Picture Pick FriYAY!: Washington State Highway 2

Good morning friends,

Not much new to report here. I’ve been a little MIA this week. I have to blame HBO’s Westworld for being such an intriguing distraction.

I will be hosting Sunday Social here again this Sunday. (For the record on the Sundays where I know I will be busy IRL, I cancel Sunday Social.) I just want to make sure I can engage with my guests and not just drop a post. I will try to post a cancellation message on the Sundays that I cannot host.

For Picture FriYAY I chose some photos that Miles took on his hike at Steven’s Pass. Most of the images are from the drive up (and down). They were taken on Highway 2.

Have a wonderful weekend, I hope to see you all on Sunday.♥


Washington Woods
Washington Woods
Highway 2 Washington State
Highway 2 Washington State
Deception Falls Washington State
Deception Falls Washington State
Deception Falls Washington State
Deception Falls Washington State

For My Valentine

Your mere existence reminds me every day that anything is possible. Your gentle, patient, loving nature, so unlike anything I’d experienced before. You, my husband are beyond anything I’d ever known.

Nobody makes me laugh like you do. You are so funny without trying.

I’m still in awe of you. I still crush hard on you. You are the one I want to be with forever. You are my home.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you my Love.


AND Happy Valentine’s Day to you my friends! This year Miles surprised me with inflatable stand up paddle boards. I’m SO excited to get out and use them. Stay tuned for pictures of our paddling adventures.

Photography note: Miles staged this photo last weekend. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs getting that pose.

♥Have a wonderful day.♥

-Rachel McKee

Take Me Home River

Take me home river.

Ride your current,

go with the flow.

By childhood dreams

and brother streams,

Take me home river,

take me home.

Stars guide the way,

to the family that stayed.

The light burns inside,

for the kin who strayed.

Take me home river,

take me home.

– Rachel McKee


Sunday Social

I created Sunday Social as a way to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

See you same time again next week!

If you feel inclined, please re-blog to help this party grow.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please post those in the comment section as well.

I look forward to reading everyone’s posts.

Cheers! *Clink*


*Fun fact, Miles took this photo of the llamas while he was in Peru!


Micro Fiction: Nowhere

There are places in my head that I’ve created. I’d like to go to one in particular.

The walls, the floor, and the ceiling are wet, glossy stones. The air is heavy with the smell of Earth and water.

There is one large window with a view of a deep green field. Wild lavender bushes burst through the green and shake in the breeze.

I perch inside this residential cave upon the bench that surrounds a circular Koi pond. Lily pads float on top of the water and the bright orange fish slither about.

The tinkling fountain vibrates around the room and fills my ears.

I am there and yet I’m not. Just as this room exists but does not.

-Rachel McKee


Attempted Murder

Is it just my sleep-deprived-self, or is this hilarious to you guys too?


Parent’s Accomplishments and Failures: Why We Should Celebrate Both

Growing up, and even now, I knew how lucky I was to have my mother. She always put me and my brother first. Her patience was vast, but it was not limitless.

Sometimes when I have a “bad parent day” and I snap, yell, show my teeth and scream into a pillow, I think about my mother. Her ocean of patience. How she would help me solve all of  my little-kid problems. She was gentle, thoughtful, and loving.

Instead of this comforting me, or pushing me to do better, I feel worst about my own parenting failures. When I think of my mother’s near saint-hood I begin to wonder why I didn’t inherit those motherly genes. But the other day, I flashed on a vivid memory:

My mother slamming the front door hard enough to make the windows shutter. Her stomping down our front porch to go to the laundry room. (Our laundry room had a separate, outdoor entrance.) Throughout her mad march, she would swear and mumble things like, “Ungrateful, spoiled, frustrating.”. I would scream through my window as she walked by, “I can hear you!” She didn’t care and she didn’t stop, she just kept right on with her mumbling madness. The laundry room was on the other side of my room and I could hear her swear and pound on the washer and dryer with her fists, until eventually she would begin to sob.

I realized upon reflection that I relate to her most through her imperfections.

Her outbursts that at the time offended my seven-year-old-self, actually brings great comfort now that I too understand the stress of parenthood.

After her laundry room breakdowns, she would always come back inside and apologize. She would explain why she was mad and frustrated and we would talk about our fight.

Our reconciliations were perhaps the greatest lessons she could bestow upon me as a child. I appreciate them more as a stressed-out adult.

None of us are perfect and we all lose our minds at times. To pretend that we don’t would be a disservice to our own children. The most important lesson she taught me was to own up to my mistakes and show myself grace when I fall.

Her parenting techniques have stuck with me and are reflected in the care of my own children. I hope my children see the patience in me that my own mother wore like a shawl around her strong shoulders, but when I slip, as she did too, I hope I recover with grace and love.

Rachel McKee


Sunday Social Cancelled Today

Happy Sunday friends. No “official” Sunday Social today.

Have a beautiful day.


Eat the Cookie

I don’t want to be the woman who has to lose 10 pounds. I’ve known women who “want to lose 10 pounds” for 10+ years.

I don’t want to deprive myself a cookie.

I don’t want to pinch my midsection in the mirror. I won’t do it.

Yet, here I am, skin between my fingers.

I won’t pull on my face, this way, that way. Watching the history that’s written on my face disappear for one superficial moment.

Most of the time I am not that woman, but I am not entirely immune to societal expectations. But, what are my expectations?

We must be skinny. No, no, no that’s not “in” anymore. We must be strong. Strong is the new skinny. Curvy, but not too curvy. Healthy, yes, healthy. Anyway, I definitely should not eat that cookie.

Has social media really made self-image worst? No, it’s our heritage, tradition, culture. We inherit our body obsession like the fattening family recipes we serve our husbands but never and I mean NEVER should eat ourselves.

Both of my grandmothers were thin, elegant, and beautiful. One had five children, the other six. Even after all of those children their waists still looked corseted. They made delicious pies, but I don’t recall them ever taking a bite.

Scrambling around the dinner table was the woman’s place. Never eating there, getting her fill. No, my grandmother would drink her coffee black. No sugar. No cream. Smoking a cigarette. This was expected.

I want my portion. Most of the time I take it. Sometimes I take more than my share and I’m back to measuring my sin with pinching fingers.

I remember a time when I had such restraint. Such control, but there was always a hunger.

How do I navigate these murky waters and lead a life where the scale doesn’t measure my worth? More important how do I steer my daughter away from an inheritance of self scrutiny?

If I talk about food and weight am I preaching? If I don’t broach the subject am I neglectful? What of my son? Men too are not immune from the warped looking-glass.

Everything in moderation I suppose.

-Rachel McKee


A Book Review: Rulers & Mages

Author Daley Downing was kind enough to send me an EARC (early advanced reader copy) of the second installment of her series, The Order of the Twelve Tribes, Rulers and Mages.

I was a major fan of Downing’s first book, Masters and Beginners and was won over again with Rulers and Mages. Mystery, magic, drama, and love abounds!

I greatly enjoyed that Downing wrote a series with teenagers who only rebel when they must, and show respect for themselves and their family. Downing proved it is entirely possible to hold a reader’s attention without sex, drugs, profanity, etc. This quality alone makes her stand apart from other YA authors of her time. For this reason, I hold her writing in high esteem, but that’s not the only reason I will keep reaching for more books from this series.

Downing’s characters are distinct and well created. I especially appreciate the fact that she included diversity in her characters, including two with autism. Through her characters, Downing taught me a lot about autism. We need more “own voices” in our literature to promote inclusion and understanding in our society. Downing did a fantastic job at that.

With all of the above-mentioned, wonderful qualities, Rulers and Mages was also a very well-written and thoroughly enjoyable progression of The Twelve Tribes story. I’m excited to pass this series to my own children when they are old enough to read.


Please take a moment to check out Downing’s website, The Invisible Moth.  Her posts are very informative about the publishing and author world. I’m always so impressed by Downing’s thoroughness in her writing, whether it’s her blog or her book series.

-Rachel McKee