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

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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

Happy 4th Of July

Happy 4th of July everyone! I awoke to this beautiful sight this morning:

I’m just over here waiting for our desktop to be connected again. We are in the process of reorganizing an office space, aka Miles is building and designing a desk for the new space. With me being pregnant, I’m pretty useless with home projects. So we are working at a slow pace.

I’m almost one month exactly from my due date.

I hope everyone  (in the U.S) has today off and spends time doing something fun or relaxing.

Thinking of you all from my quiet den here in Washington.

-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: La Conner, Wa.

Miles and I typically visit the tulip fields every year in La Conner, Washington. We got a late start this year and it was the first sunny day in weeks. Which meant sheer and utter tourist chaos. We waited on a side street for 45 minutes before I said, “Let’s skip the tulips.”

I was sad to miss seeing them, but my son in the backseat was losing every ounce of toddler patience. (Which isn’t a lot to begin with.)

Here are some pictures of daffodils and tulips from years past.

These are two of my favorites that Miles took back in 2010:

LaConner, Wa

La Conner, Wa tulips

Anyway, back to last Friday…

We decided to skip the tulips and go straight to the town of La Conner.

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Photo found on Google Search

La Conner is a MUST SEE, if you are ever visiting Washington state. If you are a historical home junkie like myself, you will get your fix. The historical farms will take your breath away and the tiny town oozes charm.

LaConner, Wa.

You get a lovely mixture of farm and maritime life.

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Oh hello there, Great Blue Heron!

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Look at my handsome travel companions. I’m a lucky gal! (Miles is really much happier than he appears. Ha!)

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Sorry I didn’t capture more of the farm life and the tulips in La Conner, but there is always next year.

Happy FriYAY everyone!

-Rachel

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

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

 

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

#AmWriting

I have been focusing on my YA novel and the characters are starting to feel authentic, so that’s very encouraging. I’m trying to get the first draft written without beating it up too much with my grammar hammer.

I have been using Twitter more and I’m having fun meeting other writers there (hence the hashtag name for this post). I have also been learning Photoshop (see cover image above).

The cover image is a quote from my YA novel. I’ve been wanting to create images with text for a long time so for the last few weeks I have been experimenting with Photoshop and I’m learning a lot. I have experienced a lot of trial and error, but that’s all part of it right?

So if you are wondering what little ol’ me has been up to, well that’s about it. Other than throwing first birthdays, chasing a one year old, wrangling a dog, appeasing a cat, and attending a wedding.

Have a fantastic week!

♥R♥