Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Farm Fresh, Chemical Free!

We recently started using Farm Fresh Delivery - a local service that delivers organic produce to your door once a week.  We just got our second delivery tonight, consisting of: onions, sweet corn, peppers, okra, oranges, zucchini, pulots, kale, tomatoes, strawberries, and grapes.  Definitely enough produce for the both of us to get all our servings in for the week, and at a price that is probably lower than I would pay at Marsh for regular produce.  I've been really concerned about pesticides and genetically modified organisms lately, and this is without even watching Food, Inc.  I'm sure that when I do finally watch that documentary I'll be ready to start our own dairy farm and raise cage-free chickens.  I cannot even imagine how much we would suck at that.  

For now, I'm starting with baby steps...and I may get crazy and start on the organic milk soon.  At least one gallon, since I have a coupon.  :)  Since we're now eating all organic produce, I didn't think it made any sense to continue to put a can of Diet Coke (and aspartame and phenylphelene) in my body everyday.  I haven't researched this, but I have heard that our bodies don't know how to process the artificial sweetners and end up storing it in our bones.  And then it eats away at our bones.  SICK!  This is all very unscientific (could even be from an email forward for all I know), but what I DO believe is that it's just not good for me...calorie free or not. 

So, the point of this post wasn't to be a downer or to be preachey about what's good and bad for us, but I did just want to rave about Farm Fresh Delivery!  I really couldn't be more pleased.  They deliver to almost all of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, so check them out and compare some prices.   


Monday, August 16, 2010

Lady A Cancels Concert for Freezer Meal Prep

Friday was the long-awaited Lady Antebellum concert in Springfield at the Illinois State Fair.  I was so pumped about this for two reasons - 1.) It's Lady A, what more needs to be said? and 2.) I hadn't gotten to really visit with my cousin Megan and her family in awhile and had never been to their house. 

The clouds start to roll in as we get in line to park.  Weather.com is consulted at this point, and sure enough -  it isn't looking good.

Waiting in line to park - here comes the dust with the wind from the growing storm.  We were a little concerned that maybe we should bail out of the car for a ditch because it was THAT loud, but no one else seemed too concerned.

It started pouring shortly after we entered the fair gates, and we huddled in a concrete tunnel with a hundred other people.  That's always fun.  At least we had plenty of options when finding someone to take our picture!

We found our seats and waited and talked...and waited and talked some more, all the while the lightning flashed across the sky.  It never even dawned on me that the concert might be cancelled until we got to the start time and no one had made a move to uncover the equipment.  Here I was mainly concerned about getting wet, but the real issue was the lightning.  Around nine they made the announcement - the show would not go on.

"Here, take my waaaa-waaaa picture by this dumpster.  It's appropriate."
Like those boots?  They were purchased during a lapse in my better judgment while in Colorado.  I love them...but my opportunities to wear them are pretty limited.  I had some hot doggies Friday night, but if you're not going to wear your boots to the country concert at the fair, where DO you wear them?

We started discussing plans for the rest of our evening as we headed for the car...and then, we couldn't find the car.  In our Lady A/tornado excitement, I guess we forgot to make a mental note of where we parked.  So there we are, trotting up and down each row in the rain, pressing the panic button and laughing.  People in cars were laughing, too.  Ha.  Ha.Ha..so funny, jerks.  :P  We were way off...but it only took us twenty minutes or so to find the car.  It happened in the knick of time, because despite the laughter, I think desperation was setting in.

Megan sliced her foot open sometime during the Great Parking Debacle

We switched gears back to being responsible adults who can find their cars on Saturday and prepped ourselves to make a ton of freezer meals.  Uncle Jeff and Aunt Conni joined us for the day which was a nice surprise!  Before we got really immersed ourselves in the kitchen, we all went out to D'Arcys Pint for lunchtime Horseshoes, a Springfield specialty.  It's a piece of texas toast topped with the meat of your choice, all smothered in french fries and a delectable cheese sauce.  These were featured on Man vs. Food last year.

Troopers waiting for a table.



I think it's safe to say that we had a productive freezer meal day.  We now have Tri Kappa Chicken Casserole, Chicken and Bows, Freezer Burritos, and French Onion Soup to get us through busy evenings for awhile.


Thanks for the hospitality, Kutschers!  Hope to see you again soon!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Estes Park - 2010

I think that Ashley and Andrew have already done a good job of summarizing our vacation, but I'll try to add a few different pictures and my own spin to some of our adventures in the Rockies.

Latte in hand and waiting to board.  Perfect.

Snacks are ready and so is the portable DVD player.  Let's go!

Have you ever tried to rent a car directly from the Denver airport?  Don't, it's ridiculous.  We saved almost $400 by renting from a Budget location about 30 miles away from the airport.  The catch is that you have to figure out how to get yourself there...which for us meant renting a $20 car from Hotwire for 2 hours.  It did take a little longer and was kind of a pain in the butt, but I think it was totally worth it.  You should probably ask Ashley though, you had to hang at the airport with a toddler for a few more hours. 

The Bigelows headed to Colorado Springs for the night and we headed to Golden, CO for the Coors Brewery tour.  It was awesome! 

We made it up to Estes Park on Saturday night and relaxed.  We were pretty tired from an early morning departure.  Our home for the week was Rams Horn Village, courtesy of my generous inlaws who couldn't use one of their timeshare weeks this year.  Thank you!

The next morning we headed to Fort Collins for some whitewater rafting on the Poudre River.  We opted for the wild and scenic tour and I was puh-retty nervous as we got the "What to Do When You Fall Out of the Raft" speech.  Oh my word.  But much to my pleasant surprise, rafting was awesome!  I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.

We saw big-horned sheep on the way to Fort Collins.

We rented a child carrier and hiked on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  It worked out great!  Then again, I wasn't the person designated to carry the 30-pound pumpkin on my back. 

Hiking on Lilly Mountain

Our trip to Emerald Lake on Tuesday - very beautiful!

After our morning hike to Emerald Lake, we drove to the top of Trail Ridge Road.  It's the highest place you can go in Estes Park by car.  Those curvy roads didn't set well with Audrey's tummy filled with the Goldfish crackers we kept feeding her while we waited on long construction delays.  As luck would have it, I was alone with her in the backseat while Ashley bought her some lunch and the boys browsed in the gift shop.  Let's just say that Andrew found Audrey and I just hanging out in the parking lot later, both covered in puke.  Luckily, I'm not very squeamish, so if someone had to be in the backseat of the car, it's probably best it was me.  And that we were stopped.  Plus, now Audrey and I have a special bond that only puke can create.  It may be awhile before I scarf down a bag of Goldfish again. 

Sorry I puked on you!  I'm still adorable!

On Wednesday I was able to cross something else off the Life List -

62. Climb a mountain or a really big hill

Brent and I hiked to the top of Flattop Mountain, an 8.8 mile hike.  At first it seemed easy, but once we got above the treeline at 11,000 feet I was feeling it.  And all I could think was, "Wow, I am SO glad I'm not doing Longs Peak tomorrow!  I would never make it!"

It was bright up there!  And cold.  Note the glacier behind me.  The cellphone reception was exceptional, something we struggled with all week.  I had a 15 minute conversation with Big Lou on top of that mountain.

On Thursday our men left around 1:00 a.m. to climb Longs Peak.  I'm not going to tell the story because Andrew has already done it so well, but I will just say that I am super impressed.  It sounds ridiculous and I am so happy they made it back alive!

Tired, tired guys.

We had wonderful meals every night on vacation.  There was seriously not a bad meal eaten by anyone.  The most interesting experience was on Friday night at The Baldpate Inn.  I just got done saying to Brent, "I am ONLY ordering salad tonight!" (since it was definitely time for vacation detox to start) when we were told by our server that the ONLY thing they have is a salad and soup bar.  So weird!  Great corn chowder and homemade breads, but more of a lunch place than a Friday night dinner.

Look at those optical illusion arms and head tilts.  I'm just prepping to have more senior pictures taken.

Thanks for coming with us, Bigelows!  It was a great vacation!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rocky Mountain High

We just spent a week in Estes Park with our dear friends the Bigelows.  We had a perfect mixture of relaxation and activity.  Even though I'm always glad to come home from vacation and get back into the swing of things, a big part of me didn't really want to leave the mountains.  For a long time I've been trying to choose between my two roads diverged in a wood, and everything seemed so clear in the mountains - like God created them just for me.  I think standing on top of a mountain helps you appreciate both the enormity of the Earth and all its creatures but also the care and detail that God has put into each of our individual experiences.

I hate to diverge too much from my attempts at a witty vacation post, but I must post some of the lyrics of "Rocky Mountain High".  They seem to be written just for me.  John Denver, you were a wise man. 

He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Comin' home to a place he'd never been before

He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door

He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below
He saw everything as far as you can see

And the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky mountain high