Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A sweet YouTube video...

This past weekend I came across a video of a wedding proposal that has gone viral on YouTube. I've already shared it with my entire family, so I thought I would continue to spread the smiles by sharing it with all of you in case you haven't seen it.

Along with my desire to share the smiles, I wanted to take time tonight to share the words the video inspired in me. I will share my words in a moment, but before I do that take eight minutes and two seconds to watch the video.


This video was beautiful. The cinematography was beautiful to me. The details of the proposal were beautiful. Most of all, the community involvement was beautiful.

I do not think that a proposal has to be this huge and complex and involve such an elaborate plan. I do not think that all the guys in the world must now go out and try to do the same thing as this guy or something even better. The "bigness" of this proposal isn't what is so sweet and wonderful.

It is wonderful because he took the time to create something so specific for her. The fact of the matter is that some girls wouldn't want a proposal like this. I have a friend that specifically doesn't want to be proposed to in front of a bunch of people. She wants it to be a special moment where she doesn't have to think about who is around her. She hopes it will be a special moment just between her and her future husband. Every gal is different, and the sweetest thing about this proposal video was that he invested to make it so detailed and special for her. I imagine she would have been thrilled with just the lip dub, but he went above and beyond by also leaving notes just for her to read along the beach and the video messages for her to view.

The second aspect that took my breath away was the celebration of community. When she walked along as they performed the lip dub you could see the community and there were multiple times she screamed with joy upon seeing different individuals. Then, when she stood before the tv and watched the messages from individuals she loves you could feel the overwhelming beauty of community. To see so many people support and desire to celebrate with them was beautiful. But, even more, you could see that there have been friends and family supporting, encouraging, and hopefully speaking truth to them all along their journey. They have community around them as they begin a new chapter of their story. And that, that is beautiful.

This video is wonderful and moving. Though, I do hope guys know that it isn't a competition or that they have to do the same thing as one of the online viral proposals. I know I'm only one gal, but here are my two cents to the guys- When you propose if you put in the time, attention to detail, and creativity to make it special for your gal and incorporate meaningful aspects from the story of the two of you so far, that is what will make it special. To let her know you love her, that she is beautiful, and to incorporate details of your story together is meaningful whether it is an elaborate proposal, something simple, or something like this scientist did. Make it meaningful for you as a couple with a unique story and memories you share. 

I hope this video spreads even more smiles!

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Studying and life lately...

I need to be honest, the blog may be a little quiet for awhile. School is very busy this week and early next week. College life with its papers, tests, and studying has a way of taking up time that was once used for creativity. But, don't worry. I'm still taking time to be creative! I made a little Bow-Bear baby hat yesterday, I continue to photograph little beauty moments, and such.

But, the fact of the matter still remains that more of my time will be spent this week and the beginning of next week in study/school mode. I desire to study well and work hard even when it isn't much fun. Though, speaking of fun, my mom took a funny picture of my cat trying to "help" me work on studying.

Study Time

Besides letting you know that I may not write much this week or next week, I wanted to share a bit of life lately.

My Top Five Photos of Life Lately

1.This Valentine's Day dress. It is pink with a pretty heart pattern which makes me smile.

Valentine Dress

2. My brother making me laugh and capturing it in a photo. My brother Micah and I can have such fun little photo times together. And, he definitely likes to make me laugh.

Laugh a little...

3. Valentine's Day balloons from Luke. But, what made it even better was the note he gave me the next day.

IMG_7350

4. Luke and I played our very first music set this past Friday at a little gelato shop. It was a major blessing and the first time I've ever really sang that much in front of others.  But, more encouraging than any compliments or words of affirmation was the fact that multiple people shared that they were blessed and felt refreshed from the time. Luke and I had been praying for the set and I rejoice knowing it blessed others.

First Show

5. The flower surprise my sweet Momma pointed out to me today. These lovely flowers bloomed in our yard. I've never seen them grow in our yard before. My guess is that the wind carried the seeds from somewhere and thus they bloom.

Flower surprise...

Simply,
Sarah 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Modern Mixtape...

Hello everyone!

I hope you're having a Magnificent Monday!

Today I wanted to share a creative project I made for Luke.
A few weeks ago I was sitting and thinking about what I could give Luke for Valentine's Day. I had already selected the perfect card, but I wanted to give him something too. This was the first Valentine's Day we officially celebrated together so I wanted it to be meaningful and creative, but nothing to serious either.

So, I put on my creative hat and came up with an idea!

I decided that I liked the idea of mixtapes, but I wanted to take a modern spin on the mixtape concept.

Here is how to make a modern mixtape...

Step 1- Buy a gift card for a digital music provider. I went with itunes.

Step 1...

Step 2- Place the gift card on a piece of paper and trace around it with a pencil. Cutout the piece of paper and decorate it to look like a cassette tape. Then, tape it onto the front of the gift card.

Step 2...

Step 3- Find an old cassette case and decorate the inside with whatever papers you like.

Step 3...

Step 4- Select special songs and write out a playlist to put on the cassette case. The gift recipient can then use the gift card to purchase digital copies of each of the songs. You can also write a nice note to tuck into the case also. (You'll have to get create and come up with your own song list if you make your own version of this project. I did my best to blur the set list on purpose. The song list was unique and I took time and care to put it together for Luke. So, I wanted to keep that part special and not broadcast it to the internet.)

Step 4...

Put it all together and there you have it! A modern mixtape!

Modern Mixtape...

I can't fully express how much I enjoyed making it for Luke and seeing his face when he opened it. I'm glad to know he has been enjoying the music lately and that I introduced him to some new songs that he has listened to a lot.

What do you think of my modern mixtape idea?

As always, may your Mondays be Magnificent! 

Simply,
Sarah


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine's!

It is February 14th, 2013. I hope you're having a wonderful Valentine's Day. But, even if you aren't I hope you choose to look at and give thanks for the good things about the day. I know that just because the date is special doesn't make the day perfect. I can attest to that.

Valentine's Day doesn't mean everything goes as planned, that all your hopes are fulfilled, or that it plays out like a picturesque scene. Disappointment can occur, people don't stop being imperfect just because it is a holiday, and life happens.

Yet, even when the day doesn't go as hoped or planned, you still have a choice. You can still choose to find the aspects of which to give thanks. It's okay to take time to journal about and express the difficult of the day, but then the best way to end it is to write out thanks for the beautiful and precious gifts of the day. Because, even amidst the difficult the gifts are still there. They really, really are still there. You may just have to look a little closer.

I'm taking my own advice. Within this post I will write out the gifts and treasures of today. If you would like, I'd really enjoy if you'd leave a comment with some of the treasures of this day for you.

Treasures this Valentine's Day-

1. God's grace.
2. Seeing my family this morning. Life is a precious gift, I'm so thankful that I can tell my family members that I love them today.
3. Giving Sissy a Paris plate and card, Micah chocolate with Snoopy on the front to make him smile, J.J. a mini-mailbox full of goodies, Momma a beautiful card, and Daddy a Papa card.
4. The ability to give. When I give a gift, I'm saying, "I love you." We need to hear the words, "I love you." I definitely need to hear "I love you" since I'm such an auditory individual. But, it is such a blessing to be able to hand someone an object that is wrapped in invisible ribbons of love. You can't see the ribbons, but you feel it.
5. A new dress to wear.
6. Balloons from Luke and walking through the school with them. (Even though I got a mixture of weird looks, smiles, and down right glares as I walked around campus to my class, it was well worth it. Being the gal with hearts on her dress and heart shaped balloons in her hands doesn't exactly create smiles on the faces of the anti-Valentine's Day people. But, that's okay. I survived the looks and stares.)
7. Luke spending the last part of our date with his arm around my shoulders.
8. Raspberry chocolates from Momma.

My day wasn't perfect. In some ways it was hard. But, if I only focus on the not-so-great stuff (and let that rule my emotions) then I let the hard stuff steal away the joys of the beauty.

What are treasures of your day?

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Twig and the Flower: A Love Story...

Today I took a little time to be creative.

I made my very own Vine video. Vine is a new video App that you use to create very short videos that play in a loop.

I wanted to share it on the blog as well as give a behind the scenes look with still photos from the set up.

But, before you look at the photos and read the back story, take a minute to view the video by clicking the link below.

The Twig and the Flower: A Love Story (link)

Twig and flower title

Now that you've had a chance to watch the video, I wanted to take a little time to share the back story. I found out about the Vine app on Saturday night from Luke's parents. (I feel as though my tech savvy increases greatly every time I spend time with Luke and his family.)

Today I felt like doing something creative. I thought, "Well, then, now is a good time to borrow Dana's ipod to try out Vine!"

I knew I wanted to created a video outside and I knew I wanted to use some of Dana's flowers, but I didn't know what direction I was going to go. I gathered the ipod, flowers, and such and headed outside. Initially I thought I would simply do something with falling flower petals. But, then I decided that I wanted to tell a story. I looked at one of the pretty flowers and suddenly, I decided to make a "love story" video.  What would be a good match for this flower character? Why, a twig of course!

The first try at the video didn't turn out quite right, but the second one was exactly what I wanted.

It was so munch fun to try to tell a story in such a short time. I'm not a very concise person, but every once in awhile I think that making a short video could be delightfully fun.

I hope you enjoyed watching it!

Below are a few still shots I took with my camera Desi.
The last shot is a picture of the stars of my video and I.
Twig and Flower set1
Twig and flower set2

Untitled

Now, I'm off to finish a Valentine's Day project.

Have a great rest of your day/evening!

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday, hearts, and blessings...

Heart moment.....

Amidst the ups and downs of your Monday I hope you've taken a little time to find Magnificence this Monday.

The picture above is not from today. It is actually from weeks ago when I went to a Jane Austen themed party. My sweet sister did my hair, I wore a dress my mom wore in Junior high, and one of my brothers thoughtfully took the picture. I smile each time I look at it and how it turned out after I edited it. I thought I would share it today since it fits my mood. 

A few Magnificent bits from my day-

1. Watching two sweet kids tonight and getting to glimpse the beauty of parents who have adopted.
2. Writing a new poem.
3. God's grace.
4. The blessing of being able to bless someone else.
5. A sweet note my littlest brother just gave me.
6. And a silly one- I bought a Valentine's Day dress. My practical self is shaking its head at how giddy my girly self is about that heart patterned dress. Yet, I am giddy nonetheless.

What has been Magnificent about your Monday?

May your Mondays be Magnificent!

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The word trio...

I LOVE YOU

It is February. It is a mere five days until Valentine's Day.

The stores are filled with heart themed merchandise, the card aisle is filled with red, yet I continue to think of the simple utterance of three words,

"I love you."

 I think of how special those words are to me. I don't say that word trio to everyone. The most meaningful times I say them are to those that I have walked through the wonderful and beautiful with as well as walked through the hard things of life.

These are moments of that sort-

Saying I love you to my Mema when she doesn't know who I am and won't remember that I said the words in five minutes.

Telling my Daddy I love him as we dance together and knowing that through all the times we've lost our tempers in the past, that the forgiveness we've lived out is what makes the truth of those words special.

Telling my Momma I love her when we've both cried together or stayed up late talking together.

Whispering "goodnight" and "I love you" to my sister and happily sighing knowing that we're so close we're mistaken as twins though we're two years apart.

Hugging my sweet friend Sara Beth and telling her those words after we've spent a time in accountability, sharing the joys and pains, and praying together as we Sistership.

Those are meaningful moments of saying, "I love you."

Yet, the moments in which I say those words amidst the daily of life are meaningful too. Even amidst the normalcy of laundry, breakfast eating, headed out the door moments, those words ring so beautifully when said with meaning. They are beautiful upon a page marked by a pen, beautiful to hear, and beautiful even upon a digital screen through a text, email, or post. The meaningfully said word trio is beautiful.

My wonderful parents left on a date this afternoon. I took a picture of them holding hands right before they left. They are very sweet together. They are not perfect. They have had to work through things as a couple and continue to work through things as things come up. But, I do so love them and appreciate the wisdom I get to hear them speak into my life. They teach me about love.

Parent love...

Momma often reminds me during late night talks that love isn't easy. To choose to love is to love amidst the beautiful and amidst the painful. To love is to grow, to say you're sorry, to forgive, and to speak truth in a loving way. She teaches me and shares her heart. I'm so thankful for her.

Above all I'm thankful for this truth-

1 John 4:19, 
"We love because he first loved us."


Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rainy Day Love...

The past week and a half has been difficult. But, today has been refreshing. I took part of the morning to go out and enjoy the rainy-foggy weather and take pictures. My dog Annie went along for the fresh air. It was so beautiful out and the fresh air was wonderful.

Today has been a fresh start. A fresh day that began with time in prayer and finishing one journal  and beginning a new one. I'm thankful for the freshness of the rain, the freshness of the journal, and God's grace.

For the rest of this post I would like to tell a story with photos. The first photo has words, but the rest express the thoughts, moments, and feelings of the story.

I hope you enjoy...

Rainy Day Love.

RainyDayLove

Rainy Love12...

Rainy Love7...

Rainy Love4...

Rainy Love3...

Untitled

Rainy Love9...

Rainy Love10...

Rainy Love11...

Rainy Love2...

Rainy love1...


Rain Love

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In need of rest...

Rest

Has it really been over a week since I last posted?

Yes, it has.

In some ways I'm surprised. But, when I think about it, I'm not completely surprised.
I've had photos I could post, stories I could have written, but honestly, I've been worn out.

Since the last post I wrote about a difficult Monday through today I've had a lot of different things happen. Most of which have been situations that I've had to work through emotionally. Some have been with people I barely knew, some have been in regards to school, some have been with people I care about so very, very much, and some of it has been in regards to other things. But, I am emotionally tired. I'm spiritually worn.

Yesterday my sister and my Mema both went into the hospital. My sister had appendicitis and my Mema had taken a fall with bleeding on the brain among other injuries. As of last night they were both doing well. I'm so very thankful! I'm thankful for how well they're both doing, for how much love, prayers, and support my family and I have been surrounded with, and for God's faithfulness amidst it all.

God is good. Even though I've cried more since the 28th than I have in a long time He is good.

He is teaching me about His love. Amidst all of this hard stuff He is teaching me heart lessons.

I will be honest, if I could today, I would go to a store and buy some fresh flowers. (White daisies if I could find them.) Then I would run away to a park with someone. I would sit and rest. I would be still and know that He is God. I would sit and breathe and rest and take in the moment.

But, I probably don't need to buy daisies until I receive my most recent pay. I can't run away to a park anytime soon because I need to go to History class for three hours today due to the test coming up on Thursday. So, for now I take a few moments to sit. I snuggle with my cat Juni even though it would be nice to sit with someone else. I listen to the birds outside my window and type upon these letter keys to write about my trials, my hopes, my dreams of rest, and the wearying things.

Amidst it all, God is still good. 

Psalm 118:14, 

"The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation."
 
The hope is that my precious sister will be able to come home from the hospital sometime today. I've put together a little gift bag for her and look forward to when she is able to come home. 
 
Hopefully my Mema will be able to go to her home today or tomorrow so long as she continues to do well.
 
Once again, I'm so very thankful for all of the love and support and prayers my family has been overwhelmed with since yesterday. We're very blessed.
 
Hopefully later this week I can post some of those pretty photos and fun stories I have stored away. Until then, I hope you have a wonderful day. Take time to listen to the birds and look up at the sky. 
 
Simply,
Sarah