One Lucky Duck

We have some VERY exciting news to share! One Lucky Duck has joined the Live Lightly sponsorship team! One Lucky Duck was founded by Sarma Melngailis in July of 2005. Sarma is the co-creator of the premier NYC raw restaurant Pure Food and Wine (opened in June 2004) and co-author of Raw Food Real World. One Lucky Duck has everything you need to support your raw and organic lifestyle! They have a full raw snack line that is handmade and hand packaged, along with supplements, raw ingredients, natural fiber clothing, natural body care products, totes, and more!

As you probably know, our family has recently switched to a raw food lifestyle…we feel completely amazing eating this way and we couldn’t be more happy to help spread the word about this unique company. Sarma has been a joy to work with and has provided us with tons of delicious raw goodies, natural clothing, and totes for the tour. I have been a long time admirer of Sarma and her endeavors. Her book, Raw Food Real World, is my definitely my favorite book about raw foods. It’s so well written and beautifully photographed…and INSPIRING! She details her conversion to the raw lifestyle and offers wonderful advice for those interested in adding more raw foods to their diet.

Thank you Sarma!

Reflections From The Road: Months 3-6

Transitioning back to our Traveling Lifestyle
In a few days, we will set out on the second leg of our tour! We’ve been “off the road” for almost 3 months now, and we are anxious to get moving again. On Feb. 18, we flew back into Raleigh, NC from Minneapolis, MN…staying overnight at Patrick and Jen’s house and then continuing on to Florence, SC (Becky and Rocky’s) where the RV has been parked.

When we arrived at Becky and Rocky’s house…we were excited to move back into our home. We had really missed having our own space and our own king sized bed! It was a pretty easy transition, although when you haven’t been living in that small of a space for awhile, it takes some re-adjusting! We discovered that that fridge door had closed inadvertently, and it was full of mold. Yuck! It took many hours of cleaning and soaking and scrubbing to get it ready to fill with food again. I had stopped at Whole Foods in Raleigh to stock up, so I had to load everything into Becky’s fridge first and then back into our own later.

Another fun thing was that our kitchen faucet was leaking water everywhere when we turned it on. Matt needed to do some work on the counter top before re-installing a new faucet, so we ended up being without running water for several days. Of course, we were able to take showers and wash dishes inside the house, but carrying them back and forth was a nuisance. I am TRULY thankful for running water. You don’t even realize how much you love it and need it until it’s gone! I am so humbled to think of all the women around the world who have to walk miles and miles to a well to carry water back to their homes every day. Isn’t God good to teach us thankfulness in such an unexpected way?

We found that we had accumulated quite a lot of “stuff” in our travels and consequently, the RV was busting at the seams. We filled several boxes with clothes, shoes, and toys and made trips to the Salvation Army so we could actually move around the RV. Bella grew so much while we were gone…she outgrew many of her clothes too! I always have to remind myself that we really don’t have much stuff…we just have a really small living space! It always feels sooooo good to make space and to give away things we aren’t using anymore.

Physical and Spiritual Renewal
When we left the RV on Dec. 12, we didn’t know that we would be spending 6 weeks longer than we had planned away from it. As we were flying out, we got a call from Matt’s parents…asking if we would be able to stay longer and help out while Matt’s dad had back surgery. Of course, we said yes! We had only purchased a one way ticket to get home, so God had all of this perfectly worked out and planned long ahead of our knowing it.

We had a wonderful time at Christmas and New Years’ with my family in Iowa and then headed up to Minnesota to be with Matt’s family for the next 6 weeks. The time we spent there was such a blessed time…but it was a big change from what we were used to. Every day was virtually the same…with a few variances here and there. When you are used to something new happening every day on the road, we had to adjust a bit! Once we got into the swing of things, it was clear that God intended that time to be one of physical and spiritual renewal for all of us.

We were able to make some much needed changes to our diet, and we started working out again regularly. The routine of each day made it so easy to have a consistent daily time in God’s word and in prayer. Matt was also able to play on the worship team at church and lead worship for a father/son retreat at Camp Shamineau. We had lots of hot tub time and Bella learned to ice skate. The wonderful, quality time she was able to spend with Grandpa and Grandma was so precious. By the time we were leaving, we were completely rejuvenated and refreshed…ready to hit the road again. All of the changes we made in our life have been easily continued now that we are back in the RV.

About a week before we were to fly out, we received word that my Papa (my mom’s dad) was experiencing complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He passed away a few days later. The funeral was the weekend before we had booked tickets to fly back to Raleigh…again, we saw God’s hand in the timing. We had booked that return flight quite randomly based on a “guess” of when we would want to return…but it was exactly the timing needed to attend the funeral across the state, and get back to Minneapolis to fly out.

After the funeral, my family joined us in Minneapolis and we had a great time there celebrating Matt’s 30th birthday and enjoying each other’s company. It was so hard to say goodbye, but we have plans to meet up with my parents in Phoenix, AZ in late April….and will hopefully see my 4 other siblings around the country somewhere as well.

We were definitely looking forward to leaving the cold temperatures of the Midwest and getting back to warm weather! However, we had no such luck! North and South Carlolina have been unseasonably cold while we’ve been back…it was actually the same temperature here in Florence as it was in Bozeman, MT yesterday! 50 degrees! Brrrrrrr! It was 25 degrees overnight…and our heater just died too. Luckily, we have other heaters we can use…but boy! How far south do we have to go to find some warmth!!?

I’ve added many photos to our Minnesota sets. Click here, here and here for those albums. I will be posting more of Florence soon.

We have just a few more days here…we head to Lexington, SC on Monday to “officially” re-start the tour. We have so many fun families to see and events planned…we’re really looking forward to meeting everyone. Check the Route page for updates on our locations!

Off we go!

Organic Valley Joins The Live Lightly Tour!

We have officially kicked off the second leg of our tour, and we have some exciting news! We have a new sponsor. Organic Valley is partnering with the Live Lightly Tour! We are so excited to have them on board…they are a fabulous company with high standards and a deep concern for the environment. Personally, I have always loved their products and have chosen them over other brands such as Horizon (owned by dairy giant, Dean Foods) because I knew they walked what they talked. Organic is not just a word on their label…they truly are what they say they are. I would encourage you all to examine where you purchase your products from…especially if you are currently buying non-organic. Choose Organic Valley from now on!! Here is a little more about them…and you can check out their website here.

Organic Valley Coupons!

“Organic Valley is a farmer-owned cooperative, with 1,201 family farms around the country, that produces award-winning organic foods, including milk, cheese, butter, eggs, juice, soy beverages, produce, and meats. Our philosophy and decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth. Because of our concern for the environment, Organic Valley is dedicated to continuous improvement in decreasing our ecological footprint, reducing use of fossil fuels, and embracing renewable energy technologies at all levels of our cooperative, including our farms.”

Collecting Grease

While we have been back in Minnesota, Matt has slowly been collecting grease for us to use when we come back through in the fall. He found a few sources who had 5-10 gallons each time their grease was full, so he’s been bringing it in small containers back to the garage and putting it into the 55 gallon drum he found on Craigslist (for free!). The grease will have plenty of time to warm up and “settle” throughout the summer months. When we return, we’ll have our own little “grease station” on site. Yay!