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.
Hi Friends! Wow, it’s been awhile since I took a look at this list. As many of you know, I love making bucket lists. I usually have goals for the year and even summer bucket lists. I remember writing this list out in July of 2020. My life has certainly changed a little since then. Let’s take a look at the list and see what I’ve accomplished so far…
1. HAVE AT LEAST TWO KIDS (THROUGH BIRTH, ADOPTION OR WHATEVER THE LORD HAS PLANNED)
This goal is half completed or completed depending on how you look at it. I have a total of 3 kids, but only one of them living earth-side while the other two are in Heaven. My husband and I would like to have another baby at some point, either through pregnancy or adoption. But we are open to whatever the Lord has planned.
2. WRITE 5 CHILDREN’S BOOKS (I THINK PUBLISHING AT LEAST ONE A YEAR SOUNDS GOOD)
I’ve written 2 children’s book but only published one. So, I should get going on this goal.
3. PUBLISH MY MEMOIR (I BETTER HAVE THIS DONE BY THEN)
This has not happened yet. But every year I’m working on it and putting myself one step closer to publishing.
4. MOVE UP IN MY FIELD WORKING WITH CHILDREN (WHETHER THAT BE JUST MORE RESPONSIBILITY OR A PROMOTION… I’M UP FOR ANYTHING)
I technically completed this goal because in March of 2021, I was promoted to opener at my childcare center. However, At this time in my life I’m not really sure if and when I will return to the workforce. I am really enjoying the stay-at-home mom life. If I do return back to my field of child development/ early childhood, I hope to move up and test the waters in curriculum design or even administration. For now I’m going to continue to dabble in children’s literacy.
5. MOVE INTO A HOUSE (I WOULD PREFER HERE IN MICHIGAN, BUT WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS)
I mean we have started the pre approval process and looking around. We are very close to completing this goal and hope to have a house by the end of the year.
6. GET A DOG (SOMEDAY SOON!)
Eventually, I would like to have a dog. But I would like to focus first on homesteading and getting some chickens.
7. MAKE MONEY BLOGGING (SOMEHOW AND SOME WAY I WOULD HOPE TO MAKE A SMALL INCOME OFF OF MY HOBBY)
I still would like to do this, but I’m not sure how. I also feel like my niche is changing and I’m not sure what I truly want to focus on.
8. MAKE MY DOG A BRAND AMBASSADOR (FOR REAL, I WANT TO TRY THIS)
This would be fun. It’s not a super important goal to me anymore, but if we do get a dog, I’d like to try it.
9. GO ON A WEEK LONG VACATION TO SOME PLACE WARM (FORT LAUDERDALE, OR MYRTLE BEACH SOUND NICE)
Yes, yes, and yes. This hasn’t happened since the year we got married. We are due for a vacation. We should start planning!
10. HAVE 5,000 FOLLOWERS ON MY BLOG (TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT MY BLOG YA’LL!)
I have over 300 followers now. Slow and steady wins the race right?
11. GET A CAT (THE DOG WILL NEED A FRIEND)
I did get a cat! His name is Rocky! We adopted him in 2020, shortly after I wrote this original post! He’s the best little fur ball!
12. PAY OFF HALF MY STUDENT LOANS (GET THEM THINGS PAID OFF)
This hasn’t happened yet because of the pandemic.
13. ATTEND AN NCFR OR NAEYC CONFERENCE (NOW, THIS WOULD BE FUN)
I still think this would be fun! I should look into when the next conference is!
14. WRITE A SELF CARE JOURNAL FOR WOMEN (WE ALL NEED A LITTLE DAILY SELF CARE)
I have the beginnings of a rough draft tucked away in a filing cabinet. I should probably dig that out…
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)
I still really want to do this. Even if it’s not before I’m 30, hopefully before I die.
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)
I still think this would be cool. I have no idea how it would happen though.
17. GIVE A TED TALK (IT WOULD BE TERRIFYING, BUT I’D LOVE TO DO IT.
Same thing as the Today show. Don’t know how it would happen, but it would be cool.
18. WRITE 1,000 BLOG POSTS (THIS SHOULD BE DO-ABLE)
I’m on my way! Written about 415, so at least 585 or so to go!
19. LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
This goal is always In process.
20. BE A GREAT WOMAN, MOM, WIFE, DAUGHTER, SISTER, FRIEND, TEACHER, AUTHOR AND HUMAN
One day at a time. Always striving to be the best I can be.
It’s 2023! Happy New Year friends! I can’t believe my baby is almost a year old! Where did the time go??? Any who… this year I’ve got plans, like I always do. I always like to reach big for the goals I set for myself each year. However, I also want to bring into the new year something I learned from 2022, and that is flexibility. Last year, I was challenged to be flexible with my time, money, plans, parenting and expectations. This year I’m going to try and continue to keep that flexibility at times, as hard as it is for me not to be a control freak.
This year I am setting 10 goals for myself. These are 10 goals that I hope to be intentional as well as manageable. Without further or do, here are my goals for 2023!
My Goals for 2023
1. Buy a House
This is the big one. This is the one I want to come true the most! We have been saving up and looking for the perfect starter home for our little family. My hope is to find our home and move in before summer, if not by the end of the year.
2. Go on a Family Trip
I would like to go on at least one family trip this year, even if it’s just a day trip. A few ideas I have include the zoo, northern Michigan, Great a Wolf Lodge, the apple orchard, the dairy farm or Mackinac.
3. Publish one of my Books
I said this in my last post. This goal will be on this list until I complete it!
4. Decorate my New Home
This one goes along with my first goal. But it’s honestly what I am most excited about with getting a new home. We get to decorate and make it our own!
5. Get my Eyes Checked
Now, at first glance you guys might think this is a dumb goal. But give me a moment to explain. The last time I had my eyes checked was in 2018. It’s been 5 years. I need my eyes checked and I really need new glasses. I’m just terrified of going to the eye doctor, for reasons I will share in a future post. So this is a big deal for me, but I gotta do it.
6. Start Our Homesteading Lifestyle
I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I am very interested in homesteading and would eventually like to have my own garden/green house, chicken coup with laying egg hens, and a goat or two for goat milk. I realize I can’t begin this lifestyle until we are moved into our new home. However, I would like to at least begin the process of homestead living by continuing to research and maybe even start buying supplies.
7. Host a Party or Family Gathering
As we wrap up the holidays, I have thought about how much I would one day love to host a family gathering and or party at my own home in the coming year. I have a few ideas including a house warming party, Easter Dinner, Mother’s Day, Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Depending on when we move and get settled in will depend on when all this happens, but I simply can’t wait!
8. Write 515 Blog Posts
I know I didn’t reach my goal of 500 blog posts in 2022, but I hope to reach this one in 2023. With my little one being a little more mobile and independent, I’m hopeful this will allow me to dive back into my hobby of writing.
9. Implement Fun and Structured Activities with my Son
As Matthew quickly emerges from baby to toddler, I would like to start doing more intentional, structural activities throughout the year. I have a few ideas like sensory bins/bags, art projects and outside activities.
10. Start Developing Our Homeschool Curriculum
As many of you know, I have degrees in Early Childhood Education and Child and Family Development. This is my field. I have always wanted to develop my own toddler/preschool curriculum.
My Word of the Year…
This year I have decided to include a word of the year. Something I want to ponder, remember and reflect on as each month passes this year. I asked my husband to think of a word for me. I said to think of the first word that comes to his head, and he said Resilience. I instantly thought it was perfect! No matter what this year brings, I’m going to have faith, trust in Jesus and come out with resilience.
It’s that time of year again! On New Year’s Eve, day 365 of a 365 page book I take a moment to reflect on the past year and all it has taught me.
The biggest thing I think I can take away from this year is that motherhood is HARD, but oh so rewarding. I mean from the moment it turned 2022, I was in the hospital being induced, exhausted and discouraged. A year later I lay in my own bed, still exhausted as my kid doesn’t believe in sleep, but oh so incredibly blessed.
I’d like to start something new as I end this year and begin a new one. I want to have a word of the year. Something I can ponder and reflect as I navigate the ups and downs of the year. I’m not going to give away my word for 2023 until tomorrow. But for 2022, I think my word would have to be flexibility. So many things did not go as planned in 2022. And I can be high strong and a major worrier/control freak. Therefore, this has challenged me to be more flexible with parenting, my time, sickness, money, expectations and so many other things. You know what, that’s okay. I think it’s a lesson I needed. Things don’t always go as planned and that’s okay.
Here’s a look back at my 2022!
Gave birth to our rainbow baby Matthew.
Started my breastfeeding journey.
Quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom.
Charles turned 26.
Transitioned our son from bassinet to crib.
Rocky turned 2!
Developed Postpartum Anxiety
Matthew started rolling over.
Matthew started PT.
Charles started a new job.
We moved out of our apartment and in with family.
Matthew started solid foods.
Developed Postpartum Thyroiditis
Celebrated my 3rd Mother’s Day
Matthew started sitting unassisted
Matthew said his first word “mama”.
Matthew got a swimming pool.
I turned 27.
Charles and I went out on a seafood date.
Matthew started crawling and pulling himself up on the same day!
Matthew graduated from PT.
Took a family trip to the farm/apple orchard.
Had dinner with some friends/extended family.
Matthew started walking.
Matthew was Tigger for his first Halloween.
Matthew got his first pair of shoes.
Matthew went sledding for the first time.
Matthew touched snow for the first time.
Matthew learned to wave.
We celebrated Thanksgiving.
We watched the U of M and Ohio State Game with family.
Matthew started clapping.
Blizzard of 2022.
We celebrated Matthew’s 1st Christmas.
Now, I’d like to take a minute to reflect on the goals I met this year!
1. GIVE BIRTH TO OUR BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW BABY!
This goal was met immediately in January, when we welcomed our precious son into the world!
2. START A SMALL BUSINESS ON THE SIDE
I did not meet this goal, but am continuing to plan and brainstorm on what I would like my small business to be when the time comes!
3. FINISH READING THE ENTIRE BIBLE
I did not meet this goal either. I stopped reading somewhere in Isaiah. However, that doesn’t mean I have stopped reading completely, I read at least a verse to a chapter everyday and meditate on it in hopes to find wisdom in how to apply it to my daily life.
4. MOVE TO A BIGGER PLACE TO FIT OUR FAMILY OF 4!
This goal is still in process. As many of you know, we made the decision to move in with family earlier this year. And after much time, hard work and saving up; we have now started the pre approval process and house hunting season. It’s a little nerve racking but very exciting.
5. PUBLISH 1 OF MY BOOKS
I think this goal will be on the list until it happens. Guys, I want to publish a book, I really do. I guess at times, I just doubt myself and let life get in the way. I don’t know why. Maybe I just need a swift kick in the pants to get things moving along!
6. PAY OFF HALF OF MY CAR
Did I pay off half my car? No. But I paid off a huge chunk! Maybe 25%. I’m pretty dang proud of that!
7. KNIT CHARLES A SWEATER
I didn’t reach this goal, cause when we moved, I packed away his sweater and my crochet stuff. Silly me. Next year hopefully.
8. CREATE A WILL
I didn’t reach this goal, but I feel I did get this goal started as I’ve had the hard conversations this past year about what and how I want things done when the Lord calls me home,
9. MAKE MONEY BLOGGING AND TURN MY BLOG INTO A JOB FROM HOME
Ya, still not sure about this goal. But I have been looking at different virtual jobs like tutoring or call centers.
10. WRITE 500 BLOG POSTS
So, I’ve written 408 posts. I was 92 posts short. But that’s okay, I’m still proud of what I’ve accomplished on top of becoming a new mom,
Wow, this year has been a whirlwind. Another 365 page book of my life has come to a close. I’m tired but I’m blessed. Can’t wait for the blessings and even the challenges that may lay ahead in the coming year.
As the year 2022 quickly draws to an end, I have been reflecting on the many wonderful memories that were made with my family and friends. Of course, the best moment that happened in 2022 was when we had our beautiful son Matthew and I officially became a mama earth-side.
This fall however, my little family and I made some wonderful memories that were perhaps some of my favorites of 2022.
When Matthew turned 8 months old in September, we visited a friends farm where my Aunt Patty took some fun family photos of us. We all loved seeing the cow named Norman and had fun posing in front of the various barns and tractors.
The photos turned out absolutely adorable and I will cherish them always.
In October we headed to a local apple orchard where we took Matthew to try doughnuts, pick out some apples and explore some pumpkin gourds.
We even had a chance to take Matthew to the petting zoo where for the first time he saw goats, a sheep, a pony, a donkey and a cow.
All in all, our time this fall visiting the farm and local apple orchard was a lot of fun and something I’d like to continue in the years ahead. 🍎
Hi friends! As I’ve been tying up some loose ends and wrapping up 2022, I realized, I NEVER posted my summer bucket list in review. I am so sorry! This year has been such a whirlwind and transitional period that I truly just forgot. Anyway, better late than never right?
MY SUMMER 2022 BUCKET LIST
Grow a Garden and produce fruits, veggies and spices. ❎
Go on some sort of family adventure (the zoo, the beach, the park, garage sailing, tulip festival etc.) ❎
Establish a more consistent daytime routine for my Baby (Naps, feedings, playtime, tummy time, etc.) ✅
Publish my Memoir ❎
Start a weekly Yoga Routine ❎
Finish Knitting Charles Sweater ❎
Finish Reading the Entire Bible ❎
Reorganize my Bathroom ❎
Commit to going on Family Walks at least once a week, ❎
Create some New Recipes ❎
Introduce solid foods to my Baby ✅
Start teaching Baby Sign Language in our Home. ✅
Spend more time with my Family and Friends ✅
Do Art Projects with my Baby ❎
Reach 425 Written Blog Posts ❎
As you can see, I did not meet many goals on my bucket list this past summer. But you know what, I’m okay with that. Shortly, after having my son, I had many mom friends tell me The first year is just survival mode, especially with your first baby. So, I’m going to give myself grace. I’ve survived the summer and almost completely survived my first year as a mom. There will many other summers in the future I’m sure, that I will be able to set and accomplish goals on my bucket list. Until then I’m going to keep surviving and keep thriving.
I hope you all have enjoyed my variety of recipes I have been sharing the past few weeks. With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought what better time than now to share some homemade favorites!
The past few months have felt a little stagnant, but also a little transitional. We have been venturing out to church more and more which has been so refreshing for the heart and the spirit. Matthew seems to enjoy church. He gets a little shy with strange danger when we first arrive, but once he hears the congregation singing, he starts singing along too. He’s very into making the ooo sound during the song All in All.
Speaking of Matthew, this kid is keeping us busy, busy, busy! He started walking right after turning 9 months. He is into everything and thinks he can push and or fit his way through any small opening. He is determined! This stage right now is such at an exhausting stage, but also a very fun one 🙂
My husband and I have started the buying a house process. We have applied for pre-approval and have started touring houses. I’m so excited! I love living with family, but I’m excited to have space again. I’m excited to decorate and run my own household and be a stay-at-home mom in my own home!
Charles and I have a few ideas of what we want in a home including:
Land (preferably at least an acre)
Live in a township that allows chickens and maybe even a goat! I want to get my own eggs and my own goat milk.
2-to-3-bedroom home. We need at least a 2 bedroom home for Matthew, but if we can swing it, I wouldn’t mind a 3 bedroom.
1-2 bathroom. I’d love to have at least a bath and a half but only if we can swing it.
Ideal location. We want to live somewhere that’s a good way for Charles to commute to work but not too far from family.
Distant neighbors. We’d prefer to not be too close to neighbors and would like more of a country feel.
Farm house, Traditonal or Ranch is the style home we are looking for.
Ground floor laundry room would be nice.
Garage, doesn’t have to be attached but nice to store our car through the rain and the snow.
Basement would be nice in case of bad weather and for storage.
Dining room thats either seperate from the kitchen, or a large enough kitchen that can have a dining room table.
I’m looking into ways I can earn an income from home through my writing. I’m bouncing around a few ideas such as audio books, Kindle eBooks and even submitting my work to magazines and newspapers. Things are still in the air at the moment, but I will keep you posted on what may lay ahead.
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! 🎓
For the last two weeks, I have been dealing with a little thing called… writer’s block. I’ve had writer’s block before, but never to this extent. To be honest I believe it’s a mixture of writer’s block, exhaustion and procrastination. I am exhausted because I am on holiday break, and have been doing my best to soak in every moment of rest and relaxation before I return to college for my last semester. I am procrastinating because as much as I love writing, it can be tiring. It takes a lot of brain power to figure out what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and have it all make sense. I sometimes feel pressured to write about something worth while so you as my readers not only enjoy what I am writing, but can also relate to it. I don’t get this pressure from any of my readers, but more myself as I am my most harsh critic. Regardless, I am dedicated to blogging. I love writing and blogging about my life, advocating about pregnancy loss, and connecting with my readers. So, I will continue writing, despite the exhaustion, procrastion and writer’s block.
If you are a writer and you too are suffering from writer’s block, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned that may help YOU feel inspired to start writing again.
10 THINGS TO GET INSPIRED AND FIGHT WRITER’S BLOCK
Brainstorming is something I didn’t truly learn how to do until I came to college. I have done the exercise in a variety of my classes. First pull up a blank document on your computer, or grab a piece of paper from a notebook. Set a timer for 2 minutes and instantly jot down different ideas for your blog, paper, or whatever you need to write. For example, if I am trying to think of a new blog post topic, I may write down ideas such as my dream vacation, my love story, 10 things I love about blogging, my favorite foods, etc. As you write down your ideas, don’t second guess yourself. Don’t stop to think about it. Just write it down. When the timer goes off, stop and take a look over your ideas. Through process of elimination, decide which idea works best for your project, and begin writing. For some reason, brainstorming has been found to be very effective, because it allows our minds to have quick ideas… and sometimes the best ideas come when we feel pressure and put our minds to it.
So this isn’t always the best idea, but it can be affective at times. However, I don’t recommend this tip if you are in a time crunch. Sometimes when I need to write a paper for school, I have to distract myself in order to feel inspired and know what I want to write about. Some ways I distract myself is by cleaning my house, cooking a meal, doodling, watching Netflix, or going for a walk. Often when I am distracted, I am allowing myself a little mental break so I can return with fresh eyes, and a focused mind to begin writing.
Pinterest is truly my favorite. Who ever created this platform was truly a genius. Pinterest is the place I go to get inspired. You can practically search anything and find it on Pinterest. If you are looking for essay topics, blog post ideas, novel themes, etc., odds are you will find it all and more on Pinterest. I would advise caution when going on Pinterest though, If you are anything like me, you could easily spend hours looking at different ideas on Pinterest. So, I would surely advise that you be vigilant of time while on Pinterest.
Selfcare is incredibly important, and I advocate all the time how we all need some selfcare in our busy crazy lives. Sometimes when I’m stuck, and I don’t know what to write, I have to be kind to myself and do a little selfcare. Some ways I practice selfcare and pamper myself are by taking a bubble bath, deep breathing exercises, listening to music, and doing something I love. When I’ve taken the time to take care of myself, I feel more relaxed, recharged and ready to begin a new task.
Okay, so if I had to guess, I can imagine a majority of you wouldn’t have thought that procrastination would be something that will help with writer’s block. As a matter of fact, it is usually a root cause to our writer’s block. Well, believe it or not, procrastination can actually be very beneficial. When we procrastinate we wait until the last few moments to do something. This could be waiting to clean your house an hour before a family gathering, or it could be waiting until you are almost on E before filling up your car with gas, or it could be waiting to write a paper until it is due the next day. This isn’t neccisarily a good idea, because when we procrastinate we are on a time crunch and are not giving ourselves enough time if technology fails or something goes wrong. However, just like what I said in the brainstorming tip, sometimes putting pressure on ourselves helps us to get stuff done. With pressure from limited time, we often can get tasks done quickly. Oh and I will even admit that I have procrastinated to write something, and because of it I actually produced some of my best pieces of writing because of the pressure I put on myself.
Making lists can be helpful when wanting to feel inspired and get motivated to get stuff done. On days when I am very unmotivated, I force myself to sit down and write a list. I make a list of all the things I hope to accomplish that day. If it is a big project or paper, I will divide it up. For example instead of writing 1. Write my 10 page paper for English, I will write something like 1. Write 2 pages of 10 page paper for English. This not only makes the task more manageable, but helps me to decide how much time I should dedicate to each task. Somedays I get everything done on my list and some days I don’t. I do however reward myself when I get things done so I don’t get burned out and want to call it quits.
When I get stuck and don’t know what to write, sometimes it helps to talk to others. I ask friends, family members, my Instagram followers and others ideas on what to write on here. Feedback from others can be very beneficial and can help us to see new perspectives, and run with a new idea.
Being creative through a different task besides writing can help get your creative juices flowing. Sometimes I will spend a few hours crocheting, trying to decide what to write about. It’s not the crocheting that inspires me, but rather the fact that I am keeping my hands busy, so my mind has the ability to wander off, daydream, and think of other things. This usually helps me to get inspired and begin a new blog post.
Sometimes I am blocked and can’t write because I have no idea how to relate my topic to anything, mainly my own life. It’s as if I have an idea, but I don’t know how it applies to my life. Do you remember creating those writing webs in grade school? Do you remember how we would have to start with a subject, circle it and brainstorm other ideas around it? And then, we would have to figure out how to connect the supporting ideas together. To be honest, those things drove me crazy, but I now see how beneficial they can be. If I’m stuck and can’t figure out how to relate my idea to my life, a certain concept or a class, then I usually create a writing web.
Getting organized is the best feeling… in my opinion. Taking the time to organize my thoughts, ideas, and topic is the first step in writing something powerful. Write out your title and your headings. Just seeing them in order and laid out can help you start writing. I guarantee you if you take the time to organize, you will be that much closer and more motivated to write and create something amazing.
If I ever won the lottery, or was blessed with a bunch of money, I would spend the money and plan my life accordingly:
I would do the smart thing and invest a bunch of money of course. I would create a nice little nest egg so my family and I could live comfortably without much worry.
2. Pay off Any Debts I May Have
I don’t currently have a lot of debts, but let’s say I did. I would pay off my house, the car(s), student loans, credit cards, etc.
3. Build A House
I would find a nice junk of land likely in Michigan, in the woods or on a farm and build a house. I would build a wing for extended family members and a wing for my immediate family. It would have a walk in closet, large kitchen with a large pantry and island, large master bath and bedroom, 2 laundry rooms on separate floors, 4 seasons porch, office, playroom, library, a school room for homeschooling, a 3 car garage and a courtyard just to name a few rooms.
4. I’d Start a Farm
On the big plot of land I would buy, ￼I would hope to have a number of animals as well. I’d get 2 dairy cows, 6 chickens, a goat, barn cats, and a dog.
5. I Would Do Nice Things for My Family
My family not only raised me but helped me a lot as I emerged from childhood to adulthood. I hope to pay them back in many ways, but one way is, I would offer to pay their bills for an entire year, if not longer.
6. I Would Donate to a Good Cause
Whether it’s missionaries overseas, an animal shelter or children’s hospital; I would like to donate to something good.
7. I Would Hire a Personal Chef
Winning a boat load of money would give me the opportunity to hire a personal chef. I would no longer have to cook my own meals, or struggle to decide on dinner for my family.
8. I Would Get An Endless Supply of Something
What’s the point of winning the lottery if you don’t get to have an endless supply of something. I’m not sure what I would choose at this time but I have a few ideas. Coffee? Buffalo Wings? Chocolate? Blankets? Smoothies? Pillows? Who knows?
In January of 2019, my life took a turn and headed down a path that I didn’t see coming. Many of you know this story as it has been the foundation of my blog. I got pregnant for the first time. In February I suffered a loss that would not only be a defining moment in my life, but would also change the way I live my life.
After my first pregnancy loss, I spent a lot of time at home. As I grieved and healed from the loss of our baby, I spent a lot of time in my thoughts. I spent hours on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, watching other influencers on stories and in their posts.
In the summer of 2019, I put a pause on therapy. My therapist didn’t work through the summer, so took that time to really dive into what I felt my purpose and new found calling was… advocacy. I was passionate and felt led to advocate for women like me who had suffered a pregnancy loss.
In September I was ready, and I was motivated to share my story to anyone who would listen, and help those who had experienced loss. My what would have been due date was approaching, so in the midst of being passionate, I was also grieving. Then I got pregnant for a second time.
This was it. This was my rainbow baby. I was nervous but almost over confident I wasn’t going to have another loss. Things would be different this time. I went to school, went to all my appointments. I ate healthy. Everything was going to be just fine. Then at the end of September, I had my second loss.
I was numb. I was confused. I did everything right… and I still lost another baby. I beat myself up. I again had that intense passion and a little whisper in my ear that said share your story. Write a book. That was it! I should write a memoir. My blog was doing great. Why not take it a step further and start writing. The beginning of the writing process really wasn’t difficult because I just had to take bits and pieces of blog posts and turn it into a book.
In February of 2020, on a whim I created a rough draft of a children’s book that explained miscarriage in a child-friendly way. In March of 2020, I got a new job teaching, literally right before the big pandemic. In April of 2020, I graduated college. Being a new college graduate and starting a new job, my writing took a back seat.
In May of 2020, Charles and I decided to try for a baby one more time before pursuing adoption. It was frustrating, terrifying, and very much out of our control, but we said we’d give it a year.
In June of 2020, I decided to publish the children’s book I created back in February. I was touched by its’ small success and this motivated me to continue writing my story. I occasionally fiddled with my story on weekends or holiday breaks. But it wasn’t until December of 2020 that I finished my first draft.
In April of 2021, I was feeling very discouraged. We received negative test after test. It was feeling like my opportunities of being pregnant and having a baby had come and gone. At the end of that month I missed my period, and was pregnant for the third time.
For months, I had been experiencing writer’s block when it came to my book. I told myself I should have finished and published my book before I got pregnant, but that just didn’t happen. My blog continued to do well. I created stories, reels, posted pictures of my life, home decor and was hopeful to soon be sharing our pregnancy.
In May of 2021, I started telling a few people we were pregnant after having our first ultrasound. I fought morning sickness and fatigue which was awful, but also reassuring that things were likely okay with our pregnancy.
In June, I shared with the world that I was pregnant. I was hopeful that third time was it for us, and that this would be our rainbow baby. 3 pregnancies and we were finally able to make a public announcement.
In August, we found out we were having a baby boy. I was engulfed with sleepers, nursing bras, bassinets and diapers. My manuscript continued to take a back seat. To be honest, I was slightly afraid to read it while being pregnant. I knew by reading my memoir I would be reliving the pain and grief of our previous losses, and I didn’t want to do that while caring for my so far healthy third pregnancy.
My third pregnancy was actually going perfect. Every ultrasound and appointment seemed to be right on track, until October when I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes and November when I got Covid. This led to non-stress tests 2 times a week along with my normal OB appointments. This took up much of my time on top of working 35-40 hours a week.
We had our rainbow baby in January of 2022. Everything fell into place. My husband and I both had great jobs, and we were blessed to finally have our rainbow baby. You could blame it on hormones or endorphins, but at the time I felt like I had it all and didn’t feel a need to share my story anymore.
It wasn’t until I wrote out our birth story, and it occurred to me that there was a reason I hadn’t finished my memoir yet. Maybe my story wasn’t finished with the miscarriages. Maybe my story wasn’t only about loss and grief, but faith and hope. I pondered this for awhile and realized deep down, I still indeed wanted to write and publish my memoir.
So here we are, 8ish months after I gave birth and 3.5 years since my story began. In these times of chasing around a mobile baby, I find myself with the desire of changing my focus from influencing to writing. I’ve enjoyed my time on Instagram, but it’s just not me anymore. I’m ready to focus on my writing and focus on sharing my story through print.
Through this process of fine tuning my purpose, I have wrote out a few general goals/ideas I hope to pursue in the near future:
Sign up for a Writing for Beginner’s Workshop
Scrap my first draft, start fresh but also continue the story and add my third pregnancy and birth.
Back off from my blogging IG, and focus mainly on the blog.
It’s been fun being an instagrammer, but I’m ready to come back to my first love so to speak, which is writing. ❤️
I probably say this every year, but how on earth is it July??? Not only this summer, but this entire year is flying by! Anyway, here’s a quick check in of my goals and how I’m doing. 😊
MY SUMMER 2022 BUCKET LIST
Grow a Garden and produce fruits, veggies and spices.
So, since we are currently staying with family, we haven’t quite got the plants in the ground yet… but we do have plants. Does that count? We have a little bit of an over population with the bunnies that we need to figure out before we try growing our fruits, veggies and spices.
2. Go on some sort of family adventure (the zoo, the beach, the park, garage sailing, tulip festival etc.)
This summer has already been so hot, that I have been hesitant about taking our son out as I don’t want him to get dehydrated. I’m hoping it can cool down soon and we can find something fun to do.
3. Establish a more consistent daytime routine for my Baby (Naps, feedings, playtime, tummy time, etc.)
Umm… yes and no. Every time I think we are starting to have a schedule, something always changes. I have discovered within the last few weeks that I have to limit Matthew’s naps. I also have to make sure his last nap isn’t too late in the day, otherwise he does not sleep well at night.
4. Publish my Memoir
I’m working on it okay. Writing and self publishing a book is hard.
5. Start a weekly Yoga Routine
Let’s not go there.
6. Finish Knitting Charles Sweater
It’s been a little too hot to knit these days.
7. Finish Reading the Entire Bible
Currently working on Isaiah, and hoping to start another book soon.
8. Reorganize my Bathroom
My bathroom isn’t really mine at the moment, since I’m sharing it with other people, so this goal is on hold for now.
9. Commit to going on Family Walks at least once a week,
Again it’s been too hot. But we have gone a few times, just not every week.
10. Create some New Recipes
I haven’t really had a chance to cook since moving, but I am hoping to do this very soon.
11. Introduce solid foods to my Baby ✔️
This has been a huge hit in our house. We have been trying solid foods since 4.5 months and so far Matthew has tried bananas, apples, prunes, peas, carrots, chicken, peaches, pears, cereal and butternut squash. We are hoping to try avocado and sweet potato next.
12. Start teaching Baby Sign Language in our Home. ✔️
Since starting on solids, we have also been teaching baby sign language. The signs we’ve used so far include milk, more and all done. Matthew hasn’t signed any of these back to us quite yet, but soon enough I’m sure he will.
13. Spend more time with my Family and Friends ✔️
As we’ve been staying with family, I have been able to spend more time with family and friends. ❤️
14. Do Art Projects with my Baby ✔️
Let me tell you, this has been an adventure. So far we had done foot print crafts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Let’s just say Momma wore a lot of blue paint. I think Matthew had fun though.
15. Reach 425 Written Blog Posts
I’m still in the 300’s as far as blog posts but we’ll get there.
3 out of 15 goals met. That’s a pretty good start!