Countless entries commence with my [insert negative words here] over how infrequently I blog. How much has transpired and how impossible it would be to bring you fully up to speed. I’m reluctant to promise entries on a regular basis because I’ve done that before and….mission not accomplished. Now there’s just too much on my mind about what’s happening both in my life and the world at large. I can no longer afford to stay quiet, procrastinate, or let this lapse into near extinction. Time to come back with a vengeance.


Friday night football…go Dragons! 🏈🐉

Few brings make me as delighted as a family-oriented night with my children and significant other. Aside from some mild dental issues [and easily correctible ones at that], Adam and Tatum are as healthy as can be. They both continue to enjoy their respective schools. Adam eagerly anticipate his weekly science club meeting and I am so proud he took the initiative to join. We’re still figuring out Tatum’s niche– according to my crystal ball I see gymnastics or dance in her future. Whatever activities they choose I support them wholeheartedly.

Allen never ceases to amaze me with the way he has stepped up for my little family. Truth be told, I consider it OUR little family at this point. Never again will I take for granted simple rituals, such as getting my children ready for bed. I love it when Tatum showings open my door and excitedly jumps on my bed squealing to get me up….no matter how tired I am who could resist that kind of wake up call?! Even Brother is a little less grouchy when she’s the one rousing him! Most of the our little foursome relaxes at home with Bapa, Gigi, and Freya but it’s always fun to hit the town. Family is everything.


Nothing adds sparkle to a selfie like the reflection of your boyfriend’s toilet in the background. 🚽

Clean & sober looks good on me, eh?  Forgive my coquette-ish expression and bedroom eyes– heaven forbid all my selfies show me making the exact same face. Quelle horreur!  Yet I was feeling myself here and that doesn’t happen too often these days.  Between the 25lb+ weight gain [nobody likes it when they can’t fit into their clothes and parts start jiggling], general feelings of lethargy and depression, and fears about the future…I’m just glad I was able to capture something decent with the help of nice lighting and working my angles!


Darren and Sarah showcase their megawatt smiles while I stand awkwardly tight lipped. 😳Imagine my surprise when I ran into an old friend, Sarah, a few weeks ago.  Turns out we’ve gone through a very similar journey

Imagine my surprise running into an old friend, Sarah, a few weeks ago.  We lost touch for quite a few years but much of our journey during that time was remarkably similar.  Now she has become one of my closet friends and I’m so lucky to have her back in my life.  It was my honor to bring her to Neshoba with me these past two Sundays.

My spiritual home and chosen family from it gives me a loving, progressive community unlike any other.  No matter how long I have been away it’s like no time has passed.  I cannot wait to immerse myself fully into this sacred place and volunteer as much as I am able.  Whether it’s RE, Room In The Inn, supervising dances, or anything in between– it would be an honor to give back to this place that has given me so much.

Speaking of R.I.T.I., that is where I had the privilege of meeting Darren.  Not only was he kind enough to be my quasi-therapist but I felt instantly at ease talking with him and we bonded quickly.  Now he is my walking buddy and one of my favorite people.  I am so glad the two of them got to cross paths!


Meeting this brilliant, beautiful, and badass woman changed my life. 🤟🏻👣

Every once in a blue moon the cosmos align and you meet a witty, intelligent, open minded, and hilarious lady and your encounter prompts the angels to blow their trumpets and the stars to shine brighter than usual. Leslie is that person for me.  We’re embarking on a journey together and I’m so ready to be the co-pilot.  Much love.


I must admit I felt sassy rocking that red lip. 💄

Allen, has it really been over a year since we made our relationship ‘official?!’  These 14 months haven’t exactly been continuous [there were a few minor breakups, blowup fights, and a brief stint where I dated somebody else (that we will never mention again)] but I love you more with every passing day.  I promised I wouldn’t gush on here but there is no one I’d rather go on this journey with and I can’t wait to be your wife….when the time is right and our sobriety is solid.  I love you with every ounce of my being.


Baberz loses his tattoo virginity. 🏴💜

My significant other finally took the plunge and acquired the tattoo he’s been wanting: the Black Flag logo. Punk’s not for everyone but it’s shaped our lives for decades. He’s already planning his next couple of pieces– just as I said he would– and I was proud of how well he handles it. Sorry babe, I had to. 😂


“There goes my hero….” 🎵💫🌸

It was only fitting that my 20th [no more teens – am I growing up now?!] tattoo was one for you. I stole the lyrics from your favorite Foo Fighters song, “My Hero.” Because Shay, you see my hero. You may be gone but you will never be forgotten. Always be loved. We will never stop fighting for the justice you deserve. Always you’ll be missed. Thank you for being one of the best friends and most influential teachers I’ve ever had. #j4shay #ghmafia

“Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.” ~ Mae West

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


Posted in Al Jizzy, Unitarian Universalists, Words of Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


33 years ago something truly epic transpired…

I am so humbled by the outpouring of love and support on my special day.  Thank you to everyone who messaged/commented/texted– each and every word was read and appreciated.  How grateful I am to have some truly awesome people in my corner.  So many folks are rooting for me and truly want me to succeed.  Talk about a special feeling.  This birthday girl feels like a human being of worth and value, surrounded by positive vibes.  Thanks for bringing a smile to my face and joy in my heart.


It wouldn’t be a legit birthday without a selfie by the fishels. 🐟🤳🏻

How does one spend their first day of their 33rd year?  After an early morning chat with my case manager at Alliance [we’ll call her Special K], I signed autographs downtown at everyone’s favorite legal destination on Poplar Avenue.  Case dismissed!  No special occasion is complete without tacos so I lunched at Babalu East.  Stop what you’re doing and go now.  I can’t believe I’ve missed out on such a glorious establishment five minutes from my home.  All that deliciousness left me exhausted so I indulged myself with a nap.  Four and a half hours of napping to be precise.  I’ll plan some belated birthday celebrations in the near future– perhaps a daytime family friendly event and an evening dinner for the grown folks– so stay tuned.


Allen’s special gift took my breath away. 💫🌟✨

My love gave me the most meaningful present:  my own star!  I cannot wait to view the Sloagan Star through a telescope.  This has been my dream gift for years.  I jumped for joy and squealed with happiness when I learned it was a reality.  I love you with every ounce of my being, Allen.  You’re the best.

Equally valuable are the contributions made to my birthday fundraiser on Facebook honoring Grace House, a place near and dear to my heart.  $170 have been raised thus far and there are still a few days left.  How incredible is that?!  

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,




Posted in Al Jizzy, Da Real Homiez, Food, Legal, Love, Memphis, Restaurants, Sloane | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


IMG_1149 (1)

I had every intention of writing my eulogy with this post….but I just can’t.  Not yet.  All I can say is that I love you, Shay.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


Posted in * R. i. P. *, GH Mafia, Tennessee | Tagged , | Leave a comment

10 years of Adam

 ⭐️ Adam Harrison Reed ⭐️

….turned ten years old today!  My animated, awesomest Aries [because I did the alliteration with Tatum’s birthday post I had to follow suit with brother] finally reached  the double digit milestone.  This mama simply cannot comprehend that her firstborn child has graced us with his presence for a decade.  What?!  Have I really been a parent for that long?  Despite the fact that time often flies by at lightening speed, it still seems like forever ago since my giddy yet terrified 22 year old self gave birth at Baptist Women’s Hospital.  

Let’s take a moment to get real before I bestow heaps of praise upon him.  Adam tests boundaries and pushes buttons like no other.  I’m shocked that our smoke alarm doesn’t go off more often with all the steam rising from my ears.  There have been many a threat from the mouths of a peeved adult– Santa skipping the house indefinitely, grounded until legal adulthood, being exiled to Siberia just to name a few.  Yet there has never been a boy as caring and compassionate as my son.  He has a heart of gold that constantly manifests itself and cannot stand to see people hurting.  He is wise beyond his years and intuitive in a way most children his age aren’t.  He’s clever with a delightful sense of humor [even if much of it involves bodily functions and bizarre YouTube antics] and makes me laugh until my sides hurt.  It’s impossible to stay mad at him for long because of his charm and charisma.  I consider him my little man of the house.  When I’m giving myself grief about my shortcomings, he’s the first to leap to my defense and brighten my spirits.  His frequent affirmation that I am a “great mom who does the best she can with what she has” reassures me that I am blessed beyond measure to have this brilliant boy as my son.  Watching him love, protect, and interact with his little sister touches me to the core.  There is not a better big brother than Adam, who treats the role with reverence and respect.

Staying true to our 2018 modus operandi for the Wilke/Reed household the celebration for his actual day of birth was low key.  Considering it fell on a Monday, his major present was delayed in the mail, and we’re holding off on a joint soiree with sister….we kept it casual.  Armed with Chik Fil A and cupcakes [are we noticing a theme yet with the cuisines preferred by my children?], Dad and I hit the third grade lunch at Riverdale.

So glad I made the group photo the second the kids plopped down instead of fighting against four rambunctious boys hyped up on sugar.  🍭

Don’t write us off as world’s most dysfunctional clan because this combined birthday bash I’ve been speaking of for 4594324 years hasn’t happened.  Without going into too much detail, our family’s collective and individual plates don’t just have a lot on them– they are overflowing.  Hopefully Mr. Technology’s new iPhone [he’s not spoiled] distracts him to the point that he forgets he even has birthdays.  Maybe we’ll see him after his second decade.  😉📱

I look at this collage I made of Adam’s first five birthdays and my heart swells with pride.  That smiling, youthful toddler blossomed into a young man who makes all who love him proud.  His maturity, resiliency, and inner strength inspires me daily.  Ours may be a slightly unconventional parent/child relationship– we speak candidly with each other and I treat him as an equal [albeit at an age appropriate level– and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I want him to know that he will always have his mother as his fiercest advocate and biggest fan.  Adam, my spunky soldier, I love you.  💕

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


Posted in Adam, Family, Germantown, Kids, Motherhood, My Parents, Parenting, Riverdale, School, Tatum, Will Reed, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 years of Tatum

⭐️ Tatum Maris Reed ⭐️

…turned six years old on 21 February!  My precious Pisces princess [alliteration, anyone?] celebrates another year of making our world a better place.  Time truly flies.  Within a matter of days her brother blows out his candles.  When did this happen?!

I cannot wrap my head around the fact that it was a little over six years ago that life was a living hell as I struggled to stay afloat in California.  Dwelling on the negativity accomplishes nothing at this point and I don’t wish to detract from the lighthearted birthday post for my daughter.  Yet I will always associate my pregnancy– and her birth– with that time on the central coast.  Suffice it to say that I never take a moment for granted when it comes to my children being in the same place.


The official birthday shot.

Because her birthday fell on a Wednesday we postponed party plans*** and kept things low key.  Allen was kind enough to spend a portion of his day off shuttling me to Collierville so we could eat lunch with her.  Dad scooped up some Chik Fil A and met us there.  The look on her face when she walked into the room and saw the three of us– priceless!

*** euphemism for life happened so we’re considering our options for the festivities


Our seating arrangement brings a ginormous grin to her face. 😂

Tatum, I love you.  The moment you were born you lit up the darkest days of my life–and your light continues to shine at megawatt strength.  Don’t ever let anyone diminish your spark. 🕯

With infinite love, gratitude, and solitude,


Posted in Al Jizzy, California, Family, Mother Theresa, Motherhood, My Parents, Parenting, School, Tara Oaks, Tatum, Tennessee | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


So much has changed since I outlined this post several days ago but I’m going to proceed as originally planned.  Here’s to hoping I will still have lots of boxes of delicious food to eat despite recent events that may hinder my culinary adventures.  Regardless of what’s on the table I am blessed to have the best family and friends.  I am so grateful for everyone who has reached out to me on Facebook.  Your love, support, and wisdom means the world to me.  


Join me as I venture into the world of meal delivery services…

Dad and I love spending time in the kitchen.  Both of us do a considerable amount of cooking, which we thoroughly enjoy.  I’ve always admired his enthusiasm for sampling new recipes and have embraced this sense of adventure when it comes to our meals.  However, like most families, we struggle– food waste, time crunches, lack of options, picky eaters, etc.  Hearing all the buzz about meal delivery services we decided to hop on board.  Considering the fact that there are no shortage of companies offering boxed meals we figured this would be an ongoing project over the span of several months.  They all offer a first box at a discounted rate so we’ll just move down the line.  Yours truly follows a vegetarian diet so our orders will be customized to exclude meat.  Our first foray will be Hello Fresh.  I’ll be sure to document our experience with photos and a comprehensive review.


Remember that guy I mentioned in my last post?  That didn’t last long.  We’re talking less than two weeks of dating before I was dismissed.  C’est la vie.  He’s a genuinely kind person and I have nothing bad to say about him.  I’m glad we realized sooner rather than later we were ultimately not compatible.

Flying solo allowed me the opportunity to analyze my current position in life and determine what I want in a future relationship.  I embraced being independent and unattached as it gave me quality time with myself– which I desperately needed.  How nice it was to clear my head and focus on me.  Never again will I settle for less than what I deserve.  When the time is right I will be with a man who is worthy.



Snowmaggedon 2018

January brought snow.  It wasn’t the usual icy sludge [though there was some of that] but actual powdered snow.  Kids were out of school for almost a week total.  I stepped outside briefly for the obligatory snow selfie…and promptly retreated into the warmth of my house.  My ‘snow days’ were spent taking hot baths, cozying up with an abundance of reading material, and watching Netflix.  Poor Freya didn’t know what to make of the white stuff on the ground.  Needless to say she was not enthused.  🐶


Made with love by my Daddy 🍅🧀

Never in my life have I been so sick as I was during the first few weeks of 2018.  I caught a particularly brutal strain of the flu.  It was so awful I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  I ended up in the ER hooked up to IV’s, severely dehydrated, miserable, and feeling like death.  Tamiflu and antibiotics ultimately helped.  Thank God for the miracles of modern medicine.  Endless thanks to my father for making me tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich as soon as I could eat again.


Tatum proudly displays the loss of her first big girl tooth.

Baby girl lost her first tooth!  She got a visit from the tooth fairy [and increased her wealth by a few bucks] and was beyond proud of herself.  I couldn’t help but notice that the spot where she lost her tooth was the exact same one where Adam lost his first one.  These sibling similarities bring a smile to my face.  🤓


I’m not even going to tell you how much two milkshakes and a double scoop of ice cream cost. 🍨

Not one to let his little sister steal all the spotlight, Adam requested a special treat after school.  Allen and I picked him up and took him to Baskin Robbins.  This seemingly ordinary event was highly therapeutic for me because it was so….normal.  I felt like I was a part of something resembling a family unit as opposed to doing the typical single mom thing.


Our aquatic adventure. 🐠 🐟

Allen invested in an aquarium with all the bells and whistles.  We now have Freaky Fin Roethlisberger [is that not the greatest name ever?], FN2187, Fin Affleck, and a moss ball named Sloaner.  Thus far they seem to be getting along fabulously.


We make selfies look good.

Tatum celebrates her sixth birthday next month.  When did this happen?!  I have so much I want to accomplish for my daughter.  Her beautiful face and sassy personality keep me motivated.  Mommy won’t stop until the magic happens.


Fantasy Princess Tea 👸🏻💖👑

Kudos to the Children’s Museum of Memphis for their Fantasy Princess Tea event.  Gigi held down the fort while the rest of us spent Saturday afternoon surrounded by pastries and princesses.  Tatum wore her Frozen dress– complete with twinkling lights and “Let It Go” playing from a speaker hidden within the fabric– and collected autographs from some of her favorite characters.  Kudos to Adam for being such a good sport [seeing how this definitely was not his cup of tea] and indulging his sister.


Excuse the blurry selfie stick fail.  #ghmafia

Come nightfall, a GH Mafia reunion occurred!  Leann was kind enough to open her home to Birdie, Myrtle, Pam, and me.  We spent some time catching up and brainstorming future plans.  Being with these ladies is cathartic and soothing for my soul.  Hopefully next time Brittany— and anyone else that is free and in the area– will join us.  Expect great things from this bunch.


Overall I am in such a great place right now.  I aim to be as productive as possible every day.  I’m happy and healthy.  I know that hard work, ambition, and persistence pay off.  Things will fall into place exactly as they should.

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,



Posted in Adam, Al Jizzy, Da Real Homiez, Dating, Employment, Fish, Food, Freya, Health, Memphis, Motherhood, My Parents, Nutrition, Relationships, Reviews, Riverdale, School, Tara Oaks, Tatum | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



Our official family shot for the holidays.  Normally I use Red Stamp to make a card out of it but that simply isn’t feasible this year.  As with most of my stylish attire, the vest, leggings, and boots come from Aunt Sarah.  👗


Santa gifted Adam with an Xbox One.  That stunned expression says it all.  We haven’t seen much of him since.  🎮


Tatum squealed with delight upon receiving her ‘Just Like Me’ doll from American Girl.  The doll, whom quickly named Sophie, shares her dirty blonde hair [complete with bangs!], light blue eyes, and fair skin.  Needless to say they’re attached at the hip.


Happy 2018!  I rang it in with style with a kiss from this handsome fella.  Harley and I made it official two days prior.  Going into the new year with a boyfriend who restored my faith in a wide variety of areas feels like a positive omen.  I could wax poetic on him all night but let’s just say he has a good head on his shoulders, treats me with the utmost respect, and constantly reminds me what I deserve.  💋


Don’t bind yourself to a specific resolution for the new year and beat yourself up when it fails.  If delineating a rigid list speaks to you, by all means, be my guest.  But it’s not for me.  Instead I chose to set intentions.  Call it what you will but I think this mantra for 2018 sums it up quite nicely– and lays the foundation for the rest of my personal growth for the next 12 months.  💯


It’s freezing outside.  Quite literally.  I write this from Memphis so I can only imagine the mountains of snow and subzero temperatures affecting some of  my northern neighbors.  Chances are if you’re reading this you’re safely sheltered from the elements in you’re residence.  You can crank up the heat, take a warm bath, snuggle up underneath your blankets, eat a hot meal…and you’re damn lucky.  Think of the people on the streets forced to brave the elements in these frigid temperatures.  People are dying because of this weather.  Several years ago my friend, L.A., actually froze to death while sleeping outdoors [*R.i.P.*] near a fire.  Nobody should ever be forced to sleep outside at a time like this.  Karen Fratti wrote an informative article about how you can help the homeless.  Those in the Memphis area should familiarize yourself with Room In The Inn, an organization providing emergency shelter and meals during the coldest months of the year.  Knowing that my spiritual home, Neshoba, participates in this lifesaving event fills my heart with joy.  💒


One day at a time.  A phrase frequently used in the recovery community to emphasize the importance of only focusing on the 24 hours in a day.  Yet for me it sometimes feels like one hour at a time.  Like everyone else in the early stages of recovery I have peaks and valleys, conflicting attitudes, uncertain beliefs, and emotions that range the gamut.  Of course I’m choosing a clean and sober lifestyle for me.  I want it for myself.  I also want to share this gift with the people who love me.  I want them to be proud of me.  I want to be a success story.  And, um, in the spirit of full disclosure [since honesty comprises a crucial part of this process]…I want to prove people wrong.  What I really need to do know is buckle down and work my program.  💪🏼

Dad and I love to cook together and thoroughly enjoy trying new recipes.  The concept of meal delivery kits intrigued us from the moment we first learned of their existence.  Luckily they all offer a discount for your first box– each box contains three meals– so we will certainly be taking advantage of that.  We hope to bring you pictures of the entire process and reviews:  cost, options for dietary restrictions [remember I am a vegetarian], quality of ingredients, time spent, difficulty level, taste, etc.  A few weeks ago we did try Hello Fresh but we didn’t have our ducks in a row at that time so we’ll be trying it again.  Being the bottomless pit that I am I very much look forward to this endeavor!  🥘

With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,


homeless, harley, christmas, nye

Posted in * R. i. P. *, Adam, Addiction, Aunt Sarah, Dating, Depression, Family, Food, Holidays, Marley Hiller, Memphis, Mental Illness, My Parents, Neshoba, Recovery, Tatum | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment