We live with my mom.

It took me a long time to be ok with that sentence coming out of my mouth.

14 months ago my parents divorced and it was a dark time for me (and them). My selfless husband initiated the idea of moving in to the home in the country with my mother during the healing process so we could be there for her. While I knew it was a divinely inspired idea, it was hard to swallow my adult married girl pride and move back in to the home that I grew up in. The home that I was a kid in, the home I went to high-school in. The home where i wasn't the woman of the house. I felt like I was taking a step back.

I wasn't.

What I have come to realize in the last 14 months is just how much the Lord loves my little family. I've realized that the situation we are in was exactly designed for us and where we are in our lives now. We get to raise our daughter on a beautiful little farm and feel safe at night spread out through a beautiful spacious home instead of a tiny apartment. Evaleigh gets to be very close to my mother. I have come to appreciate even more the bond I share with my mother.

We have been given opportunity.

Opportunity to grow. Opportunity to save. Opportunity to learn. What are we doing with this opportunity?

We will most likely be here a couple more years and I want to know that we have not wasted this chance to save our money and solidify good housekeeping and schedule habits.

This is not limbo, this is life. This is not a waiting period this is where we are now.

This is a great opportunity.


10 days late


You are 5 months old.  Sorry this video is a little late.  You are keeping us very busy these days.  Your a-da and I have nicknamed you our morningbird because you like to wake us up at 7:30 now.  You start with loud squeals and squawks until we finally peel our eyes open and pay attention to you.  Daddy and I just smile at each other listening to your sounds, what are you saying?  You can not stand for anything to touch your feet while you are trying to go to bed and you don't like the covers...you are a messy sleeper like your a-da.  You must always have a nap exactly an hour and a half after you wake up, its your thing.  5 months has been a wonder to behold.  You have exploded with learning new things and we are loving seeing your personality grow and shine through that little body of yours.

love, mama (please say my name next!)

month 4



I couldn't hold this child back any longer.
Wild horses couldn't have kept her from these sweet taters today.

I set an array of baby food choices out in front of her and let her pick which one she wanted.  Of course she would have gone for any one in reach but she knocked over the sweet potatoes first so  there it was...her first food of choice. ( besides lemon and the little bit of ketchup and whipped cream I have let her suck off of my finger.)

About a minute in I left her hold the spoon and she gave that spoon a smack down.  The poor spoon went flying out of her hand and splattered on to the floor.  John said, "And so it begins."  All I could hear was, "Rachel, welcome to your new life of cleaning up food off of the floor...forever more."  Dun dun dun. 

We bathed her off in the bathroom sink and about 30 minutes after the taters it was like she had just had Thanksgiving dinner and she passed out for about 25 minutes.  I hope this is a preview to longer sleeping nights.

We are going to try bananas in the morning.

Being a mother is so much fun.



We've been in Florida on the ranch with our family for the past week, it's been lovely. Evaleigh has exploded with firsts in the past week. I think she is just trying to keep up with her cousins. She rode her first horse, cut her first tooth, started talking and making so many more sounds. She tried her first lemon, she started making fishy pop sounds with her mouth, and is just getting cuter every single day. I just don't want to even go home!


long lost lover

Living in the country delights me.

I used to pride myself in being a city girl.  I enjoyed large crowds of people all milling about, tall buildings, seas of concrete, and falling asleep to the sound of police sirens.  I still have a place in my heart for these things but in the last year the country has won me back over like a long lost lover.

A few days ago John, Evaleigh, and I walked out in to our pasture with the guitar in tow and laid down a blanket under the persimmon tree and felt the breeze on our skin.  We fought a loosing battle with the bugs but it was good while it lasted.

Country living you have my heart and I'm so happy to share it with you.


and just like that...

...we have a talking baby.

I mean I knew it would happen one day and thats just how it went. One day she was making little muted noises that sounded like she had been gagged and stuck in a closet and then the next she was full blown talking.  It happened over night.

She is definitely keeping us laughing around here, we love our chatty little girl. 

So. freakin. adorable.


walking those paths

This morning I found a letter my mother wrote to me 10 years ago tucked away in a corner of my journal. She wrote it to me on my 15th birthday.

"My dear little girl,

How can I express to you the grattitude I feel in my heart for you? You came to me as a gift wrapped in pink.  You were the fulfillment of all my dreams.  I loved you from the moment I knew you were coming to us.  I loved you from the moment I felt your first movement.  I loved you from the moment I first laid eyes upon you and I will never forget the excitement of that moment.  I almost lost you three months after your birth.  The following year was hard as I clung to your life with all the strength I had.  Every ounce of life was wrapped up in you.

It is much that way still.

I shall always see you as my little girl.  Curly hair, giggling personality, nature-lover, and mommy's girl.  We have shared more beautiful moments together than many mothers and daughters do in a lifetime.  I am sure of that.  We are kindred spirits.  In you I see the things I respond to.  Your poem you shared tonight at the dinner table sounds like the words which have been written on my heart for half a century,.  It delights me to see myself living on in you.  We are good!

If I died today, I would die happy because of you.  You have brought more joy into my  life than can ever be expressed.  I shall cherish forever our walks, our adventures, our discoveries, and our blessing of having time together when you were growing up.  We are still making memories as we load the dishwasher together and walk in the moonlight.  We are creating paths for you to follow with your little girl someday.  And you will then perhaps know how I can love you so very much.

I want this this day to be a very happy one.  Not because of beautiful gifts or because of new things...but because of the abundance of love you have to give and receive.  Enjoy your sweet sister, your loyal friends, and your adoring parents on this your fifteenth birthday.

This day happens only once in a lifetime!

I love you,

What I didn't know then was that we were literally creating paths that I would walk with my sweet Evaleigh.  This very morning we walked in the pasture and around the grounds of this home.

Mommy, I think I understand now.


my dance moves

Miss EJ is a spicy fiery little ball of personality. She definitely has an opinion on how she likes things to be. Lately she has been doing the hulk smash with her thunder thighs.
She hears everything around her and we think she knows her name because when we say it she'll look up from what she is doing.
She is arching her back and trying to turn over.
Everything goes in her mouth.
She likes to hold my hand when we nurse.
She has never let me hold her like a baby, cradled laying down in my arms, until this past weekend when she was sick for the first time. I enjoyed some extra special snuggle time.

Yesterday I was dancing, very badly, to a Pandora radio station for her and she just started giggling at me. I stopped and got down really close to her face and started laughing with her. We were staring at each other and shared about 10 seconds laughing back and forth. That has to be in my top 10 life moments. I look forward to growing my relationship with this little girl of mine so much. Especially while she still thinks my dance moves are cool.


key lime cake

This Key Lime Cake is such a refreshing summer dessert.  I modified this recipe here and just used things I had at my house.  Instead of white chocolate icing I just made a basic cream cheese icing.

It turned out to be extremely moist and very dense but delicious.  Next time I would double the icing for thicker layers in between and add a pinch of salt to the cake batter and perhaps a few more zests of lime
(is that how you'd say it?)


1 3/4 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
4 large splashes of REAL lime juice
several zests of lime
splash of vanilla
few drops of green food coloring

bake at 340 for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean


4oz cream cheese
4 oz unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar
splash of vanilla

garnish with some zest of lime and lime slice


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