echoing. simple may

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This year we are really focusing on living simply and intentionally. Live fully in each moment. Minimize distractions and clutter. See and interact with the world we live in, with our family and friends and community. It means health and wellness. It means the illusion of balance is thrown out the window and we pick and chose how to spend our time and resources. We are trying a few self-imposed disciplines each month to weed out the “living-life-numbly-syndrome” we seemed to have developed. We desire a life that honors God in the way we are using our time and resources!

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So…..how are we doing?

No desserts for May = um, this was a wonderfully terrible idea. Obviously good for me because I had legitimate withdrawl for two weeks. At least. And even more so, it highlighted our limited fruit and veggie intake. So we did fruit for “dessert” each night (what our bodies actually want with the sugar crave). We did no more than 2 “pasta” based meal each week and did tons of meat and veggies. Holy Moly. We. Feel. AWESOME. If you need inspiration, “The Gardener and the Grill” is hands down our favorite grilling book (simple, easy, beautiful) and really refocused our meal planning. And regarding desserts, we will follow a simple guide — if it’s homemade by us or someone else, we can eat it, in obvious moderation. MMMM. (so yes, Ethan will be making cookies next week as an activity :–) .

Clean and Purge the house = this has been a process for the last few months. But June was our deadline. I’ll show photos soon, but each room got a “what is it’s purpose? Is it beautiful or useful?” (inspired by the amazing books The Nest Place and Organized Simplicity). This was so so good for the soul. For someone who loves to rearrange furniture and change it all up almost monthly (I’m told I got it from my Grandma Ida), it’s actually freeing to get things situated and just live in it for (hopefully) a year before changing it up!

Trying new simple = I’m now completely and utterly sold on homemade cleaning supplies (water, vinegar, baking soda…who knew?!). Line-drying diapers is a WIN but line-drying clothes right now was too much hassle for me. Homemade granola bars have now changed our snack-life. Farmers markets start next week (WHOO HOO!) but we’ll pass on growing our own food this year and instead support the locals. I accept my limits and don’t feel bad for short-cuts (gardening and sewing are just not my forte) and embrace what I do enjoy (cooking/baking and cleaning is awesome!).

Gas and Food only = We did a month of no spending other than gas, food, and mortgage/utilities (oh, and toilet paper. thank goodness). My conclusion? I seriously desire to buy more than we actually need. I wrote down everything I wanted to buy if I could and why I didn’t need it…. things like more socks (well, just do laundry more often) and cute headbands for evy (I already have four, stick with those), new book for ethan (um, libraries!) and cleaning supplies (haha! I can make it!). It was so wonderful. We are actually going to stick with it for the summer to relearn what is defined as a need. (Jen Hatmaker’s 7 book is a hilarious memoir of their experiment with this).

What up next for the month of June? Well, more soul-health disciplines. No Netflix/Hulu/Youtube — and instead find different ways to fill up that time and space ((gasp) enjoy the quiet minutes it takes to boil water without looking at something on our phone….). No Facebook. (don’t worry, our blog and instgram is will stay active because it connects us to friends and is such a life-giving hobby). Add in 20 minutes of daily outside time (which will be easier with the summer weather). Continue No spending (but adjusted for our upcoming vacation).

So here we go! 20