A Look Back at What I Wrote a Year Ago

One year ago, I wrote out a list. This list was how I hoped to see myself a year later. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at how my life was, how it is now, and if things turned out the way I was hoping.


Recently, I was doing some journaling and I thought, why not make a plan of how I hope things are for us this time next year… so I did. 

On this Day Monday April 26th, 2021, what our life looks like now:

Married to Charlie for 4 years

Live in a 1 bedroom apartment 

Own 2 cars 

Been at my job for 1 year 

Have had 2 miscarriages 

Spent a year of trying to conceive so far.

Have a 13 month old kitten named Rocky

Written 1 children’s book 

Published 1 children’s book 

Written memoir 

Not vaccinated with Covid vaccine yet.


How I hope to see our life a year from now…

Married for 5 years Yes!

In process of moving to a 2 bedroom apartment No, we are staying where we are.

Own one car Yes!

Been at my job for 2 years No, only 1 year and 9 months.

Have had 2 miscarriages Yes

Spent 16 months trying to conceive then finally got pregnant. No. We only spent a year of trying.

7 months pregnant No. My baby is almost 4 months old!

Have Rocky and another 10 month old kitten. No. We only have Rocky right now. 1 baby and 1 kitty is enough.

Published 2 children’s books No. Not yet.

Published memoir No. Almost!

Fully vaccinated Yes!

Starting the beginning steps of becoming a foster parent. No. Not at this time.


My life isn’t exactly how I thought it would be a year later, and that’s okay. In fact, I believe it’s better than I ever expected. ❤️

10 Layer Salad Recipe

I love Salad! It’s just one of those foods that makes me feel good when I eat it. I love putting a lot of ingredients in my salad. When I’m craving salad, I usually search my kitchen pantry and fridge to see what ingredients I have that would go great in salad.

Recently I made something I call a 10 layer salad, as I layered my salad with 10 different ingredients. Here is what you’ll need for this recipe:

Ingredients

  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Olives
  • Black Olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Ranch Dressing

And literally all you do is add one ingredient at a time, creating layers in a large bowl. For example I did lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumbers, carrots, green olives, black olives, shredded cheese, roasted chickpeas and Ranch dressing. And that’s it!!! Such a perfect dish for any summer occasion.


If you are wondering how to roast chickpeas, check out my other blog post: Roasted Chickpea Recipe.

Creating a Baby Routine

Now that my baby is 3 months old, I have decided to try to implement more structure to our day-to-day life and set a routine for myself and my baby. Since he is still very little, I am not expecting our routine to be very strict, but rather would like to have repetitive tasks throughout the day that can help my baby feel more secure and allow myself to better plan out each day as it comes.

Our current routine is pretty basic.

  • After each nap baby wakes up, gets changed, has a feeding, burps and snuggles mommy or whoever is caring for him.
  • He has 8 feedings in a 24 period and eats every 2-4 hours.
  • He has anywhere from 1 to 4 naps in a day.
  • Baths are at night before bed 2-3 times a week.
  • Tummy time, swing, music and sensory play happen periodically throughout the day, but at least 3 times.
  • With the weather getting nice we sometimes go on a walk or spend a few minutes on our balcony.

Below is an example of what I would like our routine to look like between now and when he turns 6 months old.

I’m hoping by 6 months we will be very close to our baby sleeping through the night, but we shall see.

This is only the general framework of our routine, I’ll keep you posted on how things are going! 💕

Sprucing Up Baby Boy’s Nursery

In the past few weeks as our baby boy has gotten older, we have been sprucing up Baby Bear’s nursery!

This crib was a gift from family friends who buy storage units. It’s considered a mini crib which is perfect for apartment living. We also put up the animal pictures which were a gift from a coworker off of my registry,

A majority of our son’s books are in the living room, however I like to keep a couple in his bedroom for easy access and late night story time.

We have continued to keep his shelf with bins full of clothes and it is perfect and a very efficient system.

Matthew started rolling around 7 weeks of age. He is now 10 weeks as I write this. Between 7 and 8 weeks we transitioned Matthew from the bassinet to the crib. However, we have kept the bassinet and are using it as a diaper changing station until he fully grows out of it.

This diaper caddy has been a lifesaver. We love having everything accessible and organized for diaper changes.

I decided to also create a bath time basket where all his wash cloths, soaps, shampoos, extra diapers and brushes can be found. I also am hanging his towels on a hook nearby where it can be easily found. I am currently storing this in his room while we continue to give him baths in the kitchen sink. Once we switch to doing baths in the bathroom, I would imagine we will move everything there.

Finally, I’ve continued to store blankets, sheets, bibs, socks and shoes on this shelf.

Thanks for taking this fun little tour of our Baby Boy’s updated nursery! 💕

My 2022 Goals Check In

1. GIVE BIRTH TO OUR BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW BABY! ✅
2. START A SMALL BUSINESS ON THE SIDE (In the planning process)
3. FINISH READING THE ENTIRE BIBLE (In process)
4. MOVE TO A BIGGER PLACE TO FIT OUR FAMILY OF 4! (On hold for now)
5. PUBLISH 1 OF MY BOOKS (In the editing process)
6. PAY OFF HALF OF MY CAR (In process)
7. KNIT CHARLES A SWEATER (In process)
8. CREATE A WILL (Haven’t started)
9. MAKE MONEY BLOGGING AND TURN MY BLOG INTO A JOB FROM HOME (Haven’t started)
10. WRITE 500 BLOG POSTS (In process, 344 written so far!)

1 goal met, several in process and 9 months or so left in 2022. Let’s keep on a keeping on!

How to Style a Bookshelf

I think bookshelves can be so pretty. It’s practically art when you take the time to decorate and organize pieces of your home. Here are a few tips I use to style a bookshelf

.

1. Don’t clutter your bookshelf with just books.

2. Add some decor such as a sign, a picture frame or even a faux plant.

3. Make your book placement intentional. Whether you organize your books alphabetically, by genre, or simply tallest to smallest, make it intentional. Don’t make it look like you just tossed them up there.

4. Add some sort of space for treasures or basic household items, such as a small box or 3 tier drawer.

5. Adding notebooks, paper and pens looks great too!

6. Finally, add something above your bookshelf that catches the eye, such as an inspiring quote, a clock or a piece of artwork.

And ta-da! You now have a stylish bookshelf!!!

Organizing Our Laundry Room

Recently, in between feedings, naps, snuggles and baths; I decided to take some time in my laundry room and do a little organization.

In a one bedroom apartment we really don’t have a ton of space. However, I absolutely love having a washer and dryer in our apartment and not having to drag our laundry to a community laundry room.

Our laundry room is a mix of a storage room, pantry, baby boy’s closet, laundry room and furnace room.

Regardless we are thankful for what we have and I am so grateful I was able to take the time to organize it.

My Top 10 Favorite Date Night Ideas

My Top 10 Date Night Ideas

1. Take a Drive

Take a drive somewhere, anywhere and do some sightseeing on the way. Take a look at the trees and fall colors. Explore your city or another city. Drive to a pond or lake.

2. Go Out for Coffee

Find a cute little cafe in your downtown area, and go out for coffee, tea or a vanilla steamed milk.

3. Have a Game Night

Have a game night with a group of friends or just with your significant other. Play some cards, board games, video games or whatever floats your boat.

4. Have a Movie Night

Go out to the theaters and watch a new release, or plan a movie night at home. Pop some popcorn, dim the lights and play one of your favorites, or a series of movies. I love watching the Toy Story movies. 🥰

5. Go on a Beach Day

Plan a trip to the beach. Pack the towels, sunscreen, umbrella, and snacks and spend some time soaking up the sun.

6. Dinner for Two

Go out to eat and enjoy each others company at a favorite restaurant or dine in at home. Whether it’s something simple like pizza, or fancy like lobster, find something that hits the spot.

7. Try Something New

Plan a date of trying something new with your significant other. Maybe you’ve never gone downhill skiing, rode on a ferry or eaten sushi. Try something new together.

8. Cook Together

Plan out a fun meal at home, and cook together! Maybe you both like Italian, one of you could cook the pasta while the other could cook the garlic bread and you both could toss the salad. It could be a great opportunity to bond in the kitchen and enjoy some great homemade food.

9. Go On a Shopping Trip

Maybe you need to spruce up your home with some new home decor. Take a trip to Hobby Lobby and spend a few hours buying some new home decor that you both love for your home.

10. Plan a Cabin Trip

Plan a trip to a cabin, deep in the woods. Maybe even plan it in the fall or winter when you can keep warm with a fireplace or wood stove. Enjoy the great outdoors and being alone with each other.

My Goals for 2022

This past year, was a good year for us as we grew our family, got a new car and Charles got a new job. I can only imagine how amazing 2022 is going to be. Below is a list of things I hope to accomplish in the year 2022. 🎉

My Goals for 2022

1. Give Birth to our Beautiful Rainbow Baby!

He is due any day now and we just can’t wait to meet him!

2. Start a Small Business on the Side

If you’ve been following me since the beginning you probably remember my Etsy business? My Etsy business was a little shop where I made and sold hand knit and crocheted items. I would like to do something similar to that again. Or at the very least learn to sell things on EBay or Poshmark.

3. Finish Reading the Entire Bible

In 2021, I made it a goal to read the entire Bible. I didn’t quite read the entire thing, therefore this is a goal I would like to pursue until it is completed.

4. Move to a Bigger Place to Fit Our Family of 4!

With Charles, me, our new baby and Rocky… we are going to need to find a new place to live because our one bedroom apartment is getting a little too small. We are hoping to find something that fits our needs whether it be an apartment, townhouse or house.

5. Publish 1 of My Books

I kind of took a step back on working on my books this past year. It really wasn’t my intention but between working full time and being pregnant, my book ideas simply took a backseat. I am hoping to get al least one of these projects finished and up and running this year.

6. Pay Off Half of My Car

Since student loans keep getting pushed back, I thought I would take this year to focus on paying off a good portion of our car.

7. Knit Charles a Sweater

Since Charles and I started dating back in 2014 he has always wanted me to knit him a sweater. I am going to be honest, I have just never had the patience to knit him a sweater. But this year I am really going to try because I know it would mean a lot to him.

8. Create a Will

Now that I am mom, I want to make sure my Baby Boy and my kitty are taken care of if something were to happen to me. This year I want to create a Will so my wishes are met and my family is taken care of.

9. Make Money Blogging and Turn My Blog into a Job from Home

This has been a goal of mine since I started my blog, and with raising a little one there is nothing I would love more than to work from home now. I hope this year I can find the time and self discipline to make it come true.

10. Write 500 Blog Posts

I have been blogging since April 2019, and I thoroughly enjoy it. In 2021 I published up to 315 blog posts. This year I am going to try and reach 500. Let’s see if I can do it!


This year is going to be one for the books… I can feel it! Let’s get started!

Chapter 1: January 2022….

A Recap of 2021

2021 was overall a good year. There were some changes, some things that remained the same, some let downs, some celebrations and a lot of growth. The biggest thing that happen was God blessing us with the opportunity to start a family, and we are over the moon thankful. ❤️

A Recap for 2021

January
  • Published Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Coloring Book
February
  • My Hubby turned 25!
March
  • My Kitty Rocky turned 1!
  • Changed shifts and became an opener at my job.
  • I celebrated 1 year at my job as a lead preschool teacher.
April
  • Started writing my second children’s book.
  • Paid off my car.
  • Bought a new car.
  • Got Pregnant with our Rainbow Baby. 🌈
May
  • Started Growing Avocado Trees
  • Celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week with my fellow teachers!
  • Celebrated my first Mother’s Day pregnant.
  • We had our dating ultrasound and got to see Baby Bear for the first time.
  • Told my family and close friends I was expecting.
June
  • Made our Big Announcement that our Rainbow Baby was on the way!
  • Made it to the 2nd trimester in my pregnancy!
  • We had sequential screening done and got to see Baby Bear again!
  • Started craving lemons and pickles. Had a feeling we were expecting a Boy.
July
  • Started feeling Baby flutters
  • Won the Dustpan Award for the cleanest classroom at work.
  • Celebrated Rocky’s 1 year adoption!
August
  • Heard Baby Bear’s heartbeat using a Doppler for the first time.
  • Had our anatomy scan and gender reveal. We were excited to find out we were having a Baby Boy!!! 💙
  • I turned 26!
September
  • Went on a Fall themed Girl’s Getaway with my friends Alli and Andrea.
  • Told myself it was okay to start buying baby items.
October
  • Held a virtual Baby Book Party!
  • Honored my babies on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
  • Started Decorating the Nursery.
  • Made it to the third trimester!
November
  • Tested Positive for Covid, and had to be quarantined for two weeks
  • Got diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and was bumped up to a high risk pregnancy.
  • Celebrated 5 years of marriage with my husband.
December
  • Packed our bags for the hospital and prepared for Baby Boy’s arrival.
  • Had our last ultrasound and discovered that Baby Boy has long thick hair.
  • Got diagnosed with thyroid problems associated with pregnancy.
  • Took a few maternity photos.
  • Went on maternity leave.
A Recap of My 2021 Goals
  • Publish My Memoir ❌
  • Pay off my Car ✔️
  • Receive my FLE Certification ❌
  • Lose 20 lbs. ❌
  • Buy a New Car ✔️
  • Publish a Second Children’s Book ❌
  • Read the entire Bible ❌
  • Start a Family ✔️
  • Pay Off My Credit Card ❌
  • Publish a Self Care Journal ❌

Grief & Mercy 6th Blog Post Round Up

It’s round up time again! I am sharing my most liked, commented and viewed posts since my last round up. Check it out!

Sequential Screening During the 12th Week of Pregnancy

In this post I discuss not only the anxiety that comes with going through a pregnancy after loss, but also our experience with different genetic testing.

First Few Little Kicks

Feeling baby kicks for the first time was amazing and nothing like I had ever experienced. ❤️

18 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Second Trimester)

This post is about my pregnancy update at 18 weeks.

Gender Reveal! 20 Week Anatomy Scan

Hitting half way in my pregnancy was a huge milestone. Going to our anatomy scan and being able to see baby and all his features was so exciting. My favorite part was finding out what we were having. 🥰

27 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Second Trimester)

This post is about my 27 week update of my pregnancy.

Decorating the Nursery/ Organizing Baby’s Things

In a one bedroom apartment, you are very limited on space. However, I love how our bedroom/baby’s nursery turned out 🥰

10 Things I Will Miss About Being Pregnant

For the most part I had a pretty easy pregnancy until I hit the third trimester. In the third trimester I dealt with GD, thyroid problems and covid. In this post, I talk about the things I will soon miss about being pregnant.

Feeling a Little Extra Thankful

Being pregnant on Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. Charles and I cherished our little family of two + a fur baby, before our rainbow baby arrives. We also spent the morning cooking together.

37 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ Third Trimester)

In this post I give a 37 week pregnancy update, and talk about ways I am preparing for labor.


A Look Ahead…
My Top 10 Favorite Date Night Ideas
DIY Padsicles and Postpartum Care

Merry Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! This is our last Christmas as a family of 3… and yes I am including Rocky in our little family. This year I was very hopeful that our Baby Bear would have a Christmas birthday but that just wasn’t meant to be. It’s okay. We know he’ll come when he is good and ready.

This year has been a little crazy, but Charles and I feel so blessed for everything God has taught us this year.

I unfortunately didn’t get to making Christmas cards this year because Christmas just kinda snuck up on me and I ran out of time.

From our family to yours, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

– The Rhames (Charles, Kaylee, Baby Bear and Rocky!