Closet Makeover, Anyone?

So earlier in the year I eluded to a little project I was working on. I promised I would share with you about it this fall so here we are at last. πŸ˜‰

First we have to give you a bit of history….bare with me. πŸ˜‰

Back in April, Zech and I become convicted that we should be more mindful of the clothes we are wearing. I’m not talking about modesty, I’m talking about environmentally. What in the world could I possibly be talking about, right?

Well, Zech and I learned how many chemicals it takes to make a simple t-shirt and it really bothered us. Why do we put so many chemicals on our bodies? I guess it is something we had never really thought about before. The reality is though that it takes a ton of chemicals and dyes to make the clothing we wear and not only do those chemicals effect our bodies, but they also affect our environment. Those dyes and chemicals taint water systems and also effect the people making the clothes in sweat shops. The working conditions aren’t super good for a lot of those people. They work for pennies on the dollar and expose themselves to a lot of those harsh dyes and chemicals without protection. So what am I proposing?

Organic, Fair Trade Clothing.

At first, it seemed like a crazy idea. The more I thought about it and researched, the more I became convicted and excited about making a change. For the past 6 months or so I have been working on switching our closest over to organic clothing. My original goal was to be 80% organic by Autumn and although I didn’t quite reach that goal, I’m still excited about the progress. I have found some really neat shops, made new connections, and learned a lot.

I’ll be sharing updates here for anyone interested in seeing our closet transformation. Here’s a little introduction video and the first of the series in our closet makeover. πŸ™‚ If you’re interested in joining us on this journey, make sure to let me know! I’d love to hear updates as you learn new things as well.

 

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What’s up in the Stelzer home

The blog has been especially quiet lately. So what have the Stelzer’s been up to?

Just living life.

Harvest…..ah, harvests have been good. They’ve been abundant and for that we are grateful. Seeing the seasons change in the orchard is something I cherish. The uncertainty of what the next year will look like, will the weather damage fruit? Will the pests damage fruit? Will we be able to find enough hardworking employees to help care for crops? Will we be able to source enough places to sell the crops? So many questions, and when I stand in the orchard, amongst the trees, I sigh a deep breath of relief. The details of the season I have no answers for, but the trees will grow, and the seasons will change. The only certainty that I have and it brings me such comfort. The Lord has been good and has provided many answers to my numerous questions. So as this harvest season and year comes to a close, and I find myself in just as uncertain a place as ever, I have peace and confidence that the seasons will change yet again. I look forward to what next year brings us.

Zechariah and I are still utterly in love. Currently my amazing husband is out cutting firewood to keep our little home warm in the winter. I sit here with Eleanor playing on the floor nearby and I realize, we’re living our dreams. This little bundle of sunshine, the abundant harvests, the long days of hard work, the stolen kisses, these are the days I used to dream of. I am so thankful for my dear husband and our Eleanor. God has blessed me way more than I ever could have imagined.

Eleanor Joyanna, our little ray of sunshine, will be a year old in just a couple weeks. How is that possible? This little girl brightens our days. She challenges us and brings us joy. She inspires me to wake up every day, ready to live the best day I’ve ever lived. We’ll be celebrating her birthday with close family and friends. We’re so excited that my family will be coming from Kansas to celebrate with us.Β 

An Event To Eclipse All Others….

About a year or two ago I heard about the eclipse through a friend and thought “hey that sounds neat”. I had no idea that two years later that eclipse would be such a big deal, or that I would be planning an event hosting over 700 people.

God is surely good and he brings us exactly what we need. I needed to see miracles happen.
Towards the beginning of this year we began considering hosting campsites for the eclipse. We were just in the discussion stages and really put a lot of thought and prayer into it. By the time we decided that we really wanted to host the event, we had just months left to plan and organize.
When it’s God’s will, there is always a way: before we had the chance to advertise our first campsite we already had plenty of obstacles to overcome. I really do believe that God had his hand in this event and wanted us to host it.
There was one evening, after a particularly hard day of trying to find solutions for issues that were coming our way (issues that each on their own could cause us to cancel the event), that I went outside and cried for a while. Finally I picked myself up and went for a walk and prayed, “alright God. You want this event to happen, you make it happen. I’ve done all I can do.”
The crazy thing is, he did. He answered that prayer and went above and beyond to pour down his blessings on our event.
I got the title of “event planner” which I feel was unfair for everyone else. The guests all know my name, they have spoke to me on the phone, and we planned their vacation together. What the guests don’t see, is that I had a team of over 20 amazing people that all had jobs equally as important. Through a unfortunate series of events, I became pretty sick on Saturday morning and the rest of my amazing team quickly took my place and carried on the event without a hitch.
Because of this, the guests got the chance to see that it wasn’t just me who orchestrated this event. They got to see Heidi and Anne Marie managing the kitchen team. They got to see mommy stelzer doing check ins and helping in literally every area of the event. They got to meet Tom and Rebecca who cleaned bathrooms and did recycle, gave horse rides, and meet so many other great team members. I was so glad that even though I was in bed, this awesome team got some recognition and got the opportunity to meet the amazing guests we had at our site.
Speaking of guests, when planning an event it is usually safe to plan on having at least one “bad apple”. A grumpy customer, someone who just really can’t be pleased. We didn’t have one. We didn’t have any. Each and every single one of our guests were absolutely amazing. They were cheerful and kind. They happily learned how to recycle their trash instead of throw it in a dumpster (our event was nearly 100% zero waste). They came up and visited with us and laughed, shared stores, thanked every team member, and were truly the best campers around. We actually had people come to our event after it had started asking if they could join us too because it just looked so lovely and they wanted to be a part of the fun too.
It’s things like that, that can’t be planned.
We had a state representative, a NASA scientist, the developer of photoshop, a neurosurgeon, and several other people with interesting careers present at the event. We had multiple people from “across the pond”, Canada, and even Alaska and Connecticut. This was another fun surprise for us and it was very much unplanned. The neat thing to see was people from so many different walks of life all enjoying the weekend together.
There are really so many highlights that I’d like to share about the event. Here are a few photos for you to enjoy.

Marriage Ponderings

3 years… 202 weeks….1,419 days… Β We were just babies. Really, we still are. Our love is young but oh the things we have seen and conquered together.

 

I love you Zechariah Stelzer. Each day with you I realize that I am more blessed than I could have ever imagined. Each trial we face, I am not afraid of because I know that as long as we are together, everything with be okay. Each victory we celebrate together we will praise God for. Thank you for always directing me back to what matters, for encouraging me, and for believing in me when I don’t. Β May our love only grow sweeter.

Something to Celebrate | Sarah and Nathanael’s Wedding

It was such an honor to photograph Sarah and Nathanael’s wedding. Not only are they the cutest couple, they are also very sweet and genuinely kind. I loved spending time with them and getting to know them both a little more. Their wedding day was full of joy, a few tears, and lots of hugs. It couldn’t have been a more perfect day!

Words can’t fully describe how wonderful the day was, so here are a few photos to help. πŸ™‚

 

P.s

If you see ads on this page, those are not mine. I’m working on getting them removed. Apparently it is something WordPress does.

Picnics, Eleanor, and other such musings

Sun tea is such a glorious thing, Β isn’t it? It means summer is here, or very nearly at least. Fresh herbs from the garden go in the tea, a little bit of raw honey just a sweeten it a bit. Ah, it’s so refreshing for every occasion (and easy to make too)! We had one such occasion just this past weekend. Pentecost.

Fun fact: Something that many people don’t know about my husband and I, is that we enjoy observing the biblical feasts. It’s not as strange as some might think (or as I thought before I met Zechariah), but that’s a post for another time. Back to what I was saying…

We celebrated Pentecost on Sunday. We had a lovely picnic, the children jumped in the pond and played many games of volleyball. It was a fantastic day. Eleanor had so much fun playing with her cousins and cuddling with her grandmommy.

Here are a few more pictures of Eleanor. All the pictures of Eleanor have something in common that I hope to announce later this summer or perhaps fall. πŸ˜‰ p.s….no we aren’t pregnant.

Eleanor Joyanna | 6 months

Some days, time seems to be barely moving and it feels as if the day will never end. Then one day I wake up and realize that Eleanor is 6 months old already and I wonder where the time has gone.

Eleanor has a kind heart. Her eyes could pierce the coldest heart. She has a smile that lights up the room and a contagious giggle. Although she is not yet crawling, she is definitely exploring and getting pretty good at scooting.

Last week she helped me nurse a lamb back to life. She was so patient with the little lamb and just tickled pink when “Sunshine” started responding. Eleanor got to see Sunshine again out in the field just a couple of days ago and was happy to pat her head again and give her “kisses”. She is such a caring child and I’m sure she’ll be our little farm vet before long…probably bringing me every injured sparrow and frog in the county. πŸ˜‰

While we planted our garden during the weekend I had Eleanor sitting in the shade of her Β bassinet. She was so cute sitting there so I gave her a couple of lilacs from our bush and grabbed my camera for an impromptu photo shoot. πŸ™‚