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.

My Birthday Post

Filed under: Abby Jo,Birthdays,Family,Friends,Hailey,Kids,Kyra,Logan,Love,Matthew,Me,Owen,Photos — Rachel at 1:34 pm on Sunday, July 13, 2014

My birthday this year turned out to be the best ever. Matthew worked really hard to make it special for me.

On the 2nd, Matt arranged to have our small group meet at Roane County Park to celebrate my birthday. We grilled burgers and hot dogs. The kids played at the splash pad. Matt made me an absolutely delicious triple chocolate cake, and even had candles for me to blow out. Everyone sang to me. It really is the simple things in life that make you feel so loved. After we ate cake, we went swimming in the lake. I had so much fun swimming with Matt, and jumping off the dock with him and the kiddos. It was a great day.



On the 4th, my actual birthday, Matt had arranged a surprise party for me at our house with our families. I found out about the party a couple days before, but Matt took care of everything. It was the first time that me, my parents, and all five of my brothers have been at the same place at the same time in a very¬†long time. I even got to see my brother, Aaron, who I hadn’t seen in over a year. Matt¬†invited everyone, grilled the burgers and hot dogs, asked my mom to make me a cake, and made sure everyone was happy. My mom asked me what kind of cake or pie I wanted, so I requested the cake that she used to make for me when I was a kid. It is so good, and was very nostalgic.

flag cake


One thing that was very fun for me was that my little brothers, Lucas and Seth, brought their guitar and drum set to play. We had learned the basics of “Don’t Stop Believing” in the couple of days before the party, and we played it together…Luke on guitar, Seth on drums, and me on piano. I’m pretty sure we drove everyone else crazy, but we had so much fun. Before everyone got there, we even sang a bunch of old hymns together. It was nice.

After a couple hours of hanging out and eating, we all loaded up and went to Kingston Park to watch the fireworks. This is my one family tradition that has been the same nearly every year since I was a young teenager. Last year, the fireworks got rained out, and we didn’t go. Every other year, though, we have been down at the lake to watch the show. It was exciting for me this year to share that experience with Matt, Hailey, and Logan, as well as Matt’s parents.

I don’t know if it was just that I am generally happier right now than I have ever been in my life or if it was because it was the first birthday with Matt and he worked so hard to make it special for me, but I can honestly say this was the best birthday I’ve ever had. I felt loved and celebrated, and I got to spend it with all the people that mean the most to me.

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Matt, Abby, and Alice (aka Grammy…Matt’s mom.)


Mammy, Kyra, and Hailey waiting for the fireworks to start.


This one is of Owen, Abby, and Logan climbing on Papaw John’s back.


Summer Break So Far

Filed under: General,Hailey,Kids,Logan,Photos — Rachel at 11:04 pm on Friday, June 20, 2014

We are having a pretty good summer break so far here at the Holbrook/Harmon household, if you don’t count the fact that we are missing a very important piece of the puzzle. Matt is currently away for the Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey. We all miss him way too much, but we are trying to keep busy to distract ourselves. Honestly, only the three people whose last names are Holbrook are really suffering too much with missing him, but I’m sure the other kids will be happy when he gets home.

We’ve spent several days already at the pool. We’ve been both to the Oak Ridge pool, which is really fabulous, and also to the pool at Matt’s apartment. His lease is not up until mid-July, so we are taking advantage of the pool while we can.

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(After several hours at the pool, this crew gets hungry.)



(There wasn’t room for me at the table.)



(This pic of Logan was just cute. He’s still wearing swim trunks, so it still fits the “swimming” theme.)

Besides all the swimming, we’ve spent some time at our local parks, and me, Hailey, and Logan spent the evening at my parent’s house on Father’s Day. They absolutely loved it, because they got to learn how to ride my nephew, Micah’s, fourwheeler. They were so cute, and had so much fun.

RachHailey HaileyFourwheeling HaileyFourwheeler LoganFourwheeling LoganFourwheeler


(I decided to take it for a spin, too. I look a little skeptical here as Jason was explaining to me how to drive it.)

Before Matthew left, we got to do a few things. The first of which was Logan’s preschool graduation. He did so well in his program. It was a Mary Poppins theme, and he was so adorable dressed up in his little suit singing the classic Mary Poppins songs. We were very proud of him.

LoganGradCookie LoganGrad


Right after Logan’s graduation, me, Matt, Hailey, and Logan went to Cincinatti. Matt had drill, and we turned it into a weekend getaway. The kids spent the weekend with their Papaw, Nana, and their Aunt Jenn, and me and Matt got a nice hotel and enjoyed some kid-free time. He had to work during the day, of course, but we still got to spend some good time together. We went out on the town Saturday night. We had a fabulous dinner at a nice, Italian place, went for a walk on the levee, went to a piano bar (my favorite!), and even spent some time in Barnes & Noble (my other favorite). While he was working, I did a lot of reading. It was great. The hotel had a beautiful little courtyard, and the weather was gorgeous. I enjoyed myself immensely.

CinciTrip CinciKiss CinciReading


One of our favorite things to do is go to my Uncle Wendell’s diner near our house and get ice cream cones. The wonder twins go above and beyond in the mess-making department. Logan wore his, and Abby dropped not one but two ice cream cones on the ground on this particular day.

icecream icecreamtwins


Speaking of the wonder twins, they had kindergarten camp the first week of June. They were so cute. Abby was so excited, but Logan was kind of “ehh” about the whole thing.



(The two of them in front of the school on the first day of kindergarten camp.)

We were surprised a couple of days later to see Abby’s picture in our local paper. We didn’t know about it, but, apparently, a reporter had went to the school during kindergarten camp and snapped a picture of Abby.



The day before Matt left for New Jersey, we drove up to Lexington to see his family. His uncle who lives in Hawaii was in, and it was really nice for me to get to meet some Holbrooks that I hadn’t met yet and just to spend some time with all of them.




Matt and I ended up getting around three hours of sleep that night, after the long drive home, and we had to get up at five to get Matt to the airport on time. By the time me, Hailey, and Logan got back, I was fighting sleep bad. So, I went back to bed while the kids watched tv. Around eleven, I think they had enough of my napping, because I woke up to them both in bed with me.



A couple of days ago, I took the boys for much needed haircuts. I got Logan’s hair cut in the same style as my boys’. He had never had that particular haircut before, but I think it looks really good on him. Matt thought it made him look older.



(Kyra Joy made this edit for me.)

That brings us up to date to today, and, today, just so happens to be Kyra’s 12th birthday. I can’t believe my baby is almost a teenager. She is almost as tall as I am. I am maybe one or two inches taller than her still, but I expect that to change soon. She has grown up so much over the past year. She’s becoming such a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, talented young lady, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She was just here briefly this morning before her daddy picked them up, but I had her long enough to get a few birthday cuddles. I’m looking forward to taking her and her best friend to dinner and a movie to celebrate, and then we’re going to have a family party for her and Owen after Matt gets home.



(The birthday girl.)

After the kids left today, Hailey, Logan and I had a very lazy day. It stormed all day, so we really couldn’t do much. They get very clingy to me when the other kids are gone. I told Matt on the phone tonight that it’s like having toddlers. When I go to the bathroom, they wait outside the door for me. It’s kind of unnerving. They don’t stick their fingers under the door, though, so it’s not quite like toddlers. We spent most of today cuddling on the couch and watching a bajillion episodes of “Good Luck, Charlie” and “The Wizards of Waverly Place”. Hailey Grace was in a very cuddly mood today, which was just fine with me .


Hello, Summer!

Filed under: Abby Jo,Family,Kids,Logan,Me,Photos,School — Rachel at 8:43 am on Monday, May 12, 2014

I did it! I finished my first year of Nursing School. I can’t quite express how happy I am about that. It’s such a relief to have passed, and it’s just as relieving to simply get a break. I am burned out, to say the least. I did manage to finish both classes this semester with a B. So, I’m pretty happy with that. I’m totally thrilled to not have to think about it too much again until August.

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Me, with my last clinical group and our instructor.

Now, I’m trying to focus on the wedding. It’s only 12 days away now! We have almost everything taken care of. At this point, we just have to finish making a few small purchases for the reception and the ceremony. Other than that, we mostly just have to wait till the day of and the day before to set things up. We went the other day and got our marriage license. I’m getting awfully close to becoming Mrs. Holbrook!


The kids still have two weeks of school left. They are ready for summer. I am, too. I am excited about getting to stay home with them this summer and for all the things we are going to get to do together. I went last week and registered Abby and Logan for kindergarten. That was definitely bittersweet. It’s exciting that they are growing and getting to do new things, but it’s sad that the littlest ones are going to be in school, too. It’s such a cliche’, but they just grow up way too fast.


We are needing to start moving Matt’s stuff into the house, but we’ve hit a bit of a roadblock. We bought new carpet for the den and one of the upstairs bedrooms. The night before it was supposed to be installed, I found water damage in two corners. Turns out, the people who finished the basement (sometime before we bought the house thirteen years ago) didn’t seal the cement block wall before they installed paneling over it. The wood behind the paneling was rotted. So, Matt and I had to rip that out this weekend. We were going to try to just patch it back up with some new paneling, but we couldn’t find any that matched. We decided to put drywall up in the entire room, since we were wanting to do that eventually anyway. So, we’ve got the wainscoting and chair rail torn out, and we bought the drywall and supplies yesterday after church. We are going to start putting the drywall up tonight. It’s not ideal timing, but we are trying to get it done this week so we can get the carpet installed. I’m so thankful to have a man who says my problems are his problems and wants to help me. I don’t know what I would do without him.

It’s a hectic start to my summer break, but it will let up soon. A couple more weeks and the project will be finished and we will be married. My biggest concern will be getting all of Matt’s stuff moved to our house and keeping the kids busy and entertained. I have a long list of books to read and backyard, hammock naps to take. This is going to be a very good summer!

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