"I was thinking, I mean, I am interested in...I would really like to..." I stammered and flushed a deep red and my rushing words came to a screeching halt as sirens went off between my ears.

Everyone waited, expectantly.

"Well, it's just that..."

(Deep breath. Anxiety. Discomfort. Could I? Should I? Deep breath.)

"...but I'm not really sure I'm qualified," I said in a hurry, breathless, desperate to let it tumble out before I bit my tongue.

And after all was said and done, despite my inarticulate mumbling, furiously blushing cheeks, prefaced prefaces and many, many pauses...would you believe that nobody laughed?(!)

Not a single person. In fact, they were smiling and nodding and the one response was a simple, much-needed, direct, authoritative, "Sara. If you're here, you are qualified."



I desperately need to know! Is there any sort of summer vacation plan reserved for spouses of teachers?!


Today is Adam's last day of school!* What a crazy year. I feel like rolling down my windows and tossing all my graded tests out the window while bathing in glorious freedom that is all mine for three months.

Except, I don't have any graded tests, I still have to work and I couldn't even bring myself to actually throw stuff out the window when I was actually in high school.

Waaah, waaah.

...At least it's a three-day weekend?

Congrats to all the teachers out there for working hard every day.

(And also, a gentle reminder for said teachers to be really nice to your spouse who still has to get up every morning because rubbing it in that you get vacation and they don't is SO NOT FUNNY.)

*I literally rolled out of bed this morning and said, voice still froggy, "Happy LDOS, Adam!" And HE KNEW what I meant!!! Never underestimate the power of abbrevs.



My brother recently read that book I love and it got me thinking again about its premise--live a better story.

I know, I know, it sounds so touchy-feely but is it really so impractical?


Adam and I have been attending a class Sunday mornings about a Christian suburban couple who started wondering why the Bible mentions loving the poor so much and if, in fact, they should too. Ten years later, they manage missionaries in India while organizing and supporting local missions in their Kansas City neighborhood.

Yet he still says with all sincerity, "I'm not a brave person. I'm just a regular guy."


Recently I've been blown away by this documentary (available for free in its entirety!) and found myself wondering, how did I not know more about them before? And even more, could I have done it?

Today I came from a work meeting where we gathered around a table and went around listing first our own professional strengths and then one at a time, we listed each others' strengths as we saw them. I know, again, touchy feely, but after that we were told to reexamine what we do each day so that we are building on our strengths instead of constantly trying to improve our weaknesses.

"This is really cool," my almost-retired colleague said. "I've never once felt like I've had a job where I'm doing something that I'm really good at and as I look back, I think, I really didn't ever get to show my worth."


Today I'm just a twenty-something newlywed who has a one-bedroom apartment, two growing (!) pots of flowers, a mounting to-do list and nothing to eat for lunch.

But there will be a day when I look back on this season and those that follow and I wonder what will I see?



  • Eating this. Straight out of the pan. Twice. GO MAKE IT! (Then invite people over or risk eating it for every meal. I am serious. Unless you have much more self-control than me. Then I am jealous.)
  • Thinking about that $5 cardigan I didn't buy at Target, even though I really felt awesome at finding such a good deal. It wasn't my color and I probably would only wear it a few times but somehow I had a hard time putting it back on the rack. I know it makes me sound shallow. But if you really stop and think about where you spend your money, I bet you'll find some really strange habits perhaps including a bizarre desire to purchase a brown/green cardigan just because it is so on sale and just my size! 
  • Remembering that moment when we were packing up to return home from the Dominican Republic. We were told that if we had any clothes to donate, to pile them under the coffee table in the living room. And even though I had purchased clothes specifically to wear on the trip and leave behind, there was this unexpected tension I felt when actually adding things to that pile. I honestly found myself feeling a bit of panic at the thought. The skirts were fairly easy to part with since they were long and not in style. But when it came time to donate a few shirts it was this weird tug in my mind, this pestering thought of ...but what if I need that someday?! Crazy, I know. And this is coming from someone who's been actively sorting through her closet and donating full bags to the thrift store! I guess all I'm saying is you can tell yourself that you are above these people or so totally socially conscious and roll your eyes at materialism...but you know what? It probably has a much deeper hold on your heart than you'll ever realize. It does for me anyway. Here's my challenge to you: go fill three bags of stuff to donate. Can you do it?
  • Desperately hoping something grows in those three filled pots sitting on our front porch. My pride is on the line here. Fingers crossed! (Also, sending death glares to the stupid squirrel that is back to his devious self and had the audacity to get caught red-handed pawing his way through my so carefully planted seeds. RUDE.)


Big sister.

My (not-so) little brother asked me a few questions. Here's a snippet.

p.s. He titled his post "Living in ALL CAPS." Although I have NO IDEA WHY. Ahem. Also, Mom and Dad, if you're reading, please note that BRIAN CALLS ME OOOOOLD! Please remember this at Christmas.

p.s.s. How would you answer the last one?

* * * * *

By all means, please introduce yourself.
Oh hey there. I'm the Big Sister. I like coffee, reading, writing, making lists, and annoying my little brother. Just kidding. (Kind of.)

What's your favorite thing about being married?
Living with my bff. Preshy presh, I know. haha. But seriously, there's something so fun about being with someone who knows every aspect of your life. Like one minute, I may want to tell someone about that weird person at work today and the next, need a hand to squeeze when I get really bad news. And for me, the person that I go to first with both of those things is Adam. Also, he's really freaking funny so that keeps things entertaining. Oh! And as newlyweds (are we still considered newlyweds when we just started year #2?), it has been (mostly) fun to discover each other's idiosyncrasies (of which, Adam has more than me, OBVIOUSLY).

Favorite quote/story/etc... from mom and dad.
Mom: All the times we'd try really hard to get her to really lose it laughing. It was a group effort and well worth it because it is hilarious. Also of all the funny phrases she uses: "Oh my stars!" " Oh, you dog!" and "My dogs are barkin" are the first to come to mind but there are quite a few. haha.
Dad: Riding around in his truck belting out "Wild Thing!" And against my better judgment, I have to say that his prank that Christmas when he conspired with the mall Santa Clause to fool his innocent, doe-eyed daughter into thinking that maybe Santa was real after all was pretty good. (I mean, if it were true, but since the video is lost in translation, we just can't be sure. haha)
Brian: The image of you riding your bike against the wind. Okay that is only funny to me. And actually mean. But I had to throw it in there. As Adam would say, my "big sister is showing." haha.

Quick. Chocolate or conversation? (And I'm talkin REAL GOOD CHOCOLATE.)
Not enough information! Conversation with who? And did I have chocolate for breakfast or have I not yet had my dose of sugar for the day? ...Umm...I'm going to say conversation (but secretly think WHAT KIND OF CHOCOLATE?!).

For all of us 20-somethings, what's your advice on growing-up?
First and foremost, EXCUSE ME. I am STILL a twenty-something thankyouverymuch. (Rude.) It's weird because I feel like I am in no place to be offering advice since I feel far from having things "figured out".
I've been learning lately that I'll always be learning. Maybe that sounds like a cop out but honestly, I think that it's a big deal to be able to shift your thinking from "okay life is about ticking A, B, C, and D off my list and in that order, so let's get started" to "okay life is ever-changing, sometimes crappy, full of questions and a work in progress." That's too simplistic, of course, and I don't actually live like I believe it every day, but it is part of growing up, or it is for me. I think it's important to identify what will be your anchor, your hope, your motivation early on because there will be times when that's all that will keep you going.
I think, too, that it is easy to believe that life is all me, me, me--what do I want out of this, how is this for me, what about my wants/needs/goals/priorities/etc. but that really shouldn't be the case. There are lots of people in this world and you're going to miss out on a lot (and in my opinion, the best things) when you put those blinders on. Sure, we all have individual needs and passions and especially as 20-somethings, the stakes are lower so we can take risks, we can explore our interests and put ourselves out there without putting as much on the line (most don't have families to support, mortgages, etc.).
I guess what I'm trying to say--brevity is not my strong point--is that those are fine things to explore and I am totally not trying to squelch any desire to be creative, or work hard for a goal or really examine what is important for you as an individual. But do it all in community and keep the community in mind. Surround yourself with those who are older and wiser...and listen to them. Invest in those that are younger. Befriend those who will be honest with you and want the best for you. And remember that you have something to offer the world--and your gift is not given for you to merely keep to yourself.

(((Bumper stickers coming soon--haha.)))


That Old Time Religion.

It was a frenzied Friday and I rushed straight from work to a quick dinner and before I knew it, I was sitting on a hard wooden pew in a small church to see a man dear to Adam's (and my) heart.

I tapped my foot, wondering how long we would be and when I would get a chance to clean before everyone came over tomorrow morning and if I'd be able to squeeze in a dash to the grocery store on the way home.

I fidgeted. I tried to focus. I surveyed the room full of graying hair.

And then a lanky man stood up with his guitar and started singing.

"We'll do some classics," he said with a grin, "so you just jump in when you can."

There was no projector, no hymnal number, no paper passed out with the words written down.

Just a group of eager people and a man with a guitar.

In seconds, a chorus filled the room. And we sang and sang and sang songs from much before our time.

I joined in when I could, hummed when I couldn't, smiled at the sound of a people coming together.

I'm not really sure why it struck me so much, why it seemed so poignant, why it still echoes occasionally in my head.

There is just something to be said, I suppose, in these days of confusion, of hard times, of wearing hope, of fraying faith of an unwavering belief that knows no bounds. A cry that wells out and up and intermingles with others' and a moment in which you know that this is all you really have and all that you can ever expect to know to be true.

It was an experience of nostalgia, maybe, for what was and for what will come, even, and a reminder that this big old world and its flashiness, its injustice, its sorrow and its bewildering disregard is not the end of the Story.

And though it hurts sometimes--it breaks, it cracks, it rips our hearts right open to dare to even believe it--there is some Truth in this world and even amidst our darkest hour, there is nothing new under the sun.

And I think that even now, part of me is still humming right along, searching for a way to say with certainty that yes, oh it is good enough for me.
Image cred.



By the thought of that chocolate pie I have waiting for me (uh, I mean us) at home.

The one I made because dinner was a flop*, I couldn't plant flowers after all, and well, my pride needed a little boost. (Seriously, can we talk about how it feels like a personal attack from The World and All That Is In It when you have cupcakes burning in your oven?! So rude.)

...Annnd, I'm sorry, did I just say something about cooking AND gardening in the same sentence?!

I am growing up so fast.

Oooh! Also! There's this!

(It's the little things.)

*Note: I was the one who deemed dinner a flop. Adam was too nice to say so. What a keeper. ...except, he did make me chill the pie like the recipe instructed which was sooooooooooooo unnecessary because it meant waiting a whole day before digging in. (Okay fine. It was absolutely necessary. But also torture.) Am I still talking about a pie?! Yeesh.



Of what's important and what isn't.

In the form of the cutest couple ever.

Danny and Annie, thanks for putting this crazy world in perspective.

(Hint: you may need a Kleenex. Or twenty.)

p.s. StoryCorps is the coolest. Seriously.


Recipe: Jimbo's (OMG!) Coconut Cream Pie

My dad is not the kind of guy that speaks in all caps but if there's one thing that will tip him towards an OMG! (hilarious image, for those of you that know him)...it's coconut cream pie.

He loves it. Or, in Sara speak, he lu-huuuuuv-es it.

But in dad-speak, it would be more like, "Yeah, that's pretty tasty."

So, in celebration of his recent birthday and his upcoming wedding anniversary, I give you Jimbo's (OMG!) Coconut Cream Pie.

Just my little way of saying thanks for continuing to take care of your little girl and even more, for teaching me a thing or two about hard work, honest words and how to keep a commitment--especially the one that begins with I do.

Love you!

Recipe: Jimbo's (OMG!) Coconut Cream Pie
Thanks to Mary for posting this recipe on Allrecipes.com!  All I added was a few sassy comments...and whipped cream!

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
  • whipped cream (optional, but let's be honest, not really)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt over a medium heat; gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from heat. Note: Don't get nervous and turn up the heat if it doesn't get thick for awhile. This will result in a scorched mess and maybe some tears. Just. keep. stirring.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from whites. Note: I read in Real Simple that an easy way to separate the slippery little yolks from the whites is to use the egg shell (the jagged edge from where you broke the egg). It totally works! ...just make sure you don't get any unwanted shell in the mix. Because...ew. Beat the egg yolks slightly. Gradually stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into yolks. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and bring the entire mixture to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes before removing the pan from heat.
  3. Stir butter, vanilla, and coconut into the hot mixture. Pour the hot filling into the baked pie crust. Cool. Cover and chill to store the pie if not serving immediately. Top with whipped cream unless someone strongly objects. Okay fine, if desired.
  4. Tell your dad he's awesome.



  • Somehow, ideas really seem to take root just by saying them out loud.
  • I don't think I'll ever be too old to think Hmm, I don't know...I think I'll call Mom...
  • Murderous thoughts about the incessantly squawking birds outside our bedroom window. Every morning. Starting at 5:30 a.m. Please feel sorry for me. (Don't worry, I won't act on it.)
  • I am so much nicer when the sun is shining. (Despite the above comment. Totally doesn't count. ...uhh, okay maybe sun shining and birds aren't squawking...?)
  • What a crazy world we live in. Really makes you examine what you hold to be true when everything seems to be spinning so fast, you know?
  • ...how early is too early for Rice Krispies? Never? I'm so glad we understand each other.