ReBlog: Why We Named Our Son Matthew

When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my husband and I started discussing baby names. I wanted to find a name for a girl and a boy. I wanted to do this so that when we found out at our 20 week anatomy scan what we were having, we could give the baby a name right away. There was something about giving baby a name for the second half of the pregnancy that made things seem even more real. 

On my birthday, when I was exactly 19 weeks pregnant, Charles woke up and told me he had a dream. He dreamt that he was at some sort of musical event and his old choir director from college saw him. They started talking and his old choir director said “How’s baby Matt doing?” Then he woke up. Charles had another dream that same night where he was playing with a baby girl named Grace. 

Later in the morning as we were getting ready for breakfast Charles told me about the dream. He then suggested that if we were having a boy we should name him Matthew and if we were having a girl we should name her Grace.

I was shocked at his suggestion for the boy name, because Charles had momentarily forgotten that I had had a brother named Matthew. My brother Matthew died before I was born. He was 9 months old and died of a rare genetic condition, At first I wasn’t totally sure how I would feel about having a brother and a son named Matthew. 

Throughout the week, I continued contemplating both the names Matthew and Grace. I focused mostly on Matthew because I still had this strong feeling we were having a boy. I decided to look up the meaning of the name Matthew just to see what it said. A gift from God. I thought How perfect is that!? Our rainbow baby’s name means A gift from God. Charles and I loved the meaning of the name and we also loved that it was classic, biblical and could be shortened to Matt or Matty. 

About a week later we had our anatomy scan. We found out we were having a precious baby boy. We didn’t tell anyone about the boy name we had picked out until 23 weeks. At that time, I asked my mom if she would mind if we named our son Matthew. She was absolutely honored that we had even considered that name. She loved that her first grandson would be named after her son and she loved the meaning of the name. 


So there you have it. We named our son Matthew. He is named after my brother and is our gift from God.

ReBlog: My Top 10 Favorite Children’s Books (That I Own)

As a teacher, and now as a mom I have a love for children’s books. I own hundreds and use them within my classroom. Soon, I will be reading them to my son. Check out my top 10 favorite children’s books! 

MY TOP 10 FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS 

  1. Llama llama and the Bully Goat 
  2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? 
  3. The Kissing Hand 
  4. Read and Share Bible 
  5. Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom 
  6. M is for Michigan 
  7. That’s Not My Sloth 
  8. You Complete Me 
  9. Horton Hears a Who? 
  10. The Family Book 
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Did your favorite children’s book make the list? Comment below!

Recipe Reshare: Tortilla Pizza

Okay, so this recipe was a simple idea from my momma that I couldn’t help but share. 

If you were a 90’s kid, you probably grew up with these things called lunchables. One of my favorite lunchables was the kind with the mini pizzas. This recipe is very similar to that as you only need 4 ingredients.

WHAT YOU NEED…

  • Tortilla Shell
  • Marinara Sauce 
  • Cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or parmesan)
  • Pepperonis

First, lay out a tortilla on a plate.

Next spread a few spoonfuls of sauce across the tortilla.

Then, sprinkle cheese over the sauce. 

Finally, place pepperonis on tortilla. 

Once your pizza is complete you can either cut it up like a pizza, or roll it up like a wrap. 

TIP: This is a fun and easy recipe to make with kids! 

Enjoy!

ReBlog: My Top 10 Favorite Date Night Ideas

My Top 10 Favorite Date Night Ideas

MY TOP 10 DATE NIGHT IDEAS 

1. TAKE A DRIVE

Take a drive somewhere, anywhere and do some sightseeing on the way. Take a look at the trees and fall colors. Explore your city or another city. Drive to a pond or lake. 

2. GO OUT FOR COFFEE 

Find a cute little cafe in your downtown area, and go out for coffee, tea or a vanilla steamed milk. 

3. HAVE A GAME NIGHT

Have a game night with a group of friends or just with your significant other. Play some cards, board games, video games or whatever floats your boat. 

4. HAVE A MOVIE NIGHT
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Go out to the theaters and watch a new release, or plan a movie night at home. Pop some popcorn, dim the lights and play one of your favorites, or a series of movies. I love watching the Toy Story movies. 

5. GO ON A BEACH DAY 

Plan a trip to the beach. Pack the towels, sunscreen, umbrella, and snacks and spend some time soaking up the sun. 

6. DINNER FOR TWO 

Go out to eat and enjoy each others company at a favorite restaurant or dine in at home. Whether it’s something simple like pizza, or fancy like lobster, find something that hits the spot. 

7. TRY SOMETHING NEW 

Plan a date of trying something new with your significant other. Maybe you’ve never gone downhill skiing, rode on a ferry or eaten sushi. Try something new together. 

8. COOK TOGETHER

Plan out a fun meal at home, and cook together! Maybe you both like Italian, one of you could cook the pasta while the other could cook the garlic bread and you both could toss the salad. It could be a great opportunity to bond in the kitchen and enjoy some great homemade food. 

9. GO ON A SHOPPING TRIP

Maybe you need to spruce up your home with some new home decor. Take a trip to Hobby Lobby and spend a few hours buying some new home decor that you both love for your home. 

10. PLAN A CABIN TRIP 

Plan a trip to a cabin, deep in the woods. Maybe even plan it in the fall or winter when you can keep warm with a fireplace or wood stove. Enjoy the great outdoors and being alone with each other.

ReBlog: Top 10 Things I Will Miss About Being Pregnant

This post was written in 2021, a few weeks before having our son Matthew. I will admit, I do miss being pregnant and baby fever is very strong now that my son is a year old. But, don’t worry. I’m not pregnant. Just wanted to reminisce about the season in my life when I was. ❤️

Top 10 Things I Will Miss About Being Pregnant

At 32 weeks pregnant, I am realizing how quickly my pregnancy is coming to an end and we will soon be able to meet our precious baby boy! This pregnancy hasn’t always been easy but I have been very blessed to have gotten this far, and gone through this much. 

HERE ARE MY TOP 10 THINGS I WILL MISS ABOUT BEING PREGNANT 
1. THE PRECIOUS BABY KICKS, ROLLS AND SQUIRMS
2. CLEAR SKIN (FOR SOME REASON THESE PREGNANCY HORMONES GAVE ME THE CLEAREST SKIN OF MY LIFE) 
3. NOT HAVING A PERIOD
4. PEOPLE BEING SO NICE TO ME BECAUSE I’M PREGNANT 
5. THE CRAVINGS 
6. THE STRONG PREGNANCY SMELL 
7. LARGE APPETITE AND EATING FOR TWO 
8. CUTE AND COMFY MATERNITY CLOTHES 
9. THE EXCITEMENT AND ANTICIPATION OF PLANNING FOR A NEW BABY
10. THE PREGNANCY GLOW

Recipe Reshare: 10 Layer Salad Recipe

I love Salad! It’s just one of those foods that makes me feel good when I eat it. I love putting a lot of ingredients in my salad. When I’m craving salad, I usually search my kitchen pantry and fridge to see what ingredients I have that would go great in salad. 

Recently I made something I call a 10 layer salad, as I layered my salad with 10 different ingredients. Here is what you’ll need for this recipe: 

INGREDIENTS

  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers 
  • Green Olives
  • Black Olives
  • Tomatoes 
  • Onion
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Ranch Dressing 

And literally all you do is add one ingredient at a time, creating layers in a large bowl. For example I did lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumbers, carrots, green olives, black olives, shredded cheese, roasted chickpeas and Ranch dressing. And that’s it!!! Such a perfect dish for any summer occasion. 


If you are wondering how to roast chickpeas, check out my other blog post: Roasted Chickpea Recipe.

ReBlog: The Letter to Myself

This post was written in February 2021. I thought it would be nice to take a moment to reflect back on my life then, and how it has changed to now.

The Letter to Myself

In my last semester of college, I was taking a yoga class just for fun. Ironicallly, it was the semester that covid hit the US, so I found it fitting that I was in a course that would help me relax amidst a crazy pandemic. 

As the semester continued into the spring, and classes were forced to be taught online, I had the opportunity to practice what I had learned from yoga at home. My instructor posted weekly videos of different yoga practices and a quick reflection we were to complete after each practice. 

For my last practice and assignment in yoga, I was to complete a three question reflection that was essentially a letter to myself. When writing this letter, I was asked to answer these questions:

What is something I needed to let go of? 

What was something I was ready for?

What did I need to remember from the current time?

At the end of the letter, I asked that my yoga teacher send me the letter in 8 months. On a cold, snowy day in December, I received my letter and honestly enjoyed my thoughts and feelings I wrote to myself. 


What was one thing I wanted to let go of? – The Media. At the time, and even now I’m so tired of the media. Everything from opinions and bias, conflicting reports, and over sharing of the same stories is simply exhausting to watch. I hardly ever watch the news anymore. Since, eliminating about 85% of the media in my life, I have found that my mental health is so much more stable. I’m not nearly as anxious as I was when I wrote the letter to myself. 

What was something I was ready for? – To embrace a life without school. When I was writing this letter, I was so excited to not be in school anymore. After 6 years of nonstop college, I was ready to just work, be a wife, and start a family. 

What was something that I needed to remember from that time? – That I’m a survivor. I’ve been through a lot, especially in the last 6 years. Life has really sucked at times, but I have learned to appreciate the good. I also told myself, that as life gets good, remember to pay it forward, and make others feel good too. 


I have decided I am putting this letter on my fridge, as it serves as a good reminder through this year. Who knows what the year will bring, but when it gets hard I’ll remember, I’m a survivor.

Recipe Reshare: Chickpea Pasta

Chickpea pasta is something I just thought of and wasn’t sure if it was a real thing. So, I went to Google to see if anyone else has combined chickpeas and pasta, and sure enough it’s a real thing! I scanned through a variety of different recipes then decided to make my own! 

Check out my Chickpea Pasta recipe below! 

INGREDIENTS

  • Penne pasta 
  • Chickpeas (1 can) 
  • Olive Oil 
  • Tomatoes (1)
  • Black olives (small can) 
  • Pepperonis (10-20) 
  • Italian Seasoning 
  • Minced Garlic 
  • Parmesan Cheese 

First, boil a pot of water. Depending on how many noodles you want to make will depend on how much water you choose to boil. 

Next, pour penne pasta into boiling water. Stir occasionally until noodles are soft and tender. 

Chop tomatoes, black olives, and pepperonis. 

Next, drain noodles and place in a bowl. 

Drain canned chickpeas, and combine in bowl of noodles. 

Then add olive oil, chopped pepperonis, olives, and tomatoes.

Season to taste with minced garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. 

Enjoy!

ReBlog: 10 Signs You’re a Crazy Cat Parent

10 Signs You’re a Crazy Cat Parent

1. YOU HAVE SEPARATION ANXIETY WHEN YOU ARE AWAY FROM YOUR CAT. 

Do you worry about your cat being home alone while you are running errands or at work? Do you wonder if they will be on their best behavior or they will get lonely, if you are never there? If so, then you might be a crazy cat parent. 

2. YOU REARRANGE YOUR SCHEDULE SO YOU CAN SPEND MORE TIME WITH YOUR CAT. 

Do you sometimes stay home for no other reason then to spend time with your cat? After a long week of working, do you look forward to spending time with your cat on the weekend? If so, you may be a crazy cat parent. 

3. YOU TALK TO YOUR CAT, AND WAIT FOR YOUR CAT TO RESPOND. 

It is true that often times, pets are the best therapists. But not everybody has actual conversations with their pets and waits for them to respond. I am going to make a little confession. Sometimes, my kitty Rocky and I have conversations, and I indeed do wait for him to respond. If you also do this, then you too may be a crazy cat parent. 

4. YOU CONSIDER AND/OR ADOPT ANOTHER CAT SO YOUR CURRENT CAT WON’T BE LONELY. 

Do you scroll through pictures from your local shelters or pet ads from Petfinder, and consider adopting another feline friend? Do you do this because you have kitty fever or because you want your kitty to have another friend. Maybe even both? 

5. YOU SPEND MORE MONEY ON CAT TOYS, TREATS, FOOD, AND PET FURNITURE THAN YOU ACTUALLY PLAN TO. 

Confession time again…. I spent over a $100 on Rocky this past Christmas. But he’s my only baby at the moment, so I have no shame. Do you also find yourself strolling down the pet aisle, or finding ways to adjust your budget so you can buy more things for your cat? If yes, then you too could be a crazy cat parent. 

6. YOU GET UP EARLY OR STAY UP LATE JUST TO PLAY WITH YOUR CAT. 

Do you get up early just to spend time with your cat? Do you just adore how loving your kitty can be when he is waking you up and begging you for food early in the morning? Do you jump out of bed, and join your kitty when you hear him bellowing opera kitty music at 2am? If so, then you may just be crazy, or a crazy cat parent.

7. YOU REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE SO YOUR CAT IS COMFORTABLE WHEN LOOKING OUT THE WINDOWS. 

Do you get your cat’s opinion on how to rearrange the furniture? Do you consider how he might want to watch his live tv of birds flying, squirrels gathering nuts, and dogs walking their humans? If yes, then maybe you are a crazy cat parent. 

8. YOU LEAVE THE TV ON FOR YOUR CAT WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOME. 

Do you worry your kitty will go crazy being in a quiet home for too long and decide to leave on the tv for them? Yes? Don’t worry… I do it too. I’m probably just as crazy as you. 

9. YOU LOOK FORWARD TO AND/OR GET EXCITED TO GIVE YOUR CAT CATNIP. 

Do you want your cat to love you?… I mean really love you? Do you look forward to giving them catnip and anticipate seeing the cat be all consumed by catnip? I do. 

10. YOU CONSIDER YOUR CAT AS ONE OF YOUR KIDS. 

Do you? I do. My kitty is my baby. 


If you haven’t already guessed, I am a crazy cat mom and this was all just for fun. I hope I made you smile and brought some humor into your life today. Well, I’m going to go snuggle my cat now.

Bye!

I Finished My First Draft… Again!

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile now, you’ll know that I have had a goal to write and publish my own memoir. This idea first played out like this:

After my first miscarriage I started my blog, and after my second miscarriage I wanted to write a book. That was in 2019. At the end of 2020, I finished my first draft. In April of 2021, I got pregnant with our rainbow baby. Towards the end of 2022, I started to re-examine my first draft, and realized it wasn’t the full story. I created the book with intention of covering grief and loss, while also covering hope and mercy. I decided to add a few more chapters to my book that wasn’t just about the storm so to speak, but also about the rainbow after the storm.

I’m excited to say I have finally finished my first draft… again. I’m not quite ready for it to go to a publisher and/or self publish just yet, but I am one step closer to following my dreams and fulfilling my calling. 💕

Kale Chips Recipe

With prices going up and shortages continuing, in the last few days I have been in search of finding a cheap healthy snack. I recently bought some kale in hopes of making a kale salad, then remembered how I used to make kale chips when I was pregnant with my son.

Kale is just a great alternative than regular potato chips. It’s high in fiber and iron. Plus you only need 3 major ingredients!

Kale Chips Recipe

What You Need…

  • Kale
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Baking Sheet

What You Do…

If you are using a conventional oven you will need to preheat to 425°. If you are using an air fryer. You likely won’t need to preheat. Set to BAKE and set temp to 425°.

Cut stalks/ends off of kale, place in a strainer and wash with cool water in the sink.

Next, cut or pull apart into pieces and place on the baking sheet. Make sure sheet is covered with kale. It will seem like a lot but the kale shrinks as it cooks.

Then, drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over the kale. Salt as desired. I recommend going light on the salt and adding more after cooking if needed.

Place in oven and cook for 9-12 minutes. Chips should be mostly crunchy when done cooking.

Enjoy!

This Blogging Tip Changed my Life!

As I type this, I simply can’t believe that this April I will have been blogging for 4 years! Crazy! It has been such a journey and a beautiful outlet for me to be able to write and share my thoughts and ideas on my blog.

Just wanted to give a quick thank you to each and everyone of you who take the time to read my blog, especially those who have been with me from the very beginning.

Blogging is fun but also a lot of hard work. It wasn’t until 6 months or so of starting my blog, I felt like I truly got the hang of it.

There are a lot of tips and tricks to blogging, but the one I have found most helpful, that has changed my life is this…

Schedule! Schedule! Schedule!!!

It’s really easy to start something, and forget all about it. The busyness of life often makes us forget to do things if we don’t make them a priority. When I first started my blog, I read about the how to’s and big no no’s to avoid when blogging. The best tip I found was to schedule your blog posts ahead of time.

This tip has helped me tremendously. At the end of each year, I often create an outline of things I want to write or share each month. I then write like crazy a variety of different blog posts that I can schedule throughout the year, so that when life gets busy, I’m still writing and engaging with my readers. This has saved me and even allowed me to take breaks during my maternity leave and just not to get bored or frustrated.

So I encourage you, if you have a blog, schedule a few posts ahead of time, it will help!