Category Archives: Joy

A bit of a hodge podge post

As you guys know, I’m in “busy season” with my photography business so that is keeping me really busy during the days when I don’t have the kiddos I nanny. But you may not know that Christopher is also in busy season with work. It’s a quarter close for him so October is always busy (as well as January, February, April, and July). So naturally since we’re both so busy with work right now, this is the perfect time for Christopher and I to decide to move forward with our kitchen renovation. 😉 Okay, maybe not the best time, but we didn’t want to put it off past the holidays because we have other projects to work on! 🙂 So we have been spending the time we’re at home working away on that (which, by the way, I am so excited to share with you as we get more of it put together!).

Since we’ve been busy with work stuff and home stuff, I haven’t taken as much time to write here all the fun other stuff! So I want to do a quick recap of some of the highlights from the past week.

Last Wednesday we went to Fall on Beale to hear Chase Rice and LoCash. Kelsi came with us and let me tell you – we made some memories! Christopher and I are huge Chase Rice fans ever since we first saw him in concertThis time around it was a little more low key (just an acoustic set), but still really good!

We attended a couple of classes this past week that the Alzheimer’s Association hosted. One on legal & financial information and the other on communication strategies. Both were really good and helpful. As Christopher’s dad’s condition progresses, we want to be as much help as we can be to both him and Christopher’s mom (who cares for his dad).

compassion experience

We spent Saturday volunteering with Compassion International. They are one of the organizations that partners with people like us to sponsor children around the world. We sponsor four kiddos with them and honestly those kids deserve a blog post of their own so that one will be coming! We volunteered with CI on Saturday, by helping them out with something called the Compassion Experience. Watch the video below to learn what the Compassion Experience is all about.

Our job was to get people set up with the ipods and headsets which meant that we got to talk to so many people who care about the children who are living in poverty around the world. By the end of the night my voice was nearly gone and we were so tired, but it was the good kind of exhausted. I asked Christopher how he felt as we were driving away and he responded with, “I’m tired, but I don’t think I’ve ever walked away from volunteering and not been really glad I did it.” And I think he’s spot on. 🙂

Oh, and finally – I went to a baby shower yesterday and someone had found the CUTEST little boy clothes from Target! I always love showers for little girls better than for boys because they just generally have cuter stuff for girls. But apparently Target is currently on point with the baby boy clothes because my gracious – they were adorable! So if you have a little boy or are expecting one, here’s my PSA for you: go to Target. 😉

Alrighty, I know this post was all over the place, but this is what happens when I don’t take as much time to blog. It just all comes out at once, haha! Thanks for sticking with me friends! 🙂

Love Rach


Max and Laura are Engaged!

This past weekend my cousin Max got engaged! 🙂

rach and maxThis is me holding him when he was a wee babe!

Well now he’s all grown up and engaged to this lovely lady!

max and lauraMax and Laura 🙂

Both families came together to have a big party in celebration of their engagement! We laughed so much we cried. And sometimes we cried just because everything got so emotional. Time is just flying by. Max is actually engaged. And later this year he will be a married man! 🙂

max and lauraTelling the proposal story!

DSC_0587We had a feast! I made BLT deviled eggs which were adorable! I’ll share that recipe later this week. 🙂

collage of picsMy Uncle printed off a bunch of photos of Max and Laura and put cute little phrases on each one.  He attached the photos to balloons which floated around all evening. I thought this was absolutely precious!

DSC_0606Daddy Ken (my grandfather) and me!

telephone pictionaryWe played Telephone Pictionary with advice for the new couple being our theme. It was hilarious! As a side note, the guy on the bottom right  is Laura’s brother-in-law (he married her sister) and he also just so happens to be a guy I knew in college! I am actually terrible with remembering people that I haven’t seen in recent years, but he remembered me! His cousin was a close friend of mine from college and once I started putting the pieces together I definitely remembered him! Small world! We had fun catching up and I loved getting to know his wife!

I am so happy for the two of them! And for our family as we add a new family to ours. Hooray for love sweet love! 🙂
Love Rach


Meeting Madeleine Clare

Remember that baby shower I hosted last month?  Well, the little one it was for came into the world today. 🙂 I got a text from Whitney letting me know that it was nearly time so I headed to the hospital to wait!

DSC_0674Courtney and Hadley were there waiting too! It’s hard to believe that 15 months ago, we were in this very same hospital to visit Hadley when she was born!

hadleyThose eyes! Just love her. 🙂 {by the way, if it looks like I way over-edited her eyes… I didn’t. I actually didn’t edit them at all. She just has really pretty eyes with a lot of depth of color!}

gparentsBoth sets of Whitney & Jonathan’s parents were there waiting as well. They were keeping an eye on Cadence {Whitney & Jonathan’s firstborn}.

DSC_0683 Jonathan came out to let us know that all went well! Cadence was excited to see her daddy and ready to go see her mommy!

DSC_0679Both of the moms seeing photos of Madeleine for the first time while waiting to be able to go back to see her!

MadeleineMadeleine Clare. Born 9.19.2013. 7lbs 9oz. 20 inches long. Momma and baby both in good health. 🙂

us with madeleineAnd this evening after Christopher got off work we drove back to the hospital so he could meet Madeleine too! She is just so precious! Welcome to the world, Madeleine Clare. 🙂

Love Rach

A Love Letter

I woke up to a letter from my husband a couple of days ago. It may seem weird to share such a personal letter with the world, but it is such a good glimpse into the way he loves me and can help you guys know him a little better so I’m sharing anyway. 😉 The things he wrote are all things that he has verbalized to me, but having it all written down in one place together was a bit overwhelming (in a really good way!!). 😀 I am one lucky girl. If you aren’t the mushy-type, just stop reading now and know that it was precious. 😉


I love you more than my words here can say and I wish I were better with words because they are such a big thing for you. But, please know that I love you so much and I am so thankful to be married to you. I look forward to being with you every day when we come home and I am excited to be done with my MBA so that we can spend more time together. 

I love you because everything just feels so natural with you. I feel totally at home and at rest with you. You are my stronghold, my rock. You make me feel more secure than I have ever felt before. When I have a bad day I just want to sit with you and be in your presence. You bring a calming effect to my life and I love you so much.  

I love that you are so smart. You should really consider writing a book or teaching. You are very very smart. Not only are you smart, but you are very beautiful. And on days when you have trouble believing that, you can listen to just about everyone we meet who says how beautiful you are.

I love how we have become so serving to one another. I know you say that I do a lot for you, but you do everything for me and I truly appreciate it. 

I love that you are funny, loving, caring, empathetic, understanding, cute, faithful, honest, serving, and have great navigational skills. You are classy and refined. You are a great cook and knowledgeable in so many things. 

I love how you love those around you. You are a great friend. You are always willing to listen and empathize so easily. You are a wonderful nanny and someday you will be the best mom. You are a blessing to your family. They can’t miss what a wonderful Christian woman you have grown into.  You are even having an impact on people you have never officially met because of your blog. A lot of people read that and the examples you set on the site will be remembered. One of the biggest impacts you are having is with your teen girls. They will remember you all of their lives. Even though they are young and do not understand a lot of things, just as we were, they will realize how awesome you are as they get older.

I love how you imitate Jesus. I think the biggest way I see you being like Jesus and living out scripture is through serving and your relationships. You are always around to help someone with whatever they might be going through and I think that is a huge thing. Also your compassion and drive for helping the world is very Jesus like. I am not sure where we will end up in this world, but I suspect we will be doing mission work anywhere we go, whether that is living abroad or staying in the States. 

Thank you for being my wife and for the woman that you are. I am so proud of you and think that marrying you is the best accomplishment of my life.

I love you more.

He’s the best. He’s much better with words than he gives himself credit for. And I love him more times infinity. 🙂
Love Rach

A Special Anniversary…

Five years ago today my best friend asked me to spend “the rest of forever” with him. I am so glad I said yes! 🙂

proposal!(he proposed to me at the playground were we used to go to and talk and play when we first started hanging out, where we officially became “boyfriend/girlfriend,” and where we had our first kiss)

I have found the one whom my soul loves – Song of Solomon 3:4

Love Rach

A really special way to end 2012

Hello 2013! So nice to meet you. We closed out 2012 in a really special way. For the first time in four years my whole immediate family got together for  long Christmas weekend (Thursday-Monday). The last time we were all together at the same time was the fall of 2008 so this was a big deal! Getting to see all four of my siblings plus their families in the same weekend was just really really wonderful! 🙂

rach and mattMatt and his family showed up first so we got to have some good brother-sister bonding time which occasionally included me smacking him for attempting to give me wet willies (like just before this photo was taken, haha). 🙂

rach with austin and kaitlynSweet kisses from my brother’s two kiddos. Check out all that red hair!

rach holly abbyThen my sister Abby arrived and less than 5 minutes later, Holly and her family walked in the door. And of course this photo happened because you are never too old to match your sisters (Abby – in the middle – didn’t like the stripes on her, but she is wearing a scarf like Holly so we are still calling it matching!). 🙂

sisterSpeaking of Abby… she may be three inches taller than me at 5’11, but she will always be the baby. 🙂

mini me2And speaking of babies… check out how my niece/mini me is so not a baby anymore. She is growing up too fast!

sistersThen Melissa and her family came so this is all four of us sisters!

siblingsAll my siblings from oldest to youngest! Yup, I’m number 4 out of 5. 🙂

our famAll of us kiddos plus Mom and Dad

family shotMy whole immediate family. That’s right, this is just my immediate family. Parents, five kids, four “add ons” (that’s what Christopher and Glen jokingly call themselves), and six nieces and nephews. 🙂 Yup, there are 17 of us now! I so love my family! 🙂

I can’t think of a better way to end 2012 than to be all together with my whole family. Welcome 2013, may you be even more beautiful than 2012. 🙂
Love Rach


Picking out names for our future kids… (and snickerdoodles!)

Another one of our friends just had a baby so after going to meet him this week Christopher and I began talking about baby names again. But before I tell you about that…

joshuaMeet Joshua James. Isn’t he precious? Born December 6th. 🙂

So Christopher starts coming up with some names he thinks would really be rather excellent for our future children which led to me posting this Facebook status:

approved names

There are 30 comments on it so it’s too long to copy and paste it all, but our friends and family were very helpful in helping us pick names. Not only did they vote on their favorites from Christopher’s list, but also added a few for us. These included, but were not limited to: William Wallace, Clark Kent, Frank “The Punisher” Castle, Castle, Gandalf, Bob, Samwise, Wade, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Yoda, Viggo Victor, Verity Valentina, Vendulina Vilhelmina, Brunhilde, and Thorfinn.

Yeaaaaah. Our friends and family are so helpful, haha! 😉

On a totally unrelated note, Christopher and I made snicker doodles last week that he raved about. Know where the recipe came from? A cook book. Like, an actual cook book that is on my bookshelf. Crazy, right? Ever since I discovered Pinterest I have been really bad about using cook books so I was pretty excited to actually have a book open on my counter instead of my laptop. So thanks to Better Homes and Gardens, I give you… snicker doodles!




1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon


1. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

2.In a small mixing bowl combine the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (we used parchment paper).

3.Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. Makes about 36 cookies.

Christmas is almost here, friends! My in-laws arrive today and I am super excited to see them! The Christmas weekend has begun! 😀
Love Rach