It has been a whirlwind past few months. Thanksgiving week was spent in Naples, Florida with our family supporting my nephew and his basketball team’s tournament. We drove back to our lakehouse the night before Thanksgiving and I got up at 6am and prepped a full Thanksgiving meal, although I was not supposed to be doing anything but recovering from surgery. My sister and niece drove back up to spend the day with us before departing on an evening flight back home.
I spent the weeks leading up to Christmas relaxing and recuperating. My whole family was supposed to fly in for Christmas, but two of my nephews failed their covid test the day before departure and tested positive for covid. It was heartbreaking because their Dad passed away in September, unexpectedly, and they spent the holiday alone.
New Years was quiet for us, as we spent it at the lakehouse and cooked dinner and chilled in pajamas. I hired Glitzy Christmas to decorate the lakehouse, since I could not, and we put up six Christmas trees throughout the lakehouse. Three of the trees are still up and we light them up at dusk lol. I might not take them down !
I am currently almost 16 weeks post op. I am healing up and for the most part happy with the results. My surgeon did a fat transfer to fill in my hips and to me it looks like love handles. I am going to have them lipo that area with plasma to make the skin shrink to correct it. I also have a little scarring around my navel and I will see a dermatologist to have something done to flatten it out.
Here is a pic of my progress thus far:
I am looking for a trainer so I can whip my body into shape by Summer. I will post pics and updates of my progress.
So…. I did a thing….. On October 18th, I hopped on a plane to Miami and embarked on a long lived dream of repairing and restoring my body, post partum.
I relaxed for a day, went to my pre-op appointment the next morning and had surgery on the 21st. I got an extended tummy tuck, muscle repair )to fix the diastis recti I got from being pregnant), lipo in 12 areas (including inner thighs since I had no back fat), and a Brazilian Butt Lift (fat transfer).
After my surgery, I spent a week in a lovely recovery house, Flawless Recovery, and I had a few post op appointments at Xiluet Plastic Surgery with my surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Liliav. I got daily lymphatic drainage massages, which I am still getting three times a week.
The recovery has not been too bad, thanks to the exparel injection I got at surgery, and the aide of CBD Gummies. Although I am super swollen, my body looks great. It is amazing looking in the mirror and seeing an hour glass shape looking back at you.
The hardest part about being away was not being with my daughter for a whole week. She had meltdowns almost daily. When I returned, you would think it was Christmas and Santa arriving at our house lol. I missed her so much and that is the longest I have ever been away from her. Now she is my shadow lol.
Today, I am 19 days post op and feeling pretty good. I have no pain, just tightness and a little soreness. I have to keep on a faja (compression girdle) 23 hours a day. I can take it off to shower and then use a blow dryer to dry my surgical tape. I must bathe in antibacterial soap.
Flying first class back home a week after surgery.
This past week, we celebrated my mother’s 70th birthday and also my 28th birthday (again). My entire family flew in from their respective cities and we traveled to Tampa Bay /Clearwater Florida and spent a week on family vacation.
We hired an event planner, Bougie Events Co. to do a picnic on the beach for our mom, chartered dinner yacht the next day and after a day lounging in cabanas and riding jetskis, I hosted a dinner party with my family and friends at Bascom’s Chophouse. We had an amazing time. We spent a day at Busch Gardens Africa and a day at the Florida Aquarium.
My mother is still speechless. On the beach day, my sisters arranged for a four hour spa treatment for her at the Hilton’s spa. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and we made sure she felt appreciated and special.
Yesterday, I was driving down I-4 and got a call that a close friend and former choir member had passed away due to complications of Covid. I almost ran off the interstate…. I do not even remember the rest of the drive to pick up my mom from the cancer center. My heart shattered again in to a million pieces. Last week Cicely Tyson, my idol and acquaintance passed away with no warning. There have been so many people I know who have died recently. My cousin and personal stylist passed away a few days before Christmas and had been dead five days in his NY apartment before anyone knew. I had just spoken to him a few days prior.
With all that has been going on, I started to question where was God in all this. Well, He answered big time ! In spite of all that is going on, God has truly reminded me of His favor.
I was interviewed about my career and the article was published today on NBC, CBS AND Fox affiliates ! Check out the article here:
As if that was not enough, I was personally hand picked by Bon Appetit Magazine for the opportunity to compete for Fav Chef 2021 !! There is a grand prize of $20,000, a feature in Bon Appetit Magazine and title of Favorite Chef 2021!
2020 has been a heck of a year. We had hoped to host dinner this year, but covid cases started spiking and the CDC strongly suggested that no one gather.
I cooked a big dinner and made dishes for our elderly friends. One of my sisters rented an oceanfront condo for the weekend with her family nearby so we did mask up and drop off a full meal to them, since I cooked two pans of everything so that they could have a meal upon arrival at the beach.
We were able to keep some normalcy in our lives, as we have a tradition of going to the drive thru Christmas light show. My mom and I picked up my sister, her daughters and grandson and we went to the light show. This kiddos enjoyed it.
I cooked dinner for the family on Saturday and my sister and family came over to pick it up. We spent the weekend relaxing. I watched movies and caught up on a few shows I recorded. This morning, I have to go to storage take the remainder of the boxes over and have to follow up with the movers to find out what time they are coming to the storage units tomorrow and Wednesday.
I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving, even though this year was a lot different.
With everything going on in the world, can you believe I went on a house hunting trip ONLINE?
I have sorta grown tired of the beach after five years of snowbirding and two years of being there year round. For the past few years, I have been dreaming of buying a sprawling lakefront house in a warmer climate to spend the Fall through Winter in. It has become increasingly colder at the beach during Fall/Winter. It actually snowed and had ice storms last year THREE times ! I could stay in NYC if I want to be cold all Winter.
2020 has been a year of the JUMP for me. I have jumped out on faith and put forth effort to do things I had shelved. 2020 represented reflection of the past and perfect and clear vision of the future. With the devastation of the pandemic, it was clear that life is promised to none and it is a time for action.
I hired a realtor in two different states of interest and put them to work finding the perfect dream lake house for our little family. My kiddo has been so excited ! I think having a pool and setting her playroom back up is what excites her most, lol.
After viewing several listings, I opted for one area over the other, mainly because it is much warmer, climate wise, in one locale, which was my main reason for wanting to find a seasonal home. One Sunday, the realtor sent some listings that had me jumping up and down ! Finally, we were on the same page. I selected five homes on the list and put them in order based in which I liked most. I started with #2 because I had hoped they would come down off the price, but they would not and wanted to sell with the furnishings, which I do not want nor need. I then went with #3 because of the price point, although my heart really wanted #1 but it was much more expensive, but nearly the same size as the others. I had the house inspected but was not happy with the list of minor repairs needed plus one major one. I walked away and pulled my offer off of the table. I then prayed and sought God for guidance and in my spirit, I felt that house #1 was THE ONE and meant to be for me. I sent a late night text to the realtor and said I want to put an offer on house #1 but I want to offer $10k less than what they want for it and also I do not want the furniture.
The homes in this neighborhood are a lot of vacation rentals. It is an exclusive gated, resort style community. Most homes are sold with furniture. Fast forward to the next day, MY OFFER WAS ACCEPTED !!! I called the home inspection company back and told them that I had changed my mind and want to go with a different home. They scheduled an inspection and all was well. We had a few minor things to repair, but they were easy fixes. When the appraisal was done, the house was being offered for sale over value. Because people are buying homes at record levels, the owners are jacking the prices up but then having to adjust them after the appraisal comes in ! The owners dropped the price down to $1000 over appraisal and I accepted. I closed on the house two days before Thanksgiving and even got $4000 back at closing. I am having the house painted prior to the movers arriving, so that was a perfect surprise!
Things have been going great with my new transportation and logistics company so I am in the processing of scaling the business up. I applied for a loan to buy three more trucks for the fleet and was approved and will also be speaking to my bank today about an SBA loan. We are looking to go after government contracts, so that SBA loan will definitely come in handy to grow the fleet to 10-12 trucks.
I am excited to start this new chapter of my life and am grateful to God for how seamless all of this has been. I feel like God is smiling on me and everything I am doing. I have had no real snags and things have been falling into place.
I am starting my search for a surrogate again and hopefully can find someone who will carry for me so that my daughter can have a sibling. She has been asking for a baby for months now, but she is so jealous, I am not sure how that will work lol.
This time next week, the movers will be almost there to deliver the contents of 5 storage units and we will be officially moving into the new house.