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Thoughts Archive

Sunday

29

January 2017

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COMMENTS

New Moccasins

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

Moccasins

I got some new moccasins. I love them. Or at least the idea of them. But, I don’t like them… yet.

They’re made from this beautiful, soft, moose leather. I tried them on when we were in Ontario in September. I’d been thinking about them ever since. I finally bought them at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market on New Years Eve.

I didn’t hate 2016. It had its highs and lows like any year will. At the end it got comfortable, like anything does. I got used to writing 2016. Now we’re in a new year. I have to get used to writing a 7 instead of a 6. That’s the least of my concerns though.

I don’t like my moccasins because they’re a size too small. Done on purpose because their maker told me to. As I wear them the leather will stretch. It will conform to my feet. I will get used to them, and they me. But, right now it’s uncomfortable. My toes are a bit pinched. I want to wear my old slippers. The ones that are so stretched out that my feet fall out if I don’t wear thick socks. The bottoms so worn they no longer retain any warmth. Yet, I long for their comfort and familiarity. I’d rather wear them than the too tight moccasins. They’re easier. But, instead, I’m wearing the moccasins. And with every hour worn they pinch less. My toes stretching the leather gently. Little by little they are becoming mine.

Moccasins2The new year turns the page on a lot of things for us. We’re getting ready to step out of some old slippers, into uncomfortable tight new ones. It would be easier to just make do with the old ones (in this case, Burbank and its ridiculous cost of living). It’s comfortable, our community is here, and we like it. But, it’s not supporting us anymore. Its soles retain no heat. The new year closed the door on our trip too. We’d been gone for so long that life on the road began to feel normal. Ending the trip meant saying goodbye to a season of adventure and wandering. We knew it couldn’t go on forever.

So we came home. We’re packing up, ready to move on. We will cherish the memories of our time in Burbank and our four month adventure, and take on the new uncomfortable road ahead.

Tuesday

17

January 2017

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Breaking Up With Burbank

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

We have decided to move. We could have come back home, gotten jobs, and made Burbank work. But, it feels a bit like when you’re in a decent relationship, but there’s no long-term potential. You love them, but don’t want to marry them. We love Burbank. But, we want more. We want more than living ten feet from our neighbors, no matter how wonderful they are (and if you know our neighbors, you know what it means to say this). We want land and a hobby farm and chickens. We want more than a nine to five that brings in the big bucks. We want meaning and purpose and intentionality.

We have lived in Burbank for six years. Our community is here. We’re going to be leaving behind an enormous piece of our heart. But, it is something we need to do. We can’t get ahead in Burbank. For our lifestyle, it’s too expensive. We will never be able to save money for our hobby farm and used bookstore dreams if we’re spending ninety percent of our income on rent. Someone has to put their foot down and say they’ve had enough. We’ve had enough. We won’t rent for years only to never be able to afford to buy a home. For us, that wouldn’t make sense. It won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The housing market won’t realize that we’re on to something, that the cost of living here is in fact ridiculous. No one will notice. But, it will matter to us. We will be putting our collective foot down. We’ve had enough. We will give you, our dear community, up, because we feel like we have no other choice.

If you’ve met us, we’ve probably bragged about these people. These dear friends of ours. They’ve become family away from family. They’ve walked alongside us, holding us up through job struggles, infertility, and life’s ups and downs. We’ve eaten countless In-n-Out burgers, shared dinners and laughter on our lawn, and pondered life, faith, books and movies for hours on end. Wherever we end up, there are some big shoes to fill.

Anyone want to come with us? It would make it so much easier… I’m not sure we can leave you behind.

Wednesday

23

November 2016

1

COMMENTS

Finding Our Place

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

nebraskasunset2

On Sunday we packed up the car to head out again. I simultaneously like and dislike it. Tim pointed out that there’s something comforting about getting back in the car after a stay. And he’s right. It’s our home base right now. It holds all of our possessions, it carries us from place to place, it provides warmth to our toes on cold days. But, packing up again means one more place that we’re not going to settle in to and make home. One more place that someone else has successfully tamed that we won’t. One more place that’s not our final destination.

We didn’t expect anyone to take us in permanently. Some have offered that we can come back, that we could stay as long as we want to. We haven’t wanted to overstay our welcome (although we’ve tried – sorry parents). We’re looking for permanence in the midst of constant change. That’s tough for me.

I’m a homebody and an introvert. I like my routine and my schedule. I like to know what’s coming. This trip has freed me from a lot of that. It’s shaken things up. But, still, I long for home. Maybe it’s the home we left. I’m anxious to get back, to purge, rearrange, and reacquaint. Or maybe it’s just a home, any home, where Tim and I can settle. I want to find a place for Brando’s bed. I want to set up the kitchen, then move everything again when I realize the silverware is in a wonky place. I want to arrange and rearrange the living room until the couch is in just the right spot.

brandokansas

I find myself dreaming about houses we’ve stayed in as I’m trying to fall asleep. Where I’d put our furniture, whether or not I’d have a cellar, what room I’d choose to be the library – all these occupy my mind as I’m drifting off. We’ve moved many times in the ten years that we’ve been married. Each time I find so much joy in setting up our home. This time feels different though. We’ve never searched this long for the right place before. And I start to wonder if we will know it when we see it, or if we should just settle on something, anything, so long as we can afford it.

Sunday

20

November 2016

1

COMMENTS

So, This Year Has Been Tough

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

mnmaple

A few weeks ago we watched the Cubs win the World Series. One thing that stuck in my mind was at the end of game two they showed some of the guys from the Cubs front office and I couldn’t help but be amazed that they looked to be about my age. I look at the writing staff on some of our favorite shows. They’re my age too. Many of the speakers at this year’s Yellow Conference were my age or younger.

And I have to admit that I feel like a bit like a failure.

I’ve never been super career driven. I always wanted my job to be mom. That didn’t happen. A career didn’t happen. Am I just wasting my time?

Is this a mid(ish) life crisis?

A successful career doesn’t define who I am. For that matter, neither does whether or not I’m ever a mom.

Doesn’t… Shouldn’t… Still kinda does.

One thing that Tim and I have figured out over the years is that we want more than a high paying job. We want life… we want to be together, we want to take a vacation without getting the stink eye from the employer, we want to breathe. Life’s not supposed to be just about work. Is it?

Is it?

Can watching Fixer Upper be a career?

We’re dreaming of a farmhouse on a bazillion acres with a cow and chickens and a horse named Cowboy. Tim’s dreaming of writing a book. I want to preserve food from my huge garden and learn to make cheese. But that’s all we know.

I have a new addiction to the Land and Farm website.

We know that our identity isn’t in what we do. We don’t want to be slaves to a paycheck or what our culture says we should value. So we’re gonna keep searching, trying to figure out what this looks like for us.

Wednesday

26

October 2016

0

COMMENTS

Eating on the Road – Nutella Raspberry Shake

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Drinks, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Thoughts, Travel, Usana, Vegan, Vegetarian

nutellashake2rt

Life on the road has been great. It’s been filled with adventure and relaxation, smooth highways and bumpy gravel roads, time with people and time alone. It’s been a joy to be on this journey. We’ve loved it all. Part of what’s been fun is getting away from the norms of our everyday life.

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Our normal routine includes a weekly menu, planned so that the grocery shopping is done efficiently and practically, so that there is something planned for all meals. We don’t eat out a lot. Eating out doesn’t agree with our budget or our healthy lifestyle choices. However, life on the road includes a lot more eating out than normal. It’s not the norm-norm, but for a while it’s a bit more so. I thought about menu planning before the trip. I could have figured out exactly what we’d eat and where. But, we wanted to have lots of freedom as we travel. Plus, we had such a short amount of time to plan that it got left off of the to-do list. So we’re doing the best we can with what we have. And it’s been great!

pizzartWhen we’re staying with people and are invited to share a meal, we gladly accept. When we’re asked out to a meal, it’s a fun treat. We’ve had delicious pizza in Boston, fabulous barbecue in Texas, and Philly Cheesesteaks in West Philadelphia.

rudysrtSince about half of our time has been spent in the car, we generally munch on a mix of healthy, homemade foods and of course snacks (with a smattering of DQ and Steak’n Shake stops).

rachdqrt

Before we left I prepped as much as I could. I made granola bars, sourdough bread, and scones. We bought crackers, cheese, and fruit, jerky, chips, and chocolate covered gummy bears (ok, not all that we brought was healthy). We even had a small pantry that included items like canned beans and tomatoes, tuna, olive oil, and a few of my favorite kitchen tools (we totally brought some cast irons). We borrowed a camping stove from some friends so we have options, which means freedom. Nevermind that we have yet to use it – I’m determined that we will before the end of the trip so that it’s worth it to have lugged it all this way. 😉

eggmuffinrt

Our stays with both sets of parents have been more extended stays (thanks a million moms and dads!). So we’ve had time to unpack and relax. Tim loves English muffins with ham and eggs, so he made those one morning. We’ve also baked quite a bit, using some great recipes from our friend John Park, and made one of my favorite comfort foods, Texas Stuffnutellashake1rtOne thing that we’ve enjoyed while on the road are our Usana protein shakes. They’re great for sipping while reading a good book as we listen to the wind rustle the leaves on the fall trees. They’re also a great breakfast to grab when we’re in a rush to get on the road (because let’s be honest, we almost always leave way later than we’d planned). While it’s just fine to use water and the powdered shake mix, I love to add a little more and make a meal that will really keep me full until lunchtime. My favorite shake includes banana and peanut butter. Tim’s includes Nutella. His is the recipe I’ve shared below. I’ll share mine another time.

usanart

Another way that we’re trying to keep healthy as we travel is by taking our Usananutritional supplements. Usana is a company making pharmaceutical-grade supplements that are the top in state of the art nutritional science. They use cell signaling technology, which is why people have such great results. Our daily regimen includes a powerful antioxidant and core mineral combo called CellSentials, Procosa (for joint support), vitamin D and fish oil (cellular function), Coquinone 30 (cardiovascular health), Usana probiotic (gut support) and digestive enzymes (digestive health), and Visionex (eye health). There’s also a great immune system booster called Booster C that we’ve taken when we’re feeling a sore throat coming on.

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We’re exercising moderation, trying to make wise decisions, and showing ourselves grace. All of which has added up to a wonderful trip. Lots of great times together that we will cherish for a long long time.

Nutella Raspberry Shake

Nutella Raspberry Shake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C Nutella (or your favorite vegan hazelnut spread)
  • 1/2 C raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 5-6 oz milk (any type)
  • 5-6 oz water
  • 2 scoops (39g) Usana MyShake powder (whey, plant, or soy)
  • splash maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a container and blend with a hand blender or regular blender.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/search-obergness-pt-6/

*We are Usana associates, but are not being paid for this post. For more information, here’s a video about the science as well as the business behind Usana.