Thursday, July 25, 2013

on to atwell adventures


We are married! {And isn't he so handsome?}

photo by the wonderful Amber Phinisee

We're celebrating day 18 of marriage and since then we've partied at our reception (dancing, desserts and my favorite fa-jah starting the Harlem Shake while wearing a Star Wars helmet? #memories:)), honeymooned in St. Lucia (absolutely incredible!), packed up my things (thank you Miami for delaying our flight so we this had to be done at super speed), and moved into our apartment (I still feel like I'm playing house!)!  It's been a beautiful whirlwind and so fun!

It felt only appropriate that we create a new blog to update our family and friends of our new adventures - so I present to you, Atwell Adventures!

Come visit our virtual front door and say hello!

xoxo, Rachel Atwell

Friday, May 24, 2013

just breathe...

I remember pinning this image around the same time last year. 

God had started working in my heart to show me the man He made for me and this picture reminded me to trust Him and just breathe. 

And here I am a year later, on the home stretch - 44 DAYS! - trying to remember the same thing. 

Trust Him. 

Just Breathe.  

While I can't remember the last time I talked to G other than text or email (because of his training in California), I'm thankful to know he is safe and stateside and that this is only temporary. Also, I'm thankful to know that in 44 days we won't be long distance! 

And that is a reason to celebrate. 

I can't wait for life with you, Mr. A...

photo by Amber Phinisee

Thursday, April 18, 2013

the day I met G

I've never written about G here. {pssst - G is the name of the boy you see inundating my facebook, instagram and twitter}

There were so many times that I've come close to talking about him, I just didn't know where to start or even if I should say anything. However, now that I know he isn't going anywhere and that he is all mine - forever and ever - AMEN - I feel like I can share about him and how he won my heart.

And how appropriate that I begin this walk down memory lane exactly one year after the day we met. April 18th.

I guess I should take it back a little further... here's the quick version of how we "met", before we met.  

Barbara Jane (friend) tells Gary about Rachel.
Barbara Jane tells Rachel about Gary.
August 2011
Gary deploys to Afghanistan.
October 2011
Caleb (Rachel's brother) deploys to Afghanistan.
Barbara Jane tells Gary about Caleb and asks Gary if he can try to find out where Caleb was in Afghanistan.
Gary sends Caleb a friend request on facebook. Caleb rejects. Thank you, Caleb...
Gary sends Rachel a facebook message asking about Caleb.
November 2011 - March 2012
Gary and Rachel keep up with each other on facebok until he returns from his deployment.
April 2012
Gary comes home to Nashville, Georgia for leave.
Gary asks for Rachel's number - on Friday, the 13th.

So yes, the quick version. We had vaguely known about each other for a few years, and then the Lord used G's and Caleb's deployment to Afghanistan - halfway across the world - for us to make a connection.  

God works in mysterious ways, don't you think?

So his first call came on April 16th while I was working away at my desk.  I saw the number come up, didn't recognize it, quickly realized it was probably him, panicked, decided I didn't want our first conversation (knowing me - probably awkward conversation) to be audible to anyone who happened to be walking by, and then let it go to voicemail.

Yep, I let it go to voicemail. Bless him. 

Fortunately for me though, he left a voicemail... which I still listen to from time to time and sometimes when I'm in a really fun (read:annoying) mood, I play it for him, because he just loves to hear it.

Why yes, I definitely took screen shots of his first call and first voicemail! I guess I was a little excited. 

Actually I was very excited.  See that fake smile? I took a selfie to show how excited I was and to remember that moment forever.  I guess you could say at this point I already was a little interested and definitely had alot of peace about this guy that I barely knew but felt like I really knew.

So as I left the office shortly after to go pick up lunch, I prayed. I prayed for peace, direction, more peace, and just that the Lord would be in whatever was about to take place.  

I listened to his voicemail and I was so excited! He didn't have a high voice! nothing against high voices...

A few minutes later, I made the call back. We had a brief conversation, talked about when would be good to meet up and... I think that was about it. 

But again, after getting off that call - peace. 

Two days later, I was surprisingly calm and able to focus on work.  When I got the call he was a few minutes away, I went downstairs to our front entrance and saw a silver Jeep pull up, not knowing if he drove a silver Jeep, but thinking to myself, that's him. I made my way to the car and to the drivers side so I could officially introduce myself to him - my future husband - without a center console in between us.  

I'll never forget that car ride up Zebulon Road and our first lunch at Zaxby's. Everything was so natural, like we had known each other for a while.

And as we said our goodbye's after lunch, he wished me well on my trip to California, and said he would try giving me a call whenever I got back.  I believe my response was something along the lines of "why are you going to wait that long?" to which he gave one of his smiles - the kind where he smiles with his eyes.  

And if I wasn't already falling, I started to then.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

a valentines memory

It was my sophomore year in college and I had just finished classes for the day. I walked into my room at my apartment and saw tulips and a note.  The note read:
    "Someday two-lips will touch... No dating - just waiting."

Nope, this wasn't from a stalker who had snuck into my bedroom and was trying to tell me something through a cryptic message. My parents had arranged for it to be in my room that Valentines Day.

I've thought about that memory more than a few times since then. While it was nice to have flowers in my room for a few days, I'm more thankful for the lasting impression those words had on me. When my parents wrote, "no dating - just waiting" that wasn't there way of saying that I wasn't allowed to date; it was actually a quote from a song that I'm sure I had shared with them. Those words have been a sweet reminder to be comfortable in waiting for the man God had for me. Although I wasn't always the perfect image of patience, and there were many days that I wanted God to bring someone into my life on my schedule, I know God protected me with His plan that was so much higher and so much greater than I could have ever orchestrated for myself.

So to my parents who were my valentines and prayed for me these last 26 years: THANK YOU, He has shown me His faithfulness! I love you!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

our family tree is getting two new leafs

In a little over month, we will have two new babies in our family.  I've had people ask me before if it ever gets routine going to the hospital to welcome nephews and nieces into the world...

I can honestly say, it never gets old.  I think I've been able to be at the hospital for each delivery so far, and I'm hoping these next two will be the same.  So thankful for the blessings the Lord continues to provide as we watch our family grow!

picture from the shower this morning for Kelly and Baby Queen #3! 
We missed you Carman!

Friday, February 1, 2013

the smallest act

I told myself that come February 1, I was going to write. And here I am laying in bed, with my alarm set for 4:40am (4:40am on a Saturday!) not really ready to say anything. 

And thinking about that reminds me of one of the things I love about my Jesus. Even though we aren't really ready sometimes, He decides to guide us into things anyways. Maybe out of our comfort zone, maybe into an unknown adventure, and away we go. He knows best after all. 

I want to write and share how the Lord has shown me His way is best and that He knows exactly what we need, exactly when we need it.  

So here's to February 2013; thanks for reminding me to step out and do.