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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ Modesty is the best policy

I love fashion. I love checking out new styles, I love shopping and I’m pretty sure there is going to be an enormous TJ Maxx in heaven.  But I think a false misconception is that you have to dress like a frumpy, old woman in order to be modest.
I disagree. Now. I am not trying to open the can of worms that is the modesty issue. There are 2 different soap boxes that come with that.
1. A girl’s body is a girl’s body. It’s not her fault men are pigs and can’t control their thoughts.
2. A girl needs to wear a turtleneck and long baggy pants every day of every year and it is completely her responsibility to keep men from having dirty thoughts.
I’m gonna get all up on all ya’ll’s soapboxes for a minute.
Both of those attitudes are wrong.
Thinking that my actions only affect me is the problem with so many aspects of the world today. No one wants to take responsibility for any of their actions or any of their decisions. Your actions can affect other people. You can be (partially) responsible for the actions of the people around you.
Thinking that I am completely responsible for other people’s actions is another problem. Regardless of what a girl is wearing, guys still have a choice with what they will do with their eyes, and they still have a choice with what they do with their thoughts.
When you have an attitude that is thinking of others as better than yourself, or that is wanting to be above board and above reproach, when you have a heart’s desire to please God with what you do? You will have no problem changing your clothing or changing your attitude.
The reason I hate both sides of this argument is because in both cases, people are putting themselves higher than they should.
What kind of a person blames every girl out there for every poor decision a man has ever made, attack the girls dressing that way, and any other person in their way? A prideful person. A person who wants what they want regardless of how it affects other people. (sometimes, even convincing themselves that they are attacking for good reason because they are just trying to help their husband or other men!)
On the other hand, what kind of a person hears someone say that the reason their husband is struggling with lust is because of the way they are dressing and instantly start going on a rampage agains men, the person suggesting a change, and any other person in their way? A prideful person. A person who wants what they want regardless of how it affects other people.
Only by pride comes contention. Period. 
Try thinking about what the opposite reaction might look like. What if every girl stopped themselves before they left the house, took 2 extra minutes to examine what they were wearing, and maybe even asked their dad or husband if what they were wearing was ok? What if every girl stopped themselves before they started judging every other girl out there and instead prayed that their husbands, or sons would remain pure in their thoughts and actions?
A little different, huh?
In light of my love for style, here are a few tips that will show you how you can still dress in style without being inappropriate.
1. If you wear leggings, always have something covering your butt. There’s really no need for the world to see London and France. If you want to wear a shorter skirt that is hard to stay modest in? Wear leggings underneath.
You can still be stylish and be modest.
2. Never wear nude colored leggings. Ever. I mean for real now. Ain’t nobody got the stomach for that.
(don’t worry, there is no picture demonstrating this one!)
3. Wear a tank top under your shirts.
2014-10-28_0002 I wear a tank top under every single shirt I ever wear. It helps when your shirt is low cut, and it also helps when your shirt comes up in the back. We have all had the unfortunate experience of having someone bend over in front of us only to find out…ahem…they weren’t wearing a tank top. And unfortunately, London and France weren’t even around! I think you get my drift. Do everyone around you a favor and wear a tank.
Don’t forget. You can still be stylish and modest.
I just saw this quote that I liked…Instead of thinking if ya got it, flaunt it. Think: if ya got it, protect it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Follow me on my new blog!

Be sure and follow me at my new blog!
I write about my family, my photography, my thoughts on life in general and all kinds of other stuff.


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

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

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ And an awesome giveaway!

*I am posting here, because my wordpress site is giving my NOTHING but problems! Hopefully they will fix things and I can get back to my usual posting.*

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!  All you have to do is enter below! 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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

3 things to remember when raising teenage boys.

Here I am. The mother of a teenage boy. You know, that stage in your life that you have heard countless moms talking about with dread and fear?
If there is one thing I have learned about pretty much every single area of life, it’s this:
Stereo-types are bullies. They come in and get all up in your grill and try to convince you that their way is the right way. They tell you that this is how things are because that is what everyone has always said, and who are we to try to interfere? They don’t care who they affect, and they don’t let up, no matter how much time has gone by.
I’ve never been a big fan of bullies.  And I decided a long time ago that I was not going to sit by and let other people and their opinions boss me around.
With that being said. I wanted to give you 3 things to remember when raising teenage boys. And because I like to make things easy to remember when I write and when I speak, I made them all start with the letter “a”. You’re welcome.

1. Teenage boys need a lot of attention.
You know how things were when your boys were little. They needed constant attention. They needed their meals made for them and fed to them. They needed to be dressed. They needed you to take them to the bathroom, rock them to sleep and sing to them when they were scared.
Obviously, things change the older they get. But they change. They don’t stop. Big difference. Here is where I want to challenge you with:
They don’t need less attention the older they get, they just need a different kind of attention the older they get.
Of course you aren’t doing some of the things that you used to do, but make sure that you are not taking away the attention that they need from you entirely. You may not have to literally put food in their mouths anymore, or sometimes even cook for them. But everyone loves attention. Be sure to make a conscious effort to make their favorite meal every once in a while. Take out a bowl, spoon and cereal and leave it on the counter with a note. Leave messages on the mirror in the bathroom. Do one of their chores, look them in the eyes when they are talking to you, step away from your computer or turn the tv off to make sure you are making it very clear that they are important. Be interested in what they are interested in! When AJ wants to talk about this soccer player, and that soccer stat, I really don’t have a clue who or what he’s talking about. But I still love to listen. I love to hear him talk, hear him laugh, and watch him smile. Don’t take those things for granted. Enjoy being with your teenager. And don’t fake it…they will be able to see right through it.
Never stop giving your kids attention. Never.
Do you know one of the first people I look to when I want attention? My mom! I want my mom’s attention and I am a grown woman, myself! We never stop craving attention from our parents, and that is how it should be.
2. Teenage boys need a lot of affection.
Don’t forget about the stereo-type bully. I don’t know who ever started making it “embarrassing” for a boy to hug and kiss his mom in public. It’s stereo-typical, and it is not something you have to be pushed around with. Now. If you are not a super affection person naturally, I am not suggesting you start getting all crazy for the first time ever once they hit 13. But if hugging has always been a natural and normal part of your family’s life, why on earth would you stop when your boy hits his teen years? And for crying out loud, don’t ask them if it’s embarrassing! Why even put the thought in their head?! Why would it be embarrassing? You should make it so that he would start to wonder what was up if you didn’t hug him! Of course, everything has to start with communication.
A lot of moms I have talked to have told me that their teenager just won’t talk to them. Well…Two things for ya, momma… 1. A lot of people just won’t talk to you, it is not just because he’s a teenager.     2. That doesn’t happen overnight. If your kids are still young? Start making it a family practicenow to be open about everything! I’ve said it many times before, but every once in a while, ask your teenager (or any age child) if you have done anything that day or that week that upset them. Ask at a time that allows for you to apologize and make things right in case the answer is yes! Keeping current is so important in every relationship.
Hug that boy of yours. Rub his back. Kiss his cheeks. Put your arm around him. Show him that you enjoy being with him and you love being near him.
3. Teenage boys need a lot of approval.
I mean, duh. We all need a lot of approval! I think that you have probably picked up on that main theme here. A teenage boy is no different than any other person. We are all just humans, with basic emotional, spiritual and physical needs!
During these teen years there are going to be so many people who disapprove of your son. The biggest one I find disapproving of mine is…himself. They are going through so many changes- changes with their friends, their school, their body, their emotions, their moods! Sometimes I see AJ disapproving of himself, and that breaks my heart. Understand the major importance of teaching your teenager that you approve of him, and that more importantly God approves of him. At the end of the day, the things that you need to be pushing and showing approval in, are his attitude, his service, his acts of love – not only his soccer skills, his academic excellence, or his number of friends. Yes, I think it is very important to show approval in every area of life. You are still building confidence in them! He needs to hear you cheering at his games, complimenting his good test score, and saying good things in his ear shot about how you can tell what a great kid he is because so many people like him. And it is equally as important to be careful not to show disapproval over the temporal, fleeting things. I hear way, way too many parents screaming at their kids when they play poorly at a game. It breaks my heart. I want to scream at them for behaving poorly as a parent! Yes, I see the irony there. Ha!
You can show your approval by actually speaking it. By bragging about him behind his back so he overhears you. By writing a note. By making a special meal. By taking him out. By hugging him. By buying him something. When a teenager feels approval by his parents, he is not going to be desperate to find approval elsewhere. 
Be the place he knows he can be himself without fear of being made fun of. Be the place he can laugh his hardest, burp his loudest, and act his craziest!
Don’t allow the stereo-type bully to push your son around. Don’t let him fall into any trap that make him feel like he has the right to not talk, to not show affection,  or to not honor his parents. He is responsible before God, just like the rest of us to be living a life that is pleasing to God. But he still needs you. He needs you there to support him. To know when to speak and when to listen. When to hug and when to walk away.
Enjoy that teenage boy of yours. They make the best friends.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Follow me on my new blog

Last year I decided to change my blog name from ajnrileysmommy.blogspot.com, which it had been since 2005, to Rachellechaseblog.com. I started out just writing as a typical mommy blog and kind of switched to just writing in general. I wanted my name to better represent what I was writing about which is why I changed it.
So even though you could still get to my blog by going to rachellechaseblog.com, it still came up as ajnrileysmommy.blogspot.com and I never really told anyone about the switch.

So now. I have taken the plunge and decided to switch everything and start using wordpress instead of blogger. It's scary.
I have spent years trying to build a following and have actually made some great friends as a direct result of my blog. I really was a little nervous that I would lose readers and followers if I switched. But there's no turning back now!

I will continue to write every week day and intersperse some family stuff, my photography and some encouraging and thought provoking writing as well.
I would love it if you would continue to support me and share my posts!
I love new friends and I love followers!!
You can find me at www.rachellechaseblog.com.

See you over there!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Senior beach portraits ~ Rye Beach, NH

Being a NH senior photographer on the seacoast is basically the best.
Not much beats the cool breeze, the gorgeous lighting and the calmness that being at the beach brings

When Kelsee contacted me about doing her senior portraits, I was more than happy to go along with her idea of going to the beach!
Rye beach offers a gorgeous location and also right down the road is an adorable white fence so my seniors can easily have 2 totally different themes in one session.

Kelsee is absolutely beautiful and is super sweet. We had an awesome time at her shoot.
Here are a few of my favorites from her session.

She even brought along a few friends and family members to join in on the fun!

Hope you have an awesome senior year, Kelsee!

If you are looking for a NH senior photographer, be sure to contact me for pricing and details!

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