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Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions: Make 2011 Your Best Year Yet



What are your plans to make 2011 better than 2010?

I love reflecting back on the previous year, and anticipate the upcoming year and all that it has to offer.

My New Year’s Resolution List consists of the following:

1. I will take care of myself mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially.
2. I will continue to balance work and motherhood and spend quality time with family and friends.
3. I will volunteer by mentoring children at the Boys and Girls Club of America.
4. I will schedule speaking engagements.
5. I will continue to write, blog and publish.
6. I will continue to travel.
7. I will continue to educate myself.

Wishing you and your family the best New Year ever!

Best,
Sojourner
About Sojourner Marable Grimmett: Married with 2 Boys. Stay-At-Work Mom. Sister. Twin. Daddy’s Girl. Best Friend. Sorority Sister. Writer. Speaker. Poet. Activist. Registered Organ Donor. Super Nice. Likes to Give Hugs so much so that she may even tackle you! Visit her blog: sojournermarablegrimmett.blogspot.com follow her on twitter and like her on Facebook.

Photo: Allen Cooley Photography

Monday, December 27, 2010

Creating Quality Time with Your Children

Our youngest son will be one-year-old next week.  I marvel at how much he's progressed in a year.  I can already get a “glimpse” of his personality: funny, charming, and determined.  Life sometimes seems to go by so fast, that I often sit back and cherish the moments of yesterday.  I treasure watching our oldest son play with his transformers and monster trucks, and our youngest covering his eyes in a game of peek-a-boo.  I'm reminded of my childhood, and the importance of creating quality time with our children. 




1. Read a Book - Children love books!  Reading a book helps expand their vocabulary, and takes them to another world.  It’s a place of fantasy where they can dream and imagine.  This is also an excellent time to bond.  My mom constantly sends books to our children, building them a wonderful library to explore.  Each night we read several books to our sons.  At times, it's the same book over and over again. 

2. Travel - We like to take adventure trips with our children.  Whether it's hoping in the car, or riding Marta (train), getting out and exploring what the city and countryside have to offer, is such a joy and eye-opening experience for our children.  Traveling is educational, and allows us to teach them how to interact with others.
 
3. Cultural Events – Exposing our sons to various cultures is beneficial.  Attending cultural fairs and events makes learning about other ethnic groups so much fun.  This will help eliminate stereotyping and promote inclusiveness.

4. Meal Time - The dining room table was once used primarily for folding clothes.  Now, we like to sit at the table each evening and talk about the day's activities.  Learning table manners are an important part to proper social etiquette.

5. Dance – We are a family that loves to sing and dance.  Wednesday is dance night.  We turn up the jams and get down!  Our boys love to move and groove.  As a result, our oldest son has already shown greater maneuverability and coordination when playing sports.

Create quality time with your children, and always cherish the special moments.


Published BlackCelebkids.com

Saturday, December 25, 2010

W.E.A.L.T.H. 2010 Pre-conference Workshop: GACRAO's First Forum for Women

By Sojourner Marable Grimmett

Hosted by the Georgia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (GACRAO) President-elect Dr. Angela Evans, director of student recruitment and admissions at Kennesaw State University, the W.E.A.L.T.H (Women and Gender Equity and Access through Leadership and Training)
pre-conference workshop at this year's annual GACRAO conference motivated, educated, inspired, and empowered women in higher education.

After 18 months of planning and preparation, the pre-conference planning committee members were excited to showcase a new platform and opportunity for admission and registrar participants of post-secondary education institutions.

W.E.A.L.T.H planning committee members include the following:

Dr. Angela Evans, GACRAO President-elect Director of Student Recruitment
and Admissions, Kennesaw State University

Dr. Tyra Wingo, Chair
Associate Registrar, Chattahoochee Technical College

Romina Torres-Aranda
Associate Director of Admissions, Kennesaw State University

Sojourner Marable Grimmett
Senior Admission Representative and Student Ambassador Adviser, Savannah
College of Art and Design

Ana Edwards
Associate Registrar, Kennesaw State University

Dr. Nichole Kennedy, GACRAO Secretary
Executive Director of Student Affairs, Technical College System of Georgia

Mr. Clint Hobbs, GACRAO President
Vice President for Enrollment Management, Young Harris College

The W.E.A.L.T.H facilitator, Dr. Tyra Wingo, Associate Registrar, Chattahoochee Technical College, was phenomenal in getting participants enthusiastic about taking their careers and personal lives to the next
level. Through various exercises, women were engaged in activities that enabled them to network and learn key tools to assist them in reaching their highest potential and career goals. Leaders in their fields were selected and assigned as mentors to other participants willing to benefit from an exchange designed to enrich their personal growth and journey.

Each participant received a Personal Success Journey, based on the book, "The Success Principles" by Jack Cranfield, further providing them with the tools and framework for creating a healthy mind and the confidence to pursue their goals.

Throughout the conference, women dressed in various shades of pink were spotted everywhere as a nod to breast cancer awareness. Proceeds from W.E.A.L.T.H store sales were donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

The W.E.A.L.T.H. program is designed to provide enrollment services professionals with the opportunity to connect with and learn from each other in order to promote professional development and personal success. At the end of the conference, attendees attended an  "I-think" session, which wrapped up the first of many educational and enjoyable gatherings.

Each month, participants will have the opportunity to participate in online discussions based on a different principle featured in "Success Principles." These discussions will aid in the professional development process as well as maintain the mentor relationships forged during the workshop and conference activities.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best Chicken Fingers in Atlanta

I love chicken fingers. I could eat them for dinner every night. I've eaten chicken fingers and fries at almost every  restaurant in Atlanta. OK, maybe not every restaurant, but I can tell you that I know where to go for some good chicken fingers.


Houston's 

Zaxby's 

Chick-fil-A

T.G.I. Friday's  








Shop at Target

I absolutely love shopping at Target for business casual wear and maternity wear. The next time you're in Target check out great items that will spice up your wardrobe and help flatter your figure.






Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Come to Jesus Meeting at Work.

I think at least three times a year, co-workers should have a “Come to Jesus Meeting” at work.  These could be meetings where everyone comes together and sings Kumbaya, or makes any attempt to join hands and be present in unison.  Let’s face it, you’re usually at work more than you’re at home, so it’s always good to at least be cordial with one another.
 
Work is much more productive if you get along with your co-workers, than if you despise them.  Be the first to speak up and offer a truce in the workplace.  Environments can often become stale, unproductive, and down right funky.  Instead of feeling miserable, call a "Come to Jesus Meeting.”  It’ll make for a better work environment and a better you!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Are You Socially Acceptable?

"I Pity the Fool" – Mr.T

Are you socially acceptable? 

Do you tweet about not liking your job?
Do you have nude photos online?
Do you use profanity on your Facebook page?
Do you think you’re invincible online?
Do you have a “I Don’t Like My Boss Blog!” 
* If you answered, "Yes," then you are not socially acceptable.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Ten things to do while you are pregnant














During my first pregnancy, when I hit 7 months, I spent most weekends
sitting in the house waiting for the baby to arrive. My husband, Roland,
tried to get me out of the house, but towards the end of my pregnancy I felt
like a huge bus and didn’t want to go anywhere. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed
being pregnant, but the added 60 plus pounds wasn’t flattering and frankly
it was hard to breathe.

Only during my second pregnancy did I realize that I shouldn’t have stayed
in the house the first time around. I had to move and be moved. In
searching, I discovered several things that made my second pregnancy more
fun, active, and enjoyable.

1. Shop – It’s fun and quite humbling to watch your belly grow and buy new
clothes to flatter your figure.

2. Swap Clothes – Exchange or borrow maternity clothes from your friends or
co-workers. One of my favorite girlfriends, Teresa and I have shared
maternity clothes during both pregnancies. We love taking pictures of each
other in the clothes and comparing our mommy bumps.

3. Exercise – Walking keeps you in shape and is good for the baby. I didn’t
exercise my first pregnancy and gained a great deal of weight. The second
time around I exercised and didn’t gain as much weight, allowing my
post-pregnancy body to come back a lot quicker. My sister, Malaika signed up
for Yoga for expectant moms and loved it!

4. Cravings – Indulge your cravings and try new foods. It’s good to eat in
moderation, but if you’re craving something then eat it!

5. Photos – Take pictures documenting your growing belly. I took pictures
each month and created a video documenting my pregnancy.

6. Curiosity – If you feel comfortable, share your pregnancy updates with
your friends and colleagues. Sharing can help people feel closer to you and
excited about your bundle of joy.

7. Courtesy – Allow people to open doors for you! Take advantage of certain
perks being pregnant. Publix Supermarket has several parking spots
designated for new and expecting moms.

8. Date Night – When the baby arrives, date nights will have to be put on
the back burner. Schedule several date nights with your partner and enjoy
being out of the house.

9. Baby Shower – Showers are great events for you and your friends to
celebrate your new addition to the family. If this isn’t your first
pregnancy, then ask your family and friends to throw you a diaper shower. We
had a diaper shower, and the diapers lasted over 3 months. Also, remember to
ask for several different diaper sizes.

10. Support Groups – Join or create a new mom support group. My colleague
Lara and I started a support group at work. It’s a wonderful way for new,
expectant, and seasoned moms to get together monthly to discuss motherhood.
There are also a number of support groups online, if you can’t establish one
at your job.

There are millions of reasons to enjoy being pregnant. I’m sure if you try
one of these then you’ll be on your way to a sound mind and body, memorable
moments, and a healthy beautiful baby.

Republished in Black Celeb Kids.com

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Loving and Taking Care of an Elderly Parent


Have you ever sat at the computer and googled your family and friends?  Recently, I googled my Grandma, Rev. Dr. June Morehead Marable.  Her honors and accolades highlighted on the screen, as I scrolled down the page and marveled at her dissertation description.  Her stories of growing up as a minister's child filled my head, and I imagined her white gloves, sharp tailored suits, and of course matching hats.  We called her “Groovy Grandmother” growing up, because she wore the title "woman" well and was classy, intelligent,beautiful and sophisticated.  She also jumped on the trampoline, roller-skated, and played ball with us. 

Several years ago, I started noticing my grandma's memory was fading.  She began calling me my sister's name, Malaika, and reiterating the same stories about the pledging days and hymns of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  I soon knew those stories so well, that I could finish them for her.  I miss those stories now.  Today, Alzheimer's is trying to control her thought process.  There are times when she will surprise you and remember important aspects of your life, or lecture to you as if you were a pupil in her classroom.  The sparkles in her eyes are still bright, but have become a bit more distant through the years, and are fading slowly.

Throughout my grandma's journey, my Aunt Madonna has been there every step of the way.  She has been the researcher, guide, and parent for her mom.  Observing this transition of parent and child interaction has been an eye-opening experience and one shown with grace and unconditional love. 

There are some people in the world that are just remarkable.  My grandma and aunt are two of those people.  Madonna’s journey of assisting her mom needed to be shared.  I asked her to provide helpful tips for those of you facing the same situation of taking care of an elderly parent.

Madonna began, “My personal journey with my mom’s condition was at first viewed as unbelief, rationalizations, and excuses.  I dismissed her often times irrational behaviors, negative attitudes, paranoia, and forgetfulness.  I attributed the changes in mom as a reaction to a series of external challenges and changes which she had no control of.”

In reflection she continued, "My mother's diseases progressed when she turned 70 years old.  I noticed she would often lose her keys, call the locksmith to install locks, and take them off all the doors in her house.  Every door.” 

These activities were unusual for my grandma.  Being an educator, she was always very sharp and aware of her surroundings.  Her background was quite extensive for an older African American woman, having earned four degrees including a Ph.D. in Education, and a Masters in Divinity.  Who knew a deadly brain disorder would slowly consume a once vital, brilliant woman?

"She couldn’t remember how to get back home and forgot to pay her bills.  She didn’t want to let go of control, however over a period of time, one by one, I convinced her to allow me to assist her with managing her household and responsibilities," explained my aunt.

Aunt Madonna felt alone as her mom’s primary care giver and experienced insurmountable grief.  “I felt alone, like no one understood."  She decided to change the way she was feeling and started researching ways to assist her mom. My grandma is doing much better now, because my aunt stepped in to assist her when she needed it most. 

Tips for Caregivers:
  • Take time to care for yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually
  •  Join support groups, if needed
  • Don't try to do everything yourself - ask for help
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy
  • Reduce stress
  • Rest and meditate
  • Forgive 
Published in Elephant Journal

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Thanks for viewing my page this month!

    Thanks for viewing my page this month! Total Hits!

    United States - 282

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    Friday, November 19, 2010

    FB Status Updates to Make You Laugh

    1 - Stay-At-Work Mom: I need a reminder to take my head scarf off before coming to work.

    2 - Stay-At-Work Mom: Getting ready for work in Savannah and missing my 3 favorite guys and my electric pump. @ Target - Why did I buy a handheld pump! I think I'm developing Carpal tunnel syndrome.

    3 - Marable Family: FB Marable's are all related both black and white. I'm about 99.99% sure that we're kin. Another indication would be skinny legs.

    4 - Me + Hubby: Steppin' out with Hubby this weekend! Quick Shout-Out to the best Mother-in-Law in the WORLD for keeping the little ones. Getting ready to teach 'em how to dougie. Movin' the moves from the living room to the club! It's been a long time CAU!

    5 - Married w/ 2 Boys: Football players wear "uniforms" not "outfits!"

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Obama Gets The Middle Finger: Did He Just Give Me the Bird?

    A Kentuckian revved up his engine to race on the freeway, then peered over at me and flashed “the bird.”  I looked towards my husband and started laughing in shock, because I hadn’t gotten the finger in awhile.  Not even in Atlanta traffic.

    We both couldn’t figure out why he wanted to race, let alone why I got the middle finger from a stranger.  Process of elimination went into effect.  Maybe our kids in the back seat frowned at him and that got his blood boiling.  Or maybe he was upset that our car was faster than his.

    Then the "Ah Ha" moment hit us.  That’s it!  It was the Obama window decal.  He was ticked off that we were Obama supporters.  We let his anger roll off our backs and went on our way, taking the higher road of nonviolence and overlooking ignorance.

    The most recent elections caused me to reflect on this incident.  My stand is this: I’ll take the bird for Obama.  I’ll stand up in red neck central with a bullhorn and scream out his name.  I’ll cast my vote again and again for Obama.  People are too busy being ignorant and bashing Obama instead of supporting him.  I can imagine that people think being against Obama is what’s popular, not realizing that he’s for the “little man,” who is the blue collar worker that struggles to put food on the table.  Get off the movement to bash Obama, and jump on the train to support him. 

    Published in Elephant Journal

    Tuesday, November 09, 2010

    How did you tell him you were pregnant?

    How did you tell him you were pregnant?

     

    I placed the pregnancy test on the kitchen counter. When my hubby came home, he was happily surprised to see two blue lines on the pregnancy test, indicating that we were pregnant again!

     

    The first time around, we had to Google what two lines meant, because I had thrown out the directions. Married with Two Boys is a blast!

    Mommy Guilt

    Mommy guilt is extremely difficult to handle, let alone get rid of. As a stay-at-work mother of two, I think there are ways of coping with guilt in order to balance work and motherhood. I believe that women put too much pressure on themselves to try to be "super mom." I've realized that I'm a better mom when I take time out of my busy schedule for "mommy time." I believe that it takes a "village to raise a child," and I've learned to ask for help from "my village." I rely on my husband and family to help me balance it all. By allowing them to help, it has made my life easier and more enjoyable. My in-laws are absolutely wonderful and encourage my husband and I to have date nights several times a month. These nights help us relax and we look forward to spending well-deserved adult time together.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    Every place should be like Adams Morgan.

    I can remember distinctly in graduate school, driving from Happy Valley to Pittsburgh, on my way to interview for Teach for America. At the time, I wasn’t knowledgeable about the invention of navigation systems, and even if they were available, I couldn’t have afforded it on my salary. Anyhow, it would have probably cost more than the Kia Sephia that my Granddad selected for me at a Cincinnati car auction. After learning how to drive stick shift, I claimed thee as my own and endearingly named her, “Snowflake.”

    The twists and turns of the mountainous highway, and fear or hitting an Amish family’s buggy, caused Snowflake and me to nearly swerve off the road. I quickly grew impatient with my crinkled paper map and pulled the car over at a small store to ask for directions. While waiting in line to talk with the cashier, a young white girl no older than 5 years old, stood directly in front of me. Out of curiosity, she kept turning her head around to look at me. Then, she turned around and began starring at me. I acknowledged her curiosity and smiled back at her. Finally, she touched my hand with her pointer finger, rubbed her fingers, and peered down at her fingertips. She was amazed that my blackness did not rub off.

    I quickly checked myself before showing that I was alarmed by her reaction, and continued to smile. I imagined that I was the first black person that she had ever seen, and wanted my encounter with her to be a positive one.

    My family had lived in many different states, prior to settling at the foot of the flatirons in Boulder. I felt the harshness of racism as an adolescent, having my locker vandalized and being called out of my name in middle and high schools. In the mid-90’s at my high school, there were only two openly gay students, both of whom I admired and supported for being out.

    As a society, we are slowly progressing in valuing diversity. I’ve lived in the South now collectively for over 10 years. My most recent encounter of being uncomfortable came just a week ago, when I greeted a woman with a handshake and she opted not to shake my hand. My experience years ago in the Pennsylvania store came back to me, and like then, I smiled and acknowledged her being uncomfortable. Inside I was perturbed.

    I’d like to hope that the more diverse our society becomes, the more inclusive people will be. I think we should have a “Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Day” in America, where people become more open minded to other cultures, ethnicities, and sexual orientation. Let’s rally in the spirit of Adams Morgan, a place where all people accept one another and party in unison.

    Published in Elephant Journal.
    Photo Credit

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Sock Monster.

    I do believe the Sock Monster is eating my kid’s socks. I can't find a matching pair to save my life!

    I ignore patterns and just go with colors. Santa sock will go with solid red sock. Army pattern sock will match solid green sock.

    They need to put magnets inside of socks so they stay together in the washing machine.

    Although that may not be good for the dryer.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    SCAD surprises students at Sarah Smith Elementary with major donation of art supplies and books

    SCAD surprises students at Sarah Smith Elementary with major donation of art supplies and books

    Baracula: Political and Presidential Halloween Masks


















    I usually get a kick out of seeing political and presidential Halloween masks. I laugh opening the door to trick-or-treaters wearing a Hillary Clinton, Bush, Sarah Palin, or Barack Obama mask, and gladly give them candy. However, the latest mask of our 44th President of the United States made me more than a little bit uncomfortable. It is a President Obama mask depicting him as a demon.

    Flashbacks of blackfaced college students at fraternity Halloween parties filled my head, and Ku Klux Klan white sheeted costumes blurred my vision. Our three-year-old son hid behind me when I enhanced the demonized “Baracula” mask on the computer screen. “Mommy is that Barack Obama?” he shrieked, looking at the screen with his arms wrapped around me.

    My husband thinks I’m overreacting, but I believe this zombie mask depiction of our 44th President is distasteful and borderline racist.

    Published in Elephant Journal

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Optimistic People Live Longer : I See the Glass As Half Full

    My co-workers often comment on how cheerful I am in the office. I've learned to tone down my enthusiasm around some of them that arrive at 8:30 a.m., but wheels don't turn until about noon. I attribute my cheerfulness to my rah-rah years of being a cheerleader at Boulder High School, which has resulted in me having a permanent smile on my face. This is not to be confused with Batman's Joker's smile, because that's a bit scary. I tend to always see the glass as half full, and truly believe my positive outlook on life keeps me motivated on a daily basis. I recently read an article that said that optimistic people live longer and have healthier lives. I would have to agree.

    I was flattered when recently, a young professional came up to me at a conference and said, "I really admire you, because you seem to have it all together. How do you do it?" I laughed and replied, "It's all a facade." Her mouth hung open and she caught a couple of fly's. I grinned and said, "I was only kidding and that I try to stay positive and optimistic when handling my work/life balance."

    Life in general has its curve balls, but if you take each day one at a time and try to see the good in every situation, then you'll be on your way to living a healthier and happier life. I think sometimes people take themselves and situations too seriously. Uptight people need to relax and pessimists should take up yoga and just breath.

    Published in Elephant Journal

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Awkwardness on an Elevator: Don’t Just Bob Your Head to Elevator Music

    The next time you’re on an elevator when the door closes and it’s just you and another person, or several people, I dare you to say something. Elevator rides can be the most awkward and uncomfortable environments on the planet, and the music doesn’t help the silence.

    You’re in a small confined space where seconds feel like hours, and you can’t wait for the doors to open to inhale what you believe to be fresh air. Instead of fixating on the awkwardness, do something about it. Take time to tell someone you like their shirt, glasses, or shoes.

    I’m a believer that opportunities and partnerships can be developed on elevator rides. These partnerships can lead to networking opportunities. You never know who will be in the elevator with you, and it could change your life for the better.

    The next time you’re taking the elevator up to the 15th floor in silence, break the ice and say something kind to brighten someone’s day, and possibly further advance your career.

    Published Elephant Journal.

    Saturday, October 09, 2010

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Early Detection is Key.

    My college girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her early twenties. Early detection of the disease allowed the doctors to treat the cancerous areas. She like millions of other women and men are cancer survivors.

    The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2010:

    - About 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.

    - About 54,010 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).

    - About 39,840 women will die from breast cancer.

    Early detection is key, schedule a mammogram and learn the early warning signs of breast cancer.

    For more information visit http://ww5.komen.org.

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    10 Dating Dos and Don’ts from a Woman’s Perspective

    Sex on the Beach is Danielle’s preferred cocktail, although the app Carb Tracker suggests Smartwater. Sexting doesn’t amuse her in any way, and she’s disgusted thinking about what may be peeping out of her Inbox. Boring. She, by all practical purposes, has “got it going on.” Danielle works out three times a week, watches her carb intake, eats fiber daily, and is considering taking pole dancing classes, just for the “heck of it.” Her consultant job allows her to travel in and out of state, shop and dine at high-end places, and date gorgeous and not so hot men.

    Five, Six, Eight minute dates are all a blur, but “that one guy in Atlanta may get another date,” she recalls, texting him while we talk. eHarmony and Match.com solicit her with free-trial coupons, that she admits to trying once or twice. These days Danielle tells her past dates what they did right and wrong, surprisingly not charging a fee. She claims her dating wisdom is so good that former boyfriends call her for advice on a regular basis. She points out, “The first date is a deal breaker either you’re in or out.” There are no three strikes and you’re out with her. It’s either you got it, or you don’t.

    10 Dating Dos & Don’ts
    1. Hygiene is important. All smells are not good smells. Don’t smell like your house. Don’t over do it on cologne.
    2. Be creative on where you take your date out to eat. Chain restaurants are not always advised. Try something a little more romantic, not just a place with a dollar menu.
    3. If you make it to the second date, do not wear the same outfit. I”ll say it again, I strongly advise you not to wear the same outfit twice. It’s understandable to have a favorite shirt or pants, but you need to switch it up a bit.
    4. If your going to pick up your date and you don’t have a nice car, it must be clean. No dust. No syrup residue from beverages, or funky gym clothes in the back seat. Clean your ride!
    5. If your date doesn’t finish her meal, then do not ask for a to-go box for her meal. Do not eat her meal and yours.
    6. As a part of dating etiquette, communication is key.
    7. Be on time. You only get one first impression.
    8. Always pay the bill. If you’re not paying, then it’s not a date.
    9. Don’t expect a kiss at the end of the night. It’s always nice to try, because women like to feel desired. It’s OK, even if you get “shot down.” Sometimes a kiss on the cheek, and nice hug will do!
    10. Don’t stalk her, but do call her to follow-up within three business days after the first date. You snooze, you lose.

    Article Published in Elephant Journal

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Think Green: Living in a Nightmare Economy

    Let's face it; standing in the unemployment line is devastating. Nation wide, it's no short line either, wrapping around like The Great Wall of China. Getting the infamous pink slip can be terrifying, but even with the devastation of losing one's job, some people are turning their lives around and doing some serious soul searching to make sure that their next job is their dream job.

    Is it possible to find your dream job? I posed this very question to Kim N. Carswell, who specializes in career transition and resume branding, "It is a very provocative question because most people want to work, feed their family and that's it. In other words…regain their dignity after losing their job. This is like the 2009 Box Office hit "Up in the Air", where a traveling executive's sole purpose was to fire employees. These times are a wake up call. This is a rebirth. After the global economy breakdown, we were forced to acknowledge that the era when one could work at the same company for thirty years has vanished."

    But can you get a dream job in this nightmare economy? Kim believes that you can find what you want even in this tough economy by adding personality to your resume and searching for green jobs. "Although the current job market is full of talented, well educated professionals, it is easy to get discouraged with the job search process, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. No, it’s not a train; it's an opportunity to rebrand yourself for the vibrant 'Green Job Market'," she insists.

    According to Newsweek magazine's 2009 Green Rankings (http://greenrankings.newsweek.com/top500) of America's Fortune 500 largest companies; Hewlett Packard, Nike, and Starbucks received top ratings for their environmental performance and changes in operations. Kim continued, "Keep in mind that all companies need marketing, accounting, communications and so on. Next time you go shopping look for the Energy Star symbol and visit their website to see if their hiring. So, let’s explore a positive approach to regenerating your employment dreams. Take a past or present downsizing, layoff, or outright termination and dream…Dream Green."


    About Kim N. Carswell: Specializing in resume writing and personal branding for professionals in career transition, Kim N. Carswell, author and Chief Executive Consultant of Persona Affairs, brings forth cutting-edge marketing strategies and introduces the power of resume branding in a tough and dwindling job market.
    Carswell’s new book, Resume Branding 101: Strategies for Getting Noticed in 10 Seconds or Less, guides readers to determine their true market value while creating an "employer friendly" resume. Visit: http://www.personaaffairs.com

    Published in Elephant Journal

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Working Moms: 6 Tips for Success

    1. Absolve yourself of “mommy guilt.” You are doing the best that you can.
    2. Remember that a desire for a career does not make you a bad mother, nor does a desire for work/life balance make you a bad employee.
    3. Be proactive and creative. Many supervisors are open to considering creative solutions when they are presented, but will not be so conscious as to offer them unasked.
    4. If you have a partner, ask that partner for help and unconditional love and support.
    5. Find a community of mothers who also work outside the home. So much mom support is based on the stay-at-home crowd, and while some of our issues are the same, some are very different.
    6. Remember that raising children only comes once in a lifetime.

    Elephant Journal

    Tuesday, September 07, 2010

    Balance Work & Motherhood: Making Work…Work for Us.

    The best days of my life weren’t when my future husband, Roland asked for my phone number, or when I defended my master’s thesis. I thought nothing could be better than the day I said, “I do!” and jumped the broom. It was when I gave birth to our sons, Roland Jay and Joshua.

    Now, three years later, I think back to when I was in the hospital sending text messages just moments after giving birth to our first son. I’ll admit that I was a workaholic. I worked over 10-hour days and responded to work-related emails on the weekends. My life was my job and work came first. I skipped family functions and sorority meetings to work. I completely sacrificed my social life.

    Being on maternity leave was truly a blessing. I had time to collect my thoughts and prioritize life. I struggled with returning back to work, but enjoyed my job and wanted to fulfill my dreams. Before returning, I did the following: 1) changed my work hours to 8am – 5pm, in order to pick up our son from daycare, 2) found a daycare where I could view our son online, and 3) promised myself that I would leave work on time every day.

    After giving birth to our first child, I had fears of returning back to work. Fears, such as not being able to juggle my new life. Although an extremely good multitasker, having the responsibility to take care of another human being was a huge deal. Sleep deprivation and pacing up and down the same hallway ruled my whole universe. The arduous task of juggling work and motherhood probed me to find out how other moms balance work and motherhood.

    Claire Jaramillo, associate director at a nonprofit organization states, “My job has given me a flexible working schedule. I telecommute two days a week, which really helps me maintain my milk supply. It also lessens the amount of time that I’m separated from my baby. My job has also created a space for me to pump.”

    There are several options that can help women balance every day life. If your job does not require regular face-to-face communication, then telecommuting may be a great option. Certain companies may allow various start and end times for salaried positions. Sometimes, employees have the option to choose to work a compressed work week, in which they work longer hours during the week and have a full or partial day off. Colleagues may also be interested in job sharing, in which they share the same job and each work part-time.

    The key to balancing work and motherhood is creating boundaries and making sure that your family is first priority. Teresa Hernandez, Human Resources Generalist at a west-coast university, changed positions at the university shortly after returning back from maternity leave. “I felt comfort in my community of friends/mentors at the university, who encouraged me to consider transferring jobs. They helped me find a position in Human Resources that fit my skills and goals. I transferred in January of 2008 and have been very satisfied; my work ends at the end of the day, and I can go home to my family.”

    I think it’s also important to take time out of each day to get centered. Below are several tips to make your day more enjoyable.

    * Personalize your space. Make your workspace a place that makes you smile.
    * Take a (virtual) vacation. (I close my eyes and pretend that I’m 21 years-old again, vacationing in Jamaica).
    * Try to get the annoying things off your to-do list before lunch.
    * Take a walking break in the afternoon and get some fresh air or visit a friend in another department.
    * During lunch, pray, exercise, take a nap (rest), play some tunes, or meditate.
    * Add a fountain in your office. The sounds of running water can be soothing.
    * Dress up! Wear something that makes you feel and look good!

    There are more than 83 million moms in the United States, and 61% are striving in the work place. Everyday mothers are successfully accomplishing this great balancing act: work and motherhood.

    The women’s movement suggested that mothers can have it all. From a personal experience, I would have to agree. The topic and discussion of stay-at-work moms is profound, yet it is our living within the presence of these moments that tremendous accomplishment and self-confidence are gained.

    Excerpts from The SACRAO Journal article, Working Moms: Finding a Balance Between Work and Motherhood.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Saturday, July 03, 2010

    Working Moms: 7 Tips for Success


    • Absolve yourself of “mommy guilt.” You are doing the best that you can. 
    • Remember that a desire for a career does not make you a bad mother, nor does a desire for work/life balance make you a bad employee. 
    • Be proactive and creative. Many supervisors are open to considering creative solutions when they are presented, but will not be so conscious as to offer them unasked. 
    • If you have a partner, ask that partner for help and unconditional support. 
    • Find a community of mothers who also work outside the home. So much mom support is based on the stay-at-home crowd, and while some of our issues are the same, some are very different. 
    • Remember that raising children only comes once in a lifetime.

    Sojourner Marable Grimmett has a BA in communications from Clark Atlanta University and an MA in media studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is a stay-at-work mom and her experience in higher education spans over 10 years working in student services and enrollment management. She lives in southwest Atlanta with her husband, Roland and two young sons, Roland Jay and Joshua. Visit her blog: http://sojournermarablegrimmett.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sojournerruth

    Saturday, June 05, 2010

    Making Work, Work For You!

    Powerpoint Presentation: Click on Link! 
    Making Work, Work For You!

    Session Description: An open discussion for Higher Ed moms who are on a quest to balance a professional career and raise happy, healthy children. Expectant moms, new moms and experienced moms will be able to network, discuss motherhood, the challenges involved in balancing motherhood with a career, and share tips about what works and what doesn't!

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Married w/ 2 Boys: Everyday Mommy Moments

    I grew up a Tomboy. I ran track, was a power forward basketball player, climbed birch trees, collected marble looking rocks, wore bright colored Cross Colour baggy jeans (during the TLC era), and was always the peddler on my banana bike; while my older sister, Malaika directed my every turn. I was tough and hanged with my twin brother, Joshua who was as Southerns say, “all-boy.”

    I’m convinced that I was destined to have sons. Genetically boys run on my husband’s side of the family, but I think God knew I’d be a great mom to boys. Being married with two boys has already created some memorable moments. Hopefully you too can relate.

    1. Married w / 2 Boys: Do I really need to take a picture of your Number 2 in the potty? Click Click

    2. Married w / 2 Boys: How do I explain to our 2 year old that he can't fly like Superman?

    3. Married w/ 2 Boys: I hope skinny jeans aren’t a fad when my boys get older. The boys at the bus stop are sagging skinny jeans…Yikes!

    4. Married w/ 2 Boys: ESPN 30 for 30 is my new favorite show…scary!

    5. Married w/ 2 Boys: Our 4 month old son is still cute at 4am.

    6. Married w/ 2 Boys: I'm slowly turning back into a Tomboy. I need a room in the house that doesn't remind me of any sports or superheroes.

    7. Married w/ 2 Boys: What’s up with wiping your snot on the couch pillow!

    8. Married w/ 2 Boys: Mommy doesn’t like getting hit on the chest, nor does she like being tackled.

    9. Married w/ 2 Boys: Son, get off the top of the car!

    10. Married w/ 2 Boys: Taco Mac’s VIP section does not include dancing girls.

    We can all relate to these funny everyday moments with our children. These memorable moments are so funny that they seem made up. Tweet me funny moments about your kids: http://twitter.com/sojournerruth.

    Sojourner Marable Grimmett has a BA in communications from Clark Atlanta University and an MA in media studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is a stay-at-work mom and her experience in higher education spans over 10 years working in student services and enrollment management. She lives in southwest Atlanta with her husband, Roland and two young sons, Roland Jay and Joshua. Visit her blog: http://sojournermarablegrimmett.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sojournerruth

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Mom Shout-Outs for Southwest Atlanta Businesses

    More than 99% of the time I’m appreciative of friendly people that I don’t know who lend a helping hand to assist me with my children. Whether it’s opening a door for me, while I'm carrying our newborns extremely heavy car seat, or posing as a crossing guard to stop traffic for my kids and me to walk across the street. The smallest acts of kindness go a long way in a mother’s heart.

    It can be a circus act leaving the house and going on what I call “an adventure,” i.e. to the mall or grocery shopping with two small kids. I’m grateful for people who are kind enough to help a mother who looks like she needs it, because most of the time I do! However, the majority of the time the people who come to my aid are employees at the local business where we frequently shop. Their kindness prompted me to give them a shout-out:

    - Chili’s Grill & Bar Restaurant at Camp Creek MarketPlace: For having booths large enough for newborn car seats.

    - Exotic Nail & Spa on Cascade Road: For playing with our son while I got my well-deserved pedicure. Wiping the drool off of his face was “over the top”
    and extremely motherly.

    - FootAction at Greenbriar Mall: For the young employee who firmly told our 2- year old son to “listen to your Mama.”

    - Friday’s at Camp Creek MarketPlace: For allowing our 2 year old son to express himself by dancing and shaking to the song, “Over” by Drake.

    - Old Navy at Camp Creek MarketPlace: For having carts designed to safely hold newborn car seats.

    - Publix Supermarket on Cascade Road: For having parking spaces for “New and Expectant Mothers.”

    - Ready Set Go Hair Salon on Fairburn Road: For giving me the option to return their rollers later, in order to rush home and nurse our newborn.

    - Starbucks Coffee on Cascade Road: Special thanks for being open so early in the morning. There’s nothing better than some great hot chocolate and scrumptious pastries.

    - Walgreen’s on Cascade Road: For having a Take Care clinic. To quote my mom, Hazel Ann, “it just warms my heart” to know a nurse is up the street.

    I’m a believer that “it takes a village to raise a child.” Living in Southwest Atlanta for 5 years, I feel a strong sense of community. High-five to all the businesses and entire community for helping moms when we need it most!

    Sojourner Marable Grimmett has a BA in communications from Clark Atlanta University and an MA in media studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is a stay-at-work mom and her experience in higher education spans over 10 years working in student services and enrollment management. She lives in southwest Atlanta with her husband, Roland and two young sons, Roland Jay and Joshua. Visit her blog: http://sojournermarablegrimmett.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sojournerruth

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Dads: Tips on How You Can Help with Breastfeeding

    Prior to giving birth to our second son, my husband and I had a serious conversation about him being the gatekeeper for visitors at the hospital. I was inspired by how my sister initiated breastfeeding right away after delivery, and wanted to do the same with our son. My husband’s job was to determine when people came to visit. This allowed me to feel comfortable nursing openly. Little did I know the countless ways of him assisting and supporting me with breastfeeding would be revealed throughout this journey. He provided us with an eternal sense of peace.

    I was exhausted the first night at the hospital, because of waking up every 2 ½ hours to feed. My body was tired after giving birth, and sleep deprivation was starting to kick in big time. The last thing I wanted to do was put a hungry baby on my sore breasts. With love and knowing my intentions, my husband was very supportive in getting me water and adjusting my pillow to nurse. Sometimes he felt helpless and indicated that there wasn’t much he could do to assist me with various positions to feed. I felt the same way, until we had a visit from the lactation consultant, Catharine Monet.

    Ms. Monet, a certified International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiner, tiptoed into our dim lit room and spoke in a very soft voice. She is petite with coke-bottle glasses, grayish brown hair, and exudes a nurturing spirit. I had just begun nursing as she approached the bedside and glanced down at our baby. Ms. Monet smiled as her voice matched her sweet persona and graceful motions, while reiterating to us the importance of breastfeeding. Intrigued by her wisdom, my intuition was correct in sensing that she had been teaching mothers for years about breastfeeding. In fact, she has worked in the field for over 22 years and believes that “God put the great desire in her to teach mothers how to feed their babies.”

    Her guidance and support led me to interview her and to share her knowledge and truth with other moms and dads. Ms. Monet helped my husband feel a part of the breastfeeding experience. Her tips on getting your partner involved with breastfeeding were both useful and powerful. These tips are summarized in her own words.

    Communication: When you first think about bringing a new life into the planet, you must remember that communication is important, not only with yourself, but your belief system and partner. Discuss the benefits of breastfeeding with your partner and weigh out the pros and cons. Have an open mind and remember that it doesn’t work for everyone. Don’t feel pressured to nurse. We have had cases where as consultants the father has pushed the mother to breastfeed and she for whatever reason doesn’t have it in her heart or mind to nurse. That puts her in a terrible situation and can be humiliating. It is the best thing for the child, but lots of women end up hiding how they feel, and may sabotage their own breastfeeding. Some women may have a lot of guilt and pain. If dad can be understanding and supportive of what’s in her heart, then they can grow closer together.

    Be Supportive: The story of Hannah in the Bible is a good example of a husband being supportive to his wife about wanting to have children and breastfeeding. The story in short is about a woman who asked God to give her children. She was one of two wives, in which the second wife produced sons and daughters. This caused Hannah great grief. She asked God to give her a male child and promised him back to God. The priest told her to sober up. She said, don’t look unkindly unto me, because I’m pouring my heart out to God. Hannah conceived a son, stayed at home and nursed him until she weaned him. Her husband, knowing that they’ve made this promise, was supportive of her decision to stay home until their child was weaned. In other words, the most supportive thing to do is what is best for the mother and child. It is between you, your child and your God. Support her.

    It is important for a partner or husband to honor the woman and do what her heart desires. Showing interest in what the woman wants to do is a great gift. Breast milk is more than food. It’s spirit. The relationship itself is designed to create divine communication where the child is able to receive and prepares to receive. With God, we have to be quiet, open our hearts and receive.

    The mother is very pleased when the husband or partner tells her that he is supportive and encourages her that she can do it. Bringing the baby to the mother, helping the baby latch, telling the mother the baby is getting relaxed and what the child needs are also helpful.

    Attend a breastfeeding seminar: For dads, sit there, look interested, and be supportive. Believe me, you will gain from the experience and build a stronger relationship with your partner.

    Online: Get online and learn more about breastfeeding. There are all sorts of information available online to readers.

    Focus: Remember that we live in a web of energy and that we are all connected. When you are breastfeeding your baby in the hospital, and if the father or partner (as a support person) is not involved, then in can be difficult. For example, if your partner is focused on TV, reading, on the computer, texting or talking on the phone, then that can be a distraction. Involvement means shutting it all down and encouraging baby. Focus on the breastfeeding time and not on something else.

    A husband or partner is not outside of the relationship. He is an integral part of this, and when he pulls back or is not involved it doesn’t go as well. By divine design he shows support, just standing there. What’s cool, after telling him, he gets involved. It’s not just her thing to do. Creatively pull him in and make him see what a big impact he has on the success on this relation. If he helps this relationship develop, then the child has a better relationship. If an environment is created where focus is on mother and baby, and the father or partner is part of that then he can change the bond.

    Massage: As a dad, there are things that you can learn about that helps the process: massage, getting snacks, and holding acupressure points at the base of mother’s neck, to help the milk let down. If you have a happy mother, you have a happy baby.

    Positioning: Help mom learn what positions are most comfortable for her and baby when breastfeeding. Father and mother should act as a team.

    Remember that if you want to breastfeed your child then wonderful! However, if you choose not to breastfeed then that’s OK too. You can still be a wonderful parent without breastfeeding. It usually takes 2-3 weeks until the baby is comfortable. Milk may not come in right always, or breasts may be very sore. It’s difficult in the beginning. However, if your milk supply is good and you want to give it a try, then ask your partner to come along for the journey.


    DADS TO DO LIST:
    1. Adjust the positioning of the pillow
    2. Provide water and food
    3. Adjust the lighting in the room
    4. Burp the baby
    5. Change the baby if needed after feeding
    6. Swaddle the baby after feeding and changing
    7. Clean / cook
    8. Massage
    9. Take a shift
    10. Encourage with love

    Sojourner Marable Grimmett has a BA in communications from Clark Atlanta University and an MA in media studies from Pennsylvania State University. She is a stay-at-work mom and her experience in higher education spans over 10 years working in student services and enrollment management. She lives in southwest Atlanta with her husband, Roland and two young sons, Roland Jay and Joshua. Visit her blog: http://sojournermarablegrimmett.blogspot.com . Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sojournerruth

    Published Click On Link: elephant journal

    Tuesday, March 09, 2010

    10 Things to Do While You’re Pregnant

    During the 7th month of my first pregnancy, I spent most of the weekend time sitting in the house waiting for the baby to arrive. My husband, Roland, tried to get me out of the house, but towards the end of my pregnancy I felt like a “huge bus” and didn’t want to go anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed being pregnant, but the added 60 plus pounds wasn’t flattering. Frankly, it was hard to breathe!

    Only during my second pregnancy did I realize, that I shouldn’t have stayed in the house (the first time around). I had to move and be moved. In searching, I discovered several things that made my second pregnancy more fun, active, and enjoyable.

    1. Bargain Shop - It's fun and quite humbling to watch your belly grow. Have fun buying new clothes to flatter your new figure.

    2. Swap Clothes – Exchange or borrow maternity clothes from your friends or co-workers. One of my favorite girlfriends, Teresa, and I have shared maternity clothes during both pregnancies. We love taking pictures of each other in the clothes and comparing our mommy bumps.

    3. Exercise – Walking keeps you in shape and is good for the baby. I didn’t exercise during my first pregnancy and gained a great deal of weight. I exercised and didn’t gain as much weight with the second pregnancy. This allowed my post-pregnancy body to come back a lot quicker. My sister, Malaika, signed up for yoga for expectant moms and loved it!

    4. Cravings – It’s best to eat in moderation, but if you’re craving something eat it! Experiment with different nutritional foods too.

    5. Photos – Take pictures documenting your growing belly. I took pictures each month and created a video documenting my pregnancy.

    6. Curiosity – If you feel comfortable, share your pregnancy updates with your friends and colleagues. Sharing can help people feel closer to you and excited about your bundle of joy.

    7. Courtesy – Allow people to open doors for you! It’s okay to take advantage of certain perks during your pregnancy. Publix Supermarket has several parking spots designated for new and expecting moms. Does you supermarket have designated spaces? If not, ask for what you deserve.

    8. Date Night – When the baby arrives, date nights will have to be put on the back burner for a while. When you are less sleep deprived, schedule several date nights with your partner. Dress up and enjoy being out of the house.

    9. Baby Shower – Showers are great events for your family, friends and you to celebrate your bundle of joy. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, then ask your family and friends to “throw you” a diaper shower. We had a diaper shower, and the diapers lasted over 3 months. Also, remember to ask for several different diaper sizes.

    10. Support Groups – Join or create a new mom support group. My colleague, Lara, and I started a support group at work. It’s a wonderful way for new, expectant, and seasoned moms to get together monthly to discuss motherhood. There are also a number of support groups online, if you can’t establish one at your job.

    There are hundreds of reasons to enjoy being pregnant. I’m sure if you try one of these then you’ll be on your way to a sound mind and body, memorable moments, and a healthy beautiful baby.

    Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sojournerruth .

    Published in Southwest Parenting