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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March 18th
7:07 PM Central Standard Time

your geo is training for his new job in Ohio and he decided to drive the 6 hours to come see us this weekend. because your day’s family is still in South Carolina we don’t get to see them that often … 

so having him be here was every bit of magical as one would imagine. You seemed to know him right away and you guys were instant buddies! It was a weekend of fish frys, green rivers, brunch, montrose harbor, boxing matches, Chicago pizza,  and 2am nasty diner food. And of course lots of cuddles!!!


your geo is training for his new job in Ohio and he decided to drive the 6 hours to come see us this weekend. because your day’s family is still in South Carolina we don’t get to see them that often …

so having him be here was every bit of magical as one would imagine. You seemed to know him right away and you guys were instant buddies! It was a weekend of fish frys, green rivers, brunch, montrose harbor, boxing matches, Chicago pizza, and 2am nasty diner food. And of course lots of cuddles!!!

August 17th
10:45 PM Central Standard Time


A lot has happened in the last week. We moved from Charlotte to Alexandria, VA. I have a  lot to catch you up with. - But for now, here’s a video I took that is just a preview of the adorableness that is the Retter family. 

March 1st
10:51 PM Central Standard Time


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! 

February 28th
10:26 PM Central Standard Time


Here is a video of your first time at the pool! This is at our new (100% paid for) apartment complex provided by American Mobile. I have to admit, this travel nursing gig has been awesome so far. Three 12 hour night shifts a week; but every other moment is free time for us in sunny southern Florida. Housing and utilities are paid for and travel is reimbursed. It’s rough adjusting to a new work environment so quickly- (a got a 12 hour shift for training), and also it’s rough being away from family and friends. But we are still ecstatic about this, it feels surreal. Your dad and I will often look at each other and say: “Wow, we live in Florida.” Tomorrow we’re taking a day trip to Sanibel island and Thursday will bring something else fun. 

You have been so full of fantastic cuteness lately, that I’m trying to video tape more often. Woo hoo! 

October 22nd
8:44 PM Central Standard Time


Sometimes while documenting all the special moments of everyday life, I forget to explain the big-picture. And as I lie all alone on the sofa, sick as a dog, I have the time to expand on some things. 

When you were two months old your dad and I went to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to meet up with WGO to see if I we would want to work there full time. I explained in a few different past blogs, here, here, & here

We had an amazing experience. I worked as a nurse there and your dad helped build concrete floors. We also played with a lot of kids, de-liced children, and met some amazing foster kids. It was an experience unlike any other, one that was so incredibly touching. 

Below: Tegucigalpa (so beautiful isn’t it?) 

Hanging out with this little girl after I de-liced her and did her hair. 

The beautiful children. 

Alex washing some hair. 

Lines to get into the clinic. 

Your dad and I got home and knew we had to pray a lot about this decision. We would be moving from Chicago to Honduras, with a little baby, to be missionaries. We didn’t even speak Spanish that well. It was a lot to think about. 

Meanwhile we got back to the states and moved into my family’s house in Naperville, IL. About 30 miles west of chicago. They were amazing to us, but we were very use to having our own space, it was very different. Maternity leave ended and I started work on labor day. Going back to work was just like riding  a bike. the only hard thing was breastfeeding and leaving Scout. 

Just a few short weeks after staying with my family, my mom had a friend from work who was leaving with her husband and daughter to move to North Dakota for a short-term job assignment for a couple months. I mentioned that we would house-sit for them and they happily agreed. This gave us, once again, free rent, but our own space, our own house, etc. We “moved” into there mid-September, which is in Warrenville, IL, the town right next to my parents. So we have been living here, in someone else’s house, in a small town, in a surburbia land that we do not like at all. We crave Chicago during all moments and have a difficult time adjusting to the suburbs. Moving back seemed impossible at the time while we were still trying to get our finances in order and Chicago is a VERY EXPENSIVE TOWN. 

We spent much of our time thinking/praying about our next step. Honduras? Back to Chicago? Something else? 

We have a mutual restlessness that never seems to settle. While we watched our friends buy houses and pick a spot, we became all the more ready to pack up and travel. So we have decided a few things and here they are in a disorganized manner: 

a. Daddy NEEDS to finish his social work degree. We decided we would be much more useful doing mission work once he had that. Plus, that is his passion. 

b. I would also like to go back to school and become a Nurse practitioner, hopefully within the year or so. I worked next to a nurse practitioner in Honduras at the clinic, and I envied her competence. 

(both of these degrees can be attained online). 

c. We would like to learn Spanish. We just finished our first class :) 

d. We would appreciate saving some money and funds before doing anything out of the country. 

So after a bit, we realized there were somethings we needed to get done before we pack up and head out of country. It may be a few years, but that’s okay, we’re young :) 

We decided to apply for a travel nursing job  so we could see different parts of the USA, save up some big bucks, and get some new experiences. All the while, making great connections. I got accepted to the agency shortly after applying. In this agency, your gas and housing is paid for. I will also be getting paid a lot more than I do now. You pick a region that you want to go to and the agency helps pick a short term job assignment for you. (about 13-16 weeks). After looking around, and failing at finding a spot close to your Mimi and Geo, we finally decided on Florida. There are A LOT of jobs in Florida in the winter. I finished applying for my license transfer yesterday, so we have several weeks to wait and see how that goes. But because I’m with this travel agency, I’m told I should have no problem getting a job assignment in January. So it looks like we’ll be packing up this winter and heading south- to make new experiences and cure our restlessness. And then by the time our restlessness picks up again, it will be time for a new travel assignment, hopefully after that we’ll pick Pacific Northwest (we LOVE it up there!) 

So Baby Scout, looks like if everything goes as planned you will be a world traveler! Home is wherever we’re together .Geography heals the adventurers in us that have been held back for awhile now. We are ready for a new chapter, something exciting. 

I want to take you couch surfing, meet strange people, go hostel jumping, visit organic farms, go long-term camping. I may be a mom, but I don’t have to settle down. I hope this teaches you love for others, tolerance, and a zest for life. 

I once read somewhere that people tend to live vicariously through others, often. I don’t want to be like that. This is my life, I want to live. 

This is where Donald Miller, my favorite author, has a quote that comes in and fits perfectly to end this blog entry: 

"No, life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath… We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?" 

We had this quote on our wedding bulletins, time to live it out. 

We’re gonna have fun Scout.