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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Engagement Photography ~ Hazelton Apple Orchard Chester, NH

I got a text from a girl named Kendra after Rebekah gave her my number for a referral.
Before long, we were texting all the time, and planning for a perfectly adorable engagement session.

It was a beautiful, sunny (and a little chilly) day and we finally got to meet at this great little apple orchard.
Kendra is one of the sweetest girls you could ever meet, and her fiance was great also...laughing almost the entire time.
I like to think I'm funny sometimes. ha!

We had a great time, and they were amazing models for me!
Here are some of my favorites from the day!

 Gorgeous ring!!

Tim and Kendra, it was so great to meet you both, and I know we are going to be friends for a long time!
Congratulations on your engagement!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Three blind mice...or 2 dead ones.

You remember the post about the animal issues we have with our house, yes?
The one about the bird and the one about the 2 birds?
I think I should put animals in the "what I write about" section.

I am not an animal lover. {insert hateful comments from my readers here}
Except for horses. I love horses.
Anyways...I think it's funny (and I use that term loosely) that just when I think I am not going to have any more dealings with animals, another animal pops up.
Like, literally pops up.

Last Friday as I was sitting in my library, I thought I smelled something.
I am pretty positive we have a skunk living under our house.
Now, if I remember Bambi correctly, skunks hibernate? At least flower did.
So hopefully she will be going to sleep soon and not coming out till Spring.
ok...we got that animal taken care of.

Let's see now.
We have had birds, bats, skunks and turkeys who pretty much think this land is their land.
So I guess it was no surprise when I was finally brave enough to venture upstairs to the attic that I saw a small gray ball on the second step.
I slammed the door shut and yelled for Riley.
(There is a reason God knew I should be a boys mommy! ha!)
He was excited to see what I was screaming about...of course.
When I opened the door slowly to show him the dead mouse, I saw another one.
This one? Face up.
Staring his beady little eyes up at me.

Come off it!
Now what makes me nervous is the song, people, the song!
You know the one...Three blind mice?
I saw 2 mice who were clearly blind - since they must have fallen down the stairs which are pretty dang obvious, if you ask me.
Where is the other mouse?
I mean it.
You know there's gotta be another one.

So please stay tuned for my next post entitled

The Day the Third Blind Mouse Scared the Living Daylights Out of  Me.

In  the meantime, I will be here.
Thinking that every single gray thing I see is another mouse. or bat. or bird. or hamster.

And I will have the boys open every door.
Starting now.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Family Photography ~ Coppal House Farm Lee, NH

I am a boys mommy through and through.
And I get a little bit excited when I see a sweet little family with 2 little boys ready for a photo session!
We met at the beautiful Coppal House Farm at sunset, and they even came prepared with their own bale of hay!
It was pretty much the most perfect setting you ever did see.

It was really hard to pick my favorite, because I think I am obsessed with every single image.
Thank you so much Monique and Marc for allowing me to capture your beautiful family.

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's a whole new deal, yo.

I stood there in Rome, Georgia thinking to myself...what am I doing here?
Why did I leave Adam and the boys?
Was that really a good decision?
But it was too late to turn back now, and I knew that it would be fine once I got all settled in.

I wanted to make changes.
Changes in my business, changes in my life, changes in my friendships, changes in my walk with God...
and I knew that if I was away from my own LIFE and everything in it, I would be able to focus.
I would be able to hear from God and I would be able to make the changes I wanted to make.

Don't misunderstand me.
It's not at all like I thought my life was horrible, and my business was bad and my friendships stunk.
But I just always want to be moving forward.

Always moving forward.

See...ruts are no good.
I've been in them.
They are painfully easy to fall into, much more painfully hard to get out of.
Because falling into them is like a natural progression down.
And we all know that falling down is easier than getting up.
Putting weight on is easier than taking it off.
Making wrong choices is easier than making right ones...and on and on it goes.

I honestly thought that I would be making choices that focused on my business.
This was, after all, a business conference.
A conference that allowed me to be able to sit under the advice of creative business owners who have for all intensive purposes "arrived".
I really didn't think that my blogging would have a part in my moving forward.
But I was wrong.

I met this chic Hannah at the airport.
I only knew who she was because of the fact that she was my friend Tiffany's friend.
I knew she was a blogger, and I love people who love people.
And love she does.

So we talked a little bit on the way to the conference.
We talked a little bit at a table for lunch.
And it's funny because the more I was talking, the more I realized what I loved doing, and what I loved talking about!

I love photography.
I truly do.
But what has been confusing a little bit lately was the fact that I don't ever feel like photography is my life.
I don't ever feel like it is my passion.
Like it has my heart.
Some people's stories start out with...I remember getting my first camera at the age of 4...and the rest is history.

And I'm all like, ya. I got a camera offa craigslist yo.
I had these wicked adorable little boys with big blue eyes, and I just had to take cute pics.
Ha! Not very pretty words to put on a professional website. I know.
But I felt like when people would ask what I did, being a photographer was like the 10th thing I talked about!
I talked about my husband, my kids, my ministry, my family, my writing, the fact that I love to speak, and oh ya..I take pretty pictures too!

And. Then she asked me this question.
What would you want to do if you could do anything?

The funny thing was, I knew what the answer was.
But I had never actually said it out loud.
To anyone.
The reason was because I felt like it sounded prideful.
I still do, which is why I am still typing and not writing what the answer was.

I would be a writer and a speaker.

What? What does that even mean?
It sounded funny.
It looks funny writing it.
But it's true.
I didn't want it to come across like I think I am so special and have so much to talk about.
Because I don't.
But when I write? It makes me feel fulfilled.
When I have the chance to speak? I live for it.

So I decided.
I will push my writing and speaking more.
I will push my photography business less.

And then I came home to an inbox filled with photography inquiries. Ha!
Which is GREAT! And I am grateful...and I truly do love photography, and I love how God blesses me.

But I changed everything about my blog to a whole new look.
I changed my blog name to rachellechaseblog.com
I changed my colors.
I changed my style.
I changed everything.

It's a whole new deal, yo.

So here is my new blog.
It is still the same old me.
It is still the same old style.
I will still post crazy stories about my son's hamster, taco.
I will still post my favorite photography sessions.
And I will still try to video blog.
And of course I will still write about intentional parenting, being in ministry and everything else I talk about.

But...I want to push what I love doing.
I want to always be moving forward.
No ruts for this girl!

Now I know that I was supposed to go to Georgia.
I know that for many reasons...one of which was to be able to stop my busy life long enough to realize what I really feel like God wants me to focus on.

Thank you Hannah for being a fellow people lover, and a lover of words.
And thank you to all of YOU, my readers, who comment, email, text and just fill my little love tank all the up to the brim.

I know what I want to be doing with my life, so what do you want to be doing with your life?
I am more than happy to give you a hand and help you climb up out of that rut!!
Dude...It's getting cold out, you don't wanna be down there.

Always moving forward.

*Check out my speaking link at the top of the page :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

I'm a vlogger, baby!

Apparently the correct term is vlogger for those that choose to video blog.
Ohhh ya! That's what I'm talking about.
I'm a vlogger, baby!
Here we go.

(Why oh why does youtube say it's saving when I choose a new thumbnail and then insist on using the ugly face one?!)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The cool kids: One of my favorites on the stage

I was never the cool kid.
It's ok, you don't have to feel bad for me.
I mean...I think that I pretty much thought I was cool in middle school.
I remember wearing my jean jumper with pride.
I remember picking out my stirrup pants, long sweater and 2 different pair of socks to layer over said stirrup pants the week before the Word of Life Super Bowl when I was in the 7th grade.
Yep. I thought I was cool.

High school wasn't much different than middle school as far as my level of coolness.
But really...I'm ok with it.

Moving on.

I wrote a post quite a while ago about an experience I had in Haiti.
I wrote about a woman I met, and the difference between her and I...the fact that we aren't really that different. It seems like this is a theme I am seeing in my life lately.

I feel like I am constantly reminded of the fact that there are people who are "cool" and there are people who are a little less than "cool"

When I write that, I am not saying that I actually feel this way, but I am saying that it is how our world is.
There are the famous people, the wealthy people, the well known people...and then there are the rest of us.

This feeling of people being on different levels is unfortunately played out just about everywhere.

I don't want to be a part of it.
I believe that God created everyone equal.
I believe that there is not one person that is above another person.
Because I have been in the lower level very often, and have even recently had that feeling of...wow. I thought you were my friend until your "cool" friend showed up...I feel like people should be praised more.

And so. Every once in a while, I want to take a little time out and talk about someone who I think deserves to be thought of as the cool kid.

This could be a series that goes on for...well...ever, because I know some pretty amazing people.
After the Pursuit 31 Conference I went to, I started reading all these photographers blogs about the speakers at the conference and how amazing they were.
Don't get me wrong.
I really and truly enjoyed the speakers.
I thought they were great.
But there were some other people there that I thought were equally as great!
I thought...man. Here are some amazing girls that are doing amazing things, and changing people's lives. But because they aren't standing on a stage, they don't get any recognition.

So. Here is my stage.
And today on my stage is this beautiful and amazing girl I know named Joni.
No. You didn't read that right. It's J-AW-NEE. As in...Joni Erickson Tada, the person she was named after.
Ok. I'm glad we got that cleared up.

Anyways. She is a photographer. A wife and mom of 2 kids.
She is a videographer, and an amazing one, at that.
She is the talented logo designer of my new and beautiful logo at the top of my blog.
And she is really funny, although she has not quite mastered how to effectively use the word hashtag in everyday conversation.

The reason I wanted to talk about her is because she is the kind of person everyone should be friends with. She is the kind of person who enters a room and the entire room lights up.
She laughs really loud, and it makes you have to laugh too.
She is not afraid to ask questions about her faith....like in a totally real and authentic kind of way.
I love that.
She lives in Maine. I know...the way life should be.
And she's a rock star.
She deserves to be on a stage not because of how many followers she has, not because of how many likes she has on her page, but because God is using her to bring glory to Himself.
She deserves to be on a stage not because she has started a foundation to save millions of orphans, or because she tours the world giving seminars, but because she is being used exactly where she is, and she realizes the important fact that everyone needs to realize:

The only person that matters at this moment is the one person you are talking to.

Do you get what I mean by that?

Numbers don't matter.
People matter.

And one thing I love about Joni is that she treats you like you are the most important person in the world.
And then she turns to the next person and treats them like they are the most important in the world.

And this is what matters, and this is how I try to live as well.

Just showing God's love to every single person I come in contact with...one person at a time.
So I may not have a real live stage.
And Joni might not either.

But our stage is one that God gave us.
And we are using it in our little tiny towns up in New England. A-yuh!
And she is no better than you.
And I am no better than her.

Let's spend way more time focusing on the people that maybe aren't in the lime light right now.
Because maybe...just maybe, they are the ones that need it.
Who are you going to put on your stage this week?
Maybe it means writing a letter, making a phone call, telling someone how important and valuable they are.
You have no idea how much they might need it!

And please. Take a second and watch this video.
And then hire this girl. Because she rocks the daylights out of videos.

Thank you my sweet, sweet friend for being such a huge part of my life.
You are wicked cool.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Headaches, too many coffees to count and promises.

In case you're having one of those days.
You know the ones I'm talking about...

The clock keeps ticking on by and you feel like it's going way. too. fast.
You just don't have time.
Time to do everything on your to-do list.
Or maybe you are like me and you are so busy, you don't even have time to make a stinking to-do list!
Your laundry is piling up.
You have a headache.
You have had at least 8 handfuls of chocolate chips...in fact, you're pretty much just dumping the bag straight into your mouth at this point.
You realize it's 4:30pm and the chicken is still rock hard in the freezer.
You lost track of how many cups of coffee you had after 6.
You can't find those same leggings you have been wearing every day (while switching up your tops and hoping that no one catches on) because they are hidden under the pile of clothes you threw in the closet when your doorbell rang.

Anyone? Anyone?

Well. I have a few things to remind you of.

You are worthy.
You belong to God.
You are able.
You are strong.
You are of great worth.
You have been given a spirit of power. of love. of a sound mind...not of fear.
You are never alone
You are an overcomer.
You are victorious.
You are free.
You have direct access to God Himself.
You have purpose.
You have hope.
You are guaranteed a home in heaven (If you have accepted His free gift of salvation)
You are loved.
You are loved.
You are loved.

So the next time you find yourself wanting to climb back into bed and pull the covers over your head...

Your life was valued so highly that someone literally gave His life for yours.
You are loved so deeply that the God of this world sees every single tear you cry...and truly cares about each one.
You have everything you need to become anything you could ever dream of being -
Because God has things planned for us that we can not even imagine.
Our only job is to surrender to Him.

Be encouraged today.
Do you see that list?
That is a crazy mad list of pretty incredible promises straight from God himself.
And guess what? He can't break His promises!!

You are loved.
You are loved.
You are loved.

Now put the chocolate chips down and walk away...
Or maybe you better start running away, you burn more calories that way.

And don't forget - we are in this together, me and you.
We understand that sitting here at your computer reading that someone else is having one of those days? kind of gives you permission to be ok with the fact that you are having one of those days too.
So it's ok. And you can get through this. I have no doubt.
Here's to a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Engagement Photography ~ Prescott Park Portsmouth, NH

I met Kate at starbucks as a prospective client.
She told me her love story through tears, and 5 minutes in, I thought...I have to be friends with this girl.
We just clicked right away and I felt like I was hanging out with an old friend.

Kate and Derek are adorable.
They are so obviously in love, and they are so much fun to hang out with.

We were fortunate to have an absolutely gorgeous, sunny, fall day at Prescott Park in Portsmouth for their engagement session.

They are a pretty awesome looking couple.
See for yourself!

 This ring...totally gorgeous.

It was such an honor to spend the day with you Derek and Kate.
I can not even wait for your wedding!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Skimming through life when #Godispushy

I am a skimmer.
I don't really think that's a good thing, although it may have gotten me through a college English class or 2.
Well, that and writing a really, really sweet Christmas card to my professor.
True story.

Anyways, as I was running all over the place today, I realized that I skim over my life way too much.
I mean, I don't want to. And I don't mean to.
I am a very fast paced person...just ask Adam.
His slow and steady pace definitely keeps me balanced.

I don't know why I'm so fast, and sometimes I drive myself crazy.
The worst part is when I skim over things I don't even want to.

In the spirit of keeping my blog completely real and honest...
I skimmed over my quiet time with God today.
Can it get any lower than that??
As if my life is just so filled the the brim of important things, that God couldn't quite get my full attention.

We are going through The Truth Project for the second time at my church.
I need it.
We were learning on Sunday that God's story is so much bigger than our story.
Yet, somehow, we fool ourselves into thinking that life is all about us. About our own story.
That, my friends, is the farthest thing from the truth.

When I actually start believing the truth that my life exists to bring glory to God...
the things I start skimming over will change.

I start realizing that every single day is a gift.

Why would I want to rush through a meal with my family so I can get to my computer to edit all those images waiting for me?
Why would I want to rush through a time I am privileged enough to have with God to get to the dishes in the sink?
Why would I want to rush through a day, hoping to get it over with (cough*tomorrow*cough) instead of stopping. And being still. And being thankful for every day I have been given.

Instead, I should be:
*Looking at my boys and thinking about the way that Riley's smile is totally from the Chase side of the family. (I think Auntie Sarah)
*Thinking about the way that AJ looks and acts exactly like Adam, but somehow looks just like his cousin Caleb, who is from my side of the family.
*Loving the fact that Riley could play with legos forever, knowing that it won't last forever. (no...seriously. It won't. I already told him he's not allowed to be that person who is playing with legos his whole life. haha!)
*Loving the fact that AJ was sweet enough to go up to a 7-year-old girl and offer to go through a corn maze with her, because she wanted someone to go with.
*Glowing with pride because I watched Riley getting made fun of from a boy on his soccer team since he went to church and missed his soccer game, to which he replied...God is more important than sports.
*Watching AJ go up to his soccer team after missing the semi-final game because of church and then watching literally all of the 12 and 13 year old boys on his team run up and hug him. Then hearing his coach say...As you can see. The team kind of likes AJ.

There is so much in life I don't want to miss!
This time of year blows me away with the incredible creation of an incredible God.
He is so creative.
Yes...He is pushy sometimes
My p31 girls and I were aware of that a couple weeks ago!
I could have put this hashtag every 10 minutes! #Godispushy
I mean seriously! It's like...conviction, much?!
But He is pushy because He loves me and wants me to be still!
To understand that HE is God.
To understand that my life is not about my story.
It's about God's story.

I am challenging myself, and any of my skimming, hyper, ADD prone, crazy friends.
Be still tomorrow.
Tell yourself to slow down.
Tell yourself to breathe.
Remind yourself that it is not about you, it is about God.
And instead of speeding through your day and skimming over things, just look around.
Enjoy what you have right now.
Enjoy what you have today.
Ask God to be pushy!
Don't you want that? Don't you want to grow? Don't you want to become a better person?

It's your choice.
It's my choice.
And tomorrow?
I am choosing to slow down.
Go ahead God, push away!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My crazy self is all up on the blog tonight. Fair Warning.

Thank you youtube. I am really loving the opening look you got for this video.
Because I wasn't already second guessing myself for even posting this. 

PS. Loving or even sarcastic comments are welcome.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

See mom run.

Sometimes... I sit here and start typing.
And without even thinking, clever sentences and witty comments come flying out.

Then sometimes my brain gets all wacked out and I'm all like...
Today we went to a corn maize.
It. was. fun.
The weather was nice.
See AJ and Riley run.
They ran fast.
See. mom. run.
She was tired.
See mom sit.

The end.

So today, because I have all these great pictures of my boys fun day at this awesome corn maize.
I am just going to upload them and let the pictures do the talking.

And also?
I'm getting a horse.
You heard it here first.

That's all for me tonight.
Peace out.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A sweet little one-year-old with her pearls and cake

Sweet little Paige was a photographer's dream client.
She sat, stood, ate cake, smiled, laughed and that was that.

Pretty impressive for a one-year-old!

She wore her pearls with pride, and had no shame going full force into the cake.
She looked like she was having so much fun, she challenged me to do the same.
So now I am going to go out and buy some pearls. And I think I'll have cake for breakfast tomorrow.
Why not.

Thanks for letting me share in your adorableness!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm sarcastic. Duh.

It's a gift. Really.

I have this little unwritten rule.

I call it the 5 minute rule.

If I am having a deep, serious conversation...I have to crack a joke to lighten things up every five minutes. I'm not even joking...I just have to.
It's like – dude! You can only take so much!

Imagine my sheer and utter horror when I found myself standing in a circle of 50 women. (Some of who I knew, some of who I did not.)
And I was expected to stand there.
With my palms up. No fidgeting.
Look a perfect stranger in the eyes and telling her my biggest fear.
Um. Has it been five minutes yet?

I kept telling myself...it's fine. It will be over soon.
And then everyone was crying. And then I was questioning my decision to attend a conference so far away from home.
And then it was my turn.
And I stood there and cracked my joke.

It had been 5 minutes, people!

And people laughed, and I could breathe again.
I was serious after my joke. Really I was.

But it is times like that that really get me thinking.
See..I am sarcastic.
Like. A lot.
But I am really serious too. I think deeply and I love fiercely.
I am loyal to a fault and if I say I will always be there for you. I mean it.

As I have been thinking back on my time at the conference, I can't possibly put everything I am feeling into one post.
So tonight?
I am thinking about the fact that you can not tell everything about a person by her outward appearance.
Just because I am sarcastic and love to make people laugh, it does not mean that I don't have serious thoughts and real feelings.

I went into this conference thinking I did not need another friend.
I was fine. I had all I needed.
And I walked away thinking...

How in the world did I ever live without these girls?

I am going to write later about the fact that no one is a nobody.
And everybody is a somebody.
I want to gush over the girls that may consider themselves a nobody,
while everyone around us are busy filling their blogs with the praises of the somebody's.
No offense to those who have arrived.
To those who have made it.

But I think that a little more time needs to be spent on the people who consider themselves nobody's.

Because to Jesus? We are all the same.
Did you get that?

We are all the same.

And I am so incredibly thankful that Jesus loves me just as much as He loves all the somebody's.

So yes. I am sarcastic. Duh.
It's just the way I am. And I'm pretty sure Jesus thinks it's rad.

Don't judge me if I am hashtagging the daylights out of every awkward situation.
Don't stare me down if you aren't picking up what I'm laying down.
And don't be jealous. Not everyone can have this gift.
It's ok.

And be on the lookout for your name in my blog.
Some of you girls need to be reminded how incredible you really are.

Because life is too short.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Going big or going home.

Type, type, type.
Backspace, backspace, backspace.
Type, type.
Backspace, backspace.

This is what is going on right now.
My thoughts. They are normally a little crazy. But tonight?
They are beyond that.
I have so many things that are in my heart.
I just returned from a week long conference.
It is still crazy in my mind that I even took that much time away from my family.
But I knew God wanted me to go. I just knew it.
And I was right.

God spoke to me this week.
It was real, and it was constant.
I don't say that lightly, and I don't say it as just a thing to say.

God is real.
And if you have any doubts of that, you aren't opening your eyes enough.

God speaks to His children.
And if you have any doubts of that, you aren't opening your ears enough.

My intent is not to share everything in this one post because it is just too much.
I haven't even been able to process everything.

I just wanted to really think about this verse. I mean, really think about it.
Write it out, study it out, hold tightly to it.
Hebrews 6:19.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul both sure and steadfast.
The NIV says firm and secure.
I love this.
What keeps me going in the middle of my crazy schedule?
Hope in Jesus.
I can't hold on to my family, my friends, my positive thinking, my work, my money.
Jesus. That's it.
HE is sufficient. He is all I need, and He is the one who gets me through.

I am going to be making some big decisions.
I have some pretty big goals.
In my business, in my ministry, in my family.

I have a huge team of people surrounding me who also have big dreams and big faith in a big God. We're gonna do crazy big things, people.

Anyone not on board with this whole Jesus-thing?
Anyone who just doesn't get it?
Please talk to me. Please.
Choosing Jesus? Best decision I ever made in my life.
Hands down.

So starting this week?
I am going big or going home.
I am ready to Roll. Who's with me?

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