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.
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.
For the last few weeks, I have been having some crazy, comforting and vivid dreams. Now I know a lot people these days have been having weird dreams, but I have to wonder if the dreams I have been having have a deeper meaning.
At the beginning of December, I had a dream I was in my bathroom taking a pregnancy test. I stared at the test and waited for it to show a result. I watched as two bright pink lines showed up on the test, and I got so excited…. then I woke up and I was disappointed because it was a dream.
About a week later I had another dream that I again was taking pregnancy tests in my bathroom. I had a whole pile of them on my counter and they were all positive.
Near Christmas, I had a dream I was pregnant, and I looked down at my feet and I couldn’t see them. My big belly was in the way. I woke up confused and checked my belly, nope not pregnant.
On Christmas Eve I had a dream Charles and I had a baby girl. We named her Mercy. I’m not entirely sure why, but we did. In the dream I was wearing a necklace with an M on it. I woke up and told Charles. He wasn’t entirely sold on naming our kid Mercy as a first name, but he wasn’t against a middle name.
On New Year’s Eve, I had a dream I was walking through the woods. I reached the edge of the woods and entered a valley. Above the valley was a bright and beautiful rainbow. It was so beautiful I started screaming and crying. I was so overjoyed, then I woke up.
These dreams are so interesting, and I have to wonder if I am just obsessing over having babies or are these actually signs from above? Maybe, and maybe not. Only time will tell I suppose.
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.
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. 💕
Grey’s Anatomy is my favorite tv show of all time. A close second would be 7th Heaven, Full House, Reba, Judging Amy and Gossip Girl. I started watching Greys right after I got married… so since 2016. This show has not only been on forever, but their predictable yet unpredictable stories are amazing. Anything from relationships, to surgery, to trauma, to lessons; this show always holds my attention.
Since this is my favorite show, I thought it would be fun to list my favorite episodes and the reasons why. This show has 17 seasons, so I decided to only focus on 4 seasons at a time. So, here we go…
Episode 1: A Hard Days Night
Of course the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy made the list, because it’s the first. In this episode we are introduced to the original characters Meredith, Alex, George, Izzy, Christina, Miranda, Richard and Derrick. This is where the show first began, and we are able to see Meredith and her intern buddies on their first day of their intern year.
Episode 9: Who’s Zoomin’ Who?
This episode made my list because, when I first watched it, the ending honestly took me off guard. Later I learned that’s Grey’s Anatomy for you… many, many, many episodes will catch you off guard. However, I feel this episode is a favorite because it is when we first learn Derrick and his secrets. He is married and he left his wife because she cheated on him with his best friend.
Episode 14: Bring the Pain
In this episode, Alex and George preform the legendary heart in an elevator scene. I love this episode because we get to see George fly solo for the first time and he has always been one of my favorite characters.
Episode 15: In to You Like A Train
This episode was super memorable because not only was Meredith waiting for Derrick to profess his love for her, but a huge accident with a train occurred and two people were badly injured by a pole penetrating them. There was much suspense in this episode and what was heart breaking is at the end of the episode they were only able to save one of the victims.
Episode 25: As We Know It
This is the second part of the bomb episode. The whole hospital is under code black and Meredith has her hand on a bomb in a patient. When I first watched this episode I was on the edge of my seat, and all seemed to be okay until it exploded at the very end.
Episode 35: Losing My Religon
The season finally of season 2 was really good in my opinion. Denny gets a heart, then strokes out from a blood clot. Meredith and Derrick have to put down their dog and stop fighting the fact that they have feelings for each other. Izzy quits and the hospital hosts a prom.
Episode 42: Where the Boys Are
I honestly really enjoyed this episode because one it was entertaining to see all the men taking a camping trip to the woods; and two because it was entertaining seeing Alex and George fight out their differences.
Episode 51: Drowning on Dry Land
This episode had me on the edge of my seat as I really thought Meredith had drowned and died. However, her doctors/ friends worked tirelessly trying to save her and eventually they did.
Episode 69: Crash Into Me Part 1
An ambulance crash right outside the hospital caused many of the doctors to try and save the paramedics inside. This episode was very sad, but I throughly enjoyed how it all played out.
Episode 77: Freedom Part 2
Not only was this episode the second part of the ambulance crash, but also Lexie’s patient’s main artery blew and that was crazy to see.
I love spinach artichoke dip. It’s just one of those appetizers that are filling and delicious. I have tried many different recipes of spinach artichoke dip online, and have found a combination of what works for me. So, without further or do… here is my spinach artichoke dip recipe!
A Half Bag of Spinach
Half a block of Cream Cheese
1 Jar of Artichoke Hearts
1 Half Cup of Mayonnaise
What You Do
First, preheat oven at 350° and find a container to cook your dip in. I have used both an 8” by 8” pan, as well as a 8” by 8” casserole dish. I find that if you are looking for the spinach and cheese to be crispy on top, to go with the pan… but it’s completely up to you.
Next, pull out the cream cheese, and start chopping the spinach, artichoke hearts and garlic. It is very important to buy fresh spinach for the dip, as canned spinach will make the dip super watery. Chop the spinach, garlic and artichoke hearts into small pieces.
Then mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic together. It may help to mix this in a bowl before putting it into a pan. If the cream cheese is too hard try removing the wrapper and melting it in the microwave for a few seconds. Or trying pulling it out of the fridge sooner.
Finally, place all of the these ingredients in a casserole dish or pan. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. I personally love cheddar on top!
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Then check the dip and if it still needs a little time, bake it for another 10 minutes. it should look slightly crispy on top.
Once the dip is ready, I sometimes like to add a few finely chopped tomatoes to give it a little color and flavor, but this is completely optional.
There you go! I hope you enjoy my spinach and artichoke dip recipe! ❤️
Side Note: This dip tastes AMAZING with tortilla chips or even pita chips!
Quite a few months ago, my friend Andrea tagged me in a post on Facebook about a book/devotional that was geared towards helping women grieve and reflect after a pregnancy loss. I immediately preordered this book on Amazon, and impatiently anticipated reading it.
I recently finished this gentle devotional, and I have to say I am impressed. This book is something I wish I had when I lost my first baby. This book not only has 31 biblical reflections that you are encouraged to read each day, but it also has real life stories from women and couples who have endured the hardship of pregnancy loss.
This book offers such a refreshing Godly perspective, that I didn’t realize I needed. It is uplifting, gentle, detailed, sensitive and the real deal. I highly recommend this resource for any woman or couple who has or is going through a pregnancy loss.
In September of 2014, I was 19 and preparing to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Going on a mission trip was a huge goal of mine, but I had never flown in a plane or traveled outside the country. In fact, I knew very little Spanish. So, in order to prepare for my trip, I decided to take a Spanish class at my community college. The Spanish class with Professor Mulligan, changed my life. Without giving anything away, let me share the details of our love story from the very beginning…
On Thursday September 4th, 2014 I began my second year of college. I attended my second class of the day, Spanish 101. I was nervous that this course was going to be more than I could handle, but at the same time I was excited to learn a new language. When I entered the classroom, I contemplated on where to sit. The round tables were arranged sporaticly as if we would be doing a lot of group work.
I decided to sit at the front table, while many other classmates made their way to the back tables. It was looking like I was going to be the only brave soul to sit at the front of the room. This was actually fine with me, since I am a huge introvert and shy when meeting new people.
I was content with the realization that I would likely be sitting by myself the entire semester, however right before the class started, my thoughts were interrupted by a guy sitting next me. I immediately felt the awkwardness of just the two of us sitting at the front table.
I tried so hard not to make eye contact with the stranger. He was a little taller than me, black, glasses, thin, and he had a cracked phone screen, large backpack and a skateboard he carried with him. The stranger tried to make eye contact with me and said.
“I don’t like seeing people sit alone.” He continued staring and waited for my response. What do I say to that? I thought.
“Oh” is all I could say, as my thoughts were clouded by the intense feeling of awkwardness.
As the next couple weeks went by, Charles continued to sit next to me everyday in Spanish. Since we had our Spanish class 4 days a week, we quickly got to know each other as well as our professor. Our professor was one of a kind. He often went on bunny trails telling story after story of how he had embarrassed himself many times in the Spanish language. He had a love for Spain and Costa Rica. He loved talking about Spanish cusines and how we should all take a trip to these amazing places.
On one of the first days of Spanish, our professor said something and to this day it still sticks out in my mind. As he shared about his many years of teaching Spanish, at one point he said:
“I have had 5 couples in my class meet their spouse. And I have been invited to 4 of their weddings.” After saying this, he looked at both Charles and I sitting at the front table. I instantly thought welp that’s not going to be us…. it’s highly unlikely. As I thought this, Charles just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders.
About 3 weeks into the semester, I started to open up to Charles. I tried my best to ignore him and not talk, but in Spanish you are forced to practice the language you are learning, so that meant I had to talk to Charles. But since we were forced to talk in Spanish, it some what broke the awkwardness when we tried talking in English.
On Thursday, at the end of Spanish class Charles tried asking me a question in Spanish. I had no idea what he was asking, and I kept asking him to repeat it. When I realized what he was asking I still played dumb, because I still was feeling shy. Eventually, I mustered up some courage and repeated the question back in English.
“You want my phone number” I said actually feeling quite flattered. He said yes, and I took a chance and gave him my number. I was shaking as I wrote down the 9 digits on a piece of notebook paper, because I had never given a guy my phone number before. I started to feel the sense of awkwardness again as he looked at the number and smiled. I said “Feel free to text me, but I’m super busy and bad at texting back.” He said he understood and we told each other to have a good weekend.
What I said to him wasn’t entirely true. I was busy with school and two jobs, but at the time I loved texting and usually texted people back right away. I said it to Charles though because I didn’t know how I felt about him yet and didn’t want to feel obligated to text him back. He made me very nervous, and I didn’t know if it was because I liked him, or because I didn’t know him well enough to trust him yet.
Regardless of my mixed feelings, I still obsessively looked at my phone that entire afternoon, hoping he would text me…. and he did.
Recently, I asked my followers on Instagram and Facebook to send me their questions about my new children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven. I have taken the time to write and answer each one of your questions. Check it out. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Mackenzie Goes to Heaven: Question and Answer with the Author Kaylee Rhames
“Great Illistrations! Did you do them?”
I did all of the illistrations for the book. It took quite a bit of practice to have the illistratrations turn out the way I wanted them to. In fact the illistrations were the first part of the book that was completed before anything else. When creating the artwork for the book, I wanted to create something very child friendly, and appropriate that could be shared within the family.
“Advice for TTC (trying to concieve) after pregnancy loss?
Hmm… this question is something I have had to ponder for awhile. I guess the best advice I could give is know that many things are out of your control and try to make the best out of every situation. It’s nearly impossible to not have stress or anxiety when trying to concieve after loss. But at the same time, since much of what the future holds is out of our control, it’s best to give your self grace, stay positive and trust that some good will come out of the storm that you’ve gone through.
“For what ages is the book appropriate?”
So, I tried to design this book to be appropriate for all ages because so many families suffer from pregnancy loss. I think children who would benefit most from this story would be ages 2 – 6 years old. But again, the story can be beneficial for everyone.
“How long did it take you to get your blog going?”
I had my first miscarriage in February of 2019. After a few months of grieving and living in a fog, I wanted to do something with my strong emotions and energy. I decided to start a blog to not only find a healthy outlet for my grief but also to share my story in order to help others. I started my blog in April of 2019. It wasn’t until June of 2019 that I realized my blog was something I wanted to continue as a hobby and eventually a career.
“What inspired you to share your story in a children’s book?”
I have always wanted to write a book, and have always loved children’s books. I remember in February of 2020, I was suffering from the flu and bored out of my mind. But while being down and out at home, I came up with the idea to create a children’s book about miscarriage. At first I thought it was a dumb idea, and possibly too large of a concept for children to grasp. Then I realized that miscarriages are so common among families, and if it is confusing for adults to understand, then I can imagine it is beyond confusing for children to understand. So that’s when I thought i need to make this resource.
Thanks for joining me on my Question and Answer of my children’s book Mackenzie Goes to Heaven! You can purchase a copy of the book at the link below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Bruschetta is one of my favorite meals to make. I often make Bruschetta as an hors d’oeuvre for a holiday meal. However, sometimes I also make bruschetta as a breakfast meal. Check out my newest creation: Breakfast Bruschetta.
What You Need (Feeds 4)
4 slices of White Bread
8 Sausage Patties
Tomato (2 Medium or Large)
Onion (1/2 a red onion)
Olive Oil (1/4 cup)
Garlic (minced, 2 tablespoons)
Cilantro (1 teaspoon)
Basil (1 teaspoon)
Red Pepper Flakes (2 teaspoons)
What You Do
First, make the bruschetta. Finely chop tomatoes, onion and garlic. Mix these three ingredients together and add the seasonings cilantro, basil, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Set bruschetta aside.
Next, spray cooking spray on a large skillet. Place on burner at a medium heat. Place sausage patties on skillet. Flip patties every three minutes. Cook until dark brown/black.
While sausage is cooking, toast 4 pieces of bread in a toaster at medium heat. Place toast on a plate and set aside.
Finally, place a medium size skillet on a burner. Spray with cooking spray and turn burner on to medium heat. Cook four eggs over medium.
Once all food is cooked, place one piece of toast on each plate. Place 2 sausage patties on each plate. Place one over medium egg on each slice of toast. Scoop bruschetta evenly over each plate and enjoy!
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.