Tuesday, December 12, 2017

to the graduates

Bear with me as I delve into symbolism here.

Marriage is like a big feast. A large, varied spread for just two people, who are tasked with the responsibility of eating all the food presented to them. The two are eager to begin, portioning out servings rather evenly, while adapting to the preferences of each. Your spouse doesn't like olives so you take the bowl. You don't prefer sesame seeds on your bun, so they take all the tops while you eat the bottoms. After giving and taking, you successfully divide up the food and eat it all.

Each day the meal is a little different. You and your spouse might take turns piling your plates a little higher to help the other out. But you both keep eating the entire meal, and you start to feel your stomach stretching a bit and being able to accommodate more, settling in to a rhythm that leaves you both reasonably full, but not stuffed.

Being married to a grad student is like having this same meal each day, with the same responsibility of polishing it off, but every day a giant pot of thick, creamy, heavy, buttery mashed potatoes is included in the meal. Dutifully, your spouse takes them all, slowly shoveling the starch into their mouth and swallowing every last bite. And you are so grateful that you do not have to stomach such an ordeal.

But you are left with the rest. The spread, that was previously split each day, is now your duty alone to finish. Occasionally the spouse might take on a piece of corn bread or a handful of salad, but most often they are in a coma from the amount of potatoes they have consumed. Everyone is so impressed with the accomplishment of your spouse, because it is a feat to eat so many potatoes. They ask after his or her ordeal, offering sympathy and encouragement as he or she continues to plod their way through. And they need it, because who ever heard of eating so many potatoes?

But what everyone including grad student might not recognize is the efforts being put in by the 2nd spouse to keep eating all the other food. There's not much glory in eating rolls and broccoli and chicken and pickles, but it's still an accomplishment to get it all down. And you don't have any other choice but to get. it. down.

I won't tell you not to go to grad school. We had an incredible amount of people, both close to us and basically unknown, who told us not to go...after we had already accepted. I think it's garbage to say something like that to people eager and excited to embark on an adventure. But I will say that you need to buy bigger plates. You have to figure out how to deal with more. How to cope with responsibility. Learn when to put more on your plate and when to give it to your spouse. It's tricky and I haven't figured it out myself, but I am sure that doing so will strengthen and refine your relationship. Because as hard a grad school is, I'm positive that it's just a crash course for the rest of our lives.

Monday, November 6, 2017

easy like sunday

Last night Harry and I surprisingly agreed on a movie to watch. He had been wanting to watch one all day. In fact, I think one of the first things he told me when we woke up was that he wanted to watch a movie that night. I'm becoming less and less of a movie-watcher, which is probably because I just can't stand scrolling through Netflix and Hulu endlessly, each person saying that something looks good just to be vetoed by the other. Or both of you saying that you would be willing to watch something, but continuing the spiral of scrolling just to see if there's anything better. even though we all know the further into the list you get, the worse the movie options are.

So it was a surprise when we both just said "ok" to a movie located about halfway through the list. Especially since it was the 1997 production "Jungle to Jungle." Yeah, the one where Tim Allen finds out he has a son that's been living in the jungle for 12 years and learns how to shoot a fly with a blow dart gun. Classic.

Before settling down to the film, we had gone on a walk around the nearby city lake after sufficiently bundling because the high this entire week is 39 degrees. *fist pump*, played a game of Ticket to Ride in which I heartlessly sabotaged and ruined Harry he's sworn to do the same to me for the rest of my life, and ate some simple breakfast burritos.

There are a lot of unknowns and crazy learning experiences for us right now. It was nice to spend an evening together and be productive in our relationship and remember that we are a team that sabotages each other? I'm feeling grateful for my teammate, especially when he takes out his contacts at night and has to walk around the apartment squinting at everything. I laugh almost every time.

peace and rhinoplasty
who might be in the market for a nose job, me or Harry?


Monday, September 4, 2017

summer nostalgia

Labor Day marks the end of summer, so I can't add anything more to this video. It's not perfect or very showy, but it brings back memories and reminds me that we have it pretty good. It also shows that we need some more variety in our wardrobes because we're essentially wearing the same thing in every shot.

Summer 2017 from Rachel Williamson on Vimeo.

peace and 2L

Thursday, August 10, 2017


It might sound a little cheesy and dated, but I really miss reading blogs. Blogs that just show what's happening in someone's life with either an uplifting vibe, comical perspective, artistic touch, or whatever it may be. I miss reading funny stories that happen to other people or feeling sympathy for difficult times or just reading about a good weekend. I used to have dozens of friends, family, and strangers that wrote and shared just like this, and not because they were being sponsored or trying to sell anything.

I love instagram and use it all the time, but it's hard to share a story without going a little overboard with the posting. And, while perusing Pinterest earlier, an inspirational quote came on my feed, as they do, which said "write the book you want to read." Well, it's for sure not a book, but I want to read REAL. Let's start with lunch today.

Harry and I both work downtown cue whichever song you prefer about "downtown" and meet up for lunch pretty much every day. Harry bikes from his firm over to my office building, which makes us sound fancy. There are many options for eating within the "skyway." For non-Minneapolis people, these are enclosed bridges that connect the buildings in the city so that when it's -20 degrees outside you don't die while walking from one building to the next. They are best pictured in the film Mighty Ducks, when the team is training with roller blades in the city. See what I'm talking about here.

Anyway, the point is we eat lunch together, and it's tasty. However, today as I'm about to get in the elevator to go back to work, Harry gets a nosebleed. Now, Harry gets a lot of nosebleeds, thanks to a broken nose from either his hockey days or a stupid trick he tried to do on his mission. I'm not sure which. So I'm not alarmed and give him my napkin, thinking it'll just be a few drops. I take the trash while Harry sits down and proceeds to freaking bleed. out.

I come back with another five napkins, and within 30 seconds each one has been stuffed up the nose and soaked through. I run to get another 8 napkins, same story. I sit with Harry, watching blood drip onto the tile floor in front of him and wonder if I'm about to watch my husband die. Another 15 napkins. Blood all down his front. Leaking between his fingers. As I start making plans to call the ambulance, one giant blood clot gag gag gag...i really did gag right there in my shiny office building spills out of his nose and the bleeding immediately stops. i'm gagging in real life now...gag.

Harry looks up from his mountain of bloody napkins which has more elevation than any geological formation in Minnesota and halfheartedly smiles, even though blood had started coming from his mouth as well. He looked like he had turned to cannibalism for lunch.

He lived. I lived. Needless to say I did not kiss him goodbye.

Image from our less bloody experience at the Twins MLB game.

peace and quinoa
trying really hard to make that in a way that i like


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

it's reeses, for breakfast

I just set a goal in my head and now on this screen to make note of at least one thing that makes me laugh really hard each week, and then share it. Lately I've been feeling less jolly and more "excuse me while I check our budget, it's been an hour since I looked it over." Personally that doesn't sound like a bunch of fun to be around, and since it's slowly becoming MY personality...well...bummer for me.

So maybe by noting the things that make me laugh I'll laugh more and ultimately be more fun for myself to be around does that even make sense? It really shouldn't be too difficult for me, considering I'm married to Harry Williamson.

Saturday I took myself on a date, part of which included a trip Target in order to buy products that make my hair shine and help organize our important documents which consist of my laminated, wallet-sized diploma from BYU and a passport photo taken when harry was trying to grow a mustache. very important to keep those organized. I also picked up a headband to use while exercising in an effort to make me more excited about exercising. The next day, after unpacking my goods, I looked over to the kitchen from the living room to see Harry, singing a Grateful Dead song while wearing my headband and preparing a bowl of Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs.

It was just the right combination to crack me up, probably because I didn't know how long he had been wearing that thing. He is a master at biding his time to prove a point or make a joke, literally saying or doing the same thing over and over until I stop trying to ignore him.

Please also note that he is making a bowl of cereal with multiple, tiny boxes of Reeses Puffs, because we got about 25 of those things for free on a street corner in downtown St. Paul. It wasn't sketchy.

This is the type of stuff that make up our days. I always post pictures of past vacations - usually outdoors - because those are the photos I love. But really, we're working until 5 every day, eating tiny boxes of cereal, and watching all of the Star Wars movies. But...it's pretty fun.

peace and reeses puffs

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Summer in Minneapolis is not what I expected. People literally use the word "sticky" to describe the weather here. I've only used that adjective in conjunction with melted candy, pine gum, or the time I cleaned out my boyfriend's (now husband's) car drink holder. But man, I'll tell you, it suits the summer here.

Now, I need to clarify that the summer in Minnesota has already been a thousand times better than the winter and we are actually having a pretty great time out here. We've been camping, swimming, biking, kind of hiking, and rock climbing. That being said, it is sticky. Even at 10p last night ...it was sticky.

We, along with the entire city of Minneapolis, lined up on the banks of the Mississippi to watch the firework show. We agreed that we had seen better fireworks, complained about the traffic and crowds, and commiserated over the wall of boiling water that is the atmosphere while being pressed up against people that we would otherwise never associate with.

There were people wearing trench coats and people wearing...well...basically nothing. All colors and shapes were present as were languages and music. Different parenting styles and social etiquette were manifested, all sexualities were represented, all modes of transportation were in use, and all ages were accounted for. I've never been a part of such a mix of people. And as I stood there and watched fireworks and thought about my country, I realized that I don't agree with anyone on everything, but that the great thing about America is that I don't have to.

I don't have to agree with you on anything, and you don't have to agree with me. You cannot force me to live the way you do, and I can't do the same with you. No matter how much you disagree with my opinions and life and appearance and values, I'm allowed to be that way. And more importantly, you're allowed the same.

We're all Americans, but that doesn't mean we're all the same.
We're all different, but we're also all Americans.

We can protest and shout that the other side of the aisle is wrong, that other religions are confused, that all ethnicity but ours is close minded - or whatever it is that we keep shouting and protesting about. But why not bond over what we have in common - being human, being alive, being American - rather than fight over our differences? Because no matter how different, we all like to take videos of fireworks on the day our country declared its independence.

peace and United States of America

Friday, May 19, 2017


I remember the first time I saw a picture of Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright. It was also the first time I realized that homes could be named and the day I decided that one day I would do just that. It was my junior year of high school. I was sitting in my AP Art History class next to my best friend, enjoying the antics of our rambunctious teacher who insisted on us calling her "Mother Wood." The room was dark and our faces were lit with the glow from the projector screen. It was nearing the end of the year and AP tests were heavy on our minds. I was anxious to have the test over, but reluctant for the class to end because, despite my initial hesitation of our flamboyant teacher, I had fallen in love with the class.

Architecture had been incorporated into our curriculum throughout the year. I enjoyed learning the difference between ionic, doric, and corinthian columns, the use of clerestory windows by the Egyptians, and the importance of flying buttresses. However, it wasn't until I saw the picture of this home that I realized that architecture was art just as much as painting and drawing and sculpting was. And this was art you could literally be inside of.

I won't ever live in a house like this. I won't have a Tiffany lamp in every room but maybe just in one room? or a special pool beside the front door where my gardener leaves my freshly cut flowers. But it was beautiful to see and be a part of for a morning. My 17 year old self would be proud.

peace and art