Sunday, December 28, 2014

He is not a little boy...


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Twins

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I recently had the pleasure of photographing one of my brothers. It was a cool winter day and as I photographed him I was reminded that he is no longer a little boy. It may sound obvious to you to say that he is not a little boy, but as I looked through the eye of my camera I realized it in a new way. Sometimes looking at a person through my camera causes me to notice details about them that I didn't before and see them in a new way. The camera causes me to slow down and truly look at a person if I take the time.

As I photographed my brother I also took time to remember. I remembered when he was a baby and holding him for the first time. I remembered the little brown boots he wore as a toddler that really hurt your hand if he stepped on you when you sat on the floor beside him. I remembered his adoration for Legos and the hours he spent building everyday. I remembered so many moments throughout childhood. I remembered how he grew in spurts until one day he was, very proudly, a little taller than me. 

Now he is over six feet tall and still growing. Now he is dreaming of the future and what he hopes to do with his life. Now he is growing towards adulthood. He is not a little boy anymore.

I am thankful for these moment with my big-little brother. I am thankful for the memories we get to make before life pulls us in different directions and I no longer see him everyday. I am thankful for these photos that remind me- He is not a little boy.

Simply,
Sarah

The shirt that spoke...


Shirt Dreams


Below is the unlikely account of how I walked into a thrift store and left with a pocket $3 lighter and a new fabric dream to dance in.


The Shirt That Spoke

She walked through the thrift store and heard someone call her name.

Who could it be?

She turned and saw a lovely burst of purple wave hello.

What was this?

She approached the rack of clothing and picked up the floral blouse.

"Take me home! We will be grand friends!" cried the fabric.

She smiled as she inspected the piece.

Could this really work on her?

"Try me on! Try me on!"

So, she went and tried it on.

"See! We make a good pair."

"You know, I think you are right..."

The end.

(Well, technically, it was the beginning.)


I hope you enjoyed this story! It is wonderful what treasures can be found and stories can be inspired by thrift stores.

Simply,
Sarah


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Life after a long blog break...



Hello everyone!

A part of me wonders if anyone even visits this space anymore as I have become very absent since the fall semester began.

I miss blogging. The blog sphere is filled with wonderfully creative individuals. I miss being inspired by others and sharing.

Yet, no matter how much I miss blogging when I am away, it seems that during the intense schedule of a college semester I simply have to place this blog on the back-burner of life. I am learning to accept that this is simply the stage of life that I am in and to treasure the moments I can take to be creative.

This fall semester I worked 17 hours a week, took five courses, and was involved in multiple things on campus. It was a very rewarding semester and I managed to finish with a 4.0 semester GPA, but it left little time for me to be creative. Honestly, I think that if I hadn't taken a Creative Writing course and started a creative writing club on campus that I wouldn't have written very much during the semester. All in all, the semester is finished and I now have more time for my creative dreams and passions.

I am currently in the midst of a restful winter break and hope to write a good many blog posts between now and the start of the spring semester. Additionally, I am making it a goal to post at least once a month during the spring semester. I think one post a month is a realistic goal and any posts above that number will be a plus.

So, here is to returning to the blog world. I look forward to visiting some of the many blogs I have so dearly missed. It would be impossible to get truly caught up on all of the lovely blogs I follow, but I do look forward to visiting.

Simply,
Sarah
 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Woodland Nymph...












She arrived with the fog
She danced in the mist
She called the forest home
She smiled to welcome the dawn
She was the woodland nymph.

This weekend my sister and I woke up before the sun graced us with its glow. We had planned a sister adventure. We both dressed up in fun finery for a creative photo session.

I am so thankful for the relationship I have with my sister and the wonderful collaborative creativity we experience together.

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, October 18, 2014

So she sleeps...

It has been a very long time since I've picked up my camera for fun and taken photos to share here. Tonight I felt a surge of creativity.

I present to you, So She Sleeps.







Simply,
Sarah

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mocha and Murphy...














These two sweet dogs were my buddies for the past week. I took care of them and their owner's house for a week and truly enjoyed spending time with these sweet dogs. Murphy is the Mastiff and Mocha is the little one with the face of an ewok.

They are both very sweet. I have actually had the opportunity to take care of Murphy three summers in a row now. He is truly a gentle giant and one of my favorite dogs in the entire world. Mocha was a lot of fun and had so much energy! 

One of the funniest pictures in this post is thanks to Mocha. I used my camera's timer to try to get a picture with Murphy and right as the camera took the picture she had jumped into the middle of the photo. It makes me smile every time I look at it. 

All in all, I am so glad that I got to spend time with these two and I hope the pictures make you smile too. 

Simply,
Sarah

P.S. If you want to see my other Murphy adventures here are two links to Summer 2012 and Summer 2013.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Flowers...







This has been a marvelously mild summer so far. The milder weather and extra rain has been very kind to the flowers and given many opportunities to photograph some of the beauty of summer.

I hope the summer continues to be beautiful and that I have the chance to photograph many more beautiful blossoms.

Simply,
Sarah

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Moments that beg...





There are moments in life that unfold and beg for me to capture a glimpse of them. Sometimes a moment begs to be expressed in the form of a collage. Other times it begs to be shown through words in the form of poetry. However, tonight, it begged to be captured within a black and white photograph. I obliged and now I have these glimpses to cherish of a moment that happened without any planning on my part.

Happy weekend!

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Baked Peaches...







This week I was inspired by Sara over at Chalk White Arrow and her post about baked peaches.

She posted a simple recipe for baked peaches that I decided to tweak it a little to try for myself.

Here are the ingredients I used and how I made my baked peaches:

Ingredients-

  • Peaches
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Butter

Instructions-
I cut each peach in half, took out the cores, and cleaned out each center a little bit. After that I sprinkled cinnamon on top of each half, placed a small pat of butter into each center (I used less than Sara), and at the end I placed one dollop of honey into the center of each peach.

I baked the peaches at 300 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.

Once the peaches were out of the oven I took a spoon and scooped up the liquid in the center of each peach and then drizzled the spoonful over the entire half of the peach.

All in all, I was pleased with how it turned out! Next time I think I will coat it in a bit more cinnamon and maybe even try a little vanilla. Overall it was a nice recipe to play with and a great blend of tart and sweet.

If you try your own version of baked peaches, I would truly enjoy hearing about it!

Simply,
Sarah

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Light Mountain Henna Dye...



Today I wanted to take the time to post a review about Light Mountain natural hair dye.

This past week was the second time I have used Light Mountain hair products. Both times I have used the Red color on my hair.

Before I write about my experience, I would like to state that I did not receive my product for free. I purchased mine from a local store on my own. So, this post has not been influenced by free products from the company.

Now, I would like to share about my experience with this natural hair dye product.

When I mix the hair dye with water I let it sit for 30-45 minutes. Once it has set up, I put it into my hair for two hours. After this I rinse out the mixture with water and then conditioner. Once my hair is thoroughly rinsed, I do not wash my hair for 24 hours so that my hair can continue to set.

Now that I have shared that basic information, I would like to share my top tips for using this product.

1. Make sure you read through the instructions. This is very helpful in the process.

2. Make sure you use petroleum jelly on the areas of skin that might get hair dye on it. (I also recommend using saran wrap or a towel to help cover your neck and shoulders from drips. The dye will stain your skin if you are not careful.

3. The hair dye is semi-permanent. In my hair it fades quite a bit after the first wash and a little after each wash after. My understanding is that the rate at which it will fade varies depending on how long you let it set, what type of shampoo you use, and what type of hair you have. So, it will vary from person to person.

4. I usually have to complete the process twice. The first time is to completely coat my hair and the second time is to touch up any areas that are not saturated with the color as much as I would like.

5. The process is pretty messy, especially the first time I did it. So, be sure that you give yourself plenty of time, have paper towels near the area, and I recommend having old towels around the area and to dry your hair after the rinse.

6. The hair color does have a strong smell, but it is a plant based scent.

7. I am a big fan of this product! I am still having to learn to use it, but each time has been an even better experience. I really like the shade of red it gives my hair, the way it conditions my hair, the low cost of the product, and the fact that I can enjoy having the option to dye my hair without using harsh chemicals. All in all, I highly recommend this product to others that wish to try henna hair dye.

When I was researching henna hair dye it would have been nice to find a blog review that the blogger offered to respond to any questions. So, if you stumble across this post through a Google search feel free to leave a comment if you have any specific questions and I will be happy to respond.

Simply,
Sarah

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fez: Chihuahua...



 

In my last post I shared pictures of my beautiful friend Allanah. Today I thought I would share a few behind the scenes pictures of her cute little pup named Fez.

Fez was with us throughout the photo session (and even decided to sneak into a few photos), so I thought it fitting to give him his own moment in the spotlight. He chose to accessorize with a small bone in his close up shots and then decided he had what it took to model along side Allanah. He was initially perplexed by the sounds that my camera made, but overall, I think he had a fun time joining Allanah and I on our photographic adventure.

Simply,
Sarah

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Flowers with Allanah...










From time to time there are blog posts that are extra exciting to share. They are the sort that when you drag your mouse and hover over the "Publish" button, your heart beats a little faster. This is one of those sorts of posts.

I recently contacted my good friend Allanah to see if she might  be interested in helping me bring a photo concept to life. She sweetly agreed to take part and invited me over to her apartment complex where we captured the images above.

Creating the images was a delightful adventure. While Allanah did her make-up she allowed me to step into the world of her wardrobe. She has a great sense of style which made for a wonderful variety of clothing and jewelry to choose from. Once her make-up was done and she was in the outfit I helped style, it was time for the flowers. All of the flowers were freshly cut and arranged into her hair for each individual styling. Allanah moved with ease in front of the camera and was open to whatever ideas I happened to have. It was a wonderful collaboration.

All in all, I smile each time I think about the images we created in our photographic dance. I walked away from the time with beautiful images and with many splendid memories tucked away within my mind.

I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos. They are truly a floral dream brought to life.

Simply,
Sarah

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Sleeping Fairy...

Today I don't have many words to share. Instead I would like to share a story with a few simple sentences and pictures that I took last night. I hope you enjoy it.

The Sleeping Fairy

There once was a fairy who fell into a deep sleep. For more than a thousand days she slept within the woods. She was guarded by the friendly beasts who loved her.



Until one day she was awoken by a sound. It was a sound that she had never heard.



She looked up at the sky and remembered the day she slipped into her slumber. She remembered the beasts who kindly cared for her. She remembered and she saw the world anew.



Many stories conclude with the words, "The end." But, for this particular story, it was truly the beginning.

Simply,
Sarah


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Texas Art...

Hello everyone!

I hope you are having a splendid week. Today I have a fun craft project to share.

This past weekend I was blessed to spend a bit of time with two relatives that were visiting from another state. The night before I was set to have lunch with them and some of our extended family I realized that I would like to create a small gift for them to take back home from their visit. Suddenly, an idea began to form in my mind and I created this.




The art piece is on a small canvas and the artwork is a combination of embroidery and sketching with acrylic pencils and a black ink pen. I am pleased with how it turned out, but I was even more pleased by the smiles on my relatives' faces when I gave it to them.

One of the aspects that I most enjoyed about making this was the exploration of combining stitching directly on canvas as well as other elements, such as acrylic pencils.

How have you been creative lately?

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, May 19, 2014

Birthday weekend...


My birthday came and then it went. It left me one year older and richer in memories than I was before it came.

I thought I would take a minute to share a few highlight of what made this birthday extra special.

1. Quality time with a few people that you love dearly is an incredible gift on a birthday. I was able to enjoy so much quality time with loved ones and I was spoiled far more than I could have ever expected. In an effort to remain more in the moment, I chose to mostly take pictures with an insta-camera. (It helps me stay more in the moment than if I use my nicer camera.) So, below I created an Insta-Picture collage with the scanned copies.




2. A meal made with kindness is nourishing to the body and the heart. My sweet Momma made me a very yummy meal. It happens to be a Vegan dish that is one of my very favorite things to eat. It was so yummy!





3. Crinkle-nosed laughter is the very best face to wear on your birthday. Really. That is the best face. I am so thankful my sister captured this picture of my laughter.


All in all, this was one of the best birthdays I have ever had.

I am so thankful for the love, laughter, and blessings in my life.

Simply,
Sarah

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DIY: Napkin Banner...



Hello everyone!

Today I am excited to share a quick DIY project with all of you. I took a little time to create a birthday banner out of napkins and thought it would be fun to share the project here on the blog. Enjoy!

Before we begin looking at the steps the first thing you need to do is gather your supplies.

Here is what you need:

1. Scissors
2. Clear tape
3. A packet of napkins (I found mine on clearance for only $0.89!)
4. Ribbon

Now that you have gathered all of your supplies, place one napkin on a flat surface in front of you. Make sure that the thick folded side of the napkin is the side furthest away from you. Then carefully cut off part of each side of the napkin to create a triangle shape.



Once you've cut the napkin, unfold your center triangle and you will see that you have two separate diamonds that are ready to be folded and hung.


Fold the two diamonds back into triangles.


Now it is time to place the triangles onto your ribbon. Cut the strand of ribbon the length that you desire. Fold the triangle over the strand of ribbon and use clear tape to tape each side of the banner triangle near the ribbon.


Repeat these steps to create and hang as many banner triangles as you need and then hang up your lovely project!


I hope you've enjoyed this DIY project!

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, May 12, 2014

International ME/CFS Awareness Day 2014

Today is International ME/CFS Day.

A few years ago I was very, very ill. As I was searching for answers and spending days upon days in bed, I came across the blog Learning to Live with ME/CFS, written by Sue Jackson. I found the blog very helpful during that season of my life and Sue was incredibly kind to me. She took time to respond to my emails, answer my questions, and write encouraging notes on my blog.

As time went on and my health began to improve, I became less involved in learning about or sharing about ME/CFS.

Today I am unsure about my health and if I had ME/CFS and then it went into remission or if that was never part of what I had going on at all. I know now that I have Fibromyalgia. But, even if I never had ME/CFS, my symptoms when I was very ill fit the diagnoses and I understand first hand how debilitating and frustrating it is to be in bed for weeks and days and not have clear answers or treatments for you exhausting fatigue.

My health has greatly improved and I truly hope that those in the ME/CFS community will also have improvements in their health as more is learned about diagnosis and treatments.

And so, today I would like to help Sue and others in the ME/CFS community to spread the word. If you would take a moment and visit Sue's blog post and some of the links there to learn a little, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you!


Simply,
Sarah

Summer...













I completed the spring semester with a B in Business Calculus and A's in my other three classes. It was a wonderful semester of taking classes, hard work, and new adventures. I am so thankful for my work study position and excited to share that I have been asked to return to my position in the fall.

But, right now it is the summer break. I am taking one Maymester class and I have a library internship in June, but it it is still a major break compared to the busy fall and spring semesters that I have completed. Now I am enjoying playing board games with my youngest brother, watching movies with my sister, snuggling extra with my cat, visiting with my mom in the middle of the day, grocery shopping at noon, laughing with friends, writing, and so much more.

Summer break is here with all of its sunshine, thunderstorms, swimming pools, smoothies, walks in the park, music played and sung in the kitchen, flowers on the table, sort of moments. Summer is here and I have room to breathe, room to create, and I have time to rest. I am cherishing it.

The pictures in this post are from a lovely time spent at a local garden with my good friend Allanah. It was such a nice day and I truly enjoyed taking pictures with her. I am thankful for more time to spend with friends over the summer.

This weekend my birthday will arrive and add an extra digit to my age. I can honestly say that I am excited. (Even though I sort of forgot about my own birthday until after my Business Calculus final. Oops.) I have grown and changed a lot over this past year and I am looking forward to seeing what the next year holds. All in all, I am thankful for this season that I am in and for time to rest and breathe this summer.

I hope that all of you in the blog-sphere are very well! I have missed being here and I look forward to hopefully writing more regularly once again.

Happy summer!

Sincerely,
Sarah

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Snake skin transformation...




One evening when I arrived home from working on campus, I noticed that a snake had shed its skin near our porch. I stopped as soon as I saw it and looked at it for a moment before I dashed inside to get my camera.

Now, I will be honest, I felt a strange mixture of joy while appreciating the intricate beauty of the skin and uneasiness in being so near something that was a part of the snake. However, I pushed through the skin crawly sensation I felt (pun intended) to appreciate the beauty.

As I sat and looked at the skin I thought about transformation. I feel like I have grown and changed so much over this school year. I worked my first office job as a workstudy on campus and learned so much about working in an office environment. I completed Business Calculus with a B, which I would have thought of as an impossible task if someone told me I would do that two years ago. I've continued to grow, learn, and change in many ways too.

Transformation isn't always easy, but even the process that is left behind can be beautiful in its own way.

Sincerely,
Sarah


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Business Calculus and the end of the semester...

Well, hello there!

I promise that I haven't forgotten about the blog world. Really. I haven't. However, between college courses and my work study job the amount of time I can devote to creativity is so incredibly small right now. In particular, Business Calculus has devoured my life and haunted my dreams with integrals lately.

I keep reminding myself that I am so very close to completing this semester! Then I will be able to enjoy a May-mester music course, intern at a library this summer, and most of all, I will have time (and brain power) to be much more creative. I miss the blog sphere and look forward to making more regular postings as well as more regular reading and commenting on other individuals' blogs soon. Just two more weeks until the spring semester is done!

In the meantime, I thought I would share links to two blogs that bring happy rays of sunshine to my life as I trudge through math homework.

The first blog is Deer Circus. I truly feel like Bridget has found her voice as a blogger. The posts are always breathtakingly beautiful and optimistic. The photos bring creativity and stories to my mind and the words are often poetic. I know that life doesn't always look beautiful and rose-tinted, but it is nice to read and feel as though, for a moment, I am twirling in a ray of sunshine with beautiful wildflowers around me. So, if you like beautiful photos, brief posts, cute pups, and love, you should absolutely hop over for a visit!

The second blog that I have been following lately is ADVANCED STYLE. I recently stumbled across this blog and it is hard to explain how much it puts a smile on my face. The entire blog is centered around a photographer who roams the streets of New York taking photographs of fashionably dressed and creative "older folks" that he meets. Seeing the way so many people express creativity through their clothes puts a smile on my face. I am also looking forward to seeing the ADVANCED STYLE documentary that will be debuting soon!

Well, I am off to work on more math homework.

May you have a splendid weekend!

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, April 14, 2014

My little sister went to prom: Sneak Peak...

This weekend my little sister went to prom!

I thought I would share a sneak peak of her prom pictures. (I will be posting more and graduation pictures in a few special posts very soon!)







Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Shadow of a Girl...

Balloon Shadow

Few words she had to say
For she was a shadow
Dancing in the sunlight
Until she flew away
Hands clinging to balloons
And not a word to say.


Simply,
Sarah

Monday, March 3, 2014

Balloons...


I am feeling overwhelmed and drained these days. There are many words and emotions I am only pouring out onto journal pages. But, one recent and splendid experience was with balloons this weekend.

This past Saturday I helped with an event on campus and one of my jobs ended up being that I helped make balloons, took them all over campus to bring attention to locations guests needed to go, and gave many of them away to children at the end of the event. I was positively giddy throughout all of those activities. And, at the end of the day I was able to take some home and take one blue balloon to my Grandma. She smiled and said it was beautiful and I smiled and my heart rejoiced at her joy. Lastly, I swayed with my balloon bunch as I took pictures with them in the afternoon sunshine. Balloons bring out a childlike joy in me.

Sometimes when life is tumultuous, it is good to embrace the little sunshine moments. But, most of all, it is good to be anchored in Joy.

Thoughts to ponder-

Do balloons bring a smile to your face?
What are the little sunshine moments you've embraced lately?

Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Some Valentine's Thoughts...



Yesterday I had a realization. A realization about my heart and Valentine's Day. But, before I write about yesterday, let's go back to the prior year.

Last year on Valentine's Day I was in a relationship. I wore a pink dress covered in printed hearts, made an itunes mixtape as a gift, and looked forward to being with my fellow in the time we had etched out in our crazy college schedules. I had high hopes for the time. I hoped to receive a little note of affection and then just enjoy some time together and hold his hand. I didn't expect anything fancy or elaborate. Yet, it still ended up being a bittersweet day. His heart was heavy due to a lot of factors which impacted his words and actions and made my heart heavy too. There were some hurt feelings, sadness, and distance. There was also a sweet gift of a balloon bouquet and affection. Yet, it was a bitter sweet Valentine's Day and I realized something- I had bought into the lie that Valentine's Day is a wonderful day if you are in a relationship and get to spend time with the person you are in a relationship with. I realized that simply isn't true. Bad news, heart ache, and tears are not excluded on Valentine's Day.

Now, flash forward a year later and I have had another realization. I genuinely thought  that I would be completely content to be single this year after the reality hit me that being in a relationship does not automatically make Valentine's Day great. However, yesterday I was caught off guard when I had that ache of longing to share the day with someone. It wasn't even just about Valentine's Day, I think it was more of an ache to share life with someone. To share and celebrate with, to love and support, to respect and cherish, to apologize to and to forgive, to learn from and grow. One thing I learned from last year is that a relationship reveals new levels of my selfishness and flaws. Being in a relationship was incredibly beautiful and joyous all the while being incredibly painful and humbling. Maybe someday I will be able to share all of that and more with someone, but for now, I desire to learn to be content and to not wallow when I feel that ache.

In fact, I realized that one of the greatest ways to spend my time when I feel that ache is to serve. Yesterday I could have chosen to stay by myself and wallow, but by Grace I instead spent many parts of the day serving. I tutored two very excited and distracted 1st graders in the morning, chosen to bless my family in little ways, and photographed an event. In those moments focused on blessing and honoring others I was not focused on myself or that ache in my heart, I was focused on loving others in practical ways.

And, here is what I learned- It isn't about being in a relationship on Valentine's Day or being single. It shouldn't even really be about me. The best way to spend Valentine's Day is to serve others in genuine love. It is taking the focus off of myself and using the skills, gifts, and finances I have to extend love to others. That is what I want to focus on when the future Valentine's Days in life come my way. Even more than that, serving and loving is what I desire to focus on each of the "ordinary" days that pass in between. By God's grace, may I grow in love, humility, patience, and learn to serve and bless those I interact with daily.    


Simply,
Sarah

Saturday, February 1, 2014

When a Fibro flare rears its ugliness...


Well, it happened. Thursday the full force of a Fibro flare reared its ugliness. And, believe me, it has been ugly.

I believe that something is off in my back which is making my Fibro go crazy everywhere else in my body. (Hopefully I will be able to get in to see a good Chiropractor on Monday.) I am in more pain than I've been in, well, in a really long time. On the one hand, I am incredibly thankful that it has been so long since I've had a flare like this. On the other hand, it is slightly terrifying.

It is hard to explain, but I realized that having a flare like this brings up fear. This isn't a flare that I've been able to sleep off or stretch out of or simply wait for an afternoon for it to pass. No, this is a painful flare that has lasted three days so far. It also isn't one of the "lesser" flares that simply makes life a little bit more difficult. No, this is one of the flares in which I must fight to get out of bed, fight to accomplish anything, and fight to think clearly. All of that is why it is slightly terrifying. Because, what if it doesn't go away?

When a bad flare like this comes along it also brings up a lot of emotions and makes me wonder if it will leave or how long it will take to leave. I wonder what changed to bring it about and how much it will impact life if it sticks around for awhile. It makes me cry when I snap at people I love when they try to give me a hug or a pat on the shoulder because I am in so much pain. It brings up anger towards doctors who tell me they can "cure" me and give me a speech about positive thinking. It brings up the pain that is physical and the pain that is emotional that I have walked through over these past four years since I began dealing with this. And, I wonder, if I'm honest, if someday someone will be a part of my life that is willing to share life and love with me knowing that there might be days that his touch causes pain even when extended towards me in love. All those things are stirred up during times like this.

The past few days have been hard, but I am clinging to Grace and choosing to hope. Today I choose to remember how far I've come and how well I am doing compared to where I once was. Goodness! I mean, I am attending college full time, working part time, learning, living, being creative, loving, and more. So, today I take a deep breath and remember Grace. Yes, I give thanks for Grace in my life.

Here are a few things I am thankful for today:

-My math tutor and how patient he was this morning as I made so many basic mistakes in math due to not processing as well since I'm in pain.
-Making 100% on a online quiz for a class despite being in so much pain. (I'm still fighting to get good grades even with this flare!)
-My Dad kindly driving me today.
-Having tomorrow to rest more.
-My blue heating pad. (We're spending a lot of quality time together.)
-Smiles on my siblings' faces.
-Water.
-God's continued faithfulness in the midst of all of this.


Simply,
Sarah

Sunday, January 19, 2014

When days are a mixture of plants...

Flowers in Light

Some days hold a mixture of bitter and sweet memories. Some times new memories are made on such days that add to the bitterness or sweetness of the already compiled mixture. It can become complicated and messy and tiring. Those are days that are very hard.

Yet, some days are mixtures like a bouquet of mixed flowers. Some flowers aren't your favorite, but they still bring sweetness to the blend and the vibrancy of your favorite flower shows brightly in the mix.

Life isn't made of days that are only beautiful bouquets. Days that are flowers mixed with stinky weeds and sharp thistles are a part of life too. Such days humble me and help me learn. It reminds me to be incredibly thankful for the beautiful bouquets of memory mixtures. It helps me cherish even a single carnation.

If you are having a painful day. If it has been filled with stinky weeds and thistles I am sorry for the pain that comes with thistle pricks. But, I give thanks for the Grace that covers our lives even in the midst of our weed messes. I give thanks that we also have beautiful days and floral bouquets. I give thanks for Hope and Grace that stands true no matter what sort of day it is.

Simply,
Sarah  


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Project 365: 11-18...

Day 11-

Day 11 2014

On day 11, I was in the process of deciding what to take a photo of when my snuggle buddy Juni came and interrupted me. I decided a picture of petting him was a good subject matter for the day.


Day 12-

Day 12 2014

This is a terrible picture. Really. I woke up in the night and realized that I hadn't taken a picture of the day yet and so I rolled over and took a picture of the darkness outside my window and later I layered another photo taken this month to create a fake sunset.

Honestly, this photo has me thinking about this project and why I am doing it. Is it really beneficial to do a 365 project if I don't try to take at least a decent image each day? I think I've come to the conclusion (at least for now) that this project is still beneficial even if I am not motivated or inspired to take a good picture every day. The reason I've come to said conclusion is because this project is causing me to pick up my camera at least once every day. Some days I take terrible pictures, but other days when I wouldn't have wanted to pick up my camera, this project has helped me pick it up and sometimes I've captured something special to me. I also look forward to looking back at an entire year and have a glimpse into an aspect of every day that will make up 2014.

Day 13-

Day 13 2014

Once again this was taken during a late night picture taking time. However, this time I was determined to try to do something at least a little better than day 12. This photo was created simply with my camera and light from my cellphone. I like the way it turned out.


Day 14-

Day 14 2014

I promise that the majority of this project will not be about my cat. Well, I will try to make sure that it isn't.

I am realizing that my Juni cat is a big part of my life when I am home. We spend a lot of time together snuggling on my bed. He has held a dear place ever since I found him when he was tiny stray kitten. This picture was my attempt to capture a little bit of how adorable he can be when he sleeps all snuggled up.


Day 15-

Day 15 2014

This bird makes me think of my sister and my friend Kelly. It makes me smile. That is all I have to say about it.


Day 16-

Day 16 2014

My other cat Girly Girl decided she needed a turn in front of the camera. See? This project isn't all about my Juni cat.


Day 17-

Day 17 2014

Another late night/bedtime picture. This was taken with a hand held flashlight and my camera.


Day 18-

Day 18 2014- Floral Idea

I am actually really happy with this photo concept. My inspiration came as I thought about the way lightbulbs are often artistically placed over a persons head to signify an inspiration or an idea. I began thinking about the way ideas can come quickly like turning on a light and other times they begin as a small concept and grow into something greater.


Happy weekend to you!


Simply,
Sarah


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Being a Bridesmaid...

Happy Saturday to you!

I realized that I've yet to share anything about my dear friend Sara Beth's wedding. So, today I thought I would share a few lovely aspects of the wedding and a few funny things about being a bridesmaid. First things first, I want to share a collage of the lovely wedding.



The wedding was so beautiful. Despite the terrible ice we received, many people drove (very carefully) to celebrate the wedding of these two dear people. And, part of the beauty was the way community came together to create such a lovely environment for this special day. My heart rejoices for the union of these two.

Now, after that bit of sappiness, it is time for a few funny stories and a sweet wedding detail.

1. The sweet detail- The bridesmaids carried lanterns instead of flowers. We each had a small battery operated candle inside and it was a beautiful and personal touch to their wedding.



2. Birds (for some odd reason) tend to fly into glass doors or windows when I'm nearby. Right before I walked down the aisle a little bird flew into a glass door in the church lobby. I gasped, I made a shocked sound, laughed nervously, and then turned to see it was my turn to walk down the aisle. I took a deep breath and composed myself and entered into the room. All things considered, I think I look rather composed in this picture.



3. I firmly believe there is such a thing as one-of-my-best-friends-just-got-married-shock. Really, there is such a thing. Why? Because after the wedding ceremony I was walking out of the sanctuary back to the photo room. Each bridesmaid walked out on the arm of a groomsman and I completely zoned out in a state of shock as we walked out. So, while most bridesmaids let go of their groomsmen's arms as soon as they were out of the sanctuary, in my state of shock I wasn't letting go. Thankfully, he kindly made a funny comment about the fact that I hadn't let go and so I snapped out of my shock for a minute and walked back to the photo room. So, yes, there is such a thing as one-of-my-best-friends-just-got-married-shock.


Well, there you have it. A few lovely pictures, funny stories, and memories from my sweetest friend's wedding.

Thoughts to ponder-

Do you have any funny wedding stories?

Simply,
Sarah


P.S. I would like to state that all photos above were taken by Stephanie Rogers Photography. I did crop two of the photos for the purpose of them fitting this blog post better and I created the collage with four photos. Other than that no editing was done. Stephanie did such a wonderful job taking pictures and braved the ice to do it!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Project 365: 5-10

Did you ever wonder what six days of a photo a day project would like if the photographer were sick the whole time?

Really, you hadn't? Well, neither had I, but that is what this photos set consists of. I have been very sick all week and yet I was still determined to keep up with my photo a day project. I am proud to say that I didn't miss a single day.

Since I have been sick, all of the photos in this set were taken from the comfort of my bed and most often at night without good light. Despite all of the difficulties I tried to make the most of it. Only one of the photos is edited in anyway.

Day 5-

Day 5 2014

This teacup has yet to be used for its intended purpose. Instead it has been sitting on my desk since I purchased it and is currently holding random bits and bobs.

Day 6-

Day 6 2014

This is a heart shaped rock that one of my siblings found in the yard last year and gave to me as a "just because" gift. The just because gifts are often the best gifts in life.

Day 7-

Day 7 2014

This is the photo that I edited. Truth be told, I edited it today and not the day I took it. However, it is edited by combining three photos that I took on day seven that are layered into this current image. So, I say that counts.

Day 8-

Day 8 2014

A picture of part of my wonderful comforter. I have been spending so much time in bed under my comforter that I thought it was only fitting that I photographed part of it.

Day 9-

Day 9 2014

My bed buddy this week. Juni gives the best kitty cuddles.

Day 10-

Day 10 2014

Today I chose to take a picture of this Valentine's tape I purchased a few weeks ago. I plan to use it when I make Valentine's cards next month. I may be single, but I will make the most of Valentine's day in 2014. I have lots of love to give and share with those around me.

So, now you know what a photo a day project looks like when the photographer is sick!

Simply,
Sarah


Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Texas Photographer's Giveaway...

Hello everyone,

I am currently trying to get better after being sick since Sunday afternoon.
But, I do have a fun bit of news to share. The photographer that recently photographed my sweetest friend's wedding is hosting a lovely giveaway on her blog.



So, if you are in the North Texas area hop on over to her lovely blog and enter this giveaway.

Simply,
Sarah


Monday, January 6, 2014

Project 365: 2-4...

Day 2-

Day 2 2014

It is still a bit surreal that it is January and I have not yet adjusted to writing down 2014 on paper.

Day 3-

Day 3 2014

Flowers. This is a fake flower, but I truly enjoy flowers. (White Daisies are still my very favorite.) This photo was simply inspired by noticing something small. The flower is sitting in the basket of bathroom goods and stuck out as a little happy bit of beauty surrounded by more practical things.

Day 4-

Day 4 2014

My camera's lens cap. Every time I take pictures I misplace my lens cap. Usually, I am suddenly inspired and so I rush into my room and grab my camera. In the midst of all of my jubilant inspiration I set my lens cap down somewhere and don't realize it until I have finished taking pictures. Once I am done taking pictures I suddenly realize I've misplaced it and so I walk all around the house looking for it and asking my family if they have seen it. Try as I might, when inspiration occurs, the lens cap is misplaced.


One other note about all three photos. I did not edit any of them. That wasn't really my plan, it just ended up turning out that way.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Simply,
Sarah