the first cut is the deepest

Hidey Ho, Neighbor! Can anyone name the show?

Wowza, that first week of this year was a doozy. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t officially the “first” week, but it was the first for me. What even is WORK?

This week in a nutshell: I had an eye doctor appointment, I got strep throat, and I listened to a LOT of Dolly Parton.

First things first…my eye doctor appointment. It’s no secret I was hoping for good news but maybe anticipating the worst? I’ve been seeing a surgeon for my eye since the first week of my infection. For several weeks I was seeing him every day, and then every other day, and then twice a week, and this was my first appointment in 6 weeks. He’s seen me so frequently he wanted a period of time to gauge healing. The infection has been gone officially for about 8 weeks, but the scar tissue left behind is significant. It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 months since this all happened. Since my life changed dramatically.

The results…no change. He measured the size of the scarring on my cornea and it’s identical to 6 weeks ago. The density (or thickness) is still the same. And the vision in my eye (with my glasses on – my prescription before the infection) is the same. What does that mean? Well, it’s kinda done doing anything fast for now. It *might* get a little better but we are talking years and not months or weeks. So. So, now I know what I’m dealing with.

At the end of February I have an appointment to get my vision checked again. This will help me establish what the new, stronger prescription will be in my bad eye. The hope is they will be able to try to correct the vision in my bad eye as best as they can, however, the distortion is never going to go away. The fractures, the smudges, and fog…I’m stuck with that. My right eye is never going to be *right* again. He said he will see me again in a year and we will evaluate again next steps. Oh, he also changed out my steroid drops for a lower, more long-term version. I’m still putting drops in my eye twice a day for at least the next 3 months.

I expected this news deep down, but it was still crushing to hear. This is my life now. I’ve got to figure it out. It’s my hope I’ll eventually get comfortable with driving. And really bright places. And depth perception. I miss running and I miss hiking, both of which I stopped completely because almost everything I see I have to guess where it actually is.

Sitting here now, a few days post appointment, I’m sad but I’m also a planner. I’ll figure this out. I need those contacts and then I’ll start this new thing all over again.

In other news, I was also diagnosed with strep throat this week. Not fun at all. I’m on day 4 of antibiotics and finally feeling the razor blades in my throat retreat. Happy day.

Lastly, Dolly Parton! She was the first artist I drew out of my 2020 music jar. I knew all of her “big” hits but some of there other stuff is SO GOOD. I’m going to start a playlist of my favorites from this 2020 music project. If anyone would like to follow along, message me and I’ll share it with you. In the meantime, here are some of my favorites from Dolly:

  • Here You Come Again
  • Down From Dover
  • Just Because I’m a Woman
  • Two Doors Down
  • Jolene (because of course)
  • Eagle When She Flies (the best. You’ll cry.)

Have a great week everyone!

TODAY I LOVE: lavendar

SONG OF THE DAY: “Eagle Then She Flies” by Dolly Parton

20/20: perfect vision

Recently I heard the line, “know the difference between spectacular and significant.” It was said in the context of ourselves. How often do we look at others, in all their spectacular glory, and wish we were different? I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s a lot. I fail to recognize my own significance for the spectacular brilliance of others. Taking that little nugget of thought into account, it has shaped my goals for this coming year.

I write these posts every year and I’m usually good if I complete 50% of what I say I’m going to do. I don’t know if this year will be the same, but here are my hopes and wishes for the coming year:

  • Write more handwritten things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as anti-paper as you can come. As the years go by the less I use the the penmanship Mrs. Miller in third grade worked so hard to instill in me. Also, as the years go on, the more I value receiving handwritten things. It takes time and it takes intentionality. I want to do that. I want to write more and let me people know I’m taking the time to speak to them.
  • Photography. I do say this one every year and every year I fail. I have great camera equipment and now I have the space to use it. I need to be better at documenting things I’m going to miss when they’re gone; my family.
  • Use the library more. And read. Diving into a world not my own brings me so much joy. I need to do it more.
  • Work / Life balance. I need to find it more than ever. This is probably this biggest one. I love my job, but I need to leave more of it in the office.
  • Journaling and devotionals. I’ve found a few that I’ve hand-picked to help me with my anxiety and faith. It’s my prayer they will be the umbrella above my life and help me with all the things I’d like to achieve.
  • Be authentic in my relationships. I’m starting the year in a new romantic relationship and it’s new and it’s fresh and it’s exciting. It’s my hope that I can continue to be ME, the real me, for as long as it may last. I can’t lose who I am. And if I choose the right people, I won’t have to.
  • Being a musician again. Oh how I miss this. All through high school and college music was my job but also my outlet; my place to express. I’ve found my instruments, I’ve ordered a new metronome and method book…I’m ready to get my playing chops back. If I get good enough, maybe I’ll join the community band. Watch out, SGF. I was pretty good back in the day.

Alright. I have one more and it’s a biggie. This is more of a dream goal, one that I won’t get accomplished in 2020, but needs to get started in 2020. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of money (that I don’t have) but I’m going to throw this out here. As you all know, I’ve been really enjoying yoga this last quarter of the year. It’s one thing I can do, even with a bad eye, and it’s brought me so much mental silence and peace. I want to be better. I want to get certified in it. And maybe someday…teach it. GASP. I’m trying not to tear myself down for even saying it out loud, because there are about 1,000 reasons why it probably wouldn’t work anyway. But despite those 1,000 reasons I’m still thinking about it. It’s a goal that I’m willing to work towards.

So. This is me. This is the me that is going into 2020 with open eyes. (Hopefully eyes that will get 20/20 vision back.) 🙂

Happy New Year, my friends. Let’s do this.

TODAY I LOVE: fragrant hot tea

SONG OF THE DAY: “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer

random friday stuff: vol 7

Hello, my friends! Is everyone putting on their favorite music and having a mini dance party? No? Just me? Give it a try. I guarantee you’ll smile: if not out of happiness then at your pure silliness.

Here are some random things I’m stewing on this week:

  • I cannot stop listening to all things Foy Vance. If you like folk/blues/rock you’d love him. Go ahead and check him out!
  • My birthday is next week and I’m already thinking about some kind of treat I will allow myself. If you can’t break the elimination diet for cake on your birthday THEN WHAT CAN YOU BREAK IT FOR?! It will probably make me feel miserable, but I will suffer for the cause.
  • I haven’t run much at all this week due to falling in a hole while on a run Monday morning. I was oh so graceful. I rolled my ankle and then hit the ground. It’s been bruised most of the week but it’s going down now. All that to say, I’ve missed it! I’m looking forward to getting back out there and setting some goals for October. I’d like to be able to go more than 3 miles without sounding like a dying cow. 🙂
  • All my reading friends don’t throw things at me, but I’m FINALLY getting around to reading “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. I know, I know, I’m very late to the party.
  • Jeans that are too big are just as awful as jeans that are too tight. Right now I’m in the middle of every size of jean I own. I’ve also learned that high-waisted skinny jeans are likely what it felt like to be wearing a full-body corset.
  • I’m still thinking about the Downton Abbey movie. I want to go see it again. Yes, it’s pure fluff. But unlike so many movies and tv shows you see these days, you leave it light-hearted and smiling. I’ll take some more of that please.

Ok, that’s enough for today. I hope everyone has a splendid weekend!

TODAY I LOVE: the tiny pink pineapple lamp I have in my kitchen
SONG OF THE DAY: “Unlike Any Other” by Foy Vance

sing with me

I love concerts.

I’m sitting here at home doing some work that I couldn’t get finished during the day. It was a very, very busy day. Lots of meetings that were important and required work and engagement on my part. So anyway, I’m working here at home and I’m singing. Because that is what I do. I thought for fun I’d jot down a few of my favorite sing-a-long songs that I happened to sing this evening. Maybe you’ll find one you like.

Here you go…

  • “Rich Girl” by Lake Street Dive (perfect warm up tune)
  • “Push” by Matchbox Twenty (come on high school friends…old skool)
  • “No” by Meghan Trainor (this requires dancing and hand gestures)
  • “Teenage Dirtbag” by Walk Off the Earth
  • “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” by Mel McDaniels (come on, I am a country girl.)
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” The Mountainman (fantastic harmonies. Show your stuff on this one.)
  • “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile (you REALLY have to sing loud on this one.)
  • “99 Problems” by Hugo (this is a great thumping Jay-Z cover)
  • “Shake” by Nathaniel Ratliff and the Night Sweats (this is for your dance break…give those vocal chords a rest.)
  • “Better Man” by Leon Bridges (the captain of smooth…this will get you back to singing and swaying)
  • “Found / Tonight” by Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda (because HARMONY PARTS and HAMILTON and DEAR EVAN HANSEN)
  • “What If This is All the Love You Ever Get” by Snow Patrol (this song is so stripped-down that you can sing so passionately and LOUD)
  • “Girl” by Maren Morris (everyone needs a girl anthem)
  • “Like a Girl” by Lizzo (dance break!)
  • “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters (Ok, this is a hard shift from Lizzo, but this is putting the day behind you and moving on. Sing sweetly and find the harmony.)
  • “Goodbye Road” by Johnnyswim and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors (this one is a tearjerker. A great encore for your performance.)

Gah! I almost hate giving music lists because I love SO. MUCH. MUSIC. If anyone actually saw my music library I’m sure they would think I was a nutcase. (Maybe I am. And that’s ok too.)

Have a great evening everyone! Sing a song for me.

TODAY I LOVE: when reports all tie together
SONG OF THE DAY: “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters

random friday stuff: vol 6

Hi friends! It’s another sweltering day in the Ozarks! I hope everyone is wearing their sweat-resistant sunscreen.

Here are the fun random things that have consumed me this week:

  • SO MUCH NEW MUSIC!!! I’ve been crazy random on my music tastes and I’m loving it. Do yourself a favor and check out these new tunes:
  • I completely binge watched the entire season of The Spanish Princess and now I’m totally obsessed with The War of the Roses, the Plantagenets, the Tudors, etc. So I’ve picked up all my Philippa Gregory books and have started from the beginning. Last week I read “The Lady of the Rivers” and “The White Queen.” I’m ready to start the next in the series…”The Red Queen.” So good!
  • Drip Drop. For some reason I tend to get dehydrated very easily, no matter how much water I drink (and I usually drink 2-4L a day.) My beloved Nuun hasn’t been cutting it in this heat and my next favorite, Re:Immune, has been out of stock. I did some research and found this product. So far so good. I’d recommend it.
  • The Soundtrack Show. I love listening to the scores to movies. Most of them are quite gorgeous. The other day I stumbled upon this podcast that takes popular movie scores and takes them apart. For a big ole music nerd like myself, it is like Christmas morning.
  • I think I’m going to pick up crocheting again. My twitter friends are inspiring me. Besides, it’s something I can do while I watch the 1,000 shows I’m behind on. Why are there so many new seasons/shows during the summer?!

Alright, folks. Go forth and stay cool.

In honor of this post being mostly about music AND me being a total nerd, here’s walk down memory lane. Sarah, the high school band geek. Go Tigers!

TODAY I LOVE: cheese. All cheese. Gimme cheese.
SONG OF THE DAY: “Stockholm” by Penny & Sparrow

random friday stuff: vol 5

Sometimes you just have to make your photos super exaggerated and over saturated. 🙂

I haven’t done this in ages! Here are all the things I’m a bit obsessed with on this super hot and humid Friday:

  • Oversized t-shirt dresses. They are certainly not the most flattering of dress choices, but they win for the most comfortable in this gross humidity.
  • Blackberry Bubly. That stuff is just good. It beats La Croix with no contest.
  • I’ve become the retired old man when it comes to yard maintenance. STOP. RAINING. STOP. GROWING. Yes, Fridays are my mowing/weeding days. The bushes/trees in my backyard are straight from Satan. I tangle with them and curse on repeat. Also the heat might kill me. Send Bubly.
  • Hozier. I’m fairly certain I’ve listened to his “Wasteland Baby” album at least 20x this week. It’s that good. His music is just…sexy? In a dark, cloudy kind of way.
  • Outlander. I read the series years and years ago but am only just now watching the Starz adaptation of it. Wowza. I might have my own crush on Jamie now. It also makes me DESPERATELY want to visit Scotland and see all that beauty in person. #bucketlist
  • I love getting all glammed up, but lately I’ve been trying to see just how little makeup I can wear without someone asking me if I’m tired or sick. I *think* I’ve found the perfect balance. That makes me so happy.
  • Filmm app on my phone. I’ve never been big on taking videos but this app has certainly made me do it more. You can add all kinds of different filters and flares to your video.
  • Flowers. I love flowers you guys. I think I’m always obsessed with them. While all the rain won’t make my yard stop growing, it’s majorly helping the flowers. It makes my heart happy.

I think that’s enough for today. What are you loving this random Friday?

TODAY I LOVE: genuine smiles
SONG OF THE DAY: “Freak Show” by Ingrid Michaelson

random friday stuff: vol 4

Hiyo! Things have been way to depressing lately.  All around.  Let’s talk about all the things that are making me happy these days.

  1. Downton Abbey.  When it was on originally I never got past the finale of Season 3.  No spoilers but it was DEVASTATING to me.  So I stopped.  I decided to pick it up again and get past that fateful episode.  I want to start calling it luncheon instead of lunch.  And I really want to wear their gowns.
  2. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For my birthday last year my super awesome fella got me a Nintendo Switch and this game!  First off, having never really owned a major gaming system, this thing is amazing.  I love it.  That should also tell you I’M TERRIBLE.  But you guys it is so fun.  This game is gorgeous.  You can wander around as you please and explore.  And if you are me, you die quite a lot.  I’m glad I’ve been able to get into the game and even though I’m terrible I’m slowly learning.
  3. Nayyirah Waheed.  Her poetry is LIFE.  I’m a bit obsessed with her lately and have wanted her book Salt but it is super hard to find.
  4. New music from Leon Bridges and Ray LaMontagne.  Oh, and I still can’t stop playing new music from Brandi Carlile and The Secret Sisters (both of whom are playing TOGETHER in Kansas City in June and I want to go so bad it hurts.)
  5. Sea Otters.  While I was in California with my guy a few weeks ago we went to Monterey, CA for a day.  We had dinner at an awesome restaurant right on the bay.  There was a sea otter swimming and hunting right there in the water next to us!!  It was one of the most magical settings and lovely moments.  I still think of it often.
  6. Skin Care.  To say that I’ve become obsessed with skin care and anti-aging would be the understatement of the year.  I’m not sure when I turned the corner of not caring to completely obsessed, but I’m here.  I’ve been using Drunk Elephant products exclusively for the last year now and they are FANTASTIC.  However now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of K-Beauty and I’m going to add (what feels like) 20 more steps to my process.  As I find things I love I’ll keep you posted.  The constant quest to not look my age is a real thing.
  7. Lastly…for a funny.  My grandma celebrated her 80th birthday a few weeks ago.  We had a little dinner party for her.  This was me trying to drive all the balloons I purchased home (an hour and a half drive.)  I really overshot what would fit in my car.  IMG_2117

TODAY I LOVE: peanut butter (I really need to not buy it.  It’s too good.)