Category Archives: Changes

30 Days

As our six years with the teens we mentor comes to a close, we have decided to take a break. A 30 day break from what our life has been these past six years. Nearly every night of the week for the past six years, we have been go-go-go. Volunteer work, juggling different friend groups, and trying to fit in time together just us here and there where we can. And lots of house projects. They are never ending, ha! And even before that we had college and graduate school and juggling multiple part time jobs and hobbies and friends. We’ve always been the types to have a packed full schedule. And honestly, we love that fast paced life style. We thrive on it. But after so long without a real break, we need to stop and breathe.

I want to call it “30 days of rest” but that wouldn’t really be accurate. We are taking 30 days off from normal life, but we’re going to fill those days with time together. Date nights, trips together, romance, and adventure. I.Am.So.Excited. 😀

We will still go to church on Sunday mornings and work Monday-Friday (while we’re in town), but all our evenings and weekends will be ours for just us. Every rare now and then over the past few years we’ll take a week and spend it like this and it’s wonderful. So I can’t tell you how excited I am for us to be doing this for 30 days!

We will also spend a lot of time in prayer over these 30 days as we try to decide where life is taking us next. It would be so easy for us to immediately fill up all of our time again with the next volunteer organization (and believe me, I’ve got a list of places I want to get involved with!), but we want to be discerning. We want to give of ourselves and serve, but we also want to be better about carving out set time for us.

Currently we make a point to spend an hour together at the end of every day, talking and praying together before bed. And we try to have at least one date night in per week. But often that date night gets sacrificed. So we want to spend 30 days together, almost like a honeymoon. To laugh and play together. To spend a solid chunk of time together. And to intentionally plan out what our next year will look like.

Our 30 days will be bookended by two trips. We are beginning this time together on August 10th which is the Monday before we head to an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic for a relaxing trip celebrating our seven year anniversary. And we will end the 30 days on September 8th which is the day we return home from a fast paced, adventuresome trip to NYC. I’m looking forward to relaxing together and adventuring together not only on these trips, but also all throughout the 30 days.

This week is packed full like normal in order to spend time with people we love before we disappear for 30 days. It’s going to be a great week. And an awesome 30 days after that!

halloween costume touristsWe are ready for adventure! (Halloween 2014)
Love Rach

Kelsi

As most of you guys know, I mentor teen girls. I started with them in 2009 when they were all little baby 7th graders. And as of this week… these sweet girls start their senior year of high school. TEARS! I am definitely going to have an emotional time this coming May when all my little baby girls graduate and move off to college! Yikes! I’m not ready for this, haha! Aaanyway, this past weekend I took senior photos for one of my teens and I was more than a little emotional about it. I know in my head that she is growing up, but it’s hard to SEE it!

kelsi's collageLook at how tiny she was! And now she has grown up SO fast on me! TEARS!

kelsiOne of my favorites 🙂

kelsi2How cute is she?! And so grown up!

kelsi3Pretty lady

kelsi4Do you see why I was teary-eyed?! Look at this LADY! She’s not a little girl anymore! Christopher considers Kelsi to be a little sister and he took one look at this photo and said “No, I refuse. She cannot be that grown up.” 😉

kelsi5Kelsi is super athletic! She plays basketball, softball, and runs XC! And she’s super smart too. Definitely well rounded! 🙂

 You guys, time is flying past and before I know it, Kelsi and all my other girls will be graduating high school in May. What am I going to do with all my extra time once they’re all gone?! Changes are coming! Yikes! For now, I’ll take it a day at a time and enjoy this last year with them. 🙂

Do you get emotional over watching kids/teens growing up? 
Love Rach

Be Brave

I’m not the bravest person. I mean, I’ll eat pretty much anything (at least once), ride roller coasters, and start a conversation with a stranger… but I’m not brave when it comes to change. Well, not all changes, I guess. Marriage to Christopher has been pretty stellar and we actually had a pretty easy go of it transitioning from dating to engaged to married. 🙂 But other changes can be scary to me. So today I’m talking to myself. I’m challenging myself. Reminding myself of who I want to be. I want to be brave. And I want to remember that if I follow where God leads, then I really will set the world on fire. 🙂

be brave{source}

not afraid of storms{source}

fairy tales{not sure of original source because it’s on so many websites, but here’s the pin I saved it from on Pinterest}

ship in harbor{source. Quote by John Shedd}

set the world on fire{source}

Do any of these quotes speak to you today?
Do you consider yourself to be a brave person?
Love Rach

Let’s discuss accents…

Hi friends! Today I have a video for you! 🙂 ENJOY!

NOTES:

– thanks Youtube, for that most flattering freeze frame…

– I’ve only known Katie of Hope Engaged since April of 2013 so not really a year and a half like I said in this video. Apparently I sometimes just like to make up numbers, haha!

– I ramble a lot. And say “um” and “like” and “so” way way way too much.

So tell me, do I sound like you thought I would?
Tag! You’re it! I want to hear how you sound! 🙂

Love Rach

Adorable kiddos and graduating seniors

Last night we went to a preschool program for a bunch of our friends’ kids. They were absolutely precious.

preschool programCheck out those adorable littles! It was an absolutely precious program. Love all those kiddos! {these photos taken from Whitney & Cari Beth’s Facebook accounts}

And the night before that we went to a high school graduation where some of Christopher’s boys graduated!

christopher paytonChristopher and his mentee for this past year, Payton. While he has only “officially” been Payton’s mentor for the past year, they’ve known each other and had a close relationship for several years. I know Christopher was proud to see him walk across the stage!

payton grad 2014Payton’s class ring and hat!

rach kelsiAnd then me with Payton’s sister (and one of my girls!), Kelsi! I can’t believe that a year from now she will be walking across that stage! I’ve been her small group leader since she was in 7th grade. My my how the time flies!

I am thankful for the role we get to play in the lives of our friends’ kids and also in the lives of the teens we mentor. We love our city and we love the people in our city and we love showing love in our city. 🙂 It’s a good life here in Memphis!

Love Rach

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

So in the three weeks since we got back to the States we’ve gotten right back into the swing of things. All our normal busy-ness was waiting for us when we arrived. We went full force right back into church events, work, social life, and volunteer work. In fact, after a 16 day break from it all while we were traveling, we realized that we miss each other. When we came home after the first day back to work after returning from Italy, Christopher wrapped me up in a hug and said, “I didn’t get to see you all day! I missed you!” Haha! After 16 days of spending all day every day together, it was strange to come back and not be together during the day. So we’ve decided we want to scale back a bit again. We do this every now and then when we realize that we’re so busy that we’re never home. So instead of having my teen girls over on Thursday nights like I have for the past 2 years, we’ll hang out on Wednesdays after church when Christopher does guys’ night with his teens. I’m excited to have more time at home with my sweet husband. 🙂

oreoOh yeah, and more time to hang out with this guy too. I have never seen him so happy as the day we got back from Italy. It’s by far the longest he’s ever gone without us and as great as our dog/house sitters were, I think he missed us as much as we missed him!

DSC_0359Speaking of missing… I missed these two kiddos too! I love my job! 🙂

malThese photos were taken minutes apart. Welcome to toddlerhood. 😉

bowling2Over this past weekend Christopher’s parents came to visit. We celebrated his dad’s birthday by taking the family out for a night of bowling fun! His dad beat us all both games! I did get two strikes, though! Yay! 🙂 My lean-while-bowling strategy was obviously working for me. 😉

Italy was awesome and I’m excited to go back again someday, but life here is pretty swell too. 🙂
Love Rach

On why you don’t already know that Christopher is in Graduate School {CampusBookRentals}

Christopher isn’t shy, but anyone who spends a lot of time around him will soon discover that he doesn’t really talk about himself that much. He’ll brag on me, tell a funny story about our dog, or talk about things going on in our life together. But you won’t hear him talk about getting a promotion at work or about how he dominated in basketball today or even that he is currently rocking his grad school classes. He just doesn’t think to talk about himself with people other than me. I think this is a big part of why people tend to be drawn to him. He is down to earth and humble. Not even remotely conceited. He is genuine and kind. And I love him. But I am getting way away from the purpose of this post. 😉

Christopher Oreo{this photo has nothing to do with this post except for the fact that Christopher is in it. And I find it hilarious.}

So, up there… I mentioned that he is in grad school. He actually has been for a year now. For the longest time he really didn’t want anyone to know just because he didn’t want a lot of attention over it. But now that he’s getting close to graduating (this year!) so he has okayed me to share it with you guys. So hooray! He’s in grad school! And acing his classes, by the way! I’ve been so proud of his grades! 😀 He has an amazing scholarship so grad school isn’t costing us a fortune, but his books are still super expensive.

DSC_0389

In fact, between the two of us, we’ve spent close to $6,000 on text books for college and graduate school. Um yeah, that’s a lot of money. Most of the books we have sold on Amazon, but I’m definitely a high-lighter/note-writer when it comes to text books so I lost a sizable amount of $$ on each book. This is where CampusBookRentals comes in. Have you guys heard of them? They let you rent your text books from them with free shipping both ways and you can still high light and write notes in the margins! Oh, and if you want to keep a book for future reference, you just pay the difference left after your rental fee! 

campus book rentals{source}

They also have a new program called the RentBack program where you send them your books and other student rent YOUR book from you. So you get paid each time someone rents your book! The only textbooks I have left are the ones I plan to keep, but if I still had any, I would definitely do this! Also, I love that they are partnering with Operation Smile who provide cleft lip surgeries for children whose families wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. And if you aren’t already sold on them, they have a 30 day risk-free guarantee. You can return your book for any reason within 30 days for a full refund.

In case you were wondering, I was compensated for this post, but you can be sure that I will not endorse anything on this blog that I don’t fully back. These thoughts and opinions are all mine (I mean, who else is going to go on and on about how swell my husband is? 😉 ).
Love Rach