It’s finally here! I have officially written, illustrated and published my very first children’s book! To say I’m excited is certainly an understatement!
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.
Over my journey of blogging I have given you all a variety of blog post round ups that discuss my most liked, and viewed blog posts of that time. However, I have never actually shared with you my most popular blog post of all time.
It took me awhile to go through my archives and discover which blog post is truly the most popular… but I think I found it. My most popular blog post is Biblical Scriptures I Found Helpful AfterAMiscarriage.
One reason I feel this post is popular, is because of what it is talking about, biblical scripture. Whenever someone passes away and we are forced to grieve and live on, we often turn to God and turn to scripture.
Another reason this blog post is so popular, is also because I shared it on Pinterest. This link has been clicked 48 times since I posted it about a year ago, and that’s pretty good.
There ya go! That’s my most popular blog post. Will I write another blog post that’s more popular? Maybe someday. 😊
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 ❤️
My name is Kaylee. If you’re new around here… you may not know much about me. Allow me to introduce myself. I am 24 years old and started this blog about a year and a half ago. I love writing and helping others through my stories of loss and hardship. However, I thought I would mix it up a bit.
Today, I am going to be sharing a few humorous stories about how I somehow seem to catch things on fire. The ironic thing is, my Daddy is a retired firefighter but for some reason… fire just seems to follow me. So, sit back, relax and enjoy these humorous stories.
Fire Story 1: The Fire in the Oven
When Charles and I first got married, we lived in a small one bedroom apartment. One evening after work I decided to bake some chicken wings, and chopped carrots, onions and potatoes. Everything was going great, until I smelled smoke.
I was relaxing in the living room and went to the oven to check it out. The oven did not have a window, so I had to open the door. When I opened the door there was about a four inch flame in corner of the oven. I panicked and yelled for Charles. We didn’t know what to do, and looked ridiculous running around the kitchen.
He told me to calm down and find the fire extinguisher I handed it to him and he used it on the fire. Whelp, that was the end of our dinner. I then called the fire department to have them come check it out. I also called my mom, who panicked and came to help us.
When the fire department arrived, the first one into our apartment was a rookie firefighter and he was so excited for his first fire. He looked very disappointed however, when he realized the fire was small and already out.
The firefighters helped us air out all the smoke, and my mom gave us some money so we could eat at McDonalds for dinner. We figured out later that some grease from the chicken fell on the bottom of the oven and caused the flame. We also discovered that the smoke detector did not work, so in a way it was a blessing that things happened the way they did.
Fire Story 2: The Fire in the Microwave
So, some time last spring I was really into homemade popcorn. I loved air popping the kernels myself, and melting my own butter. One afternoon when I was melting the butter, I heard a really strange sound coming from the microwave. I’m not exaggerating when I say it almost sounded like a radioactive popping sound. I only melted the butter for 10 seconds. I looked around the microwave and didn’t see anything.
About three days later, I made more popcorn. I melted butter and heard the sound again. I looked around the microwave and saw a gray spot on the side near a vent. I thought it was weird but just figured it was something that splattered earlier.
The next day I made popcorn for me and Charles. I decided to make microwave popcorn this time. As it was cooking and had about a minute to go, I heard Bang! Bang! Bang! coming from the microwave. I looked through the window and noticed sparks coming from the inside. I immediately pushed stop, opened the door and unplugged it.
I tried to remove the popcorn bag, and a third of it was black, burnt and smoking. I put it in the sink and ran the water. I looked inside the microwave and one of the vents was black with a hole in it.
Charles then came into the kitchen and said “Girl, what did you do?” I told him what happened and tried to calm myself down but also started laughing. We were without a microwave for about three days until we were finally able to get a new one. We discovered that somehow a build up of grease and butter likely splattered into the vent and caught it on fire.
Fire Story 3: The Fire from the Glue Gun
Sometime last winter, I decided to pull out my glue gun to work on some projects. To be honest, I can’t even remember what I was working on. Anyway, I pulled out the glue gun, and realized the cord would not reach the table if I plugged it into the wall. So, I plugged it into the surge protector on the floor… big mistake.
As I was in my own little craft world, hot gluing away, I was focused close to my project with my face near the glue gun. I sat up to stretch my neck and as I was sitting up I heard Pow! I jolted back into the couch and watched the huge spark from the glue gun turn into smoke. Half my living room went dark and I realized I blew a fuse.
I tried to compose myself enough to call my dad… since he is a retired firefighter. He told me to unplug everything and call maintenance. Everything ended up being fine, and I later learned that you’re not supposed to plug heating elements into surge protectors… lesson learned.
Fire Story 4: The Fire at the Cabin.
Not going to lie, this is probably my favorite fire story because of all the shenanigans that occurred. I certainly saved the best for last.
On Halloween of 2014, my best friend Andrea and I went to her family’s cabin. It was honestly a fun trip, despite everything that happened. The next day on November 1st, Andrea and I drove to the town store that was famous for its’ jerky and was at least a half hour away. Before leaving, I asked Andrea if we should unplug the space heater. She said we shouldn’t have to because it was relatively safe and could be left on for hours if need be.
Before leaving, I prayed everything would be ok, and then we took off to the store. While at the store I bought a bunch of jerky for my family and Charles since we had just started dating. We spent probably 20 minutes at the store, and then headed back to the cabin.
After unloading and arriving in the cabin, we both smelled smoke. Andrea checked the kitchen and all was good. We both headed into the bedroom and noticed the space heater was not on even though we left it on. We immediately went to the outlet, and noticed that the plug melted into the outlet. Andrea quickly unplugged it and said “Thank God”
After putting away the meat and getting in comfy clothes, I called my parents to tell them what had happened. My dad answered and after hearing my story, told me he was glad everything was okay. I hung up from him and helped Andrea open windows to get smoke out of the cabin.
A few minutes later my mom called in a panic and said “Kaylee you really should call the fire department and have them check out the wall. That is how our house fire started. There was fire in the wall.” After thinking about it, she was right. I went into the bedroom and touched the wall just above the outlet. It was still hot. I then hung up from my mom, told Andrea what my mom said and called 911.
When the dispatcher asked for the cabin address, Andrea read it to me off her gps on her phone. After hanging up from the dispatcher, Andrea and I scrambled to put our bras and other belongings away since they were laid out all over. As you can guess, we were not expecting company.
After putting our things away, Andrea and I stood on the front porch waiting for the fire department. A few minutes later, the dispatcher called me back and said “Hi, I’m sorry but the firefighters are having a hard time finding your cabin. Where are you located?” I repeated the address to her and she told me the firefighters are at that location and it seems to be the wrong house. She then suggested I run down to the end of the driveway to see if I could see them. Once I headed down the driveway and reached the road, I looked both ways. There were no signs of the fire engine.
I continued talking to the dispatcher trying to explain where we were at. She asked “Are you sure that is the address” I then remembered seeing the address numbers on the porch and read them off to her. Come to find out we were a number off and they really did go to the wrong house. Oops. Andrea stayed on the front porch and I headed back down the driveway trying to spot the fire engine. Once I spotted the fire engine slowly coming down the road, I told the dispatcher and hung up.
Once the fire fighters pulled into the driveway, Andrea and I decided we needed to just play dumb and innocent because we were already super embarrassed. When the first firefighter got out of the rig he said “You guys need to learn how to read an address.” He was so mad, but he had a point. At the time I felt so bad but now I can laugh about it.
They checked out the cabin to make sure it was safe. They checked out the wood stoves as well as the outlet where the fire happened. They took a thermal imaging camera to check the temperature of the wall and it was around 100° and going down. It was likely just a faulty plug. By then I knew we were going to be okay.
As the firefighters left, we apologized multiple times for the confusion and thanked them for their help. Later that night Andrea called her dad and told him what happened. To this day we still laugh about this story.
Thanks for reading my interesting fire stories. I’ll let you know if I have anymore…. but I hope I don’t. 😂 Let me know what you think in the comments.
Pregnancy announcements… something that is supposed to be happy can hurt so badly.
I know I am not alone when I say that pregnancy announcements are hard to handle, especially if you have suffered a loss or you struggle to get pregnant. In many ways you want to be happy for the people who have announced they are expecting…. but at the same time you also want to scream “It’s not fair! Why can’t that be me?!”
For me personally, there are a lot of factors that go into how I feel when I see a pregnancy announcement. If I see an announcement from someone who I know has struggled with fertility or suffered a loss, I am immediately happy for them because I know what they’ve gone through. However, if I see someone having their 5th kid with no problems, I’m not as ecstatic as I could be. Is that right? No, probably not… but it’s how I feel.
It also depends on when they announce. Holidays, my previous due dates and loss dates are very hard for me. Therefore, if someone announces around that time, I am not usually in a good headspace to congratulate them.
I really don’t have any sort of magic trick to make pregnancy announcements not hurt because after suffering a loss or infertility, they almost all hurt in some way. I guess my advice would be to ride the wave. Feel what you need to feel. I certainly wouldn’t lash out at the people who are announcing because they really didn’t do anything wrong. But I would say it is healthy to get your thoughts out in a journal or to a close friend.
Pregnancy announcements are not easy. But it’s just one of those things we can’t control. So I encourage you to ride the wave of grief and get through it somehow.
I know it has been a long while since my last room reveal… but I finally have my kitchen ready for its’ big reveal! Part of the reason it has taken me so long to complete my kitchen is 1) I returned back to work full time, so I don’t have nearly as much time on my hands as I did during quarantine and 2) the kitchen is something that can get super messy super quickly. Therefore, I didn’t want to take pictures and reveal it to you, until it was clean, organized and perfect. So, without further or do, here is my kitchen!
This kitchen is actually the largest I’ve ever had. It’s not huge by any means, but it definitely has more space to walk around, as well as more counter space to cook and create meals.
The cabinets are narrower than I expected when moving in, but I honestly appreciate it because it helps me to stay downsized in my kitchen items, instead of having a cluttered kitchen.
I really appreciate having counter space on both sides of the oven. It helps me to be able to place dishes on either side when trying to cook.
I also appreciate a larger fridge. In our other apartments, our fridges were a lot smaller.
Lastly, I love the openness of the kitchen. I love that there is a bar/counter on the living room side that is an additional place to sit and eat. I also love being able to see into the living room from the kitchen. The set up of this apartment is truly ideal for a young couple, who occasionally has company over.
Well that’s my kitchen! It’s cute and not too clutter. It’s open and and has a clean home style feel. Let me know what you think in the comments! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
Homemade stir-fry is one of my favorite meals to make, because it’s so easy. Like many of the recipes I have shared, part of what makes it easy is that you can generally use vegetables and spices you already have at home.
Olive Oil (4 tablespoons)
Brown Sugar (1/3 Cup)
Thai or Asian Noodles (Ramen Noodles work too)
Soy Sauce (2 tablespoons)
Garlic (1/2 a clove)
Ground Ginger (3 Dashes)
Black Pepper (3 Dashes)
Oregano (3 Dashes)
Basil (3 Dashes)
Any Veggies of your choice! Ex: Celery, mushrooms, onion, peppers, carrots, broccoli, fresh cilantro etc.
What You Do…
1. First, fill a medium size saucepan of 2/3 of water and bring it to a boil. Once water is boiling, add noodles of your choice. My favorite kind of noodles to use are the Thai brand stir-fry noodles that can be found at Walmart.
2. Next, pull out a cutting board and chop any veggies you would like to include in the dish.
3. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan and place on medium heat.
4. Add chopped up vegetables, and brown sugar to frying pan. Cook until veggies begin to turn brown and dark.
5. Once noodles are soft, remove from heat and drain noodles. Place noodles in a bowl.
6. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over noodles. Remove sautéed veggies from heat and place over noodles. Add additional spices including oregano, garlic, basil, ground ginger and black pepper. Add soy sauce, stir noodles and enjoy. 💕
Optional Tip: Feel free to add a protein to the stir-fry including chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu.
Additional Tip: it is VERY important to add both brown sugar and soy sauce. Not including one of these items will result in the dish being too sweet or too salty. Add both ingredients as needed for the perfect blend.
Wow! Can you believe we are already half way through 2020?! That’s crazy! To me it does not feel like July. In some ways I’m still kinds stuck on March because March is when this whole pandemic started, and life as we knew it was changed.
Anyway, since we are half way through 2020, I thought I would do a little check in on my goals to see where I’m at. So, here we go…
✔️ I completed this goal in April, and it was a long time coming. But I did it.
I have slowly made some progress on this goal but haven’t completed it quite yet. I’m thinking I will complete this goal by September but we’ll see.
Still haven’t completed this goal. Because of Covid I’m not totally sure if the certification process has been effected, so I will check into it.
We are in process of reaching this goal. Charles and I have been talking a lot about saving up and choosing a pet that would be perfect for our family.
My memoir is kind of on hold for now as I am focusing on my children’s book. But I will come back to it at some point.
✔️ I completed this goal literally right in the beginning stages of Covid. I absolutely love our new home!
I have not completed this goal yet. In fact I kind of forgot about it. It’s not something that I am super passionate about at the moment, but we’ll see if I feel inspired to get certified later.
Okay so I have 2/7 goals complete. That’s not too bad considering that these are BIG goals. I have 6 months to complete the rest of my goals for 2020. Wish me luck! 💕
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!
This past weekend I was blessed to not only be given a three day weekend, but also to be able to go with my bestie Alli to a cabin.
Our trip was fun, relaxing and well needed. We not only spent some relaxing time at the cabin, but we also went shopping, stocked up on snacks, drinks and chocolate; and spent some time in the sun on the beach.
I didn’t realize it until after we came back, but going to the lake shore was on my bucket list, so now I am able to check this item off my list.
One of the best moments of the trip was probably Alli’s dog Tessa. Tessa is a shy, cute and curious puppy. She was very brave on this trip as she tried going in the lake and the creek for the very first time. She loved walking through the woods, walking through town and playing at the cabin.
One of the funniest moments of this trip was Tessa practically gassing us out of the car. On the way to the cabin and on the way back, Tessa kept tooting in the back and it was pretty terrible. In fact, we had to roll the windows down a couple of times. Regardless, it made for some good laughs and great memories.
Are you a teacher, mom, sibling, friend, aunt or grandparent? Are you in need of some fun activity ideas with the kids? Then look no further, because I am here to help.
As a teacher I am constantly browsing Pinterest, bouncing ideas off other teachers, and brain storming different things to do with my kids. As a teacher I am always looking for new ideas, and I am always willing to share my ideas with others.
So with out further or do, I am introducing Kid’s Corner. Kid’s Corner is a segment on my blog dedicated to kids and fun activities.
Today on Kid’s Corner I would like to share an activity called File Folder Matching Game.
File Folder Matching Game
What You Need (Best for ages 2.5 – 5 years old)
A File Folder
Bingo Card (2 copies)
Ziploc Bag or Paper Clip
What You Do…
First head over to Pinterest or Google and look up “bingo cards for kids”. Depending on how old the age of your kids are, will depend on what you decide. To narrow your search you may want to put “easy bingo cards for kids”. You could also include a specific kind of bingo card to see if it’s out there, such as Halloween, Ocean Fish, or Shapes. One of my favorite books of all time is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? So, I decided to type this into Pinterest. Once you have found the bingo card you would like, print 2 copies.
If you have a colored printer, and feel like printing out the bingo cards in color, this will save you from having to color them later. However, if you don’t have a colored printer, coloring the bingo cards with markers will make the game more fun and enjoyable for the kids.
Once the bingo card is colored, cut around the edge of one bingo card until it is one big grid. A lot of times the title, and word Bingo is on the top, and I usually cut that part off as well.
Next tape the card you just cut on the inside of the folder (just as the picture shows). Then you will take the other bingo card and cut out all the squares. Once they are cut, I usually place them in a ziploc bag for safe keeping so they don’t get lost. Or, they can be paper clipped to the folder.
Lastly, I put the name of the game on the front of the folder, so I know what it is. For this particular example I wrote Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? File Folder Matching Game.
One last step, and this is optional. I like to laminate my folders simply so they last and I can use them again and again. For some folders, I chose to laminate the entire folder as well as the matching pieces. But for other folders I chose to laminate the pieces and the large grid before taping it onto the folder. Do whatever works best for you.
Once the folder is complete, feel free to introduce it to the kids. For my kids, I just lay it on the table and they have a ball! They love matching the different pieces and telling me what is on each square. It’s a fun, easy activity that takes a little preparation.
This post was one of my favorites, as not only was I honoring my beautiful angel baby, but I was also pregnant for a 2nd time.
6 Weeks Pregnant
When you’re pregnant, every week is a milestone. And I was super excited when I reached 6 weeks of pregnancy.
7 Weeks Pregnant
At 7 weeks of pregnancy, I took my last bump picture. I had no idea I was going to experience another pregnancy loss.
A Scare at 7 Weeks and 3 Days
This blog post was hard to write… mostly because I already knew the outcome. I knew that even though I hoped and prayed my baby would be okay, we would end up experiencing another loss. I also feel, that when I discussed our trip to the hospital, I was able to see just how strong our marriage had gotten after experiencing so much heartache and grief.
My Worst Fear… Again
I dreaded writing this blog post, even though I needed to and even though I knew it would help me. Sharing with friends, family and all my readers that I had experienced another loss was devastating. However, I was overcome yet again with tremendous love and support.
Let’s Change the Way We Treat Women Who Have Suffered a Miscarriage
This post was about my first opportunity I was able to speak and give a speech on the topic of pregnancy loss. It was challenging, it was stressful, and it was very rewarding as I felt I truly made a difference.
I Feel Like Job
While writing this post I was going through something, that’s for sure. God and I also weren’t as close. This post basically shows all the thoughts and questions in my head as to why bad things happen, and why God chose me to suffer. I still ask these questions sometimes, but I have found some peace and answers through prayer and the book of Job.
Goals for 2020
This blog post was the first step to a good year. Though I didn’t realize there would be a world pandemic, I am thankful for the many blessings I have received.
10 Things to Get Inspired and Fight Writer’s Block
This post was a fun one to write and honestly super popular. I think every writer and blogger struggles with writer’s block at some point. This post is just a few tips to help you in case you’re stuck. Also, this blog post was reblogged on another bloggers page. I am super honored and thankful.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
One year from my first pregnancy loss was hard, and I was certainly not okay that day. This post is all about how I spent the day and how it is okay to grieve in your own way and in your own time.
My Bathroom Reveal!
In the midst of a pandemic, my husband and I moved to our new home. I spent so much time decorating and cleaning, that I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you! This post is a look at how I decorated my bathroom.
Counseling and Sea Glass
This post was short and simple, but had so much meaning. In this post I discuss the importance of staying grounded.
Cowboy Salsa Recipe
This recipe is super yummy, and I am even considering making it again soon!
My Living Room Reveal!
When my living room was complete, I was over the moon excited and couldn’t wait to share with all of you!
I’ve Been Thinking About You A Lot These Days…
I dreaded writing this post, just because I knew it would be hard. This post is all about honoring and remembering my baby Chase.
Well, there you have it! A look at my most liked, and viewed blog post. Here is a look at what’s coming to the blog very soon.
Growing up, I had always been familiar with the concept of Heaven and faith. Having an older brother who died as an infant, is what first introduced me to faith. Later in life, of course I had grandparents, and acquaintances who passed on as well, and though it was sad, these moments built my faith. However, my faith was shaken, challenged, and changed after I miscarried my babies.
When I was little, my mom used to find pennies all the time… in fact she still does. I on the other hand don’t find them much at all. When ever my mom would find them on the ground, she would tell me “It’s a penny from Heaven” or “Matthew is watching over me.” I thought it was so cool how my mom would find pennies so often.
Recently, my husband and I went to the store. I was having quite a rough day as I didn’t feel good, I was stressed from work, and just kinda blah. When we got out of the car I remembered praying for things just to get better and for me to feel better. When I opened the car and stepped on the asphalt, I heard a cling. I thought I was hearing things so I grabbed my purse and shut the door. I heard the cling again. I looked down and didn’t see anything. Charles asked me a question and walked around the car. As I started to walk away from the car, I heard a cling again and looked down. I found a penny.
For the rest of our trip in the store, I held the penny in my hand. It was a penny from Heaven. Just a little token from above that put a smile on my face, when I was having a not so good day. I was also reminded of my babies. I was reminded how even though they aren’t physically with me, they are always in fact with me in spirit.