This is what I was made for…

Some days I just want to freeze time for a moment so that I can fully appreciate all that is happening around me. Don’t we all wish that?

Eleanor is growing by leaps and bounds. Her confident yet kind heart is something that blesses me and inspires me daily.

She brings us a special sort of joy.Β  On hard days, on long days, on days I don’t want to relive, she brings my heart such hope. She reminds me that there will be laughter again, that we can sleep when we’re dead, and not to lose sight of the beautiful things around us each day. Children have a way of drawing us out of our secluded bubbles and opening our eyes.

 

 

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Am I A Runner Yet?

I have this crazy dream… or nightmare depending on what your opinion of fitness is. πŸ˜‰

I want to complete an Ironman.

If you know me, you probably think “girl, you’re crazy”.

For the last two years or so I’ve had terrible headaches and migraines. Especially any time I got my heart rate up. It seemed to be getting worse and finally, when I could no longerΒ walkΒ uphill I found a solution. Long story short, and a year of chiropractor appointments later, I am finally able to exercise again! The headaches still come but not has often or intense.

It’s always been a secret dream of mine to complete an Ironman.Β  Zechariah loves the idea, Zeke offered to train us, and we haven’t got any excuses left.

This Autumn we are going to run our first marathon. We will see how that goes and hopefully it will be the first of many.

What happens if we don’t make it to Ironman? Right now, I am taking it one work out at a time. We might be 80 by the time we are able to sign up for one but we will get there. The goal is 2020.

Am I A Runner Yet is my instagram account where I am keeping records of how my workouts are going. It’s more of a personal journal of our progress than anything else. I post a picture a day with a short update on how things went. πŸ™‚

Are you wanting to start running? Just take the first step and one day at a time. Together, we will both reach our goals. πŸ™‚

Remembering and Living

A song comes on, the sun shines through the tall wheat a certain way, or I smell a specific fragrant flower, and I remember. I remember the children I could have had, but don’t.

Friends, reality is that we will experience grief in our lifetime.

We can’t be afraid of remembering but we also can’t let that keep us from living. I don’t often think of the children I could have had. I choose to think of the child I do have, the life I have, and the life I want to have. When I do remember those precious lives, I thank God for them and the joy they brought us.

My encouragement to anyone experiencing grief is this, don’t be afraid to remember and don’t be afraid to live.Β 

I hope that if any of you are experiencing grief right now, that your hearts will be comforted.

Autumns Close

How is it that Autumn is already coming to a close? Ah, well such is life. It rushes along with or without our consent. So what does the close of autumn mean for us? The last apples of the orchard have been gathered and as I type they are being packed. Most of our crew has left for California to continue harvesting elsewhere. We have a few year round crew members who stay with us to help with the winter orchard care.

Eleanor had her 1st birthday and we are just so thankful. She is growing to be a beautiful little girl. She loves her family, she loves her farm, and she is the sunshine of our lives. I’m looking forward to watching her experience winter, snow angels, and hot carob milk.

I have several sewing projects I want to work on. Switching our closets to be organic is an on-going project. I found some darling fabrics that I’m excited to use for Eleanor’s clothing.

Zechariah and I both have new projects we are working on for Azure and we’re excited to see where it all leads us. This winter may look a little different in our home but God is good and I’m confident he will direct us.

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.

 

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.