Letters to Scout
This is my venue to write letters to my beautiful surprise addition, my lovely daughter Scout. Due to the fact that she was unplanned, I was having a difficult time during the pregnancy. I was advised to write letters to her before she was born to help bond with her. These are the letters I started back then and continue now. She's here with us now and we couldn't ever imagine life without her.

We try to raise Scout as free-spirited as possible.


My name is Rae. I'm a nurse with an extreme case of wanderlust. I'm married to the man of my dreams, Alex. We currently live in a beautiful two flat in the most diverse neighborhood in Chicago. We live with our best friend Kyle, who is also Scout's godfather. We spend our time seeking out adventures, learning new hobbies, and wrangling our two year old on the city subway.

You can see my personal blog at: storyworthylife.tumblr.com

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May 4th
12:53 AM Central Standard Time

Scout, 

This is from our Key West trip two weeks ago. It was only over a couple of days- but it was some really good memories. :) 

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April 2nd
2:33 AM Central Standard Time

Marco island cruise. New dresses. Dancing on the dock. Spying some dolphins. And this isn’t even vacation? 

My life with you and daddy IS my adventure. 

You two are my journey. 

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March 23rd
2:56 PM Central Standard Time

Scout, 

I’ve come to believe we all go through bouts of difficult times. The times where getting out of bed is a challenge and smiling isn’t as easy. Maybe knowing where it comes from isn’t as important is knowing how to heal it. 

Mine was healed yesterday by a hideaway beach, body surfing, salt-water cuddling, and a runaway rubber ducky. 

Sometimes your soul just wants something simple. 

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March 1st
10:51 PM Central Standard Time

Scout, 

Yesterday we took a day trip to Sanibel Island from our home in Naples. It was a beautiful drive and even more beautiful once we got there. The beaches were littered with sea shells and the skies full of sweeping pelicans. We lathered you up with sunscreen and headed to where the ocean met the sand. You loved the water, were intrigued by the taste of the  grainy sand, and enjoyed being in your baby carrier while I waded through the water with you.

Dad and I used to have a totally different experience at the beach. We used to lay out for hours, drink too many beers and margaritas, and swim out deep enough to be nervous for ourselves. Later we would wait until the moon came out and stroll across the sand hand-in-hand and dance to the music from the beach pub across the way. The first day your father and I ever talked about getting married was while sitting on a curb at a beach in South Carolina. Something about the ocean brings out feelings in you and makes you see your emotions with a new sort of clarity. Here is a picture from that amazing day that I still hold as one of our best times together EVER. 

My clarity from yesterday? My life has changed FOREVER. There is much less time for romance in my life. But the man I spoke with a few years ago at a beach is the same man, an even better man now. I am blessed beyond measure that we followed through on that conversation and got hitched. You are also blessed beyond measure to call him your daddy. So, please, for goodness sake Scout, next time we go to the beach, take a nap in your little sun-tent, so dad and I can re-live some of our pre-Scout beach memories. haha! I love you little bug. Hope you had fun yesterday! 

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February 26th
1:58 PM Central Standard Time

Our Trip Down to Florida!

Scout, 

Time to catch you up on what’s been going on the past week! First post- our little trip down to Florida!!!

Thursday Feb 16th: My last day at work…. so incredibly bittersweet. Below: Me and my favorite patient: A.G Also, my co-workers had a fantastic lunch for me. I”m really going to miss that place. Good old 10W! 

Friday Feb 17th: Woke up early, we had our U’haul packed up and headed south. 

We stopped outside of Indianapolis to see your aunt Jaci and her boyfriend Jon for a late lunch. 

We weren’t sure whether we wanted to drive through to Atlanta that night- but we decided against it- we ended up staying in my friend Janie’s house in Nashville. She actually wasn’t there- but we still enjoyed her room! 

Saturday Feb 18th: Ended up in Atlanta to see Dad’s family. Didn’t take enough pictures- but it was really great. We want out for mexican with Maw-Maw then went to Aunt Donna and Uncle Mark’s house. After that we got so spend some quality time with great-grandma Retter and Pop Pop. You and Dexter were extra cuddly in the car. 

Sunday Feb 19th: Woke up early and drove to Southern Florida. Crossing the border of Florida was an amazing feeling: it was 80 degrees!!! 

We stopped in Sarasota Florida and stopped at the Old Salty Dog Cafe- like just like Man V. Food episode! We ate the original Salty dog and some Mahi Mahi Tacos with mango. It was absolutely delicious! 

That night we stayed in a small inn about 7 miles from our apartment complex. (We couldn’t get in until Monday….) SCOUT YOU WERE SOO READY FOR THE BEACH! 

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February 19th
11:41 PM Central Standard Time

Travel Nursing Begins!

Scout,

 We are on our way to a completely new life.

It’s a bit weird, leaving behind everything you know. It’s like saying goodbye to a city that has always been such a good friend to you. A city that never did anything wrong- except maybe have over-crowded tollways and weather that was always on its menstrual cycle. (But neither of those were its fault!)

Chicago is written all over my heart in such a deep way, I have a feeling that no matter where I end up going in life; I’ll never find a city that I love in the way that I love Chicago- a way that is genuine and DEEP. I don’t know where you will grow up or if you will even remember that you were born off of Michigan avenue and spent your newborn days on the stoop of a bar on the lower-west side.- but one day- I promise- I will take you to Chicago when you are older- and we will marvel at it, in the way it was meant to be marveled at, like while riding the ferris wheel at the world’s fair. 

 Despite saying goodbye to my city, my amazing friends at work, and my chicago-land family-I feel ready to go, and terribly ansy. I usually enjoy car rides but I dread that any second something is going to happen to ruin our chances at this adventure. I feel like any moment the hospital is going to call me and tell me that a rogue hurricane destroyed the town and they don’t need me. I’m afraid that somehow this adventure is going to slip through my fingers when I’m not even paying attention. It’s silly I know- but for once I feel like everything is actually working out very well- and even though I love my life, nothing ever got where to where it was in my life by first “working out well.” Usually messes are what brought my circumstances together.

I’m also a little bit afraid of the unknown in my new job. I fortunately adapt very well to new situations. However, that still doesn’t ease my mind when it comes to a brand new job with only two days of training involved. My travel nursing job is going to be working in the Emergency Dept in an “express admission” unit. To prove just how unprepared I may actually be, take this: I don’t even really understand what that unit is supposed to do. It sounded interesting, so I basically jumped onboard. The mystery of a new place, new experiences, new job, new human beings to meet- all these things thrill me beyond belief. 

 I wonder what it is in me that thrives off of the unknown. While others live for routine; routine makes me feel sick to my stomach and aching for drastic change. I wonder what I really want out of all this experience. Do I want to do it so I have a really colorful photo album to show you when you grow up? Is it so I can be an interesting person? Is it because settling down scares me to pieces?

 We have finally arrived in Naples, and we are staying at a little motel a few miles away from our apartment. The key will be ready for pickup in the morning. You were mainly joyous over a portable DVD player in the car playing Baby Einstein. I’ve been playing movie trivia with dad in-between stupid arguments and lots of voice impersonations. 

That reminds me Scout- before you marry someone, I’m going to make it mandatory that you take a long road-trip together. Dad and I have done so many of these- all of which have proved to us that even though we will argue and perhaps want to strangle each other at some points- we still desperately love each other. You learn a lot about a person for 22 hours in the car. Our honeymoon road trip clocked up +150 hours in the car. I’m lucky he stuck with me after that! 

We crossed the state line today and I was overwhelmed with joy. I’m still nervous about a lot of things, but the 80 degree weather and the swaying palm trees was enough to rid me of my little anxiety and help me really embrace the beginning of this experience. 

My life has gone SO differently than what I imagined 5 years ago. I never thought I’d be married now, and CERTAINLY not having a child. I figured I’d be a nurse, but I didn’t know much about what kind I would be. Even though at the time I may not have wanted a family so early- I think if my 18 year old self knew her future would be this- she wouldn’t be able to wait for it. She’d be so excited and full of joy. She’d be proud because she would know that her sense of adventure was still intact and running high. Her distaste for settling was still there and she has her own family full of unconditional love. 

I’m really proud of what I’ve become so far- I’m not perfect- but I’m glad I’m where I’m at in this moment. I’m ecstatic that I have you, a little 8 month old baby wrapped up in her favorite blanket, spooning with my hip. 

This has been a jumbled letter, but I had so much to say. What could sum it up is that we have left Chicago- and even though it is hard- I couldn’t be any more excited or proud to be where I’m at in life right now. 

Let the adventures begin! 

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