That Forever Kinda Love 

I cried yesterday. I mean, I sobbed like a baby. My babies were watching, concerned but smiling, trying to figure out why Mommy was in tears but not upset. Trying to figure out why Daddy was kneeling right in front of her holding her, but not moving. I had just turned to look for a non-existent gift under the tree and when I turned around that’s when it hit me… that feeling, that never went away that’s always moved me, inspired me and kept me strong and sometimes weak.

 That realization that hit me was accompanied by the fact that it’s been almost 15 years of “firsts” and “finallys” and “forevers.” It knocked the wind out of me so much because I had just been reconciling the thought in my head that some things don’t happen in certain ways and that it’s okay, especially on a day like today. I decided to be grateful for what I have instead of being unhappy with what I didn’t have yet. 

The days of this past year have been long and trying, some months were rough, but something kept us going… an amazing support system who knew that while raising children takes a village so does supporting love. Our commitment to our children. Our understanding that 15 years of perfection, progress, periods of growing pains and rough patches means a different kinda love. But whatever it was, we “finally” feel like we made it. And that feeling that hit me of overwhelming love and relief and joy and dreams coming true all culminated when he gave me the gift of true everlasting love, asking me to be his partner for life, his wife. This is a re-do, an attempt to turn back time, a quiet whisper of commitment, a giant leap into the sky as we soar together into our future. 

This year we almost didn’t make it, but it was a year like this that we needed to realize this is a forever kinda love. There were “moments” but time has shown us that even in our worst moments we’ve learned to still love and uphold each other, something we didn’t always practice nor understand. Growing up in love has been challenging and many saw us epically fail over the years even though we had good intent in our hearts for one another. But since I was 15 years old I knew he was my soul mate, and that I was his. I have love letters I wrote to him detailing every aspect of our dream wedding, envisioning the day we finally say “I do…” I was okay with how life continuously threw wrenches in our vision, changing the course of our lives. Many times I thought we were saying our last forever good bye but we always found our ways back to each other’s lives, remaining indelibly stamped on each other’s hearts. This isn’t the beginning of our love, it’s the continuation of our life journey that we’re sharing together.

So it meant everything that our sons August and Mehky witnessed this moment this time, quiet and intimate by the Christmas tree. Little Augy in all his delight smiling up in between both of us with my tears dripping on his forehead. Then Mehky consoling me saying “it’s okay Mom.” He then proclaimed “whoa” as he saw his Daddy slid my ring on, then ending with a relieved “Thank you Dad!” Like if he knew something I’ve never told him. Like if he knew my insecurities would drift away once this proposal was accepted–by all parties involved 🙂 Because we fought for this “finally” because he is my first. Because we did this for our love, because of love… that forever kinda love…  




Let your soul rise… With the giggles of tiny humans, and the love from their smiles. From Mother Nature’s caresses and her breaths through your body. 

Let your soul rise… 

From the success of your systers and fellowship with your friends. With the vision of your future and the dreams that never end.

Let your soul rise… 

From that feeling of emblazoned passion burning in your conscience, sifting through remnants of “what coulda beens” because they are now what will be. 

Let your soul rise… 

Above the infiltration of our society’s condemnation of your individuality. 

Let your soul rise… 

To ascend our earthly existence and transcend life into “actually” living. 

Let your soul rise… 

With the laughter~dance~ancient songs of our grandmothers who died for us to live here and now will never be again. 

Let your soul rise… 

To the vibrancy of voices of systers who’ve made choices fully and fearlessly forever. 

Let your soul rise… 

To your pleasure with your partner, put aside as secondary, when really this intimacy is necessary for your survival. 

Let your soul rise… 

To the blazing sun and the moon’s crescent shadow, to the goddeses whispering in your spirit. 

Let your soul rise… 

Let her soul rise… 

Her soul rides. 


The [Un]Apologetic Academic Mother

I’m sorry that I’m a mother and an academic.

I’m sorry that my academic life is balanced with my family.

I’m sorry that I enjoyed my pregnancy while teaching.

I’m sorry that I get sprinkled with kisses and hugs while writing my work.

I’m sorry that my children are the center of my life.

I’m sorry that I can’t make it to every meeting or for drinks after events.

I’m sorry that my life doesn’t revolve around the department or university.

I’m sorry that I get my work done. And more…

I’m sorry that society doesn’t see the value in motherhood & family is not a priority.

I’m sorry that I’m a regular mom doing normal things with her children but seen as extraordinary because of extraordinary institutional prejudice and discrimination.

I’m sorry that my motherhood makes you uncomfortable or that you only feel comfortable asking me about my motherhood.

I’m sorry that you feel better asking me questions about my pregnant body or how my children are being raised rather than the academic work I am engaging in.

I’m sorry that you feel more comfortable with my role as a mother than with my pursuit of life in academia.

I’m sorry that I did not give up my life for your prestige and reputation.

I’m sorry that this mother unashamedly carries her baggage into your “All Boys Club.”

I’m sorry that I did not choose one or the other as you wish I would.

I’m sorry that I chose both, being an academic and being a younger mother.

I’m sorry that I did not wait.



I am [un]apologetic about my miraculous and magical motherhood, I am [un]apologetic about my presence in your halls, classrooms and other spaces that you claim.

I am [un]apologetic about my crying, affectionate, hungry, picky, breastfeeding, laughing, potty-trained or diapered, joyous and learning, quickly growing children.

I am [un]apologetic about my life outside the ivory tower in my own chaotic castle.

I am apologizing to myself for every “sorry” I ever said in reference to my motherhood and my [struggling] success.

I am apologizing to myself for ever thinking that it could not possibly have been this way; for letting their prejudice and discomfort cloud my mind.

I’m not sorry anymore.


The [Un]Apologetic Academic Mother

“Is it unfair for academic mothers to have to work so hard? Yes. Is it worth wasting the time to complain? No. Should we all do whatever it takes to change the system for future academic women? Absolutely.” -Miglena Sternadori

Read more about overcoming the STIGMA of Academic Motherhood:

Warrior Wounds

These are warrior wounds from my warrior womb. My radical motherhood permanently etched on my torso and hips. I cannot deny that I don’t sometimes look at my skin and wonder how it could’ve been… 
My skin stretched to the farthest lengths to carry these human beings inside of me and all I can do is worry about my warrior wounds? 
Then I look down at these little baby boys who will in the blink of an eye become men towering above me. I gave them life and I sustained them. 
The marks of motherhood run deeper than skin; 

It runs through our breasts as they ache at their hunger pangs. 

It runs through our veins to move the hormones that connect us to them. 

It runs through our minds as we become hardwired to respond to their cries. 

It runs through our hearts where it skips a beat when we check if they are happily asleep and still breathing. 
Dear womyn, you see, when our children grow old these marks remind us of the power our bodies had and how we will always be mothers. These are the roots of our trees of life. The remnants of our transformative souls seeping through our skin, begging to be seen. 
We should be proud and not ashamed, we survived the most human pain and did the closest thing to a God that a human can do. Even those who have bore life and loss have these scars to prove they are mothers too. 
Warrior goddesses are walking this Earth everyday; fertile and fierce in our womanity with love in our hearts, pride in our bodies and nurturing in our souls. 

Art credit: Atlanta graphic designer Britt Davis

The Goddess In Her…

Time had made her wiser, but her heart was always soft at possibilities. She remembers a mentor once scolding her about her “bleeding heart.” Thinking to herself to always believe in the good nature of other humans, men and women. Forgetting periodically their propensity to obliterate this trust of hers. She needed to check herself. “You know the potential end, you know what could happen.” But it was too late, she was enthralled and captured. Her imagination began to wander to distant places, ideas sprung to life and danced in her mind. She listened, believed and swallowed up every ounce of what that mouth had told her. She created a plan, in an attempt to mindfully execute the extreme possibility; she was no optimist, just a perfectionist by nature. 
And so it began, more words poured through her body, her imagination was running wild and it was becoming a dire need for her to turn back or keep going. She hated areas of gray, and because she didn’t understand it she studied it and dissected it until she could mark every swirl of black and white into that color. The middle wasn’t for her, she needed the top or nothing at all. 
The urge was getting stronger, and her artfully painted picture intensified it. This is how it happens until someone drops the ball, then she picks up hers while she drags the other. She then coasted to the gray area for safety, protection; knowing its fallacy. “It doesn’t matter, I won’t feel some type of way.” But she often forgets that her fear of potential rejection is stronger than her need for perfection. You can’t fix what ain’t broken, if it never was. The truest fallacy is in believing something without any basic principles of verisimilitude. 
She took a detour and ran through the red lights. She loved to speed with caution, if this doesn’t exist it does in her mind. The slurred words blurred her vision. The eyes saw right through her chest and squeezed the blood out of her little bleeding heart. It rushed to other parts to make her warm. Her head felt like it might explode from the Picasso painting drowning in blood. Sensitivity returned and instead of understanding her state of fight or flight, she confused it for right. 
Then from that very mouth came the soft caress from the little pillows on his face, the swirl of his tongue that went deeper inside her and consumed all the energy she needed to ensure her survival. She melted into his cage, through the bars she fell apart in a liquefied mess. She couldn’t pick herself back up again. She returned to the possibilities and believed them more than ever before. It was all she had left. His hands wouldn’t let her go, she belonged to him in all his glory. He wrapped her around his ego and was cloaked in her beauty, donning it as a prize he was sure to claim. His victory was established. She had fallen… apart. And under the impression that this swooning would cause him to rescue her. 
She was carried, but he wasn’t rescuing her. Her body was being conquered, it was the field where both minds battled to obtain dominance. But her troops had retreated, fighting a war she didn’t believe in. “Who wants the perfect love story anyway?” She did. But while in his possession she lied to herself so that he didn’t have to. She genuinely believed in his words because his compliments reassured her confidence in herself; the problem was in using his observations to establish trust when these were things she already knew. 

The seduction was the least complicated, it was when she was divorced from her bad cerebral and coronary influences. She was primal and devouring. In this state she would consume just as much and use her body the way it was made to work. She re-established some power, however arbitrary, she needed to reclaim some of what she lost in the war. By fully engaging in the pleasure she had anticipated she took back her goddess gift. She knew that her weakness was her mind, but her strength was her intimate womanity, whereas this man and any man’s weakness was the very thing that made him masculine. He attempted to dominate her but her pleasure principle made her smile throughout this encounter. She made him bow down to a goddess. He had to walk away and not care, forced to follow the codes of masculinity that restrict him from loving and valuing such a beautifully complicated creature. She saw it in his eyes every time she flashed a smile that he was hurting from not being by her side. Under the guise of being a guy, he suffered at her heavenly sight. Her recovery was slow and her heart was still sore, but after squeezing out the last bit of liquid that made her his prey, she realized she was the one who broke his heart that day. 


Amazing Latina Pinup Portraits by Derek Santiago

First Time

We joked about it, “what if you would’ve gotten pregnant the first time we had sex?” he asked me, as we reminisced about our first time back in high school. My first time ever. I laughed out, “I would’ve been too scared to ever have sex again!” I rubbed my now 9 month pregnant belly, smiled and continued driving home. I was 15 and he was 17 when we met approximately 13 years ago which would’ve made us teen parents. We began our love journey then, which is now culminating in this extreme realization of our love in the form of our first child together. Baby August. This Father’s Day marking the very first time he will celebrate his fatherhood, despite the many instances before this that he’s embraced this role.

A few months after we began our relationship we thought it was a good idea to raise a puppy together. We found this beautiful, black Shar Pei with pointed ears who mildly resembled a piglet. Through sleepless nights training her, many bathroom mishaps and taking turns to care for her on the weekends, this little dog had taken up a huge space in both our hearts as our baby girl. She inspired us to ferociously care for more and more animals. She slept with us every night and when I thought about how we were raising her, I felt proud to be a doggy mommy.

Before Benji, we fostered a dog named Luna about 6 years after Naila and again for 2 months our patience was tested as we trained her but we prevailed and it was a bittersweet day when we sent her to the greatest home.

After some bumps and bruises and from what it seemed like multiple times of Naila being the glue that kept bringing us back together, we decided to get another dog (& a house). He found his little twin in Benji Jr. or Benjabub as I like to call him. Naila would soon have a brother, a companion. Benji was the complete opposite of her, sensitive and needy, apricot fur and hazel eyes.

The way this man cared for these two creatures wouldn’t hit me until I became a single mom during a hard break up between us, one we both thought was permanent. When we became two friends who needed each other, we realized as hard as it may be that we would help and support each other no matter what. But we had a new human in the picture, Mr. Mehky Cincere.

He has been the best dad to this little boy that is humanly possible. Even making sacrifices that many men would cringe away from… Losing sleep, waiting forever at a dinner table in a restaurant while I nursed him in a bathroom, cutting dates short to pick up my infant, and then just dealing with the questions and curiosities of people who can’t seem to leave good enough alone.

I said to myself, “if this is how he is choosing to be with my son, I can only imagine how he would be with his own.” Then I stopped. He had his own, for years of caring for our dogs had groomed him, then Mehky had brought out his fatherly spirit and the journey of our love could only be stopped by ourselves or by the hands of time.

Baby August may be our first “child” together but he is certainly not our “first. ” (Sorry Augy!) This is officially his first Father’s Day but I’ve been celebrating his fatherly role for years. Why? Because cultivating, supporting and commending a fatherhood like his in whatever shape or form is necessary in a world where men are scared to love and to love other beings more than they love themselves. I can see it in his eyes when he smiles at me and asks how August is doing. I can sense it in his soul when Mehky showers him with hugs and dada kisses. I can hear it in his voice when he playfully calls Benji and I can tell in his touch when he rubs our 13 year old Naila as she grunts and breathes. He is a father in every way imaginable and I’m so grateful to have been able to see him transform from a teen into a man, from a bachelor to a father. I never wanted it any other way. He is loving, caring, supportive, aspiring, gentle, playful, and he is there every day and every night. Thank you for being the amazing man my two boys will always look up to.

Thank you for being a father. The world needs more dads like you.

Love you always!


6 Things That Happen When You’re With a HOT Guy

It’s rough being with a hot guy. There are some advantages that comes with having the eye candy on your arm but for the most part it takes a strong woman (or man) to be able to handle the glares, stares and compliments. Here are 6 things that may happen when you’re with your sexy man:

1. Women will do things to inadvertently get his attention. And you will be the one to notice. They will laugh loudly, dance a little more raunchy, flip their hair a bit more or walk a little more erect to flaunt their body, maybe even slap their friend’s ass in front of him (yes, I have seen this.) And whether he is oblivious or not, you noticing and mentioning it will only make him think you are “jealous.” So just don’t. Laugh at the shenanigans and tell your sister (or someone who is like a sister–I don’t always recommend best friends) about the funny antics and just be proud that he is your man.

2. They will stare. Sometimes they will stare so much that they will seem to undress him with their eyes; and yes again you will be watching them and wondering “Am I invisible?” And to them in that fantasy moment you do not exist. Or they may role play whisking his sexy ass away from you. However, gripping him tighter will only inspire further fantasies. Walk confidently beside your man, and smile as he hugs or pulls you closer.

3. Men will also stare. There’s also the funny moment when a guy is attempting to display camaraderie and is attempting to befriend your sexy man simply because of his good looks. Gay men will flirt, while straight men may want him around because he attracts more women. It’s a win-win for them and they subconsciously know this when they approach or stare at your man. You cannot filter his friends, but just beware of those who use his eye candy charm to attract women.
4. You will accept but not always like when he has guys’ nights or “guy trips.” This is because of reasons 1, 2 & 3.

5. Your best friend may not remain your best friend because of your hot guy. Reverting back to #1, that person who you tell everything to may want to see if the information you are reporting is accurate. They may want to test the goods and because they are so close to you and are around so much they may attempt to lure your man and may have plenty of opportunities to do this. Your responsibility to protecting your man and relationship is to understand what information you should NOT disclose to anyone (like how good he is in bed or how he spoils you when you’re not feeling well.) It is much better to leave these thoughts up to someone’s imagination than to provide them with the Guide to How to Steal My Man. Another great thing to do, trust your intuition about that overly flirtatious friend.

6. You get admire (and solely appreciate) his good looks. You love your man unconditionally which makes all of the above so entertaining. You probably have loved him long enough to watch his own extra love handles or pimply skin disappear, or witnessed the moment when he began needing eyeglasses or his first gray hair (that may or may not have increased his sex appeal). You love everything about him and his good looks are just a bonus. You also know deep down that even though women may admire him from a distance, there are also things that these people would never tolerate if they were actually with him. Like… You get the point. But you tolerate it because your love for him is deeper than his looks. And that’s what’s sexy.