Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Turning twenty is no small feat for me.  It means that I have known the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and Helper for at least sixteen years.  It means I have played the piano for fourteen years.  It means I have been a daughter for twenty years, a sister for almost eighteen years, and a wife for nearly one year.  It means it has been thirteen years since I thought I was going to lose my Mom, who is still here with me to treasure.  It means I have been school-free for three years.  It means it has been four years since I heard twice that there was the slight chance I might have cancer.  It means that I have survived two decades without stressing myself into a heart attack.  It means it has been six years since I truly ever had my heart broken.  It means it has been five years since the Lord helped me to heal.  And it has been in those last five years that my heart has been shattered again and again, while all the time the great Healer has been there to put me back together over and over... till I no longer look like I used to; I'm now someone I hope is different, better, and more beautiful than I would have been without the brokenness. 

My heart still has more to go through, I know.  I still have so much to learn.  I am excited to see what the Lord has for me as I leave my teen years behind and enter another decade.  I pray that the Lord will give me grace to smile at the future, no matter what it holds.

Yesterday was such a sweet day for me.  I had from 7:30am till Andrew got home from work after 5pm to myself.  I teased my family later that I felt like Michelle Tanner from "Full House", going around singing, "Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me.  Where is everybody?  Happy birthday to me."  Welcome to the life of a stay-at-home-wife!  ;-)
I did a lot of cleaning and rearranging to make room for my big family in our miniature-size home.  I was able to take my time pretty-fying my living room, shoving lots of bins full of our stuff into the bedroom.  With our move coming up this Thursday, there is less clutter, so cleaning up was easier than usual.

 I was also able to get more packing done (which will be my occupation the next few days as well!). 

I used all of the chairs I had in my house so we could seat all of the adults in my family. 
The kids ended up piling on the couch.

 My birthday present from my awesome hubby was a trip to Aquarium World to pick out another Betta fish!!! I grew up around Betta fish (and many other pets) and was so thrilled when I got my first fish, Javert. He is still doing well and trying to figure out what a bubble nest is... I went with a "France" theme with my first fish with an Eiffel Tower and such (plus, to let him know I'm about to feed him, I knock on his tank five times and sing, "24601!").
My new fish is Rory the Roman... since I am a Doctor Who nerd (didn't realize how much of a nerd I was till I watched this show...). His tail floats like a gorgeous red Roman cloak and he truly is the Lone Centurion. He even has helmet-markings on his head!!! And, going with the Doctor Who theme, I knock four times to let him know it's time to eat. Any Doctor Who fans will know why... 

Another fun thing I was able to do on my birthday was take more senior pictures of my gorgeous sister, Jessie.  We walked around the exterior of the apartment building and also down by the pond out back.  We got many fun shots and she also took the picture of me at the beginning of this post (and also the picture at the end). 
I'm just loving the spring weather here and being able to go out and take pictures.

When my family came over yesterday evening, we all went outside for some fun fishing.  Several of my siblings had never been fishing before and they just loved it!

Samantha, who has gone fishing with Andrew before, helped Bekah hold the rod so she could enjoy the whole fishing experience.  :-)

Josh caught several fish and was so excited every single time.  Each of the kids caught at least two fish... Andrew even caught one and then let Bekah pull it in.  :-)

My grandparents arrived a bit later to join in the fun.  :-)

Grandma had to wait a bit longer, but she caught herself a fish too!  Daniel, who is only five and had never caught a fish until that evening, was her little instructor as to how to properly catch a fish.
"Don't pull right away, Nana!  Let him play with it first!"

Bekah... oh, she's just such a pudding.  I say, "Smile, Bekah!" and her whole face strains because it can barely hold her smile!

My Dad found a comfortable spot to watch the craziness that is his wife and children fishing.  I'm sure our neighbors hadn't heard that much noise in a while... or seen so much enthusiasm over catching a fish.

Photo credit- Natalie!

Once the sun had set, we went inside for a few presents (which were all fantastic!).
Oh, my big, cheesy smile (and the bow from one of my present adoring my head)... as Natalie says, I'm a fun old person.  ;-)

And there was another big, cheesy smile as we got ready to eat cake!  I had been looking forward to cake all day long and it was amazing!

Thank you, family, for a splendiferous birthday.  I love you all!

So, my friends... this is twenty.  Hello, Twenty.  I was sad to say goodbye to my teen years; they hold so much. 
But, you know, I wouldn't live them again... there's too much ahead to waste time looking back.
  Hello, Twenty.  I know we haven't known each other long, but I'm sure we'll love each other.  Let's enjoy the adventure, okay?  Whether its washing dishes, watching sunsets, or moving to a new place... we'll enjoy it.  And I promise that I will try, even if you bring me tears, that I will trust the Lord and keep seeing the beauty.
Hope you all have a wonderful day, my friends!
God bless!


Anonymous said...

I echo the same prayer for you, my sweet daughter!

Hannah Elise said...

Happy birthday, Rachel!

Sarah♥ said...

Happy 20th Birthday!!! :)

Patrizia said...

Happy birthday again, beautiful lady! I hope you have a blessed year! Love all of the photos :)

Natasha Atkerson said...

Happy 20th Rachel!
"as Natalie says, I'm a fun old person. ;-)" LOL! OH my, had to laugh at that one! Totally something my younger siblings would say!
I didn't know you liked Doctor Who! LOVE that tv series! We skipped last week due to the fact that looked a little too "witchcrafty" but looking forward to this weeks episode! Which episode is your favorite? I think mine is a toss up between the empty children "are you my mummy?" and the first episode with the angels! I'm not normally a sci-fi person, but this show has great head scratching plots! Plus super cute costumes...LOL!
A Modest Fashion Blog:

Anonymous said...

Packing? You are moving somewhere?? jo

Sereina Charise said...

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Rachel said...


Yes, Andrew and I are moving into a new, bigger apartment (still in the same city as we are living now).

Rachel said...

Happy birthday!! It looks like you had a good one, celebrated with family!

Blythe said...

Happy Birthday Gurl!!! =)
Cute lil' fish you got there.