It's 2:11pm. My kiddos are sleeping, and I should be editing pictures or making phone calls or at least taking a shower because I worked out this morning and stink to high heaven. But I've got so much on my mind, I can't concentrate on anything else. See, Adam and I started watching Food, INC. last night. We stream it through Netflicks on our Wii, which is our oh-so-convienent (and waaaay cheaper!) alternative to cable. Well, that and hulu. But Food, Inc.
It's basically a movie about how our food (especially meat) production has changed in America in the last 50 years...and it seriously made me nauseous. But in a good way...is that possible? It shows the meat lots, the chicken farms, stuff like that. We're probably only half through it, and I want to go buy a farm and start raising all our own meat, milk, & eggs. Like today. That's how eye-opening this movie is-seriously, you should watch it! I knew some of the facts behind how our meat is mass-produced; but seeing it is just a whole 'nother thing.
and here's the part that drives me nuts.
I consider myself to be fairly health-conscious. And moderatly frugal. Not over-the-top; but
we don't eat anything with hydrogenated oils in it, and keep processed foods to a minimum (like barbeque sauce) in our house.
I make my own salsa because a) It's delicious and b) about 4 years ago I couldn't find a store-bottled salsa without preservatives or, get this, SUGAR in it. Seriously...who puts sugar in salsa??
We don't buy baked goods-except for bread, and that's from a local store with ingredients I can pronounce. We make our own goodies, which are yummier anyways, from the closest-to-nature ingredients we can find. Even things like granola bars are waaaaay cheaper if you make them.
We buy organic fruits and veggies as much as we can afford; sometimes I have to go to 3 stores but I can almost always find the .99/lb. sales on organics SOMEWHERE.
I switched to all-natural cleaners, and use all-natural products on our skin, including my makeup & the kids' wash.
I have used cloth diapers on my babies since Pax was 3 months old. Not only does it save a TON of money long-term, because I use the ones that are adjustable size-wise so I only had to buy the diapers once; we can also keep diapers out of land fills. I'm not hard-core, though; my babies do wear disposables at church in the nursery, or when they stay at Grammy's house.
We do all these things because we want our family to be as healthy as possible. I've slowly learned that health is SO much more than a number on a scale or how fast you can run. And I'm still learning all that it means. But to us, another part of being healthy is keeping chemicals, preservatives, and added hormones out of our bodies as much as possible; so that our bodies have a chance to work the way God intended them to work.
but we don't buy organic or free-range meats. or eggs. or milk.
I do get all-natural milk from a Colorado dairy. But I have no idea how they keep or milk their cows.
We used to get free free-range eggs from a family in Durango...didn't know how good we had it! Not only do they taste better and have more nutrients-the chickens they came from were healthier, which meant their eggs were, well, just better for us.
I wish with all my heart we could go fully free-range, if not organic. I'd love even more to be able to buy everything locally, instead of buying meat shipped from a huge stock lot where the animals are raised for meat with little concern to their health, well-being, or how much manure they're standing in day after day (mmmm...e.coli!).But.
It's so.expensive. And while we always have enough money (God always provides for us as we are faithful to Him, even if we don't see how it's going to work out); there's not exactly a lot of extra floating around. I, like most everyone else, have a grocery budget. We live fairly bare-bones...one car, no cable, homemade as much as possible, cheapest cell phone plan possible, etc. Coupons aren't much of a help because most of what we buy is whole food (think: most like it's natural form). I stay home with my kids, and while I do have a photography business that always seems to bring in money just when we need it; there's not a lot of wiggle room.
but I think I'm about to go all Laura Ingalls Wilder on my husband. If I start to make more stuff (our shampoo, conditioner, & cleaning products are a start-maybe even bread! I am married to a baker's son, after all..) I can stick with the all-natural products I want and maybe, just maybe, save enough to go at least partially free-range with our meat, milk & eggs. If we end up buying our own house anytime soon-or moving someplace with the space for a chest freezer-I'll probably be calling up my sis-in-law to order half a beef from her dad's ranch in Southern Colorado. We may be learning about other good sources of protein and going vegetarian a couple of days a week. And I have a feeling that there will be much more farmer's-market-scouring in our future, as well.
More grocery shopping...ugh. But it'll be worth it- our health is at stake.
So what I want to know is.....
where do I start?? I've google some shampoo recipes, but would much rather hear from my friends, if you guys have any tips or places to look. And I'm sure I'll blog more about my adventures in soap-making and the like. Little House in the (medium) City, anyone?



This is why I haven't been blogging a lot recently. Well, this little guy, and an e-session, and another little one-year-old session...so.fun. I usually don't put my work up on this blog; but this little guy is special. He's the littlest son of two friends of mine, Chris and Shannon, that I've known since high school, gone on missions trips with, worked side by side with in youth ministry back we were first in college...Chris is one of the first worship leaders I sang with, waay back in the day. They were high school sweethearts and I just love them both. Our little guys are all only a few months apart (Clive is about 2 months younger than Pax and just as train-and-car-crazy; Milo is about 4 months younger than Blythe), which makes playdates LOTS of fun!! So when Shannon asked me to do some pics of Milo for his 1st birthday, I jumped at the chance. Once I left my crying son at home (he was heartbroken that he didn't get to go play with Clive), we had a great shoot. But then, when the subject is this stinkin' cute...it's not exactly hard to get a good picture! You can click here to see more, but these are a couple of my favorites.

Isn't he an absolute doll??


Wordless Wednesday

5 years this Friday... I love him so very, very much.


For Faye: Granola-Bar cookies :)

One of my oldest (as in, we've known each other a long time; she's not age-old!) friends asked a few weeks ago for a good granola bar recipe. Since, I have one that my family LOVES, I told her I'd give it to her...but I had to actually make them and measure it all out, 'cause I usually just kinda throw it all in till it looks right. This seemed like the easiest way to get it to her...so, feel free to read or ignore this as you'd like!
Here ya go, Faye....the Recipe!! (sorry it took me awhile :)
3 c. oats
1c. nonfat dry milk
1 container peanut butter (16 or 26 oz....I use the all-natural stuff; my favorite is the one that has flax seed added to it. Omega-3s, baby!)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. raisins
1 c. dried cranberries
(you can, of course, use any dried fruit you like...)
1/2 to 3/4 c. chocolate chips (again, you don't have to add them...but my kids eat these if I add chocolate chips, and I think a little bit of chocolate is worth it considering the benefits of the other good stuff!)
1/2 to 3/4 c. honey. this totally depends on how "wet" you want them...obviously, the more honey, the stickier they will be. We like them moister (is that a word??) at my house.
3/4 to 1 c. water (again, as you start mixing, it will just depend on how wet you want them. The oats soak up a lot of moisture as they chill, so add a bit more at first until you see what consistency you like)
**variation..add a scoop or 2 of protein powder if you need the extra protein! Adam likes to do this when he's lifting hard, or if you're training for a big race...might be good for growing a baby, too ;)
Throw it all in a big bowl or mixer, in the order it's listed or whatever order you'd like. It doesn't really matter, which is the beauty of it! Add water last a little at a time as you mix, until mixed thoroughly and at the consistency you like. IT WILL BE GOOEY!
Press mix into a glass casserole dish (or 2 small dishes), 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Put into the fridge for about half an hour or until thoroughly chilled. Bars will become firmer and easier to handle. Cut to desired size...Adam likes big ones, but he's also been eating cookies 'n cream ice cream like it's going out of style the past 2 weeks because of finals stress and has LOST weight. Smaller is better for me & the kiddos :) We wrap ours in tin foil, but anything like that would work. If you keep them in the fridge until you need to grab one, they stay fresher; although we do take them on hikes & they're just as good. Enjoy!!


Diary of a (Pre)Med-student('s wife)

Now that the cat is out of the bag and I can actually blog about our potential move, that's just what I'm gonna do! I think that, for me, the only thing more daunting than packing and moving an entire family with littles to another state just might be trying to find a home for said family. Thank the sweet Lord for the Internet! Not that it helps with the overwhelming; just actually helps to be able to (sort of) see what the house looks like....I finally contacted a realtor down there today. I just need the help of someone who actually lives there and knows the area. you know, where the good neighborhoods are, what would be within reasonable driving distance to the schools Adam is applying to; that kind of stuff. Kinda helpful, since I don't really see us living in a hotel for months and keeping our stuff in one of those PODS-thingys while we look for a home....but really, what we need is some major direction as to where to even LOOK. I know it will all work out. I know, too, that God is the one orchestrating this move and if I believe that-which I do-I can trust Him to help us find a home in the right area. It's just a leetle overwhelming right now...'cause although I have family in Tucson, I've spent very little time in Phoenix and Adam has only driven through it. And the countdown is on to our trip down there, and we'd really, really like (or, ok, kinda HAVE TO) walk through a bunch of places while we're there. And hopefully find one we like.
Unless, of course, we get down there and decide it's not the place for us, which will bring on a whole 'nother set of challenges...Montana roadtrip, anyone?
Ok...I have to go back to my Internet search now. Wish me luck :)


Little Bit: 15 months

This is my little daughter. We call her Little Bit.
Booski (don't ask!).

she's 15 1/2 months old, 29 inches tall, and 21 pounds...

which puts her in the 19th percentile for weight and the 9th for height. (Yay, she's on the chart!!)
She's sweet, smart, and silly (totally tries to make us laugh...which is, well, hilarious!)

Incredibly strong-willed and feisty

She's very curious, a little bit rough-and-tumble (well, she kinda has to be, considering who her big brother is...)

and more than a bit of a daredevil

She also looooves to accessorize.

Seriously, after having a boy it was a bit of a shock when our 1-year-old started bringing us the shoes she wanted to wear that day, wanting specific bows in her hair, and having a definite opinion about her outfits. Pretty sure Pax STILL couldn't care less, as long as he doesn't have to wear jeans.

Female to the core, this one! It's so much fun to have one of each-boy and girl. I LOVE seeing the differences between my two sweet littles.


Diary of a {Pre}Med-student{'s wife}

The only thing that has been consistent with this medical-career adventure has been change. Moving from our first married home in Durango, where we'd had some deep roots and wonderful friends; living with my parents for a year because the economy made it hard to find work; new classes every semester, new schedules, new job with somewhat consistent hours...change. Every semester, adjustments have to be made. And I think that {at least so far} we've dealt with it pretty well.
Hopefully we'll handle this next change even better, 'cause it's...well...pretty huge for us.

A few weeks ago {like 2}, we almost bought a house. And when I say almost, I mean we'd found a place, put in an offer, they countered, we countered, they countered...all that was left was for us to accept the offer.

But something just didn't feel right.

Adam was restless about it...which was weird, because he's the one who has wanted to buy a house pretty much since we got married. So, we did what every couple does when faced with a huge decision. We slept on it. And then took the kids on a run the next morning.

We talked, and talked, and talked. Up and down and around in circles....until, on the way back, about 1/2 mile away from our place, Adam said it.

"Or, we could just...pick a school, only apply one place, and move there in August," to which I replied

It had never occurred to me before, moving early. We had thought we'd be in Ft. Fun until next spring. Neither had Adam, actually, until that moment. But as we contemplated it in silence-it kinda made sense. I felt a peace about it that I hadn't felt about the condo we'd almost bought. We could move and have 9 months or so to get settle into our new community; find a church, meet some friends...in short, build a support system where we'd be for the next 3 or 4 years {at least!}. Gotta admit, it sounded better to me in a lot of ways than moving one month and Adam starting his program the next.But before we made a decision, we knew we needed to spend some time praying about the move.
So we prayed. And fasted. And listened. And waited. Because you don't (we don't) make a move like this without hearing from the One we give our lives to. And what Adam heard was, "how many times do I have to tell you to go?" And so, we're going.
Most likely, we'll be moving in August. Most likely, we'll be moving to Phoenix in August, although the location is still not definite. Why Phoenix? Well, it's not as crazy a move as it may seem to some, especially to the Colorado contingent. Yes, it's big, and yes, it's super-hot in the summer. It's also 1-2 hours away from family...I was born in Tucson and spent every spring break there until I was a senior in high school. And home to 2 of the schools Adam has been considering all along. And pretty cheap to fly to-and-from, especially in the summer (because who wants to be in Phoenix in the summer??)

It's not 100% yet, but we're making a trip down there at the very beginning of June to look at houses and check out the area. There is a possibility that we won't end up in Phoenix...but if it's not Phoenix, it'll be Indiana or Montana (seems random, I know, but trust me it's not!). Either way, we'll be moving in August, once our lease runs out and in between weddings I'm photographing and classes Adam is taking this summer and next fall. There will be quite a bit of back-and-forth for me thru September, because I have weddings scheduled up here and in Durango, but it's not an issue since tickets are so cheap!

It's a bit surreal, thinking about moving out of Colorado. Adam has lived here since he was 8; I moved here {from Arizona} when I was about 8 months old. I lived overseas for 6 months in high school, and Adam has of course spent a lot of time in France, but neither of us has lived anywhere else in the States. Exciting? you bet. A little crazy? well, not yet but if we find a place in June it will be! I'm looking forward to getting settled into the town where we'll be for the next 3-4 years, at the least. We've loved being in Ft. Collins again, loved being by my folks and re-connecting with old friends, loved having free babysitters (thanks, Grammy & Grandaddy!); we love our church here, too. But we have always, always had in the back of our minds the time when we'd be leaving, again. Sometimes I feel like we're constantly living in transition-and have been from the moment we knew we were leaving Durango, back when Pax was 14 months old. I'm ready to be...planted again for awhile, I guess. To be able to set down some good, solid roots again in a place where our kids will remember living {although I'm pretty sure Pax will remember Ft. Collins, I know-sadly-he doesn't remember living in Durango and B won't remember living here}.
I also know that, although we're moving away again, we won't actually be away from our family. That's how it worked out when we left Durango-our family (by blood and by choice) went with us. We've kept in touch, visited, emailed. And I know the same thing will happen again this time. I know it will be hard to be so far away from my parents for a lot of reasons; but I also know they'd come to the ends of the earth to visit us {or, at least, their grandkids!}.
So here it comes again...more packing :) one of my least favorite things to do, packing up the house....but I'm getting pretty good at it!
I know I might be coming across as a little flippant...but, truly, this whole thing is a huge step of faith for us. Basically, we're moving and trusting God to see to the details-house, Adam getting into a program (the first time around!), everything. That was the whole point, really-this move would be a step in faith, not knowing the details or even if it will work out, but trusting what we've heard from God now and in the past, and...just going. Trusting. It's not always the easiest thing, for sure. Especially with two littles who depend on us for everything; I think if we didn't have kids, it'd be totally different. But-another step of faith. Because that's what we've built this life of ours on-faith in a God who is infinitely good, infinitely loving, and infinitely wise. A big, crazy step...but that's what faith is. Unseen; seemingly irresponsible or ridiculous to some--just stepping out, one foot at a time, in the direction we know He's pointing us.


Pax: 3.5

do you know my Small Son?

he's smart and stubborn

energetic and silly

helpful and {wants to be} in charge

loving and rough-and-tumble

strong-willed and snuggly {sometimes}

people-loving and curious

and very, very, VERY busy.

He's also 3 and a half.

How did THAT happen??