Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wow I aM bOrEd!!

            While you were at work today I was at home SOOO incredibly bored!! It reminded me that only months ago you were at home, jobless, friendless and lonely while I went to school all day and studied all night. Its only been 4 hours and I am going crazy! I am complaining, Im grumpy, lazy, smelly and I cant think of any thing to do. I cannot even imagine what is was like for 3 months. So Thank you Bubba for sticking it out those first few months. Thank you for not letting me know how horrible it must have been. Thank you for not being grumpy, not complaining, keeping up with your hygiene and loving me through it. You were/are patient, strong, ambitious, transparent, beautiful, selfless, and perfect! Thanks for supporting me in Erie and school and I am so proud that you gave it a long enough chance for God to go to work in your life through Erie. I love you and hurry up and GET HOME!!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snow or Sand

As Duke and I walked today- I fell in love with the way the snow captured our tracks. One was mine, one was his. simple. That's when I thought back to my favorite poem; Footprints in the Sand. 

Footprints in the Sand 

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. 
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Hope you felt inspired.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Excuse me!

But is it really December??

That means Thanksgiving is done and we're moving towards Christmas. Which is a little sad because that means Arizona is in the past- and won't show it's face again until March- when one my best girlfriend's ties the knot- countdown pleasee!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Seeing my Mom was like seeing an old best friend. So thankful that the distance has made us closer. It was also great because Duke's mom- my second mom- came to arizona to celebrate too- I love having the different dynamics under one roof!

When we returned home from the trip- I got the stomach flu. It's already hard transitioning from vacation to work as it is- but to get knocked down in the process is just not fair. 
Not mention that we had our first snow fall!! It was so beautiful until it wouldn't STOP snowing. I had to buy snow tires today: 500 dollars. That was not fun- I actually teared up a little bit when he said the total. That's the price I have to pay I guess for moving to the middle of no where. 

I'm looking forward to December and all it has to offer: sledding, our little Christmas tree, hot chocolate, a fireplace (which we don't have), Toledo, and Family.

It's going to be hard having another Christmas away from home. wish I could pack Nosh- mom- and lucy in a bag and ship them here-maybe one day!!
Speaking of my sis- she started a blog! You can read up on her crazy, fun, stylish, life here:

Last note: I called Duke crying today when my car got stuck in snow-and my windshield wipers were frozen- and I couldn't see the road.  It's just so fun driving in snow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

22 things about 22

As I’m wrapping my 22nd year of life I thought I'd highlight the major moments of the year- some  beautiful and some difficult:

1.     I married my BEST friend
2.     I graduated college with a degree that was meant for me.
3.     I moved away from my entire family.
4.     I survived a year of long distance.
5.     Missed my dad for 2 whole years.
6.     Drove Across the country- ended up in Pennsylvania.
7.     Planned an entire wedding with my best friend Kim in 6 months.
8.     Went to Vegas with the greatest group of people.
9.     Celebrated my last year of being a Young Life leader.
10. Was a bridesmaid for my great friend Becky.
11. Went to Harry Potter land!
12. Learned how to cook (somewhat)
13. Went without a job for three months.
    14. Had an amazing honeymoon on Florida beaches.
15. Got in a car accident in December –kinda my fault but not really.
16. Started working for an amazing Foundation in Erie.
17. Gained an amazing mother-in-law, another sister, and my1st brother 
18. Was welcomed into a girls group that helped make Erie home.
19.  Drew closer to Mom- more than ever before.
20.  Lost Brutus- the worlds's most incredible dog. 
21.  Celebrated four and half months of marriage.
22.  Looking ahead to Thanksgiving in Arizona with my amazing family and friends!!

As I look back on 22- filled with so many highs and lows- I can only thank God for all the blessings he has given me- and how he continues to stretch and grow me. This year was a tough, beautiful, challenging, and rewarding. I can only hope for health and happiness as I step into 23.

(I’m such a grandma now!!) 

Monday, November 1, 2010


The beauty of Fall:

Pumpkin picking:)

Pomegranates are a huge family favorite- normally we pick them right from the tree in the backyard- lay down blankets and eat them on the grass like crazy. You can never wear anything you're not willing to get messt because you WILL end up with red stain on you- that's just how it goes.
Since I missed that tradition this year- I decided to buy my own at Wegmans! I seeded them in the kitchen and got red stains on every wall :/ Oh well- gotta be willing to pay the price 
The view from worky on Friday- most beautiful.


Sorry Sarah stole this picture from you:)
This pictures wraps up Halloween weekend! Our friend Sarah threw a very fun partayyy- so Duke and I went as hippies!!


Friday, October 15, 2010

parts of you are parts of me

Part 1. Work: 

The job has been great! So great. I finally feel settled in, and have a grasp of what I will be doing. This past week was so busy- first time in my life I've worked overtime- but I love it- and it really doesn't feel like work. A part of my job is traveling to meet with different organizations- so getting the opportunity to leave the office for a few hours a day really helps it feel NOT like a routine. 
 Something cool is that I got my first set of business cards last week- which I probably love because they have my new name on them- Rashin Keller- I still haven't gotten used to it. 

The low of work this week was probably having to submit a drug test..I hate the process, and it hates me just as much. I decided to go on Wednesday, and decided I was not allowed to use the restroom past noon. On way to the lab (4:30 pm) I realized I was in big trouble because I had to go right then- and of course when I got to the lab there was a family in front of me!! Needless to say, I waited 30 minutes for my turn and probably damaged my bladder for life- all because I am cursed by these tests! 

A taste of Erie weather:

These pictures are from my office window taken at the same time on Mon and Tues- The weather is so unpredictable- never know what your'e going to get :/ 

Part 2. Love:

Today was Duke and I's 2 year anniversary. I don't think were allowed to count it anymore- since were celebrating months of marriage now- and by that standing were at a whopping 3.5 months! yes! 
We did kind of celebrate the occasion by going to a great restaurant downtown- maybe a new favorite- but hoping to do more next weekend while were in Cleveland celebrating Duke's new grandpa age of 25!!

Part 3. Family:

Miss my family so much this week. It was Lucy's (our puppy-or third daughter if you asked my mom), birthday. My sister sent me a lot of videos and pictures-and it made me miss everyone SOO much- cannot wait for Thanksgiving!
This week my mom also sent me my second care package- It was filled with amazing WARM clothes that will help me get through the winter. She loves me so well:)

parts of you-are the best parts of me.
happy reading.

Friday, October 1, 2010

This one's for you

Finally. just finally. I got a job. a REAL job. A job that makes my heart happy. A job that makes me feel that I have made some right choices so far.. and I haven't somehow missed the mark.

I remember the day clearly when I first heard of the nonprofit leadership and management major. At that time I was a Business ________ major..I really didn't know where I was going with it...maybe management, economics, blah blah. I didn't love it. But to be honest, I never understood what a nonprofit major completely encompassed either. But at that time I was driven by love.

The love came from the pain and struggle that had been known as cancer. A cancer that was very aggressive. My Dad was the strongest, most wonderful man I knew and could defeat the world, but just not cancer. I remember loosing him changed my was broken..and when it began wanted to help others; specifically others who were in need like my dad and family were. Till this day I have a heart for the hospice care system..and I know I will end up there one day, somehow, but I think I still need more time.

This job journey in Erie has been hard for so many reasons; the most difficult was the fact I thought my major was useless in this town, (I ended getting my BA in NP management and leadership after all), and that I would not be able to find the work that made me sincerely happy. Well its coming up to about three months, and every opportunity that I had seemed to slip through the cracks somehow.. every door was shut. 

By the love and grace of God.. my (and when I say my I also mean: my family, sincere friends, and my patient Duke) prayers were finally answered. I heard about the position through the job agency that I was going was originally supposed to be a three week position- but it was with a nonprofit. After some hesitancy and pride of course, I swallowed the idea of being a temp and showed up for my first day ready to work. The moment I got there, I knew something was different- it felt different. 

After talking with the manager about my background in NP- it became clear they did not know the major existed, and were very excited. What takes them days of training, is fundamental knowledge that was taught to us everyday in class..I wanted to do this- I wanted to be on this team.

I am so lucky, honored, humbled to say that after my first day- the foundation asked me to join their staff full time!!! Through this opportunity I am getting the chance to meet with local np's and learn about their mission- what makes them do what they do- and help create a more socially accelerated community. 

I spend my days hearing from Directors who have incredible stories that have driven them to create significant change- just like what the story of my dad has done for me. 

I finally feel like this is where I was meant to be. 
God had a plan. 

So here's to you Dad.. and to all the inspiration you've given me
An Easter photo shoot 07'

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Drumroll Please..

And the winner is CLEVELAND!!

Okay let me explain.. and to do so I'm going to have to rewind.

Duke's 4 years of medical school look like this- 2 years classroom. 2 years rotations. 
For the first two years- Erie Pa is home. The next two years we have a hand in our destination. 

Possible future destinations included- New York, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Michigan, San Diego, and a few more. 
  Perfect choice- Arizona- but that obviously wasn't an option-
Our narrowed down wish list: S.D, Cleveland, and lastly- to stay in Erie. 

S.D was exciting to us because it was familiar- we love the beach- we have friends there- it was 5 hours from family- its a place we wouldn't mind permanently calling home. 
Cons: Moving our lives across America (again) would not be financially wise, and the cost of living would be a huge shock just coming from Erie, Pa. 

Cleveland-  We were also weirdly excited about Cleveland- its a bigger city than Erie- a great hospital system- and only an hour and a half away from our Toledo family.
Cons: There were only 13 available spots for Cleveland and there were roughly 70 people applying- therefore Cleveland was a lottery pick- which means everyone's name was thrown together and 13 people were chosen! So this became our first choice- based on odds alone. 

Erie- This was our last option- only because it was familiar and we are comfortable here. but I don't think our hearts truly wanted to stay.

Well after 2 weeks of submitting our choices and patiently waiting- we got the results back and we are headed to CLEVELAND next year! We always knew God had a plan for us, but it was nice to see that He made Cleve possible- we trust this is where we should be. 

Ultimately, I am going to miss everything that we have started building in Erie, our home and our friends.. but I am so excited to head closer to family and toward the finish line of this long journey! 

Well here's to Cleveland!

Weekends I live for-

So this weekend our friends, Shannon & Craig Mossing, came to visit us here in Erie. This was such a nice weekend for us because we were able to relax and enjoy honest friendship. We really did not have much planned- but decided to explore what Erie had to offer..

We did some sight seeing before we stopped at a random petting zoo/dog day at a local park! This was so fun because the weather was perfect and we got to see so many different kinds of dogs (which I love). It was so surprising how many pets resembled their owners..not in a mean way but in cute kinda way.. so we ended up spending the day meeting new dogs, learning about dog organizations (and trees thanks to Craig), and trying to find dog/owner twins:)

Off to Presque Isle..

  I really love Presque Isle because it's probably the best thing Erie has to offer. It reminds me so much of California- that one little piece of beach is so relaxing, and just feels familiar. We had fun here. The boys skipped rocks (Craig collected them)- and shan and i got tans over our sweatshirts- it was just a relaxing day.  

Its so hard to say bye to good friends- especially when it snaps you back to reality. Not that I don't love our reality- but I do love the feeling of community, a lot. It just made me miss Arizona so much and everyone there- I think thats why I love/live for weekends like these. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've wanted a job in Erie for over two months. Why has this been so hard? I'll try to explain from reasons I've learned: 
-It's a manufacturing town. 
-It's a small town who thinks 9$ an hour is the cats meow
-I'm prideful and don't think I should settle for the cats meow

I've been struggling over the last few months. I kept declaring to anyone who would listen that I just graduated college and deserved a "real" job, not these Erie jobs. And you know what? That has really come back to haunt me. And I'm actually thankful for it.
It's been 2 months now that I have been searching for a job- that means absolutely no money coming in- and a lot of money going out (bills, groceries, etc)

During the long wait, I asked God repeatedly what was I supposed to be learning through this? I waited, prayed, and waited some more (2 months to be exact). This wasn't easy- i started getting anxious and feeling that I wasn't good enough- I put my worth in my ability to perform.

One day I asked the question out loud to Duke- I asked, "Babe what do you think I'm supposed to be learning through all of this?" And in that moment, I know the Lord spoke to me through Duke (although I did get offended :/)  -he said he thought the Lord was teaching me to be humble- and to put my pride to the side. WOW. That felt like a ton of bricks coming from two men that I love the most. But I'm thankful- not even sure if Duke knows that- but I am so thankful. 

The reality is that I kept waiting for bigger and better opportunities to come along, to just knock on my door. Well that was enough. I finally applied, and was accepted for a position, one that I wasn't sure I wanted (see the pride?) - but to tell you the truth- it was the best thing I have done. I haven't started, so this blog is still premature, but I am so thankful that God took time to reveal to me some of my ugly colors. 

I need to work hard-without shortcuts. I am not an exception.

I wanted to share this with you because I don't think I had ever been honest when I was asked what I was doing for work.. and if this is supposed to be a lesson- then I believe it's worth sharing. 

Plus it's not like I made a good housewife either- I mean I actually burned pasta today- WHO BURNS PASTA!?!?

Last side note: We are also so excited to have our friends Shannon + Craig Mossing come visit this weekend- they always make us laugh, and are a great example of genuine happiness.  They are our first (non-familyguests:)

Shan + Craig mimicking one of our pictures at the wedding! haha dorks:)

Friday, September 10, 2010


Living this far East has been great for 2 reasons:

First Reason:  Change! It's not like me to explore different areas! This move has helped me see what I've been missing..

DISCLAIMER: Duke rarely gets a free weekend. He usually has tests on Mondays, which means the weekends are dedicated to studying (not like a normal job). There are a few times though when I luck out, and he either does not have a test, or its on Friday which leaves his whole weekend for me:)

With that said- a couple of weeks ago Duke and I got the chance to go to Niagara Falls! The drive was under 2 hours- which means it did not have to be a whole day thing- and it was great way for me to do some exploring in New York and Canada! There are two entrances to the falls- we chose to enter the Canadian side because the views are head-on and more visible rather than the NY side:
This one you can see BOTH falls! The famous one is on the right!
(OH and of course Duke had to have ice cream)
Here she blows! Can you believe people attempt to go down the falls in barrels?
Terrible picture-but thats okay! I love this one because of the permanent rainbow over the falls- so pretty
Second Reason: We are close to Duke's side of the family.. only three hours away from Toledo, which makes family trips available and easy!

Last week for Labor Day, we got to go home to Toledo! Duke has been wanting me to go an apple orchid there called Macqueens! Although we weren't allowed to pick apples from the trees this early in September, we got to have fresh apple donuts and sliced apples with caramel (we like to call ourselves healthy eaters). 
It was a cute, small-town store.. something you just don't see everyday:

We also got to go up to Duke's aunts lake house in Michigan:) Not sure why, but we both had really tough weeks beforehand, so the relaxing break was much needed.  We packed bathing suits and shorts in thought of a nice, sun kissed weekend- but of course Hurricane Earl hit somewhere in the Carolinas (not trying to be insensitive to them) but really? So we had 60 degree highs all weekend! You really just have to laugh:) 
The view from the deck
So that's it. Life until now- updated. 
Happy Reading.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Once upon a summer..

As we are wrapping up summer, and heading into fall, I thought I would share the craziest/hardest most perfect summer Duke and I have experienced! Not only did we get married (duh), I graduated ASU, packed my life  in my car, and traveled across the country to set up shop in Erie!

To jump start the summer- I graduated ASU in May! Looking back, college was filled with life changing moments, some that have completely shaped who I am today! Not saying I had a perfect 4 years- but I definitely wouldn't change a thing!
                                      My Mommy and I after graduation:)

June: Packed my car- which is NOT big- with everything I love and left Arizona in the rear view mirror. Traveling through each state was something I never thought I would do- ever- but am so thankful that I can tell you what the middle of Nebraska looks like, or what a real Chicago pizza tastes like. We hit a few stumbling blocks along the way- but we made it to Erie in 4 days exactly! Here's some of the best memories:

This is my FAVORITE! Duke was trying to pass a car when he got clocked going 20+ over the speed limit..We got the ticket. And Duke's argument till this day is that the speed limit should have been 75 not 65. Sorry babe.. it doesn't always work like that!! Ps: look at that packed car:)

How beautiful is this!? Definitely one of our favorite places- if not the favorite! we wouldn't mind ending up there one of these days!


This was by the far the funnest place we stopped! We got to spend almost two days here- and the city was absolutely beautiful- not like Phoenix's downtown at all. We had amazing Chicago pizza- couldn't even get through one full slice (and I can usually chow down 3) that's what I call deep dish! I randomly ran into an old friend in the city- which just reminds me of how small the world really is- and lastly Duke and I got hustled by a shoe shiner- all in all not a bad stop! 

After the road trip we returned back to Arizona to say our vows and say goodbye one last time to the friends and family we love:


After the wedding we got the opportunity to spend 2 weeks in Fort Myers beach, Florida- the perfect get a way after a non-stop summer! 

Bound by Christ, forever in love, D+R <- That's whats engraved in his ring!
Apparently I decided to match the sky that night!

(I might further explain the wedding and the honeymoon in a future blog, but I think for now you get the point)

In conclusion (about time right?)- Summer 2010 has been a blessing like no other. Life has proven to be full of unexpected twist and turns- leaving home has not been easy- but learning to enjoy the life we're dealt is a new priority!