Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Love Dedications

Kids that grew up in the 80's and early 90's know all about radio dedications. In Hawai'i, the evening love dedications on the radio started at 8'ish. It could have been 9 but I'm pretty sure it was 8:00 p.m. The DJ always signaled the beginning of his show by playing Love Songs Are Back Again by Band of Gold. (I embedded the YouTube video at the bottom of this post.) I think of it with great fondness. Listening to the DJ send out messages from one person to another before playing a song always tickled my brain. I wondered the circumstances behind the dedications.

You would hear any combination of the following messages:

"This goes out to Jay in Pearl City from CeCe. She's thinking of you and hopes you're thinking of her too."

"Shawn wants Karen to know how sorry he is and that he is going to do whatever it takes to show you how much he loves you."

"Happy Anniversary Jake. From Lisa. Let's celebrate this weekend."

A song would play that the DJ selected to go with the dedications. I remember hearing Just Once by James Ingram a lot on the radio in the early to mid-80's. Almost Paradise from the Footloose Soundtrack. Endless Love, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. At such a young age, I couldn't have understood the lyrics the way I do now but the music certainly was beautiful. The lyrics of love songs have taken on new meaning now that I'm in my 4th decade of life and have suffered more broken hearts than one person should. But I lived to hear the nightly dedications back then. As the years wore on, the dedication songs gave way to You Are My Lady by Freddie Jackson, Through the Fire by Chaka Khan, and Whitney Houston's Saving All My Love For You, Still Say Yes by Klymaxx.  There are so many songs that I could name that would take me back to the 80's and those late nights, laying in my bed, listening to the radio. The love ballads captured the different nuances of being in love or consequently, falling out of love.

I would write out love dedications in my journals. I actually broke out the journals that had all the love dedications to see what songs I was using back then.

February 16, 1989
TO: 1989Crush
SONG: Forgive Me For Dreaming by Elisa Fiorillo
MESSAGE: Forgive me
I bet this song brings back memories for those of us that came up in the late 80's. It reminds me of specific moments in time that I wish I could relive. Childhood was so free and chock full of brand new experiences. Love. Like. Hurt. Crush. All kinds of new emotions. My cousin and I would sit in her garage and listen to this song on repeat. We would talk about our secret crushes and all the guys we thought were cute. I miss the innocence of it all.

February 20, 1989
TO: 1989Crush
SONG: Tender Love by Force MD
MESSAGE: Here I lay all alone
The piano introduction of this song certainly takes me back to the 5th grade. There are two specific memories attached to this song, for me.
**First is the movie Krush Groove. The love scene between Sheila E. and Blair Underwood just about knocked my 10-year old socks off. My parents did not let us watch this movie. I had to sneak to watch it. I don't know how we happened upon the video but we got our hands on it. If only real life love scenes were like this one. It was beautiful. Tender!
**The second memory attached to this song -- 5th grade Class Trip to Camp Erdman. It was the night of the flashlight dance and there was an earthquake somewhere in the pacific which prompted an evacuation due to a tsunami warning. Growing up in Hawai'i, surrounded by nothing but water, tsunamis threats are just what it is. We evacuated away from the beach to Waialua High School where we played games until the all-clear was given. When we went back to Camp, we still had our dance and I remember Tender Love was most requested.

The only time I ever got through on the radio to make a dedication was in 2002. I can be certain of a date if I look it up in my handwritten journals because I distinctly remember writing about it. I was on my way to work, driving from Mililani to Waikiki on O'ahu. I worked for the Hilton back then and I was listening to the Frank B. Shaner Morning Show. Frank's show (I can call him by his first name and I'll explain why) was a Hawaiian music program. And if you have never heard his show, he is a crack up in an old-school Hawaiian style way. Consider my surprise when I saw a picture of him and he is on the lighter shade of Hawaiian with features to match. When I get through to talk to him, I tell him that I want to send a shout out to my dad working in the plant nursery at such-and-such place. He asks me my dad's name. I tell him. Low and behold, we're related! I'm skeptical because I don't recognize his name but after the conversation I definitely went through my family history and found his mother's obituary. What a small world and that was the green light for my dedication to my popps. I can't recall the song but it was a good one. Indeed love dedications can include shout outs to family.

I heard a song this morning on the Steve Harvey Morning Show on 101.3, the Big DM, Columbia, South Carolina. Ne-Yo's Good Man came on. Of course the tune is catchy. He samples D'Angelo's (Untitled) How Does It Feel. Using that song already hooks every single woman that has ever seen D'Angelo's video. But the lyrics. The lyrics that Ne-Yo penned for this song is so simple and so beautiful. I heard his interview with Steve Harvey when he released this song and he explained that he wrote this out for his wife. I think he said wife. I don't keep up with celebrity gossip. Ne-Yo explained how his girl told him from the beginning all of her deal-breakers when she is dating a man. He was so impressed. I am assuming because of her high standards. And the song is a result of how he wanted to be a better man for her.

Having said that, let me close with this. This is what I want from whatever man is brave enough to love me for life, maybe even forever. I want him to promise me the things that Ne-Yo talks about:

I ain't nowhere near perfect but I promise,
I promise to make it all worth it
Giving you the things to be the man you're deserving
Making sure you're smiling
Way more than you're hurting
Taking my time to hear you when you're talking
Remindin you how bad you are often
Keep them legs shaking
Making love and making sure you understand
That's in my plan
Said I just wanna be a good man, good man
To you girl, That's all I want to be
That's all I want to be baby

I wait for this love dedication to come my way and I hope it will stay for all the days of my life. Let this be his declaration to me and be the reminder that prompts him when he's feeling trapped in our relationship. Surely, years of being together with one person can certainly get dull. The hope is always that he will not give up on us. That he will find the strength to resist outside forces. I know that I don't want to grow old alone. I can see clearly me sitting in a rocking chair, on a porch somewhere, seated across the love of my life.... whoever he is. We're old and gray and STILL only have eyes for each other. I pray this will be me one day. And I pray that my heart will never be broken again.

Friday, April 13, 2018

You Think You Pretty?

My friends and family say that I am "feeling myself" a little too much lately. According to them, my excessive selfies on my social media is the manifestation of me "feeling myself" a little too much. People text me or message me about it. Honestly, I don't really care what people think anymore. Does it hurt when my closest friends say I just want attention? Sure. But what they think of me is really none of my business and it has taken me all of my life to get to this point. I am no longer in the business of having to explain myself to anyone or to somehow feel bad for "feeling myself" a little too much. And honestly, I want to surround myself with people who are positive. I'm not saying NOT to tell me your honest true feelings but let it be constructive and not meant to tear me down. Certainly as I move toward living the dream, I will need people to help ground me and keep me authentic but as I said, let it be positive and constructive.

I was raised in a culture that demanded humility and absolutely NO outward expressions of vanity. I am 42 years old and I am still desperately trying to overcome the idea that honoring my beauty is bad. I am sure that many Samoan girls and women can identify with this. I grew up getting berated for trying to be "beautiful". My mother, her mother, her sisters would call me "cheeky" if I spent too much time in the mirror. The result was me being very uncomfortable with my femininity. It was easier to be a "tom boy" and mimic the actions of my older brother because he was almost honored for his brawn and his physical attributes. If he played flag football, I wanted to play flag football. He wanted Jordans, I wanted Jordans. Even my selection in clothing looked like his - very boyish and masculine. If he got a duffel bag for his football stuff, I wanted one instead of a purse. Eventually I embraced my femininity in my late teen years but the transformation was very awkward.

It was the day of my senior prom the first time I let my mother take a tweezer to my eyebrows. She had wanted to do it several times before but I absolutely would not let her because she had discouraged it so much in my childhood. And now that I was turning into a woman, at least physically, I just didn't trust that she wanted me to be beautiful because she didn't want that for me when I was a child. Well, that's not entirely true. It's not that she didn't want me to be beautiful. It's like she didn't want me to know that I was beautiful?!

My mother actually graduated from beauty school. She loved doing hair. I have pictures of me as a child with beautifully coiffed hair styles that were far too grown up for me. It's funny how these coming-of-age experiences stand out in my memory. When I think of the tweezing experience, I am immediately transported back to that moment in time. I about died from the pain of it and only allowed her to do one side. This is why you will NEVER see me post pictures from my senior prom because I only had one eyebrow shaped and plucked. The other side was my normal. I think I destroyed most of the pictures from that night anyway. Several months after the prom, after I had graduated from high school, I was sitting in a friend's home in Carson, California. She was my bestie at the time. We were talking while she plucked her eyebrows. It was at that very  moment that I decided to finish what my mother had started.

I have spent a good portion of my life trying to understand why I was discouraged from honoring my beauty. Even now, it feels funny to refer to myself as beautiful. My mother's insistence on modesty in the way I dressed and how I behaved is probably a reflection on her upbringing. Thus, it was the only way she knew how to mother me. As a grown woman now, I can understand some of her reasoning but I wish she would have fostered my self-esteem and help me to appreciate my reflection and my body. Instead, I was shamed into behaving a certain way. I will never understand the use of shame as a tool for control. It has such terrible side-effects that lasts long into adulthood. I know it sounds like I blame my mother entirely for the way I interpreted her mothering. That is not entirely true. She did the best she could with the tools she had.

Being teased by other kids had a large impact on my self esteem also. On so many occasions I remember getting dressed for school, feeling pretty as I walked out the door. As soon as I got to school, one particular boy would ALWAYS tease me about something and most times it had to do with the way I looked. And in typical bully fashion, he was the instigator in his group of friends. His friends would giggle and laugh at his remarks at my expense. I had no words to defend myself. Even now, my eyes well-up with tears thinking of how he made me feel. I think if I had the confidence to know that his words didn't matter, I would not have tried to disappear into the wall whenever he was around. Surely, I tried desperately to stay out of his way. I didn't have thick enough skin to deal with his put downs. Maybe things would have been different if the women in my family helped build me up instead of tear me down. Maybe I would have been stronger to not take to heart what the bully was saying about me. We will never know.

The old me would turn into a shrinking violet if someone was to tell me, "You think you pretty?" Really, the person asking the question is insinuating that I think I'm better than everyone else and that I am really not that pretty, else why would he or she ask the question. "Do you think you're pretty? Cuz you're not," that is the real meaning of the question. I know it sounds strange but in my 'hood, where I'm from, this is a typical reaction to a beautiful person. It reeks of insecurity and a touch of jealousy. I know very attractive people that have asked that question, "You think you pretty?"

The new me has no patience for anyone that wants to stifle my enthusiasm for my reflection. And if you ask me that question today, "You think you pretty?" My answer is emphatically, "Hell yeah! I do think I'm pretty. I'm gorgeous. I am beautiful." Really? That is so shallow. My physical appearance is not even the best part of me. And as I step out from behind the shadow of my childhood where being beautiful was somehow dirty, I refuse to let anyone tell me different. Hell Yeah, I think I'm pretty!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spring Fool : Chasing Forever Edition

April 10th used to be a very special date to me. I suppose it is still special since here I am blogging about it. Ahhh maybe it's just a day for me to remember old love. I met my first love on this day many moons ago. It was all very magical and I was swept up in such a crazy whirlwind of new feelings and emotions. I was just 18 years old - so young and tender and brand new to grown-up love. He was so apprehensive of whatever was developing between us, and I, I was head over heels for him. I don't know what it is that makes people fall in love but there's nothing like it. Physical attraction leads to spending time together and before you know it, you are falling helplessly down a rabbit hole completely unable to stop gravity.

Here I am 24 years later and I have noticed the same pattern when I fall for a guy. The fireworks and the magic of new beginnings make me foolish. I overlook all the things that might be potential "red flags." Well, I don't actually overlook them and it's not that I don't see them, what happens is that I place those red flag behaviors neatly in a compartment in my mind that says, "I can change that." And maybe that's not something I should do anymore or maybe it's part of my charm? I have a thing for building up my man. My closest friends say that I pick "Project Men" - my selection in men need some shiny-ing up to take the roughness off of their edges. I don't mind that. I love that I can be a positive influence with the man I intend to love. A man should be so lucky to have a woman who supports him and pushes him to his greatest heights.

Even if I am attracted to "the project men," the last thing I want to feel is judged for my selection. Nothing anyone says can actually steer me away from my bull-headed stubbornness. I like what I like and nobody has to understand my choice or even agree with it. In fact, everyone thought I was a fool when I married my ex. Everyone was so sure that we were going to fail within the first year and, I can't lie, it was a rough first year. Hell, we had several rough patches. People thought I had made a big mistake and that it was too soon from my last relationship. They said that we didn't really know each other. It didn't matter because all of the comments came after he and I had already run away to Illinois to get married. We lasted thirteen years before he called it quits and I complied. The last thing I wanted was to stay with a man that didn't want me. But here is what I know. Here is the secret. If there is anything I know about myself, it's that I know how to be a good wife but more important, I know how to be a good partner. I know how to build my man up and shiny him up for all the world. I know how to support him and I know how to take charge when I need to. I am the difference. And so what if everyone judges my choices. Nobody has to understand it.

I know that I always talk about love and I'm obsessed with relationships and the dynamics that happen in marriage and now in my single-ness. I don't know if the topic is redundant but I do know that LOVE isn't going anywhere. It will always be a part of the human condition; how we want to cohabitate and nest and ride this road called life with a loving partner. I don't think I will ever lose the desire to share my life with someone. April 10th, every year, reminds me of new love and how much of a spring fool I am. But even though I've been hurt before, I will never lose my enthusiasm for finding someone to share my world with, to chase forever with. Even though it terrifies me to give my heart away again, I still want to believe that someone out there wants to give me the world. Someone out there wants to love me completely. He wants to be my protector, my provider, and wants to be by my side through every joy and every pain. I know he's out there maybe looking for me too and I just have to believe that love will find me again and this time it will be forever. #iStillBelieveInLove 

Buyer's Remorse

My last post I briefly mentioned that I was buying a house. Since I made the offer and it was accepted, I have felt nothing but STRESS. Feeling stress is NOT what I need in my life. And it occurred to me, just now, that the STRESS is an indicator that I don't agree with this purchase and that I should NOT move forward with purchasing a home.

As soon as I turned that over in my head and came to a conclusion, I called my Popps to get his take on the situation. I explained to him the stress I feel about purchasing this home. With a very matter-of-fact attitude he said, "Get rid of the stress." With that response, I felt good about the decision I made and I have stopped moving forward with buying a home here in South Carolina. It's just too soon. My father was actually very thrilled that I had changed my mind of buying a home in South Carolina. I know he is hopeful that I will return to the islands soon or at least closer to the west coast. I cannot. Not just yet. I have so much to do! And I just love the South. I have always loved the South in comparison to anything out west.

The confusion I felt after making the offer on the home really threw me. Isn't that what every one wants? The ability and the opportunity to purchase a home. I suppose under different circumstances, I do want that. But right here and right now is not that time. Part of my apprehension with buying a home here is that it locks me in and I am committed to this place. I don't even know if I am staying here in this place. I know how to live conventionally. That's what I just escaped from. I don't want a life of convention and conformity to the rat race of a job and bills. I am still relatively young. I feel young. I have NO OBLIGATIONS right now. None. This is a moment in my life, ripe with opportunity. To change the outcome of my life, I have to make different decisions and take risks that I have previously shied away from.

My dissatisfaction with my job is a recent development. I am very under-utilized for the amount of skill and talent I have. I am not modest in that area. I know exactly how good I am at what I do. So I am looking for growth, more money, but more than that, I want to make my biggest dreams come true. A part of me is grateful for the small work load I have because it does afford me a lot of time to pursue other things. However, while I'm making the dream happen I need to make more money. That means that I am actively looking for a better paying job. So... UNIVERSE... put it in my lap. I will wait.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Best This World Has To Offer : My Dad

I have been away from the blog for quite sometime. I was down with the flu. I can't remember the last time I was this sick. I pride myself on maintaining my health but this flu had me all the way down. Having endured this attack on my respiratory system has put me in the mindset of getting healthier than I've ever been.  My father is my example of the picture of health. He turned 75 this past October and he's like wine - getting better with time. His skin, his vitality, the sharpness of his mind, no need for medication -- of all the things I could wish for from my father, I hope I inherited his good health genetics. And there is a lot my father can offer but as I age, may I age exactly the way he is aging. This picture of him was taken yesterday. A dear friend took a pic with him and posted it on Facebook. I cut her out of the picture because I don't have her permission to post her picture. I don't have my dad's permission either but I don't think he'll mind.

My father is so talented. He can do anything. When I was little, he fixed all our cars along with his best friend, Unko Bubu. (Random fact: My best friend's nickname is BooBoo also.) He can paint beautiful scenes, oil or acrylic on canvas. He can fix anything. He can grow anything from acres of tapioca to acres of papaya trees, hundreds and thousands of papaya seedlings, hundreds of ti plants, noni plants, areca palms, anything you can think of - he can grow it or nurse it back to health.

He can play music though he will never admit it. He can sing though he will never admit that either but give him the microphone at karaoke and pick a song for him like, "After the Loving" by Engelbert Humperdinck and he will blow. His mind is sharp and full of so much information. He tells the best stories too especially the spooky ones. He can cook. My memories of my childhood are filled with dishes that he made for us that are now my comfort foods. And though I can make them similar to him, they will never be the way he makes them. Never. He can lay cement - watch the video below where I tell the story of how he did the concrete slab for a shot put ring my senior year in high school. #GoBigRed

He can build concrete walls. My little brother crashed into the neighbor's wall and my father fixed it. You can't even tell where the damage was done. He is a well-trained Karate master of the Goju-Ryu practice. He studied Siu Lum Pai Kung Fu under Sung Au. I think his dedication to martial arts makes him so limber today. I never feel afraid when I'm with my father or even if he's miles away because I know that all I need to do is call him and he will come running. On so many occasions, his wisdom and his spiritual and emotional strength has guided me through my darkest days and I've had plenty of them.

When I think of the best thing that this world has to offer, I think of my father. You would think that I would have remained in Hawai'i to make the most of the time that we have left together. I cannot imagine him ever growing old or ever needing me the way I need him. Yet the reality is that we must all pass through the portals of death into a new birth into the universe somewhere. My theory of the path of least resistance places me here in South Carolina right here and right now. Ideally, I flow like water never struggling against myself but moving with the waves and the currents over stony paths and still waters. After announcing my divorce back in September 2016, I told my father and he has been a pillar of strength for me as I navigate my way around this single-woman thing. He is ever worried that I have no one to provide for me. I'm grateful that I have been able to provide for myself but more than that, I have a strong and steady support system that holds me up. I am truly blessed.

I did not intend for this to be a tribute to my father and yet it is a very shallow one because there is no way I could encompass my lifetime with him in this short post. Yesterday he called me and said, "Babe next week there's going to be X-amount in the bank account. I want you to use it for whatever you need for your new home." This past Tuesday, I made an offer on a home and it was accepted. Tentative closing in thirty days then it's mine, all mine.

I don't know how long I will be here in South Carolina but for the time being I'm going to stay put and try going at this thing all by myself. I miss my family and my whole life in Hawai'i, the friends and my Red Raider loyalty, the beautiful ocean, and all the things that are so familiar to me. It's scary as hell but there HE goes, my dad, making sure that I'm not really alone. The idea of silence and solitude in my own house is almost scary and yet I crave it so that I can focus on my writing. I don't need 1,600 square feet. Really, I probably only need about 500 square feet and yet the path of least resistance has given me the 1,600 square feet. I came here with eleven bins, the clothes on my back, a very broken heart, and a mind full of big dreams. And now the eleven bins are about to expand into a full three-bedroom house and more stuff. My heart is still a little banged up (it keeps me humble) and my mind is still full of big dreams but I'm here. I'm trying to place one foot in front of the other and move toward the life I was destined to live.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Final Day: Green Love Giveaway

Green Love Giveaway: Day 4 Winner

This is the winning picture that won the $40 Amazon Card. There are a couple of reasons that I selected this picture. The green is in the background -- the coconut leaf and also the man's shirt. All the dancers in the pic are near and dear to me but ESPECIALLY the chubby cutie with the glasses. I will never ever forget that girl. She left us on February 11th, 2001 - transitioned from this planet to the great somewhere out there in the wide universe. I talk about her throughout the blog but THIS POST is one of my favorites.

There will never be, in this life, another friend like Michele (pronounced ME-SHA-LAY). You know in the Lion King when Simba runs away and meets Pumba and Timon? They regale Simba with Hakuna Ma Tata. No Worries! Our problem-free philosophy. That was Mish. Nothing bothered her and if it did, she held it deep inside and it manifested with cracking the funniest jokes and being the life of the party. I miss her. Wish she were around. Not only was she funny but she loved everybody and was NEVER mean. 

To my dear sis that posted the pic - thank you for reminding me of enduring friendship through the years. Love you!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Day 3: Green Love Giveaway FAIL

Green Love Giveaway: Day 2 Winner

Congratulations Shanna Padgett.

Look at that beautiful green background and her explanation. PRICELESS.

It's Always Love Season - Proposals

It's always love season on my blog and in my life. Steve Harvey's TV Show is never short on romantic proposals and over the top expressions of love.

I have been married twice, divorced twice now. The proposal and wedding for my first marriage was very traditional. I appreciate that. He bought me the most gorgeous ring. I don't know where it is today. After the divorce, I think I gave it to my mom. I don't recall and couldn't tell you where it ended it up. It was so unique and would definitely be an heirloom if it's still in existence. It wasn't gaudy at all. The diamond was just shy of 1 karat. Dainty and so very me. It was beautiful. He had never met my father until the day he asked him for my hand in marriage. I appreciate that he did that too. I had hoped it would be the dream wedding that would lead to a dream relationship that would last a lifetime but after 6 years of marriage, it ended. I have told the story a million times. Sorry. Not Sorry.

One of the sweetest proposals I have ever witnessed or been a part of was when my older brother proposed to his wife. It was at a church Valentine's dance. There were people of all ages in attendance from little babies all the way up to the grandparents. She was clueless as to what was happening. At the time, Titanic had just come out and Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On was popular. It is still a beautiful song today and every time I hear it, I think of when my brother proposed to his wife. They celebrate their 20th anniversary this year.

About mid-way through the dance, the music stopped and the lights came on. Cue special music - My Heart Will Go On. About fifteen minutes before, I gathered a bunch of kids and teenagers to help us pull off the proposal. I gave them instructions on what they had to do so when the music started, the show began also. Each person held a rose and a letter. They were to give the rose to my sis-in-law then stand with their letter. The letters spelled out, WILL YOU MARRY ME? It was so beautiful. All the ladies in attendance were in tears. It was Valentines Day. What a grand and romantic gesture. I know we have a video somewhere. One of these days I will post it. She was a blubbering mess. It was beautiful.

Anyway -- #iStillBelieveInLove. I always will. And I will find love again, big and bold and full of genuine affection. He's out there somewhere, maybe looking for me too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Day 2: Green Love Giveaway

Here is the Day 2 Challenge of the Green Love Giveaway!

Green Love Giveaway: Day 1 Winner

Congratulations Andrea Tenorio-Alo on submitting my favorite GREEN picture on FACEBOOK.

Why did I select this picture?
-The colors are gorgeous... duh! LOL
-And breadfruit... come on... that's a winner, hands down.

$20 Amazon Credit on its way!

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Sunday Sermon Revisited: My Alabaster Box

Ten years ago I wrote a post about a passage in The King James Version of The Bible, Luke chapter 7, verses 36-50. It is still my most favorite scripture because of the message of forgiveness and acceptance. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that my niece performed, "Alabaster Box" by Cece Winans at the Nu'uana Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. This song is about my favorite scripture and the experience of the woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears. My niece did a wonderful job showing her lower range. One day, hopefully far ahead in the future, she will really come to feel the meaning of the lyrics.

I am not a very religious woman. Even though I have attempted walking the path of a disciplined life, the woman I am today feels so constricted by religious edicts. The God I worship should make me feel free and not imprisoned by ideals. The macro view of God and the Universe is so much larger than one can comprehend. In a multi-verse of infinite possibility, why would God limit praise and worship to one way and one system? I will never understand this. Blame my pride or maybe my limited vision but I believe God is so much more than can be contained in religion. And yet, I admire the eternal principles and positive values espoused by writers in all religious texts from the Koran to the Bible to the way of the Tao and everything in between. I admire devoted parishioners for their perseverance and dedication to their selected path but at this point in my life, I am just an admirer and a student of spiritual and eternal thought from all "isms."

Forgiveness is such an important part of personal growth. Though I was raised in a staunch Christian home by a very strict Samoan mother and I was taught that I needed to confess my sins to a servant of God, I do not hold that belief today. I believe that each of us have a "God/dess" factor inside of us. It is part of our being. We are Gods in embryo and thus forgiveness of short-comings must happen within and not from an external element.

This song, Alabaster Box, is a wonderful story of forgiveness and the joy that comes after finding unconditional love. Forgiving myself for my indiscretions and shortcomings doesn't mean that my past is wiped away. Rather, forgiveness means that I love those parts of me and vow to make better choices moving forward. I could never look back at my life and wipe away the times that I thought I was "sinful." Some of my most favorite memories happened during those times. The most personal growth happened when I evolved out of those times and I would never wish to wipe them away. They are facets of who I am and help me to be compassionate and non-judgmental of someone else's path toward enlightenment.

I am drawn to these lyrics in the song:

Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry then with my hair
You weren't there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his loving arms around me

Our personal sacrifices to give up who we were is no one's business but our own. And as we bow to whoever it is we worship, let it be because we feel deeply in our spirit that the time to change is at that moment and the time to release all the pain of our suffering is held in that moment. And then we let go and move forward. We love those parts of ourselves that we felt so conflicted about whether we think they are sinful or ugly, embrace that as another facet of our being that makes us more kind and more compassionate. There is no room to hate any parts of ourselves. It bars us from feeling unconditional love for us and anyone else that might be struggling with the same issues. God is love. I am love. You are love.

So today's Sunday Sermon is about opening up your own alabaster box to tuck away all the pain and sacrifice to be shared one day with someone who frees you from it.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Guns In An Ever Changing World?

It's been 18 years since I last wielded steel and ammo. Today I  passed the Concealed Weapons Permit course that now allows me to apply for a concealed weapon permit in the State of South Carolina (and 20 other states). I took the course from Richardson Security Consulting. Russell Richardson is the instructor and makes the content of the exam and gun-handling very simple to understand. The course consists of a 50 question exam that covers the laws that govern concealed weapon permits in the State of South Carolina and a 50-round qualification course where you must hit your target at 70% or better.

When I was 19 I lived in New Mexico. That is where I discovered the power of a gun. My boyfriend at the time introduced me to a lovely little 380 pistol. We would go out into the desert and shoot a couple of rounds into the sand dunes. The desert landscape of New Mexico boasts miles and miles of open space and it was the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of shooting. I still remember like it was yesterday, the power in my hands, the sound of the gun when it lit, and how crazy scary it was. When he exited my life, my gun-toting days were done. Going to a gun range dug up old memories of him and I and I just couldn't do it. He was such a special man in my life and before today, I had not picked up a gun since we parted ways.

I don't believe the world is any crazier than it was in the wild, wild, west. In fact, I think it is still the same. The only difference is that we have social media and an ongoing news loop via CNN, MSNBC, FOXnews, etc. that creates a divide in the general public and selectively sensationalizes themes and stories. One should really consider all angles outside of what is regurgitated on the news magazines.

Short and to the point - I do not intend for this post to be a pro-gun, pro-2nd amendment rant. Not at all. Although I respect the people who tout the 2nd Amendment, that is not my motivation. There is only one truth that I accept - I am in charge of my safety and well-being! I will not give that power up to someone else. Being free to carry a gun is one avenue that I have to protect my well-being because, as I stated, I am in charge of my safety!! I pray I will never have to use deadly force but should the matter arise, I would like to be prepared. Hand to hand combat is another way one can prepare for people with ill intent. One particular memory in my life would have a different outcome if I had been prepared. I have talked openly about being raped. Though it was a private struggle, I share my experience that others might be able to dig from beneath the shame of sexual assault. But that is a different discussion for another day.

Another thought that keeps me in the conversation of protecting my right to bear arms is the fact that anti-gun laws are meant for law-abiding citizens. Criminals will acquire and use guns whether or not there is a law to bar its use. Thus, I should be able to protect myself if I should cross paths with someone trying to harm me. Deadly force is not something I am comfortable with however, I rather be ready than to wait for an officer of the law to arrive on the scene. If an officer's response time averages thirty minutes -- that's about 29 minutes and 45 seconds too late. A gun-wielding person like myself is fully aware of the consequences of gun use. I would NEVER use deadly force unless it was absolutely a life or death situation.

Today, as I was doing my 50-round course, my nerves were a mess. The power of the gun, the sound, the weight of the firearm was all very overwhelming. The sound of the shots from the other participants on the range was also very nerve-wracking. The gentleman next to me was very experienced and was popping off rounds one after the other in succession so quick I had to stop and catch my breath. I am happy to say that I hit my target 47 times out of 50. The distance varied between ten and 30 feet.

Every thing changes and yet every thing stays the same. There will always be unsavory elements in society and there will always be good people willing to be "the good" in the world. I stand with people wanting to be "the good," people who want to do good, who want to express kindness and compassion. I hope that part of me never changes. Me wanting to be a responsible and knowledgable gun owner will never change that about me. Gun ownership does not mean that I do not sympathize with those who have lost family and friends to gun violence, it just means that I want to be one of the good guys that is ready should a crisis arrive.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Black Panther: A Brief Hawaiian History Lesson and Such

This is a movie review but not really. This is my reaction to Black Panther, the Marvel Comic movie that was just released in theaters. I'm sure you have read all the reviews by prominent journalists and you've watched all the trailers and all the interviews of the cast, the production crew, and the creative staff. But this right here is MY reaction to the movie as a Pacific Island woman.

I think the movie is fantastic whether or not the cast and crew was all-Black or not. I know this has been a source of pride for the African-American community. And they should feel proud and see the possibility in it. There are no limits but the ones that we place on ourselves. The true treasure and the beauty of good story-telling is that the story applies to all people, across all cultures, and socio-economic statuses. The entertainment value can be had across the board. I am not a huge Marvel Comic fan. I don't know all the stories of all the super heroes. I couldn't tell you that Black Panther marries Storm or any of that without someone else telling me. And I don't usually enjoy super-hero-comic-book movies. My ex can testify to the fact that I actually fall asleep in movies like this. However, what piqued my interest in this movie is the fact that the superhero character was not-White.

When I was a little girl, there wasn't anyone that looked like me on T.V. (There still aren't many that look like me but at least there's the Rock, Dwayne Johnson representing the Samoan community. My mother is Samoan and my father is Hawaiian.) I remember being so excited about seeing Tisha Campbell on Rags to Riches. Around the same time, The Cosby Show came on the scene, A Different World, and a slew of other shows that featured not-White people. I say this only to make the point that I was looking for representation in the media. I was looking for something that I could identify with, people that looked more like me, whose experience was similar to mine.

The victory of this movie is that it embeds in the rising generation of not-White people, especially African-Americans, a sense of pride and identity. I remember my ex-husband doing a DNA test from ancestryDOTcom. He being a Black man from Alabama, the difficulty of tracing his roots back to Africa through a paper trail was next to impossible. The DNA test was the best bet to figure out where, exactly, in Africa he is most likely from. The results came back with Cameroon and Benin. The elation he felt just knowing that he had a history outside of American culture was very exciting and I felt joy for his discovery. For me, I had many cultural practices handed down to me by both my mother and father. Rich traditions that I will carry with me until the day I die.

I was born in 1975 at a point in Hawaiian history where the mother-tongue was almost eliminated from the consciousness of Hawaiian people. Although English is the common language used in Hawai'i, it is NOT the language of the aboriginal people of Hawai'i, rather English is the language of the colonizer (United States). The late 70's and early 80's saw a renaissance of Hawaiian culture, the language was revived, navigation of the ocean was revived, cultural protocol and practices were revived, and pride in being a Hawaiian found new life. My father's generation was the first to assimilate into the American way of life. They were not taught the mother-tongue even though it was still spoken at home amongst the older folks. My father says that they were discouraged from learning it as they would need to learn English to be able to operate in America. He swells with pride when he sees his grandchildren speak the mother-tongue today as it reminds him of his childhood. 

The Hawaiian monarchy and Queen Lili'uokalani (lee-lee-ooh-o-ka-lawn-ee) was overthrown by the children of American Christian missionaries in 1893 with the full support of the U.S. Navy. The prominence and wealth of the children of these American Christian missionaries was had on the backs of laborers imported from China, Japan, and the Philipines because the local population (Hawaiian people) were unwilling to work the sugar cane fields. During The American Civil War, the North would import sugar from Hawai'i to cut off economic support to the South. It was a perfect opportunity for those Christian missionaries to profit off the War. This is the reason there is a large population of Asians in Hawai'i and the intermarriage between all the different races has diluted the Hawaiian blood quantum severely. By 1900 Hawai'i was annexed as a territory of the United States and in 1959 (my father was a Senior in High School) Hawai'i became the 50th State. 

In Black Panther we see a kingdom hidden from the world at the precipice of change. It's ability to shield itself from the outside world is probably the reason it was able to exist for millenia WITHOUT outside interference of their way of life. I point out the scene where T'Challa must release his panther powers and rightfully defend his claim to the throne. Their perfect utopic society is admirable steeped in protocol valued more for its tradition rather than necessity. 

I love the way this movie brings forward the strength of the feminine. In Wakanda, the throne is defended by an all-female army. The most poised, loyal, and fierce female warriors are charged with guarding the royal family and protecting the borders of the land. We rarely see this type of archetype in American movies. Most women are portrayed in the media a certain way. It is refreshing that the writers and directors saw fit to give women a powerful presence. 

On the flip side, what are the effects of the shifting gender roles? Recently, the U.S. military repealed regulations that barred women from serving in infantry positions. Women can now join an infantry unit and fight on the front lines in a conflict. Another comic-book-turned-movie, Wonder Woman, also portrayed female warriors. 

We live in an age where the clearly defined roles once assigned based on the sex of a person are being obliterated. What does that mean? It means that there are no clear gender roles anymore. One cannot assume anything about anyone based on their "chosen" gender. For instance, in the past the role of a man in a marriage was to be the provider and the protector. We see that going away as women are now career-oriented and make up a large portion of the workforce. In many cases, Women/Wives are now the breadwinners and some men are now "house husbands."  And now same-sex couples can enter into marriage, there can be no assigned roles based on sex. 

I cannot imagine what the world will look like in five or ten years when the clear gender lines have completely gone away. Generation X, my generation, ushered in this new era of blurred gender roles. We put the first women into the work force and our generation pushed women into College and University en mass. As women become educated and empowered, the gender lines have to go away. It is a natural cause and effect. Where will the millenials take this? Only time will tell.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hashtag Perfect Man

I still believe in love. That has been my hashtag as of late. Since the split from my husband back in
September 2016, I had to separate myself from the anguish and pain of lost love and remember that I have value even if he doesn't recognize it right now. And yes, I still believe in love even more now than I did when I was married. I have to.

I believe in the fairy tale. It's not like the Cinderella story where some fabulous Prince comes to sweep me off my feet. Although I would love it if one did, really what I see so clearly in my mind's eye is an around-the-way guy. He would be similar to my father. A jack-of-all-trades.

He's a family man that loves hanging out with my family as much as his own. If he has children, he's a good father that is close to his children and fosters a good relationship with his children's mother(s). It shows maturity when there's healthy co-parenting.

Of course he is tall, dark, and handsome. When I say dark, I really mean DARK.
Like Idris Elba DARK.
Like Djimon Hounsou DARK.
Like Mahershala Ali DARK.

My round-the-way-guy will be handy around the house. I can call my brothers and several cousins to come and fix my garbage disposal but if my man can do it, that would be wonderful. I am pretty sure I could figure it out or find a tutorial on YouTube but can't I just assign that to him?

This guy absolutely CANNOT damper my sense of freedom. I love to travel. I love to hang with my friends on girl trips. I am so trustworthy that me cheating should not even cross his mind when I am on one of my excursions. And if he is suspect it is an indication of where his mind is at and what he is capable of and not a reflection on me. One thing I am, without question, is LOYAL.

He will have charisma. When he walks into a room, he fills it with his presence without saying a single, solitary word.

He will have ambition. His dreams are bigger than life and he is in hot pursuit of them. And if his ambitions are not that big then he will step aside and support all of mine. I have enough big dreams to fill a couple of lifetimes.

He is athletic, loves sports, and is an outdoors man. He is high energy and enjoys physical activity. Although, on occasion, I like to lounge around and watch TV (very rare), most times I rather be out and about doing things outside. I love the ocean. I love the mountains. I really do love long walks and they don't have to be on the beach. I love camping, hiking, and skin diving, snorkeling. I love gardening and growing my own food. I would love it if a man could work the soil right next to me or be in the water with me.

I am a girl that is wild about new experiences. But the perfect man doesn't have to be wild about it with me, he just can't inhibit me or prevent me from exploring. He must trust me enough to NEVER damper my curiosity.

I have a B.A. in Philosophy. I studied the driving factors behind HOW people think. What type of lifestyle does one pursue to live the happiest life? God, sex, religion, politics have all types of "isms" to answer that single, solitary question - How do I live my happiest life? With that being said, I crave a really good conversation - one that pushes the boundaries of my mind. And my mind has a very large surface area of possible topics and ideas. I don't have an ABSOLUTE opinion on everything. Meaning, I am open to suggestions on almost every topic.

I don't need him to be a genius. In fact, there is something to be said about a man who is simple in his day-to-day routine. For a complex thinker like myself, sometimes a laid-back man is exactly what I need. In a conversation I had with my father recently, I was telling him how fast my mind goes thinking about opportunities and wanting to move on them, about wanting a partner that can think as quickly as I do. My father, the humble man that he is, simply said, "Do you ever think about how intimidating you are? I don't know many people that can keep up with your mind." I was so shocked that everything that came out of his mouth after that comment is lost on me. I'm not the most brilliant woman in the world so I certainly did not think that I intimidate people with my mind. I say this only to remind myself that I don't need a complex thinker just someone that is willing to chime in. In fact, the simplicity of a man's mind actually gives me a different spin on my complexity.

Here I am dreaming up the "perfect man," I think I covered the physical clear enough but vague enough to keep me open to possibilities. I think my mental requirements are the same - clear enough but vague enough. Here are my emotional requirements. And it's very simple - I just want a man to take care of my heart. A man that adores me and wants to see me succeed. He pushes me and challenges me but at the end of day will smother me with affection and tenderness and an occasional bouquet of flowers with sweet love notes to remind me of all the reasons he loves me. I feel like I have such a tough exterior and I move through each day pretending to be a boss. I want a man that can reign that in without dominating me but definitely being the head of the household.

Maybe he's out there. I'm sure he is. I will not search high and low for him. I will just sit back and let him find me. #iStillBelieveInLove

Thursday, February 15, 2018

WINNER! $100 Amazon Giveaway

Thank you everyone that participated on Instagram and on Facebook. This is the first promotional I have done and it is certainly not my last. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot as well. Keep reading and watching.

St. Patrick's day is coming up -- another fave -- because it's alllll GREEN. Green is my color, next to my Kahuku/49er/CrimsonTide Red. I will be doing another promo in March.

Congratulations to our winner Shanna Padgett! 
She left the most beautiful shout out. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

#iStillBelieveInLove - Valentine's Warm Fuzzy

It's love season. Valentine's is my 2nd favorite day AFTER my birthday. I think I have been so numb for so long that I am rediscovering how to FEEL again. I used to be so moved by romantic gestures when I was young then my heart got broken... twice. I think I've been living in a fog since my first divorce. And now... now I'm ready to feel joy again. #iStillBelieveInLove

When I work on a fiction piece, I try to think of the most over-the-top display of romance and write it into a situation. This proposal right here would qualify as an over-the-top display of romance but this is not fiction and that man is a real man. **insert heart eyes emoji** #iStillBelieveInLove

What makes it over the top for me is not the amount of money he spent. No. His monologue, that speech he gave, is like WOW. I don't know very many men that can articulate their true feelings like that or maybe I just hang around the wrong ones. I love to analyze and dissect everything and get to the meat of things especially when a man claims that he loves me. I need to know the whens and the whys. I need to know if there was something in particular, some small moment when I took his breath away. Not only does this man give this woman that, he tells her what he's going to bring to the table. His devotion. He wants to be the provider. He wants to show her sons how to love a woman.

I wish this were the norm - that a man can see beyond himself and want to be in a woman's life, come what may.
I wish this were the norm - that a man wants to be the provider, the protector.
I wish I weren't surprised by his eloquence.
I wish his ability to express himself was the norm across the masses.
I applaud the woman or man that raised this young man. What a gem.

When my ex-husband and I got married, a month later he was deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Army. I wrote him every single day and sent him care packages every two weeks. But what was so beautiful was the love letters that he sent me. I go back and read those and wish for that love we had back then. It is the stuff that dreams are made of. The romance, his proclamation of undying love for me still makes me swoon even though we're not together anymore. He would always end his letters "Your Husband Forever and a Day." Remember those butterflies? Remember what undying love felt like? If we could have carried that love we had back then all the way into today, that would be so powerful.

Happy Love Day everybody. It's my second most favorite day of the year. Love everyone that is still in your life. You deserve to be happy today and everyday. #iStillBelieveInLove

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentines Giveaway: Final Challenge

This is the final challenge.

Participate on my Facebook page and on Instagram. Join the conversation and your name gets entered into the drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card -- every time you participate!! 

I draw a winner of the $100 Amazon Gift Card on Valentines Day.

Previous Challenges:

Challenge #1: Take a picture of something you love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #2: Take a picture of your first love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #3: Take a picture of your favorite outfit. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove

Challenge #4: Take a picture of your friends. Use the hashtag 4everFriends and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #5: Share a picture of your favorite love movie. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove 

Challenge #6: Share a picture of what you love to do ONLY ON SUNDAY's. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove

Challenge #7: First Celebrity Crush. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove

Monday, February 12, 2018

Valentines Giveaway: Challenge #7

It's Day #7 of my Valentines Giveaway Challenge.

Participate on my Facebook page and on Instagram. Join the conversation and your name gets entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card -- every time you participate!!

Previous Challenges:

Challenge #1: Take a picture of something you love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #2: Take a picture of your first love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #3: Take a picture of your favorite outfit. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove

Challenge #4: Take a picture of your friends. Use the hashtag 4everFriends and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #5: Share a picture of your favorite love movie. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove 

Challenge #6: Share a picture of what you love to do ONLY ON SUNDAY's. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Strawberry Letter: 8 Feb 2018 Episode

Thursday, February 8, 2018 episode  of Strawberry Letter on The Steve Harvey Morning Radio Show was "I Think My Mom is a Side Piece."

A woman writes in saying that her mother has been in a relationship for 10 years with a man and has never met his children in all those years. The man has attended family functions with the woman's mother and is very generous with gifts for the family but he has never taken her to meet his children. The woman who writes in seems to think that her mother is having an affair with a married man. Steve Harvey and the rest of the panel agrees with the woman's assessment.

Tommy the show co-host asks, "What does the children have to do with their relationship?"

The woman who wrote in says that her mother gets upset when she brings up the obvious issue -- that the man is married and mama is just a side piece. However, the woman's mother and that man have been carrying on in this way for ten years. The assumption is that mom is "settling" for less than what she deserves. The moral and upright thing to do is to leave the married man alone. Of course that's the simple answer but that isn't the path that the mom has selected. She is obviously enjoying whatever it is that she has with her beau.

Since I have found myself single at the ripe age of 42 years, I can almost relate to what the mom is doing in that she is having a convenient relationship that serves her needs. She gets all the benefits of "having" a man without the commitment of marriage. She's not worried about the domestic duties that come within a marriage relationship. She's not rushing home to cook for her family, not cleaning up after a grown man, not doing laundry, not asking for permission to do things, not having to share her money, etc. Aside from him being a married man, I can see nothing wrong with this arrangement.

Having been married for all of my adult life, I have become very jaded with the idea of marriage. I put in so much work, so much of my heart into two failed marriages. I feel ALL THE WAY done with marriage. Don't get me wrong though, I love being in love but I don't have to be married to be in love. Prior to getting married, first husband and I had a very long courtship. From the time we met to when we got married was just about three years. We separated after four years then divorced two years later. He was my first love. After signing divorce papers, I met my second husband. From the time he and I met to the time we got married was just over seven months. Just shy of 13 years, he woke up one morning and told me he wanted a divorce. I explain this only to say that there is no magic formula. The length of courtship is not an indicator of a successful marriage. I also explain this to say that a marriage is a partnership that requires two dedicated people, committed to making it work through the ups and downs. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is the tough part. 

Steve's conclusion is that the mom will NEVER meet Mr. Right while she's dating Mr. Wrong. I can certainly understand that. I cannot say when or why I fall for a certain type of man. I just always follow my heart and my feelings and see it through to wherever it might go. My closest friends chime in that I fall for "project men" implying that I like a man that's a little rough around the edges. They need a little work to, according to them, become worthy of me. I can't call it. I love who I love. Certainly physical attraction is always the first thing that draws me in and that is probably the only common trait across my love interests.

I don't normally listen to The Big DM on my commute to work but a dear friend texted me and said I  need to listen in. She felt that there were some common themes with Strawberry Letter and my current love interest. Certainly, whatever he and I have is a little complicated and yet at the heart of it are two people that care about each other. I cannot say why he likes me but I can certainly gush about how I feel about him. And at the end of the day, we are two people with various life experiences. Why the stars saw fit for us to be together at this moment in time is yet to be determined. I see him, with all his complications, and I still choose to be in it. I know what I'm signing up for by being with him and today, I still choose to feel the way I feel about him. My life is much simpler and perhaps that is part of his attraction to me. I can't call it. People observing our relationship think he's all wrong for me. He is the Mr. Wrong preventing me from meeting Mr. Right, as Steve Harvey put it.

But what does Mr. Right look like for me? When I spoke to my father about my current love interest, his only question to me was, "Is he nice to you?" Emphatically, he is very nice to me and I get butterflies in my belly when I think of him. There is no pain associated with him; no broken hearts to speak of. When we're together we laugh without any pretense and truly enjoy each other's company. I have longed to feel that happiness for a long time. The simplicity of my father's question made it very simple for me to decide to continue on in spite of the complications of a relationship with my love interest because he is nice to me and he makes me smile. I feel like a teenager all over again - the raging hormones and the puppy love feeling even though we have progressed beyond that phase, I still feel it and I want to hold on to that feeling for as long as I can.

Valentines Giveaway: Challenge #6

I can't believe it's DAY 6 ... Challenge #6 of my Valentines Giveaway.

Participate on my Facebook page and on Instagram. Join the conversation and your name gets entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card -- every time you participate.

Previous Challenges:

Challenge #1: Take a picture of something you love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #2: Take a picture of your first love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #3: Take a picture of your favorite outfit. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove

Challenge #4: Take a picture of your friends. Use the hashtag 4everFriends and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #5: Share a picture of your favorite love movie. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentines Giveaway: Challenge #5

Wow -- late challenge... but here we go anyway.

Participate on my Facebook page and on Instagram. Join the conversation and your name gets entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card -- every time you participate.

Previous Challenges:

Challenge #1: Take a picture of something you love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #2: Take a picture of your first love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #3: Take a picture of your favorite outfit. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove

Challenge #4: Take a picture of your friends. Use the hashtag 4everFriends and tag me @loveneenalove

Friday, February 09, 2018

Valentines Giveaway: Challenge #4

Good Morning World. Here is Challenge #4!! 4 more days of challenges. Valentines Day - I will draw a winner for the $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Participate on my Facebook page and on Instagram. Join the conversation and your name gets entered every time you participate.

Previous Challenges:

Challenge #1: Take a picture of something you love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #2: Take a picture of your first love. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @loveneenalove

Challenge #3: Take a picture of your favorite outfit. Use the hashtag iStillBelieveInLove and tag me @LoveNeenaLove