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.

A Wonderful Year

Filed under: Family,Holidays,Kids,Love,Matthew,Me,Videos — Rachel at 3:39 pm on Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Today is the last day of the best year I’ve ever had. There have been years I’ve been so glad to see the old year go and the new year come because it was so difficult, and years that I’ve anticipated the new year because something I wanted was waiting there. This year, though, I’m simply ending the year with great contentment and satisfaction. It was a thoroughly good year. I’m happy to see a new year come, because I anticipate it to be just as wonderful as this one has been.

The obvious highlight of 2014 was my wedding. I am so very thankful that I got to marry my best friend. I have never in my life met a man like Matthew Holbrook. I didn’t even think men like him existed. He’s the perfect combination of tough and manly, sweet and romantic, funny, intelligent, successful, generous, and overwhelmingly kind. I don’t care if people get tired of me bragging on my husband. I’ll brag on him until the day I die. He is a gift, and I am so thankful that 2014 made me his wife.

Here is a link to the post about how our love story began.

Our marriage brought together two families, and I am so thankful for how well that transition went. We haven’t really had any major issues with the kids. They all like each other, and they get along just like brothers and sisters normally do. They play, fight, tattle, tease, get in trouble together, and have a good time. They’ve all went through their parents’ divorces and remarriages in the last couple years, and I’m incredibly thankful that they’ve adjusted as well as they have. Kyra, Elijah, Owen, and Abby spend equal time with us and their dad and stepmom. I think that has made it all much easier on them. They know all their parents love them and put them first, and that they will always get to spend time with all of us. They all like both of their new step-parents that this year gave them, and I’m so very thankful for that. ┬áLogan and Hailey have had extra challenges, but they’re doing amazingly well. We have them with us one hundred percent of the time, so the three of us spend a lot of time together when my kids are with their dad. This has been good for us, because it’s allowed us extra time to bond with each other. Hailey took to me right away, and we’ve never had any issues. Logan has taken longer to get close to me, but things have gotten much better in that department. He sat in my lap and snuggled with me for the last two movies we watched together. Anyone who knows us knows what a huge deal that is. I’m very happy with the way things are going, and I’m very thankful for the family that was born of our marriage this year.

Here is a link to a series of posts about our wedding for those of you who are new to my blog and might be interested.

Another highlight of 2014 was our family vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida. This trip was a wedding gift from Matt’s Uncle David and Aunt Jennifer, and it was just the most perfect trip. My mother went along with us and helped us with the kids. Having her along allowed Matt and I to have a date night while we were there, which was an added bonus. We swam in the ocean, snorkeled, para-sailed, picnicked on the beach, fished, collected shells, laid in the sun, rented a pontoon, built sandcastles, and enjoyed some really good quality time together. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a vacation more than that one. It was just perfect.

Here is a link to my post about our first family vacation.

The rest of the year was packed with lots of firsts and lots of good times. From holidays to birthdays to our every days, we have been incredibly blessed. We’ve got to do a lot of fun things. We’ve been surrounded by friends and family. I’ve been so thankful for the family I inherited when I married Matt. The Holbrooks are beautiful people, and they have accepted me and my children with open arms. I’ve even gotten to know a lot of Hailey and Logan’s maternal grandparents and relatives, since we often take the kids to visit them, and that’s been a blessing as well.

Another wonderful addition to my life has been my involvement with the Roane Writer’s Group. This group of fellow writers has encouraged me so much, and I’ve really loved participating in the weekly meetings.

Our church small group has been another family to us this past year. Through all of the difficult moments of this year, they’ve had our backs. They text us and let us know that they’re thinking of us and praying for us. Whether it’s been court dates, sick children, discouragement, or any other thing, our small group has let us know that we are not alone. I’m very, very grateful that they are a part of our lives.

As 2014 comes to an end, I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude for the way my life has worked out to this point. There have been times in recent years when I felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world, and I would never be happy again. I never could have imagined that the Lord would bring me to this happiness. I don’t deserve it, but I am forever grateful.

Here’s to 2015 being as kind to us as 2014!

I already posted this slideshow as a standalone post, but I’m going to include it here, too. Enjoy!

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Back on the Crazy Couch

Filed under: Faith,Me,Music,Videos — Rachel at 10:42 pm on Monday, August 5, 2013

I am determined to write tonight, but it’s so hard to focus on one thing to write about. There is an overabundance of ideas swirling around in my head. I need to just snatch one out and decide to start with it.

Ok. Here goes…

I went to see my therapist last week for the first time in well over a year. I really appreciated all the time I spent sitting in Dr. P’s office. She was just the right counselor for me. She helped me work through a lot of issues over the span of a couple of years. I hated not being able to go to counseling anymore after I got divorced and lost my insurance, but I was really so much better off than when I started. I was just grateful that I was able to talk to her during my divorce. Going to see her last week was a huge deal. I recently got health insurance again. (It was required to be in the nursing program.) It actually went into effect on the day I saw Dr. P, but it isn’t the best insurance and doesn’t cover mental health. So, I had to suck it up and pay out of pocket to talk with her. I really needed help getting some clarity, though.

I don’t know what I wanted Dr. P to tell me when I was there, but I know I was hoping for something concrete. I had been struggling so much with everything that I had been dealing with recently. My relationships were dreadfully confusing. Both my relationship with Amy and a new relationship with a guy I had been dating had me running around in mental circles. I sat down on Dr. P’s couch and started recapping the last year and a half as quickly as I could. I filled her in on the year Amy and I were a couple, our breakup, my dating experiences with the three different guys I had went out with, and the way my world reacted to all of those things. I told her I needed help figuring things out. I was very confused.

She told me one thing right off the bat: I make things into a bigger deal than they actually are. Guilty. I know it’s true.

We talked back and forth for a while about why I felt the way I did about certain issues. I told her my problems with church and God. I told her about things that had happened to me while I was with Amy, and the hurt that came with those things. I tried very hard to make it clear to her what I was dealing with.

Then she told me what she thought I needed to do. She told me the one thing I didn’t want to hear. She told me that I need to find my faith again, I need to pray, and I need to accept that God loves me. I didn’t want to hear that. I wanted her to give me some simple steps that I could take to make my life better.

Some of you with deeper faiths than mine are probably thinking, “What’s so hard about praying?” I don’t know how well I could explain it to you, but it’s something I struggle with. I think I spend too much time in my head. I analyze things to death. I over-think them. I have been accused twice in the last week of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. That is probably true to some extent. I just feel like I have been misled so much in my life, and I don’t trust anyone or anything. I am a skeptic. If I were Catholic, my patron saint would probably be Doubting Thomas.

I don’t have a pretty bow to put on this post yet. I am pretty much in the same spot I was when she gave me the advice. I feel like what she told me I needed to do was good advice. I need to reconnect with God and feel his presence in my life. I’m still struggling to work that out. As some sort of confirmation to me that she had pointed me toward the right path, when I got into my car to leave, I turned on the radio and the song that was playing was “Pray” by Sanctus Real. It reminded me of when Amy and I were first friends and every song that came on just happened to say exactly what I needed to hear. Amy and I called it “The Divine D.J.”.

Maybe I should just call this an introductory post. I have much more to say on the topic, and so much to discover. I don’t know where I’m going to end up, but you’re welcome to come along for the ride.

 

 

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Filed under: 100 Books,Contest,General,Videos — Rachel at 8:31 pm on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I have the winner of the Book Giveaway! I made a little video of the drawing process.

Congratulations, Joy Boyer, you won a book! Contact me over email, facebook, or through the “contact me” link on the blog to let me know your address and which book you would like.

Thanks, everyone, for leaving a comment. I may do another giveaway very soon, so stay tuned!

Top Five: Favorite Songs (right now)

Filed under: Music,My Top 5,Videos — Rachel at 6:10 pm on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

These are the songs I’m loving right now. Check them out!

1.
Outcast by Kerrie Roberts

2.
I Am New by Jason Gray

3.
Be Ok by Ingrid Michaelson

4.
Move by Mercy Me

5.
Be My Escape by Relient K

Mess of Me

Filed under: Videos — Rachel at 12:05 am on Thursday, January 27, 2011

Belt Promotions for the Boys

Filed under: Activities,Elijah,Karate,Kids,Kyra,Owen,Videos — Rachel at 9:46 pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010

Our kids have been taking Isshinryu karate for the past couple of months, and our boys got promoted from a white belt to a white belt with a yellow stripe tonight. Kyra is in a class for older kids that doesn’t do things the same way. She will test for her yellow belt when she learns all of her kata.

~

Freedom Recitations by the Harmon Kids

Filed under: Elijah,Family,Kids,Kyra,Owen,School,Videos — Rachel at 5:12 pm on Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Kyra learned the poem, “Settler’s Song” for school.

Elijah learned a portion of the famous Liberty Speech by Patrick Henry.

Owen learned the short poem “Our History”.

(Our history sings of centuries,
Such varying songs it sings.
It starts with winds, slow-moving sails,
It ends with skies and wings.)

The Fire

Filed under: Videos — Rachel at 8:54 pm on Monday, October 18, 2010

Why Theology Matters

Filed under: Videos — Rachel at 7:29 pm on Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Hair Brush Story

Filed under: Videos — Rachel at 8:28 pm on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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