Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, One and All!

Wishing each of you a very Merry, Grand, and Jolly sort of Christmas!

I suppose I don't have much else to say. This is just one of those days that no words can really ever do justice.

It's the time of remembering that scandelous night, so many years ago, when Christ came to earth as a babe born in a manager. And when some 30 years later He would then die a horrible death on the cross to save and redeem us (fallible, miserable worms). How glorious, how beautiful, how awesome. It's also a time of giving, and grace, of love in hard places and joy in the midst of trials. It's the time to hope and trust, to sing and dance, to pray and praise, to love, and love, and love. I pray we remember these truths both now at Christmas, and throughout the rest of the year. 

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Musical Muses - Piano Guys

I had the privilege to hear the amazing talents of The Piano Guys Thursday night (11th) at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, Maryland. Their performance was absolutely phenomenal. I knew they were incredibly talented, just by watching their numerous youtube videos. But I truly didn't grasp the extent of their talent and sheer gift for creating musical masterpieces until I sat in the overhead balcony of the Symphony Hall taking in the sights and sounds of their work. What a treat it was! And just in time for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Musical Muses - Winter Skies Playlist

"...[S]mell the ... winter on the 
air--a mixture of night-mist
and crisp darkness and 
the tang of fallen leaves.”
― Neil Gaiman, Stardust

With it beginning to look a little more like winter, I was inspired to create a winter playlist to share with you all. Think pale blue skies, frost-covered trees, dark skies covered in twinkling stars, and peaceful evenings. 

do enjoy! And I'd love to hear some of your favorite songs this winter season.


In The Night Andrew Peterson
Father Winter - Pacific Gold
Winter Light Tim Finn (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Soundtrack)
Stars and Midnight Blue - Enya
Wintersong - The Tenors, Sarah McLachlan
Oh My Stars - Andrew Belle
Without You [feat. Courtney] – for King & Country
Winter Wind (feat. Jon Schmidt) - Steven Sharp Nelson

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Thursday, December 11, 2014

End of the School Year - Formerly List

Well folks, I've survived. I am actually a little less dead than I was last fall after finals. I see some hope in the future. 

But really, I can finally say I AM DONE WITH SCHOOL IN 2014! It's bloomin awesome. I more than just survived this year, and I'm only one semester away from graduating with my associates in International Studies. That's something to celebrate.

How about you? Done with your fall semester, or done with school completely? Either way, I hope you're celebrating the Christmas season.

Below is a little formerly list, it's been a little while since I've done one.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

truly grateful - 4 ways to cultivate gratefulness

Let us learn to 
"[c]ultivate the habit of 
being (truly) grateful."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

" thanks always
and for everything to 
God the Father in the 
name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
-Ephesians 5:20

You may or may not have heard some sort of spiel on the topic of gratefulness, how all we need to do is be thankful for what we have and grateful to others for all they've done, ad infinitum. But even as cliche as that all sounds, I can't stress nearly enough how important cultivating a habit of gratefulness truly is for an individual.

It takes a great heart, a strong will, and a humble spirit to truly embrace a daily habit of being grateful. I am no expert on gratefulness, nor do I embody that virtue especially well. But I do know, with all my heart, that once you start to make a conscious effort to embrace a spirit of gratefulness and when you begin to be thankful for every single thing you have, your life will never, quite ever, be the same.

I've compiled a simple list.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

We Honor You - Your Sacrifice and Your Service

"All brave men love; for he only is brave who has affections to fight for,
whether in the daily battle of life, or in physical contests."

-Nathaniel Hawthorne
Veteran's Day, November 11th, is the day we come together as a nation and celebrate our heroes who've sacrificed their time and their lives so that we can live in freedom. Those brave men and women fought for our freedoms and rights as citizens of the United States. Among other things, they fought for our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and our freedom to keep and bear arms. We've truly been blessed by their sacrifice and service.

Thank you to the many men and woman who have served and who still serve our great nation! I'm honored by your service, and exceedingly proud to be an American. I salute you.

U.S. Marines assigned to Georgian Liaison Team-9 and Georgian Army soldiers assigned to the 33rd Light Infantry Battalion make their way to the extraction point during Operation Northern Lion II in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Northern Lion II was a Georgian-led operation conducted to deter insurgents, establish a presence, and gather human intelligence in the area. (Photo: Cpl. Alejandro Pena/U.S. Marine Corps) SOURCE

November 10th was also the U.S. Marine Corps 239th birthday! So I want to take a moment to thank Benjamin Arnoldbik (my brother-in-law) and the many others who've served our nation through their service in the Corps. Happy 239th Birthday, Marines! Semper Fidelis.

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 sourced above

Saturday, November 8, 2014

ANNOUNCEMENT, GUEST POST, & GIVEAWAY >><<>><< Anon, Sir, Anon by Rachel Heffington

I'm so honored to be announcing Rachel Heffington's Anon, Sir, Anon mystery novel, which became live on the 5th! I've also had the privilege to read it before it came out. It's a thrilling yet cozy novel set in rural Europe, complete with fog, plenty of rain, and long walks in the countryside. She's created a cast of dynamic characters with intriguing personalities and idiosyncrasies. And I guarantee you'll fall in love with Vivi and Farnham right off the bat. If you don't, you're probably reading it wrong. But I'm sure I'm not doing her novel justice, so here's a bit more information:
BACK COVER BLURB: The 12:55 out of Darlington brought more than Orville Farnham's niece; murder was passenger. In coming to Whistlecreig, Genevieve Langley expected to find an ailing uncle in need of gentle care. In reality, her charge is a cantankerous Shakespearean actor with a penchant for fencing and an affinity for placing impossible bets. When a body shows up in a field near Whistlecreig Manor and Vivi is the only one to recognize the victim, she is unceremoniously baptized into the art of crime-solving: a field in which first impressions are seldom lasting and personal interest knocks at the front door. Set against the russet backdrop of a Northamptonshire fog, Anon, Sir, Anon cuts a cozy path to a chilling crime. 
If you haven't heard of Rachel, goodness you're missing out on knowing one of the wittiest, most sincere, engaging, and all-around grandest kind of person you'll probably ever meet. She is a novelist, nanny, and people-lover living in rural Virginia with her really wonderful family (I've had the immense pleasure of meeting them all) and her sable cat, Cricket. Her first novel, Fly Away Home, (which I've also had the privilege of reading) was independently published last February. You can find out lots more about her through her blog, INKPENAUTHORESS.BLOGSPOT.COM

And without further ado, let me present you with this wittingly eloquent guest post by Rachel on the Alchemy of Words. Do enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

of old documents, and maples - October Chatterbox

this is a very rough sketch of the maple sketch mentioned in the story below. please excuse the coarseness of the lines and shading.

Rachel, a friend of mine, has been doing a monthly “writing challenge” called Chatterbox over on her blog. Each month Rachel chooses a topic (this month, it is Maples), and we all (the various writers of the blogging-world) attempt to write up a small fiction piece (must include some dialogue and description) that has the respective topic in it. Rachel ever so kindly said we could switch up the form of Maples for this month's chatterbox, allowing us to use maple syrup, flavoring, leaves, etc.

Well only last month have I actually attempted to participate in said Chatterboxes. See, if you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all, you’ll find I’m not much of a writer. You’ve probably also noted that I’m even more lacking in the area of fiction writing. But I’ve loved writing since forever (specifically the historical fiction variety). And even though many of my other hobbies and passions take forefront in my day-to-day life, I've decided to try and regularly participate in Chatterbox.

So, here’s my go at a small fiction piece concerning Maples (in a small way). I’ve decided to use new characters of mine, not fully developed yet. Here's a very rough-draft snippet that I've come up with, all written in one sitting. Also, I inserted a little more description of the characters then I normally do just so you can imagine the scene a bit better.

worn, body and soul.

i’m tired I’m worn
my heart is heavy
from the work it takes
to keep on breathing
i’ve made mistakes
i’ve let my hope fail
my soul feels crushed
by the weight of this world

Ever have those days where if you were to take a moment to stop and think about your life, you'd cry? Or more like, ever been so overwhelmed that you feel like crying, or yelling, or sleeping every other second of the day?

Well, today is one of those days (well, years) for me. I'd like to disappear for a long while. It's not just because school is overwhelming; there are so many other factors that add up to this acute feeling of being overrun. School + work + health + worrying + friends + ad infinitum.

I'm not trying to sound all Debbie Downer over here, but this is the place I find myself.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Instagram Muses - morning runs, new auntship, and lots of outdoorness

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Well, this is my second post in a sort of monthly installment of my Instagram muses. Snapshots of a little lately in my life. I'm going on the assumption that you'd actually want to see snapshots of my life. 

This post encompasses shots from the beginning of September to October 9th. The last shot is taken of me in California, and coming in a few days will be a full-feature post on California (so stay tuned)!

Below are my thoughts on the above photos:
photos // (L to R)

1. autumn writings. notes, old postcards, brown-paper packages, string and gift tags, and then of course, tea. all the lovely things that come with note-writing this time of year
2. a shot of my backyard one wonderful evening in september. took this right before i went out the door to evening church. it was an incredible kind of evening
3. part of my weekly quote series and part of a new print series i'm working on ... well, slowly working on. haven't had much time of late. but it will be up in my shop soon here. i'm also going to launch a giveaway for one custom print, once the new prints are in the shop. so you should stay tuned for that!
4. a lovely shot from a fun interview/blog post i collaborated on last month. plus an inspiring quote to go along with it: "God creates out of nothing. wonderful you say. yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.” -søren kierkegaard
5. i drank 2 big bottles (some 50 oz each bottle) of this amazing tea last month, while doing economics homework late into the night. this is one of my absolute favorite bottled teas
6. had quite a few nearly intolerable and stressful weeks last month (well, and this month too), and so i took to my car and just drove (while also blasting the country music). i find that driving, with no destination in sight, is a healing balm for a weary heart. you should try it. i guarantee it'll make a world of difference (well, unless you're the sort that can't drive yet or who dislikes driving ... then i'm afraid this won't do you much good)
7. one of my favorite shots ever. me holding my precious niece, Jacquelyn, just a few days after she was born (september 16). i love her to the moon and back, and then some. and i'm an aunt for the first time too! so happy
8. september skies, my view of the blue ridge mountains
9. got this really fantastic book at an antique store a few weeks ago. so enjoying it. it's called: the book of old ships and something of their evolution and romance, drawn by gordon grant and text by henry b. culver. it makes me love ships and the sea so much more than i already do
10. this is one of my favorite paintings from the aforementioned book. it's located inside the cover, and it's called the constitution and guerrière by michael corné (new haven colony historical society)
11. this painting is part of my creative pay-it-forward art challenge i took up this year. on the far right side of the painting, which you can't see in the photo, is the quote: "pooh?" said piglet. "yes?" said pooh. "nothing", said piglet. "i just wanted to be sure of you." -a.a. milne, winnie the pooh
12. this photo was taken while i was in california last week for my brother's wedding. i had just finished a 2-mile run along the shoreline. as i mentioned above,  coming in a few days will be a full-feature post on my trip to California (mainly just photos of the sea, as we were by the shore most of the week i was there)

Well mates, there you are. Just a little glimpse into the life Charity Klicka. 

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, September 29, 2014

octobers, my favorite | WEEKLY QUOTE

Hello October. "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L. M. Montgomery, Anne Of Green Gables

What's your favorite tradition, activity, sighting, smell, etc of Autumn? 

Here's just a few of mine:

big sweaters | hot cocoa | autumnal color everything | apples | tall socks | boots | hiking | the smell of winter approaching | fall break | thanksgiving | rosy cheeks | adventures | finger-less gloves | loads of hot tea | a plethora of good books | writing; journaling, noting, thinkings | and the very epitome of breathing in and being still.

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, September 22, 2014

happiness lies in | WEEKLY QUOTE

"I have found that most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be."
-Abraham Lincoln

So let's not let our circumstances keep us from putting our best foot forward! When you think about it, dear reader, our joy is not in our circumstances but in the hope of He who is greater. And it is found in the courage to say to life, "do your worst".

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Saturday, September 20, 2014

of the creative writing - a mystery, an english class, and ... pears?

So I'm taking a rather exciting English class this semester. I've already done the required English 111 and 112, and come this fall semester it was time to choose a 200-level course. When I looked through the course list, only one particular class stuck out to me: Mystery in Literature and Film. Can I just say, splendid! My cup of tea n' all that. However it is an online class (because my schedule wouldn't allow otherwise), which puts a damper on things a little; just a little though.

For this class, the introduction assignment consisted of posting in a discussion forum a little letter introducing myself and a snippet of a mystery that had to take place somewhere I was familiar with (hometown, workplace, college, etc). 

This evening, although a tad bit nervous as to the outcome of such on-the-spot writing, I buckled-down and wrote a short snippet of mystery taking place at an old church of my childhood. I'm also using this piece, since it just happens to mention pears, for Rachel Heffington's Chatterbox this month.

I do hope you enjoy n' all that. Comments and criticisms are highly encouraged, as I know without a doubt this piece can use a lot of work.

There, at the back of my mind, a thought nagged endlessly, like a splinter in my hand trying to work its way to the surface. What was it? My mind raced. Something was unfamiliar about the churchyard where I stood. 
As I closed my eyes to think, all my childhood memories came flooding back. Of the many times I’d played red-rover in that patch of dewy green grass, or the secrets that were whispered behind that great oak tree, or the games of duck duck goose and tag played on that circle of rocks. Of filling bucketfuls of acorns as they dropped from the sky like raindrops, or the rhythm of those almost-ripe pears dancing in the wind as they hung from the small orchard of pear trees guarding one side of the churchyard. 
And yet, something stood out to me as not being quite right…but what? I closed my eyes again and breathed deeply. The smell of the fresh mulch that filled the flower beds to the left and right of the front doors to the sanctuary, and the all too familiar smell of Hemlock filled my nostrils…but wait, that’s it! There was another smell that mingled with the other familiar smells…something…putrescent. I opened my eyes again, and took two large steps to where I smelt the stench coming from. I saw the black eyed Susans and the velvety violets sleeping under the moon's light, and the…wait, there was something else hiding beneath the flowers. It, it couldn't be! Three fingers gently stuck out of the fresh mulch…Murder!

I can't say I am particularly proud of this piece or anything, but I gave it a try. If you have a minute, I'd greatly enjoy hearing any thoughts you might have. I don't profess to be a grand writer or anything, but I do like to dabble a little in the mystery and historical fiction genres. 

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, September 15, 2014

betwixt summer and autumn - a photo-journal of sorts

A little bit of a photo-journal of sorts,
depicting the sunny days and cool evenings
of the time between the end of summer
and the beginning of autumn.

ordeal or an adventure? | WEEKLY QUOTE

Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.

So when you are given a difficult situation, simply turn it in to an adventure.

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 Years Later, Where Do We Stand? - Remembering 9/11

It seems even the sky mourns for America this morning.

To all those who fought for freedom, 
to all our military men and woman;
to those who volunteered their time, their lives,
to the families and friends who lost loved ones;
those who paid the sacrifice in life or death,
I salute you.

Thirteen years ago, we came under attack from terrorists determined to break the will and spirit of the American people. They did not succeed.

Thousands of Americans lost their lives on that terrible morning, and we will never forget what they did, all that they went through, and all that they go through for the United States of America today. And I am honored to remember them this day, for it is in their names that we, as a nation, continue to pursue the cause of freedom.

To close, I am honored to be an America; proud, right and true, of that fact. And I will do what it takes, before God, to uphold her founding documents, to ensure justice and liberty for all, to fight for freedom and peace in this hurting country, and to fight to the last against anyone who wants to harm her. 

Let never forget today, nor the thousands we lost. 
May God bless America; and truly, may America bless God!

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, September 8, 2014

Instagram Muses - inspiration, autumn approaching, and some darn good books

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Hi. Well if you didn't know already, I've caved and gotten an Instagram account. And my word, it's a blast! I've had so much fun taking artistic pictures of everyday life happenings, and seeing little glimpses into the lives of some of my friends.

In light of this, I'm going to periodically post Instagram Muses on my blog as a photo collage of the highlights of different weeks (in photo format, obviously).

Here are a few thoughts on the above photos:
photos // (L to R)

1. ever needing to remind ourselves that each and every day truly matters
3. what i'm reading. surprised by joy (c.s. lewis), one of my favorite, favorite books
4. also reading g.k. chesterton's fabulous complete father brown series (includes 5 books). if you haven't tried reading chesterton, please, please do!
5. my succulent finally has a home in a vintage jasmine tea can. makes me so happy
6. he found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.” - j.r.r. tolkien, the fellowship of the ring | autumn can't come soon enough
7. mused ship i painted on the outside of my journal. i would be content painting ships for the rest of my life
8. i cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house." ― nathaniel hawthorne, the american notebooks [notebook, Oct. 10, 1842] | the last of the summer days, for autumn is nearly here. i'm really excited for autumn, if you can't tell
9. crazy sisters, we are. shot from a going-away party for my sister two weeks ago. she's moving 5 some states away from me, and i'm going to miss her an awful lot
10. regram of my weekly quote from last week. such a wonderful quote: "it's remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living.- ernest k. gann
11. it poured a few days ago, and my family's dog Indy was being a bit grumpy on not being able to go outside
12. got my 4 wisdom teeth out friday morning, still recovering from it as we speak. this is a shot of me a few hours after i got them out...all chipmunk chubby and whatnot

Well that's a few little muses from the last week and a half, or so. Hope you enjoyed a few, more personal, glimpses into my life. 

What's this past week been like for you? Or an even better question, what's a good book you've been reading lately?

If you're on instagram, I'd love to connect!

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

here and now | WEEKLY QUOTE


Just a little reminder to live in the here and now. Let's learn from our mistakes readers, but let's not dwell on the past. 

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, September 1, 2014

shore living | WEEKLY QUOTE

"It's remarkable how quickly a good and favorable wind can sweep away the maddening frustrations of shore living."
- Ernest K. Gann

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Thursday, August 28, 2014

it is HE who keeps us

I think it's been a little while since I've written an inspired post. I've gotten just a tad caught up in school, work, life planning (in general), and big family events. But today I read something that really got me thinking.

I was perusing some of my friends and fellow bloggers' blog posts, and came upon a blog post that spoke directly to my heart. This particular post talked about developing a "faith worth losing for". In other words, it talked about building up one's faith so strong that the heart is ever willing to give up momentary pleasures for the sake of the King. What an incredibly beautiful concept. truly.

Recently I've been so focused on getting multiple degrees, working 30-40 hours a week and applying for new jobs, building up my resume, and all around making sure that I "live life to the fullest" (doesn't that phrase get really old after awhile?). While yes, there isn't anything truly wrong with wanting to live life to the fullest; there is something wrong when one's focus is on that concept, rather than simply living life selflessly and richly for His glory. And it can become very detrimental to the individual (and very likely to the ones in their life). I've lost sight of living, simply living, for my Savior. I have been trying to fit my life plans into His, rather than joyfully accepting His plans as my own.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


So I've being doing this challenge since January and it has to do with art. Did I grab your attention? But really, it's actually been an incredibly exciting challenge and a lot of fun to do. It's the kind of challenge that has allowed me to focus more extensively on my art (that of painting, photo-making, sketching, collaging, etc) and has helped me to love on a bunch of folks. Below is my challenge "contract" that I posted on Facebook January 17th.

"I hereby promise to make a small work of art for the first 15 people who comment on this post and say "YES, I want in." A like alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment without the specific wording. You may in turn post this as your status update and make something for the first 10 who comment on your status.
{Art is about freedom, not requirements. So for this post, you DO NOT have to do it for someone else. You'll just receive the art from me, and can choose to repost this status.}
*The rules are simple: it has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends."

So it's been a lot of fun creating unique pieces of art of my different Facebook friends. I'm going to do this challenge every year, and next year I'll open it up to all my jolly friends here on the blog. Would you want a unique, handmade piece of art from me? Comment below or tweet/email me.

Here are a few artistic muses (photography, sketches, painting, typography etc) from the last couple of months, some of which were given away for this particular art challenge:

I apologize, the coloring on this photo is a little bright.

Hope you enjoy and whatnot!

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, August 25, 2014

our desire | WEEKLY QUOTE

"Love not pleasure; love God."
- Thomas Carlyle, Book II, Ch. 9 of Sartor Resartus

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekly Quotes

Hello readers! I've decided to start a new series. I have read many books, magazines, articles, and so forth in my short life, and have listened to many different types of speakers and teachers. And in the past few years I've compiled a plethora of inspiring quotes from these resources, and have saved them just for the purpose of encouraging and inspiring myself and those around me. I've finally decided to start a series on this blog where I can share my boatload of compiled quotes with you all. So here goes!

Every Monday, at 7AM EST, I will post an inspiring (think #MotivationMonday) quote graphic on the blog.
  • All the photos used for the quote graphics will be taken by me, and the quotes will be from inspiring people in the categories of authors, historians, world-shakers, philosophers, theologians, etc.
  • All the posts in this series will be under the tag Weekly Quote and organized under the category Literature

>> For this series, I will be accepting quote recommendations! You can email them to me with Weekly Quotes as the subject line, tweet them to me, or share them with me on Footprints in the Sand's Facebook wall. 

This series will start Monday, the 25th of August. 

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography