There is a very good chance that being a single mother is not at all what you think. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

How I Really Feel about Being a Single Mother on Mother’s Day and Every Other Day of the Year

This post about my Mother’s Day in 2017 is clearly long overdue. But you know how the saying goes … Better late than never. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother’s Day.

*Sidenote: This post features the opinions of a woman who, at this point in life, only has five years of experience with raising one girl. Just in case you feel that makes a difference in what I’m going to write.

There is a very good chance that being a single mother is not at all what you think. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

This past Mother’s Day was my first one as an official single mother. I didn’t wake up to breakfast in bed or a bouquet of flowers. That’s because my daughter isn’t old enough to cook by herself and I no longer have a husband to make those things happen. Yet it was fabulous, none the less. I had a wonderful opportunity to simply relax and enjoy quality one on one time with my daughter. It was awesome! We did absolutely nothing except lounge around the house all day.

But what about your Mother’s Day brunch!? Well since you asked… “Brunch” consisted of a delicious mix of “Let’s see what we can come up with from the fridge”. The truth is this was my favorite Mother’s Day so far. There were no expectations, no agenda for the day, no pressure. I loved it!

There is a very good chance that being a single mother is not at all what you think. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

Society has placed a grossly false stereotype on single motherhood. (More specifically, single black motherhood). We aren’t all surviving on welfare with six kids in the projects while our baby daddy is locked up. That is just a plain wrong viewpoint to put on all single black mothers. I know that is true for a small percentage but it’s not my story.

God has truly blessed me to have a mindset of gratitude. Although it isn’t easy to maintain especially when I see so much of what could be considered greener grass. When I first became single I was envious of the friends whose marriages and families were still holding together. At times I felt that there was something wrong with me for not sticking it out. And of course I worried about the effects of Lily growing up with divorced parents. I mean, come on, Christians don’t get divorced!!!

There is a very good chance that being a single mother is not at all what you think. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

Fast forward to now when I’m in a place where I have come to terms with my marriage ending. Yes, there was something wrong with me; with Terry; with our friends; with the world. That something is sin. I could have stayed but I didn’t. We were two sinful people who wouldn’t step out of the comfort of our selfishness to allow God to orchestrate the structure of our marriage.

So here I am, a single mother.

Let’s go back to God blessing me with a mindset of gratitude. I love my life! I love that God moves through and all around me everyday to constantly show me all that I have to be grateful for. The most important being my daughter. I know it sounds unbelievable but being a mother (and a single mother) is fun. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy. I love my child.

There is a very good chance that being a single mother is not at all what you think. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

Not that raising Lily is a slice of cherry pie a la mode. Motherhood requires much of me on a daily basis. Loving my child means I actively stay present in her life. It means that I allow her the space to grow as an individual with a strong personality, feelings, and opinions. It means that I guide and discipline her with compassion and understanding.

Discipline usually isn’t associated with compassion but that’s what it is. To let a child live in an environment where they don’t receive proper structure and direction is reckless. Children need to be taught how to function as upstanding citizens in the world. At times these lessons are not easy to teach. Occasionally I find myself irritated or upset because Lily behaved in such a way that warranted correction when I really just wanted her to “be good” so she wouldn’t get in trouble. In reality what I’m saying is Lily’s undesirable behavior is an inconvenience to my wishes for her to always be pleasant and obedient.

There is a very good chance that being a single mother is not at all what you think. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

Unrealistic standards for anyone! Much more so for a five year old. She’s an imperfect person. Inevitably she will not follow my directions. She will break something when I told her not to touch it. She will throw a fit because I said she couldn’t watch tv. She will have to be told repeatedly to pick up her toys. And I will have to deal with each situation accordingly. That is my job as a parent. I would be doing Lily a grave disservice to overlook or ignore times when she needed correction because I just didn’t want to deal with doling out consequences. Being a good parent isn’t about  I want it’s about what Lily needs.

Also, speaking of “discipline” that leads me to another stereotype for Black America.

Black people do love their children. We hug and kiss them, play with them, read to them, help them with their homework, take care of them. We don’t spend all day giving them spankings, whoopings, beatings or whatever you call it.

There is a very good chance that being a single mother is not at all what you think. Here is how I really feel about being a single mother on Mother's Day and every other day of the year.

Ok… Back on topic… For me being a single mother means accepting, with joy, the responsibility of stewardship over my daughter’s life as she, God willing, grows into adulthood. How dare I not cherish every moment that God blesses me to have with her! Now pause to realize that it doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, black or white, male or female, to make that lifestyle choice.

Choices. Isn’t that what it breaks down to? You as a person have the choice to live however you want. Just keep in mind there are rewards or consequences for everything. I choose to love my life. My single mother life.

Thank you so much for reading! If you liked this, there’s a whole lot more where it came from! Subscribe to the blog and stay connected to My City Adventures.

Whether you're traveling to Kansas City on a budget or are simply looking for activities that won't break the bank, you will love my Guide to Summer in KC!

The Ultimate 2017 Guide to Having a Fabulous and Completely Free Summer in Kansas City

Whether you’re traveling to Kansas City on a budget or are simply looking for activities that won’t break the bank, you will love my Guide to Summer in KC! Some of the event listings are sponsored which means I received compensation for sharing them with you.

I love that I live in a city where I don’t have to spend a fortune on fun things to do. No matter the time of year, Kansas City has wallet friendly activities and events. But there’s just something magical about the summer! Warmer days, gorgeous nights, and for my family it is birthday season. Yep, we were all born in July or August. Except for my oddball sister who has a January birthday…

Whether you're traveling to Kansas City on a budget or are simply looking for activities that won't break the bank, you will love my Guide to Summer in KC!
Image Source

Summer is when most people start reaching deep into their piggy banks to splurge on vacations. Not me! Actually that’s a lie. God willing, I’ll be going on a few road trips this summer. More on that later. Even so, I take on this season with an extra challenge. How many free things to do can I find over the next three months? This year I’m sharing that list with you! You’ll be surprised at some of my finds.

The Ultimate Guide to Free Summer Events & Activities in Kansas City

Plaza Live! Courtyard Concerts – May through September
Live music from the best local and regional acts kicks off at the Country Club Plaza on May 4th. Plaza Live! features concerts in beautiful Plaza courtyards every Thursday 5 to 8 pm, Friday 4 to 7 pm, Saturday 2 to 5 pm, and Sunday noon to 3 pm. Concerts are held in Mermaid Courtyard near Michael Kors, Penguin Courtyard near J. Crew, and Valencia Courtyard near Banana Republic from May through the end of September.

Off the Wall Film Series – May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8
This year the Kansas City Public Library’s annual rooftop summer film series highlights quirky characters fighting the status quo. Bring blankets and folding chairs to the Rooftop Terrace of the Central Library for an evening of downtown KC skyline cinema. Enjoy popcorn courtesy of Friends of the Library and locally brewed ales and lagers from Kansas City Bier Company. Doors open at 8 pm, screenings start at 8:45 pm.

Hot Country Nights – June through mid August
Hot Country Nights presented by Q104 is a country concert series happening at the Kansas City Live Block every Thursday evening, all summer long! The party starts every week at 7 pm. Shows are open to all ages but anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Must be over 21 to enter after 9 pm.

Whether you're traveling to Kansas City on a budget or are simply looking for activities that won't break the bank, you will love my Guide to Summer in KC!
Image Source

Dragon Boat Festival – June 10
The 13th annual Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival brings the traditions of ancient China to Brush Creek on the Country Club Plaza on June 10th. Enjoy this event featuring 14 college and community boat racing teams, authentic musical and martial arts performances, children’s activities and the Bochi and Kona Ice food trucks. The eyes of the dragon are opened at 9:45 am when the races begin.

Juneteenth KC – June 10, June 17
Juneteenth is the annual commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the United States. The celebration kicks off in Kansas City with a parade down the historic 18th and Vine District on June 10th from 11 am to 1:30 pm. For the first year ever the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art joins JuneteenthKC in commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States. Activities at the museum include visual and literary arts, music, entertainment, and education on June 10th from 10 am to 4 pm. The Juneteenth Festival takes place at 18th and Vine on June 17th from noon to 8 pm. The festival features cultural activities, a kids zones, crafts, local music, and dance.

Sprint Family Fun Days – May 13, June 10, July 8, August 12, September 9, October 14
Bring your kids downtown for the Sprint Family Fun Series the second Saturday of each month, May – October. Enjoy a new theme filled with family fun and entertainment every time. Be a part of all the fun on social media by using #FamilyFunKC. Event is held on 14th Street and Walnut Street in the Kansas City Power & Light District from 10 am to 3 pm.

Whether you're traveling to Kansas City on a budget or are simply looking for activities that won't break the bank, you will love my Guide to Summer in KC!
Image Source

City Market Busker Festival –  June 11
The City Market is known for its buskers (street performers who entertain for tips). They are an important part of the unique atmosphere at the City Market. On June 11th, 9 am to 1 pm, the City Market presents Busker Festival, a celebration of  the street-style entertainment that’s fun for all ages. The Busker Festival will showcase uni-cycling, juggling, fire twirling, aerial arts, stilt walkers, dancers, comedy, hula hooping, circus acts, magicians and more. The City Market’s motto is “where the locals go,” and in keeping with that tradition, all performers are local to the area.

Urbana KC – June 11, June 25
This downtown street scene happens on select Sundays in June. A familiar city block is re-imagined without the traffic flow from cars. You can eat and drink under the stars, hear live music, see public art displays and share a uniquely Kansas City summer experience. It all takes place in the heart of the Power & Light District neighborhood from 4 to 8 pm.

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival – June 13 through July 2 (excluding Mondays)
Moral corruption, revenge, madness, murder – Hamlet runs the gamut of dysfunction. This year’s festival focuses on the villainy and abundant human frailty in perhaps the greatest of the Bard’s 38 plays. Activities for each night include an educational prologue to the play and performances from the KC Shakes teen apprentice troupe. The play begins at 7:30 pm. Enjoy your dinner, picnic style, with blankets and lawn chairs or buy food from nearby vendors.

Whether you're traveling to Kansas City on a budget or are simply looking for activities that won't break the bank, you will love my Guide to Summer in KC!
Image Source

Future Stages Festival – June 25
As an extension of the Kauffman Center’s Spotlight on Youth initiative, Future Stages Festival is a free, community event designed to celebrate the arts in Kansas City. This one-day festival showcases Kansas City’s diversity. It brings together visitors from all over the metro area to enjoy interactive arts activities and performances featuring more than 700 young artists.

Crown Center Weekenders – July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4
Cap off your work week with top local bands and favorite food trucks. Finish the evening with a famous flick under the stars at Crown Center Square. Festivities begin at 6 pm with the movie starting at approximately 9 pm.

Kansas City’s Big Picnic – July 23

Celebrate National Park and Recreation Month and KC Parks 125th anniversary with Kansas City’s Big Picnic. Kansas City Parks and Recreation join with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to host the biggest picnic the region has ever seen! The Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park and Theis Park will be linked to become a giant space for Kansas City to come together for an evening of fun activities from 4 to 8 pm. Pack your own picnic or grab dinner from an on-site food truck.

Whether you're traveling to Kansas City on a budget or are simply looking for activities that won't break the bank, you will love my Guide to Summer in KC!
Image Source

First Fridays – Monthly recurring event
On the first Friday of every month, the Crossroads and 18th & Vine districts come alive with hundreds of people there to enjoy works from local artists, buskers, street concerts, and more. Arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a variety of local businesses feature regional and national artists as well as live entertainment starting in the early evening.

Third Thursdays – Monthly recurring event
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art hosts third Thursday programs every month from 6 to 9 pm It’s your not-so-quiet night at the museum where art and local talents meet for a lively night of free entertainment. The night spotlights the wonderful musicians, community organizations and local businesses from the Kansas City area while drawing attention to the artwork, galleries and exhibitions at the museum.

Third Fridays –  late Spring through mid Fall
The West 39th Street District takes summer up a notch on 3rd Fridays. Live acoustic musicians stretch all the way down West 39th, boutiques have extended hours, restaurants have special happy hours. It’s a great time to get out and explore the local atmosphere at a leisurely pace. Activities take place from 5:30 to 9:30 pm.

Phew, that’s a long list! I hope my guide gives you some fun ideas for summer. Also I mentioned earlier that I plan on hitting the road soon. And I’m taking my free loving spirit along when I do! Subscribe to the blog so you won’t miss any of my city adventures. Thank you for reading!

I am passionate about three things. Food. Children. Adventures. This is a list of my favorite charities that represent those three things. - My City Adventures

Charities that Represent the Things I Am Most Passionate About

I am passionate about three things. Food. Children. Adventures. Here is a list of my favorite charities that represent those three things. This post also has sponsored links. I hope you enjoy reading and will take the time to explore these charities further.

When I say I’m passionate about food, I don’t just mean eating it. Although, that’s where it started! I constantly advocate for people to learn just how easy and inexpensive it is to eat healthy foods. Whenever someone tells me how hard it is to afford quality foods I always recommend two places. The first is their local farmers market. The second is Thrive Market.

I am passionate about three things. Food. Children. Adventures. This is a list of my favorite charities that represent those three things. - My City Adventures

Thrive Market is a membership community that uses the power of direct buying to deliver the world’s best healthy food and natural products to members at wholesale prices. At 25-50% off retail, most Thrive members make back their $60 membership fee in savings within their first two orders. Their mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. That’s why, in addition to already affordable health foods and products, Thrive Market’s Spread the Health program donates a membership to low-income families, teachers, veterans, and students for every purchased membership. More than 23 million Americans today still live in “food deserts”—low-income neighborhoods without healthy food. This leads to low-income families resorting to buying food they know isn’t healthy just to make ends meet. The lack of access contributes to a number of illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. By donating, you help food-insecure families stock up on wholesome pantry essentials and kick-start their journey to good health. Use my Thrive Market link to enjoy a 30 day free membership trial.

It wasn’t until my daughter was born that I realized just how awesome and amazing a privilege it is to raise a child. Children are capable of being the most intelligent, compassionate human beings. If we as their parents, teachers, and role models don’t hinder them from fulfilling their potential. Unbound and Show Me Shoes Foundation, both based in Kansas City, MO, are two charities that are on a mission to help children and the families that raise them.

I am passionate about three things. Food. Children. Adventures. This is a list of my favorite charities that represent those three things. - My City Adventures

Unbound is an international nonprofit bringing people together to challenge poverty in new and innovative ways. They deliver financial assistance to people in 19 countries. Each sponsorship directly benefits an individual and helps pay for education, skills training and livelihood programs. They believe families and communities can overcome the challenges that face them when we all work together. Unbound also creates opportunities right in my hometown of Kansas City, MO. Every week, Operation Breakthrough cares for more than 400 children. More than 20 percent of the children are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless — living in battered women’s or homeless shelters or transitional living programs in Kansas City. Unbound provides funding for mental health care for those kids and family services to help their parents give a better life. Unbound staff members also volunteer weekly by tutoring children at Chalet Manor public housing in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, KS. The Learning Club of KCK serves more than 100 children, focusing on homework help and enrichment activities. Unbound and the Learning Club of KCK share the goal of helping children who live in poverty meet their highest potential through one-on-one relationships.

I am passionate about three things. Food. Children. Adventures. This is a list of my favorite charities that represent those three things. - My City Adventures

Show Me Shoes Foundation launched when friends Anneka Maquay and Shiv’on Bullock shared a vision to inspire young girls to follow their dreams and to help build confidence from the “Sole”. Show Me Shoes Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a goal to create a movement of confidence through self-love, mentors and sisterhood. Show Me Shoes has served young girls and women in chapters in Atlanta, GA, Los Angeles, CA and Kansas City, MO. With the support of volunteers and donations, they are able to make a difference by restoring strength and self-love through the “sole”.

When it comes to adventures the more unique they are the more I like them! I don’t just mean bungee jumping of a cliff or flying off top a getaway on the beach in Bali. Sometimes the most treasured explorations are to be had right where you call home. Social Heart provides a myriad of my kind of adventures all year-long.

I am passionate about three things. Food. Children. Adventures. This is a list of my favorite charities that represent those three things. - My City Adventures

Social Heart is a non-profit organization that is 100% volunteer managed. Their purpose is to create a better community by supporting all local charities in the Greater Kansas City area in uniquely impactful ways. Social Heart is helping to improve the city through creatively fun events, promotions, marketing, donations, and volunteer support. A few of their biggest events are the annual Mardi Gras celebration, Laugh Your Ass Off comedy show, and National Volunteer Appreciation Month. They also host monthly happy hours at a variety of local places. The best thing about Social Heart is that all funds raised go directly to the charities.

Thank you so much for reading! What are you most passionate about? What are some of your favorite charities? Leave a comment below.

Summit Grill is a casually chic eatery in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. The menu highlights American classics, weekend brunch, and happy hours.

A Delectable Lesson in American Cuisine from Summit Grill

What is an American meal? I always ask myself that question when I see a restaurant boasting its food as “American”. Honestly, I normally think of cheeseburgers. Is that all American food is cracked up to be? A hunk of beef between two slices of bread. Um, thank but no thanks. I’m not that big a fan. But Summit Grill redefined my understanding of what the good old USA considers its traditional dishes. This meal also marks the second “meeting” for the KC Foodie Club.

Summit Grill is a casually chic eatery in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. The menu highlights American classics, weekend brunch, and happy hours.

Summit Grill is a casual eatery with two locations in Lee’s Summit, MO and Kansas City’s historic Waldo neighborhood. The menu features brunch, lunch, happy hour and dinner with a range of options including hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, salads, burgers and dessert creations made by pastry chef Nicolette Foster. Summit Grill is led by restaurateurs Andy Lock and Domhnall Molloy, who also dreamed up Third Street Social and Boru Ramen.

What We Ordered at Summit Grill

Summit Grill is a casually chic eatery in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. The menu highlights American classics, weekend brunch, and happy hours.
Photo credit: @Miss_KC_Foodie
  • Buttermilk biscuits with cheesy scrambled eggs, and Fritz’s sausage gravy – $8.95.
  • Fried chicken salad under a bed of cheddar jack cheese, bacon, carrots, tomatoes, and honey mustard dressing – $9.95.
  • Jalapeño cheese grits with thick slabs of Nueske’s bacon, Fritz’s sausage, and soft poached eggs – $10.95. Note that the grits were gluten-free and presented in the cutest mason jar.
  • Corned beef brisket hash with eggs, bell peppers, onions, and. Hollandaise – $9.95. The hash was also gluten-free.
  • Slow roasted prime rib dip on a hoagie with au jus, horseradish cream, and french fries – $15.95
  • Bottomless Mimosas – $9.95.

Summit Grill is a casually chic eatery in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. The menu highlights American classics, weekend brunch, and happy hours.

By the end of the meal, each of us was completely stuffed with no room for dessert. However I did manage to fit in one last mouth-watering photo of the sweets before we left. Pictured are their Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée, Candy Bar Cake, Carrot Cake, and Peppermint Cheesecake.

Party Time at Summit Grill

Summit Grill in Lee’s Summit offers two private event spaces. The Back Bar, which accommodates groups up to 125, features a private cocktail bar, dining area and patio. A second, more intimate, dining space is also available and seats up to 30 people. The Annex is a private event space at the Waldo site which can hold up to 75. Complete with a fully stocked bar, it’s the perfect place for meetings, parties and special events.

Summit Grill is a casually chic eatery in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. The menu highlights American classics, weekend brunch, and happy hours.

Summit Grill is a deliciously comforting reminder of what’s good about American food. Thank you so much for reading!

Blogging about Random Thoughts, Rants, and Expressing my General Opinions

Every Wednesday evening, after Lily has gone to sleep and I finally have some quiet moments to myself, I ask the same question. What subject should I start blogging about for next week? Thus starts the laborious process of giving birth to a new blog post. That’s how I affectionately describe it because that’s what it feels like mentally.

At first I’m super excited with the idea of exploring the city and experiencing so much I can share with others, just like a couple who begins to contemplate having a baby. Just picture it! Won’t it be so wonderful! Next I go through the stages of searching, finding, and doing interesting things around the city much like women going through her 10 months of pregnancy. Did you think it was 9 months? No, it’s 10! 40 weeks = 10 months. For me it was actually 41.5 weeks.

 

Anyway, here I am simply glowing! I’m on a fantastic adventure and life is just plain amazing! Then the pains start. Uh oh! The weekend is over. Now is the time for me to buckle down, get to work, and push this blog post out. As I wheel myself into the blogging (labor) room I know what’s coming and yet I’m not ready. Come on, Kiara! Push! This post has to done by Monday night! Ugh! What did I do last week? How can I turn it into a story? Did I take enough decent photos?

Finally after hours and hours of battling through SEO, grammar checks, and photo editing I’m ready for one last push. The publish button. With sheer happiness I sit back for a moment and cherish all the hard work I just endured. As I look at my brand new beautiful blog post a sense of pride washes over me. I did it! Here’s my wonderful new story for the world to see. Then, as with all parents who have a slight degree of insanity, I think, “How about going on another adventure?” So the cycle begins again.

Back to what I was talking about at the beginning. Every Wednesday I start to think about what my next blog post will be about. This week I had nothing. Not exactly nothing. I did plenty. I just had nothing I wanted to write about. If you were hoping this story would be about my latest adventure simply head over to My City Adventures on Instagram. That’s where I share all our explorations everyday. While you’re there hit that good old follow button! 👍

When I got serious about blogging the focus of my several of my first posts was restaurant reviews. In trying to describe the foods I ate with more words than delicious and tasty I searched online for synonyms. These are my favorites. Ambrosial. Delectable. Gratifying. Luscious. Mouth-watering. Nectarous. Palatable. Piquant. Sapid. Scrumptious. Toothsome. I must use those words more often. Or rather, I should utilize such vernacular in my vocabulary at a greater frequency. See what I did there?

Please excuse me now. This exhausted mama of 133 is about to birth 134. Thank you for reading! Did you enjoy my random thoughts on blogging? Subscribe to My City Adventures so you won’t miss next Monday’s post. I’m sure you’ll find it most toothsome!