Dance party!

Ben and Grandma got their groove on last night with Aunt Leslie, Uncle Dennis and Sis watching on.  Forgive the AWFUL videography.  :)



That's what the state of food in our country is.  It's sick.  SICK.  Food, Inc. was bad enough.  But then I watched the most recent episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and I am promising, right here and now, that I will never, ever, ever buy cheap ground beef again.  You HAVE to watch this episode.  Everyone in America HAS to watch this episode.  What they do to our meat - and what the USDA ALLOWS - is just unfathomable. 

Watch it here.

It got me thinking.  We don't buy a ton of organic food.  We buy what we can "afford."  Lately, I've had a hard time justifying the costs of organic food.  I find myself sitting in front of an aisle saying, "Hm, I could buy the organic canned tomatoes for $2.19 or the non-organic for $1.30.  Okay, non-organic it is."  The amount of organic food in our home is dwindling so that I can save us money.  But did you know that Americans today spend a significantly smaller portion of our income on food than we did in the "good ole days*"?  Professor Mark J. Perry outlined it for us in his blog.

Do you know why we pay so much less now?  Because we industrialized our food system.  We put the small farmers out of business - the ones who knew and CARED ABOUT their customers.  We now do things like wash our beef in ammonia so that we can use every last bit of the cow.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat every last bit of the cow, nor do I really feel like a side of ammonia with my dinner.  We treat our animals unconscionably.   I certainly can't believe that this is what God would approve of.

We're all guilty of this behavior, because we support it with our wallets.  We turn a blind eye to it - OR - worse yet (what I'm guilty of), we know what's going on but we try to forget about it because we "can't afford" better meat.  But we can afford better meat, better food.  It's about priorities.  It's time for our family to find places to cut back (toys, clothes, etc.) and say enough is enough.  The sad thing is that I've said this at least five times, but I've yet to follow through.

This time?  This time I mean it.  I will no longer feed my kids ammonia-laced beef, I will no longer support the treatment of animals in meat factories with my own money.  I don't care if it means paying $7.99/lb for local beef that was raised by a farmer I know, whose farm I can visit any day I want, who treats his/her animals with respect, the way I just know God wants it to be.

Furthermore, I believe that my body is His temple, I want to be a good steward of the Earth (which, in my heart, tells me is living as naturally as I can), and I want to eat the healthiest way I can so that I can be the healthiest me for Him, so that I can serve Him in my best capacity. 

Alright, off my soapbox.  :)

*good ole days = 1929, when food was REAL


Happy three months, baby girl!

Well, three months in!

This month has been awesome because you are really becoming happier. And chunkier. :)

You smile all the time. All I have to do is look at you and I get a giant, ear-to-ear grin. It melts my heart. And just recently, you've started LAUGHING! Real belly laughs. I tickled you last week and you just thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

You roll over on occasion and you are just full of funny faces (all you have to do is check out your three-month picture to see what I'm talking about).  You also babble a lot!

You're starting to interact with your toys. You love your bouncer! You squeal and squeak while it lights up and plays music. The bumbo seat is hit-or-miss, but you sit so well in it!  You like your play mat, too.

You still don't sleep through the night, but that's okay. Mommy doesn't mind middle-of-the-night snuggles. Hopefully you'll be quicker to pick up on this trick than your brother, though, who still doesn't sleep through the night.  You don't love your naps, but you need them.  Unfortunately you're a light sleeper with a loud brother, so you wake up frequently in a bad little mood.

Your favorite thing, and the trick sure to make you happy if you're upset, is to stand with help.  If you're screaming, I prop you up and hold you in a standing position and you instantly calm down.  Maybe this means you'll be a super early walker like your brother, but trust me...if you want to wait longer, mommy wouldn't be upset ONE BIT.  :)

Love you like crazy, sweet baby girl Adalyn!


A lesson in judgments & a great awakening

(Lost most of my pictures when I switched from WP to blogger. Slowly working on putting them back, but it's a massive undertaking so please forgive the broken image links!)

That's me.  I fell asleep in the middle of laundry folding last night.  Right on the basket of laundry.  Slept that way for hours.  I laughed forever when the hubby shared this picture with me.  You see, I'm not one to fall asleep in random places.  In fact, I have a difficult time falling asleep in my own bed.  I'm also not one to fall asleep when I have a long to-do list or a messy house.  I usually stay up as late as it takes to get it all done.  But I was exhausted.  It was a busy weekend and I was drained physically and emotionally by 7:00 last night, when I threw my arms up in frustration and told Tim, through tears, that we were hiring a maid.

I used to think it was ridiculous that a SAHM would ever need the services of a housekeeper.  In fact, I used to be pretty judgmental about it.  That was before the days of having kids or staying home.  But God taught me a lesson in judgments and it really hit me over the weekend.

I'm kind of OCD.  Not in the true sense of the clinical definition, but I get extremely anxious and panicky if there is clutter in my house.  Having kids has been tough, because as any mom will tell you, clutter is 100% unavoidable when you have children.  Toys are inevitably strewn about the house, random sippy cups adorn bookshelves and pacifiers and burp rags line counters and furniture.

This weekend, I didn't have much time for cleaning or dishes or laundry.  I attempted to refinish a few dressers, spend a little time with my kids and hang out with a few friends while also volunteering at the church and helping out with a make-up launch party for a friend.  This was all TONS of fun and very rewarding, but it meant that at 5:00 last night, we had dishes in the sink, piles and piles of dirty laundry, no food in the fridge and a hot mess of a house, all while I was beyond exhausted.

If I want to have a social life, I can't keep a clean house every minute of every day.  If I want to spend time with my children, I can't keep a clean house every minute of every day.  If I want to help out where I'm needed, I can't keep a clean house every minute of every day.  If I want to enjoy life at all, I can't keep a clean house every minute of every day.  I need a social life, my children need me and I need to find enjoyment in things other than sparkling floors, clean toilets and a clutter-free, perfectly organized home.

I need to get over my idea that in order to be a "good wife," the house must be clean, dinner must be made and clean clothes must be available.  My husband doesn't care, so why do I?

Sometimes I'm going to fall asleep on the laundry basket and wake up on a Monday morning with a disaster of a house.  And you know what?  That's okay.  Some day I may decide (if I can ever fit it into our budget) that a housekeeper is necessary so that my children get the best of me.  And that's okay.  Someone looking in on my life may judge me for having a messy house or a maid, but that's also okay.  Because they won't know that I'm enjoying my life, enjoying my kids and helping others.


Master bedroom UPDATE!

Well my ultimate dream is now to turn our master bedroom into a master suite thanks to an awesome friend, Megan, who is also an interior designer and drew up some plans for me.  And hubs and I are seriously considering it.  It would involve giving up our playroom, though, and knocking out the wall between our room and the playroom as well as walling in a few spots and cutting out a hole in the bathroom wall to make a new door.  But it'll probably be at least a year before we can accomplish something like this.  Realistically, more like two.  We'd have a WALK-IN closet, though, and an attached bathroom!  Oh, how I've missed both of those!

Anyway, for now, I'm focusing on what we can do.  Last weekend I picked up a few trinkets when I went on a girl's shopping day out excursion.  One of them ended up being my color inspiration for the wall and I went and picked up the paint tonight.  I've snagged a big cream rug and TWO old dressers which I'll be refinishing this weekend.  I doubt I'll have time to refinish the dressers and paint the bedroom, but I can dream, right?  So I'm scratching the idea for a vanity/desk and instead we'll have his and hers dressers.  And the wall color is a little different than I was originally envisioning, but I love this more!  It flows really well with the other colors in our house and is pretty much the exact color of the drapes in our dining room, which is right off the bedroom.  Plus I think it's the exact romantic feeling color I was after.


Stay tuned for some after pictures at the end of the weekend!


First milestone down!

I think it's more fun and rewarding to set small weight loss goals, so my first was to lose five pounds.  This morning I hit five pounds EXACTLY!  It might not sound like much, but just go pick up a 5 lb bag of flour.  Plus, it gave me the added motivation I  need to keep going.  Ideally, I'd like to lose 17 more pounds but I'll be happy just to get back to pre-baby weight, which is 7 lbs away.  So my next small goal is seven pounds.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a whole lotta exercise to go do.