Living simply is one of our goals, because 1) it's cheaper, 2) it's better for the Earth, and, last but not least, 3) we feel like simplicity in life and in our stuff helps us focus more clearly and have time and space to respond when God calls us to do something. Sometimes we do better than others.... Here are some things I've been thinking about lately.
Success: We just got chickens! We inherited some that are already laying--that's our first egg.
Fail: After nearly 10 years of marriage and two kids, we're now a 2-car family. Our "new" car has more space but only gets about 17 mpg.
Success: We bought a house with my mom, so we're sharing space, mortgage payment and childcare!
Fail: We have a landline because it came with our cable/internet package (cable for my mom to watch football), and we each have a cell phone. We tried to go down to one cell phone and our iPod Touches for texts, but that only made life more complicated, although cheaper.
Success: We joined a CSA for this summer! Looking forward to fresh, local fruits and veggies this summer, grown by local f/Friends.
Fail: We suck at doing our own gardening.
Success: Cloth diapers. They're awesome, too! When E was a baby we used regular ol' Gerber cotton tri-folds and plastic pants. This time we sprang for the more expensive but infinitely better bumGeniuses. They are truly as easy as disposables, and last as long per use as a disposable. You can get them either with snaps or Velcro. (I chose snaps because I figured Velcro wouldn't last as long.) They are one-size so you can use them as long as your kid's in diapers. E can still wear them at age 4. I'll probably make a real post with pictures on the family blog at some point, and more details than most of you probably want about diapering...if you're interested you can check there, but I won't bore/gross out the rest of you with any more details...
Fail: Long, hot showers. I always tell myself when I get in the shower that this time I'm going to take a really quick shower, but...just one more minute, just a little bit hotter sounds so necessary in the moment.
Success: Free, used kids clothes and used baby accessories. Babies require TONS of accessories, and since we were moving back and forth across the country with our first, we got rid of basically everything as soon as he outgrew it. But thanks to an amazing community and thinking ahead last summer at garage sales, we haven't bought much baby stuff new, and only a couple outfits. Our 4-year-old has been the lucky recipient of basically all hand-me-down or garage sale clothes thus far, or FreeCycle.
Fail: Going out to eat/drink. We aren't as intentional as I wish we were about where our food and drinks come from when we eat out, and there aren't a lot of really good options nearby (unless we burn fossil fuels to get to them).
Success: Spent the day a couple Saturdays cleaning out the garage! It feels much better internally to have that stuff cleaned out of our physical space.
I suppose I could go on for a while, but those are the ones standing out to me at the moment. It's helpful to me to make a list like this because it reminds me that even though we don't live up to all of our ideals and can't perhaps live as simply as we'd like, we are doing some things that make our lives and our world simpler and more peaceable. I can get bogged down in the little things, but I can also be refreshed by them.