Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is the day we honor all the babies gone too soon. This year I am honoring my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase as well as my brother Matthew.
The International Wave of Light is something I participated in last year. On this day, those that wish to participate are to light a candle in their own time zone at 7pm and let it burn for an hour. Doing this in your own time zone allows there to be a wave of light across the global for 24 hours.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day and I am lighting candles in honor of my babies as well as all the babies gone too soon.
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ve heard a little bit about my family. I have parents, a grandma, aunts and uncles, friends who are like siblings, a faithful husband, a little fur baby named Rocky, angel babies and many other family members up in Heaven.
I am 25 and my husband is 24. I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Child and Family Development, and he is graduating with his Bachelors this semester. We don’t have a ton of debt, but a fair amount we’d like to pay off in a decent amount of time. I work full time as a teacher, and my husband works in politics. This is our life. This is our family, so that begs the question… “What’s next for us?”
In the last two years we have had two miscarriages, pursued a trying to concieve journey and dealt with numerous health problems. However, that hasn’t stopped us from chasing what we truly want… and that is to expand our family and raise children.
Charles and I have had numerous discussions about TTC, IVF, surrogacy, adoption and the possibility of living a child free life. The conversations have sometimes been productive, but in other ways been very draining. Having all of our options on the table, made us realize what option would be best for us at this stage in life. We have decided to pursue adoption.
Our 2 Year Plan
Start planning and prepping for adoption while also no longer preventing and or accepting if a healthy pregnancy happens.
Begin praying, researching, and discussing adoption, and what form of adoption we wish to pursue.
Begin paying off debts, saving and fundraising for adoption costs.
Move to a two bedroom apartment, town house or home more suitable for a child.
Pick an adoption agency
Complete a home study.
Begin working with an agency, and have faith that we will be matched with the child that we are meant to have. ❤️
So this is our plan. As of right now we are on step one. It is not going to be easy and not something we are taking lightly. We both have a huge heart for adoption and honestly are open to whatever the Lord has in store.
We would both truly love everyone’s thoughts and prayers as we begin this long journey of preparing for parenthood as we pursue the option of adoption.
A longing to be a mom is something I have had for a very long time. I’ve struggled the last couple years with anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, possible endometriosis and recurrent pregnancy losses. It has been challenging to say the least.
Recently, Charles suggested that I create a vision board… something that displays my many hopes and dreams of being a mom, whether it’s through pregnancy, IVF, surrogacy or adoption.
Today I spent at least three hours creating my vision board. I found it very therapeutic to create an art project that in many ways encompasses the desires of my heart.
This vision board now holds a gentle reminder to keep the faith. Somehow and some way I feel called to be a mom. I believe someday Charles and I will make amazing parents. I don’t know how or when, but I know we will one day raise children of our own.
So for now I am going to focus on my vision, keep the faith God has given me, and hope that there is goodness coming. Good things come to those who wait. ❤️
I just love Fall! The changing colors in the leaves, the smell of pumpkin, and apples, the crisp air in the mornings… it’s all my favorite.
Something I look forward to each year is decorating for fall. Part of the reason I decorate is because it makes me happy and I love doing it, and the other reason is because I have some decorations left over from my fall wedding four years go. These pumpkins on my entertainment center for example were some of my wedding decorations.
This leaf garland I recently bought from Hobby Lobby, and I absolutely love it! It fits perfectly over my fireplace.
This centerpiece is a combination of new and old decorations. The bouquet for example is actually my wedding bouquet. The pumpkin, gourds and straw are something I bought this year.
Thanks for checking out my fun fall decorations! It has been so exciting to be able to decorate my new living room for fall!
Can I be frank? September is not a very good month for me. It used to be. I used to get so excited about back to school picturess, sale items on school supplies, fresh starts and the transition from summer to fall. However, since 2019… I have viewed the month of September much differently.
September 16th, a date that will forever stick out in my mind. This was supposed to be the end of my pregnancy, my baby’s due date. But as we all know, my pregnancy ended a lot sooner than expected. As much as I would like to push past my grief, I can’t. I can’t help but wonder if my baby had lived to be happy and healthy. I can’t help but wonder if September 16th could have been my baby’s birthday. My heart aches at the person she could have been.
Not only does September 16th stick out in my head, but also the 27th and 28th. On September 9th 2019, I found out I was pregnant again with my second baby, of whom I thought was my rainbow baby. Turns out God had other plans. And through hours of pain, anxiety and grief I lost my second baby between the 27th and 28th of September.
So you see, September is really not a good month for me. I’m the kind of person that is very good at remembering specific dates. It’s a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I wish I could forget. Or even be so busy with life that it doesn’t really faze me. But that’s not who I am. I remember. Call it what ever you want, but if you ask me, this is what grief looks like.
So I apologize if I’ve been a little MIA lately. I’m grieving. Grieving doesn’t ever really stop, but just gets intense from time to time… and that’s where I am right now. So for now, I guess I am going to enjoy September the best way I can, and grieve the only way I know how… with gentleness and through writing.
Since Twitter first became a thing, I have never really been interested. I just never understood the point. However, since venturing in the world of writing and publishing, I have felt it is important to connect with other authors like myself.
I created a Twitter Account for 5 reasons…
1. Connect with other authors
2. Give my book and future books more exposure.
3. Become inspired by by various writing prompts, thoughts and current events.
4. To provide real time updates and progress on my writing.
5. To try something new.
Twitter is still very new to me and I don’t fully understand it… but I’m willing to give it a whirl.
If you’re bored, interested or curious, feel free to give me a follow over on Twitter!
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is a children’s book, created for families who have gone through a pregnancy loss. It is designed to teach siblings and other children about the concept of miscarriage and how it affects a family, in a child friendly way.
Not only is this story about a mother who suffers a pregnancy loss, but the characters in the book are also named after my angel babies Mackenzie and Chase, as well as my brother Matthew who passed away as an infant.
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven is available for $7.70 + Shipping HERE. Digital and Paperback copies are available.
Hello friends! If you’ve been following me for awhile, it’s a safe bet that you’ve seen pretty much every part of my apartment since I moved in March. You’ve probably even seen parts of my balcony since I’ve shown you my many plants. However, I haven’t yet done a balcony reveal. So, without further or do, I welcome you to my balcony.
My balcony is full of plants, a lawn chair, a bike and storage. I love our balcony, as it is spacious and welcoming.
I can imagine I will be storing much of the items on my balcony, this winter. But for now, I am going to enjoy my current balcony set up.
Our balcony has a great view of the other buildings in our complex as well as the wide open sky. it’s so fun to see storms roll in, and beautiful sunrises early in the morning.
Recently, we bought a storage unit/bench we are able to store our pots and planting through the winter.
Last but not least, our balcony is accompanied by our large slider door. This door allows for gorgeous natural lighting into our living room and a wonderful view of our plants from the inside.
Thank you so much for checking out my balcony reveal! I only have two places in my home you haven’t seen… can you guess what room I’ll show you next?
19 years ago today, one of the worst terrorist attacks happened on American soil. A group of hijackers from the Middle East stole 4 comerical airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Where were you on 9/11?
I was 6 years old on 9/11. My mom and I just moved into our new house maybe a week before. I had just started first grade. Since I was only 6, I don’t remember a lot about that day, but there are a few things that stick out in my mind.
I remember being in the classroom while my teacher was teaching. I remember my brother had a nosebleed and went to the office. I remember him coming back and telling our teacher two buildings were hit by airplanes. I remember my teacher asking him to repeat it. I remember her looking really sad.
The rest of the day is blurry. I don’t remember if I stayed at school or if my mom picked me up, but I remember coming home. I remember seeing the news on for hours, replaying the footage over and over again. In my young mind I remember thinking “Why do they keep crashing planes into buildings? Someone should stop them.” It took me awhile to realize it was the same buildings and they just kept replaying the footage.
As the days followed, I remember my mom trying to explain to me what happen. I remember her being really sad and even scared to send me back to school. I remember my grandma being at our house and getting very sad and angry at the tv.
I remember that fall it was very patriotic. There were so many American flags being flown. I remember many people singing patriotic songs on tv and asking for money for the victims and families effected. I remember my teacher drawing the shape of a pentagon on the white board and explaining that a plane crashed into this building as well as the towers.
As I have reflected back on this day over the years, I have realized that I remember a lot more than had thought. I am also seeing that much of my education and childhood was certainly effected as I like many others had to grow up in a world after 9/11. I can recall numerous accounts of class conversations with our teachers about Osama Bin Ladin, terrorist attacks, 9/11, war etc.
Around the age of 16, I found an interest in 9/11. I think it is because it is a historic event that occurred in my lifetime that I somewhat remember. It truly is a sad moment in our history, but at the same time I find so much strength and resilience in hearing survivor’s stories. Though I know it will be hard, one goal I have is to someday visit Ground Zero and walk through the 9/11 memorial and museum. I say it will be hard because it is one thing to read and see the history and events of that day on a screen, but it is another to experience the location of that day and see it at that large magnitude.
Now that I am an adult and teaching preschoolers, I often wonder if anything like this will ever happen again. I hope not. I really really hope not. But if it did, how would I respond as a teacher. Personally, I don’t think I would be able to hide my sadness, as much as I would want to. I think I would try to protect and give to my kids love and comfort as best as I could… much like my first grade teacher did.
I do want to take a moment and say, I am thinking of all the people who were lost on 9/11 including the first responders and the average hardworking Americans. I am praying for all the families and friends who lost a love one that day. I also want to thank the many men and women who went to war right after 9/11 to fight for our freedom and the war against terror.
I also want to leave you with one last memory I have. This memory isn’t from 9/11 exactly but the many months after. I remember my class was on a field trip in the spring. It was very rainy and I don’t exactly remember where we were coming back from, I want to say it was from the nature center. Anyway, I remember riding the bus and playing with my friends on the bus. At some point the bus driver turned on the radio and the song God Bless the USA came on. Many of us kids started singing since this song was played often, we knew it very well. Before long the chaperones, my teacher and the bus driver were all singing to this song. To this day it still gives me chills thinking about how many of us children could not comprehend the magnitude of what happen that year, and yet we learned so much about violence, terror, bravery, freedom and how to be proud Americans.
Training a Cat is fun, but also takes a lot of hard work. I’m no expert, but I have trained cats in the past and I am currently training Rocky different commands and tricks. So, I thought I would share with you the basics on training a cat, based on my own experience.
When training a cat you need to be persistent, have patience and a lot of rewards.
Teaching a Cat How to Sit
I have taught Rocky since the day I adopted him that he needs to sit before he can get his food. At first he didn’t want to do it. Now he does it every time. Sometimes he sits on his own and sometimes he needs a little assistance.
First, I put my finger up and tell him to sit.
Then, I gently push down his lower back so he will sit. Once he is sitting, I praise him by saying “Good Boy” and rubbing his head.
I then give him his bowl of food.
I have done this process since day one and with a lot of persistence and patience, he’s come a long way.
Teaching a Cat How to Fetch
Recently, I started teaching Rocky how to fetch. He’s made some progress but still has a long way to go.
First, I waited to see if he was even interested in fetching. Meaning I would throw different toys and waited to see if he attempted to bring any back to me. Once he did this a couple times, I knew he was ready.
When teaching a cat to fetch, you have to get excited. If your not excited to play, they won’t be excited to bring the toy back to you.
I quickly learned that Rocky is particular when it comes to fetching. He likes to search for his toy. Meaning if I just throw a toy on the floor, he won’t get it. But if I throw a toy in a paper bag or on the couch, he’ll go find it.
First, I shake the toy.
Then, I throw it and tell him to go get it. I make sure his eyes are on me as I’m throwing it.
As he goes to find it, I’m quiet.
Once I see he’s picked it up, I say “Good Boy” and pat the ground so he’ll drop it near me.
If he does this, I give him praise by saying “Good Boy” and rubbing his head and belly. If he doesn’t do this, I don’t give him praise.
This may only occur two or three times before your cat gets bored. But over time, it should develop a habit for your cat to want to play fetch often.
Well, there you go. Those are my few tips on training your cat. If you need additional help, check out different YouTube videos.
Today’s the day! It’s August 30th, which was the deadline for my summer bucket list. To be honest, I did not get nearly as many goals accomplished that I had hoped. However, my summer has been quite more busy than I anticipated as well. So, I’ll take what I can get. I hope everyone’s summer has not only been productive but also restful. The following is a list of my summer goals, and how I may or may not have accomplished them.
Goals Met This Summer
1. Grow my Plants and Produce Fruits, Veggies and Spices
This summer, I am proud to say that I actually had a successful garden. I think I planted a total of 13-15 plants since April. Out of all of those I have had about 7 survive. And considering the fact that I used to kill all my plants I ever owned, I would say it was quite an accomplishment. This summer I was able to successfully grow and produce a ton of chives as well as four green peppers!
2. Visit the Lake Shore At Least Once.
In late June, I was able to complete this goal when going on a weekend vacation with my friend Alli. It was warm, beautiful and wonderfully relaxing.
3. Have a Game Night with Friends
In June, Charles and I also had a dinner and game night with friends in our apartment. It was fun to be able to entertain and visit with company.
4. Create and Commit to a Yoga Routine.
This goal was hard to complete, but I would say I have definitely gotten a routine down and completed this goal. For a while, I was very unmotivated to do yoga. I was exhausted, eating junk and living off caffeine. So much so, I forgot how to breathe and how to relax. But now, I have been doing mini yoga workouts a few times a week. I have even taught my preschoolers a few poses.
5. Write and Publish a Children’s Book.
I think everyone knows I completed this goal, and I am so excited for it. My book launched at the end of July and has been pretty successful. I am so thankful I have been able to create something in honor of my babies, and in order to help families who are coping with pregnancy loss.
Goals Not Met This Summer
1. Finish First Draft of Memoir
I haven’t finished this goal yet, but I have made some progress. I am strategically working on different chapters, in hopes of having the first draft done very soon.
2. Crochet a Large Blanket
I didn’t end up finishing this goal either. To be honest, I was not in the mood to crochet much this summer. It has been very hot and just not something I found myself interested in.
3. Apply and Receive my Family Life Education Certification
I haven’t completed this goal yet, and frankly I kind of forgot. It was something I put on the back burner, hoping to get to after Covid. But since Covid isn’t going away anytime soon, I guess it is probably something I should try and figure out.
4. Write and Post 200 Blog Posts.
I was so close to this goal, but I just didn’t quite make it. Including this post, I have written 180 blog posts! I was 20 short of my goal. But that’s okay, maybe next time.
5. Buy a Coffee Table for my Living Room
I haven’t completed this goal. I have had a few expenses come up including a flat tire, a kitten, an antenna etc. Eventually though, I hope to get a coffee table.
Hello Friends! I just thought I would take a minute and give you a little update on my plants. If I were to be honest, I would have to say I think I’ve planted roughly 15 plants this year. And due to the weather, and my forgetting to water them sometimes I have had to start over and replant some. So, currently I have 7 plants!
Sandy is my palm tree that I bought on Palm Sunday. She is an indoor/outdoor plant. At the moment she is outdoors because I have a kitten that I don’t trust enough to leave her alone. Anyway, she’s grown at least 4 inches since I got her and is thriving.
Clive the Chive is huge and over grown. I’ve cut chives off him many times but I can’t seem to eat the chives as fast as he can grow them. But overall he is doing well.
Here’s the spice girls. To be honest I thought they were dead for the longest time. I didn’t see anything sprout and was super concerned. But she made it and is doing well.
This is the newest member to the plant family. This is a spinach plant that I guess I will name Ralph. I planted Ralph on Saturday and I am optimistic he will grow and thrive.
This is my green pepper plant. To be honest I thought this plant was dead too. When I first got this plant it was shriveled up and thirsty. It also didn’t help that I kept forgetting to plant it in a pot. None the less, when I finally planted this plant, she flourished. She currently has 4 green peppers growing on her. It also occurred to me that I haven’t given her a name yet. Let’s call her Penny.
Here’s Chester the mosquito plant. He’s huge and doing well. He’s does a great job at repelling mosquitoes.
And last but certainly not least, here is my tomato plant. I think it’s a cherry tomato plant but I can’t entirely remember. My Sunshine flowers didn’t make it, along Harry and Henry the tomato plants. So, I decided to try with this tomato plant instead. Let’s call this one Sylvester. Sylvester is doing super well. He has quite a few little green tomatoes on him. I can’t wait to eat them once they turn red.
Well there you go. That’s an update on my plants. How are your plants doing?
What’s my why? What’s the reason I get up everyday? What’s the reason I go to work and teach my preschoolers Monday through Friday? What’s the reason I spend hours writing my books, writing blog posts, and making a point to help others who are struggling. Why do I do what I do? What’s my why?
I get up everyday to help others. It’s what I’m meant to do. It’s my purpose. But often times, I forget about myself. I forget that I need to be taken care of too. I forget that as much as I open my heart to so many children, mommas and people, that I usually forget about my own heart and that it too needs to be nurtured.
Many years ago I developed a passion, a divine destiny, and longing to work with children. Throughout the years I have studied, and learned how to love, teach and admire each individual child that enters my life. Each child has their challenges, their own strengths, and their own story. And though I don’t always know how long each child will be in my life, it is my job as a teacher and as a person to show them love because that is the best gift I can give them.
My job can be so incredibly rewarding. I have built long lasting relationships with families, children I have taught, coworkers and other fellow teachers. Many of these people have seen me at my best and my worst. All of these people hold a special place in my heart.
Through my job as a teacher and as someone who loves kids, it can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging.
Working with children is no easy task. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining. My patience is tested daily and sometimes hourly. I am constantly making decisions, considering choices, choosing my words, and considering how my actions can best teach and set a positive example for my kiddos. It’s not easy, but certainly not impossible.
Teaching has always emotionally affected me, as I am taking care of someone else’s kids when I so desperately desire to have my own. After suffering two miscarriages and reentering the education field, I am even more aware and emotionally affected by the reminder that I still don’t have my own healthy children.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. It sucks. It really really sucks. It’s not fair. It hurts. It’s hard. But I deal with it. Somehow I find the strength to get through it. Everyday, I ask the question, why?Why don’t I have kids yet? Why did we have to lose two babies? Why have we had to go through this? I wish I knew the answers, but I don’t think I ever will.
Through a lot of time, reflection, and healing I have seen how much of my grief, and frustration was turned into something good and used to help others. I started a blog. I’ve shared my story in person and in a magazine. I wrote a children’s book. I have connected with many women around the world who have gone through the same thing. My grief did not happen in vain, it was used to help others.
So you see, the reason I get up everyday to teach children, write blog posts, and bond with other women, is because it’s my purpose in life. It’s what I was made to do. Because of what I have went through, I am able to love and appreciate the children in my life probably more than I ever would have if I hadn’t experienced what I have. Without going through the trauma and loss I did, I wouldn’t have started a blog. I wouldn’t have felt so inspired to write and share my story. Without the bad things happening in my life, I wouldn’t appreciate the good things.
I do what I do because I love and want to help people.
I want to help moms, women, children and families. I want to help all of you. I want to support you, encourage you, guide you and strengthen you. I want to be there for you. That also means I need to be there for myself. I need to take care of me and be kind to myself while I also help others.
Again, it’s not always easy…. and it still really hurts that I am not a mom to babies here on earth. But I take it day by day, and know that my work on this earth is not going unnoticed. I love you all and I am here if you need anything. That is why I do this.
Hi friends! So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I really like fried food. It’s not good for me, and I often end up regretting it since I don’t have a gall bladder, but it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Recently, I learned how to fry pickles. Oh my gosh, let me tell you… they are the bomb dignity!
So, if you are looking for an easy and yummy snack… try these!
What You Need
1. Frying pan
2. Olive Oil (I’ve tried Coconut oil and it doesn’t work)
3. Pickles (I prefer dill pickle chips)
4. Flour (I used wheat flour)
5. Garlic salt
6. Black Pepper
9. Ranch (optional)
First, place the frying pan on the stove. Add about 3 tbsp of olive oil, at least enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Put on medium heat.
Next place flour in a bowl (about 2 cups depending on how many pickles you plan to make).
Coat pickles with flour and place in hot oil. Wait about 30 seconds to a minute and then flip them over. Repeat this process with each pickle until pickles are crisp and ready to be placed on a plate.
Once finished cooking pickles, place on a plate. Sprinkle garlic salt, black pepper, basil, and oregano as much as desired. Add a side of ranch dressing or other dipping sauce for the best pallet experience.