Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A response

A couple of my mother-type friends on Facebook have posted  a link to an article by Lisa Bloom entitled "How to Talk to Little Girls."

Obviously, as a mother of a little girl, I found the topic to be timely and important.

It was convicting and encouraging at the same time, reminding me that my words speak volumes to the little people around me and that those words should not focus first and foremost on the outer appearance of things.  I need to be careful.  Very careful.

It was a good article.

But I also found it a little lacking in some respects.  It was very subtle, but a couple of things came to my heart and mind:

1.  While I whole-heartedly agree that we need to be careful what we say to little girls, I also think it's still important to affirm their outer beauty.  We should PRIORITIZE inner beauty as FAR MORE important, but I also think it's good for a little girl to know that the people who love her- including the Creator who made her- think she's beautiful on the outside, too.  Because she just is.  I've yet to meet a little girl who is not also a beauty in some way or another.

2.  And while I totally agree that we need to encourage intellectual pursuits, what is of the highest importance to me is not her brain, but her heart.  A heart that loves comes first.  If my daughter learns anything from me (and Lord, help me, I hope she learns something), I want it to be how to love God and love people well.  And if she loves well, I believe that she'll be motivated to steward her intellect and her creative abilities and her giftings and even her outer beauty for good, for love, and for the One who made her.

My hope is that my daughter adorns herself with love and compassion and kindness and gentleness and that she exudes beauty from her heart- making a counter-cultural statement of profound impact for the world to see.

I hope she always loves to read.  I hope she is thrilled by science projects.  I hope she excels in dance or art or tennis or piano.  And heck, I hope she even learns how to color coordinate well someday.

But most of all, I hope she loves.  And loves well.

My two cents.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday: Things that glow

1.  Sandy dust thrown up and around in the late afternoon sun

2.  Water shot from a hose to clean off said dirt- looking more like sparkler at the 4th of July than water in June.

3.  Kate's expressive and twinkling blue eyes

A trifecta of beautiful glow that made for a memorable celebration.
We love you Kate!  Here's to the next dirt and water hose with cupcakes and pizza party! 

Pioneer Pork and People who love Cilantro

To be perfectly honest, I don't really like to cook, but I DO like to eat things that are good.  And I DO want to start making meals on Saturday so that they're ready to eat on Sunday after church. And I DO love all things spicy. And I CAN follow directions.


I pulled it together and made Pioneer Woman's Pork Sandwiches with Cilantro-Jalapeno Slaw.

Let me just say... When Pioneer Woman says she likes heat, she means it.  This little sandwich packs a HUGE punch. But apart from the fire-breathing that I had to work through, it was delicious and well worth the effort.  I recommend giving it a try.

And because he has always enjoyed my spicy dishes, I want to dedicate this post to my friend John.  Not only does he like things that are spicy, he LOVES cilantro.  I mean- he LOVES it.  He doesn't think it tastes like stink bugs at all.  Not at all.

(But in all seriousness you should check out his new up and running website here).

On to the next adventure in the kitchen!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Trip and its Testimony

 We spent a little time seeing the sights, but mostly, for the rest of our trip, we reconnected with friends. Lots of friends...

in Charlotte

and Atlanta
Oh... how I miss my Atlanta girls!!!

And we wrapped up the trip with four innings at the Brave's game.  

Before we embarked upon our journey and after we packed the truck, the five of us huddled in what AG calls "our praying spot."  Jack led us in talking to our Father- asking Him for protection, safety, and blessing, and that our trip would be "a testimony of [His] love."  It was simple and short, but really profound because that's exactly what it turned out to be.  It wasn't always easy- I lost my patience a time or two and everything didn't always go according to plan- but for the most part, this trip WAS a testimony of His love.  He was very present among us as we took on this adventure together.  In fact, His love was just as present in our I love you's and it was in our I'm sorry's.  I'm more convinced than ever that living life together, as a family, is the closest we can get to a picture of the love of the Father.

It's a testimony.  And this is our testimony.

We'll see what other adventures the Lord has in store for our family- and how we can leverage those adventures to extend the testimony of His love.

We're thinking next time we'll head north and west?  Kansas City and Colorado?

You just never know when Team Chaney might end up on your doorstep...

Cutting a rug

 the girl and her daddy

 me and my sweet little guy

 a sister and a brother

 a Nana and her grandsons

and one beautiful bride with her very happy groom

Wednesday, June 22, 2011





This was the rehearsal dinner slideshow that my Aunt DD put together for Ryan a.k.a the groom.

I know this is a weird picture, but I wanted to document the dress I was wearing.  It is a winner on two counts:  pretty and unique orange lace and discounted to 75% off.  And the next night, I wore one of Kate's bridesmaid dresses from last year-ish, so win, win, win!

 This is Ryan, my almost 90 year old grandmother, and the beautiful bride Melissa.

On to Day 4- Raleigh...


A children's museum that was way fun...

 This is big Dennis and little Dennis, our great friends who hosted us in Raleigh.




 I guess Lovie is just part of the family at this point.


Yet painful

I don't know if it was just the heels I was wearing or the squirmy baby I was holding, but I find it kind of ironic that I find it painful to pose for family pictures.  As much as I like to take pictures, I don't think I prefer to be in them.  And I can't decide which family pic is the better of the two.  










And now I might be half-way through the gagillion pictures I took.  More to come to be sure.  

Slaying the Dragon

We were oblivious.

We just plugged in our North Carolinian mountain destination into our handy dandy GPS and drove.

But then we were wondering why our five hour drive was taking much longer than five hours.

We were wondering what was up with all the motorcyles.

We were wondering why there were photographers along the way.

So after the long but very scenic and lovely drive, we googled US-129.

Apparently, 318 tight curves down a mountain with names like "Killboy" and "Gravity Cavity" and "Wheelie Hell" earns you some degree of notoriety.

This stretch of road on the Tennessee/North Carolina border is otherwise known as "The Tail of the Dragon," an international destination for motorcycles and sports cars sought after for its thrills.

And unsuspecting us in our SUV with our three kids and my squeamish self...

We slayed it.

And yeah... we totally meant to do that.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making our voyage: The Great East 2011

I don't even really know where to start.  Our trip covered over 2,400 miles, seven states in seven days. We visited 10 sets of friends, enjoyed live music in Music City, danced our hearts out at a wedding, walked down memory lane (sort of literally), swam in the Nantahala, car sang with the windows down to our favorite songs, and caught a baseball game just for starters.  It was epic.  In Anna Grace's words, it was an "AMAZING trip."

So I guess I'll start with pics from Day One (Nashville) and Day Two (The Great Smoky Mountains).

A friend saw this on Etsy and thought of us and our trip and I truly appreciated it:

"Make voyages! Attempt them!  There is nothing else."  Tennessee Williams

I'm so glad we attempted this voyage even though our kids are small and the miles were many.

It was worth every single minute on the road.

And then some.

But right now, my own bed is calling my name...