Please Excuse My Rudeness

I’m a bad blogger. Sorry, everyone for going AWOL, but I have had a CRAZY past two weeks! I was in NJ for a week (and even got to spend a day in NYC–did you see the pictures yet?) and then spent the next week frantically preparing for my big high school graduation party! (That’s right–I’m a free woman now!)

I have tons of pictures and stories to share, but I’m going to need another day or two to get it all together. :) Until then, feel free to browse my archives, or check out my more frequently updated fashion blog instead!

-Rachel

It’s Not Mother’s Day Until Something Catches on Fire

So, we’ve decided that our family has no luck with holidays. Remember that Christmas that my aunt chopped her finger off, my dad got food poisoning, and my mom backed the van into a tree? Or last Thanksgiving when my dad and aunt were nearly arrested for trespassing at an old abandoned mansion? (Whoops–did I not mention that one? Probably too embarrassing.) Well, we may have topped it all. Because last night, on good old Mother’s Day, we nearly caugh the house on fire.

It’s a quite simple story, actually.

The day started with us peacefully scanning cute old pictures of us with Mom to post on Facebook with the obligatory “Best Mom Ever” posts that every single person on the face of this earth does on the second Sunday of May. This one was my particular favorite. Because you can tell by my face that my only thought in this moment is “Daaaaadddyyyy!! Save me from Mommy and Santa!!!!” (He probably smelled like beef and cheese)

Anyway, we then progressed to eating muffins, scrambling to get ready for church in ten minutes flat, and taking the standard holiday Coker family photo with my tripod. And keep in mind that we all looked this gorgeous after no showers, no makeup, and less than ten minutes to get ready. I know, I know. It’s a gift. (Also, we tend to avoid the zoom button on days like this)

After church, we all came home and spent the afternoon relaxing, going for a walk together, and catching up on some much-needed sleep after an absolutely CRAZY weekend. Mom decided that for supper, she wanted to grill some steaks and have us make some potatoes and peas to go along with them, and then we would all go out for icecream later. But since Dad sometimes tends to overcook steaks and Mom likes hers medium-rare, she decided to take matters into her own hands. And light the grill.

It all happened in a blink. A flash. One minute I was standing by the stove, stirring the peas and humming to myself, the next minute Dad was striding across the living room, his face strangely grim. (One thing you should know about my dad–he NEVER yells. He’s just scary calm all the time)

“The grill’s on fire,” he said.

Famous last words, right?

Well, what proceeded was ten long minutes of all of us standing in our kitchen looking out the window as Dad wrestled with the flames shooting out of our propane grill. He grabbed the fire extinguisher and sprayed the grill down until it ran out of liquid. Then he threw open the porch door, hauled the still-burning grill down the back steps, and completely hosed it down in the backyard. All this without saying a word, as we watched in horror.

Thank goodness I had the prescence of mind to grab my camera. Because this was one sight I did NOT want to forget.

Well, at the end of the day, we were able to have a good laugh over our little Mothers Day mishap. We cooked the steaks in the oven, and when that didn’t cook them enough, we microwaved them. Then we went to Walmart to buy a new fire extinguisher, should this travesty ever occur again.

These are the things you remember. The messy bits and funny stories that make life interesting. The Mother’s Day that we caught the grill on fire and microwaved our steaks. Doesn’t get much better than that.

-Rachel

Video Blog: What’s So Great About Perfection Anyway?

This is something I’ve been thinking about and struggling through for a long time, so I figured it’d be good to get some of my thoughts out in a video blog! I’ll admit, I can be a bit rambling at times, but you can tell this is something I’m really passionate about. We shouldn’t hide our true thoughts and feelings behind worrying what others think of us! We should be free to just be ourselves and not judge anyone based on our own convictions!

What are your thoughts on this subject? Is this something you’d be interested in hearing me discuss more thoroughly later?

-Rachel

Giveaway Winner + Our Newest Venture…

First off, thank you all so much for your incredibly sweet comments on my new site! I, just like a lot of you, simultaneously love and hate change, so this was definitely exciting and scary for me. But I think it’s going to pay off!

To celebrate my new site, I hosted a giveaway last week for two autographed books, and I am happy to announce that the winner is… Layla! Layla, I’ll be emailing you shortly with info on how to get you your books. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Okay, so just in case you didn’t think the last few weeks could get any more exciting, I’m going to hit you with some SUPER fantastical news. ::Drumroll please:: My sister Hannah and I have decided to combine our passions for fashion and photography and start a style blog together!!!! Yay!!! (you may all cheer now)

 Don’t worry, I’ll still be blogging here with all my thoughts on writing, life, and general randomness. The new blog is going to be shared by me and Hannah, though, and we will be posting (Lord-willing) five times a week with fresh, new, and exciting content. A new outfit to be inspired by every day!

The new blog is called she said {she wore} and you can check it out here! There’s already a week’s worth of content on there because we wanted you all to have some cool stuff to look at on your first visit! So check it out, comment on your favorite look, and sign up for email updates! Oh, and you can see our facebook page here and follow us on twitter here. (Oh my gosh–so many places to find me/us)

So what do you think? Are you excited about seeing even more of the Coker gals on the world-wide-web? Are you looking forward to having a blog you can visit every morning for fashion inspiration that is cute, modest, AND affordable? Do you just love us? (Let me hear you say—yeah!!!)

Obviously, I’m too excited for my own good. What can I say? I love working with my sister on something we’re both passionate about, as another way to serve our King.

-Rachel

P.S. In case you wanted those links again: blog, facebook, twitter.

How Do You Have Enough Hours in the Day?

I don’t. No, seriously! I am *that person* who is ALWAYS late, ALWAYS overdue, and ALWAYS running behind. If they gave out an award for procrastination, I would get it… eventually.

But this is a question I get surprisingly frequently! All my readers hear about my busy life–flying to book signings, writing novels, tutoring young writers, teaching piano, and running a photography business–and they wonder how I don’t lose my head. And, quite frankly, I wonder the same thing a lot of the time. How am I not going absolutely CRAZY? How do I still have time for school and a social life?

*Sigh* It’s a struggle. Honestly, it is. And I am definitely not the most organized person on the planet, so it’s probably ten times harder for me than it would be for someone else in my shoes. Also, on top of being a procrastinator, I’m also an over-achiever, which works out into this weird mix of lazy ambition that really wears me out most of the time.

BUT, I do have a life! And I am fairly successful at what I do. So I figured I’d share some advice on how to balance a busy life in your teens.

First, make sure that school comes first.

Agh. Boring. I know. But if you’re still in middle or high school, that is the most important part of your life right now and you have to realize that! I’m never allowed to do ANYTHING until all my schoolwork is done. Accounting tests have to be taken. Economics homework has to be given in. Having a good education is very important to me, and I think it’s really the foundation for being successful in life (apart from God, of course!). I’m not talking about a fancy ivy-league school kind of education, or even a college education, mind you! I’m just referring to a good old high school basic understanding of math, history, literature, economics, and government. (Notice I didn’t say science. Science is pointless and I have yet to understand how understanding the different fungi kingdoms is going to help me in life)

For me, I refuse to over-commit myself to anything unless I know I can get my schoolwork done first. I might procrastinate and cram sometimes, but it’s definitely important for me to have good grades and be well-read. I think it will really help me later in life when it comes to determination and learning new things.

Second, don’t wear too many hats at the same time.

This is such a problem for me. I’m one of those people who isn’t super smart or even driven, but I have a lot of different talents that I’m really interested in! For years, I tried to balance writing, piano, and photography–on top of everything else I have going on! But I’ve learned that being jack of all trades really makes you master of none. So I’ve decided to cut back on piano and really pursue writing–my number one passion! I’ve also decided to combine my loves of writing and photography on a super-cool new project with my sister that I’ll be announcing very soon!

It’s all about prioritizing. I’ve learned the hard way that if you try to do too many things at once, you’ll just get overwhelmed. But if you pick one or two (or, in my case, if I’m being honest–three or four) things that  you love and really pursue them, you’ll be much more successful!

Also,  be honest with your friends about how much free time you have.

I love how all of my friends are super busy and I’m super busy and we can just be honest with each other about that. We’re all working young adults who have busy schedules to juggle, and we’ve learned this usually means our get-togethers are a bit more limited and spontaneous. When I want to meet with my best friend for coffee (or tea, on my part) I’ve learned that it’s usually better to shoot her a message first thing in the morning saying “Coffee? 3 PM?” than trying to plan something out way ahead of time. If she’s free, she’ll come. If not, it’s no big sweat.

Don’t worry about telling your friends that you can’t meet up with them because you have some edits to do or some school to catch up on. If they’re real friends, they’ll respect your space and wait!

But most importantly, remember to make time to just chill.

I seriously CANNOT stress just how important this is. With a busy life of late nights and early mornings, overdue projects and scheduled appointments, sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re still just a teenager and you need time to just chill out and have fun. Take off work one weekend. Go to the movies with your friends and spill popcorn everywhere. Sleep in every once in a while. If you overwork yourself, you’ll never truly be happy, even if you love what you do.

*

Sometimes I surprise myself by putting together a semi-helpful blog post. Hopefully I’ve done that today! Anyway, let me know if you still have questions,  comments, or suggestions on this topic. I’d love to hear them!

-Rachel