Our Love Story (Part 1)

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.

Mackenzie Goes to Heaven: Q & A

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! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Children’s Book: Order Now!

Breakfast Bruschetta Recipe

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

4 Eggs

8 Sausage Patties

Cooking Spray

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!

Nacho Flavored Popcorn Recipe

Another November recipe!

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks! I love popcorn, and even more… I love making my special nacho cheese flavored popcorn.

Ingredients

1. Plain Popcorn

2. Butter 1/4 stick

3. Chili Powder 1 tsp

4. Red Pepper Flakes tbsp.

5. Garlic Salt 1 tbsp.

6. Parmesan Cheese 1/4 cup


First pop the popcorn and place it in a large bowl.

Next melt butter in microwave for 15 – 20 seconds.

Then pour melted butter over popcorn.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, and chili powder over popcorn.

Mix and Enjoy!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a great day despite this crazy year!

In the midst of cooking and eating a ton of food, I thought I would share 10 things I am thankful for this year.

I am Thankful for…

  • Family
  • Friends
  • My Job
  • My Kiddos in my Class
  • My Kitty
  • Jesus
  • A Steady Income
  • My Readers
  • My Health
  • My Safety

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 🍁

Now Available!!! Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Children’s Book

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.

Grief & Mercy 4th Blog Post Round Up

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.

A Look Ahead…

Breakfast Bruschetta Recipe

Our Love Story

Kid’s Corner: Color Sorting Activity

Discussing Family Planning with My OB

Recently, I had a very important appointment with my OBGYN. In the past I have had a variety of good appointments, and a variety of traumatic appointments at my OB’s office. However, this time was different, and surprisingly I had a very positive experience.

I made the appointment with my OB to discuss family planning and how to be a healthier me. It had been over a year since I had suffered my second miscarriage. So this appointment wasn’t a follow up physical and mental health appointment, nor was this appointment a pregnancy appointment. This appointment was just a let’s sit down and talk about how to be healthy appointment.

At this appointment my doctor seemed happy to see me. She was impressed that I graduated college, have a full time job as a teacher, have become more active and lost 20lbs in the last year, and that I have found ways to better manage my stress.

Throughout the appointment we discussed family planning and trying to concieve. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to concieve but rather, allowing it to happen if it does, and not preventing it if it does. We also discussed adoption and how this is the first avenue we plan to pursue.

In the end my doctor was very positive and hopeful that someday I could have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. But for now she is 100% supportive of my decision in getting healthy and working towards a child filled future.

Some things my doctor encouraged me to do as we plan for a family, include the following…

1. Start taking prenatal vitamins daily

2. Start taking my anxiety meds daily

3. Have my thyroid levels checked and managed regularly,

4. Continue to be active daily.

5. Strive for a better BMI, by starting with small goals, such as losing 10 lbs.

6. Drink plenty of water daily (48 oz.)

Christmas Decorating 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This year has been quite crazy, I can’t stress that enough. So, I thought my home was in need of a little Christmas cheer. Many times I try to wait until after my anniversary (mid November) to decorate my home for Christmas. But this year, I decided to go ahead and decorate my home a little early. With a new apartment, a fireplace, and some extra time off… I figured why not.

This year I was able to put 3 stockings over my new fireplace. One stocking is for my husband, one for myself and one for my kitty Rocky. My hubby and I are considering exchanging stockings this year, since we were able to hang our stockings.

This right here is one of my favorite Christmas decorations. It is a hand made, crocheted nativity scene that was gifted to us for our wedding. We absolutely love it!

My Santa Clause clothes line is an antique, and was passed down to me from my Grandma. While growing up my Grandma hung a normal little clothes line in her window over her kitchen sink. But during the holidays, she hung this Santa Clause one in her window. I love this unique Christmas decoration. It is one of my favorites.

I would say my Christmas decorations are coming along, but I’m not quite finished yet. I still have a few finishing touches I would like to add. Have you decorated for Christmas yet?

How to Have a Self Care Sunday

This year has been hard on everyone, and I know I’m not the only one in need of a little self care. Often times my work week is jam packed with endless to-do lists, meetings, daily tasks, and various deadlines that I must meet. That being said, it is no wonder why I am exhausted by the end of the week. Often times I try to reserve my weekends for self care and a chance to recharge. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.

If I am unable to dedicate my whole weekend to self care, I at least try dedicating my Sundays to self care. This not only helps me to rest from the previous week, but also prepare for the week ahead.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to have your own Self Care Sunday.

1. Wake up at a reasonable time. I’m not saying get up early, and I’m not saying sleep in as late as possible. What I am saying is, wake up at a time where you are able to sleep in some, but are not sleeping the day away. For example, during the week I usually wake up at 5am and go to bed at 9pm. On the weekends, I try to sleep in until 8am and go to bed at 10pm. This allows me to sleep in some, but not feel like I am missing parts of my Sunday by sleeping.

2. Plan your day. Every morning, I review my planner, rearrange what I need to , and prepare for the day ahead. This allows me to know what I want to accomplish in the day. Often times my weekend to-do lists are things that I neglected throughout the week. Since this happens, I also choose to schedule in things that will allow me to have some self care. For example, I may schedule a nap on Sunday. I may schedule a reminder to write a blog post Sunday night.

3. Wake up slow. Allow yourself to wake up slow. For example, on Sundays I’m in my pjs at least until 11am, unless I have to go somewhere. I also take my time sipping my coffee, watching the sunrise, and catching up on what’s going on in the world.

4. Do something productive before you do something super relaxing. This is a hard one, but it honestly helps. I have found that if I do something productive, before I get comfortable and relax I feel more accomplished. Whereas if I relax and take a nap, or get into a really good tv show, then I will not get what I need to accomplished and feel defeated. So whether it’s those dishes in the sink, the laundry piling up, or the trash that needs to go out, I highly suggest getting it done first before spending the rest of your day relaxing.

5. Lastly, consider doing a relaxing activity before going to bed. Some ideas could be… yoga, prayer time, taking a hot shower, knitting or crocheting, painting, writing, reading, coloring etc.

Taco Baked Potato Recipe

Ready, Set, Here’s another yummy recipe!

Taco Baked Potato (Serves 2)
Ingredients

Skillet

Cooking Spray

Sauce Pan

Water

Medium Bowl

Potato Masher

2 Potatoes

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Butter

Sour Cream

1/2 lb. of Ground Beef

Taco Saesoning

Lettuce

Diced Tomatoes

Black Olives

Jalapeños (optional)

What You Do…

First, spray sauce pan with cooking spray and place on burner over medium heat. Place unthawed ground beef in sauce pan. Let cook until browned. Mix in taco seasoning.

Next, place two potatoes in sauce pan, and add water 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Place on high heat and boil potatoes for 20 minutes. Check potatoes to see if they are softened. If still not softened, put in boiling water for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Once potatoes are soft, cut in half with a knife and place in a bowl. Mash potatoes with a fork, knife or potato masher inside of bowl.

Next, add two teaspoons of butter and spread evenly over potatoes. Then add taco meat, lettuce, black olives, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese.

Top with sour cream and enjoy!

My Quiche Recipe

Another November recipe coming at ya!

Quiche is one of my favorite dishes to make in the winter season. Quiche is just one of those meals you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can change to fit your taste buds.

WHAT YOU NEED…

1 Pie Plate 

1 Frozen, Pre-made Pie Crust (I use the Pillsbury Brand) 

4 Eggs 

1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheese (I like Cheddar) 

Spinach (If desired) 

Mushrooms (If desired) 

Bacon Bits (If desired) 

Onion (If desired) 

Black Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes 


1. First un-thaw pie crust. You can do this by leaving in the fridge for a day or two, or following the un-thawing directions on the package. 

2. Spray pie pan with non-stick spray.

3. Next, once pie crust is unthawed, rollout pie crust into pie plate. Make sure pie crust covers the entire bottom of the plate. 

4. Crack eggs into bowl and beat together. Pour eggs onto crust. Make sure eggs are spread evenly over dough. 

5. Chop meat and vegetables you desire, and disperse evenly into quiche. Some things I like to add to make my quiche include, spinach, bacon, sausage, ham, mushrooms, basil, black pepper, green peppers and cheese.

6. Add cheese, black peeper and red pepper flakes on top.

7. Preheat oven to 400* and cook quiche for approximately 30 minutes. Quiche is ready when the egg in the middle is cooked.

8. Let cool for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy. 🙂

My Bruchetta Recipe

Hey Everybody! Since it’s the holiday season, I decided I would share my Bruschetta recipe!

INGREDIENTS 

Baget (Large)

Mozzerella Cheese (4 Oz. of block cheese) Optional*

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)

1. Cut baget into slices, should make about 20 pieces. 

2. Toast baget in oven at 350* for 10 – 15 minutes, a nonstick cookie sheet works great! 

3. Dice tomatoes and onions. 

4. Slice Mozzarella cheese (optional)

5. Mix together tomatoes, onions, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, basil and red pepper flakes. 

6. Remove bagets from oven, let cool, and spread toppings on each baget. 

7. Place bagets on a plate or board. If desired, place cheese slices in a bowl for your friends and family to enjoy with their Bruschetta. Enjoy!

Bruchetta

Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham

Good morning and happy November! I don’t know about you, but it sure takes me a moment to get used to day lights savings time every year. Regardless, I absolutely love November. It is one of my favorites, for many reasons. I love November because it is Fall, and Fall is my favorite season. My boyfriend, now husband started dating in November. We were also married two years later in November, and I always look forward to Thanksgiving. It’s such a festive holiday that can be spent as an intimate family gathering to an extravagant family affair.

Since it is officially November, and becoming the cooking/baking season, I thought I would take this month to share many of my homemade recipes.

Today, I will be sharing my Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham recipe!

What You Need

Medium frying pan

Aluminum foil

Oil or cooking spray

2 eggs

4lb ham pre-sliced

Shredded cheddar cheese

Feta cheese crumbles

Pitted kalamata olives

Fresh spinach

Red onion

Black pepper

Basil

Hummus (optional)

Avocado (optional)

Small 8×8 pan

What You Do…

1. First remove ham from wrapping and place in a 8×8 pan. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan to ensure it stays juicy. Place aluminum foil over top of ham and around edges of pan creating a tent. Preheat oven to 375° and cook for 20 minutes.

* Disclaimer, I bought my ham from my local grocery store, and it was fully cooked and unthawed. I would recommend following the instructions on the ham you purchase for the best result.

2. Once ham is almost finished cooking, place frying pan on a burner and spray with oil or cooking spray. Turn burner on to a medium heat.

3. Crack two eggs and break the yolks by whisking with a fork. You can do this in a bowl, and then pour the eggs into the frying pan or crack eggs directly into frying pan. Allow eggs to cook as flat and level to the bottom of the pan as possible, creating a circle shape.

4. Chop omelette ingredients including, kalamata olives, spinach leaves, and red onion.

5. Once eggs look mostly cooked, start placing spatula underneath the edges of the eggs. Doing this will make it easier to fold the omelette. Place spinach, kalamata olives, onion, and cheddar cheese on one side of the eggs. Let sit for 30 seconds or until there is no more runny egg.

6. Check on ham in the oven around this time as it should be finished cooking. Remove from oven, and pull back foil so it can cool.

7. Once eggs look cooked, fold the side of the eggs without ingredients, over the side with ingredients, creating a half circle/ shape of the omelette. Let sit for another minute, turn off heat and sprinkle black pepper, basil and feta cheese crumbles.

8. Slide omelette gently on to plate (this step can be tricky). Next take two or tree slices of ham and place them on the plate.

9. For a little more flavor, feel free to add some hummus or avacado on top.

Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham

Enjoy!

An Update On My Writing Projects

I can’t believe it’s almost November. Friends, where did October go? This month has been quite a struggle in getting myself motivated to write. When I get stumped, discouraged and tired; I often try to envision how I will feel once my memoir is complete. Writing a book is not easy. It can be a daunting task that I want to constantly give up on. But, I don’t dare give up because I’ve come so far and know I’m meant to do this.

Lately, I’ve just had a variety of really high highs and really low lows when it comes to my emotions, my grief and my goals. It’s exhausting. I try to look at the positive. I have a great job teaching kids everyday. I recently got named teacher of the month, which is also exciting. My husband and I are very busy, but are in a really good place. I love and adore my fur baby Rocky and things are going well for us financially as we pay off our debts.

When you put it that way, life is great and I shouldn’t be complaining. That’s when I feel a high. I feel like I can do this and it’s going to be okay. Then I think about the holidays… Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a foster baby and I don’t have any living children. I see friends my age having babies, celebrating birthdays, and holidays with their families. I think about the women who have been trying for 3+ years without any luck, and fear that one day will be me. I hear moms all the time complain about lack of sleep from their infant, tantrums from their toddler, and distant learning experiences from their adolescents…. while all the while I too wish I could be sharing the same experiences.

Thinking about all of this puts me in a very low low. I get to the point where I don’t want to see anyone. I want to hide away in my apartment and forget all the moms pregnant with quarantine babies, and the parents getting their kids ready for Halloween. I want to forget it all because at times it is so hard to deal with.

So you see, I’m not making a ton of progress on my writing because of the emotional grieving tornado I am currently facing. Writing sometimes helps, but sometimes it brings up emotions and memories I’m not quite ready to relive again. I’m not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking my time with this as I continue striving forward with my goals and try not to fear for what the future might hold.