Growing up, my mom made sure my childhood was filled with various Christmas traditions. For as long as I can remember, every year we would spend an entire Saturday cleaning the living room and pulling out several totes of Christmas items and decorating our Christmas tree.
When I was about 10, we decided to start the tradition of ordering Chinese food on Christmas Eve. We got this idea from the movie A Christmas Story.
This year, I have been so excited to start some new Christmas traditions with my son. Some I have already started while others I plan to start when he is older.
1. Family Christmas Cards.
I have been doing Christmas cards since Charles and I got married 6 years ago. We started doing family photo Christmas cards the second year we were married. Last year, I was lame and did a virtual Christmas card because I was so close to my due date and my to-do list was piling up. This year I’m thankful I was able to incorporate our fall photos into an adorable Christmas Card.
2. Chinese for Christmas Eve
Not sure if any of ya’ll are aware, but Michigan and a few other states were hit with a blizzard Thursday. So, my family decided to order Chinese food on the 21st instead of Christmas Eve since we are pretty much snowed in until New Years.
3. Start Listening to Christmas Music in November
I can’t tell you exactly what day in November I will start the Christmas music, but you better believe every year I plan to play it!
4. Family Photos in Matching PJs
This year I was very excited to buy some matching pj bottoms and receive matching shirts to create some cute Family Christmas photos.
Here’s a few other Christmas Tradition ideas I hope to start either this year or next year.
Bake Christmas Cookies
Open 1 Gift on Christmas Eve
Put up a Christmas Tree
Watch Christmas Movies
Read the Christmas Story (Jesus’s Birth) on Christmas Eve
Do a Christmas Craft
Do a Christmas Box the day after Thanksgiving with pjs, a movie, and a stuffy.
Two years ago, I was an entirely different person. I was a newly college graduated, preschool teaching, fur mama, and wife. I struggled with grief on a daily and finding my purpose in the midst of the uncertainty that lie ahead. I aspired to be great. I aspired to do many things, but the one thing I wanted and dreamed more than anything was to be a mom.
Today I am a stay at home mom, blogger and aspiring writer. In many ways I’ve made it and in other ways, I’m still working on it one day at a time.
I remember the day I created this vision board, two years ago. I went to the dollar store and bought some poster board. The next day I got up early on a sunny Saturday morning, pulled out my scrapbooking stuff and went to work. I created a vision. I displayed through art the desires of my heart to be a mother. I had no idea how it would play out, but I knew with even the tiniest bit of faith, God would see me, God would hear me and He would grant me the desires of my heart as long as it was according to His will.
As hard as the waiting season was, I’m so glad I never lost faith. 💛
Hi Friends, readers, and people who just happened to stumble onto my blog. I apologize for my absence and silence the last few weeks. I’ve had a whole lot going on but also a whole lot of nothing, that has prevented me from feeling inspired enough to write. However, now that my baby is finally down for his morning nap, I thought I would jot down a few ideas, thoughts and updates that have been circling my mind.
This past week I came down with mastitis for the second time. And it took over three days to get ahold of my doctor to get some antibiotics. That was frustrating. Thankfully, I am slowly on the mend. I have to say, being a mom is no easy task. But it is 10x times harder to be a mom and care for a baby when you’re sick, and/or your baby is sick.
Matthew has been doing well the past week. Teething has seemed to slow down a bit, which has been a nice break. His new thing this week is going on hands and knees, to pushing back to a sitting position. He is also trying to pull up on things and so incredibly close to crawling.
I turned 27 this month. I can’t believe I’m 3 years away from 30! For my birthday, my husband took me out to a crab shack. It was AHHMAZING! We had salad, oysters, shrimp, crab, lobster tail, broccoli, corn and potatoes. We also got a free slice of cheese cake. I’m not even going to tell you how much we spent but it was worth it! A few days later my mom bought pizza, and blizzards from Dairy Queen. My husband bought me a coffee and we had some breakfast sandwiches. I didn’t realize how much my birthday was centered around food, but never the less it was great!
Rocky got established with a new vet earlier this month and he is doing great! He is a healthy weight, no fleas and doing well. He even cooperated when the doctor gave him his exam.
I have been doing better at diving into the Word and reading on a daily basis. It has always been so refreshing to me to read a scripture and to be able to apply it to my daily life.
I’ve been thinking about our wedding anniversary coming up in November. I can’t believe it’ll be 6 years. How exciting!? It always depends on the weather for us. In November in Michigan, it could be snowing and 30° or 60° and sunny. So weather permitting we’ll have to plan something.
I think that’s pretty much everything that’s happening. As my life gets more exciting, and I feel inspired I’ll write more. But for now, it’s been fun and I’ll talk to you later. ❤️
This post was created in December of 2019. I had a lot of hardships in 2019 that let to a lot of grief, depression and anxiety. I decided to share this post as a way to reflect on the things I’ve overcome and the strength that Jesus gave me. ❤️
This year… I feel like Job. In the Bible, in the book of Job, it talks about a man. This man had the highest integrity in all the land. He had favor and perfection in God’s eyes (Job 1:1). One day, Satan challenged God. He wanted to know if Job, this man of God with great faith, would still have great faith if he was put to the test. So, God allowed bad things to happen to Job (Job 1:6 – 12). He was put to the test. Job lost his children, was stricken with boils, felt grief, and pain (Job 1:13 – 20). Through this season of trial and tribulation, Job didn’t lose faith… but he did ask the question of why?
I ask myself this question everyday. Why do bad things have to happen? Why do we have to suffer? Why do we have to feel pain? Job asked and argued these questions with friends and with God. He wondered and pondered that as a follower and believer of God, why did he have to struggle? Why did he have to suffer? Why did he have to lose his children? If God is such a good God, why does he let these things happen? if we are followers of God, shouldn’t we be blessed for being faithful and not have to face pain and heartache? Job goes on to argue his case with God for many chapters. Through each chapter, I feel as if I too have asked each one of these questions, trying to fathom why bad things happen to good people. One question that I couldn’t really find, that I’ve asked this past year is Where was God?
WHERE WAS GOD?
Where was God through Job’s suffering? Where was God when he lost each and everyone of his children? Where was God when I lost mine? Where was God when I anticipated my second ultrasound, only to hear the words I’m sorry, but there isn’t a heartbeat. Where was God when the grief and heartache hit me as I woke up from surgery? Where was God when I was bleeding, and feeling labor pains knowing full well I was going to endure a second loss. Where was God this past year when my car got totaled, losing my job, my husband’s health, my health and all the crap I’ve had to suffer. Where was God!?!
GOD WAS THERE
As much as I don’t want to believe it, God was there. God was there through every moment of Job’s suffering, and He was there through every moment of mine. When bad things happen, he doesn’t just vanish, even though he seems so incredibly distant. He’s their, watching, and waiting. He waits to see how we will respond to a situation. In the waiting He isn’t closed off, but rather he’s there with open loving arms. It is up to us in every rough situation to run towards Him, or run away from Him. He is a just God, and He is a good God. He is perfect in every possible way, and we are sinners and honestly don’t deserve anything good. We don’t deserve good things, but he gives them to us anyway… because He is so good.
If there is one pet peeve I have, it’s not knowing the reason. When things happen good or bad, but especially bad… I want to know the reason. I want to know the reason why my babies had to die, why my Grandma died of Alzheimer’s, why I’m vision impaired, and why my brother died before I was born. I want to know the answers to all of these questions, and have wanted to most of my life. But unfortunately, I may never know. I may never know the specific reasons why bad things happen in this life. But I do believe this. We live in a sin tainted world, and we are sinful creatures. Nothing in this world is perfect, therefore bad things are going to happen. I don’t believe God inflicts bad things on his children, but I do believe he allows them to happen. I think one reason God allows bad things to happen, is so we can appreciate the good, and we can be thankful for the blessings that we receive. I also believe it is a reminder that this world is only our temporarily home. We will not be apart of this world or live this life forever, there is a perfect world ahead if we receive the grace that God has for us.
So, to bring it all full circle. I feel like Job this year. I have had a rough year of two miscarriages, a surgery, grief, losing a job, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, hypothyroidism, totaled car, and on and on and on. It has been one thing after another. 2019 has been the worst year of my life. With that being said… I know greater is coming. I have to believe that things are going to look up from here. Otherwise, I would just be giving up. This year has been hell, but has made me stronger. God allowed a lot of trials to happen this year, but I know he never stopped loving me. At the end of Job, God gave Job abundant blessings… not because he particularly deserved them, but because God loved him. Therefore, as hard as it has been, and as much as I want to give up… I won’t. Satan won’t take me out of the game that easily. I have faith 2020 is going to be great. I won’t lose faith.
When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my husband and I started discussing baby names. I wanted to find a name for a girl and a boy. I wanted to do this so that when we found out at our 20 week anatomy scan what we were having, we could give the baby a name right away. There was something about giving baby a name for the second half of the pregnancy that made things seem even more real.
On my birthday, when I was exactly 19 weeks pregnant, Charles woke up and told me he had a dream. He dreamt that he was at some sort of musical event and his old choir director from college saw him. They started talking and his old choir director said “How’s baby Matt doing?” Then he woke up. Charles had another dream that same night where he was playing with a baby girl named Grace.
Later in the morning as we were getting ready for breakfast Charles told me about the dream. He then suggested that if we were having a boy we should name him Matthew and if we were having a girl we should name her Grace.
I was shocked at his suggestion for the boy name, because Charles had momentarily forgotten that I had had a brother named Matthew. My brother Matthew died before I was born. He was 9 months old and died of a rare genetic condition, At first I wasn’t totally sure how I would feel about having a brother and a son named Matthew.
Throughout the week, I continued contemplating both the names Matthew and Grace. I focused mostly on Matthew because I still had this strong feeling we were having a boy. I decided to look up the meaning of the name Matthew just to see what it said. A gift from God. I thought How perfect is that!? Our rainbow baby’s name means A gift from God. Charles and I loved the meaning of the name and we also loved that it was classic, biblical and could be shortened to Matt or Matty.
About a week later we had our anatomy scan. We found out we were having a precious baby boy. We didn’t tell anyone about the boy name we had picked out until 23 weeks. At that time, I asked my mom if she would mind if we named our son Matthew. She was absolutely honored that we had even considered that name. She loved that her first grandson would be named after her son and she loved the meaning of the name.
So there you have it. We named our son Matthew. He is named after my brother and is our gift from God. ❤️
2021 was overall a good year. There were some changes, some things that remained the same, some let downs, some celebrations and a lot of growth. The biggest thing that happen was God blessing us with the opportunity to start a family, and we are over the moon thankful. ❤️
A Recap for 2021
Published Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Coloring Book
My Hubby turned 25!
My Kitty Rocky turned 1!
Changed shifts and became an opener at my job.
I celebrated 1 year at my job as a lead preschool teacher.
Started writing my second children’s book.
Paid off my car.
Bought a new car.
Got Pregnant with our Rainbow Baby. 🌈
Started Growing Avocado Trees
Celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with my fellow teachers!
Celebrated my first Mother’s Day pregnant.
We had our dating ultrasound and got to see Baby Bear for the first time.
Told my family and close friends I was expecting.
Made our Big Announcement that our Rainbow Baby was on the way!
Made it to the 2nd trimester in my pregnancy!
We had sequential screening done and got to see Baby Bear again!
Started craving lemons and pickles. Had a feeling we were expecting a Boy.
Started feeling Baby flutters
Won the Dustpan Award for the cleanest classroom at work.
Celebrated Rocky’s 1 year adoption!
Heard Baby Bear’s heartbeat using a Doppler for the first time.
Had our anatomy scan and gender reveal. We were excited to find out we were having a Baby Boy!!! 💙
I turned 26!
Went on a Fall themed Girl’s Getaway with my friends Alli and Andrea.
Told myself it was okay to start buying baby items.
Held a virtual Baby Book Party!
Honored my babies on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Started Decorating the Nursery.
Made it to the third trimester!
Tested Positive for Covid, and had to be quarantined for two weeks
Got diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and was bumped up to a high risk pregnancy.
Celebrated 5 years of marriage with my husband.
Packed our bags for the hospital and prepared for Baby Boy’s arrival.
Had our last ultrasound and discovered that Baby Boy has long thick hair.
Got diagnosed with thyroid problems associated with pregnancy.
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!
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.
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. 😊
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.