Introducing Sunflowers & Thorns

Introducing Sunflowers & Thorns

You may have noticed that this space has a whole new look, name and feel.

Welcome to Sunflowers & Thorns! Truth be told, I wasn’t thrilled at first about this rebrand but now I love it and am excited to the next stages with this blog.

Why rebrand if I didn’t want to? Well, it turns out that my old name had a fairly inappropriate slang meaning that I didn’t know about. After doing some research, I discovered the slang was pretty prominent and most definitely not something I wanted to represent my brand, i.e. me.

I thought through what I really want my blog to be and just like I shared in this blog earlier this year, I want to inspire those around me. Not necessarily in feel-good, Pollyanna sort of way. More in a “life is hard but God is good” sort of way.

I still love sunflowers but also talk about less “shiny happy” things in this space. You can read more about the new blog name here, and take a look at my refined categories to the right. I love the new logo that my friend, Sarah, created as it fits what I’m trying to convey perfectly.

I hope you’ll join me for this journey!

Rediscovering Wichita through the epic #ILoveWichita #ICThanksgiving tour

Rediscovering Wichita through the epic #ILoveWichita #ICThanksgiving tour

It’s easy to think that when you grow up somewhere, that you know it well. Even though I’ve not lived in Wichita for quite some time, I felt like I was familiar with all that it has to offer. Holy moly, was I wrong! We recently took our first week-long vacation to explore Wichita and spend time with family for Thanksgiving.

FTC Disclosure: When we decided to take this trip, I reached out to Visit Wichita (the local convention and visitor’s bureau) to see if we could get a few complimentary tickets to attractions. Thanks to their efforts, we received complimentary tickets to seven different attractions in Wichita! I am so grateful to the attractions and to Jessica at Visit Wichita for helping me share about the countless things available to do in Wichita. All pictures (except a few from family members), words, and opinions are my own. You will find pictures and updates about our trip under the #ICThanksgiving hashtag and all things great about Wichita under the #ILoveWichita hashtag.

icthanksgiving-hero

Our trip to Wichita was a whirlwind! We had two family days, one rest day, two travel days, and four “tourist” days. In those four days, we went to seven different attractions. We ate a lot, we learned a lot, and we had a lot of fun.

I must say that I took hundreds of photos. There is no way I could use even half of them! I’m going to try and go back to write an individual blog about each of the attractions but wanted to do a summary blog about our trip as soon as I could. I will come back here and link up the new blogs as I go.

You will find below information about what to do in Wichita, where to eat in Wichita, and some of my favorite memories from our trip! Keep scrolling, I promise it’s worth it!  Read More

Living life unedited-an interview with Nancy Grace

742819372c3e5d4e245499fcb3bbffc8

 

I recently had the honor of being interviewed but a local blogger who has become a good friend. Nancy Kay Grace is an author, speaker and an online radio show host.

She recently interviewed me about my favorite aspect of God and how that affects how I deal with living with chronic illness and a disability.

I hope you’ll take about 30 minutes to listen! You can find the interview here.

The whirlwind that is GiveCamp NWA

13062880_1033065653453932_1871702421371081625_o
About 50 people gathered recently during GiveCamp NWA to fix or create websites for local nonprofits.

It usually takes a few weeks to produce an entire website from scratch but at GiveCamp NWA, we do it in a weekend. GiveCamp is one of my favorite activities each year and I am already looking forward to next year.

So what is GiveCamp NWA? It’s a weekend where technology professionals from the region gather to create, fix or somehow alter websites for nonprofit organizations. The organizations have to apply and get approved then they are assigned to a team.

GiveCamp Logo

Last year, the team I was on created an entire website for an animal rescue called Rosco P. Coaltrain’s Community Outreach. This year, my team was assigned to work with the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter. The first year, I was just a writer and this year, I worked as a project manager.

As you can imagine, the shelter already had a website but it was in drastic need of updates both behind the scenes and the way it worked for the average user. We made many updates, gave them a whole new look with better function, and made many other changes. They had several needs that we were not able to fulfill in a weekend, but were able to refer them to someone who can.

Here is a post from the GIveCamp Facebook page that shares a photo of our team working

I really enjoyed this experience and think it’s great that the NWA technology community is willing to give like this to such great organizations.