The New Addition 

I’ve been a little absent lately. Not just from this blog, but in many social aspects of my life. 

I’m excited to tell you guys why…

We are expecting a baby girl in August! I’m so thrilled and excited, but nothing turns me into an introvert like pregnancy. My mind has been filled with family and preparation – I’ve really just been enjoying this time.

Thank you all for your friendship and patience with my attendance of this blog. 

-Rachel

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Today Miles, myself, and our son are going to a friend’s house to enjoy corned-beef and cabbage.

I’m a quarter Irish, mostly on my father’s side. (Although we have Irish ancestors on my mother’s side too.) My maiden name is Carroll.

Carroll Name Meaning

Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Cearbhaill or Ó Cearbhaill ‘son (or descendant) of Cearbhall’, a personal name of uncertain origin, perhaps from cearbh ‘hacking’ and hence a byname for a butcher or nickname for a fierce warrior. (ancestry.com)

Now my married name is McKee.

McKee (derived from McKay) Name Meaning

Scottish and northern Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Aodha ‘son of Aodh’, an ancient personal name meaning ‘fire’. Etymologically, this is the same name as McCoy. (ancestry.com)

I hope you have a lovely weekend. I want to leave you with my favorite Celtic prayer. A few fun personal facts about this prayer. I wrote it in Miles’ travel journal when we first met,  he was leaving for a long road trip. The first line is inscribed in his wedding band. This prayer hangs above the hand towel in our bathroom so we can see it every day.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

-Rachel McKee

Cover Image: “Rock Of Cashel” Ireland. Found on the website Globe Trotter In Ireland.

Picture Pick FriYAY: Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice.

This year we participated in the luminary walk that our little town sponsors. People walk the candle-lit path and reflect on their year and gaze at the festivities, the river, and listen to a band play Christmas carols.

It was peaceful and serene.

Winter Solstice

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Wishing you peace and happiness today and always.

-Rachel

Photos by Miles McKee.

The Union

The Union

Together we watch,

the twining of two souls.

Standing alone and vulnerable

until their newly weighted hands clasp for the first time.

 

Happy anniversary Miles. In three years we have made a house a home, and created our own little family. When there are no words to express the depth of my love, I hope you feel everything in my embrace.

Cheers to many more.

-Rachel McKee

 

A Trip To The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site: Buffalo, New York

Hi everyone.

I greet you sleep-deprived and five pounds fluffier, but I’m so happy to be back! Me, Miles, and our son returned from Buffalo, New York yesterday.

Miles is packing the good photos on his camera, but I wanted to share some photos from my tour of the TR Inaugural Site. (Please excuse the crummy photos taken from my old phone.)

The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

roosevelt

This is the private residence where Theodore Roosevelt was inaugurated into presidency in Buffalo, New York 1901.

Theodore Roosevelt Inagural Site Buffalo New York

President William McKinley was shot at Buffalo’s Pan-American Exposition on September 6th, 1901. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took the “oath of office” in this exact spot September 14th, 1901the same day McKinley died from his wounds. The private residence belonged to Roosevelt’s good friend Ansley Wilcox.

Theodore Roosevelt Inagural Site Buffalo New York

Another photo of the same library from the Roosevelt inaugural site.

Theodore Roosevelt Inagural Site Buffalo New York

Books from the Wilcox library.

Theodore Roosevelt Inagural Site Buffalo New York

Mr. Roosevelt kindly took a selfie with myself and my sister-in-law Jen (on the left).

Theodore Roosevelt Inagural Site Buffalo New York

It’s hard being President…

 

Love & Cheers,

Rachel McKee

Note: The cover image and the picture of the outside of the Wilcox home were found on the TR Inaugural Site.

 

 

 

 

My Loyal Friend

“Let’s go boy!”

Rising shakily until you are up on all paws, you hobble to the top of the stairs. Your front paws descend the first step, but your eyes beg for me to do the rest.

I lift your sixty pounds, bending at the knees to save my back.

Leaning against my chest, you shake because you fear the pain of being set down.

I place you in front of the door, you need go no further, the sun is waiting for you on the porch. I run my hands over your glossy black coat and words of love cram in my throat.

I bury my face in your neck. Remembering everything I will miss about you one day when you are gone. How you kiss my tears when motherhood is overwhelming, and the way you lean on me when I need support.

My heart breaks because I snap at you, more than you deserve. My patience level is low, and most of it goes to the toddler.

You were so tolerant when our son arrived.

You gently remind us when we forget your dinner or breakfastthe cat is not so subtle.

I whisper, “I’m sorry.”

Looking up at me and smiling into the sun as if to say, “Being sad is a waste of this day.” I realize dogs don’t want apologies for the past nor promises for the future. They just want to share the moment with you.

 

 

 

Top 10 Titles for Toddlers (Chosen By My Toddler)

Have you ever been shopping for a baby shower or a first birthday and thought to yourself, I want to buy the little one a book, but which one? Fortunately there are thousands of baby books out there, but my son will tell you, not all children’s books are created equal. Children are fickle, but no with their literature. My son is loyal to his favorite titles. He carries them around with him, and flips through their pages repetitiously. He implores me to read these books over and over again.

A toddler will also let you know quickly if the book is not his cup of milk. Mine will turn on his diapered bum and ignore me if I read him a story that is not from his “favorite” list.

Here are ten children’s books that have been proven tried and true by my toddler.

  1. “A Baby Is Born” by Melanie Zanoza bartelme (Author), Steve Whitlow (Illustrator)
  2. “Little Owl’s 1 2 3” by Divya Srinivasan (Author, Illustrator)
  3. “Red Truck” by Kersten Hamilton (Author) Valeria Petrone (Illustrator)
  4. Moby Dick: A BabyLit® Ocean Primer (BabyLit Books) by Jennifer Adams (Author) Alison Oliver (Illustrator)
  5. “On The Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman (Author, Illustrator)
  6. “Barnyard Dance” by Sandra Boynton (Author, Illustrator)
  7. “How Do I Love You?” by  P. K. Hallinan (Author, Illustrator)
  8. “Little Blue Truck” Alice Schertle (Author) Jill McElmurry (Illustrator)
  9. “In My Jungle” Sara Gillingham (Author) Lorena Siminovich (Illustrator)
  10.  “I Love You Through and Through” by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak (Author) and Caroline Jayne Church (Illustrator)

The best part about this list, is that you can find all of these books on Amazon. I hope this makes baby shopping a little easier for you.

Love & Cheers,

Rachel McKee

 

Four Reasons To Make Time For Your Soul Friends

I spent a lot of time with my girls this weekend. I am lucky to have many groups of friends, but these are my soul friends. I have known these women since high school, and a couple since first grade. They are the friends that are family, who know me better than I know myself at times. The friends who call my bullshit and know how to calm my deepest fears. They always have my back, and I theirs. Anyway, you get the point.

We all get busy with our own lives (family, work, etc.) but it’s important to us that we make time to see each other. They are a critical part of my life. Urban Dictionary describes the word framily as, “When friends become like family, they’re framily. closer than close, they may know you better than your own family.” I think that sums up our relationship better than any other word.

Here are four reasons why we all need to make time for our soul friends.

Laughter

Only you and your soul friends find your shared stories: ab-ripping, snorting, pee-your-pants funny. You are the group of girls at a restaurant that people request not to be seated by because you are laughing so loud and obnoxiously that they can’t enjoy their meal. Talking with your soul friends is intoxicating.

group photo saltys

Support

Your soul friends help you discover your deepest worries and fears, and better yet, they help you to solve them.

paddle boarding

Honesty

Your soul friends will tell you the ugly truth, and love you anyway.

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Inspiration

Your soul friends will believe in your dreams, even when you can’t possibly see how you will achieve them. By watching your soul friends succeed you revel in their success. You celebrate every acheivement with your soul friends.

Wedding At Whistler

Always make time for your “framily”. Fight for these friendships.

Love & Cheers,

Rachel McKee

Picture Pick FriYAY!: Wallace Falls

I hope everyone had a great week. I’ve been battling a cold so I’m a bit groggy, if I have any crazy typos I blame the cold medicine.

Two weeks ago, we hiked Wallace Falls located in Gold Bar, Washington. It’s about a five-mile hike round-trip if you go to the very top of the falls. We had a great time. Leif soaked up all the nature he could handle on the way up in his backpack, and then slept on the way down (What a way to hike, right?). We brought Zeus along too. He was a little resentful that he had to stay on the leash, but it was a really busy day and sometimes a super happy rottweiler can look like a crazy attack rottweiler to parents and children.

Have a wonderful weekend, I’m going paint-balling (is that a verb?) for the first time today. I’m definitely going to be the wounded gazelle that gets picked-off first.

Wallace Falls Hike Washington

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Wallace Falls Hike Washington

Wallace Falls Hike Washington

Wallace Falls Hike Washington

Wallace Falls Hike Washington

Wallace Falls Hike Washington

Wallace Falls Hike Washington Wordsworth

Happy FriYAY!

-Rachel McKee