Tag Archives: Packers

It’s Rachel, no extra a, Coach McCarthy.

 “Spirituality is expressed in everything we do.” –Anne E. Carr

Another day of lent, another quotation. And this time, by a woman named Anne. Anne with an e. Important to take note of that e. My graduate school advisor spelled her name that way, with an E, and a lot of people spelled it wrong. First time, fine. But over and over and over again following several back-and-forth correspondences? She always found it to be offensive– showed a lack of caring, lack of respect, lack of attention to a detail that was important to her. I’ve waffled back and forth about that idea for some time. But I get it. I really do. I have enough years of Rachael with the extra a instead of the correct Rachel to understand why it can be frustrating.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy spelled my name Rachael on a wedding gift. Seth suggested I change my name accordingly. Disagree. But I digress.

Seth and Rachael... so close.
Seth and Rachael… so close.

Spirituality is expressed in everything we do. When we fail to take note of something that’s meaningful or important to someone else, it can be hurtful. Mistakes happen, of course, but often it’s a choice not to spend the time, to take the note.

Believe it or not, that doesn’t seem to be Joan’s point today (she’s just so much deeper than me!):

“I believe that our lives are our spirituality but I am not sure that behavior is its best test, its certain indicator. I do a great many things that ‘look’ good: I suppress anger, I give partial responses to serious questions, I hold myself to my own breast and live life within life within life that no one else knows about. But at the same time, I long desperately to bring all of them into focus, into line, into the One, where the heart is soft toward everything and everyone in this world. So which approach is real spirituality?” –Joan Chittister

Oh my. Another question… not really an answer. Does our behavior really reflect our spirituality? What’s in our heart of hearts?

Because of Anne (with an E), I’ve always tried to pay careful attention to how people spell their names and to get it right. I want to make note, to display to that person that I care… but then again, am I actually making note because it is part of my heart being soft toward everything and everyone in the world? Or am I concerned about it only because I feel like it makes me look good? Like I have paid attention?

Huh. I honestly don’t know.

The way I treat people, whether I note the e at the end of their name, maybe it matters. But does it really matter if I’m noting it only to look good? Not because I really mean it?

I guess the question is, then, how important is intention? Even Joan doesn’t seem to have that all figured out. Must be something worth thinking about.

Turns out, after mulling it over alllllll the live long day, through several loads of laundry and a walk in the snow with my Curls, a trip to the Y and the grocery store in yoga pants followed by a dinner of spaghetti and a nice long shower, a viewing of Pitch Perfect (I finally got Seth to watch it!) and a big bowl of popcorn, I have decided that part of my own personally spirituality, the thing I feel in my heart of hearts, is that any chance I have to make someone else feel good… or at the very least not feel bad… I should take it. I want to take it. Because I believe in raising others up, not bringing them down.

Well, I believe that most of the time. Not all of the time. You know those times when it’s practically impossible. Mean girls, Facebook, you catch my drift. Doesn’t seem to matter how many years go by. I’m trying to be better. I swear I try!

Regardless, my decision is that remembering the e on Anne or the single l in Michele or the correct way to spell Amy/Aimie/Aimee matters. No one is celebrating their name being spelled correctly (except, I imagine, for all the poor Siobhans out there), but  when I have an opportunity to make a note, spell it right, and not contribute to someone feeling disrespected or ignored or whatevs, I better take it.

I think that behavior matters. Maybe because of my intention? I don’t know. What do you think? How does your behavior reflect your soul?


PS: Seth and I are Packer owners now. We have a share of the team. So Coach McCarthy better get it right next time! Fun fact– he took this picture for us when we were at Lambeau Field last Tuesday.

Family at Lambeau

I kid of course. We’d have kicked my mom out and had her take the picture of the rest of us if he’d been there 😉

S is for my Seth.

Tonight after work, I was in the kitchen canning some pickles (that’s a brag) and Seth was working on hanging up a brand new spice rack for me inside one of the kitchen cabinets. It seemed to fit, but it shouldn’t have– according to his measurements. He couldn’t figure it out. So I said, “Perhaps we’re not really muggles after all!”

He didn’t even bat an eye.

True, Seth vetoed the idea of having boy-girl twins and naming them Luna and Ron… but he doesn’t really seem to mind the Harry Potter stuff too much otherwise. And doesn’t even question me when I use references in every day conversation. (Conversations or tasks. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I try to use spells.)

Clearly, Seth is my soulmate.


Today, August 6th, is Seth and my third marriage anniversary. I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I realized that both August 6th and the letter S were approaching– perfection! So this post and the letter S are dedicated to my darling Sethy Stankowski (see how I just outsmarted The Google right there? I hope so anyway… he probably has more impressive credentials out there on the interwebs than a gushy blog post).

Seth and I met at RA training at Michigan Tech in the summer of 2002. I was immediately smitten with him, despite the Kermit and Piggy-ness of it all…

We were babies... babies at a Packer game <3
We were babies… babies at a Packer game <3

I was 18, Seth was 21, and here we are, nearly 12 years later, celebrating our third marriage anniversary. Our life isn’t the life I had planned for myself before I ever met Seth, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love that Seth and I share so much of our life stories. At this point, we’ve practically grown up together… we’re completely different people than we were when we first met, but still just right for each other. We’re balanced. We’re ridiculous. We’re very, very good <3


In 2002, before things were actually serious, everything seemed so overly serious. Thanksgiving break of that year (it’s a whole week long at Michigan Tech to account for the long drives and unavoidable bad weather) was basically traumatic. I’m embarrassed to admit it now, but I definitely cried through most of the UP on my way home and getting back to Seth was all that mattered. These days, when things actually are serious (as in we’re married and own a house and have real jobs and a pup to take care of), a week apart can be nice sometimes… for both of us. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all of that. We both travel for work on occasion, Seth more frequently than me, and as exhausting as traveling for work can be, it never feels quite so bad. (Except when Seth is in Miami in January and I’m busy bundling up and shoveling snow in Wisconsin. Then it feels quite bad.) You know the song Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros? Well, I only knew it by the lyrics until 30 seconds ago and I had to Google it to tell you about it… anyway, that line:

Home! Let me go home! Home is wherever I’m with you!

Seth makes me really get that. He is my home. Oh look… they make printables. Going to need one of those.


Despite being together for such a long time, I still have no problem gushing about Seth. And I do mean gushing. I love him so fiercely, so completely, and in such a way that even his little weirdnesses are adorable to me– the socks between the toes, the general dislike for pants, the obsession with all modes of mechanical flight (e.g. helicopters, airplanes, the cars that will someday fly).

But the weirdnesses aren’t what’s really up. Seth is hard working, crazy intelligent, sharply funny, extremely kind and generous, and humble to a fault (except when it comes to being better than me, and to be perfectly honest, that’s a good thing for my big head).


I was kind of stuck about what exactly to say next. What to tell you about the amazing man I married. I thought about telling you about how he helps all of our elderly neighbors with their technology, odd jobs, and shoveling (he’s literally the youngest in our corner of the neighborhood by 50 – 60 years… lit-er-all-y). Or maybe about how he loves on our pup and it’s just the sweetest and cutest thing in the world. Alternatively, I could wow you with tales of the crazy handiness he’s capable of– I’m so impressed with everything he’s done to our house to make us warmer, safer, more efficient, and extremely tech savvy and future proofed (love that phrase– future proof). But as I was writing this, my Pandora flipped to the Mamas and the Papas singing Dream a Little Dream of Me (it’s my She & Him station– so good). I love this song, every version of it, but given that I was going gaga over Seth at the moment, this line really struck me…

Stars fading, but I linger on dear– still craving your kiss.

And it reminded me of the very, very beginning. Back when we were so new and I was so nervous. Our first real dates, just the two of us, were at night, under the stars.

On our first date, we drove all the way to the Paulding Light an hour and a half from campus– somehow he already knew I was in love with ghosts! I was so nervous about driving so far with such a quiet guy, but he really surprised me. He actually sang in the car! My friends assured me that I didn’t have to lie about it when we got back– they could not believe I was telling the truth. We saw the light that night, it was amazing.

On our second date, we took a trip out to Misery Bay toward Ontonogan and laid on the beach to see the northern lights. They were all around us, swirling and twirling and twinkling, and it was like being in a planetarium, only real. It was amazing. An absolutely amazing night. I’ve seen the northern lights several times, but never like I saw them that night. I loved Seth even then.

A few nights later, we ventured out to Boston Pond just north of Houghton to star gaze… and again, it was amazing. We stood shivering against Seth’s truck and he asked me how long it took me to make each one of my curls every morning. It was the cutest, the sweetest, the most endearing thing he could have said. I have the biggest smile even just thinking of it.

Paulding Light for a haunting, Misery Bay for the northern lights all around us, Boston Pond for a celestial star show… and 12 years later, a cozy home in Marshfield with the person who inhabits half of my heart. Stars fading, still lingering…

Photo Credit: Lindsey Marie Photography
Photo Credit: Lindsey Marie Photography


PS: Being the dedicated Wisconsin-ite that he is, Seth’s pals have (I assume affectionately) dubbed him “Cheesecurd”… in which case, I am clearly a freaking cheese factory because I can’t stop being such a sappy, cheesy, sentimental nerd! But for realsies, I love my husband, and I’m cool with you knowing it– knowing it so hard it makes you roll your eyes, groan, and shake your head at me all at once!