Let me tell you about thankfulness, and it’s power.

After losing my father quite suddenly, my life seemed to fall apart. Every day seemed like the worst day ever; a battle, if you will. Since the day my dad passed away, every single night, whether we’re together or apart, my mother, my brother and I say what we are thankful for before going to bed. When facing the hardest days and nights of our lives, we decided to find something to be thankful for in every day. At first, this was an incredibly difficult task. Amidst the incredible amount of grief we were facing, we had to be thankful? It was hard, I’m not going to lie. But it made the days bearable.

It quickly made us realize that there was, in fact, something good in every day, regardless of how you were feeling. It’s been about a year and a half since my father passed away, and we still have this ritual. Over the year and a half, I’ve come up with many, MANY things to be thankful for. To be honest, sometimes I am thankful that the day is over so that I can go to sleep, but that is still something good about my day. Sometimes we’re thankful for the food we’ve eaten during the day. Others are random, such as having a good working car, a roof over our heads, etc. Some are specific to the day; people we saw, places we went, etc.

One of my favorite things about this ritual is when we have other people with us. If my brother has a friend over, if my boyfriend is over, or if we are with our family, we ask them to also say what they are thankful for. I especially love when our whole family is over and we go around the whole group; lots of thankfulness to go around!

I can’t stress enough about how being thankful every day before you go to bed is such a game changer when it comes to your mindset. Sometimes, when I think I’ve had a really bad day, when I’m forced to pick something I’m thankful for, I find that my day was not as bad as I thought it might have been, and even puts me in a better mood sometimes. It is a great reminder that God blesses us in some way every day, whether it is big or small. The day might seem lost after many bad things that happen, but when you find something to be thankful for, it reminds you not to lose all hope.

I would highly encourage you to begin this practice of being thankful for something every day. Do it when you wake up, before you head out the door and begin your day, around the supper table with your family, or right before you go to bed. Look at your day or life and ask yourself “What am I thankful for?”. I promise, finding something to be thankful for every day becomes easier as you continue to get in the habit of doing it every day. It will get you through tough days, tough times, and it will remind you that God remembers you and blesses you, even in the smallest ways.


One year.

Oops. For someone who finds such an escape in writing, I haven’t done very much of it. Here goes nothing.

About a month ago, it was the one year anniversary of my father’s death. I didn’t know what to expect on this day, and I was very anxious about it. I wanted to skip the day and pretend that it didn’t exist. We decided as a family that we wanted to have our family over for supper. My counselor told me to ask my family to be in charge of bringing food and doing the set up and clean up…which ended up being a really good idea. It might seem like not a big deal, but it was nice to have no responsibility for a while.

I can honestly tell you that it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. It was almost like any other day, which was totally not what I was expecting. It wasn’t hard to get out of bed, it wasn’t hard to see other people, there were no breakdowns. We…survived. I was so thankful to be surrounded by my family because they were so lovely and fun, and we had an evening of laughs and good food…certainly what Dad would have wanted.

Father’s Day was shortly after the anniversary, and it was incredibly hard, which again, I wasn’t expecting at all. I had already gone through a father’s day without him but it was shortly after he passed away and I was still in a state of complete shock. This was too real for me. I cried, a lot. Just to myself, though. I think the reality that I have to go through a father’s day every year for the rest of my life, and now I have no father to celebrate. Eventually, I’m hoping to have a husband who will be the father to my children and we can celebrate him. But the reality that I no longer have my father to celebrate for the rest of my life was terrifying.

Now that they are both done, I feel very relieved. I feel like now that the first year is done, I’ve conquered many “firsts”. After it was done, I went to see my counselor to talk about it and I expressed my fear of any more “firsts” to come, like marriage and my first house and kids. I said that even though I can’t be more excited for those things, there is a bit of dread in my mind while thinking about those things. Dad isn’t going to be there, and that makes those experiences a whole new ball game. She told me that I need to focus on getting through the day-to-day. Difficult, but I’m trying! Thanks for reading.

Lots of love,

Makayla xox

Affirmation Part Two.

Hey friends.

So in my last blog post I wrote about how my counselor opened my eyes to have supportive my father truly was (go back and read my last post before you read this). The second part of the task my counselor gave me was to write affirmations for myself from me…so here goes nothing. I wrote 15 affirmations for my last post, so the plan is to write 15 more.

  1. You have a really good work ethic at university, you put a lot of work into your school work
  2. You’re a good big sister, you have a huge heart for your brother
  3. You’re a good daughter, you are so helpful and would do anything to make sure your mother was okay
  4. You’re a good girlfriend, you love with your whole heart and you’re incredibly loyal
  5. You’re a good friend, you will always help your friends in whatever they need
  6. You have so much compassion for other people, and because of this you tend to put peoples needs before yours
  7. You’re independent, which is good when you need to take a leadership role
  8. You also are a good team player, and you work well with other people
  9. You survived the one thing you said was your worst fear (losing the people I love the most), and you manage life day to day fairly well
  10. You’re a good driver, and Lord knows it took a long time for me to be comfortable with driving
  11. You’re a good guitar player, you’ve put a lot of work into playing and it’s become a passion for you
  12. You make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world (Not gonna lie, I haven’t tasted one better than mine…)
  13. You’re a good writer, you put a lot of yourself in your writing
  14. You have a dry, sarcastic but fun sense of humor
  15. You’re starting to learn how to love yourself, slowly but surely but your doing a good job

This is a cool exercise, try it for yourself!

Thanks for reading, Makayla xoxo


Oh hey, look at me, journaling again. Since school ended, I haven’t had much of a routine at home, but since work is starting soon and I’m starting this cool new 30 day healthy living challenge, I figured I’d get back into this.
Today, I went back to counselling for the first time since before Christmas. Honestly, I thought it was one of the most eye opening sessions I have had. I had two goals in mind when I e-mailed my counselor to book an appointment – one was to talk about the one year anniversary of my dad’s death and what to expect with that, and the second was to talk about the anxiety/insecurity that I’ve been having (which I kind of talked about in my last post).
She told me that because of the way things have played out in my life, specifically my father passing away, I now look at everything with the thought that life is unpredictable, which is true. After describing that I am always concerned about the future and past, she told me that I’m no longer living in the present like I was before. There is always these “What if…?” questions, and she told me that those might never really go away.
So, then we talked about my insecurities. She was trying to discover why these had come about, because I told her that while I had never been an overly confident person, I felt okay about myself. But now I’m having thoughts such as “What if I’m not good enough?” “What if this person really doesn’t like me?” all the time, and these are just a couple examples. She then asked me if maybe the reason why I was feeling insecure was because my dad was my source of confidence, and then it hit me – that was the truest statement I had ever heard. He truly was the reason that I had any confidence at all.
While he and my mother had high expectations for me, he was also my biggest supporter. He told me I could do anything, be anything, dream anything, and accomplish anything. He told me I deserved the absolute best from everyone and everything, and taught me to never settle for anything less than that. He taught me how to believe in myself, and when I forgot how to do that, he was always there to teach me how again. I talked to him about almost everything, so to truly come to the realization that someone that meant that much to my life was gone hit me like a brick wall, like it has many times before.
Her suggestion to me was to write down all the affirmations that I can remember my dad telling me, so that’s what I plan to finish this post with, and I’m going to try to come up with 15. Her next suggestion was to write down affirmations that I come up with for myself…which should be an interesting task, but I plan to write 15 for myself in my next post which will hopefully be in the next couple days. Enjoy, Makayla xox

You are so smart

You are a hard worker

I am so proud of all of your accomplishments

I couldn’t ask for a better daughter

You can do it, as long as you keep working hard

You are such a determined person

Stop stressing, you have got no reason to stress!

See, I told you there was nothing to stress about! (7 and 8 happened on several occasions…)

You’re on such a good path, keep going!

You are dedicated person to anything you commit to

You’re so stubborn (Which I took as an affirmation because I think he meant it as I can be an independent person. Although, this did drive him crazy sometimes lol).

You have great people skills

I love listening to you sing and play guitar (Literally, my biggest fan…)

You are a good big sister to your brother

I love you.

Bad Nights.

First of all, the picture of the waves on the beach will make sense after, but I also just desperately want to go to the beach. Secondly, I promised this blog wouldn’t all be depressing but this one is going to be…

Last night, I had a bad night. Truthfully, I find myself having more and more of these nights lately. They’re scary honestly, because everything just kind of hits me like a brick wall. Everything that I ignored during the day suddenly is the only thing I can think about, and I can’t shut my mind off no matter how hard I try.

The last time I was at counselling (which was a while ago, I’ve got to get back…) I asked my counselor how to give  my mind some peace, and she gave me some tools. They were basically to do something that I enjoy right before bed, and I said the best thing would probably be to listen to music. Although I have found this has helped a bit, I’m still finding my mind is full of thoughts when it’s time for me to fall asleep.

All of these thoughts I’m having, remembering what has happened, cause my anxiety to rise quite quickly, and then come the water works. Honestly, panic attacks happen often. It’s hard to breathe, think, see and it’s scary. Once I can finally calm down, my body feels completely numb. Of course, this makes it easier to fall asleep because I’m so exhausted LOL. I’ve never had panic attacks before just recently, and I’m slowly learning how to deal with them. I think the biggest thing I’m learning is to not avoid them; I need to let them happen as they come and work through it.

What they say is absolutely true – grief comes in waves, and mine just seem to happen when I lay down to go to sleep. If you could/want to, pray for me to have some peace in my mind and to have some restful sleep!

Blessings, Makayla xoxo


What I want people to know.

Hi readers,

A lot of the time, I find myself thinking things but not sharing them with others in fear of offending them, or quite frankly I don’t want to depress them. I don’t want people to think I don’t want their help or support, or their company. But sometimes, I literally can’t handle life and these are some of the thoughts that I have. I understand that these will probably come off as very selfish or rude, and I don’t mean to think them but the reality is I do, and I thought it was time that I finally share them.

How am I? You know, I’m not really sure if I’m ever okay anymore, but yeah I’m fine…thanks for asking.

Please stop complaining about your life, it’s literally so easy in comparison to what I’ve been through.You don’t know stress and anxiety like I know it.

Thanks for asking about my family, I do really appreciate it, but I also wish you’d ask me how I’m making out. I was affected by this tragedy as much as they were.

Please, PLEASE stop talking about how wonderful your dad is because he does all of these things for you. I don’t get to have that anymore.

I’m sorry that I’m not as excited about this as you are, I’m literally just not feeling it lately.

Please, do not shout at me. My nerves can’t handle it. Even if you’re just shouting because you’re hyper or having fun, I can’t handle it and it makes me want to be more quiet and stop socializing.

Thank-you for dumping all of your problems on me, and never asking about mine.

Also, I’m sorry that I can’t be a good friend. I’m trying to focus on making myself better before trying to fix someone else. I will always be here for you and listen to you, but I can’t promise to be perfect at it.

God is good all the time? To be frank, I’m not sure that I can believe that anymore. Something good will come out of this tragedy? I honestly could care less, something good could’ve come out of something else, God didn’t need to take my dad.

I know this is an awkward subject, and you literally don’t know what to say. But please, just let me know that you’re always going to be there. That’s all I need.

I’m sorry, I just need to take today off. My brain is not in the right state to do anything.

Stop telling me to smile more, sometimes I literally feel like I can’t.

How can you tell me I need to learn how to handle my stress? I have so much of it constantly, every day, and I need to be able to know how to deal with all of it??? Yeah right!

Well, after writing those out I’ve realized for the first time that I do have quite a bit of anger. I’ve always just thought depression/sadness is what I’ve been dealing with through this journey. I honestly don’t mean to actually think these things, but I guess they just come with the circumstances I’m in. If I know you and you’re reading this, please don’t read too much into this. I need you to know that I’m not mad or angry directly at you, I think I’m more mad at my circumstances and it makes me think these things.

Have you ever felt the same way in your circumstances? Let me know, it’d be nice to know I’m not alone.

Not going to lie, writing this post made me feel a lot better. Thanks for listening,

Makayla, xo



My Dad.

I want my readers to fully understand who my father was, so here goes.

My dad was all sorts of wonderful. He had one of the brightest smiles I’ve ever seen. His bellowing laughter could be heard loud and clear and it was contagious. He teased like there was no tomorrow, and would expect it right back. He had a silly personality and loved life.

He was a bit of a nerd. Star Wars was his most favorite thing in the world, and he was so excited about all of the upcoming movies. He also loved all superheroes, I’m not even sure if he had a favorite one… He also loved things like Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, etc. I used to ask my Dad questions about these things all the time, one, because I was genuinely curious, but also because I just loved listening to him talk about something he knew so much about and was so excited about.

My dad loved the outdoors. He loved to garden, fish, have campfires and just to be outside.

He literally never cared what anyone else thought of him (in the best and most freeing way possible). I’m pretty sure my father could never feel embarrassment. He was confident and lived life to its fullest. I always admired him for that and always strive to be like him in that way.

My dad was a hard worker. He loved his job, no matter what it brought to the table. He was admired and respected by his co-workers and bosses. He made changes for the better in the way things worked at the company. He was passionate about his job, regardless of the fact that it wasn’t the greatest or highest paying job around.

My dad was a really good husband. He loved my mom like nothing I’ve ever seen before. He was romantic and always got her little surprises, he was forgiving and understanding. He supported her in everything, and was by her side through everything life has thrown at our family.

My dad was also a really good dad. He taught me how to have a firm handshake, how to punch properly, all of the rules of football, how to laugh at myself, how to not care what anyone else thinks, how to be independent, and how to be confident in myself…among many other things!

Dad was the person I confided in the most. He gave the best advice because he didn’t beat around the bush, he told things like they were. I could talk to him about anything and I knew he’d be there to help or just listen. He supported everything I ever did and I knew how proud he was of my accomplishments.

I’m incredibly thankful for the 18 years I got to spend with my dad. Of course, it is so unfair that that’s all I got but I’m blessed to have even gotten that.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about what I loved most about my dad❤️

Love, Makayla xo








Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Hello reader!

Welcome to my blog! Make sure you check out the “about” link because this first post will make a lot more sense.

So yeah, I’m Makayla. All the fun stuff about me is in the about thing, and you have now read that the main purpose of this blog is to talk about how I’m dealing with my grief after losing my dad in 2016. I’m not really here to discuss details of how he passed away, but all you need to know is it was very sudden and shocking.

Life has not been the same since then, I can tell you that. Life is what I like to call an emotional roller coaster. I’ve had lots of support and I’ve been to counselling lots since. One thing my amazing counselor told me to do was to journal all of my feelings. I thought this wouldn’t be a problem for me because I LOVE to write! But I’ve been finding it difficult to sit down and write lately (university is kind of time consuming). I’m hoping this blog will encourage me to make it a priority and write more, because it really does help me cope.

I hope that you stick around to hear some of what I’ve got to say. I promise it won’t all be depressing, I’ll try to be happy and funny sometimes too! But mostly I hope that I can show you that both strength and courage are possible even through the most difficult times in your life. If you’re going through the loss of a loved one, maybe this will make you feel like you’re not alone. If you have a friend who is going through a similar situation, maybe this will help you understand how to deal with them and help them through their situation. Or, maybe this blog will just inspire you to be strong and courageous through the storms in your life. I hope it at least does one of the above!

My plan is write at least once a week. It might be more or it might be less, we’ll see. I can tell you my first post will probably be about my dad and who he was as a person…I’ve been wanting to write something like this for a long time but it’s kind of hard. But I want you all to know how lovely my father was – so stay tuned! Here’s to trying new things and taking time to help yourself!

Lots of love,