Happy New Year!!!


Family, family, family! That’s what New Year’s was for me. I pretty much spent the entire month of December with my family, and that’s exactly what I wanted. Being pregnant has made me appreciate my family even more. They are such a great support system and I feel so safe and loved when I’m around them.  There is nowhere else I’d rather be but in their company.

As I reflect on 2016, I am so grateful for my experiences and accomplishments. I am a person who has high expectations for myself and I take it hard when I don’t meet my personal goals, but I can truly say 2016 was a good year for my career and personal life.

Last year the only goal that I set was to publish my first novel. As happy I am to say that I did that, this year I believe my goals may be a little more ambitious, especially with a baby on the way.  So, I’ve decided to share them so that I will be accountable for reaching them.

Here they are:

  1. Restructure, Rebrand, Revamp, By Renee Visions Publishing House & the Shireal Renee brand
  1. Publish the second book to the “Me & My Man’s Wife” trilogy, “Dodging Deliverance”
  1. Enroll in school for my Masters Degree
  1. Buy a big girl car i.e. my dream car
  1. Rewrite, Produce, & Star in “Wide Open”, stage play
  1. Take the books and the play on a national college tour
  1. Balance all these things while being a great mom and wife!

As I’m listing them out achieving all of this seems pretty ambitious and a little unattainable. But my mother always says, “Nothing beats a failure but a try.” Yes, I know it will be difficult and I will probably hate myself at times for trying to do so much, but I know for sure it’s not impossible.  With the proper plan and a lot of discipline I can do it. I can do anything.

Besides, it’s not just for me this time. It’s for my son too. I want to be a good example for him. I want him to see that his mom never let anything stand in her way and that he will be able to have anything he wants in this world with hard work and dedication. There are no limits to what he can achieve as long as he keeps God first, stays focused, and doesn’t take no for an answer. I will prove this to him by my actions.

Happy New Year everyone! Make your list out and work through yours with me. Lets make 2017 better than any other year – Remember, nothing beats a failure but a try!


Tough Skin

I consider myself a pretty tough chick.  Don’t get me wrong I cry at movies and for frilly girly stuff but my feelings don’t necessarily get hurt easily. I am usually the one giving advice to my friends and family to toughen up. I get angry before I get sad or hurt.

But here’s the thing, lately I have been having complete emotional breakdowns over the weirdest things.  Just this morning I was bawling over a pot.  Let me explain. When I got pregnant we decided we needed a bigger place, so we moved a month ago today.  In my excitement I decided I wanted to get rid of all my old stuff and get new stuff – for the baby of course!  So I gave away all my furniture, pots, pans, etc. I have been in total redecorating mode.

One of the things I’ve been really excited about was getting new pots.  I’m talking professional, expensive you don’t have to use a scrubber pots.  So that’s what I did.  I brought a top of the line Calphalon, stainless steel pot set. And let me tell you these pots are worth every penny I spent on them. I am so proud of my pots. They cook great, they clean easy and they are so shiny and pretty. They make you want to cook.

Well, this morning my husband burned one of my pots.  And I mean burned, had the fire detector going off and everything.  My heart dropped.  The poor pot has a huge black burn in it stretching vertically from top to bottom.  I wanted to take the pot and hit him over the head with it.  I was so angry. I just went in my room and slammed the door. When he came and apologized I shrugged it off, but when he left for work this morning I went in the kitchen and started scrubbing the pot with every once of strength I had. But the burn wouldn’t come out. That’s when I broke. I had a total meltdown.  I cried so hard my dog started crying with me. It was a total mess.

These are great pots and I haven’t even had them a month and now one is ruined. Did I mention it’s a set, I guess I can go buy a replacement of that one pot, but it’s still annoying. I am totally prepared to blame the meltdown on me being pregnant. However, pregnant or not I would’ve been upset, but the tears and sobbing – totally the babies fault. I mean come on I have tough skin!

Baby Steps

My life is in transition.

Everything I thought I knew about my body and myself have changed. I feel like I’m learning to walk again.

If you would’ve asked me two years ago where I’d be right now, I promise you the answer would not have been pregnant! But God’s plan is always better than mine. Honestly, I think I’ve always wanted a baby deep down, but I was just so wrapped up in my life and career goals that I didn’t know where I would fit it in. And for me, being married was a very important step that I had to take before even thinking about children.  Believe me, I mean that in the most selfish way. I need help! Raising a child has always been so frightening. The thought of me being responsible for another person’s life terrified me. It was just way too much for my brain to process. So if God did decide to lie that on me I believed I would need help, someone to split the blame with.

And love…the love scared me too. Anyone who knows my story knows that I have had my heart broken to pieces. Therefore, there is the wall that I have built to shield myself from that level of heartache again. But when it comes to my baby, that wall has been demolished. I never knew I could love like this. I never knew I could worry, and pray and beg God so much for one person. I am terrified and so deeply in love at the same time. It is unbelievable.

I’m only five months pregnant, my baby is only a little over a pound and I’ve never physically met him yet, but I swear every time I feel him make a movement inside me I feel like he is communicating with me, saying, “Hi Mommy, I’m ok in here.” It makes me so happy.  I pray for his life and his health everyday. I pray that I am a good mother, that he knows how much I love him already and that my husband knows as well. There are so many new feelings and emotions I’m dealing with right now. I feel like a totally different person.

I’m learning to be me again, but a different version of me, a better version.  I am taking this journey day by day.  When I think too far ahead it overwhelms me.  I’m learning to walk again, taking baby steps. Oh God, what a journey.

Happy Birthday Gregory

Dear Greg,

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years that you’ve been gone.  Yet it seems like only yesterday that I got that call.  I still think about you all the time.  I wonder what your life would have been like.  I can’t even imagine how many more memories we would have made.  You were my best friend.  You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve wished I could just pick up the phone and tell you about my day.  What I would do to hear your sweet voice of reason.  There was a time when you were the only person who could calm me down. You were the only one who I could vent too, the only one who understood me – or at least you made me believe you did.

Grandma and Grandpa are gone now too.  I know you all are together up in heaven.  Losing Grandma was excruciating. That loss totally took my breath away.  With you all gone the family is so different.  Each time we loss one of you a piece of our family was broken off.  I never knew we could be so distant when we all use to be so close.  Time has really taken a toll on us.  Life has hit us with some tough blows.  You all were like the glue that sealed us together, now we are all just floating a drift.  I know for sure I am not the same.

Your daughter has grown up so beautifully.  She looks just like you and Leslie. Don’t you worry she knows who you are. Ashley made sure of that.  I love her for not letting your memory fade.  The rest of us are ok.  I won’t dare complain to you because at least we still have our lives.  I struggle sometimes but I promise I am going to work my hardest to make the best out of this life for us.  I remember the dreams that we stayed up so many nights talking about.  I’m still chasing mine and as long as I have air in my lungs I promise you I won’t give up.  I’m doing this for us.

I love you even more today then I did 10 years ago.  You know they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I didn’t know it was possible for me to grow fonder of you.  You were already my favorite person in the world. I love you Gregory. I miss you and I wish you could be here with us, flashing your big smile and keeping the peace in the family.  I guess I will just have to take comfort in the fact that I know you are watching over me.  Now, I’m going to let you get back to dancing the night away with Grandma in celebration of your birthday. I’ll wait for you to visit me in my dreams.

Happy Birthday



Disclaimer: I wrote this in 2011 and I just found it again but it is still relevant.  I had to share it with you, hope you enjoy!

For My Girls…You Are Leaders In My World…

It is absolutely important that today you start to become the real you. You no longer have the luxury of being mediocre and great at times; the world needs you at your best. In order to become this Great woman that you are you have to stop being the person that you use to be. You can no longer carry around hurt and pain from the past. You can no longer blame your new spouse for your ex’s faults. You cannot be angry at your sister for that thing that happened that time. You can no longer be jealous, judgmental and confused. And you can’t be impatient with the car in front of you for going the speed limit because you decided to sleep that extra 10 minutes and now you are running late. We have to be bigger and better. The world needs us to be.

I for one have tried the relationship thing and failed miserably each time. I have mastered the smoking thing until it made me sick, I have been bad and ugly as it gets, said things that I wish I could take back…but I can’t. Now it is time for me to work on Beautiful and Great! In order to become the new me, I must start by forgiving the old me. I forgive her for those cruel, nasty, unladylike words she allowed to come out of her mouth at times. I forgive her for ignoring obvious warning signs, not paying attention to stop signs and wasting so much of my time. I forgive her for not always being honest with herself about herself and about the people she allowed in her life. I forgive her for not loving herself so much that love from anywhere else would just be bonus. Today I FORGIVE her.

Now, I must surround myself by only Good People, make sure I pray more, enjoy being outside in the beautiful weather as much as possible and inhale the fresh air. I am going to make sure I take care of my health so that I can age gracefully, peacefully. I will confront my issues right away so they don’t fester and build. I will be more generous and kind to strangers, greeting people with smiles and hello’s and understanding if they don’t return the gesture…because I’ve done that before. I must maintain a clear and focused mind so that I can hear God’s voice more so I will always know what move to make.

Don’t mess this up. This time it is too important. It is bigger than you or anything you have ever imagined. Stop living in this fantasy world of foolishness and dividing your greatness with moments of blissful pleasures and unnecessary distractions. Become the woman you’re destined to be in this reality. God has already written and planned you to be great! He is crying for your attention so that he can give you everything your heart desires. But if you keep asking for the wrong things and allowing yourself to be distracted by worldly things it will be hard for Him to give you what you really need (to those that much is given, much is required). To live out of this world you must really live out of this world, every single day. Your spirit is too powerful to be suppressed.

You have to change now. People are dying in massive amounts around the world from natural disasters, children are killing their parents, fish are washing up on the shores, and they are poisoning us through our food. We have to get strong. We are powerful women and it is time for us to tap into it like never before, stand together and change this world. Time is not waiting on you nor will it guarantee you another opportunity like this. Momentum is the hardest thing to get back. Pay attention to the lessons you’ve learned…they will guide you along this journey.