2020 was a year many thought would be a fresh start. It was the beginning of a new decade and a year for clear vision.,, or so we thought. But instead we were all taken for a loop by this deadly sickness called the Corona virus. In many people there was sheer panic and anxiety, and not long after the way we once lived our lives was no longer. We went from having the freedom to socialize with anyone and everyone, to being instructed to remain 6 feet apart with anyone out side our household. We were required to wear masks everywhere, and no longer had the freedom to dine in restaurants. Students as young as kindergarten and as old as college were forced to complete their studies strictly online.
This year has been anxiety inducing, confusing, exhausting, unpredictable and unexpected. But despite all of that, we have all had the chance at putting things into perspective. With a variety of shut downs and quarantines we have had more opportunities to spend quality time with our immediate families. We have learned to appreciate the time and moments we shared because they are precious, and the future is not promised.
For me personally, this year has been rough, but I have been given a lot blessings as well. This was a big year for me despite the craziness. Today I would like to reflect on 2020, the ups and downs, the blessings and challenges and everything in between.
Recap of My Goals for 2020
Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development. ✔️
Pay off my Car ✖️
Recieve my Certification in Family Life Education ✖️
Get a Pet ✔️
Publish my Memoir ✖️
Move to a New Home ✔️
Get Certified as a Life Coach ✖️
Recap of 2020
I started my last semester of college.
Started taking Plexus daily.
I started revamping my resume and applying to various jobs for after I would graduate.
I started a new job as a Lead Preschool Teacher.
Covid – 19 hit the US and life as we knew it changed.
We moved to our new apartment.
I finished my last semester of college.
My state and pretty much the country was forced into an immediate say-at-home order.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Child and Family Development.
I returned back to work after being laid off.
I redecorated my new apartment.
I celebrated my 2nd Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week.
I honored my Due Date for my 2nd baby.
Charles and I started trying again.
I went to the cabin with my best friend Alli.
Started swimming and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.
My husband got a new job.
I published my first children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven.
I adopted a kitten and named him Rocky.
I turned 25.
I continued digging deep and working on my memoir.
I grew 9 plants on my balcony.
I hit 6 months of working at my job.
Charles and discussed and decided to pursue adoption.
I reached 150 followers on my blog.
I hit 25 sales on my children’s book.
I was named teacher of the month at my Job.
I did some goal setting for the year ahead.
2020 was crazy and definitely a year of change. Moving forward I predict 2021 will bring it’s own set of challenges and blessings. 💕
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.
Today’s the day! It’s August 30th, which was the deadline for my summer bucket list. To be honest, I did not get nearly as many goals accomplished that I had hoped. However, my summer has been quite more busy than I anticipated as well. So, I’ll take what I can get. I hope everyone’s summer has not only been productive but also restful. The following is a list of my summer goals, and how I may or may not have accomplished them.
Goals Met This Summer
1. Grow my Plants and Produce Fruits, Veggies and Spices
This summer, I am proud to say that I actually had a successful garden. I think I planted a total of 13-15 plants since April. Out of all of those I have had about 7 survive. And considering the fact that I used to kill all my plants I ever owned, I would say it was quite an accomplishment. This summer I was able to successfully grow and produce a ton of chives as well as four green peppers!
2. Visit the Lake Shore At Least Once.
In late June, I was able to complete this goal when going on a weekend vacation with my friend Alli. It was warm, beautiful and wonderfully relaxing.
3. Have a Game Night with Friends
In June, Charles and I also had a dinner and game night with friends in our apartment. It was fun to be able to entertain and visit with company.
4. Create and Commit to a Yoga Routine.
This goal was hard to complete, but I would say I have definitely gotten a routine down and completed this goal. For a while, I was very unmotivated to do yoga. I was exhausted, eating junk and living off caffeine. So much so, I forgot how to breathe and how to relax. But now, I have been doing mini yoga workouts a few times a week. I have even taught my preschoolers a few poses.
5. Write and Publish a Children’s Book.
I think everyone knows I completed this goal, and I am so excited for it. My book launched at the end of July and has been pretty successful. I am so thankful I have been able to create something in honor of my babies, and in order to help families who are coping with pregnancy loss.
Goals Not Met This Summer
1. Finish First Draft of Memoir
I haven’t finished this goal yet, but I have made some progress. I am strategically working on different chapters, in hopes of having the first draft done very soon.
2. Crochet a Large Blanket
I didn’t end up finishing this goal either. To be honest, I was not in the mood to crochet much this summer. It has been very hot and just not something I found myself interested in.
3. Apply and Receive my Family Life Education Certification
I haven’t completed this goal yet, and frankly I kind of forgot. It was something I put on the back burner, hoping to get to after Covid. But since Covid isn’t going away anytime soon, I guess it is probably something I should try and figure out.
4. Write and Post 200 Blog Posts.
I was so close to this goal, but I just didn’t quite make it. Including this post, I have written 180 blog posts! I was 20 short of my goal. But that’s okay, maybe next time.
5. Buy a Coffee Table for my Living Room
I haven’t completed this goal. I have had a few expenses come up including a flat tire, a kitten, an antenna etc. Eventually though, I hope to get a coffee table.
What’s my why? What’s the reason I get up everyday? What’s the reason I go to work and teach my preschoolers Monday through Friday? What’s the reason I spend hours writing my books, writing blog posts, and making a point to help others who are struggling. Why do I do what I do? What’s my why?
I get up everyday to help others. It’s what I’m meant to do. It’s my purpose. But often times, I forget about myself. I forget that I need to be taken care of too. I forget that as much as I open my heart to so many children, mommas and people, that I usually forget about my own heart and that it too needs to be nurtured.
Many years ago I developed a passion, a divine destiny, and longing to work with children. Throughout the years I have studied, and learned how to love, teach and admire each individual child that enters my life. Each child has their challenges, their own strengths, and their own story. And though I don’t always know how long each child will be in my life, it is my job as a teacher and as a person to show them love because that is the best gift I can give them.
My job can be so incredibly rewarding. I have built long lasting relationships with families, children I have taught, coworkers and other fellow teachers. Many of these people have seen me at my best and my worst. All of these people hold a special place in my heart.
Through my job as a teacher and as someone who loves kids, it can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging.
Working with children is no easy task. It can be exhausting and emotionally draining. My patience is tested daily and sometimes hourly. I am constantly making decisions, considering choices, choosing my words, and considering how my actions can best teach and set a positive example for my kiddos. It’s not easy, but certainly not impossible.
Teaching has always emotionally affected me, as I am taking care of someone else’s kids when I so desperately desire to have my own. After suffering two miscarriages and reentering the education field, I am even more aware and emotionally affected by the reminder that I still don’t have my own healthy children.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. It sucks. It really really sucks. It’s not fair. It hurts. It’s hard. But I deal with it. Somehow I find the strength to get through it. Everyday, I ask the question, why?Why don’t I have kids yet? Why did we have to lose two babies? Why have we had to go through this? I wish I knew the answers, but I don’t think I ever will.
Through a lot of time, reflection, and healing I have seen how much of my grief, and frustration was turned into something good and used to help others. I started a blog. I’ve shared my story in person and in a magazine. I wrote a children’s book. I have connected with many women around the world who have gone through the same thing. My grief did not happen in vain, it was used to help others.
So you see, the reason I get up everyday to teach children, write blog posts, and bond with other women, is because it’s my purpose in life. It’s what I was made to do. Because of what I have went through, I am able to love and appreciate the children in my life probably more than I ever would have if I hadn’t experienced what I have. Without going through the trauma and loss I did, I wouldn’t have started a blog. I wouldn’t have felt so inspired to write and share my story. Without the bad things happening in my life, I wouldn’t appreciate the good things.
I do what I do because I love and want to help people.
I want to help moms, women, children and families. I want to help all of you. I want to support you, encourage you, guide you and strengthen you. I want to be there for you. That also means I need to be there for myself. I need to take care of me and be kind to myself while I also help others.
Again, it’s not always easy…. and it still really hurts that I am not a mom to babies here on earth. But I take it day by day, and know that my work on this earth is not going unnoticed. I love you all and I am here if you need anything. That is why I do this.
Hi friends! So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I really like fried food. It’s not good for me, and I often end up regretting it since I don’t have a gall bladder, but it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Recently, I learned how to fry pickles. Oh my gosh, let me tell you… they are the bomb dignity!
So, if you are looking for an easy and yummy snack… try these!
What You Need
1. Frying pan
2. Olive Oil (I’ve tried Coconut oil and it doesn’t work)
3. Pickles (I prefer dill pickle chips)
4. Flour (I used wheat flour)
5. Garlic salt
6. Black Pepper
9. Ranch (optional)
First, place the frying pan on the stove. Add about 3 tbsp of olive oil, at least enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Put on medium heat.
Next place flour in a bowl (about 2 cups depending on how many pickles you plan to make).
Coat pickles with flour and place in hot oil. Wait about 30 seconds to a minute and then flip them over. Repeat this process with each pickle until pickles are crisp and ready to be placed on a plate.
Once finished cooking pickles, place on a plate. Sprinkle garlic salt, black pepper, basil, and oregano as much as desired. Add a side of ranch dressing or other dipping sauce for the best pallet experience.
Have you ever heard of Ipsy? A friend of mine introduced me to Ipsy and it is truly amazing. No, this post isn’t sponsored and I’m not trying to sell you anything. This truly is just a cool company that I wanted to share with you.
Ipsy is a company that basically allows you to try different makeup samples each month. You first create an account, take a makeup quiz, find out what choices Ipsy has chosen for you and have it shipped right to your home.
It’s super neat. I am not a big makeup person and I like to drag my feet when it comes to buying makeup. But Ipsy gives me a chance to try different makeup products for a cheap price of $12. It’s awesome and I’m so glad I tried it. Go check out Ipsy friends!!!
As many of you know, I am super big on goal setting. I love setting goals for myself, and doing my best in trying to reach them. Recently, I was looking on Pinterest to see if I could find some inspiration of what to write, and this topic came up. I am always setting summer goals and even goals for the year… but I never thought to set goals before I reach a certain age. So, with out further or do… here are my goals that I would like to accomplish before I turn 30.
1. Have at least two kids (Through birth, adoption or whatever the Lord has planned)
2. Write 5 Children’s Books (I think publishing at least one a year sounds good)
3. Publish My Memoir (I better have this done by then 😂)
4. Move up in my field working with children (Whether that be just more responsibility or a promotion… I’m up for anything)
5. Move into a house (I would prefer here in Michigan, but we’ll see what happens)
6. Get a Dog (Someday soon!)
7. Make Money Blogging (Somehow and some way I would hope to make a small income off of my hobby)
8. Make my Dog a Brand Ambassador (For Real, I want to try this)
9. Go on a Week Long Vacation to Some Place Warm (Fort Lauderdale, or Myrtle Beach sound nice)
10. Have 5,000 Followers on my Blog (Tell your friends about my blog ya’ll!)
11. Get a Cat (the dog will need a friend)
12. Pay Off Half My Student Loans (Get them things paid off)
13. Attend an NCFR or NAEYC conference (Now, this would be fun)
14. Write a Self Care Journal for Women (We ALL need a little daily self care)
15. Visit New York City (I want to see Time Square, Ground Zero, One World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and all the other things)
16. Be on the Today Show (I know this sounds crazy, but I think it would be cool… who knows if it will ever happen)
17. Give a TED Talk (It would be terrifying, but I’d love to do it.
18. Write 1,000 Blog Posts (This should be do-able)
19. Live Life to the Fullest
20. Be a Great Woman, Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Teacher, Author and Human ❤️
My name is Kaylee. If you’re new around here… you may not know much about me. Allow me to introduce myself. I am 24 years old and started this blog about a year and a half ago. I love writing and helping others through my stories of loss and hardship. However, I thought I would mix it up a bit.
Today, I am going to be sharing a few humorous stories about how I somehow seem to catch things on fire. The ironic thing is, my Daddy is a retired firefighter but for some reason… fire just seems to follow me. So, sit back, relax and enjoy these humorous stories.
Fire Story 1: The Fire in the Oven
When Charles and I first got married, we lived in a small one bedroom apartment. One evening after work I decided to bake some chicken wings, and chopped carrots, onions and potatoes. Everything was going great, until I smelled smoke.
I was relaxing in the living room and went to the oven to check it out. The oven did not have a window, so I had to open the door. When I opened the door there was about a four inch flame in corner of the oven. I panicked and yelled for Charles. We didn’t know what to do, and looked ridiculous running around the kitchen.
He told me to calm down and find the fire extinguisher I handed it to him and he used it on the fire. Whelp, that was the end of our dinner. I then called the fire department to have them come check it out. I also called my mom, who panicked and came to help us.
When the fire department arrived, the first one into our apartment was a rookie firefighter and he was so excited for his first fire. He looked very disappointed however, when he realized the fire was small and already out.
The firefighters helped us air out all the smoke, and my mom gave us some money so we could eat at McDonalds for dinner. We figured out later that some grease from the chicken fell on the bottom of the oven and caused the flame. We also discovered that the smoke detector did not work, so in a way it was a blessing that things happened the way they did.
Fire Story 2: The Fire in the Microwave
So, some time last spring I was really into homemade popcorn. I loved air popping the kernels myself, and melting my own butter. One afternoon when I was melting the butter, I heard a really strange sound coming from the microwave. I’m not exaggerating when I say it almost sounded like a radioactive popping sound. I only melted the butter for 10 seconds. I looked around the microwave and didn’t see anything.
About three days later, I made more popcorn. I melted butter and heard the sound again. I looked around the microwave and saw a gray spot on the side near a vent. I thought it was weird but just figured it was something that splattered earlier.
The next day I made popcorn for me and Charles. I decided to make microwave popcorn this time. As it was cooking and had about a minute to go, I heard Bang! Bang! Bang! coming from the microwave. I looked through the window and noticed sparks coming from the inside. I immediately pushed stop, opened the door and unplugged it.
I tried to remove the popcorn bag, and a third of it was black, burnt and smoking. I put it in the sink and ran the water. I looked inside the microwave and one of the vents was black with a hole in it.
Charles then came into the kitchen and said “Girl, what did you do?” I told him what happened and tried to calm myself down but also started laughing. We were without a microwave for about three days until we were finally able to get a new one. We discovered that somehow a build up of grease and butter likely splattered into the vent and caught it on fire.
Fire Story 3: The Fire from the Glue Gun
Sometime last winter, I decided to pull out my glue gun to work on some projects. To be honest, I can’t even remember what I was working on. Anyway, I pulled out the glue gun, and realized the cord would not reach the table if I plugged it into the wall. So, I plugged it into the surge protector on the floor… big mistake.
As I was in my own little craft world, hot gluing away, I was focused close to my project with my face near the glue gun. I sat up to stretch my neck and as I was sitting up I heard Pow! I jolted back into the couch and watched the huge spark from the glue gun turn into smoke. Half my living room went dark and I realized I blew a fuse.
I tried to compose myself enough to call my dad… since he is a retired firefighter. He told me to unplug everything and call maintenance. Everything ended up being fine, and I later learned that you’re not supposed to plug heating elements into surge protectors… lesson learned.
Fire Story 4: The Fire at the Cabin.
Not going to lie, this is probably my favorite fire story because of all the shenanigans that occurred. I certainly saved the best for last.
On Halloween of 2014, my best friend Andrea and I went to her family’s cabin. It was honestly a fun trip, despite everything that happened. The next day on November 1st, Andrea and I drove to the town store that was famous for its’ jerky and was at least a half hour away. Before leaving, I asked Andrea if we should unplug the space heater. She said we shouldn’t have to because it was relatively safe and could be left on for hours if need be.
Before leaving, I prayed everything would be ok, and then we took off to the store. While at the store I bought a bunch of jerky for my family and Charles since we had just started dating. We spent probably 20 minutes at the store, and then headed back to the cabin.
After unloading and arriving in the cabin, we both smelled smoke. Andrea checked the kitchen and all was good. We both headed into the bedroom and noticed the space heater was not on even though we left it on. We immediately went to the outlet, and noticed that the plug melted into the outlet. Andrea quickly unplugged it and said “Thank God”
After putting away the meat and getting in comfy clothes, I called my parents to tell them what had happened. My dad answered and after hearing my story, told me he was glad everything was okay. I hung up from him and helped Andrea open windows to get smoke out of the cabin.
A few minutes later my mom called in a panic and said “Kaylee you really should call the fire department and have them check out the wall. That is how our house fire started. There was fire in the wall.” After thinking about it, she was right. I went into the bedroom and touched the wall just above the outlet. It was still hot. I then hung up from my mom, told Andrea what my mom said and called 911.
When the dispatcher asked for the cabin address, Andrea read it to me off her gps on her phone. After hanging up from the dispatcher, Andrea and I scrambled to put our bras and other belongings away since they were laid out all over. As you can guess, we were not expecting company.
After putting our things away, Andrea and I stood on the front porch waiting for the fire department. A few minutes later, the dispatcher called me back and said “Hi, I’m sorry but the firefighters are having a hard time finding your cabin. Where are you located?” I repeated the address to her and she told me the firefighters are at that location and it seems to be the wrong house. She then suggested I run down to the end of the driveway to see if I could see them. Once I headed down the driveway and reached the road, I looked both ways. There were no signs of the fire engine.
I continued talking to the dispatcher trying to explain where we were at. She asked “Are you sure that is the address” I then remembered seeing the address numbers on the porch and read them off to her. Come to find out we were a number off and they really did go to the wrong house. Oops. Andrea stayed on the front porch and I headed back down the driveway trying to spot the fire engine. Once I spotted the fire engine slowly coming down the road, I told the dispatcher and hung up.
Once the fire fighters pulled into the driveway, Andrea and I decided we needed to just play dumb and innocent because we were already super embarrassed. When the first firefighter got out of the rig he said “You guys need to learn how to read an address.” He was so mad, but he had a point. At the time I felt so bad but now I can laugh about it.
They checked out the cabin to make sure it was safe. They checked out the wood stoves as well as the outlet where the fire happened. They took a thermal imaging camera to check the temperature of the wall and it was around 100° and going down. It was likely just a faulty plug. By then I knew we were going to be okay.
As the firefighters left, we apologized multiple times for the confusion and thanked them for their help. Later that night Andrea called her dad and told him what happened. To this day we still laugh about this story.
Thanks for reading my interesting fire stories. I’ll let you know if I have anymore…. but I hope I don’t. 😂 Let me know what you think in the comments.
I know it has been a long while since my last room reveal… but I finally have my kitchen ready for its’ big reveal! Part of the reason it has taken me so long to complete my kitchen is 1) I returned back to work full time, so I don’t have nearly as much time on my hands as I did during quarantine and 2) the kitchen is something that can get super messy super quickly. Therefore, I didn’t want to take pictures and reveal it to you, until it was clean, organized and perfect. So, without further or do, here is my kitchen!
This kitchen is actually the largest I’ve ever had. It’s not huge by any means, but it definitely has more space to walk around, as well as more counter space to cook and create meals.
The cabinets are narrower than I expected when moving in, but I honestly appreciate it because it helps me to stay downsized in my kitchen items, instead of having a cluttered kitchen.
I really appreciate having counter space on both sides of the oven. It helps me to be able to place dishes on either side when trying to cook.
I also appreciate a larger fridge. In our other apartments, our fridges were a lot smaller.
Lastly, I love the openness of the kitchen. I love that there is a bar/counter on the living room side that is an additional place to sit and eat. I also love being able to see into the living room from the kitchen. The set up of this apartment is truly ideal for a young couple, who occasionally has company over.
Well that’s my kitchen! It’s cute and not too clutter. It’s open and and has a clean home style feel. Let me know what you think in the comments! ⬇️⬇️⬇️
This past weekend I was blessed to not only be given a three day weekend, but also to be able to go with my bestie Alli to a cabin.
Our trip was fun, relaxing and well needed. We not only spent some relaxing time at the cabin, but we also went shopping, stocked up on snacks, drinks and chocolate; and spent some time in the sun on the beach.
I didn’t realize it until after we came back, but going to the lake shore was on my bucket list, so now I am able to check this item off my list.
One of the best moments of the trip was probably Alli’s dog Tessa. Tessa is a shy, cute and curious puppy. She was very brave on this trip as she tried going in the lake and the creek for the very first time. She loved walking through the woods, walking through town and playing at the cabin.
One of the funniest moments of this trip was Tessa practically gassing us out of the car. On the way to the cabin and on the way back, Tessa kept tooting in the back and it was pretty terrible. In fact, we had to roll the windows down a couple of times. Regardless, it made for some good laughs and great memories.
It’s been a year… a full year. It’s been a year since I made a decision that would forever change my life. It’s been a year since I took on a new hobby, that I never thought I would be good at. It’s been a year since I made myself vulnerable and shared my story with the world. It’s bann a year of craziness, growth and healing. It’s been a year since I started this blog called Grief and Mercy, and it has changed my life.
When I first started my blog, I truly, truly didn’t think anyone would read it… except maybe my mom. I’ve enjoyed writing/journaling for a long time, but didn’t think I had what it takes to be a blogger. It wasn’t until my blog was receiving daily views that made me feel like a blogger.
Also, I am absolutely blown away by the statistics my blog has gathered within a year. I’m not sure how any of you feel about numbers, and math but I find it interesting. I’d like to share some with you if that’s okay.
In the last year my blog has received…
In April 2019 compared to April 2020…
148 Views – 150 Views
98 Visitors – 113 Visitors
1 Like – 18 Likes
Recently, I also reached a goal that I want to thank each and every one of you for. My goal I set around Christmas 2019, was that I could reach 100 followers on my blog by May 1st. I am happy to announce that I reached that goal on April 13th and now have 103 followers.
Thank you so much to every single one of you for supporting and joining me on this journey. I have enjoyed blogging so much this past year, and hope to continue blogging for a long time. Thank you so much to everyone who took a chance on reading my first post and have stuck with me since the very beginning. I also want to thank those who have joined me just recently. Lastly, I also want to acknowledge those who may have stumbled across my blog because they found comfort and could relate to my story. Thank you! Thank you everyone!
So far I have written 147 blog posts. This time next year I hope to have written 300. I hope to continue getting followers… 50 more would be nice. I also hope to incorporate new content into my blog. For now, I am going to sign off, as I still have some homework to get done. But I will say, in my very first blog post I said I was taking a leap of faith… and I am so glad I did!