Friday, June 29, 2012

My shadow friend and I...

I've always enjoyed imagining a playful shadow such as Peter Pan had. Shadows are very interesting things! In fact, my shadow surprised me the first few times I saw it after I cut my hair short! How different a shadow can be!

So, last night I decide to go out and play just my shadow and my camera with the evening sun.

Shadow friend1


Shadow friend2

Shadow friend3



As my shadow and I played I remembered a lovely poem I once read-

My Shadow
By Robert Louis Stevenson


I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an errant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.


Now, I don't think that I could write a proper post about shadows if I didn't share two photos that I like so very much by the street artist named Katie Sokoler. These two photos enchanted me from the very moment that I first saw them!

Untitled

Untitled

Shadows are truly such interesting things!
At times your shadow may seem thoughtful or quiet, your shadow may seem lazy or cowardly at times as in the poem, or your shadow could also seem imaginative and caring like those in the street art. Yet, your shadow is unique no matter what! It shifts with time of day, with light, with what you wear, or how your hair is cut.

So, I hope that maybe this post has helped you remember your shadow if you happened to have forgotten.
And, maybe this post has made you smile and think of shadows in a more imaginative way.

What do you think of shadows?

Simply,
Sarah  


Sources and credits-
My Shadow Poem- Poetry Foundation
The last two pictures in this post are not my own. The photo credit belongs to Katie Sokoler.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Willow tree...

willow tree
Photo credit- Sarah Bug


I've always adored Weeping Willow trees.
I've daydreamed about special happenings maybe one day occurring beneath the graceful branches.
I've dreamed of one day dancing beneath one, of picnicking beneath one, and other lovely daydreams.

Some think them sad. I've always thought them beautiful.

Yesterday I discovered a song in which a willow tree is a part of the lyrics.
And, it makes me smile.
Want to listen? Falling Over You by Wesley Blaylock

So, now as I sit and daydream of willow trees I can listen to a little bit of a song about one.
Maybe one day I too will write a song about a willow tree. Maybe.

Do you have a favorite sort of tree?
What is it and why is it your favorite?

Simply,
Sarah 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Health update: This blessed state…

     Hello everyone!
I realize that I haven’t specifically written a CFS/FM health update in awhile. So, today I’ve decided to do that.
     I’m going to be honest and state that I’m amazed at this blessed state my health continues to be in. Since I first became ill way back in 2009 this is honestly the best that my health has been! I can do more; I’ve swam, walked farther, stayed out longer, sat up for long periods of time, been able to study well, written more, gone shopping more frequently, and so much more. All of those things at one point or another simply weren’t possible for me. Yet, now they are. 
     Over all, my health is amazing. I still have to make it a priority to get rest and if I overdo I still crash sometimes. Though, the crash is so much smaller than my crashes used to be. Usually these days if I have a crash it means that I end up being exhausted and sleeping for 2-4 hours, maybe having some Fibro pain, sometimes a sore throat, and feeling sort of worn out for the rest of the day. But, that is still so much better than the multiple day long or sometimes over a week long crashes I used to experience.
     I have noticed that my body doesn’t respond well to thunderstorms most of the time. Lately any time there has been a thunderstorm building up (even if I didn’t know it at the time) I’ve had a flair-up of my Fibromyalgia pain. Sometimes it has been pretty awful, but over all I simply ride it out until I feel better. 
     I also still try to be careful about what I eat and I have a weird digestive system that doesn’t always act very “happy”. 
     But, as I look back on where I used to be these current slight symptoms or life style choices seem so miniscule. I’m living and enjoying life so very much these days! And, I’m grateful for every bit of improvement that I’m living in.    
     I do not take for granted this current state of health and I'm so very thankful. I hope that as doctors learn more about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia that many more people will be able to enjoy an improved state of health too! I know how hard these illnesses can be. I'm so thankful for the support that I've had and continue to have as I live with these illnesses.

     There you have a health update!

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer glow sticks...

A very Magnificent Monday to you!

As I sit and type this I'm honestly quite sleepy, a bit sore, but cheerful.
This afternoon my family and I went swimming and also invited Luke and his family to come too.
It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon! So, one magnificent thing about my Monday was swimming with wonderful people.

Even though I'm tired I wanted to take time to share a few fun photos with all of you!
Over this past weekend my family and I celebrated my youngest brother's birthday. For one of his birthday gifts I purchased him glow sticks. He decided that he wanted to have a creative photo-shoot with me that night. So, we waited until it was dark enough then we went outside and captured a few creative glow-stick shots! It was fun being creative with him.

We both hope you enjoy looking at them!

Lights1

Lights2

Lights3

Lights4

Lightlove

What was one magnificent thing about your Monday?

May your Mondays be magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah

Friday, June 22, 2012

Memories and moments to treasure...

There are times in life when memories and moments unfold in wonderfully unexpected ways. Perhaps, those memories and moments are a bit like paper lanterns...

Lanterns2


Each little lantern is a celebration, special, and unique. And, they are each tucked within the green branches of the tree as little celebratory reminders. There are types of memories that can be cherished for their uniqueness and that are then tucked away into your heart to treasure and think upon.

Often times, those moments that are cherished and tucked away become woven into poetry, a song, a collaged art piece, or inspire a perspective for a photograph. And, each time one sees that poem, hears that song, touches that collage, or glances at the photograph it helps in the cherishing of the memory.

Many times when moments and memories so preciously unfold I whisper a heart thanks for them. And then, as I take time to write it within the blank spaces of my journal I'm overwhelmed and whisper heart thanks anew.

Yesterday I experienced moments and memories like that. Moments and memories that I will treasure in my heart and that I long to weave into a poem, a song, or a collage. (And, as of this post they have already inspired photography with the little lanterns.) They were moments wrapped in family time, moments watching my parents love each other, moments that happened while live jazz music played, conversations on swings and around favorite milkshakes. Memories and moments to be treasured, but also subtly woven into creativity.

Again I whisper heart thanks for the moments, the memories, and the time of yesterday.

Yes, I whisper heart thanks and smile.

Lanterns1


Do you know the sort of memories and moments that I speak of?
The sort that you cherish and treasure in your heart?

I hope you do.

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear summer...

Dear summer,

As of today the calendar officially says you're here. Though, honestly, I felt you arrived the week after I walked across that graduation stage. Summer, I'm dreaming, soaking up your moments of sunshine, family time, and memory making.

Summer, you bring some lovely happenings for a few months. Yes, indeed you do.

You bring things like sunshine and strawberries...

Summer yums...


You bring blue skies with clouds flying by...

Summer sky...

You bring cheerful nail polish that soon becomes chipped from all the barefeet adventures and swimming excursions...

Summer toes...

You bring short hair to celebrate the newness.
You bring planning times for the fall.
You bring family time that is dear to my heart.
You bring so many possibilities.

Dear summer, I hope that while you're here this year I'll also...

Blow bubbles,
Swing even more,
Share truth in love,
Get my room the most organized it has ever been,
Go on a fun vacation,
Read and read some more,
Write and write pages of words,
Grow,
Enjoy and invest in friendships,
Spend time with someone I'm fond of,
Be creative with my Sissy,
Plan a marvelous afternoon with Little Buddy,
Go on a special outing with my big-little brother,
Have an early morning breakfast with my Papa Bear,
And enjoy some precious Momma time.

There are other things I hope to do, but I don't want to overload you.
So, I'll begin with that simple list.

Summer, I'm glad you're here.
You are a unique summer filled with planning, fun, memory making, and preparation.

Yes, I'm glad that you are here.

Simply,
Sarah

P.S. To you, my splendid readers, what would you tell summer if you wrote it a letter?

Monday, June 18, 2012

The umbrella time...

A Magnificent Monday to you!
I hope that on this Monday you are finding something magnificent to smile about even if you have the Monday blues.

Every so often it is nice to wear a basic color scheme and carry around a vibrant umbrella.
It really is.

Umbrella day5

I recently wore a black outfit and created a bit of a whimsical photo time to share with all of you.

Umbrella day3


There is just something about playing with an umbrella. You can be a character from an old musical dancing in the rain, a mysterious figure waiting for a train to arrive, a gal that dreams of running away to join the circus and tightrope walk, or simply someone out for a casual stroll on a drizzle day.

Umbrella day1

Sometimes I also like to think that if umbrellas could talk that they would have so very many stories to tell. Yes, they would have so many stories to tell! And, my yellow sunshine umbrella could tell you that I like to prance about, stand beneath it often, and that we've had a good many adventures and times of pleasant strolling. 

On this Monday I think it is magnificent to think about umbrella adventures and the many stories umbrellas could tell if they indeed could talk.

What is one Magnificent thing about your Monday?
If umbrellas could talk, would yours have stories to tell?

May your Mondays be magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crocheted banner...

Have you ever felt like having your own mini-parade for a little while? Yesterday when my brother helped me take pictures of my latest crochet project I felt as though I could join in a parade to celebrate the little blessings of the day. There is just something festive about triangle bunting/banner. Which is even more festive when I've worked hard to make it myself!

This bunting/ banner is my latest crocheted creation. I made it to decorate my graduation table so that the table had a bit more dynamic to it instead of mostly being flat.

With how busy I've been lately I neglected to post about it. But, now here I am with fresh photos to show you my latest crochet creation!

Crochet banner


Crochet bunting


I based the banner bunting on this lionbrand pattern. (You will have to login or set up a Lionbrand account to access the pattern. But, great news! Setting up the account is free!)

I used Vanna's Choice yarn and I enjoyed creating this. It would be great for party decorations too!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
Let me know if you make some of your own banner/bunting. It would be lovely to see pictures if you do.

Simply,
Sarah

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hair happenings...

When I was a young teen I had my hair cut super short. I remember the moment that I decided to make the change, go short, and donate my long hair. It felt great.

As the years passed by, little by little I would let it grow longer instead of cutting it shorter again.

I enjoy long hair, but the last three or four months I've been thinking about cutting it short again. I wanted to change things up and have a little bit of fun with my hair. There has been so much wonderful change in my life this year. (God has blessed me so much!)
I think that part of my desire to cut my hair has been that I wanted an outward expression of the change I'm living in this year.

My health has been so much better, I'm growing as a person, I'm in a relationship with a great guy, I completed my GED, I graduated, I had another birthday, and the list goes on and on. I felt ready for an outward declaration of saying, "Hey! This year is filled with newness and change and I'm enjoying it!"

So, yesterday I sat down in a chair and my wonderful hair dresser cut off my long locks and formed a new style upon my head.

Goodbye long hair...

Before haircut...
Hello new hair...

New hair

It will take some getting used to and I'm having to figure out the new "angles" of my face when it comes to photographs, but I'm truly enjoying it so far! It is so much cooler, new, fresh, and fun.

Do you prefer long or short hair for yourself?
Have you ever simply wanted to change up your look?

Simply,
Sarah 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The time I tore apart a flower...

I recently enjoyed a belated birthday lunch with Luke and his family.
They gave me the most jubilant yellow flowers to take home that afternoon! They made me smile so much!
When I arrived home I began arranging the flowers and noticed that one of the flowers was more damaged than the rest. So, I decided to take it outside and rip it apart to make a bit of unique loveliness.

I took off many of the petals until I was left with a striking center and a pile of yellow.

The center.
 

Taken apart to become new art.


As I thought about what to create with the petals one word came to my mind...smile.
Those flowers had made me smile from the very first moment that I saw them. I then began to create a little cheerful flower message.

Smile...


After creating that word message I began to capture beauty frames of the center of the flower. Suddenly, another idea came to mind! It would look lovely to nestle the center amidst a pile of petals and capture moments.

And so, I did.


Flower moment...
Flower moment.
When petals come to dance....
When petals come to dance.
A moment amidst the busy...
A moment amidst the busy.

Have you ever joyfully torn apart a flower?

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, June 11, 2012

Savoring the summer...

Hello everyone!

For those of you who are new to my blog, each Monday is a Magnificent Monday around here!
I take time to find something to enjoy and appreciate about each Monday instead of going about having the Monday blues all day. And, I encourage each of you to do the same and even share one magnificent thing about your Monday!

This Magnificent Monday I feel as though it is the first official week of summer. This summer I'm taking time to make plans for the fall, develop my cooking skills, read more, grow spiritually, and be regularly creative. I want to soak up and absorb each little precious moment this summer.

I recently enjoyed taking time to stop and savor the bright color of some flowers in our yard. It is good to take time to stop and enjoy a moment.

Today I've been thinking a lot about taking time to take in and soak up the moments of this summer like I took time to enjoy those flowers.

Little moments...
OrangeFlowers

A few things that I've taken time to savor and soak up...
This morning listening to the bells chime nearby.
The bagel breakfast shared with a lovely lady.
The piece of mail that came for me.
The way a plate full of fruit and veggies makes me smile.
The impact of scripture in my heart.
The way that pool water felt gracing my light skin.
And, the joy of spending time with my family.

What are some moments that you've taken time to savor and soak up today?
What has been magnificent about your Monday?

As always, I truly hope that you've had a Magnificent Monday!

Simply,
Sarah

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy birthday, Bethany...

I wanted to take a moment today and wish a very happy birthday to the lovely Bethany!

Bethany's blog Rinse. Repeat. was one of the very first blogs that I began following when I first started blogging. She always leaves sweet comments when she comments and I enjoy reading her blog.

She just moved to a new country and is beginning a new adventure. And, along her travels she has had a bit of a difficult time. So, I thought I would send some extra birthday blessings her way.

Happy birthday, Bethany!

First of all, if you are reading this, I lit a candle just for you!


Go ahead close your eyes, think of something lovely, and when you're ready blow...


Hooray! You blew out the birthday candle! (Perhaps with a tiny bit of help...)


Simply,
Sarah

Little lovely cupcakes...

Cupcakes are such sweet little things.
Yes, they are sweet with the sugar, but they can also be sweet in their style.
Cute cupcakes often make me smile.

Cupcakes
 
For graduation I made a mini-army of cupcake cuteness. For each one I made a celebratory flag out of lollipop sticks from the local craft store and a roll of cabinet paper liner from a dollar store. It took a lot of time to measure, cut, fold, and put together each little flag. I'll admit that there was a part of me after I'd finished putting them all together that was a bit frustrated with the fact that it took more time than I had planned on. But, when I took time to take pictures of those celebratory flags in the sunshine I smiled once again and they seemed worth it.

In the whirlwind of graduation I didn't think much more of those sweet little flags, but then a precious little moment occurred! A precious little girl was walking around at the party with one of my flags in each hand. She was going around showing them to everyone with pure amazement and joy in her eyes. She even came by me to show me those little celebratory things.

When the little one went and showed my Momma the flags my Momma smiled and told her, "Did you know that Sarah made those?"

The eyes of the little one went wide and she said with amazement, "Sarah made them?"

My Momma smiled and said while she pointed, "Yes. That's her in the blue dress."

The little one came over to me and held up those celebration flags as she asked with wonder, "You made these?"

I smiled and said, "Yes."

She replied simply with a heartfelt, "Wow."

Oh the preciousness of childlike wonderment! Too often I miss those little things.
Yet, I long to view the world with such a wonder and thankfulness of the little things.
In some ways childishness is not good, but there are some aspects in which childishness is magnificent.

So, little flags of celebration, I'll twirl you like that little one and wave you for everyone to see. Yes, little treasures, little moments, and simplicity, I'm going to enjoy you with wonder in my blue eyes and a smile on my lips.

Cupcake1

When was the last time you truly saw and enjoyed "cupcake flags of celebration" or other such moments?

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Angry bird fruit pizza: DIY...

Today I would like to share an Angry bird fruit pizza do-it-yourself!

I was inspired by this angry bird pizza that a mom made for one of her boys.
This past weekend there was a surprise birthday party for a sweet girl named Hope. I had sent her mom a link to that dinner pizza post awhile back since I knew that Hope liked angry birds a lot. For the surprise party I was asked to make two angry bird treats to enjoy. So, I came up with a yummy and fun way to have an angry bird dessert.

Angry Bird DIY


Ingredients needed:

2 containers of fresh strawberries
1 8oz container of strawberry cream cheese
Dark purple grapes (about 12)
Yellow fruit roll ups
Sugar cookie dough
Pizza stone or cookie sheet
Sweetened plain cream cheese


Angry Bird

Instructions:

1. Begin by rolling out cookie dough onto a pizza stone or a round cookie sheet.
Bake as directed for cookie dough.

2. Once cookie dough has baked and cooled begin to create the angry bird by creating two circles for the eyes out of the sweetened plain cream cheese. I recommend creating the eyes toward the upper center of the cookie dough.

3. Take the strawberry cream cheese and begin spreading it around the eyes. Continue to spread the strawberry cream cheese on the cookie dough, but leave a triangle shaped space below the eyes for the white cream cheese.

4. Now take the white cream cheese and fill in the triangle to create the belly of the angry bird.

5. Rinse your grapes and chop each grape in half. Create a wide "V" just above the eyes for the angry eyebrows. Also, place half of a grape in each "eye" of white cream cheese for the eyeballs.

6. Take the fruit roll ups and pull off sections of yellow. Shape the fruit roll ups into parts of the beak and place onto the cream cheese. 

7. Rinse and chop up lots of strawberries. Once strawberries are chopped begin placing the pieces onto the the strawberry cream cheese. (Tip: Do not place the strawberries on the white eyes or belly section. Also, place the strawberry pieces where the outside (the part with the seeds) is facing up. That part of the strawberries has a redder hue and will make your angry bird look redder instead of pinkish.)

There you have it! An angry bird fruit pizza!
Sometime soon I may make another angry bird dessert pizza.
If I do I will be sure to take step by step photos to add to this post. (I didn't have time to take step by step photos this past weekend.)

Enjoy!

If you have any questions feel free to email me or ask in a comment.

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Graduation...

Hello everyone!

So much has happened lately and I feel as though it will take a few posts to share all of it with you.

But, I thought I would begin with a graduation post.
Last week I graduated. It was and is exciting as well as a little overwhelming. I'm so thankful that my health has been so well this year that I could experience this closing chapter and begin dreaming and making plans for a new chapter/adventure. I have that blank canvas and I'm ready to begin making those first brush strokes. 

For the graduation ceremony I was asked to share a poem/spoken word as part of the beginning. I wrote a poem about graduation day and the significance of it.

Here is a picture...


It was a wonderful time of celebration and I was blessed to see and visit with so many different people that have blessed my life through the years. Here are just a few of the pictures of some of those wonderful people...

This couple has been such a blessing in my life. And, I truly adore their precious boys.
This lovely lady was a teacher of mine when I was a little girl in the A.W.A.N.A. program. She is such a blessing to me.
My precious friend and "sister" Sara Beth! I love her so very much.
These two are such a wonderful and godly couple. The lady to my right was my mentor for years and is very dear to me.
This is my amazing drama teacher, speech coach, and I also took one of her literature classes. She is amazing and such an inspiration to me.
I'm so thankful for these two and their prayers, love, and support throughout the years.
My gorgeous friend Molly, Luke and I. We're graduates!

And, this post would not be complete if I didn't share a picture of Luke, his new mandolin and I. The mandolin was a surprise graduation gift for him from his parents. He was just a little excited to say the least. (I was excited too, though, understandably not as much as him.)


All in all, graduation day was wonderful!

This week I hope to share...

A cupcake post/DIY cupcake toppers,
A fun photo shoot,
Pictures of beautiful fresh flowers,
A DIY for angry bird themed fruit pizza,
Maybe my very first vlog,
A crochet project,
And other odds and ends.

This week I'm looking forward to...

Restful times around the house,
Spending some much needed time with my family,
Beginning to set some goals for this next chapter of life,
Giving my parents their anniversary gift,
And, reading. 

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Monday surprise...

Hello everyone!

I hope that you've truly had a Magnificent Monday!

I've had an overwhelmingly Magnificent Monday!
It's been a great day.

One of the many reason why it has been a great day is...

Luke bought me a ukulele as a surprise!

He picked me up today and as he opened the car door for me I saw something in my seat. There sitting in the seat was a ukulele for me. I'm pretty sure that my mouth was hanging open, I made some exciting sounds, and asked some silly questions.
Do you know what made it even better?
He had one sitting in his seat too. There were two ukuleles all ready to begin making some music.
We both get to learn to play them and continue having fun making music together.

I'm not easy to surprise, but goodness, he surprised me!

Here are a few quick pictures of the ukulele...

Ukulele1

Ukulele2


And, I went and purchased a book to begin learning how to make pretty sounds with my little ukulele.

IMG_0147

Now, I don't particularly think that I'm a "dummy", but this book seemed very informative and even has an audio disc.

There may be a vlog someday in the coming months with some ukulele fun. But, we'll see how it goes.  

Now a few questions for you, my dear readers...
Are you easy to surprise?
What has been special about your Monday?

As always, may your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah