Gilbert Jo’s Story

Animal Advocacy, Uncategorized

If you know anything about me, you know that I absolutely love my dog. While I was in college I went through a phase when I couldn’t think about anything other than wanting a dog. I had grown up with dogs all my life and this was my first time not having one, yes I had a dog at home in North Carolina but I was 12 hours away. All I knew at that point was that I wanted a dog with a smushed face, I later learned the correct term is brachycephalic. I initially looked into pugs and english bulldogs both of which had extensive health issues (which is part of the territory in terms of brachycephallic breeds) and neither were very active. While watching Animal Planet one morning I saw a boston terrier and I fell in love. From that point forward  I saw them everywhere! I saw them on television shows, in movies, and around town. I located a breeder in town but they were far too expensive for my college student budget. A local pet store had boston terrier puppies as well but they were just as expensive. The Animal shelter down the street from my apartment (Southern Pines Animal Shelter) occasionally had pure bred dogs so I frequently checked the website and went down there just to see what they available.

One night after I had started to give up looking, my boyfriend at the time showed me the website and they two boston terriers available. One of which had an enlarged blue eye, which we assumed she was blind in that eye. He immediately scrolled past her picture to the other dog who looked adorable, alert, and spunky and said “she’s the one”. The next day we got up early and went down the street to the animal shelter, but another couple had already adopted our dream dog. The kennel tech offered to show us the other dog and we went just to look. But once we got to her run she began to wiggle her whole body and bark happily, I got down on my knees to get a better look at her and I knew immediately it was love at first site.

Her name was Gilbert when we adopted her, and we added Jo because we already intended on naming her Jojo. So the next day we brought home Gilbert-Jo Baggett Evans, she later became Gilbert-Jo Robinson after I got married. Gilbert went through moving out of Ex’s apartment and into my own place, she moved 12 hours away with me, she waited for me to finish basic training and AIT, she was there when I brought home her brothers Gulliver and Micah (only a few weeks apart), she was waiting at home when I returned home as Mrs.Robinson, She was in the car when we drove 26 hours to El Paso, She came back to me when she got lost only days after being there, and she was with me when we returned to North Carolina, and she was waiting for me in a hurricane when we brought home our newest addition Josiah.

There hasn’t been anything that Gilbert and I haven’t been through together. Saying I l love Gilbert is a massive understatement. She’s eaten chargers, my favorite stuffed animal, she’s pooped on the floor, and shes run out of the front door. But there’s nothing that could make me love her and her little quirks anymore.

We adopted Gilbert knowing that she was permanently blind in one eye and that didn’t make me love her any less or feel any differently about her. I just knew that I had to make a commitment to getting that eye removed one day. That day didn’t come for  a long time but it still came too soon. We had began putting money to the side to have it removed shortly after tax season, when her annual appointment was due anyway. but a week before her appointment I woke up to find half of her eye sunken and she was in extreme pain. I called her vet, whom I happen to work with and they saw her and did the procedure the same day. I cried buckets of tears when I brought her in, and it was so hard to leave her even though I knew she would be fine. I couldn’t even go to work that day knowing that my baby was in pain. I had to be there to pick her up and make sure she was ok.

When I picked her up from her procedure she wanted to be back to her normal self. She got up and wiggled her little body because she was so happy to see me, and then she plopped back down because she was still a little drowsy from the anesthesia. Seeing her then was like seeing her for the first time, all over again. Nothing could make me happier at that time than knowing she was ok.

Although shes missing one of her many quirks, she still herself and I still love her. I also love knowing that shes not in any pain and shes comfortable, so much so that shes laying next to me snoring as I write this.

Saving Our Sons

Social Justice, Uncategorized

Part of my daily routine consist of waking up and checking my social media accounts and scrolling through a few articles or blogs. So this morning I laid in bed scrolling my Facebook feed when I found myself FUMING! I’m not being dramatic either, my husband literally shifted away from me because my body temperature began to rise. As I was scrolling I landed on a status from a black woman with son’s of her own who stated Jordan Edwards and his friends had gotten what they deserved/earned because of what she read in a poorly written news article claiming they attempted to run over a police officer. Whether they did so or not is neither here nor there because making a mistake (a poor choice) DOES NOT MEAN YOU DESERVE A DEATH SENTENCE.

As a mother it’s hard enough to hear my children suffer for any reason, may it be while getting vaccines or falling down. It literally breaks my heart every time. So imagine being his friend in the car with him that night.

Your friend has been shot, he’s probably choking on blood, in pain, dying, and maybe calling to God or even his own mother. While you listen and watch, there’s nothing you can do for him. I would like to hope that he didn’t have to suffer, although his friends are suffering now and they will be forever changed by this experience.

Part of my calling is to protect women and children, but I have no patience or tolerance for a woman that would speak of children that way. Because he was in fact a child, maybe a child that made a bad choice (which I doubt because we all know the police likes to victim blame in order to paint their own story). We already know that black children are perceived as bigger, more mature, and more violent than they actually are so being black was enough of a weapon for them to be shot at.

As mothers, even as human beings, how can you justify shooting into a car of children? I want my  children to have the luxury of doing normal things, I want them to have the luxury of being children. Instead society is forcing them into adulthood. Calling them grown men and women, and hypersexualizing their bodies. I have to protect these babies before I can ever protect the women victim blaming.

You can’t truly be about this cause when your focus is based on being the correct kind of black person. Stop pandering to white people and their approval, that shit will not save your life.

White approval is not a bullet proof vest.

Rest In Power Jordan.

Stay in your place…

Uncategorized, Women's Health

In the wake of the storm that is Ayesha Curry, I find myself disturbed by several things… The amount of men that thought they needed an Ayesha Curry only days ago, the fact that these same men now believe she needs to shut her mouth and stay in her lane, the fact that she has frequently been compared to Lebrons wife, and the fact that single men feel as though they should have any say in what a woman’s place actually is(and the nerve they had to say it on tv). 

Not long after I spoke on the blatant sexism of all of this, one of my Facebook friends felt it necessary to explain what Ayesha Curry’s tweet was unnecessary as well as my opinion. Both should have kept to ourselves. Ah… Yes another man feeling the need to silence a woman. 

It’s not the difference of opinion that bothers me, but the fact that men still believe they have the right to tell women where and when their opinion is needed or wanted. And the fact that everyone aspired to “have” an Ayesha Curry until she proved herself a tad too outspoken. See men (black men in particular) are all about the revolution until their woman is a little too outspoken for them.

Society also feels threatened by her disassociation with this American Sweetheart image she has been branded with. Light skin women are typically expected to be passive, quiet, and permissive. Things she has proven herself not to be on several occasions. She has proven time and time again that she is a proud black woman and refuses to shrink herself down into some mediocre Box in order to be conducive to her husbands image. She actually took one for the team in terms of his image, if she hadn’t tweeted so “recklessly” Steph Curry would have been eaten alive the next day. His poor sportsmanship would have placed him at Cam Newton status after the super bowl. He snapped on a referee and spit out his mouth guard. But that hasn’t been the topic of conversation ironically. 

The problem doesn’t lie with her opinion itself, because reality is we all think pro sports are rigged. We all think sports are about politics, she’s not the first to say it by any means. But the fact that a black woman spoke out against the establishment is the true problem. It’s the fact that she couldn’t sit back quietly and be pretty without drawing attention to herself. She spoke her mind, and that’s a dangerous thing in white misogynistic America.

The black mothers stigma

Uncategorized, Women's Health

            As a mother and aspiring birth educator, I feel pretty strongly about breastfeeding. Although growing up I never saw an example of a mother adamant about breastfeeding. My own mother didn’t even breastfeed us, so I’m not sure where I got the notion that I would breastfeed. I assume that it was an experience kind of like deciding I would have a natural birth. We never talked about those things growing, I just assumed everyone had a medicated birth and everyone used formula. Then I saw “The Business of Being Born” and it opened me up to another world of parenting. At the time that I saw this I was already a sophomore at Southern Miss and I was in an English class with a pretty radical teacher (radical in comparison to me at that time), she talked about feminism and the right to choose what kind of experiences you would have in life. These experiences included child birth and parenthood. I discovered then that there are different ways of doing things.
            Even after deciding that I would personally breastfeed and doing a great deal of research, I didn’t see a ton of representation as far as breastfeeding. What I saw around me was typically white women breastfeeding, my friends with children formula fed, my family members formula fed, and I was formula fed. I didn’t understand why, with all the information about how beneficial it was, why weren’t black women breastfeeding. Even on tv shortly after the baby is born they pop a bottle into the mouths of those little brown babes. Why? Is it the lack of support at home? Could it be the lack of media representation? Why are black women lagging in the breastfeeding race? Why is there a negative connotation associated with black women and breastfeeding?


            Maybe two years ago shortly after I gave birth to my little boy a pretty controversial picture came out. Controversial is really very relative because by no means was controversial to me, especially as a proud breastfeeding mama. Nonetheless it was a picture of a young lady breastfeeding after graduation in her cap and gown. She was dragged all over twitter, more concerning (or just as concerning) than the blatant cyber bullying, her tormentors were primarily black! A few months later another picture came out, some how less controversial in content but still very similar pictures. This picture featured another young lady also in her cap and gown at her college graduation, breastfeeding. This particular picture was some how deemed adorable and inspiring. What was the difference? One thing, the first young lady was black and the latter was white. How could two pictures be viewed so differently though? How could other black people be so unsupportive of this black graduate simply because she was breastfeeding?


            A lot of women choose not to breastfeed due to myths that they’ve heard such as: the baby wont get enough to eat, breastfeeding is for poor people, breastfeeding leads to breast cancer, and breast are only for sexual pleasure. Although breastfeeding in the black community is on the rise, we still lag behind our counterparts of other races. I’ve narrowed down a few possible causes:
· Lack of support in hospitals (as well as health care providers and WIC counselors)
· Lack of support systems at home
· Lack of representation
· Lactation support isn’t available in that area
· Employment related barriers
· History of racial injustice in relation to breastfeeding
Typically the larger the black demographic is in a hospital, the less likely they are to encourage breastfeeding. Maybe due to the predisposition that black women don’t breastfeed. (more likely to encourage formula less likely to encourage rooming-in). There is also a lack of Baby-friendly hospitals, these are less likely to be prevalent where black women are the majority. They are more prevalent where black women have a less than average population. (For those who are not familiar baby- Baby Friendly Hospitals: The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.) There may also be Lack of racial sensitivity to why black women may not want to breastfeed.


The lack of a support system could be maternal or spouse related. Many women have mothers who did not breastfeed, and don’t encourage it. Spouse are often afraid they wont be able to bond with the child if the mother breastfeeds, making them less supportive because they feel as though they cannot contribute to the child’s nourishment. Friends who did not breastfeed, therefore they offer little support when they breastfeeding journey gets tough. Lactation consultants, such as La Leche League offer free of services. But if you are not informed, often times you don’t know who to turn to for information and help.
There is definitely a lack of black representation within the media, which may in turn be due to the overall lack of representation when it comes to women of color or due to the actual lower numbers of women who breastfeed. We often see models and celebrities taking glamour shots of them breastfeeding or advocating on talk shows but I see very few black celebrities doing so. This is with the exception of Tia and Tamara on their reality show, and occasionally on Instagram.
There are also a variety of work related barriers, considering many work environments are condusive to long term breastfeeding and maternity leave laws that have long been outdated compared to other countries. Limited maternity leave doesn’t allow adequate time to establish a regular nursing routine and full time employment is counter productive in many cases of breastfeeding, causing mother and child to be apart long hours everyday. For those that prefer to pump, many employers don’t provide an adequate space or amount of time to do so, in addition to an unsupportive boss or generally unsupportive environment it makes it especially hard for women to continue breastfeeding after returning to work full time. 

A wet nurse is a woman who breast feeds and cares for another’s child. Wet nurses are employed when the mother is unable or chooses not to nurse the child herself. Wet nurses were used heavily during slavery but continued on even after the abolishment of slavery. Early wet nurses faced malnutrition and starvation of their own babies because long work hours away from home kept wet nurses from nursing there own babies. During the 1960’s-1970’s many women stopped breastfeeding altogether due to the negative connotation. Yet many southern families hired wet nurses well into the 1980’s.


How can we change the way we view breastfeeding in the black community, and how can we make it the norm? The best way to start would be peer to peer support, connecting with other moms who have breastfed or are currently breastfeeding. Then a support system within the home. A greater representation in the media would also be very beneficial, if more black mothers in the limelight talked about their breastfeeding experience it would encourage our everyday moms. Community support also plays a huge role in breastfeeding success, from hospitals, social services and increased access to lactation services. And finally support in the work place, the laws are there but they must be enforced. We need to fight for our rights to breastfeed and be encouraged to do so.

So it’s official!

Animal Advocacy, Uncategorized

We’ve been approved to be fosters!  We’ll get our first brachycephalic Foster after the we reinforce our side gates. Which is an easy project for my next off day, and another post do you guys. 

So I got up a little early to tidy up and make sure everyone was dressed. Conveniently 🙄 my husband went to the laundromat. I also did a little poop pick up in the backyard so they could check out our outdoor space as well. The two young ladies doing the home check were amazingly friendly, and our dogs and Micah proved to be very charming. Micah gave them the grand tour and even gave them my business card! They looked at all the things I though they would check like yard space, the gates, Access to outside space(such as the doors leading out), and our dogs temperaments. They had a few questions for me: 

How do our dogs get along with other dogs?

Is yard time supervised? 

Are we willing to reinforce the side gates?

Are we willing to foster other breeds other than pugs? 

Where do our dogs go when we go out during the day, or at night?

How do we feel about crate training? 

Are our dogs spayed/neuter? 

And how do we feel about taking in strays that are not yet spayed/neutered?

I’m sure there were other questions but these were the most important ones. So after they checked our house, we sat down and went over the contract which was pretty much self explanatory and very similar to what’s outlined in the application. After agreeing to all the terms and conditions, I was able to sign.

Then cue husband, who tried to dodge a social bullet to his introverted being. He introduced himself then shuffled to our bedroom. 

They left their information, Micah handed out more DogVacay promo material and we said our goodbyes.  Our next step to obtaining our Foster is the fencing project, which anticipate doing on Wednesday. 

So look forward to my diy project, and acclimation tips! 

Offer up! Review

Uncategorized

This is not in anyway an advertisement, I’m only talking about my personal experience.

Since my family and I have been in El Paso I’ve exploring different ways to make extra money. We also had a ton of stuff in our new place that didn’t actually fit. So we decided to downsize and get rid of a few things. More specifically clearing out our extra bedroom of useless junk in order to create a guest bedroom. 

Initially I tried some of the local yard sale pages on Facebook. They were all a bust! There was cattiness, flakiness, and over priced junk. So it made nearly impossible for me to sell anything and get a profit. Then a good friend told me about offer up, where she had recently bought a kitchen set for $75. 

So I went out on a limb and listed a few items, all reasonably priced. I posted baby clothes, Dr.Browns baby bottles, baby bullet food processor, a brand new rice steamer, and a nice size dresser. All of the baby items got immediate hits, and the food processor shortly after. 

All messages and inquiries were professional, and their weren’t any redundant questions. The app was immediately off to an amazing start. In a few hours alone I made about $100, without selling all my items. The remaining items are currently pending (just awaiting pick up). Once I sell those items I will have made $200 in a matter of hours!

The app is supper user friendly and convenient, for the buyer and the seller. I would suggest it for anyone trying to make a little extra money with anything worth buying. I’m definitely adding this to my list of ways to supplement our income!

The Era of Entitlement

Uncategorized

We live in an era in which everyone feels they are entitled to something, or that the world owes them something.
Women grow up learning that they must cater to their husbands, and men grow up learning that women should be their mothers. Sound like a cycle of Oedipus Rex syndrome to me, but I digress.
What are we truly teaching our children about life when we enable this cycle of entitlement and excess. We aren’t setting our children up for realistic relationships and values. We go into these relationships wearing rose colored glasses, with the facade of marriage in our imaginations. Women believe that they can survive on their nurturing giving spirit being a wife and mother, and men believe that their wives are going to cater their every whim. Someone typically gets sucked dry. That’s not my inner “man hating” talking either. We have not equipped our children to have functional relationships, We are grooming givers and takers. This seems like such an atrocity to me when we live in this age of ever increasing equality on all fronts (gender,race, and sexuality) Yet we continue to ingrain these archaic and outdated gender rules on our children which only sets them up for failure. Could this be the reason that divorce is on the rise?
Maybe our focus should be focused on teaching our children sustainability and life skills? Then secondarily teaching our children to love whole heartedly and unconditionally.

All I Need Is You.

Uncategorized

After listening to Lecrae’s song “All I need is you” I personally immediately thought of it as a love song. But after listening to it repeatedly I understood its true content.
All I Need Is You: God, the love of God. Which is unchanging and unwavering no matter how undeserving or unloving I may be.
A lot of the viewers questioned whether or not the song was about his wife or God. But aren’t they one in the same? shouldn’t your love for your spouse mirror your love for God?
“No words for your awesomeness” translates to PSALMS 145:3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
Your most important relationship is always the one you have with Christ. Your relationship with your spouse should be a direct reflection of your relationship with Christ.
* Unconditional love
* Forgiving
* Understanding
* Giving
* Commitment
* Gracious
Your relationship with God is detrimental to your relationship with one another. God is the backbone of your relationship, with him your relationship will flourish and persevere through anything.
All I need is You.
All I need is you Jesus Christ.
and with your unwavering and undying love, I understand the meaning of true love.
which provides me with an understanding so that I can provide this same love for my spouse.

So I wouldn’t call this clean secular music, but a blueprint for a relationship laid on a track. A relationship with God and a relationship with his woman.

Ephesians 5:22-33
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Love your spouse as God loves the Church, As you would love your own body. Nourish and care for it.
God’s love for us is the “Ultimate Love Story”. A love song would only be appropriate.

The birth of my blog

Uncategorized

When I first started this blog… It was really difficult for me to think of topics. I assumed I had to fit the cookie cutter image of mommy blogs, because being a mommy is so important to me, but that just isn’t for me. I have so much to say that really isn’t relevant to that particular topic… Yes being a mom takes up most of my day but so does being a student, a barista, and a daughter. And while interacting with my family, friends, and coworkers various topics come up. They are usually things that come a little easier to me and that I’m equally passionate about. Like politics and sociology. I like to know how the people of the world interact with each other and why… What makes one particular group feel so strongly about a particular topic? That’s the only way I can truly articulate myself and my feelings about issues of today’s growing world. I don’t find other social networks to be appropriate venues for what I have to say, not because I want remain anonymous in anyway… (Which obviously isn’t the case because I use my name here) but because I have found Facebook and Twitter to be populated by the group of people I find particularly annoying. Uneducated know it Alls. People that strongly believe in things they haven’t researched, or they haven’t even thoroughly grasped the concept of what they think they believe in. Or internet thugs and bullies, the kind of people that attack what they don’t understand. I have found WordPress to be an more open minded universe made for people who think and move like me…. Here I can say what I need to say instead of walking around with all these thoughts pounding in my head.

The girl I used to be.

Uncategorized

So I’m currently watching Scrubs. And Carla tells Turk that she had made so many mistakes before him but now that they were together he had erased all her previous mistakes. It’s all totally relatable I promise.
Robinson (my boyfriend) has been gone for four days now, and that has given me enough time to settle into my thoughts and remind myself what life used to be like. Life before him, before Micah, and the Army.
Reminiscing about those times are almost haunting because it was those times that brought me to the decision to join the army. They were so dark and miserable that I had to make a drastic change.
I was lonely and empty and still trying to figure out who I was. It was a constant struggle between who I knew I was and the person I thought I should be. In my mind I was this artistic and philosophical individual. I thought I was experiencing life to it’s fullest. When in reality I was dealing with my parents divorce and my warped view on relationships. I found myself defining myself by one shitty relationship after another, then finding myself more broken and confused than before.
I soon began to deal with substance abuse, I was simply trying to numb the pain in whatever way possible. I would find myself in a drunken rage or riding a sullen high state lost in thought. And when I wasn’t dulling the pain I was running from it. Getting on the highway at the drop of a dime… Just to do more of whatever I had been doing to get by at home.
The series of events that occurred after were the most life changing events ever…. And exactly what I needed to change my selfish point of view and change what I hated about myself, because essentially I hated myself. That’s why I did everything I could to punish myself.
Joining the Army made me learn to deal with my feelings and be alone with my thoughts. I could now see myself as part of a bigger picture. Then my baptism…. Something I had been waiting a long time to do but the time never seemed appropriate because I was never truly ready to change. But that was my opportunity to start on a clean slate and rededicate my life to Christ in order to become the woman of God that I imagined I would be.
Then Micah, the most life changing event of all. He gave my life real meaning and purpose. He showed me what unconditional and undeserving love really is. He made me realize I had never really experienced love before him, which made it so much easier to recognize when I fell in love with Robinson.