Thursday, December 29, 2011

A new chapter and looking back...

Maybe sometimes it is good to reflect with your eyes closed and grasping a daisy within your hand.
Maybe sometimes it is good to dream of the coming year and the unknown chapters the same way.


This year- so much has occurred. Everyone in the blog sphere seems to be writing about this year, which is only natural with the new year mere hours away. This post may be very long. I will talk about and share about life, the lovely and the difficult, I will share about my faith, and I will share memories. It is being shared so that others may read it if they like, but I think in some ways it is for myself most of all.

So, with a daisy in my hair I'll retell parts of the tale from 2011...

2011 got off to a rough start. My health issues were in a terrible place. After arriving home from traveling I went into a "crash" which left me in bed most of the time for over two weeks and in a ton of pain. Yet, my heart still worked to be optimistic from bed. On January 3rd I wrote in my journal-

"Good afternoon. Today is the first Monday of the new year. I felt that today was a good day to start writing in this lovely notebook. It is a brand new year! Even though it seems to be off to a rough start, I am going to plan and dream and live."
 
As the days went by I was in pain and felt terrible, but somehow, even in the moments where I cried God granted me joy and I chose thankfulness. On January 15th I wrote in my journal-

"This morning I stepped outside for the first time in 12 days. It hurt my eyes, but my skin and body rejoiced for the fresh air. 

List of thanks:
20. Thank You for fresh air.
21. Thank You for a special text!
22. Thank You for the sweet spirit Elyse has in You.
23. Thank You for birds!
24. Thank You for Dad's amazing french toast!
25. Thank You for Dad!
26. Thank You for the 'I love yous' I've received today."

The list of thanks was inspired and began as I was reading Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. That book inspired me to a new understanding of thankfulness. Thankfulness was easy when I felt great, thankfulness was hard when I was in terrible pain, with swollen glands, and hadn't showered in days.  But, I was choosing thankfulness. I'm honestly, a bit amazed as I'm going back and reading.

There were struggles...

January 18th-
"How is it that tears of pain can be healing?
That is a mystery to me. 
How is it that laughter is such good medicine?
That is another great mystery to me.
...my heart is happy, yet this is still hard."

January 24th-
"Well, I have gotten one section of Lit (done) today and one section of English. Words can't express how tired I am.
You would think I have worked on school since early morning based on how tired I am. It's hard not to get caught up in "the way things once were". I do so desire to graduate in May of 2012. That seems so impossible right now.
I miss school! I really miss being able to study hard and make fast progress!
But, as Mom and my doctor continue to say, "Health is most important. You have time." Why do I not feel like I have time? I suppose because I want to finish highschool with friends and I don't want to have to explain...But, most of all, I don't want to be left behind...I don't want to be stuck."

Thankfully, I was blessed with very slow improvement. I worked on my studies at home and took a Literature class that I thoroughly enjoyed. One of the books we read was The Diary of Anne Frank. 
On January 28th I wrote an observation about Anne-

"It's days like today that I see why Anne Frank thought she "fell in love" with Peter. When the sky is blue with a little bit of white, with the sunshine, with birds chirping, a light breeze, and an over-all feeling of spring, it would be easy to think yourself in love. Then you add that Anne was stuck in the same house for over a year and that she was lonely, with Peter being the only available male available it would be easy to think yourself in love."

As the year moved into February my health issues and life in general continued to give opportunity for growth. On February 3rd I wrote- 

"We live in a culture that can't seem to "just be" for a few days. I used to not be able to "just be", but CFS has changed that. It's odd how much I've changed. I just don't have the energy to go, go, go anymore. Life has a new rhythm. 
Go, rest, rest, go, rest, rest;
take time to be."

I was beginning to learn the new rhythm of life, but at the start of the year it was very slow. I remember how low my energy was and how high my symptoms were. That prevented me from being able to get out of the house much, but on February 7th I wrote about my experience getting out of the house for a longer period of time- 

"...(at the bookstore) I had a good time. There wasn't too much noise. I wanted to touch all of the books. All of the shapes, sizes, and pictures. Well, I didn't want to touch all of the books. No, some of the books are horrid! But, I was happy. I was in a world of words. In the world of books I am able to learn and "go". I can go and move in books even though I can't very much in real life." 

I'm amazed by the things that I take advantage of now that I'm doing better. A bookstore was overwhelming to my senses at the beginning of this year from having to rest and stay home so much. Wow. I'm so thankful for the improvement I'm in the midst of now.

Time went on to February 14th. For the first time in years I was completely content to be at home and single on Valentine's Day.

I continued to find joy in the seemingly simple things as I see when I read part of a journal entry from February 18th- 

"There is something very special about balloons. I've always found joy upon having one. Maybe I love them because that float and move with the wind and air. Momma gave me a rose shaped balloon on Valentine's Day. (My brother) J helped her pick it out. It is tied to the end of my bed. I enjoy watching it. On the days I can't move around very much, it blesses me to watch the balloon move with the unseen air.

It feels vain to say that I'm amazed at myself, but I am. Looking back on this year's journals I'm amazed that through the ups, downs, crying, fears, frustrations, enjoyments, and everything in between that I continued to choose thankfulness and joy. I'm thankful for the blessings and encouragement that I see in the pages of my life all along the way. I'm thankful I'm not bitter. I'm thankful for God's faithfulness.

In one of my February journal entries I even dreamed of doing a photo shoot with a big bunch of balloons. Which, wonderfully happened this summer! 

Balloon photos picture credit: Nic Pettersson.



In the span of time between the start of January to the end of March I filled an entire journal from cover to cover. It was filled with observations, prayers, thanks, heart cries, heart sighs, rejoicing, and my journey put in words.

April and May was a difficult time. It had a lot of ups and downs. Looking back I see how much I struggled emotionally. I struggled with my health limitations, my feelings, worries about the future, and the symptoms. In May I was retested for and diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It was good to know the reason for all the pain I was having, but being given a new syndrome to live with was a bit crushing. I think the words I wrote in my journal on May 13th give a good glimpse of the struggle-

"(In regards to my health.) Will my life really ever change for the better? *sigh* This is so hard. Will I ever stop thinking back to how I used to be?"

The wonderful thing is that I can now give a jubilant yes to those questions! My life has changed for the better and improved since the day I wrote those words. And, even though in some ways it is hard to believe it myself, I'm no longer looking back on the past and wishing it would become my future. My focus is now on the daily and dreaming of a new future. I'm not trying to go back, but instead desiring to be content and move slowly forward. I'm so thankful!

In April I began this blog as a way to connect and be creative. I didn't really know what I would write about, but I knew I needed a simple way to be creative and to connect with others.

Some of my favorite posts from April and May are...

Returning to the Wonderful World of Crochet... -A post on my crochet project.
Spring Sweet Wins and a Poem... -Winning a contest by writing and sharing a poem.
Birthday Blessings... -Enjoying a wonderful birthday.
My Health Story...
A Little bit of Roses and Turning Worry into Wonder... -Seeing beauty and learning about worry.

May gave way to June and the summer was upon us. June was filled with slow continued improvement, growth, and an exciting Sarahbration! (May Dad came up with Sarahbration by putting my name and celebration together. I love him.) My family put together a special party for me and I was overwhelmingly blessed. The balloon pictures as well as some of the following were taken for or during the Sarahbration.

On June 26th I wrote in my journal-

"I want to write about yesterday. Yesterday was my "Sarahbration." My entire family worked so hard to make it a wonderful and beautiful time. There were white daisies (my favorite flowers), balloons, light lime-green table covers, a nice room set-up, a childhood table with things from my younger years, a recent years table with items from my older years, snacks, lovely flower plates and others, drinks, an incredible cake by Wendy, and a special guest book. Mom and Dad surprised me on stage. They took turns speaking about my life and then about my future... I was also amazed by all of the people that came and blessed on me. There were over 50 people that came."

My lovely cake!


Love her!

Love these two precious gals!

Blog post the Monday after the Sarahbration.

June gave way to July and then August. The summer was filled with continued improvements in the area of health and continued growth.

Favorite posts from the summer-

A roller-coaster week and a few lovelies... 
Thankfulness isn't just feminine...  
An unexpected wave of grief...
Sistershipping...
Beauty is more than make-up... -My very first interview!
A Magnificent Monday... -Enjoying the back porch with my dog Annie.

Then came autumn with it's adventures, new possibilities, lessons, and hopes.

Favorite posts from autumn-

School- One Day at A Time... -Learning to take it a day at a time.
Something Old, Something New, Next to Water that is Blue... -Pondering.
On Tears... -Learning it is okay to cry.
Little Things, Like Kittens... -It really is the little things in life.
The Bloom and the Gentle Reminder... -Reminders from God as I look upon a flower and into His word.
My Mema, the Songbird... -Writing of my Mema.

Favorite Posts from December-

Baby hats in Papa hands... -Crochet newborn hats.
Eye-sparkler moments... -Those moments where my eyes sparkled.
In the Midst of Waiting... -Learning to wait well.
Papa Bear... -For my Daddy, to bless his heart.


Now, it is December. I'm amazed by this year. I'm amazed by God's faithfulness. And, I'm amazed at how blessed I've been this year. I'm on a journey called life and hours from now a new chapter, a new adventure, a new year will begin.

Do I have dreams for 2012?

Yes, I do. I hope and I pray that it will be a year of continued growth, transitions into new chapters, and that Daddy God will lead me every step of the way.

I'm so thankful for this blog and the adventure it has been this year. I'm looking forward to continuing the adventure in 2012. Thank you to my lovely readers for reading and leaving such kind comments this year!

To my family and friends, thank you. I love each and everyone of you. You have supported me in the ups and downs of my health issues. Words can't express how much that means to me.

So, here is to 2012! A new chapter is just hours away.

I’ll keep on walking as hope flies high.

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Papa Bear...

Today I've been thinking about my Papa Bear (also known as Daddy).
I've been thinking about how thankful I am for him.



He loves me, tells me meaningfully that I'm beautiful, listens to me, and is a gentleman. On Monday when he was driving me to a few stores I realized that he always opens my door for me when I'm riding up front with him. Always. As I thought about, I realized that he isn't doing it to impress me. He opens doors for me because he wants to show me he cares. He isn't perfect, but he is modeling an example for things that I admire and desire in a guy.

A few (of the many things) that I admire about my Papa Bear:

1. He is considerate.
2. He is honest.
3. He doesn't degrade women and becomes upset when he hears others doing so.
4. He is a gentleman by helping carry heavy things, offering assistance to others, and opening doors for me. Not because he doesn't think I'm capable, but because he cares.
5. He is strong.
6. He isn't afraid to show his heart.
7. He loves my Momma and does his very best to make sure she knows.
(Such as spontaneously sweeping her off on a date last night.)
8. He is a protector. I know if ever there was a threat to the ones he loves that he would do everything he could to protect us.
9. He is a leader.

So, Daddy, if you are reading this, thanks for being a loving example to me.

Obviously, I'm not going to marry someone exactly like my Dad. But, there are admirable things that I see my Papa Bear living out that I'm realizing I truly desire in a future spouse.

I love my Papa Bear very much and I'm so thankful for our relationship being in such a healthy place.

Simply,
Sarah

Photo taken by my sister and edited by me. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Smile...

Hello everyone!

I hope you are having a lovely week!


I'm enjoying the start of this new week immensely. It has been filled with relaxing, family time, a bit of shopping, raspberry hot-cocoa (can you say yummy?), and more. I'm so thankful for the down time.

There are days that smiles spread broadly across my face and I can't seem to wipe it off. There are moments that my entire face feels like it is glowing with joy. That picture captured one of those smiles. My sister told me to think of something wonderful and then look at her. I obliged and she captured that photograph.
As I sat and looked at the photo that caption came to my mind. Smiling is a lot of fun. And, I don't mean smiling like the Barbie from one of the Toy Story movies. (You know, the, "Is everybody gone? Oh my gosh! My cheeks are killing me!) No, I'm talking about a truly joyful smile. It really is great fun.

When was the last time you stopped and thought of something wonderful and let a smile spread right across your face?

Take a moment to smile! It really is fun.

I hope you have a wonderful rest of this week as we draw to the closing chapter of 2011.
The new year of 2012 with all of its newness, surprises, and adventures is just around the corner.

Simply,
Sarah

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!


I hope you are and have been enjoying celebratory times with family and friends.

Sometimes it's just plain fun to jump.
Sometimes it is just plain fun to smile.
And, sometimes it is just plain lovely to take time to contemplate while wearing a red hat upon your head.


I'm feeling immensely blessed!

Luke 2:7 
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." (ESV)

Simply,
Sarah

P.S. Photos taken by my wonderful sister!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spill ink to the page...


Today was a grand day.

Really. It was.

There was quality time spent, song writing creatively accomplished, laughter, cookies, tea, more laughter, a completed word puzzle, more singing, listening to certain songs way too much, dancing, more laughter, yummy food, and more family time.

Yes, it was a grand day.

I’ve just spent a good bit of time with my paper journal and an ink filled pen.

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to hold a pen in your hand and mark down onto paper whatever you need to express, think through, pray about, and process?

My journal is filling up quickly. I write and then I write even more. Words pour forth and sometimes songs or poems begin their little prose life within journal pages. I learn lessons as I write and even grow. Writing is a journey. My journals are documenting my journey one day, one sentence, one word at a time.
 
Tea-cup

Sometimes journal pages are filled while sitting over a cozy cup of tea as in the picture above.
Sometimes they are filled while sitting cris-cross-applesauce on my bed.
Sometimes I'm smiling and silly as I write.
And, sometimes, I'm working through something.

I process well on paper. There are times I just need to sit and write and process through spilling upon a page. Then, I talk. Tonight was a mixture of smiles and silly journal filling. But, it was also processing. Good, but also complex.

Emotions and thoughts can be fickle things. Yes, yes, they can. Sometimes things need to spill onto a page to be re-read, prayed over, and tenderly discussed. Sometimes it is good to write so fast so the words that need to be expressed spill upon the page. Yes, sometimes it is very good.   

I'm so thankful for ink filled pens and pages waiting to be filled as I journey on; whatever that daily looks like.

Do you journal?
Can you identify with the need to process upon a page? 

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sink in music...

Music that makes you dance and sometimes causes you to just want to rest stretched out on the floor with your eyes closed to let it sink in. Yes, beautiful music.

That's how I feel about this song. And, the music video is beautiful.

Go have a pleasant listen....

But, be warned, you may find yourself swaying, closing your eyes as it graces your ears, or playing it over and over again.

Happy Tuesday to you!

I'm off to hopefully bake some bread tonight.




Simply,
Sarah

Monday, December 19, 2011

In the midst of a waiting place...


There are times in life that it really feels like I'm in a waiting place as Dr. Seuss once wrote about-

"The Waiting Place...

...for the people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."  -From Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

I’ve never been very good at being in the waiting place. Well, at least not when things aren't clearly defined like how long I’ll be there, when I will transition out of the waiting, and so on. I’ve always liked things to be clear cut. I’ve gotten better at waiting, trusting, and not having a melt-down if the tiniest change in plans occurs. (Exhibit A: When I was little if my Momma changed the order of errands we had planned on running in the afternoon without telling me, I sometimes had major melt downs in the back seat. Oh. Yes.) But, even though I have improved greatly, in all honesty I still like things to be orderly, on time, and clear cut.

Relationships aren’t always that way. In fact, maybe relationships are never that way completely. So, this rather clear cut, practical, structure loving gal might be having a bit of a difficult time in the midst of a, well, what might be defined as relational waiting place. I don’t know when it will be time for me to transition out of said waiting place, what the outcome will be, or well, much of anything at all. I’m in the waiting place. Not twiddling my thumbs, but also working hard to not pull my hair out.

I’ve found myself repeating Philippians 4:6-7 in my mind a lot lately-

“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)

In life, I want my sight to be fixed on Him most of all. Not to say that I’m not seeing or looking upon anything else or anyone else around me in life, but I want my focus on Him most of all. Sometimes I get so caught up in over-thinking especially when I’m in the midst of a “waiting place”. But, I’m so thankful for the truth of those verses- His peace really does surpass all understanding and really does guard my heart and mind as I pray and humbling bring my requests before Him with thanksgiving.

Being in the waiting place isn’t easy, but thankfully the waiting places can also be growing places. In the midst of waiting and processing possible transitions I continue to find peace in Him. And, I have some of the most amazing parents in the world that share wisdom and help keep me well grounded in the midst of the waiting places and transition stages of life. (I love you Momma and Papa!)

So, I continue to trust, take deep breaths, and pick apart flowers and plants in the midst of waiting places and possible transitions of life. 

Have you experienced waiting places too?

Simply,
Sarah

When in need of a white elephant gift...

Hello everyone!

I hope you are having a Magnificent Monday! Over this past weekend my youth group and I enjoyed a festive white elephant gift exchange. We each brought silly and ridiculous gifts. There were many creative gifts (and wrappings) such as a giant plush monkey hidden inside a large clear bag of packing peanuts, a cheese head hat, and a book on the history of flatulence. (Doesn't the word flatulence in place of other descriptive words make the concept a little less awkward? haha) All in all, it was great fun!

I went home with Ramen noodles, but I also got to bring home the pretty ribbon that was around the wrapping. Hooray for pretty ribbons!



As I thought about what to bring I thought I would give a bag of random items. As I began putting random little items into a bag, I thought, "Something is missing..." So, what did I do? I wrote a poem of course!

I thought I would share the poem here and possibly bring a bit of extra cheer to your Monday.


White Elephant Gift

Here is a compass for helping you know which way to go.
Here is a post card to write about your travels abroad.
Here is a trophy for all the things you learn from the tomorrows.
And, a flower to show proudly upon your returning arrival.

If you ever yearn for an adventure,
Just read this poem and look upon this stash,
Then let your imagination transport you in a dash,
To the far off land or sea,
And, you’ll be a world traveler through the reading of poetry!


After reading the poem the recipient found that I had included a toy compass, post card from Alaska, a mini-trophy, and a fabric flower. So, when in need of a white elephant gift...write a poem!

I hope you are enjoying your Monday and that maybe my silly bit of poetry made it even brighter. 

Simply,
Sarah
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seeing beauty and a name...


There is beauty.
There is beauty to be found and beauty waiting to be noticed.

Today as I got out of the car after doing a bit of shopping, I noticed this little tiny flower weed. There beneath the bare tree with decaying leaves all about; there was the tiny flower-weed blossoming with a tiny shout of color. I might have over looked such beauty. I could have walked right past. But, this time I saw. I saw and the shout of color moved me to run inside place my purchases aside and grab that trusted camera of mine.

Sometimes, there is beauty that I almost miss, that must be pointed out to me. Like this picture...


My sister noticed the beautiful reflection from the back seat of the car. We were about to be off on our way to church. We were late. My camera sat on my lap, but I was distracted. I can't stand being late. I was over thinking things, my sister had to remind me to see the beauty of the moment. I'm so glad she reminded me.

I'm so glad that Daddy God helps me not overlook His glory even in the small moments. Moments where beauty takes my breath away. Like the beauty of a newborn baby, of a Daddy lovingly playing with a child, the depth of another's eyes, and walking by my window to see the tree that had turned all new shades of color over night. So, I held my breath and took my camera to capture again...



Maybe I should name my camera Desislava.

Desislava- Search for glory; finding glory. (Source.)

After all, it helps me search for glory and for beauty. Maybe I will name it that. Then every time I hold it in my hands I can remember to search for glory; the glory of my Daddy God. And, as I search for glory, I have a feeling I'll notice beauty all along the way.

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

When I spend time with one I love...


When I spend time with one I love we might be fantastically creative.
When I spend time with one I love I pick out activities with them in mind.
When I spend time with one I love there will most certainly be smiles and laughter shared.
And, when I spend time with one I love I can lose all track of time.

That is a good description of a craft time I recently had with my precious little brother. J and I put together a foam gingerbread bakery. (The craft kit had all needed supplies within one box!) We worked on it for over an hour, laughed, smiled, and enjoyed being creative. (We even enjoyed being a bit messy! Glitter as fine as powdered-sugar is not for the faint of heart crafter!)
And, most of all, I spent time with one I love. Because I very much so love this little guy that is growing up one day at a time.



Want to see our fantastic creation? I hope so because it is a very festive looking bakery!

Here is the front of our gingerbread bakery. Complete with glitter snow!

My family and I recently enjoyed watching the latest edition of Prep and Landing. (Watch Prep and Landing Videos: here!) Well, J decided we needed to make our very own Ginger-Elf complete with parachute and hat on the side of the bakery.

Our candy tree in the back.

Side with windows and gum-drops!

And, this little gingerbread man will soon become a ginger-Santa. Jeremiah gave him little red gloves and asked me to make him a hat and bag.
Isn't it fun to take time with one you love, make memories, and be creative?

Have you made any good holiday memories recently?

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eye-sparkler moments...

Today I want to write about the sort of nights that there are filled with eye-sparkler moments.



we don't need a holiday to light sparklers
Photo credit to the splendid artist! (Link)
 

That is what I got to experience this past Friday.

It began with resting, relaxing, and well, primping a bit before the evening arrived.
I applied make-up, braided and heated a few curls into place, put on my favorite pair of heels and my black "I feel like a lady in this" dress. (It may also be the dress that brings tears of love to a Papa's eyes when he sees his not so little, yet always little girl in it.)

Then it was off to the event. Almost late, but there before it began we arrived. The event was a play that my younger sister, youngest brother and many friends were taking part in. It was based on the book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. The play was filled with wonderful moments of laughter and even a moment that melted my heart as I saw the hard exterior of one of the characters melt away in a moment of vulnerability. It was a great show and I'm very proud of my siblings and friends that took part in it!

After the play was a time filled with socializing, dancing, smiling, and laughing.

I feel like I'm at such a better place health wise.Which made the night all the more enjoyable since I was able to stay the entire time and dance.

Now, you may be wondering what any of this has to do with a sparkler or sparking.
You see, sometimes at such events there are moments that make my eyes sparkle like Fourth of July sparklers in the cover of night.


That picture isn't from that night, but it gives a small glimpse of the sparkle that was in my eyes in those moments.

Moments like...
Laughter that felt like it richly welled up from the very tips of my toes.
Smiles shared with friends so much that cheeks got sore.
Watching my parents sway.
Swaying with my Daddy as he told me he loves me.

Being asked to dance.

And so much more that is too much to write.
Those were sparkler moments and memories that I cherish and store.
The night wasn't perfection.
But, what more would "perfection" have given than all the eye-sparkler moments that made my eyes shine from within?
I choose to stop thinking about what I could have done better and instead smile upon the night as a whole. The whole; imperfection and sparkles all in one memorable package.

Have you ever had eye-sparkler moments?

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I have a new nickname...

Hello everyone!

I hope you have been enjoying a wonderful weekend!

I have been given a new nickname in regards to my crocheting skills. Ready for it?
Lightening-hands.
My sister called me that the other night when she saw me crocheting. I guess that means all the crocheting I've been doing lately has improved my speed. I've recently made those newborn hats, two little girl hats, two little girl scarves, a grey beret as a birthday gift, a green beret for myself, and a red sort of crochet style aviator hat. I'm really thankful for the different jobs I've received lately to be paid to crochet different things. It's been a blessing and I really love it when a customer smiles and tells me how happy they are with how it turned out. Happy customers make me happy. I wanted to take a moment to share the finished green beret I made for myself.

Enjoy the pictures!

I enjoyed wearing my hat while I shared a Christmas spoken word on Thursday at a chapel service.

The back of the hat.

I'm really happy with the shade of green that I chose.
Here is a link to the free pattern I used: Beret Pattern This is the third time I've made a hat based off of that pattern and I know it won't be the last. I would suggest the following changes to the pattern though for a snugger fit-

Change round 15 to a repeat of round 13.
Change 17 to a repeat of round 13.
Change 19 to a repeat of round 13.
And, end at round 19 instead of completing rounds 20-21.
Feel free to experiment with different things for the band of this hat. Happy crocheting!

Lastly, I've really been enjoying craft stores lately. Oh my. I really do enjoy them.
With the different crochet jobs I've had lately I've been walking about in craft stores a lot lately. On one of my craft store adventures I found a necklace pendant on clearance. I wanted to take just a minute to share it with you. I think it is lovely to be able to find such fun jewelry pendants and a simple chain all on the same craft aisle.

Moon pendant+simple chain=a lovely new necklace! 
I often end my posts with a question to you, my splendid readers. And, I don't always receive answers, but I'm going to continue asking questions anyway.

Do you enjoy craft stores?
Have you been working on any creative projects lately?

I hope you're enjoying this lovely time of year!

Blessings,
Sarah

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby hats in Papa hands...

Hello everyone!

I have a lovely treat to share with you! I just finished two precious newborn hats for my cousin and the baby that will soon be born.

For those of you who crochet I made the basics of the hats based on this simple pattern: here. Though, I didn't complete all the rounds called for and added a bit of my own edging. I created the bear ears by learning how to do a sort of half circle: here. To get the ears size I wanted I used an H hook and completed rounds one to four.  I made them both out of Vanna's Choice yarn.

I'm so happy with how they turned out and I hope the fit is positively precious!

Want to see some pictures? Great! Here you go!

First I put the hats on a large baby doll we have from when my sister and I were young. Also, my wonderful Daddy helped research the average size of a newborns head to try to get the best fit.

Here are the hats on the doll...



Then I asked my wonderful Papa Bear (my Dad) if I could take a few creative shots of his hands holding the hats. He sweetly agreed.

I must say, seeing such sweet little hats in his big manly hands was beautiful. To think that I and each of my siblings were once so small is overwhelming. Time goes by one day at a time.

Here are the creative pictures...



There you have some sweet little newborn hats to "oooo" and "awww" over. Not that I think I'm all that grand, but because little baby hats are just so sweet.

I hope you are having a nice week so far!

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Magnificent Monday and a health update...

Hello  everyone!

I hope you're having another Magnificent Monday!
I'm enjoying a low-key day at home. I've cleaned, watched the new spy kids movie, completed today's school (woohoo!), snuggled with my cat, played with my dog, and now writing a blog.

I'm so happy right now! Really!
Do you know why?
Because my health is at a good place. Yes, I still have limitations, but I've been doing so well lately.
I was very busy Thursday through Sunday, but even with the thoughtfully planned activities I'm feeling pretty well and not crashed. Words can't express how blessed I feel with my fewer symptoms, less pain, and more energy. It seems to be that as long as I stay on my supplements and as long as I'm careful about how much I do that I'm staying at a good place and sleeping well. I am so thankful! I could dance a jig of joy.

That's a bit of a health update from me.

I've been crocheting a lot lately, but I unfortunately neglected taking pictures of projects before they went off to their new homes. I'm determined to change that from now on. I will soon have more lovely pictures to share of crochet projects if all goes as planned!

I'm looking forward to an easy going week and a wonderfully pleasant Friday! My sister and one of my brothers are in a play Friday night and there will be lovely dancing afterward. I can't dance a great deal, but I will enjoy what I'm able to do.

Have you been enjoying any crafting lately?
What are you most looking forward to this week?

Simply,
Sarah