Chuck and I have always talked about simplifying our lives. When you look back at how people lived before all of this technology or a Target a mile down the road, to us it looks peaceful. I look back at my childhood and the 45 minute drive to the grocery store- now it is a 5 minute drive. Everything seems to convenient. This convenience is costing us all in the end. So we have started simplifying our life, we are going through all of our stuff again and again making piles of things we really can get by without- it is amazing what you think you need. We are doing this for ourselves but also for Ilana. Before I met Chuck I decided that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Now I do have a degree and I do want to 'work' but I really did not want to miss out on my child growing up. Chuck and I had decided this is what we both wanted and knew that living on one income would be hard~ especially in this culture of bigger and more is better. We knew that we would have to cut back and cut down in order to do this and felt that it as going to be worth it. Simplifying to us is not only cutting down but doing things the environmentally friendly way. An example is cloth diapering. Now it is an investment up front, we were lucky enough to have family members who helped us out, but in the end it will save us money. They say cloth will cost you 1/3 of what disposables would cost. We also felt that we did not want to expose Ilana to the chemicals found in disposable diapers, and scientist estimate that it can take 250-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose- now that is gross. We never have to run to the store because we are out of diapers and instead of using wipes we use a warm wash cloth, I would imagine that the soft cloth feels much better on Ilana's little bottom! We are using this simplifying and environmental mindfulness to design and hopefully construct our home in Pine City. We will keep you update.