How and Why I Started Blogging

How and Why I Started Blogging: The Beginning of Sara Strives

Hello loves! So, one of the biggest questions I get when I talk to people in my everyday life is “why blog?” So, I figured I would start from the beginning with why I even began blogging.

 

I have been passionate about the blogging and Youtube video world since the 7th grade, so about seven years. At first, it was an interest in fashion and beauty, more superficial topics. I started there. I had a few crappy blogs that I tried and failed at. But, then I started Sara Strives at the end of my first semester of freshman year of college. I had gone through a really rough semester and wanted to try something to pull myself out of a depressive and anxious state. And Sara Strives was born.  Continue reading “How and Why I Started Blogging: The Beginning of Sara Strives”

Brother Behind the Blogger

Brother Behind the Blogger

Here is the next Behind the Blogger post! From my brother, Michael. Continue reading “Brother Behind the Blogger”

Dad Behind the Blogger

Dad Behind the Blogger

Hello! Here is the next Behind the Blogger post. This one is from my dad. The below picture is from my baptism. 🙂

Dad Behind the BloggerDescribe me in three words!

 

 

Integrity, Real, Compassionate

In what ways do you think I’m like you?

Perfectionist, yet do not expect perfection from those around you.  And not like you? A few years back, more introverted and a tendency to hold things inside. After a year of college, much more likely to speak your mind. Probably, more innovative and willing to try new things.

Is there anything that you wish had been different between us―or that you would still like to change?

This can be a hard question. The reason I state this is that I like who you are as a person and value our relationship. I think our relationship is somewhat based on our experiences (many good, some challenges). I know I failed many times as a father (pretty much all do), but think we have always had an honest and overall positive relationship. Go clean up your room!   

How did you choose my name?

We were attempting to decide between Sara, Lauren, and Kinsey. We had friends expecting around the same time, that named their daughters Lauren or some variation of Kinsey. So we went with Sara, without an “h.”

What three things do you think of the most each day?

Family, Living my life in a way that honors God, Self-examination on how to improve in handling situations.

What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

 Not sure if weird, but for sure a little off. Shortly after your grandparents adopted me, we took a trip to Luby’s. I ate my food and then started walking around eating all the food left behind on the surrounding tables. My parents convinced me that it was not my last meal and encouraged me to stop eating.  

Are there any foods that you absolutely detest?

Liver

What is a funny habit that you have?

When I had hair, use to twirl my hair in a knot when I was concentrating on a challenging matter.

Has Starbucks ever spelled your name wrong on a cup?If yes, what’s the craziest way that someone has spelled it?

Shean

What is your favorite breed of dog? If you don’t have a favorite breed, describe the characteristics of your ideal dog (or cat)!

My ideal dog is the one (two or three) I have at the time. We have had big, small, spastic, and calm dogs. Kind of like people, they have diverse personalities. Also, we have had some interesting cats with unique personalities, some pretty intense.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

All of them, translates to time with family.

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

It has been a while since I have been on a vacation. As long as I get to slow down a little and hang out with family, it is a perfect vacation.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Helping others to achieve their goals. With all the kids, they have had different challenges or lack of confidence in certain areas. Too be able to stand behind them until they can stand on their own. So rewarding to see the smile. Also, I thought it was when I went through a long war to get my first blackbelt, but it was not near as rewarding as training others until they stood as a confident blackbelt.  

What is your most embarrassing memory?

Think I have had a few of those over the years. One stands out. It was my senior year in high school. Three of us decided to go out on a triple date. A car in front of us drove off the bridge. Trying to make this short, but basically the car was starting to catch on fire so we had to climb down and pull the people out the car and carry them to a safe spot. Once we got everything settled, we moved on to meet with our dates.  We went out to eat. It was not until the end the dinner that I realized that the back of my pants were split up the middle. Although it was for a good reason, it was pretty embarrassing to be walking around for several hours and then realize the condition of my pants.

What is your favorite family tradition?

On holidays, we would attempt to put together 5,000 piece puzzles by the end of the day. Of course watching the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Also, use to play a football game of our own. Most of all just slowing down and enjoying time with family.

What is your favorite memory of me?

One, is when you innocently (already artistic) carved your name on the bumper of my new sports car. Always had to be drawing something. Also, I spent years teaching martial arts, I would get home late to find notes on the door. One in particular (still in my wallet), “Daddy, I can’t go to sleep. Can I sleep with you? Love Sara.”

What is your greatest regret?

Wow! This one is a little tuff! There are times I have been a complete selfish jerk!!! I will always remember those times. I do not want to come across as evasive, but I really try to hold on to the promise of Christ’s blood covering us rather than living with regret. Satan wants us to live with regret and view ourselves as worthless. God wants us to hold on to his promise. Not an excuse to continue to be a complete selfish jerk, but out of humility accepting God’s promise and committing to serve him in our lives.

What were your hopes and dreams as a child?

My family! My life started with no family and then I was adopted by an abusive family. About five years later authorities took me away, which was the first of several steps of becoming a Fry (My family!) For sure, a blessing!

What would you like to see change in the world over the next 10 years?   

For things to slow down a little. We have so much technology to make us more efficient, yet we seem to work more and more.

What was the most rebellious thing you did as a young person?

Can think of one or two. One, my parents went out for the evening and hired a sitter for the evening. I unplugged all clocks (hid others, not plugged in) in the house. About two hours after my bedtime she figured it out. She chased me around the house, but was not fast enough to catch me. Then she started throwing things at me and ended up impaling a hanger in my arm. For some reason, that was her last night as a sitter.  

What can you remember about your first kiss?

Figure it was around second grade. Went over to a friend’s house following church. His neighbor dropped by to hang out. For some reason she brought up the subject of kissing and we tried it out. Figure it lasted a hundredth of second and we went back to riding bikes.  

How did you choose your career and what was your favorite part about it?

Think it chose me more than I chose my career. I have always been interested in law enforcement, just had no idea it would be behind a desk. In most cases people/companies want to take actions that fall into the parameters of the law. Sometimes they just need a little direction.   

When they think about their careers, what do you want your children to focus on?

People are likely to have multiple diverse careers. It is good to stick with one for a while to give it a chance, but it does not have to be a decision for life. Have some fun with it! Money is nice, but it is more important (spending 40 to 80 hours a week) to overall (not every day will be perfect) enjoy your career. As you progress in your career, keep a humble attitude and remember that no task is below you. No matter how minimal a job or task may seem, always give 100% effort. When possible, help those around achieve success. Lead by action, not by words. Work at everything as if you are working for the Lord! Balance is important, a career is temporary, family is permanent (spend time with family).

What are you inspired by?

Scripture: Work at everything as if you are working for the Lord!

Words shared by my father. My family adopted me at age five and my father passed when I was 16, so my time with him was a bit short. However, he put me to work around second grade (a positive experience) and took the time to teach me how to work. Some of his words:

“If you have job, go to work!”

“If you say you are going to do something, do it!”

“Nothing is beneath you, keep a humble heart!”

“Always hold the door for people around you!”

Words shared by my mom. At age five I was the size of three year old. Professionals advised my mom that I would never develop like a normal kid and most likely would never make it through high school. Do not recall the exact words, but basically she said that is not an option. Some of her words:

“Do your homework now!”

“Remember who you are!”

“Don’t bite anybody (her way of saying, be nice)!”

“Serve those around you!”

Other thoughts:

From a movie (may not be the exact works, but like the message): “It is not the number times you get knocked down, it the number of times you get up! Get up!”

Make it happen!

Lead by example, not by words!

Expect more out of yourself than you expect from others!   

How do I inspire you?

You have always had a sweet compassionate heart. The level of growth you have demonstrated over the last year comes to mind. As I mentioned on another question, you were pretty reserved and held your thoughts. Now, you demonstrate confidence and will speak your mind. Also, as I mentioned you are innovate and willing try new things that may be outside your comfort zone. You look for ways to make things happen rather than finding excuses. Also, now I am the father of a blogger.

 

I’m lucky to have many qualities from my dad. Like his long legs and blonde hair! 😉 But also his compassionate heart. I love you!

-Sara

Teacher Behind the Blogger

For my next Behind the Blogger post, I have my technical theatre director from high school, Lisa Guen Raymond. You  may recognize her name, she was my first featured artist. She has been an amazing inspiration and mentor for me, as she moves her career from teaching to full time design work.

Teacher Behind the Blogger

  1. Describe me in three words!

    Courageous- You always head straight on into every challenge with a clear mind and clear heart.

    Inventive – You have this uncanny ability to be able to see and transform pieces you’re working on into art.

    Sincere – You are one of the kindest students I’ve ever had. It was a pleasure working with you on projects where you gave your genuine and honest opinions without hesitation.

  2. In what ways do you think I’m like you? And not like you?

    Some similarities that we have is an impeccable attention to detail. I think we are both people who tend to avoid conflict and drama and try to please others around us. I think we are both very creative individuals who have the ability to capture and inspire others around us.
    Some of our differences include that you are way more organized than I am. You’re a type A, I’m more of a Type B. It’s something I genuinely I admire about you and observing you work. I think you’re more adaptable to situations while I’m older and more stuck in my ways. Don’t ever lose that, it’s what makes you remarkable. Lastly, I think I’m a little more frank. I naturally say whatever’s on my mind without always minding what others may think while you have this ability to relate to everyone around you and take their feelings and opinions more into account.
  3. Is there anything that you wish had been different between us―or that you would still like to change?

    If I could change anything I would have brought in more resources to help you advance your career earlier on. I think every teacher always wonders “did I do enough” and I’m sure there’s always more that I could have done. If I had all the time in the world and a smaller class size I would’ve really helped you grow your skills more in design. I also would’ve gotten more sleep so I could have more patience with all my students. It’s hard to be your best when you’re so sleep deprived from your work. I’m so proud of you. I never said that enough in my teaching career.

  4. What three things do you think of the most each day?

    I think about L.J. a lot and how I can constantly do little things for him to make his life easier and to make his day. I think about what’s the next design floating around in my and head and lastly how much I’m looking forward to pursuing my art career full time in the next few months.

  5. Who would play us in a movie or TV show about your lives?

    I think Matilda would best fit our relationship, you would play Matilda of course the gifted and talented child and I would play the teacher. It’s not very metaphorical but I feel like Matilda and the teacher truly developed this very positive and inspiring relationship where they both inspired one another to do better in their own lives and pursue what makes them happiest.

  6. What song best sums you up?

    Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz. I’ve always considered myself to be someone who has their act together but I consider myself a beautifully messy person due to my creativity as well.

  7. What is a funny habit that you have?

    I have this habit of spinning a ring on my finger constantly.

  8. Has Starbucks ever spelled your name wrong on a cup? If yes, what’s the craziest way that someone has spelled it?

    I’ve had Starbucks spell my name as Leesa and Leeza.

  9. What is your favorite breed of dog?  If you don’t have a favorite breed, describe the characteristics of your ideal dog (or cat)!

    I want a dachshund so badly. I want to design clothes for it and make it wear cute little hats. I know, I’m a terrible person but I see all these Vines with dachshund in firemen outfits and I die of cuteness.

  10. What is your most embarrassing memory?

    Oh goodness. My most embarrassing moment happened in high school during the first play I was ever in. I was wearing a short skirt and had to skip on stage. I was wearing nude underwear underneath and when I skipped on stage my skirt went up and everyone thought I was going commando on stage. I got a few good laughs out of that later on in life.

  11. What is your favorite family tradition?

    Since I’m starting a new family with the love of my life L.J. and his family, he and I have started this tradition where we have to say I love you before we go to sleep and when we leave the house. This is so important to him because you never know if it’s going to be the last time you see that person.
  12. What is your favorite holiday and why?

    My favorite holiday is of course Christmas. The great thing about living in Texas is seeing all these small towns lit up during the holiday season. I love going on road trips during the holiday break with L.J. and taking pictures together in these small towns with all their cute decorations.

  13. What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

    The best vacation I’ve ever been on was with L.J. to visit his family in Michigan during Christmas. I love spending time with his family and seeing his sister and niece. It’s truly incredible to surrounded by the love and support of his family. We hang out in their shop working on projects with his Mom and Dad. His dad surprised us and took us fishing the last time we were up there and it made my day since I kept saying how much I missed fishing.
  14. What is your proudest accomplishment?

    My proudest accomplishment was making the decision to transition from being a teacher to pursuing my artwork full time. I loved my students but a part of my was sad not being able to design everyday. I recently was hired to design textiles for a new fashion brand in China. I struggled for the longest time with the fear of failure and to finally get past that fear was one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever had.
  15. What is your favorite memory of me?

    My favorite memory of you is when we discovered your “butterfly punch.” You’re not the type of person to get mad and you flailed your arms like a butterfly when you were upset and I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard ever.

  16. What is your greatest regret?

    My greatest regret was not having the proper schooling in high school and having career centered courses. I really wish I knew earlier on that art and surface design was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

  17. What were your hopes and dreams as a child?

    When I was a kid I wanted to be a famous singer. I’m actually a pretty talented singer but a girl’s gotta eat.

  18. What would you like to see change in the world over the next 10 years?

    I would like to see education be focused more around providing students with trades. Not everyone wants to pursue higher education and I think that if we start teaching youth younger about what trades are available then many more of my students would end up pursuing more enjoyable careers in the long run.
  19. What was the most rebellious thing you did?

    The most rebellious thing I ever did was in college. I took part of my student loan money and used it to fly up to Colorado to visit a guy I had been dating for a short while. If my parents had known at the time I probably would’ve been pulled from school haha but I had fun and the scenery was beautiful.

  20. Describe our relationship in 3 words.

    I think our relationship is inspiring. I think we both continue to inspire each other to do better. I also think that it’s a very supportive and nurturing relationship. I know I’m very grateful for all that you do.

  21. Who are your top three lady heroes?

    My top three lady heroes would have to be Megan Hess, Lisa Congdon, and Liz Clements. All of these ladies are illustrators who’s artwork pushes me to compete at their level. Their designs are bold, clean and beautiful.

  22. How did you choose your career and what was your favorite part about it?

    This is a funny question since I’m currently in transition but I was teaching one day and one of my students asked me “why don’t you pursue art full time?” and I didn’t have an answer for them and finally it clicked in my head that both they and I knew that something was missing and it was my art.

  23. When they think about their careers, what do you want your students to focus on?

    I want my students to focus on their portfolios. The earlier you start your portfolio the sooner you’ll be successful and get hired earlier on. There’s no reason that you can’t pursue what you love to do now in high school or college. Nothing is stopping you from doing internships and branching out on your own.
  24. What are you inspired by?

    I’m most inspired by nature and flowers. I was a huge flower child growing up and I am inspired by everything about them, their smell, their shape, their organic lines and their color palettes. I will never get tired of drawing flowers.
  25. How do I inspire you?

    I know that you have taught me more about life than I may have to you. I think students don’t always realize how much they teach their instructors. You’ve taught me kindness, patience, and most importantly to give it your all. You never slacked off for a second and what you accomplished in your time as my student is commendable and noteworthy. I will always cherish our time buying fabric for shows, problem solving,  and working in the “sweat shop”.

 

So that is it! Ms. Raymond has been an amazing teacher for me and has always supported my dreams. I am forever grateful that I ended up in her technical theatre class and I hope this is a forever relationship. She got me and my best friend to step out of our boxes and design costumes for an entire show, submit things to design competitions, and grow into ourselves. Ms. Raymond gave us the confidence to speak up, be brave, and “do you.” Myself, and my best friend, are so blessed to have had you, Ms. Raymond.

Thank you so much! I miss you a ton.

Sara

Mom Behind the Blogger

I’m starting a new series here on Sara Strives. I will be interviewing people that are important to me, so you can get to know me a little bit better. For my first of these, I have my mom! Don’t we look alike?

Mom Behind the Blogger

1.    Describe me in three words!

Creative. Introvert. Independent

2.    In what ways do you think I’m like you? And not like you?

We are similar in quite a few ways. We are both creative and enjoy art, design, and all things visual. We are both introverts. Both are pretty good writers. Both perfectionists, organizers/planners, and like routine. Both Christians. Both independent.

I am probably more concerned with what people think about me or my actions than you are. You are taller than I am and have more hair than I do (thank goodness).  

3.    Is there anything that you wish had been different between us―or that you would still like to change?

I wish I could go back and change our relationship after my divorce. I missed spending time with you during your high school years and having you involved in our family life during that time.

4.    How did you choose my name?

It is a Biblical name, but mostly because every “Sara” your dad and I had known was really sweet, the name was easy to spell and a classic (not trendy) name.

5.    What three things do you think of the most each day?

Things I need to do for work, my family, upcoming plans.

6.    Who would play each of your family members in a movie or TV show about your lives?

Nayon – Robert Downey Jr.

Lisa – Gwyneth Paltrow

Michael – Justin Bieber (lol)

Sara – Elle (or Dakota) Fanning

Anthony – Aramis Knight

Adam – Hudson Yang

Rudy, as himself

7.    What song best sums you up?

“Let it Go”

8.    What is a funny habit that you have?

Calling my dog weird rhyming names (“Rudy Booty”, “Rudy Tootie”, “Cutie Rudy”).

9.    Has Starbucks ever spelled your name wrong on a cup? If yes, what’s the craziest way that someone has spelled it?

Nope.

10.  What is your favorite breed of dog?  If you don’t have a favorite breed, describe the characteristics of your ideal dog (or cat)!

Obviously … golden retriever.

11.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

So many I can’t remember. I’ve tripped so many times in my life –  fallen flat on my butt in front of people. I’m not the most graceful person.

12.  What is your favorite family tradition?

Making cookies together at Christmas.

13.  What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas. Just so many good memories of family together, focusing on Christ and generosity.

14.  What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

Hiking in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.

15.  What is your proudest accomplishment? 

I have a hard time being “proud” about my own accomplishments. I guess what I am most proud of is all of my children – which is not my accomplishment – but God’s accomplishment and how He is molding them into adults, each with unique gifts and personalities.

16.  What is your favorite memory of me?

I can’t think of one single memory – but I love the memories of watching your face as it was full of quiet intrigue and fascination when discovering or visiting new places or seeing beautiful things in the world around you (nature, the animals at the zoo or museums when you were little for example). You would always take everything very slowly and methodically – not wanting to rush from place to place.

17.  What is your greatest regret?

Taking relationships for granted, and not fully appreciating and putting effort into my relationships.

18.  What were your hopes and dreams as a child?

I wanted to be an artist – the kind that is behind an easel and paints all day. As I got older, I wanted to be completely independent, work in advertising for a big corporation in a big city, but eventually get married and have a family (but still work somehow).

19.  What would you like to see change in the world over the next 10 years?

For people to slow down enough to take time for what is important in life, and for people to have more compassion towards each other.

20.  What was the most rebellious thing you did as a young person?

Hmmm .. not sure I want to answer that one. Told my parents I was at a friend’s house (where I wasn’t) and stayed out all night.

21.  What can you remember about your first kiss?

I was in 6th grade, and my “boyfriend” was more like a friend who was a guy that I liked to ride bikes with, throw the football with, etc. (I was a bit of a tomboy). We liked each other because we enjoyed each other’s company.  My girlfriends pressured me that it was “the thing to do” to kiss your boyfriend, so they set it all up for us to meet in the woods halfway between our houses. We did. It was a quick peck, and such an awkward moment and we were both so embarrassed that we ran away from each other immediately afterwards. A few short days later we “broke up”, as our friendship just wasn’t the same after that.

22.  How did you choose your career and what was your favorite part about it?

I originally wanted to do graphic design when I was a senior in high school. My dad talked me into majoring in business (more opportunities for finding a job) and I felt that marketing or advertising was the most creative part of the business world, so chose that as my major. The economy was really bad in 1990 when I graduated from college, so it took me several months of interviewing in Dallas and Austin before I found a job working at my present company, a very tiny company, doing graphic design – exactly what I originally wanted to do when I graduated from high school! Honestly, I never thought I would be doing event/meeting planning (in addition to the graphic design), but thought I would end up doing more marketing research for a large company with my marketing degree. I love that my job lets me “wear so many different hats” – artist/graphic/creative designer for websites and logos, analytic/problem-solving side for database design and budgets/accounting, writing skills for e-mail and websites, organizational/planning/negotiating skills for meeting planning, and (gasp!!) even people skills in all of the above! My very favorite part is getting to see the “end result” (the meetings or the websites or the logos) after all of my work is complete, and also the friendships I form with my members and volunteer leaders of the nonprofit groups I manage.

23.  When they think about their careers, what do you want your children to focus on?

I want them to choose a degree that obviously uses the talents and gifts that God has naturally given to them and what tends to brings them joy, but more importantly I want them to choose careers that best allow them to use those gifts and talents to help solve problems in the world and help others.

24.  What are you inspired by?

People who are compassionate and authentic, and who want to make a positive difference in the lives of those around them.

 25. How do I inspire you?

You remind me of my mom, your Nana (who was a huge inspiration to me) in your artistic and creative abilities. I love how you make cards/gifts for people like she did. This inspires me to try to determine ways that I can use my own talents to serve or give to others.

 

My mom and I have been through thick and thin together. She has inspired me in the way she can laugh at herself and handle herself in professional situations!

Thank you for all your love and support Mom!

Sara