Hey, hey, hey!!! Dang, I haven’t written in over a year and a half. That’s nuts. Doesn’t feel like that long. Lots has been going on so I wasn’t as present. Whenever Al & I started dating, he got me this blog because he knew how much I loved to write and he thought it would help me process things, and it did. Anyway, I thought I’d start writing again because the past few years have just been kind of… I don’t know- a lot, I guess. Anyway, I’ll do a quick, not-in-depth, catch-up of the last year-and-a-half and then try to check in more frequently than every 18 months! Lol.
Follow up from the last blog- our house was FINALLY finished, and it only took 18 whole months! Completely ridiculous. lol. Listen. If you are thinking about building with Richmond American Homes, do not do it. They really drag their feet. So, so slow. And not because of the pandemic- they’re just slow. I do really love our house though.
We’ve been here a whole year now! We’ve gone through every season so we can finally start painting the walls. We just had our one-year warranty walk-through, so they’re going to fix all of the problems we’ve ran into over the next couple of months and then we’ll start changing some things.
I’m most excited about the garage. The back half of it is going to be a gym. It’s gonna be so dope. I’m gonna post some pictures of it. I’ve got big plans, and I’m very excited.
So let me tell you about the house name- The Oaks. Alright, I’ve always been terrible at couple names and stuff. Like, a couple of years after our wedding someone was like, oh, did y’all do Q & A for Questions and Answers? And I said, no, of course we didn’t but that would have been cool! One of my friends has the best ones. I don’t remember what she called her wedding, but her house is the Lillypad because her last name is Lilly. So creative 😭
Anyway, when we moved into our house I was determined to figure out a name. And eventually I thought, CHIPMUNKS!!!! Back when I was like 20 my niece and nephew, Jada and Elijah, stayed with us for maybe two months. One day they woke up and just randomly started calling Al, Uncle Chip. So for the past 16 years we have all called Al, Chip. Eventually- very, very recently- we realized that they were calling him that because of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
So I thought… hmmm… where did Alvin and the Chipmunks live? Dave’s house. Not calling our house that. But before that, they lived in an Oak tree. And also, oak trees are symbolic for wisdom, strength, endurance, power, justice and honesty- all things that we hope to have. So it was perfect. Al and his chipmunks’ house will be known as The Oaks 🙂 So I had this ordered from Harold Home, and it is framed in the entrance of our home:
We had our sweet little baby boy in December 2021! He is completely healthy and we named him Maven Axavier. He is named after my younger brother Xzavier, but his name starts with an A because all of our middle names start with an A. X is just one of me and Al’s favorites. We love him so much. He is so kind and patient and strong. We hope that Maven is as resilient a man as my brother.
Anyway, Maven has been such an easy baby, but all of our babies have been super easy. He didn’t start sleeping through the night until 7 months, so that wasn’t fun but he was super, super chill otherwise. He is so sweet, affectionate, funny, smart and silly. He is also WILD. Being chill honestly didn’t last too long. Other people who don’t come over or spend a lot of time with us still think he’s chill, but he is not. At all. He’s always on the go. He’s so busy and he tries to get into everything; he’s so curious and he’s really fun. And he’s always talking- so, so loud. But honestly- between Al and me, did he really have a chance? I don’t know. lol.
Lately, he has been acting at one how Alvin did when he was two, which has been… challenging. But he is still super sweet. He is growing so fast. I guess that is to be expected because his siblings are so much older than him. I love watching him play with Alvin and Zoe. He just follows them around and they play games together. It’s so cute. Anyway, here are a few pictures of our sweet boy.
The last few years have been a whirlwind. There’s so much to say, but I’m just gonna sum up a few things.
When we moved here, we knew my sister-in-law, who was about 45 minutes away, Al’s best friend, who was super close, and a couple from the Marine Corps, who were over an hour away- I wish we got to see them more. For whatever reason, people who live in DC (at least our friends) act like going more than 15 minutes is far. No shade, but it’s weird. lol. In Texas, it took at least 30 minutes to go everywhere.
Anyway, it has always been hard for me adjusting to change, being out of my comfort zone. Moving here to a city, having little to no friends, living in a white neighborhood, having little to no family… it was very, very, very hard. And Al traveled alllll the time for work.
I know that I am not an easy person to get close to. I don’t talk to people about what is currently happening in my life. After I get through things, I am an open book. But in the present, I mostly talk to Al and my best friend. So I know that not being particularly close to people has a lot to do with me, but still, it has felt very lonely here. I mean, I do have friends here, and they are wonderful. But for the most part, our relationships have been surface level. We don’t talk to each other or call each other when stuff is going on or when things are hard. We just hang out and have fun. And it’s weird to live somewhere for such a long time and not have like… a close friend, you know?
And then when all of that stuff was happening with Ahmaud Arberry, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor… I just wanted friends who could relate and friends who understood. Or friends that I could talk to who didn’t just stare at me blankly or say things that were nuts. Like, I do want black friends but all of my friends don’t have to be black; they do have to be empathetic though. And people be saying off the wall stuff. And I’m not doing that.
DC is very gentrified and segregated. If we had known what we know now about the neighborhoods that we chose to live in, we would have never lived there. Black people reading this, don’t ever live in Navy Yard or Capitol Hill. It is not for us.
I won’t get into it too much, because it’s just going to irritate me but we were treated very poorly in our neighborhood and by our neighbors. We lived in this high rise above Whole Foods; our building had maybe 5 or 6 black families there. We were continuously treated like we did not belong there. Either someone was closing the door on us when we walked in or someone was saying something weird on the elevator like, you know I support Black Lives Matter, right? But usually the first situation. And it’s like… bruh, we can be black and live here. And no, we don’t work here. Also, what am I supposed to do with you being okay with Black people? You just should be. It was ridiculous. And recently I went to visit my friend’s apartments on Capitol Hill wearing basketball shorts, Jordans and a hoodie and again got the infamous question, hey, you work here, right? And I got so mad, and then thought… Quiana, you don’t live here anymore, just be grateful. And I was, because I got to go home and be away from ignorant people.
Anyway, things have gotten better. Before the pandemic we barely hung out with anyone, but we had a pandemic crew (we knew them before) who we isolated with and got to know each other better and that was pretty cool. And the past year I’ve made friends who were older and not white (most of my friends were white and in their twenties and, regardless of color, I needed older friends). And I feel like I’m allowing myself to trust people more and get to know people, which is nice. And rare. lol.
So I’ve been in church my whole life. I grew up in the Black Church and I went to Black Churches until Al and I got married when I was 27. Honestly, I had planned on going to Black Churches forever because it was just normal for me. The people, the music, the worship, the preaching, everything. But when we got married, our neighbors invited us to church, and our neighbors were great. The church was super white though. Al wasn’t saved when we got married. He grew up in church too, but some of the things he saw in the war just made him have a lot of questions. He was pretty Agnostic. When we got married we made an agreement that if I went to the gym with him, he would go to church with me.
Anyway, our community group at our church in TX was soooo great, we ended up going to our church the whole time we lived in Fort Worth. I was iffy on the church, but Al got saved there and I really loved our CG. When we moved to DC though, we didn’t want to go to a white church again. We visited a few churches, and of course the one we felt like God wanted us to be at was super white.
The first message the pastor taught was about how he believed in diversity and what he really wanted was for his predominantly white church in DC to start looking like DC (ethnically diverse). And Al and I were like, we want to get behind that and help because the church should look like Heaven. The church is only separated because of sin- all of that separate, but equal nonsense. In regards to my previous statement of wanting to be at black churches forever- I had just been feeling like… if you have to choose between feeling alone, and feeling included, comfortable and at home… It’s really not a hard choice. And that’s still something that I struggle with. Anyway, we joined the church back in 2017.
So this is under mental health because, while it is a great effort- diversifying the church, it is really hard. I am often the only black woman in the room. The only black woman my age. Al and I are usually the only black couple. And I don’t think it’s intentional, but still, I have felt left out and dismissed and I hate it. Obviously, I speak up and we work through these things and the Church is where people come for healing and salvation. To me, being a part of leadership, it should be expected that sometimes it won’t be easy. But it is work, and it is hard.
Also, I have ALWAYS had black friends, and I make my friends organically. I don’t want to go to events looking for black friends; that is weird. Let me just go scavenge this park and ask this black woman if she wants to come over for dinner. lol. What? Anyway, I don’t work or go to school, so church right now is my only social space, and the past six years I’ve not had friends who enjoy black culture the way that I do and that has been really hard. I mean, I just wanna say Moo Psi Moo, Milk It Milk It Milk It and someone gets it. Lol. Anyway, I still talk to my friends in TX and my best friend in California, but I am a quality time person and I also want friends here. So… yeah. That’s been rough. But again, I have met more people the last year, so it’s getting better.
Family & Depression & Random Stuff
Family can be a lot. Last year we had nine people living in our house. It was cool to have so much family here, but man, a lot went into it.
Anyway, there was also this whole shebang with my dad and his wife. I don’t talk to my dad as much anymore, and that makes me really sad. But I’m just over all the extra stuff. Blended families aren’t supposed to be that hard, and it’s literally been decades. And I’m not gonna deal with the drama and empty apologies that I never signed up for in the first place. I mean, I just don’t have to be a part of that anymore *shrugs*
There’s been some more stuff. New diagnosis (I’m 100% fine). New professional endeavors. We got a new dog- a toy poodle named Rocket. More stuff that I’m not going to write about right now. Lol. But here’s a picture of Rocket. He’s really sweet and cute and wildly annoying at the same time. I’m going to put him in training some time this year. Absolutely no idea what I was thinking getting a puppy two months older than my baby. Foolery. 😩 Maven and Rocket are a mess together. At first I thought Rocket was just being bad going around scavenging for food, but about a month ago I saw Maven walk up to Rocket and put a piece of food directly into his mouth. So I realized Maven was the culprit. He is behind Rocket begging for food all the time. Maven is always giving Rocket food. I don’t know how I never noticed, but he does it all the time and it’s really annoying. lol.
Me & My Lover
Me and Al are doing well. In 2 months we’ll have been married for ten years! That’s so crazy. Where did the time go?! We’re going to have a party for our ten year anniversary and ten years with no brain tumor. The anniversaries are two months apart so we’re gonna combine them. It’s gonna be dope. And the next day we’re going on a 7-day cruise to Bermuda. It docks in VA for a day and docks in Bermuda for three days.
We went on a cruise for our honeymoon, but we didn’t do any shore excursions for that one. I think we’ll do some shore excursions on this one. I wanna go snorkeling. I wanted to go to the cave thing, but then I saw that it was 6 hours and I was like… y’all not about to have me underground in a cave for that long. Hard pass. Anyway, I’m very excited. lol.
We’re taking the kids to Disney World for a family celebration in April. We were just going to do a family celebration, then we were like… nah, we need an adult vacation. We got three kids. lol. Very excited to go to Disney World. None of us have ever been besides Al. I hear Epcot is the best for us grown folk.
Me and Al are going to go on a date at least once a month this year. We’re going to rotate who plans them. I planned the first one, which was super fun. We went to the Museum of Illusions then went to Capital City Brewery.
Alvin & Zoe
My babies are so sweet. They are so funny and so smart and are growing up way too fast. Zoe is in this Hip-Hop/African dance class. She is such a good dancer. She is also in a club at school. She is so smart. She is a grade ahead in Maryland and she has a 4.0.
We just signed Alvin up for flag football. He is super excited. I can’t wait to see him play. He is trying to get in a club at school too, but it might be full. We’ll see soon. He asks me every day if he can go to after school care, and I’m like… but that costs money and I don’t work… soooo no? He is doing really well in school too. He has a 3.875. I’m so proud of them. My little snickerdoodles are so smart.
They are also so good with Maven. Really great big brother and big sister. I just love them so much. They got phones for Christmas, and they’re obsessed with them. It’s annoying but expected given that’s how people are with phones. Including me, sometimes. Ugh. We went to LA last weekend and when we walked back in the house they didn’t even look up. I was like… ummm, hi! I can’t even get a hug?! *rolls eyes*
Wrap It Up
Anyway, this probably doesn’t really sum up the past year and a half of me not blogging but it’s a good catch up. I’m going to blog more regularly now, for real! Ok. Later gators!