No, I do not like the Led Zeppelin tribute band Swan Song. Just lettin' you know. :)
Honestly, when I chose the title for this blog I had no idea that a swan song was anything. I just liked the way it sounded!
According to Wikipedia, it is an old legend that Mute Swans never made a sound until just before they died, then they sang a beautiful song with their last breath. (It's not true, they snort and make other sounds, but somehow the legend has stuck.)
At first when I found this out, I wanted to change the name of my blog.
Ew! I'm not about to die! (At least, as far as I know. lol)
Then, I thought about it for a minute, and realized that none of us really know when we're going to breathe our last breath, so why should I not try to make all of my life a magnificent song, (or picture, or legacy) of glorifying God? I certainly hope and pray that I live a long time, to see my kids grown and grandkids and all of that, and live to a ripe old age of 102. Or something. But in the meantime, I'm going to live the best I know how, in God's grace and seeking Him for my purpose and fulfillment. :)
The Basics of who I am, and my family:
First off, my super sweet and handsome hubby and I have two children. Ethan is four, and Eliana is two. We live in a cute little 900 square foot house with a nice backyard in a big city in Tennessee. We don't really like the city, but kind of just ended up here and are trying to make the best of it. Our dream is to move somewhere north (not sure where yet) and buy land after paying off our student loans and have a homestead where we can be as self-sufficient as possible and have alpacas and a cow and chickens and maybe some more animals, along with a big garden and extra land to hunt deer and ducks on. (wow, run-on sentence! I am also somewhat of an English nerd.)
We are both artistically minded and love to create. Hubby plays guitar, paints and draws and I sing, sew, craft and love to decorate. I just started learning to knit as well. We both enjoy DIY projects and trying things we have never done before.
We love changing the whole look of our house just by painting the walls! We've done that two or three times in the five years we've lived in it.
I love to cook. We especially love cooking and eating ethnic foods. Indian curries, Mexican dishes, African stews. I think we could probably eat Mexican food every night and still want more the next day. I just love cilantro, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, mmm! :)
We pretty much never eat out. Mostly this is due to limited funds, but also just because it is usually way healthier to eat at home, and we know exactly what is in our food. I enjoy finding and making dishes that are flavorful and healthy, made with fresh ingredients and whole foods, rather than processed imitation food in a box. (When we do eat out, it's usually not planned and we just grab fast food as we're on the way somewhere, which totally throws the whole idea of "quality food" out the window; I know.)
We also love doing things outside! Camping, hiking, fishing, running. We go to the Mississippi River quite often and watch the boats going by. The kids love it. We like to go to outdoor festivals as well as outdoor concerts. We ran our first 5k in September of 2011. There are a lot of cool free things available here to do as a family, and I love to take advantage of that. Most nice afternoons, you can find the kids and I in our backyard, lying on a blanket in the grass reading stories or swinging on our bench swing under the big tree. Ha ha! That sounds so southern. But it's true!
Why I stay home with the kids:
Before we had children, Tim and I decided that when we did, I would stay home and take care of them, rather than putting them in daycare and working. Part of this was because daycare is super expensive and I really wasn't making enough to pay for it, but it was mostly because I didn't want to miss that first part of their childhood.
I did work at Starbucks for nearly the first two years of Ethan's life. We just arranged our schedules so that one of us would be home with him when the other was working. Let me tell you, those two years were so tiring! I decided to quit working just after we found out I was pregnant with Eliana. The decision was scary (how would we afford it?) and hard but we knew it was the right thing for our family.
I have to say, there are definitely days where I wish I had a job so I could get a break from being with the kids 24/7 but for the most part, I am glad that I get to stay home with them. We've had to sacrifice, and cut way back on spending (not that working at Starbucks was bringing in the big bucks) but I think it is worth it.
Some things we believe in, and try to live by:
- We have just begun having a family worship time every day. We believe it is the parent's job to teach their children about God (not only the church) and are trying more and more to incorporate our faith into our lives in ways that our children see it several times in action every day. We begin by singing a few worship songs with Tim playing guitar, then read the Bible. Usually we read the passage of scripture the pastor will be preaching on the upcoming Sunday, or a Psalm or Proverb. Right now, we're in Matthew 5, reading The Beatitudes. Then we spend some time in prayer, letting the kids pray if they want to. This is challenging for us to be consistent at, because we're building a new habit. But our days definitely go way more smoothly when we put God first by making time for him in the morning!
- Both Tim and I feel very strongly about having an uncluttered home. We go through our house every few months or so and get rid of extra things that we don't use. We believe by not having clutter everywhere, our lives are more peaceful and we can actually find things when we need them :) Of course, this doesn't mean our house is always clean. We have kids! Our house is often messy. Like every day. But, when it is clean, all of the surfaces are neat and there are no unnecessary things on the floor, etc.
- We try to live as naturally as we can within our means. I make our laundry detergent. We use natural cleaners. We have a compost pile and recycle our paper, glass and plastic. We turn to herbal remedies and chiropractic before over the counter medications and doctors. (Although the kids have all their shots and get regular checkups.) We try to eat healthily, as I mentioned above. I make most of our bread products, yogurt, granola. We want to get to a point where we are nearly or completely self-sufficient, living off the land with cows and chickens and a nice big garden and orchard. Although I still probably want electricity, because I know we can't afford solar panels!
There are a few things for you! I'll add more as I think of them, or if you have questions, I'll answer them! Just leave a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org