When I Grow Up

When I was five years old, I told people I was going to be a veterinarian, nurse, teacher, marine biologist, etc…

Little did I know that when I grew up I’d still be juggling career ideas. In fact, most people I know are still asking themselves “What will I be when I grow up?”….

I daydream a lot about what I’ll do/be when the little ones go off to school. Even what I could do while continuing to be a stay-at-home mother.

Here is my list:

Freelance writer (tried it but haven’t made any money).

High school English teacher.

Real Estate Agent.

Psychologist  (or family counseling).

I imagine myself in all of these roles, but I quickly talk myself out of all of them. For every career, I have five reasons not to pursue it. 

My heart swells over my dream of parenthood coming to fruition. Watching my babies grow and learn is incredibly fulfilling, but in the back of my mind I know that I can do more. I want more. I just can’t decide what that personal “more” is.

What are some of your “grown up” dreams?

-Rachel

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30 Today

I turned 30 today.

I thought that this milestone birthday would have more of an emotional impact. I thought I would deeply reflect on the last decade (I’d say I glanced for a second downstream). I thought I might cry bitter sweet tears. Maybe mourn my youth a tad.

Honestly though, after going through the staggering, life altering experience of giving birth, again, turning 30 was just…. meh.

My husband and I took turns chasing our toddler and holding our newborn daughter. It was fun, it was frustrating, it was exciting, and exhausting. It was another day. With brunch. Yum.

I was humbled, as I am every year, from the out-pouring of love and we’ll wishes I received. That’s the best part of birthdays right? I feel blessed for my family and friends. 

So right now, in this little moment, I’ll celebrate my age with you.

-Rachel

Introducing, Baby Hayden!

Hi everyone, 

We have our baby girl. I’m so thrilled she is on this side now and I can look at her beautiful face.

We are all smitten (including big brother Leif).

Ofcourse my hormones are raging so I’m super emotional. You can expect a lot of gushy poems in the near future. 

(I was an emotional wreck when she held my finger for the first time while nursing.)

We still don’t have our new office set up. Miles is almost done building the desk. I promise I will be back soon. 

I miss you all.

Rachel

Picture Pick FriYAY: Lyden Fair, Washington

I know it’s early for fair season, but I was going through old pictures and had to share some of the photos that Miles took back in 2009 when we went to the Lynden Fair in Lynden, Wa.

I’m a sucker for all things fair. My inner-child comes squealing out during fair season.

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The little wing around the other baby duckling. I die.

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I just love alpacas. They crack me up.

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My dahlias are just starting to break through the soil. I can’t wait for them to bloom!

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Happy FriYAY!

-Rachel

 

One Outside, One Within

Fluttering feet and mushy kisses. Kicks and jabs.

Creaking rocker, sleepy snuggles – quiet in the womb.

Aching back, cramping legs, eyes that carry bags. 

Guilt for the one outside, anxious for the one inside. How will I, one woman, one body, one heart, one mother be enough? 

My heart is full of love even as my patience runs thin, for the one outside and the one within.

Hi everyone. Did I mention that pregnancy has been making me feel ALL the feels lately? 

I hope you enjoyed my impromptu poem I just ticked-out on my phone.

-Rachel

First Day of May

Happy first day of May. It’s an overcast morning here, but the sun is starting to peak through.

We did a lot of spring cleaning this weekend. We are trying to get the nursery ready and that means tearing apart our current office. We are also cleaning out our basement/bonus room to turn into the new office. Between that, being pregnant, and herding a toddler, I’m pretty tired.

I have revised my picture book “Elsie Goes To Work” so much it’s hardly recognizable. I think it’s almost ready to be pitched to editors and agents. I just need to send it and stop messing with it, but I also want it to be as perfect as I can make it. I think this is a constant battle for artists, the ever-present question of: when is your project (baby) ready to leave your hands?

I’m a few pages away from finishing “Masters and Beginners” (Volume 1 of The Order of the Twelve Tribes) by Daley Downing – book review coming soon. *Spoiler alert: I highly recommend it.* If you would like to purchase a copy to participate in the discussion you may do so here.

Other than that I’m just looking forward to the farmer’s market opening this Thursday and watching my garden and my family flourish.

Have a great week.

-Rachel

Picture Pick FriYAY: Spring

I posted a comment on Paul’s blog, windblownwords about spring.

I thought of my comment again today when I was strolling with a dear friend. (And by strolling I literally mean pushing our kids in strollers, not luxuriously walking idly by.)

Nature is stretching her branches and rubbing the frost from her eyes.

Happy spring. Happy FriYAY.

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.

Finding The Magic

I’ve been rewriting and editing, and then rewriting and editing some more. I’ve had my picture book (PB) reviewed by three people and it’s been incredibly helpful. Elsie Goes To Work is so close, but I feel it’s still missing something. I think I’m leaving some magic out.

I wanted to keep you guys posted, but I don’t have much to report. I’m just looking for that fairy dust to sprinkle on my PB.

So, you know if you have any to spare (fairy dust that is), please help a writer out.

-Rachel

A New Project

I’m at a point in my novel where I am stuck. That means my writing is stuck. I hate that.

So I decided to dig up a children’s book that I wrote last May. The story is (loosely) based off of my experience working at a flower nursery. I posted the story last week to get some feedback. It’s been removed and revised many times since I posted it.

The writing for this story came easily. I was able to draw on my own experience and reflect. Now I want to write an entire series based off of Elsie’s (my MC) adventures. These stories will be written from my childhood memories. I’m very excited about this project. I’m also learning that it’s good to keep writing, even if you have to put one project aside.

Drawing from my own experience while writing these picture books has been easier than writing my novel (Not that any writing is easy.) Creating fictional characters and a fictional story is hard, sometimes I feel like I’m reaching into a black hole to find what works.

I must stop and quote two authors:

“Write what you know.” -Mark Twain

“You speak of Lord Byron and me – There is this great difference between us.
He describes what he sees – I describe what I imagine – Mine is the hardest task.”
-John Keats in a letter to his brother George, September 1819

In my case, both of these quotes are true. There are certain plot points, emotions, and scenes that I have been struggling with because I have no reference. I’m not giving up on my novel, but I need to follow this new motivation.

I’m pitching the first book in the series, Elsie Goes To Work next Thursday at a Twitter pitch event. If you have a picture book you would like to pitch, the hashtag is #PBBooks and it’s happening on the 2/23/2017.

Wish me luck, hopefully an agent or editor will “like” my pitch.

-Rachel McKee