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.
It is time again for another blog post round up! The following are a list of recent blog posts that were not only popular but also a favorite to myself and many of my readers.
My Kitchen Reveal!
In late March, my husband and I moved to our new apartment right at the beginning of the Corona virus Pandemic. It was crazy, quick and overwhelming. Regardless of how we got here, we absolutely love our new home. Check out my kitchen reveal post to see how I decorated our kitchen.
New Edition to the Family!
As many of you know, we did add a new edition to our family this year, and his name is Rocky. He is a gray, long haired domestic tabby. He is super smart, hilarious, and sassy. We love him so much and are so glad we adopted him.
Deep Fried Pickles Recipe
Since graduating from college, I have found myself in the kitchen more often. Part of this is because I have more time to cook, and it is also because I no longer have the luxury of eating meals at the dining hall. Check out my Deep Fried Pickles recipe, and other recipes I will be sharing this month.
What’s My Why?
What’s my why? This is a question that many influencers ask themselves. What’s the reason I write a blog? What’s the reason I advocate for this important cause? What’s the reason I do what I do every single day? This blog post talks all about why I do what I do.
Another Plants Update
This past summer was the first summer I had a balcony. I took full advantage of this balcony by growing many different plants. Check out my different blog posts this summer of my progress and fails in growing plants.
It’s Been 19 Years Since the World Changed
It has been 19 years since 9/11 happened. As I mentioned in this blog post, it is one of the first tragic terrorist attacks that I can recall in my life time. In this post I discuss my memories of that fateful day.
Happy Fall Ya’ll
Having holidays in a new apartment, means I get to try some new decorating ideas. For example, I have never had my own fireplace that I have been able to decorate. But this year, I plan to decorate it for every season. Check out this post to see how I decorated for fall.
Expanding Our Family… What’s Next for Us
This unexpectedly, was a super popular post. This was the post where I shared our thoughts on expanding our family. I also share a tentative 2 year plan as we prepare for parenthood.
Taco Baked Potato Recipe
I am such a huge fan of potatoes and tacos. So I thought, why not combine the two? In this post I share my recipe of a Taco Baked Potato.
Christmas Decorating 2020
Yes, I know… another decorating post. But I can’t help it, I love decorating and home decor. Check out this post to see how I decorated this year for Christmas.
Recently, I had a very important appointment with my OBGYN. In the past I have had a variety of good appointments, and a variety of traumatic appointments at my OB’s office. However, this time was different, and surprisingly I had a very positive experience.
I made the appointment with my OB to discuss family planning and how to be a healthier me. It had been over a year since I had suffered my second miscarriage. So this appointment wasn’t a follow up physical and mental health appointment, nor was this appointment a pregnancy appointment. This appointment was just a let’s sit down and talk about how to be healthy appointment.
At this appointment my doctor seemed happy to see me. She was impressed that I graduated college, have a full time job as a teacher, have become more active and lost 20lbs in the last year, and that I have found ways to better manage my stress.
Throughout the appointment we discussed family planning and trying to concieve. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to concieve but rather, allowing it to happen if it does, and not preventing it if it does. We also discussed adoption and how this is the first avenue we plan to pursue.
In the end my doctor was very positive and hopeful that someday I could have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. But for now she is 100% supportive of my decision in getting healthy and working towards a child filled future.
Some things my doctor encouraged me to do as we plan for a family, include the following…
1. Start taking prenatal vitamins daily
2. Start taking my anxiety meds daily
3. Have my thyroid levels checked and managed regularly,
4. Continue to be active daily.
5. Strive for a better BMI, by starting with small goals, such as losing 10 lbs.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This year has been quite crazy, I can’t stress that enough. So, I thought my home was in need of a little Christmas cheer. Many times I try to wait until after my anniversary (mid November) to decorate my home for Christmas. But this year, I decided to go ahead and decorate my home a little early. With a new apartment, a fireplace, and some extra time off… I figured why not.
This year I was able to put 3 stockings over my new fireplace. One stocking is for my husband, one for myself and one for my kitty Rocky. My hubby and I are considering exchanging stockings this year, since we were able to hang our stockings.
This right here is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. It is a hand made, crocheted nativity scene that was gifted to us for our wedding. We absolutely love it!
My Santa Clause clothes line is an antique, and was passed down to me from my Grandma. While growing up my Grandma hung a normal little clothes line in her window over her kitchen sink. But during the holidays, she hung this Santa Clause one in her window. I love this unique Christmas decoration. It is one of my favorites.
I would say my Christmas decorations are coming along, but I’m not quite finished yet. I still have a few finishing touches I would like to add. Have you decorated for Christmas yet?
This year has been hard on everyone, and I know I’m not the only one in need of a little self care. Often times my work week is jam packed with endless to-do lists, meetings, daily tasks, and various deadlines that I must meet. That being said, it is no wonder why I am exhausted by the end of the week. Often times I try to reserve my weekends for self care and a chance to recharge. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.
If I am unable to dedicate my whole weekend to self care, I at least try dedicating my Sundays to self care. This not only helps me to rest from the previous week, but also prepare for the week ahead.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to have your own Self Care Sunday.
1. Wake up at a reasonable time. I’m not saying get up early, and I’m not saying sleep in as late as possible. What I am saying is, wake up at a time where you are able to sleep in some, but are not sleeping the day away. For example, during the week I usually wake up at 5am and go to bed at 9pm. On the weekends, I try to sleep in until 8am and go to bed at 10pm. This allows me to sleep in some, but not feel like I am missing parts of my Sunday by sleeping.
2. Plan your day. Every morning, I review my planner, rearrange what I need to , and prepare for the day ahead. This allows me to know what I want to accomplish in the day. Often times my weekend to-do lists are things that I neglected throughout the week. Since this happens, I also choose to schedule in things that will allow me to have some self care. For example, I may schedule a nap on Sunday. I may schedule a reminder to write a blog post Sunday night.
3. Wake up slow. Allow yourself to wake up slow. For example, on Sundays I’m in my pjs at least until 11am, unless I have to go somewhere. I also take my time sipping my coffee, watching the sunrise, and catching up on what’s going on in the world.
4. Do something productive before you do something super relaxing. This is a hard one, but it honestly helps. I have found that if I do something productive, before I get comfortable and relax I feel more accomplished. Whereas if I relax and take a nap, or get into a really good tv show, then I will not get what I need to accomplished and feel defeated. So whether it’s those dishes in the sink, the laundry piling up, or the trash that needs to go out, I highly suggest getting it done first before spending the rest of your day relaxing.
5. Lastly, consider doing a relaxing activity before going to bed. Some ideas could be… yoga, prayer time, taking a hot shower, knitting or crocheting, painting, writing, reading, coloring etc.
First, spray sauce pan with cooking spray and place on burner over medium heat. Place unthawed ground beef in sauce pan. Let cook until browned. Mix in taco seasoning.
Next, place two potatoes in sauce pan, and add water 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Place on high heat and boil potatoes for 20 minutes. Check potatoes to see if they are softened. If still not softened, put in boiling water for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Once potatoes are soft, cut in half with a knife and place in a bowl. Mash potatoes with a fork, knife or potato masher inside of bowl.
Next, add two teaspoons of butter and spread evenly over potatoes. Then add taco meat, lettuce, black olives, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese.
Quiche is one of my favorite dishes to make in the winter season. Quiche is just one of those meals you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can change to fit your taste buds.
WHAT YOU NEED…
1 Pie Plate
1 Frozen, Pre-made Pie Crust (I use the Pillsbury Brand)
1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheese (I like Cheddar)
Spinach (If desired)
Mushrooms (If desired)
Bacon Bits (If desired)
Onion (If desired)
Black Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes
1. First un-thaw pie crust. You can do this by leaving in the fridge for a day or two, or following the un-thawing directions on the package.
2. Spray pie pan with non-stick spray.
3. Next, once pie crust is unthawed, rollout pie crust into pie plate. Make sure pie crust covers the entire bottom of the plate.
4. Crack eggs into bowl and beat together. Pour eggs onto crust. Make sure eggs are spread evenly over dough.
5. Chop meat and vegetables you desire, and disperse evenly into quiche. Some things I like to add to make my quiche include, spinach, bacon, sausage, ham, mushrooms, basil, black pepper, green peppers and cheese.
6. Add cheese, black peeper and red pepper flakes on top.
7. Preheat oven to 400* and cook quiche for approximately 30 minutes. Quiche is ready when the egg in the middle is cooked.
Good morning and happy November! I don’t know about you, but it sure takes me a moment to get used to day lights savings time every year. Regardless, I absolutely love November. It is one of my favorites, for many reasons. I love November because it is Fall, and Fall is my favorite season. My boyfriend, now husband started dating in November. We were also married two years later in November, and I always look forward to Thanksgiving. It’s such a festive holiday that can be spent as an intimate family gathering to an extravagant family affair.
Since it is officially November, and becoming the cooking/baking season, I thought I would take this month to share many of my homemade recipes.
Today, I will be sharing my Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham recipe!
What You Need…
Medium frying pan
Oil or cooking spray
4lb ham pre-sliced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Feta cheese crumbles
Pitted kalamata olives
Small 8×8 pan
What You Do…
1. First remove ham from wrapping and place in a 8×8 pan. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan to ensure it stays juicy. Place aluminum foil over top of ham and around edges of pan creating a tent. Preheat oven to 375° and cook for 20 minutes.
* Disclaimer, I bought my ham from my local grocery store, and it was fully cooked and unthawed. I would recommend following the instructions on the ham you purchase for the best result.
2. Once ham is almost finished cooking, place frying pan on a burner and spray with oil or cooking spray. Turn burner on to a medium heat.
3. Crack two eggs and break the yolks by whisking with a fork. You can do this in a bowl, and then pour the eggs into the frying pan or crack eggs directly into frying pan. Allow eggs to cook as flat and level to the bottom of the pan as possible, creating a circle shape.
4. Chop omelette ingredients including, kalamata olives, spinach leaves, and red onion.
5. Once eggs look mostly cooked, start placing spatula underneath the edges of the eggs. Doing this will make it easier to fold the omelette. Place spinach, kalamata olives, onion, and cheddar cheese on one side of the eggs. Let sit for 30 seconds or until there is no more runny egg.
6. Check on ham in the oven around this time as it should be finished cooking. Remove from oven, and pull back foil so it can cool.
7. Once eggs look cooked, fold the side of the eggs without ingredients, over the side with ingredients, creating a half circle/ shape of the omelette. Let sit for another minute, turn off heat and sprinkle black pepper, basil and feta cheese crumbles.
8. Slide omelette gently on to plate (this step can be tricky). Next take two or tree slices of ham and place them on the plate.
9. For a little more flavor, feel free to add some hummus or avacado on top.
I can’t believe it’s almost November. Friends, where did October go? This month has been quite a struggle in getting myself motivated to write. When I get stumped, discouraged and tired; I often try to envision how I will feel once my memoir is complete. Writing a book is not easy. It can be a daunting task that I want to constantly give up on. But, I don’t dare give up because I’ve come so far and know I’m meant to do this.
Lately, I’ve just had a variety of really high highs and really low lows when it comes to my emotions, my grief and my goals. It’s exhausting. I try to look at the positive. I have a great job teaching kids everyday. I recently got named teacher of the month, which is also exciting. My husband and I are very busy, but are in a really good place. I love and adore my fur baby Rocky and things are going well for us financially as we pay off our debts.
When you put it that way, life is great and I shouldn’t be complaining. That’s when I feel a high. I feel like I can do this and it’s going to be okay. Then I think about the holidays… Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a foster baby and I don’t have any living children. I see friends my age having babies, celebrating birthdays, and holidays with their families. I think about the women who have been trying for 3+ years without any luck, and fear that one day will be me. I hear moms all the time complain about lack of sleep from their infant, tantrums from their toddler, and distant learning experiences from their adolescents…. while all the while I too wish I could be sharing the same experiences.
Thinking about all of this puts me in a very low low. I get to the point where I don’t want to see anyone. I want to hide away in my apartment and forget all the moms pregnant with quarantine babies, and the parents getting their kids ready for Halloween. I want to forget it all because at times it is so hard to deal with.
So you see, I’m not making a ton of progress on my writing because of the emotional grieving tornado I am currently facing. Writing sometimes helps, but sometimes it brings up emotions and memories I’m not quite ready to relive again. I’m not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking my time with this as I continue striving forward with my goals and try not to fear for what the future might hold.
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!