot express the happiness that I feel in my heart right now. I wish my grandparents were alive to see this....to witness a BLACK MAN become the democratic nominee for the President of the United States of America. This is truly what all of the mothers and fathers of the civil rights movement gave their lives for...spent days in jail and endured beatings from people who were not ready for change.

People like Ida B. Wells, Shirley Chisholm, Fannie Lou Hamer, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, the Little Rock 9, the Greensboro Four, Rosa Parks, W.E.B Dubois and Malcolm X - to just name a few of our people who stood up and fought for change in this Country. Thank You! Thank you for paving the way for Barack Obama to be able to run for President.

We are living in a day.....a new day where a woman and a black man can run for the President of the United States. WE HAVE OVERCOME!



This picture was taken in 2004 at Chicago State University with myself, other CSU students, President Daniels and the man BARACK OBAMA himself!

I am just really excited tonight...for Barack and his family, for this Country, for the Democratic party and most importantly for Black people across the world. This is an awesome time for black folks! Now, when little kids say that they want to grow up to be the President of the United States- THEY CAN REALLY BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE THAT CHANCE!
This is a moment that we all have been waiting on.

Today I am proud...very proud!