Facing The World Head On

I remember every first with each of my kids. Their first steps, their first laugh, their first words – Princess’ was “yook” {look} and Monkey’s was “dada”.

I feel so blessed to be able to experience so many firsts with my kids, and we still have so many firsts to go. Each first day of school, the first crush, first break-up, first home run, first MVP, first meal cooked for the family. The list goes on and on.

Today, as my #blogust post for A Shot@Life; I want to share the first time I really saw what a fearless force of nature our daughter is.

When she was 2 years old, Nathan was promoted and we were moving to Corpus Christi, TX. On January 12, 2006, we took Princess to Corpus Christi to look at houses. It was a mild day in the low 80’s so we took her to the beach.

I wasn’t sure how she would react; having never seen a body of water bigger than a swimming pool before.

She stood for a moment, and while I marveled at how tiny she looked next to the vast Gulf of Mexico. She dipped a toe into the lapping waves, and before Nathan or I could blink, she tore off her clothes, tossed her diaper and took off into the water; running, splashing, sitting, rolling, dancing exuberantly.

facing the Gulf of Mexico

Nathan and I watched in awe as she fearlessly played in the water; occasionally glancing over at us to laugh or tell us something she discovered. We realized at that moment, this little person was going to be someone to be reckoned with. She took one look at something greater than she, and she dove in with pure joy and abandon; determined to enjoy and live to the fullest.

We spent hours playing in the sun, and the waves with her. Finding shells, getting wet, and marveling over the blessing of that unexpected afternoon. Nathan and I both grew up going to the beach, and watching our own child discover, fall in love with, and marvel at the beauty and joy to be found – reminded us, not for the first time, to never stop looking at the world through our children’s eyes. That afternoon at the beach was a first for us, too.

The first time we were the parents at the beach, the first time we were experiencing it through our daughter’s eyes and it was magical, indeed.

First Trip to The Gulf of Mexico with Mom


I am truly blessed.

My children have had 10 ½ and 7 ¾ years of firsts, and have a lifetime of firsts ahead of them. We are fortunate, and as such, it is our responsibility to pay it forward and to fight for others to have the same freedom and abilities we have.
Childhood vaccines shouldn’t be a luxury. Every child, no matter where he lives or what her circumstance, deserves a chance at a healthy future.
This month, we can help give 60,000 children around the world that shot at life.

During August 2014, every time you comment on or share this (or ANY) Blogust post, Shot@Life partner Walgreens will donate a life-saving vaccine to a child in need (up to 60,000).
I’ve set a personal dream-goal of 200 comments/likes/shares which will equal 200 life-saving-vaccines for children in need. I’ve never had 200 comments on a post before, won’t you help me donate those vaccines?
Will you please take a moment to help me hit that goal?
Every Comment Counts!
Multiple Comments? YES!
Multiple Shares? YES!

Leave a comment, any comment! Then share on Facebook and Twitter with the #Blogust Hashtag!

Thank you! Xoxoxo Rachel
Want to do more? Comment on or share every Blogust post this month!

During Shot@Life’s Blogust 2014—a month-long blog relay—some of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions will come together and share stories about Happy and Healthy Firsts. Every time you comment onthis post and other Blogust contributions, or share them via social media on this website, Shot@Life and the United Nations Foundation pages, Walgreens will donate one vaccine (up to 60,000).  Blogust is one part an overall commitment of Walgreens donating up to $1 million through its “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.” campaign. The campaign will help provide millions of vaccines for children in need around the world. 

Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! For more information, visitshotatlife.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Rachel, your post is so beautiful! It takes me back to when my girls first discovered the ocean. Magical firsts.

    And as you said, “childhood vaccines shouldn’t be a luxury.” So true. Thank you for your great post and thank you Walgreens for supporting Shot@Life and #Blogust!!!!

  2. What a wonderful story! And, yes, we all seem to forget how the world looks through the eyes of a young child – the wonder of it all! And yes, vaccines should not be a luxury. Thank you for helping the cause!

  3. “Every child, no matter where he lives or what her circumstance, deserves a chance at a healthy future.”

    I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for this post.

  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post … it underscores the importance of the SHOT@LIFE campaign and what it can mean to children throughout the world!

  5. Lively lovely children. I have all girls and I remember our troops to the ocean – cape cod, Salisbury, York, Well s, ocean park……fun

  6. Good parenting as providing learning from nature & natural process could develop child natural abilities as running, splashing, sitting,rolling , dancing & human integration with natural process.Early childhood needs
    biological process for growth ,only good & responsible parenting could give nature,nutrition,pure joy & abilities in early childhood.
    Right immunization,vaccination & health consciousness could ensure healthy future for children
    REF- Facing the world head on

  7. It is truly beautiful to be able to experience the world through our kids’ eyes. May they be healthy forever. And may a child in need get a vaccine to experience healthy firsts as well! Hugs.

  8. I loved your post, Rachel! To watch your child emerge like that…it’s just the best thing about parenthood.

    We just returned from Hawaii and I watched my 11 YO daughter approach the ocean with a sense of fearlessness I never had at her age. She respected the power of the waves but worked with them…it was truly beautiful.

    Much love to you!

  9. I loved reading this post and thinking back of when I first took my daughter to the beach. I feel blessed to enjoy these moments with my healthy children and you’re right – Childhood vaccines should NOT be a luxury.
    Every child, no matter where he lives or what her circumstance, deserves a chance at a healthy future.

  10. What a great little story and adorable photos. You’re so right — all children deserve this basic, life-saving medical care.

  11. I’m kind of confused. If I comment on another blogust post (like one that is scheduled for the rest of the month) does it still count?

  12. First beach is a fond memory with my family, too. “Jumping in the hole” we dug in the sand comes to mind. The kids could spend hours jumping in and out of the hole. LOL!

    1. Hi Emma 😉

      That’s not his real, given name. But its the nickname he’s had since he could crawl because he would climb/crawl up anything he could. once he began to walk, he would run and launch himself onto you to get a hug, and cling to you like a spider monkey 😉

      Thank you so much for commenting!

  13. I don’t remember if you took off your clothes everytime you saw a new first, if you did we would have been nudists, but you meet most new things with hardly a look back.


  14. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing your story of your daughter’s fearlessness, as it is a reminder of how to approach life – with joy, courage, and a willingness to jump right in and play. And thank you for participating in such a great cause, as all children deserve that chance to life that vaccines help to provide.

  15. Had my 3 year old granddaughter at the beach a couple of weeks ago. She loved it! We were there for hours and she still didn’t want to go home! Hope you reach your target!

  16. This is such a sweet, cute story! It also brought back bunches of happy memories of my childhood spent on the Gulf of Mexico beaches in Florida!

  17. Wonderful post, it gave me goosebumps. The beach is an amazing place- so spiritually healing and relaxing. The joy and contentment you can feel to just unwind and be yourself. Any place in the world, that is were I would want yo be.

  18. I love your outlook on life and your wonderful story about your daughter’s first day at the beach! Thanks for sharing this for blogust and making a difference for others 🙂

  19. Rachel, thanks for sharing this memory with us. Children are the ultimate treasure, and each one should have the resources to thrive, grow and have their own stories to tell later in life.

  20. Dear Rachel, thank you for promoting vaccinations for kids. Most people don’t really realize how devastating preventable diseases can be. Great job!

  21. Reminds me of all my “1st” with my children. Really a joy to live through their eyes.
    Thank you for sharing!
    All in for a good cause!

  22. Thank you for sharing this story & the adorable pictures. You are so correct — every child should have their vaccinations, so thank you & thank you to Walgreen’s for supporting this cause!

  23. You are awesome!!! Thank you for finding an awesome opportunity to support children. It’s hard to imagine that children don’t get the basic vaccines they need. Because of your efforts we all can help!

  24. Thank you for sharing the essence & joy of parenthood – the 1sts we are so lucky to experience with our children! Without the protection vaccines provide, 1sts may never happen for so many of our next generation…

  25. Have you got to 200 yet?!? Loved reading this. My son is kind of terrified of the beach. I remember being so surprised by that the first time we took him to Galveston. It was like an instinctive thing, hope to help him get over it in time.

  26. Throughout life we’ll experience so many firsts with our children. While as we get older we may forget many things, like where we put that phone, but rarely do we forget those firsts with our children. My grandmother spent her last days remembering her children and the many memories of their childhood. All kids deserve to have an opportunity to be part of someone’s life-long memory.

  27. What a beautiful story and a wonderful force your little one had. It is amazing to see when we let ourselves peer through their eyes.

  28. How funny! I totally had that kid! I remember him at like 14 months of age and me having to literally PRY him off a 15 foot jungle gym he had climbed up just like a little monkey. He’s 16 now and pretty much fearless. He’s a Scout and he loves rock climbing, shooting, rapelling, kayaking, the whole works. Yay Shot@Life for providing that opportunity to people around the world.

  29. Being a mom of 2 little ones myself, I’m often reminded how wonderful this world is when looked at through the eyes of a child. It is such a blessing to be a mother – and to be a mother to healthy children. I hope you reach your goal of 200!

  30. Beaches do make great memories, likewise I grew up on the beaches of Florida. Thank you for sharing this story and making the effort to make others have a fair shot at life.

  31. What a beautiful day at the beach! Some of my happiest times with my girls are when I see life through their eyes. Such joy!

    Thanks to Walgreens for seeing the importance of vaccines. Such generosity!

  32. What a beautiful story! And you are so right. Vaccines should not be a luxury.

    I love the beach, too. And luckily grew up there and raised my children there. Your daughter’s love of the ocean is very touching. Thanks for sharing her with us.

  33. Hooray for fearless girls and the firsts we get to experience through their eyes! Thanks for sharing such poignant moments of childhood that are certainly magical!

  34. Rachel I love your blog!!!! Always so well written! You are such an an amazing, talented, caring, giving woman and mother!!

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