Category Archives: Today’s Joy

Be Still

Life has been on quite the roller coaster over the past few weeks. I know I’ve shared with you guys that there have been some hard moments for us, but I have to tell you… we’ve had some amazing moments over the past few weeks as well. This weekend was rough for our family and yet this coming week has some incredible things we’re so looking forward to. I know that’s the natural way of things in life. That there are soaring highs and crashing lows. It’s just always more obvious when those highs and lows come back to back to back.

be-still

My cousin’s wife recently started a new Etsy shop (she does beautiful work – check it out here) and I just fell in love with this Be Still piece she created. This is where I am right now. Even in the busy-ness of life, I am taking time to be still. To be still and know that He is God. To be still and take time to mourn the hard things. And to be still and rejoice in the good. Because there is so much good even in this broken world.

Thanks to all of you who have prayed for us, supported us, checked in on us, and loved on us over these past few weeks. God is faithful, my friends.

Love Rach

A day in the country

Life is moving at breakneck speed right now (seriously, I am going to wake up tomorrow and it will be 2017, ha!). So this weekend was the perfect time to get away to the country for a bit.

rach and diamond1.jpg

rach-and-diamond2

4wheeler.jpg

If you can’t tell, we’re on a 4 wheeler in that last shot. And I’m sure some of you saw the blurry, shaky InstaStory of us riding horses as well. 🙂 I only have a couple of photos because I held a friend’s baby while she rode a horse and he fell asleep on me. So I snuggled that sleeping baby for the rest of the evening so his mom’s hands could be free. We also cooked hotdogs over a bonfire and spent the evening chatting with friends. It was a wonderful sort of day out in the country. I’m so thankful for the family who lives here who invites us all out twice a year. What a blessing this place is for the soul! 🙂

Have you been out to the country lately?

When was the last time you rode a horse or 4 wheeler?
Love Rach

Today we celebrate!

Hello friends! As many of you have seen from Instagram, we are currently in Destin celebrating our 8th anniversary so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Just I wanted to pop in and say hello real quick. 🙂

us.resized

Destin has been beautiful. As always. This place holds so many precious (and sometimes terrifying, ha!) memories for us. This is our sixth trip here together and it really feels like a home away from home for us. But more on all of that in a later post. For today I want to leave you with a shortened version of our wedding video. Because while we’ve been celebrating for the past five days with this trip, today is the official anniversary day. 🙂

Have a beautiful day friends!
Love Rach

Oh my heart

us in the kitchen2.jpg

This guy. Oh my heart is so full. I wish I had the words to explain what a blessing he is to me. I am so grateful to get to live life with him.

Next week we celebrate 8 years of marriage and I can just barely believe that it has been eight years since we vowed our lives to each other. We were just kids. But we made a great choice in choosing each other.

I met him 12 years ago this month. He claims we met at a party before school started, but I don’t remember meeting him until a couple of weeks later after a movie on campus. Either way, we were fast friends after that movie.

And that friendship has grown into the most beautiful thing.

I keep writing and deleting. Mostly because I have SO much to say. More than you want to read and much of it too personal to share for a public blog. But the snippets I try to write to sum up this wonderful man aren’t near rich enough to explain my heart. So I’ll just leave it at this: I love him and I am so thankful for every day of life with him by my side.

us in the kitchen

Same photo as the one above, but this one isn’t cropped. I love how Oreo is being a creeper in the background. Definitely changes the tone of this photo, ha! But that’s so him. And this is so us. And I love this life we lead. 🙂

Love Rach

Things I’ll remember from 2015

For my last post of 2015 I wanted to look back at some of the things that I know I’ll remember about this year.

princess party

A huge one for 2015 was that this was the year “my girls” graduated from high school. I’ve been mentoring them since they were in 7th grade so it’s hard to believe they are all off in college now. A favorite memory with them this year was our final princess party. It was precious. 🙂

recovery

We’ve had a lot of health stuff/surgeries/sicknesses/etc going on this year. Among them was Christopher’s ACL surgery in January and me getting food poisoning in the Dominican Republic. As hard as some of this has been and as much as I might like to forget those parts of 2015, I’m thankful for the way we so tenderly care for and support each other. And we have both been overwhelmed by the kindness and support of friends and family this year.

us on the beach3

A new thing for 2015 was the Our 30 Days thing we did. A break we took from “real life” to just be together. It.was.awesome. Since then we’ve learned to be much better about carving out time for us which I have loved!

photographer rach3

My photography business has continued to grow and I have continued to be amazed by the growth. I’ll remember 2015 as the year that I let myself get way overbooked (especially Oct-Dec). I came out of busy season with my head still attached so that’s good news, but I want to have a better plan in place for next year. I’m working on that. 😉 But all in all, this business has been awesome and I am unbelievably grateful for my clients, mentors, and encouragers. 🙂

us at grand canyon6

Of course, like most years, 2015 was full of traveling for us. My favorite trips were to Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Destin (even though we had a terrifying experience with a rip current this year, we still love Destin!), and NYC. And of course the Bahamas, but that is part of the next one…

us in nassau

Celebrating Christopher’s 30th birthday with a trip to Harry Potter World (that post is still coming!) and taking a cruise to the Bahamas! Awesome-sauce! Definitely a solid way to end 2015! 🙂

I’m not sure what all 2016 will bring our way, but I have a feeling it’s going to be pretty awesome! 🙂

Love Rach

A morning on the beach

I wake up when the sun rises. Even on vacation. So in the summers that means I wake up around 6 every morning. Which is great in day-to-day life because Christopher is an early riser as well. We love getting an early start to our day. However, on vacation Christopher usually sleeps in (and by “sleeps in” I mean 7-8am so still not late, haha!). During that hour or so that I’m awake before him on vacation, I usually take some time to spend with Jesus (in normal day-to-day life this time usually happens in the afternoons). Since we were at the beach this weekend, I could think of no better spot to spend with Jesus than to go watch the sunrise over the beach.

beach morning

I pray a lot. All throughout the day. In some ways it’s like breathing. Something that just happens because God is so much a part of my life. But taking time to sit down and rest in His presence is something that I really have to be super intentional about. So I have a prayer journal to help keep my mind focused. Day-to-day my quiet time with God consists of reading scripture and writing my prayers down in my prayer journal. But I’ll be honest, I often forget to just be still. To just sit in His presence and allow Him to speak to my heart.

beach morning2{my current prayer journal}

But this past Sunday was different. It was such a beautiful time of worship. I’d say normally about half of my prayers are prayers of thankfulness (because really, God has blessed me above and beyond what I ever could have asked for) and the other half are prayers of petition (“God, please heal this person. God, please teach me to love better. God, please forgive me for my selfishness.” etc). And that’s not wrong or bad. But that morning on the beach, there were no petitions. No asking anything of God. Just pouring my heart out in praise and thankfulness to Him.

beach morning3

I was overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of the creation surrounding me. So for an hour I sat on the beach and worshiped the Creator of everything around me. I took some time to just sit and be still in His presence and you guys, it was wonderful. The whole trip was fantastic and nurturing for the soul, but that specific morning was especially awesome.

Love Rach

I love you more

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a blog post called In Sickness and in Health. It was from when I had bacterial strep and how Christopher lovingly cared for me during that time. Here’s a direct quote from that post in response to the first time I saw myself in the mirror:

My crazy hair, pale gaunt face, and chapped lips stared back at me. I shuddered a little and wondered how it is that my sweet husband had been able to look at me so tenderly all week. That’s what love does, I think. They say love is blind and sometimes I think there’s truth to that statement. I may have been appalled by what I saw in the mirror, but Christopher wasn’t. He just saw his bride.

Over the years that we have been together, we have cared for each other through many, many sick days. And it really amazes me how much those days and nights foster so much tenderness. My heart swells with how much I love Christopher already. It’s hard to imagine that I could love him any more than I do today. But looking back I can see how my love for him has grown steadily year by year. With each shared experience, with each adventure, with each tender moment of care for each other… our love grows.

love you more

In a tradition that Christopher started our first year of marriage, we write notes  back and forth to each other on our bathroom mirror. Sometimes we’ll go months without writing something and sometimes we’ll write something new every day for a week. It just depends. This past week I was reorganizing our bathroom (hello, a full week off work at home – lots got done around the house, haha!) and when I came across our dry erase marker I decided to write the phrase we always say to each other. One of us always starts with “I love you” and the other always responds with “I love you more”. I don’t remember when that started or why, but “I love you more” has been a huge part of our vernacular for several years. So that’s what I wrote on the mirror. Not expecting a response because I had essentially written the response. But two days later I walked into the bathroom and saw this:

love you most

It just filled my heart a little more. We’re not in competition over who loves whom more even though it may sound like it. It’s just a small way to remind each other that there is so much love between us. And weeks like this past one have added to the list of reasons we love each other. 🙂

For those who have been asking – Christopher continues to recover way ahead of schedule. PT is still going well and he’s already off crutches and out of his brace (except when he sleeps). He drove himself to work this morning which made me a little sad just because this week officially begins “everything back to normal” for us. I’m going to miss the 24/7 together, but I’m happy for him that he’s doing SO well. 🙂

Love Rach