“I Speak Human” – I. J. Brown

icopportunities

As I woke up to news of yet another shooting tragedy, I let out a long and pained sigh.  I pride myself in writing about chipper things and look for pleasant sources of inspiration – but, today, I saw media saturated with sadness, anguish, confusion, despair.  Can’t say that’s what I wanted for breakfast.

Nevertheless, you know we do have to talk about those elephants every so often.  I’m still a pretty positive chick, so I first decided to scroll through my pics.  Interestingly, I’d forgotten about this one from last week.  And then, even amidst feeling distraught, I felt a smile ebbing across my face…but not without a few sobering conclusions.

So I took my three boys to the public library, 8, 10, and 2.  The 10 yr. old, my avid reader, gobbles up books in the 600 pgs. realm.  My 8 yr old has discovered the joy of chapter books.  The last time I took my 2 yr. old to the library, he was a bit smaller and had no idea where he was.  But on this day, he was fueled, fast, and furious!

He’s been in school.  So he knows what books are.  He is reading – according to us.  Pictures, which counts.  I’m sure…I’m a teacher (smile).  But he made me nervous.  When he zoomed to the kid’s section, he first ran to a stranger.  He’s so quick, I didn’t catch him in time.

My thinking, adversely impacted by all of the swirling things I’ve heard about race combined with my own experiences made me tense up a bit.  I thought, “Oh God, he’s bothering them.  I hope they don’t get the wrong idea.  I hope he doesn’t do anything to that little girl, he’s so rough.  They’re white.  I hope she’s not offended.

Can I be honest?  I was afraid.  Like so many, I’ve had my share of bad experiences.  Some, I’d really like to forget.  But I’ve had some good experiences, too.  And this was one of them.  Isaiah figured out, that this lady (whose name I don’t remember) was reading.  He ran over to a shelf, deeming himself a helpful assistant, and brought another book for her to share.  Her daughter, who I learned was 1, was receptive to the kindness of this stranger.  I realized…it was because he spoke human.

I’d be remiss to say every experience is like this, but I do wish it was.  Bereft of the strife-filled recollections that I’ve encountered over the years, he didn’t see color; he didn’t see gender; he didn’t see age; he saw – people.  People who were reading.  People who were doing something that he’d like to do.  He saw – an opportunity – to share; befriend; to smile.  Don’t you wish we saw things like this…all the time?

Now I know the concept of children being color blind is not a new thing.  Actually, that’s not my focal point.  It’s something else that I noticed about kids, which many of us are aware of, but perhaps don’t talk about enough.  Whether our kids think like this really depends on what they’re taught…wait for it…by the adults.  These angry grown ups – of all colors – that stir up a visceral hatred – didn’t morph overnight into intolerant men and women.  These ideas were taught, bred, ingrained, seared.

My question for you is, what are you growing in the children you’re impacting every day?  Whether parent or non-?  Because they hear what you say, but they see who you are.  I must say, I was relieved by Isaiah’s act of generosity.  When I saw that the stranger wasn’t taken aback, but laughed, I felt o.k. approaching her.

I apologized for his interruption, which she found quite welcoming.  She was new to the city and happy for some company.  They later crashed the bean-bag section, her 1 and my 3, and I still cringed a little bit – because my boys are rough.  Turns out, she had a pretty tough kid herself!  They all had a blast.

Food for Thought:  So often, we bring our hang-ups into neutral situations, assuming the worst.  On countless occasions, we should leave our biases out the door.  Reality says, not every experience will be a positive one, because far too many have deepened hatred.  However, as we pride ourselves in our cultural differences, let’s not forget to celebrate our oneness.  I think we all still bleed the same blood.  Let’s not speak hate.  Let’s speak human…and teach the language to mastery…

#ispeakhuman, #kidscwhatwedont, #pursueyourpassion, #catchthedreamsofequality, #bethe1whomakesadifference, #thanksisaiah

Picture:  Isaiah sharing one of the greatest gifts discovered by moms and teachers everywhere….a book.

Counter Your Complaints with Counting Your Blessings…

Savor the Simplest Pleasures

Gobbling up posts and pictures circling my upcoming 20th year high school reunion and connecting with friends and business associates, I find myself quite frequently on FaceBook of late.  I don’t read every post or consume every meme (although many are hilarious), but I do try to keep up here and there.  But I must say, there was one friend that captivated me more than normal this week.  Why?  Because she’s been cataloging her day to day events (some seemingly hour by hour), while in – the hospital.

I don’t believe she’s chronicling a life threatening disease (thankfully!), but she’s not there for a routine visit either.  Her friends and family know that she’s quite spirited, always on the go, and the queen of all things delightfully dramatic…but these posts – complete with clever snippets, videos, and loads of appreciation – have a very different tone.  One of…vulnerability.  Consistently honest, as is her trademark, she remarks about observations, frustrations, complications, tribulations, and revelations.  Okay…  I’m just an -ations kinda girl.  You know I love words (smile)…I digress.

I just watched all of her videos (they’re short ones) last night.  But I’ve been cracking up at her antics for the last few days.  While in the hospital, she’s enjoying tasty morsels from loved ones.  Cookies and foil wrapped plates and other culinary delights.  She’s “coloring” – although we’re both nearing our forties. She’s donning blinged-out accessories, complete with face and head gear; sparkling more than a glitter fanatic at Hobby Lobby.

She’s engaging in her therapeutic walking (with a walker) while adorned in stylish red flats, which accompanied a stylish red purse brought by a friend.  She’s also having praise and worship service with a sister on the left (that means song time in church) while a nurse is working with an IV in her arm on the right.  I’m cracking up.  And that’s just a fraction of her hospital “festivities.”

Now as I’m reading these, I’m thinking, “This girl is crazy.  Who has that much fun in the hospital!”  Weighing in the seriousness, I know that she’s a ridiculously great singer and performer – who I believe was in the middle of a show…but, she’s having respiratory challenges.  Big ones.  Then I’m feeling a bit guilty/shameful.

Because I was also in the emergency room this week – with respiratory problems and laryngitis (a  big no-no for a speaker!)- and when my husband posted my pic on FB on a breathing machine, I was incensed.  Too self-conscious about how it looked to share with those who cared about me most.  To worried about hair out of place and the fact that everyone would see my blankie.

Oh yeah, babe.  Carla’s got a blankie.  A big, pink and red, oh-so-soft, you-better-not-touch-it blankie that I sleep with on my side of the bed under our shared cover every night.  I was all wrapped up in the Emergency Room…because it was cold!  And I was scared…  And I was not FaceBook ready for that.  So I instructed him to promptly take that picture down!

And then I saw, Aisha…  In her hospital bed, tubes in nose, hair all wrapped…smiling.  Not attempting to show she was fearless, but faithful to who she is…  I felt warm, fuzzy, and thoughtful all at once.  But that wasn’t the kicker.  It was this list she posted a few days later…

shesatrooper

Now on this one I laughed and almost cried.  Talk about being a realist!

A little housekeeping…I realize my readers come from around the world – and for that I am humbled and most appreciative! – but… I did white our her last name for those who may not already know her.  Those who do already contact her.  The point is, I think her story is worth sharing on every continent…

I’ve appreciated her silliness for many years as I met her in sixth grade.  But today, how she’s chosen to face one of her scariest moments has given me pause.  It took me to a place that I don’t go often enough.  One of thankfulness.

The boss who I love the most, and still talk with regularly (because we’re more like family) is one of the most successful women I know.  She’s in her 70s, still as fierce as ever, but has been plagued with illness since childhood.  When experiencing problems like she had for just a moment, I was so overwhelmed, I thought I’d never make it through…and to think, she’s been doing it all her life.

#catchthis:   Life will offer us many things – good and bad.  It would be foolish to assume we’ll get everything we want.  It’s never about what you get.  It’s always about how you handle it.  Aisha’s handling it like a trooper.  I think I’ll hang on to my little asthma pump and follow suit.

We have so many things to be thankful for.  We should focus on them more and being fickle less.  On that note, flowers never smelled so good.  Why don’t you stop and smell a few today.  #countyourblessings, #catchyourdreams, #pursueyourpassion, #bethe1

Picture:  Stopping the madness to savor the memories.

Shock Yourself: Turning Inhibitions into Inspiration

unleashyourinhibitions

I’m forever lost in my own thoughts of what I want to do next; why are my endeavors important, and how will my work be meaningful.  I realized of late that some of the most important things I may ever achieve are often among the things that I shy away from – because they require me at times to do things that feel…uncomfortable…because they’re different.

Interestingly, I find myself dabbling more in the daring and different of late because I find the end results to be quite in alignment of what I’m hoping to obtain – a sizable positive impact that stems from my best work, and that got my wheels working.

It was a recent invite to speak at a church that first prompted me to update my photos.  The signature piece that I’d used (It’s Time to Take out the Trash)” was adorned with a picture that was almost a decade old.  I intended to take a quick pic and call it a day, unaware that my adventure would blossom into a full blown photo shoot; but, while I was there – something happened.  I was prompted to try some things that made me – uncomfortable.

Different make-up applications were unlike what I’d known in my day-to-day routine.  Different outfits weren’t like what I saw in my own closet.  Jewelry and polish weren’t what I’d find in my own accessories.

I went from remembering what it was like to pose in the bathroom mirror as a little girl to attempting to channel America’s Next Top Model in front of a very real professional camera.  It was initially nerve-racking!  Yet there was something intriguing and mesmerizing about it all.

When I saw myself in the digital pics I was quite shocked.  I thought, “Do I know this person?”  But the answer was a resounding, “Yes.”  Undoubtedly, I ended up enjoying myself far more than I expected, but for me such moments only send me deeper into reflection.

I realized that despite my angst about finding that other part of Carla beneath the surface, the one who actually liked all things fierce, what I was initially afraid of (i.e., not being able to summon the confidence to be unafraid of a “photo shoot”) was surmountable if I’d just relax.

In fact, being honest with myself about who I could be inspired me to work harder at giving it the same energy as other tasks I approach, even when walking in unfamiliar territory.  So I decided to brush in broader strokes…

Since then, I’ve taken on a number of new projects – also in unfamiliar territory – and I have to say, I’m feeling the fondness factor over and over again.  In the education industry, I poured my passion into students this summer unlike my status quo  of before and found it to be the most rewarding of my assignments in academia.

Partnering with an eager entrepreneur and philanthropist, I’m now an integral part and presenter for a cultural heritage festival that’s the first of its kind and on track to engage, educate, and entertain nearly 10,000 attendees in less than a month.

Cultivating relationships with a diverse array of associates, I’m also slated to assist in promoting a premiere wine festival, strengthening businesses ties and alliances that I could never have anticipated.  And my favorite – I’m finally authoring the book that’s been ten years in the making – and I am elated!  Stay tuned for that one!

I list each of these in particular because firstly, they are all undergirded by my passions:  speaking, writing, and food (smile).  But they share another common thread:  I almost talked myself out of all of them due to constant doubts that danced in my head about why they wouldn’t work.

In order to push past my self-induced (and sometimes externally fueled) obstacles, I had to shock myself by doing what I thought I couldn’t…including blogging.  Initial thoughts in that regard?  “Well if I write, what will I write about?”  “How will I figure out enough stuff to say?”  And my favorite, “Who would read it?”  Now nearing 5,000 views over the course of roughly 6 months, I’m happy to say I’ve answered all of those questions!  I’m still…shocked (smile).

Take Away:  There are so many things we are or could be great at that we don’t allow ourselves to thrive in.  We cut off our potential before we even get started because we assume that we wouldn’t get very far.  Sometimes – we’re wrong.  I encourage you to shock yourself.

Count your costs, use your reasoning, and be sensible – but…do something positive that you’ve been longing to try – just to see how it comes out!  If it ends up better than you expected, it may be time to move that inhibition to inspiration.  What’s the age old adage?  “You don’t know until you try.”  I say give it a whirl.  I’m loving my ride…  You might enjoy yours as well…

#shockyourself, #catchyourdreams, #pursueyourpassion, #bethe1, #tryitnow

Picture:  The behind the scenes look that put me in front of the camera with confidence.

See What Others Don’t See…

The Shimmer among the Sewage

While I believe that the media serves its purpose and I welcome the occasional informational review, I’m reminded when I see constant negativity that not every opinion is accurate (regardless of who’s right or wrong).  This extends to all of the opinions beyond the scope of media, i.e. those we hear in work rooms and board rooms, play rooms and bedrooms.

What I find most interesting is that in our efforts to rush conclusions, we often lose ourselves in the realm of things that may be slanted.  We sometimes succumb to suppositions.  Nevertheless, I think we must remember to look closer.  Even in the midst of a melee, something amazing, magnificent, and astounding can rise to the top.  All around the world, we see the wonderful acts of kindness and valor float to the top of the worst case scenarios, when peril is at its thickest.

I’m convinced that my eyes are unconsciously drawn to the details that may often otherwise be overlooked.  As I was walking outside one day last month, I peered over into what appeared to be a broken pipe filled with a substance akin to sewage.  My immediate thought was that what I was viewing was deplorable; but, I was taken aback at something…beautiful: prolific, yet petite; vibrant and vivacious; delicate, and in its own right – divine.    I got on my hands and knees to look more closely.

I wasn’t sure of how the tiny seeds arrived at this destination; how they were nurtured; how they thrived, and how they had the audacity to grow just like the others of its kind that weren’t far away in more acceptable surroundings – and with the same zeal and aesthetic appeal.  In my closed mindedness I thought, “Well, yeah, they’re pretty, but that’s not where they’re supposed to be.  What’s around it looks gross.  It doesn’t look right.”  How ironic.

How often do we discount the beauty, the amazement of something that we see because we are so fixated on its context.  Do we not  at times, in our unconscious, narrowed viewpoints assume that if good things don’t come from good backgrounds that they can’t exist at all?  Not so.

Many of history’s finest leaders came from troubled upbringings, broken homes, impoverished neighborhoods.  Some of the world’s greatest inventions were developed with the crudest materials – because that was all that was available.  Yet the ingenuity, passion, and wherewithal superseded the inclination of defeat.  How often are laws developed that are beneficial because we are learning from our mistakes?  Righting a wrong?  Making things better?

I grow weary of disproportionate coverage of all of the ills of the world.  While we’re balancing our diets, balancing our budgets, let us also balance our intake of what’s happening in “real life.”  Instead of saturating the general public with stories that lead to disgust and dismay, let’s hear more about the people who are taking actions to change the world around them.  Those who are spreading the news that changes lives; reaching out to others with love that expects nothing in return and are motivated by purity.

It may require us to look deeper; peer closely; notice the unnoticeable, and even get on our hands and knees.  Nevertheless, I believe if we’re really insistent on looking for the positive, we will find it.  It will be worth the effort.  You’ll see what you didn’t see before, and be shocked at the depth of its beauty – regardless from whence it comes.

#pursueyourpassion, #catchyourdreams, #bethe1, #seewhatothersdontseeandtalkaboutit

Laying It Bare…

JustMe

Snap.  Click.  Snap.  Click.  It went so much faster than I expected.  I know our world is digitized, but I still forget how quickly things can move.  Each time Jermaine snapped my picture, it was available within seconds for viewing on a widescreen monitor.  While I was initially thrilled at how celebrity-like it seemed, it didn’t take long for me to find myself contending with an old foe who so often assured me that beauty wasn’t quite attainable for me – not by my self-imposed standards that is.

While I still loved – and would never exchange – the wonderful experience that I had last week (on my late grandmother’s birthday, who would have been 89), a bittersweet moment crept within that triggered a very unexpected conversation with a member of our team.  Peering into the screen with some of my brother’s finest work, I began to glare at everything that I thought was wrong – and I slowly and precisely hated it.  I could clearly see all my flaws.

The hair didn’t look right.  It was uneven on one side and unattractive from that angle.  I could see tiny scars on the legs that reminded me of childhood accidents, and I wanted them to disappear with immediacy.  The chest looked ugly.  It seemed like ribs were poking through the screen.  And the eye.  One looked lighter underneath than the other.

Those hips.  Oh how I wished they were more rounded, like my sister’s.  If the legs were just a little fuller.  They looked too thin.  If the waist could go in more, my shape could look more like an hourglass and less like – a box, as someone once generously shared with me years ago – and I never forgot.  I thought the picture was nice, but I wanted it to be so much prettier.

What I didn’t realize is that these ugly thoughts weren’t in my head.  I was saying them out loud – to myself – but within earshot of a member of Team Carla.  She listened first in disbelief, assuming I was joking, but then became stern after she saw – and heard – the disappointment in my voice.  Because really, I wanted the picture to be flawlessly beautiful.

Instead, I reflected on the many tear-filled days I struggled from elementary to college of feeling completely inadequate, not quite attractive, and spending hours stuck to a mirror because I was afraid that when I stepped out of the restroom, everyone else would see the many flaws I’d been staring at hopelessly unable to “fix”; like the red-hair and freckles I hated after being dubbed Pippi Longstocking, Raggedy Ann, Strawberry Shortcake, Annie, and my favorite Garbage Pail Kid Curly Carla.  I swore I’d dye my hair black in high school to escape the torment that came with being different, but my mom didn’t let me.  I’m so glad she didn’t.   Somehow, I thought I was over that.  But apparently, remnants of that poison lingered.

Going back into the quaint studio for a touch-up, I received quite the heartfelt chastisement from everyone on Team Carla who insisted I was crazy for focusing on the minors and not the majors.  It was so ironic – because a rather large part of my business as a speaker is reminding women – and men – that it is not our commercial-ready polish that determines our beauty, but our inner-being, strength, and energy that we share with others that makes us wonderfully unique.  Nevertheless, after years of training myself to avoid self-depreciation, I relapse here and there, momentarily listening to the status-quo in my head.

Nevertheless, Team Carla had other plans.  Not only did they tell me not to worry about it, but they reminded me how heavily laden we all are with flaws, and how our imperfections have no bearing on our path to pursuing our dreams.  I briefly forgot that, but I’m so glad they snatched me back into reality.

Having recovered from my digression Saturday, I have an uplifting message for you.  Be Your Own Beautiful.  Embrace your flaws as a badge of uniqueness and be not ashamed of what makes you different.  You are not the product of photoshop, you are the one of a kind creation of a Master Designer, Who just happened to put everything where He wanted it.

I know there are days when we may feel way better looking than others, but I’m now convinced that on everyday, there’s something in my life that I can feel beautiful about – and it doesn’t begin and end with a mirror.  That’s the bare truth.  And I’ll take mine raw.

#beyourownbeautiful, #theresonly1u, #idonthvtolooklikeavideovixen, #myhusbandlovesmejustthewayIam, #learntoloveyourself

Picture:  One of my favorite behind the scenes shots – where I can clearly see despite the make-up, that this is just me.  And I’m learning to like it.  Click here for more behind the scene shots.

Be in the Moment

I Was So Jealous

I must admit.  As I awakened on my first morning without having to report to work on a weekend, a certain wave of elation trickled over my skin.  I love each and every student in my classroom and have felt compelled since the beginning of the year to offer the optional Saturday Tutorials – that special block of four hours where we pour as much as we can into their tiny bodies with big hearts; but, last week was the year’s end.  Suddenly, there was no alarm clock set.  No little faces awaiting my arrival.  There was just, my warm and cozy bed.  My favorite blanket.  The ebb and flow of early morning noises and…the incessant racing of my thoughts.

That million-item task list found its wily way into my head before the sixth hour of the morning and I was powerless against its mental assault.  I begin to think of everything I had to do.  Everything I hadn’t done.  What I could do within the next 13 minutes, what was clearly going to take longer.  Who I needed to talk to.  What meetings I needed to set.  What had to be done by Monday, could wait till Tuesday, what might get done if I got up at 3:30a.m. tomorrow, what should be done before the weekend’s end, and then I began – the dreaded texting.

It was only after my fourth very-important-I-have-to-do-this-right-now message that my husband rolled over in the dark and said, “What…are you doing…?”  To which I replied with an almost innocent, “Hmmm???” I replied, “Oh…just sending a quick message.”  I was then greeted with a deep and troubled sigh that translated to, “Carla, must you start working so feverishly at 6 a.m. in the morning when you actually don’t have to be anywhere but here…”  I’d like to say that after my non-verbal cue that I had an epiphany, but I didn’t.  I finished my texting.  Laid back in my bed, eyes glued to the ceiling and continued to be rattled by everything I wanted to do, but was pretty sure I wouldn’t get done, followed by toiling with how I could get the most bang for my buck.

Sound stressful?  It is… (Sigh) one of the things that I’m working on getting better at.  I’m still under construction, folks.  This is when I’m reminded of how good my husband is for me.  I went from deeply contemplating my best solutions to feeling flustered by all of my misfires.  Anguish spilled over my face as I began to fret about what was completely and disappointingly impossible.  Then two gentle, but firm arms embraced my own.  A warm voice whispered in my ear.  A compelling consoler coaxed me and said, “Why don’t you just do nothing?”  That felt so hard!  I’m a thinker.  A doer.  An idea-r (o.k., that one sounded weird, but you get the point.)

I struggle so much with relaxing because in a warped part of my brain, it equates quite literally with being unproductive.  I forget that relaxing is a healthy thing that really promotes holistic wellness and keeps me from going crazy.  With tremendous effort and a patient husband, I finally did though.  I silenced the thoughts, by replacing them with far more palatable ones from my imagination.  I closed my eyes and saw sandy beaches.  Tranquil waters.  Soothing falls.  A plush bungalow.  Island accents.  Delectable dinners.  And I had some other encouragement…

Lessons Learned:  Our To-Do-Lists will never be fully complete.  For every task that we cross off, many others will surface.  Yes, aim to get done what is most important; but, be not weary of those that aren’t finished in 24 hours.  Pace yourself.  Protect yourself.  Shield yourself from the madness that can consume you by being the one who wants to save the world in a day.  More importantly, treasure the moments of peace and pleasure that fall into your lap or you’ll find them slipping through your fingers.  Remember, love the ones who love you the most.  Be in the moment.  Today I was the student.  I love my teacher.  #happyrelaxing, #takeabreak, #beinthemoment, #catchthatdream, #itswonderfultobeinlove

Picture:  A photograph I stole from my friend’s FaceBook page (Forgive me!).  After he uploaded it, I was so jealous!  But today, it did me good.  Thanks, Kenyatta ;o)

To Live, To Love, To Last…My Wishes

My Love

For whatever strange reason, “love” has been the topic of many of my conversations with several of my closest friends of late.  Some want to find it, some have found it only to lose it, some think they have it, but aren’t sure, while others have it, but feel they’re losing it.  And then there are a few who have it and just love it.  I couldn’t imagine discussing it without reflecting on my own experience.  And so tonight, I begin to take it apart, piece by piece, to ask myself what does it really mean – to me?

So I had to think about how I first met my spouse…I will spare you the humorous details, but it was funny.  Past the stage of infatuation, past the stars in the eyes and the “oh he’s just perfect” and “he thinks I am, too”, I realized that the depth of love is discovered not in the beginning, but in the thick of the rough patches – and making it through them.  For me, love has shown brightest in the ugliest moments.

Like, when you’re feeling the complete opposite of beautiful, but you are treated as if you look like a star.  Or, when life has left you with some unwelcome blemishes, but you are convinced that you are perceived as flawless. When you feel like a failure, but the one you love picks you up and tells you it’s okay to try again.  Love is what you experience when you learn to accept someone’s imperfections, shortcomings, and inhibitions and still be enamored with the reality of who they are.

I’m quick to tell people that while I’d love an everyday-all-day fairytale romance, I learned early that marriage isn’t written like a script from the movies – it is work!  Quite frankly, it can be difficult to compromise.  You won’t agree on everything.  And you will get your feelings hurt – that’s a part of life.  But…what makes the greatest difference for me, really?  Is our faith.  Because at the end of the day, on the few occasions where we may have disagreements, dissensions, or hurt feelings in between – we maintain the same core of beliefs; we both feel connected to Him; we both treasure divine guidance because of what we believe God intended for our marriage.

My husband and I were spatting about something recently in a most non-verbal way.  (You know how you can give each other a “Don’t even” look…), and while I was blogging, he wrote me a little note on the back of a small card, gently placed on my laptop that said, “Marriage can be difficult…but, I promised to be with you for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”  Before I even read it, he quietly walked away.  When I revisited those vows, they meant the world to me…

I wish to live my life to the fullest.  Catch my dreams.  Pursue my passions, but I also want to enjoy being in love and all of the discoveries that come with its growing intensities along the way.  My friends whose hearts ache or are broken – I want them to find and be with the one person who will be perfect for them, because it saddens me to see their undying pain.

My friends that love being single?  I want them to get as much fulfillment out of life that they possibly can without feeling the disdain of those who believe marriage is for everyone – sometimes, it is not!  And to all that I know who are in strained relationships or marriages that seem broken, I hope they experience the healing that will allow them to know again what true love really is.  Real love…is wonderful.  It gives you a reason to live and imbues you (and your love) with the power to last.

#catchthatdream, #pursuethatpassion, #betheone, #notjustonyouranniversary, #loveeveryday, #loveforalifetime

Picture:  The day I signed on to Team Brown – and never looked back.