I know I’m a little late to the game as far as giving you a review of my summer… especially since it is already the end of September. However, I’ve been able to find some time this week to write and reflect on my summer, and how I can best share it with all of you. So, without further or do, here is my Summer 2021 Bucket List in Review!
MY SUMMER BUCKET LIST
1. Publish my 2nd Children’s Book
My book is written and illustrated. I just need to edit and publish it!
2. Go to the Lake Shore at least once.
I didn’t do that this summer. It’s not that I didn’t have the opportunity, more less it was just too hot.
3. Finish reading the Old Testament
I didn’t quite finish reading the Old Testament but I did read through a lot of books, including:
4. Have a successful Balcony Garden
I kind of failed as a plant mom this year. Things were looking promising in the beginning, but once it hit 90° everyday in August, I kind of gave up. I realized this summer how much I dislike the heat. 🥵
5. Organize my Bedroom
Hey, I actually did start on this goal as well! We started organizing our bedroom by moving the pack n’ play/ bassinet by our bed, moving a bookshelf and going through some storage totes.
6. Buy a new Wardrobe
I have bought a lot of cute maternity items this summer. 🥰
7. Publish my Memoir
This project was put on hold for the summer. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to write about my previous losses while being pregnant with our rainbow baby.
8. Make a Big Announcement
On June 18th we were able to make our big announcement and say…
Guess what? For this baby we have prayed… our rainbow is due in January 2022!
9. Reach 300 Blog Posts
I didn’t quite make it to 300 blog posts, but I came very close with a total of 291.
10. Take lots of Naps
Yes, Yes, and Yes! I found out I was pregnant on the last day of April. This meant that I hit the worst of my morning sickness in the beginning of summer, which in turn allowed me to take lots of naps. 😴
Well there you go, a review of my summer! Can’t wait until next summer! ☀️
This week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s Teacher Appreciation week! Teacher Appreciation week is when children, families and the community take time out to thank teachers.
Since it’s Teacher Appreciation week, I thought I would share the many reasons why I love being a teacher.
1. I get to teach the next generation. Do you know what a privilege it is to teach and inspire those who will one day change the world? It is the best feeling and I am so honored.
2. I get to have 20+ new friends every year. Some times I don’t feel like I’m just a teacher. I’m also a nurse, referee, therapist, coach, substitute mommy, chef and so much more. I get to see these kiddies everyday for 8 hours a day. I love it!
3. Being a teacher helps my baby fever. I want to have my own kids so badly. But for now, I have the privilege to love on and care for the kids in my class as if they were my own.
I could keep writing reasons why I love being a teacher, but it could go on for hours, so I think I’ll stop there. I do want to remind everyone very quickly to thank a teacher this week! Teachers are amazing. We don’t become teachers for the money. We become teachers for the kids. So, thank a teacher!
This past year, and actually since starting my blog I have developed various goals for myself that are a mixture of personal and professional goals. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that each year I create goals that I hope to accomplish by New Year’s Eve and a Summer Bucket List of goals I hope to accomplish in the summer. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then head over to my blog post….
One goal I am trying so incredibly hard to accomplish is writing and publishing my memoir. My memoir was an idea that first came to light the day after my second miscarriage, in September of 2019. After suffering my first loss, I felt led to start a blog… this blog in fact :). After my second loss, I realized there was more to my story and my grief that needed to be done. I realized that I have a gift of writing and since suffering two losses, though it was devastating… my circumstances had then given me the chance to expand my story and share with others my story, in order to help women like me. My circumstances, my grief and my passion is what drove me to write my book.
I have officially written the first draft of my book and currently working on the second. It’s small, raw, detailed, sad, but powerful… and I’m very proud of it.
I will be keeping you all updated as I continue to make the final touches to my book and begin the self publishing process!
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.
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!
A few weeks went by, and Charles and I began talking and getting to know each other in class and through text. I tried very hard not to get my hopes up or read into anything. As a very reserved, previously homeschooled girl, I had never had this kind of friendship with a guy before. Because of this I was constantly questioning, what does this mean? Is Charles interested in me as more of a friend, or does he just want to be friends?
I was secretly asking myself these questions daily. As much as I wanted to be pursued I tried to stay grounded and enjoy this season of friendship and what ever it lead to. I was quite content in this thinking for awhile, until Charles would say things that would throw me off. For example, he would casually mention how we should hang out sometime outside of school. Or our professor would say something about food, and Charles would say that we should go together sometime. Because he said these things so often, I was under the impression it was his way of asking me out. But I also doubted myself, and thought I was just reading too much into it.
When ever Charles would mention, hanging out and going out to eat together, I never really answered him. I wasn’t answering him to be mean, I just didn’t know if he was serious or what we were to each other. At the time we really hadn’t had a define the relationship talk. All I knew is that, I was really starting to like Charles, maybe even more than a friend.
One Thursday morning in October, I headed to my Spanish class. I got to the door when I noticed a note saying our class was cancelled. I was super excited to not have class, and have extra time to work on some homework. I started to text Charles to let him know class was cancelled, when I saw him making his way down the stairs. He was walking and talking with another female classmate.
I’m not going lie. When I saw him, I was crushed. I told myself I got my hopes up for nothing. He’s just a friendly guy. He probably just wants to be friends. He’s not interested in me in the way I was hoping.
The three of us looked at the note. Charles was mad our professor didn’t email us, and he came to school for nothing. Our other classmate decided to go home, and it was just Charles and I standing in the hallway.
Despite the fact that I was questioning our friendship, I still really wanted to spend time with Charles. Charles said he had nothing to do for three hours until his next class. I had work in two hours. I knew it would be a wise decision to go find a quiet spot in the library and catch up on some homework. But, my gut and my heart told me to ask Charles to hang out. I almost didn’t say anything. But I knew the worst he could say was no, so I gave it a shot.
“I have a couple hours before I have to go to work, do you want to hang out in the student center?” My voice was shaky, but I was trying so hard to be brave.
“Okay” Charles said smiling. We then headed to the student center. I was dangerously smitten, still not sure what to think.
The intention was to sit in the student center, grab a bite to eat, have some light convesation and do some homework. That did not happen. Charles and I sat for two hours talking. I forgot to eat and we never pulled out our homework. We talked about everything from school, to our faith, to childhood, to family, to friends, to food. Charles again mentioned that we should go out to eat sometime. I pondered his question for a moment. Since I was already feeling brave, I decided to give him an answer.
“Okay, we can go out. When would you like to do it?”
Charles seemed surprised that I actually said yes. It must have thrown him because he didn’t say anything for a minute. After a long pause he finally said,
“Sorry, I’ve never done this before.” He then seemed to get nervous and not sure what to do next. “Well, you said you’ve never tried indian food before, and there’s a new Indian restaurant that just opened. Would you like to go there?”
I told him yes. It then became kind of awkward as we ironed out the details. We discussed how this is considered a date for the both of us. Charles mentioned that he wanted to do it after he would get paid that Friday, and we determined a date and time.
Our first date was planned for Saturday October 10th at 6pm. This only gave us both two days to prepare. I was so excited but so incredibly nervous.
On Saturday morning, I did some studying and went out to brunch with my momma. We had a very enjoyable meal talking about boys, dating and just growing up. I was super thankful to have this time with my mom before my very first date.
Around 4pm I started to get anxious, and had no idea what to wear. I settled on wearing dress pants, a nice shirt and my favorite jean jacket. I also spruced up my outfit with a little bit of perfume and some jewelry.
After scheduling our date, I made arrangements with my best friends Andrea and Alli to also come to the restaurant we were going to eat at. I did this because 1) I still didn’t know Charles all that well and I wanted to make sure I had a way to leave the date if things went south. 2) I was extremely nervous, and felt it would help me knowing somebody I knew was nearby and 3) this was a first for me and I needed the support and a little gentle push from my friends.
Around 5:30, my mom drove me to the Indian restaurant where I was planning to meet Charles. On the way to the restaurant I continued blabbering on to my mom about how nervous I was. When we turned on to the street where the restaurant was I began I get huge butterflies. This is stupid. This is so stupid. Why am I doing this? Just when I was deep in my thoughts about this whole thing, my mom said…
“Oh look, I see your friend!?” And just like that sheer panick came over me. I freaked out and yelled to my mom.
“Ah, mom I’m not ready for this! Drive!” I startled her with my response, and she continued driving trying to calm me down. As we continued driving we passed Charles walking to the restaurant. I asked my mom to circle the block a few times, as I still needed a few minutes. She tried her best not to laugh at my ridiculousness and kept driving.
About a minute later I received a text from Alli, asking why we passed the restaurant. I then realized that when my mom said she saw my friend she was referring to Alli and not Charles. I was obviously not thinking clearly as I realized my mom hadn’t even met Charles yet, so she didn’t know what he looked like.
I took a few minutes in the car to calm down, and let my mom pull into the parking lot of the restaurant. I greeted Alli at the front door, and she had a huge grin on her face. She asked me what happen and I told her the whole story. She laughed and told me everything was going to be fine, I then as politely as I could told Alli to go inside since Charles was coming. She looked at me confused.
“No, I’m going in with you.” I looked at her dumb founded.
“No you’re not, Alli he’s doesn’t know you’re coming.” At the time I was so nervous I didn’t realize how rude I probably sounded. My best friend took time out of her day to do this for me and I was acting like a brat. Alli, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry I was so rude that night and made you sit at a booth by yourself. I love you and I’m also sorry if I never apologized until now for that. 😭
Eventually, Alli went inside and sat at a table. Charles met me at the front door of the restaurant. He greeted me, told me I looked beautiful and held the door open for me. We made our way inside, and were seated at a table right away. Charles and I sat at a booth in some awkward silence. We nervously smiled at each other then buried ourselves into our menus.
After we ordered our food, I had nothing to hid behind, so we were forced to talk. Once we got over the initial awkwardness of this being a date, we started to have fun. We talked about the usual things, faith, school, family, and future plans. We both had some very yummy curry and both were creeped out by our waiter.
By 8 o’clock we were both full and tired. Alli was getting ready to leave as things were coming to an end, and my mom was almost at the restaurant. I offered Charles a ride home and a chance to meet my mom. He agreed and we both walked out to the car. Charles was friendly and polite to my mom. He thanked her for letting him take me out and said he appreciated the ride. When we got to his house he said goodbye to my mom and said goodbye to me. Everything was adorably perfect…. until he went to close the door.
He said: “Goodbye Ma’am, goodbye Kylie.” And shut the door, I felt embarrassment for him. Kylie? Did he forget my name?
Once I got home, I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up late talking to my mom all about our date. It was nice to have her perspective and I was thankful she was able to meet him. She said he was very nice, very educated and she could tell he really liked me and I really liked him. We both laughed at the fact that he called me Kylie. I was really hoping we just didn’t hear him right.
Around 12am, when I was getting ready for bed, I received a text from Charles. He said he had a really nice time, and he hoped I did too. He texted GoodNight Kaylee, and again I had butterflies.
I have tossed around the idea of posting this photo. I have contemplated if I should even write a blog post about this particular topic as it is so incredibly personal. I have weighed the pros and cons of this post and decided on this. On my blog I have always been real and raw when it comes to my life, my challenges and my grief. Over the last twoish years I have shared the details of my grief and miscarriages because it not only helped me heal and process the trauma of that season in my life, but I knew one day my story could help someone else. Therefore, if I share my stories of pregnancy loss, then I can also share my challenges of trying to concieve and start a family.
Last May around Mother’s Day, Charles and I decided we again wanted to try and start a family. It had been 8 months since our second miscarriage and though I don’t think we can ever fully heal from a loss such as this, we both have gained a lot of growth, wisdom and strength from suffering two losses. So in May we decided to start trying again.
When deciding to try again, we discussed how we did not want to obsess over trying to get pregnant. Rather we were just going to allow what ever happen to happen. I wasn’t going to track my temp or track my ovulation. We decided we were going to try and live our lives and allow God to move when He sees fit.
In September, after 4 months of trying and no luck, Charles and I looked into adoption. The desire to become parents in the last few years has grown so strong, and we both love the idea of conceiving our own healthy baby, or adopting a child. Since September we have continued to research the option of adoption and have found there are a few steps we would need to complete before going any further. So in some ways we are at a stand still.
This past month we reached 6 months of trying. And I was convinced that I was pregnant. I was super hungry, tired, had a cold, emotional, my boobs hurt, my hips hurt, I had some cramping that was different than my normal period cramping, headaches and I was three days late. I hoped and prayed that I was pregnant as it would have been a sweet ending to a crazy year. But that wasn’t the case. Another negative yet again.
The day I took the test I was down, defeated and devastated. But as I write this over a week later, I realize that it was for the best. I don’t know why, but I know it wasn’t meant to be right now. Since my second miscarriage I have asked God to please not let me get pregnant unless I am pregnant with a healthy baby. And so, since getting another negative I look at it that way. As much as not getting pregnant right now is hard, it’s not as devastating for me as it would be to lose another baby.
I keep thinking God just wants me to do more, before having kids. Maybe that’s publishing my memoir. Maybe that’s moving up at my job. Maybe it’s making money through my blog. And maybe it’s just sharing my story with all of you. I don’t know the reason. But I know that I’m not in control. As scary as it is, I want to have a baby. I want to be a mom to a baby here on earth. But I know that if that stick had two lines, I would have been happy, but not excited.
When you’ve suffered a loss, getting pregnant again feels different. Since you’ve already had the worst happen, you’re extra cautious and it’s always in the back of your mind. Is it going to happen again? Am I going to lose this pregnancy? Will this be a healthy baby? Only God knows the answers to those questions. And only time will tell what’s in store for us.
For now, I am going to do my best to keep living my life, teaching preschoolers, loving my family, writing, and appreciating the little things. ❤️
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!