Bernadette McIntosh Stephens was born September 16th , 1962 in Barney,  Ga. She gave birth to Laura Elizabeth Tard and Alexandria Stephens,  both in Trenton , NJ. 

 My mama was creative, intelligent, loved writing poetry , loved music 🎢 and dancing πŸ’ƒ,  hated taking pictures πŸ“· and would dodge the lense with a quickness. I remember hearing my mother singing 🎀 and snapping along to her favorite songs. Even as young as I was,  I admired my mother more than anyone or anything. She was simply beautiful inside out. ✨
She held a type a strength that I always looked up to. No matter how much hurt or heartbreak she may have endured,  she always kept her beautiful smile shining. She always put my sister Laura and I first and kept the things that mattered important.
She was the strongest woman I ever knew. πŸ’ͺ 

I remember every other weekend she take my sister and I to spend the weekends with our granny πŸ‘΅. Granny’s house was home. All my cousins would be at Granny’s while my mama,  uncles,  aunts and older cousin would play cards all night filling the small home with loud laughter,  trash talk and unconditional love. ❀ And the fish frys with the fresh fish granny would prepare herself everytime we got together.  She too was my best friend and I always looked forward to watching her “stories” with her and spend quality time. 
We’d run around barefoot getting into everything. Climbing trees and terrorizing everything. Granny would threatening us with a “switch” to the behind. Granny didn’t play but she loved all her grandchildren hard. Those were the best times and memories I will forever cherish. 

Even with the hurt and fear of what may or may not come next,  my mama never let it show. She was so genuine and wanted everyone around her to be happy. She didn’t play about her family,  especially her children, not one bit. 
I remember one summer my mama,  who I might add does NOT swim,  jump in the deep end to save my bad ass after I jump inside the pool. She showed the true definition of what a Mom will do to protect her child and how selfless she was. She saved my life. 
She was and still is my role model. A true definition of a queen. πŸ‘‘
But in the blink of an eye she was gone. God had other plans for Bernadette.

 One afternoon after a beautiful day spent with her and my sister,  God called her home. I remember being numb and so young I didn’t really understand what was going on. I remember being scared and so confused. 
When I lost my mother, I lost everything. My sister and I were seperated and I didn’t see her again for years. I remember being so angry for so long because I didn’t understand why was this happening to us. 

 I always felt so guilty think what could I have done different for her to still be here. 
I lost a piece of me when she left,  when my sister left and I suppressed all of these feelings and thoughts for a long time. I was silent for a long time, and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to face it. I would isolate myself from everyone and everything growing up. I let anger and depression take over my life for a long time. 
But I had to stop blaming God for taking my mother from us.  I didn’t understand then that what I went through needed to happen for me to get where I am today and where I will continue to go. After years of feeling the emotions I endured,  I learned ways to gain my happiness again.
I talk to my mother ever single day even thought she’s not here physically. I ask he questions,  share my thoughts with her, laugh with her and she’s everywhere I go. She is by my side as I raise my very own daughter.  My little girl sees her picture everyday and knows that’s here grandma and smiles at her. I know she is with us always and I’m so grateful for that. πŸ™Œ

I love you mommy and thank you for being my hero and my forever angel.  You put everyone’s happiness before your own. You made so many sacrifices and I am so grateful and appreciative of YOU! You had alot of pain that may have been ignored but now that I understand, I AM SO GRATEFUL! I strive every single day to be an amazing mother just like you. 😘

To all the mothers out there:  Happy Mother’s day . Enjoy your loved ones today and know that you are loved,  appreciated,  and I see all you hard work.  We see all the sleepless nights,  the prayers made,  all the tears shed,  and all the laughter shared. I love you ❀
To all the daughters and sons:  show you mother or a woman who is special to you in your life you love and appreciate them. Don’t take them for granted even if you don’t agree with them,  see their point of view and have that respect for them. Cherish them and keep them close❀

​I haven’t always loved my natural hair and knowing who I am today you would probably never guess. I did EVERYTHING  possible to have straight,  kinkyless . Ignoring getting trims so my hair would seem longer than it should be,  excessive heat EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Putting hair glue and sew ins just trying everything I could so I didn’t have to wear my “ugly” hair. Relaxers. 
That good old “creamy crack“. πŸ™„
I get it,  I’m not the first nor will I be the last person with self “hair” hate. I’ve cut all my hair off where I was virtually  bald and I have had hair past my shoulders. I wasn’t afraid to try different things with my hair. But on day something click in my head : I can color,  cut,  put chemicals and all kinds of crazy stuff,  but why am I so afraid of rocking my hair the way it grew out off my head? 
*Ding ding ding*,  you guessed it: I was afraid of what people would think. It sounds a bit looney but I serious was terrified of how people would react. I spent my school years in prominently white school where all the girls had long,  straight hair that blew with the wind. 
That is all I knew and I found myself trying SO hard to keep up with the european way. Kids who didn’t were made fun of because their hair was “nappy” or “ugly“. It didn’t help that my step mother knew nothing about taking care of a little black girls natural hair and never took the time to learn so got “perms” (or the correct term,  relaxer) every month.
The relaxed phase lasted until I turned 18 years old. Graduation day of 2010, I got a relaxer and my step sister glued some tracks in to give me more length. My loved how my hair looked and I felt so confident walking across that stage toward my diploma. What a great day I was that quickly turned into a nightmare. 


The next morning was something straight out of a movie
.

 
I went to straighten the hair on my head that was left out and it burned right off!  I was mortified and left with a bald spot in the middle of my head. 
 It was AWFUL and I was broken.
 The little bit of confidence I did have was thrown in the trash along with my burnt hair πŸ˜”.
After that,  I made the decision to make that  transition. It was definitely hard and something to get use to. I cut out chemicals but continued to straighten my hair (not as often as I used to).  This lasted for 3 years and then I got pregnant. Toward the end of my pregnancy,  I decided I was going to go natural and do it the right way. 😊
Yes,  I ditched the chemicals BUT I also ditched the heat.  I made the decision to love the hair God blessed me with for the sake of my daughter. I was going to be her very first role model and everything I did,  she would see. Including how I loved myself.  I couldn’t teach her to love her God given features if I constantly tried to change mine. 


Today,  I love every single strand of coily mess that grows out of my scalp.πŸ™Œ

 I love the thickness and I love the fullness. I love that my hair is what makes me stand out. I embrace my hair and although at the time it happened I didn’t appreciate it,  I appreciate that my hair breaking off happened. I probably would have never found the self love I have for myself today or it would have taken much longer than it did. 
Things happen how they are supposed to and you may not understand when it does happen, but it will make since eventually. I can walk around proudly with my fro not giving a damn about what the next person thinks. Let them laugh,  let them judge,  let them look and let them disagree. πŸ’…
I really don’t care,  because finally I found who I am and I’m able to live in MY truth. I’m able to be naturally me. ✨

The older I get, the more comfortable I have BECOME with expressing myself.  Of course,  I’ve learned along the way there are a number of ways you can. I tended to choose the wrong way when I was younger and found it never worked out the way I thought it should.


 Mostly negative,  overly dramatic and what many would call “doing TOO much”. 


It was hard for me to see things from the inside looking out.

You are either oblivious to whats going on or you choose not to open you mind, your heart and to close you mouth long enough to realize it.

Whatever it was for me,  I had fallen tired of the way I felt after a situation’s aftermath when I would act out.

What is the point,  where did you think this go with how you chose to handle things?



There was no point and I always felt childish and unhappy EVERY SINGLE TIME. I just wanted my way,  point blank. I also took me to be blessed to be able to bring another life into this world. That was where I learned the true meaning of selflessness,  unconditional love and that it definitely wasn’t all about me. 
I had to learn to build a bridge and get the hell over it. Took a lot of praying, trusting, crying, falling and letting go to finally learn how to handle things and handle it in a positive manner.

How I can express myself without getting defensive and still get my point across.  How people understand me better when I sit and think before I speak. I have come a LONG way but there is still many things for me learn. I have some chapers on my story to tell but its far from complete. Excited for all that is to come.