Recently President Elect Obama (can you believe that in less than a week will be saying PRESIDENT OBAMA!) shared a beautiful open letter to his daughters Sasha and Malia in Parade Magazine. It really touched me. Mr. Obama has a very tough road ahead of him, but I believe he can do the job and will be ready on day ONE! Thanks for sharing Tanyetta!
What I Want for You- and Every Child in America, by President elect Barack Obama
Dear Malia and Sasha, New Hampshire America America
I know that you've both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn't have let you have. But I also know that it hasn't always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn't make up for all the time we've been apart. I know how much I've missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.
I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren't rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.
I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you'll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.
Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.
Sasha (l) and Malia Obama at play in
Bumper cars at the Iowa State Fair in August 2007.That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.
She helped me understand that
I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you've had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.
These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That's why I've taken our family on this great adventure.
I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.
Last night I had the great honor and privilege to attend the preview party for the World Premier of the America I am: The African American Imprint” exhibit held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
The exhibit is being presented by Tavis Smiley (and other presenting partners) and it celebrates 400 years of African American contributions to this country. I was inspired on so many different levels.
First by the vision of Tavis Smiley. He spoke before the tour, and talked about how he had a vision to showcase African American’s contributions by exhibiting historic artifacts that are housed and on display in many different places, in one place for the public and not just in Februay. He didn’t have access to these items, money to bring it all together or expertise in the field, but what he did was reach out to his networks. Eventually he was connected with a man named John Fleming who signed on as the exhibits producer. John Fleming was the man who went around the country procuring all of the artifacts for the exhibit. He was the person with the expertise and relationships to bring Tavis Smiley’s vision to life.
I was inspired and moved by the actual exhibit itself. The actual things that were on display. At the entrance of the museum participants walked through "The Doors of No Return" from the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, which enslaved Africans passed through to board ships to the "
Other artifacts on display included; the actual handwritten travel pass from President Lincoln written on behalf of Fredrick Douglas so that he could travel as a free man! His actual pass, that I am sure he guarded with his life. I was in awe just looking at it.
We also got to see the bench from the Birmingham jail cell where Dr. King wrote “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”and Malcom X’s personal Koran and a journal that he wrote in during his hajj to Mecca with doodles on the cover and all!
Have I mentioned what an amazing experience this was? I don't even think I really conveyed it here as eloquently as I would have liked to, but I just feel like getting the word out there.
The exhibit will be in Philly until May, but traveling all over the country for the next 4 years. I think everyone should see it. I’m going back, I’m taking Gavin, even if he can’t quite grasp it, I think it’s worth taking him.
You can view some of the artifacts online here.
Check the website to see if it’s coming to a city near you!
So here is my first installment of meal plan Monday!
Friday Gav will be spending the night with his Nan so it will be our first date night in a really long time!
Have I mentioned that I am choosing not to participate in America's recession? I feel like this, my financial situation has not changed. I am still working as hard as I always have to make sure my bills are paid. Even though I got a little raise in November the hubby and I are still working to make sure that ends meet. We are not working any harder or any less, just working. Don't get me wrong, with what's going on out there in the world, I feel very blessed to have the job that I have, that I happen to enjoy and it pays the bills to boot. I understand it that is hard to come by and thank God for the blessing of employment.
I have however decided to watch how I spend my money. A few months ago I started really becoming diligent and dedicating my time to clipping coupons and this week I decided that I was not going to send any money at all and I made it! I didn't purchase lunch, instead of buying coffee I drank the horrible crap I get for free at my office, I didn't spend money at Macy's which is like right next door to my building. I didn't spend one dime all week! Hopefully I will make it through the weekend.
You all know how I feel about diets from the previous post, but Cleveland (the hubby) and I decided we are going to go on a money diet. We want to see where we can slim down and see what happens. But not because of this recession that everyone is talking about, but just for the sake of our family
Click HERE to download Suze Orman's new book 2009 Action Plan for FREE! Yes it is really the whole book, and it is really FREE! Props to Oprah and Suze for offering this for free especially with everyone going through a recession and what not.
Have a Fabulous Weekend!
I know everyone seems to steer clear of setting new year’s resolutions these days. I never like making them becauseI never seem to stick to them, so why set myself up for failure right? Well this year I have a more positive outlook in hopes for a more positive outcome. I need to set some practical things that I need to do to improve in '09. Simple practical things, not things like be positive and go with the flow, or work to be happy.
I recognize that I have a real problem with consistency, because of this problem I just hate to make my intentions public information because when you do that, you have a whole bunch of people watching what you do and making sure you stick to doing what you said you would do, and I hate that!
Well, deep down I know accountability is very important. It is easy for me to be inconsistent if I don’t have anyone to answer to, so my number one resolution is:
I am not obese or a glutton, but food is not fuel for me, it is pleasurable, and what is so wrong with that? This is not because I am not getting enough pleasure in other areas of my life, either. Food pleasure is a different kind of pleasure and I am not ready to sacrifice carbs or sweets, or salty chips. It’s not deep and emotional, I like the way things taste.
Ok, back to my point. Because I don’t plan right, I end up eating a lot of fast food and buying instant type stuff that costs more. When it really doesn’t even taste as good as what I can cook in my own kitchen if I weren’t so lazy. Like the salads I buy for lunch when I am at work. I could always make them better and cheaper at home with my own ingredients and it is healthier for my family. I am not saying that every once in a while I wont grab a burger, because I will. But if I plan my meals, I won’t be grabbing something that’s not good for me because I have to. It will be because I want to. This falls right into line with my meal planning.
I guess I will end my list at 9 for 2009. I was inspired by Karen’s post over at Chookooloonks. I believe that my list of 9 things will be help me be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend ME. These things will help me be a better ever evolving Sylvie! Let's hope she evolves a little bit more this year!