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| Today was the #firstdayofschool. When I started this account, I had a baby and a pre-schooler. Today, I have a 1st grader + a 4th grader. {Mind blown! 🤯} Last night, we did affirmations for this new school year in bed + I prayed over their day this morning. I'm so excited to see what God has in store for them!
And for all the mamas who wrote heartfelt posts about missing their littles at home today -- your words were just...beautiful.

Me: I'm good, luv. Enjoy! ✌🏽 #byekids Also Me: 🤸🏽‍♀️ Still Me: 💃🏽 Moi: 🛀🏽 // #theprinceandthep

| Today was the #firstdayofschool....

| The other night, P had gone to bed and was upstairs for about 30 mins when she came downstairs sobbing. I took one look at her and prepared myself for her usual anti-bedtime antics. "Why are you crying??" :: insert annoyed tone here :: P - "I have a question for you." Me - No, no questions, no nothing, GO TO BED!" She started crying harder so I said, "What? What is it?!" Through tears, her tiny voice coughed out the words:

Will I ever lose you? 'Cause I don't ever want to lose you. I would cry for days and days and be sad that I wouldn't have a mom."
Oh the emotions that poured out of us both. 😭 After identifying that this was triggered by a conversation we'd had about she + her brother always being there for eachother in life, I responded to her with language that was both honest + digestible for her 6 year old self:

Mommy prays there's never a single day that you have to be without me. But because God is the only one who knows when He'll need me, we cherish the moments we have together now -- every single day. We make all the memories we can and we love eachother hard. I pray that I get to see you grow into a little grey-haired great-grandma with great grandkids that drive you crazy. :: tickle + giggles :: but we can't cry thinking about "someday" because today is still here! Well, actually, now it's already tomorrow because you're still up!!" She hugged me hard, my heart hugged her harder, and I prayed for all the time in the world to have many more life conversations with her. Lord-willing. 🖤 #preciousMOMents // #theprinceandthep

| The other night, P...

| Reality has set in -- it's the very last weekend before school starts. 🤸🏽‍♀️ (Yep, ya girl is doing cartwheels). I'm running around getting supplies + clothes together, getting ready for meet the teacher night, and trying to get the kids back into their bedtime routine. I'm  pretty much losing it. 🤣 #sponsored I did grab some Back-to-school outfits from the new @Carters KID line. It goes up to size 14 now -- whoop whoop!! #carterskid #lovecarters // #theprinceandthep

| Reality has set in...

| When MJ turned 9 in May, I realized that he was growing up, but with that has come the moody pre-teen vibes. 😩 The attitude when things don't go his way, the sighing, the annoyed sound in his voice when I ask him to do "too many things", etc. He is stuck between my baby boy, who still loves to snuggle + a hormonal teenager. #Lawdhalpme I haven't had to go Ike on him yet, but I'm trying to be as understanding as possible so that he continues to trust me with his emotions, while reiterating that he must also respect my authority.
I've thought long and hard about what I could do with or for him, to teach him how to make sense of all these new feelings he has, in a safe space. He loves to collect quotes + is a very intuitive writer, so I decided to teach him how to journal. It's important to me that my son is in tune with his emotions, and doesn't feel like he isn't allowed to be hurt, upset, or disappointed -- just because he is a kid or even more so, a boy. Journaling was a release for me in my formulative years, and I want to give him a place to write down his thoughts, and reflect on them as he grows to be strong in mind + spirit.
If anyone has any suggestions for guided journals for young boys, please let me know! I researched a couple, but nothing has stuck out to me yet! ❤ #imraisingsomebodyshusband #kidshavebaddaystoo #somebodytryingtofigureoutwhoIkeis 😂 #mySONshine // #theprinceandtheptravels

| When MJ turned 9...

| I keep getting messages saying, "I miss your XX posts", so let me just say this:

A couple of years ago, this account stopped being about just living life + having a good time. The fun was replaced by scheduled photoshoots, email negotiations, contracts, campaigns, and deadlines. Instagram started to resemble a job and my real passion (photography) took a backseat to content creation. Instagram opened us up to a world of opportunity + cool connections, but I also saw IG be reduced from a beautiful + inspiring creative platform -- to a marketing tool, a weapon, a playground for the fake it 'til you make it's/mean girls/soapboxers/opportunists, a strategic popularity contest, etc.
My interests have changed and as a result, I have unfollowed some accounts. Not because of them, but because of my own evolution. I now crave more than beautiful bodies in dope clothes, cute baby faces, and hair tips. I favor more authentic connections + relatability. I want the freedom to feel excited, anxious, angry, confident, etc. without surpressing my emotions for this social subculture.
I have abandoned the idea of building a brand because the truth is, whatever this is, whatever God allows this to be -- will speak for itself. Hair + fashion are both things I love, but I now create content for them on my own terms. There is no more "on demand" -- I do what I want. I have lost almost 600 followers in the last 2 months, and I'm happy to lose 6,000 more before I'm ever a slave to the 'gram.
If I no longer offer what you initially came for, I won't apologize for my growth, but I do wish you well. I'm a work in progress, and this is a working process. For those who have stayed around, thank you. For those who saw me go from taking pics of my 15 month old + 4 year old on our garage door, those that remember when we graduated to the black wall, those that remember when we became a lifestyle account, those that remember the hair care novels -- and every moment in between -- thank YOU. Thank you for being apart of our story.

It ain't ova. ❤ // #theprinceandthep #theprinceandtheptravels

| I keep getting messages...

| Just gon' keep posting vacation pics until a sponsored post kills my flow... 🌴 #thebillswontpaythemselves #iwontcomplain #makesureyalllikethosepoststoo #suckingamestrong #hurryandtakethepicsoicanbreeve 🗣#alexaplaytonibraxtonsbreatheagain // #theprinceandtheptravels #kailuabeach #Hawaii

| Just gon' keep posting...

| I get so many hair product questions. So many. And I have a lot of hair products. Too many. On vacation, I didn't use one single styling product -- at all -- just saltwater + sand (of course I washed + conditioned). It was 100% the most I have everrrr loved her curls. They weren't perfectly defined, super messy, yet soft and dreamy -- just like her.

What's natural doesn't have to be manipulated to be appreciated. We let social media suck us into the "must haves" and forget that we already possess the very thing that makes us beautiful + unique. Don't let the hype make you feel like your blessing isn't enough. You don't have to enhance, you have to accept. ❤ #stilltalkingabouthairornah 🤷🏽‍♀️ #catchthismessage #notetoself // #theprinceandthep

| I get so many...

| When I was a kid, I was the girl who couldn't wait to befriend the new girl in school.

When I was a teenager, I learned that a best friend could also be a sister.

When I was in college, I was cliqued up like Clueless -- and loved it.

In my 20's, I ran in so many friendship circles that I got dizzy. It was fun while it lasted.

In my 30's, I've learned that who you hang with, and who's there for you, are two different things -- and that's ok.

True friendship is a gift. I have been blessed to love + be loved by some of the most beautiful humans on this planet so I'm shouting from the mountain tops -- Happy #FriendshipDay!! 👭🏽 // #theprinceandtheptravels #Honolulu

| When I was a...

》Thank youuuu to @bobbiboss_hair for getting me through this vacation! 🌴 These Nu Locs were perfect + I'm pretty sure I'm keeping this style for the rest of 2018. And Happy Birthday to my braider boo, @destiny.nicole._ , who did my hair | quickly | on such late notice. You're the besssst!! 💋 // #theprinceandthepmommy

》Thank youuuu to @bobbiboss_hair for...

》As a parent, you want to allow your child(ren) the freedom to explore, but don't want them to wander too far. We want them to grow to be kind + compassionate to people, but we warn them that they can't trust every encounter. We want them to be challenged so that they can build the skills that sustain their growth, yet we never want to see them fail. We don't want to project our fears onto them, but we want to keep them as safe as we can, as long as life allows, because we know the world is a scary place.

I will forever be a "hover mother", a helicopter mom. When the time comes for them to find their place in this big world, I pray for the wisdom + discernment to know when to hold them tighter, and when to let them go. // #theprinceandtheptravels

》As a parent, you want...