Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another day, another cycle...

Man, have you ever wanted something SO bad that when you were denied over and over it just ripped at your heart piece by piece? That's how I feel right now... As most of my readers know, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half. It adds up to 20 cycles. We were just denied that joy again this weekend.

I sometimes feel like God knows what I want, I'm supposed to get it (at some point), and that since so much growth and change has happened in my life in the past month that THIS was my month. Well, that's really how May/June felt. Even my body reacted differently this cycle, almost like a "reset" button had been pressed. What I DON'T get is why that would happen, and nothing?!

Then there are times where I look back on other areas of my life where I was tortured time and time again by my desire and the rejection. I was just thinking back at all of the guys I had liked from high school through college, and how I felt crestfallen whenever I was denied "the one". If only I had known that the ONE God had in store for me was so amazing, I would have been content. Hindsight is 20/20.

Ok, Sarah, what are you getting at? While I know in my heart I'm meant to have a child, and my heart LONGS for a child (as does my husband's), I also know that if I knew what God knows, I would make the SAME decision that He is making. There is SOME reason why I'm supposed to wait... patiently or not... and praise Him even in my sorrows.

Is this my lot in life? To desire, be denied, and be heartbroken, only to rise back up and praise God in His sovereignty? No, there will be times when my desire will be granted, and I will skip the heartbreak and go straight to joy and praising God. Ultimately, our life is such a SHORT span of time in comparison with eternity. How can I sit here, complaining about this tiny, almost meaningless section of time, when I can be preparing for the greatness that is eternity?

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Goal #11: New Recipe of the week

So this week DH was out of town, so I decided to embark on embracing an ingredient I love and he loves to hate (as does the majority of the rest of the world)... What is it?


Ok, so here's the link to the basic recipe I used:

Ok, so now what you have all been waiting for... Pictures!!!

::Getting caramelized in butter::

::Flipped, cooked more, and ready for the cream::

::Cream and salt added, ready to cover and simmer::

::Ready to let the cream thicken::

::SO delicious::

Hope you enjoyed this share!! These are freaking DELICIOUS! I didn't use the lemon juice, but I'm sure it would be delicious in it as well!

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Goal #11: New Recipe of the week

Ok, so as I embark on this new recipe and healthier eating journey, I have to keep a close watch on my budget. I don't want to do all of this and end up costing us money in the end. That's why I've decided that even when I make healthy recipes, if it calls for something that I have that isn't the fat free version, or something where the fat free version is way more expensive, I will just pass and get the regular version and watch my portions. Salad is a great filler, as long as there's not too much dressing on it!!

Last night was my first time making a new recipe!! I chose a recipe that I saw on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition (Rachel's episode) that looked delicious, partly because that episode seemed to be the clicking point when it comes to my health. Unfortunately I don't have a picture, but I have the recipe at least!! My peanut gallery comments are the ones in italics and parenthesis.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (fresh/thawed; I used 3 large cutlets)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 cup baby carrots, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped or 1 Tbsp dried (cheaper for me to use dried because we have a lot)
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 Tbsp. no Trans fat margarine (I used butter because we had it)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups reduced sodium, organic chicken broth (or just low-sodium, if cost is an issue)
  • 1/2 cup fat free half-and-half (we used regular because it was the only one that came in a small container)
  • 1 cup low-fat Bisquick mix (we have a large box of regular so that's what we used)
  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (milk is way cheaper)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt & fresh pepper
  1. Place chicken breast halves in saute pan and cover with water. Place over medium heat, uncovered, and cook for 10-12 minutes (if fresh, frozen will take longer) until chicken is poached and cooked through (don't overdo this or you will end up with rubber chicken like I had!). Remove from water and set aside to cool. (You can dump your water because you won't need it)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, saute for 4-5 minutes until carrots are just tender.
  3. Remove from heat and add frozen peas, salt & pepper, parsley & thyme.
  4. Cut cooled chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and add to vegetable mixture. Set aside.
  5. In small saucepan, heat margarine until melted, add flour and stir well forming a paste. Add chicken broth and fat free half-and-half. Continue whisking over medium heat until just starting to thicken (this may take a while, so just be patient!). Add to chicken-vegetable mixture and return to low heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, combine Bisquick mix with milk with a for until just mixed. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough on top of chicken-vegetable mixture and cover and continue to simmer (on low heat) for another 7-8 minutes, just until dumpling is done. (Mine only took about 6 minutes, but to check, take a fork and try and pull out the middle of one of the biscuits. They should be fluffy, not dough-like, on the inside, even though they're steamed on the outside.)
  7. Serve in bowls, garnish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

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25 before 25

Ok, so what is up with this random post out of nowhere? Well, I recently had my 24th birthday, and I had been contemplating doing a list of 25 goals before I turn 25!! So, in no particular order, here we go!

  1. Organize our entire house
  2. Do portrait sessions for charity
  3. Ride a horse
  4. Paint a new painting
  5. Sell at least one photo as a fine art piece
  6. Finish painting our house (5 of 8 rooms left!!)
  7. Re-decorate the master bedroom
  8. Set up a dedicated photography space
  9. Go to Europe
  10. Host a "girls night"
  11. Try 1 new recipe each week
  12. Make a special meal once every month for DH (with his favorite elements)
  13. Buy DH a random surprise present for no reason
  14. Read (at least) one book each month
  15. Eat every meal at home for a full week
  16. Go camping
  17. Learn a new dance with DH
  18. Visit a new museum
  19. Hike the 3 mile LaChua Trail and brave the alligators, bison, snakes, and wild horses!
  20. Learn some conversational elements of a foreign language
  21. Go to a zoo
  22. Go on an all girls trip
  23. Meet another SPNer
  24. Buy digital copies of my favorite novels
  25. Lose 20 pounds!!
A non-goal, goal: each goal will be photographically documented!!

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    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    Zack Arias rocks!!

    Hello blog world!!

    So my big day yesterday was comprised of sitting on my recliner and watching my TV and it was AWESOME! I learned so much!

    Ok, hold on... I think I need to rewind! We have our TV hooked up as the monitor to our desktop for watching TV shows online. Yesterday, the awesome CreativeLive had Zack Arias teaching an incredible workshop. I was BLOWN away! So incredible watching the mathematical principles of photography!

    I'm not sure if any of you are aware of this, but a month ago my husband and I were on a road trip and we spent the entire 1.5 hour drive talking about nothing but photography! I was explaining A, S, and M modes to him, and how they work, and we decided to write out the equation for photography! It looked ridiculous, but we're such nerds that we absolutely loved doing it and trying to figure out how the triangle (ISO, aperture, shutter speed) related!

    Anyway, I really loved how Zack broke it down into such BASIC terms that even I could understand! I missed his session on histograms, but that's ok because I bought the course, before the first workshop even started, blindly because I had a feeling I would learn so much! Man was I right! I'm looking forward to watching today!

    If any of you would like to watch for free, you can watch it live today and tomorrow, starting at 10am PDT, 1pm EDT here: or if you have a slower connection, use iPhone users can download the Ustream app and search for Creative Live!

    See you all in the classroom!!!

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    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Easter happened!

    Hello friends!! Easter has come and left, and I got some adorable pictures of some adorable little girls with SWEET little kitties!!! Enjoy!!

    Thanks for looking, blog readers!!! :)

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    Friday, April 22, 2011

    I'm sorry for being MIA!

    Hi everyone!! I'm really sorry to all of you who have been checking my blog and been DISAPPOINTED!!! My life has been busy and somewhat undergoing a change.

    About me now: I'm almost done with my photography class, I'm going to start SBing (skill building) through a photography charity drive, and then I will research for potentially (still not sure) starting PBing (portfolio building) and going professional! Who knows?! The world is at my door, I just have to answer it!

    Ok, so where have I been the past month? I will show you!! Prepare for a LONG post! :)

    First, a couple of pieces that I had to take for my class! Our categories for this still life assignment were tools and toys. So the first is tools, the second is toys.

    Now for a few vacation pictures! I went to a friend's lakehouse for a girl's getaway yarning weekend!


    ::My friend's knitting project::

    ::The Lake with a fellow bumpie's lens since we had a mini GTG::

    Last week, DHh and I went to Niagara Falls for a wedding, and headed up a few days early so we could have some vacation time on our own!! It was beautiful!!

    ::Canadian Falls::

    ::American Falls at night::

    ::Night shot in the cold mist with DH::
    Thanks for looking!! Sorry I've been such a lame poster this past month! I'm hoping that I'll get better??

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    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Greetings, blog world!

    So, I think I've decided that I'm going to do more of a once-a-week blog post, and if I get to do more, then great! I know it's been more than a week, but I'm here with lots of goodies so please forgive me!!! I have been SUPER busy, worked a youth conference, finished up a class project, went to a life changing Bible study, spent time with new and old friends, and relaxed a little! Oh, and I went to our botanical gardens in town because they are having their spring festival! So here are some pictures I wanted to share with you all:

    ::Youth Retreat::

    There's more of them here:

    Ok, there's a story behind this next one. In my photography class, we're doing still life shots, and my professor wants us to do different categories. One is "toys" and he showed some examples, which included a couple of sweet shots with dolls having tea. My classmates were CREEPED out by the doll pictures (they weren't creepy) so I set out to do a not creepy one! Well, then I decided, what the hey, I'll show them what a REALLY creepy doll picture looks like! Enter, Felicity:
    Awesome, right?!?!

    Ok back to the happy! Botanical Gardens time!!

    I hope you've enjoyed my picture share!! I'll have more coming soon! Hopefully I'll get to shoot a NEWBORN this week!!!!!!!!!

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    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Bonus post!

    Ok, so my life has been NUTS this past week. I really feel like I'm falling behind spiritually. I know I wasn't where I needed to be before we left, but it feels like I've fallen even further backwards. I can't tell you the last time I had an alone "quiet time" with God that wasn't prompted by small group or a conference...

    Now that I'm looking at photographing a youth conference this weekend with my church, it's really got me thinking. I need to take a step back, look at my life, and figure out how everything fits... On one hand, I have my photography, school, the required assignments, and the passionate stuff that I do for fun. On the other hand, I have our whole TTC process (btw I confirmed O this weekend while we were away! My mom always jokes that you don't go to Myrtle Beach if you don't want to come home pregnant... That's where my sister, at least one of my cousins, and myself were all conceived!)But I digress...

    So I have all of these things going on in my life, and I really tend to struggle with fitting God in there. I know the Sunday School answer, "God shouldn't have to 'fit' in your life. He should be over everything." And while I know that's technically true, it's SO tough to apply it. One way in which I feel like I'm doing better since I picked up photography is seeing God as the ornate artist and creator. I see macro shots that I take and put on my computer, and I see things in the flowers that I couldn't see with my eye. It's incredible!!

    Anyway, thanks for reading my ramblings. Pray for me that I find out how to work this all together to create a smooth life for me!!!

    I'm home!!! (huge post!!!)

    I know, it's been FOREVER since I posted!! I had a great vacation, and some great rest afterward!

    Ok, where we went/what we did:

    Thursday the 10th:
    We drove to po-dunk SC (literally the middle of nowhere) to meet with DH's superintendent before the big job thing on Friday. It was nasty rainy and windy, but I managed to get a few shots.

    ::They got SOME concrete on the tank Thursday before the rain::

    ::Sand-covered Rebar::

    ::Stormy skies floating away::

    Thursday evening we decided to go stay with my uncle, aunt, and two youngest cousins. They are HAMS!!!!

    Friday the 11th:
    We got up at 5:00 (WOW!) and left by 6am to head back to po-dunk!! This was the sunrise we drove towards!

    The rest of the workday was spent watching these guys shoot concrete onto a tank:

    And I made a new friend!!

    Around 4 we left for our next destination... The beach! I saw these beautiful blossoms when we stopped for dinner, and we drove away from the sunset.

    Saturday the 12th:
    Waking up to the beach! Then a journey to Wilmington, NC to visit one of my girlfriends!!

    Then we got SUPER touristy and went to the USS North Carolina (pictured above)

    Sunday the 13th:
    We visited my grandparents' beach house and went for a walk on the beach (it was still closed up for the winter so we couldn't stay there).

    ::I coerced him to get in the water... It was FREEZING!!!::

    ::The old, dependable cabana that my dad and some of his buddies built::

    Monday the 14th:
    I'm on my way home! I stopped in Charleston County at the Hampton Plantation to get in touch with my southern heritage. It was breathtaking!! These pictures don't do any of it justice.

    ::The owner forged this ornate bench HIMSELF::