Category Archives: Nannying

Recent Happenings

Happy Friday, friends! Just wanted to share a few recent things.

rach and mal.jpg

I started nannying Mallory when she was 9 weeks old and this week she graduated preschool. Believe me, her mom and I both cried happy tears when we realized how perfectly my due date lined up with Mallory beginning kindergarten. Speaking of tears… I totally cried during her little graduation ceremony. She is such a big girl!

snoozin oreo

Oreo doesn’t know it yet, but his world is going to be rocked this summer. We’re trying to give him a little extra loving lately. 🙂

entry way before and after

We’ve continued to work on projects around the house. Most of which aren’t that exciting to photograph. And really this one isn’t that exciting to look at either, but I’m so pleased with the change that I wanted to share. 😉 Ever since we bought this house, our entryway has looked pretty rough. No matter how much it is cleaned, it always looks dirty (even immediately after cleaning). Turns out that it was because whoever put the floor in, used the wrong kind of sealer on it. So we removed the sealer, cleaned the floor really well, used Grout Renew to fix the hideous grout, and then put down the proper sealer on it. It was a TON of work, but absolutely worth it in the end! Eventually we might replace the slate with a brick entryway because we think it would look better with the look of the house, but for now this is a major improvement! 🙂

fridge baby shower invites

Aaaaand finally, baby showers! Our very first one is this weekend and the next will be in a couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe that they are here already. We’ve been receiving gifts in the mail over the past couple of weeks and every one of them brings me to tears. We have been just amazed at the sweetness and generosity of friends and family! Also on the fridge – that “Mom-to-be” card was from my sister, Holly, in honor of Mother’s Day. Whew, there were definitely tears as I read her sweet, encouraging words. Definitely feeling the love and I’m so excited to celebrate Baby Girl with family and friends this weekend!

Love Rach

All the Kiddos {Photography Favorites}

Last week I shared some of my favorites photos of babies and toddlers from last year. And I had a couple of you ask if one of the toddlers was the little girl I nanny. It wasn’t, but it made me realize how long it has been since I shared a photo of her! You guys are not going to believe how big she is! So today I’m going to share my favorite “Kid” photos from last year and the very first one is of Mallory. She was four last summer so she’s even bigger now! Ah, how time flies!

kids-8

Kids (9).jpg

Kids (1).jpg

Kids (7).JPG

Kids (12).JPG

Kids (4).jpg

Kids (10).jpg

Kids (11).JPG

Kids (5).jpg

These kids are all just so precious. I love getting those sweet, genuine smiles and laughs from them. Does that sometimes require me to make animal noises, sing Disney songs, and tell corny jokes? Why yes, yes it does. But it’s absolutely worth it. 😉

Love Rach

Priceless

Earlier this year I got to see For King and Country perform live. I love, love, love them (and can give you a list of favorite songs if you like their sound)! They performed a new song at that concert that I hadn’t heard before and I immediately fell in love with it and came home and started playing it on repeat. Since then I’ve heard this song on the radio quite a bit so I’m sure many of you have heard it. But I want to talk about why I love it so much. It’s called Priceless.

This whole song is about how priceless you are. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve cried (or at least teared up) listening to this song. I think of so many ladies I know and love who don’t see their worth. Of the teenagers I’ve mentored over the past 11 years. And I especially think of my nieces who are coming so close to their preteen years when I know they will be hit with an onslaught of being told by the world that they aren’t enough. I remember those years so vividly. Feeling like I wasn’t pretty enough or funny enough or skinny enough or smart enough or athletic enough. Just mediocre at best. No one special. I battled those feelings through my teen years and really even into college. Today I am confident in who I am and when I look in the mirror I see someone I can be proud of smiling back at me. But I hate that my nieces are at an age where they will soon be walking right into those years.

rae and kenz.jpg{taken earlier this year in May}

My niece, Makenzie, and I have belted out the lyrics to this song together so many times. And I pray, oh I pray, it is sinking deep into her heart. That she never questions just how priceless she is. I don’t see my other nieces as frequently, but I pray that they, too, know how priceless they are.

mal2{taken in a sunflower field yesterday – you can see more of these shots here 🙂 }

And my Mallory. So young and sure of herself. Confident that everyone she meets thinks that she is the most special girl there ever was. Precious innocence. I pray that she remembers these feelings of being loved so deeply when the world throws lies at her later in life.

Mirror mirror, mirror on the wall
Tellin’ those lies, pointing out your flaws
That isn’t who you are
That isn’t who you are

It might be hard to hear, but let me tell you dear
If you could see what I can see, I know you would believe
That isn’t who you are
There’s more to who you are

So when it’s late, you’re wide awake
Too much to take
Don’t you dare forget that in the pain
You can be brave, hear me say:

I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you (oh so priceless)
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it’s beautiful
I see it all in you (oh so priceless)

Precious truth. Love this song!

Who do you think of when you hear a song like this?

Do you relate to the struggle I went through of not feeling good enough? Are you still there? Take the lyrics of this song to heart. You are priceless, my friend.

Love Rach

Back to school for my little loves

swimming

I blinked and summer is over. The kids I nanny and I had an awesome summer together! But now August has arrived and Will goes back to school today and in a week Mallory will start two-day-a-week preschool. So I’ll hardly see Will at all and only see Mallory a couple of days a week. I don’t even want to think about next year when she starts kindergarten. Thankfully they live just a few minutes away from us so I’m sure I’ll still see them some, but it won’t be the same as being involved in their daily lives. Oh the tears… I’m definitely not ready to think about this yet, haha!  On a much happier note, I wanted to share two videos of the kiddos from the past couple of weeks. 🙂

In case you can’t understand her. Here’s the beginning dialogue:

Mallory: “Daddy tells me not to sleep in socks.”
Me: “Why is that?”
Mal: “Because only psychopaths do… and we’re not psychopaths.”

Makes me laugh every single time I watch it. She’s just so matter-of-fact about it. Even if she has no clue with a psychopath is. She just knows that she isn’t one and therefore doesn’t wear socks to sleep in. Also, now we all know how her dad feels about people who sleep in socks, ha!  😉

You guys, this video is the essence of childhood dress up and playing. I just love it. Will came up with the idea and script for this video which just makes it even better. The only thing I did was actually hide Spiderman (they really didn’t know where Spidey was), film it, add dramatic music, and put it together in a video. Side note: in case you can’t hear Will at the 2 minute mark he is looking inside the pantry and says, “If he was in here, he would have a Thanksgiving feast!”

We’ve had an awesome summer! I’ll miss seeing them all the time, but I’m excited to see how much they will grow and learn this school year.

Who or what did you dress up as when you were a kid?

Tell the truth… do you sleep with socks on? 😉
Love Rach

Lately

And we’re back to lately posts, ha! It’s 100 degrees here right now so I keep thinking the photography business will soon slow down dramatically. Instead I keep having people book July sessions which is awesome for business! But, you know, hot. So we’re attempting to beat (some of) the heat by having early morning sessions. Tomorrow I have a 7:45am session and on Friday a 7am one. On the bright side – I’m an early riser – so this is no biggie for me. Hopefully the kiddos (and their parents) will be bright eyed and bushy tailed! 🙂

post gym selfie{awkward post-gym selfie from today – I was trying to not look bald by turning my head, but now it just looks weird. Obviously I need to work on my selfie game, haha!}

One thing I’ve been really proud of myself for during this busy photography season has been prioritizing time at the gym. I really enjoy working out and I feel great all day when I kick off my morning at the gym. The only times when I don’t go regularly are during photography busy seasons (spring-early summer and then fall-Christmas). So after this past fall/Holiday season when I was crazy busy and missed a TON of gym days, I decided not to let that happen again. So while I’m not present here as much as I’d like, I am still getting in that much needed gym time. Thanks for hanging with me while things are busy. 🙂

spraying the ceiling.jpg

Ever since our A/C leaked through our ceiling three weeks ago we’ve been attempting to repair the damaged ceiling. We’ve tried two fixes and both haven’t matched the texture that is already on the ceiling. Which required RE-scraping the ceiling. Yuck! So last night we pulled out the big guns and rented a ceiling texture sprayer to fix it. Thankfully the third time was the charm and the ceiling looks way better now!

from 2004

This deserves more than just a passing mention, but since blogging has taken a backseat lately, I don’t want this week to pass without me at least acknowledging this. A friend of ours from college passed away very suddenly this week. I remember when his wife and I were freshman and we were having a slumber party and giggling together about these super cute boys we were dating and how we both thought that they just might be the ones we would marry. We were right. And now, at a ridiculously young age, he is gone. My heart just breaks for her and their young son. Please take a moment to pause and say a prayer for them. Hug those you love a little tighter today.

kiddos2.jpg

Speaking of those I love… these two hooligans have kept me busy this summer. It’s so nice to spend some quality time with them without having to worry about school or schedules. And if you missed last week’s post about them, check it out here. These two are so near and dear to my heart. 🙂

world relief

Christopher and I recently began volunteering with World Relief here in Memphis. We are volunteering with a refugee family from Syria who are just absolutely precious. We don’t know all of their story yet, but I am already so amazed by their resiliency and eagerness to adapt to life here. I’m not sure how many stories or photos I’ll be able to share here due to privacy, but this is what we’re doing on Monday nights now.

I know this post is such a mix of lighthearted and heavy things, but I suppose that’s life. I may not be blogging like normal right now, but there are definitely some things I want recorded to look back on. Thanks for hanging with me, friends.

Love Rach

Four precious, wonderful years

Yesterday my little Mallory turned 4.

mal

How is she so big already?! I’m pretty sure it was just yesterday that she was this size:

rach and malbw.jpg

And then I blinked and four years flew by.

mal3

Oh Mallory, you sweet, hilarious little girl. May your life always be filled with so much love and laughter.

mal2

May you keep your sense of humor and pair it with kindness and humility. May your tender heart be protected from the cruelty of the world as long as possible and when the day comes that life hurts – may you remember that you are always surrounded by people who love you. And sweet Mallory, as you grow up, may you always seek after the heart of Jesus. This is my constant prayer for you and your brother.

rach and the kiddos.jpg

Four years ago when we met our financial goals and I left my desk job to be a nanny I had no idea what was in store. I knew I would love what I was doing, but I had no idea just how much. I had no idea how precious this family would become to me. And how these children would be like my own family. Watching both of them grow and change has been such a delight over the years. I do get a little weepy seeing them growing up on me, but I love the awesome little people they are becoming.

rach and the kiddos4.jpg{please ignore my wet hair. I wasn’t originally planning on being in pictures yesterday when I threw my hair up in a bun after a shower and walked out the door, ha!}

I also had no clue that taking a nanny position would give me the freedom to pursue things I am passionate about. Like my photography. Will and Mallory were some of my first subjects that I photographed regularly. And nap time gave me plenty of time to learn the book side of photography as well as to edit photos. Their mom was one of the first to  brag on my photography on social media and make me feel like I might be able to make my hobby into something bigger. And then when the photography business picked up and I found myself needing to make a decision between the two – my nanny hours changed from 6:30am-3:30pm to 11:45am-4pm (about a year and a half ago). This has given me the opportunity to still see the kids during the week (especially in the summer when Will is out of school) while still pursing my photography business full time. I love that instead of having to make a choice between two things I love doing, I got to choose both. Blessing upon blessing. 🙂

rach and the kiddos2.jpg

Happy fourth birthday, Mallory! Four years ago, I had no idea how much you and your family would bless me. I love you for always.

Love Rach

Lately

flowers from sv.jpg

Last Thursday we attended an appreciation dinner for the volunteer work we’re involved in here in Memphis. These beauties came home with us from that dinner. We actually got some difficult news on this day so spending the evening being showered with love was a blessing.

cottage cheese.jpg

I’ve discovered that I like cottage cheese. For the longest time I avoided it because the texture seemed really weird to me, but I finally tried it and… I actually like it! I’ve been eating it with strawberries and it has been the bomb dot com. Any other recommendations for good combinations with cottage cheese?

gym selfie.jpg

My sister, Holly, and I are constantly competing on Fitbit so even though we were out of town this weekend (and out of our normal routine), I couldn’t miss my work outs and let her win. 😉 Since we were staying at a hotel, I used their gym and it turned out that I had it all to myself! So I took my first ever gym selfie.

oreo at the hotel

Speaking of staying a hotel… Oreo traveled with us this past weekend and he surprised us with how great he was all weekend. He hasn’t stayed in a hotel with us since 2011 (and he definitely had some serious separation anxiety back then every time we left him behind in the room) so we were a little unsure of how he’d do. But he was awesome! We were so proud of him!

fam2.jpg

Speaking of this past weekend, we were traveling because we were visiting Christopher’s family. I love the joy it brings my mother-in-law to see all six of us together.

fam

Christopher and his parents and brother. I’ve talked about her a lot on this blog, but my mother-in-law really is incredible. In fact, go back to my post from September and read what I said about her then, it’s all still completely accurate.

kiddos

Yesterday was our first official “school’s out, summer’s here” day with the kids that I nanny. During the school year I hardly get to see Will (who just completed 1st grade) so summer is an extra special time for us!

working

As you guys know, it’s a busy time of year for me with photography so there is lots of photo taking and editing happening right now. I know my blog posts lately have become snippets of many things instead of normal posts, but with work being so busy, something has to give a little. I may not be able to write as much as I want right now, but I can at least get these little tidbits out there to look back on later. 🙂 Thanks for hanging with me, friends.

Love Rach