Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tote Bags

Another sewing project.  For my college roommates Christmas gifts, I made tote bags.  They turned out good, if I do say so myself.  I ordered the fabric online, and intended to have thicker fabric, but when it came in thin, I didn't have time to send it back.  Here's the tutorial I used to make them and a few pictures!



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Party Time!

Let the Christmas updates begin!  I finally got all of my pictures uploaded, so I'm going to slowly start updating on all of my December/Christmas happenings.  First up is the student ministries leader Christmas party.  Every year the staff puts on a great party for all the leaders.  We had dinner, some assorted entertainment, and fun with friends.  I absolutely love the people I get to serve with, so it was a fun night to hang out with friends!

Katie and her wonderful made-by-Sarah snuggie!


Fun friends!  Jen, Sarah, & Laura.


Sweet Maddie!  She was one of the servers!

Our wonderful entertainment! They were a bit creepy.

Kyla & Lisa - love those girls!

Community Group minus Karla.  Jen, me, Katie, Sarah & Caryn.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Today.  I am back at work after a week off.  I've been skiing with the high school kids from church. 

I've been to my grandparent's house for Christmas.  I've been to College Station for Christmas with Mama's side of the family. There's plenty of pictures and blog posts of all of these things to come.  But today, I'm sitting at my desk sifting through what came in this. 

The papers that will make me an official Certified Public Accountant.  That's right.  It's old news to most, but I passed the last part of my exam.  I am done forever with studying!  Done forever with balancing full-time job, student ministries, friends, AND studying for that gosh awful test!  I'm not sure I ever thought it would be done, but it is.  Praise the Lord!  Literally.  Months ago, while I was studying, my mom sent me these verses.  I've had them taped to my computer monitor ever since. 

May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed. 
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will life up our banners in the name of our God. 
May the LORD grant all your requests. 
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand. 
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.   
                                       Psalm 20: 4-7

I love reading these verses now.  I did shout for joy the morning I got my scores.  I was on ski trip.  It was 5am.  I woke up and pulled the website with the scores up on my iPhone.  When I saw that I had passed, that I was done forever, the tears fell.  Tears of joy, tears of accomplishment, tears of praise to the Lord.  Glory to God - He is good!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You Hold Me Now

We sang this newish to me song at Shoreline on Sunday night.  I absolutely love the words and it was extremely powerful to hear a room full of high school students singing these words. I always love listening to our students worship; it just doesn't get much better than that.  If you have a minute, read the words, and listen (I put a link there at the bottom where you can listen). The words do a great job of putting into perspective what heaven will be and why it's something we should long for.

You Hold Me Now, Hillsong United

On that day when I see
All that You have for me
When I see you face to face
There surrounded by Your grace
All my fears swept away
In the light of Your embrace
Where Your love is all I need
And forever I am free

Where the streets are made of gold
In Your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven
Rise to You alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain, no suffering
You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness, no sick or lame, no hiding
You hold me now, You hold me now

In this life I will stand
Through my joy and my pain
Knowing there's a greater day
There's a hope that never fails
Where Your Name is lifted high
And forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name
I'm believing for the day

Where the wars and violence cease
All creation lives in peace
Let the songs of heaven
Rise to You alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain, no suffering
You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness, no sick or lame, no hiding
You hold me now, You hold me now

For eternity
All my heart will give
All the glory to Your Name

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why oh why...

...must everything so beautiful cost so much money. Exhibit A - Smart Wool tights. I happened upon them when I was out at lunch finishing up my family Christmas shopping. I mean, first of all, I love tights. I like being able to wear skirts and dresses in the winter. Second, I love smart wool. I wear their socks to run in a lot. Everything is so soft, these tights included. But these tights are $44. Yes, I said $44...for tights!!! They are beautiful, soft, and oh so nice. And they are purple. I love them. But I definitely don't think they are worth $44. Sad for now, I'll just dream.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shame of the organzational variety... we all know I'm a nerd.  I think that has been well established.  I'm sure that most of you also know that I love excel and lists.  The list of reasons I'm nerdy has sadly grown by massive proportions this week. I found myself getting a little stressed with everything that needed to be done before I leave for ski trip next Friday.  Yes, a week and a half. And right when I get back I head to Granbury for Christmas with my family.  So all the Christmas shopping and wrapping and sewing has to be done in a week and a half.  SO, amidst the craziness of Christmas parties and everything else going on, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  So, what did I do?  I created an excel spreadsheet.  With a tab for every day between now and when I leave.  Every day has an events section and a "to do" section.  I also have a master To Do list tab so that I can cross things off when they are done.  And a Gifts tab, so that I make sure I get everyone's gift passed out that I need to before I leave.  And a ski trip packing list tab.  I know - it's sad.  But it makes me feel less stressed.  And I feel better now that I have that off my chest!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sewing project time

I'm going to start sharing my sewing projects on the blog as I give them to people.  Just because I spent so much time on them.  And I like them.  This first one was actually Laura's birthday present.  I found the tutorial here. It's a really small purse...I kind of wish it was just a bit bigger, but it turned out well. I was a little proud of myself, seeing that it involved pleats, lining, a pocket, and even a magnetic fastener.  Overall it was pretty easy though, and the tutorial was pretty easy to follow.  And because I just took a photography class last night, and I took these pictures a few days ago, I'm being hyper critical of them, but it's okay.  You'll get the picture.



Monday, December 07, 2009 fabric

I have very much been enjoying the month of December.  I have spent the bulk of it behind my sewing machine.  Or hanging out with friends.  And it has been delightful.  I have pictures, but they will have to wait until after people have received their gifts.  I'm almost done with all of my handmade gifts.  The ones you have to buy at the store, I still need to take care of.  I love Christmas, but I hate the mall in December.  It's awful. 

Yesterday I had my sewing machine set up at our dining room table.  My fabric was everywhere, the iron was plugged in, and there were piles all over the floor.  I notice a couple of cars pull up that I don't recognize.  Turns out, it's a realtor that didn't read that we require a couple of hours notice before the house is shown.  She came to the door pleading with us to let her show the house because the people were driving from "the other side of town" to see the house.  So Julie and I quickly tried to clean up and ran out of the house for the 45 minutes they were there.  I mean, hopefully they are really interested and want to buy it, but just funny that the first time the house has shown in a month came with such drama.  Just have to love it.

There are so many things I want to make right now that I've found as I've been looking for Christmas gift ideas.  I have a growing list of "after Christmas" projects.  Such as...

Freezer Paper Stenciling from MADE.  Not necessarily goldfish pants, but something cute!

And that's just to name a few...I have a problem.  So, hopefully I'll be sewing year round instead of only in December as has been the case the last couple of years!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Things that make me happy...

  • Getting to enjoy our old Sunday night homemade popcorn tradition with my family (minus Deborah) last night.
  • Sewing with Sarah at CityCraft (although, I'm sure we could create a lounge night that rivals the fun we had would most definitely include a Katie dance party).
  • Playing Words With Friends on my iPhone.  It's like scrabble...and you play against your friends (I know, that part was obvious).  I think I have about nine games going right's so addicting.  I love it.  Even when I lose.
  • Enjoying my evenings and relishing the fact that I don't have to's glorious!
  • Making people's Christmas presents.  I love it.  I love sewing and I love giving homemade gifts.  
  • Decorating for Christmas with my family. It is kind of a chore, but it makes me happy too.
  • Signing my parents up for Facebook.  Yes, it's true.  They are there.  It's hilarious. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let it snow...

I love the snow.  I got such a great surprise when I woke up this morning and the snow was falling.  I loved reading that Erin experienced equal joy.  We put up the Christmas decorations and just enjoyed watching the snow fall. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Card Pictures

Always tend to turn to drama in our family. 

Tonight it was my turn to be the dramatic one. 

I didn't realize until later tonight when we got the pictures off the camera that the shirt I was wearing totally washed me out.  I looked a little like a vampire.  Or something.  It wasn't pretty. 

Picking a picture of a group is never easy. 

 If only I was a dog...then pictures of me would always be Callie!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Full Days

My days are full of things other than the blog...

walks with mom

cooking with family

sitting out by the back porch fire pit

trips to the fabric store

sewing some Christmas presents

seeing The Blind Side (I really liked it, by the way)

eating wonderful mexican food

I'm not ready to go back to the real world yet...thankful I have a couple of more days at home!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

I'm so glad Thanksgiving is here.  I love this holiday.  It's one of my favorites.  We all know I love the food.  I love that the family is together.  I love the laid back nature of the holiday.  I love being home.  And really, I have so much to be thankful for.  My family, my friends, my job, my church, my small group girls, I have a roof over my head, I always have food, and more opportunities than I can even count to do what I want to do with my life. 

So for the rest of the week I will be enjoying time with my family in Amarillo.  Tomorrow I will make dressing and we will eat a wonderful meal together.  And I will try and remember that I am lucky to be able to do so.  I'm so thankful that I get to be here and enjoy the holiday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For the Good

At the recommendation of Kristie, I have been listening to the new Shane & Shane album.  I really like it.  One song in particular, For the Good, has lyrics that just seem to be hitting me right where I am.  Particularly words like, "we like to take the blessing from You, shall we not take the trouble to, You are working all things out." I love how the theme of this song lines right up with what I've been learning in my own life in this year and what I've been teaching my girls in 1 Peter about suffering and the things that we will walk through when we choose to follow Christ.  There's no guarantee that it will be easy.  I know I've written about it before, but I love how amidst the hard times and the suffering God is there.  Calling us closer.  Making us more like him.  And teaching us about obedience.  I really like it and I apparently love reinforcement of the things the Lord is doing in my life in the form of song.

For The Good - Shane And Shane

When darkness is surrounding me
by Your Spirit, Lord help me sing
that You are working all things out
Lord, I really need to hear you speak
Remind me in the waiting
that You are working all things out

For the good of those
who are called by You
for the good of those
who are in Love with You
That's why we sing

Holy God of light
I lay down my life
Holy is the Lord
Even in the storm be glorified

We like to take the blessing from You
Shall we not take the trouble too
You are working all things out
We like to take prosperity
Shall we not take the suffering
You are working all things out

Holy are you Lord
even in the storm
be glorified
Worthy of affection

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sewing as it Relates to Life

Guest blog by Lisa (as dictated to Sarah from the sewing machine).

Shout out to Pam! Tonight we made grocery cart covers - which are really just blankets with holes.  Sarah was having a difficult time finding a happy heart as she has had a difficult week with her test, which is fully understandable.  Sarah made a mistake.  And it's okay.  Sometimes we all have difficulty accepting our mistakes.  While we can claim responsibility for them, sometimes it is difficult to see life change in the midst of hardship, but it is the hard things that refine us.

An example of this is Sarah - who had a difficult night with the bobbin.  Sarah, who is admittedly a perfectionist, became frustrated with her stitches and had to undo them, causing her great distress and loss of bobbin thread. [insert commentary from Sarah: I hate seam rippers...with a passion]. Not wanting to see my friend in pain, I came alongside her to devise a plan for reconstruction sans the hated seam ripper.

This resembles life in many ways.  1. When pain happens we want to fix it ourselves. 2. While fixing it can seem like a temporary solution, it is often unnecessary to fix it "in isolation" as Brother Wagner would say.  Clearly the need for community was demonstrated.  Together Sarah and I discovered that we could just cut off the offensive seam, beginning anew. 3.  Q: How many things in our lives should we see as mistakes and use community to repair?

Sarah elected me to do the sewing as she was mad at my machine [which had a problem, it was not her fault].  When discussing having a happy heart and fixing our mistakes without yelling at the seam ripper, Sarah commented on how bad this year has been, to which I dutifully commiserated with.  Because, bloggers, if you don't know, Sarah's had a crappy year.

Side note: my sewing machine has a range of speeds from turtle to rabbit.  Because apparently numbers or the words slow to fast are not appropriate for the average user's intelligence.  Whilst making a bobbin where the "bunny" speed was used I resumed sewing with the presser unknowingly set on the "bunny" speed, which is alarmingly speedy.  Without lightening-like sewing abilities, the "bunny" speed is impossible for the average sewer.

Sarah, my sewing friend, who I invited over one because I enjoy being around her and two, she excels at reading directions, is in self-denial about her sewing skills.  Because of her issues with the seam ripper and previously mentioned comments regarding mistakes, community, and repairing things in our lives, I have asked Sarah to attempt a project fully sewn on the "bunny" speed, which she is afraid to do because of the lack of control.  Then the conversation turned to how much our lives being out of control, perhaps seemingly unfixable, could all be part of a pattern.

And with that, I will make another bobbin await Sarah's "bunny" project.

Stayed tuned for another post from Lisa dealing with not needing to use scrap fabric on the "bunny project" but instead just going for it, as it relates to my life.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Music of Christmas

I tend to fall in the category of people who like to wait until after Thanksgiving to pull out the Christmas music.  I'm a rule follower.  Always have been, probably always will be.  I also like to think that Thanksgiving deserves a spot all it's own.  But I do LOVE Christmas music. And in the spirit of list-making that I've been lately, here are some of my favorite Christmas albums.  Yes, some of them are cheesy, but just embrace it.  It's Christmas!
  • Amy Grant, Home for Christmas
  • Point of Grace, A Christmas Story
  • Jars of Clay, Christmas Songs
  • Sarah McLachlan, Wintersong
  • Steven Curtis Chapman, Music of Christmas
What are the favorites in your collection?  I always love finding new, fun Christmas music!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


  • Test is over!!  As always, I'm not sure how it went.  There were five parts, three of them being multiple choice.  The second part I was sure I was going to fail.  Other than that it was pretty good.  
  • My wonderful parents got me a hotel room last night (my test was over in Fort Worth).  I had a wonderful night relaxing, studying, and enjoying the peace and quiet (and maybe watching the Project Runway finale before I fell asleep last night).  
  • It hasn't hit me yet that I don't have to study tomorrow.
  • I had a great time with friends and my sister at Gloria's tonight. I don't have pictures, hopefully I can get the group picture from Karla and stick it in here later.
  • Tomorrow I plan on sleeping in, watching 90210 on Soap Net (I know, quality), going for a long walk/run at White Rock, relaxing, and going to church. 
  • I could not be more excited about heading home for Thanksgiving.  
  • Today my parents and sister Deborah are at a dear family friend's wedding in Estes Park, Colorado.  I am so sad I couldn't be there.  I hope they took lots of wonderful pictures.  
  • And today has involved a whirlwind of emotions - anxiousness, determination, relief, hope, exhaustion, frustration, and again can I say relief!!
  • And now I'm off to sleep.  Tomorrow is a new day!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Rosa's...will you please move to Dallas?  I know Fort Worth is close, but not close enough.  And I love you so.  If you've never been to Rosa's, if you're ever anywhere near one, you should go.  It's like Taco Cabana, but so much better.  Maybe I'll have to have some over Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why oh Why with some Encouragement

Please, please, please go read this blog post.  It made me laugh out loud.  More than once.

It's about the things that come up when you start typing "why..." in google.  I'm sure that google does it for the humor, or something like that.  but I find it amusing.

One another note, I love my community group.  Yes, I've said it before. Tonight they spent part of our evening praying for me and for my test Saturday and reading scripture over me.  I just happen to think they are the greatest.  They are a huge part of the support that has gotten me through this year.  I walked into community group feeling super weary and exhausted and left feeling energized and encouraged.  I love you girls!

On the way home, I had my ipod on shuffle.  The Needtobreathe song that came on didn't hit me until it got to the chorus and these words came at me, "Lift up your head, look out the window, 'cause it's almost over now."  And I feel like that's true.  Saturday is almost here, and I'm facing it with optimism that this is the end. 

Almost there!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Thoughts on Dressing

I am sitting on my couch.  I have dressing in the oven for a work Thanksgiving potluck tomorrow. 

How on earth is it already Thanksgiving? I'm pretty sure just yesterday I was sitting here doing the same thing for last year's potluck.

Making dressing makes me think of Mama.  She taught me how to make it.  It was the thing we made together every Thanksgiving since I decided I wanted to learn how. 

Growing up my mom would let us choose our meal for our birthday dinner.  You could almost always bet that I would pick turkey and dressing.  I was quite a pain of a little child.  But I guess no more difficult than Deborah's fried quail.  I mean, someone had to go out and kill those!

Oh, dressing.  Thanksgiving.  Fall.  The Holidays.  I love it all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This could change my life...

Okay, so maybe that's a little dramatic, but seriously.  I just switched from the old editor to the "Updated Editor" in the blogger settings and I think I really like it.  Not exactly what I should be messing around with right now, but it looks like it's going to make pictures easier to upload and move around, and THERE IS AN UNDO BUTTON! (it's the little things in life).  And it's pretty.  Because that's what really matters. The only thing I can't seem to find is the spell check, and that could definitely be an issue. Anyway, if you're a blogger, you might want to check it out!

Just so like me.

This semester with my high school small group girls we are studying 1 Peter. I have absolutely loved digging into this book. Teaching and coming up with small group lessons every week would be what I consider the most challenging part of leading these girls. It's not my area of gifting.

So, last week, as I'm preparing for small group, it hits me. Kyle (my college pastor) went through 1 Peter verse by verse for a whole semester while I was in college. I have a journal full of in depth notes just on this book. Are you kidding me?! Really? I could have had a little help along the way with this whole teaching thing?

Some might say (or have said) that it's probably been good for me to have not realized I had it and had to struggle through on my own. And I know it's true. Out of the comfort zone is always a good place to be, but I will say that I have been super thankful for that little 1 Peter journal from my college days the last couple of weeks. I have been slammed with studying, and it has been wonderful to pull some knowledge from one of my favorite teachers that I have ever sat under.

So there you have it, another scatter-brained Sarah moment!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I'm Looking Forward To...

  • First, and probably most obviously, my test being finished. Five days in case anyone is counting.
  • And Gloria's with friends the night after my test!
  • Thanksgiving with my family. I'm so excited to be home with everyone.
  • Going to lounge night at CityCraft with the girls. I haven't even been to the store yet, but I hear it's amazing.
  • Along the same lines, I am very much looking forward to working on all the homemade Christmas gift ideas I have floating around in my head!! There are so many different things I would LOVE to be working on right now. It's taking all my willpower to study and not bust out my sewing machine!
  • The photography class that I signed up for in December!
  • Ski trip with my high school girls. I know I have at least a couple of my girls going and it should be a blast!
  • And the tour of families Christmas vacation. Actual Christmas with my grandparents and Dad's side of the family. The day after Christmas with all of Mama's siblings and their families (an annual tradition that we haven't gotten to be a part of in quite a few years), and then New Year's weekend with my immediate family.
I'm looking forward to all of these things. They are keeping me going as I push through five more days of studying.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New(ish) Music

I always love to hear what other people are listening to. I just love music. I love how fun it is and how a certain song can link to a certain memory. I just love music. So, here is some of the music that I've recently purchased.

1. Sara Watkins, Sara Watkins

2. You Deliver Me, Selah
3. The Outsiders, Needtobreathe

4. Fiction Family, Fiction Family

5. Church Music, David Crowder Band

6. Love, Save the Empty, Erin McCarley

What are you listening to that you love right now?