I left to attend Xavier University of New Orleans in August of 2004. Since I went away for college, I always felt separated from my family. It was also very hard to get back to Maryland for Mother's Day for one reason on another. However, I always had in my mind that one year when I was older and more established in my life...I would be able to spend Mother's Day back in Maryland with my Mommy and family. I am very fortunate that God placed on my heart to take the quickest weekend trip ever to make my Mommy's Mother's Day wish come true...to spend the entire weekend with all of her children.
I flew to Maryland on Saturday morning and came back in the evening on Sunday, after a 30 minute flight delay. It was absolutely jam packed. We did a family photo shoot for my Mom with my stepdad, stepbrother and stepsister. The photographer (a friend of my sister) came to the house to take the photos for us! Here is his website if you are in the DC/MD/VA area and in need of a very talented photographer (website link here). After the photo shoot, we headed to Bethesda (one of my favorite parts of Maryland) for dinner at Ruth's Chris and then bowling after dinner. It was pretty epic and my Mom had a wonderful time!
On the next day, we started with attending Mother's Day church service at REID Temple AME Church (Mommy's church). I was totally blessed to the point of tears by Reverend Watley's sermon that day on the power and importance of prayer. I have always been a praying woman but his sermon highlighted so many moments in my life where I know I would not have gotten through it without praying about whatever 'it' was. After church, my stepdad left to go spend Mother's Day with his mom. And Tina (my biological sister), Mommy and I headed to Carolina Kitchen for some yummy soul food! I went in having an Arnold Palmer, cornbread, greens, mac 'n cheese and blackened catfish! It spoke to my tummy...for sure. After that I went to see my sister's apartment because I had never been there...other than the tour she gave me one day when we were on Face Time. After we rested for about 2 hours and chatted, it was time to take me to the airport so that I could make my flight.
While it was the quickest trip I could have ever imagined, it was filled with love and happiness. And I am committing to visiting home more often...than just for funerals or special events. My spirit was renewed. I gained a new found commitment to my career...no matter what sacrifices I have to make as far as time. I could not have asked for a more perfect Mother's Day weekend for my Mommy.
Here are some photos from the weekend and a sneak peek of the photos that Arantes took:
And without further ado...here is a photo of our beautiful blended family that has been 10+ years in the making! The photographer was Arantes Stephens. The photo was unedited by the photographer and I just added a filter on it.