Aloha and Welcome!
My name is Rachel and I am a 40-year-old homeschooling single mama of a young man named Sam. We currently live in a beautiful little NW fishing town in Washington State called Gig Harbor where I was born and raised. I have lived in a few other places over the years (Seattle, India, Colorado, Idaho, Los Angeles, & Honolulu), but I eventually made my way back to my NW home shortly before having my son in 2007. I am currently a Real Estate Agent and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I am currently studying Integrative Nutrition and Wellness at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I enjoy blogging about life, parenting, travel, healthy eating, modern homesteading, essential oils, health and total wellness, and homeschooling. I have a deep growing desire to cultivate happiness in my life and the lives of others and hope that through my story I may be able to build community and offer encouragement.
I love my family and friends, connecting with people and encouraging others. I have a passion for healthy living, essential oils, paleo cooking & baking, writing, singing, photography, and coffee. I love coffee!…and wine, I love wine because…parenting. I love to garden. I dream of traveling to Scotland, taking an extended road trip across the country viewing all the National Parks and destination spots along the way, and, well, and a million other places. I love to laugh, but the thing that gets me the most excited in life is when I get to see other people achieve their goals, find success, be happy, and encouraged.
I love helping people recognize their own value, achieve their goals, and overcome any doubt that has hindered personal growth. We need to celebrate every little victory in life, cherish special moments, and live life with intention. My deep desire to help others, plus the interesting and somewhat challenging journey Sam and I have had together, has changed me in so many ways over the past 10 years. It is the reason I was inspired to start Cultivating Happiness and share our story.
It took me some time to really see the blessing I had in being a parent and with it came finding myself again after many failures, deep heartaches, disappointments, and self-doubt. I believed some people when they told me with words and/or their actions that I was not enough. I was pretty broken and overcome with discouragement…I was weary, but then that all changed. The best way to describe it is, one day I woke up and it was like something had been lifted from my heart and my eyes were opened. I could see clearly who I was, my value as a friend, as a woman, and as a mother, I could see the person I wanted to be for others, and what I wanted to be for myself and my family. So many things that I held onto as important for so long just melted away, and things that I had not given much attention to suddenly became very important. In short, I am experiencing a complete paradigm shift and I finally, after 40 years, feel like I am on the right path.
Life’s Biggest Curve Ball
When Sam was 6 years old he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and after 2 very difficult years, he was additionally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and ADHD. The past 5 years have been hard…really hard. I had no idea what Crohn’s was or what autoimmune disease was until I was faced with it. My little man was suffering so severely and I didn’t know what to do. I spent many hours on my knees in tearful prayer, pleading in desperation. I had to quit my full-time job to take care of him and we ended up spending a lot of time in the hospital. That was a lean time financially and I hit levels of desperation I have never experienced before.
He has been on many different medications, steroids, biologics, immune suppressors, and his diet has had to change several times. Being on immune suppressors and having so many health issues have made education a challenge. I finally had to pull him out of school for his mental, emotional, and physical well being. I could spend a lot of time on this topic, but I will save that for another blog post.
Recently I have had some significant health issues that hit me pretty hard. I am still walking through all my symptoms and trying to cure it through healthy choices and a lifestyle change.
All the challenges I have had with Sam’s health, my health, and just life trying to just keep my head above water socially, financially and emotionally is what brought me to this moment… sitting here writing about my life as a homeschooling single parent inspired to grow my own garden, implement essential oils, change my lifestyle, control my son’s health through food and environment, study wellness and integrative nutrition all while “life-schooling” my kiddo through travel, hands-on experience, and practice of pretty important life skills. Additionally, an overwhelming desire to share our journey with you in hopes to build community and help you cultivate happiness in your own life.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to know more or have questions. I always love to make new friendships. Let’s connect and share life together. Tell me, what is your story?