Six Comparisons Of Being A Stay-At-Home Mother VS. A”Real” Job

Hi Readers,

No, that’s not me in the cover image, that is the gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor. I know the resemblance is uncanny (I wish!!!!).

I wanted to share my latest article that xoNecole published. It’s about my life as a stay-at-home mother compared to my life in the workforce.

I hope you enjoy it.

http://xonecole.com/six-comparisons-of-being-a-stay-at-home-mother-vs-a-real-job/

Happy Friday.

♥R♥

Cover Image Found Here: http://womanbody-childemotions.tumblr.com/page/24

My Favorite Dog Zeus

I’ve written about my husband and my son, but I have not introduced you to my fur babies.

The first animal that my husband and I adopted together was our dog Zeus. He is a rottweiler mutt (my favorite kind of dog). I must admit I am partial to the rottweiler breed. I think they make fantastic family pets. They are kind, loving, and patient with children. Zeus is just about the sweetest dog in the whole world. He is incredibly patient with our son Leif. He has the biggest heart a dog can have, and I love him completely.

Below are some of my favorite pictures of Zeus that my husband Miles took. All photos are courtesy of Miles McKee Photography.

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I was 34 weeks pregnant in this picture! This is the beautiful Methow Valley in Wa state.

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IMMACULATE: A Book Review & Literary Analysis

Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.
Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina’s claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina’s story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible—and that Mina’s unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.

 

IMMACULATE by Katelyn Detweiler will grab your curiosity and refuse to let go; it’s a compelling story about a young woman who receives a modern-day miracle and has to live with the consequences. Detweiler wrote a fantastic novel that explores the strength of family, friendship, and faith. Mina finds herself  asking her family and closest friends to stretch their understanding and beliefs to the max.

Mina has to overcome an incredible amount of adversity, just like Mary had to centuries before with the immaculate conception of Jesus. The allegory of Detweiler’s modern, miraculous, conception story is a reflection of how corrupt and violent our society can become when a person or event challenges beliefs, ideals, and faith.

Literary Devices explains allegory:

Allegory is a figure of speech in which abstract ideas and principles are described in terms of characters, figures and events.

It can be employed in prose and poetry to tell a story with a purpose of teaching an idea and a principle or explaining an idea or a principle. The objective of its use is to preach some kind of a moral lesson.

During a visit with Mina’s doctor (Dr.Keller) Mina and Dr. Keller have a discussion about the cruelty that the public has shown to Mina on a website that was created to mock and condemn her. Mina says,

I just don’t understand the kind of angerthe kind of passionthat drives complete stranger to feel this involved in my life. Who are these people, really? Do they seem normal in every day life? Are they school teachers , nurses, lawyerspeople who seem completely rational and stable? And then they come home at night, or take their lunch break, and they go online and they write that I’ll burn in hell? That my baby will burn in hell with me? I just don’t understand where it comes from. The fervor. The idea that it’s their duty, almost to condemn me. Or maybe it’s just sick entertainment for them.

We see this cruelty every day in the mass media, against other HUMANS that challenge the norm. Detweiler’s novel encouraged me to be open-minded when a loved one may need my support and blind faith. IMMACULATE served as a reminder to never cast stones at people who challenge my own beliefs.

IMMACULATE made me pause and reflect on my actions and reactions both in my personal life and on social media. I hope you gain as much from IMMACULATE as I did.

Happy reading.

♥R♥

Note: The split image I added to this post is not my original artwork. The image on the left was found here. The image on the right is the book cover for Katelyn Detweiler’s novel IMMACULATE.

 

Daffodil Parade

Yesterday, the fam and I drove to my home-town of Orting, Wa. Growing up in a small town will: nurture you, raise-you-up, disciplined you, comfort you, and suffocate you all at once. For the kids raised in the small town of Orting, Mt. Rainier was our guardian and inspiration. Everyone from there claims it as, “their” mountain.

We made the 1.5 hour long trek to visit family and friends and watch the annual daffodil parade. Yesterday was the 83rd daffodil parade to march the streets of Orting. Miles and I were lucky ducks, and Grammy watched Leif and our dog Zeus. We got 3 full hours of grown-up time. We went to a bar and had a beer *gasp*. Latter, we met up with our friends and watched an army of cheerleaders, band members, princesses, horses, goats, clowns, cars, buses, and advertisements march down the main street of Orting. It was sunny, and we had a wonderful view of the greatest spectacle Orting has to offer, “our” mountain.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

Best,

♥R♥

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Bring Back the Sonics!!!!

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Published: The Unexpected Way the Women in My Life Helped Me Through Labor

I’m excited to tell you all that I was published again on xoNecole!

This is an article about how the women in my life inspired me through my labor, even though they weren’t in the delivery room. Also, how my nurse made all the difference in my labor.

Here is the link.

Snoqualmie Falls: An Introduction

Hello, happy Sunday.

My name is Miles and I am Rachel’s husband. Some of my images are featured on illuminated literation, so I thought I would introduce myself and let you know that I will be posting here on occasion to showcase pictures with short descriptions and the techniques involved.

Here are some images from Snoqualmie Falls, WA on Easter weekend. It was mid-morning on a bright sunny day and I was battling high contrast. I decided to shoot ISO 100 and RAW format to allow for maximum manipulation of shadows in post-processing. The featured image is a high dynamic range (HDR) image, blending three different exposures to optimize color tones in all areas of shadows and highlights. I normally try to “get it right in camera” but our eyes/brains have such an amazing ability to register a high degree of contrast, that sometimes to capture the scene as I remember it, the HDR technique is necessary.

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Rachel and Leif at the mid-observation deck.   f/5   1/160   iso 100 nikon d750
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Sort of an abstract composition of an old power turbine.  f/4.5  1/500  iso 100  d750
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Penstock leading to turbines.  f/4.5  1/125  iso 100 d750
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Lower boardwalk viewing of the falls.  f/8  1/125  iso 100 d750

Heart at the Bottom of My Tea

Yesterday I was basking in the sun next to my cat Keke, enjoying a cup of tea, and happened to look down and notice that the tea leaves had stained a heart  on the bottom of my cup. The raspberry chamomile surprise made me smile, and was a beautiful  reminder of the love that surrounds me. I felt grateful for my family, friends, and my life in general.

Cheesy sentiment? Maybe. I’m trying every day to be positive and live in the moment. I have a tendency to dwell in the past and worry about the future. It’s shocking how hard it is to remain in the present and notice the blessings that surround me. Gratitude is a beautiful state that’s rarely visited.

So on that note, I raise my mug of re-filled tea to life, love, happiness, and to you my readers.

Cheers.

♥R♥

 

Daffodils Baby!

Yesterday my little fam and I drove to La Conner, Wa to see the daffodils in bloom. We normally go a little later in the season to see all of the tulips, but we had the perfect opportunity to get away yesterday, so we took it!

We had a blue-sky drive, our son Leif was chatting in the backseat playing with his toys while Miles and I listed to Trampled by Turtles. We laughed and shared some of our day dreams. While driving on Interstate 5, I was humbled, as I am on every drive through our beautiful home state. The diverse landscape is truly staggering,  in a matter of 30 minutes we saw three different mountains (Rainier, Baker, Pilchuck), the Olympic Range, the Puget Sound, and fields of various crops. Spring in the Pacific Northwest is an incredible thing to behold.

My husband is an avid photographer. Some of my favorite shots of his are of the La Conner tulip fields. We try to go every year. Here are a few of Miles’ shots from yesterday.

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La Conner, Wa Daffodils.  Photo courtesy of Miles McKee Photography

 

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Our son Leif taking in the view. Miles McKee Photography.

 

 

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There is the photographer and his apprentice!

 

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Miles McKee Photography

 

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The red tulips are just starting to bloom. Miles McKee Photography.

 

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A blanket of yellow. Miles McKee Photography.

 

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Leif loved the grass. Miles McKee Photography.

 

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Leif wanted to pick the flowers. Miles McKee Photography.

 

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Miles McKee Photography.

 

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Miles took this photo in 2010. It hangs in our bedroom. I call it “The Kissing Lips”.           Miles McKee Photography.

All photos in 2016 were taken with Nikon D750 and Nikon 80-200MM F\2.8.

♥R♥

 

 

When You Wish Upon a Star and the Universe Answers

Last night after nursing my son I held him in my arms for a few extra minutes. The tension in my shoulders melted as he wrapped his arms around my neck. I breathed in the fresh baby smell that radiated from his warm body after his bath. The scent of banana bread baking wafted through his nursery door. Over the gentle clanging of my husband scrubbing pots and pans, an acoustic version of Disney’s When You Wish Upon a Star played on the radio. I gently began to sway with my son as his body melted into mine and he drifted off to sleep.

In that moment I felt gratitude more profound than at any other juncture in my life. I wished upon a star two years ago for a baby and the universe answered. At that precise moment I felt completely enveloped with the love that surrounded me. My incredible husband was cleaning up the muffin mess that I had made after he worked all day so that I could put our son to bed. One of the many ways he said, I love you throughout the day. My eight month old son told me he cherished me by resting his head on my shoulder; gently giving over to sleep in my trusted arms.

I knew I was experiencing a blessing.

One day when my son leaves the house or he takes a bride of his own, I will resurrect this dance and reflect on that one time I was his whole world. I will remember a time when I wished upon a star and the universe answered. When your dreams really do come true, rejoice.

♥R♥

Blogging the Senses

Cover Image Found @:http://hipster-lyrics.tumblr.com/page/17

14 Pieces of Advice from this New Mom to the Next

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My son will be 8 months old on March 10th. I can utter, “Hello eight months and goodbye eight months.” in one breath. The time went by in one inhale and one exhale. It’s redundant and cliche to exclaim how quickly time flies when you have a baby, but there is a reason it’s repeated day in and day out by parents on your Facebook feed, it’s true.
I guarantee you will spend a good portion of your day frantically Googling every stage your baby is going through to make sure you and baby are up-to-snuff. Let me save you some time, the odds are strongly in your favor that you will not kill your newborn baby. You will find  a wide range of opinion on how you should or should not raise your child. Here are 14 pieces of advice from one new mother to the next:
  1. Kiss your little one often and snuggle them closely, you will hug a slightly different version of them tomorrow. You can’t spoil your baby with affection..
  2. If you fall asleep exhausted in bed with your baby, they will be just fine. You will wake up with the first movement or sound your baby makes. There is much more of a health risk to you, your heart may fall out of your mouth in a panic, but your baby will be fine.
  3. Sleep training is a mean experiment to drive parents crazy! Don’t stress about sleep training and don’t measure your success as a parent by the hours your baby sleeps. (But seriously try to sleep when they do, you deserve it.)
  4. Breastfeeding is one of the most selfless things you will ever do. It’s fucking hard, it’s stressful, it hurts and it’s okay if you swear while your sweet little bundle is ripping your nipple off.
  5. It’s okay if you don’t breastfeed.
  6. The people who judge you for the method you choose to feed YOUR baby are assholes and not worthy of your time or consideration.
  7. You may feel depressed, scared, or like an utter failure at motherhood. From what I hear these “postpartum” feeling will reappear for the rest of your life.
  8. Get ready to feel guilty every day.
  9. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Forgive yourself AND your partner.
  10. Treat yourself: get a pedicure, take a walk alone, go have some girl time. Give your partner alone time as well.
  11. Buy your favorite bottle of wine and stay up late with your partner after baby has gone to bed and watch a sitcom that makes you laugh.
  12. It’s okay if you and your partner don’t have sex for the first six months postpartum, you will again…. one day. Women recover from the PTSD of delivery at different rates and in different ways, start by testing the water.
  13. If your baby doesn’t poop for a week it’s actually okay. Why does nobody tell you this?
  14. Embrace the smiles that you and your baby share. Remember the way they look at you with sleepy adoration when you feed them before bed. Take Polaroids of moments in your mind, you don’t have to capture every moment for social media.
Nobody can prepare you for how fast the time will go by, don’t waste it trying to be the perfect mother, just be their mother, I promise it is enough.