What a year! What a year! What a year! I mean that in a great way. We had so many milestones and just great experiences that I feel so blessed. Don’t get me wrong, everything wasn’t rainbows and gummies – we had 2 real valley experiences that affected my family greatly, but we definitely got through those with God’s blessings INDEED! I will say that although this year had a lot of smiles, I was also feeling some type of way on the inside. I was stressed about my son, other family issues, and just life. This year I met some amazing new people, tried quite a few new experiences, stopped doing a few things I was doing for years, and even said a good goodbye. Every good (& bad) thing that happened isn’t mentioned in this post, but here are some of the highlights.
This year, I personally:
- Went on 3 cruises
- Trip to Mexico (for business & pleasure)
- Celebrated all of my children’s birthday milestone (10, 16 & 18) with parties
- Marriage turned 20!
- Oldest son graduated high school and entered college
- Honored by my Alma mater & inducted into the 50 Under 50 Class VII
- I published my third book
- Got promoted on my job
- Purchased two more investment properties (1 rental, 1 fix & flip)
I turned a year older (birthday month) with 4 month old sisterlocks. At this point, I still was NOT liking my hair but I was embracing it. I was definitely grateful for another year. Before Jan 2023 came around, I was already going through it with my son. He was senior and if you’ve ever been a parent of a senior, IT IS A LOT! I was trying to make sure he finished the year strong, applied for scholarships, and applying for colleges.
- So, this month, I turned a year older
- Bailee got her drivers permit
- Went on a cruise with my family to the Bahamas & Cozumel
- Experienced my son’s Soccer Senior Night
Earl was a speaker for Breaking Barriers Financial Prosperity for Black Americans & we attended the annual Love on Purpose Marriage conference. It’s conference we’ve been attending for a few years that focuses on Marriage and how to strengthen it. We can do all the things to invest in ourselves, we must invest in our marriage too.
Things were starting to pick up with my son and college. Earl (son) was accepted to every college he applied to but 1. And the one he wasn’t accepted to, was the one we wanted him to go to, but he didn’t. So that worked in his favor. We are so proud of him. My husband and I also closed on our 2nd rental property (3rd door).
My son and I attended the Mother Son Spring Fling and won the best dressed contest! We won $500. This was fun because we had a whole dance routine off of Teach me How to Dougie, and I think that’s what made us the crowd favorite. My son went to prom with friends and had a wonderful time. My daughter’s children’s book was officially being put into an elementary school here in the Tampa area.
My first born graduated from high school and oh what a sweet day that was. By the time Fall Semester started he was awarded over $25k in Scholarships. We are proud of him. Shoot, I’m proud of us because it really took a village.
My son actually got a scholarship to start school in June instead of August. So, we moved him into the dorm in June. I felt some kind of way that I didn’t get a full Summer with him before he was off to higher education. However, I was so happy for him that he was getting a jump start on his education. In addition to Earl starting college, my husband spoke on the 6 figure panel at the Traffic Sales & Profit conference in Atlanta, and we also stayed at some cabins in north Georgia for our family reunion. We actually tried to walk to the top of this water fall pictured, but only got 75% of the way up. This image was 3/4 of the way. We took our pic and headed back down because THAT WAS A WALK! But it was beautiful and hundreds of people were also out here trying to do the same thing.
What another fun month! We started out July on a 7 days cruise to celebrate my son turning 18 and going off to school. We went to the Dominican Republic, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico on the new Carnival Celebration Cruise Ship. It’s their newest and biggest ship. What an amazing trip. The boat was beautiful, the food was GOOD, and the memories we made when we got off of the ship will last a lifetime.
After I returned from that cruise, I was off onto another one with my HTLS sister friends. We took at 5 days cruise to … honestly, I’ve forgotten. Charge it to my head. Just know we had a great time bonding. 8 out of 9 of the group went on this trip. We are 9 ladies across 6 states who have been friends for years. Our last group trip was 12 years ago! We are planning our next trip for 2025.
Chicago! Chicago! Chicago! I hadn’t been home since 2019 when my father died. It was great to be back in the city and in the middle of Summer. I was there for a wedding and stayed downtown Chicago the entire time. I walked 22000 steps the first day, acting like a straight tourist, but we had a time. Then BEYONCE!! I surprised my daughter with tickets here in Tampa. What’s funny is the last time I went to see Beyonce live, I was pregnant with my daughter. Now, I got to take her to see Beyonce as her first concert!
This month we, The Knighten Project donated over 50 suitcases to about 5-7 charities around Tampa for teens aging out of foster care. Each suitcase is brand new and filled with everyday essentials they need as they transition into adulthood.
I also celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary this month. T W E N T Y Y E A R S!!!!!!!!!!! Just wow. We went to eat at Ocean’s Prime but moved our trip to October because my husband knew I wanted to attend my first Women’s Red Heel Retreat in Ft. Lauderdale. (Pics below)
What another amazing month! It started out with me going back to my alma mater, Alabama State University and receiving the 50 Under 50 award. I am honored and will always cherish this award. Also, being awarded an award such as this has been on my vision board for years. I also attended my first ASU Homecoming! That does sound weird, but for years they had the homecoming on Thanksgiving weekend and finally moved it to October in the last 3 years. I can’t wait to go back, but next time with friends. My family was cool, but with friends you can actually reminise. We also bought our 3rd investment property. However, this property will be a fix and flip instead of a rental. That image below is of us closing on the property!!
Mexico! My husband and I went to Xcaret Mexico Resort. It was part business and part pleasure. Both parts were amazing and what an experience to remember.
We attended an event on the Yacht Starship in Tampa. It was our church’s way of saying thank you to it’s membership and essentials workers. My husband and I both serve(d) in some capacity at church. Also, I published my 3rd book, My Yearbook of Blessings on Amazon. This is a blessings & prayer journal where you can express the specific prayers that God has answered for you over the year. Once written, you will have a book full of answered prayers and blessings from God. You will be able to look back and see just how much God has listened and answered your prayer request which will strengthen your faith and connection with God. The image below is my first sale!
What a way to close out the year! My daughter turned 16 and oh what a party! Now, I asked her in the beginning of year did she want a party, she said NO. Then in August, she comes and tells me she wants a party now! Initially I was upset because I would have loved more time to plan, but with my husbands help we pulled it off and she had an amazing time. You could see how pretty everything was on my Fb and IG page.
Then a couple of weeks later, we headed to ATL to support my nephew who attends Howard in the Celebration Bowl against FAMU. Then that night we partied with one of my favorite couples, Precious and Rico. She graduated with her Doctorate and he graduated with is Masters! #educatedlove Also, we finished our fix and flip and it went on the market Dec 20th. Here are just a couple of before and after pics.
My husband also turned a year older in December, but we didn’t do anything big with the year and month we had. But next year he turns 50 so, I’m planning something niceeeeeee!
Oh! Oh! Oh! I got a promotion where I work too. Yes, starting in the new year I will be a design consultant. I’ve worked at my job for 5 years and I’ve been so ready to do something different but also knew that when I moved, I wanted to do something I enjoy and would be really good at. I had applied to other positions, but nothing ever happened. I finally decided to take a break in applying for positions (which I did for about a year). Then once Earl graduated school, I prayed to God and asked can he just bring me the job. Guess what … a few weeks later, my manager pinged me a position that he thought I would be perfect for and he only sent me the info. After a few interviews they offered me the position and that’s when I found out, they hadn’t even posted the position company wide. What God has for you, is for you.
I knew going into 2023 our calendar was full. It was a lot of milestones, celebrations and just alot to pack in. With so much planned, I was always hoping everything goes smooth, so we can just make it to the next major event. Like I said above, while being on such a high for all of the good things, there were a few lows that knocked me and my family off balance that had us on our knees in tears & prayer. But GOD.
One thing that happened was I lost my website. Yes, BernettaStyle was deleted! While taking care of my son’s needs, neglecting my own and just being in a weird headspace most of the year. I forgot to pay my hosting … and they deleted my site. My husband noticed my site was down and man, I was hurt. I wasn’t even actively writing on it but it was still mine and my social proof for things I’ve done and experienced. It took me a few months to get it back up and everything is still not right. Somethings are missing, but … I’m here.
This year I also learned quite a few lessons about myself. I did some soul searching, as I do anyway but mid 2023, I had a big aha moment about myself that resulted in a shift in mindset and movement going forward. I’m excited about 2024 just like I was for 2023. I have less things planned, which is fine with me – BUT I still have BIG goals.