Wednesday, December 28, 2011
In this day in age when we are flooded with ways to connect and in information overload, content and creativity is what sets people apart. Originality is key. While it's not necessary to reinvent the wheel, it is necessary to not be a carbon copy and to do what you do well. Tailor your craft with originality.
Technology is only a tool. It's the voice, the authenticity and the originality behind the technology that sets each one apart. Do YOU! Be YOU!
Psalm 139:14 - "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful..."
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Soul singer/songwriter/producer/musician, and fellow Hamptonian Jonathan Bibbs, better known as Jon Bibbs is taking advantage of this trend with the JBLive app. This app is fully integrated with his JB Live website. The app showcases news, his performance calendar, photos, videos and more!
Fans of Jon, like myself can easily log into the app while on the go and get updated with just a couple clicks. Most importantly, as an independent artist Jon is taking advantage of all the ways to get his music out. His shining bio gives a great highlight for the great, grounded artist he is and where he's destined to go.
The debut of this app demonstrates he's here for the long haul--and he's going to keeping providing fans with the new and the fresh!
Download the app here! Join the Jon Bibbs community and listen to his music here!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The ebook is broken into three sections: photo gallery, videos and social networking.
NBN Member Vinnie gives a demonstration of the app here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lIzKsO6-OL4#!
Check it out!
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Dreamer, The Believer by @common one of my all time favorite rappers and arguably one of the best lyricists in hip hop releases 12/20.
A lot of hip hop fans are still caught up in the rapture of the "Watch the Throne" tour that just ended. I appreciate that @common is wrapping the year with this work. The singles he's chosen to release, "Blue Sky" and "Celebrate" have me excited for the rest of the album's contents.
I look forward to listening and chatting with you more tomorrow!
This morning Black Business Works hosted their Monday morning power call and invited me to be a guest. The topic, "How to make your network increase your net-worth," is timely with the continued inconsistency in our economy and job market. The shift in both makes our society ideal for entrepreneurial creativity and start-ups, which means networking is hugely important.
Here are some nuggets we shared:
- Don't expect to network at a function and do business right away. This usually happens over time.
- Go to events with a purpose. Separate social events from networking. When networking, don't focus on eating and drinking.
- Approach networking with a can attitude that seeks to give and not just get from a potential connection.
- Observe the room first to avoid having to "work the room"
- Be willing to do a good faith project for a potential client.
Network Beyond Your Bubble:
- Revise your conference calendar: Attend at least one conference a year in a field that you make have interest in, but little experience.
- Talk to the loners: At social events, don't just spend time with your friends and colleagues. See out the people that don't fit in and strike up a conversation.
- Find diversity within: Reconnect with passions that you may have ignored because they didn't fit into your life. In doing so you'll encounter people far removed from your daily experiences who may provide you with new self insight.
Friday, December 16, 2011
It seems like an easy question. Almost too easy. There are many ways to answer. You could answer with your name, your passion, your career, some connection to your family. Growing up, I always felt connected to some kind of royalty. My parents always made me feel like I was apart of a larger legacy, a greater purpose that stretched outside of myself.
As life continued, events occurred to confirm this connection and events occurred to totally rob me of it. At one point in my life, I was so far gone from who I was, I was essentially lost. After some personal searching, rediscovery and rebuilding, I became convinced that I am, The King's Daughter. I am God my Father's child. No matter what happens to me, or what I do, or where I end up that one fact remains true.
Through my life's journey, some of my decisions didn't line up with this fact. I've made decisions out of fear, hurt, insecurity, doubt -- hoping and believing for the best. I've made some decisions forgetting who I am and the power that lies within me. My challenge is to make who I am consistently line up with what I do and the decisions I make.
My life is a living testimony, but it's also a living witness.
Who are you?
Thursday, December 15, 2011
We are two weeks away from welcoming 2012 and on schedule people are working on their annual New Year's resolutions. I'm not a believer in New Year's resolutions. Anything that I set out to accomplish, plan to complete or create as a goal I'm starting now. A good friend shared a quote year's ago that echos in my mind - "Don't wait for life to be perfect to be great."
One thing that is for certain, time marches on and you can't reach back and grab the moments you wasted or pause the clock to catch up. Anything you want to master and become great at takes consistent practice and the longer we wait, the longer we delay our impending greatness.
Every new day presents a second chance, not just the stroke of midnight on December 31st. Every new day presents an opportunity to take steps, plant seeds, and grow an inch closer. There's no need to wait to begin being great or start that thing you want so desperately to accomplish.
2012 will come and go and so will your resolutions. There are few destinations in life. Once you get to one place, the journey still continues on to the next place.
Seize the moment!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
From there, I was encouraged. With the course of the day in motion, I actually didn't need anything else, from the day that is. The day could continue as planned with no additional fireworks.
Early in the day a friend told me to expect great news today. I took it as additional encouragement for an already great day. But instead -- great news came! One of my best friends, Tatiana, has been vacationing in Costa Rica for the last week. Her vacation was cut short when she sustained a life threatening injury in a recreational accident. Midway through her vacation, she found herself in the hospital having surgery. She was originally due to come home yesterday, however the doctors required she remain in the hospital until further notice. Her prognosis has been everything from bed rest for a month and half to staying in the hospital for up to a week.
This afternoon, good news arrived! She's been cleared to leave the hospital as early as tomorrow. Bed rest is not necessary, however she will need to be on crutches for the next few weeks. I don't know about her, but for me, it's a sigh of relief. I've been to many countries, and the one thing I never wanted to happen was to become ill or need medical attention in a foreign country. It might be my short-sidedness, but it's outside my comfort zone.
During my honeymoon in Australia that hope came to an end. I experienced a paralyzing back spasm that required me to go to the emergency room and be treated for most of the day. I was so thankful Richard was by my side the entire time. Even though the hospital/medical/healthcare system in Australia is great. Anywho...
God is faithful. Tatiana has a powerful testimony to add to her life's story.
Expect good news!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I've been gone from the blogosphere for over two months! It feels much longer than that. Forgive me. Regular and infrequent readers have asked me when was I going to write another post. I took a pause, but the work didn't stop.
Since we last spoke, so much great has happened. My hubby and I attended a "Marriage Covenant Retreat," in the Bahamas. One of my best friends became "formally," engaged and we showered her with great joy on a beautiful afternoon. I co-hosted the 24th Annual Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Gala Red Carpet show. Yes - it was amazing! It was also one of the most high pressured situations I've been in and it felt so natural. Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield and Rebecca Crews were some of the people I interviewed. It was pretty surreal and I can't take any credit! I had a great meeting with a newer television station in Somerset, NJ. (Great things are coming is all I can say about that)
My hubby and I spent Thanksgiving in Maryland with Richard's extended family. Most of the holiday was spent with his Grandfather in the nursing home. This is his first year there. For someone so independent, the transition has been tough. Our time together was very rich. Richard and I went back to relationship counseling to discuss the issues we found ourselves coming against in this first year of marriage. Let me just say, I love counseling. I love it when we need it and when we don't. There is a peace and a cleansing and a renewal that I love about the openness of our sessions.
Welcome to December! We're in the last month of the year. How? When? How? LOL! It's crazy. I feel like I just got married and I'm a month away from celebrating my first year anniversary. Wow. What a year...
We managed to put up our Christmas tree. It really makes me feel that Christ's birth season is upon here. We also joined our church's Media Ministry. This is going to be really fun! Working together with Richard is always a fun adventure. Together we are a "RADIKL" force (shameless plug) to be reckoned with. I look forward to serving the church in an impactful with through my passion.
As we prepare to wrap 2011, I am in full organization, prioritizing, goal-minded, mode. My prayer time, quiet time, Bible time is much more intense. I believe 2012 is going to ask a lot of me and I want to be ready. My hearing and my visioning needs to be sharp.
The feeling that I have barely scratched the surface of my potential, my marriage's potential is fuel to shoot for the moon and keep stepping out on faith. I am seeing so many of my most inexplicable but amazing experiences add up to the work God is doing in my life. Nothing is wasted.
There is already a lot under construction and underway for debut in 2012. I can't wait to share with you.
Thank you for continuing this journey with me. I'm praying for you as we finish strong--together!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Twista's impact on music and specifically the HipHop world have been felt for many years. He released his debut album, Runnin' Off at Da Mouth, almost 20 years ago. He has consistenly recorded and released solo albums, collaboration albums and mixtapes. Most recently he released a mixtape featuring his GMG crew called, We Workin. The mixtape has 23 tracks and continues to prove why Twista is legendary. He also has a solo album called, The Perfect Storm (http://twista.ning.com/) to keep fans coming back for more.
To keep up with Twista, you can tweet him at @TWISTAgmg .
Kristen L. Pope
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Have you ever seen cartoons that display the angel and the devil (or demon) on either shoulder of a person? The figments of imagination or voices of opposition are battling for power, for allegiance.
Do you ever experience it in real life? I have. I do.
In past, I've always lightheartedly chalked it up to my Gemini dual personality and nature. However, I know the truth. The truth is that we are in an on-going battle. This battle of flesh and spirit, human life and spirit life, seen and unseen forces.
Lately, the mental attacks have been more intense. There is so much competing for attention. Several years ago I encountered similar attacks and I picked up Joyce Meyers book, "Battlefield of the Mind." It spoke to so much of what I was experiencing. It also made me feel like I wasn't losing my mind, but rather had the ability to focus my mind and silence the opposing thoughts.
Interestingly, the attacks on my mind happen more frequently the closer I am to an achieved goal or vision. Thankfully, I have come to recognize that.
Our mind is fragile. Much more than we realize. Bi-polar disorder, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, suicide, etc demonstrate the sensitivity of the mind. The verses below have been life to my mind as I fight back and arm myself daily for battle.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:6 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
Romans 12:2 - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
Proverbs 4:20-22 - My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.(NKJV)
Mark 4:14-17 - The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
The world isnt getting any slower and the craziness of the world won't end. It's critical ...no it's actually lifesaving to protect, guard and allow God to keep our mind so we can live healthy and happy lives.
My meditation and moments of uninterrupted silence have become non-negotiable. We are overcomers, even of the battles we can't see.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I read this verse, a verse I have read many, many times. Today, it fresh with new revelation. This verse is taking me to another level.
"and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away"
I also relate this to James Chapter 1.
I read this verse and of course had to do a self check.
This says, 'no firm root in themselves,' not the bible, not people, not even God. To me it's saying, not knowing who we are or what we are called to be. It says not knowing our potential, or our divine power. & because we don't know when problems arise, we fall away or we give up on the path we're on because we don't who we are. We're not firmly rooted in what we believe or know about ourselves. It seems like as long as we don't know, we have to keep starting from square 1.
I don't want to be a sugar rush or a passionate high with no grounding, no roots to sustain my journey and process. God has given us the tools, but we have to have staying power and perseverance to stay the course.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
As the Northeast braces and prepares for the impending storm, Hurricane Irene, residents are frantically trying to prepare. The lines for flashlights, batteries and food supplies exceed even a normal day in New York City shopping.
Richard and I did our due diligence as well. My father in law called with a lengthy list of things to do to prepare, that we pretty much followed to the tee. After we completed the list, we spent the day watching movies, talking, cooking, laughing, doing laundry and checking in with friends and family.
In the midst, we had one particular conversation about our interpretations of what it would look like if people gave the same attention to their preparedness for Jesus's return. In my interpretation, it would look like people doing all they could to serve their neighbor, love overflowing, people walking in their callings, forgiveness given freely and an overwhelming compassion for others struggle.
I don't think it would look like the panic we've seen these past few days, because it would be a daily walk. Not a last minute scramble.
My foundation and the values we are building "our house" on came to mind. In preparation, you can breathe easier knowing that you have a sure and solid foundation, if you are using the right tools and materials. A mentor once told me that when I got married, I wouldn't have the same time to spend in prayer and personal meditation as I did as a single woman. Initially, I thought, really? Why not? Won't my husband understand? I came to realize that it wasn't about him understanding. It was more about my priorities as a wife and having less time to myself. My habits, including prayer and mediation as a single person didn't automatically translate as a married woman.
When I first noticed the shift, I was evermore thankful that as single woman, I was wholly dedicated to God's presence, prayer and praise. Evermore thankful that Richard and I were abstinent before marriage and put God's business first. Now as we grow and become one, we re-prioritize our spiritual development as a unit together and when the storms come we have our strong foundation to stand on.
Even as we wait for Hurricane Irene, we don't have to panic, or run scared. We're prepared as best as we can in the natural and we pray God will protect us beyond all that we can do.
The Wise and Foolish Builders24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Be Blessed and Be Safe!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Who's in your circle? The people you are connected to matters. My life is blessed to the overflow, because of the people I am connected to, divine and natural. If you want different results in your life, if you want to eliminate drama, you might start by examining your connections.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Please click on the url link below to view my Reporter Reel!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
There is definitely more to come.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I began researching nightmares. Where they come from? How they originate and what we can learn from them. I found some interesting literature offering a number of reasons. The most reoccurring theme was that a nightmare could be a result of an inner conflict that needs to be resolved or a warning of something to come or to be warded off.
Close to 30 minutes into my search (at what was now 4:30am), I decided to continue my heavenly conversation. I asked God what was I to gather from this nightmare. I believe in seeking wisdom in reliable places, but I also know I can most times just cut out the middleman and as the creator. He's faithful to answer my questions, even if it's an answer I don't like.
The conclusion was that I need to be more present. I mulled over that for a while. Present. In what way? The answer revealed included marriage, home, priorities, basically my every day life. It sounds so simple, yet so complex. Those who know me, know when I'm on, I'm on. I used to take pride in giving the phrase, "mover and shaker," a whole new meaning. However, I'm starting to "get it." Get what was just revealed to me. I can move faster than the speed of light, and consequently miss things a long the way, important things. Even worse, things going on right under my nose.
But hey...it's New York! It's the nature of this beast right???
Who cares!?!?! I've been "doing" New York and doing it well for a while now. I feel like: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36) I have had to reshuffle my priorities more than a few times in life and it looks like I need to do it again...
Not talking about one thing, yet thinking about the next. Not thinking about one thing, yet participating in the next. Not listening to one thing, yet concerned about the next.
Not taking for granted that everything will just work it self out, take care of itself or someone else will step in and pick up where I left off.
Cherishing my moments while staying in the moment. Taking time, to just take time, knowing that this very moment is really all that matters, since the next isn't promised.
As much as I hated that nightmare, I don't ever want the memory of the revelation to disappear. It could potentially help save my marriage one day if needed, save my job, but most importantly...save me.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I hope you enjoyed a blessed and adventurous 4th of July holiday. I spent half the day in hot sun on Martha's Vineyard and the other half travelling back to my lover in Stamford, Connecticut. It was a great ride as it included diverse conversation with my girlfriends about school days, men, career, memories and more!
It's been a jam packed few months.
Rewinding to May - my girlfriends and I had a sleepover at, Richard and I attended two birthday parties and wedding by the end of the month. It's got us ready for our month of celebration since both of our birthdays are in June. June started with my birthday and my cousins wedding in ATL. Our trip allowed me to introduce RP3 to so many dear friends of mine whom live a little ways away...
A couple weeks later we travelled to Boston and stayed with great friends and their family. We attended our third wedding in less than a month and it was by far the most life-changing wedding we had been to. The spirit of the ceremony was so pure and beautiful. The following day we celebrated RP3's birthday at one of his favorite asian restaurants.
Last week, I headed to the second annual trip to Martha's Vineyard with my girlfriends and a great bonus - my Mom. It was a great vacation. The house was quaint and perfect for our eight person stay.
This week, I prepare to shoot the remaining parts of my newsreel. It's been a long time coming and huge investment and sacrifice from both Richard and myself. It's grounding to see it all come together in such a divine way. God has truly been at the center of it all. I feel blessed to be used as the vessel, as I keep stepping up.
This also leads up to preparations for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention in Philadelphia this August. My mind is focused on bringing my A game, my innovation and my best self. Thankfully, my confidence is high as I continue this narrow road. My prayer is that God helps me keep it there and take it further. I believe my steps are ordered for this opportunity and that His will is my heart's desire. I look forward to bringing back divine testimonies of my experiences over the next 30 days.
Preparation is truly the key. I am learning how important it is to always be prepared...for anything! Always being ready. When you're ready, the encounters chase you down. The opportunities chase you down - because you're ready.
Be Blessed! Be Ready!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Who are 2: Richard and I
Who are 3: Richard, me and God = RADiKL (RA+Di+KL -Radical - (according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online) - Fundamental; marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional; extreme; tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions or institutions; of relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change; excellent; cool.)
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Even those things, events in my life and incidents that might appear to be failures are not. They are all apart of my journey to escort me to a destined place in my life.
Where am I?
I AM in my skin and loving it.
I AM on a journey with my husband, discovering sacrificial and selfless love.
I AM walking out my divine assignments.
I AM confident, secure and beloved.
I AM RESTORED, REDEEMED and the Lord's plan for me is being REVEALED daily.
One of the greatests revelations is, "The Majesty of Holy Matrimony." To hear more on this, stay tuned for my next entry...
God is Moving! (right now)
Friday, March 11, 2011
I have experienced a forced and intentional singleness it as well as many other sisters and brothers I know. One thing is true in the midst of the season, God is always there with you, willing to walk with you. He never leaves you and if you let Him, He will lead and guide you to your greater self and the mate He's been crafting and molding just for you.
A friend sent me this link of a young lady performing her poem about the waiting for him, but even greater, waiting for God. I encourage everyone to listen to her words. You can't help but feel her passion. Click or copy and paste the link below into your browser.
Have a great and purposeful weekend, whether you are single, married or...waiting.
Monday, February 21, 2011
The year opened with a New Year’s celebration at a friend and mentor’s home in New Jersey. The gathering was intimate and it felt like home even though I was miles away from Florida. Richard and I toasted the New Year and were excited about our budding relationship.
The beginning of the RADiKL (Richard Albert + Divine intervention + Kristen Lauren) union was really beginning to take shape as RP3 and I joined a new church together. This step was major in our relationship, but it has proved to be purposeful and more importantly fruitful.
Richard and I attended a book discussion of, “The Conversation,” by Hill Harper at my best girlfriend Toya’s house in Maryland. We joined a mixed group of men and women to discuss relationships. Being deeply engaged in my own budding relationship, hearing other’s point of views including my own partner was very enlightening.
Fresh off the heels of the book discussion, RP3 and I began engagement ring shopping which ended in he and I designing a beautiful engagement ring together. While it was not the easiest process, I take my hat off to Richard for allowing me the privilege of being a part of the process.
Congratulations to the newly engaged couple! Richard proposed to me on February 1st at 1pm. My sweetie planned a surprise proposal at my job with the help of my co-worker, Dorean. Immediately after I said yes, he took me on a ride through Central Park and then lunch at a fabulous restaurant. In pure RP3 form, we stopped by the local State Farm to insure my engagement ring. The day didn’t end there. Being the consummate planner that RP3 is he made time for him and me to call our parents and let them know the great news. Shortly thereafter, we stopped by my place to prepare for his next surprise which was an engagement party at our friend Ashley’s place (who would later give me a place to stay during our engagement).
A couple of weeks later, Richard and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together in Phoenix, Arizona! We stayed at a scenic resort where we rode horses; sun bathed, drove to the top of a mountain, enjoyed dinner and dancing and filled the trip with much romance.
Later that month, I began an acting class at NYU which helped me hone my on stage skills and build my performance confidence. It was a wonderful, creative release every Wednesday after work that helped me shape my natural ability.
The tug of war within me regarding spirituality, changing churches, being engaged, and my calling versus my occupation was in full force. It caused great discord between RP3 and me. This began the testing and trials of many kinds.
I continued my acting class and battled the warring within me that the stage and on-air is where I belong. The spiritual isolation that began this month was a hard wilderness of preparation for so many life changes. Unfortunately, I was not ready to accept this season, and the kicking and screaming was leaving battle scars.
I took my first trip to Miami, Florida since being engaged. It was a fun trip accompanied by three of my favorite gal pals, Toya, Jina and Diondra. As a couple and family, we decided that the wedding would be in Miami outdoors. During the trip, my Mom and I picked the save the dates and created a mock invitation. Next, we took a group trip to shop for bridal gowns. We visited the wedding venue, had dinner on the beach and ended the wedding with worship at church on Sunday. The trip was a great start to the planning ahead of us.
My acting class came to a close. My final project consisted of me memorizing and reading a scene from the play, “Doubt,” played by Viola Davis in the movie, with a partner. My instructor said she was unable to give me constructive criticism, but left me with these words, “That was the best read I have seen at NYU in all my years of teaching this play. You’re a natural. Keep it up.”
Richard and I began planning for each other’s birthdays which are both in June. We now share many mutual friends, and ended up calling on most of the same people to plan our different birthday celebrations. We have AWESOME friends!
Before we celebrated our birthdays, I made my way to Maryland to celebrate Toya’s birthday with a group of great ladies. We started the weekend with a roller skate party. The following night we danced and toasted the birthday girl! The weekend ended with brunch and hugs the next time.
My birthday celebration began at the end of the month with surprises from my then fiancé, including spa appointments and wedding planning with the girls. The same night, Richard and the girls, hosted a surprise birthday dinner for me. The night was oozing with love and celebration. The following day Richard took me on a dinner cruise in Newport, Rhode Island. The scenery was breath-taking. Throughout the weekend we visited wine vineyards and explored the beauty of Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut. After all that fun, we had to take care of some business. On my actual birthday, I renewed my driver’s license at the DMV! Richard and I ended the day with a double feature at the movie theater; Sex in the City 2 and Shrek 3.
Happy Birthday to RP3 and me! (and all of our Gemini friends)
My birthday was particularly special this year, because I became a published author. A story, I wrote was included in a compilation book called, “Souls of My Young Sisters: Young Women Break Their Silence with personal Stories That Will Change Your Life.” It was completely surreal to be able to go to Barnes N’ Noble and pick up a book in which I wrote a story. Writing has been my deepest passion since I was a little girl. Having a published work was a huge honor.
The beginning of the half point mark of 2010 began with my memorable birthday celebration. This month, Richard and I took our engagement photos on Coney Island with a superb artistic team. The shoot was some of the most fun I have had with Richard. The pictures told a really jubilant story.
Next up, we celebrated our twin Diondra’s birthday at a dinner planned for her. The love was flowing! After all of her hard work making sure that Richard and I had successful celebrations and events, it was a real honor to celebrate our friend. We were half way through the month and the birthday celebrations. This also began my weeklong celebration of Richard’s birthday.
However, we paused to toast another Gemini, Lawrence Saint-Victor, who was surprised by a birthday dinner by his beautiful wife, Shay. It seemed like June was adding up to be one of the most joyous and celebratory months of the year!
On the eve of Richard’s birthday, I had a long awaited meeting with my future mother-in-law, Mrs. Combs. It was a special time that brought my relationship with Richard full circle. She was the missing piece to the person I had grown so fondly of. This was one of the sweetest, richest moments of the year. She possesses the exact same sweet spirit that I have learned to love and know within RP3.
We ended RP3’s birthday week with a group dinner at his favorite NYC restaurant, Whym. RP3 is not very fond of group settings; however he was a good sport and went along with the spirit of the night.
The decision to participate in pre-marital counseling was a joint decision that was encouraged by my parents, but decided upon by Richard and me. We agreed it should happen earlier than originally planned. Since we still had seven months of engagement left, the constructive guidance was needed. We began our first trimester of counseling that proved to be very beneficial.
The month ended with a very important June birthday. My Mom turned 50! My Dad did a great job of pampering her as she entered a new season and decade of life. I could not think of one more deserving.
The annual girl’s trip was one of the BEST and most memorable of trips to date. A dynamic group of ladies vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard for the Fourth of July weekend. It was so much fun! We stayed at the house of family friends. The house was the perfect vacation home. The weather was outstanding. We beached, tanned, dined, shopped, danced and laughed non-stop.
When I returned home from MV, Richard and I continued counseling and the wedding planning began to really get started. The combination of all these things created fireworks, some good and some bad, but we weathered all the storms we came up against.
At the end of the month my little-big brother turned 15! (This makes me feel old!)
I had the privilege of celebrating another soon to be bride. Toya’s brother Tracey became engaged to his girlfriend Sonya and this month her bridal party hosted a bridal shower for her. It was a lovely afternoon. I felt the excitement for Sonya on the verge of being a bride and uniting with Tracey in marriage. She looked beautiful and I was blessed to attend.
The transition in my life continued as I moved in with my friend Ashley. For the next four months, I spent my nights on an air mattress in her living room. At the same time Richard moved into a shared living situation. This was all a part of a strategy for Richard and I to save money and sacrifice in the last quarter of our engagement for bigger things to come. Needless to say it paid off!
Labor Day Weekend was spent wedding planning in Miami. My planner, mother and I had an aggressive schedule in which we were extremely productive. We didn’t sleep much, but the outcome proved to be worth the hard work. In addition to wedding planning, I got to spend time with my new family, The Pope’s and it was refreshing to gain a deeper, greater connection to my future in laws.
My church, FCBC, hosted a series of dinners to share the details and give an up close and personal overview surrounding the “Nehemiah Campaign & Project.” The NC/P was an effort to faith-raise for the renovation of the church’s interior edifice. FCBC is housed in an old theater. The original building is beautiful and filled with charm that the leadership would like to preserve, but it definitely needs to be restored. Having only been members for a short while, Richard and I felt honored to be a part of a larger vision outside of ourselves.
At the end of the month, I visited some of my favorite people, Desiree and Aydin (my goddaughter) in Michigan. The trip came on time, as I needed the break from my everyday life. Tension and emotions were high between Richard and me. The time away gave us room to breathe without the wedding details. The simplicity of moments with Aydin and the thrill of hanging out with my best buddy “Elmarita,” (Desiree) were like medicine.
Richard and I ended our “pre-pre marital counseling” and began our formal pre-marital counseling with our Pastor at FCBC. This experience was endured with much introspection and a lot of revelations about us individually and of course as a couple.
Three and half months away from the wedding and my excitement was definitely building for the most important day of my life; second to entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
One day in October stood out vividly. This particular day, I had breakfast with a former boss, Lynne McDaniel. She was in town visiting her daughter and we made plans to meet. Our conversation was very refreshing and confirming from her wisdom that my life was on track and in line with God’s will for me. Later that same day, I had lunch with Toya as she was in town on business with her firm. There is never a dull moment when we get together and it never gets old.
When I returned to work, I had the privilege of conversing with a well seasoned journalist and professor who gave me some great advice regarding my media and journalism career. The day was filled with fulfilling conversation and was not finished yet. It ended at a restaurant with my cupcake backing, entrepreneur girlfriend, Joan Davis at one our favorite Harlem restaurants. The day was a rich reflection of God’s hand on my life.
My Aunt Hettie planned the most fabulous high tea - bridal shower I have ever attended and anyone could have ever asked for. The pictures tell a royal and enchanted story. We called the day, “The Makings of a Lady,” and the day represented just that. The afternoon was one of the most memorable events of my engagement. Half of the guests travelled from out of town to attend, some of which had known me since I was in the 1st grade. Michigan, Maryland, Florida, CHICAGO, and Georgia were all represented. I felt so special. All the ladies were dressed like princesses with a smashing hat to match. The day was unforgettable.
My passions are many and run very deep, but what I know best is media, broadcast and print. I began re-shooting and re-working my newsreel with videographer, Josh Senior. We shot our first story together in Harlem. We had really good chemistry and the story turned out pretty good. It was a solid starting point with room for improvement. Expect more to come this year. Much more!
Richard and I spent our first Thanksgiving together in Connecticut with friends of our family. They used to live in Miami, Florida next door to my parents, but are now residing in Greenwich, CT. They live in a huge 3 floor, maybe ten bedroom house on a hill in what feels like the woods. We stayed for most of the holiday weekend. It was a relaxing weekend, as I rested up for another big project ahead of us.
We signed the lease to our new apartment in Stamford, CT. Not only did we sign a lease, but we signed the lease of the exact place we wanted. We had expressed our initial interest in the place in October. We put the request on our prayer list, and as we stepped out on faith, we watched God work and answer our prayer. Richard moved in and I joined him later. He prepared a wonderful place for him and me to dwell together.
The last month of the year – wow! It was hard to believe, we were here so quickly. Richard and I took one last trip to Miami before the wedding. This was our final push to tie up any last major details before January. As always, we had a heavy agenda. God showed us immense favor. We accomplished everything on our list and left feeling the joy of our wedding day approaching.
We finished our pre-marital counseling. When it was over there was a lot of healing that happened. By this point, we spent a combined 6 months in counseling and I was thankful for every session. I don’t make many relationship recommendations, but pre-marital counseling is a recommendation I stand behind.
Richard and I spent our first Christmas in Connecticut together. It was a peaceful day. It was also my first Christmas apart from the Rogers family. It was certainly bittersweet, but with all the planning, transitions and business of life, I was thankful not have to travel for the holiday. We spent the evening with our friend Jina and her family. It was a perfect ending to a blessed day in celebration of our Savior.
On the eve of NYE 2010, I spent most of the day prepping for a small and intimate gathering of friends at our new place in Connecticut. I woke up, took Richard to work, went grocery shopping and continued coming to the realization of my reinstated suburban life. At 5pm, my prayers had been answered to finish everything I needed to accomplish before meeting RP3 at the train station and heading to Harlem for the Night Watch service. RP3 stayed at home to finish his work and to greet Toya and Doug as they arrived to bring in the New Year with us. After service, RP3 picked up Diondra, N’Keisha and me up from the train to join the party and get the festivities started. We had a fun night, filled with laughs, toasts and New Year’s kisses. We welcomed the New Year with love and joy, just the way I envisioned it.
BONUS – JANUARY 2011
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Just two weeks away until I become Mrs. Pope and I am eternally grateful and I am filled with overwhelming joy!
However, I as we grow nearer to the big day, it is not without adversity. Richard and I had a lot on our plate with last minute details, work and moving residences. Naturally, it caused tension, but it illuminated God’s hand on our relationship that much more. We relied heavily on the tools we learned in counseling and prayer and by the time we were set to leave for Miami, we were empowered to complete this part of the journey.
During the week that we were scheduled to travel to Miami, a major snow storm was predicted to plow through the Northeast. Richard and I had been praying for very specific things throughout our engagement. One being, the weather in Miami during the MLK weekend which is typically not the greatest. With the looming weather predictions upon us, we began praying and rebuking the storm from preventing any of our guests travelling from the affected areas from coming. Not only did RP3 and I make it out of NYC with no issues, but we did not have any cancellations of guests due to weather. Our wedding was a fairytale and the most perfect day. God was with us and is always with us.
2010 was a year of personal transformation. By the end, I felt secure in Kristen Rogers and ready to press forward as Kristen Pope. Change was constant, but the one thing that never changed was God with me. 2011 will be another year of great evolution and super natural power. I am inspired and motivated to walk out all that God has purposed for me in this new season of life and marriage!
Mrs. Kristen L. Pope