I probably say this every year, but how on earth is it July??? Not only this summer, but this entire year is flying by! Anyway, here’s a quick check in of my goals and how I’m doing. 😊
MY SUMMER 2022 BUCKET LIST
Grow a Garden and produce fruits, veggies and spices.
So, since we are currently staying with family, we haven’t quite got the plants in the ground yet… but we do have plants. Does that count? We have a little bit of an over population with the bunnies that we need to figure out before we try growing our fruits, veggies and spices.
2. Go on some sort of family adventure (the zoo, the beach, the park, garage sailing, tulip festival etc.)
This summer has already been so hot, that I have been hesitant about taking our son out as I don’t want him to get dehydrated. I’m hoping it can cool down soon and we can find something fun to do.
3. Establish a more consistent daytime routine for my Baby (Naps, feedings, playtime, tummy time, etc.)
Umm… yes and no. Every time I think we are starting to have a schedule, something always changes. I have discovered within the last few weeks that I have to limit Matthew’s naps. I also have to make sure his last nap isn’t too late in the day, otherwise he does not sleep well at night.
4. Publish my Memoir
I’m working on it okay. Writing and self publishing a book is hard.
5. Start a weekly Yoga Routine
Let’s not go there.
6. Finish Knitting Charles Sweater
It’s been a little too hot to knit these days.
7. Finish Reading the Entire Bible
Currently working on Isaiah, and hoping to start another book soon.
8. Reorganize my Bathroom
My bathroom isn’t really mine at the moment, since I’m sharing it with other people, so this goal is on hold for now.
9. Commit to going on Family Walks at least once a week,
Again it’s been too hot. But we have gone a few times, just not every week.
10. Create some New Recipes
I haven’t really had a chance to cook since moving, but I am hoping to do this very soon.
11. Introduce solid foods to my Baby ✔️
This has been a huge hit in our house. We have been trying solid foods since 4.5 months and so far Matthew has tried bananas, apples, prunes, peas, carrots, chicken, peaches, pears, cereal and butternut squash. We are hoping to try avocado and sweet potato next.
12. Start teaching Baby Sign Language in our Home. ✔️
Since starting on solids, we have also been teaching baby sign language. The signs we’ve used so far include milk, more and all done. Matthew hasn’t signed any of these back to us quite yet, but soon enough I’m sure he will.
13. Spend more time with my Family and Friends ✔️
As we’ve been staying with family, I have been able to spend more time with family and friends. ❤️
14. Do Art Projects with my Baby ✔️
Let me tell you, this has been an adventure. So far we had done foot print crafts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Let’s just say Momma wore a lot of blue paint. I think Matthew had fun though.
15. Reach 425 Written Blog Posts
I’m still in the 300’s as far as blog posts but we’ll get there.
3 out of 15 goals met. That’s a pretty good start!
I wrote this post two years ago, and even though some time has passed since I wrote it, I still feel it is even more relevant today. I will be thinking of all Mommies this Mother’s Day, no matter what motherhood may look like to you. ❤️
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.
On Friday April 30th at 4 something in the morning, I woke up and had to pee. With my eyes heavy, and body exhausted from the work week, I contemplated on whether or not I should take my very last pregnancy test. I was only a day or two late for my period, which wasn’t unusual for me. And to be honest I was feeling pretty defeated. I was tired of wasting my money on pregnancy tests, and getting my hopes up month after month only to receive negative after negative.
I had one final digital pregnancy test under my bathroom counter. It would expire by the next month anyway. I thought why not? It was my morning pee, and they say that’s the most accurate anyway. I peed in a cup, took the test and waited. I prepared myself for disappointment yet again. While I waited something told me to take pictures and document the moment. I figured whether the test was positive or negative, it was apart of my story that I could one day share to help others, so I did.
I watched as the test counted down, and a word flashed on the screen. I instantly thought, it’s broken it sayspregnant, where’s the not? I had grown so accustomed to reading the words Not Pregnant that it took a moment for me to realize this was a positive test. I was pregnant with our rainbow baby… and the rest is history.
I spent the next few weeks harboring this little secret until around 6 weeks when I told close friends and family. I told my job around 7 weeks and publicly announced between 11-12 weeks.
Pregnancy was one of the best and most anxious times in my life. I constantly feared we would suffer another loss, but as each week passed I started to calm down and enjoy pregnancy little by little. During pregnancy I dealt with morning sickness, sciatica, grieving for a friend who suffered a loss, gestational diabetes, Covid and a long and painful induction. Pregnancy was not easy, but overall baby and I both remained relatively healthy.
On January 2nd, 2022 God blessed us with our beautiful Rainbow Baby. Matthew is our world. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby. He’s a perfect mix of his Mommy and Daddy.
I share this all with you because in many ways my story has come full circle. Mother’s Day is approaching and I know first hand the feeling of dread, and grief that comes with this holiday to women who struggle with infertility and women of pregnancy loss. I want you to know that I’m here for you. I also want you to know that I am living proof that God answers prayers. He hears you. When the doctors say something is impossible, He is able to make things possible. He can turn ashes into beauty. He can do anything if we just have a little faith. I thank God for my beautiful rainbow baby every single day, and even though it was hard and sometimes excruciating, I thank God for the journey he took me on because it molded me into who I am today as a person, as a writer, and now as a mom.
If you are reading this and you long for a baby… I see you, I hear you, I was you and I’m praying for you. Remember the bigger the storm, the brighter the rainbow. 🌈 I pray you are blessed with a baby and a family of your own. It may not be the way you pictured or when you wanted but I pray it happens for you. God is bigger than anything else and He can make a way, if we just have a little faith. ❤️
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. ❤️
The following post was written after my first loss in 2019. In this post I discuss my crisis of faith and the peace I felt when I had finally come to terms with my first loss.
So I’m gonna be honest… I have been dreading writing this post. It’s not because it’s hard, I’m lazy or I just don’t want to talk about being restored in Jesus. I mostly think, my hesitation for writing this post is because I am so humbled and gracious for all God has provided for me. I am also feeling somewhat guilty for how I have treated Him.
Before I really dive into this post, I should give you a little background of my beliefs and faith. I grew up going occasionally to a white nondenominational church. I did this off and on with my aunt until I was about 10 years old. When I was 11 I started attending a weekly bible study with my friend and even attended Lake Ann Camp for a week. It was here that I asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive all my sins. I was born again. When I was 12 I started going with my best friends to a larger white baptist church. I faithfully went to that church for about 6 years. At this church I attended many church camps, found growth and strength in my relationship with Jesus as well as wonderful fellowship with friends. I also was baptized and learned how to be a God fearing, woman of God. When I was 19 I attended my first mission trip. I knew of many people who had been on mission trips and claimed they were life changing, but I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. I traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I met so many children, created food packages, clothing bundles and even helped build houses for widows and their children. This trip changed my life. At 19 I also started teaching 2 and 3 year olds in children’s church. Even though I felt lost in the church, I was slowly starting to discover my purpose.
When I was 19 almost 20, I decided to start attending my husband’s black nondenominational church (we were only dating at the time). Part of the reason I made the switch to a new church again is simply because, I just felt lost not knowing my identity in church or feeling like I had much of a church family. At this church it was smaller and I felt more at home and accepted. It was here my relationship with Jesus really took off. I was able to grow in skills of faithfulness, trust and even obedience.
“WE GOT MARRIED IN THE SAME CHURCH MY GRANDPARENTS WERE MARRIED IN 50+ YEARS AGO.”
Before meeting my husband, I had developed boundaries, and goals of what and how I would like to be pursued by a man, how I wanted to engage in a courtship instead of a dating relationship, and what I would like as far as values and characteristics of my future husband. When I met Charles, he wasn’t totally familiar with courtship, but he completely valued a Christian based relationship. We courted for two years, and were engaged for three months. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in 50+ years ago. Our wedding was beautiful with traditional vows, our first kiss at the alter, and the moment I gave my purity ring to my groom. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Fast forward to January 2019, when I became pregnant. Charles and I had been married for two years and two months. Both still faithful Christians, going to church at least every other week, and thanking God for all that we have. I was content and even excited in where I was. I was pregnant, about to be a mom. We shared this news with my church family, and they rejoiced with us. Everything was great, not perfect but pretty close.
My heart and all my hopes and dreams shattered when we lost MacKenzie. Since there was no concrete reason for such a terrible loss, who could we blame? Well… unfortunately, I chose to blame God. The one being who is In charge of the whole universe, I assumed He had control over this situation and He let me down. I would even go so far to say at the time I hated Him. I cringe at even admitting that. But it’s true. My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.
“MY ANGER AND MY HATRED WAS SO STRONG AT MYSELF AND AT GOD.”
The time between my ultrasound and by surgery, I didn’t really pray much. I think if I did it was just asking things like “Why God?” and “How could you?” I know I worried I would end up miscarrying naturally, before my surgery, but I don’t think I prayed about it. I had hundreds of people praying for me, which was comforting because at the time I just didn’t have the strength. The only time I remember praying was as I was getting rolled to the operating room. I was so sad. I wanted to die. However, I didn’t want to die and hurt other people. I couldn’t bare imagining dying and leaving my friends and family behind to grieve and mourn my loss. So, I prayed. I asked God to get me through. When I woke up from surgery I cried, screaming and told God I hated Him. It was awful. I was still under anaesthesia but I felt like I was watching myself scream from outside my body. I’m ashamed at how I was acting. But honestly, this is what heartbreak looked like.
The weeks following the miscarriage, I continued to fall into depression and blame God. It really hurt my husband to see me like this. I refused to go to church for over a month. I didn’t want anyone to say anything to set me off. I also just didn’t want to come to Jesus and praise His name. So I didn’t. I cried at home, and journaled instead.
By about 5 weeks after the miscarriage, I decided to go back. It wasn’t because I wanted to find comfort in Jesus, it was because I missed my church family. When we went back we were greeted by some kind words as well as some not so helpful words. Most people at the church knew what had happen, but still didn’t know how to react. Once I was there, I was ready to leave. I didn’t want to be there anymore, I came to church but that’s it. That was enough for me at the time.
” I DON’T REALLY THINK I HAD ONE ‘COME TO JESUS’ MOMENT, BUT RATHER A BUNCH OF LITTLE MOMENTS…”
So, looking back I don’t really think I had one Come to Jesus moment, but rather a bunch of little moments that helped me. After many conversations with my mom, she helped me see that having a baby in Heaven who is perfect, living joyfully and without pain is sometimes better than having a baby here on earth who is sick and in pain all their life. Seeing various rainbows in the sky, gave me peace. It was like a spiritual humbling peace, that showed me that my baby was okay up in Heaven. Going to church and having my sister-in-law pray over me was also so powerful. She just kept saying something good would come out of this, double for my trouble so to speak. But the most surprising moment that happen, was more about Charles grief than mine. As we were praying at church one day, he just burst out crying. He was crying in anguish and devastation that mirrored my own devastation and heart break. This was a side of him I had never seen before.
Through all of these moments and more, I realized yet again there is an all powerful and loving God. He is the creator of the universe, the planets and the stars… and yet He cares for me! He loves me. I am just a spec on this large planet, but to Him I am everything. I am His daughter. i was wounded, I was angry, and I was broken… and He still loved me. My baby died, but it wasn’t His fault. He allowed it to happen for a reason. The reason being she would have been in pain here on earth, and he knew if I had to watch her in pain everyday, that would have destroyed me more than miscarrying her. He is a gracious and good God.
It has taken me a really long time to get here, but I have. I’ve made peace with God. Even though it hurt, and it still hurts I know it happened for a reason. I know I have a little baby up in Heaven watching over me. I know she is living her best life probably chasing a butterfly. I know she’s okay.
I cry as I write this because I was so awful. I was wrong. Jesus took my baby home, for everyone’s best interest, and for that I am grateful. He is good. I’ve made my peace. I’ve said I’m sorry and I’m trying to do better. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I am thankful for this lesson of grief and love. I am so thankful I was able to carry my baby, if only for a short time. And I am so thankful that even though I constantly pushed Him away, Jesus never left me, and when I came running back to Him… He welcomed me with love and open arms.
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?
Monday through Friday, work 8 – 5pm. On Saturdays catch up on house work and errands, maybe take a nap if there’s time. Sunday do absolutely nothing if you can besides watch a virtual church service and catch up on your latest drama on Netflix. If you’re like me, this too is what your life looks like in a nutshell, week to week. For me, I am usually feeling the stress and slight dread of Monday by 4pm. I start to think about if my uniform is clean, if I have anything to pack for lunch the next day, if my lesson plans are all set and ready for the week, and if there is anything else I am forgetting. I also consider if there is anything that I can do to wind down and relax so I am ready for Monday. I will be honest with you though… I sometimes push off my selfcare in order to be productive, which I sometimes end up regretting. Regardless, I am here to assist you in how to wind down and rest on a Sunday night, as well as take my own advice; in order to be ready and refreshed for the week ahead.
I know it may sound tedious, but in order to help me wind down on Sunday and actually set aside time for self care, I create a schedule. I get it, I do… it may sound like more work and stress to create a schedule, but it will honestly help in the long run. Orginally, I used to rely on sticking notes that I would use to jot down my to do lists on Saturday evening. But now, I have created a very neat and organized schedule I use for Sundays.
Here is an example of the organized schedule I use. In this schedule I created an area for my to do lists, and I have divided it into morning, afternoon and evening tasks. I also have a section for various self care areas I hope to focus on throughout my Sunday. Sometimes, life is crazy and I’m not always able to devote each area of self care, but I try to focus on at least 3. Lastly, there is an area for a deadline in which I hope to get things done for the day, as well as reflection questions.
I will say that planning and scheduling out each part of the day isn’t for everyone. Some people find it more stressful, while others find it very helpful. Either way, I hope this tool helps in some way. For me personally, I absolutely love seeing everything I need to get done in black and white. As I am able to get them done, I also find it so satisfying to be able to cross things off my check list and keep going throughout my day. Sometimes life gets repetitive and hard. We all need a little reminder now and then that it is okay to stop and take care of you. So please do whatever helps make you feel good, rested and refreshed for the week ahead.
If you are interested in using the My Sunday Schedule template, Click below to Download the PDF. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
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
Published Mackenzie Goes to Heaven Coloring Book
My Hubby turned 25!
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.
Started writing my second children’s book.
Paid off my car.
Bought a new car.
Got Pregnant with our Rainbow Baby. 🌈
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.
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.
Started feeling Baby flutters
Won the Dustpan Award for the cleanest classroom at work.
Celebrated Rocky’s 1 year adoption!
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!
Went on a Fall themed Girl’s Getaway with my friends Alli and Andrea.
Told myself it was okay to start buying baby items.
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!
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.
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.
For many, the holidays can be an exciting time of year, with family and friend get togethers, gift exchanges, overwhelming generosity, and the reminder of what really matters in life. But to others, the holidays can be a harsh reminder of grief, those gone too soon, and memories that will never take place. I wrote this post back in 2019, after losing two babies. The holidays were an awful reminder for me of the little family my husband and I were trying to start, but instead we lost too soon. 2019 was overwhelmingly challenging. If you are reading this and you too are just having a year of obstacles that just keep adding up, let me first say I’m so sorry. Secondly, I’m here for you if you need to talk and lastly I hope my story and this post gives you some sort of comfort around this holiday season. ❤️
To be honest, I’m not feeling very festive this Christmas. This past year has been a tidal wave of grief that I didn’t plan for, nor did I appreciate. On top of grief I’ve had other struggles including anxiety, depression, weight gain, self doubt and distress. Some might say this past year has made me stronger, and in many ways I believe that. But in this moment, this past year has only made me hate life.
When you’ve faced trauma, something changes in you. You see things differently, and you know things can get worse because you’ve lived it. When you’ve faced repeated trauma, not only are you traumatized, but also on edge. You’re just waiting for something bad to happen, or something else to go wrong. It’s exhausting, but if you’ve already been blindsided by trauma before, it’s almost an illogical effort to worry and fret for the bad things, in hopes that you will be somewhat prepared if they happen. I have lived this way almost every day this past year, and it’s really not anyway to live.
THIS CHRISTMAS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT.
I have thought about Mackenzie everyday since she’s been gone. Losing her, has changed my life forever. She made me a mom. Even more, she made me an Angel mommy. This year I envisioned caring for an infant at Christmas time. Charles and I would head over to my parents on Christmas morning. She would be spoiled by her Grandma, and cooing at the cats and her Grandpa. She would be wearing the cutest Christmas jammies, and be smiling from ear to ear. Everything was going to be perfect as I celebrated my first Christmas as a mom.
Instead this year, I am celebrating Christmas as an Angel mommy. My baby Mackenzie will not be in her Christmas jammies, and my baby Chase will not be warm in my tummy. Instead I will be here loving and missing my babies, while Mackenzie and Chase will be in Heaven celebrating at Jesus’s grand birthday party. They will be having more fun than I can even fathom. As much as I want them here with me, I know they are safe and happy right where they are.
It won’t be easy… It won’t be easy this Christmas seeing friends and their baby’s first Christmas. But no one said this life will be easy. No one said we are all meant to take the same journey. And no said this world is prefect. So through my tears and heartache, I will get through this Christmas with my family, because my babies deserve to see me have joy my first Christmas as their mom. ❤️
34 weeks pregnant with 6 weeks (or less) to go! This week baby is the size of Butternut Squash! How fitting it is with it being Thanksgiving weekend!
Symptoms this week include, back aches, fatigue, joint pain (in my hips and pelvis), colostrum, dry skin, moodiness, slight spotting and lots of baby movements. At my last appointment I gained 2.6 lbs, which means I’ve gained a total of 5.6 lbs this pregnancy so far.
My weeks are filled with working 38 hours or less, non stress tests twice a week, and preparing for baby boy’s arrival when I have the energy. We are getting so excited to meet him, and I’m starting to do some light exercises now, in order to prepare for birth.
Only 6 weeks or less for this pregnancy, and I want to hear from you! What’s your guess? When do you think Baby Rhames will arrive?