My Summer 2020 Bucket List

Goals, Self Care

It’s almost Summertime! And that means it is time to set some goals and create my summer bucket list. So, here we go.

My Summer 2020 Bucket List

1. Write and post 200 blog posts… I have about 140 so far.
2. Finish first draft of my memoir.
3. Crochet a large blanket.
4. Grow my plants and produce fruits, veggies and spices.
5. Visit the lake shore…. at least once.
6. Apply and receive my Family Life Education certification.
7. Have a Game Night with friends.
8. Buy a coffee table for my living room.
9. Create and commit to a yoga routine.
10. Create and publish a children’s book.

Deadline for meeting these goals: August 30th, 2020

Missing You A lot These Days…

Life After Miscarriage, Miscarriage, Pregnancy

May 13th, 2020. Three days after Mother’s Day. This day had never been so important to me, until I found I was pregnant for a second time. Looking at that second line on a pregnancy test on a late September evening, I thought “This is it. This is my rainbow baby. Thank you Jesus” My joy only lasted for about 20 days, until I started spotting and realized I would lose this baby.

I was pregnant for 7 weeks with a baby my husband and I named Chase. We named him Chase because we were Chasing our Rainbow. Unfortunately that wasn’t”t God’s plan. Chase was only physically with me for a short time, but will be in our hearts forever.

I miss you Chase. I miss you so much. You were in my life for a short time, and as hard as it was to let you go, I thank God for you. Losing you was devastating, but knowing there were other angels in Heaven waiting to take care of you, brought me comfort.

Happy due date Chase. Sorry it has taken me so long to acknowledge this, but I just couldn’t write out my thoughts and feelings until I was ready. I love Baby Chase. 💕

Go Back to School and Get a Bachelor’s Degree… ✔️

Goals

Guess what!?!?… I finally did it! I graduated college and received my Bachelor’s degree! I now hold an Associate’s degree in General Studies, an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development.

It has taken me 7 years total to complete my college journey. I spent 3 years at community college, took a gap year and 3 years at a university. To be honest, I thought I was going to be in college… FOREVER. And I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be done.

I went through a lot of changes through these last 7 years. I fell in love, got engaged and got married. I worked numerous jobs including receptionist, food service, and lead teacher. I also received scholarships, rewards, dean’s list recognition, and participated in student organizations. I endured a lot of hardships including depression, anxiety, financial challenges, miscarriages, surgery, and grief. Lastly, I made long lasting friendships, received so much love and support from family, learned life long lessons and received a wonderful education.

So many times I wanted quit. So many times I wanted to throw it all away. So many times I thought it was too hard and I just wasn’t made for college. But I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up. I kept pushing forward and I reached my goal. It was’t easy… but I did it.

As many of you know, due to this whole coronavirus pandemic, many graduation ceremonies were cancelled or postponed… including mine. On my graduation day, I proudly put on my cap and gown, and drove to see my family. I sat in the car and they saw me from a distance. I’m thankful they were able to see me on my graduation day.

When we got home, my hubby took pictures and made me a wonderful graduation dinner. Though this day wasn’t anything like I had expected, and I was slightly bummed I wasn’t able to participate in a ceremony with my class; I’m still thankful I was able to celebrate and make the most out of this day.

So it’s official. I did it. I still can’t believe it. I’m officially a college graduate! 🎓

My Dining Room Reveal!

Home Decor, Just Me Blogging

Hello Friends! Last weekend, I did something pretty cool. My husband and I bought a new dining room table from Walmart. It took us most of Sunday to put it together, but we finally did it! I’m super excited for you to see my dining room!

One of the first things we did after putting together the table and chairs, was putting together our bulletin board. For awhile now I have had a bulletin board, and a dry erase calendar. They both take up quite a bit of space on the wall, so I thought… why not combine them! This was a fun little DIY project I did by using materials I already had, and making it work for our family.

I am so impressed with how our dining room turned out, and how our apartment is coming together beautifully! I simply can’t wait to have Sunday morning breakfast and holiday meals in our new dining room. What room would you like to see next? Kitchen? Laundry Room? Balcony? Let me know! 💕

My Living Room Reveal!

Home Decor

My living room is probably my favorite place in the apartment, at the moment. I absolutely love the layout, the sliding glass door, the natural lighting, and the fireplace! It has been so much fun to be able to decorate this part of our home, as I have been able to add some new decor!

In our previous apartments, I have never had so much natural lighting and never have had luck in growing plants. However, since this whole quarantine business, I have an abundance of time and natural lighting for my precious plant babies. Everyday I place my plants out on my balcony to get some sun light, and every evening I bring them in before they get cold. If it’s too cold during the day, I set them near the sliding glass door window to get their sun light. Having a sliding glass door off the livingroom has really been a blessing.

As of right now we are still using my trunk as a table, but I am hoping once the pandemic has passed, we can purchase a new coffee table (I’ll keep you posted :D) We recently purchased our two maps of NYC and Paris from Target. They were on clearance for $8! What a great deal!

The fireplace, as I mentioned is one of my favorites! I also love my gorgeous palm tree named Sandy. She adds just the right touch to our home ❤️. One last piece of home decor I truly appreciate is the large cross that we have hung over our fireplace. This was a wedding gift from a dear friend of mine, and it says “Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us… but the greatest of these is Love.”

There you have it! Let me know what you think of my living room by dropping a comment! ⬇️

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

Miscarriage

It’s okay to not be okay… and today I am not okay. A year ago today I was happy. I went to a doctor appointment that I thought would leave me joyous and thankful. Instead it left me with every emotion imaginable, and this is when my grief first began. I was 11 weeks pregnant. I was supposed have an ultrasound and hear my baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. Instead I heard the words “I’m so sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat.” Instead of feeling joyous, I left feeling empty and broken.

My life changed that day. I became an angel mommy. I had to learn how to let go of a child that I fell in love with but didn’t get to meet. I learned who my true friends and family were. I learned how incredibly common pregnancy loss is, even though no one talks about it. I learned that there are good people in the healthcare system who go above and beyond for their patients. I also learned how the healthcare system let’s so many women like me down. I learned how to grieve, how to live, and how to be happy again. It wasn’t easy, and trust me… I’m still working on it.

Grief is a burden that we all have to deal with in this life. There is no telling how or when you’ll go through it. But we grieve because we love. It hurts because we don’t want to say goodbye. It’s confusing because we don’t know how to handle it until it happens. But more often than not grief brings people together. Whether it’s losing a parent, losing a sibling, losing a friend, losing a child, losing a neighbor, a coworker or even someone well known… it hurts, and it unifies us.

So today I am not okay. I am giving myself permission to grieve my baby. I’m not going to feel guilty for not being my best today. I’m going breathe, rest and remember what I had before I had to say goodbye, and that’s okay.

I love you Mackenzie! Daddy and I miss you so much. 💕

New Possibilities

Life After Miscarriage, Miscarriage

No, this is not a pregnancy announcement or a trying to conceive announcement. This isn’t an announcement at all, but rather a vision for new opportunities. I love having friends and family who know me. I love having these people in my life who take the time to listen and care for my needs and desires as a person and as a woman.

Recently, one of my best friends gave me a gift. At first when I received the gift, I didn’t know how to feel or what to think. My friend Reaghan gave me a planner, but not just any planner. She gave me a Mommy To Be planner. This planner is specifically for expectant moms who want to organize and prepare for their baby’s arrival.

Now, I didn’t ask for this gift, and frankly I was a little shocked to have received it. After my first miscarriage, I knew I would eventually want to try and have another baby. But after experiencing a second miscarriage, I’m not really sure how I feel. I’ve had two pregnancies that ended with surgery, and trauma. I don’t know if I can bare another loss. I don’t know if my heart can take it. It scares me.

However, even though I’m not sure if I could handle another pregnancy, I am sure of something. I want to be mom. I believe I will be a mom somehow and in someway. Whether it’s through foster care, adoption, pregnancy, surrogacy, or ministry… I believe it’s what God has called me to do.

I think that’s why Reaghan gave me this gift. Not because she thinks I’m trying to get pregnant, and not because she didn’t know what to get me, but because she knows me. She knows I want to be a mom and she knew just what to give me in this time in my life, when I simply don’t know what the next step is. She is a true friend. ❤️

A Recap of 2019

Just Me Blogging

What can I say about 2019? This year has been life changing, hard, emotional, shocking, grief stricken, crazy, a whirlwind, encouraging and just down right challenging. Regardless, of the fact that the bad often out weighed the good, I’m thankful. Another year is in the books. I would like to take a moment and take a look back at my 2019.

In January…

I found out I was pregnant

I started my first internship at a government agency.

I became president of a student organization.

In February…

I saw my baby on ultrasound

I suffered my first miscarriage

I had a D & C

I switched internship sites, and started interning for the Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign on campus.

In March…

March is a blur.

I recovered physically from surgery.

Emotionally I was in a fog.

In April…

I presented on Trauma in my internship.

I received the Healing and Growth Award at my internship.

Started my Blog!!!

In May…

I celebrated my first Mother’s Day

I took a getaway to the lake shore with my husband.

I completed my internship.

In June…

Got diagnosed with hypothyroidism

Committed to a Summer of Self care

Started another internship

Reopened my Etsy Shop.

In July…

Published for the first time, my story in a magazine.

In August…

Started working out regularly.

Started my senior year of college.

Attended a University football game.

In September…

Got pregnant for the second time.

Honored my due date

Took a weekend trip to the cabin with my girls

Suffered a second miscarriage.

In October…

Started writing my book.

Became temporarily anemic

Celebrated Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day.

Hubby got in a car accident.

Applied and got approved for graduation in April 2020.

In November…

Decorated for Christmas

Hosted a Friendsgiving with my college friends.

Celebrated 3 years of marriage.

Cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and I.

Presented a speech on miscarriage.

In December…

Finished my second to last semester of college.

Got another car.


All in all, this year has been a little crazy. I pray that the new decade and new year is sweeter, and smoother for everyone.

Our Christmas Tradition

Just Me Blogging

Merry Christmas Eve Friends! I can’t believe it’s already the 24th of December. This month is flying by! Every Christmas my husband Charlie and I share a little Christmas tradition.

Have any of you ever seen the classic movie A Christmas Story? In my family, I was raised watching this movie every Christmas. It is an old and corky classic, that you can’t help but love. There are many scenes in this movie you might be familiar with, even if you haven’t watched the movie from beginning to end. For instance the dad cusses like a sailor, and the furnace is always malfunctioning. Or the youngest son in the movie gets wrapped in too many layers of snow gear by his mom, and is temporarily stuck in a T shaped position until he makes it to school. Or how about how the oldest son Ralphy is given a bright pink bunny suit from an auntie for Christmas… and later gets a BB gun and gets struck by an icicle. There are a lot of great scenes from this Christmas classic, and I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it. But my favorite part of the movie is when the neighbor’s Rottweilers stampede through the family kitchen and destroy Christmas dinner. It’s sad for only a moment, until the family decides to go out for Chinese food for Christmas dinner instead.

That is where our tradition got started. A few years ago, my parents and I would get Chinese food for Christmas dinner. When I married my husband in 2016, we continued the tradition. Sometimes we get Chinese food on Christmas Eve and sometimes on Christmas Day. It all really depends on when the Chinese restaurants close and how things play out each year. This year I have a feeling we will be enjoying our Chinese food tonight, and enjoy any leftovers on Christmas Day.


What are your Christmas traditions?


Merry Christmas Friends! I wish you all a safe and happy holiday

I’m Not Sure How to Survive the Holidays with Grief in my Heart

Life After Miscarriage

To be honest, I’m not feeling very festive this Christmas. This past year has been a tidal wave of grief that I didn’t plan for, nor did I appreciate. On top of grief I’ve had other struggles including anxiety, depression, weight gain, self doubt and distress. Some might say this past year has made me stronger, and in many ways I believe that. But in this moment, this past year has only made me hate life.

When you’ve faced trauma, something changes in you. You see things differently, and you know things can get worse because you’ve lived it. When you’ve faced repeated trauma, not only are you traumatized, but also on edge. You’re just waiting for something bad to happen, or something else to go wrong. It’s exhausting, but if you’ve already been blindsided by trauma before, it’s almost an illogical effort to worry and fret for the bad things, in hopes that you will be somewhat prepared if they happen. I have lived this way almost every day this past year, and it’s really not anyway to live.


This Christmas was supposed to be different.


I have thought about Mackenzie everyday since she’s been gone. Losing her, has changed my life forever. She made me a mom. Even more, she made me an Angel mommy. This year I envisioned caring for an infant at Christmas time. Charles and I would head over to my parents on Christmas morning. She would be spoiled by her Grandma, and cooing at the cats and her Grandpa. She would be wearing the cutest Christmas jammies, and be smiling from ear to ear. Everything was going to be perfect as I celebrated my first Christmas as a mom.

Instead this year, I am celebrating Christmas as an Angel mommy. My baby Mackenzie will not be in her Christmas jammies, and my baby Chase will not be warm in my tummy. Instead I will be here loving and missing my babies, while Mackenzie and Chase will be in Heaven celebrating at Jesus’s grand birthday party. They will be having more fun than I can even fathom. As much as I want them here with me, I know they are safe and happy right where they are.

It won’t be easy… It won’t be easy this Christmas seeing friends and their baby’s first Christmas. But no one said this life will be easy. No one said we are all meant to take the same journey. And no said this world is prefect. So through my tears and heartache, I will get through this Christmas with my family, because my babies deserve to see me have joy my first Christmas as their mom. ❤️

Father’s Grieve Too

Life After Miscarriage

Why is it that when a couple loses a baby, society is more concerned of how the mother is doing more than the father? Why is it our society perceives a mother’s grief to be more substantial than a father’s? Why is it implied that father’s don’t grieve too? I believe it all boils down to stereotypes and the old thinking of men have to be strong and hold in their emotions. While women are delicate and emotional. Well, I have news for you. Sure these stereotypes do have some truth, but it’s not right to assume all men and women fall into these cookie cutter images. The reality is men can be strong but so can women. Women can be emotional and so can men. Women aren’t the only ones who grieve for the loss of a loved one.


Mother’s certainly grieve for their babies who are gone too soon… but father’s grieve too.


After I experienced my first loss, I didn’t realize how my husband grieves. I didn’t doubt that he too was hurting and grieving over the loss of our baby, but I didn’t understand how he grieved. For the most part, Charles grieved in silence. I liked talking about our baby after both our first and second loss. Charles however, didn’t like to talk about it. Charles was more than willing to listen to my thoughts, but wasn’t too willing to share his own. This often turned into a lot of spats because I didn’t understand his grief and he didn’t understand mine. Eventually, we were able to come to a understanding.

With time, Charles would open up about his grief and sorrow he was feeling. For instance, when we would go to a store and see cute children’s clothing on the racks, he would make comments about how he wishes we could have kids who could wear cute outfits like that. Or when we would see children at a playground or park, he would mention how seeing those kids makes him sad and miss our kids sometimes.

After awhile, I had come to realize why Charles grieves the way he does. Since our losses were so hard on me emotionally and physically, he didn’t feel right falling apart while I was already a mess. He felt he needed to be the strong one, and help me through. Then, once I was feeling more stable, he was more willing to open up about his emotions and grief.


If you too have a boyfriend, partner or husband that doesn’t outwardly show his grief… you are not alone.


It can be challenging as we all grief differently. My advice to you would be communicate with one another and allow each other to grieve in your own time. My mistake, and often the reason for many of our spats was that I would push my husband to grieve… and that wasn’t right. With time, patience and communication…. grief starts to become more manageable… and something to experience together rather than apart.

My Worst Fear… Again

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

The following post is my story of how I experienced my second miscarriage. In this post I show vulnerability in retelling my second loss. I also share details in my miscarriage, so I do want to offer a TRIGGER WARNING before anyone begins reading my post. Please feel free to stop reading, and take care of you if my words, and my story are challenging to read.

At 12am on Sunday September 29th, I was startled awake. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. I had just gotten home from the ER a few hours prior. I was advised by my doctors and nurses to get some rest. I had only been asleep for a few hours when I woke up at midnight. I was confused. My heart was racing. I was sweating and I felt really uncomfortable. It’s just anxiety. Calm down. Relax. Baby is okay. I tried talking myself down from my minor panic attack.


I nudged Charles awake. He held my hand and we both fell back asleep.


I woke up again around 2:15am. I woke up sweaty and gross and had to go to the bathroom. I was scared to see I was still spotting and it was getting worse. I was now seeing bright red blood instead of light pink. In wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was getting darker. I prayed, prayed, prayed then fell back asleep.

I woke up at 4am in pain. Cramps radiated from my groin throughout my back. I couldn’t get comfortable. I held my belly, then curled up in a ball. It wasn’t taking the pain away. I got out of bed and tried stretching my legs and my back. I was so confused. What was going on? Why was I in so much pain? After a few minutes of stretching the pain died down. I laid back down. Fifteen minutes later it happen again. Sheering pain was radiating through my core. I tried stretching, pacing and slowly breathing, at that moment it dawned on me. Oh my gosh… I know what this is. Cramps that are painful that radiate throughout my back. Uncomfortable positions. Pain every few minutes. This pain wasn’t just cramps, these were labor pains. I was in labor and I was going to lose this baby.

When this realization hit me, I wanted to throw up. Part of it was the pain, and part of it was my mind and emotions trying to catch up with what my body already knew. I had cramps every fifteen minutes, then every ten minutes, then every five. I paced through my apartment, tried laying in bed and tried sitting on the toilet. Nothing helped with the pain. Around 5:15am, I found myself laying on my bathroom floor sobbing.


I felt scared and alone. I considered waking up Charles, but I didn’t. I didn’t want him to be scared.


At 5:36am I cried out to God. I pleaded with God to help me. I knew my baby was already gone, and my body had a job to do. I knew this was completely out of my control. I knew the end was coming, but I couldn’t bare to think about it. I asked God that if this was it, if I was truly going to lose my baby, then could He just please make it quick. Ten minutes later at 5:46am, I felt my baby leave my body. I felt blood pour out of me and I felt my heart shatter yet again as I said I’m so sorry to my baby, and left the bathroom.

I went into my room and woke up Charles. I sobbed and told him what happen. He was confused and saddened. He held me and we cried together. That was it, it was done. My second pregnancy and my Rainbow Baby Chase were gone.


The next morning we woke up and tried to wrap our minds around what had happen. I took it easy that day, since my body was truly drained. I reached out to family and friends and let them know what had happen. They sent their love and condolences. I couldn’t believe it. We lost another baby. Why? That afternoon, Alli and Andrea sent us some flowers that read: In Loving Memory of Baby Chase. Reading this made me cry, and after that I didn’t cry for awhile. I didn’t feel like I should.

A Scare at 7 Weeks and 3 Days

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

Saturday September 28th, was supposed to be a very relaxing day. I didn’t have any plans that day except for studying and relaxing at home. I spent the morning in my pjs, drinking decaf coffee and catching up on some reading. Charles headed to our university’s football game and hung out with friends. I felt completely fine, except some cramping around my pelvis and cervix. However, I was convinced that this cramping was completely normal in early pregnancy.

Around 1:30pm I made myself some cheesy potatoes for lunch. I then went to the bathroom for probably the tenth time that day. When I went to the bathroom, I felt completely normal and pregnant. When I went to wipe though, I froze. Blood. There was blood. I was bleeding. I was spotting. Oh no! I instantly started to panic. It wasn’t a lot of blood, and if I were to describe it…. it was like the color of pink lemonade. Regardless, it was enough blood to scare me.


Why was I bleeding? This can’t be happening! Not again! I can’t handle this! I can’t handle another loss! I frantically started praying. God please, please keep baby Chase safe! I don’t want to lose him!


I immediately called Charles. Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I told Charles what was going on and he immediately headed home. While I waited for Charles I called my friend Andrea. She prayed over Chase and I. I also called the midwife on call. I explained to her how I was feeling, and what I was seeing. The midwife explained that unfortunately it did sound like another miscarriage, but I could always go the hospital to get checked out if I wanted to. When Charles got home he hugged me, and reassured me things were going to be okay. Then we headed to the hospital.

Going to the ER on a Saturday afternoon, I knew there would be a wait. However, I didn’t anticipate a full hour wait. When we were finally called back, I was able to relax and rest in bed. My cramps were still mild and the bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse. I was thankful for that. I explained to every nurse and doctor I saw my symptoms and medical history. I had a variety of tests done including CBC blood work, urine test, pelvic exam and three ultrasounds.

One nurse that particularly stood out to me was Doug. He was the best male nurse I have ever had. He went above and beyond to take care of me, my baby and my husband. He was funny and very willing to answer my questions. He also disclosed to us that his wife has had three miscarriages, and currently has two sons at home, and an infant in the NICU of the hospital. One thing Doug said that truly stood out to me, was this: At this point we don’t know if you are going to have a miscarriage or have a healthy pregnancy. But just try to take care of yourself and rest. Know that you have done nothing wrong. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be at this time….


Don’t be scared, because your body knows what to do, and it is going to do what needs to be done. So, take care of yourself and be there for one another because this affects both of you.


Based on all my tests, everything was completely normal. My blood work showed that my HCG was in the 2000s which was higher than I ever had with my first pregnancy. My hemoglobin, and thyroid levels also looked great. My urine was fine and no UTI. My pelvic exam was normal besides some uterine bleeding. Lastly, my ultrasounds all came back fine. The reason I had three ultrasounds is because the doctors had a hard time finding the fetus. The ER doctor first used an ultrasound machine beside, which apparently has a difficult time picking up a fetus smaller than 12 weeks. I was then sent to an ultrasound room where I had another test done over my belly. The tech also had a hard time finding the fetus, so I had to have an inner-vaginal ultrasound. During this test, the tech and Charles were able to see the baby. Baby was only measuring at 5 weeks and 2 days… which was strange since I was supposed to be two weeks further in my pregnancy. However, the doctors said it was a possibility I had ovulated late. Besides that, baby was still attached to the uterus and everything seemed normal.

That night around 6:30pm we were sent home. I called and texted family and friends to let them know what was going on. When we got home, I forced myself to rest and take it easy. Shortly after arriving home, I had to go to the bathroom again. Though I was hoping the bleeding had stopped, I was still anxious by what I saw. I was still bleeding and it was getting brighter and thicker. Even though I was cleared to go home, I still feared I was going to lose this baby. Charles took the evening to hold me, and reassure me that it was going to be okay. That night when I went to sleep I had peace and faith I was going to wake up in the morning, with no bleeding and feeling so much better. I was convinced my baby and I would be fine, until I woke up at 12am the next morning……

6 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy

My second pregnancy was different than my first. For my pregnancy with Mackenzie, I was in shock for days and not at all prepared. For my pregnancy with Chase, I was very prepared for the first trimester as I knew what pregnancy symptoms to expect. At 6 weeks I was already feeling nauseated, tired, hungry and hormonal.


Though these early pregnancy symptoms weren’t exactly fun, they gave me comfort knowing my baby was doing okay, and my pregnancy was on track.


For this pregnancy, I had my mind made up that I definitely didn’t want too many people to know. I didn’t come to this decision lightly. The reason I didn’t want to share about our pregnancy isn’t because we didn’t want people’s love and support; more less, we just wanted to keep it under wraps until I was further along. I don’t in any way regret telling people I was pregnant before my first miscarriage….. but I have learned a lot since then. I have learned that people will look at you differently when you go through a traumatic event. I also learned that though people may have good intentions… they can say some really hurtful things on the topic of miscarriage. Due to all of this, Charles and I decided to keep things a secret until we were ready to handle other people’s opinions.

At this stage in my pregnancy, I had so much peace. I had peace knowing and believing my baby was going to be okay. All the statistics and stories I had read, told me I was more likely to have a healthy pregnancy than a repeat miscarriage. My HCG and thyroid levels were great for a healthy pregnancy. I was ten times stronger than I was before experiencing a loss. Lastly, my faith, my education, my relationships and my job were all in a good place. Things were starting to go right for once.

A Weekend Away to Honor My Due Date

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

On Friday September 13th, my best friends Alli, Andrea and I all took a trip to their family’s cabin. This was a well needed trip as not only did we all need a vacation and time to catch up with one another, but I also wanted to take time away to grieve and honor my due date. My due date with Mackenzie was technically on September 16th, but since that day landed on a Monday, we decided to take a weekend trip instead.

The night before leaving for our trip, I decided to share with Andrea and Alli that I was pregnant again. I sent them both a picture of my felt letter board declaring that I was 5 weeks. They both were very excited for us and even suspected I might be pregnant again.

On Friday evening around 5pm, we left for our trip. We were headed up north. We spent the car ride talking and catching up. On the way to the cabin we stopped to get gas, get some groceries, and even got some Subway. When we arrived at the cabin, we got everything situated including turning on the water, and bringing in our luggage. We spent the evening playing board games, and telling stories. It was the perfect way to start our weekend away.

The next morning we woke up to a site so incredibly tranquil. In the living room of the cabin, there is a beautiful front window that faces miles of woods and meadow. This scene is especially beautiful in the mornings as the sun is rising, and the sun shines through the leaves of the trees. That morning we were able to see this beautiful scene, along with deer frolicking through the woods, and the sound of birds singing their morning song. It was breath taking.

That morning I also told my parents about my pregnancy. I texted my Dad and Grandma a picture of my felt board, and I told my mom over the phone. My mom cried but seemed okay. My dad seemed okay but was cautious as well. Later, the three of us headed to Traverse City Michigan. This city was just over an hour away from our cabin. In Traverse City, we walked around enjoying some window shopping. We also took a stroll down to the lake shore and enjoyed beautiful Lake Michigan. Andrea and I relaxed and sat in the sand. Alli took a stroll down the shore.

As I sat on the shore, I took a few moments to soak it all in. As I heard the waves crash on to the shore, I went deep into thought. I was supposed to be having Mackenzie right now. I was supposed to be in labor and giving birth. I was supposed to be preparing to hold my baby. These were things I thought were supposed to be different. I reflected back to this last year, when 2019 began. I got pregnant. I was so scared, but so incredibly excited. I enjoyed my pregnancy, fell in love with my baby, and prepared to announce with my family. My heart shattered when we were given the news our baby no longer had a heart beat. I went through grief, surgery, thyroid problems, weight and postpartum struggles, depression and anxiety. I also started a blog, shared my story in Toi Magazine, got a job as an assistant editor, developed relationships and friendships with other wonderful women, and even started my own business. Lastly, I came to a place where I conquered my worst fear. Losing Mackenzie was the hardest event in my life I have ever experienced, but through it, as my momma would say, I have become resilient.


I am stronger and more resilient because of Mackenzie and because of what God has allowed me to go through. Due to this, I am filled with gratitude.


I continued thinking about how far I’ve come and where I am now. I am pregnant again, I thought. I had come full circle. I thanked God for this beautiful baby. I even thanked Mackenzie for sending us little Chase right when we needed him most. I held a tiny bit of guilt and feared I was replacing Mackenzie with this baby, but I knew I wasn’t. When I last visited Mackenzie’s garden, I asked her to send us another baby. I knew then that God would send us another baby in His timing.

When we returned from Traverse City, we all took a nap back at the cabin. After our nap we made dinner together. Homemade pizza and salad is what was on the menu. It was delicious and fun to cook together. For the rest of the trip, we continued bonding, telling stories and catching up on each other’s lives. Since Andrea and I were both pregnant, the conversation was often surrounded around pregnancy and comparing each of our pregnancies. I am really thankful to have been able to go on this trip with my girls, as well as go to the lakeshore to reflect and honor my due date.