Meet Rachel Abelson, 2010 SOAR! Recipient!

Me Ra Koh

Meet Rachel Abelson!

Rachel is one of the three new SOAR! Recipients that you saw on last week’s exciting SOAR! Video!  If you missed Rachel’s SOAR! video submission, here it is below.

I love to begin the new SOAR! year with giving our blog readers a chance to get to know each of the three recipients.  As you follow the SOAR! Blog this year, you’ll watch these ladies tackle Business Coaching Exercises the first Monday of every month, Photography Exercises the second Monday of every month and much more!  All of this starts a week from today on the SOAR! Blog, and I’m excited to see what happens in your lives as you tackle the assignments too!

But before we start, I’ve asked Rachel, Charisse and Ali to take a moment and write about their “beginning thoughts”.  This beginning marker will be wonderful to recall as we all begin to grow and transform.  When we hit moments of discouragement, we can look back to these early posts and see how far we’ve come. If you are following along with the SOAR! year, I invite you to break out a new journal and start with your own beginning thoughts.


Beginning Thoughts, Rachel Abelson

As I sit here, I have tears in my eyes. Not only am I about to embark on a journey I never imagined, but I have the support of my amazing husband, wonderful family and friends, and a huge group of women(and men) that I have never met. There are no words to describe what a feeling that is. If I could put how I feel about being selected as a 2010 SOAR! recipient into one word it would be HONORED. I believe each one of the 129 applicants are deserving women, as I have seen from your videos. I thank you for the support you have already shown and hope that you will learn to SOAR! in your own unique way.

As you saw from the video, I was completely shocked when Wendy and Christine came to my house. I saw the pink and brown boxes and thought, “They must have the wrong house. There is no baby shower here.” Then Wendy introduced herself on behalf of Me Ra and the SOAR! scholarship and I screamed so loud that I scared my poor 4 month old baby! I think you can hear him a bit in the video!  I have been in shock ever since. It still seems so surreal to me that I am going to get to pursue something that I have loved and feel is so very important.

Now, I’m not going to lie, of course I am PUMPED! But, boy, am I scared! You are reading about a gal who is starting from ground zero! How do I run my own business? How do I set the camera for low lighting? Why are all my pictures either yellow or super bright? What setting do I use for fireworks? How about for action shots? Gosh, I should start looking for props! My mind is going a mile a minute. I have a lot to learn! But you know what? I am so excited about it. Excited to learn and excited to share with y’all the things I learn. I am excited to learn from you!

I bet you are wondering who I am. Who is this girl, well woman I guess, that you will be watching over the next year? I write girl at first, because even though I will be 30 this year, sometimes I feel though I am still so young. I feel there is so much I have accomplished, yet there is so very much for me to learn. Not only learn about photography, owning a business, but more learning about myself. Learning how to follow my dreams, how to open my eyes, how to accomplish anything I set my mind to.

I am first and foremost, a wife and a mother. Some girls dream of being a doctor, lawyer,   ballerina, actress when they grow up; all I ever wanted to be was a mom. I grew up in Houston, Texas and the first time I left was when I went to Texas A&M, a mere 90 minutes away. When I accepted Pete’s marriage proposal, I knew I would have to grow up quite a bit…I would live farther from my family than I ever imagined. I am so blessed to be married to such a wonderful man, who is a Marine. Throughout the short 6.5 years of our marriage I have grown in ways I never expected and accomplished things I never imagined. I have survived 3 deployments to Iraq in 5 years. I have moved houses 5 times in our 6.5 years. I gave birth to a baby while my husband was deployed. I have learned to stand up for what I believe. I have learned how to believe in myself.

So who am I? I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a runner(training for my first marathon!). I’m a group fitness instructor. I’m a friend. I’m a daughter. I’m a woman who is truly blessed-in more ways than I can put into words.

I’m sure the upcoming year will be one of laughter, joy, tears, and excitement. I hope that you will be able to share in those emotions with me. I hope that together we will learn about ourselves, learn about each other, and learn how to SOAR!  So put a smile on your face, patience in your pocket, and spread your wings…it’s time to SOAR! together.


Thank you so much Rachel for sharing yourself with all of us.  Three deployments?!  You are amazing!  Clearly, you are a strong woman!  We are so excited to get to know you more and watch your photography dream take flight!





  1. Freida Hall says:

    Beautiful & touching video Rachel – I think, yep – I already adore your sweet family! 🙂
    Looking forward to watching you grow this year!
    Shine On!

    P.S. Thank -You to your family for your husband’s continued service.

  2. Wendy Roob says:

    wow Rachel! Congrats!! I look forward to watching your journey into learning how to serve others through helping them to capture their precious moments!
    You are a strong woman! And thank your husband for me for keeping the rest of us safe! <3

  3. Rhonda Kane says:

    I’m so excited to be along with you for the journey this year Rachel. I live near a naval afb, and many of my friends are military wives and moms. It takes a special woman to answer the call of military wife. Know that I will be praying for you (and your husband) this year. Here’s to an amazing 2011!

  4. Andrea J says:

    congratulations, Rachel! I’m excited to get to know you and the others through the blog and to see how the next year unfolds. I’m so glad you were one of the women chosen…I have a soft spot for active military families after being blessed with several friends who were in the military while I lived near a military base. Theses women were the strongest, most self sufficient, loyal friends I have known. Three deployments in such a short time…Wow! thank you for all the sacrifices you and your husband make to keep us safe. bless you!

  5. Brianna says:

    I’m pumped too Rachel!!! 😀 I’m so excited to “meet” you and start this journey along with you. Go get ’em!

  6. jessica ho says:

    Rachel you are such an inspiration, I look forward to learning along with you this year! <333

  7. Charisse says:

    Hi Rachel,

    So nice to read your intial thoughts and see your video again! Looking forward to SOARing with you this year!

  8. ali anderson says:

    dang, girl! training for a marathon?! you go! i’m only going to train for a marathon if they start offering donuts at little rest stops along the way. thanks for sharing yourself so honestly!

  9. Delanae says:

    Rachel, the camera loves you just as much as you love photography. 🙂

    I am going on the journey with you all and am SO excited that the journey starts Monday because that’s right after I complete the Seattlel Confidence Workshop this weekend. I am super stoked to SOAR! with you.


  10. Lindsay says:

    Yay! Love it 🙂 we ARE still so young yet have accomplished so much with so much still to learn! Can’t wait to see where you go with this – love you!

  11. Rebecca says:

    Here at the Apetz house we are so proud of you! You are so amazing and continue to do amazing things! We can’t wait to follow you in this journey and for you to one day help us capture our special moments!!! LOVE YOU GIRL!!!!!!!
    Andy and all his girls!!

  12. Helene says:

    Rachel, I love your enthusiasm and positive outlook!!! Hurray for you and good luck!!!

  13. Lisa says:

    I am going to LOVE to watch how this energetic, peppy little gal grows with this opportunity. I have the honor of knowing her in person. I love photography, so will be watching her closely. Rachel is strong, outgoing and will make the most of this chance to learn!!!!

  14. Rachel, Congratulations. I am so happy for you to receive the SOAR opportunity. I am sure we will get to watch (through your lens) your little ones grow as you progress through this year. You have a precious family. Much gratitude to you, your husband and children for your courage as a military family. Prayers for your husband and our all our armed forces. God Bless America. God bless you Rachel.

  15. Tammy Snyder says:

    Congratulations Rachel! Looking forward to seeing you SOAR! in 2011 and learning along side of you and the many women on this forum.

  16. Me Ra says:

    Yeah Rachel! And to everyone commenting, thank YOU for giving her such a sweet, sweet welcome. Your comments mean more than we can ever say! Rachel, cheers to 2011 being amazing and exciting.


  17. Summie Roach says:

    Rachel I am so excited to SOAR with you! Many milestones in both your life and your photography for you this year girl! Thanks for allowing us to share them with you! Excited to see the transformation as you flourish into a beautiful butterfly!

  18. shawna says:

    congrats! i look forward to getting to peek in on your journey. :O)

  19. ajira says:

    So excited for you! SOAR!

  20. Wooo hoooo, Rachel!!!!!!!!

    I love getting to know you a little better through your words here and will love doing that very thing all year!
    I am excited for you and your family. I can’t wait til you come home to visit the great state 😉 so I can meet you in person!
    I am most excited because I am quite sure you will be growing in so many ways. It’s an honor to get to watch that!

    Go get ’em girl! Behind you all the way!!

  21. Christen says:

    Congratulations Rachel !! Excited for the ways that other military families will be blessed through your love, compassion, and lens!! Let’s SOAR.

  22. I loved reading this. I learned so many new things about you. You are going to be one busy woman, but I know you can do it, I know you can! Congratulations! SOAR baby SOAR!

  23. Addie says:

    Congratulations on the first step to SOARing!! Your story is amazing and your strength is too. Can’t wait to watch your journey and continue to learn right along side all the wonderful ladies involved! Hope you are ready for take off!

  24. Rachel Abelson says:

    Guys and Gals,

    Yet again have your words brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for all your thoughts and support. This will be one wild ride, thanks for joining me!

  25. Margie says:

    When I heard that you have gone after, and received, this amazing opportunity I thought “perfect”!!!! I know you are going to be successful in this program. You are a wonderful mother, an intelligent woman, and a beautiful wife.. I am really looking forward to following your progress.. how exciting.
    Love you!

  26. Lisa W. says:

    You are one ambitious gal! You will do an awesome job and I’ll enjoy reading about your experiences as you learn this year. GO SOAR!

  27. Judith I says:

    Congrats Rachel, cannot wait for follow along with you. Get SOARing!!!

  28. I am so excited for what is in store for you, and the growing you will do. I have no doubt that you will succeed, especially given the impressive strength you already obtain. The technical learning is the easy part I found, but the emotional growth was draining and uplifting. I can’t wait to get to know you more!!

    Shine On!!

  29. Rachel…Looking forward to sharing along in your journey! Congratulations and many blessings to you and your beautiful family. Thank you all for your sacrifice and service! Thank you for being so strong, brave and willing to SOAR! It’s gonna be an amazing flight!

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