Category Archives: parenting

Mango and Life

Mango is a delicious fruit, filled with juicy sweetness to burst into your mouth a refreshing, satisfying taste. Life is a delicious journey with juicy, fun adventures to create similar emotions. But have you ever attempted to cut a Mango in half?

As I approached the beautiful fruit, my mind imagined the sweet flavor of the yellowish juicy fruit with some yummy cottage cheese. Combining the two to create one of the most wonderful dishes ever to be experienced. My taste buds were tingling as I reflected back to our visit with mom and dad (Drake), in Kauai.

We would gather Papayas from Ray’s garden, gently slice it open, long ways to gently scoop out the seeds, replace them with a scoop of cottage cheese and Wala! The best breakfast ever imaginable!

Pause…did you know that Papaya seeds are much easier to slice than a mango seed? I was not prepared for my next adventure. In my mind, I thought the two fruits were so similar that as I began inching my way around the Mango, I realized this is not the same situation!

First I created a fine line all the way around. Repeated the motion as I pierced the knife a little deeper into the fruit. Until I came to a point where my knife was not going any deeper. Without realizing the severity of the strong casing holding the Mango seed, I began to gouge at the center. As my fury escalated I felt my fingers squishing the outside (best) portion of the fruit. Juices are now streaming down my fingers attempting to reach my elbows. I am furious with this stupid seed. I peel back the skin portion, pause to lick my fingers, in order to get a better grip. Continuing to tug, stab and rip at the outer casing of the seed. I finally have one half of the fruit in one piece on my plate.

I felt satisfied, but the emotion of satisfaction only lasted for a fleeting moment. Although I was pleased to have something similar to my favorite breakfast in Hawaii; my attention was quickly diverted back to the stubborn casing around the seed.

Instead of enjoying the fruit with the cottage cheese created as beautiful as, I DESIRED! I…picked up the other half, which was still plagued with this white fiber-like casing, which holds the seed and begin to dig.

At this point, I am determined to remove all parts of this PIT! I begin to gently slice around the underneath of it. I carefully lift it up only to find there are still some attached. I begin to surgically cut more restraints to accomplish the task. My focus is fixed on the removal of the entire middle.

Not to save the delicious fruit, no that is not of any concern to me. Finally! TA DAAAA!!! I am holding the seed in my hand, along with its white fiber-like casing. Yes, I feel AMAZING! Thank you! Thank you very much!

Continuing to feel accomplished I take pictures, create a short video which I have included and begin to eat my breakfast. Only to have my attention diverted once again.


My thoughts were, “Why did I have to remove this ugly, not enjoyable seed with its outside covering? None of this is the sweet portion or what I started out desiring when I began creating this dish.”

Next, I began to pick at my dish, I had actually created. “This isn’t like the Papaya. I don’t know if I like this. I am bummed. All that work and for what?”

My solution became simple, I just took a long way around to find it. In the end I cut the fruit into chunks and mixed it in with the cottage cheese. It was not the same taste, but its differences illuminated and isolated a different, yet equal flavor.

Does everyone else do this? Do you squeeze the sweetness out because you are obsessed with the pit? I didn’t plan to write about my breakfast, but the evolvement has been savory!

As I compare life to a mango…I wonder how many sweet-savory moments have I celebrated for only a moment because I was so obsessed with the flavorless pit or downfall. I was overtaken by the what ifs. So I had to delve in deeper and deeper until I found the root of all answers. The seed! The who, what, when, where and how this delicious fruit can to be so MAGNIFICENT! Instead of just enjoying the fruit. (I get it! Do you?)

But did I have to dig deeper and deeper to enjoy the fruit? No, I didn’t have to see, touch or taste the pit to know it wasn’t the best portion.

Are you digging for the seed? Or are you enjoying the fruit?




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There is no greater or less than, when it comes to you…

As ‘life’ seems to happen around us, many people like to compare stories or talk about the issues. However, there is no comparisons between your story and theirs.

Of course we are all connected and as humans, we can all FEEL empathy or sympathy depending on our similar incidents.

But…everyone has moments of being depressed, sad, hurt, lost and disappointed. I can remember the day, my son explained that pointing out all the reasons someone should be grateful, isn’t always the best feeling emotion for someone suffering. I questioned why or why not, it always seemed to work for me. Highlighting all the reasons I should be grateful, how blessed I am and so on.

Nick explained how sometimes those comments are more detrimental to the person.

That was several years ago and to be completely honest, I didn’t truly understand.

Now, I do!

You see we ALL have moments where life feels overwhelming, too much and disappointing. Those who their stories, are well known and inspire others, but also you and me.

As I wrote and rewrote my speech for the area contest @Earlybirdstoastmasterskc, the days seemed to be zooming by. Closer and closer, my excitement was building and the anticipation of all the exciting opportunities, this club has to offer, was assisting me in working up the best message, I had ever written! Ohhh, if you could only feel my radiating excitement.

Yet, day by day in LA we had to jump one hurdle and then twenty five more or maybe a hundred more! (Okay I am being a bit over dramatic, as Ashby says).

But it is true. I could whine and cry about every little speed bump thrown in front of us, but where would we be then? Instead let me share what I have learned.

This week I had to let go of my first speech competition. It was to be on Monday February 5th. There were no guarantees I would move on to the next level, because our club has intense competition, but I wanted to attempt it, in the worst kind of way!

I had prepared and practiced the entire road trip from Kansas to LA.

As the hurdles popped up, some one at a time, others it seemed like fifty at a time, I began to realize my excitement was about to he turned into disappointment! With all the issues about having Princeton, I quickly realized my trip would be delayed, forcing me to step down from the competition.

Now this may seem silly to anyone else, but I cried and cried! I was disappointed, sad, overwhelmed and a little bit selfish. Most of all I was torn! This was my baby girl and very dear to me granddog. But I also wanted to attempt this competition!

Then my lessons began!!! Everytime I would express my disappointing emotions someone would share on Facebook or tell me about a horrific event. For example in the past month we have lost loved ones to accidents, cancer, flu and suicides. I would cry for them or add to my prayer list.

Yes, my silly little issues seemed trivial after all of that. I have so much to be grateful for, I know that.

Then I realized Nick was correct. Pointing out or minimizing our own disappointments, by comparison, is not fair, to you.

My epiphany was EVERYONE, experiences their own depression and disappointments. And YOURS is just as important as the next one. Because we are all on our own journey and life happens whether we are striving to improve or not.

And MAYBE, JUST MAYBE…this is a key to helping others choose to feel all the emotions, yet not give up.

The key is to allow yourself to feel the negative emotion. Express your feelings of disappointment. (Allow this moment). Do not worry about feeling trivial compared to other people’s issues. I am Not saying dwell on it and/or illuminate the situation, but rather, ALLOW yourself to have a moment of tears.

It is okay!!! There is no greater and less than, when it comes to you and how you feel. Maybe if we begin to allow kids and adults to say, “I feel like giving up.”

We will have less severely depressed or suicides. When I was having a moment of ‘selfish disappointments’ it felt good to allow the sadness, for a moment. It forced me to find solutions, it allowed me to be human, and it reminded me how quickly ANYONE can give up.

It is time we begin to allow our younger generations to know we have all been there. We have all had struggles and let it out. All of it! Say it if you feel it. It’s okay.

No matter how trivial it may be to others. Your disappointments, moments of sadness or maybe your losses are not comparable to others! You are allowed to say it because believe it or not… EVERYONE experiences negative emotions.

My greatest hope is…this post will help one person to choose life. If you are not feeling so well about something, say it! And quit worrying about comparing apples, arangatans, and kale spinach. This is YOUR EXPERIENCE! No one elses!





California? Again?

As I begin to unpack my daughter in California, once again, I reflect on my past experiences. A time when I questioned everything. Was I making the ‘right’ decision? What if…? The questions would race through my head. My fears were overwhelming. Should I allow her to follow her dreams at such a young age? What about her safety? What about my other daughter, who willingly volunteered, to be her guardian? Could she handle this gigantic move and undertaking? You see, my daughter had been signed by an agent and was asked to move to Los Angeles California, at the age of 17. We were estatic! The hometown circumstances, let’s just say, weren’t the best for Ashby, at the time. However, could my girls survive in LA??? They were raised in a small little Kentucky town and Ashby was still in high school. Darion had moved to Nashville at the age of 18, but I could drive there in four hours. And I spent almost 6 months of weekends in Nashville! Once the decision was made we took off driving across the country. That was four years ago and here I am again! She is now 21 and although I knew this day would come, it doesn’t make it any easier!!! After her last adventures, I knew she would return home. Back to California. It hasn’t been any easier, but it is rewarding to know she is where she wants to be. My brain will continue to race and question, “Am I making the correct decisions, as a parent.” However, all I want for my children is for them to follow their bliss. And that is what she is doing. You know I can remember thinking I wouldn’t survive, the last time. Yet, here I am four years later. If you are struggling with anything in your life, right now. Please, remember you are loved and if you can pause briefly…I promise, “This too shall pass!” God Bless Livelove & Carryon Need some help with a situation in your life? Email me, I would love to hear from you!


Happy Coaching 101 (Day five)

Last day of my sneak peek of Happy Coaching 101. Don’t forget to catch up and read Monday’s post about this service. It will be time for you to tell me how you think this service would be best utilized. Yes, I need your help on deciding several items in January of 2018. Therefore, if you find yourself feeling the need to comment, provide advice or just want to voice your opinion, Livelove is giving you that opportunity!

Today’s posting is very dear to my heart. This middle age man has battled with drugs, is not allowed to see his family and has been on a multitude of  street and prescription drugs, longer than not. I provided this service for free, for him. I will honestly say, his messages are some of my favorites.


It’s time to come out and be the person you are to be! It’s time for you to shine like a brand new coin and give back to society, what you were meant to bring. Your kids need their daddy, the one who adores and cherishes them. A man! A man to be looked up to, who is honest and cares for himself as well as others. You are now to be grateful for your own family who has upheld you, bailed you out numersous times and cried themselves to sleep when you were locked up because they miss and love you.

I am jumping up and down in excitement to watch you grow and evolve to the man you know you already are! You are loved no matter what, unconditionally! Just remember you are also creating a pattern for your children to follow, where do you want them to go? Down your present road or a happier one? You choose.

God Bless




Email us is you are interested in beginning Happy Coaching 101 as personal messages.

Monday January 14th we will have only five spots open for that week, but will be adding more asap.

Written by: Momma Teena and her Happy Coaching Messages!



Happy Coaching 101 (Day three)

I felt like Wednesday was the day to share this particular coaching session. Honestly, I could write a book on what this lady taught me. Her messages, her thoughts, sometimes silence and her perspective. You see, this special lady taught me how to understand my messages, to accept them and most definetly share them. I have been strictly instructed to only tell her circumstances and an extremely vague description at that.

This lady had suffered great loss in her life. She has buried a child and her husband. That is all you are allowed to know. The saddest part is I was not allowed to save the majority of her coaching messages. Only those that were extra special, such as this one. However, those were her wishes.

Message: First…create a map,  a map of your life include pebbles, big rocks, water, whatever terrain that best describes you and your life. Including pathways, roads, highways, speed limits, marriage, births, special events, whatever it may be that you can remember, about your life up until this point. It is your creation. You may share with me if you so desire or not, either way it is up to you.

Second…I am givng you an eraser. A gigantic eraser and your instructions are simple, ERASE ALL THE BAD! I mean erase every tear, painful moment, trial or tribulation, everytime you felt less than, worthless, fearful, hopeless, destroyed. Erase them all.

Her response was priceless! But guess what? You are going to have to wait to see, what her response was and my come back message, until tomorrow. Why? Because I want you to create the design of this woman, her age, feelings, appearance and create this ‘hero’ in your head. And maybe you can go ahead and begin to create your life map. Who knows, we might be on to something, psst, I think we are.

To Be Continued…




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God Bless Everyone!

Hey, if you are just now reading this post, skip back through Monday and Tuesday’s post Happy Coaching 101- 1 & 2. These are samples of actual coaching messages some people have received.


suicide? Suicide? SUICIDE?

This picture is on a house boat with Darion Drake and Matt Reed, when they were little. Although his memory will always live on, his physical form was taken from us. Why? Because he couldn’t see a better way! Isn’t it time we show others, there is always a choice. A choice to live. If life feels ‘too much’, pause, breathe and hold on…THIS TOO WILL PASS!

I will never ever forget the moment, I received this crazy phone call! “Teena, Matt has killed himself!”

I rubbed my eyes, cleared my throat and asked,”What? Did you say Suicide?”

“Yes, he is gone!”

(This is not a posting to upset anyone, but it needs to be written!)

I woke Eric up and we both broke down and began to sob. Heart broken, angry, hurt and deeply saddened were just a few emotions, we were experiencing.

You see this was extremely unexpected, because Mathew had been through this exact same horrific experience, with his older brother. He was a teenager and it happened right before his birthday. So you can imagine why we never thought Matt was capable of repeating the event.

However, sadly he did! Leaving his sister, mother and nephew with voids, never to be filled.

Let me tell you about Mathew Reed!

He had a spirit of LIVING! He loved cars, helping others, his family (especially his wonderful nephew). He was a ball of energy. Always willing to lend a helping hand and he could make you laugh until you peed your pants!

At his visitation, I heard the same thing over and over again. “Why? He was such a great person. Why?”

I wish I could answer such a simple question, as to why? But I can’t. Instead, I want to illuminate his life and hopefully help someone else. As I write, in almost ALL of my postings, NO ONE CAN CHANGE THE PAST! I, nor you can reverse what has been done. Yes, you can receive strength to carry on, but once any act or deed is done, it is done.

However, I do believe, my loving Mathew Reed and I can help someone. Someone who is hurting, contemplating and feels stuck.

You see IF we could have stopped this, Matt would probably be preparing for a fun filled night of hanging with his friends. Texting me at midnight to just wish me Happy New Years and laughing about all the crud he has been through. However, none of those events can or will happen.

Sad? Yes! Change it? No 😔!

Learn from him? Definitely 😎!!

If Matt could speak to you right now he would say, “Hold on. Pause. Breathe Deeply. And LIVE ON!”

It’s okay to feel…anyway you want to feel. But please continue to remember, ‘This too will pass.’

I love you Mathew Reed and will continue to send out your message.

God Bless

Please, I beg of you, help me to help others. Tell someone today, that no matter what, it’s going to be okay. It will work out and this to will PASS!





Some days are diamonds…

Okay everyone you all should know (because you are a bad blogger, social media guru, author, wife, oh I almost forgot even better a BAD human if you don’t keep up with a million posts, birthdays, anniversaries, moms, dads, aunts…Oh you get the point!)

Anywhoooooo, you may know it is me and my husbands twenty fifth anniversary, today! Yes, November 13 we were married on Friday the 13th!! Because it is my lucky day, if that freaks you out, you might want to stop reading this particular post. Why? You ask? You see my dear friend this won’t be a tribute to how wonderful the past 25 years have been and how he is my hero! But rather a few funny things that enter my mind when you are celebrating your twenty fifth anniversary! with another human. That human who began with you on a journey full of lust, more lust, more sex, and YES EVEN MORE SEX! So keep reading, if you so dare because I am on a roll this morning in paradise and you never know what is going to come out of these fingers 😉!

My first thought of the morning is, on this marvelous anniversary is, get up early so I can clean up and smell good and feel all rarrrrr sexy!!! Mmmmm I am feeling frisky!!! HOLD UP!!! Were you actually about to believe that horse sh_t (Look, I know people cuss and actually in an ‘adult environment I am kind of bad with a couple of my favorites! However, some of the people who I respect in this world are so good to me, that I never want to offend them. Even if they never understand what the hell I am talking about, because I am the weirdest family member they have! You understand, right?).

Where was I? Oh I get up early because doodie calls! Literally, it’s time to pee at 6 am!!! “Come on, it’s my 25th a__ hole, you couldn’t let me sleep a little bit longer?”

Okay, get up, slip on Hawaiian dress, screech open the stuck door that when it opens the entire neighborhood knows, Teena is up her bladder named butthead and butt named donkey are at it again.

I take care of my business…and I pause and think, “Maybe, I should take an early morning shower, he might feel like twenty five years ago. (I drift off back to when hard ons were like the jungle. You saw them as never ending).

Then I thought he probably will wake up feeling frisky, but what about me? (I switch back from my day dream, look in the mirror) I say, “Ehhh it’s early and I probably have to go again, so I have got time to decide for now I will take a nap!”

I mean I was correct on my decision, I did have to get up again in like 30 minutes. Hence, that’s why I am writing this post. I mean I honestly do feel all gooey and ooey about my honey bunny and I am truly more in love with him now, than I was twenty five years ago. Fortunately, we have made it!!!

But come on yall veterans, at this 25 years and beyond! All that hoopla was horse sh_t! Yes, you still love that man if you made it through twenty five years. Yes, you have been through some hard times that won’t seem to leave you alone. YES HOPEFULLY, you have had some good sex, that’s like a cool breeze that will taunt you forever! (If you can’t hear the tune in my head that keeps playing, it is John Denver ‘ Some Days are Diamonds and Some Days are Stone!)

But I must say I am here at twenty five years of celebrating and to be honest I can’t believe some of you woman who have lied and said, ” Ohhh it gets better just hang on one more day it gets better!”

When they for d_mn sure knew it is, what it is!

It is an accomplishment!!!!!!

I will give you that! But everyone’s like what are you going to do on the ‘day’? Don’t you guys want to ‘do’ something together? Like a romantic dinner or sex on the beach or sit and sweetly tell one another how amazing he or she has been for the past 25 years.

Listen up!! If you haven’t told him or her how amazing they are a great deal of the time over the past 25 years — YOU AREN’T CELEBRATING YOUR 25TH ANNIVERSARY! Nope not happening.

Okay, so the funniest questions we have had and I say ‘we’ because I have heard Eric get asked the same questions, are, “Omg, how did you do that? That is so awesome! What is your secret?”

Let’s get one thing straight there are no dag on secrets to marriage of 25 years staying together. Even if there were they would all be individual secrets, this isn’t a one size fits most deal! And noooo, we aren’t from the generation where, “If it’s broke, we don’t junk it we fix it!”

Actually, Eric and I are from the generation of, if it fits for awhile wear it, but things do wear out so throw them away and get new, generation. So nope that’s not the reason we ‘made’ it 25 years.

Ohhh I love this one, ” Mom and dad you guys are amazing. Except, it’s difficult for us kids to live up to that because we want it ‘just like you two!”

Shut the F_ck bleep, bleep, bleep up!!!!

We worked our butts off to ensure you guys had what you needed and wanted to live a happy fulfilling life. Some days it was good we were so broke because it financially made sense to stay together.

Yes, we love all four of you and yes we have enjoyed each of you as well as each other. But kiddos, being best friends is easy because we typically choose people who love what we love to do as are best friends, but as a mommy/ daddy and husband/wife, well that’s more of a role not a choice. Therefore, our only advice to you is live each day one step at a time, if in doubt don’t go out (it says on the beaches in hawaii), but in life I disagree.

Sometime you have to go out when in doubt, nooo not into the ocean, that’s stupidity, but in life. Ensure your doubt is not fear, follow your gut if it feels right then follow that. If a little doubt creeps in or the what ifs creep up, pause to ensure its not an emotion from the past seeping into the present.

Okay back to 25 years that became to deep, but hey we owe our past 25 years to them. Not because we stuck together ‘for the kids’ but rather we stuck together because we remembered how much fun and sex we had BK! (Hahahhaha, Before Kids).

I don’t know where I was going with that!

As most of you know I wrote a ‘Sex Ed’ book and have been working on a relationships book, but I just can’t wrap it up. You see I find things so comical now, that writing any guruish deep, serious, tear jerking, sappy message doesn’t work for me anymore. I don’t feel shameful, I don’t feel judgemental yet I don’t feel judged any longer.

How did we make it 25 years? Hmmm having alot of fun. Can it be that simple? Yes, it is. We have always tried to have fun together. We don’t have the same opinions, thoughts, or even all the exact same interest. But we always have fun.

I interrupt that last thought, to announce…Eric just peeked around the corner and said, “What are you doing up so early? You have been out of bed for like two hours?”

I crouched down as I begin to giggle, I say, “I just wanted to get a little post in on our 25th.”

He laughs, starts the coffee and moves about, to get dressed. We have a funny conversation about poop. We remembered one of the grandkids told Mamaw, the elderly think about sex, poop, eating and napping. I am beginning to see the similarities.

It looks like our day of deciding what we are going to eat, where we are going to burn in the sun, or meet up with a good friend named Larry or his brother Gary. So for now, here is to twenty five years of marriage to the same man.

The same man who Let me choose some creepy day to everyone else Friday the 13th. The same man who never followed a rule book it was right for one and right for all. He is a long list of things and they are all pretty wonderful. He is a good man and I plan on keeping him around for as long as he wants to stick around. I can promise him my heart always and forever. Not because the past 25 years have been perfect however, because I have had alot of laughs. You make me laugh on a cold rainy night or when the sun is shining bright! Keep the funny coming babe! I love you, Eric Drake.

PS. As I wrap up, trying to edit this post, Eric pours me a cup of coffee, stares at me (as I try to reread), and then he begins to talk…I acted like I was listening then I heard the word work and I could feel myself feeling guilty. I began to listen and he wanted to do something for his project and he knew it was our anniversary and felt guilty. I literally paused took a deep breath in and said, “I love you and happy anniversary. You should definetly check into work.”

We have never been off work this long, ever. On just vacation. So there ya go fans of the 25 year anniversary club, you don’t need a celebration with a big hoopla on the big 2 -5, if you are having fun almost everyday the BIG ‘ONE ANNIVERSARY’ is whatever you want it to be! Because daily happiness and doing what you love, being where you want to be and with your best friend to share in this journey, well its true…it’s paradise!

God Bless