{image by me}

A Prayer for Peace, Growth, and Recovery

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred...let me sow love.
Where there is injury...pardon.
Where there is doubt...faith.
Where there is despair...hope.
Where there is darkness...light
Where there is sadness...joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled...as to console.
To be understood...as to understand.
To be loved...as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(St. Francis of Assissi)


memory lane

i am trying to find a baby book for alpine - you know, something to keep track of baby's firsts, cute pictures, hospital bracelet, lock of hair, baby's favorites and so forth...

today i pulled out my baby book... i am the oldest of 4 siblings and many of you may know what that means... a FAT baby book :) sure enough... my book is the fattest and it goes in order, my youngest brother has the skinniest baby book. it doesn't mean he was any less loved... it just means my mom was busy taking care of 4 kids to record EVERYTHING.

well, i browsed through my baby book and there were a few things that caught my attention.

1) favorite food: yogurt & banana, toast w/cheese, ice-cream and french toast: now for those who know me... i LOVE ice-cream (more about that in an upcoming post). i also really like french toast (ask the hubster).
2) i loved collecting and playing with rocks - even today when i walk along the beach, i pick up rocks and collect them... it makes things tough when moving... rocks aren't particularly light ;)
3) i loved playing w/malcom, a cairn terrier - i loved watching him and laughed when he barked :) (still love dogs to this day... although it's been a work in progress due to a traumatic event at age 5 involving a german shepherd, but we won't talk about that)
4) i laughed at 2.5 mos old and i still keep the giggles going
5) i took my first steps on a golf course at 8 months (too bad i didn't become a professional golfer - that would have made a good story) and i was walking around at 10 months - man am i in trouble when alpine comes along...
6) ET the movie and Larry Bird the basketball player were quite a hit
7) my mom was in labor for 3 hours (hope i luck out like that)
8) i went swimming for the first time when i was 2 months old - i still LOVE the water
9) my first "sleep out" (outside on the deck in a sleeping bag) was when i was 5 and my brother david was 3, i was afraid of getting sprayed by a skunk and my 3 year old brother agreed to protect me :)
10) my favorite songs at age 2 were "happy birthday" and "jesus loves me" - i LOVE birthdays & getting presents and i still know that jesus loves me :)

hope that didn't bore you... but it had me thinking about caleb's firsts when he was a baby and coming up alpine's firsts and the kind of child alpine will grow up to be... will alpine be more like me or more like caleb?

one thing is for sure... alpine's been so active in my belly, if that continues, well, caleb & i are in for it. ;)

now i've gone down memory lane and i still don't know what to do about a baby book...

here's one i found on etsy.com that i like...
and another...
and another...
but i want to see them in person before committing to purchasing... if ANYONE finds something cute, PLEASE let me know :)

i have also checked out amazon, babys r us, target and barnes and noble...


bedside manner, birthing and BABIES

this is a partial vent...

but i'll end on a positive note, i promise...

today i went to my scheduled MIDWIFE appointment... i've been using essex county ob/gyn and so far my experience was PHENOMENAL!! well, today, the midwife i met w/was MISERABLE... terrible "bedside manner". typically i go to my appointment and the midwife comes in, introduces herself (if i haven't met her before - there are 7 so i have yet to meet ALL of them) asks how i'm feeling, how i'm doing, do i have any questions, etc... we talk for a little while, then she'll say, ok, let's check the heartbeat and will proceed to check the heartbeat...

nope, not today... the midwife comes in abruptly, says a brief hello, pushes me down on the table, lifts up my shirt and is about to listen to the heartbeat... i was in shock! no introduction, no asking how i'm doing, no asking what i have for questions...

i'm glad i can be assertive. i sat up and said, wait, can we discuss any questions i may have? the bummer was at that point i was flustered, i should have finished the appointment ASAP and left. alas, i didn't.
i started feeling emotional (i'm more prone to that these days w/all the hormones) and asked her a few questions. she was even rude in answering my questions, BUT the BEST news i heard all day was "i don't deliver."

i thought i misheard and asked her to repeat. "i don't deliver." fantastic, i thought, i'll NEVER have to have her at the hospital, where it really counts... relief!
i promised more promising news
and i USUALLY keep good on my promises...
see this picture

it's brooke, my sister-in-law, my nephew danny, little alpine and me

{Brooke, Danny, Alpine, Sara}
i'm so excited that they (danny & alpine) will be soooo close in age!!
{Danny & Alpine meet}
brooke's going in for a c-section tomorrow and i'll get to meet little danny in person. woohoo!!!
my due date is 10-4-10 - only 5 weeks after danny is born :)
caleb and i are headed out to western mass to meet danny, spend some time w/family and babysit for these adorable nieces - Julia and Hannah - who are going to be big sisters :)
{Julia cheesing it up}
{Julia & Aunt Sara ie me enjoying ICECREAM}
{Hannah cheesing it up OR being annoyed w/her aunt for taking a bajillion pics!}
{Hannah - the goofball}
{Hannah being well, Hannah}
yay for BABIES!!! and sisters who can experience this together. brooke is awesome!! she's been through pregnancy and  babies two times before, so she's a pro and has been giving me all kinds of good advice. and we have been able to commiserate about braxton hicks, hiccups and baby kicks!

{Brooke & Sara}
{Brooke & Sara}
can't believe our OWN due date is coming up... 5 weeks away...

{hubster, alpine and me}



they are one of my FAVORITE flowers...
my mom has a lot of hydrangea bushes... below are a few snapshots from the summer
she has both purple and blue
oh how i love them :)


don't quit

check out this video...

it's based on the below poem.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown
 i love it! my dad used to have it in his office... i took a copy of it and it's stayed with me since...

today i'm posting it for my buddy Ben, he's been through quite a lot this summer.
Ben, keep up your positive attitude, don't quit :)


saft: a swedish adventure in the states

earlier in the week i posted about saft
now, i'll detail a little about making it...
first of all - saft is a DEEEEELICIOUS drink you can buy in sweden, and at ikea, but not online, only in the ikea store...
anyway, my mormor is awesome and she makes it from scratch - raspberry, strawberry, black currant, etc
one day i went to russell orchards and decided to pick strawberries... mmm... they were so yummy. i had so many strawberries on hand, i decided to eat some, freeze some and make saft out of some.
google translate says saft = juice - but it's so much more...
basically you use the juice from berries, boil it with sugar to make a concentrated liquid and store it. then when you're ready to drink, you pour a little saft into a glass and mix with water... voila, delicious, refreshing drink :)
here's a photo montage of my attempt. it turned out OK, but it's best to mix berries (strawberries and blueberries, or raspberries, etc) and i added TOO MUCH sugar (who would have thought?)

{first, pick berries and decide which ones you want to use}
 i separated mine into eat this week now, freeze and make into saft ;)

{weigh your strawberries}
this is necessary to ensure you have the right amount of other ingredients
{wash your strawberries}
{slice off the green part}  

{weigh the strawberries again, just in case}

{add water}
{boil strawberries in the water, stirring occasionally - approx 10 min}

{use the spoon to crush the strawberries on the edge of the pot to get all the juiciness out}
{i put a strainer in a bowl for this next part}
{put a cheesecloth in the strainer - this is for straining the berries from the liquid}
{pour the boiled berries into the cheesecloth and let the liquid drain into the bowl}
{let it sit for a 30 minutes to ensure all liquid is in the bowl and not in the cheesecloth}
{pour into a measuring container - i used a glass pyrex one - woo hoo! 500ml}
{pour the liquid BACK into the pot on the stove}
{add the sugar - this is what makes it tasty, stir until the sugar has dissolved}
{cook until it comes to a boil}
{towards the end, this is what you should see}
{there's "skumm" - swedish for foam - you don't want it - so take it off with a spoon}
{it's yummy though - strawberry sugary - mmm}
{i set mine on a plate - and then ate it} :)
{pour non skumm liquid into a container so you can pour into bottles; it's easier w/a funnel which i did not have}
{clean the bottles you're using - i baked mine in the oven, but you can also boil them}
{pour liquid into WARM clean bottles, put on the cap and let cool}    

saft should be stored at a cool temperature (fridge, basement, etc)

when you're ready to drink, pour some saft into a glass and add water to taste. i don't know how what the saft to water ratio is... i just go by what tastes good...

for those of you who want to try it, here's the recipe i used:

Strawberry Saft
(500 ml of saft or approx 2 cups):
500 grams strawberries
2 deciliters water (a little more than 3/4 cup or 200 ml)
3 deciliters sugar (1 1/4 cup or 300 ml)

note: it should be consumed within a few weeks, if not, some type of preservative should be added - i don't mess with that, i just drink it!


morning rollerblade

{image courtesy of google images}

earlier in the week i got up early and decided to go for a little rollerblade...

yup, you heard right... rollerblade... this 8 month preggo woman decided it would be nice to lace up her blades and hit the street.

let me tell you... it was AMAZING! i enjoy running, but running at 8 months pregnant is a little LOT difficult. so, i pulled out my rollerblades, turned on my ipod and hit the road.

it was so refreshing. i didn't feel large and pregnant. i felt light and fast. i rollerbladed a few miles; it was nice to get out there and go fast. it's a great feeling to exercise in the morning and get that boost of energy and get those positive endorphins flowing ;)

{image courtesy of hovey}

the above picture is along my rollerblade route...



it's easy to get caught up in the day to day of life and forget about the big picture.

the other day i found myself thinking about all the problems in my life... i would list them, but that would defeat the purpose of this post. i really had myself feeling like debbie downer. what happened?
to offset the debbie downer, here is a list of what i'm thankful for.

1) I live in America - "land of the free and home of the brave" - we have many freedoms other countries lack.
2) A roof over my head - sure I'm moving in 3 weeks, AND it's 3 weeks before my due date, but I have a place to live (and room for visitors) :) There are so many people in this country and world who are homeless.
3) A great JOB with benefits - health insurance, vacation pay, 401k, and MORE (thanks Murray & MacDonald Insurance)
4) Family and friends who love and care about me
5)  A WONDERFUL, amazing, supportive husband :)
6) We (the hubster & I) each have a car to drive
7) Good health, pregnancy is going well. I can walk, run, rollerblade, swim, ski, etc - many people are handicapped and can't do the above items.
8) I live in a beautiful area
9) I am not starving; I can go to the grocery store and buy whatever I want - some people can't afford to buy food, while others in the world can't buy food because there is no food on the shelves. I don't have this problem.
10) Clothes, shoes, accessories, etc, heck I could go through my wardrobe and give away many items.

Those are the big items...

Here are a few things I'm thankful for, this week...
1) Watched the Falmouth Road Race. Both my parents ran; I was able to cheer them on, as well as cheer on a few friends. My mom beat her time from last year. This is great news!! 
       a) Fall 2007 my mom became ill with idiopathic (don't know where it comes from) transverse (across) myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord)- yeah, what's that?! The doctors didn't know. She was semi paralyzed from her chest down. Semi b/c she had feeling and could move her legs, but she couldn't walk. It felt like pins and needles from her chest down. She has been in recovery mode since... it took a week to walk again; recovery has been slow, but she still has problems with her feet. She runs slower than before the illness - which is why I'm so proud of her beating last year's road race time!
2) Girl time with my friend Lia Sunday evening :)
3) Swimming at Chapoquoit Beach with my mom Monday & Tuesday evening - so refreshing
4) Rollerblading along Ipswich River Wednesday morning before work
5) Meeting w/Ken, Kim and the hubster at Starbucks before Ken left for school!
6) Going to Barnes & Noble Wednesday evening - relaxing to sit and read
7) My childbirth class w/the hubster Thursday evening - feeling more prepared for my upcoming hospital stay...
8) Dinners in w/the hubster
9) Baby shower in my honor this Sunday :) yippee!
10) Buying local produce - yum!

so, now my question to you is...
what are you thankful for? think BIG picture or just think for the DAY or the WEEK.


sara's kitchen's faves - numero cuatro

so... i haven't posted in a while about my kitchen faves, so i thought it was about time to post one.

{image courtesy of cuisinart}

caleb and i received a FABULOUS blue dutch oven from a friend as wedding gift. it's made by cuisinart and i use it alllll the time. (it's similar to the one in the link, but a prettier blue)

a few PROS
- it's blue (my fave color - if you haven't already figured that out)
- it's like a crock pot without a plug... plop it on the stove, put in some ingredients, turn the stove on, and let simmer, voila... a few hours later, dinner...
- it makes the best chili
- it makes the best spaghetti sauce
- it can be put in the oven
- it can be put in the fridge

- and many many many more...

i could go on... but i won't, i'll spare you.

disclaimer: the dutch oven doesn't MAKE the chili or spaghetti sauce, it has SOMETHING to do w/the chef, BUT i don't think my chili or spaghetti sauce would be nearly as delish without this dutch oven.

caleb decided to cook for me one day. i was gone and came home to a messy kitchen (ugh) but all smelled delicious (he was redeemed). i sat down to a delightful meal (i wish i had pictures). it was a green salad, spaghetti and homemade spaghetti sauce.
now this was my man's FIRST attempt at spaghetti sauce, and he used the dutch oven... mind you, he didn't even know what a dutch oven was... i swear his spaghetti sauce was possibly, maybe, probably... better than mine... i know, it almost hurts to say it. my hubster is a good cook when he wants to be, which i benefit from. he enjoys experimenting in the kitchen... which is ok too when it turns out as delicious as that dinner was.
anyway, i asked him WHERE he found the recipe... he googled it and in reading the recipe, he realized it called for a dutch oven. he thought, where can i find a dutch oven? so he googled "dutch oven" and realized, SARA HAS ONE!!! and put ol' blue cuisy to use :)
which i was extremely thankful for


a swedish adventure in ipswich

here's a preview of what's to come...

sweet strawberries

made into...


google it...
i'll be posting more about my adventure in the kitchen
complete with photos


sweet summertime

a few things to describe summer bliss...

  • the beach
  • flip flops
  • sunny days & long nights
  • crane's beach
  • chappy
  • ice-cream
  • grilling outside
  • corn on the cob
  • strawberries, raspberries, blueberries... all things berries...

oh how i heart the summer

i could go on... but i'll save it for another post on another day...


tribute to this guy...

happy birthday!

the younger days

learning how to play the piano...

boating on cape cod

gordon - may 2002

valentine's day 2005

my birthday dinner 2006 - being goofy

summer 2006 on the bike path

my birthday dinner 2007


I love you. You are the best dad a girl could every ask for... Thanks for all you've done and continue to do for me... I don't have any "old" pictures to post... maybe I can scrounge up a few at a later date...

Thanks for the memories...
  • Playing with us kids: biking, soccer, kick the can, croquet, baseball, basketball... you always made time for us
  • Going to Dairy Queen in the summer and walking along Falmouth Harbor - Introducing me to my love of ice-cream
  • Building us a sandbox and kick butt swing-set (hope you'll put up some swings for Baby Alpine, hint hint)
  • Turning our basement into an awesome playroom at Brigantine
  • Sending us kids to Sweden many many many summers to spend time with family and enjoy the land of the midnight sun
  • Taking us on numerous trips to Florida
  • Driving to Florida b/c we begged you to drive
  • Buying us quality snorkeling gear inspiring my love for the ocean
  • Taking on snorkeling trips in Boca and the Keys
  • Taking us skiing... oh how I love to hit the slopes
  • Teaching me that life is short and I need to enjoy it... take in the views
  • Not accepting that your daughter is a better, faster skier than you and continue to race her every chance you get...
  • Building a bigger house for us kids so we could all have our own bedroom
  • Letting me get first pick of the bedrooms
  • Sending me to Ecuador to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins, FIRST CLASS
  • Sending me to Sweden for a year in High School
  • Supporting me at my sporting events
  • Putting me through college
  • Hiking up and skiing down Tuckerman's Ravine
  • Introducing me to hiking... which I LOVE!!
  • Taking the family to Maine many summers - spending time boating, wake-boarding, tubing, swimming, eating ice-cream and relaxing on the porch
  • Family bike trips to the Vineyard in the summer
  • Teaching me how to grill meat the right way ;) medium rare
  • Introducing me to sushi in Homeport... :)
  • Introducing me to "fine dining" at the Regatta
  • Introducing me to golfing & making me take golfing lessons b/c you never had the chance, you wanted your kids to have a chance
  • Providing a summer job for me - it was a constant learning experience
  • Teaching me about good customer service: answer the phone w/a smile - among others
  • NOT letting me work for you once I graduated college
  • Giving me the opportunity to work for you once I had JOB EXPERIENCE in the working world
  • Marrying Caleb and me - that was super special :)
  • Allowing me to work from a home office once I got married
  • Providing a company car to drive to and from work (I work 3 days from home and 2 days in the office)
  • Going to swimming with me at Chappy
  • Inspiring me to run the Falmouth Road Race... I've ran it 3 or 4 times and I would gladly run it this year, but the belly hinders me :)
  • Encouraging me to be wise with my money - live responsibly
  • Encouraging me to think outside the box
  • Making me write goals :)
  • Telling me it's VITAL to NEVER stop learning - which I witnessed as you were determined to learn how to play the piano at age 42 - you bought a piano and took lessons... 10 years later you are playing on the worship team at church and doing a great job :)
  • Teaching me about Jesus
  • Your love and respect for your faith
Dad, there are oh so many memories I have and the list above does not begin to express them. Thanks for all the memories. Thanks for the educational moments. I wouldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for you.

maine 2006

norway/sweden 2006