Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, What a year it has been.

I just wrote about how time goes by so fast now... how it can't have been a year since the last time I watched the ball drop... but that was a year ago. It seems to literally defy logic. How on earth has an entire year gone by since I wrote to you about the end of 2011?! Time is the most confusing thing in the whole world. How can it seem to go by so slow, yet so fast at the same time? It's an amazing, beautiful, wonderful thing, a year. Let's look back and see what all has happened.

2012, a year of struggles.
Most recently, our hearts broke as the news delivered the message to us that 27 people were killed in the small town of Newtown, CT as a gunman entered into an elementary school. He killed 20 children... children who will not be here to see 2013 as we will. He also killed 6 teachers, as well as his own mother. There was a gunman who entered a movie during a premier of a Batman movie that shot and killed several. In January, a suicide bomber killed 53 people in Iraq. A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the Philippines. A rush of tornadoes in America killed many, and took everything from many more. A cruise ship in Italy ran aground and killed many. There were terrorist attacks, military massacres, and accidents that killed thousands all around the world. Natural disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, devastated many areas of the country and the world. The world fought, lost many, and suffered many wounds. And lost the production of twinkies. It's a sad day when twinkies exist no more.

2012, a year of advancement.
An Austrian skydiver broke the sound barrier without machine assistance for the first time ever. Apple grossed over 600 billion, making them the largest electronic provider in the world. Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne, making her only the second to ever achieve this. We all survived the end of the world, which was to take place on December 21. London hosted the Summer Olympics. The US survived an election year. Gas prices finally began to fall. Tokyo skytree, which is the tallest self-supporting building in the world, opened to the public. The Mars Rover, Curiosity, landed on Mars. Facebook turned eight. New medications, new technology, and so much more! We're so much farther than we were at this time 365 days ago!!

2012, a year of goodbyes.
The world lost many a good person this year, most of which will not be recognized. But there are some that were known and loved by many. People such as Andy Griffith, a beloved actor famous for the town of Mayberry. Etta James, the singer of the blues song 'At Last', left us. Joe Paterno, head of the Penn State football team, lost his battle with cancer. Whitney Houston, the singer whose voice the world fell in love with. The man who should be speaking to us right now about our new year, the face of rockin' new years eve, Dick Clark, left the world. This year just isn't the same without him. Famous artist, Thomas Kincaid. Singer and Guitarist, Doc Watson. Donna Summer, disco singer. Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.

2012, a year of milestones.
Life changes. Things we take for granted are revoked, and life doesn't ever stay the same. Things change, friends leave, and life doesn't stop for anyone. This year, the SOPA movement became the largest internet protest of all time. The Giants won the world series, and we had a whole new group of Olympic medalists. Yet again I mention that Twinkies are no longer being produced. The Lion King officially beat out the Phantom of the Opera as the most successful Broadway play of all time. There were meteor showers, equinoxes, and 365 sunrises and sunsets. 365 days full of weddings, anniversaries, births, deaths, and so much more. 365 days, all done.

2012, a year of experiences.
What a year. Talk about changes! I graduated from high school. I danced in my senior dance recital, a goal I had been shooting for since I was four years old. I played in my last ensemble concert as a high school band student. I walked a stage, got a diploma, and left my years of public schooling behind. I turned 18. I grew into being a member of the most amazing adopted family I've ever gained, my HG family. I celebrated becoming 5 years cancer free. I decided on a place to spend the next four years, and I completed my first semester as a college student. I met my wonderful roommate and hall mates, and I gained yet another family within my Trumpet section of the marching mountaineers. I loved and I lost, I laughed and I cried. I struggled what I definitely consider one of the hardest times in my life. There were many days when I didn't want to go on, when I didn't think I could go on. But I had an amazing support system come up behind me. I had the most wonderful group of people a girl could ask for hold my hand, and not walk away when I definitely deserved to be walked out on. I am beyond grateful for all the amazing people in my life. I wouldn't be here without all of you!! I haven't had a soda since Ash Wednesday, and I've lost 22 pounds and 3 pants sizes. I fell back in love with literature and read a dozen books, and fell in love with them all. I've learned that forgiveness is for yourself. I've learned that love is for others, and is to be given in great amounts.

2013, a year of opportunity.
Can you believe it? It's finally here. 2013. To some, this is bittersweet as they leave a past behind that they didn't necessarily want to stop holding on to. To others, this new year brings a thrill of hope. I am one of the latter. A new year, a fresh start. I've never craved a fresh start as much as I have this year. This is a chance for me to start over, and to live the life I'm proud to live. It's a chance for me to be happy. Truly, and honestly, happy. I get to decide who I want to be, and where I want to go from here. 365 days. Days unstained and unfilled. Days where we decide what happens next. Days to live a life you're proud of, and if you're not, days to find the courage to start all over. Days to make changes, move forward, and live. Resolutions? Yes, I do have a few. I want to love, against all odds. I want to hope, especially when things seem hopeless. I want to laugh more. I want to be fully present in the moment. I want to forgive. I want to wish on more stars. I want to experience new things. I want to grow into myself. I want to dance more often, and sing at the top of my lungs. I want to take more pictures of everyday moments. I want to make each day count. I want to discover more about myself, and more about this world in which we live. I want to live as a healthier me, so that I can experience the world longer. I want to read more, and spend more time in real conversation. I want to be real with the world. I want to live.

So here's to 2012. Here's to the laughs, the tears, the hugs, the hurts, the hopes, and the days. Here's to the friendships formed, and the loves we lost. Here's to the heartache. Here's to the lessons learned, and the hands that helped to carry us through. Here's to an amazing 365 days. Here's to moving forward, learning new things, and becoming new people. Here's to chasing our dreams. Here's to us.

To infinity and beyond!

Love,
Sarah

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just a 2012 Survey (:

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?

I did many things this year that I'd never done before. I said goodbyes to people I had known for as long as I could remember. I lived on my own for a few months. I set goals and I achieved them. It was a lovely year.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't keep all of them. I kept several, though, and for that I am proud. But I will definitely be setting new goals for myself. I am facing 2013 with a new outlook on life, and I'm excited to get going!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Eh. No one that was super close to me, no. But I had some acquaintances who delivered beautiful lives into the world!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, and for that I am more than thankful.

5. What countries did you visit?

I stayed in the good ol' USA! Though, sometimes, Boone can feel like another country!

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

I'd like to really fall in love with life, and be more content with myself. I want to live more in the moment, and spend less time trying to plan everything out.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

February 22- HG Family surprised me and covered me with love!
February 23- I reached 5 years cancer free!
March 21- Decided to attend ASU!
May 7- Senior Prom!
June 9- Graduation day!
June 17- 18th birthday!
August 12- moved into college!
October 30- First Boone Snow!
November 6- I voted in my first ever election!
December 14- Last day of my first semester of college!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think for this, I would have to say that my biggest achievement was surviving. Life flipped itself upside down for me this year, and there were so many days when I really didn't know if I would live to see 2013. But here I am, and I couldn't be more thankful for those who helped me get here.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I didn't love as much as I should have. I spent a lot of time selfishly this year, and next year I want to spend more time investing in others and less time focusing on myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major! Which, if you know me at all, you know how big of a deal that is!!!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My art supplies. I discovered a new found love for art that I didn't know I had and I'm so thankful to have that outlet now!!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Those that stuck it out with me. The people who knew me in the middle of the hardest time of my life, and helped me through it. Those people who didn't give up on me when I deserved to be left completely alone. They know who they are. Those people who stood beside me when a lot of the world left. I will never be able to repay you for how thankful I am.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled?

Sadly, several people. But it was a good reminder that we are human. And that people will let you down. You just have to choose which relationships are worth mending and which ones aren't. And there were several that I had to cut this year, but I'm a better person for it.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Appalachian State University.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Graduating High School. My last dance recital. The day they told me that Nana was coming home from the hospital. Meeting my roommate. Keeping my 4.0. Getting hired to teach group fitness next semester. My surprise love-feast at HG. Coming back to visit HG after being gone to Boone. Getting my whole Thanksgiving. My first Boone snow day. And a lot more (: I'm easily excitable. Haha!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

SO cheesy. But Tattoos on this town (:

17. Compared to this time last year, are you (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

(a) I'm not sure. I think, about the same. But definitely a lot less apprehensive at the year to come!
(b) THINNER! I have worked so hard this year to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and I am SO proud of myself for achieving my goal. I am going to kick off the new year right with a few more goals that relate to my fitness!
(c) About the same. Haha college kids aren't known for their copious amounts of money!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Lived in the moment. Spent time with people who mean the world to me. Laughed.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Worry. Try to plan out so many things. Experience life from the sidelines.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With those that mean the most gathered in our home!

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

I did. With so many things and people. I fell in love with a full life.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I love gLee. But I also love New Girl, The Mindy Project, Ben and Kate, and SYTYCD.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't this time last year?

Nah. Hate is overrated. Forgiveness is for you.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Go read it right now if you haven't.
(I also read Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, Will Grayson Will Grayson, Let it Snow, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Along for the Ride, And Harry Potter books 1-4. I recommend ALL of them!)

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Ed Sheeran.

26. What did you want and get?

Someone to care about me, and accept me, flaws and all. I got some wonderful sisters who do just that. They know who they are too.

27. What did you want and not get?

A forever love. But I'm ultimately glad that I didn't get it. Because I now realize that I don't even want that! I'm excited at the prospect of beginning life on my own!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Somewhere between Brave and Joyful Noise.

29. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Hickory Girls Fitness. Through them, I gained a positive self image, a family that is irreplaceable, and a healthier life, both physically and mentally. Without them, I wouldn't be entering 2013.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

You Are Lucky That I'm Not In My Pajamas.

31. What kept you sane?

HG. My friends. My family.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most.

Ed Sheeran.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

It was an Election year, so what didn't stir me?! Mostly, the fact that our economy is terrible and my chances of finding a job in a few years are not so great if we don't fix it, yet we continue to make gay rights the topic of our debates.

34. Who did you miss?

The list could go on for days. The thing is that once you are a part of my life, you will always be, and a part of me will always hope you are doing well, and miss you being here.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

That things change, friends leave, and life doesn't stop for anybody. That you don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do get a say in who hurts you, and I like my choices. That it hurts because it mattered. That you're never, ever, alone.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Only rainbows after rain, the sun will always shine again, and it's a circle circling around again, it comes around again. & you gotta keep your head up, and you can let your hair down. You gotta keep your head up, and you can let your hair down. I know it's hard, I know it's hard to remember sometimes, but you gotta keep your head up, and you can let your hair down ♥


Love,
Sarah

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Greatest Gift is Knowing You.

It's Christmas Eve!

Ultimately, Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. Nothing in the world beats a day where you get to hold your family a little tighter, embrace the anxious anticipation of tomorrow, and experience the magic of today.

I've spent a lot of time reflecting today. And as I look at the gifts I still have to wrap (I know... waiting until the last second... oops?) I realize even more this year that, though these gifts are wonderful ways of showing love to others, the greatest gift that I have is the people that these gifts are going to. As I wrap gifts, I think of the people that they are going to and my heart is full. I have so many amazing people in my life. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams to live the life that I do.

I wanted to take a few moments on this special day to say thank you to some very special people. There are SO many more that have blessed me, but there are some very specific 'thank-you's' that I feel I need to say. So, read if you wish, but you don't have to. This is more for me than anything (; I hope you and yours have a very, very, VERY Merry Christmas! ♥

1. Mom- I just want to say thanks. I know I don't say it nearly enough, especially now that I'm not living here all the time. You are one of the most amazing human beings I have ever been lucky enough to know, and I got the best deal in the world when God decided that I could have you as my Mom. You never cease to amaze me. In the face of great difficulty, you continue to smile. You love kids with an endless love, whether they appreciate and reciprocate it or not. I hope that I can be half the teacher you are some day. Thanks for standing by me during the tough times, and for loving me unconditionally. You are my rock. I love you more than I could ever explain.

2. Dad- I also want to say thank you. Thank you for providing Emma and I with an example of how to live our lives with determination and dedication. Thank you for teaching me how to be someone that gets along with other people, and is genuinely concerned about people. You have done amazing things for Hickory and Forest City this year especially, and not enough people thank you for that. Delivering your Christmas presents to your clients and hearing so many people with such admiration for you was an amazing thing. I hope that some day I can impact the world like you have. Thanks for loving me, especially when I'm hard to love. And thanks for not hating me too much when I got my nose pierced. (; I love you so much. You are the best daddy in the whole world.

3. Emma- You are, hands down, one of the coolest people on the planet. I know that we've had our differences and that I probably get on your nerves as much as you get on mine sometimes, but I love you infinitely. It's so much fun to have someone to share life with, and I got lucky enough to have you. Thanks for sticking with me through the rough patches, and for understanding in a way that no one else can sometimes. Thanks for being you, and for growing and facing the world fearlessly. You make me so proud. Keep on taking the world by storm, because you have amazing things in store for you.

4. My Grandmothers- Thank you for living your lives as such an amazing example. You both are people that I strive to become one day. The way you love endlessly and unconditionally, and the way you continue to smile, even when it gets difficult. I am the luckiest granddaughter in the whole world. Please never ever forget how much I love you.

5. My aunts, uncles, cousins- I am so lucky to have the extended family that I do. When I think about all of you, and how you all make time each and every year to all get together... it's so amazing. Not many families get to get together as often as we do as a whole. You all are amazing people, and it is such an honor to be related to every single one of you. To the family that we have gained via marriage, this applies to you, too. Thanks for loving me all these years, and for continuing to invest in me. I know it will get harder to get all of us together as we continue to grow older, but please know that I love you dearly.

6. Sarah Nicole- You are my second sister. I love you with more love than should be allowed. You always, always give the best advice, and I wouldn't be here without you. This year has shown me that we can make it through literally everything, as long as we face it together. We live three hours apart, yet we still manage to keep up the best friendship that I've ever known. You mean more to me than I could ever describe to you. But I don't even have to, because you understand. Thanks for loving me in spite of me. That's a big deal. Thanks for showing me God when I find Him hard to see and hear. I can't even find the right words, but just... thanks.

7. My Hickory Girls Fitness Family- We've been through it this year, haven't we? But here we stand, strong and united, facing the world head on. Thank you for motivating me to become a healthier person, both physically and personally. You are all my family, and I can't imagine facing the world without you all. Thanks for always welcoming me back home. You guys are home for me. You really and truly are my family. Special thanks to Courtney Sajben, Sarah Gates, Tasha Caulder, Lauren Whitener, Eddie Farley, Whitney Ashbrook, Jesus Vasquez, Nikki Bitsche, Angie Merrill, and Ronda Queen. I love you all so, so, SO much.

8. My Gann Family- Ginni Beth, I love you SO much. You are an amazing twin. It amazes me that I've only known you for a short time, yet we are so close. I hope that never changes. You are an amazing person, and I am beyond lucky to be able to know you. I can't wait for some awesome twin time coming up! Momma Gann- thanks for loving me as your own, and for also including me in your school family. It means so much to me to know that I have you! My little siblings, and Daddy Gann- I love you guys so much! Thanks for welcoming me with open arms whenever I am home, and for loving me as part of the family! I can't wait to see you soon!

9. Calah- You've been there when a lot of people walked away. And I've never been able to properly thank you. You understand me in ways a lot of people wouldn't. I am SO stinking excited to have you in Boone next semester. You are going to be amazing, and I can't wait to experience it with you!! I love you so much!!

10. Kori Simmons- I can't believe that I've only known you since August. Remember those first few days, and how scared we were? Now I can't even imagine life any other way. You are the best roommate a girl could ask for. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being you. We fit so well together with our laziness and late nights and crazy antics. You have made college a blast so far. I'm so excited that we have four years together!

11. My hall mates- Thanks to all of you for welcoming Kori and I into the family. You guys have helped make our freshman year amazing. We can't lose touch, okay? I'm so excited to get back to Boone to spend time with you all again. I love you so much!

12. Josh & Jenna, and Jaime- Thank you. Thank you for loving me when I was unlovable. Thank you for not giving up on me, even though I deserved to be walked away from. Thank you for loving me like Jesus does, because I definitely don't deserve it.

13. Christi, Bell, and Courtney- Thanks for being my sisters, and for always loving me. I am beyond lucky to have such amazing girls in my life, and I love you with my whole heart. Thanks for investing in me and never giving up on me. I love you so, so very much.

14. My Marching Mountaineer Trumpets- You guys made this semester a blast. From day one of band camp, I knew I had chosen the right place. You are my family, and you helped me through a lot of rough patches this year. You are beyond special to me. I can't wait to march in our last hoo-rah!

15. Kendra- Thank you for being there. Even though I haven't physically been beside you in over a year, you are always there for me. I love keeping up with you on your blog and your sweet family. Having you back in the same state as me thrills my soul. I can't wait to see you face to face again, dear one! I hope that I can grow into half the person you are one day. I love you so much!!

16. My Titus family- Thanks for adopting me, all the way from PA. Having you in my life has been one of the best gifts this year. I love you so much, and I can't believe I haven't known you that long. I can't wait to see where life takes us, and I cannot wait to see you again. Come back to Hickory soon!!

17. My Amigos- Thanks for always greeting me with the biggest, best hugs and smiles ever. Thanks for letting me hang out with you guys and for writing me fun letters. I love you guys, and you are some of my favorite kids in the whole world!

18. My girls from last year- I miss you all and I know you are rocking out middle school! I am so proud of each and every one of you and I am so thankful for the joy you bring into my life. I love you!!

19. Mr. Neely- Thanks for teaching me more about life than just about anyone. The lessons I've learned from you are ones that I will carry into the world with me. You've taught me how to live life abundantly, and how to be the best self that I can be. I hope that one day I can impact my students in much the same way that you have impacted me. I can't imagine life without you. I love you dearly!

20. To those that I've loved throughout this year- I've loved and lost many, be it through death or just circumstance. I want to thank you. Thank you for the lessons, for the laughs, and for the life shared. Thank you for the time you've invested in me. I want you to know that I appreciate you. That you mean more to me than you probably even know. And that I hope you are doing well, wherever you are in this journey. To those spending Jesus's birthday by his side... I hope it is the most magnificent thing you've ever experienced. I cannot wait to see you again some day. Thank you for making me the person that I am!

Merry Christmas, to my greatest gifts in the whole world ♥

Love,
Sarah

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12.15.12

Lessons I am Learning:

1. Things change, friends leave, and life doesn't stop for anybody.

2. We accept the love we think we deserve.

3. You don't need the whole world to love you. You really just need one person. And that person is yourself.

4. Other people will let you down. They will hurt you and mistreat you and make you sad. Love anyway.

5. Don't give up on people. Ever. Miracles happen all the time.

6. I'm hard to love, no I don't make it easy.

7. Books are the best friends in the whole world. They always love you back.

8. I don't associate with people who blame the world for their problems. Because you're your problem. And you're also your solution.

9. And what may seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey.

10. Family can be acquired. Family are the people that don't walk out on you, especially when it would be easy to. Family are the people that don't give up.

More later ♥

Sunday, December 2, 2012

12.02.12

So, I watched It's a Wonderful Life last night. Such an amazing movie. It was even more amazing to me this year, really, because for the first time I could truly relate to George Bailey.

I've gotten to that all-time low. Especially recently.

You see, I've been dealing with some pretty serious depression, and as of late, anxiety. And it's scary.

I'm not telling you this as a pity party, or for you to worry/feel sorry for me. Just to make a point that this movie is a perfect representation of why I'm still here. It's not my doing, that's for sure. If it were purely up to me, I would have ended it a long time ago. Taken the easy way away from the pain of it all. But I wasn't alone. I've got a community that loves me. My family, and my friends. But best of all? I've got a God that loves me. Unconditionally and fully. And he has never, ever given up on me. Even when I deserved it. And He blesses me, right in the middle of my mess. He's given me a support system that didn't walk away when I thought they all would. He's also given me hope. And there's little that can take the place of hope.

It's a Wonderful Life really reminded me that I have a reason to be here. Even when I don't see it, the world would be a little different if I wasn't here. And that's important for people to know. The world wouldn't be the same without you.

Really, I am just rambling. But I wanted to give whoever may read this a little bit of the hope that I've gained recently. You really are never alone. There are always people that love you that want to be there for you and help you when you need them. And if you don't think anyone does, come ask me. I care, and I'm here. Always. I don't care who you are. I'm here for you.

Long story short, don't give up. It gets better. And you should be here to see it.

Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankfulness. 25, 26, & 27

25. I am thankful for the ability to go to school, even though I am beyond stressed about everything right now.

26. I am thankful for glitter. Lots and lots of glitter.

27. I am thankful for second chances at life. I'm thankful that two people can exist separately in the world, find their own wings, and go forth, and be happy.

Love,
Sarah

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankfulness. 21, 22, 23, & 24.

21. I am thankful for warm showers that relax my muscles. It's such a treat to get to take a shower every day.

22. I am thankful for my ability to learn and go to school. There are a lot of people who can't do that.

23. I am thankful to have the doctors I do. They are always on top of things, making sure I'm okay!

24. I am thankful for my therapist. I've seen her since I was 12, and I love her to death. She couldn't give better advice, and I hope I can become half the person she is some day!

Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankfulness. 20.

20. I am thankful for people who talk to me when I'm feeling especially lonely and down. I am fairly positive I wouldn't be here without them. Loneliness is a bear to deal with. It's scary, for sure. I'm thankful that I don't have to feel it all the time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankfulness. 17, 18, & 19.

17. I am thankful for my family. I'm so excited to see them over break.

18. I'm thankful for Sarah Nicole. She's the best friend anyone could ever ask for. She's my sister, my confidant, and my rock. I love her to pieces.

19. I'm thankful for my car. She's so cute, and she gets me where I need to go. I'm thankful for her faithfulness to me!

Love,
Sarah

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankfulness. 16.

16. I am thankful for tumblr, and the community it is, and the fact that it gives me hope for humanity. I am also thankful that I only have ONE LAB LEFT. Then I will be done with Bio 1 labs, and I will be a happy happy girl.

Love,
Sarah

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankfulness. 14 &15.

14. I am thankful for my roommate. She is freaking amazing. We've become such wonderful friends, and we get along so well. We're pretty much perfect living mates, and she couldn't be a sweeter, more genuine person. Basically, if you don't know Kori, you should get to know her. You'll love her, I have no doubt! (:

15. I'm thankful for all the kids in my life. All the kids that remind me what it means to believe, and to truly believe. Those kids that expect the best out of the world, and defy the odds on a daily basis. I wouldn't be half the person I am today if I didn't have their little eyes to mirror who I want to be in my own life.

Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

An Update On Where I Am Today.

Hey, loves. Just wanted to say thanks for not giving up on me here. I know I gave up on posting, but I've missed you guys, and I'm back now, so it's practically perfect.

I think I'm going to be okay after all. Strange, isn't it? How the human soul can bounce back from having your heart completely shattered on the floor in front of you, a lot of the pretty things inside becoming bits and pieces of the messy pile. But it does, with time. It hurts still, a lot. But I'm moving forward. So, I wanted to kind of compile my thoughts as to where I am at this stage in life, as I have quite often on here. So, bare with me, loves. Sorry for this extensive list.

1. I am finally able to breathe again. For the first time in over a month, I can breathe freely. I no longer feel like I have a fifty pound weight attached to me, collapsing my lungs. I've done a lot of soul-searching, and a lot of coming to terms with myself and who I am. And I'm becoming much more comfortable with that person.

2. It's almost Christmas. I'm fully aware that we still have Thanksgiving first, I get that. But, at the same time, IT'S ALMOST FREAKING CHRISTMAS. Our dorm room looks like santa's workshop, and I couldn't be more excited. We might just leave it like this. Because I absolutely cannot be in any sort of bad mood when my room looks this stinking cute.

3. Blake Shelton's Christmas CD= Bliss.

4. I'm re-reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It's my favorite book of all time. The character is exactly like me in so many ways. And it's hard to find someone who gets it. It's hard to find someone who can put into words how it feels to know that your body is turning on itself, but you smile anyways. It's the best book I've ever read, I'm pretty sure. If you  haven't read it, you need to. Like right now. Stop with this silly list and go get the book.

5. I was scared that I lost the five year old Sarah that lived inside me, if you remember what I was talking about in my last list post. But I think decorating for Christmas, and a long one on one with myself did me more good than anything has in a while. I found it. I believe again, and I couldn't be more excited.

6. I'm going to attempt to improve my music and art skills this year some more. I really want to create something substantial.

7. I made a goal list for myself with both short term and long term goals. For anyone that knows me, you know that this is big. Because I hate planning things in advance, due to the fact that it generally ends up disappointing, and the fact that time isn't guaranteed.

8. Marching band was the best decision I ever made. I get to be a part of creating music. How amazing is that?! That humans, who usually don't do too many beautiful things, can pick up this piece of metal, blow into it, and make the most beautiful sounds. Music can explain what I feel when I can't. That's still to date the coolest things about being human.

9. I'm homesick for a place I haven't even been yet. I'm going to take the opportunities that I'm being offered by being at such an amazing school, and I'm going to see as much and experience as much as I possibly can. Definitely foreign, but also within the states. New York? Washington? Who knows. I'm ready, though.

10. I've picked up writing some again. I haven't published anything recent, so no, you didn't just skip it. I'm keeping it on the DL for a while until I decide it's good enough to show. Haha. But I'm also getting back into spoken word poetry. There's a coffee shop up here that hosts poetry nights I think. I might just go and perform some. I've missed it, it's one of the best outlets ever.

11. I'm excited to get started in on real life for a while. I'm ready to go, move forward, no strings attached, and become whoever the heck I want to be. It's going to be epic.

12. I've come to terms with being alone. I'm a people person, so it's not easy for me. I crave intimacy and a relationship where we can share life together. Not necessarily romantically, but just two people willing to invest in each other for the joy of it. But I get that sometimes, you just so happen to not have anyone right beside you. And that's okay. I do my best thinking when I'm alone. I like it quite a lot, actually, this alone thing. But what the kicker is that I don't too much fancy being lonely. And there's a fine line.

13. I thought I wanted to be a poet, but the more I write, the more I realize I want to be a poem more than anything.

14. I need books. Books and books and books. My supply is dwindling down a bit.

15. I am not going to pull away from everyone though I think it would be ultimately easier in the long run. For today, I am sticking it out. I'm going to be in people's lives for as long as I can. Just be warned early that I am a bit of a grenade. And there's really no telling when I will detonate, but just don't be sad when it happens. Just smile, and smile a lot, and move forward.

16. I have a fear of being forgotten. It scares the ever loving crap out of me, and I do a lot of things to attempt to assure that someone thinks of or remembers me. Please do me the favor of never fully forgetting me when I'm gone, okay? Just think of me every now and then. Don't let me die completely right away... keep me around in some stories and memories and things, alright? Thanks.

17. The year is getting ready to end. Already. Can you believe it? It's really almost over. 2012. Then comes January and a chance to start anew. Make new goals, plans, and make it the most freaking exciting time in my life. And I fully intend on doing so. I'm so ready.

18. Life is a good 90% what you make it. Lesson I'm learning right this second.

19. I'm trying to be better about letting people know how much they mean to me. I've cut a lot of toxic people out of my life recently, or have greatly limited my contact with them. I'm so glad. It's nice to know that you can surround yourself with people who only lift you up.

20. Today, I'm alive. And I'm happy. And tomorrow, hopefully, I'll awaken to a day that's even better than today. And I hope you do the same.

I love you guys so much! (:

Love,
Sarah

Thankfulness. 13.

13. I am thankful for the upcoming Christmas season. It is exactly what I needed to pull me out of this funk. Happy Holiday's dear ones!

Love,
Sarah

11.13.12


You are beautiful.
And This one’s for you.
You… The one with big eyes, full of stars.
The dreamer.
The one who searches, hopes, expects, and above all…
The one who loves.
This is for you.
You, my dear one, are beautiful.
The way your eyes shine, and your lungs expand and retract.
The way your wrist extends into your finger tips.
The same finger tips that extend to others when they need a helping hand.
The way your hair falls, and your legs reach out beneath you.
The way your ears are always available to listen when someone needs you.
And The way your arms reach around and give the best, most caring hugs.
You are beautiful.
The way you never give up.
The way you see the best in others,
And the way you are full of second chances.
You are beautiful.
The way you push ahead despite all obstacles.
You are beautiful.
The way you still believe in fairy tales and far off dreams and the way you wear your heart on your sleeve hoping that somehow, someone will see it and say, ‘hey, me too.’
The way you give and give until you have nothing of your own, only pieces and fragments, but you don’t mind because you realize that the more spaces in your stained glass window soul, the more light can come inside.
You are beautiful.
Don’t forget, sweet dreamer, that part of you. Don’t let the world steal it as it tries so hard to make you stop believing.
Don’t let the bitterness steal your joy.
Keep on, love, and never give up.
You are beautiful.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankfulness. 10, 11, & 12.

10. I am thankful for my big sister Courtney. She means so much to me.

11. I'm thankful for my little sister Emma. She's my rock. She gets me through so much and I love her more than I could ever begin to explain in words.

12. I'm thankful for today. And the ability to be present in the moment.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Thankfulness. 8 & 9.

8. I am thankful for App State. I am in love with the place I get to call home for the next four years, and all the people it has brought into my life. It's amazing!

9. I am thankful for books and poetry and the ability to read and completely immerse myself in something so beautiful.

Love,
Sarah

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankfulness. 7.

7. Today I am thankful for the ability to start over. I'm thankful for the fact that my life is my choice, and where I go from here is ultimately all that matters. Onward and upward, here is to the first day of the rest of my life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thankfulness. 6.

6. Today I am thankful for the ability to live in the amazing country that I do. I got to vote today. I got to finally participate in what I've been around my whole life. It was one of my favorite moments ever!! I love America. Onward and upward!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thankfulness. 5.

5. Today, I am thankful for my HG family. They are the best people I've ever met. They love, and care, and accept, and motivate like no other. They really are my best friends, and my number one fans. I can't even imagine being a part of any other group. They've changed my life, given me confidence, and made me the person I am today. I couldn't have been more blessed!!

Love,

Sarah

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankfulness. 4.

4. Today I am thankful for my body. Despite its several disfunctional parts, my body has held up pretty dang well. The poor thing has been through a lot, but it keeps on trucking. It gives me the ability to do one of my favorite things of all time, which is dance and exercise. It got me through the insane training this weekend for URec Group Fitness! It breathes, blinks, continues heartbeats, consumes food, smiles, laughs, heals itself... it's amazing. And I'm super lucky to have it!!!


Love, 
Sarah

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thankfulness. 3.

3. I am thankful for my true friends. Circumstances lately have shown me who those people really are, and I couldn't appreciate them more than I do right now. I hope they know I'll always be here for them, too. ♥

Love,
Sarah

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankfulness. 1 & 2.

I'm a day behind, so I'm doing two. I'll try to keep up for the rest of the month!!

I am thankful for:

1. My family, blood and acquired. I wouldn't be alive right now if it weren't for them never giving up and never leaving my side.

2. Gummy bears.

Until tomorrow, sweet ones (:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

11.01.12

So, I was a little overdramatic yesterday. Sorry about that. I just really  needed to vent and get it out of my system. Today is much, much better. I am doing okay today. I got to sleep in a bit as I don't have class until 9:30 on Thursdays. And then we had a 30 minute marching rehearsal in the snow, which was hilarious. There were no field markings to guide off of, so it was too funny trying to find where we were supposed to be. Now, I'm safely back in my cozy little dorm room about to take a nap.

Today, I'm taking a break from the majority of the real world. I'm not signing onto facebook or anything like that, and my phone is off. So, if you can't get to me, that's why. It's not because of anything bad per say, it's just that I needed a break from everyone else... a little time to focus in on me.

It's not like today's been a fix-all. I'm still trying to figure a lot of things out right now. But, I'm resting in the hope. I'm focusing in, and finding some peace in the world. Until next time, my loves.

I hope your Thursday has been Terrific!

Love,

Sarah

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10.31.12

Hey.

Picking up my pen is the scariest thing I've done in a while. I haven't written in so long, it is almost as though I have forgotten how to do so. I had resolved to end my writing time. After all, it was pointless, no? I'm not very good, and I'm sorry for that. But you see, writing isn't something that one simply chooses to do. One does not write to say something, one writes because they have something to say. Writing stems from a deep desire to share ones heart in hopes that someone else out there might be feeling, thinking, and wondering the same things. Writing is more for the weak than the strong. Writing reveals who you are in the deepest, scariest, most hidden places. And today? Today my heart is full. Today, I feel as though if I gain even a single drop more, I shall completely explode. There are things that have been occurring in my life that I must speak to, regardless of what you may think of me for doing so. They aren't neatly packaged, or always nice and I apologize if I offend you... Actually, no I don't. I don't apologize. This is who I am, and what I think. Take me or leave me.

1. I do not understand the hate that exists in this world. The malice, outright defiance, bitterness... I cannot comprehend it. I am human, and so are you. We are fallible, messy, disasters. If I had to guess, I would way that about 99% of us have made a few poor choices in the past 24 hours alone, correct? Well, that's crappy. And it sucks even worse when people look at you in the midst of your pain and use it to make themselves feel better about their pain. Pain sucks, and it hurts, regardless of how or why it was inflicted. And each of us, as a member of the human race, has a choice of which hand to be. Will you be the hand that reaches through the pain... the hand that says 'here, let me help you up'? Will you be the hand that mends wounds, dusts off, grasps and supports? Or will you be the other hand, the one pushing, holding down, shoving aside? Or will you even use your hands, or let them sit quietly in your lap as you watch the hurt and help without getting involved? That's up to you, love. I just hope you make the right choice.

2. I'm sad. I've been sad for a while. I'm going through a really, really hard season. It's really hard for me to admit to that. I'm lonely. And it's hard, you know? Just difficult. I've always been able to put aside whatever was messy in my life to deal with other people's messes, and then by the time I got back around to mine, it didn't seem so bad. I've been the one that no one really had to worry or think about too much. I was tough. But I feel so weak right now, so fragile. I just want to curl up in a little bitty ball and sleep. I want to disappear for a while. They say it's okay to be human, but I'm not a fan right now. What happens when I can't save myself? What happens if I'm already too far gone to come back this time?

3. I've lost me. I miss me. I miss the happiness, the endless hope. I always saw the best in people, gave a billion second chances. I refused to let tough stuff jade me. I believed in magic. I believed in fairy tales and happy ever after and soul mates and wishes on stars. And now I don't know. I miss smiling for real. I miss knowing that I mattered. I was foolish to let anyone make me believe that such was true. I can't figure out how to believe again. And that scares me.

4. Pooh, you were right, forever really is too good to be true. I used to believe in forever, too.

5. When you have enough people walk out of your life, you realize how imperative it is to not be the one that walks from others.

6. There's this certain kind of sadness that is addictive. And I'm addicted. This twinge of shadow that fringes even the happiest of moments. It happens.

7. I still hate odd numbers. That hasn't changed at least.

8. Maybe I'm supposed to be a writer instead of a real-life-er. Maybe I'm supposed to create stories to fill other people's imaginations, rather than actually live out one. Yeah?

9. I want to run. Have you ever wanted to run away? Just go. Go somewhere that no one will know your name. And there you will be, a clean slate, ready to start over. I want to run today. I want to get into my little car and drive until the sun meets the horizon. I want to go and go until I run out of gas, then get out and walk even further. I want to be something... someone... totally new. I want to be happy. I don't know what I did wrong. I was so happy and now? Now I can't even find that inner childlike joy anymore. Now I just want to sleep. And sleep I shall.

10. I'm existing. A day at a time, but I'm breathing. And getting dressed. And brushing my teeth. So, I call that success. Another chapter closed. I just gotta remember how to turn the page.

Love,

Sarah

Saturday, July 21, 2012

07.21.12

Hey there, followers. If there are any of you left, that is.

It's been a while since I've been by, and updated you on how life is going. This is mostly due to the fact that life is flying by, and I've been busy as ever. Also, I kinda lost my zest for writing. I don't know why, but I'm just in the mood tonight. So, I thought I'd do a quick catch-up. It's been approximately 16 weeks since I updated you. So here are 16 big happenings/ lessons I've learned over those weeks (: I've missed you! How have your lives been going? Please update me!

1. I graduated from High School. I walked across the stage, got a diploma, tossed my cap, and walked out never to return to Fred T. Foard as a student. It is liberating, but scary at the same time. A lot of lasts happened at the same time. My last band concert as a marching tiger, my last time dismissing my band as their leader, my last time dancing in a recital as a student at Studio B, my last time seeing a lot of people I grew up with, etc. It was hard to say all those goodbyes, but it makes me excited for all the upcoming hellos!

2. I learned a lot about judging people, and how I HATE it when people do that. I don't care what you look like, do in your free time, or whatever. If you are nice to me, I'll be nice to you. And if you aren't nice to me, I'll tolerate you the best I can. But who the heck am I to judge you for anything?! I'm definitely no better than anyone else!

3. I went to Arnoldsburg, WV for the fourth year in a row. I'm IN LOVE with those people, and that place. It means so much to me. It was amazing to have that week to regain perspective, and to step back from everyday life here at home. It reminded me of how blessed and lucky I truly am, and how much I have to be thankful for. I'm one lucky girl, for sure!!

4. I've gotten to spend some AMAZING time with one of my dearest and closest (: I love her very very much, and I'm SO lucky to have such an amazing human in my life! We've had some crazy, funny, sweet, serious, and all around awesome moments. I'm lucky that I get to have her be a part of my life forever! I wouldn't trade her or our crazy times for anything in the world!

5. I gained a twin, and she's fabulous. We have a ton in common... like so much it really is scary!... and I got to spend an awesome week with her at our 'big sister's' house. It was like a vacation I didn't have to pay for! We have gotten a lot closer and we do a lot together. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful friend!

6. I've learned a lot about who my friends really are, and how to not try so hard to please every single dang person. If you really love me, you'll stick around through all my craziness, and all my goofiness, and all my weird quirks. You'll stick around for ME, and not some facade that I put up. And let me tell you, I have some AMAZING friends. I know they will be there for me through absolutely everything. I'm so lucky to have them, and I definitely don't take that for granted!

7. I've become a much healthier person! I eat better, and exercise more. I have lost a substantial amount of weight, and I have about 13 more pounds to go! I'm really proud, because I've never stuck with it before. I attribute it to the fact that I have an AMAZING place to work out called HG Fitness. The people I have met there have become my family! I love them SO much, and they are some of my nearest and dearest friends! Scratch that... they are my family!!!! I wouldn't be nearly as happy without them in my life!!

8. My owl obsession  collection has grown into an entire corner of my room, and it is my happy place! I LOVE it. They just make me so happy!!

9. I've become a lot more in touch with who I am, and what I want to become. I'm a much happier person now that I've accepted who I am, and what I am becoming, and I stopped really letting what other people influence me. This is MY life. It's my turn to make my decisions, and no one else really gets a say in that.

10. My bracelet collection has also grown, and I adore each and every one! They all have a meaning and a purpose, and I get so happy when I think about how they connect me to so many different people!!

11. I've become a tumblr addict. I keep up my tumblr a lot better than I do this blog. Want to know what is on my mind? Check there. You'll find out. And plus, it is the coolest website I've found to hold my quote collection!

12. I've learned a LOT about the difference between being a 'Christian' and acting like Jesus did. I've met some atheists who act more like Jesus that about 90% of the people who call themselves Christians. And that's sad. I want to be a part of changing how the world views Christians. I want to prove that we aren't all judgmental, bigoted, self-centered people.

13. The world is beautiful. Despite all the terrible things that happen every day, the world as a whole is a beautiful place, full of beautiful people. I am just more amazed every single day by how many beautiful things there are out there to enjoy. I've set aside more time to enjoy said things, and I've made some on-purpose time to just enjoy the world around me. I'm learning how to slow down and smell the roses a bit, rather than be so busy that life flies by without stopping.

14. For the longest time, I was obsessed with always 'capturing the moment', and taking a million pictures. I still take a ton of pictures, but I've stepped back a bit, to just live the moment more often. I enjoy it, and stay fully present where I am so that I can enjoy the memories more later. Pictures are nice to have, of course, but I thoroughly enjoy living more often too.

15. I am working harder on treating every person I meet like it's their last day. And taking time to look up at the night sky every night. It really, really changes your perspective on life when you do these things. Give it a try if you don't believe me.

16. I'm living my life, being happy, being me, and learning all kinds of new things as I go and grow. I'm meeting new people, making new friends, and strengthening relationships with people that have become integral parts of my life. I'm beyond lucky to have such an awesome support system to stay with me as I go through this transition period into the next chapter of my life. I'm nervous, but so excited to see what life brings!

So, my sweet followers, I hope that caught you up a bit on what has been running around in my head. I've missed you guys! I look forward to keeping this old thing up again. I've missed writing... it's a big part of me, I just can't deny it anymore! Love you all!

Love,
Sarah

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bucket List.

#8

Write something to be published.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Music Monday's.



This song.... Just this song.

Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

03.20.12

It rained today.

You know the kind of rain I'm talking about? The good, soaking, healing kind. The kind that makes you want to sit in your car and look out, pretending you're in a sad movie. The kind that kisses the earth so sweetly it makes you want to sigh.

I absolutely adore the rain.

There's just something about a rainy day that makes the world seem a little softer... a little quieter... a little slower. We go so fast, all the time, rushing from one thing to the next without hardly even a breath in between... and the rain brings us back from that. It gives us a moment of peace... a moment to breathe in the heavy, beautiful scent it brings, and to rest. It makes the problems that I have seem much less pressing and difficult.

Rain has this way of washing away everything if you let it.

And I love that. All the ugly, the stains, the dirt, the filth, the worry, the hurt... rain can just take it away somehow. It's like God's little whisper of "here, babygirl, let me wash you off. You've gotten awfully muddy out there this time, haven't you?" I can just see him leaning down, a little half-smile on his face as he cleans his child. It must bring him so much joy, and I love that.

Today, as I walked, barefooted, through puddles of water with those sweet drops kissing my skin, it was like the sweetest reminder. The reminder that He makes all things new, including me. That the bad, the ugly, the hurt... that it's not here forever. That it won't last any longer than the night, and that in the morning, joy will come again. I was reminded that I needed to slow down a bit, and enjoy the slow-moving, lazy drops running down my windowpane. And most importantly...

You can't have a rainbow, without a little rain. ♥

Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

03.13.12

We got our caps and gowns today (:

I'm so excited.

I hear back from my last school on Thursday. Kind of freaking out about it.

Love this time in my life though. So sweet. So special.

(:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bucket List.

#7
Take a famous picture.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bucket List.

#6

Get a tattoo. Or two.



Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Story.

Five years.

Those words taste really, really sweet in my mouth. Five whole years. That's 1,825 days. And I'm thankful for every single one.

Today is February 23, 2012, and as of today, I am officially five years N.E.D. For those of you who are not actively involved in the cancer world, N.E.D. means No Evidence of Disease, and it is what the doctors declare you when you receive a clean scan. During the first five years is when relapses generally occur, so making the five year mark is kind of a big deal. So, I wanted to share my story with you guys. This is just a snippet, but here is my journey through these past five years.

When I was in the fifth grade, the school calendar that we had allowed for a short winter break in the middle of February. That year my family decided to go on vacation to the beach with a couple of my parent's friends. While we were there, I came down with a terrible cold. The cold ran its course, but during that time a knot appeared on the right-front side of my neck. When we got back home, my mom took me to my pediatrician. The doctor checked my neck and was not one bit concerned. "These things happen all the time," he told us, "they can be caused by a number of things, even just a simple dental cleaning. And they can take up to a year to go down." But, since the knot was resting on my airway, he decided to attempt to get rid of it via antibiotics. I had several rounds of these numerous medications, but the knot never shrank, which left the doctor quite puzzled. He then sent me to my parent's family doctor, Dr. G, who also put me through several rounds of antibiotics. This medication cycle had lasted almost an entire year at this point, and the knot was still unfazed. The family doctor couldn't figure me out, so I was referred to yet another doctor: an otolaryngologist that my dad had been going to for his own ear problems, which I unfortunately gained in the gene pool. When the otolaryngologist, Dr. M., looked into my ears, he saw several things that needed to be fixed, including a total reconstruction of my left inner ear and a removal of a cholesteatoma from my right ear. This would require some out-patient surgery. So, a couple weeks later in late January, I found myself in what would become a very familiar setting at Baptist hospital. The plan originally was to fix my ears and wait to see if the knot on my neck would go away as a result. But my family doctor had this feeling that he just couldn't shake and, the week of the surgery, he called in and ordered a biopsy be done of the knot in my neck while I was under anesthesia. No one was really quite expecting the results.

While in recovery from this first surgery, the completely baffled otolaryngologist brought the news to my parents. Cancer. Papillary Carcinoma of the Thyroid to be exact. The doctor was so astounded, as he had never seen this type of cancer appear in this way. Once I was awake enough to understand them, the trio of my parents and Dr. M. delivered the news to me. A month later, I sat in the same exact hospital for a complete thyroidectomy. What began as a simple 3 hour surgery soon turned into 7.5 due to the complicated growth of the tumor on my thyroid. In total, they ended up removing the entire thyroid itself, all of my lymph glands in my neck, two of my para-thyroids (they control calcium intake), and my right vocal chord nerve. (This is where I want to interject that if they had let this run its course like they wanted to, rather than biopsy, there is a very real chance that I wouldn't be able to speak today.) I remained in in-patient care for a little over two weeks. I would elaborate more on this time in my life, but I really don't remember it. Drugs can do some fabulous things! I do remember the fact that I couldn't speak or lift my own head off of the pillow by myself. It was no fun at all.

A few months after surgery, we had our first set of scans. This was in the stone age of five years ago where we didn't have the lovely medicine known as Thyrogen yet (I'll get there in a sec!). So, to begin with, I had to go on a no-iodine diet for 6-8 weeks. Do you know what all has iodine in it? Everything! So it was interesting. During that time I also had to be off of my thyroid hormone medication, which made me a tad bit crazy! I went into the hospital one day to receive a tracer pill for the cancer cells, and then the following day for the actual scan. This scan was super long, and no fun as I had to have my bladder full for the entire thing! Then, once it was completed, the radiologist reviewed the scan and ordered my dosage of radioactive iodine, also called I-131. A pill was delivered inside of a huge, metal, sealed container that I was only allowed to open after everyone else had left the room. My parents then drove me straight home where I was isolated to my room for 7-10 days. I couldn't be near anyone at all, because the radiation that I had inside of me would cause harm to someone else with a healthy thyroid. Anything my parents needed to give to me, they had to leave at the top of our stairs and go back down before I could move out of my room to get it. I am a big people-person, so that was quite difficult. I missed my hugs, and seeing people. Finally, when all was said and done, we went in and did a separate scan to mark our progress. It was a slow-working radiation that needed to be given some time, so it was several months later before I went through that same cycle again.

After I had dieted and scanned again, the scans appeared to be clear! There was one tiny spot on the film that was literally the size of a pixel, so to be safe we had some blood work done in the labs. When the blood work came back, it revealed that the spot (which was resting on my one remaining vocal chord) was larger than the scan had led on, and called for another round of radiation. So, another 7-10 days isolated. This time, though, they had to almost double my dosage so that the same concentration of radiation would hit that small spot. I was quite sick for a few days, and being sick when no one can be around you is not an experience I would wish on anyone! When I had the radiation, I lost my sense of taste for almost six months. I couldn't taste a thing, the only think I could determine was if the food was warm or cold. This radiation also settled into my salivary glands, making them no longer function. This is still an issue that I deal with today, but medicine is making some amazing discoveries, and we're hoping that we'll be able to treat it someday! A scan that soon followed my last round of radiation showed that I was finally and officially NED!! Each year, I go back for scans. Now, though, I am old enough to be on a medication called Thyrogen, which I mentioned earlier. This is a three day process that basically takes the place of all of the dieting and hypothyroidism! I go in two days for shots, and then 72 hours later I have an extensive lab draw. From this, they are able to tell more than they would with the scan in the first place! So neat, and so much less taxing on my body! Anyway, I have been blessed enough to remain NED for the past five years. True, these years have been an emotional roller coaster with unexpected twists and turns, medicine changes, lab work, doctors visits, relapse scares, and days when I honestly didn't know if I'd make it through. It's been one of the scariest and most difficult things to face, but I'm so much stronger for it.

In many ways, five years ago seems like a lifetime, but in many others it seems like it all just happened yesterday. Cancer has taught me many lessons. It's taught me how to appreciate the small things in life, because you never know when you won't have time to enjoy them as much. It's taught me that, no matter how bad it may seem, there's always someone who is worse off. Always. It's taught me to not sweat the issues, no matter how pressing they may seem at the moment. Life is too short to worry all the time. And finally, it's taught me how to love people. Through this journey, I have been blessed with the opportunity to get to know an entire world of people. The cancer world is one that I wish no one had to enter, but it's one I'm thankful for every single day. These people have the biggest hearts of anyone I know, and I truly aspire to love like they all do one day. Because of them, I am now considering entering into a field of working with pediatric oncology patients. This is a field I probably never would have even heart of had I not been involved myself! It's neat the way things work out like that.

So, there you have it, that's my story. I want to take a minute and thank each and every single person who has been a part of my life over these past five years. I am so blessed to have each person that I do in my life! I can't imagine life any other way. Every single smile, encouraging word, gift, conversation, and experience has been more of a blessing than I could even begin to explain! Without all of you, I most definitely wouldn't be here today. So, thank you. SO much. I love you guys with my whole entire heart!!

Every day that I wake up and look into a mirror, the pink crease at the base of my neck is a reminder to me of how beautiful life is. True, it's a scar. But with that scar comes the most amazing feeling in the world. The feeling of knowing that I'm loved, and lucky, and that I have a story to tell the world. I really hope that this gets to whoever needs to hear it, because I want to leave it at this: YOU are special, YOU have a story, and YOU are changing lives out there. I'm so thankful that I have YOU in MY life!! <3


Love,
Sarah

02.19.12



A la tumblr (:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bucket List.

#5

Mentor someone, and be able to be there for them whenever they need me.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

02.12.12

‎"If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy." ~Unknown

via Gabby (:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bucket List.

#4

Eat Authentic Italian food, in Italy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Road to Healthy.

Psssst. I have a secret.

I've always struggled with my health.

Phew! Sure does feel great to get that off my chest. Now, why am I telling you this, you ask?

Because I'm done with it. I'm done with the unhealthy me.

That's right! I'm getting fit, and I'm doing it now. There's no better time than the present right? As I embark on this journey, because that is fully what this will be, I want to lay out some fundamental rules for myself to follow. And I want to post this for the entire world to see, because I need your help.

I need you to keep me accountable.

Okay? Please, please, please. I'm only a step above begging at this point. Call me out on my unhealthy habits. Tell me to put the brownie down and step away from the cake. Tell me that water is a lovely alternative for whatever beverage that I may be consuming at the moment. If I miss a workout (this mostly applies to my Zumba friends), call me out on it. Make sure I did something to compensate for my absence at class. I'm not very good at being self-motivated, so I'm going to need a ton of help. I'm serious, it may take an army. But I want each and every one of you to stay on my butt!

So, here are my rules... or guidelines, really. Thank you in advance for all of your help!

1. Don't forget my worth. Who I am is not defined by a body shape or number on a scale. Who I am is so much more than those things, and I am worthy.

2. Don't be negative. Mind and body are connected, so be nice!

3. Go all out, even when I don't necessarily feel like it. You won't regret the feeling that comes after an awesome workout.

4. Stop making excuses. I'm not too tired, and I do have time.

5. Eat to nourish my body. Stop filling it with crap and empty calories. And snack with healthy snacks!

6. Don't get discouraged with a plateau. My body has to take time to adjust to the new routine, and regardless of the numbers, inches or pounds, I am still moving towards a healthier lifestyle.

7. Don't get frustrated when I do slip up. It's going to happen. Don't call it quits when it does, but use it as a platform to keep pushing myself forward.

8. It took more than a day to put this weight on, and it's going to take more than a day to get it off. Keep moving forward, because each baby step in the right direction counts.

9. EXERCISE. Do something I love to do, and do it often. Like Zumba! And Dance! And weight lifting!

10. Encourage and allow myself to be encouraged by others that are walking this journey alongside me. We CAN do this... and we WILL do this!!

So, there you have it. These are small, but they are only a beginning! I hope that you'll join me on this journey, and I really would appreciate your help as I walk this road! Do you guys have any more tips? Anything that will help me out? What do you do to get healthy?

Thanks! Love you guys!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

02.06.12

I've spent so long feeling worthless.

Do you know what that feels like? To feel like you are of less worth than a penny in a mud puddle? It's a scary place to be. For several years, I consistently had someone whispering in my ear how worthless I was... how I would never fall in love with anyone, because who in their right mind would want to love a person like me, right? Satan is a crafty person, and he's good at his job. He knows how to break your heart. He's good at telling me that I am worth so much less than I am.

Society has made things so complicated now. People think that they must be a size zero with a big smile that proves that they are perpetually happy to be anything at all. But you know what? That's crap. And that's why the world gets so messy sometimes. People are sad, but they don't cry. People are angry, but they don't scream. People are broken, but they smile like nothing is wrong. People are normal sized, but they quit eating to become ultra thin and try to attain what they perceive as the 'perfect image'. Why the heck is that? We were created in the image of GOD. THE God. The holy, righteous, amazing, all-powerful, creator of the universe, healing, moving God. How dare we say that any part of who we are and how we look isn't correct. God has purposed every single part of who we are, including our emotions. It drives me insane to see all of these people walking around with their broken eyes, hiding behind these fake smiles. Regardless of if you're smiling or not, your eyes reveal a lot about who you are. And even though the brokenness is obvious, no one takes the time to stop and care for one another. We're all so busy pursuing things that will ultimately bring no satisfaction. Trust me, you won't remember that mocha frapp nearly as much as you'll remember the time that you were there for someone who needed you. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. I know that's so much easier said than done, but it is so worth it! Be willing to show all of who you are sometimes, mess and all, because you never know who may need to know that they're not alone in this crazy ride called life. If you're mad, scream. If you're sad, cry and eat ice cream. It's okay. I promise.

Now, I know a lot of that was just rambling. But I want to tie everything up by saying this: God is crazy about you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and purposed for an amazing story. Yours is a story that none can replicate, and it's special because God wrote it especially for you. Don't let someone make you feel worthless like me. Because trust me, you are SO worth it. Anyone who doesn't see how much you're worth must be completely blind. Trust HIS word, today, and know that God is all about loving on you just as you are right this moment. He is crazy about you, and He holds you right next to His heart. Banish those lies that say otherwise.

I'm not just preaching to you, though, my dear readers. I'm equally preaching to myself. Together, we can do this. Let me know if there really are any of you out there! And, if you want, we can most definitely hold each other accountable! Let's take Him at His word and believe in our worth today.

You. Are. Not. Worthless.
You. Are. LOVED.

Love,
Sarah

Sunday, February 5, 2012

02.05.12

I gave my testimony in church today.
I wish you could have heard it.
God moves in amazing ways.
Don't forget that.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bucket List.

#3

Take a picture of the Eiffel Tower in person.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

02.01.12

"And that's the thing about people that mean everything that they say...

They think everyone else does, too."♥

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bucket List.

#2

Visit Spain, and possibly live there.

Photo Credit: Allison Cook.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bucket List.

I'm going to start posting things that are on my bucket list on Thursdays. Cool? Kay. So, here goes!

#1

Have a summer job as a Disney Princess at Disney World.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Creative Writing Assignment

For our final assignment in our English IV class this semester, we had a creative writing assignment to do. Our only prompt was a simple picture of an envelope addressed to a Tricia L. Batemon, with no return address. From that, we had to create a story, and here is what I came up with. I just mainly wanted to store it somewhere, so don't feel like you have to read it. But if you do, I'd love to know what you think! Thanks!

Fingerprints

It was quite cold that Monday morning, the first snowfall of the season covered every surface with a layer of fluffy white. Running late as usual, Tricia grabbed her coat and scarf and bundled up for the trek to the snow-covered car. There would be some extensive window scraping, that she really didn’t have time for, but was an unfortunate necessity.

Twenty minutes and two freezing hands later, Tricia climbed into the drivers seat of her car and cranked the engine. Lucky for her, the station had called early that morning to ensure that the employees knew to take their time and be safe on the way to work. That was one thing she loved about her job—they really cared for their employees. That, and the fact that she was pretty much addicted to music. Music had been a part of her daily life for as long as she could remember… all the way back to those “dance recitals” and “concerts” she would give on her grandmother’s worn kitchen floor. In elementary school, her ever-traveling business-owning mother had insisted that she be registered for piano lessons with the most prominent instructor in all of Ohio. Because the lessons were her mother’s order, Tricia dreaded them. Each week, it was a fight for her grandmother to get her into the car and over to the instructor’s home, which happened to be an hour from her home. Now, as she looked back, she realized how much those piano lessons had taught her and helped her through life, not only as a musician, but also as a person. And those car rides with her grandmother were some of her favorite memories. In high school, Tricia had played in both the band and the orchestra, excelling far beyond the ability of her classmates. At the suggestion of her teacher, she began tutoring other students who were struggling with their musical abilities. It was in one of these tutoring sessions that she met Elijah Murphy, a struggling musician and the local radio station owner’s son. It was through Elijah that she had landed her internship at the station her junior year of high school. Once she began, she fell in love with the radio, and never left. Now, she was one of the most well known radio personalities in all of Cincinnati.

As she pulled into her parking spot and cut the engine, she reminisced on those first few years at the station. She and Elijah had become inseparable, quite like a brother and sister, and together they tackled any and every task that was thrown their way. From setting up for a show with a live band, to running sound boards, to making coffee and doughnut runs, they had it all covered. Elijah had left the business and headed off to college somewhere in North Carolina, but they had kept in touch and spoke often. A few weeks before his graduation, he had announced that he was engaged to a lovely young lady named Jenna. They were married not long after, and they bought a house somewhere near the mountains.

Tricia grabbed her purse and her notebook with the lineup for the day, and quickly headed inside to get out of the snow, which had started to drift lazily from the sky once more.

“Good Morning, Tricia! We were beginning to wonder if you were going to make it!” Ben, her morning show co-host beamed at her. He was the lead singer of a local band, and music was a piece of his soul, which made him perfect for his job. Not to mention that he was one of the nicest guys that Tricia had ever met. Ben just had this joy about him all of the time that was infectious. He had a way of easing tension in any room, and bringing a lighter side to any situation. Together, they made a really good team for the morning show, and the station’s ratings had gone up considerably since the addition of their time slot.

Tricia walked through the large commons area where Ben was sitting and on into her office. She placed her purse on the table, turned her computer on, and sat down at her desk. Just then, Ben came in with a steaming cup of coffee.

“Just the way you like it! Don’t forget, we’re need to be in the studio ten minutes early today for a short staff meeting since Mr. Murphy is still in North Carolina visiting his son!”

“I’ll be there, no worries!” And with that, she turned her attention back to her computer screen, scanning the headlines in the local news. Apparently, the most interesting thing that had taken place was a dog being rescued from a tree somewhere on the outskirts of town. Awesome. Then she turned her attention to the stack of mail that Ben had faithfully delivered to her that morning. As she sifted through the usual stack of bills and junk mail, a small envelope caught her eye. As she pulled it out, she was surprised to see her name on the front.

Tricia L. Bateman

8411 Ellison

Cincinnati, OH 42526

She looked over the envelope, but could find no return address, which seemed a bit odd. Tricia rummaged through her desk and found her letter opener, and quickly tore into the note. As she began to read, her heart skipped a few beats.

Dear Tricia,

I hope this note finds you well, and I hope the station is still running as smoothly as ever. Things are going well here in NC, although I do miss all of you quite terribly. Jenna is doing well, and we are actually expecting our first child together! We are very excited. I know it seems strange, I never really pictured myself as a father either, but I think that this is really going to work out. How are things going for you? How is your mother, and that scraggly little mutt you call a dog… Lacey, right?... how is she doing? I hope all is well, and that you are truly happy.

So, I have some news for you. As you know, my Dad has been visiting with us for the past two weeks. During this time, it has become apparent to us all that Dad just isn’t doing very well anymore. His health has continually failed him over the past few years, and as it continues to worsen, we agreed that the best option would be for him to move to North Carolina with us. And this leads me to the main reason that I am writing to you. Dad originally wanted to leave the station to me, and allow me to do with it as I please. Instead, we decided together that the best option would be to give the station to you. No one knows and understands the love that we have for the station better than you do, Tricia, and Dad would be able to rest easier knowing that the station was in the best possible care. Do you remember that one day in high school when we were both working at the station and we were setting up for Ben’s band to come perform live? We talked about our dreams that day, dreams to run our own radio stations and to be come big-time radio stars. Well, Trish, this is your chance to do that. I really hope you consider our offer, and I hope you continue to pursue what brings you true joy in this life. You know I’m always here for you, as I always have been, and I hope to come and visit soon when we come to pick up Dad’s things. We should be coming in two or three weeks, so I’ll give you until then to decide for sure. We love you, Tricia!

Love,

Elijah

Tricia just sat, wide-eyed and unbelieving, as her heart strained to return to normal pace. Her own station. True, it had always been a dream of hers to run a radio station of her own—to schedule the shows and performers, to oversee the several different segments, to review the public response to the lineup. But most importantly, the station would be a way to promote the passion for music that had been instilled in her when she was so young by her wonderful grandmother, who would turn eighty-two in three weeks. Tricia’s grandmother had practically raised her, and had always been so supportive of Tricia in everything she attempted to do in life. The station had always been a dream that her grandmother supported fully. When they discussed what the station would do, and what kind of programming it would hold, Tricia’s grandmother had always said “Just make a difference, dear. Figure out what your fingerprint looks like, and then leave it on the world. Let people know and remember that you were here.” Be it a hundred small prints, or one large one, the station was definitely the way to begin to leave her mark on this world. And it would be the perfect birthday present for the person that meant the most to her in the world.

A few days later, after having called and discussed everything with Elijah, Tricia called a staff meeting to make the big announcement. When everyone was finally in the room, she realized for the first time that she was nervous about this change. It was like a sudden knot blocked her airway, and she wasn’t sure if she could speak at all. Bravely, she cleared her throat and began her speech, pressing her hands firmly together to keep them from shaking so much.

“Hello, everyone! I hope that you’ve had a great week so far. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Mr. Murphy still has not returned from his extended visit to his son’s home in North Carolina. I have been informed by his son, Elijah, that due to his failing health, Mr. Murphy will be taking up residence with them.” A quick glance around the room showed the several employees with stunned, concerned faces, waiting on her to tell them their future. This next part was the kicker. What would they think of the switch? Well, there was only one way to find out. “As I’m sure many of you realize, this leaves us without a current owner. Both Mr. Murphy and Elijah have both asked me if I would be willing to take over the station, and I have agreed to do just that. In doing so, I want you to know that each of you will still have a job for me. Our station has received some of the best ratings of all local stations recently, and I see no need to fix something if it isn’t broken.” A second glance around the room revealed something that she hadn’t expected: a look of relief, coupled with several smiling faces. They were excited. “I hope that you will all work with me as we all attempt to make this transition as smooth as possible, and I look forward to where our future will take us. Thank you all for coming and for listening to me.” Suddenly the silence broke as people began to return to their morning duties. Everyone congratulated Tricia as they began to leave the room, and many told her that they couldn’t have picked anyone better for the job. It was then that she knew that she had made the right decision.

Two weeks later, on January 12, Tricia spent the day at her grandmother’s house celebrating her birthday. That evening, they sat down together at her grandmother’s kitchen table to eat the meal that they had prepared together that day. Her grandmother’s hand reached across the table and wrapped around Tricia’s own, and they bowed their heads.

“Dear Lord, Thank you for this wonderful day, and the blessing of another year. Thank you for this food, and please use it to make us stronger for you. Thank you for taking the time to leave your mark on us, and please allow us to shine for you. Amen.”

The prayer was so methodical, so familiar, that it wrapped around Tricia like an old blanket. It almost made what she had to say next even sweeter.

Sitting there, in that warm kitchen with the worn tile floors, it was almost as though she had come full circle. From performing and dancing for her grandmother on the old, worn “kitchen stage”, to owning her own radio station that would reach hundreds of people in their very own “kitchen stages”, all of the memories were connected, like the staff lines on a piece of sheet music, the music always going on.

“Grandmama,” she started, the smile already spreading across her face, “I think I’ve finally figured out what my fingerprint looks like.”


Love,

Sarah