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Last week I got to experience such a treat – my wonderful old friend and incredible jewelry designer Nak Armstrong asked me to accompany him to Fashion Week in New York City!
The whole experience was incredible – from the fashion to the people to the music and everything else. It was a whirlwind visit (had to get back to Austin in time for Early Dismissal at the girls’ school) but aside from reminding me that there is truly nothing like Nak’s jewelry.
I realized that some of my other finds of the season weren’t quite as out-of-reach as they seemed. Here are a few favorites – the designer version and what I like to call… the ENOUGH version:

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  • Melonie McIntyre says:

    My background wasn’t the white picket fence, sippin’ ice tea on a front porch swing, and family gatherings full of laughter. It wasn’t the typical childhood that most moms would wish upon their child. I remember looking around the classroom wondering what “that girls” home life was like. Was her dad at home? Was their mom being abused? Or maybe they lived with their grandma as we did? Sure, everyone has a “bottom” and a “past”. It’s all in how you take control of your life and want more for yourself and your children. As mom would sat, when ” enough is enough “! At age two, mom’s boyfriend moved in, dad didn’t want to claim us. At age six my twin sister and I went on to live with our grandma. Due to drug use and abandonment. At age ten our mom took us back, for good! At this point mom was ” clean” and had a stable home. Feeling confused and out of place in both homes, my sister and I felt lost and like we didn’t belong, anywhere. Time had passed as we grew familiar with our home life. Though it wasn’t picture perfect, it was full of love from our mom. Each year on our ” back home anniversary “, mom would celebrate with a surprise waiting for us when we would walk in from school. With our step dad in and out of prison – years at a time, much of our childhood and well into our teen years were full of prison visits followed by deep anxiety. Though he was there and we were here, he had total control beyond those cell walls. Phone rings, my heart would race and you can hear a pin drop. Was he in a good mood? Was mom going to laugh today or cry? As she did quite often. The only good thing that came from his incarceration was, mom wasn’t in as much fear and her body was free from bruises and pain. At age 16 he returns home, this time for a few more years. But this time was one that had mom at her most vulnerable. She had been diagnosed with Bone and Lung Cancer. A sophomore in high school, sister and I were clueless as to the severity of her disease. It was a long, tough road that was full of abuse, drugs, cheating, destruction of property and family being torn apart. Once again, enough was enough! Mom left! After him generously sharing her medicine between my aunt and a family friend and not to mention, sleeping with my aunt, which being my moms sister! Mom found courage to leave. She left! But of course this wasn’t an easy walk to grandma’s house. No, mom having back surgery and tumors in her neck, and under medicated, she decided to haul ass to grandma’s house, whom lived an easily 10 minute walk from our house. For mom, that so called easy walk was more like 30-40 minutes. Feeling a sigh of relief and some closure, we never expected what would happen next. Stalked by this man, harassed, and threatened. We couldn’t take it anymore so, we turned to the local court house for an EPO (Emergency Protection Order). Denied!? Yes, denied, standing there in fear of her life, the judge (that doesn’t deserve a capital j) did not grant protection. So, cops were called later leading to his arrest. Once again behind bars doesn’t stop his persistent calling. Mom’s disease took a turn for the worse just a week into December of 2000. By Thursday night on the 7th, mom had lost all control of her body. Being the fighter she was, pushing her last able voice and said her last words to me, “I love you”! Broken in tears watching my mom fading away as the night went on. Sis and I grew tired and fell asleep, only to be awoken just hours later by shaking and screams, ” Misty! Melonie! You’re mom died!”. At the age if 18 we lost our beloved mother. Vastly throwing the covers off running to the living room, and knees hitting the floor. I couldn’t cry, I cried so hard that I couldn’t cry. Mom was gone. My life stopped and my world ended. What would I do without my rock? Life changed that friday morning of the 8th. It didn’t seem real until she was in the ground. Then I knew she wasn’t coming back. As one does, you recap memories and images, words spoken and scents. Mom always had a saying, “things happen for a reason”. And the one that she would preach most often, ” don’t ever! Date a man that doesn’t hold a job, that does drugs, and that hits you”. I wish I could say I listened. Call it a product of your environment, but I accidentally fell in the footsteps of my mother. At age 26 I met a “boy” that slowly let his true colors shine. I promised my mom not to do as she had done. I lived a lie and hid the bruises, I exposed my girl’s to things they will never unsee. The abuse, the isolation, the controlling, and the manipulation and jealousy was tiring. It was my fault because he didn’t have money for “weed”, though he didn’t hold a job. It was my fault dinner was cold, though he was late. It was my fault I didn’t show affection, though he pushed me away. I was blank inside, emotionless and in a ” who cares” mood. Enough was enough and I was not turning back. I was wrong! He would leave and come back. Until, I met an awesome “man”! He whom had shown me what life would be like smiling and laughing, interacting outside with others again and not secluded and controlled. It was a long tough road but I was my mother’s daughter. I left! At age 28 I decided to take a stand for myself and my girls. CPS (Child Protective Services) was not intervening and I suffer another loss. He tried to step in so that I wouldn’t graduate college and be independent. I did! I hold an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He tried to step in and hold my keys so, I couldn’t get to my new job in Family Court at the Judicial Center. I made it! I left! The boy was out of my life, the man was a huge part of my life and my girls will remain in my care. At age 32 I am happy, spoiled, and want for nothing. My family is no longer distant and I can go and do as I please without accusations. My girls are happy, healthy, and full of life in a stable environment. And most of all, it’s because of that ” man” I met that turned it all around. I am more than blessed to have met him and love him so deeply. My advice as my girls get older…. Don’t let a man control you, abuse you, do drugs, and not hold a job. In loving memory and a Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful, strong, and beloved momma!

  • The Good Quality says:

    Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the great job!

  • Nero Uomo says:

    Hi! I’ve been following your site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

  • Rosamaria says:

    I just watched the video in queen latifa show and I thought maybe my mom could benefit from this. I would really love to know how I can get you to help her realize she’s enough. She’s been a single mother to two children. And never complained once. Please inbox me info I’d really appreciate it.

  • Arun says:

    You people are doing awesome…. Can you please give me the link to download the I’m enough song….