Thanks to all of you who have patiently survived the wave of General Conference posts. I promise we’re heading back into more calm (a.k.a. boring) waters. By the way, all the talks are now online to read. Yay.
This whole meeting new people is just as fun for me as it is for you. Some of them, like Rachel, are names I’ve seen pop up in comments threads, and it is so fun to meet the real people behind those hyperlinked personas. And now that I’ve had the chance to learn more about her, just like I have with so many of you, I’m so glad that I get the chance to cross paths– even Internet paths– with such cool people. Meet Rachel:
Hey everyone! I’m excited to tell you a little about myself and my family.
So here’s my life story in a nutshell: My name is Rachel. I’m 33 years old. Often people will ask me where I’m from. I usually respond everywhere and nowhere. My Mom is Canadian (she lived all over Canada) and my Dad grew up in Idaho. They met at BYU. After they married they moved to Delaware where I was born. My Dad was working for a company that transferred us often. Our first transfer moved us to Texas. After that we moved to the mountains of North Carolina. (Honestly if I could move back there I would.) Then we moved back to Delaware. Next was upstate New York (20 minutes from Palmyra!) and finally we settled near Nashville, Tennessee. After 4 different high schools in 3 different states I graduated and headed off to BYU. Four years later I graduated there and moved back home. I had plans to continue school and get a teaching certificate. Thankfully the Holy Ghost convinced me to scrap my plans. Shortly thereafter I met my fantastic husband, John, at an institute Halloween party held in the basement of my parent’s home. We were married one year and 2 days after the day we met in the Nashville Temple. This November we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary! Since that day we have had 3 children – Karena and Hannah (7), identical twin girls and Tyler (6), our extremely energetic boy. When Tyler was almost one my husband’s father (now 84 years old) moved in with us.
What’s your favorite part of motherhood?
Teaching my children. We made the decision to homeschool about a year and a half ago. We began as the girls were starting first grade and my son was entering kindergarten. It was scary and overwhelming but we jumped right in. It’s difficult at times but I wouldn’t pass this job off to anyone. I love sharing what I love with them and encouraging them to try new and hard things. Seeing those light bulb moments, especially as we teach the gospel, are times that I cherish.
What part of motherhood would you subcontract out if you could?
Dealing with the fighting and the whining. There is nothing that makes me more crazy than whining. They even whine when there’s nothing to whine about. Anyone have any tips for getting rid of the whining?
Brag for a minute. Do it. What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?
- Reading really fast. I can read a long book (300-400 pages) that I like in a day to a day and a half.
- Making digital art. The rest of my family seemed to get all the regular art skills (drawing, painting, etc.). I did not. I do well to color in a coloring book. I love to use my computer to create art.
- Using Microsoft Word and Excel to make charts, schedules, list, etc. This may not be something to brag about but it’s something I’ve been doing a lot of lately trying to plan our school year. Plus I kind of enjoy doing it.
What homemaking job/task gives you the most satisfaction?
Cooking or creating something for my family. To me those two things are similar. Whether it is a meal or a piece of clothing I sewed I love seeing the joy that comes to my family from something I made.
What are you loving lately?
Pinterest – Unfortunately its addicting but I love, love, love it. I’ve really found some amazing things through that website and connected with a lot of new people. Plus there’s no drama like other social sites!
Crocheting – I’m slowly working with a lady from church and trying to teach myself. I like it but I keep trying to tackle projects I’m just not ready for. Patience is not one of my strengths.
Do you have a favorite scripture or quote? Why?
1 Nephi 21: 14-16 – There is also a similar scripture in Isaiah 49.
“But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me – but he will show that he hath not.
For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”
When times get difficult I know on many occasions I have been as faithless as Zion and asked the Savior if He had forgotten me. I have been assured each time that he cannot and will not forget me. He has “graven [me] upon the palms of [His] hands.” His atonement, death and resurrection weren’t done for all of us as a collective whole. They were done just for me. Not only did he do those amazing, miraculous works just for us he is continually helping each of us.
And my new favorite quote is from Pres. Uchtdorf: “I do know now I was never forgotten. And I know something else and as an apostle of our master Jesus Christ, I proclaim with all the certainty and conviction of my heart and soul, neither are you. You are not forgotten! Sisters, wherever you are, whatever the circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love. Just think of it! You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful and glorious Being in the universe. You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time. He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name. You are the daughters of His kingdom!”
What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?
I know Joseph Smith saw our Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know the scriptures are true. Reading them daily brings a peace to my life that I can’t find anywhere else. I know our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, know us as individuals and that there is a plan for us.
Name 2 or 3 items on your “bucket list.” (Some things you’d like to do before you die.)
1. Travel more, especially with my family.
2. Attend a cooking school. I LOVE to cook. I can follow most any recipe but I have a desire to understand the principles behind cooking. I’ve attended a few classes and have come away with so much knowledge.
3. Live on a farm. I used to be a self-proclaimed city girl. I needed stuff to do, people to see and places to go. I even contemplated applying for some NYC universities. Since then I’ve married a man born and raised on a farm. We were so different, it was funny. We settled into the suburbs together, but I could always tell it made him a little claustrophobic. Over the past few years I have moved closer and closer to his way of thinking. I want my kids to learn how to work. I want fresh milk and eggs every day. I want to know where my food is coming from.
Deserted Island Question. If you were stranded on a deserted island (most moms would actually crave this) and could only take 3 items with you, what would they be?
- Plenty of turtle related desserts.
- An iPad with internet access – I’d have access to almost any book that way plus I’d have my scriptures available still.
- My great-uncle’s cabin he built in Island Park, Idaho with an added indoor toilet. Actually I could just skip the deserted island and go there by myself.
Give your best advice to a newlywed or expectant mom.
Newlywed – Say “I love you” a lot. Do go to bed angry. That’s not a typo. The morning will often bring a fresh perspective than the night before when you were tired and not thinking straight. Forgive and then forget.
Expectant Mom – Have patience. Say “I love you” a lot. Give out compliments more often than criticism. Apologize when you are wrong.
What’s something you don’t usually want people to know about you, but that they need to know if they’re going to be your friend?
I am really good at bottling up my feelings. I may complain about whiny kids or a messy home but I’m not going to tell you what is truly troubling my heart. I have perfected the “Sunday face.” You know the one we see on most people at church on Sunday that doesn’t show what is really going on in their lives. I want to share what I’m feeling but I can’t seem to. I am slowly working on getting better at this. My poor husband gets to be my guinea pig.
What’s something unexpected in your life, and how have you dealt with it?
When my son was a year old and my daughters were two and a half my father-in-law came to live with us. He was 79 and I was 27 years old. When I was younger (like 25) I never once considered having to be a permanent caregiver. So to say this was unexpected is an understatement. In some ways it’s like being a mom to a teenager. It has been an incredibly challenging few years. It has been hard to help someone who in many ways does not want to be helped. BUT, there have been blessings. I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching to see what things I need to change. That sounds like a weird blessing but it has been. This has also brought my husband and me closer together. We are continually having to readjust and daily deal with the situations that come.
Blog paragraph: My blog is called “You Are My Sunshine.” It’s really just a way for family and friends far away to see what we are doing. I used to post very inconsistently but recently have made it a goal to give my blog some priority. Also, in an effort to confront my fear I’ve started sharing my feelings on different topics.
Thank you, Rachel. As always, it has been a pleasure.
Please visit Rachel’s blog or give her a quick hello in the comments here. Have a great weekend!