So long facebook.

Dear Facebook,

I am writing you to let you know that we can no longer be friends. Maybe in the future that will change. Consider this a parting of ways.


To all my friends on facebook, 

If you need to get a hold of me, you can call me, email me, send me a letter via owl post/snail mail, or come visit me. If you don't know how to do any of the above, find someone who does, and if you can't do that, I suppose we're not really friends. 


My time away from facebook is not due to an addiction. It is more the idea that it isn't necessary to my life, and in an attempt to simplify my life, eliminating facebook seemed natural. I use facebook to keep in touch with people and in reality, I have plenty of other means of doing that. Ways in which I prefer. If you want me to know what's going on in your life, then tell me. If I want you to know what's going on in my life, I'll tell you, but not my hundreds of 'friends'.

I can't seem to get past the story of the Amish man. I don't want to be someone that is willing to sacrifice what's best for me and my family for some sort of artificial joy and busyness. I know that no one else will give up facebook as a result of my actions, and this is not an effort to guilt anyone into following suit. This is my choice. 

Thank you for listening.

Wisdom from the Amish

I recently watched a documentary on Amish living, and the thing I was so intrigued by was their wisdom about life. The story that struck me most was this: 

 There was a tour bus travelling through Amish country, and an Amish man got on.  When he got on he asked the crowd -- what's the difference between you and us? ... Well, he said, how many of you have television? All the hands went up. He said, how many of you, if you have a family, think you'd be better off without television? Practically all the hands went up. He said how many of you are going to go home and get rid of it? No hands went up. He said that's the difference between you and the Amish. Because we will do it. If it's bad for the family, we will not have it.

What are you willing to do for your family, for your friends, for yourself? 

Making Babies........Someday

A while back I wrote this post in which I listed things I wanted to do before we have a baby. The things on the list were things that didn't "need" to be done before baby, just things that would make life with baby easier and more enjoyable. I thought now would be a good time to review them as it's almost been a year. And in case you are wondering, we have not achieved all of them yet and are not actively trying to have a baby :)

1. Payoff our house!!

Come December 1st we are planning on making our last house payment!!! That is if everything goes according to plan :)

2. Visit Europe

Barring no unplanned pregnancy, we are planning on go to Azerbaijan in March to visit our friends. I would have liked to visit Western Europe as well, but feel that I want to spend a decent chunk of time in Europe and right now is just not the right time, but Azerbaijan I refuse to not visit.

3. Keep house clean for 60 continuous days

One would think paying off a house would be the most challenging thing on the list. Sigh. Sadly it is not. This one has been a bit of a challenge but today is day 15 of moderately clean house. I've been trying to clean as I go. It is not a normal way of doing things for me. I prefer to let things get out of control and then go to town on cleaning. Since getting back from vacation though I have being trying to pick up as I go and wash dishes while I cook. So far so good.

4. Making healthy living part of my everyday life

This is a two-part goal. Eating healthier and making an active lifestyle part of my life. The food portion has improved significantly and I am extremely happy with the progress I've made. The active lifestyle has also gone great. I don't go to the gym or workout everyday, but I go for walks, ride my bike, play basketball and soccer, and any other thing that involves physical activity. I enjoy being active in ways that involve other people or that are fun and interesting.

5. Weekly date nights with Kenny

This one has not been a priority to either of us until recently. Probably because we were so busy. We do get to spend a lot of time together and rarely feel disconnected, but we both agreed how great we feel after intentionally choosing to leave the house for the sole purpose of spending time with each other. This is now a priority to both of us.

There you have it folks. No baby yet, but here's to the future :)

Beautiful and repulsive all at the same time

This not so little guy was running around wild with all of his cousins on our trip to Mexico!

On related note, one of my dreams is to see a Komodo Dragon in real life. This little guy pales in comparison, but if I were to ever see a Komodo in the wild, there is a high likely hood that I would wet myself. No joke.

Simplifying: Time

I was recently telling Kenny that I didn't know how I managed to graduate from a private college with no debt. Then as I thought about it, I realized I don't remember much from that time. I was busy! Not normal busy. Busy as in take 18 credits, work full-time and manage to volunteer a few hours a week and have some semblance of a life outside of work and school. Then when I graduated I stayed busy. Worked full-time, coached soccer, volunteered, got married, got a puppy. I realized I was busy and I didn't like it. My favorite days were when I had nothing planned. Then I had this epiphinany 'I don't need to be busy.' You don't have to be a genius to come to that conclusion, but you do have to be thick skinned and confident to do something about it. The reason I say this is because the world tells us if we are not busy, then we are lazy, not driven, wasting our time, being unproductive, can fill in the blank. It is not normal to not be busy.

Have you ever told someone you were busy and had the response "Good for you" or "Better than the alternative". Or have you ever said no to someone and have them question why. I recently quit coaching soccer and it was as though my reason for quitting had to be another form of busyness. I couldn't just quit to have free time. The reason I came up with was that we were thinking about starting a family soon, which was true, but not the reason why. Kenny and I don't want to work all day and have every week night filled along with weekends filled with soccer games. We don't even have kids. Don't get me wrong, I love coaching BUT I love waking up on Saturday mornings and have nothing planned. I love going for walks. I love having nothing planned so that if something comes up I don't have to apologize and tell them I'm busy.

Choosing to simplify how we spend our time may seem lazy to some. It may seem like a waste, and that would be true if all we planned to do was sit home/read/watch tv/indulge in our selfish nature, but that is not what we desire. We desire to be able to focus on ourselves yes, but more importantly on others. I want to be able to go for a walk and if I see someone out, stop and talk instead of feeling like I need to hurry home to get to the next thing, I want to be able to stop by people's home just to say hi and visa versa. I want to watch the sun set. I want to play games with kids. I want to have dinner with people and savor the moments. To linger around. I want to go places and be fully present and not worry about where I need to be next.

I want to be fully present in every moment. I want to give people the best of me, not the rest of me. My desire is to live life fully present in every moment and to not waste my time being busy.

Simplifying Our Lives

Kenny and I have been on a journey to simplify our lives for the past year. This has been a process that we are no where close to having complete, but we have made progress. Some of the areas of progress include our clutter, our money, our goals, our food, and our time.

Clutter - I plan to post a more detailed post about this one where I'll detail how many t-shirts, socks, sweatshirts, and pairs of underwear I owned. The numbers would shock you. They shocked me and I lived with the stuff!! This winter we went through our entire wardrobe and simplified what we owned. Originally I thought I'd have a garage sale and do something good with the money, then I realized I wanted the 'stuff' gone and donated it to Goodwill.

Money - Every month Kenny and I get an allowance. This way we don't have to have discussions about whether or not we should buy the pack of gum or the sun flower seeds. We are both cheap and don't like to spend our money on things we don't 'need', so believe me when I say, we've had those discussions. Now we each have 'our' money and the other person is not allowed to comment on how we individually chose to spend our money. The rest of our money was already quite simplified so we didn't have to do much else. We do however still need to simplify our bank accounts. We do not need 2 checking accounts and 4 savings accounts. We have so many because we never combined all of our accounts when we got married. It's only been 3 years :)

Goals - A couple months back I wrote out goals. They were categorized, and within each category there were various goals. I soon realized I was being too detailed and needed some leeway.   So last month I simplified. I now have two things I will not compromise on and other things I would like to do if time permits and I get to them. Two things I've come to realize I won't compromise on are: daily time with God and weekly date night. Those are the two most important things in my life right now and that is where I chose to spend my time.

Food - Our food consumption has become cleaner and healthier. A majority of our food we consume is whole foods. We shop on the outer edge of the grocery store, with a majority of our purchases coming from the front where all the fresh foods are located. Food is an area that has come a long way, but one we want to simplify even more. The next step is buying all of our food locally ie farmers markets, and the final step would be to raise the food ourselves!

Time - This one has been the hardest and the most rewarding. I recently read this article, and one of my favorite quotes from the article was:

It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do. 
We don't really want to be busy, but it is a choice for me not a necessity. So we have chosen to not be busy. To say no to people. To have free time to do as we please. This is an area we are still working on, but it is an area we will fight for. 

This next week I plan to go into more detail on the areas that I am most passionate about.

Plans vs. Reality - Afternoon Swimming

For several weekends now I've had plans on how I want to spend my days, and some how things never seem to go according to planned, but I realized that the best parts of life are unplanned. I love the spontaneous adventures that I could never plan.

Example: I thought Sunday was going to be overcast and chance of rain, but low and behold it was clear skies and sunny. As soon as I got home around 1pm I told Kenny we were wasting daylight and we had a pool with our name on it. The plan was to lay out by the pool and read and relax. How wonderful does that sound. We got to  the pool and relaxed and then around 2pm my cousin and his wife and two little boys showed up. Not sure if they felt like they were intruding, but I was more than happy to see them. There boys are 2 and 4. 2 year old doesn't like the water and spent the entire time entertaining himself with a hose. 4 year old on the other hand is a fish. After about an hour they were ready to pack up and head home so they could make dinner and mow the lawn. We said we'd watch the 4 year old and drop him off on the way home because the boy was having so much fun. When asked if he wanted to stay and swim with us, his answer was "heck yeah!" So we spent the next hour jumping off the diving board, pushing him on rafts, and splashing each other. Before my cousin left, they asked us "are you sure you don't just want alone time?" For me that was a no brainer to answer "We don't have kids, we have plenty of alone time."

My plan was to spend the afternoon quietly reading and sun bathing, but instead we spent the afternoon playing and swimming with a four year old. There are very few sounds that are sweeter and more contagious than the squeals of 4 year old. To bring joy to others is one of the most rewarding things, and there was much joy yesterday.

I Laughed So Hard I Turned All Shades of Red

This picture was taken quite some time ago, and to everyone else it means very little, but to me it is the start of a new friendship. This picture was taken under some bunk beds at a high school winter retreat. We had been playing sardines and I had the best hiding spot one could ever imagine. Leslie was the first to find me and as we lay under the bunk bed we laughed and laughed and laughed some more. I have no idea what was actually funny, but the freedom that came out of that night changed our friendship forever.
Leslie is my dear friend and yesterday she got on a jet plane and headed over seas. At this current moment she is an hour away from her final destination. And I thought I would be sadder on this day, but I have had this overwhelming peace about the whole situation. I will no longer get to have the normal friendship experiences. I can't walk over to her house just because I feel like it. We can't stay up late laughing about who knows what. We can't go get coffee. We can't do the normal friendship things, but I've accepted that. Don't get me wrong, I've shed tears, but I have a peace about the situation. And although our friendship will be far from normal for the next three years, she is still my friend whom I love and will always appreciate. My friendship with Leslie has made me a better friend, wife, and person and for that I am forever grateful.

Here are a few things I've learned from Leslie:
I've learned to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I've learned to have fun and laugh.
I've learned to put others first.
I've learned how to not eat popcorn at the movie theater.
I've learned to make others feel special and good about themselves.
I've learned to love females.
I've learned to put Kenny above myself.
I've learned amazing new dance moves.
I've learned how to make Nutella Crepes.
I've learned the inch worm.

What I value most is the freedom I have to make new friendships and form new bonds. I have always had a wall up when it comes to friends. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make friends, they wouldn't like me or we'd hang out and have nothing to talk about. I was afraid we'd become friends, but our lives would grow apart and I'd be left empty again. Friendship is a sore subject for me and I'm sure a lot of other women too. But for the first time in my life, I'm not afraid of the prospect of making new friends and forging new bonds. I almost relish the opportunity. I will miss my time with Leslie and nothing will replace the openness and understanding we have, but where we left off, I feel open to move forward and keep growing in my ability to love others.

Here's to continued and new friendships!

Eating Journey

At first I thought I would just become Vegan and that would solve everything. I was wrong. I was wrong in the sense that becoming vegan would make me healthier. Just because I eliminated animal products, there is still a whole host of unhealthy foods out there. Through research I've come to realize my ideal diet would come from only whole foods.

Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined.

We are making daily strides to become 100% whole foods, but I am not a wasteful person, and I do not have enough time right now to take on this endeavor completely. It has been a transition that has occurred gradually, but within the next 6 months, I believe the transition will be complete. Below are the steps we've taken so far. 
  1. We first eliminated dairy, meat, and eggs. Since making that initial elimination of those foods, we've added back meat, but only meat we kill ourselves. ie: venison, fish, chicken. Someday we might add back eggs, but only eggs that are free range and live in a healthy environment. I am not completely against the consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs. I am against what most stores sell as meat, dairy, and eggs. I refuse to eat things that I don't know what's in them. I have no idea what they feed the cows whos beef I eat. I don't know all of the hormones they pump into the animals, so I've chosen to go cold turkey on everything except the animals we kill ourselves. That way I know where they come from.
  2. Eliminate a majority of processed foods. The only processed foods we've maintained thus far have been: pasta, tortillas, white rice, sugar, and flour. Ideally we will transition from store bought pasta and tortillas to homemade and whole grain versions. Transition from refined white sugar to honey, agave nectar, or other natural occurring sweeteners. And go from processed white flour to whole wheat flour.
  3. Cut out white rice. After a month of eating white rice, we finally ran out. Instead of buying more, we've replaced it with brown rice which  retains the bran that surrounds the kernel, making it chewier, nuttier, and richer in nutrients. We actually prefer the brown rice to white.
As we continue to run out of the remaining processed foods, we will continue to replace them with higher nutrient dense foods.

Please don't take this post as me being perfect. There are days where I have consumed cheese, but they are few and far between. And there was one day when I had a handful of skittles. And another day where I had some movie theater popcorn with butter. I am not perfect and this is a journey. Don't judge me.

Benefits to eating healthier

Over the last 2 months Kenny and I have made a serious commitment to eating healthier. It has been a process, and it has been challenging, but man has it been worth it.



I have been bursting with energy. I don't remember being tired in the last two months and mornings aren't a complete drag.

Weight Loss

I have lost 9 lbs in the last two months without even trying. I don't keep track of what I eat. I don't worry about exercising. I just eat healthy, nourishing foods, and my body does the rest.


I am never hungry. I eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and sometimes one more snack. And I am never hungry, and I eat substantially fewer calories.

Overall Health

I have not been sick. No colds. No flus. And this is a minor miracle since I frequently work with kids who are sneezing and wiping their snotty hands everywhere. 


My skin has been amazing lately. Fewer breakouts and overall healthy glow.

There are numerous more benefits, but these have been the highly noticeable ones thus far.

Vegan: A Day of Eating

I posted about eating vegan, and it was going really well, and then the ensuing chaos hit. We both started working ~50 hours a week, and our eating habits took a nose dive. For the last two weeks we have been eating whatever was easy and available, and lets just say, those foods aren't vegan friendly. But after a refreshing weekend and an opportunity to get back in the swing of things, I'm finally able to write about what I've been eating.

Wednesday, April 4

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 1 c. homemade applesauce
  • 1 medium tortilla
  • 1 c. refried beans
  • 2 T. black bean and corn salsa
  • 1 small tortilla
  • 2 T. peanut butter
  • 2 T. stawberry jam
  • 1 medium tortilla
  • 1 c. refried beans
  • 2 T. black bean and corn salsa
  • 2 servings potato chips
Nutritional Facts for April 4
Calories: 1,732 (2,000)
Fat: 54 (57)
Saturated Fat: 12 (12)
Cholesterol: 0 (0)
Sodium: 3,461 (2,300)
Carbs: 262 (270)
Dietary Fiber: 35 (25)
Sugar: 49 (40)
Protein: 56 (50)
Vitamin A: 29 (100)
Vitamin C: 73 (100)
Calcium: 69 (100)
Iron: 150 (100)

*Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron are all as percentages and everything else is grams or milligrams
**Blue numbers are recommended amounts for my age

I would like to point out that this is not what I would ideally eat. A lot of the food from yesterday was packaged as we have not gone grocery shopping lately. Things I need to incorporate more of are fruits and vegetables along with cutting out added sugar and salt. Next week I'll have another post about my food consumption. I wish I could do this daily, but it takes too much time.

Side Notes:

  • I have not been eating vegan for two weeks and I have less energy and feel heavier
  • I've been doing a lot of research on dietary guidelines for americans and plan to write several posts about how eating vegan can in fact be healthy if not healthier for you

Chica Band

I made my own Chica Band, and believe it or not, it was silver and sparkly!

Chica Bands are great head bands that don't give me head aches and actually stay on my head when I play soccer or other sports. The only problem is, they cost upwards of $10 each, and in all honesty, they only consist of a piece of ribbon, elastic, and a little velvet. I'm not going into detail as to how I made these because I honestly don't have the pictures, but here is what I have, and if you are inspired maybe you can make your own :) I'll post a tutorial someday, but not now as I am beyond busy.

Vegan: A Healthier Way of Life

Throughout this process of attempting to eat vegan, I've found what I really want out of eating. It is nothing extravagant. My mission when it comes to food:
"To eat foods that will help me achieve my goals and dreams in life."
With that being said, my goals in life do not involve diabetes, cancer, or heart attacks.

They do however include hiking, swimming in the ocean, playing any and all sports, doing flips off the diving board, riding my bike, walking on the beach, backpacking across Europe, playing with my (future) kids, and living to see grand children and even great grand children. These do not even begin to cover all of my dreams and goals for life, but you get the idea.

Going forward, I am sure I will eat ice cream again at some point. And at some point I will eat my Grandma's baked macaroni and cheese. And some day I will eat a Nutella crepe. But the main thing is, a majority of my food consumption will be items that are full of nutrients and not just fat and carbs, and we all know macaroni and cheese and nutella crepes are not all that nutritious.

Eating for me has never been about eating for the sole purpose of nutrition. Instead it has been about comfort and community. When I think about not eating Ice Cream ever again, I don't just miss the taste of the ice cream; instead I miss the experiences tied to the ice cream. I miss walking to the local ice cream shop and consuming frozen treats on hot summer days. I could live without turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy, but those are both comforts that are tied to deep traditions. Traditions of family, traditions of holidays, and traditions of joy. Don't get me wrong, I love all foods animal, cheese, butter, and meat. But when I boil it down, I can live without them.  In fact my life will be better for it. What I can't live without is experiences. The biggest challenge thus far has been learning to create new experiences with healthier foods.

In my next post, I'll give you a glimpse of what I've been eaten, and trust me, it has not all been rainbows and sunshine. And some meals have tasted like grass and onion flavored water. Exciting I know. But other meals have been delicious! Like I said, it's been a complete learning curve and I look forward to keeping you updated :)

Vegan: A New Kind of Eating

It started over Christmas break when my sister took a Veganism class for school. Don't ask me why she took it because I don't have an answer. She hunts. She fishes, and she eats meat. But that is beyond the point. While she was taking it, I was very intrigued by the concept. I've watched Food, Inc. and am against the mass slaughter of animals along with the living conditions of those animals, but I was not and still am not against killing animals. 

Since this winter, I have taken to learning as much as I can about eating Vegan and how it affects me and the rest of the world. I hope to share my experiences with trying to be vegan. The highs, the lows, and everything in between. It has been a journey and a process, and I can't wait to update you on what I've learned!

Homemade Poptarts

Found this on Pinterest the other week and decided to give them a try. They turned out amazing! Very flaky and yummy : )
o                    2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour, plus more for dusting
o                    1 tsp salt
o                    1 Tbsp sugar
o                    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (cold)
o                    4 Tbsp ice water
o                    8-10 Tbsp preserves/jam (The better the jam, the better the poptarts)
o                    1 egg + 1 Tbsp water
Optional: 2 cups chopped fruit


1.                  Mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
2.                  Add butter and mix with fingers until it resembles coarse meal.
3.                  Add ice water and mix lightly and form into a ball.
4.                  Divide in half; shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour.
5.                  Roll 1 disk at a time on a floured surface to about 13x11 inches. Trim to 12x10 and cut into   5x3-inch rectangles.
6.                  Place 4 rectangles on each baking sheet. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of preserves onto the center and top with chopped fruit.
7.                  Cover with second dough rectangle and gently press the edges to seal.
8.                  Crimp edges with a floured fork and poke a few holes on top.
9.              Cover tarts and freeze for 2 hours or up to 1 week (I froze overnight and then baked the next morning).
10.               Whisk egg and water and brush over tarts right before baking (I skipped this step)
12.              Bake frozen tarts at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
13.              Sift powdered sugar over tarts or frost with powdered sugar icing.

Yields: 8 Servings
Estimated time: 4 hours

Mud Pies and Infinite Joy

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” 
― C.S. LewisWeight of Glory and Other Addresses

Crepe Cake

adopted from martha stewart (click to go to original)

Lemon Crepe Cake
·         3/4 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/2 cup sugar
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
·         3 large eggs, room temperature
·         1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
·         6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, melted, plus more, melted, for pan
·         Lemon Curd Mousse
·         1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
1.     Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually pour milk mixture into flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Whisk in butter. Pour through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
2.     Lightly coat a 6-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet with butter. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove from heat; pour about 2 tablespoons batter into center. Swirl to cover bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low; return pan to heat. Cook until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.
3.     Slide crepe onto an overturned plate. Repeat with remaining batter, coating pan with butter as needed, and stacking crepes. Let cool.
4.     Place 1 crepe on a flat serving dish. Spread about 1/4 cup lemon mousse onto crepe. Top with 1 crepe. Continue layering crepes and mousse. (Use 15 crepes, ending with a crepe on top.) Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
5.     Top crepe cake with whipped cream.

Lemon Mousse


·         1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
·         1 tablespoon cold water
·         4 large eggs plus 6 large yolks
·         1 cup sugar
·         1 and 1/3 cup lemon juice
·         6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
·         1 cup heavy cream, whipped


1.     Sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
2.     Whisk together eggs and yolks in a heavy small saucepan. Whisk in sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.
3.     Remove pan from heat; add gelatin, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves and mixture is slightly cool. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring after each addition, until smooth.
4.     Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to remove as much curd as possible; discard any undissolved bits of gelatin and egg. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or overnight. Stir curd, and gently fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir before using.

Also made the same cake with a nutella mousse for Leslie's birthday! It was delicious. 

Hope you enjoy!!!

Linked up with: Not Just a House Wife, Ginger Snap Crafts

My Kind of Coffee...

I don't even like the taste of coffee, but man do I love the atmosphere at coffee shops. And I like coffee, just  the coffee that you can't actually taste the coffee. Like caramel mocha things. You know the things with more milk, caramel, chocolate, and whipped cream than actual coffee.

I love having coffee with friends, especially on cold winter days, but someone I rarely have coffee with is my husband. And he LOVES coffee. So the other morning, Kenny and I went down to the sweet little coffee shop (Ella's) and had ourselves some coffee. And a breakfast sandwich, which was delicious!

I love having coffee with my best friend. 

And next post I will be showing how to make photos on blogger align so nicely!!