Monday, January 28, 2013

When your Monday isn't so Magnificent...

I woke up tired. That is how the day began. My dreams had not been peaceful, my heart was heavy, and my body felt like it could use some more rest. But, it was time to begin the day.

I began the time in prayer. Resting on my side I lifted words to Daddy God. He faithfully pointed out little gifts to me. He is so very faithful. He showed me new-morning gifts that arrived with the new day. There were the birds singing their new-morning song. (Gift one.) There was the windy day which caused the neighbor's wind chimes to play a new-morning song for me. (Gift two.) And, then there was the distant train with its echo sound riding on the cool morning air. (Gift three.)

My heart was still heavy, but God was reminding me of the gifts of today. I took time to pray for someone and text. I took time to read scripture and I was impacted by Psalm 34. And, then I got up out of bed and began getting ready for the school day.

There were little unpleasant things of a headache, some Fibro pain, and ending up with a cooler shower at one point. But, I continued to give thanks, continue to praise, continued to pray and lift in prayer to Daddy God the heavy things that are on my heart this day.

I was blessed with a bit of happy mail right before I went to school. It was two Jenny and Tyler CDs and a t-shirt that I'd been excited to receive. It was a blessing and brought a little smile to my face.

Then I headed off to school. During the afternoon there were multiple things that happened that were difficult. My heart was still heavy with different things and I was feeling even more weary. Then, as I sat waiting to leave school I had a very unpleasant interaction. The details of which I choose not to write about at this time.

By the time I was picked up from school and had shared with my sweet Momma on the way home I just felt so in need of prayer. I asked her if she would take a moment to pray with me and she did.

I'll be honest, she prayed and I cried. I've cried today. It has been a harder Monday. There have been little trials and there have been much harder things like the interaction that still makes me emotional right now thinking of.

But, may I tell you something?
There is still Magnificence  to my Monday.

The morning gifts, all one, two, and three of them were Magnificent.
The happy mail of music and the t-shirt are Magnificent.
The blessing of prayer and the impact of Psalm 34 are Magnificent.
The blessing of my precious Momma and her prayer over me is and always will be Magnificent.

And, here are a few more Magnificent things...

The leftovers I ate upon arriving home-

Taste...

The cup I gave Momma as an early Valentine's Day gift and the joy of giving-

Love...

Love cup.....

The cute snoring/sleeping kitty resting beside me-

Juni cat...

There have been aspects of today that have not been Magnificent.
I have cried, ached, hurt, and had a heavy heart.
Yet, there is beauty.
There is still Magnificence  this Monday.
God's faithfulness still abounds.

May your Mondays be Magnificent.
But, even when they are not so Magnificent, may you see the Magnificence woven within the hard times of life.

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PicMonkey Valentine edits...

Happy socks rock!

Hello everyone!

I'm taking a short break before homework time to share a bit of happy news. Last night I discovered that PicMonkey has put up their Valentine themed edits! I've been having so much fun with them. There are some new beautiful fonts, fun filters, banners, heart stickers, and more! What are you waiting for? Go take a look!

Oh, and just for the record, happy socks rock. I believe that colorful and fun socks are the most enjoyable ones.

I hope your week is going well!

If you use the Valentine themed edits too I'd enjoying hearing what some of your favorites are.

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, January 21, 2013

One year: Luke and I...

Luke and I- one year...

One year. Yesterday marked one year of official courtship with Luke.

Yesterday...

-We enjoyed a nice lunch just the two of us.
-We took a few insta-film pictures with Wendy.
-We accidentally matched. (His hoody and my shirt where almost the exact same shade of orange.) The waitress that served us at lunch said, "You two match! But, not too match-y, match-y." It makes me smile and laugh a little still.
-He blessed me with a wonderful card. (One of my favorite things about the cards that he usually gives me is that they are usually made out of construction paper. Which, frankly, I wouldn't trade for the fanciest cards in the world. Construction paper is his signature style.)
-I was finally able to give him his gift! I had been working on it for over six months. His gift was a jar of notes. There were dated notes of memories, thoughts, and other odds and ends which filled a large jar. When I counted there were over 50 notes that he'll be able to read as he wants to.

Holding notes....

Jar of notes...

In most ways it feels like the year has flown by. Not in every way, but in most.

I remember when we first began our courtship and how awkward the first few times were that we spent time together. We suddenly knew we both liked each other, we were officially in a relationship, but it was a whole new thing to have an hour to two hours just for the two of us to talk. Fast forward to a year later, it isn't hard to spend time together for two hours, we can in fact enjoy much longer than that.

This past year has been more beautiful as well as more challenging than I ever could have imagined. As a little girl seeing the princesses or reading the fairytale depictions of relationships, care, love, and all such things seemed to be so wonderful, sunshine-y, and beautiful. But, in real life they are much more than that. There is all the beauty as well as the challenging. Yet, both make up the picture of the whole. I'm thankful for this past year and all of the ways it has caused me to grow as an individual as well as the ways it has caused Luke and I to grow as a couple.  

I do not know what this next year will hold. But, God willing, I hope to continue getting to know Luke. And, I hope that we continue to grow as individuals as well as grow as a couple. Amidst this next year, I hope as we grow and know each other more that we honor God and bring Him glory all the more.

Today is a Magnificent Monday  and the beginning of a second year of courtship. Today the Magnificence  of my Monday is amidst enjoying and reflecting on the first year, realizing today is the start of the second, and reading the card Luke gave me.

What is Magnificent  about your Monday?

May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Flower thoughts and a pencil bouquet...

Is it possible to crave flowers?
Not the taste, but the beauty. The beauty of fresh flowers that you can smell, touch, and gaze upon. This week I've been craving fresh flowers to photograph and enjoy. So, today, when I had an urge to take a bit of time for photography I decided I would try to enjoy a bouquet of something else.

What might that bouquet be of?

Why, pencils of course!

Pencils1

Pencils2

Pencils3

Pencils4

Pencils5

They aren't flowers, but I think they made for quite a cheerful little grouping.

The vibrancy of the color makes me smile.

I have another fun photo set to share with you next week that was an accidental photography idea.

Happy Friday to you! I hope the pencil bouquet brings a smile to you too!

Simply,
Sarah  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First week of second semester...

Edges of imagination touching reality...

It is nearing the end of the first week of my second semester of college. It's been a full week. A mixed blend of expected, unexpected, adventures, interactions, learning, and so much more.

Tonight as I was sitting in the living room after a long day at school Momma said, "Oh! This is beautiful. Listen." She read me the quote that I placed in the photo above. It is from a book she is reading called- The Girl in the Glass  by Susan Meissner. I normally do not quote books that I have not read myself, but she said it is a wonderful book and I trust her. And, the quote stirred inspiration in me.

It caused me to think about the edges of imagination. The word "canvas" in it made me think about this post and how much has changed since then.

God is so very good.

Tomorrow I look forward to filling out a possible job application and my room-cleaning/laundry day.
Saturday I look forward to attending a festivity and spending time with Luke for his birthday.
Sunday I'm very excited to celebrate one year of courtship with Luke.

But, tonight, tonight I take time to slow down, to prepare for rest, and to think about the imagination canvas and the reality of life. The beauty, the ache, the wonder and the sorrow that is the mixture of it all.

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, January 14, 2013

A little e-card on a Magnificent Monday...

E-card Smile

There are simple moments in life, simple beauties that can be over looked and under appreciated. Mondays are often viewed as the rough first day of the week with no beauty to be appreciated. But, if you look closely, there is always a bit of magnificence to be found.

I began classes for my second semester of college today. It went well, but I was very tired when I arrived back home and in need of a few hours of rest. After I had taken time to rest I got up and began checking email and such. I was still feeling a bit worn when I saw an e-card in my inbox. It blessed me so much! It was a cheerful little card with a sweet message at the end.

I thought I would take a little picture of it and share the story with all of you tonight.

Remember, even on a busy and tiring Monday there is Magnificence  to be found and appreciated!

May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Afternoon tea...

Today I enjoyed afternoon tea with my friend Allanah. The time started in an unexpected way with us ending up at two different places and once we realized we weren't at the same place my friend went back to her car to come to my location only to find that she had locked her keys in the car.

So, the time began with an unexpected adventure!

Even with all of that craziness we were still able to enjoy a tea time.

Tea time2

Tea time1

Tea time6

Tea time4

Tea time3

Tea time5

Allanah and I tea time

Just because we're adults doesn't mean that we can't have fun and have tea parties. I'm so glad that I have creative friends who can enjoy doing what might seem silly to others. Simple fun is wonderful!

I hope you've enjoyed the photos. I'd like to end with a few tea party tips.

-My top five tea party tips-

1. The little details make it special. I brought a flower arrangement, books, and a tiny tea set. I tied the napkins up with ribbon and I even made the little banner that we tied to a nearby tree. Allanah also brought two tea sets and was kind enough to bring two baked goods for us to split. The little details make it even more fun and special.

2. Don't worry about everything matching! Allanah and I both brought tea sets and I mixed and matched many different objects for the tea party. We also brought different colored fabrics to put over the table. Mixing and matching colors, patterns, and tea sets can be a part of the fun!

3. Bring a few different tea options for you and your guest (or guests) to choose from.

4. Take pictures, but more importantly, take time to talk.

5. Dress up a little or a lot! Allanah looked amazing. She had on a neat outfit which included a petticoat and a corset as well as a fascinator. I enjoyed wearing my rainboots, a dress, my new hat, and red lipstick. All in all, take a little time to dress up. The way you dress up may be different than your friend/friends, but that's okay.    

Happy tea time!

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sentimental rain...

Rain...

Hello everyone!

It's a nice rainy day around here. I was blessed to enjoy time with my fellow today. We went to breakfast, had music time together, and then simply enjoyed visiting and watching the rain whilst sitting in a coffee shop. I'm so very blessed to know Luke.

We've almost been courting a year! It's amazing to think about. (For those of you new to the blog, you can read the start to the story of Luke and I in poetry form here.) It's fascinating to look back and see how much our relationship has grown over the past year.

I think rainy days make me all the more mellow and even more sentimental.

So, rainy sentimentality brings you a photo collage...

Untitled

How is your Wednesday?
Do rainy days stir up sentimentality in you too?

Simply,
Sarah


Monday, January 7, 2013

Little centers...

Little gifts...

A very Magnificent Monday  to you!

So often we speak of Mondays in such a grim manner, which is why I began this series a long time ago to bring a little cheer to Mondays. During the past few months I missed some Mondays, but I'm back now!

Today I wanted to share a few photos with you. Last month I had a bouquet of lovely yellow flowers. I kept them a nice long time inside, but after awhile it was time to say goodbye to them. But, instead of simply throwing them away, I decided to take apart the flowers and photograph the bits in interesting ways. The centers turned out to be what interested me most that day so I chose to make them the "stars" of that particular photo time.

There is so much beauty in flowers, yet it is so much more than just the flower as a whole. The centers by themselves remind me of something that might grow under the sea. All in all, they are little gifts. They brought a few smiles to my days last month and I hope that the photos will bring a few smiles to your face today.


Little centers 1...

Little centers 2...

Little centers 3...

May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Introducing Wendy...

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Today I would like to introduce you to Wendy! (The Fujifilm Instax mini 25.)


Wendy....

Wendy is my new camera-friend. I used the last of my Christmas money to buy Wendy.
I'm so very excited! I've had a little bit of fun today taking a few pictures and hope to take a few more tomorrow. My hope is that Wendy will be with me to document special moments and memories this year. Whether it is a moment with Luke, a gift from a friend, or a celebration for someone, I hope to take Wendy along to capture special little moments.

I think that Wendy and Desi will make a good camera team.

Desi as seen by Wendy....

Happy weekend to you!

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A heart may miss someone...

When you miss someone....

Treasure the moment...

I may have been missing someone this week.
I may have a family that likes to give me a hard time, but that also loves me enough to do silly things for me. (Like, drive to a restaurant that is farther away just so I could see that someone.)
I may be learning.
I may have a hard time getting past my practicality and how silly it seems to miss someone like this.
I may still be a little timid. (Or, maybe a lot.) 
I may be learning to give myself permission to feel, to miss, and open my heart a little.
Not all at once, not rushing, or going crazy. But, a little.

It may be a funny thing, learning to allow your heart to trust, to open a little, to be okay with missing someone.

This may be my noncommittal way of saying-
I'm learning heart lessons, that it is okay to miss someone, and to treasure the moments you're blessed with.

Simply,
Sarah


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today I made a willow tree...

I love my sister.
I love to watch her take out her paints, pencils, paper, and take over the kitchen table to create art. It is beautiful. I enjoy watching her create and bring her imaginings onto a page. Today she invited me to sit and create with her for awhile. And, so, I did.

Shaved art...

Paint tools...

Paint and tools...

Art...

Sister at work...

Sister...

Sister's art...

During the artistic time Sissy and I talked about working on a book together. She could bring the art to life and I could paint with words. It would be great. And, I was reminded today that art can be a wonderful way to express. Yet, today art was also a way for me to distract my mind. I feel like I've been overly focused on certain things today and that if I don't distract myself then my thoughts will drive me crazy. So, I was all the more pleased to be artistic at the table with my sister today.

Dana sweetly let me use her watercolor pencils today. I'm pleased to say that I made a willow tree with them. It makes me smile.

Willow Tree Art

Willow Tree

Happy mid-week to you!

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It's 2013...

It's 2013.....

New Year's Eve Outfit...

Peter-pan.....

Well, today is the very first day of 2013!

I dressed up and welcomed in the new year last night! (Though, in all honesty, I think I was actually already in my pajamas when midnight struck.) This outfit was a lot of fun to wear. I felt like a mixture of Snow White, Alice, and Minnie Mouse all the while still completely feeling like myself. My Daddy says he thinks I'm a chameleon with how different I can look at times in photos. The dress has a sweet peter-pan collar which I'd been wanting dress with that style of collar for quite awhile. And, Momma found a wonderful red lipstick for me to try.

In the grand picture of life, a collar on a dress and a red lipstick really aren't all that important. Yet, they were two little things that made me smile yesterday.

On the last day of 2012 I was blessed to spend lots of time with my Momma and my Sissy. I danced a little and visited with friends at a get-together. Then, I headed home around 11pm and took deep breaths while the neighborhood became very noisy with guns, fireworks, and such.

All in all, it was a nice last day of 2012. Though, I think in the future I would rather spend the evening with a small group of people instead of a bigger party. I realized that I just don't really enjoy big events that much anymore. They aren't bad, but I would rather do something low-key.

The only thing that I really missed was Luke. He's been sick so I didn't get to spend time with him, dance with him, or wish him a happy new year in person. But, that's okay. It was still a very blessed day and ending to 2012.

So, now I look forward to 2013. My hope and prayer is that God will use me for His glory to speak truth and share love. I don't know what tomorrow holds for sure much less an entire year. But, I'm looking forward to it and trusting that God will direct my steps as I seek Him.

How did you celebrate and welcome in the new year?

Simply,
Sarah

Brilliant Earth and thoughts...

I would like to preface this post by stating that I am not engaged and that I do not see myself being engaged soon. In this post I write about rings, but I don't want to stir up a whirlwind (of undue excitement or concern) so I felt that it was wise to start it with such a preface. I am in a meaningful relationship (with an amazing fellow), but even if I were still single I think that I would still be writing this post today. Now, to the post...


This morning as I was looking through my blog reader when I came across a blog post by Anna Delores. In her post she talked about ethical engagement rings. I realized that if/when I get engaged and married someday if I don't I have a ring from a family member that I want to support fair trade and give thought to the ethics beyond the rings that are bought. I think part of why I've never really thought about that is because I don't like big diamonds. I just never have liked them. Ever since I was a little girl I've been drawn to simply rings. My heart has always dreamed of either having a ring that was passed down from a family member or a simple ring like this one-



Perhaps since I've never been drawn to the big diamonds I didn't think as much about wanting to support ethical diamond trade. But, I realized today that I do. Even that simple ring has diamonds and even the white gold of the band was mined somewhere.

So, in that distant time if/when I'm blessed with engagement and marriage, I believe that I would like my future spouse and I to purchase from a company like Brilliant Earth the rings that we would wear.  

Have you ever thought about rings this way?

Simply,
Sarah