Monthly archives of “July 2011

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my new (old thing)


i already had a sugar container, but this vintage one was so much more fun, so i bought it, for £2. i love a good vintage deal!

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my all-time favourite

a beautiful, melancholy song for sad days

like i have mentioned recently, on bad days, music gets me through when not much else does. today, i am feeling really homesick. a few dashed hopes of a summer visit to the states have left me feeling more homesick than ever. it stinks to be this far away from the people and homeland i love.

so of course, when i am missing the great planes of oklahoma and the amazing skies of texas, i listen to caedmon’s call, a band from the south that has been my comfort and favourite for 14 years now. their music and lyrics taught me about god when i first decided to walk with jesus, i learned how to harmonise listening to danielle sing. they are the reason i started playing guitar. but the biggest attraction was their authenticity. they always felt to me like they had fought through the malaise of church culture and found an authentic faith, something i craved in those first days, and still do.


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the thing about creativity


…it’s not just about art.

now, i love art and am married to an artist. so, this is NOT at all a diss on fine-art! just an encouragement for those who maybe are not fine-artists and, as a result, have felt un-creative.

for the non-artist, art can feel very intimidating. or at least it did to me. and when you feel intimidated, it is easy to leave creativity to the fine-artists and only value that creativity which is museum or revenue worthy. i find this so sad because then, those who do not have a specific, artistically creative expression can feel as though they are not creative. and it is simply not true!

in the beginning god created the heavens and the earth. he is a creator. we are made in his image. we are all made to create. whether its art, or spreadsheets, or strategies, or cooking, or music, or dance, or re-doing things or craft.

what about creating joy in others by our sense of humour?! or creating a peaceful atmosphere with our prayer life? creating community by our inclusiveness? creating confidence by mothering or fathering in a loving way? creating new limbs with our faith, businesses with our intelligence? creating safe atmospheres for people through our excellence in organisation?!

creativity is not just about art. and i want to shout it from the mountains because this is a lie i have believed for such a long time. (and, incidentally, a soapbox i have been on for a while so please do forgive me!)

i have a challenge for us: let’s all try to notice the beauty in un-typically creative things over the next week. for example, i love seeing a friend happy again through creating a safe and loving environment. or how about creating an atmosphere where people can connect? thats why i love coffee shops. they are hubs that foster community. the results, i am sure, will inspire you. (and do, please, share in the comments as well!)

i think that we are all creative in our own unique ways because our daddy is creative and he made us like him. let’s start recognising it in ourselves and those around us and get creating! the world will be so much cooler and prettier for it!!

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wake up you mother!


so, i have been doing a lot of posts about everyday life as me, and some about living deliberately and of course, as per my blog title, i’m on a mission to–say it with me everyone–stay awake!

well, there is one part of me, that for the life of me i cannot wake up. can you guess? ok, i’ll tell you. my freaking post-baby abs. yea. sound asleep. so asleep in fact that they have been shirking their ‘girdle’ responsibilities for years and my back is now in a really bad state. and is, quite frankly, not happy about it. so, to punish my abs, my back has decided to pinch my sciatic nerve in a desperate, last ditch effort to get the support it needs.

it is not nice. i have had enough. so, what thoreau will do for the mind and the bible for the heart, so pilates–we hope!!–will do for my tummy.

my first class was tonight. hardly moved. certainly didn’t break a sweat. but, i have been told this is ok and that ‘these things take time’.

did i detect some stirrings? or have my abs once again hit the snooze button? only tomorrow will tell.

nighty night!

UPDATE: due to much interest, here are the details for my pilates instructor. teresa is amazing. encouraging, challenging and a specialist in post-natal core strengthening. she has come highly recommended and after one personal (free!!!) session and one class, i am sold.

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england, you are so good to me


a while back i decided to start making a list of things i love about england. today, i love that, every so often, you get a week that looks like this! no boiling heat, no aweful humidity. just gorgeous, pleasant to be in, sunshine. well, ok, a few scattered clouds, but it’s england. they have to maintain their brand. sheesh!

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project potty training




i have been dreading this since before i even had kids. no exaggeration. but several weeks of false starts and a few external factors conclude that it, in fact, is time. sam’s about as thrilled as i am. so to boost our excitement i (thanks to some fab advice from friends) have created some incentives.

first, we pimped his potty. for my cars loving boy, a lame, white, plastic potty becomes a finn mcmissile potty!! complete with cars meanie, professor z, inside for sam to ‘shoot to kill’ with his wee. all very exciting.

second, a sticker chart. a wee, a poo and a good try all get a sticker. and ten stickers buys a new car from the shops.

third, an interactive lesson from daddy.

fourth, a week at home in the sun, in the garden, naked, so it all sinks in fast.

sam and i are both nervous. we had a little pray together this morning that we would have fun and chill out.

here’s hoping!!

i would love to hear your potty training stories and tips! i am sure they will both encourage and entertain us all!

love sarah

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an experiment

my to do list today included cleaning the house, baking a cake for our sweet friend malachi, who is turning one this week, and doing lots of laundry. a day at home to be sure. and i was feeling daunted all day about how in the world i was going to bake that cake with the kids around. i mean, i knew it would got done. but how would we all stay sane and have fun in the process? or more to the point how could i do it without losing my rag with the kids?

answer: planned mess

it worked. the cake is in the oven as i type, the kitchen has been tidied up by myself AND sam (rae contributed by keeping us entertained in her seat) and i only got mildly frustrated when sam repeatedly stuck his licked fingers in the batter. sorry mali, good thing heat kills germs!

the icing on the cake (oh dear please excuse pun!!) was that this planned messy cooking time used up almost two hours of our day!! a fabulous time filler in the wait for daddy’s return.

how do you get jobs done with your kids around? does it help to include them or do you find it stresses you out more than merely trying to distract them while you work? due to richard’s new job and longer hours i am experimenting with this so i would love to hear your thoughts!

love sarah

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don’t fear

i am back again with the honey trees. i am obsessed. their creativity and use of sound is inspiring, their personal style enviable and their lyrics, well, they rock my life. i mean, their album is called, wake the earth. need i say more?!

this song is particularly amazing. i have copied the lyrics below.

don’t fear. the honey trees.

You saw it fall like the rain, oh
and my soul longs to see your face, oh
come, oh sun, come light up our eyes, oh
come, oh sun, come wake up our souls

you saw it fall like the rain, oh
and my soul longs to see your face, oh
come, oh sun, come light up our eyes, oh
come, oh sun, come wake up our souls

you said you’re scared, but i’ll catch you
if you fall, don’t fear, i’m right here

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so it’s official



yes, that is a knit boob. read on. i will explain!*

today is a momentous day. they day i get to tick the first thing off of my dream list!!!!

if you don’t know about dream lists and active dreaming, please stay tuned. i am literally leaving my house after i finish this post to go listen to a talk on dreaming, so i am sure i will have lots more to share. but to keep it short (cause i am running late!), a dream list is quite simply a list of all of your dreams…bet you didn’t see that coming. the dreams can range anywhere from wanting to take a beach vacation with your husband sans kids, screaming from a rooftop, or writing a book. they can be spiritual, trivial, mundane and fantastic. and compiling this list of dreams, whatever they may be is a sure fire way to stay awake and live deliberately. so of course, i am all for it!

anyway, back to today. today, i received my certificate of qualification as a breastfeeding peer supporter with the breastfeeding network. i could not be more excited about what this means. the dream was this: to help women who want to breastfeed succeed at, and enjoy, breastfeeding for as long as they choose to do it. as of today, i am now qualified, in a small capacity, to do this. if there are glaring medical problems or complications with feeding that exceed my knowledge, i can find the woman suitable support. but as for the everyday woman who just needs that little bit of confidence and empowerment in the (almost) lost art of breastfeeding. i, my friends, can do it! officially!

step one: undertake the ever so satisfying task of checking the first dream off my list as completed.

step two: call the hospital and find out if they need any volunteers on the postnatal ward and get going!

*oh yea. the knit boob. we were each given one as part of our course! i mean, how else are we supposed to show the right technique when the BfN has an (appropriate!) ‘hand’s off’ approach?! duh! knit breasts! you know you all want one too. sam calls it mommy’s special ball. ahahaha!

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what gets you through


it has been a little crazy the past week or so. richard started a new job. sam is going through a growth spurt and rae is teething.

the new job is in cambridge. it is such a blessing and we are so thankful. it does mean, however, that richard’s commute has been increased by about 20 minutes either side of the day. so my day alone with the kids has been extended by almost an hour. it doesn’t sound like much when i write it down, but, in the morning, that’s my ‘kid-less’ shower and getting ready time, and in the evening, well, its the evening. one minute longer without daddy in the evening when we are all tired feels like an hour. plus, richard is tired and worn out from the adjustment and commute, so he needs more of me. and sam’s growth spurt means he is never full and super tired and probably in pain, hence some crank. and well, we all know what the teething does.

it is not bad, just a change that needs adjusting to. and that always takes time.

what keeps me going is creative inspiration, worship, good music and sweet conversations with friends. and today, reading this post from katie over at skunkboy creatures has helped me feel not so alone. we may have never met, and may live across an ocean from each other, but it is comforting to know i am not the only one having ‘that’ week.

what do you find gets you through. what keeps you alive and hopeful when your week throws you a curve ball?

here’s to getting through still smiling!

sarah xo