They’re deliciously dense and remind me of a donut hole. And there’s cream cheese drizzle.

Picture from the author. This is the Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice cookie!

I love this time of the year for two very specific reasons: Giving and cookies. Hopefully this article — this recipe — can accomplish both.

I detest pumpkin-flavored beverages, but I love to bake with pumpkin. These cookies are dense, soft and chewy, and remind me of what a pumpkin donut hole might taste like.

They’re subtle in flavor — not too sweet — and the pumpkin and pumpkin spice doesn’t overpower the cookie. The cream cheese drizzle is a nice addition too, although you can omit this step if you like.

I hope you enjoy them!

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice cookie recipe

  • 1 cup softened…

How the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout is rocking my world.

Woman exercising indoors. Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash.

In April of this year, I began my journey toward fitness and better self-care. My husband and I purchased a treadmill in hopes to get more active and fit during quarantine.

Anyone who knows me knows I love cookies and other sweet treats — I basically crave anything with flour or sugar in it — and quarantining was a timely opportunity to perfect my tasty confections. Trouble was, my middle was getting a little too thick, I was getting a little too slow, and I just felt dumpy and unhealthy. …

Anxiety and fear ran rampant after my first. Then I learned about capacity.

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash.

I’ve struggled with anxiety and fear for as long as I can remember. And they held an unrelenting grip on my mental and emotional health after having my son.

These emotions always showed up when I felt out of control or unsure of myself. They whispered lies and sowed confusion in my heart. They put my brain in overdrive, so much to where my brain felt shackled and exhausted from trying to ‘outthink’ my anxiety and fear with reason and logic.

In the first two years of my son’s life, anxiety and fear were like exhausting, unwelcome house guests —…

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash.

15 years ago, I desperately wished to meet my future self. I wanted to know if I had survived my darkness.

While scrolling through my Medium feed, I came across an intriguing article by Ayodeji Awosika: A Quote That Will Shake You to Your Core and Make You Want to Change. He was right about the quote. It made me pause and deeply reflect on my life:

“Someone once told me the definition of hell; on your last day on earth, the person you could have become will meet the person you became.”

— Anonymous.

I’ve known hell. The hell I’ve experienced was when — nearly 15 years ago — I fervently wished I could meet my future self and ask…

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash.

Because teaching our children from home while teleworking is a total s-show.

The beginning of this school year has been a bit rough.

Well, to be honest, ‘rough’ doesn’t quite hit the mark. So far, it’s been a complete shit show. I’m stressed out of my mind, trying to pull up my big girl pants and play the cards I’ve been dealt: I’m teleworking full-time, alongside my husband, while we help our son distance learn as a Kindergartner.

As I’ve grappled with and fought against my new reality these last few weeks, I’ve learned some things. Maybe they can help you, too.

1. Self-care is critical.

In a world where everything is upside down and chaotic…

A young boy works from a laptop. Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash.

How my coworkers are helping me, and what you need to know to help yours.

Like millions of parents across the country, my husband and I are facilitating our son’s distance learning as a Kindergartner. My husband and I are also working full-time from home. And it’s pure chaos.

Distance learning, or some form of it, will continue until our state determines it’s safe for students to fully return to school. I can’t decide who has the shittier deal — parents, kids, teachers, employers, or other coworkers — because it’s a bad deal all around.

There’s a lot of stressed-out parents and kids right now, and all of them struggling in this new reality. Considering…

Close up of a young person crying. Photo by Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash.

We can influence how others see themselves. Be someone who builds up, rather than tears down.

It happened when I was about 11.

I was on the cusp of becoming a young woman and was probably at that awkward stage of being all knees and elbows. I thought the world was full of kind people who liked me and wanted to be my friend. I was a friendly, imaginative, and thoughtful girl. And I was eager to someday become a beautiful woman, find my prince charming, and live happily ever after.

I was visiting family in Eastern Oregon, and my uncle had agreed to take all the cousins to the community pool. Rambunctious and excited to…

Woman standing near a body of water and watching the sunset. Photo by Philipp Cordts on Unsplash.

Turns out I don’t. I just have privilege.

I saw her at a distance. She was easy to spot. A woman — probably in her early 30s— was standing on the side of the road, in the hot sun, with two small children. She held an infant on one hip, and was speaking with her toddler, who was playing in the grass at her feet.

The woman was dressed in business attire, almost like she’d come from work or a job interview. She looked very out of place.

In one hand she held a sign, and I knew what that sign would say.

I live in a city…

A wolf alone in the woods. Photo by Liam Charmer on Unsplash.

Are you a shepherd, a sheep, a wolf, or complicit in the wolf’s deception?

Let me start by asking a rhetorical question: How do you react when someone says they’re a Christian? Are you glad? Do you feel an instant connection with this person? Are you skeptical? Angry? Disgusted? Scared? Does it matter?

I can say I’ve experienced all these emotions during and beyond my journey as a Christian. When I was younger — in my early twenties — I would have been delighted to hear someone was a Christian. …

Tilt-shift photography of person in brown jacket. Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash.

5 different ways to move past someone lashing out.

Last week, I had the rare opportunity to swing by the grocery store. By myself. After leaving a dental appointment, feeling a bit of a high because I actually had face-to-face interaction with people besides my family, I turned up the music and headed down the street to the store.

This particular street is large, and connects to one of the busiest intersections in town. There’s two lanes going one way, two the other, and a shared turn lane in the middle. There’s an IHOP on one side of the street and the grocery store on the other. …

Rachelle Marie

I’m a curious and sometimes funny person who shares real-life perspective on being a spouse, parent, friend, professional, and leader.

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