Mommy Monday ~ Making a family mission statement

I consider myself to be a pretty intentional mom. I know how I want my kids to act. I know how I want them to treat me, treat others and I know how I want them to respect God. But I do not ever want to come across like I’ve arrived. Like I have it all together. Like my family is just one perfect little unit that needs no work.

Let me be clear: I work hard to be very purposeful about raising my kids. BUT: I always have a lot I can work on!!

I was so challenged by my good friend Angelsea who wrote a blog post about her family writing a mission statement. When I read it, I though…DUH!!!! Why have I never thought of this?! It’s so simple. But it’s so deep. And it’s so good.

So…here are her tips on how to come up with your very own family mission statement.

Does your family have a mission statement? 

If not, I have included some questions to help you create your own family mission statement. At the end of the process, you will be able to combine the answers to these questions to create a concise statement for what you (And more importantly, God) want your family to be. Note: if your kids are old enough, I would encourage you to include them in this process so that they have ownership over your mission statement. 

Step One: Mission Questions.

What is the primary goal for your family?

What family practices do you think would please God?

What family attitudes do you think would please God?

What are some things in your family that might displease God?

What are some of the core values you have?

What goals do we have for our children? For our family?

What would we like people to say about our family in 30 years?

Name some adjectives we would like to be able to use to describe our home environment.

Step Two: Summarize.

To write a mission statement, you simply need to take the answers to the above questions, and place them in a simple statement. You want this statement to be something you can remember. If it is too long, you will never refer to it. If it is unclear, it will be useless. It must be both concise and clearly practical. Here is an example of a mission statement:

To raise kids who love Jesus by practicing the gospel in loving service to one another, seeking to remove unloving language and actions, honoring and respecting one another as Christ has done in our lives.

The main goal: to raise kids who love Jesus.

The practices: serving one another

The attitudes: Love

The unwanted practices: unloving language and actions

The adjectives: honor and respect

Step Three: Display and Remind

Now that you have a mission statement, you can use this to help encourage growth in you and your kids. First, share it with your children. Have them agree to what you have written; perhaps even have them sign a sheet of paper with this statement on it. Second, write this statement on a piece of paper and put it somewhere where you and your family will see it consistently. Third, when someone does something out of line with the mission statement you can refer back to it at any time.

See!?! I told you it was so good! Thank you Angelsea for challenging me in this area. My family has already started thinking about what our family mission statement is going to be. I can’t wait to share it when we’re done!

Be sure to go and follow Angelsea’s blog here.

And just because…Here are a few pictures of my family from our day in Boston this weekend. (Thanks to my assistant,  Madeline, for taking most of them!)

2014-10-20_00022014-10-20_0001 2014-10-20_0003

Making the effort regardless of the response

Sometimes you do the right thing. The hard thing. Take the high road. Go above and beyond.

And the response you get is…well. It’s not what you expect.

Maybe you don’t get a thank you. Maybe you don’t get big enough thank you. Maybe you don’t get a response at all.

Do the right thing anyways. Do the hard thing anyways. Take the high road anyways. Go above and beyond anyways.

Always.

When I decide to hold on to things that have happened in the past, or even that are happening today? It doesn’t add anything good to my life. If I decide not to forgive? I am the one who suffers. If I decide to not reach out and serve others who don’t deserve it? I am the one who misses out.

Being negative and critical comes far too naturally. And it is not becoming on anyone. It’s just plain ugly, and no one feels better after being around someone who is that way.

Don’t let that someone be you.

Take your life circumstances, your hurts, your sadness, your confusion, your frustration and turn it into something good.

God is the giver of joy. Satan wants to rob you of of it.

Don’t let him have it. Keep your joy and share it with everyone around you…

Make the effort regardless of the response you get. You’ll be happier when you’re serving others.

After all, it’s not about you.

Rye Beach ~ NH Senior Photography

I love being a NH senior photographer on the seacoast. You want to book a session at the beach? Absolutely – I’m your girl.

I also love when my seniors come all ready with outfit changes and plans for what they are looking for. Victoria did not disappoint. She came ready with a pinterest board and 4 outfits. It ended up being an absolutely gorgeous weather day at Rye Beach and we had a ton of fun.

Here are some of my favorites from the session…and I could have easily posted ALL of them. She is one gorgeous girl!

nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 7 nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 9 nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 12

nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 1

nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 3 nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 2nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 11

nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 5

nh beach photographer new hampshire seacoast photography senior photos portraits rye hampton manchester 6

Happy senior year, Victoria! It was so much fun working with you!

Tagged , ,

A cassette tape of my wedding

I was looking for something in the upstairs of my barn the other day and stumbled across this old cassette tape.

It had a white label that said Wedding Ceremony. Adam and Rachelle Chase. June 12, 1999.

tape

If you ever want to hear the ridiculous things that surrounded my wedding day, let’s have coffee together. You’ll love it.

Let me just give you one. little. thing. The man who was videoing our wedding, put himself in full view of everything on the stage for the entire wedding, only to find out after the wedding was over that he had forgotten to hit record. Yep. And that’s just the beginning.

Anyways, we have been married for 15 years, and as I put the tape in the tape deck, I was surprised to find myself getting emotional. I heard our little teen-sounding voices promising to love each other through good times and bad. I heard my dad talk about how he was excited to think about the generations of strong believers we had come from, and then the way we would pass things on to our own future kids.

And here we are. In that future. Having loved each other through good times and bad. Raising these future kids who are now our precious AJ and Riley. Watching the amazing things that God has done in us and through us.

In a world where marriage vows are for anyone and everyone. Where those vows can be kept, or not.

I am so grateful for a reminder of where we were in life 15 years ago, and where we are today.

Here is where I would normally place a picture of me and my love on our wedding day. But unfortunately I have never framed a single picture of our wedding day since I don’t like any of the pictures. My hair was all wrong, his hair cut bad, my dress not even close to what I had envisioned, the wrong verse on the wall, the video not working, the pictures coming out the way they did, and on and on the list goes for things that went wrong.

But my marriage? My marriage doesn’t depend on the right flowers or the right pictures. It depends on me keeping my promise to be faithful to him. And on him keeping his promise to be faithful to me. And on us both promising that we will keep God at the center of it all to help us get through those really tough times.

Weddings are important. But marriages are what really matter. And my marriage is getting stronger and stronger every day.

Tagged

Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ Comfy leggings

We all know that leggings rule, yes? Especially in the fall. Leggings, a comfy sweater, sweatshirt or dress with boots? Doesn’t get much better than that.

But. You have not felt comfy leggings until you have felt these amazing leggings from Luvi’s Closet.

2014-10-14_0007

2014-10-14_0004 2014-10-14_0006 2014-10-14_0003

2014-10-14_0005

Dudes. These are the most comfortable leggings you will ever wear…no lie.

Now, I do love going out shopping. But the older I get, the more tiring going alllll the way to the store, and then going alllllll the way to the dressing room to try things on becomes. I mean seriously. Who has time for all that?! ha! Lazy, much?! But honestly, online shopping is where it’s at. And not only does Luvi’s Closet have awesome stuff, and fantastic pricing, I am all about supporting small businesses. Luvi’s Closet is run by my old college roomie and I just adore her.

These leggings are one size fits all so you better get on to the website now and order them here. You will not regret it. They are only $14.00!! I have paid a higher bill at starbucks! So get on the site and order some, and then let me know when you are wearing them so we can be twins.

And while you’re at it, shop around the site and check out all the other awesome stuff she has for sale!

Happy Shopping, and happy leggings-wearing!

Dress ~ Blu-Pepper Vintage (from Marshalls)

Leggings ~ Luvi’s Closet

Turquoise ring~ Thrift store (cuz that’s how I roll)

Shoes ~ Candies (Khol’s clearance cuz that’s also how I roll)

Photo credit ~ Riley Chase (cuz I’m all about child labor.)

Tagged

Mommy Monday ~ When your pet dies

Ok. You all remember the story of Taco the hamster? If you want to get reacquainted you can read about it here. Riley was 10 when we got her, and he was pretty happy to finally have his very own pet. We live in a no-pets-allowed zone, but we decided to bend the rules and let him get a pet that stayed in a cage.

Well…kind of stayed in a cage. The dude liked to break out! You can read the story of me searching around my house in the middle of the night to find the escapee here.

2014-10-13_0001 2014-10-13_0002 2014-10-13_0003

Anyways, Riley loved and adored this little rodent. And even though I joked in my previous posts and wondered how long they lived, I really was so so sad when Ry came up to me Friday night with tears in his eyes and said she had died.

As I was thinking about jobs that we as parents have, and the way I try to dedicate Monday to encouraging other parents, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how to handle things when your child’s pet dies.

Parenting is hard, peeps! And there are so many different aspects to it that it’s hard to keep focused on what we need to do in all of it. I thought of 2 important things we can do as parents when your child’s pet dies.

One important thing we can do as parents is this:

Take your child seriously. I love to joke around, and I am almost always sarcastic, so it’s very easy to just brush things off and make light of things. I am also not that mom who gasps every time her child bumps his knee and goes to comfort and encourage emotional breakdowns.

But in the case of a pet dying, I think it is very important to show your child how much HIS feelings mean. Adam and I were both every emotional in all of this, and trust me…it was not because we love rodents! But it was because Riley means so much to us, and when he hurts? We hurt.

So we decided to have a hamster funeral. We let Riley pick a spot outside, dug a grave and gathered together to talk about our favorite memories. Death is hard, even when it is a pet. And we wanted to show Riley that we take him seriously, and we take his feelings seriously.

Another important thing we can do as parents is this:

Be honest. There is no point lying to Riley and trying to soothe his pain by telling him that Taco is in hamster heaven. It can be a good time to talk about how God always values life, because he created it. God valued Taco. But God values human life even more, and God values Riley. God values Riley because God created him, and he knows every single tear that Ry is crying.

So we said so long to good ole Taco. Thanks for the memories, the laughs, the frustrations and the hundreds of dollars in duct tape we had to invest in. And my sweet boy buried his little pet. Hugged his daddy. And he is moving on.

2014-10-13_0004 2014-10-13_0005 2014-10-13_0006 2014-10-13_0007 2014-10-13_0008 2014-10-13_0009 2014-10-13_0011

2014-10-13_0010

Don’t even ask if we are getting another one. I’m not emotionally ready for that yet. ha!

Tagged ,

Beautiful Fall Wedding ~ Bradford, Massachusetts

Meaghan and Dan got married on a beautiful fall afternoon. The weather was perfect and everything went exactly as planned.

2014-10-10_0033

2014-10-10_0001

2014-10-10_00072014-10-10_0008

2014-10-10_0009

If I could go back and change some things about my own wedding, I would definitely do a first look. Being able to see each other alone before the biggest day of your life is so perfect. I love watching how the bride calms right down, the groom relaxes and the rest of the day goes so smoothly. It is just beautiful. 2014-10-10_0002

2014-10-10_0003

2014-10-10_0005 2014-10-10_0006

2014-10-10_00112014-10-10_0012

2014-10-10_00132014-10-10_00162014-10-10_00142014-10-10_00232014-10-10_00242014-10-10_00152014-10-10_00172014-10-10_00182014-10-10_00252014-10-10_00262014-10-10_00192014-10-10_0030

2014-10-10_00342014-10-10_00352014-10-10_0032

2014-10-10_00362014-10-10_00372014-10-10_0031 2014-10-10_0022 2014-10-10_0028 2014-10-10_0029Congratulations to a beautiful couple. It was such an honor to be a part of such a God-honoring and beautiful day.

Tuesday confessions

So my good friend Beth has been doing 31 days of confessions. I think it’s kind of fun to see what people think is confession-worthy. A confession for you might be just a normal every day occurrence for me! But it’s always kind of fun to see things on the internet that are real. And I don’t mean a picture claiming to show the mess that is “real”. Like, a picture is a picture. It may evoke emotion but it doesn’t actually ever show exactly what life is truly like. I want to see real, crazy- town. That way I get reminded that I’m not the only one!

So I’m not doing 31 days of it, but I thought I’d give some of my very own confessions.

 

1. Unlike many people, I have to wash my hair every day.

2. I love watching gymnastics and used to dream of being in the Olympics.

3. My favorite movie is Nadia. Go ahead…google it. No one’s ever heard of it.

4. Camping is not for me.

5. I hate drinking my calories. I rarely drink soda.

6. I love staying up late and don’t enjoy getting up early.

7. I love watching tv.

8. I don’t like talking on the phone. Text me please!!

9. I like dunking my Oreos in hot water. Don’t judge.

10. Dusting ain’t my thang.

11. Spiders don’t really scare me.

12. I talk to myself a lot.

13. I’m obsessed with tweezing my eyebrows.

14. I’ve eaten more eggs this week than I have in my whole life combined.

15. I’m petrified of the dentist.

 

There you have it. 15 confessions. And ya know what? It felt kinda good!

 

That little part that whispers

When you have been hurt by people, there is going to be a little part of you that always wonders. Always questions. Always doubts.

There is always that little part that whispers… She is probably talking bad about me. or, she will end up stabbing me in the back, Or, She will be one more person who walks out of my life with no remorse, leaving me wondering if we were ever really friends at all. When things like that happen, I find myself trying as hard as I can to remember what I ever opened up about to her and wondering if she will use it against me. Then I find myself shielding myself. Holding back. Not really ever opening up to the next person because of the fear that it will happen again. And it’s not like it happened once. Not even twice or three times. When it starts happening over and over? You start to think it’s you. You start to think there is something wrong with you.

And then I question. Is it wrong to not trust people? Is it a sin? Am I doing something wrong because I say that I don’t need anyone else. Just my family is fine, thank-you-very-much.

But then God. God does things and gives you gifts and allows you to trust a little bit here and a little bit there. He puts people in your life that you are convinced you don’t need, because you are fine. Just perfectly fine. And you tell yourself you aren’t going to let yourself get hurt again. You aren’t going to let yourself end up questioning everything your life is all about just because of one person. You can’t and you won’t. And God just quietly throws people at you. Sometimes it feels like it’s literally that way. He throws people into your life that remind you of something.

Just because some people hurt you, doesn’t mean all people hurt you.

And this simple little sentence has been constantly brought back to mind time and time again over the past few years.

Just because some people hurt you, doesn’t mean all people hurt you. I know I just said it, but it bears repeating, because with each new person that comes into my life, with each new opportunity to open up a little bit more, come those doubts. Those fears. That whisper of lies that this girl will be no different than the last…even if she swears she won’t be.

And sometimes? The face of the past hurts shows itself on the face of the new potential friend. And that is just ugly. And not in the least bit fair. Being afraid of trusting someone doesn’t feel good. I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. I prefer to assume the good in people. And in reality? What does it really hurt? My feelings? My emotions?

I choose to let it make me stronger. I choose to find peace in the fact that Jesus directs my steps. He doesn’t allow anything into my life that can’t be used for good.

So many times, over and over I have tried to tell God that I don’t need anyone else. I am just fine. Perfectly fine.

But then God. God knows me better than I know myself, and He gives me gifts of friends I was convinced I didn’t need. So thank you. Thank you to those girls in my life who I can’t even imagine living without. I would have missed out on so many laughs. So many prayers. So many encouraging, uplifting, incredible people if I had let the past control my future. I can take what happened to me in the past, and use it to make me feel even more strongly about being a loyal friend.

The way God gives gifts…it kind of blows me away. Being hurt by a person here, and a person there – it stings. But when you just trust God, just let him work…He gives you blessings a million times over.

*Shout out to all my homegirls. You know who you are. You all have made my life better than I thought it ever could be.

And today… I walked around and saw the beautiful reminder of an incredible creator who made this beautiful earth. This God who is my Father, and puts so much thought into the colors of the world, but He puts even more thought into me.

2014-10-08_0001 2014-10-08_0002 2014-10-08_0003 2014-10-08_0004 2014-10-08_0005 2014-10-08_0006 2014-10-08_0007

Tagged ,

Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ And am awesome giveaway!

I love accessorizing. The more jewelry, the bigger the rings, the brighter the bracelets the better!

Last month when I was at the Pursuit 31 Conference, I had the chance to meet this amazing girl Lizzie. She is the founder and CEO of Market Colors. Please take a minute to go here to their website and check out what they are doing. It is an awesome organization and you are going to be moved when you watch the video on the home page!

I bought the  beautiful Indigo Quinn bracelet/necklace, and I absolutely love it.

threads kicks and frosting market colors nh lifestyle blog 3threads kicks and frosting market colors nh lifestyle blog 4It is awesome to have a bright blue necklace that will add a pop of color to any outfit, but it also makes an adorable wrap bracelet as well. threads kicks and frosting market colors nh lifestyle blog 1 threads kicks and frosting market colors nh lifestyle blog 2

I love it so much that I decided to give one away! 

Please click on the rafflecopter link below to see your options for entering! Sadly, wordpress has been giving me trouble with the option to enter directly from this post. I also posted on my old blogger site which DOES allow it! So frustrating.

Also be sure to check out all the other great items Market Colors has for sale! Support a great cause!

2014-10-07_0005

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers