Category Archives: Good News

A roller coaster of emotions

The past 9 days have been a roller coaster of emotions. We have experienced sadness, fear, great fun, gratefulness, and joy. So many things. So many feelings. Last week I shared with you guys that we had just come out of a pretty rough weekend. Over that weekend while we were helping my mother-in-law with Christopher’s dad (who is in the late stages of dementia), we got a call from my mom letting us know that my dad had a stroke and was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

me-with-mom-dad{me with my parents}

However, after a few days in the hospital he was discharged with the incredible news that the stroke had caused no loss of function. His guardian angel must have been working overtime that Saturday. I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving, but seeing my dad be his normal self just days after a stroke was such a blessing.

girls and dad.jpg{two of my sisters and me with our dad this past week}

I’ll share more about all the fun we had at Thanksgiving later this week, but for now I wanted to at least share this before I run out the door.  There are no words to describe how thankful I am that I got to spend another Thanksgiving with my dad.

 Love Rach


This is my story

Over the years that I’ve had this blog I’ve shared favorite recipes, travels, daily life, and stories. So many stories. And often I find myself talking about Jesus here. And the more I tell “my” stories, the more you hear about Jesus. I heard a song recently that really summed this up  beautifully.

If I told you my story, you would hear hope that wouldn’t let go

If I told you my story, you would hear love that never gave up

And if I told you my story, you would hear life, but it wasn’t mine…

If I should speak then let it be: of the grace that is greater than all my sin! Of when justice was served and where mercy wins! Of the kindness of Jesus Who draws me in. Oh, to tell you my story is to tell of Him!

This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long.

-Big Daddy Weave

Yes, this. Exactly. I could have written the lyrics to this song. This is my story. It is full of hope and love and grace. When I tell “my” story, really I am telling you about Jesus.

^Listen to the song here^

My teen girls have all graduated high school and are headed to college next month. In a couple of weeks we will have our last sleepover together at my house and I am working on what exactly I want to share with them. Choosing parting words after 6 years is no easy task for me. But this song sums up so beautifully all the things I want to communicate to them. I hope that this is what they have seen in me all these years. That “my” stories and life point to Jesus.

Do you have a song you feel like you could have written because the lyrics ring so true for you? 

If you were sending a group of girls off to college, what would your final parting words or advice be? 

Love Rach

Good news!

In September of last year Christopher injured his knee playing basketball. He took some time off from basketball to rest his knee and see if it would heal. He finally saw an orthopedic doctor in November and found out that he had torn his ACL and would need surgery. So in January he had surgery and began physical therapy. From day one he has been ahead of schedule in his recovery because he worked hard not only in PT, but also at home doing the exercises. So now after six months of determination and hard work, he has finally been cleared to play basketball again! And there is so much rejoicing!

christopher basketballI went to cheer him on for his first official day back yesterday! 🙂

I can’t tell you how happy I am for him. It has been 9 months since he last played basketball. And as I shared with you guys in November, that’s a big deal. Basketball has been such a huge part of his life for so long and I’m so glad that he’s able to play it again!


I really am amazed at his attitude throughout all of this. If someone told me that I had to give up one of my favorite things for 9 months, I know I wouldn’t have handled it with as much grace as he has. He hasn’t complained once about it. He was sad when he first found out that he would need surgery and how long the recovery would be, but instead of whining about it (as I surely would’ve done), he set his mind to getting back on the court as quickly as possible. So he focused all of his energy on recovery. It could have easily taken as long as a year for him to recover his strength and mobility in that knee. It took 6 months. Because he’s a beast and was so determined. He’s the bomb dot com. 😀

So rejoice with us, friends! Because the joy of basketball is back in our lives! 🙂
Love Rach

That one time we got caught in a rip current

We go to the beach a lot. At least 4 or 5 times a year. Sometimes more. We love the beach and understand that as beautiful as it is, it can also be a dangerous place. We’ve learned to leave a wide berth in the ocean for the jelly fish and to watch where we step to avoid crabs. We wear lots of sunscreen to protect our skin and sunglasses to protect our eyes. We’ve even seen the occasional shark (nowhere near us, though). But this weekend was our first experience with a rip current.

A rip current can be incredibly dangerous if you don’t realize what’s happening. Which we didn’t at first. Christopher and I were playing way out in the ocean and the water was pretty rough with some big waves. But we love playing in the waves so we were having a blast! I was on a float and he was next to me swimming around. We went over several big waves and had fun splashing and playing. And then suddenly Christopher looked behind me and went from playful to serious in a millisecond. He reached for my float and said, “Oh babe, hold on.” And then a massive wave broke over us and took us both completely under.

As the water slammed the side of my head, I wrapped both arms around my float and held on for dear life knowing that it would eventually bring me back to the surface. In probably less than 10 seconds (though it felt like forever) I broke through the water’s surface and took in a huge breath. No sooner did I make it to the surface than I heard Christopher’s voice yell at me to hold on to the float and then a second wave crashed over us both and took us completely under again. Again I held on as my float slowly brought me back to the surface. Christopher made his way to me just in time to tell me that another wave was coming. Yes, we got completely pummeled by three giant waves in a row.

When we went under the third time, Christopher found me under the water and grabbed me with a lifeguard rescue stroke. He was a lifeguard for three summers and instinct kicked in when he saw I wasn’t swimming. I can swim, but I didn’t realize we were caught in a rip current so I kept thinking that as long as I held on to my float, I’d be fine because I’d eventually float to the top and the waves should carry me back to shore. Because we kept getting taken under I couldn’t see anything and didn’t realize what was happening. Christopher, however, had identified the problem and realized that we needed to get out of the current. Once he had his arm wrapped around me and started swimming parallel to shore, I realized what was happening and started swimming too.

Once we got out of the line of the enormous, crashing waves we were able to make it to shore quickly. One of those guys who rents umbrellas & chairs on the beach walked up to us to be sure we were okay. He explained that a rip current had just opened up in this area and was really dangerous (obviously, ha!). Once we knew where the current was, it was a lot easier to avoid it or be more careful while in it for the rest of the day. 🙂

It was only after we sat down on the beach together that the impact of what had just happened (and what could have happened) actually sunk in. We found ourselves very grateful to be safe and sound. And on the bright side we now have experience with swimming out of a rip current. Helpful for future beach trips for sure. 🙂

beach day2

Love Rach

The Hosea Love Story

This past weekend was my very last MidSouth Girls’ Conference with my teen girls. I imagine I’ll end up at the conference again in the future just because I love both it and teenagers, but this will be my last time with “my girls” since they are graduating in May.

my girlsUs during the lunch break

The theme for the day was “Return to God” and the story we focused on was the one of Hosea. Anyone who has ever heard me talk about the book Redeeming Love knows that I love the story of Hosea. It makes me cry every time. They showed a video at the beginning of the day that is sort of a modern retelling of Hosea & Gomer’s story. Just be prepared to need tissues…

 {you can read the original story in the book of Hosea in the Bible}

The story of Hosea and Gomer reflects the story of God and His people. It shows us how desperately God loves us despite where we come from or how much we have sinned in the past. How He pursues us even into the darkest places. And how He waits for us to return when we have been unfaithful. And I am so thankful that I have a God Who comes running to me with open arms. He is a good and holy God. And He loves us.  🙂

Have you ever read Redeeming Love?
Have you been to a good conference lately?

Love Rach

Big News Today!

Hi friends! So big news in my world today! I am finally doing two major things on this blog. First of all, I am sharing my last name and second, I am sharing my new photography website! Most of you long time readers know my last name already and even if you didn’t, it’s not difficult to figure out with a couple of quick Google searches. I’m not sure why I’ve been so hesitant to share it – I think I just flashback to when I was a teenager and the internet was still a newer thing in people’s homes and you NEVER EVER EVER shared your last name or location, haha! Christopher told me a year ago when I finally told you guys that I live in Memphis that I should just go ahead and share my last name too, but it took me some time to really come around to it. Anyway, here it is:


Yup, I’m Rach Vendetti. Talk about an Italian last name. When people ask how to spell it, Christopher often responds “Vendetta, but with an I at the end” ha! Anyway, I am sharing my last name with you guys beeeecause I want to share my photography website which has my last name in the title. So here ya go:

Rach V PhotographyRach Vendetti Photography!

You guys, I am so excited that this website is finally live! It makes my photography business feel even more real! So many of you have been such a huge support and encouragement to me and I am so thankful for each of you! 🙂 Oh! And I also have a Facebook page!

rach v fb pageRach Vendetti Photography on Facebook! For those of you who have already liked this page, thank you so much!! I appreciate the support so much! 🙂

So there you have it! My name is Rach Vendetti and I’m a photographer! 😀 Happy Friday, friends!
Love Rach



Well… almost. 🙂 We haven’t paid the house off (though we’ve paid off a good chunk of it too!), but we officially have no other debt. I’ve been waiting to announce this until I got the official email from Sallie Mae since that’s how I announced it when we paid off my student loans last year. Well, it took SallieMae a month to get the email to us, but guess what:


We officially began 2014 with no student loan debt, no car notes, and no credit card debt! Technically we’ve never had a car note or credit card debt, but I’m proud of us for always paying for things in full too so that’s why those make the list. After so much work and lots of sacrifices, we have finally done it!  😀 If you are wondering what it feels like to pay off all that debt, here’s a good representation:

christopher fliesFREEDOM!!!!!!! {Christopher cliff jumping back in college}

Love Rach