Today is My Mom’s Birthday!!!!

Bride's Mother

Today is my mother’s birthday and I wanted to make sure that I shared this day with the world. My mom is my mother, friend, confidante, supporter, protector, provider, nurturer, and so much more. She was my first teacher. I was blessed to hear her heartbeat and voice from within her womb. I am the woman I am partly because of the woman who is my mom. I can’t imagine my life with another woman as my mother.

mommy and me at Santa Monica Beach 1976

She taught me how to read at the age of two. She taught me how to dance. She encouraged me to get a little dirty outside in the yard. She taught me how to cook. She taught me how to use my critical thinking skills. She exposed me to that wonderful creative brain of hers and opened my eyes to all of the wondrous things that I could one day create.

Bride's Father

My mom has taught me to seek and find the silver lining in all of life’s clouds. She also taught me the gift of giving. It is because of her I started volunteering in my community as a child. It is because of her that I continue to volunteer and give back to communities all over.

me and mom 1985

I thank God every single day for blessing me with an amazing mother, teacher, and friend. Here’s to many many many more days and years celebrating and being thankful for this beautiful woman.

mom and me at Uncle Archie funeral March 2017

Happy birthday mom. I’ve loved you from the moment I was conceived and I will love you forever.

Love Your “Fish”,

Natasha

The Road to Success…

These words here…

The Road to Success Quote

I found this quote on Jeff Yalden’s Twitter feed. I hope that it brings comfort, while motivating and inspiring you to keep pressing forward!

A Military Vet Has Something to Say to Those Speaking Out Against NFL Player Activism

This could not be said any plainer than what this military veteran, husband, father, friend and neighbor said yesterday:

Sean’s Thought: (for the record its long and many won’t like it) It is amazing how easily people subscribe to slave mentality. How we as a country open the closets and dust off the old US vs THEM wardrobes. 
Yesterday I watched my FB and other social media platform blowup at all these disrespectful, whiny, rich, spoiled, ignorant, stupid, overpaid asshats and son of bitches who should be fired. I watched people use their military service as a reason and pictures of fallen men and women in service as flags of proof and honor. I watched people tell about how long they have been fans of the brand and how they (and their families) will never watch again. 

How dare the NFL not make these players stand up, look straight and salute the flag? 

Very interesting thought that is and it got me thinking what was really being said yesterday from almost an exclusive group of people with a few exceptions (I just saw a video of black man going off about these Democratic idiot asshats who got Trumped). That guy will be popular on both sides I’m sure. Anyway back to my thought. 

What were we really saying with all this chatter yesterday? I’m glad you asked. 

Black athlete you are paid to play a sport. We want you to simply play that sport. You get paid lots of money to run around, bang against each other, flex your muscles, jump around and entertain us. We don’t want your opinion we want your physical ability. Run fool. Jump. Catch the ball. Don’t worry as long as you are good (and quiet) we will support you. We will buy your jerseys and shout your name. Don’t worry you won’t get paid for those anyway but hey it is an honor for you to perform for us, the paying public. 

OK, hold on for a second that sounds a lot like something I heard in history class many years ago. Let me think for a second.

The owners need to keep their players in line. Players need to be appreciative of what we have given them. They are lucky to have these jobs and we can find more who will do it with respect. Owners should fire them if they do not perform to the way we expect. What would they (these Black players) be doing if it wasn’t for what the owners gave them? 

I know what it is it is the slavery mentality. Now, I know some of you just cringed a lot unfortunately you should of cringed at the choice of taking that mentality. Lets look at what was really going on yesterday without the rhetoric. 

NFL players took a knee during the national anthem (a MLB player did as well), NFL players locked arms in solidarity and some stayed in the locker room during the anthem (which was common practice until 2009 when the government paid the NFL to shuffle out them players to stand and salute for military recruitment but eh thats small potatoes). 

Correct me if I am wrong but not one player put a middle finger up during the anthem. Not one player told the military members in the audience that they hated them and they hated this country. Not one player spewed hate towards law enforcement or the establishment outside of many having a problem with our Commander and Chief lashing out at all those BLACK ATHLETES. 

Those players both black and white protested what is still, shockingly, a huge problem in this country which is, in this case, racial inequality within the judicial system. You don’t have to agree with those players but you do have to agree with one thing. They staged a peaceful demonstration which is their RIGHT. 

Yes, they have the RIGHT as AMERICAN CITIZENS no matter how much they make, no matter what their jobs are, no matter if they are poor and homeless or filthy rich living in a sky palace above some state. They have the right and I FOUGHT for it. 

Yes, as a veteran, since everyone wants to use that as the reason they hate all this, I fought for every Americans Constitutional Rights. I stand for the Anthem because I did fight for those rights. I did have brothers and sisters killed in wars that made other people rich while leaving many of those very brothers and sisters forever wounded both physically and mentally depending on a system (The VA) that is so flawed I have yet to file my claim 2 years after I retired.

 Where is the outrage by the way? OH yea it isn’t a bunch of rich black spoiled idiots so who gives a damn about that VA system.

 I served so that the Nazi’s could have their lawful rally (provided they got the permit to do so) without them fearing physical attack. Yes, people have the right to counter-protest they don’t have the right to attack them physically no matter how much they may hate the speech. I served so that some white confederate flag waving kid could walk into a black church execute 9 people and still get a fair trail as dictated by our laws.

 I served so that a police officer would have to answer for his/her actions when it comes to the death of another person under his/her care no matter the race of the officer or the person. I served for some guy to overuse his 2nd amendment right and carry a damn AK47 on his shoulder because the laws in the state he is in says it is within his/her right. Equality is our right. EVERYONE’s RIGHT. 

It truly breaks my heart to see people not even try to understand the why. Why are so many people of a demographic, a race, a sexual orientation so upset. What can we do as a nation to right a wrong? 

We live in a country where the son of a rich man can be convicted of rape and given 6 months of probation. While someone without the means for expensive counsel would get 30 years for the same crime. 

We live in a country where it is OK to tell blacks to “get out” and “go back to Africa” but it isn’t OK for those same blacks to protest the injustices laid against them.

 We live in a country where we will force deport people, break up their families and destroy lives because they are Mexican but have no problem with bringing in foreign athletes who defect from their countries simply because they can play ball. I could go on forever but that isn’t needed. 

The point is this, maybe you don’t like that these men (not son’s of bitches) are using their respective platforms to force us to do what we are doing now. Start the conversations, challenge the system and make us deal with this bullshit underline racial divide. They use their platfom for those who don’t have the money or the ability to do so. 

If you dislike that then I guess you will no longer be supporting JJ Watt who used his platform to raise of 40 million (I think) dollars for Houston relief. That would be stupid of us to not support just like it is stupid of us to think that Americans should shut up and color because the government (this case the President) has stepped in and told them to sit, shut up and dance.

 No, that is not America. That is not what I fought for and that is not what I will stand quietly by and watch. 

In the end, sports is business and a business will succeed or fail. But as long as their are people there will always be a need to watch men and women compete. Don’t fool yourselves. As many of the players have learned to do isn’t it time we stood in unity for equality than this nonsense of telling people they don’t have the right to do something that they in fact have the right to do. 

Make American Great! Not Again, because looking back it wasn’t great for everyone which means it wasn’t great. Anyway, just a thought.   

Thank you Sean for your service, bravery, and willingness to say what was and is needed. Our country needs to heal. 
We need to learn the lesson and vow to never repeat it, just as Germany courageously has done. 

A country divided will never thrive. A county divided should not fear destruction from the efforts of outsiders. It will be our on undoing, from within!

~Natasha 

JR JR’s Josh Epstein’s Mental Health Awareness Month Playlist

I enjoyed the Billboard article written by Patrick Crowley where Detroit duo, JR JR are highlighted, and Josh Epstein discusses why the band chose to take part of their earnings from their tour and donate them to the Jed Foundation to help with mental health and suicide prevention for young adults and youth. 

Epstein created a Mental Health Awareness playlist on Billboard’s Spotify account, and then shares why he selected some of the songs. It’s an eclectic list and in my opinion does show the spectrum of the highs, lows, struggles and victories faced by those who knowingly and unknowingly battle mental health issues. 

Check out the article and the playlist here: 

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/lifestyle/7777031/takeover-tuesday-jr-jr-mental-health-awareness-month-exclusive-interview-playlist-spotify