Monday, July 6, 2009

Before and After

My friend Kelly and I have a running joke that I should never say, “That’s my plan.” It gets me in trouble all the time. I’ll look at a situation, find the best possible scenario and make it my plan… and then it all inevitably goes to hell in a hand basket. So now we think about the best possible scenario and decide that it sure would be nice, but declare emphatically that I’m totally not planning on it.

Because if it’s a plan… it’s not happening.

After my whole episode of waking up in the kind of pain that made it so I couldn’t walk, I really believed I had been through the worst of it. I made the mistake of having a plan somewhere in the deepest recesses of my brain of how this latest setback was going to right itself, and was positive I’d be on an upswing in no time.

I’m sure you can guess how that’s been turning out.

This past weekend went swiftly to the aforementioned hell in a hand basket, and I think it’s safe to say Saturday was one of my worst days ever. I won’t bore you with the details, but I will say I have no doubt now this is going to be a long road of getting back to my normal self. Or, at the very least, establishing a new normal for myself. Patience and fortitude are going to be my new mantra.

In the midst of all this, I sat here thinking about how grateful I am to have started this blog last year. I really just wanted to see if I still had it in me to write, but now I think it actually took off like it did – and all of you found me here – because I would need this to keep me going in times like these. I would need it to keep me mentally motivated and participating, even when I physically can’t, and even if it is at a different pace.

So, this sporadic schedule of posting is probably going to go on for quite awhile because I’m not making any plans [even in the quiet thoughts of my own head] as to how these next several months are going to go. I know the road I’m on, but I’m still trying to figure out how the heck to walk down it. So I’m going to deal with what comes as it comes, and I’m going to come here to what feels like my reprieve as much as I can to talk to you all. And tell you some stories. And answer questions. And keep myself connected to the outside world. And make sure you don’t forget this nose:


Because really, who could live without that nose?

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

And it’s good to remember that in the midst of all of life’s insanity there’s always good stuff, too.

Like the fact that Mom and Dad came for a visit on Friday afternoon, and I put them to work with some heavy lifting. Part of me wanted the couches moved around because of the “different decorating” philosophy I talked about in my last post, but mostly it was because I discovered my flowered couch was a lot more comfortable for me right now. It has one long seat cushion, is more firm and has higher arms to lean against… all of which makes it easier for me to get up and down and is more comfortable for my ribs when I’m sitting up. You’d think cushiony would be better, but I’ve learned it’s not so great to “sink into” furniture.

But I digress… the point here is that I took before and after photos per your request! I have to tell you, it feels like I got all new furniture because the switch makes my house look so different.

Here’s my red room before:


And the red room after:

Riley wasted no time testing out his new couch position:
_MG_7746“Seriously, woman… all this decorating is getting out of hand… will you just leave well enough alone already?”

Here’s the piano room before:

And the piano room after:

And here’s a shot just so it makes sense why I call it the piano room:

I now think I’m officially done redecorating/rearranging, which is probably a good thing. I actually had the thought pass through my mind to paint over my wall of doodles when I get stronger and change that up, but I think I would totally regret that impulse. Best I quit while I’m ahead and just enjoy the comfort of my “new” couch, don’t you think?!?!?

_MG_7747“Change one more thing and I swear I’m leaving you…”

Yep. Riley agrees.


  1. Love the new look!! Small changes can sure make a difference within, can't they?! Enjoy, dear-heart!! <3 (((((Sara)))))

    Recent blog:=- Before and After

  2. Sometimes just small changes can make such a big difference. Of course, moving couches is not a small change. How wonderful for you to be able to make changes that help your comfort to some degree.

    Do you ever read other folks' blogs? I've been fascinated with the "not quite words" that some of the blogs require to post. I kept a list for a while but then it was lost when my computer shut down unexpectedly. I've begun saving them again. Eventually i might turn them into a funny story or just create definitions for them. If i could do poetry it might turn out like the Jabberwocky. But i don't do poetry. I'd forgotten about Jabberwocky until recently when i came across it when searching for something else.

    There is not much point to that last paragraph. Just thought it might amuse you. :)

    As i've said before, my limitations (& pain particularly) are not as extreme as yours. But i do tend to devalue myself because of the limitations. Other folks seem to have so much more energy & can do so much more . . . if i just pushed myself harder? Today's scripture at church was a good reminder for me. It was 2 Corinthians in the 12th chapter. Where Paul states he begged to have his affliction lifted but was told, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." And more. I know that you don't need to be told this Sara, & i'm not preaching at you, but i found it comforting. I thought you might, as well.

    I continue to pray for you. Pray that this will be lifted from you & that you continue to have such grace to face it.

    Recent blog:=- Post 4th of July #2

  3. house on rancheroJuly 6, 2009 at 5:42 AM

    Love the change!
    Love you!

  4. Rearranging furniture is like a whole new start. Pray this is a new start to some feel-better days for you! And yes, I love that nose! Geesh, he's as cute as they get!

    Recent blog:=- Solitude

  5. Thanks for the perspective on "planning on it." I sometimes get caught in that "it has to happen because I said/thought it was going to happen" mode. As always, my prayers are with you and we think/talk of you often. Take care. Doug

    ...unrelated note. ;) Dziezdic and his wife, Jen, had a baby girl last week! I'll forward pictures when I get them. Hopefully, the girl will look like her mommy. :)

  6. PLEASE don't paint over your doodle wall--I love it! Hope your new furniture arrangement brings you more comfort!
    I think we grow up thinking we can plan the future, but in realitym no one can truly make those plans! Making the best of our situations is all we can do. And, you go beyond that with your inspiration for others. You are a real blessing to all who read this blog!!

  7. Ohh! Don't paint over the wall of doodles!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that! (and, obviously, it matters that you keep what I love in YOUR house.)
    Praying for you still.

  8. I love the new changes. Wall doodles? I had to go read all about that cause that was before my time w/you. I love the wall doodles. Lifting you up. Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog:=- Still Learning and Project 365

  9. Mary Grace McNamaraJuly 6, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    I am pretty sure I could live without that nose, but the eyes and ears are just too cute to pass up! Could Riley have any idea just how darn cute he is? I wonder.

    I love your new arrangement of furniture the whole look of your home. We seem to have very similar decorating tastes. The rich wall colors are fabulous.

    I heard a saying once that I'm sure you've heard or at least thought before...If you want to make God laugh, make plans. I think if we set our hearts on our plans being whatever it is that God has planned for us, we will always be happy.


    Recent blog:=- More Crocheted Red, White and Blue

  10. Sara....WOW, what a transformation of your rooms! Looks great, now we'll pray for the tranformation of dealing with your pain.
    Blessings on your week

  11. Love it!

    And you KNOW your wall of doodles makes me giddier than anything else in the UNIVERSE!! I've been drooling since the first time I saw it!

    Hugs for your day!!

    Recent blog:=- give-away monday!

  12. Love you new arrangement, and so sorry to hear you had such a rough weekend! Oh and the wall of doodles...that is so cool. You should only paint over it if you plan to just start with a blank slate and begin again with new doodles. I would LOVE to be talented enough to make one of my own!

  13. It does look TOTALLY different! I'm starting to drool just thinking about rearranging... Thanks for taking photos for us. I am always so happy to wake up and find you here when you do a post, but this new schedule works too! The randomness keeps me on my toes ;) I hope today is a bit better than yesterday and the day before, but there is no plan, I promise! Whatever it takes to lessen your symptoms and pain just a bit! Hugs to you and Riley pup!

  14. You have such an inviting looking home, which is not surprising, as you are such an inviting, warm, sweet person. Wish I was living in Iowa so I could come and visit and give you a hug and let my kids play with Riley! :)

    Love the rearranging ... makes life fresh, doesn't it! Any kind of rearranging makes life fresh!

    Praying for you sweet friend! God is faithful!

    Recent blog:=- A Prayer

  15. Love the new arrangement! My hubby gets so mad at me because I'm constantly re-arranging the house! I just get so bored when it stays one way too long.

    And I totally understand about making plans and then them going to hell in a handbasket. My plan making is the same way!

    Have a wonderful day!! :-P

  16. Sorry you're having a rough time. I'm always praying for your comfort, health, and healing. Glad you got the couches moved to where you like them! Hope you're having a happy Monday! :) xoxoxo

  17. I love how rearranging furniture actually seems to release some energy that has stored up in the old arrangement. It could be just moving one table or everything, energy seems to be released. I LOVE THAT! I hope you have a similar effect, and that it will promote your healing. Take care.

  18. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeJuly 6, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    Love the new arranging! And I love the new no plans path your on. I pray for this path to be full of good things for you and hugs and I COULD NOT live without that nose...his picture is on my fridge even as we speak!

    Recent blog:=- Setting the stage for more important things…

  19. All your rooms have a warm, inviting, look to them. I love the wood tables. The antique piano adds the perfect touch to the room.

    The decorating gene is clearly feminine, and turned off in most guys. I have lived in my condo 20 years. All my furniture is in the places as when I first moved in. I could live in a cave as long as it had a bed, TV and PC.

    Riley does have a cute nose. How does it feel on a cold winters night? :)

  20. Robynn's RavingsJuly 6, 2009 at 1:47 PM

    Your home looks beautiful and I'm so glad you find ways to make it work with you and for you. I have no imagination and can't figure out how to move anything to where it would work better/differently.

    I am so sorry to hear about this weekend and all that you've been through. I always say I don't know how you do it but then, I always mean it. You are an amazing woman to just keep movin' on. I would love to run your post with how much blogging has meant to you and how it keeps you going. So many people criticize the blogging time spent and never stop to think of the beautiful therapy, ministry, encouragement, friendship, etc. it is to SOOOO many of us. Thank you for highlighting it so well.

    Recent blog:=- Observational Twitter 19

  21. Totally off the subject and all that good stuff-- how did Riley react to the fireworks?

  22. Sometimes a small change works wonders for the soul. Saying a prayer for improvements. You did it the smart way - a few changes. We're going to empty the house and then take up the carpet and paint the floors. Good news is one of the daughters wants to put it back in and do the decorating.

    Note to Riley: Snuggle up and give Sara a hug from me and my two dust mops.

  23. i want to live in your home! i LOVE color on the walls = your walls make me happy.

    it looks fabulous, dahleen ;)

    Recent blog:=- just thinking…

  24. I don't think that I could live without either of you! Your home is lovely and and I enjoyed seeing your before and after photo's.

    Hoping and praying that you get better and better each and every day.

    Recent blog:=- Macro Monday

  25. Christina J. WerdebaughJuly 6, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    Hi Sara,
    LOVE the redecorating!! The flowered couch looks great in your red room! I'm glad that you had some visitors to help you w/ the heavy lifting. I'm really praying that things ease up for you. I truly wish that I lived closer so that I could get to know you even better. But, so glad that we met in blog world. You truly are a blessing to everyone you meet. Praying for you, friend.

  26. Christina J. WerdebaughJuly 6, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    PS . . .
    I had to go back and read your post on Wall Doodles b/c I wasn't around back then. What FABULOUS idea!! I love how you put the curtains up, too! :)

  27. The colors of your home are gorgeous. Your home has a glow, you know. :-)Would love to be sitting on your new sofa petting Riley.

  28. What a difference, love the new look! Looks cozy and very comfy! I think Riley likes it too!

  29. Change is good! Hope you are feeling better soon. (Very glad too that you go to spend some time with your parents)

    Recent blog:=- Tell Them Noah

  30. I love it that you never seem to have any fear. I have a chronic pain problem, not as bad as yours. But I can't exercise, and am very limited in how many hours I can be up in a day. Today I did too much and had a bad reaction, and it scared me. I guess I'm afraid it might indicate another, serious problem. It calms me to read your blog. Thank you.

    Recent undefined:=- Oh no! Comluv had an error with your feed, see message below!

  31. "not quite words" huh? you'll have to share a few sometime :)

    And I'm glad you shared the verse... there are never too many reminders about grace in our lives. Thanks.

  32. :* back at ya. I'm liking the change myself.

  33. Thanks, Candy. Believe it or not, that cute nose can get demanding when he tries to stick it on my plate of food, too. :-P

  34. Oh, that Dziezdic comment made me laugh! What did they name her? Do send photos when you get them... I'd love to see! Is he on Facebook?

  35. I think moving the couches was enough of a change that I've finally gotten over the urge to paint the doodles. That may have been a moment of antsy desperation =-O

  36. Well, since you said not to, I'll definitely leave it alone. Never let it be said I don't do what I'm told ;)

  37. Thanks, Susan. Since I've been doing nothing but laying around, it's been nice laying and looking at something different. :) It's the little things...

  38. Riley knows exactly how cute he is... you should see the intense stares he gives me when he's not getting his way. He totally knows what he's doing. :)

    And you're right about the God laughing at plans thing. I try very hard to make sure I'm aligning my will with His, not the other way around...

  39. It did really change it up, didn't it? Way more than I realized it would... I like it.

  40. I had thought about painting it a color and re-doing the wording, but realized at some point that I don't think I could stand and write on the wall anymore, so I'd better leave well enough alone!

    And you could totally make a wall... or someday I'll make you enough canvases to fill one. ;)

  41. Well, if you do some rearranging, take before and after pictures for me :)

  42. Sometimes changing anything feels like you've done something. It looks so good.....your home is warm and inviting!

    Recent blog:=- Oh baby! Anna Cross is born!

  43. You're so kind. :) No better compliment to me than for people to feel at home in my home!

  44. I find my friends' husbands to be the same way... I don't think men handle change as well :)

  45. thanks, sweetness. appreciate it... and you!

  46. you hit the nail on the head... totally changes up the energy. just mentally helps to look at something different sometimes!

  47. I LOVE that the pup is on your fridge. :) Every time I give him one of those treats you sent I tell him, "You're lucky Robin loves you." Now all I have to say is "Robin" and he starts wagging his tail!

  48. Seriously? You haven't moved anything in 20 YEARS?!?!? Men really are from Mars :-D

    And Riley is a great snuggler... he has to be as close to me as possible at all times when sleeping... I don't think I could sleep without him now.

  49. Thanks for the kind words, Robynn... and you're welcome to reprint it if you like. I can't imagine getting through all this or the past year without all of you. I know you all say I help you, but it really is the other way around.

  50. he was fine... we're far enough away that we only heard a couple of "pops." He perked up at one point, thinking someone was at the door, but that was it. All I see out my windows are garages, so it wasn't like we were near them or seeing lights or anything. We just had a normal night of relaxing on the couch :-D

  51. Now that sounds like FUN decorating! Hope it turns out like you're imagining it... it'll make all the work worth it!

  52. Just let me know when you'd like to move in... I'll make up a couch for you. You can have your pick :*

  53. omgosh! *I* would be sad if you painted over your wall of doodles! I don't even know all of what it says, but I love that you have it!

    And I'm not sure why, but everytime I see a picture of that flowered sofa, I love it. It's strange, but I love it. I think I like the style of it...not exactly the floral print (although I strangely like that too) but the shape of it.

    huh. haha! anyway, I love you friend, and you've actually been on my mind every single day of our trip.... I miss you. :*