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.
Finally, a new year. I don’t think anyone expected 2020 to go the way it did. When thousands of people were creating goals last January 1st, I’m sure none of them expected a global pandemic, a deadly sickness called the Corona virus, distance learning, state shut downs and the everyday wearing of face masks. None the less, it is officially 2021. We made it to another year.
I pray that this year is a 100 times better than last year in every way. And if not, I pray that through any struggle we may face, I pray we are able to learn and make the most of every situation.
This year I have written down 10 goals that I hope to complete in the year 2021.
My Goals for 2021
Publish My Memoir
Pay Off My Car
Recieve My FLE Certification
Lose 20 lbs.
Buy A New Car
Publish a Second Children’s Book
Read The Entire Bible
Publish a Self Care Journal
Pay Off My Credit Card
Start a Family
My deadline to complete these goals is December 31st, 2021 at midnight. Let the first page of this 365 page book begin!
2020 was a year many thought would be a fresh start. It was the beginning of a new decade and a year for clear vision.,, or so we thought. But instead we were all taken for a loop by this deadly sickness called the Corona virus. In many people there was sheer panic and anxiety, and not long after the way we once lived our lives was no longer. We went from having the freedom to socialize with anyone and everyone, to being instructed to remain 6 feet apart with anyone out side our household. We were required to wear masks everywhere, and no longer had the freedom to dine in restaurants. Students as young as kindergarten and as old as college were forced to complete their studies strictly online.
This year has been anxiety inducing, confusing, exhausting, unpredictable and unexpected. But despite all of that, we have all had the chance at putting things into perspective. With a variety of shut downs and quarantines we have had more opportunities to spend quality time with our immediate families. We have learned to appreciate the time and moments we shared because they are precious, and the future is not promised.
For me personally, this year has been rough, but I have been given a lot blessings as well. This was a big year for me despite the craziness. Today I would like to reflect on 2020, the ups and downs, the blessings and challenges and everything in between.
Recap of My Goals for 2020
Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development. ✔️
Pay off my Car ✖️
Recieve my Certification in Family Life Education ✖️
Get a Pet ✔️
Publish my Memoir ✖️
Move to a New Home ✔️
Get Certified as a Life Coach ✖️
Recap of 2020
I started my last semester of college.
Started taking Plexus daily.
I started revamping my resume and applying to various jobs for after I would graduate.
I started a new job as a Lead Preschool Teacher.
Covid – 19 hit the US and life as we knew it changed.
We moved to our new apartment.
I finished my last semester of college.
My state and pretty much the country was forced into an immediate say-at-home order.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Child and Family Development.
I returned back to work after being laid off.
I redecorated my new apartment.
I celebrated my 2nd Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week.
I honored my Due Date for my 2nd baby.
Charles and I started trying again.
I went to the cabin with my best friend Alli.
Started swimming and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.
My husband got a new job.
I published my first children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven.
I adopted a kitten and named him Rocky.
I turned 25.
I continued digging deep and working on my memoir.
I grew 9 plants on my balcony.
I hit 6 months of working at my job.
Charles and discussed and decided to pursue adoption.
I reached 150 followers on my blog.
I hit 25 sales on my children’s book.
I was named teacher of the month at my Job.
I did some goal setting for the year ahead.
2020 was crazy and definitely a year of change. Moving forward I predict 2021 will bring it’s own set of challenges and blessings. 💕
I have tossed around the idea of posting this photo. I have contemplated if I should even write a blog post about this particular topic as it is so incredibly personal. I have weighed the pros and cons of this post and decided on this. On my blog I have always been real and raw when it comes to my life, my challenges and my grief. Over the last twoish years I have shared the details of my grief and miscarriages because it not only helped me heal and process the trauma of that season in my life, but I knew one day my story could help someone else. Therefore, if I share my stories of pregnancy loss, then I can also share my challenges of trying to concieve and start a family.
Last May around Mother’s Day, Charles and I decided we again wanted to try and start a family. It had been 8 months since our second miscarriage and though I don’t think we can ever fully heal from a loss such as this, we both have gained a lot of growth, wisdom and strength from suffering two losses. So in May we decided to start trying again.
When deciding to try again, we discussed how we did not want to obsess over trying to get pregnant. Rather we were just going to allow what ever happen to happen. I wasn’t going to track my temp or track my ovulation. We decided we were going to try and live our lives and allow God to move when He sees fit.
In September, after 4 months of trying and no luck, Charles and I looked into adoption. The desire to become parents in the last few years has grown so strong, and we both love the idea of conceiving our own healthy baby, or adopting a child. Since September we have continued to research the option of adoption and have found there are a few steps we would need to complete before going any further. So in some ways we are at a stand still.
This past month we reached 6 months of trying. And I was convinced that I was pregnant. I was super hungry, tired, had a cold, emotional, my boobs hurt, my hips hurt, I had some cramping that was different than my normal period cramping, headaches and I was three days late. I hoped and prayed that I was pregnant as it would have been a sweet ending to a crazy year. But that wasn’t the case. Another negative yet again.
The day I took the test I was down, defeated and devastated. But as I write this over a week later, I realize that it was for the best. I don’t know why, but I know it wasn’t meant to be right now. Since my second miscarriage I have asked God to please not let me get pregnant unless I am pregnant with a healthy baby. And so, since getting another negative I look at it that way. As much as not getting pregnant right now is hard, it’s not as devastating for me as it would be to lose another baby.
I keep thinking God just wants me to do more, before having kids. Maybe that’s publishing my memoir. Maybe that’s moving up at my job. Maybe it’s making money through my blog. And maybe it’s just sharing my story with all of you. I don’t know the reason. But I know that I’m not in control. As scary as it is, I want to have a baby. I want to be a mom to a baby here on earth. But I know that if that stick had two lines, I would have been happy, but not excited.
When you’ve suffered a loss, getting pregnant again feels different. Since you’ve already had the worst happen, you’re extra cautious and it’s always in the back of your mind. Is it going to happen again? Am I going to lose this pregnancy? Will this be a healthy baby? Only God knows the answers to those questions. And only time will tell what’s in store for us.
For now, I am going to do my best to keep living my life, teaching preschoolers, loving my family, writing, and appreciating the little things. ❤️
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.
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. ❤️
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.
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.
As many of you know, I am super big on goal setting. I love setting goals for myself, and doing my best in trying to reach them. Recently, I was looking on Pinterest to see if I could find some inspiration of what to write, and this topic came up. I am always setting summer goals and even goals for the year… but I never thought to set goals before I reach a certain age. So, with out further or do… here are my goals that I would like to accomplish before I turn 30.
1. Have at least two kids (Through birth, adoption or whatever the Lord has planned)
2. Write 5 Children’s Books (I think publishing at least one a year sounds good)
3. Publish My Memoir (I better have this done by then 😂)
4. Move up in my field working with children (Whether that be just more responsibility or a promotion… I’m up for anything)
5. Move into a house (I would prefer here in Michigan, but we’ll see what happens)
6. Get a Dog (Someday soon!)
7. Make Money Blogging (Somehow and some way I would hope to make a small income off of my hobby)
8. Make my Dog a Brand Ambassador (For Real, I want to try this)
9. Go on a Week Long Vacation to Some Place Warm (Fort Lauderdale, or Myrtle Beach sound nice)
10. Have 5,000 Followers on my Blog (Tell your friends about my blog ya’ll!)
11. Get a Cat (the dog will need a friend)
12. Pay Off Half My Student Loans (Get them things paid off)
13. Attend an NCFR or NAEYC conference (Now, this would be fun)
14. Write a Self Care Journal for Women (We ALL need a little daily self care)
15. Visit New York City (I want to see Time Square, Ground Zero, One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and all the other things)
16. Be on the Today Show (I know this sounds crazy, but I think it would be cool… who knows if it will ever happen)
17. Give a TED Talk (It would be terrifying, but I’d love to do it.
18. Write 1,000 Blog Posts (This should be do-able)
19. Live Life to the Fullest
20. Be a Great Woman, Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Teacher, Author and Human ❤️
In the midst of this quarantine and stay at home order, I have been busy at work creating my books. I am in the process of creating 3 different books.
The first I started writing is my memoir. This book is the most detailed and is taking me the most time to complete. I am on chapter 7 out of 20 on the first draft. This book is coming along and I am hoping to have it done by Christmas.
My second book is my children’s book about grief and pregnancy loss. This book is in its’ finial stages of the publishing process and will hopefully be done very soon.
My last writing project is a journal of some sort. I’m not entirely sure who my audience is, or what the theme of this journal will be… but we will see. It’s all a work in progress.
Writing and publishing a book has always been a dream of mine. However, with many dreams you must first have patience and put in a lot of hard work. Therefore, it can become very easy to get unmotivated in accomplishing these dreams. There are moments where I feel stagnant, but that will not stop me from reaching my dreams. Like anything else I know all this hard work will eventually pay off.
Guess what!?!?… I finally did it! I graduated college and received my Bachelor’s degree! I now hold an Associate’s degree in General Studies, an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development.
It has taken me 7 years total to complete my college journey. I spent 3 years at community college, took a gap year and 3 years at a university. To be honest, I thought I was going to be in college… FOREVER. And I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be done.
I went through a lot of changes through these last 7 years. I fell in love, got engaged and got married. I worked numerous jobs including receptionist, food service, and lead teacher. I also received scholarships, rewards, dean’s list recognition, and participated in student organizations. I endured a lot of hardships including depression, anxiety, financial challenges, miscarriages, surgery, and grief. Lastly, I made long lasting friendships, received so much love and support from family, learned life long lessons and received a wonderful education.
So many times I wanted quit. So many times I wanted to throw it all away. So many times I thought it was too hard and I just wasn’t made for college. But I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up. I kept pushing forward and I reached my goal. It was’t easy… but I did it.
As many of you know, due to this whole coronavirus pandemic, many graduation ceremonies were cancelled or postponed… including mine. On my graduation day, I proudly put on my cap and gown, and drove to see my family. I sat in the car and they saw me from a distance. I’m thankful they were able to see me on my graduation day.
When we got home, my hubby took pictures and made me a wonderful graduation dinner. Though this day wasn’t anything like I had expected, and I was slightly bummed I wasn’t able to participate in a ceremony with my class; I’m still thankful I was able to celebrate and make the most out of this day.
So it’s official. I did it. I still can’t believe it. I’m officially a college graduate! 🎓