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Four wonderful children who paint my world happy and one incredible husband who rocks my soul. Wakeboarding, golfing, traveling, the beach, and eating out with friends and family. Candlelit dinners, popcorn with a good movie, snow days with snowball fights, dancing in the kitchen, flip flops in the rain and collecting seashells on the shore. Sipping hot chocolate, homemade ice-cream, star gazing, roasting marshmallows, bonfires on the beach, fireworks and rollercoaster rides. I could use a little more time and a little less of a sweet tooth. I miss those crazy days of spontaneous romance with my husband, naps with my children, the smell of a newborn, staying up all night laughing with my siblings and beating them at boggle, playing golf with my father and my mothers delicious homecooked meals. I miss phone calls from Grandpa Taylor, singing from Grandma Henderson and shopping with Grandma Rahm. Time is passing too quickly. I cherish my family, my life and my health. I cherish each moment of everyday that makes my life RAHMLICIOUS. Follow me as I capture these RAHMLICIOUS moments for the next 365 days. Better yet, join me and send me the link to your project.

A Borrowed Angel

February 21st, 2011

My boys told me I needed to do it.  I couldn’t at the viewing.  Just a mere glance rippled a terrifying convulsion through every vein in my body.  How do you say good-bye to an angel?  I just wanted to grab him up and give him a big smoochy embarrassing hug and tell him how much I love him and the kindness he has shown to my kids.  I don’t think he knew how awesome and sweet I thought he was.  Everyone loved him.  Not a mean bone in his body.  He just knew me as Mrs. Rahm, his football coaches wife and Alex and Zach’s mom.  But as I reached out to touch his hand, I just couldn’t.  It took all I had just to breathe and stay standing.  His heart of gold was inherited by his parents.  Such good people.  So dignified, compassionate and strong.  I hugged each family member in line and then stood off on the other side of the room.  I  couldn’t take my eyes and heart off of Larry and Layla.  They stood next to their son, Layla tenderly stroking her fingers through his hair, as they comforted one person after another in the never-ending line of friends who came to show their love and support for the Marshall family. On the way home, I struggled to catch my breath in between deep gasping sobs of sorrow.  I was upset by the vivid picture in my mind of  sweet Sander’s confined in a wooden box.  Even though it was a gorgeous carved wooden box lined with beautiful white satin.   He was finely dressed in his nice suit coat with his pink tie that in the past brought out the beautiful pink tanned undertones in his dimpled face.  But the claustrophobic side of me made it difficult to digest.  I heard Zach from the back seat of the car asking if I was ok and quietly telling me I should have touched him.  He said it would help me realize that Sanders was in heaven.  Zach had touched his hair and little Alex touched his hands because it helped them say good-bye and know that he was in a better place.  Today I got my second chance.  Right before the funeral service, Christy Hayes came and grabbed me and said they were having one last viewing for close friends and family before they close the casket.  I went in feeling strong and then I saw him, laying there peacefully.  I thought of what Zach said and so I reached out to touch his hair.  As I hesitated and started to pull my shaking hand back to it’s comfort zone, my husband grabbed my hand and helped me.  I did it.  I gently rubbed my hand through his hair.  My mind raced to images of Alex roughing up his hair and harassing him about needing a haircut.  Sanders would just smile with his cute dimpled face in his quiet usual way of disagreeing…nicely.  I thought it would help me say good-bye but I realized that we were all robbed of that.  We don’t get to say good-bye.  Not really.  I guess we just get to wait a little longer to say hello again.  It may seem long to us but I find some peace believing it will be mere seconds for him and knowing he is with God, Grandparents and family that love him.  My mind is struggling to understand and questions why.  My heart shares the feelings of pain and an overwhelming love for Sander’s and his family.  Ironically, I feel blessed and full of sorrow at the same time.  Blessed to have known such a wonderful kind sweet boy.  Blessed to have known Sanders.  Sorrow for the emptiness and pain we feel since he isn’t here. My feelings are rather selfish.  A selfish sorrow that Sanders has already had to return to heaven but also a selfish blessing that for a short time we were able to borrow such a wonderful angel.  We will never forget you Sanders and look forward to seeing you again someday.

I always loved taking pictures of Sanders on the sidelines.  I remember when I took this picture I was taking a bunch of him at the end of a heart-wrenching game.  They had been beaten yet unlike the other players, Sanders was still smiling.  I took a bunch of candids and then was trying to get one of him looking at me.  I kept saying his name and he wouldn’t look so I finally said, “Sander’s, I know you can hear me.”  He looked right at me with one of his typical Sander Smiles.  Ah, Sanders, I miss you.  Football will not be the same.

The funeral service was held at Sander’s baptist church in Johns Creek.  Hundreds of people came to show their respect.  It was a beautiful service.  His youth pastor opened with some great memories of Sanders, then they played the DVD I put together for the Marshall’s of pictures of Sander’s life.  Next, Alex spoke and gave a wonderful talk.  Alex is not the type to cry, he just doesn’t.  Today he shed many tears for Sanders.  Alex especially felt close to Sander’s as he was his football coach and shares many fond memories with Sanders.  He retired Sander’s jersey number #83 and said how never again will we hear the coaches say, “Will someone please guard number 83″, because never again will anyone wear Sander’s number again at Alpharetta High School.  Next, a good friend and second mom to Sanders, Joelle Holman spoke.  I was praying she would make it through and she did!  She struggled but did it for Layla.  Joelle was followed by a lady who sang the most beautiful song.  I’m not sure the name of it but basically it said that the only answer for having someone die too young was that they must be a “borrowed angel”.  It really touched me.  Next came Sander’s uncle, Layla’s brother, Jesse.  He gave such a beautiful talk about Sander’s and read some of the most amazing poems that Sander’s wrote as early as age eight.  His poems were amazing. Then Jesse ended by reading an amazing poem he had written to Sanders.  The closing speaker was another Pastor of their church who basically said something we all know but was good to hear…Sander’s is OK.  He didn’t mean to kill himself and we don’t need to worry about him because he is OK.  He believed in Jesus.  He believed in heaven and that is where he is right now.

The graveside service was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I received a text that morning that Larry wanted me to take pictures so as hard as it was, I stayed until the end.  I watched the family gracefully hug each person as they payed their respects.  I wasn’t sure how they would turn out as my eyes were swollen with tears that made each image seem blurred and my hands were shaking from lack of sleep and food.  I prayed the pictures would turn out for the Marshall family and that I could make it through the service.  Each family member put a rose on his casket.  Alex had purchased a special red tie (Sander’s favorite color) just for the funeral and wanted to give it to Sanders. Larry told me later that underneath the roses were Alex’s tie and a letter that Kylee had written him.  Suddenly, I felt sick to my stomach as they covered Sanders casket in a thick metal casing and started lowering him into the ground.  It’s impossible to describe the awful feeling but it seemed my mind was very upset and didn’t like the thought of Sander’s body being enclosed and buried under the earth.  I believe with all my heart that Sander’s is up in heaven but my eyes were warning my mind that it was still his body we were leaving all alone in an airtight container that we would never open again.  And just as my heart started pouring out of my eyes, Layla stood up as if to stop them from taking her son. Larry and Sabrina quickly stood up with her and they watched Sander’s getting lowered into the ground while clutching each other’s hands.  I captured the feelings of my heart on the faces of Larry, Layla and Sabrina.

The Marshall’s are such a strong family and we sure love them and will keep them in our prayers always.  Sander’s, we buried you today in the ground but you are buried in our hearts forever!


January 22nd, 2011

Yes.  You ARE the man!  Love you little brother.  Hope you enjoy a wonderful birthday with Britta!


January 20th, 2011

To the best Mom and Pops in the world!  Congratulations on 45 wonderful years and many more to come!  Fabulous after Forty-five years of marital bliss?  I’ve got proof…

And yes, 45 years later, I caught a quick glimpse and had to capture a picture of the two of you with your youngest son carrying his brides dress in the background.  Thanks for being such great parents and setting such a wonderful example to all of us.

Eyes Wide Open

January 17th, 2011

I’m still adjusting to the sport.  The first few wrestling matches were difficult to watch as my boys repeatedly were tangled, touched and twisted in ways no body should ever experience.  My eyes would take cover hiding behind layers of their lids underneath my firmly clasped hands only to reluctantly be lifted briefly to take in the view…in small doses.  But today, January 17, 2011, was different.  I will never forget today.  My eyes never hid and my hands didn’t protectingly hover over them.  We drove about 45 minutes and arrived early to the tournament to check in.  Alex had to work but fortunately they had a new coach carrying their paperwork while they weighed in.  Like father like son had new meaning to me today.  As each of my boys took their turns on the mat, my eyes took turns between my children and their new coach, AKA Grandpa Rahm.  His approval or disapproval of each move would show quietly by the expressions on his experienced face.  The crowded sweat smelling gym was so full of energy and noise that my eyes had to take over for my ears.  As I watched closely, I realized that my father-in-law was the coach who set the standard that my husband so proudly emulates.  After little Alex won his first match I asked him if he could hear Grandpa on the sidelines coaching him what to do.  He replied, “I couldn’t hear him but when I looked up and saw him smiling I figured I must be doing it right so I would continue with that position.”   I’ve always heard my husband talk proudly about his father taking him every weekend to tournaments when he was younger.  And today I got a glimpse of the sweet bond created by those childhood memories as I watched my children look to their Grandpa for approval and guidance.  After each son finished their match, they would walk over to shake the opposing coaches hand and then walk over to their Grandpa who would give them positive feedback and a few pointers for their next match.  I saw in thier Grandpa’s eyes the same joy that I see in my husbands when he coaches our boys.  I could imagine my husband walking over as a young boy to him after winning his matches and seeing the same love in his eyes so many years ago.  Unbeknownst to me, my father-in-law would change my attitude of the sport forever by coaching one simple tournament.  I am actually looking forward to the next tournament with my eyes wide open instead of firmly shut!  We headed to the car smiling with medals proudly hung around each child’s neck.   Thanks Coach Grandpa for making this tournament Rahmlicious!

and of course, Kylee enjoyed her Grandpa inbetween matches.  She always tends to make her own fun no matter how bored she is…as she would text me during the whole meet with clues of where to find her in the gym.

The Sundance Mom

January 14th, 2011

When they told me it was a lot like wake-boarding and would be easy, I believed them.  I listened to their “no worries you got this” speech and actually felt pretty confident.  I mean, sure if it’s similar to wake-boarding then I got this.  I won’t try any toe grabs but should be able to make it down the hill safely.  After strapping myself in ‘goofy’ style, we hit the slopes.  I was a little concerned about starting off on the chairlift before learning a few basic pointers…like how to stop!  But my brother Nate assured me it was the best way to learn.  So I, my brother Nate, and my twin, one week shy of thirteen years old, boys Alex and Zach hopped on the chairlift together.  The grey mountains and tall evergreen trees were iced in crystal white snow and blanketed with a cloudy blue sky.  Picture perfect.  The view would have been breathtaking if my breath weren’t already taken by the fear of getting off the chairlift with only one foot strapped to a board.  And one of my sons holding onto my leg just as if I could save him too.  WAIT!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  I admit, one of my goals for 2011 was to let loose and add a little more crazy to my second half of life but going through the full naked body scan at the airport already checked that off my list.  I wonder if it was my initial fall off the chairlift where I had to claw my way rapidly off the middle of the runway before the next chair would hit me that injured my rotary cuff.  Then again, it could have been any one of the uncontrolled and unplanned blindsided 360′s, ollie’s and nose grabs that landed me wrong.  How long I fudged my way down is still a bit foggy but at one point I realized my boys had already waved to me twice from the 13 minute ride chairlift and I still had a good ways to get down my first go.  My brother Nate felt so bad that he took off his board and hiked up the hill to help me which gave me a great idea.  So I took off my board and then coasted on my well padded bottom the rest of the way down.  I finally did it!  I made it down in one piece.  Slightly injured but unaware thanks to the icy cold temperature numbing my bodily parts…so it was all good.  I traded my board in for a pair of skis and resisted the urge to explain the difference in snowboarding vs. wake-boarding to the two baggy jean, grungy flannel shirt, oversized knit cap dressed guys who were sizing me up for skis.  They tried to talk me into not giving up on snowboarding but I was already fooled once by their foolish speech and wouldn’t be taken again.  Now Alex and Zach were naturals and weren’t even sure they wanted to take their prepaid lessons at 1:30pm.  But they did with no regrets.  Their teacher Dani was so much fun and taught them some great skills.  She said they are very athletic and did “amazing” but I already was aware of that.  She also said they were ready for the black runs on top of the mountain so the next morning I brought them back for another lesson with her.  I would have taken them myself but my body reminded me I wasn’t 20 anymore and my right shoulder and arm were paying the price of my lack of snowboarding knowledge.  Next time, I’ll either stick to ski’s or take lessons first. Who knows, maybe my boys could teach me a trick or two?!  Thanks Nate for your patience.  You truly are a great snowboarder but I’d race you in skis any day, hahah!  We had a crazy but fun time at Sundance.  I realize that the closest thing to a ‘HoHo’ I’ll ever get is the kind smothered in chocolate but it was a Rahmlicious experience that we hope to do again soon!  Once I got my skis on I was brave enough to pull out my iPhone for a few fun video clips and pics…

I was trying to take a picture of Zach skiing but pushed the wrong button on my iPhone and it took this picture of me, hahah!

Here is Alex and Zach at the end of their lesson with their awesome instructor Dani.

I caught Nate and Zach taking a break.

We had a blast!  Thanks for coming Nate.  We’ve got to do it again soon.

Happy Birthday Tanita!!!

December 28th, 2010

To a wonderful, gorgeous, brilliant and awesome big ‘SISTA’!  Hope you had a wonderful birthday with your family.  I couldn’t have asked for a better oldest sister.  You know how to make me laugh until I cry and I remember many times laughing my way all the way to the bathroom.  Good times.  I miss living close to you and seeing your contagious smile!  Happy Birthday!

and come on, admit it…Amy looks like mine ;) .


November 18th, 2010

Another late night.  As I sat up waiting for Zach to finish his homework, I kept busy doing laundry and working on my computer.  This kept me walking past Zach as I shuffled from our downstairs computer room to the upstairs laundry.  Now I know he has lots of homework, but with my camera next to the kitchen counter I caught a few pictures of Zach each time I passed.  After looking at the pictures I took,  I wonder if we may have been able to get an extra half hour sleep if girls weren’t texting him?  If I hadn’t been so tired, I would have carried my camera up with me each time I switched the laundry.  Then I would have also captured a shot of Alex receiving texts from girls as well…while laying in bed.  But I can’t blame the girls.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to chat it up with such Rahmlicious Rahm boys?


November 17th, 2010

They reminded me of one of my grade school childhood pastimes.  The white claws on Matthew’s hands when I opened the door and he came running in from school today.  He was wearing the creative claws he made himself proudly.  My natural tendency when I saw them sitting on the counter was to say a number and lift the corner of the claw to reveal my secret message.  But that would have been the case when I was younger.  I remember my friends asking me to pick a number and then a color as they manipulated the folded paper fortune teller on their fingers.  Each flap they opened told me something wonderful.  I learned I would be rich someday, that a boy in my class had a crush on me or that I would have eight kids when I grew up.  Although Matthew’s did not open and appeared to be folded in a similar fashion only to be placed on his fingers to make him look a little fierce, his claws brought him just as much joy as my paper fortune teller brought me many years ago!


November 16th, 2010

I have moments or experiences in my life that give me memory flashes of things I learned while in school.  I remember learning in Greek Mythology how chaos meant a dark state of our universe in the gap before the beginning of our world.  Then in computer science we referred to chaos as a kind of unpredictability or state of crazy confusion.  Today, my mind flashed this knowledge before me as I rushed Matthew to football practice and stood there in the freezing rain for 2+ hours on my iPhone.  It was definitely my dark abyss.  I was calling neighbors to find Kylee a ride to her first choir concert (she was awesome) and answering the urgent texts from Alex and Zach.  They both had projects due in school and needed my help.  Matthew was tired and soaking wet so I rushed him home to stay with Zach, brought Alex with me to make it in time for Kylee’s concert and then rushed home to feed my kids only to realize that Alex had a ‘cookie’ project due the next day.  He didn’t need to have the 100 cookies made tonight.  Whew.  But unfortunately, he needed to have one cookie made so that he could put a picture of it in his paper…due tomorrow.  Now those definitions I learned so long ago made sense as the words ‘UTTER CHAOS‘ surfed through my brain.  We survived and his cookie looked great.  But we need my Eros to return home to us soon!  Somehow he helps rid my life of chaos or simply fills up our gap.  We miss you Alex!

DAY #46: My New Love Affair!

November 15th, 2010

When my family moved my freshman year from Arkansas to California, I thought I moved to the promised land.  Don’t get me wrong, I was being torn from my first real dreamy crush and thrown into a whole new world of change.  I bet you can still see the trail of tears I left behind from Arkansas up through Wyoming and down to California.  Yes, I did say Wyoming. Um, getting separated from our family by following the wrong U-HAUL is a story Tanita and I will have to tell you another day.  All I can say is after hours of separation, I’ll never forget the overwhelming feelings of love, happiness and gratitude all bundled in one big hug from my parents as they pulled up to find us standing with the state policeman at our rendezvous…Little America.  Once we got to California, the Ocean stole my heart and the awesome weather swept me away.  So long Arkansas and hot blistering humidity.  I did go back for a week visit to attend Youth Conference with all my friends.  It was a fun time, but I’ll never forget how pale everyone looked to me and the sweat that beaded down my forehead the moment I took one step off the plane.  I swore to myself once I got back to California that I would never live in such a humid place if I had anything to say about it.  That was when I was young and naive.  I didn’t know then that my heart would be stolen by a St. Louisan.  We are back in the humidity but our bodies adjust.   The hardest part is exercise.  The summer is a bear and the winter is a popsicle.  So I was so excited when my birthday present arrived today.  All 343 lbs. of it.  Oh, deep sigh, I already have a great love affair with my new treadmill and see real promise for the future.  My patience left as excitement kicked in.  I had to use it.  With Alex going out of town, I had Kylee (A.K.A. He-woman) help me move it and put it together.  Kylee’s strength always amazes me.   And she’s always so helpful.  She’s got such a Rahmlicious attitude.  Thanks for helping me put it together so quickly Kylee!


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