Hi There!

Welcome to my blog! This space has been used over the past several years to document mainly my natural hair journey and several different aspects of my life such as spiritual matters, my jewelry design, and parenting. I will from time to time post on this blog but my newly revamped blog can be found at BeautifullyCurled.com. Here you will find much recent updates about my hair journey along with my daughter's and so much more. Hope you will come by and visit and thanks for stopping by this blog. Be blessed. -Kris

Finally, I Present to You...

So, I finally found the time to take clear pictures of all the hair bows I have made so far. I have an etsy shop set up but wanted to post my hair bows on my blog first to see if I can get any feedback from you before posting them up on my etsy website. I have many more ideas for the spring but wanted to go ahead and put these out there for you to see. Every bow was handcrafted by yours truly from a pet free, smoke free home. The ends are sealed to prevent fraying. They are all attached to alligator clips that can be used in the hair alone or attached to interchangeable headbands and crochet hats. I will update this post soon with more details such as the width of the bows and description. I will do a special discount for my followers for sure. If interested in any of the bows now, follow me and leave a comment below. Earrings are coming soon. Thanks!




























Daddy-Daughter Pictures!

 
Aw, aren't they cute!

UNTIL, daddy pulls out his little Zakiah Automatic!

Can You Tell Me Where I Can Find a…

…baby snoozer? Geez! It is one thing to be woken up by a long loud wail at 7:01am Monday thru Friday, but can mommy get at least ONE 15 minute SNOOZE on Saturdays???

Is that so much to ask for?

I guess so because Zakiah WILL NOT have that!

Ugh, Josh better enjoy the days of sleeping in an extra hour and waking up to an alarm clock on a Saturday morning. Better yet, he better enjoy the feature of the snooze button! I almost forgot how to use it since it has been so long. Smh

If you are wondering, in an effort to do what is right, he doesn't sleep over for the night. God blessed us with a baby that can sleep 10-13 hours STRAIGHT at night! Thank You Father! So there is really no excuse for us to put ourselves in the compromising position of spending the night together UNLESS we are going to be snowed in for the weekend. Then he stays over BUT we have our own separate sleeping destinations. Its is hard because I want to cuddle for the night but with that, temptations can stir up.

Not even trying to feel that! Saving it for our marriage bed.

But yeah, I guess I need to learn to go to bed earlier! I did manage to sleep through the night but I guess if you go to bed around 2, you can manage to sleep til 7 in the morning.
Will I ever get it together? Maybe. But I would rather find that baby snoozer!

Geez!

LOL

Well she is on the prowl. Gotta go!

I Participated in My First Friday Follow!

Dag gone it! I was almost done with my original post before I somehow deleted it before it saved. So this is a modified version because I am not going to allow the devil to stop me from saying what I want to say.

So I had a great time getting to read new blogs from Friday Follow. I think this is an awesome idea and way to get to meet new bloggers out in the massive blogging community.  I look forward to participating in FF next week. It is amazing how many bloggers participated in FF.  Over 700 since I last checked.  You never know what you will find that will strike your fancy. One new blog I came across that I found particularly hilarious is  Peeling an Orange with a Screwdriver.  This mom keeps it real and real amusing. If you ever need some pick me up raw humor, stop by her blog.

Thanks to all the bloggers who stopped by to read my previous personal post and offer their comments.  I followed each one of you back who left a comment and followed my blog.  You all are so sweet and I appreciate your encouragement!

Nothing too much happened out the usual today. Zakiah was as active as usual and I was trying as hard as I can to have enough energy to deal with all her silliness. I forgot to mention yesterday how Zakiah got from a sitting position to a standing position all on her own for the first time. No pulling up, no additional assistance.  Right before our eyes, she just got up and stood for a few seconds.  We were amazed!  One of the coolest things about that moment was that Josh got to experience seeing one of Zakiah's first with his very own eyes.  No hearing about this secondhand from me.  The amazement in his eyes was priceless!  I am so glad he was there to experience this moment with me.

Oh, I have a quick praise report.  You know I have to give God is praise!

Last week Friday, Josh had to go through evaluations at his job. The devil was busy working hard at his job. Well, it came to be that very false allegations were made against him by his supervisors.  When Josh says he's PISSED, that is like a cuss word for us meaning that he's beyond upset.  Josh is one of the nicest, most positive, and hard working individuals you will ever meet and for him to be pissed is just not right. He rarely allows work to affect him negatively especially once he gets off work. However, Josh continued to work hard this week despite the false claims made against him and God rewarded him with a huge financial blessing today!  God is so good and shows that we should not be weary in good doing.  Josh could have reacted so many different ways, but he continued to do what he was supposed to do although he was very upset inside. He is going to refute the evaluation and made sure he well documented every single move he performed on the job as evidence. I am praying that all is resolved in a way favorable to Josh.  I am going to give God the glory ahead of time because I know God has the victory already worked out!

Well, I am going to end this post with a few pictures from today:

 A little over stimulated? Maybe? 

Clearly my ploy to keep her in that one spot failed because a few minutes after that picture was taken, Zakiah was back at my legs trying to attack the laptop (AGAIN):

 Yes, she stays in the bathtub for way too long...

The answer to Zakiah's yeast diaper rash which has finally gone away after 7 days of treatment:

Do You See What is Missing?

A ring.

First comes love (check!)
Then comes marriage (skipped)
Here comes Kristal with the baby carriage (check!)

Since I am up AGAIN in the middle of the night, I figure I express some things that have been on my mind.

I never posted on my blog how I came about finding out I was pregnant. I have a long draft I started back in November that I never went back to so we will get back to that later (or I might just offer the condensed version later in this post).

Anyway, when I am out and about with Zakiah and see another mother with her child(ren), I often find myself glancing at that one little finger to see if her significant other had "put a ring on it". Most times he had and I think to myself, "they probably did things in the right order like we are supposed to do-marriage before carriage." Sometimes I find myself 'hiding' my ring finger when around other married folks because I don't want to be judged for being the single mother.

I can't stand the terms illegitimate or out of wedlock. My baby is very much legitimate because God blessed me and Josh with her instead of with some life long or life threatening disease. God extended His grace and mercy on us and has provided so much for us and Zakiah when we least expected. Out of wedlock is a whack phrase because you don't hear married folks refer to having their children within wedlock. Such a weird term in the first place. I prefer simply the term premarital because that is how it went down. Before marriage.

Now, as a disclaimer, I am not condoning premarital sex. I believe that a couple should maintain abstinence until they say 'I Do' which is so hard to do in this twisted sexually driven society we live in. And that was what Josh and I had intended to do, but things sometimes manage to happen during some of our best efforts and intentions.

I guess I will go into my story now.

So Josh and I have been together since February 2005. Just like any other couple, we have had or share of struggles and still do. One of the hardest struggles was sexual temptations. At the time, I was not a Christian while he had been a Christian since a wee lad. In the bible, a Christian being involved with a non-Christian particularly in marriage is NOT ideal because of the fact that not only there is spiritual division but God is not fully at the foundation of the union, which can cause the relationship to crumble.

And boy, did we have our crumbling moments!

When I met Josh, he had been abstinent for 2 years. He was really trying to focus on God and do what is right. I thought that was awesome that he had been holding off for that long but unfortunately didn't respect or value his intentions. Sorry babe! Now as for me, I engaged in sexual behavior as a result of being in long term relationships which were three total before Josh. I thought of it as an act of showing love until I later learned the hard way during my 2.5 year relationship right before my involvement with Josh.

That is another story that I probably won't share. Just know that God used that relationship to get my attention and bring me closer to Him. Praise God!

So ultimately sexual temptation found its way into our relationship mainly because I (the woman) initiated it and he (being the guy who has been without for a long time) gave in and for a year, it had been a losing battle both spiritually and emotionally (something I wished my mom would have told me could happen when premarital sex is involved in a relationship).

Things got really strained as I started to see how my behavior had eventually gotten someone who was really focused on doing right to get caught up in doing the very thing he was abstaining from. Guilt and anger started to set in and I didn't like what was going on between us. I been down the same path with my previous relationships and I just couldn't continue to go down the same path with someone else.

I wanted to find Jesus. I wanted to have Him as the focus of my desires. Not flesh. So after a brief but hard break up, a mirage of conflicting emotions, and a strong desire to be whole again, God managed for Josh and I to reconcile and study more about God. April 13, 2006, after all the spiritual debates and bible studies, all the Sundays I attended Church with Josh, and all the struggles period, I was baptized into the Church of Christ.

The best move I have ever made!

I started to see things differently once I was added to Christ's Body. I started to respect my body more and realize that my body is a vessel given to me by God for Him to use to get His work done on earth. It's my responsibility to take care of it.

Sexual activity had dropped significantly between us because we both were Christians and were moving toward the same path spiritually. Don't get me wrong, we got caught up in the behavior every now but unlike before I was baptized, guilt would immediately set in following the act.

Not a good feeling to wrong God.

Two months would go between our acts. God was working in us. Josh left to go to Arizona for a year so we only engaged in the behavior during the two times I went to visit him that whole year because we simply just missed each other and wanted to enjoy the presence of each other before having to go months without seeing each other again (not a valid excuse but we REALLY did overwhelmingly miss each other and just didn't help ourselves). Once he got back to NC in 2007, we got back to the same old beat of things as they were before he left. Our last act was early January 2008 and I told him NO MORE! I can't stand the guilt anymore. I couldn't enjoy the behavior as much as I could have because God was on my mind during the act. I felt horrible and dirty.

So we held off for a long time (at least for me). Valentine's day would pass, my birthday, the hot summer months. I was on a roll! Resisting temptation! Almost 8 months have passed and I thought I got this abstinence thing down pat.

Oh, BUT September 19, 2008 came along. It was like everything slipped out the window. Temptation fell once again (particularly after I worked down to a lovely 138 pounds of beauty haha). For some reason we gave in just that easy. It was weird after being strong for so long. Now I understand how after 2 years of abstinence, Josh was able to give in. As before, I felt extremely guilty and repented immediately. I was so upset because I thought I was in control. I then realized that all this time, I relied on my own strength instead of turning to God for His strength to help me overcome my temptation. I got big headed and didn't give God the praise of getting me through as far as He did.

He showed me who is the Boss!

So I got a normal period the week after and thought I was in the clear. Whew! Now it was time to focus my attention on God and stay strong through Him.

To cut this story short already, on November 3, 2008, after a strange urge to detox my body from fair food I thought was making me feel woozy, an unexplained (at the time) super sense of smell, and a simple google search on the topic 'increased sense of smell', I found out I was pregnant. Naturally my world was shook and I will have to share how things changed in all aspects of the word in a whole other long post later.
My point I guess is that just because I am a single (in Christian term for being unmarried) mother does NOT mean I wasn't trying to save myself for marriage or that I was out there having guiltless sex with a lot or random guys. It was something we struggled with for a long time and eventually in our efforts we got caught up with one of the most difficult but rewarding blessings God graced us with-Zakiah.

It is not like I had to explained my situation to the world but if I can help someone as a result of my experience, then I am all for it. I don't mind being a walking example of how God's grace and mercy is good even when we slip and fall. You never know what a single mother went through that ultimately lead her to where she is now. She could have been raped, molested, drugged, had sex for the first time, or been married and divorced before or right after the child was born. Just because there is no ring on the finger gives anybody the right to judge anybody's situation. Just pray for that person because raising children is hard period. Married OR single. Bad intentions or good intentions. Ultimately we should want to raise our children the right way so they don't fall in the same hardships as we had to go through. That is why I quoted Proverbs at the top of my blog. We must train our children in the way the need to go so they don't depart from that way once they get older.

I love you Zakiah and don't ever want you to think I am ashamed of you! Being pregnant was not the sin. Having premarital sex was. And just because you see a couple married before having children doesn't mean they didn't engage in the same sexual behavior as those who have children and never been married. Being married doesn't make any premarital behavior any less of a sin.

Nevertheless, it has been way over a year since we have engaged in any behavior of the sort and I definitely praise God for His strength to overcome times of weakness. He knows our desire to wait until marriage before resuming the act because then it will be my duty as a wife to please my babe (yay!)

I can't wait! I have a feeling something is in the works but I pray that everything works out so the next time you see a picture of my left hand, you will see a precious piece of accessory.

::smile::

I love you Josh!

I love you Zakiah!

I love you Father!

Side note: Forgive me if you find any errors in this post. I typed it from the blackberry with my thumb in the middle of the night and now I am too tired to proof read. Thanks!

Sepia!

Just playing around with the sepia effect on my phone (no flash).

8 Months Ago...

...from yesterday, we brought this beautiful itty bitty baby girl home for the first time. Had no clue how to take care of a newborn but knew we had to take it one day AND night at a time. Boy, in 8 months and over 12 pounds heavier, Zakiah has changed a LOT! Sometimes I miss the days when she would just sleep 20 hours a day because now she is so active and so into everything she should not be into. But I must admit that she is so much fun! Laughing, playful, joyful. I never foresaw this in the beginning.



It has been amazing watching her grow. Now she can point her finger, put things in my mouth, give me a kiss, bounce up and down to a rhythm, slap her hand on surfaces, get down off the couch feet first, cruise laps around the coffee table at record speed, understand when I say 'come here', temporary stop what she is doing when I say no no, and eat her finger foods SO much better. When assisted, she really has the walking motion down pat. It is only a matter of time! I guess I will keep practicing with her for the time being.



She hasn't gotten anymore new teeth in yet although six is enough and more than what some of her peers have. She is getting better with a cup although she has no desire in holding it for herself yet.



I think these are all of her highlights I can think of so far. Oh, she likes to poop while standing up. She makes this cute grunting sound and her face scrunches up. I caught it on video and it cracks me up every time I watch it.



Well, that's it. As you can see, it is real late. I have had problems sleeping for the past few days because I get tired around 8 right after putting Zakiah to bed, fall asleep around 9ish, sleep for 3 to 4 hours, and wound up wide awake. Very frustrating! I hope I can get back on schedule soon!

Trying to Figure Out...

...how to get those Cheerios into her mouth. Yesterday was the first time Zakiah ate Cheerios. She liked them but had a hard time ramming them in her mouth. Half of the cereal was raked onto her seat. Still working on that pincher grip. But nevertheless, daddy helped her get those Cheerios into her mouth.

Princess Z's Royal Throne…

…is the name of her new potty seat! My dad and I were talking last week about how fast Zakiah is progressing through her milestones. We project that within the next two months, she will be walking. We both agreed that the earlier Zakiah starts potty training, the better especially once she starts walking. SO my parents, to my surprise, went ahead and bought Zakiah a potty seat. It is a Disney Winnie the Pooh Theme Seat that can transform into a step stool and a separate potty seat attachment to go on an actual toilet seat. It has a side handle that says encouraging phrases and makes flushing water sounds.



I am not exactly sure how to tackle potty training but for now, we are just letting Zakiah get accustomed to the seat. I have the seat right in front of my bathroom so she can learn to make the connection between potty and the bathroom as she watches me use the toilet (sorry if TMI but she always follow me into the bathroom).



I am so excited to embark on this new adventure. I already have several packs of size 4 Pull Ups stocked up and a free potty training DVD from Huggies so all I have to do now is wait until the time is right.



Please excuse the water marks on the wall and the big wet area on Zakiah's onesie. She loves drinking water from a regular cup even through most of it ends up on her clothes. I am debating weather or not to train her with a sippy cup (which has been unsuccessful given that she would rather chew on the sprout than suck). She likes the regular cup so much better.



Oh well. We will just have to go with the flow.



Thanks Margaret for your sweet comments! I am glad you enjoy checking up on us! :-)



Oh, and for the record, yesterday was a very bad and frustrating day for the most part. I will update later.

Thank God for Awesome Parents!

Because my mom and dad are just that! They are so supportive of me and still manage to spoil me with things I don't even deserve to have! In the midst of my financial hardship, they do NOT hesitate to pitch in whenever they can even when I don't ask for anything. And they don't ask for anything in return when they dish out money and time on me, Zakiah, and Josh. Mt dad's motto is: whatever is his is mine.

Awww, what more can I even ask of?

I know God supplies all my needs. That is why He blessed me with awesome parents! Thank You Father! I pray that I am as supportive of Zakiah in ANY situation as my parents have been with me since they found out I was pregnant. Many single mothers are not as fortunate so that is why I can't take my blessings for granted!

Cheesing from ear to ear and throwing my hands UP in praise!

God is SO very real! I love my God!

Happy EIGHT Months Zakiah!

Zakiah's First Haircut

Today, I decided to snip off the whimsical pieces of hair on the top, back, and sides of Zakiah's head. The top picture shows her hair this morning while the second picture shows her after the cut. I love her cut! Her hair is more even and I can see the shape of head better. No doubt about it; she definitely has Josh's head shape.

I took a picture of her snippets and will be keeping them as keepsakes for her baby book. Her hair is so soft!