Goodbye to a GREAT year!

one of my favorite years of my life.

I made so many changes.  Did so much growing up.  I realized finally that I am have to live for myself.  I need to make myself HAPPY before I can truly make other happy.  That is the hardest thing for me to do.  I am still growing and changing, but its all for the better.  I will be the best me at 30 and well into my 30s and beyond.  Many women are afraid to hit the big 3-0, but I am really excited!

I LOST 53.8 POUNDS!!!!!!!
I changed my relationship with my mother
I became a better photographer
Built a new house!
I resigned from a job that I was bored with
I pushed myself, gained confidence and went for a job I really wanted...and got it!
I grew my relationship with both of my sisters
I gained a brother and was officiant at my sisters wedding (huge public speaking fear overcome!)
I grew my relationship with my in-law side of the family
I became closer with my entire extended family (on my dad's side)

You know, it all changed for me because of a song.  I am a big lover of country music, but not the twangy, blue grass style stuff.  The more modern, country.  This song really hit me and makes me cry every time I hear it.

Miranda Lambert - The House That Built Me
I know they say you cant go home again.
I just had to come back one last time.
Ma'am I know you don't know me from Adam.
But these handprints on the front steps are mine.
And up those stairs, in that little back bedroom
is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar.
And I bet you didn't know under that live oak
my favorite dog is buried in the yard.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
if I could just come in I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

Mama cut out pictures of houses for years.
From 'Better Homes and Garden' magazines.
Plans were drawn, concrete poured,
and nail by nail and board by board
Daddy gave life to mama's dream.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could just come in I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am.

I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here its like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could walk around I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.

I really can't quite explain it.  Not well, anyway.  I just have always felt disconnected from my family.  My mom and I never got along, and I always felt like I didn't belong in my family.  Really, I was just unhappy with myself.  Now that I have felt true happiness with making changes in myself, I still don't have a relationship with my mom, but I do have an amazing mother-in-law that fills in more than 100% where my mom leaves off.  My husbands grandparents are amazing, his Grandma shows me more love than my mom has ever begun to show me in my lifetime.  Its sad if I think about it, but at the same time, it makes me realize how lucky I am.  Some people never have that in life.  I could sit and dwell on how bad my relationship is with my mom, but it is what it is, it will never change and I have accepted it for that.

So, I wish you all an amazing 2011.  I know I am looking forward to even more amazing things happening for me!  If 2010 was this great, I can't wait for what 2011 holds!

Happy New Year!

Grandma & Grandpa's 60th!

Alan's Grandparents celebrated their 60th Anniversary on 09.18.10!
We had a little party for them on the 12th of September at Alan's parents house.
Here are a few pictures from that great family gathering....

Cornhole fun with Tyler, Dad, Scott, Jason & Alan

More Cornhole Fun!

Cooper gets in on the action!

Jaime and Tyler 

Jaime and Tyler

Alan, the cook; Cooper plays with Jaime and Grandma

The kiddos

Scott, Jaime and Tyler

Grandma cuts the cake
You can see all of my pictures here.


Im off this week.
I am going to get all of my pictures caught up.
No matter what!
I finally finished August.
I am in September.

Here is my little son pup!

Cooper Dog!

so thankful....

My emotions have been all over the place recently with the passing of my Grandfather.  I came upon Curious Georgi's blog and was inspired to follow along and do a top 10 list of things I am thankful for to try and kick my blues and gear me up for the amazing festivities that are happening starting today.

Thankful Thursday

1. My Husband.  Without Alan, I can honestly say I have no idea where I would be in this life.  He keeps me grounded.  He keeps me believing in all that is great in our life.  I'm sure I could eventually figure out how to handle it on my own, but it would never be the same.  He is such an amazing partner and best friend and I couldn't ask for anyone better to spend the rest of my life with. 

2. My Family.  I have such an crazy, insane family.  But, we work.  No matter what, I know I can always call my sisters, my brother-in-law, my Dad, Aunt, Uncle, cousins, Grandma, etc and they will be there to support me in the blink of an eye.  Same goes for Alan's family.  Hell, same goes for my brother-in-laws family.  They would do anything for me.  It is truly amazing and I am so blessed to have each and everyone of them in my life.

3. My Friends.  I am not the type of person to have a million friends.  Not even a hundred.  Just a few will do me good.  I would do anything in the world for them, and they the same for me.  I am so thankful for each and everyone of them and the little tiny things they do to brighten my life.

4. Cooper!  I never, in my life, thought you could love an animal so insanely much!  He is the total definition of complete unconditional love (besides my husband!)  He always knows when I've had a rough day and need extra attention or extra cuddles. 

5. Home.  We were so blessed to be able to build a brand new home this year.  We finally made the decision to stay in Canton, move out of my dad's house and get our own place.  We began looking at used homes, and couldn't find what we were looking for in our price range.  We went through a model home for fun, and found that it actually fit our budget very well.  I feel so blessed that it all has worked out and we have such a lovely place that we can call home.  Especially in this freezing cold weather when people do not have a roof over their heads.

6. Health.  I am so incredibly thankful for my health.  I never take it for granted anymore.  Back in March 2002 I had a huge scare and *almost* died.  I had a blood clot in my brain and my body completely shut down.  I was saved by the amazing medical doctors at Cleveland Clinic.  Mostly by a lot of faith, hope and prayer.  Every second of every day I remember that I could not be alive at this moment. 

7. 2010.  It was a year of HUGE personal growth.  I started seeing a therapist.  I lost 53 pounds.  I quit resigned from my job.  I began a new career.  I no longer let my mother have control over my life or happiness.  I don't speak to any of my mom's side of the family any longer.  I truly live my life every day.  I see and experience things like never before.  live. laugh. love.

8. Faith.  I grew up in the Lutheran Church.  I was forced to go, had no choice in the matter.  This lead to me not wanting to be there.  I took quite a long break from any type of church because I felt like I didn't belong.  I felt like I didn't fit in.  Felt judged.  Alan and I joined a LifeGroup this fall and the experience has been amazing.  While my personality doesn't exactly mesh with a person in the group, overall, its been great.  It is leading to me wanting to get back into church and feeling the need to get closer with God.  Especially after losing my Grandpa.  I've always been a believer, just doubted the way people acted.  I think I just need a different place to worship.  I am so thankful for the amazing friends I have made in this group and thankful that I have a faith to believe in.

9. My Career. The city in which I work (Akron, OH) was named the #1 worst place in the US to find a job.  I am so thankful that I have a job, let alone recently was hired into an amazing new job!  I am still learning and growing, but 2011 is going to be amazing for me at work!

10. The Little Things. Starbucks Mistos. Diet Coke. Lattes. iPods. music. palm trees. books. lotion. flip flops. cruises. vacation. beaches.  I am thankful that I can afford to have the little things in life that do make me happy.  I know they aren't necessary and I really do try to limit the amount I spend on them.


Me with Grandma and Grandpa Beggs in 1981

The Family in 1996 on Grandma & Grandpa's 50th Wedding Anniversary!

I really need to focus on taking more pictures of people.
I am have been participating in P365 but my focus is still life.
I need to be taking more family photos.

He was such a great man

I lost my grandpa on Thursday.
He passed away.
We don't really know what happened.
He fell in the bathroom at his home.
My Grandma found him laying unconcious.
Called 911.
Rushed the the hospital in an ambulance.
They did everything they could, but he was gone before they even left the house.

Hes gone.  Hes in such a better place.  He is my angel now.

He was such an amazing man.

He raised 3 amazing children.
Such a wonderful family I am so blessed to be a part of.
It became so clear to me as I sat at my Uncle's house on Friday evening.
My Uncle was carrying on as my Grandpa used to do.
Telling story after story, with my Aunt (his wife) making fun and flapping her hand as if it was his mouth.
Dads blank stare as he is in deep thought.
Grandma completely lost in her confusion.

You can see so much of Grandpa in Uncle Dave and Dad.
Even in Evan, my cousin.
It is truly amazing.

As horrible as it was and is to lose him, it was so great to see our family come together in support of one another.
At the church for the funeral, we all smashed into the front two pews.
First pew being Grandma and her children, second being all the grandchildren.
We are such a STRONG family.

I did this reading at the funeral.....following my Uncle Dan's of the toughest|bravest things I have had to do in my life thusfar....

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

This is the first Grandparent that I have lost.
They say the strongest go first.
I will always have fond memories of this amazing man.
It will be so easy to remember him because of the wonderful family he created.

little goodbyes

Yesterday was rough.
I had to say goodbye to 3 years and 4 months of a great job.
I spent a good part of my "life" there.
A part of finding myself.
I made a lot of changes at this company.
I found myself.
I came out of my shell.
I made a TON of new friends whom I will love and cherish forever.
All good things must come to an end.

I am moving on to bigger and better.
I will never forget all the great moments.
I know I will go back and visit and still keep in touch with those I truly care about most.

I am really ready for my next step though......
I start my new career on Monday!

Bring it on!  :)
If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got.

Well, I have made some huge life changes lately.  Beyond just the amazing weight loss and going to see a therapist and removing the drama of my mom from my life.......I have now resigned from my job!  Crazy, I know!  There are many reasons why....many petty, selfish reasons, but the really big reason is that I start my new career path on December 6th!

I was offered a position doing something I love again.  Its an actual career.  A great career move.  It will put me in a wonderful position to learn and grow and ultimately succeed.

It took a lot of courage for me to resign.  This is actually only my second job in my life.  I left my first only because the store closed.  I am going to miss all of my co-workers dearly, even though I can't stand them some days.  Life moves on though and I will be better for this decision.  I am very excited for my new life and all the great things happening for me right now!


I weighed in today and lost 4.2 pounds this week.....

I rock!

I have now lost 49.6 pounds total :) WOOHOO!!!!


I am really looking forward to the holidays this year!!!!!!

For the first time in about 5 years....the first time in my MARRIED life....I am finally able to do what I want....

which means....I will actually be "present" at all the holidays.
I will not be getting drunk before everyone arrives just to make it through (not that I had a problem or anything!)

I feel so happy!
I feel so relieved!

I am so happy that I finally made the choice to go to therapy.
It has done wonders and I am only 4 sessions in.

I really take on all of my family problems and worries...but not anymore!

I am free!!!!


lead with the U[gly] move on to the not-so B[ad] and end with the G[ood]!

* I gained .6 pounds this week :(

not-so Bad
* I have still lost 42.2 pounds overall

* I am down to a size 18!!!!

Ok, so really...the not so bad really falls under GREAT and so does the my GBU is really not even a good layout. The point is...I am still doing really well. The gain this week is probably just a result of the HUGE loss I had last week. I am still on track and sticking to plan. I will have a loss this week though!

praying mantis


really cool pic from the beginning on August.....
one day I will get caught up on my daily pics!



this is my 2+ year old Goldendoodle Cooper :)


gotta love it.
it is so eye opening.
it makes me feel so much better.
i have a plan.


amazing week!!!!

i lost 4.2 freakin pounds this week which brings my total to 42.8!!!!

you stole my happy

i want it back!

how the hell do you figure out what makes you happy?????


I mean, I know my husband and my puppy make me happy....but what else really makes me happy????

i seriously believe she stole my happy!

oh...and I have to work on "emotionally detaching" myself from some situations...aka my fam.


"Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden opportunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all. You were not born to fail." --Og Mandino

You Capture - Autumn

I was actually sad that this wasn't the theme just a week earlier because I had some amazing fall shots.....
but this was the best I could do with short notice (because I didn't check the theme until late in the week...uhoh!)
Oh...and I've taken a HUGE break from You Capture....but I am back!

This is looking out my back door.  It was a gorgeous, peaceful fall morning and the lighting was just perfect.
Its a busy road, so I couldn't get a shot without cars :(

But, I still like it.

And, I am improving.

Go check out the other amazing entires!


7 weeks to go!

There are 7 weeks til Christmas.......
I really thought that I was going to gain this week.
It was a rough one.
I've been sick.
I was put on steroids for bronchitis which can actually cause weight gain.
I haven't been feeling hungry at all, so I actually thought I was eating too much.

I lost 2.8 this week.

so, that brings my total to 38.6!
pretty cool, huh?
I am really excited about it.
I actually can't believe it.
I can't believe I've stuck with it.
I've done "diets" before.
Never lasted this long.
In just 17 weeks, I am lost almost 40 pounds!
Its just crazy!

I am very happy with my success.
7 weigh in's until Christmas and I am sure I will hit my 50!
I only need 1.62/week to do it.

The real craziness is that its only 7 weeks until Christmas!!!!


HUGE smiles

I had to retire a pair of work pants.
They were just entirely too baggy.
I mean, they were bad.
I could take them completely off without unbuttoning, even fresh out of the dryer.
Yea.  That bad.
They were a size 24.
(Told ya I was kinda a big girl!)
Today, I went to the big girl store....Lane Bryant and bought a new pair of khakis in a size.....
This means that I only have to go down 3 more sizes and I can shop in a normal girl store :)
Then it will be HUMONGOUS smiles all around!
That is one of my biggest non-scale victories that I can't wait to accomplish...but for now, I will take this one!

good week

down another 3!!!

35.8 lost!

Which leaves me with 14.2 to go by Christmas.  8 weeks to do it in.  That is less than 2 pounds a week.  It is definitely more than do-able.  I have no doubts....I will do it.  I am going to do it.  The sad thing is, I saw my little sister last night, and she didn't even notice.  I mean, come on.....really?

Oh well.  It doesn't matter.  I just have to keep telling myself that.  IT DOESN"T MATTER!
It does though....because I do want people to notice the hard work I am doing.  Why don't they?
It's because I am so heavy.  But my face has thinned clothes are fitting looser, they are baggy.  I really need to buy smaller sizes.  Hopefully by the time people are home for Christmas I will fit into a couple sizes smaller and it will be a little more noticeable...but it really shouldn't matter.  These people are too wrapped up in themselves anyway.  I feel good about me.  Thats what should really matter.  Not what others see...what I see.  And I see good!

This week I am going to challenge myself to get up early just 1 day and go to the gym.  I really want to get back to it, but I know that I will overwhelm myself if I do too much too I will start with 1 day and build.  I want to get back to my LOVE for the gym.  I had it for a minute and then lost it.  I let life get in the way.  Not anymore :)

How Well do You Roll with the Punches?

Change is the natural order of the world. When something tries to stand against the force of change, it's eventually destroyed. Cliffs are eroded, trees are uprooted, granite cracks. People can crack too. For us to grow and live--to flourish--it takes adaptation and learning. Stubborn attachment to a single set of "knowledge" or way of doing things leads to stagnation of the mind and spirit. Remember to keep an open mind to new people and new ideas. Challenge yourself to always be learning something new. Focus on the possibilities of a fresh start, instead of hanging on to old frustrations. Sails are made with cloth for a reason. When they're stiff, winds beat against them until they tear. But if the sails are relaxed and workable, the wind can take you to places you've never been before.

SparkPeople Healthy Reflections 10.19.10

We love change, I love change.
Why is it that some people can't get over change?
Especially people that are close to me.......

Im having a rough time with that one right now.
I embrace change.
It's always nice to have a change.
It's usually good.

Maybe thats the optimist in me.

I like it :)

crazy kinda week

I had to miss weigh in this saturday :(
I was really, really sad about it....still really am.
We went camping though and had a lot of fun, other than picking up this MONSTER of a cold.
This week is going to be very challenging because I don't want to eat anything at all right now.
I can't smell or taste a thing!

I am really looking forward to saturday though!

I have a TON of emotional issues going on right crap.
Maybe I will get into that one day here...maybe I won't.
Its really deeply personal.

All I will say is that I made the decision finally to see a therapist.

There I said it.

I finally pulled the trigger.

My first appointment is in a week and a half.

I am finally being ALL. ABOUT. ME.

and I really truly believe that this is something I need to do to really make some big changes in my life.
I need some real guidance.



I went to dinner last night with my girlfriend.
She picked the place.....friendlys.
Normally...I would get chicken fingers and fries.
or a honey bbq chicken melt and fries. 
tons of cheese, sauce and fried chicken complete with a PILE of french fries.

I stuck with a 17 point asian chicken salad and didn't even end up using all the salad dressing, so it wasn't even 17 points.

And...I felt great afterwards.

No regrets later as I laid down in bed replaying my day.

What an amazing feat!
Its taken 16 weeks...but I am there.

This is bliss.

amazing quote of the day....

"Live. And Live Well. BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now. On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun.
If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE. Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time.
If you bike, pedal HARD… and if you crash then crash well.
Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done—a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed. If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old’s nose, don’t be disgusted if the Kleenex didn’t catch it all… because soon he’ll be wiping his own.
If you’ve recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well. At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you’re eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because it is most definitely a gift." --Kyle Lake

week 15

I did it!
Week 15 weigh in.
down 3.8! (32.8 total!!!)
Really, it is.
16.2 pounds to go to hit my Christmas goal!
Best part is, I have 10 weigh in's to do it in.  
My body really likes to lose 3.8 in a week.  
This is the third 3.8 I have had in the last 7 weeks.
It's kinda crazy. 
Especially when all I have done is count points.
I haven't even added in exercise yet.
Kinda crazy.

Have to stay focused though!
I really want to hit my christmas goal!
I want my family to finally notice that I have lost weight.
You would think that someone would notice that I have lost 32.8????
soon....soon they will.
soon I will hit rockstar status.  hahahhahaha!

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

just the way i am

"down the road the sun is shining 
In every cloud there's a silver lining 
Just keep holding on"

Lady Antebellum "One Day You Will"

July 3, 2010. 
The day my new life started.
I began my journey with weight watchers.
Its been an amazing journey.

October 2, 2010.
(3 months later)
I overshot my 10% goal!!!!

I have now lost a total of 29 pounds.  Well over my 10% and on my way to 50lbs by Christmas.
The best part is, all of this has been done with out the help of the gym.

So, when I start adding in the gym shortly, it should really help keep things moving and help me hit my new goal easily.

Once I reach this goal, my next goal time frame will be set for Alans birthday which is February 20th.  After that, it will be time for my 30th birthday goal.  Not quite sure what that will be just yet....but I have an idea of what I want  it to be :)  Hopefully I can really make it work.  We shall see!

I am so glad that I finally took the steps needed to start this program.  It really does work when you take the time to do it right.  Track. Track. Track.
I can eat things that I want.  When I want.  Its all about moderation.  Alan even started it with me.

this is me

This is the story about me.  My life.  Its kinda cool, crazy and chaotic all together.

I am Sarah.
I am married to Alan.
We have an adorable 2 year old Goldendoodle named Cooper.

No kids.  yet.  maybe someday.  hopefully.

I love photography.  
Not a professional though!
There will probably be quite a few pictures here.

I am making some big changes before I turn 30.
I want to definitely be the BEST me that I can be....or well on my way there.

Ill be back shortly with some great updates!