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
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. ❤️
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.
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!
So as many of you know, I’ve stayed pretty on top of documenting and taking photos of my pregnancy and bump progress. One thing I really wish I was able to do, is take some professional maternity photos. For weeks I tried budgeting for photos and we simply just didn’t have the funds. Then I tried reaching out to different family members and friends to take the photos, but it seemed like every time we tried to schedule something there was either bad weather or someone was exposed to Covid.
Thankfully at 35 weeks, my Mama took some time out of her day to take a few cute maternity pictures of us. They turned out adorable and I’m thankful for what we have! 🥰
Baby Bear, we love you so much and can’t wait to meet you! 💕
We are feeling a little extra thankful this year! I thank God for my family and friends, my job, my kitty, my health, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, our little bun in the oven and so much more! ❤️
This year we decided to change our Thanksgiving menu a little and have a porterhouse steak instead of turkey!
We also stuck with some classics, including crescent rolls and gravy.
This month is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. As many of you know I have experienced two losses and now our Rainbow Baby is on the way. Because of this I would like to share some resources I created at the time I was going through my losses in 2019.
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’TOUTWARDLY 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.
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. 💕
A few weeks went by, and Charles and I began talking and getting to know each other in class and through text. I tried very hard not to get my hopes up or read into anything. As a very reserved, previously homeschooled girl, I had never had this kind of friendship with a guy before. Because of this I was constantly questioning, what does this mean? Is Charles interested in me as more of a friend, or does he just want to be friends?
I was secretly asking myself these questions daily. As much as I wanted to be pursued I tried to stay grounded and enjoy this season of friendship and what ever it lead to. I was quite content in this thinking for awhile, until Charles would say things that would throw me off. For example, he would casually mention how we should hang out sometime outside of school. Or our professor would say something about food, and Charles would say that we should go together sometime. Because he said these things so often, I was under the impression it was his way of asking me out. But I also doubted myself, and thought I was just reading too much into it.
When ever Charles would mention, hanging out and going out to eat together, I never really answered him. I wasn’t answering him to be mean, I just didn’t know if he was serious or what we were to each other. At the time we really hadn’t had a define the relationship talk. All I knew is that, I was really starting to like Charles, maybe even more than a friend.
One Thursday morning in October, I headed to my Spanish class. I got to the door when I noticed a note saying our class was cancelled. I was super excited to not have class, and have extra time to work on some homework. I started to text Charles to let him know class was cancelled, when I saw him making his way down the stairs. He was walking and talking with another female classmate.
I’m not going lie. When I saw him, I was crushed. I told myself I got my hopes up for nothing. He’s just a friendly guy. He probably just wants to be friends. He’s not interested in me in the way I was hoping.
The three of us looked at the note. Charles was mad our professor didn’t email us, and he came to school for nothing. Our other classmate decided to go home, and it was just Charles and I standing in the hallway.
Despite the fact that I was questioning our friendship, I still really wanted to spend time with Charles. Charles said he had nothing to do for three hours until his next class. I had work in two hours. I knew it would be a wise decision to go find a quiet spot in the library and catch up on some homework. But, my gut and my heart told me to ask Charles to hang out. I almost didn’t say anything. But I knew the worst he could say was no, so I gave it a shot.
“I have a couple hours before I have to go to work, do you want to hang out in the student center?” My voice was shaky, but I was trying so hard to be brave.
“Okay” Charles said smiling. We then headed to the student center. I was dangerously smitten, still not sure what to think.
The intention was to sit in the student center, grab a bite to eat, have some light convesation and do some homework. That did not happen. Charles and I sat for two hours talking. I forgot to eat and we never pulled out our homework. We talked about everything from school, to our faith, to childhood, to family, to friends, to food. Charles again mentioned that we should go out to eat sometime. I pondered his question for a moment. Since I was already feeling brave, I decided to give him an answer.
“Okay, we can go out. When would you like to do it?”
Charles seemed surprised that I actually said yes. It must have thrown him because he didn’t say anything for a minute. After a long pause he finally said,
“Sorry, I’ve never done this before.” He then seemed to get nervous and not sure what to do next. “Well, you said you’ve never tried indian food before, and there’s a new Indian restaurant that just opened. Would you like to go there?”
I told him yes. It then became kind of awkward as we ironed out the details. We discussed how this is considered a date for the both of us. Charles mentioned that he wanted to do it after he would get paid that Friday, and we determined a date and time.
Our first date was planned for Saturday October 10th at 6pm. This only gave us both two days to prepare. I was so excited but so incredibly nervous.
On Saturday morning, I did some studying and went out to brunch with my momma. We had a very enjoyable meal talking about boys, dating and just growing up. I was super thankful to have this time with my mom before my very first date.
Around 4pm I started to get anxious, and had no idea what to wear. I settled on wearing dress pants, a nice shirt and my favorite jean jacket. I also spruced up my outfit with a little bit of perfume and some jewelry.
After scheduling our date, I made arrangements with my best friends Andrea and Alli to also come to the restaurant we were going to eat at. I did this because 1) I still didn’t know Charles all that well and I wanted to make sure I had a way to leave the date if things went south. 2) I was extremely nervous, and felt it would help me knowing somebody I knew was nearby and 3) this was a first for me and I needed the support and a little gentle push from my friends.
Around 5:30, my mom drove me to the Indian restaurant where I was planning to meet Charles. On the way to the restaurant I continued blabbering on to my mom about how nervous I was. When we turned on to the street where the restaurant was I began I get huge butterflies. This is stupid. This is so stupid. Why am I doing this? Just when I was deep in my thoughts about this whole thing, my mom said…
“Oh look, I see your friend!?” And just like that sheer panick came over me. I freaked out and yelled to my mom.
“Ah, mom I’m not ready for this! Drive!” I startled her with my response, and she continued driving trying to calm me down. As we continued driving we passed Charles walking to the restaurant. I asked my mom to circle the block a few times, as I still needed a few minutes. She tried her best not to laugh at my ridiculousness and kept driving.
About a minute later I received a text from Alli, asking why we passed the restaurant. I then realized that when my mom said she saw my friend she was referring to Alli and not Charles. I was obviously not thinking clearly as I realized my mom hadn’t even met Charles yet, so she didn’t know what he looked like.
I took a few minutes in the car to calm down, and let my mom pull into the parking lot of the restaurant. I greeted Alli at the front door, and she had a huge grin on her face. She asked me what happen and I told her the whole story. She laughed and told me everything was going to be fine, I then as politely as I could told Alli to go inside since Charles was coming. She looked at me confused.
“No, I’m going in with you.” I looked at her dumb founded.
“No you’re not, Alli he’s doesn’t know you’re coming.” At the time I was so nervous I didn’t realize how rude I probably sounded. My best friend took time out of her day to do this for me and I was acting like a brat. Alli, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry I was so rude that night and made you sit at a booth by yourself. I love you and I’m also sorry if I never apologized until now for that. 😭
Eventually, Alli went inside and sat at a table. Charles met me at the front door of the restaurant. He greeted me, told me I looked beautiful and held the door open for me. We made our way inside, and were seated at a table right away. Charles and I sat at a booth in some awkward silence. We nervously smiled at each other then buried ourselves into our menus.
After we ordered our food, I had nothing to hid behind, so we were forced to talk. Once we got over the initial awkwardness of this being a date, we started to have fun. We talked about the usual things, faith, school, family, and future plans. We both had some very yummy curry and both were creeped out by our waiter.
By 8 o’clock we were both full and tired. Alli was getting ready to leave as things were coming to an end, and my mom was almost at the restaurant. I offered Charles a ride home and a chance to meet my mom. He agreed and we both walked out to the car. Charles was friendly and polite to my mom. He thanked her for letting him take me out and said he appreciated the ride. When we got to his house he said goodbye to my mom and said goodbye to me. Everything was adorably perfect…. until he went to close the door.
He said: “Goodbye Ma’am, goodbye Kylie.” And shut the door, I felt embarrassment for him. Kylie? Did he forget my name?
Once I got home, I couldn’t sleep. I stayed up late talking to my mom all about our date. It was nice to have her perspective and I was thankful she was able to meet him. She said he was very nice, very educated and she could tell he really liked me and I really liked him. We both laughed at the fact that he called me Kylie. I was really hoping we just didn’t hear him right.
Around 12am, when I was getting ready for bed, I received a text from Charles. He said he had a really nice time, and he hoped I did too. He texted GoodNight Kaylee, and again I had butterflies.