Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A little bit of lately...

Hello everyone!

This week I've sat down to write a blog post many different times, but I feel as though my mind is dizzy with subjects to write about. Have you heard of writer's block? Well, lately I feel as though I have the opposite...writer's overload. There are so many different subjects, updates, creative ideas, or so on that I could write about, but I don't know how to choose.

Well, on this leap day I felt it was time to simply leap into writing a post. The title A Little Bit of Lately came to my mind as I sat down to write. So, I thought I would simply share a little bit of my lately.

A little bit lately is a mixture of my life.
The mixture that makes up my lately is a blended concoction of the daily, the moments, the exciting, the hopeful, the real, and the so on.
Some of my lately is spent with my studies for the GED. Some of the studies come from a book, some take place on my laptop, or some in the meetings with my "coach".

A lot of my lately is spent with my wonderful family. There are so many moments with family that I cherish. Some are the simple daily things and some are the extra special memory making moments.
There are moments of the mundane. But the mundane and the ordinary make up so many of the memories, the moments, and the joys.

Some of my moments of the mundane...

Moments of the mundane: Spending time outside with Annie.

Moments of the mundane: Sister going about chores of the day. Sweeping the dirt away as spring seems to have arrived.

Moments of the mundane: Littlest brother's orange peel.

Moments of the mundane: Turning the page for the new month that comes tomorrow.
 Then there are moments that are extra special.

Moments of extra special...

Standing up and sharing my poem at the open mic.
Talking with others about the poem.
Watching my friends be creative.
Spending my Friday night watching Geek Charming, laughing, playing a musical game, and sitting out under the stars with my precious sister.
Spending Saturday with friends.
Moments of raw humility.
Little brother coming and hugging me during church as I sat with someone else. 
Enjoying cool breezes and sunshine with my sister on the swing.
Spending Tuesday night sistershipping.
Being creative with Sara Beth.

Moments of finding new little flower-weeds in the yard. And, the moments of plucking one and pinning it into my hair for part of the evening.
That is a little bit of my lately.

Have you ever had writer's overload?
What are some of you moments of the mundane and moments of extra special lately?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Making memories with that brother of mine...

My brother makes me laugh.
He also makes me smile.

He can even make me laugh and smile when he has very strong garlic breath.

My brother and I had a bit of fun yesterday afternoon. We went outside enjoyed a bit of sunshine, took silly photos, and he made me laugh a lot
He's growing up and looking more like a man every day.
Sometimes it is hard for this big sister to see her little brother growing up so fast.
He is so very much taller than me, deep voiced, and growing in who he is.

I love him so very much and I know he loves me too.

So, I raise a cup of tea and toast to making memories with my boy-man brother.
I toast to times of laughter and being goofy.
I toast to the many more memory making moments that I hope we will have.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Deep-breath adventure...

Today I've been thinking a bit about the adventure of tomorrow night.

Tomorrow night I will stand before a room of people and share a spoken word.
In the past I have read my poetry for others- for family, for friends, for a poet, for strangers, and from a stage.
But, for this I feel the need to take a few extra deep breaths.
I think it is because I know that in that room there are many artists.
There will be artists that create with cameras, brushes, paint, pens, paper, musical notes, and voices.
Though I have spoken from a stage it seems so much more artistically intimate to speak when someone the room is filled with artists and an audience sitting upon a floor, chairs, and beanbags mere feet away.
I speak of a coffee shop open mic night.
The mic is open, you sign up on the list, they call your name, and then you share.
So, I take a few deep breaths and I smile knowing that two wonderful people will be there with me.
We'll ride off for the evening's adventure and hear the other artists share.
My hope, my desire, and my prayer is that in some small way the words of this simple poet-gal will be used by Him.
I'll take deep breaths,
I'll share this heart-pouring of a poem,
And, I trust that my imperfection can be used for a purpose far beyond me.

Tomorrow night I'm going on a deep-breath adventure.
It's the sort of adventure that has excitement mixed with a bit of nervousness fluttering about inside me.
It is an adventure that requires some extra deep breaths, yet there is excited anticipation for the time.

Have you ever gone on a deep-breath adventure?


Monday, February 20, 2012

Magnificent Monday: Playing in the rain...

Hello everyone!

I hope you are having a truly Magnificent Monday!

This past weekend was really a wonderful time. I played with precious kiddos, celebrated my Mema's birthday, and enjoyed great family time. Last night was a youth performance night where much fun was had and many memories were made.

You know that oh so common question we often ask one another? The, "How are you?"
It is so often followed up by good, fine, or okay. And, I often wonder what the truth is.
Well, if you asked me today I would say, "I'm jubilant!"
 Life isn't perfect. There are things that weigh heavily on my heart and there is messy along with the beautiful. But, I am jubilant! I'm so thankful for the joys of today.

Over the weekend we were blessed with wonderful rain! I took Annie Girl out to play and run off some energy. My Papa Bear thought that I needed to be photographed. So, as I was out playing in the rain I turned around to see that he was taking pictures. Well, the memories of the moment make me smile. So, I thought I would share the pictures he took with all of you.

Sometimes in life it is great to play in the rain, jump in the puddles, chase the dog through the mud, and laugh a little extra.

Have you ever enjoyed playing in the rain?
When was the last time you put on some rain-boots and jumped in a puddle?

May your Monday be Magnificent!  Take time to smile.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

A little bit of feminine fun...

There are some days that it is just fun to wear a dress or skirt.
There are some days when it is nice to be a little extra girly.

Today was one of those days.

Ladies, do you ever just feel like wearing a fun/feminine skirt or dress?

I hope you've had a lovely day!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My prom dress...sort of...

Hello everyone!

I'm excited to share with you my prom dress. Well, sort of...
You see, I think it is fun to keep a little mystery to the dress with most people until the actual night of festivities. I've had friends ask what it looks like and I try my best to give a reasonable description.  Tonight I had the idea to take a picture and play with creative editing. As I had a bit of fun on Picnik I came up with a creative picture to share with all of you!

This is what I call, "My prom dress veiled in a bit of mystery." It gives you the general idea, but doesn't give the full look of it away.
And, here is a sneak peek at the color.
Come April, I look forward to a fun evening making memories and dancing a lot.
I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures to share with all of you then.

The story of how we found it is a bit funny.

My Momma, Sissy, and I went on a bit of a spontaneous shopping spree. Momma randomly asked if I would like to go stop by a store before we went to the grocery store. So, off we went not planning on finding anything. We went and poked about two thrift stores. Everything was either too short, the wrong color, too small, too big, or showing way too much of something. After the second thrift store we were about to head off to do the grocery shopping. But, there was a lady that began chatting with us. She was looking for a dress to wear to an event she was headed to in New York. She was very friendly and at one point even asked us what dress size we thought she was. (May I just say, I would never guess someone's dress size. I'm terrible at guessing and I know I would say something terribly wrong.) We were about to head out and wished her happy shopping when she looked at my sister and started telling Momma about dresses she saw at a nearby store. She though we were shopping for my sister, but Momma liked the sound of some of the dresses so we stopped by the store.

Once there I found the dress first, but went ahead and grabbed three other dresses to try. I was most excited about the dress and was going to try it on first. But, Momma (with a twinkle in her eye) made me try the other dresses first. When none of them were quite right she had me turn away from the mirror and put on the dress. I turned around and I knew it was just the right dress. Comfortable, not too showy, feminine, and red. It twirls in such a way that makes me feel like a lady and also a little girl.

It's a funny feeling. To feel like a grown up and yet also a child at heart. It really is.

On the day we hadn't planned to find a dress we found the dress. I smile again as I think of the irony of it. 

Back at home after the grocery shopping I twirled like a little princess for my Daddy and with tears in his Papa eyes he gave it two thumbs up.

Last night (when I showed the dress to a friend) my Daddy lovingly said, "The dress is nice. But, the young lady inside it is so much nicer." I love my Daddy.

I hope you enjoyed the little sneak peek and story!

There is so much more to life than a dress. I am thankful for this dress and the memories we made as we found it. And, even though the dress won't matter 1,000 years from now, it is fun to enjoy the twirling of the moment.


Valentine's Day has come and passed...

Love is in the air ....
This photo is a bit how I feel today. Hopeful, light, cheerful, fresh, and so on. It was taken by the very talented Nina Matthews. She takes some of the most beautiful flower pictures I've ever seen in my life. Flickr: Link

Friendship is such a precious thing.

The blessing of hugs, smiles, laughter, heart-to-hearts, speaking love in the dialect that the other best receives, prayers, encouragements, truth-in-love, and silliness too are all beautiful contributing memories.

I spent my Valentine's evening with family and a dear friend. My family and I gathered around the table, turned off the overhead lights, lit over six candles, and let the cool air blow through the open windows. There was yummy Italian food and love to abound. My Momma baked an apple pie and told use we are all the apple of her eye.

I love my family.

Then, it was off for gelato with my dear Sweet Friend. I gave her a hand doodled card filled up with words. She gave me a gift and blessed me with words as well. Friendship is such a precious thing. We talked, we shared, we laughed, we enjoyed. We explored a bookstore and celebrated little joys. She is such a blessing to me.

I had a lovely Valentine's day. I'm glad that it was spent with my family and Sara Beth.

Someday, if the time is right, there will be romance for me on a Valentine's night.
But, I don't want it rushed.
As my Sweet Friend put my words into a word picture- I don't want to rush romance with a guy. It would be like picking fruit before it was ripe. I will enjoy it instead when the timing is right. Someday, God willing, romantic fruit will be ripe and I will cherish every precious bite.

And, you know what? Spending Valentine's Day with my family and one of my dearest friends is really a great way to enjoy the time.

Before I went off to bed I took time to write in journals the words of my heart and my head.
I desire to continue to and better live out love. Not the "just February 14th" love, but love as is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13.

I fell asleep and woke to a lovely rain.
I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day and that today you are smiling over the memories of yesterday and the newness of today.

Another Valentine's Day has come and passed, but I've made precious memories and grown in ways that will last.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope you are having a lovely day and expressing love to those around you.
There are so many little ways you can bless the people in your life and let them know you love them and care for them.

Here are a few fun pictures from my Valentine's festivities so far...

A little over a week ago a sweet little girl I know gave me that lovely Valentine. I thought it needed a bit of photographic appreciation. My heart was jubilant when she handed it to me.
There is just something precious about the handwriting of little children. See that lettering? It says, "Love, Rachel." My heart melts each time I look at it.

I took Annie girl out to play. She had very muddy and wet paws afterward, but best of all she had on her happy face.

Rain boots!
My littlest brother went through and picked out that little Valentine just for me. He said he picked it because of the musical notes that made the shape of the heart. *happy sigh*
I like giving handmade Valentine's to my family. (This one was for my Momma.)

Most of all, today I remember the ultimate Love of my Savior Jesus. His love shows even on the cloudy days and hard times. John 3:16.
I hope you are having a lovely day!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Magnificent Monday: Moments and Memories...

Hello everyone!

It is another Magnificent Monday!

I would like to begin by thanking everyone who left sweet comments when I had a Fibromyalgia flare-up last week. It was so very sweet and encouraging.

I'm happy to share that after resting Friday and a good bit Saturday I was feeling back to mostly normal and even able to go spend some time with a few wonderful people on Saturday night. Yesterday was a full day, but very good. It was good to spend time in community and worshiping God.

My weekend was filled full of moments and memories.
Moments and memories that have caused me to take a pen in hand and spill ink onto many pages.
Moments and memories that I reflect on.
Moments and memories I give thanks for.
And, moments and memories I take a bit of typing time to share with you today.

Water drips as memories flow...
I took this picture and it reminded me of contemplation. When contemplating memories and moments I often sit and reflect upon the little details that are amidst the whole of the memory.

-Moments and Memories of the Weekend-

Resting during the day.
The loveliness of a new light-bulb replacing the burned out one in the bathroom.
The love of my family teasing me and laughing with me.
Car rides with Momma.
Playing boggle and being amazed at the talent of other players.
Playing sequence and winning twice with my teammate.
Laughing, talking, and enjoying on Saturday night.
Car rides home and front porch hugs before goodbyes.
French toast on Sunday morning made by Daddy.
Tea, prayer, musical worship, reading Psalm 42, and singing harmonies in the morning.
Littlest brother's hugs, kisses, and loving kindness during the service. (He melts my heart.)
Pleasant surprises.
Sitting and listening to the message and teaching.
God impacting the depths of my heart with the message.
An afternoon nap.
Enjoying the surprise of a song on the afternoon car ride.
Stretching my brain as I took pre-tests.
Feeling worn, but blessed.
Celebrating God's goodness with friends.
Sharing (in the room painted green) with people who are living light.
Heart aching for the brokenness and hurting in this world.
Daddy coming and driving us home.
A strawberry banana smoothie.
Snuggle times and good talks with Momma.
Momma reminding my silly over-thinker, over-planner, and over-worrier heart (in regards to the future and what to do after graduation) that, "We don't have to have it all figured out. We don't have to have it all figured out this month, week, today, or tonight. Breathe."
Good talks, snuggles, and prayers with Sissy.
Daddy falling asleep while I sat in the room.
The pleasantness of dreaming and looking forward to a new week.

What are some of the moments and memories of your weekend?
I would enjoy hearing about some of them in the comments.

I hope your Monday is truly Magnificent!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

CFS/FM Diaries: A Difficult Day and Doodles...

For those new to the blog- Last year I began a series called the CFS/FM Diaries and today I'm sharing another post in that series. To help better understand why I started this series here is what I wrote about starting it back in August:

I thought that I would begin what I call CFS/FM Diaries. This blog isn’t all about my health and sometimes I think I’m a little reluctant to write about my health very much. So, I’ve decided to do the CFS/FM (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia) Diaries.
By creating this “category” to my writing I feel it will help readers better peruse my blog.
Sometimes people won’t always feel like reading about my journey with my health issues, at the same time others particularly want to read about my journey with CFS/FM. By creating this category I believe (and hope) that it will help readers have an even better blog experience.
And, the fact is I need to write about my health journey- the good and the bad.
So write I will.

This post will mostly be about my health. If you don't particularly want to read about it, that is okay. Feel free to scroll down to the bottom and let some doodles brighten up your day.

So, without further prefacing...

A Difficult Day 

It's been a bit of a rough day today.

Last night a bad Fibromyalgia flare-up started. (I believe it was caused by not getting good rest on Tuesday night. One of our neighbors was disruptive into the very early hours of the morning which caused me to not go into a deep sleep cycle. And, I'm sure hormone issues contributed too.)
I have been able to accomplish a few things today, but it has mostly been a rest day.

In all honesty, Fibromyalgia pain is terrible. Really. It is.
For the sake of "being real" I'll try describe what it felt like today.

The joints in my hands and my feet ache and feel very stiff. My ankles and wrists ache and are uncomfortable with sometimes "pokey" pain. The tendons or ligaments (I honestly am not for sure which one) in my arms and legs have a achy burning sensation up and down. My knees and elbows ache and hurt too.

The pain doesn't easy with a pain medication and the pain makes me tired. It makes everything seem twenty times more difficult to do. And, I think my brain is so distracted by the pain and whatever is going on in my body that it can't focus very well on anything.

There are times that I want to be held, have my back rubbed, and such. But, that only makes my body more upset and triggers a worsening of the pain. So, I try to get as comfortable with pillows, quilts, and occasionally gripping a stuffed animal. (It may seem childish, but when my body is in pain the feel of something soft and familiar in my hand can be comforting.)

Sometimes, I think about texting someone. I think it is from a longing to have something to take my mind off of the pain, for a longing to connect, to maybe smile a little, to hear about something that has nothing to do with my bed. But, there is also some things that often holds me back. I don't want a pity party. I don't know if I even want them to tell me their sorry I'm feeling bad. And, I don't like bringing people down. So, more often then not I don't text.
(Though, I have to say I have amazing friends. Anytime I've ever stayed home from something that I had planned on going to someone has texted, emailed, or messaged me something sweet. I'm so thankful for the amazing people in my life that are sensitive to my health issues when I'm with them and even when I'm not. If you're reading this, friends, you are amazing!) 

My family is amazing too! They encourage me, help me, and check on me, and tell me extra "I love you"s on the hard days. I'm incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful family.

The Fibro flares are something I've learned that I just have to ride out. It will pass, but I need to rest, relax, and rest some more.

Now, would you like to hear the good news?

I haven't had a flare-up like this in a long time!
This sort of pain used to be a weekly and, at some points last year, a daily experience. I look at this flare-up and I'm reminded of why I watch what I eat, why I take supplements, why I avoid hard chairs for long periods of time, and so on. It is also a reminder of how much I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful in the good times, but I also choose to be thankful in the not so good times.

After all that bit of seriousness I would like to end this post on a much more cheerful note. Yesterday really was a doodle day and I wanted to share three more doodles I created. (I created them for handmade Valentine's that I'll be giving to friends this coming week.)

Want to see?

Flickr Link

Flickr Link
Flickr Link
I choose to be a jubilant flower today and give thanks in the midst of even storms and rain.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A doodle day...

I like to doodle.
I'll have random spurts of inspiration and I will take a black-ink pen in hand.
Then, a simple little character will form onto the white page.
I do not claim any true skill in the area of painting or drawing, but it is fun to just play.

And, let me tell you, playfulness happened today.

Early this morning a doodle idea came to my mind.
It is February and I thought, "Why not create a sweet (slightly cheesy) doodled couple?"
Well, I did.

Want to see?

Flickr Link

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Balloon. 
They have a story that I might have to tell very soon. 
Mrs. wears a bow on her "head", but Mr. (being a guy) wears a bow-tie instead.

(I had a bit of fun on Picnik and created a few other fun designs of the happy couple...)

Flickr Link

Flickr Link

It is such fun to be creative and imaginative!
Who knows, I may be creating more Mr. and Mrs. Balloon doodles and adventures.
Doodling is a simple way to bring a bit of creativity to your day.

Do you enjoy doodling?


Monday, February 6, 2012

Taking a self portrait...

Tonight I came across a blog link up party for self portraits over at The Paper Mama. I thought I would take part in the fun.

So, I pulled out my Desi and took a few pictures. I chose to take a picture just as I am today; make-up free. It makes me sad how often gals I know feel that they aren't beautiful without their make-up on.
And, if I'm honest, sometimes that mentality can try to creep into my mind too. I've got blemishes, scars, not incredibly white teeth, and so on. Sometimes that little thought sneaks in, "Maybe I'm not pretty enough if I don't put make-up on today." But, that simply isn't true!

Ladies, there is such loveliness with or without make-up!

For my self portrait I'm proclaiming the beauty that there really is without a single dab of make-up on.

For those of you coming over from the link-up party, thank you for stopping by! I'm a simple gal (named Sarah) that is a mixture of an old-soul and a child at heart. There is so much joy even in the midst of the ups and downs of life.

Here are a few "currently"s...

Obsessing over…

Working on…
GED, crocheting, cleaning.

Thinking about…
Starting my own Etsy business, the joys of life, and getting a book as soon as possible.

The newness of tomorrow...

Listening to…
Audrey Assad channel on Pandora.


Nothing at the moment. Though, I enjoyed a yummy Strawberry banana smoothy today!



A Magnificent Monday and a Raven...

Hello everyone!

It's another Magnificent Monday! Life has been wonderfully exciting and full lately. My health continues to be in a steady place, the relationships in my life are going well, the GED course work is going very well, and God is growing me in many ways.

Today I wanted to share two pictures of the completed gift I mentioned I was working on in an earlier post.
I'm afraid the pictures didn't come out exactly right, but I hope you enjoy seeing them.

This particular gift was a very creative project for me. The gift receiver's favorite poem is The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe and I incorporated a favorite line into the gift. I found the lettering and the basic raven image online. I then wrote out a pattern on graph paper and stitched the piece. It was the biggest cross-stitch project I've ever taken on. But, seeing the smile on the face of the receiver made every stitch more than worth it.

Here are two pictures of the art...

So, there you have a brief update on me. I hope you are well!
I've been a bit lacking when it comes to blogging lately, but I hope to get back into the swing now.

How are you?
Is February off to a good start for you?