Football, Family, and Cyberbullying!

In September, I uploaded this photo of my growing family. My intentions were to announce to my relatives and friends that we were expecting a new baby in March 2017. It was a successful announcement, but to my surprise, it went viral and was shared hundreds of thousands of times across multiple social media platforms. I was somewhat blown away by the support. I couldn’t understand why this one particular photo caught the attention of so many people. After all, it was just a five-minute photo session, shot by our cousin on our front porch, with a camera that my husband had gifted me years ago. I found the shirts on Amazon.com and had my kids to line up and smile, while being bribed with a promise to get ice cream afterwards. Somehow it worked, and people absolutely loved it!

Most people, that is. While the photo went viral because of the positive depiction of an intact, African American family in this new age of America, there was also a lot of backlash expressed. Most people were intrigued and delighted by our family unit (father, mother, two sons, one daughter, and a baby bump) and they made it very clear with loving comments that complimented us in many ways. I wore a tee shirt that accentuated my growing belly and read “This is my last one, seriously” and my husband’s shirt read “The man behind the bump.” It was simply an expression of the type of people we are, and anyone who knows us would agree. We are a fun, silly, unpredictable couple who have three amazing kids that drive us crazy some days! It was supposed to be funny, but apparently some people don’t know how to have fun.

We received multiple negative, vulgar comments such as “you need to learn how to keep your legs closed,” “breeding like animals,” “you’re selfish to keep having all those kids,” birth control is an option, “his pull out game is weak,” “keep her pregnant and barefooted,” “Black people always making babies but be the main ones who can’t take care of them,” “she gon be stuck with all the kids when he leaves her,” and SO many more. Some of the harsh comments were hard to read and made me upset, but I realized that it wasn’t worth my time to respond to the ignorance. These people don’t know our story. They don’t know that we are actually a blended family, and our oldest boy is from a high school relationship my husband had. They don’t know the pain and struggles we’ve endured. Nor do they know the pure joy that came with that positive pregnancy test. There was so much criticism and negativity over something that my family was ecstatic about.

We tried for months to get pregnant with baby #4. We had experienced a prior miscarriage, but remained faithful. My kids begged and pleaded to have a baby brother or sister. It was a daily request, so every month that we didn’t conceive, it broke our hearts. We had to explain to our babies that it was out of our control and that God would give them a sibling in His timing. That was hard for them to understand. When it finally happened, I cried tears of joy because God had kept His promise to me.

Nearly nine years ago, I’d have never guessed that me and my dear friend, Jarius would be married with kids of our own. We were mere babies ourselves, walking around campus at The University of Georgia together, laughing and talking about everything under the sun. We were both Child and Family Development majors, which is how we met that glorious Summer day in a Human Sexuality class (how ironic!) but we didn’t realize that we were learning foundational lessons about what our future together would hold: children and a family. Today, my husband is a 7 year NFL veteran and I am a Stay at Home Mom who has a vegan skincare business (KenzieNaturals.com) and a Mom/Lifestyle blog (BeingMrsMommy.com). We are dedicated to our faith and our family, and are very grateful to be a positive image in a world that can be so negative. I pray that God continues to use our family as a shining example of what He is able to do. With love and God, anything is possible. By the way, if you ever find yourself judging a large family or a woman with multiple children, remember that everyone has a story, and not all people consider additions to their families as mistakes or “slip-ups.” Every child is a miracle, a blessing from God, and a story yet to be told!

 

Earth’s Perfect Moisturizer!

Over the past few years, I have tried many oils and moisturizers for my hair and body. Some are too greasy, and some are too light. Coconut oil, however, is the PERFECT oil for both. It moisturizes without leaving much oily residue behind and it does not cause build-up in my hair. I love it, and I swear by it.

Many people use coconut oil to cook with, but I’m not a big fan of the taste. To each it’s own, though. When you purchase this oil, be sure to get the organic, pure, unrefined version of it.

For my hair, I use coconut oil at least every other day. I have dry hair, and coconut oil is the ONLY oil that penetrates the hair shaft, which makes for optimum moisture. I dampen my hair with a spray bottle, then add a nickel-sized amount of the oil to my hair, concentrating on the ends, since this is the weakest, driest part of your tresses. It makes the hair really soft and manageable. I also use this oil on my kids’ hair. It is great because it’s natural and has no added chemicals, which can be harmful.

For my body, I use this oil every day. It feels so silky on the skin, and the smell is SENSATIONAL! After a shower, I blot my body with a towel, leaving myself slightly damp. I then slather the coconut oil all over in a thin layer. For my body (I’m pretty tall at 5’9”) it takes about 4-5 quarter sized scoops to get the job done. This oil makes my skin SO soft and seals in moisture from the dampness.

I just wanted to share this little tidbit with you because coconut oil has changed my life for the better! It is my go-to, every day, everything oil! I’m all for naturals and organics, so this miracle worker means a lot to me! Try it out today. You can generally find it at any Whole Foods store or in the natural section of your grocer. What’s your favorite moisturizer and why?

~Martavia

Work From Home!

Being a Stay-At-Home Mom (notice I capitalized the title because it is indeed a real job!) has been one of the biggest blessings that God has given me. It gives me the ability to put my print on my kids and instill them with the morals and values that are most important to me and my husband. It’s overwhelming at times, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Although a great experience, being home with my littles sometimes made me feel that I wasn’t doing enough. While Jarius is the primary breadwinner and focuses strictly on football, I am responsible for managing both our households and maintaining a thriving, prosperous, peaceful, loving environment for my family. My husband earns more than enough money to support our family while I wasn’t working, but some days I felt a sense of guilt because I wasn’t bringing in any income. I was accustomed to working or being in school, but once I graduated in May 2012, I felt like I wasn’t being productive anymore. Although I was taking care of home, I knew that I could be doing more to add to our success as a family.
About 2 years ago, I decided to dabble in a health and wellness business that I could work from home. The company is called Advocare, and it’s the best thing that I could have done for myself and my family. I work as much or as little as I want, and to be honest, it’s not even really WORK. Its merely networking and spreading the word about the products we use daily. The product virtually sells itself. My kids don’t even notice when I’m “working.” I decide when and how much time I want to dedicate to growing my business. PLUS, it only cost me around $79 to start my own Advocare business as a product distributor.
There are three main product lines that I distribute, and what’s good for you depends on your health goals. There is the “Trim” line that is for people who are aiming for weight loss; the “Performance Elite” line that is for athletes and people who workout/train more; and the “Wellness” line for people who want to live a healthier lifestyle in general.
I use products from each line and so does my husband. Advocare is in NFL locker rooms and endorsed by NFL players and other professional athletes (the reason my husband decided to try it). I started distributing the product because we were going to be using it anyway, and we love the results that we have gotten thus far.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in learning more about Advocare for personal use or business, please email: thewynningteam@gmail.com. Also, check out our website, www.advocare.com/14047940, where you can learn more about the products and place an online order.

Super Quick Makeup Routine

Sooooo, to start off, I am NOT a big “make-upper.” I experimented with a lot of different styles and types of makeup in college, but I have grown away from it in the past few years. I even attempted at a Mary Kay business when I lived in Green Bay. Ha! Let’s just say that it wasn’t as successful as I would have liked! I have two little ones that are 3 and 5 years old, so being glamorous ALL the time is not happening. I do, however, usually have about five minutes to spare, so I came up with a go-to makeup routine that can be done in this time. It’s simple and is light coverage, but it gives you that extra boost of confidence you may need to conquer your day. I often look in the mirror and give myself encouraging words, so when I see a cutie (and not a zombie) smiling back, it’s always inspiring! Let me know if this works for you and please share your quick makeup routines! Smooches (with nude lip gloss!)

-Martavia

1. Splash face with water (your face should be clean before you start)
2. Pat dry until your face is slightly damp
3. Moisturize
4. Apply liquid foundation outward from your nose and blend, blend, blend!
5. Apply blush/cheek powder
6. Apply bronzer to the perimeter of your face and to the bridge of your nose and cheeks.
7. Add dark eyeliner on bottom eyelid
8. Add mascara to top lashes
9. Add whatever color lip gloss/stick you’re in the mood for that day!

My First Post…Yay!

As I sit here and type this post, all I can do is thank God for all that He has done in my life. Without Him, none of this would be possible. He has been so amazing to me and my family. We are blessed beyond belief, and I look forward to what He has in store for us.

I also look forward to sharing my life with you. God has been so gracious to me, and putting His work on a platform for the world to see is the least I can do to spread His goodness! Join me on a journey that’s sure to entertain as I talk faith, family, food, fitness, and football!

Stay tuned for more insight into some of my daily life experiences!