Happy Blipping Birthday!


It’s true.

I’m hopelessly in love.

And this coming weekend, the woman I’ve loved for six sensational years will celebrate another birthday.

For those of you who might not know, my partner is an international aid worker who directed Habitat for Humanity’s response to the 2004 tsunami in Asia, as well as their operation in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.  She’s lived everywhere from Afghanistan to Thailand, India to Indonesia.

Yes, I may be biased, but I’m not alone in recognizing her gifts–her remarkable leadership, her pure heart, the hope she’s brought to many around the world.

But Sara is also creative.

And, as part of her most recent creative pursuit, Sara has taken a photo a day since the first of 2012.  At the beginning of this project, I shared her photos here on my blog, but then Sara discovered a venue of her own and began publishing her images on BlipFoto–at a site she’s calling “Que Sera Sara“–Today’s Whatever.

So, if you can tolerate my unabashed pride in Sara’s work, I’d like to post, in honor of her birthday, a few of my favorite photos Sara has taken in the past several weeks.

Hope you enjoy.

In the first photo below, Sara captures our weather-worn gutters overflowing during a spring storm.

Drip, Drop Spring! (23 March 2012)

As Sara has said, our entire neighborhood, reflected here in the background, knows our house as the one with the little white dog in the window.

How Much is that Doggie in the Window? (27 March 2012)

The day our city was abuzz with Big Blue Mania and Lexingtonians celebrated the return of basketball champions UK Wild Cats, Sara and I walked downtown and watched this little boy playing in the fountain at Triangle Park, adjacent to Lexington Center, the home of Rupp Arena.

Springing into Summer Fun  (3 April 2012)

This past fall Sara re-imagined our unfinished cellar.  Now, despite its gravel floor, graffiti she created makes it a basement blooming, a place where Sara can conceive new “projects and possibilities.”

Graffiti Blooms Underground  (4 April 2012)

Sara is doing disaster response consultation with Habitat for Humanity Kentucky.  Here she’s imaged not only the destruction a tornado wrecked on West Liberty, Kentucky this spring, but also the community’s enduring hope, their determination to rebuild a town nearly obliterated by natural disaster.

Faith in what Remains (5 April 2012)

Sara laughs that our “family” is comprised completely of “blondes.”  Here she captures a sweet, if very blonde moment, me with dogs Ralph (left) and Lucy (right).

Preferring Blondes (9 April 2012)

The poppies blooming in our front yard remind Sara of living in Afghanistan, where these “beautiful flowers cast such dark shadows.”

“And now, my beauties . . . ”  (12 April 2012)

Here Sara’s great niece enjoys time with grandpa Bryce.  Taryn is the baby of the family—a source of “great delight.”

Great Delight   (15 April 2012)

Sara says she loves living with a writer—someone who spends her days typing on a laptop or scribbling in notebooks—working, with Maltese Lucy “pressed” up next to me.  Here she caught me responding to comments only moments after discovering my post  had been Freshly Pressed.

Pressed  (17 April 2012)

On another trip into the Appalachian foothills to consult on tornado recovery, Sara saw this old auto parked on the courthouse lawn.  Sara says she felt like she’d been transported back in time and reminded that “not all is destroyed or lost over time—that there are still places, people, and things that hold past and present together.

Transported in Time   (26 April 2012)

Sara spent one afternoon last week digging in the dirt, physical labor that made her body ache but left her heart refreshed.  While cleaning up her tools at the end of the day, a robin paid her a visit, harvesting the worms that wiggled in the dirt where Sara had been “playing.”

P(l)ay Dirt   (27 April 2012)

In Lexington, Kentucky, which many deem the “Thoroughbred Capital of the World,” racing season, as Sara says, “dictates our community’s collective calendar.”  The Derby will be run on Sara’s birthday itself, but several days ago my partner reigned in this stylish steed several blocks from our house, in front of the downtown courthouse.

Horsing Around   (28 April 2012)

Last weekend Sara rode with her siblings to Ohio for a family, funeral visitation.  Though their lives have taken different paths, they’ve retained a common bond, one that grows stronger as they live longer.

Shared Ride   (29 April 2012)

Last spring, when we returned from Haiti and my partner worked to transform our back garden into a place of beauty, Sara’s stepmother gifted us three varieties of iris, instructing us quite clearly that one should never say “thank you” for a flower, but rather agree to give it a good home.  In the past three days Sara has posted a triptych of iris photos which she’s called “No Thank You”—a series meant to honor that gift—an oblique expression of gratitude for their blooming, one that bi-passes the forbidden “Thank you.”

No Thank You  (30 April 2012)

Again, No Thanks (1 May 2012)

Iris (No Thanks, Part 3) (2 May 2012)

I hope you will visit Sara’s BlipFoto site.  I know she’s gotten to know a number of my blogging buddies through blipping, but she’d love to meet more of you.

But if you are new to my blog and would like to know more about Sara, here at the end I’m attaching some of the photos I used in last year’s birthday post for Sara.

I hope you will scroll through them, as they will show you my partner’s path in action–

A path that involves rocking:

weight of the world?

And rolling:

leveling the playing field


lots of eating

Talking :

in unusual settings


with tribal leaders in Afghanistan

Sometimes her work involves children:


And camels:

being Sara’s partner–one heck of a ride!

Sometimes it involves Clintons:

Hangin’ with Hillary

And Carters:

jammin’ with Jimmy

Sometimes it involve speaking:

Ke Sat Village, Vietnam

Always it involves pulling your weight:

not another tug of war!

Even bringing out the heavy artillery:

Soviet era warheads in Afghanistan

But often we do the heavy lifting together:

building a solid future

Yes, sometimes Sara wants to pull her hair out:

Is crazy contagious?

But basically we live our lives like everyone else–loving one another.  We just do it from far away places:

like Thailand

like Vietnam

Loving one another:

Lexington, Kentucky

And the dog that brought us together:

Sara, Kathy, and Ralph

Not to mention our other dog:

Who insists on silly hats–

There’s nothing as amazing as the woman I love:

I love you, sweet Sara!

Happy birthday, Baby!

(To read an article about Sara that was published this past year in the “Lexington Herald Leader”, click here.)

106 thoughts on “Happy Blipping Birthday!

  1. Thank you for posting all the great photos. What a fascinating life you’ve had together with the places you and Sara have been. I’m subscribed to Sara’s blip or Blog, or whatever it is called, but I usually read my subscriptions on my iPad, and for some reason I’m having trouble commenting on her blip that way. I will figure it out. (It may be as simple as I have to sign in and I can’t remember my password, and IPads are a bit tempermental sometimes.)

    Thanks for posting last year’s Kathy. I hadn’t seen many of them.

    Happy Birthday, Sara!


    • Thanks for subscribing to Sara’s blip site. I’ve found that I do need to sign in in order to comment. However, I then discovered I could click a button that kept me signed in–sort of how it works with WordPress. I will ask Sara about the iPad situation, as well, as she uses an iPad, like you.

      Glad you also enjoyed last year’s photos. I have so many new readers since then, I thought folks might get a kick out of them.

      Thanks for reading, Christine! Hugs to you—————-


  2. The photographs are amazing and your life with Sara incredible! Happy Birthday, dear Sara! You two share a rare and precious thing…..Also I’ve always been interested in her work – it astonishes me that this is yet another thing that pulls me towards you two. Kathryn, your tribute to your partner is touching, sweet, and quite wonderful. You do her proud. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us! With great affection to you both, xoxo Julia


    • Thanks for the birthday wishes. I will pass them along to Sara. We are proud of one another. It’s easy to be proud of Sara, however; she’s pretty remarkable. Have a great day, my friend.


  3. Ah ha! I knew it! Sara told me yesterday she was a May girl, and straight away I suspected I would find out exactly when her birthday was from you Kathy! 😀

    As I looked through Sara’s photos from Blip again, I kept on thinking, “yes, that’s my favourite”, then the next one would come along, “no, that’s my favourite”! By the end of the post, I have come up with my absolute all time favourite photo, the one with the caption “Lexington, Kentucky”. The first time I saw that photo, when it was your birthday Kathy, I could feel the love radiating from it. It’s not just the love you have for each other either, but love for mankind. You are two very special ladies.

    Happy happy birthday, dear Sara. What a lucky person I am to have met both you and Kathy. Hugs to you both. 🙂


    • You know, Joanne, that Sara thinks the world of you. She has so enjoyed your all’s connection–even inviting you to visit us. She always reminds me, “Kathy, look at this photo of Joanne’s. Isn’t it great?” You have a dear heart, Joanne, and we both hope that you will, indeed come to the US so we can meet. Hugs to you, dear heart!


      • I too think the world of both you and Sara, Kathy, and if I can make it over to the USA I wouldn’t miss paying you both a visit; thank you! I’m aiming towards about three years time, as by then my youngest son will have finished school. Hugs to you too, dear friend! xx


      • I haven’t been to the US Kathy, but my son arrived home last Friday from a five week trip over there. He loves America and says he would go back again. He took heaps of great photos and I will be adding a few posts to my blog soon, showing the places he visited. 🙂


    • Thank you, dear Renee. I think Sara’s photography skills are improving. It’s fun for me to watch her learning and loving a new art form. And, it’s true. Sara is visionary. I love that about her. Hugs to you, my friend!


    • Great to hear from you today. I’m delighted you like Sara’s photos. I love watching her play with images and new ways of seeing the world. I want to check out your blog. Can’t tell you how much we appreciate your stopping by. Hope to see you often!


  4. What a loving, sincere tribute to your partner and to your beautiful relationship. I hope Sara has a very happy birthday. But, of course, now I’m curious, exactly how did Ralph bring you together? Can I assume that I will find the answer in one of your older posts? You two look great together. I am humbled by the work Sara does, and the photographs she takes. Kathryn, plain and simple, you’re blessed by having Sara in your life–and vice versa! 😉


    • I can’t believe I forgot to incluce the link to the post about Ralph bringing us together. I will add it. It’s another sweet story, I think. I have to agree that Sara does wonderful work. It still sometimes amazes me how blessed we are–and the fact that we did nothing to deserve this beautiful gift. Thanks for reading, dear Monica!


  5. Soul-level love, admiration, respect and fun all absolutely OOZE from this post — it’s almost enough to make my jaded heart melt just a bit!


    Congrats on all that … and happy birthday to the talented Sara. It seems you’re compatible in many ways — not the least of which is capturing meaningful moments (you through your writing, her through her pix).


    • I swear, Mikalee, I don’t know how we ended up so fortunate–or blessed–or whatever word you want to use. Glad I helped your heart melt even a tiny bit. I will let Sara know you wished her a happy day. Thanks so much!


  6. Very, very sweet post! My favorite photos (besides the two of you on your back porch with your doggie) are the iris (gorgeous) and Shared Ride … lovely sentiments & HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA! What a great organization you work for … LOVE Habitat and they do such important work!!! You guys were made for each other … clearly!!!


    • Glad you, too, appreciate the work Habitat does. We love it. I’m with you, as well, about the iris photos. I thought they were lovely. Yes, we were made for one another. It is kind of amazing, actually. Great to hear from you, Betty.


  7. Happy birthday to Sara! Love the photos, all of them. I’m in awe of all the life experiences you two have had together, from Soviet-era warheads to Hilary Clinton. Too cool!

    And I’m glad to see downtown Lexington has a Starbucks. I’ll feel right at home now when we visit!


    • Yes, yes we do have a Starbucks just a few blocks from our house. However, there’s actually a local coffee shop we love even more that’s only a block away. I think you’re set. When will you be coming? We’ll leave the light on for you.


  8. It was great looking at all them pictures Kathy, thanks for sharing Sara with us! And a very happy birthday to her, hope her day was wonderful! xxx


  9. This is lovely tribute and shout out to Sara, your multi-talented mate. I’ll try to get on Blipfoto more. She is quite a catch and you two (or should I say four — don’t want to rub the fur wrong on any matchmaking hounds) are a terrific couple. I hope Sara has a wonderful birthday and many more to come.


    • Yeah–God forbid we rub the hair the wrong way. That would be unforgivable. I’ll let the dogs know you were good enough to include them in the count. Wonder what the US census would think about that? LOL Glad you enjoyed the post, my friend!


  10. How wonderful! Happiest of birthday wishes to Sara! If my kids grow up and find someone to love half as much as the two of you love one another, I’ll die a happy mom!


  11. What a lovely tribute to Sara, and what beautiful pictures she’s taken. You are both gifted, and fortunate. I count myself fortunate to have met you both.


    • Oh, Vicki, thank you so much. It’s great to hear from you today. I agree that Sara and I are blessed–but we consider ourselves fortunate to know you. Bet you will be happy to have Tori back in Nashville! Have a wonderful weekend.


  12. The love that you two have for one another is so beautiful! These photos truly make my heart smile. 🙂 Please tell Sara Happy Birthday!

    Big hugs to you both,


  13. Beautiful post Kathy … I love that you are so willing to share your love with us!

    Happy Birthday Sara! I know you’ve got to be an awesome lady because you make Kathy sooo happy, 🙂 Hugs to you both!


  14. Kathy, please wish Sara a happy birthday from me. I read this earlier today but have been having difficulty commenting. I hope this one works.

    Finding the lover of our souls is such a special thing. It’s like we see them, and we know they are that person, the one who knows us to the core. Having spent much of my life without that, I know what a gift it is when it finds us. I’m glad you and Sara have the gift of each other.


    • Yes, Andra, that is exactly it. So happy to hear you’ve had that experience–that knowing to the core. It’s profound, isn’t it? Thanks so much for coming back a second time to commment. I so appreciate it. And I will pass your happy birthday to Sara. Hope you enjoy Bangkok!


    • Gosh, you’re correct. We are so, so lucky. I will tell Sara you like the graffiti room. It really is an awful basement that she has managed to make tolerable with the graffiti. It’s fun, isn’t it?


  15. I love how Sara is documenting the year through photos. Just like with a journal you’ll be able to look back through the pictures years from now and remember all of the lovely details that would be so easy to forget: an afternoon with a niece, watching a little bird digging for worms in your yard.
    Happy Birthday, Sara! Best wishes for a year of health and happiness!


  16. Happy birthday to Sara! I’m happy that you decided to post a number of Sara’s photos in this post. I wish I could get around to checking out Blip, but there aren’t enough hours in the day! I hope you two have a wonderful weekend celebrating together. 🙂


    • Oh, what sweet birthday greetings. I will definitely share them with Sara. Can’t tell you how much we appreciate your warm wishes. It’s great to hear from. Hope you’ll stop back by again soon!


  17. Pingback: Expedition Journal #2: Fishing for a Photo Site « Kana's Chronicles

  18. Such a beautiful post, Kathy. Happy birthday to Sara! Please tell her that I truly enjoyed looking at her photos. There were so many that I liked, but Springing into Summer Fun, And Now my Beauties, and Preferring Blondes are some of my favorites. You are lucky to share such love…and to be able to reflect it outward for all of us to witness, too.


  19. I am not a blogger, and actually yours is the first I have ever commented on. 🙂 your story is a most wonderful one. The two of you seem very much in love. That is so beautiful to see ❤ Sara's pictures caught more than just a glance from me, i could "feel" each one. The both of you are very talented and precious. Happy Birthday to Sara and many more to come. Your tribute to her is amazing ❤


    • Oh, thank you so much for this dear comment. I find Sara’s photos to be moving, as well, but I may be a bit biased. Plus, I’m honored to have written the first blog post you’ve commented on. Sara and I are, indeed, blessed. I will share your birthday wishes with Sara. Thank you for reading!


  20. I feel like such a turd because it has taken me so long to catch up on reading. This entry was a gem and I’m tearing up a little. What a wonderful tribute to your love! Sara has a wonderful photographic eye and she sounds truly amazing. I wish her a very belated birthday and both of you many more happy years together!


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