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

#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♥

 

One Year

You kicked and squirmed, I shifted uncomfortably and smiled at my big belly.

I sweat, I cried, I pushed, you pulled.

I squeezed my eyes and clenched my teeth, you saw the light for the first time.

We saw each other and we cried.

I pulled you close and you held on tight.

I talked, you nuzzleddrinking your fill.

You cried the first night, I was weak, Daddy’s arms were strong.

I learned, you taught, we got to know each other.

You needed me, I needed sleep, we were tired.

You laughed, and I understood pure joy.

You rolled over and turned my world upside down.

On all fours you moved away from me, and I scrambled to catch up.

In a high-pitch voice you said “Mama” and I came running.

You looked for “Dada” to come home, and I was just as eager.

You pulled yourself up, and I caught you when you fell (almost always).

You went to sleep a baby and woke up a toddler.

You are one. You are smart. You are sweet. You are brave, and we love you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day

There literally isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t thank God for my husband. His gentle touch calms our family, his patience and forgiveness humbles me. He is our hero.  The look of adoration on my son’s face when he sees Miles confirms that I picked the best man to father our son. I will forever be grateful that our paths crossed and we walk the road of parenthood together.

Thank you Miles for being the incredible example our son deserves. Thank you to all of the fathers and father-figures in the worldthis day is for you.

♥R♥

HOW I MANAGE AS A WRITER AND MOTHER

 

I haven’t talked about my YA novel in a  LONG time. Mostly because I have prioritized other writing opportunities, and lets face it, writing time is precious and rare. A lot of my writing has been personal essays about motherhood because that has been the consumption of my life. It’s easy for me to write about funny, special, horrible moments about motherhood because they happen ALL OF THE TIME and I can complete a short essay while my son is sleeping.

While I want to continue writing about motherhood, I have also made my YA novel a priority again. With all of these writing goals and raising a son I have had to learn some time management and prioritization.

outlining

This is how I attempt to manage writing and motherhood:

CREATE A SCHEDULE AND STICK WITH IT

This is what my average day looks like:

7AM-8AM

Wake up at 7am and build my social media platform i.e. IlluminatedLiteration (blog), Twitter: @Illuminate_Lit, Pinterest,  Facebook, and LinkedIn. I try to make my rounds as quickly as possible before my son wakes up around 7:30-8:00am.

8AM-11AM

Then I take care of my son (and clean house) until he goes to sleep around 11-11:30am.

11AM-1:30PM

Naps are PRIME writing time. I get two solid hours of uninterrupted writing when he takes a nap. I try to do a lot of my blog posts while he is napping, I also try to catch up on a lot of my blogs that I follow.

1:30-9pM

I’m on parent duty with my husband from 1:30pm- 9pm.

9pm-You can’t keep your eyes open any longer

So guess when most of my writing time happens… late evening and into the night. Sometimes I crawl into bed around midnight or later if I’m on a roll.

Don’t forget to make time to do your research.

If you want to be a successful writer you have to read A LOT. There are some evenings when I skip writing because my brain just can’t even because I know reading your target genre is crucial for a good artistic outcome. Sometimes, if I really need to multi-task I watch a movie adaptation (*gasp*!) and take care of my son. Honestly, the point of writing non-fiction is to tell a story, and watching the movie adaptation of a novel still teaches you structure.

Get Social

This is honestly my favorite part of writingmeeting other writers and professionals in the industry. Unfortunately, this is the step most writers struggle with because at the end of the day, they have to spend a ton of time on their own craft and when you are a mother you have other priorities that you need you RIGHT NOW! I try my best to read other blogger’s work and respond to comments between feedings and when my son is playing and really any time I can grasp a smidgen of time to interact with other writers.

Embrace Chaos And Accept That You Can’t Do It All

I have so many blog posts, stories, words, ideas floating around in my head. I also have a pair of hazel eyes that look to me for nutrition, exercise, learning, and loving. We CAN’T do it all, we can only do our best. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do all of the things we want to do. I know that this blog post could have been 10x better if I had more time, but my son is going to wake up in 30 minutes and I really should eat SOMETHING today.

♥R♥

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

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.

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