pics of my pets


photo challenge

SHARON challenged me to post a photo from my collection and talk a bit about it... the 4th photo in my 4th folder does not exist, that folder only has ONE in it.... so, I picked the 4th of the 4th in my 2009 folder...

This is my friend and co-worker Sandy grabbing some punch at my other co-worker Amy's baby shower. She adopted a darling baby girl in December and we recently made time to celebrate!

And here are a couple more from the baby shower... enjoy!


blogging is good for the soul

Charlie says hi...

Some updates in this crazy thing called life...

First of all it has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks since I posted. The store I manage is hustling and bustling with people and I love this time of year. It also means working way overtime but it goes by so fast and I don't feel the pain of it until after the holidays are over. It also means less time to really take care of myself. Less church, less working out, less me time. But its okay, its only one time a year and only for a couple of weeks. After Jan. 1 I plan to get back into serious exercising mode, and I am so happy about that. It will be my reward for all the hard work I have put in.

It will also maybe give me time to reflect on the past year and what I really need from the year to come. What things do I want to do, accomplish, etc? Do I want to make any changes, do anything differently? Sometimes I am not sure I know who I am or what I want right now. And it is reflected in my dating life, and it has me very concerned. I don't want to date someone just because its convenient or easy or comfortable. If I care about a person, is it enough to stick it out and see where things might go if I know there is one major difference between us? I am so frustrated right now. I don't know which path I want to take right at the moment but I know down the road which path I will definitely take regarding that one issue. I know I am vague but its all I want to say at the moment.

But in other news, I am now an aunt. Here is a picture of my new nephew, Ashton. He was born December 9, 2008 at 4:09pm. He is very cute and so far has been a very good baby to live with. :) :)

Talk to you all soon!


Some Christmas photos

A follow-up to my 2008 Resolutions

Here's bits and pieces of my post from January 1, 2008. I am going to follow up with how I did on all of my resolutions from that post and then start thinking about what I would like to do for January 1, 2009. I am taking a break from all of it in December because of the stress and craziness that is my job during this month, and this gives me something to look forward to doing again in January!

1. Start an exercise regimen again. I used to love to work out - especially strength training and I would like to get into that again. Especially now since I can join the gym for $15. I joined the gym in January, about one week after I posted this goal and I am proud to say I am still active. I did take about a month away from the gym for various reasons, but I was maintaining a workout during that time. During the summer I hit my peak, working out four times a week for two hours at a time, mostly jogging/running at the park with my dog, followed by weight-lifting for 30-45 minutes. Since January 1, 2008, I went from 172 pounds to 154 when I weighed myself two weeks ago. I also dropped two pant sizes and had to purchase a whole new wardrobe. Top sizes went from XL to Mediums, and my workout pants went from Large to Medium! I feel great, and I am very excited about my exercise routine. I have a feeling 2009 will be a year for amping it up even more.

2. Find a Sunday church service that I love and become a part of. I miss my old church that only has services on Saturday nights. Since I work 3 out of 4 Saturday nights, I haven't gone in over a year. This is the year I'd like to find something else that I love. My old church is considering moving and starting a Sunday service, so I am praying for that to happen. Well, my church still is on Saturday nights, but its okay because I have been able to take off more Saturday nights than ever so that I may attend and I am happy to report my church attendance is stronger than ever!

3. Make my house a home. It still feels a bit bland and lacking in personality. I want to add some homey touches to it this year - more photos and things on the walls, finally finishing up unfinished paint jobs, fixing up the sunporch, living room, and dining areas, and painting my kitchen cabinets. Hopefully this year I will feel more at home than ever. I did redesign the living room, did a tad bit in the dining room, did not fix up the sunporch except to add some bamboo blinds, and did not paint my kitchen cabinets. Instead, I packed about half my stuff up so that my sister and brother-in-law could live with me. Until April 2009, I will making adjustments for them, then back to making my home just for me after that. One step at a time.

4. Adopt another dog. I would love another Pomeranian. I am keeping my eyes peeled - and I only want to adopt from the Shelter, so I can give a lost dog a good home. Kept my eye out but that never happened. Primarily because again, of my new rommates, who brought with them two dogs, so I am currently living in a zoo. I still want another one after everyone moves out.

5. Volunteer. One thing I would truly love to do this year is find a good place to volunteer my time. I have two ideas so far. One is the Animal Shelter, the other is at The City where local teens hang out. I have volunteered at The City before and loved it, and would like to do service work again. Still haven't done that one. :(

6. Take better care of me. I want this year to be one where I really focus on what my heart really wants and needs, instead of worrying so much about what others want from me. I hope that with these goals listed above I will begin to feel more like me again. At this point right now I feel like I have lost that. In 2007 I think I forgot a little who I was. I was always in a hurry and more pessimistic than ever before. I want 2008 to be different, better, meaningful. I want to really appreciate this year for all it can and hopefully will be. This year I became single again, went from engaged to not, and that was at the beginning of the year. Because of that change I have never been happier or more in touch with who I am. I will take some time at the end of next month to really write down everything that happened this year, the people who touched my life, the events that unfolded, and how it all made 2008 such a wonderful yet turbulent ride. That will be a fun post. This last goal was definitely accomplished and I am so happy about that. Probably my most important goal on the list! Talk to you all in about a month!



One of the hardest days of my life is finally coming to an end.

We said goodbye to my dear friend Brittney Marie Hajny today. I have known her since she was in preschool. I have loved her like my own sister, and her family is my family. We spent countless hours together and made memories with each other. We spent holidays together and played together. She looked up to me as a role model and a big sister and would send me little notes on MySpace or emails saying how much she missed me. She surprised me this summer by coming back to Salina for the summer, visiting me at the mall and surprising me at my house. I only wish I would have spent more time with her this summer than I did. I completely failed as a big sister to her this year. She was hurting so bad and I could see it but I didn't do anything. I told her I loved her and I always reminded her how beautiful she was but I feel like I should have saved her from some of this pain.

I feel like the worst part now is seeing the raw, unbearable pain her mother is going through right now. She thinks her own daughter hated her. They were fighting when she died and I can't even put into words how much it breaks my heart. I have not been able to stop crying all day. I have never seen such pain in my life until today, and I feel completely helpless.

When I walked into that funeral home to say goodbye, I was shaking so hard I thought I would have a seizure. I was so scared to see her, and I knew once I did I wouldnt be able to deny the fact that she is gone. And when I saw her sweet beautiful face I completely gave in, I crumpled inside, like something had died. I felt like I lost a piece of my soul today. I feel like I was reliving all the pain I felt in August 1999 when I lost my friend Robby, only magnified 100 times. This was so much more awful and painful and unbearable to me than it was then. She was only 15. It doesn't feel right, or fair, or justified. How could four people walk away from that car without a scratch but she never had a chance? She broke her neck and her back and about every bone in her little body and they were fine. Why did God take her away from us? From her mother and her sister and her father and her grandmothers? How could He take her away from her two best friends? How selfish am I being right now asking that?

I don't know what to feel except for heartache. I was numb Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I went on living and breathing and laughing at silly things, trying now to think of what had just happened in my life, the loss I had just experienced. And now ... now it is like every emotion I could ever have felt is here, present and accounted for, pouring out of me like a river, never ceasing to stop.

I took for granted that precious little soul and the beautiful girl that she was. I will never get to see her smile, that toothy little grin, and her girly laugh that made me laugh too, even when I was down. I will never forget our hugs, I think that is the most important thing I will remember, because we shared this little way of saying goodbye, it was unique to just us, and it makes me want to die inside just thinking I will never have that again. I will never have that chance to tell her one more time how beautiful she was or how much I loved her. Never. Never in this lifetime and I don't want to accept that it is real.

Now that I look back at this last summer, I remember the last day I saw her, at my sister's wedding. I was so happy to see her and I just sat all night with her mom and talked about life, and I remember telling Brittney before she left that her Momma loved her, and she needed her right now, that they needed each other. Then I hugged her so hard and I told her I loved her one last time, and I remember watching them walk out that door. It will forever be burned in my heart and mind, that memory of her. It kills me to think that it was our last time spent together, but I guess I can be sure inside that it was a loving memory and not a bad one, right? It was special and meaningful and it is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I can't even begin to tell you all how much I feel that I have sacrificed my relationships in my life. Did I really give all that I could to each person I have loved? How do I begin to change and learn from this experience and assure I don't feel this way again? I should have been a bigger support for Brittney in her final months, when she was hurting the most. She had a difficult time and she just needed a friend to see her through it - I don't believe I did a decent job of that - in fact it was laughable really.

Please hug someone you love tonight as if it were the last night you would ever see them. Please tell them you love them and cherish your friendship. Do it for me. And then, if you could, say a prayer, for her family (especially her mother), and for all of those she touched in her short but wonderful life her on this Earth.

Lastly I want you to know that she was saved, and I know she is rejoicing with the Lord right now, and she is so much happier than she could have ever been here. I know that with certainty and have faith that I too will be with her someday. Life on the Earth is too short by any standard, we never know how many days we will get and tomorrow is never promised. So think about your last day on Earth and think about where you want to spend eternity, It is something we should all ask and whatever we believe I pray that you find that answer before it is too late.

And thank you to anyone who read through all of this, I know it is long but it needed to come out. So thanks... :) Sarah


quick update from the house, post-reception and pre-goingoutandfinishingthenightatOutlaws!

Wedding was wonderful, reception was pretty darn close to perfect. Now I am tired and my feel are killing me but I am off to Outlaws to get to know my new extended family over a few beers. Then going to crash at my parents' house so A & A can have the house to themselves...

I am going to StatCare tomorrow because my toe that I injured at work a week ago is now completely infected and so painful and disgusting I can't stand it anymore.

Then with the plumbers' work and dental visits I should be about 3 Grand in the hole by Friday! Yay for loans from the bank and great interest rates because of my excellent credit score (which by the way has gone up 21 more points since last April - woohoo!)

At least some things in life are working in a positive direction...

Have a great weekend y'all.


First, a photo from July 4... this was my favorite of the weekend, I think the girls look so cute and the field behind them was so gorgeous with the sun setting and highlighting the golden wheat just so. One thing I love about Kansas this time of year!

It's been a busy week for me so I thought I would post an update on all the happenings on my first day off in 6 days! One of the joys of working retail is a very unsteady schedule. In general it is something I enjoy, because I can be flexible and have days off during the week which means more gets done: i.e. dentist appointments, working out, etc. I am requiredto work 3 weekends per month, which sounds awful but I will admit I enjoy it. I love working Saturdays but I hate missing church on Saturday night. At my current position I am required to work most Saturday nights. So I have pretty much stopped attending my church...

Now I am starting my 3-day weekend, which is much needed, but will still be so filled with activities it will hardly feel like a break. My sister and her fiance are getting married on Saturday, and I will be in the wedding as a bridesmaid. I will have to prepare my toast today, but I plan on keeping it short and sweet so it shouldn't be too bad. Today I also need to get some light shopping in, for another memory card for the camera and some stuff for around the house. Sharon is using my camera this weekend to do her first wedding! I am so thankful she is helping out with it, and my sister and Aaron are so grateful to have someone doing pictures.

Earlier this week was filled with lots of excitement as well, when I found out I have some major home improvements in my future. I called the plumber to look at my sewer lines under the house as we were noticing some unwelcome odors coming from the basement and there was water all over part of my basement floor and walls. He gave me the worst news: I will have to replace all of my sewer pipes as soon as possible, which he estimated to be a 1700-2500 cost. We will be without water for two days next week, and I will be going to the bank either today or Monday to see about getting a home improvement loan.

To top it all off, I have to go back to the dentist twice next week (had my cleaning last week) because they have to give me three fillings due to very minor pits in a few of my teeth. I don't even know how much that will cost, and its making me nervous to say the least. I take great care of my teeth and don't consume near as much sugar as a used to, yet I am needing three fillings all at once? What happened in the last six months to cause this? The dentist could give me no answers ... could it be age?

Anyway, lots is going on and all I can do is give it up to God and know that He is taking care of me, so I will not be worried or stressed about these recent developments. It's easier said than done, but its ok, I can get through this. I have a very supportive network at home, work, and through friends.


Independence Day Photos

Will be posting more pics of the barbecue and random snapshots from the holiday. Scroll down to see some of the fireworks photos and other misc. Hope everyone had a great 4th!

Independence Day Photos - Part 2

Photos from Salina SkyFire 2008... which takes place right behind my parents house - always ensuring a great view! My only difficulty with taking photos was keeping my hands steady, since obviously I haven't purchased a tripod. These were among the best of the photos I took. I didn't feel like I had enough time to play!

Independence Day Photos - Part 3

Shelbie, a friend of Katie's, gets dumped in the pool every year by the boys... it's a holiday tradition almost!


Hello all, time for an update! I have had a couple of short work weeks back-to-back, which have been much appreciated but still its feels like I haven't gotten much done. Threw a bridal shower for Alyssa Thursday and spent much of my free time preparing for that, cleaning and re-cleaning the house. She and Aaron (her fiance) are now my roommates and it is quite an adjustment living with multiple people again.

Most aspects of it I don't mind, they aren't too noisy and generally do a good job of keeping their stuff picked up out of the bathroom and dishes cleaned. The thing that gets to me is the annoyance of having extra clutter in my living and dining spaces. I have been working extra hard the past year to become less "cluttered" in my life (I was a clutter queen before) and have been proud of how I have kept up my living spaces over the year. It was the goal of mine after becoming a first-time home buyer.

Now I am picking up after three people and frankly, it's stressing me out. Plus I now have three dogs and a cat to deal with, which means sweeping and mopping an average of three to four times a week. With just me and Charlie and the cat, I was doing it once a week. I am the only one doing any of the sweeping, I am the only one that wipes off counters, I am the only one that picks up my trash off the floor. We all take out trash to the curb, but its the little bits I find everywhere that drive me crazy!

I am working on this thing called patience and understanding where housekeeping is concerned. I just don't know at what point do those virtues run out? When do I put my foot down and say enough?

In other news, I went to McPherson with Katie last week to the water park, which was fabulous... five hours of sunbathing and swimming and sliding. It inspired me to take Tuesday of this week off and drive to Kansas City to visit Oceans and Worlds of Fun with Katie, her friend Shelbie, and my friend Casey. I am more interested in spending my time at the pools and the Castaway Cove sipping frozen drinks all day... while adding in a couple of thrill rides. The rest of the group is more interested in all of the roller coasters than in the water attractions. In any case it will be a fun trip.

Then comes July 4 - a family holiday tradition including a BBQ, day-long swimming, horseshoes and general enjoyment. Fireworks are prohibited but who knows what Casey and Aaron have up their sleeves...

The rest of the week will be spent working and enjoying the last few days of the BBW Semi-Annual Sale.

I will be sure to post more pics of the week and the week prior later on... for now, have a great holiday week!


Had the Bath & Body Works pool party tonight, and I had a blast... wanted to share some photos of the evening before I went to bed...

The party was out in the countryside at Rhonda's pool house. Her mail boxes were adorned with BBW bags... how creative! We drove by at first before realizing what we saw hanging from her mailboxes, and quickly turned around!

This is Miss Ashley, a BBW associate who also works in the Lawrence store will attending the University of Kansas.

Laura makes Pina Colada's and Rhonda is seen in the background. I have always thought Rhonda looks like a brunette Jessica Simpson... do you agree?

Cassie, our Sales Leader, proudly displays her favorite character on her new towel!

The whole gang, minus April and Laura who had already jumped in the pool. Cassie, me, Ashley, Virginia, Jackie, and Rhonda.

Today just a quick post... visited with my friend Brent, who I haven't seen in almost a year. He was in Junction City so I traveled there to have lunch and catch a movie before he headed back to Arkansas. It was a nice trip, and so good to see my friend. Tonight I have a pool party to attend with my BBW girls. Will post more later!


Back in January, I decided to make a few resolutions concerning my health. I joined a Yahoo group with some fellow scrapbookers who were wanting to get "healthy" and stay committed to their resolutions for the year. Here is what I posted back in January about my health goals:

My major thing I want to accomplish this year is feeling good about myself again. I don't personally care what my pant size is, but I am more concerned with the overall way I feel each day. I want to be stronger physically, especially for work. I also want to not feel so tired and groggy each day, so by making some adjustments I feel like I can acheive that.
I would like to incorporate my goals into daily life on a monthly basis - so each month I will try to make something a habit, try something new, etc.
In January I would like to start by joining the gym again. I enjoy strength training and would like to add strength training to my schedule, at least an hour each day, for at least three days a week.
In February my next goal will be to stop drinking soda. No Diet, no regular, nothing. (this will be a very tough one for me).
I am not sure what my goals after that will be, but I will post them here when I have them clear in my mind. They will probably include weaning myself off fast food :), walking the dog regularly, drinking more water, and also working on my spiritual health. (For me they all tie in together)

I want to update on the progress I have made with my goals and also commit to a new set of resolutions for the remainder of 2008. I want to use my blog as a way to track my progress and hopefully stay accountable knowing I have a few friends out there reading this ;)

I have stopped drinking regular sodas and did make the switch to Diet, although I still haven't weaned myself off of Diet yet. I was always the person who never once liked the taste of Diet, and I could never get myself to enjoy the taste no matter how hard I tried. No matter what brand either, they all tasted the same: terrible. But now, I can't even tell the difference. Any time I sip a regular soda I am overwhelmed by how syrupy it is. My problem now is that I enjoy Diet and have made little room for water. I average maybe a glass of H2O a day!

I did join a gym and have been consistently working out (minus one week in April) at least three times a week. I do a mix of light cardio and 45 minutes of strength training. My muscles are so toned and defined even when relaxed and I can actually wear shorts and not feel self-concious! I have lost a total of 12 pounds since January and since last summer I have gone from a size 14 to size 10. I had to buy all new summer clothes this year because of the weight loss. (Something I didn't mind doing either!)

My problem now is that I am stuck at the same weight, same pant size. I don't care if I am any smaller than a 10. Considering my 5' 8.5" frame I would probably look too thin as a size 6 or even 8. I just know there are several things I can do to feel even more fit and toned and get to my ideal physical shape. So these are my resolutions for that:

1. Increase my cardio workout by 1 mile, incorporate more running. (truth be told I hate running and do power walking at this point)

2. Get my recommended daily water and say goodbye to Diet soda.

3. Research more into healthy foods and learning how to cook them. :)

When I am not so tired and it isn't so late I will post how I plan to accomplish these goals, with specifics. I find that setting a date by which to make something become habit is crucial to my success in changing and growing.

Off to bed, hope you all have a great night!

Today's photos feature my sweet little Pomeranian, Charlie, and our visit to my parents' home today. You will probably find he will be in many of my photos, since he is like a child to me :)

Thanks for peeking!


New photos from today's first photoshoot with the new camera. As you can tell they are not perfect, but nonetheless I am excited about them and think they turned out okay considering my amateur skills!

Thanks for looking!


The new camera is in transit, and just over 24 hours has travelled from Columbus, Ohio to Lenexa, KS! I am waiting on pins and needles here to get it in my hands! I have been waiting all too long for this baby to get here! I can't wait!


Starting Fresh...

With this post I am starting fresh on my blog. For a while I have kept it private but hardly posted anything. I just didn't have any words really, I mainly just wrote feelings and thoughts in my personal journal. I am ready to open this thing back up again, and continue to document my life in words and pictures.

I have been frustrated with my lack of creativity over the past few months. I stopped scrapbooking and hardly took any pictures because I just didn't feel like it. I continued to write in my journal at home but I wasn't doing a good job of really preserving the memories I had been making over the year. I am ready to start documenting my memories again but I want to go about it differently than I did before. Last year I was beginning to feel that scrapbooking was a chore, picture-taking took too much of my time, and I started to really resent the process. I had way too much clutter, millions of embellishments that just sat there, and I kept spending my money on more paper and stuff I just did not need. What I really wanted to do was get back to basics, journaling and photos, but I felt like I would be foolish to give up now.

I ended up selling a bunch of my extra "Stuff" to a friend and now I am down to my very basics. I know most people would think that would be silly to go from an entire room of supplies to a couple of boxes, but I am actually relieved by it. I want to rework my process of memory preservation so that it is simple, clutter-free, fun, and long-lasting. I don't want to worry about all the little extra things I have to add to my scrapbooks to make them fancy, I just want simple: cardstock, great photos, and a story to tell. It might sound boring but it's timeless in my opinion.

I made a major purchase Sunday and bought a Canon Digital Rebel XTi. I am so excited to get this camera and focus on what I really want to focus on - photography and learning how to take great photographs. I want to take a class, or just get some good books and self-study this art.

So I am getting back to the basics again and I want to make it my goal to stay balanced in my memory preservation. keeping it simple with just words and photos. I am tired of spending hundreds of dollars trying to make my art look good through embellishments and pretty papers when all I really need to do is tell my story with just the journaling and the photos.