Kicking it old school!

Hello rosy friends! I've sort of been hoarding my photos and words, keeping them tucked into my mind and on my camera.  Sometimes I feel pressure to only post my "big camera" photos seeing as I am a photographer.  But, this post is just as real life as those.  I keep it old school with my trusty iPhone 5 (I hear they're on 10 now!) and it hasn't let me down yet.  Better yet, it can easily tuck into my back pocket, leaving my hands free for my baby.  

The past couple of weeks I've had fun including some new recipes, adventures, and decorating ideas into my schedule, just little snippets here and there.  First, is this old-school bulletin board. 

You all know I simply adore Pinterest! It is seriously like taking a mini mental vacation for me.  But there's still just something about tearing pages out of magazines and keeping them to flip through.  I am totally a magazine gal.  Have been for years.  This week I took this thrifted bulletin board, tacked up some of my magazine tear-outs, and last, added some screen shot pics from my phone.  Totally getting inspiration off my phone and into my real life.  I feel so inspired every time I walk past this! 


Wondering where I put the bulletin board? This is a hint. A couple weeks ago I went looking for a desk.  The amount of paperwork I have right now for three kids (and one a foster kiddo) is kind of staggering.  It never ends.  I have a dresser I use as a stand-up desk but wanted somewhere else to actually sit occasionally.  Okay, so sit in the evenings because there is hardly any sitting during the day. I scoured our local thrift stores and was so let down.  Maybe it's just the trendy factor of NWA, but junky desks were at least $75, minimum! Ummmm.....no. 

Very last minute on my way home after far too long looking, I stopped in the local Salvation Army store and saw this beauty.  I immediately knew I wanted it, already picturing it painted a different color.  It came with a ginormous dresser and mirror that were totally gorgeous, but not needed in my home. I asked if they would only sell me this piece and they said yes! I purchased it for $39.
Here's the after! :) I just love it. 
What you can't see in the "before" photo is a layer of bad looking contact paper on the top of the desk. I scraped that off, sanded the desk, and then used spray-paint on it. Ideally I would have purchased a very nice paint and spent a long time redoing the desk.  However, my life just doesn't allow for that and the spray paint worked awesome! 
Desk total: $47
I've also been doing this pattern with my health: Eat awesome, exercise, drink water, repeat.  Hit the weekend and struggle to keep it up. Then back on the healthy stuff.  (sigh) I really am trying so hard to stay motivated and this week have totally had HIGH energy levels and a clear mind, gut, and moods, all because of my healthy eating and drinking enough water.  I'm telling myself to keep it up this weekend, even when there are more foods to distract me.  Anyone relate? 

Here's how I'm staying motivated: 
Food prep! I've mentioned this a thousand times on the blog, but it is a game-changer for me.  I prepped these salads above and made a super yummy avocado dressing to go on top.  Lunch today for me will be easy! The fridge also has: dairy-free alfredo, roasted sweet potatoes, frittata, avocado, and soft-boiled eggs.

Water: My goal is to drink a gallon a day.  So realistically here's how I make that happen: I get up and have a mug of warm lemon water first, then 32 ounces of water BEFORE coffee even.  Then another 32 ounces of water before lunch.  That leaves two more 32 ounce bottles to drink the second half of the day, which is always more of a struggle for me because there is just so much to do, chore and kid-wise.  And TMI, but yes, I'm in the bathroom a ton drinking this much water but my skin, body, and head (headaches are gone!) feel amazing.  So it's worth it. 

I also really love following motivating people on IG. 
Current faves: 

https://www.instagram.com/nataliecreates/
(she has been sharing a lot in her IG stories)

https://www.instagram.com/candacecbure/

https://www.instagram.com/kirastokesfit/
(This trainer is RIPPED, way more fit looking than I'll ever be! However she shares many, many workout moves and videos you can do at home with little to no equipment! So helpful!)

Long story short-there really are a few food groups that just do NOT settle well with my stomach and head and gut at all.  This might sound like the trend everyone is on when I tell you what they are, but it's so true.  Dairy, sugar, and too many carbs are all a recipe for disaster for me.  Also, not drinking enough water makes me crave food (junky usually) more so water is so essential again to my days.  

This week instead of our weekly quiche I made a frittata, eliminating the cheese and crust of a typical quiche.  Everyone liked it! Even my picky eater! I even snuck some squash and peppers in there. ;) 


Here is another recipe we all love, from a favorite blogger Minimalist Baker. 
You can google "dairy-free alfredo, minimalist baker" and find this complete recipe.  You guys, my kids LOVE alfredo and I do too, until an hour or so after. Then I just deal with the worst tummy issues from all the cheese and cream cheese and pasta.  So, I've been making this instead and all three of my kiddos gobble it up.  They eat it on regular pasta and I eat it on top of roasted sweet potato. Mostly because I haven't learned to use my spiralizer yet.
 Other simple joys the past week or two have been the warmer weather! Although I admit I am starting to give up on a snow day. BUT, we've been on the farm and down to the creek several times already and my goodness how wonderful it feels. 
 The light is just so magical, even when the surrounding area is just so brown.  The kids like to throw rocks in the water and try to break the ice that occasionally still hangs around. In warmer months they are allowed to get in and play!

Beauty can be found almost anywhere.  

 In my happy place.
We've also been exploring our local parks some! Last week we ventured off the beaten path at a park and discovered a waterfall.  The girls were so thrilled! Of course, I am back on a mission to find heart rocks everywhere I go. 
I've been trying to not let my life and schedule rule me, but instead still slow down enough to look for moments of beauty, joy, and wonder in my day-to-day.  These little rainbows were just that.
Other things I'm enjoying lately: 
Our drives to school in the mornings
Mint tea+almond milk+milk frother in the evenings
Say Something by Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton
The Greatest Showman soundtrack
Candles burning
Wood-burning fires
Garden talk
Planning for camping
TV (haven't felt the desire for reading or podcasts lately...nothing deep or heavy needed here!)
real-life friends

How about you? 




Sinking hearts, silliness and smiles.



My toes and fingers are cold as I'm writing this, the winter wind whipping around outside, reminding me that the tease of warm weather we had was just that, a tease.  No spring yet, although we're close. The light is seeping into the evenings later and I find myself breathing a quiet sigh of relief that we've made it once again through the darkest part of the year.  Surely for us to fully appreciate the light, we must also have the dark.  
Our days aren't necessarily what I would call dark, although the light does like to play hide-and-seek with us on more days than others.  My weeks are consumed with not only our three precious children and running a home, but also with the world of DHS, questions almost everywhere I go about our foster care life (most of which I cannot answer), and too many trips in the car to even want to think about.  There are certainly little parts of our life and story right now that I hold in my hand and don't know what to do with or how to summon up a rosy attitude.   Foster care does come with a lot of extra responsibility and paperwork and more emotions than one can wrap their head around in a day.  It also comes with agreements that the stories of the precious lives involved aren't shared, for obvious reasons.  This has made it tricky for me to know how to share much of anything, leaving many thinking our new life is a piece of cake based off the lack of hearing anything different. 

It isn't a piece of cake.  Foster parents must be the toughest, most kind, stubborn, loving people in the world.  I am convinced of it.  I would also say the same of the tribe that surrounds each foster family, and oh how I hope and pray each has a tribe! We certainly do.  I have a couple of really close friends that lean in close and see how I'm really doing. I have a mom and dad who ask questions, love on our family, and offer healthy amounts of encouragement.  We have a church family that fully supports foster families, several couples older than us even showing us how they thrived as a foster family in their younger years.  
I have missed you, dear readers.  You too, are my tribe.  There is so much I wish I could share with you about this season and when I mention music, cooking, photography, and all the "easier" topics it's only because the deeper, raw stories of my life are tucked away on my laptop for now.  They simply aren't mine to share.  If you have questions in general about foster care though, please feel free to ask! 

I read a quote by a fellow Instagrammer this week about poking holes in the dark to let the light through.  My, how that has stuck with me.  It is simply just so true.  We do have such power, don't we?  I want to leave you with a few paragraphs from the sacred words tucked on my laptop.  Something to think about over the weekend.  While you ponder these words I'll be puttering around the farm and my home, sitting amongst my church family and teaching Sunday school beside Brett, holding Brett's hand and letting our marriage be the focus on date night, quietly clicking when a moment of life stops me in my tracks and makes my hands reach for my camera. 

"The ridiculous, silly, beautiful are necessary to balance the hard, the behind-the-scenes, the daily grind of being called to care.  When life and emotions go deep, we go dreamy.  When hearts sink, we lean towards silly and smiles.  When souls are crushed, we crave the corny.  For in laughter, something catching us by surprise, humor, silly shenanigans, fun just for the fun of it, we feel our power being strengthened. Maybe we don’t even know it’s happening.  A laugh can carry us for days, traces of the sound drifting on the wind, like music to our ears.  A laugh can feel like breathing hope, because most of us breathe deep after laughing.  It makes our eyes crinkle, lightens our heart, although maybe not our load.  It feels that way though doesn’t it?"
(written by me)

This is my greatest show. (favorites from 2017)

 "It's everything you ever want, 
it's everything you ever need. 
And it's here right in front of you."
































 "This is where you wanna be."
"This is the greatest show."

My favorites from 2017, that reduce me to a puddle of smiles, tears, big gulps, claps, and sighs. 
Now booking both farm and in-home photography sessions for 2018. 
Email sunshinebysara@hotmail.com


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