Hi, I’m Kate, wife to Collin and Mama to three full-of-energy little boys – Keaton, Hutton, and Nolan. That’s a 4:1 ratio of boys to girls in our house, for those counting. I wish I could chat with you about the latest Downton Abbey episode but I’m much more versed in shows like Mountain Men, American Pickers and The Hunt. ::sigh::
I am a lover of birds, artichoke hearts, and the color teal. If I had a day all to myself I’d spend it in the sun with a book, preferably on the beach. As a family we love to be outdoors, in the woods looking for animal tracks and wild berries or on the lake fishing and kayaking.
We live in Central Wisconsin and I spend my daytime hours working from home in the financial industry. Collin is a custom home builder; he and his dad built our first home in 2005. In one of those unfortunate life twists our home burned down on a very cold December night in 2011. We lost everything. I wasn’t even wearing shoes when I ran to the neighbors carrying a child on each hip (and one in my belly!)
That night changed our entire outlook on life. Collin and his dad rebuilt our home and we moved back in at the end of September 2012. I tell you all of this because all of the sweat and tears make it that much harder to think about leaving this place; but when we sat down and thought hard about what it is we wanted for our family we realized it would require a huge life change. We want simplicity. Sustainability. To live intentionally. We dream of moving our family to a farm and starting an orchard – will we achieve that? I honestly do not know. Will our dreams change along the way? Quite possibly. But I look forward to having you join us on our journey. You can also find me on my personal blog, My Merlot, and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi, I’m Ember. I love to cook, read, take pictures, attempt to string words together with some semblance of meaning, and daydream. I’ve been married to my husband, Drew, since December 2005. After enduring years of infertility and pregnancy loss, we were blessed with our two daughters, Lucy and Lily, 19 months apart. Our struggle to create the family we so longed for not only tested and strengthened our relationship with each other, but it also changed how we approach life.
When I returned to work after we’d lost our first child at 12 weeks, I made the “rash” decision to quit my high-paying corporate job to write for a local school district and teach college writing classes. Physically, emotionally, and mentally drained, and having witnessed first-hand how fleeting and fragile life can be, I decided that I needed to start making heart-driven—rather than head-driven—decisions. Now that way of life has become somewhat of a mantra for how Drew and I approach the difficult decisions we encounter as a family.
The four of us live in Western Michigan, just a few minutes from the Lake Michigan shore, with our 10-year-old yellow lab, Sammy. Drew is an engineer/project manager, and I currently split my time between freelance writing and design projects and staying home with my daughters.
Drew and I don’t know exactly what we want our future to look like, but we are pretty clear on these points: We want a simpler life without debt tying us down and limiting our decisions. We want our time together as a family to be free of work distractions and worries. We want our work lives to be fulfilling and rewarding, but not all consuming (hard for us Type A’s to keep in check). But, most importantly, we want to look back on these years when our kids were little and have as few regrets as possible, knowing in our hearts that we did our best to give them the best of ourselves—that is, the gift of our time and our attention. You can contact me at email@example.com.
About Our Friendship:
We have been friends since high school, back when we spent our Saturday nights in a small little town in Illinois with “our group” going laser bowling and watching Saturday Night Live. We feel lucky to have such fond memories of those years and our friends. We attended colleges in different states and now live a lake (Michigan) apart. The idea for this blog began when our families were vacationing together in a beach house just outside Mackinaw City, Michigan. Although our lives on the surface are so different, we remain bound by our ideals: our faith in God; our desire to live simply; the importance we place on nourishing our families’ bodies, minds, and souls; and our quest to live the life of our dreams.
So far our life’s journey has not been what we expected. We’re slowly learning that we can’t plan too far ahead—can’t see beyond that next bend—as much as our Type A personalities keep trying. Over the years this winding, branching path called life has taken us many places. And we’ve been down some dark, desolate stretches. But along the way we’ve discovered that as we step back and trust in God’s plan for our lives, our next steps forward are illuminated in His timing.
Come and walk with us on The Sunlit Path…
You can contact us individually at the email addresses listed above, or collectively at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading (and walking) with us!