In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

What I’ve Been Reading

Filed under: Reading — Rachel at 3:58 pm on Sunday, December 14, 2014

This post is imply a list of books I’ve read recently, because I like to look back sometimes and remember what I read.

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

8. The Giver

9. Gathering Blue

10. Messenger

11. Son

12. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

13. 1984


Kid Quote

Filed under: Abby Jo,Kid Quote,Kids — Rachel at 12:47 pm on Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday morning, Abby was showing me a little package she had wrapped in Christmas paper. She had made a gift for a little boy in her class she likes named Peyton. She said she made some flowers and a Naughty and Nice list that had her and Peyton’s names on the Nice side.

I said to her, “You better be careful. He might fall in love with you.”

She grinned up at me and said, “That would be ok.”

Kid Quote

Filed under: Family,Kid Quote,Kids,Logan,Owen — Rachel at 12:44 pm on Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Poor Logan has the flu, and I have warned the other kids to keep their distance. I’m dreading an influenza outbreak in the Holbrook/Harmon house.

I heard Owen saying to Logan that they could sit close because Owen wouldn’t catch the flu anyway. I asked why he didn’t think he would catch it. He said, “Because I’m awesome!”
I said, “Being awesome didn’t keep you from getting sick all the other times.”
He said, “I’m a lot more awesome now!”


Moving Along

Filed under: General — Rachel at 12:34 pm on Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I’ve come to realize that if I get caught up in waiting for “the drama” to be over so I can go on with my life and the things that I enjoy, I will never go on.

There will always be mean people who make my life difficult.

There will always be people who hurt and mistreat my kids.

There will always be people who try to steal my joy.

I can’t understand their motivation. I can’t stop them from doing the things they do. I can’t stop anyone from telling lies about me or my family. I can’t protect the hearts of my family like I wish I could. Hell, I can’t even protect my own.

However, I can keep moving along despite it all. I can keep living my life. Sure, they can cause bumps in the road, but the road is still mine and I’m moving along.

Still I Rise

Filed under: General — Rachel at 2:10 pm on Thursday, November 13, 2014

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 1928 - 2014
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Protected: The Actual Blog Post I Wanted to Write

Filed under: General — Rachel at 10:23 am on Thursday, November 13, 2014

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In Lieu of the Blog Post I Would Like to Write

Filed under: General — Rachel at 11:00 am on Monday, November 10, 2014

There are a lot of things that I want to say that it seems like it would be much wiser for me to keep to myself for now. So, instead, I give you a poem I wrote a few years ago. When I wrote this poem, I had a different person and a different situation in mind. However, I keep thinking of it lately, and so I’ve resurrected it.

Go Ahead

I cannot change
The fact, that
I am not
Someone that
You want to know.
I didn’t ask to be
The object of your
Go ahead and
Blame me
For things I didn’t
Do, But
I can only fit
My feet
Inside of
Empty shoes


Back in the Saddle

Filed under: Writing — Rachel at 3:56 pm on Thursday, October 30, 2014



I love writing. I have never felt more like myself than when I am spending a lot of time writing and find my flow. It makes the different parts of me feel connected in a way that nothing else does.

Since quitting school, I’ve felt like my world had opened up to me like it never had before. I had both the time to write and, since the kids were all in school for the first time ever, also the peace and quiet. I was having trouble getting back into the novel that I had started before I began nursing school, so I started writing a book for a young adult audience. I wrote about four chapters of that one when I started going to a writing group on Thursday nights.

The writing group was exactly what I needed to jumpstart my novel again. Talking to other writers who are passionate about their work and who are sharing their work is incredibly motivating to me. I read some of my writing to them, and their words of praise and encouragement are like crack to me. I want more. We do a writing jam each week, where we get a writing prompt and have fifteen minutes to write something from the prompt. It’s an excellent exercise to get creativity flowing.

At our last meeting, I was asked to read some of my poetry to the group. There was a lady there whom I had never met before, and she asked me to read one of my poems a second time. After I did, she asked if she could publish the poem in the Arts Council’s next newsletter. I was very flattered.

Riding high on the attention and the shared passion from the group, I dove back into the novel that I started writing last year with doubled enthusiasm. I had already written seven chapters. Now, after a couple weeks of writing, I’ve got seventeen chapters written, and the entire plot has unfolded in my head. I wasn’t sure at first exactly how I was going to do what I wanted to do with my story. I was taking a shower the other day, though, and I had an epiphany. By the time I got out of the shower, my entire story had revealed itself to me. Now, it’s just a matter of getting it out of my head and into my manuscript.

I just can’t explain how excited I am. I have all this momentum going for me, and a group of fellow writers who offer their input and encouragement. Many of them are already published authors themselves, so I foresee them being extremely helpful to me once I finish my novel and am ready to try to get it published.

Matthew is incredibly supportive of me, and I cannot adequately express how much that means to me. He makes me believe that he really thinks I could have a career in writing. I’ve always been a little timid about expressing how much I want to be a writer. Self-doubt and an overly critical eye where my own writing is concerned makes me want to protect my ego by not saying “I want this” out loud. Matthew makes me believe that not only can I want it, but I can have it if I try hard enough. Having someone believe in you as much as he seems to believe in me makes you believe in  yourself, too.

I’m really, really excited!

Kid Quote

Filed under: Family,Kid Quote,Kids,Owen — Rachel at 2:23 pm on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So, every time we eat dinner, we do this thing where we go around the table and everyone shares the best part of their day. For the last few weeks, we’ve added a question that everyone answers as well. For example, we’ve asked “what’s your favorite food” and “what’s your favorite disney character”. Just random stuff.
Last night, Matthew said we were going to share the best part of our day and then share one thing we like about the person to our right.When it was Owen’s turn, I told him to be serious, because I knew he would be tempted to say something funny about Kyra, who was to his right.
He said, “One thing I like about Kyra is that she reads a lot of books.”
We all looked puzzled, and I was about to ask why he likes that about her when he grinned and explained, “It keeps her quiet!

Hailey Grace is Seven!

Filed under: Birthdays,Family,Hailey,Kids,Photos — Rachel at 12:04 pm on Monday, October 6, 2014

Our middle girl had a birthday this weekend. Hailey Grace turned seven years old! She has been so very excited about her birthday. She wanted to have her party at a local park. We had a nice day, other than it was the only cold day we’ve had so far this year. It was a little chilly, but otherwise perfect.

Hailey wanted a panda bear birthday party theme. I managed to find some panda decorations online and ordered them for her, and then Matt and Mammy collaborated on her birthday cake. This was no small feat, as Matt and Mammy have been warring over who is the best birthday cake baker since March. It had split pretty much along bloodlines, with Logan and Hailey insisting Matt’s cakes were better and the other kids insisting that Mammy’s were better, until Hailey’s party. Hailey was torn, because, while she insisted her daddy’s cakes were better, she wanted Mammy’s decorating skills so she could have a panda cake. So, she asked for Mammy to make her cake, but Mammy was out of town for the days preceding her party. The compromise? Mammy made the rice paper panda and balloons for the cake, and Matt baked the actual cake and put the decorations on it. I thought the Great Baking War of 2014 was going to be laid to rest with this act of goodwill from both sides, but then Mammy started trash-talking Matt at the party, so…we’ll see. The end result, however, was a beautiful cake that Hailey loved!


Our pretty girl with her birthday cake.


Blowing out the candles!


Hailey loves her 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Carter, and she was so happy that she was able to come to her party. In this photo, Mrs. Carter was singing to her.

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Birthday presents are always the best part! 


I loved that this photo shows the braid I put in Hailey’s hair. I’ve never been able to french braid before, but I’ve taught myself on Hailey’s hair. I’m still not very good with Kyra or Abby’s hair, but the texture of Hailey’s is so different from theirs that it’s much easier for me. That’s all…just proud of a newly acquired mommy skill.


Hailey was very happy to see almost all of her grandparents at her party. She’s got four grandmothers in this photo. (Isabelle managed to evade the camera somehow. I didn’t get her in any of the photos.)


Favorite Uncle, Aunt Katie, Daddy, and Grandpa Don.




One last shot of the birthday girl. She was giving her notorious dirty look to, I think, her Mammy. Classic Hailey. :)

Happy birthday, Hailey Grace! I hope your seventh year brings you so much joy! We love you so very much, and are so very proud of the beautiful, smart, sweet, and funny little girl you are!

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