To the Grieving Mother on Mother’s Day… This One is for You.

I wrote this post a year ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. ❤️

It’s Mother’s Day. This is the day we celebrate all the mothers. We celebrate the women In our lives who have raised us, nurtured us and taught us how to be good people in our society. We celebrate the women who showed us unconditional love from the very beginning. This day is meant to be a celebration, but to many… it is a somber holiday.

Being a mother is a very special role. It is one of, if not the hardest jobs there is. That being said not all mothers are the same. When you think of a mother you likely will think of biological moms, step moms, foster moms, moms who have adopted and grandmothers. But what about the other moms in this world? What about the women who hold a mothering role in a child’s life, such as an aunt, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor. What about the moms who have lost a child, whether it was a pregnancy loss, neonatal loss or loss of a child at an older age?


ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE JUST AS MUCH MOTHERS, AND HOLD A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR SOCIETY AND IN A CHILD’S LIFE. 


And let’s not forget all the women who want to be mothers. These women may struggle with infertility, illness, are choosing not to have children at this time in their life or suffer from recurrent miscarriages. These women are as much mothers to our society and to children in our world, just in a different way. 

This mother’s day is also different as the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented some children from seeing and celebrating their mother’s today. It almost seems as if there is a grief in the air just from the pandemic. I feel that in it self has made this holiday especially somber this year. 

Even though this is a holiday to celebrate all the mothers, it is sometimes a somber holiday for those who have lost a child, who are unable to have children, or who have lost their mothers. If you are reading this, and you have lost your mother, lost a child or are unable to have children, I just want to say… I am so sorry for your loss. I’m sorry this holiday brings up emotions of grief, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety and dread. I’m sorry for the atmosphere of loneliness you feel on this holiday. I want to remind you though that you are not alone. Yes, your experience is yours, but their are so many of us who too have experienced that loss. 


THERE ARE SO MANY OF US WHO HAVE FELT THE PAIN THAT CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN THIS LIFE, EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T TALK ABOUT IT. 


So today, not only are we celebrating all the traditional mother’s out there, but we are remembering the mothers who have faced loss and heartache as well. I can tell you first hand, this day is not easy, but when the grief and loneliness become too much, remember to take care of you. Don’t have high expectations on yourself. Give yourself grace and love. Order food in, eat some chocolate, take a bubble bath, binge watch a comedy series, or stay in your PJs. Happy or not this day is about you and the love you’ve shared. 

Today I will be taking it easy and remembering my babies I’ve lost because even though it hurts, they made me a mom. When the grief gets to be too much today, I will remember that I am not any less a mom because my babies are in Heaven. 

I will end with this. It’s Mother’s Day, happy or not this is the day we celebrate and remember all mothers and to all the women who share that role. Thank you for all that you do and love that you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you today.

Roasted Chickpeas Recipe

Roasted Chickpeas is one of my new favorite little snacks. They are not only a great source of protein, but also help curve that craving for a salty snack.

What You Need…

1. 2 Cans of Chickpeas (I buy mine at Walmart)

2. Olive Oil

3. 8 x 8 size Pan (or something similar)

4. Cajun Spice

5. Garlic Salt

6. Paper Towels

What You Do….

First, preheat the oven to 350°.

Next, place a double layer of paper towel on the counter.

Open the cans of chickpeas and drain the water.

Gently dump the chickpeas onto the paper towel.

Spread the chickpeas out evenly on the paper towel.

Place another paper towel over the chickpeas to soak up the remaining water. The chickpeas have to be as dry as possible so that they are crunchy once they are cooked.

Once dry, place the chickpeas in the pan.

Drizzle olive oil across the top of the chick peas, just enough that all the chick peas have oil.

Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Once done, pull out of the oven and sprinkle cajun and garlic salt on the chickpeas immediately.

Note: If you prefer to use other spices on the chickpeas that is fine too! Chickpeas taste great on salads, as a side or even as a little snack!

Let cool and enjoy!

My Goals for 2021

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 Recap of 2020

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

January

  • I started my last semester of college.
  • Started taking Plexus daily.

February

  • I started revamping my resume and applying to various jobs for after I would graduate.

March

  • 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.

April

  • 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.

May

  • 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.

June

  • I went to the cabin with my best friend Alli.
  • Started swimming and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.
  • My husband got a new job.

July

  • I published my first children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven.
  • I adopted a kitten and named him Rocky.

August

  • I turned 25.
  • I continued digging deep and working on my memoir.
  • I grew 9 plants on my balcony.

September

  • I hit 6 months of working at my job.
  • Charles and discussed and decided to pursue adoption.

October

  • I reached 150 followers on my blog.
  • I hit 25 sales on my children’s book.

November

  • I was named teacher of the month at my Job.

December

  • 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. 💕

Happy New Year Friends!

Breakfast Bruschetta Recipe

Bruschetta is one of my favorite meals to make. I often make Bruschetta as an hors d’oeuvre for a holiday meal. However, sometimes I also make bruschetta as a breakfast meal. Check out my newest creation: Breakfast Bruschetta.

What You Need (Feeds 4)

4 slices of White Bread

4 Eggs

8 Sausage Patties

Cooking Spray

Tomato (2 Medium or Large)

Onion (1/2 a red onion)

Olive Oil (1/4 cup)

Garlic (minced, 2 tablespoons)

Cilantro (1 teaspoon)

Basil (1 teaspoon)

Red Pepper Flakes (2 teaspoons)

What You Do

First, make the bruschetta. Finely chop tomatoes, onion and garlic. Mix these three ingredients together and add the seasonings cilantro, basil, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Set bruschetta aside.

Next, spray cooking spray on a large skillet. Place on burner at a medium heat. Place sausage patties on skillet. Flip patties every three minutes. Cook until dark brown/black.

While sausage is cooking, toast 4 pieces of bread in a toaster at medium heat. Place toast on a plate and set aside.

Finally, place a medium size skillet on a burner. Spray with cooking spray and turn burner on to medium heat. Cook four eggs over medium.

Once all food is cooked, place one piece of toast on each plate. Place 2 sausage patties on each plate. Place one over medium egg on each slice of toast. Scoop bruschetta evenly over each plate and enjoy!

Nacho Flavored Popcorn Recipe

Another November recipe!

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

Ingredients

1. Plain Popcorn

2. Butter 1/4 stick

3. Chili Powder 1 tsp

4. Red Pepper Flakes tbsp.

5. Garlic Salt 1 tbsp.

6. Parmesan Cheese 1/4 cup


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

Next melt butter in microwave for 15 – 20 seconds.

Then pour melted butter over popcorn.

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

Mix and Enjoy!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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

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

I am Thankful for…

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

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 🍁

Grief & Mercy 4th Blog Post Round Up

It is time again for another blog post round up! The following are a list of recent blog posts that were not only popular but also a favorite to myself and many of my readers.

My Kitchen Reveal!

In late March, my husband and I moved to our new apartment right at the beginning of the Corona virus Pandemic. It was crazy, quick and overwhelming. Regardless of how we got here, we absolutely love our new home. Check out my kitchen reveal post to see how I decorated our kitchen.

New Edition to the Family!

As many of you know, we did add a new edition to our family this year, and his name is Rocky. He is a gray, long haired domestic tabby. He is super smart, hilarious, and sassy. We love him so much and are so glad we adopted him.

Deep Fried Pickles Recipe

Since graduating from college, I have found myself in the kitchen more often. Part of this is because I have more time to cook, and it is also because I no longer have the luxury of eating meals at the dining hall. Check out my Deep Fried Pickles recipe, and other recipes I will be sharing this month.

What’s My Why?

What’s my why? This is a question that many influencers ask themselves. What’s the reason I write a blog? What’s the reason I advocate for this important cause? What’s the reason I do what I do every single day? This blog post talks all about why I do what I do.

Another Plants Update

This past summer was the first summer I had a balcony. I took full advantage of this balcony by growing many different plants. Check out my different blog posts this summer of my progress and fails in growing plants.

It’s Been 19 Years Since the World Changed

It has been 19 years since 9/11 happened. As I mentioned in this blog post, it is one of the first tragic terrorist attacks that I can recall in my life time. In this post I discuss my memories of that fateful day.

Happy Fall Ya’ll

Having holidays in a new apartment, means I get to try some new decorating ideas. For example, I have never had my own fireplace that I have been able to decorate. But this year, I plan to decorate it for every season. Check out this post to see how I decorated for fall.

Expanding Our Family… What’s Next for Us

This unexpectedly, was a super popular post. This was the post where I shared our thoughts on expanding our family. I also share a tentative 2 year plan as we prepare for parenthood.

Taco Baked Potato Recipe

I am such a huge fan of potatoes and tacos. So I thought, why not combine the two? In this post I share my recipe of a Taco Baked Potato.

Christmas Decorating 2020

Yes, I know… another decorating post. But I can’t help it, I love decorating and home decor. Check out this post to see how I decorated this year for Christmas.

A Look Ahead…

Breakfast Bruschetta Recipe

Our Love Story

Kid’s Corner: Color Sorting Activity

Christmas Decorating 2020

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

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

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

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

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

Taco Baked Potato Recipe

Ready, Set, Here’s another yummy recipe!

Taco Baked Potato (Serves 2)
Ingredients

Skillet

Cooking Spray

Sauce Pan

Water

Medium Bowl

Potato Masher

2 Potatoes

Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Butter

Sour Cream

1/2 lb. of Ground Beef

Taco Saesoning

Lettuce

Diced Tomatoes

Black Olives

Jalapeños (optional)

What You Do…

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

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

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

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

Top with sour cream and enjoy!

My Quiche Recipe

Another November recipe coming at ya!

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

WHAT YOU NEED…

1 Pie Plate 

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

4 Eggs 

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

Spinach (If desired) 

Mushrooms (If desired) 

Bacon Bits (If desired) 

Onion (If desired) 

Black Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes 


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

2. Spray pie pan with non-stick spray.

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Bruchetta Recipe

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

INGREDIENTS 

Baget (Large)

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

Tomato (2 Medium or Large)

Onion (1/2 a red onion)

Olive Oil (1/4 cup)

Garlic (minced, 2 tablespoons)

Cilantro (1 teaspoon)

Basil (1 teaspoon)

Red Pepper Flakes (2 teaspoons)

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

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

3. Dice tomatoes and onions. 

4. Slice Mozzarella cheese (optional)

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

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

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

Bruchetta

Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham

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

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

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

What You Need

Medium frying pan

Aluminum foil

Oil or cooking spray

2 eggs

4lb ham pre-sliced

Shredded cheddar cheese

Feta cheese crumbles

Pitted kalamata olives

Fresh spinach

Red onion

Black pepper

Basil

Hummus (optional)

Avocado (optional)

Small 8×8 pan

What You Do…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham

Enjoy!

An Update On My Writing Projects

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

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

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

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

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