Weekend Full of Awesome

Lately, I can’t always count on my weekends to be fun or productive or much more than just zoning out and regaining my sanity after an insane work week. Because it’s the only time I get to unwind and do more than just work, it depresses me when it’s over without anything worth noting.


The past few weekends have been like these uneventful, over-too-soon breaks in my work life. But not this weekend. No, this weekend was made of awesome.


It started Friday, by having off for Good Friday, which by itself felt like a much needed gift. I got nine hours of sleep for the first time in months, caught up on the internet a bit, and dove into a book for the first time since January. A book that totally rejuvenated my creative mind.


Saturday it took me a little while to get started and I worried I’d lost my prime morning productivity time, but I sat down with my nightmare novel Dreamsters just before noon, determined to finally reach it’s end and just over 2K later, I did! I FINISHED MY FIRST NOVEL! It’s probably not as exciting to most as it is to me, but I’ve been working on the same 4 novels for the last 5 years. For a while there I was starting to think I’d never reach the end. I’d never reached any of the ends of my scripts as a teen/young adult and while I have finished a handful of short stories, I was really worried I just didn’t have what it took to actually write a full novel. It feels incredible to have proved myself wrong. It’s was hours before I could get my heart to settle down over it so I set out to bake an Apple-Berry pie for Easter. I took photos of the process this time and posted the recipe in case you’d like to try it out.



Click HERE for the recipe!


Today I had to be up early to help Mom at church all day for Easter breakfast/brunch. In the years past this has completely wiped me out and it definitely did this year, too, but it was somehow more fulfilling than in years past. More than 400 people showed up for service and there was a lot of great fellowship. I had intended on crashing when I got home, but I stopped by my Maw Maw’s and looked through old family photos (some of which I stole to scan for Throwback Thursday) and then headed home to do a little cleaning in the living room because I finally got a new bookcase! It’s not new as in freshly built from the store, but new to me. It still doesn’t house all of my books, but a heck of a a lot of them, freeing up the previously improper places for any new additions. The living room feels a little crowded now, but overall I’m happier with a proper home for my biggest collection.



(New Bookcase all the way to the right!)

I’m yawning as a I write this and I’m not really ready to go back to work tomorrow, but for once I’m feeling really good about how I spent my weekend. And even though I know I’ll be sleepy tomorrow morning, I’ll be mentally sound and that’s worth a lot in my world.


How was your Easter weekend?



Apple-Berry Pie




I created this pie last summer for the 4th of July and now that the weather’s warmer, when I think fruit pies are the best, I figured it’d make a good Easter pie, too! This time, I took photos of the process so I could share the recipe with you guys (click through the slideshow at the bottom of this post!). Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!


To start: Chose your favorite pie crust recipe or just use Pillsbury (Needs two crusts)




  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • Approximately 10 blackberries & 10 raspberries
  • 4 different kinds of apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter




In a large saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt, water, and cinnamon until smooth. Add blueberries. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly.


Gently fold apples, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and lemon juice into blueberry mixture. Add filling to pie and dot with butter. Cover with decorative crust.


Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.




Busy is my middle name…

I lose track of time so much more these days.


I think it’s been about 5-6 weeks now of getting up at 4am and working 11-12 hour days, 5 days a week at work. We got this giant 65 mile gas pipeline survey to complete in a 6 month deadline and it involves all of this research of the land back to the 1930’s to see when the easements for said pipeline were created and figure out how to draft them (in AutoCad) in the real world today. If there wasn’t such an intense deadline, the researching part might actually be fun – learning all about Baltimore County’s history, but reading ancient deeds and plats, that were hand written and then scanned for county documentation is hell on my eyes. I’ve been wearing my glasses every day and using a magnifying glass and I still end up having to guess sometimes whether I’m plotting a northing and easting with a 6 or an 8 in it. It makes the work take so much longer than it should.


That aside, yesterday was rather nice. One of my co-workers supplied Einstein’s Bagels for breakfast, then the company supplied an Italian pasta & salad spread for lunch, and then topped off the day with Rita’s Italian ice as an afternoon snack. It probably says a lot about me (and not good things) that just being treated with food can make my day lovely, but whatever. Yesterday was flat out delicious.


It was also nice, because while I frequently feel like Thursday’s are Friday’s lately (since I technically reach my 40 hours long before Friday actually arrives), yesterday actually was my Friday because our company is closed today for Good Friday! I’m terribly excited about having a three day weekend. I actually got to sleep for 9 hours last night, opposed to the 5 I’m typically getting these days. Boy do I feel alive today!


My weekend plans include: manning the couch with a book in hand (I haven’t read a book since January!), possibly (hopefully) writing the last 1-3K words of my nightmare novel Dreamsters (I’m SO close!!), catching up on the internet (My inbox is flooded and I haven’t even logged into Tumblr in 2 weeks! O_O), and then serving breakfast/brunch to the 400+ people our church is expecting on Easter Sunday. Sunday will be pretty draining, but at least I get two days before it to relax and rejuvenate my creative mind (because work is seriously eating it alive).


This busy life of mine only looks busier in the months to come. With longer, generally warmer days, people have already started asking me to do their spring photo shoots and somehow I’ve got to get back into a decent workout routine too. I had resolved to not stretch myself so thin this year, but we’re only 4 months into 2014 and it’s already happening. I just hope there’s some sort of backup energy reserve in my body that I figure out how to tap in to, because I’ll need it!




Turning Thirty

This past Sunday was Easter for everyone, but it also happened to be my birthday and I’ve spent several days celebrating it. Despite all of my fears about turning thirty, I have to say it was one hell of a birthday.

The week started with Heath sending me on a hunt for his gift to me via post-it notes of clues when I got home from work on Monday. I didn’t really want my present so early, but after finally finding it in a Fruity Pebbles box, it was pretty hard to resist opening it.

Clicking the picture will take you to a more detailed story of how I found the gift and larger pictures of each step

By Wednesday, I’d received a box full of goodies from my BFF and critique partner, . It included framed art of my Crack the Sky characters (so adorable), a new bookmark, a book on birthdays (which mine was SPOT on!), a cute note pad (cause I have a crazy fetish with note pads), and an Amazon MP3 gift card (because I’m sure you already know how addicted to music I am). It was far more than necessary, but I loved every bit of it!

On Thursday, my last day of work before a five day vacation, my work friends spoiled me with brownies for breakfast, Chinese for lunch, and I added to the excess of yummy with cupcakes from Flavor Cupcakery. My friend who’d already made me THIS the month before as an early gift, also made me a pair of earrings to wear with my Easter dress. They can be seen HERE.

Friday and Saturday, Heath and I were in Washington, DC. The weather was windy and chilly, but the sun was shining and we captured some great pictures. We visited several Art Museums, Gardens, and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. We walked so much on the first day, we could barely drag ourselves back to the hotel and we were asleep by 9pm (which is super early for us). While exhausting, it was a delightful trip.

Clicking the picture will take you to the entire photo album

When Sunday finally arrived (my actual birthday), I woke early for Church with my family and then we all gathered together at my parent’s house for a party to celebrate both Easter and my birthday. Maw Maw and Paw Paw made the breakfast I rave about having at Christmas for lunch. We ate until our bellies were full and then they showered me with gifts. All of the presents were great, but just being with my family in such an enjoyable way on my birthday made the day completely perfect.

Clicking the picture will take you to the entire photo album

I feel so blessed to have the family and friends I have in my life.

Today is my last day off before returning to work and I have to say the high from my birthday is still strong. My soul feels very much at peace, which I hadn't really expected since I was dreading officially being thirty so much. I guess I’ve just decided to not dwell on the number and it making me feel old. My mind is still young. I’ll just focus on that.



The Big 3-0 is looming…

My birthday is less than a month away now. It falls on Easter this year. It’s fallen on or around Easter several times before, but the most memorable Easter themed birthday celebration was in 1985. My sister was born less than a month before it and even though my birthday was technically the day after Easter this particular year, I celebrated it in my Easter dress with a bunny shaped cake and egg hunting. 

The fact that I’m turning thirty this year feels a bit depressing. How have three decades of my life passed so quickly? Why do I feel like the last ten especially never even really happened? In my mind, I still feel a lot more like I’m twenty than about to turn thirty. What does it mean to be thirty? Do I have to start officially acting older? Will birthdays ever hold the excitement they always have for me again after this one?

I remember turning twenty-five and feeling like I was already having some sort of mid-life crisis. My life, as I’d planned it, was nowhere near where I thought it’d be by twenty-five. As I’m about to turn thirty, it still isn't. I have to admit this bothers me more than I wish it did.

I try to remind myself that life just happens. You can plan small bits of it, but it doesn't mean it will completely turn out that way. There are other factors that play into how your life turns out. No matter how hard you try to have absolute control of it, the truth is you don’t. These reminders feel harder to swallow with every year I age though. I feel like time is slipping away from me and if I don’t do something to somehow trap it and slow it down soon, it will be over before I know it. I don’t want to have reached the end with zero accomplishments under my belt, or none of the goals I’d hoped to achieve in life complete.

If I could go back to little kid Sarah and give her some advice, it’d be to: Stop wishing you were older so much. It’s not all that glamorous. And all those years you spent wishing for a future you’d later find was nothing like you imagined could have been better spent enjoying being a kid. Something you will miss terribly when you actually are older.

We grow up too fast, in my opinion. Turning thirty, already…. it feels like it happen overnight almost. *sigh* I hope my negative outlook doesn't ruin the day when it finally arrives.



– A View from the Pew on Easter Sunday –

I am one of those people who gets more out of spending my own time with God rather than attending church on a regular basis. I go on holidays though for my parents benefit because they enjoy my presence on the pew with them and I think it helps reassure them that my belief is still strong. Church is only for some people though, in my opinion, and my parents are those kinds of people (my dad in particular).

I am not. It’s not to say I despise church or anything because it’s actually quite the opposite. I am southern Baptist and my church, the early service at least, has a live band – a band that I find moving first thing in the morning. All of those instruments vibrating throughout the tiny church walls, it gets inside of you – whether you want it to or not and next thing you know you’re dancing and singing to a song you’ve never even heard before. Just that alone makes me feel like God’s smiling on us for rejoicing in his name this way.

Anyway, today’s sermon was lead by our temporary Pastor Ron. I say temporary because about 6 months ago my church underwent a chaotic mess of un-Christ like behavior and long story short – we’ve been without an official pastor since. Ron has always stepped up to the plate to preach when needed though ever since I was a little girl and while some may not be very fond of his ministering techniques, I always have.

Ron is a deep man and frequently loses control of his emotions at the pulpit. Caddy judgmental people find this characteristic in him a sign of weakness, but I don’t. I see Ron as a man so deeply filled with the Spirit of the Lord that sometimes he just weeps out of joy to be so lucky to know the Lord like he does. And something about the fact that he’s not scared to shed those tears in front of us, to me, gives him a more respectable human trait. Unlike some preachers who walk with an arrogance of self righteousness like they are better than those in the pews just because they stand at the pulpit. This is definitely NOT the kind of Pastor Ron is.

Today’s service was pretty standard for an Easter service, retelling the tale of Christ rising from his tomb after his death and it was accompanied by great live music in between the messages. And Ron didn’t cry. His eyes may have pricked a bit during the invitation, but I think most people’s do as they watch others rush forward to find salvation in Christ. It makes you feel good inside remembering how you felt when you were that non-believer changing sides. The sense of relief it brings to know you can walk in His light regardless of your previous walk with the dark. I get excited for the newcomers.

Ron’s message today was loud and physically large. His hands sprouting out with the Bible clutched between his fingers as he paced across the front of the church delivering God’s words. He wanted to get the point across and he wanted to do it without his normal emotional ups and downs. But some people watched him as if they couldn’t understand what he was saying. He is so deep, it all means so much to him and his intelligence in the matter is too much for some to comprehend. They see his mouth moving, hear his voice, but can’t grasp what he’s trying to tell them.

There wasn’t much point to this post except to mention that I think Ron does a fabulous job preaching and appears to have really tightened up his emotions so that people don’t get lost focusing on the wrong part of what he represents. Someone like Ron inspires me to be closer to God and I think he could have the same effect on our church if he was full time Pastor. I surely hope they give it some thought, instead of continuing to wait for God’s answer about a new Pastor when the answer might already be sitting in their pews ready.

Happy Easter everyone – Peace & God Bless – Sarah

Lifehouse – Everything Skit – I know this video is old now, but it still makes my skin prickle because it tells the story of so many. I love the intensity of her grappling through the devil’s pawns to get back into God’s protective embrace and then how he just throws them off of her, because God can overcome all. It brings tears to my eye every time I watch it because I was once that girl.


And just like that, it clicks

Started reading Dexter last night and got to read a little more during my lunch break today. Wow what an intro. In fact it was far better in the book than it was depicted on the TV show, but I never feel like books are done enough justice when being brought to TV or film anyway so maybe I’m biased.

I also reached for a Joyce Meyer devotional again last night and wouldn’t you know the message was for me – targeting what was wrong in my mind. I can’t express the relief I feel in my chest when God speaks to me this way. It’s unbelievably comforting and a huge burst of strength to dust myself off and try again.

Overnight the healing process began and today I woke up with a different sense of me. I’m a little weary of all of these changes coming my way, but I know they’re necessary and the only way to succeed at even the smallest things in life is to work hard at it. And so I will.

I’m hoping to make the best of my 3 day Easter weekend. I fully intend on finishing all 3 Dexter books during this time (they’re pretty short) and Mom bought me “The Last Song” by Nicholas Sparks today so hopefully I can start that too. I’m completely submerging myself into books for the next week and letting all of those words, words that inspire me, heal my mind – then I’ll start anew.

Peace – Sarah


– There is always sun, if you just let it shine on you –