Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Announcements

This public service announcement brought to you by a very tired mommy and a toddler with new molars. The last couple of weeks have been long ones, for many reasons, but mostly because Benny boo bear has some shiny new molar points to show for it. He only has two more bottom molars to go (Lord help me) and then he will have all of his teeth. Crazy! These last back molars are giving us more trouble (cranky, whiny, needy, hands in mouth, etc) than any of the others. My heart goes out to the parents whose kids struggle through all the teeth. There's a lot of teeth in those mouths! Anyway, I digress.

Here's what's up with the Laughery Clan. By the way, in case you're one of those people like me who wants to know how to pronounce people's names...we say la-ow-ree...low-ry...lawlry...not Laugh-ery. It's confusing. I know. When I tried to spell it out phonetically for my Masters degree ceremony, the chickie wrote down "owl-rey" that's cool. "Andrea "Owl" Laughery" please come up and get hooded. Cool nickname.
| One | 
The biggest and most exciting tidbit I have to share here today is that we are potentially home owners (again)! I know I just wrote a sad little post whining about where our perfect home was, and the next day we got good news! One of the homes that we were in contract with for a short sale came through! The bank originally counted 80,000 (yes, that many zeroes) HIGHER than our offer, so we obviously figured that perfect home wasn't going to be the one. Turns out the bank lost some paperwork, and instead of gathering it all up again they just decided to accept our offer. Well, alright then! We have our inspection today, and if all goes well we should close soon! I was starting to feel anxious about moving, because I hate change and I'm really uncomfortable moving out of my zone. The summers here on the water are so heavenly and I felt like not finding a home was a sign to stay. Well, the next sign came flashing neon when a rat died in our furnace, our washing machine broke again, the sugar ants started marching and singing all over the kitchen counter, and the abundant rain reminded me why more indoor space will be a huge blessing. I'm ready to move (but don't worry future renters, we will fix these issues!) Also, Ben gets to have a real bathtub, and Justin's commute is slashed by 40 minutes. YES!
| Two | 
I weaned Ben from breastfeeding last month, but this is funny. If it makes you comfortable to cover up, then by all means do (I did from time to time), but this comic really sheds some light on how silly it is that our culture has shoved baby mammals under blankets.
| Three | 
THE trip. You know, the big one. It's coming up. In five weeks my husband and I will be flying away from our sweet boy for a little one-on-one adventuring together. I felt crazy about leaving my son, but hey, if you should. It's a surprise to my husband where we are going, so I definitely have some creative packing to start thinking about. Red beard also is just finishing his scuba certification (has his last open water dive tomorrow), and I'm trying to figure out if he can bring his gear with him to dive at one of our locations.
| Four | 
After my whole ankle spraining fiasco, working out rigorously like I had been is proving difficult. We were able to climb up Mount Ellinor without major issues, but trying to do T25 in our living room is not happening. I've been able to get in 45 to 65 minutes of cardio on our stationary bike every day, so that is helping me maintain, but I'm kind of "stuck" at my current fitness level and I'm looking forward to my ankle being fully healed soon.
| Five | 
Stranger at store: "Awww, he is so cute! What a flirt! How old is he?"
Me: "Thanks, he sure thinks so! He is almost 19 months!"
SAS: Confused look...appears to be counting...
Me: "Oh, um, he's a year and a half old."

So, I guess it's time to stop telling people Ben's age in weeks or months. Ha! I'm that annoying mom.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week. I'm really grateful for all the friendships I've made here and appreciate you following along with me.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's In Our Pantry

I know, I know. You've been waiting for this post. Probably wondering when I was going to share the thrilling contents of our family's pantry. Wait no longer.

A while back, Justin and I decided (okay, I decided and he was forced to go along with it), that we were going to go vegan. Vegan was the new black. Everyone was doing it! Long story short, it really wasn't the lifestyle for us. BUT, we do believe in eating mostly plant-based foods, and less animal. It was the start of us drastically changing our eating habits.

Fast forward a bit. Current day, we eat hardly any processed or boxed foods. Most of the fruits and vegetables we eat are organic and/or locally grown when possibly. The meat we eat is sustainably raised, and we know where it comes from. The seafood we eat is never harvested from a fish farm in Thailand full of GMO corn. In summary, we eat a lot of nutrient dense foods that are real and minimally prepared out of our home. I read the labels on everything. Just because it says "organic" or "natural" means nothing.

The standard American diet is scary. Our bodies are sick, unhealthy, overweight, addicted, and upset. We blame it on anything we can but our own habits. People have forgotten that food is medicine. It fuels our bodies. It's disgusting (ethically, morally, the whole biz) that agricultural corporations, advertising companies, and big businesses pump people full of additives, chemicals, genetically modified foods, high fructose corn syrups, sugars, refined salts, and flours.

We decided it wasn't for us, and that wasn't how we wanted to raise our kid(s). Ben is at a prime age for growth, and people have teased me about the way I feed him, but I know he is getting the nutrients and minerals that his developing body needs! Joke about the kale smoothies, the homemade almond butters, the coconut flour if you will, but we over here are doing what is best for our family. Of course it isn't an all or nothing kinda thing. Ben ate Annie's organic macaroni and cheddar for dinner the other night because I was single-parenting it. Justin grabbed Subway on his way to scuba class, and I downed a 16 ounce sugary coffee from Starbucks. It happens. But it shouldn't all the time.

I guess this eating lifestyle we have adopted is called "eating clean" or "whole foods". I just think of it as eating real food, most of the time. It's pretty hard to eat this way and avoid the inner aisles of the grocery stores, so I thought I would share a glimpse of our pantry. The pantry is the place you most typically find the junk and the crap. I hope this gives you some ways you can help clean up your pantry, too!
Top shelf left: I keep our coffee and tea in the bin, along with organic "cheerios" for Ben to munch on (I like the Cascadia Farms ones because the only ingredients are oats, barley, and sea salt). I also keep organic oatmeal, flax, and organic canned tomatoes up there.
Second left: I have a bunch of pasta noodles here, that quite honestly are leftover from a couple of years ago. I keep them around in case we really really need something. I also have dried beans, quinoa, and rice on this shelf.
Third left: I still buy tortillas, and bread (although I try and make homemade loaves a few times a month), and organic rice cakes. I've also got some almond crackers, raw almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, almond milk, and lara bars stored on this shelf.
Fourth left: Organic maple syrup, honey, peanut butter (I also make our own but keep that in the fridge), raisins, dates, popcorn, and dried pea crisps.

Top shelf right: This shelf has a lot of strange items (like absinthe that I bought in Athens, Greece in 2007). So up here we have husband's whiskey, olive oil, a jar of jalapenos, hot sauce, protein powder, and some really really old peanut oil that needs to be thrown out.
Second right: Organic chicken stock, canned beans, artichokes, and pickles.
Third right: Mixer and baking jars. I keep organic brown sugar, raw sugar, and whole wheat flour in those.
Four right: This is the baking shelf. Chocolate chips, coconut flour, whole wheat flour, almond meal, baking soda, etc. Also, if you are looking for a couple of great muffin recipes, the back of the coconut flour has a great recipe for chia blueberry muffins that is gluten and dairy free (I've posted on instagram here), or check out this pin for flour-less peanut butter banana muffins! Yum!
*The bottom shelves (not shown) on this side have our waffle maker, wine, vacuum sealer, and some other baking pans.

Well, that's the tour of our little ol' pantry! Watch out, my fridge might be night next!
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Birth Diaries #14: Heather and Evelynne

Hi, I'm Heather and you'll find me blogging over at Like a Morning cup of Coffee  where I write about my life as a Police officer's wife and young mama who loves coffee and really  loves Jesus.
My #1 goal as a Mama Blogger is to encourage other mamas. Which is why I love Andrea's blog so much! It's so refreshing and encouraging which is why I'm so blessed and honored to take over for a day. I love these Birth series and I hope my story can bring encouragement to you today. Much love.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

No Words

It's been a long week of sunshine, running, hugging, eating, and growing. I have no words tonight, just photos. 

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

House Hunting

For those of you who have been following along with me, you know we have been house hunting for a little over three months now. I'm convinced the perfect home does not exist anywhere but in the corners of my imagination. That living room I see my husband lying on the floor with the kids squealing and playing. The open kitchen where I can cook breakfast and peer up to see my family snuggled on the couch. The bathtub that will be my place of reprieve and sanity. The open windows and sheer white curtains that flow gently on a summer's breeze. The hallways I will quietly pad down in the middle of the night to hold my babies.

Sigh. Where are you, dream home?

We've looked at nearly twenty houses, but none of them have been our home. We had two 'pending' offers on houses that are short sales (last ditch effort from the seller before the house is foreclosed by the bank), but that process is anything but short. The moment I got my hopes up and mentally moved ourselves in, the bank countered one of our offers way out of our price range. The other we wait on anxiously, knowing our offer was already at our high end and will probably not be accepted by el-greedy-banco.

So we keep searching. Every house we enter I look in the closets to see where we will stack our games. I peer over the kitchen sink and imagine my kids running and playing in the grass. My husband is busy looking at hot water tanks, structural beams, and property lines. We want investment for our life, not of our money.

We recently looked at two homes (the above photo included) and the master bathroom did not have a bath tub. It sounds silly, but it is one of the things on our 'must have' list. From a world perspective, Americans are spoiled, rich, and have more than we need. We have clean running water! Washing machines and comfortable beds. Sometimes the guilt of that drives me crazy. With that being said, I've lived in an 800 square foot trailer (that I love and adore) (read more about that here and here) without a bath tub for almost 8 years. On those days when I've wanted to seclude myself from the world and relax, I've had to do it in a 3 foot standing shower. Having a bath tub is just something that is really important to me.

We also haven't even considered a home if the kitchen is tucked away in a corner somewhere. The kitchen must be open to the family space, so we can all be together.We are also trying to keep my husband's door to work commute within 15-20 minutes at the max. Justin works very long days, and aside from us wanting more space, the biggest driving force behind us moving is so he can be closer to home, and have more precious time to be with his family. We also want acreage, and room for our kids to play outside. We both grew up outside, roaming around, and I think it's a hugely important part of childhood. I want space for my garden, and possibly chickens.

In other words, our selection of homes has been fairly minimal. We don't want to push ourselves into a home when it isn't the right fit just because we are anxious to have more space and have Justin's commute be short. I'm holding steady that the 'dream house' is out there somewhere, just waiting for us to walk through its front door and welcome us home.

Have you gone through the house hunting process?
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I'm feeling a little stale with my blogging lately, so I thought it would be fun to link up with A Mama Collective for all things 'Currently.'

| Listening |
I've been listening to my sweet son say a lot of new words. Every day he tries and picks up something new. Right now he's cracking me up because whenever our dog walks in the room he stands up and swings his arm around and says "GO!" "NOW!" in his tiny voice. Hahahaha...I guess he picked that up from me?? :) Seriously though, I love listening to him talk and be a silly little weirdo.

| Watching |
My weight. :) I had to go out into the garage the other night and find my old jeans because the ones in my closet were TOO BIG for me! Hooray! I'm doing something right!
| Thankful for |
Spring weather filled with flowers, sunshine, and sea breezes. 

| Thinking about |
The Birth Diaries Series I started here on my blog. I'm truly amazed at the outpouring of love, support, and celebration mothers have for one another when given the opportunity. I've been blessed by all the incredible women who have contributed their stories to this series.

| Reading | 
I buzzed through the Divergent Trilogy in four days. I'm making my husband read them so I can have someone to commiserate with, but he's only on book two. Anyone out there want to talk to me about the ending!?

Hope everyone is having a great week!

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A Mama Collective
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