The Fat Hydrangea

Sara Michelle - Columbus, Ohio

What a Difference a Year Can Make

Sara Michelle B.2 Comments

Last year on August 1st, my Facebook post was “What a difference a year can make.” And I didn’t mean it in a good way..

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On August 1, 2017, I was enjoying my first few days of being a stay at home mom. I was over the moon to be able to spend all day every day with my kiddos and kiss the corporate world goodbye! I was so excited to have a slower paced life and more time to focus on serving and caring for the ones I love. Plus, I officially relaunched my blog on August 1st and was dreaming of opening up my own interior decorating business as a passion project/side hustle. It felt like the BEST day and a new beginning.

On August 1, 2018, I went back to work in finance full-time. It was the first day I ever dropped the boys off at a daycare. Also a major new beginning, but not one I’d expected or wanted. I was living with my parents, raising three kids alone, heartbroken, and exhausted.

What a difference a year can make is right.

But you know what? The “me” in 2018, in spite of being in an unforeseen and seriously undesired position in life, had a lot of faith and was clinging to hope... I KNEW God had seen this storm in my life coming and had a way through it. I KNEW God had placed this job and this daycare and this new house in my path. I KNEW I was where I was supposed to be and that eventually - somehow, someway - God was going to bring good out of my circumstances. I KNEW God was working even if I didn’t know how the pieces were going to come together. Though I’d gotten through the worst of it, I was still overwhelmed with grief and fear because there was so much unknown ahead of me, but I kept walking in faith in spite of those feelings. One small step ahead of the other, I kept moving forward. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I trusted that though some major things in my life had ended, that this wasn’t the end of all that was good. My life wasn’t over! The “me” on that day - through all of the tears - had fierce hope and saw the light starting to shine through the cracks.

On August 1, 2019, I say it again - what a difference a year can make! After a year of so much unexpected hardship, I feel like I had a year more defined by unexpected blessings. By the grace of God, I am happy. I am healing. The boys are amazing and kind and hilarious and thriving. I have grown SO MUCH! My faith has exponentially deepened. I see how so many of the puzzles pieces came together because I trusted God and took the actions he put on my heart even when they stretched me seriously beyond my comfort zone. I’ve deepened and developed some awesome friendships that have brought so much light and laughter into my life. I’ve started writing and have experienced some incredible bonding and rich blessings by sharing my story. There have been so many good trips and books and house projects and experiences and memories made. Don’t get me wrong, there are still many REALLY hard days… days where I can hardly get in a deep breath... days when it all hits me... but my hope and my faith are greater than my grief. I’ve learned they can coexist and in that, it actually makes the sweet stuff sweeter. (Isn’t that a gift?) While this isn’t the path I would have ever chosen for myself, there are still so many blessings that God has placed in my life. Today I choose to be grateful for those blessings and that is enough! It truly overflows my heart when I sit still and think about it all.

I don’t know what the next year holds for me, and honestly I’ve pretty much given up having expectations or plans for my life at this point :) I’ve 100% given it to God! But I do know that whatever comes my way we will be ok. We’ll grow in the darkest of valleys and give thanks - immense thanks- for the blessings that come our way.

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Parade of Homes 2019

Sara Michelle B.Comment

This year’s Parade of Homes was held at Evan’s Farm in Lewis Center, Ohio and it was AMAZING!! I’m so excited to share my favorite pictures with you! I hope you will be as inspired as I am. Love the fun, funky tile throughout the homes and of course the blues, grays, and whites. Definitely inspired me to keep working and decorating my house and gave me some great ideas!

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Soon what do you think? Gorgeous right?

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The Calling to Write

Sara Michelle B.Comment
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As you can clearly tell, this blog has been on the back burner lately. It has been for a good reason though, as most of my energy has been going into another writing project recently. As you may know if you’ve been following me for awhile, my life has been totally turned upside down the last couple of years. It has been a rough road for me and the boys, but in the midst of it all we have found hope, growth, and blessings in the depths of our grief.

Though I am NOT a writer, I feel like God is calling me to share my story so that others who find themselves suddenly dealing with heartbreak, a loved ones addiction, or some other type of difficult life changing circumstance can know that they are not alone and that there is hope. It is truly amazing how God has laid a path for me through the hardest and darkest of situations to bring me to a place of peace. My life doesn’t look like I ever thought I would and not that I’d wish what I’ve gone through on anyone, but man, God is good through it all and I am thankful for where I am today. A year and a half ago I was paralyzed with grief and fear and didn’t know how I was going to get through it. My heart was physically aching and I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders as I was responsible for caring for three young boys while rebuilding my whole entire life from the ground up. I felt super alone in the sense 99% of the people in my life didn’t even know what was going on and I’d never known anyone who had dealt with what I was dealing with. I had faith but I was broken. It was impossibly hard.

But step by step, God kept leading me forward, opening new doors, bringing beauty out of the ashes, and teaching and transforming me more than I could have ever imagined. He didn’t answer my prayers in the way that I wanted him to or take away all of the suffering, but he taught me that there are blessings in the depths of it and that my pain can be used for a greater purpose. For that, I am beyond grateful and I want others to know that there is hope, a path, and blessings for them as well.

I’m excited to share my story .

That being said, I feel like I am sneaking in writing whenever and wherever I can! I have chapters written on two different computers, various notebooks, scrap pieces of paper, voice memos and notes on my phone - you name it. If I’m honest - it’s a mess! But a beautiful mess :) And I hope someday it can all come together and deliver a message that someone else out there may need to hear.

While it will probably be A WHILE before I really have updates, if you think you might be interested in hearing them when they are available - please sign up below and you’ll be the first to be notified as this comes to fruition.

In the meantime, I feel called to say that if you find yourself in a season of suffering, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here if you need a friend.

I also hope to get back into The Fat Hydrangea a little bit more too! The last couple of months I’ve needed to step back and unplug, but I’ve missed this community and the creative outlet it provides! I am looking to make more time for this little space of the internet in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Lots of love,

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Functional & Fashionable Travel

Sara Michelle B.Comment

As you know, I’ve been doing some traveling this year (California and Florida) and am so in love with some of my new travel accessories that I just have to share! My last luggage was on it’s last legs.. I truly think if I would have used my 10-year old suitcase for one more trip it would have fallen apart in transit! So, I invested in a beautiful set from Away (the Bigger Carry On and the Medium) in navy, of course. Seriously could not be happier with them. They are durable, spacious, and such high quality. Definitely live up to the hype!

I also am loving the clear accessory bags from Truffle. I use the small, rectangular case for headphones, sunglasses, gum, etc. It’s so nice that it’s clear and easy to see, and keeps things from floating around (and falling out of) my purse. I love the bigger, flat clear case to put my papers/boarding pass/etc. in. That way they don’t get bent or ruined or lost!

The Freshly Picked diaper backpack is also a total necessity with traveling with kids. It’s adorable and functional, and if you ask me, backpacks are the way to go so then you can travel hands free if you have to pick up a kid (or two!)

The rest are just cute accessories I added to the mix!

 
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Here are click-through links to the products:

Away Travel the Bigger Carry-on in Navy

Away Travel the Bigger Carry-on in Navy

Tory Burch Gemini Link Canvas Tote

Tory Burch Gemini Link Canvas Tote

Truffle Clarity Jetset Case

Truffle Clarity Jetset Case

Michael Kors Leather Tassel Key Chain in Optic White

Michael Kors Leather Tassel Key Chain in Optic White

Estella Barlett Passport Cover

Estella Barlett Passport Cover

Truffle Clarity Clutch

Truffle Clarity Clutch

Freshly Picked Stone Classic Diaper Bag

Freshly Picked Stone Classic Diaper Bag

I’m excited for the trips my future will bring - both big and small :)

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