Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How we celebrate Earth Day everyday

Happy Earth Day!
It ain't easy being green, but the Krost family sure tries.  
Here are three ways we try to shrink our footprint on the planet:

1. Cloth diapers
This one's a biggie.  It takes a lot of commitment, but once you find a system that works for you, your baby, and your washing machine, it's no big deal.  These are the three types of diapers we use in heavy rotation:
gDiapers (http://www.gdiapers.com)
We like these because they can be used with flushable/compostable/disposable liners or cloth inserts.
We use the one-size pocket diapers with snaps.  These diapers will work from birth until potty training!
We use the size 2 duo covers with aplix with cloth inserts or prefolds.

Honestly, if I can handle this, you can handle this. If you are interested in cloth diapering, contact me! I am happy to share our testimonial.  And honestly, is there anything cuter than a cloth diapered bottom?

2. Safe, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning and personal products
We use a lot of detergent because of the cloth diapers.  Have you looked at the ingredient list of your detergents, cleaning, and personal care supplies lately?  Yuck!  Scary!

We use a vinegar and water (with a little tea tree oil and lavender) solution for everyday cleaning.  We use washable microfiber cloths as well.  

To clean our diapers and the rest of our laundry we use Charlie's Soap (http://www.charliesoap.com) and Biokleen Bac Out (http://biokleenhome.com/products/household/General). 

We try to use Acure (http://www.acureorganics.com), Ava Anderson (http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com), and natural homemade alternatives on our hair and skin.  We avoid products with anything on this list:

Very little in my cleaning closet, laundry room, or bathroom would hurt my kids or pet if it was ingested. Most of it is inexpensive or comparably priced to what you might find in your local grocery store. And none of these products has hormone disrupters or toxic/carcinogenic chemicals which could cause long-term harm to the people I love, or the plants and animals that come into contact with our waste water. 

3. Reusable lunch wraps and grocery bags
I purchased two sets of these Earth Swag sandwich wraps and snack baggies (http://ptpa.com/product/earth-swag-sandwich-wrapplacemat-and-snack-bag/) a few years ago and they're still going strong!  Use them, shake out the crumbs, and toss them in the wash.  The sandwich wraps double as a placemat, which helps contain messes (and germs!).  

I have a stash of reusable grocery bags in my trunk at all times, and they're great for many, many reasons.  I use them on my weekly grocery shopping runs.  I've even started using small reusable sacks for produce, so I don't have to use the store's plastic bags for each item.  Just don't forget to throw them in the wash occasionally.  

Every little bit helps! What does your family do to help save the planet? 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why Weepest Thou?

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. (John 20:15, 16 KJV)

I went all King James on you today.  But I just find this particular language to be a bit more flowery than other translations, which typically read, "Why are you crying?"

I find myself asking this question multiple times a day to multiple small people.  Fun fact: it isn't Harper nearly as much as one would think.

But this question, "why weepest thou?", spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalen outside the empty tomb reveals a care and concern for her.  Although she does not recognize Jesus immediately, she can feel his love.  

Why weepest thou?

For lent I kept a gratitude journal.  Each night before bed I wrote 3 things that I was thankful for from the day. Some days were harder than others. But looking back through my journal, I realize how much God is in the tiny details of my day-to-day. 

So, why weepest thou?  We are blessed beyond measure!  He is risen!  Nothing to cry about.

I'll leave you with some cute this Easter morning:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Mess I Can Live With--My Messy Beautiful

People tell me things.  I think maybe it's my superpower. I suppose it comes with the "pastor's wife" territory. 

I hear about sick loved ones, broken marriages, unruly kids/grandkids and family disputes.  And I am honored that these women (and sometimes men) trust me with their hurts and ask me for prayers.  I am always happy to listen and pray. 

Everyone has a mess. It's beautiful to be a part of it.

But there's another level of telling that I experience. Women fall all over themselves to explain their dirty kitchen, fussy children, or disorderly car.  Like when they look at me they see a person who cares about such things and maybe I'll judge them.  Because, obviously, I have it so pulled together.  

I mean, just look at me and my family:

Pulled together, right?


In the 24 hours after that picture was taken, my oldest was diagnosed with pneumonia likely stemming from an illness she had nearly 6 months ago, my middle child's black eye finally started to look better, I left my screaming baby in her crib for a solid 20 mins while I took a shower, and my husband and I traded verbal barbs over who was supposed to pick up the preschooler.

Messy, yes. But beautiful?

My kids don't always listen.  I can be super mean to my husband.  I yell at the dog for coming in with muddy paws.  I want to hide when the baby starts crying.  I never have enough hands or time. Seeing clothes or toys on the floor makes. me. nuts. 

I don't like messes in general, or activities that might lead to a mess. But these surface messes are proof that life is happening. The messes make life beautiful.

Even with my self-doubt, loneliness, selfishness, and anxiety about the future, it's all a beautiful mess.  My kids are a blessing.  My dog is a comfort. My marriage is a work in progress.  All this mess gives me purpose.  

I am learning to embrace it.  To slow down and watch.  To put down the d&@$ phone. To ask myself: Is it better to be right or to be kind?  I am following Mother Theresa's mantra to "do small things with great love". 

I am a mess, but I'm God's mess.  And my messiness is proof that he's not done with me yet.  That's a mess I can live with.

This post and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, click here: http://momastery.com/messy-beautiful-warrior-friends/

And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, click here: http://momastery.com/carry-on-warrior/

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Winter 2014 Bucket List

This winter was rough.  Like, I-don't-want-to-talk-about-it rough.  So, I present to you our winter bucket list.  We had high expectations, especially for having a newborn in the house.  The whole polar vortex thing didn't help.  Whatever, winter.

And now we shall never speak of this winter again.  

Anyone else feeling this way?  I've never been so excited for 45 degrees and partly cloudy skies in all my life.