Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Eight years, I’ve been married to this guy.

These years have flown by, but then when I look at all the live we’ve lived in eight years it seems kind of crazy it’s only been eight years.

We have traveled, moved, changed career paths, published books, started small businesses, and had four beautiful babies. We have grown and matured so, so much.

I would not be me if it weren’t for him and I can’t think of anything I’d rather than do than wake up tomorrow and do chores while simultaneously being his wife.

“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” (Winnie the Pooh)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day

My dad has a unique smell which I have always loved. One time he and Ryan spent a day at a gun show when they came back I hugged my husband and said, “Whoa! You smell just like my dad.”   “Well,” he said, “I actually smell exactly like gun powder… so obviously your dad is a real man.”

Book recommendations. A few of my most favorite novels in the 5th-7th grade range, were recommendations from my dad. My Side of the Mountain was probably my favorite. I was so excited to have that thing to share with him, something I loved so deeply (reading) which we had in common for the briefest of moments. I did not like to hunt, work on cars, or do lots of hard math in my head for fun… but I adored reading and I loved all of his book recommendations. Also, he was very polite when I gave him a Great Illustrated Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for his 30th birthday.

Budgeting. I am so intentional about our budget and I attribute that to the time I spent watching my dad put numbers into an Excel sheet (still my preferred method). I started creating pretend budgets, figuring out what I’d need to make it on my own, and have looked at my budget nearly every Friday since.

When I was 16, I was the driver in a roll-over car accident. It was very traumatic for me at the time but I can barely even register that anymore because now when I think about that accident, I instead think about my dad. The paramedic who pulled me out of the car happened to moonlight for the construction company and immediately recognized me. I can only imagine how it must have felt—like swallowing a hot ball of lead, I assume—to pick up the phone and have his normally silly friend tell him in complete seriousness that he needed to drive to the emergency room. I was lying strapped down on a bed in the ER, completely alone and terrified—wondering if I had possibly just killed one of my best friends or one of the people in that other car—and then I heard the familiar sound of my dad’s boots as he made his way to my room. I cringed in that moment, so certain he was going to be furious with me, and instead I felt his hand squeezing mine before I even heard his voice. He told me he didn’t care at all about the car, that he was just thankful I was alive, and every awful thing I’d felt that day just kind of melted away.

This is really silly but my dad loves Reese’s peanut butter cups. I like them just fine but would choose probably ten other candies before those… but still, every time I went to their house I went straight for the Reese’s stash. I occasionally ate the last one and felt no remorse but one day he very sweetly handed me the very last one. I was so touched! But then when I opened it, he had actually just very carefully shaped a ball of dryer lint into the little paper cup and then wrapped it back up. It was hilarious. But also so disappointing.

When I moved into my first apartment, my mom and brother and I took over a load of my stuff. We were all in my apartment, unpacking, when my Dad walked in laden with Walmart bags. I had a few miscellaneous home items in a hope chest and had planned to get a few other things from the Dollar Tree that week but he had taken care of all of that and then some. He had kitchen items, bathroom items, and all kinds of groceries. Better still, they were all my favorites at the time. Broccoli rice, clam chowder, oats for the no-bake cookies my mom used to bake me…

When I was little, I had an obsession with the Pillsbury Dough Boy. You might recall that in all his commercials his little tummy was tickled and he’d shout, “hoo-hoo!” I called him the Hoo-Hoo Man. Legend has it that my dad lifted me up to hug a Styrofoam Hoo-Hoo Man in a grocery store one day and I accidentally knocked his head off, sending product scattering across the aisles, and of course traumatizing my tiny self. I must have heard the story a thousand times and my dad one day bought me a little vinyl Hoo-Hoo Man which I displayed on my kitchen counter. One day about a year later, I got it a little wet so pulled the thing’s head off to dry it out well. I was shocked and elated and of course cried a little because I pulled it off and out popped a note—“I love you Sara” in my dad’s handwriting.

My dad has one of those infections laughs so every time he laughs, I can’t help but laugh too.

My dad used to follow me in his truck when I’d ride my bike to Heidi’s house, a few streets over… and after I moved into my first apartment, I occasionally stepped outside to drive or bike to work and saw my dad (who lived and worked on the opposite end of town) quickly speed away. It was very endearing.

My son recently went out for a date with his daddy and when they came home he excitedly told me, “Me and dad saw a guy who only had hair on the back of his head!!! But it wasn’t grandpa.” 

I wanted to share ten Ryan favorites too but he asked me not to so I'll just say that he is the best daddy I've ever seen, and I don't just say that because I'm biased. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

This is my body, broken for you…

This is my belly, covered in stretch marks. I grew them and nourished them… just like you’re constantly growing and nourishing me.

This is my right bicep, twice the size of my left and perpetually sore. I carry these children around all day long… just like you carry me.

This is my finger, burned making dinner for my family. I serve them… just like you serve me.

This is my heart, beating so fast it’s uncomfortable because my faith is being criticized and I’d like to just run away. I keep believing in you… just like you keep believing in me.

These are my lungs, congested and tight from caring for little people who put their mouths on the shopping cart even though I’ve told them a thousand times not to. I risk my health to care for them… much like you risked your life to save me.

For the rest of my days, may I remember (and honor) you in all that I do.

I Can Only Imagine

My two oldest kids (ages 3 and 5) have been asking a lot about death and Heaven lately. Sometimes they're just matter-of-fact and other times they're filled with anxiety. I remember experiencing the same thing, even at an older age, so I'm not at all surprised by this. Still, it doesn't make it easy. A few nights ago Ryan and I were each holding a sobbing child and looking at each other over their heads like, "Nobody warned us about this part!"

When I saw I Can Only Imagine available for me to review I cheered internally. I am a big fan of the song and have been dying to read the new adult version of the book so I was thrilled to see that there was a children's version perfect for my own little ones.

It proved to be perfect for their age-range and it inspired a lot of really great conversation. A says he hopes to read books with Jesus when he gets to Heaven and B says she hopes she gets to hold Baby Jesus. <3

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Berry Patch

It started with raspberries. I didn’t know what I was doing and planted them in a strange pot in a sunny corner of our backyard. My girl, she was smitten. She woke up every morning and jumped into her shoes so she could come out and help me water.

I watered the apple trees we had planted, and the cute little rows of produce. Carrots, onions, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin… but mostly, she was in it for the raspberries. She excitedly plucked all the ripe berries off and sometimes jumped the gun on some not-quite-but-almost ripe berries.

It was absolutely precious and we’ve been obsessed ever since.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times we’ve talked about the berry patch we want when we finally get that cabin in the woods someday. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, gooseberries, huckleberries, boysenberries… berries. Lots and lots of berries.

We talked about it one day at the end of winter and decided it was time. We didn’t want to wait for that perfect cabin in the woods. We wanted to just go for it. Ryan put together a raised-bed garden space for me and the kids and I planted berries, berries, berries.

And now? It’s growing. Our own little berry patch.

My second daughter went out to water with me this morning and plucked up all the ripe berries she could find, just like her sister before her.

It filled my heart with joy and I realized I would have missed out on that if I had waited for the cabin in the woods.

What are you waiting for? Is there a way you can just go for it today instead? Life is short, you know.