Rachael Houser Photography » Wedding Photographer based in Western Kentucky

A while ago Leanne tagged me in a cute little meme. It took a couple days to get to it and then more than a few days to actually finish it. So, in 25 years, these are the Top 5 Moments in My life so far…

5. Singing in the Paducah Symphony Children’s Chorus. I don’t remember what prompted me to audition for the chorus when I was 9 years old (most likely my mom made me) but I do remember how nervous I was waiting for that phone call and when it finally came, how excited I was that I got in. The chorus was really selective back then and children all over to city auditioned for the handful of spots that opened up each year. The chorus taught me to sing professionally and well, it rocked. I was already a “singer” by right of birth (sort of) but this was just different. It was almost like proving myself worthy to be an opera singer’s niece. Also, the chorus took my mom and I to Europe for the first time….

4. Traveling Europe. With the chorus, my mom and I toured 4 countries in 14 days and had the experience of a lifetime. Sure, the experience would be much different if I go now instead of when I was 12 but I’ll still think of that trip as the best one ever.

3.Going through nursing school. Yea, I’m not done with it yet BUT I’m proud that I pushed myself to start nursing school even though I was unsure if I really wanted to be a nurse at all. After a year I know that I would love to practice nursing but not just any nursing…most likely midwifery.

2. Starting my photography business. I’ve always had the interest but I’m not one of those photographers who was born with a camera in their tiny little baby hands. With time came the interest and with practice came the skill. It became an obsession of sorts when my nephew Kolton was born. I contribute half of it to it just being Kolt (seriously, the kid is cute) and the other half to finally realizing my passion. Of course, I’m not making a butt-load right now (and I may never…) but it’s so much more to me than just a career or a profession. I simply LOVE taking peoples’ picture.

1. Marrying my best friend. It might be a little cliche but I don’t care. We’ve been through so many major life changes together and have remained strong and are still growing strong together every day. Just like REAL best friends, we may fight sometimes, but we always make up and we’re better off than we were before. Although he does not make who I am, I seriously can not imagine my life without him in it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I thought I would start sharing a weekly email I receive: 10 Rules for Brilliant Women by Tara Sophia Mohr.

Along with posting the email content, I invite you to join along with me in this journey!


Rule #1: Make a Pact

No one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. The most amazing souls will show up to cheer you on along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself for the long haul, as your own supportive friend at every step along the way.

Being my own supportive friend along the way means that when I screw up, I will. . . (tell myself this, do this, seek this kind of support, take this kind of attitude)
When I want to do something but I’m scared, I will. . . (tell myself this, do this, seek this kind of support, take this kind of attitude)
When I get a new creative idea, I will treat it with. . .
When I feel someone is mistreating me, I will. . .
When I don’t execute on these intentions and vows, instead of beating myself up or feeling like a failure, I’ll simply. . .

Who do you want to be, in relationship to yourself? What are the roles you’d like to play, in relationship to yourself? Pick five new descriptors that resonate for you. (Example: I’d like to be a champion for myself. An ally. A steady friend. An enthusiastic cheerleader.)

What are some of the old roles you’d like to let go of?
(Ideas to jumpstart your thinking: I’d like to let go of being a censor, a tough critic, an unrelenting skeptic.)


Each day this week, pick one of your five descriptors for your new relationship with yourself, and use that phrase as your touchstone, your guidepost for how you relate to yourself.

For example, let’s say on Monday you choose the phrase “steady friend.” Throughout the day – keep checking in with yourself – how would you be acting, what would you be doing, what would you be saying – if you were being a steady friend to yourself at this moment?

Changing our relationship with ourselves is much easier said than done. Of course it’s not enough to just write the intentions, and pick the words. But the words matter. Setting intention matters. Creating a vision for a different kind of relationship with ourselves matters. All of that makes a difference.

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There are only a few things in my life that I know for certain.

1. I am a Christian. I was born into a Christian family, I was raised in the my family’s church and, even though I have done plenty of research, I am more a follower of Jesus Christ today than I was before I had knowledge of the world and its other religions. The older I get, the more experiences I gather, and the more truth I find in His word.

2. I love my husband. Every day I wake up next to my best friend and at the end of every day I kiss him goodnight. I can tell him anything and he listens without judgment. Sometimes I think he doesn’t understand me but then other times he is the only one who can. I thank God for him every day.

3. I have the most amazing parents in this world. My dad is my hero and my mother is my best friend. They’re both so generous and I actually choose to spend tons of time with them, whenever I can. Just yesterday, my mom assisted me in shooting a wedding because we LOVE to spend time together. I will never tire of family vacations :)

4. I have two best friends that I would be lost without. Megan, who I’ve spoken of many times before and Lorena, who is a new addition in my life but nursing school just would be hell if I didn’t have her by my side. I count of them so much and I try to be there for them to count on me as well.

5. My pups are my life source. It may sound strange but I have no children of my own, other than my furbabies, and they are the only beings that NEED me. As a human, I need to be needed. And as a woman, I need to take care of someone or someones. Right now, Aly and Benny fill that void perfectly.

6. My life is good. Sure, it’s not exactly what I had pictured for myself at 25 years of age but it’s not a disappointment either. I, as a person, have changed from who I thought I would be and therefore, my priorities have changed. Once I became OK with that, I was able to actually start living this life that I have.

Sometimes I need to remind myself of these things. It helps, ya know?

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Mel -

“Sometimes I think he doesn’t understand me but then other times he is the only one who can.”

That sentence right there…Truly reminds me of how I feel about Dan. :) I love him so…even though sometimes he drives me NUTS!! :)

Erica -

aw, I love this post. little reminders are a great thing.

Sure, I have things going on in my life right now but I hardly have the time or the energy to blog about it. I blame it on the medicine swimming around in my ear. BUT, I haven’t done an iPhone dump in a while and that doesn’t take too much out of me so here we go!

{Benny and Aly, sleeping on the couch next to their momma}

{Benny and Aly, sleeping on the recliner with their Papaw}

{Gorgeous fall day, driving to class}

{My 4th wedding anniversary present from Neil that he bought me while we were on our cruise this summer. It’s a Ceylon Sapphire. GORG!}

{holding Maddison Hope for the first time, Sept 14th. LOVE this little lady!}

{aaannnddd a week later. Still loving her!}

{A little lunch place right outside of our town, full of country charm and delicious food!}

{and, the little lunch place <3}

{I’d never seen cotton in person before. This was driving to Memphis back in Sept.}

{What I wore on the first fall weather day}

{My nephew this past weekend playing with a golf club. Neil just about dies every time Kolton picks one up}

{taken last night: the most beautiful Dillard’s shoe dept I’ve ever seen. This was just one half of it too!}

{What Neil wants for Christmas, the one of the right}

{and finally, what I want for Christmas ;) }

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