Counseling & Sea Glass

Just Me Blogging

As many of you know, I spent a handful of hours in counseling last year after my first miscarriage. Through counseling I was able to develop coping skills such as self talk, reflection, and anxiety management. I was in counseling approximately once a week from March to July. At the end of June I essentially “graduated” from counseling for awhile until I felt a need to return.

Since coming back to counseling after suffering my second miscarriage at the end of September; I have begun to rebuild the skills I had started to lose. This time around in counseling, not only have I gone more in-depth about grief and advocacy but also on how I can be in the NOW. As a student, planner, organization freak and perfectionist, I take pride in planning the future. Planning helps me prepare for change, and also prepare if things don’t go as planned. However, I really struggle with living in the NOW. I have lost that feeling, and that state of just being.

My counselor, who is a AMAZING I might add; had an idea for myself, and other students just like me. In her office she has on her desk a bowl of sea glass. Each piece of sea glass is different. Some are round. Some are rough. Some have cracks in them. Some are shaped like diamonds. Each piece is unique for each person. My counselor allowed each one of her students to take a piece of sea glass to hold on too. She explained to me that we as people need something tangible. We need something to hold on to. We need something to ground us.

So, everyday I carry with me my little piece of sea glass. I reach into my pocket and feel the smooth diamond shape. Sometimes I pull it out of my pocket and admire its’ little crack in the center. This crack reminds me of myself, in the sense that I’m scarred but I’m not broken. It is a wonderful, real item that I feel, and serves as a reminder that it is okay to live in the now.

My Top 10 Favorite Inspirational Quotes

Self Care, Top 10 Lists

1. “Act as if what you do makes a difference, it does.” – William James

2. “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” – Dr. Seuss

3. “ Instead of letting your hardships and failures discourage or exhaust you, let them inspire you.” – Michelle Obama

4. Grief is a privileged portal into soul work and transformation.” – Richard Rohr

5. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

6. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

7. “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.“ – Cayla Mills

8. “She remembered who she was and the game changed.” – Lalah Delilah

9. “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. “ – Maya Angelou

10. “Life is like a camera. You focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out… take another shot.” – Author Unknown

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.

Follow Up with the Midwife

Life After Miscarriage

On Wednesday October 2nd, I was scheduled to have my 8 week ultrasound. However, since I suffered a miscarriage over the weekend, I had a follow up with a midwife instead. Before going into the appointment, I had some nerves. Unlike last time, I didn’t want to talk about my loss. I didn’t have questions, and I just didn’t want to think about it. I also wasn’t in the best of moods. I had an awful headache, and I couldn’t tell if it was related to grief or dehydration, and I was still bleeding, which was like having my period. I just didn’t feel good.

Before heading to the appointment, I contacted the Community Health Worker. I told her what had happen over the weekend and asked if she could sit with me during the appointment since my husband wasn’t able to come. She was more than willing to help me, and I met her at the front desk of the OB office. The Community Health Worker escorted me out to the hallway with a pager in hand. She told me we could sit in the hallway instead of in the waiting room, and the nurse would page us when they were ready. I felt some relief knowing we didn’t have to sit in the waiting room. The Community Health Worker also shared with me that she spoke with my midwife and expressed that she needed to be gentle with me as I am grieving and have suffered a second loss.


Even though I was anxious for this appointment, I felt so much better knowing there was someone in healthcare on my side and willing to advocate for me.


During the appointment I was given a pelvic exam and asked questions about my natural miscarriage and symptoms I was experiencing. The midwife took a look at my latest labs and confirmed that I became anemic, which is why I was suffering a headache. She then advised me to take iron tablets for the next month. My pelvic exam was uncomfortable but normal. My cervix was closed and my HCG levels were dropping at a normal rate. At the end I was provided resources on pregnancy loss, and thanked the Community Health Worker for all of her help. Charles met up with me at the end, and we headed home. After suffering a miscarriage, it’s never easy to go back to the OB office, but I must say…. it makes a difference when you have people on your side willing to advocate for your mental and physical heath.

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……

My “Feel Good” Playlist

Just Me Blogging, Top 10 Lists

My Feel Good Playlist

1. Keep You’re Head Up – by Andy Grammer

2. How Far I’ll Go – by Auil’i Cravalho

3. I Gotta Feeling – by Black Eyed Peas

4. Just the Way You Are – by Bruno Mars

5. Fallin’ for You – by Collbie Caillat

6. Tell Me You Love Me – by Demi Lovato

7. Perfect – by Ed Sheeran

8. How to Save a Life – by The Fray

9. Come to Me – by Jamie Grace

10. I Won’t Give Up – by Jason Miraz

11. Say – by John Mayer

12. Good Morning – by Mandisa

13. Uptown Funk – by Bruno Mars

14. She Will Be Loved – by Maroon 5

15. Shake It Off – by Taylor Swift

7 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy

At 7 weeks pregnant… I started to feel better. My nausea started to subside, and food was starting to appeal to me again. I think that since I had already experienced a loss, this symptom made me really nervous and anxious. I feared that I was losing my pregnancy symptoms and I was going to lose another pregnancy. However, I also wondered if it was just my nerves talking and this pregnancy was different than the first.

Around 6 weeks and 6 days I started to experience a really weird symptom. It was an aching pain deep near my cervix. It kind of felt like a menstrual cramp, but also just felt sore. I started to get concerned about this symptom as I had never experienced it during pregnancy before. I asked a friend and even a nurse at my OB clinic. They all said it sounded pretty normal. I also Googled the symptom, which probably wasn’t a good idea. The only term I could find was lightning pain. This is a term used when a woman experiences pain at the start of labor. I figured that probably wasn’t what I had and just decided to trust that everything was okay.

At 7 weeks exactly, I had my first OB appointment. I ended up going to the appointment by myself since Charles had class. It was just like last time as I had to sit with a nurse and talk about my medical history. I also met with the community health worker. In this meeting I felt compelled to share with her about my previous loss and how I was treated. I expressed to her how I was given promotional offers, samples and other reminders from various places. I shared how hurt I felt that I wasn’t given any resources until 3 months later. I expressed how I wasn’t treated kindly by my doctors. Lastly, I shared the struggle in the waiting room and how it can be hard on any woman of loss to have to sit among other pregnant moms.


The community health worker was so kind and supportive. She listened intently and allowed me to feel heard.


Unwanted Reminders

Life After Miscarriage, Poems

In the beginning of September, I was in a funk. Part of me was depressed and anxious as my “what would have been due date” was approaching…. While other parts of me, was excited for a new beginning. I was excited to start school again. I was excited to continue getting healthier and start our trying to conceive journey. I was also excited for fall, and all the fall things.

On September 7th, after coming home from my campus job, I looked through the mail. I discovered a letter from DHHS and opened it. As I read the letter I froze. I was shocked. I was angry and I was hurt. The letter read:


Reporting a Baby’s Birth. Our records show that you will be giving birth to a baby this month. Please…..


After that I stopped reading. I called my husband into the living room. I was heated. Why was DHHS sending me this document, when I had already called back in February and told them I had experienced a miscarriage? Charles encouraged me to call and leave a message. I was so angry, and I truly wanted to leave an enraged voicemail on my case worker’s phone. I wanted to… but I didn’t. I was afraid that if I had tore into my case worker…. it was likely he wouldn’t take me seriously. Instead I was stern, honest, and said that there was no reason I should have received this letter.

A few days later he called me back. He left a message and said that he was unaware I had had a miscarriage. For whatever reason he never got the message, but would fix it right away. Receiving this message made me even more angry. He didn’t get the message? Seriously!? Not only was I upset that he didn’t get my message, but it didn’t even make any sense. DHHS paid for my D & C! They paid for all of my appointments!


So why on earth did he not realize I wasn’t pregnant?


Receiving letters in the mail, promotional offers of baby items via email, and even a free case of baby formula left at my door; were just some of the many unwanted reminders I experienced before my due date.

Grief & Mercy 2nd Blog Post Round Up: A Look at My MOST Recent, Liked and Popular Blog Posts

Just Me Blogging

1. Grief & Mercy Blog Q & A: I Am Answering All Your Questions About Miscarriage, Grief, Healing, Recovery and My Personal Experience

I really enjoyed writing this post. On Instagram a few weeks prior to writing this post, I asked women who have suffered a loss, if they had any questions that they would like me to answer. I truly enjoyed answering all your questions as well as sharing my own experience.

2. My First BIG Opportunity as a Blogger

This post was fun to write because this was my big break. I had no idea when first starting my blog I would be asked to share my story in a magazine and eventually work for that company. It’s honestly another example of the great big plan that God has for me, that I couldn’t see at my very lowest point.

3. Mother’s Day Part 1, 2 and 3

My Mother’s Day posts were pretty popular. I enjoyed writing these posts because I was able to reflect my first Mother’s Day weekend as an Angel Mommy. I divided this post into 3 parts because I didn’t want to overwhelm my readers and honestly each post had a specific purpose. Part 1 was more about strengthening my marriage. Part 2 was about grief and advocacy and Part 3 was about peace and comfort.

4. National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day October 15th

To be honest, before suffering a loss… I had no idea there was a whole month dedicated to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. This year, I have looked at the month of October completely differently. This is the month that we remember all the babies gone too soon. I loved writing this post, as I yet again was able to advocate for women who have suffered a loss.

5. The Things to Say and Do After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage

This post is all about things to say and do after a woman has had a miscarriage. After suffering a loss myself, I realized truly how many people don’t know what to say or how to comfort someone after a loss. I felt it was truly important to write this post so more and more people know how to help an Angel Mommy in her grief.

6. The Decision to Try Again

Writing this post felt like I had reached a moment of peace. I had peace in knowing what had happen, happen for a reason. I also had peace at whatever would happen next.

7. The Best Thing My Husband Ever Told Me After My Miscarriage

This post is one of my personal favorites as, not only does it have one of my favorite engagement photos, but it also allowed me a place to publicly thank my husband for being my rock. Though we have had our ups and downs, Charles has truly been amazing through our loss.

8. A Breakthrough in Counseling and Finding Acceptance

My Breakthrough, a moment I knew I would hit eventually…. when I realized that I had come to a place where I would one day want to try again. I share my Breakthrough in Counseling with all of you to not only break the stigma of counseling, but to also show that with a lot of time and work, healing does happen.

9. Making Peace with God

I was angry…. so incredibly anger. But through a lot of work, I was able to restore my faith and find peace in my heartache. In this post I not only discuss my faith but also about how I came to terms with my loss.

10. Redoing My Home Office

Redoing My Home office was a project I have been wanting to tackle for awhile. This past summer I was able to accomplish this goal. In this post I take you through the various changes and organization to make my home office.

11. Mackenzie’s Stepping Stone and Flower Garden

Creating Mackenzie’s garden was peaceful and unbearable. In this post I discuss the closure that was felt between my family and I as we created Mackenzie’s garden.

12. Reopening My Etsy Shop

Reopening my Etsy Shop was super exciting. I love creating and selling beautiful handmade baby items. Check out how I reopened my shop, and check out my shop link located on my main page and in this post.

13. Trying to Conceive (TTC) Lifestyle

Early morning workouts, prenatal vitamins and positive affirmations are many things I tried while beginning my trying to conceive lifestyle. Check out this post to read more about how I prepared my mind, heart and body for the future.


A Look Ahead…

Taking Pregnancy Tests is Exhausting

The title of this post is pretty self explanatory. Coming soon!

A Weekend Away to Honor My Due Date

A Weekend Away with the girls filled with laughter, coffee, cold mornings, woods, homemade pizza, Lake Michigan, and girl talk. Coming up soon!

Book Review: There Was Supposed to Be a Baby, A Guide to Healing After Pregnancy Loss

Resources, Self Care

Book: There Was Supposed to Be a Baby: A Guide to Healing After Pregnancy Loss

Author: Catherine Noblitt Keating

Publisher: Hummingbird Press; Seattle, Washington

This wonderful book There Was So Supposed to Be a Baby, is an amazing resource full of stories, affirmations, advice, and even yoga techniques designed to help any grieving mother. This book is small and a perfect companion for the beginning of your grieving journey.

The author is very inclusive when discussing beliefs and faith. She states up front that if there is anything in this book that does not line up with your beliefs or values, feel free to skip it.

I loved this book as it allowed me to assess my mental health, give myself permission to grief, and put self care as a priority in my life. I highly recommended this book for any woman suffering a miscarriage and pregnancy loss.

This book is available on Amazon.

Things to Say and Do After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage

Just Me Blogging, Miscarriage, Resources

A few months ago I wrote a blog post titled The Hurtful Things People Say and What not to Say After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage. I had quite a response to this post, as not only did people find it helpful, but also encouraged me to write a follow up post about Things to Say and Do After a Woman Has Had a Miscarriage. So… here we go.

1. The Best Things You Can Say is “I Love You, I’m Here for You, and I’m Sorry for Your Loss”

Wouldn’t you agree that after someone dies, there’s not really much of anything that people can say to take the pain away. Even though people don’t like to see you hurt, they also don’t know what to say. And when it comes to experiencing a miscarriage, people really don’t know what to say. They can see your grieving, but they don’t feel the loss nearly as deeply because they didn’t meet or have a bond with the life that was once inside you. Unfortunately, our society does not know how to treat miscarriage as a loss or death.

When I was grieving and at my worst, people didn’t know what to say to me either. There were people who said a lot of the wrong things, and there were a lot of people who just left me alone. But the best things people said to me that were not hurtful, did not offer unsolicited advice, and were sensitive were: “I love you, I’m here for you, I’m sorry for your loss, if you ever want to talk let me know, I’m thinking about you and I’m praying for you.”

2. Offering to Clean, Cook and Run Errands.

You know how when someone dies, people make you food? Well, I really appreciated this. I don’t know why food is such a comfort, but it is. It seems that when people don’t know what to say they make food. I had a neighbor make dinner for my husband and I, a yummy dish from the Dominican… it was amazing. Our associate pastor and his wife made us chicken, green beans and potatoes…. so good. My sister in law, who worked all day invited us over and made us a feast! Bless her heart. And my Momma provided me with lots of comfort food when I was recovering from surgery. Food doesn’t make everything better, but in that moment of grief when you need something to numb it for awhile, food helps.

3. Pampering the Angel Mommy

Being pampered by friends and family helped me in many ways. My momma bought me a massage right before Mother’s Day. I had no idea how badly I needed it, until my tears and emotions came out all over the table. My husband went out and bought me chicken wings at midnight when I was having a really emotional night and couldn’t sleep. My bestie Alli came over in the middle of the night and we drove all over town eating Oreos. So many people did kind things for me, when I needed it most, I highly recommend this. Of course I also would recommend proceeding with caution and sensitivity.

4. Providing Space to the Grieving Couple

I feel this is super important. The Momma is not the only one that experiences a pregnancy loss. Sure, she is the only one that experiences the physical pain of loss, but it’s also important to remember that father’s grieve too. I know of many men, my husband included who not only struggle to help their wives grieve, but also felt somewhat disregarded when it came to their grief and emotions. So, it is super important to allow the grieving couple time and space. Even recommending a getaway could be beneficial… but again proceed with caution.

5. Check In

Hearing the worst news, that your baby is gone is heartbreaking. It honestly numbs you. Looking back now, I barely remember the time in between my ultrasound and my surgery, and the whole month of March is a blur. I do remember laying in bed a lot, eating occasionally, crying until my head hurt and listening to sad music. I also remember having people check in. It’s something I would have never asked for, but truly appreciated. I had friends and family call and text me daily just to check in and make sure I was alive. So many of them opened the doors for communication and gave encouraging words to my tender broken heart. I highly recommend checking in on a friend or loved one if they have suffered a loss. It’s not much, but also not to pushy. Even if they don’t respond it is still nice that people care for you when you are feeling so alone, Sure, there were many times I didn’t want to talk, but I still loved that so many people cared. ❤️

6. Be Sensitive with Your Words

This is a big one… and I can’t stress this enough. Please be very careful with your words. After suffering a loss your mind and your heart are in a truly fragile state. It is likely that the grieving mother is heart broken, constantly blaming herself and hating life. So, it is truly important not to contribute to these emotions of anger and sorrow by saying things like “You’re young you’ll have more, or You shouldn’t have stressed yourself out so much, or at least you already have a baby.” For my advice on what not to say after having a miscarriage, check out my additional post at the bottom of this page.

7. Honoring Their Loss

Above anything else I’ve said, I think this is actually the most important. One of the biggest fears that I and so many moms have, is that the child they have lost will be forgotten, as if that little life that lived in them had never existed. It means the world to me when friends and family talk about my baby. It may make me sad and weepy, but also makes me feel loved and my baby never forgotten. I really appreciate it when’s friends and family are sensitive and saying they are thinking of me on holidays and anniversaries, because they know it’s not going to be an easy day for me. Showing love and honoring the baby’s memory is literally the best thing you can do to help a woman after a miscarriage.


I am not an expert or doctor in anyway, just a woman, a writer and a woman who has lost a baby. I hope these little pieces of advice help in some way. If you are reading this and you have suffered an unimaginable lost, I just want to say I’m so sorry for your loss, reach out to me anytime and this was not your fault,

If you are interested in reading about what not to do after a woman has had a miscarriage, check out my post:

Book Review: Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss

Miscarriage, Resources

Book: Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss

Author: Sarah Philpott, PhD

Publisher: Broadstreet

This 31 Day devotional was sent to me from a friend who too recently suffered a miscarriage. I found this book so incredibly helpful in my healing process. This book is full of real life stories, bible verses, and moments of faith that many women have experienced. I love how the author wrote this book as she was not only real with her emotions, but also sensitive with her words and advice to other Angel Mommies. This devotional is separated into various sections, and provides many topics including searching for reasons why and how to honor your due date. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!

This book is available at Barnes Noble and Amazon.

Redecorating My Home Office

Home Decor, Just Me Blogging, Life After Miscarriage

There’s just something truly satisfying about organizing and redecorating. This summer since I have had the opportunity to relax and stay home, I have been extremely motivated to organize and redecorate my whole apartment. One of the very first rooms I tackled this summer was my spare room.

My spare room or second bedroom has always kind of been a storage room, but this summer I wanted to turn it into my home office. Before redecorating my home office, I decided not to take any before pictures. It’s not because there wasn’t a huge transformation, but rather I just didn’t feel like showing the whole world my clutter room.


I am very excited about how my office turned out.

I reorganized my desk, put up a bulletin board, and opened up this space to not only make it positive but productive.

I hung twinkle lights under my windowsill and above my desk. I find this calming and comforting. I placed my metal chair and ottoman in the corner for a place to write and blog.

On top of my filing cabinet I have a blessings box. This was a bridal shower gift given to me by my bestie Alli. When Charles and I have something awesome happen, we write it on a card and place it in our blessings box.

This corner still has some storage items. This is where I keep many of my Etsy products as well as just simple storage.

I found this winter painting at an estate sale and absolutely love it! Ya’ll might think I’m crazy for hanging up a winter picture…. but I’m from Michigan and we see snow at least 6 months out of the year.

This cabinet/tv stand I found at a yard sale for $2. I use this to store my books, art supplies, and Etsy inventory.


Thank you all so much for checking out my new home office. I hope you enjoyed it!

Wise Words from My Friend Andrea

Physical Health, Pregnancy

Hi, I’m Andrea! How do I know Kaylee, you ask? Well, Kaylee and I have been best friends for half our lives. If you ever get a chance to ask her how we met, do it. It’s quite the story! Today, I’d like to share with you about body image. However, before we dive into such a deeply personal topic, I should tell you a little about me. I enjoy crafting, hiking, anything nature-related, good conversations, board games, changing seasons, experimenting in the kitchen, and all things Christmas. Oh, and my husband is my favorite. We met in college (another great story for another time) and have been married for three years. We have an active, inquisitive 19-month-old son and are expecting a baby girl around Thanksgiving. 

Enough about me. Let’s talk body image.

Remember when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) had their first child and gave the public their first look at their new baby? In the photos released, a beaming but tired William and Kate snuggled their newest addition. Kate wore a beautiful dress that tucked in at her waist and revealed her postpartum baby bump. To my surprise, media in the US centered not on the sweet little bundle of joy, but rather on Kate’s newly postpartum body. I couldn’t believe that after waiting 9-10 months to meet their baby, the public was more interested in how small Kate’s waist was, the fact that her belly still bulged little, and other features not worth noting.

While stigmas surrounding body image affect every person, childbearing women especially experience this reality in a deep and raw way. Some women I’ve known have a newfound security in their body image while pregnant or even after birth, finding pride in what their bodies can do and how many incredible changes they face to nourish and care for a child. Other women face deeper and more extreme struggles when they don’t have the perfectly round baby bump they’ve always pictured, or stretch marks tear across new areas of their bodies, or they face pain with their previously normal activities such as walking, intimacy, or even sitting. 

Pregnancy has a way of impacting every portion of our being, from physical to emotional to spiritual. From the moment conception takes place, our bodies begin a long process of growing, changing, and morphing in new ways. With my first pregnancy, I pictured glowing skin smiling through morning sickness, a perfectly round little baby bump, and minimal weight gain that would slough off with a few months of breastfeeding. Boy, was I wrong. I was instead met with an overall feeling of puffiness from my face to my toes almost immediately after conceiving. My fatigue was overwhelming. I didn’t just feel tired. I looked tired. Acne popped up. When my bump began to show (much earlier than anticipated, I should add), I was met with more insecurity. I’ve always had a rough relationship with my stomach. Attracting more attention to an area I’ve always wanted to downplay brought up even more feelings of insecurity, especially considering the many unwelcome hands touching it (another topic altogether). Yes, I was absolutely thankful to be pregnant, but I just didn’t look or feel the way I had pictured. 

Once I was in the midst of the second half of my pregnancy, my weight gain – while in the healthy range on doctor’s office charts – felt like too much. My jeans were tight and my maternity shirts that had fit me at 18 weeks were creeping too high on my stomach while my bust pushed them too low on my chest. Everything was changing. By 30 weeks, my stomach had reached its limit for how far it could stretch. I tried creams, but my genetics won out. Stretch marks began to span across my growing belly. When I found the first one, I felt panic rise in my chest. “What?! This early?! How many more will I get before my baby arrives?” I’m glad I didn’t know the answer then. I needed time to accept and appreciate my changing body. 

Eventually, I couldn’t see my toes. I could hardly do a patchwork job of shaving my legs. I was too uncomfortable to do much of anything. Basic hygiene took loads of effort. I didn’t feel very human anymore. I used to be excited for this stage of pregnancy when I was obviously pregnant and feeling every movement of my little son…but the discomfort nearly outweighed the excitement. Then I faced guilt for feeling this way. Much of my pregnancy was not what I had pictured.

Then, the day came. The day. I gave birth to my miracle son, my sweet little boy. I had pictured this moment in my mind’s eye countless times. I’d heard women say everything in their world melted away the moment they saw their baby, and nothing else mattered. It’s a bit of a dramatized statement, but it holds some truth. Looking at my son and recognizing that I was his most crucial caregiver brought new perspective to my life. My dislikes about the current state of my body didn’t matter so much anymore. I had more to think about than the size of my waist or how many stretch marks I had acquired. 

Regardless of a shift in perspective, I still had the same body to sleep in, eat in, and see naked in the bathroom mirror. I had the same body to move in, breathe in, and use to care for my new baby. I had to come to terms with what it was. I remember lying in the bathtub at the hospital the first chance I had to bathe after birth. I was exhausted and thankful that I had completed the birthing process. Then, I looked at my stomach…and I couldn’t believe the words that came to my mind. “My stomach is floating.” That once-full belly with a little pregnancy fat and a little pregnancy stretch was floating. My stomach muscles were too tired and stretched to hold it. I felt another wave of panic. “Will my stomach always be like this?! How will I ever run again? How will I ever find another dress that makes me feel beautiful?” But thankfully, I was too tired to dwell on these things for long. 

In the weeks following birth, I was still too tired to do much fretting about what my body looked like. I was caring for a new life 24/7 and adjusting to a new level of responsibility and purpose for me. Eventually, as I emerged from the fog of caring for a newborn, my insecurities began to eat at me again. It took longer than I had imagined for my stomach muscles to tighten again. My extra weight wouldn’t budge much until I had stopped nursing my son. Yet, this round of dealing with insecurities looked different than it had throughout my pregnancy. This time, I had a newfound empowerment. Yes, I was stretched out, tired, scarred, and a few pounds heavier than I wanted to be…but I had carried a life. I wore the battle scars of nourishing another human from the inside out. I plumbed the depths of my heart and mind for strength I didn’t know I could ever muster during the most uncomfortable moments of pregnancy, in that birthing suite, and in the middle of the night fits of colic. And in those moments, I had the opportunity to reassess my purpose in life, and how that intense difficulty served to point me to the One who made me, sustains me, and gave me my son to care for. He gave me meaning and purpose and used even my lowest moments to teach me about himself and draw me in to his incredible grace and tenderness. 

Call me crazy, but I’ve found more confidence and strength in my postpartum body than I ever had in my pre-baby body with my flat, smooth stomach and well-exercised body. Defining my purpose and looking beyond the moment to remember it was more impactful than a few stretch marks could ever be. I’ve been scarred by childbearing…but the confidence I’ve found has meant more than any of my previous body ideals. And that confidence could only be found in seeing beyond the moment and shifting my perspective to my body’s purpose. I am so much more than my body. 

Whether you’ve ever experienced pregnancy, birth, or caring for a baby postpartum, you’re bound to at least experience some form of body image issues. Remember, your body is a vehicle to carry out your purpose in life. It’s not the prize at the end of a race. You have a chance to live every day in this vehicle that will continually morph throughout your life, with or without childbearing. And it’s worth it. Don’t let your body be what defines you. It’s about what you do with your body that matters. Who are you? What do you think? What makes you tic? How do you spend your time? What gives you purpose?

Seeing the OBGYN Again

Life After Miscarriage

In May I had my follow up appointment with my OBGYN. This appointment gave me some anxiety for about a week. I knew in my heart that I had been doing a lot better emotionally and mentally. I had been working extremely hard to find myself again. I worked through many emotions, counseling sessions, exercises and coping skills. I knew I was never going to be the same person I was and I still had a long way to go, however I was seeing great progress.

When Charles and I went to the OB, I was slightly nervous but did okay. Our wait in the waiting room wasn’t too long, and I was thankful they weren’t too busy. When I saw my doctor she said she was very impressed and glad I was doing a lot better. I expressed to her how I was going to do my very best to take it easy this summer and heal. She agreed that this was a good plan.

I also discussed with her how Charles and I would like to start having kids soon. Even though the miscarriage wasn’t my fault, I still wanted to know what I needed to work on and how I could be healthier before getting pregnant again. At the appointment my doctor and I made a list of things I should work on before Charles and I begin trying.

  • Lose weight and have a better BMI.
  • Exercising more and walking
  • Having better ways to manage my anxiety, meds, getting outside and walking, blogging etc.
  • Saving $$$ for Baby
  • Getting my thyroid under control with meds.