the way family

two adventurous newlyweds documenting their simple life together

Month: June, 2014

smoked gouda whole wheat pasta


most of the time these days, I make super healthy tasty things, but sometimes I use butter and whole milk in a pasta sauce because its what I’m craving. this is one of those times. if you are looking for healthiness, don’t read any further because the only nutritional value in this is maybe the whole wheat pasta. and the peas? its more of a comfort food than a healthy food. but hey, if you eat it with a salad, you’ll be set!

anyways! here’s what you will need:

whole wheat pasta

1/4 cup butter

1 cup whole milk

salt and pepper

minced garlic (three-four cloves)

1/4 cup smoked gouda cheese, shredded (you will most likely have to shred it yourself, I have never seen it come already shredded)


bacon (cooked ahead of time)

could also add asparagus! yum

what to do:

cook the pasta til its done, you know how that goes! melt butter in a saucepan with minced garlic, cook til melted. add whole milk and salt and pepper, cover and let simmer while stirring every once in a while. add smoked gouda and stir til melted. (this should thicken up the sauce but if its still pretty thin after cheese is added, this is where you would sprinkle in some flour and whisk it in.) add peas and bacon and cook on low for 2-3 more minutes, stirring every once in a while. pour over the pasta, spring some cheese on top, and you are good to go! hope you love it!




20 weeks//a few words




20 weeks, the halfway point! can’t even believe we are here already, shoot. its gone by quickly but also, it seems like so so much has happened since we first found out about sweet little baby Forest, way back in March! I’ve been feeling so great, other than a bit of back pain/upper abdomen pain (I’ll just say it, its because of gas)–this pregnancy has been a dream and is flying by! tiny babe’s been moving soo much lately, he’s the wiggliest little dancer and I love it so much!

now I used to be a bit of a worrier, I think. with most things these days, I am usually able to tone it down and think about the bigger picture and “give it to God” or whatever people always tell me to do when I worry. but that is not the case now that the tiny human has entered the picture. ever since we first found out about this kid, I have worried. at first I worried because I was pregnant. then I worried when I never got morning sickness. then I worried that the midwife wouldn’t be able to find the heartbeat. and I worried that same worry before every single appointment since the very first one. I was always expecting the worst. I was literally betting against our little family (that’s what worrying is, you know? betting against yourself. dumb). Now that he moves around a lot, its easy for me to know he’s doing okay in there, but before this last appointment (yesterday), I was a mess. I was expecting to find out something’s majorly wrong.

we found out that its a boy, as you know, and we also got to see all the bones and major organs and toes and fingers. (this is the only ultrasound we will have throughout all of the pregnancy–the last time we saw him was when he was a tiny little bean at about 8 weeks!) we got to see that he is so healthy and has all his limbs and his brain is the perfect size (and the smartest brain the technician has ever seen) and his heart beats perfectly and all the ventricles and kidneys and arches and sockets are right where they should be. I don’t know why I worry–it can’t change the outcome of anything–and I know that if there ever were to be something wrong with our baby, we would get through it and we would have to trust the Lord and his huge plan. but seeing that tiny wiggly baby on the screen, and seeing that everything is fine and good and perfect with him, it was like a heart squeeze for me to see that.  a good squeeze, a reassuring squeeze. even though its scary to have so little control of the tiny situation inside my belly, Jesus loves him 90 billion times more than Zach and I love him (which is a lot, FYI). He made Forest, and He was holding him in His hands back when he was as big as a poppy seed and He is holding him in His hands now, when all his fingers and toes are formed and he has ears and a tiny nose and is wiggly and perfect. how’s that for a heart squeeze?

anyways, here are some of the ultrasound photos we got yesterday–he’s basically perfect, I know.



I’m thankful for this kid and for the love of Jesus and for the journey they’re both taking my heart on.





[ps: for what I’m wearing//shirt: anthro, jeans: levi’s (UNBUTTONED COMPLETELY), shoes: saltwaters]

it’s a boy!

…and I think we will call him Forest! we are stoked!!

life is filled with highs and lows but mostly middles.

we work at a small family business—I sit at a desk with a computer from 8am to 5pm and file papers, un-staple invoice packets, scan those invoice packets, re-staple those invoice packets and answer phones. I get up every hour (at least) to walk around the building or pee (thanks a lot, baby). Zach welds capsules half the time and inspects pressure sensors the other half, from 8 am to 5 pm. we take a walk around the block at every 10 am and 3 pm break. we get bored and discouraged and uninspired easily with the monotony of an 8-5 job, but are so thankful, and always try to keep each other’s spirits up.

we go grocery shopping every Wednesday at trader joe’s—we have $40 to spend for the week but we almost always are a dollar or two over. I try to cook as healthily as I can and I love finding new recipes and making them. We have family dinner on Mondays, which now have been shortened since our birth class is also on Mondays. At night, we eat ice cream (usually cereal for me) in bed and help each other thoughtfully answer tumblr questions and go through our emails and watch netflix shows on zach’s iphone because we don’t have internet (the screen is tiny but it’s ok, it forces us to cuddle hehe). we talk about our fears and worries and sometimes I cry because I don’t know how to be a parent and thinking about it is overwhelming and also I have extra hormones these days. we also talk about finances and budget stuff and how we are planning to save. we usually hold hands as we falls asleep (I only like cuddling for a little bit and then I neeeed my space). it almost always takes me at least fifteen straight minutes to brush the tangles out of my hair, and every morning, I go through a list of things I can do with my hair instead of washing it (pretty sure Zach does too). we go to target for one thing and come out with five. we do dishes together and take turns cleaning the kitchen. we push snooze too many times every morning and stumble down the stairs to make a smoothie or peanut butter toast. we sometimes read a chapter of the Bible on the way to work and sometimes we forget. 

we go to work five days a week, try to see friends on the weekends, and every once in a while, we get to go on adventures.

these types of things are the middles of life—the good stuff. They can seem a little mediocre at times but it’s real life, and with zach, anything is fun. I’m so thankful for the life I have with my husband–waking up with him and holding hands before sleep and talks and fights and worries and excitement and hope and every little detail of life with him are the sweetest things in my life. Without the regular life stuff, the highs wouldn’t be so great and the lows wouldn’t pull us together. 

be thankful for the middles in your life and try to see them as a blessing—shifting your perspective can change everything.


no-bake energy balls


this might be the simplest and most delicious and healthy fix for a cookie dough craving that there ever could be. they are basically healthy granola balls that taste like peanut butter cups and they only take about ten minutes of prep! (I got this recipe from my mama and adapted it a little bit, that’s what’s so great–you can substitute or add basically anything you ever could want to this recipe and it would still taste good!)

Here’s what you need:

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used the natural kind from Trader Joes but any kind will do!)

1/3 cup honey or agave

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (also optional)

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup flax seed

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup dried fruit (I used blueberries!)

(hint: you can substitute 1/4 cup of basically any dry ingredients for any of the ones I used-carob chips, craisins, almonds, chopped walnuts, etc! be creative!)


what to do:

mix the peanut butter, honey/agave, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a small bowl, and do the same with the dry ingredients in a larger bowl. then add the peanut butter/honey mixture to the larger bowl with dry ingredients and mix with yo hands. and it gets messy. now, I tried mixing it with a spoon, a fork, and a wisk and they just wont do–it has to be your hands! after the mixing, roll em into bite-sized balls and put them on a cookie sheet (covered with wax paper first) and stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes to set and then you are good to go! [take that, cookie dough craving! you have no power here!]




slow-cooker lemon garlic chicken and rice


This was the first meal I’d ever made in a crockpot–I got one as a wedding gift and decided to experiment with a really simple dish. I only made chicken and rice (with garlic parmesan broccoli, cooked separately) but I’m sure you could add veggies if you wanted!

what you will need:

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

1 cup of rice (I used a brown/wild rice/barley mixture and it was bomb!)

2 cups water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 additional lemon

three cloves of garlic

salt+pepper (and any other seasonings your heart desires)


what to do:

put the rice on the bottom of the crockpot and add the two cups of water. season with salt and pepper (I also used garlic powder, oregano, & lemon pepper to season but this dish is super flexible for you to use any seasoning you want). lay chicken breasts flat on top of the rice/water mixture. pour lemon juice over chicken. cut garlic into thin slices and add to the top of the chicken. sprinkle with salt+pepper and other seasoning. cut remaining lemon into thin slices and lay on top of chicken. cook on low for eight hours, medium for six hours, or high for four hours.

(optional: I made a Greek yogurt sauce to go with the rice–one cup of plain Greek yogurt + garlic powder + salt+pepper, stirred well–and it was a nice sassy addition!)

it takes about ten minutes to prepare and is a super simple and healthy meal!




baby bump

I’m on a mission, me and this tiny baby here. I’m trying not to buy any maternity clothes during my pregnancy, and sticking with the ones I have, for the most part, until I absolutely cannot stand it anymore (which may be sooner than I expect, who knows!). so every week, when I take my bump picture, I am also documenting my creative fashion-y style (but most days, I wear a comfy shirt and jeans that don’t button and a belly band). here are the weeks so far!

week thirteen [vest: thrifted, shirt: ASOS, jeans: Levi’s, shoes: saltwater sandals]



week fourteen [shirt: anthro, cutoffs: thrifted Levi’s, shoes: birkenstocks]




week fifteen [kimono: anthro, tank: cant remember! jeans: Levis]20140610-122748-44868493.jpg


week sixteen [dress: free people, jeans: Levi’s, shoes: saltwater sandals]20140610-122748-44868370.jpg


week seventeen [denim jacket: thrifted, shirt: free people, jeans: Levi’s, shoes: saltwater sandals]20140610-122748-44868176.jpg


week eighteen [jacket: given to me from an old roomie, dress: target, boots: Clarke]20140610-122748-44868870.jpg


I hope to do these posts more regularly in the future (and as the bump becomes more visible!), but for now you get an overload!



Growing up.

An anonymous person (on tumblr) who fears growing up recently asked me: how do you know if you’re ready to grow up and do you?

This person doesn’t feel “adult” enough and feels lost. They miss their childhood and feel like the most exciting years of their life has passed them by.

This was my response:

Who is adult enough? I believe no one is ever 100% ready for anything that life throws at you, there are always unexpected turns and you never really know what is around the next bend. But that is part of the adventure. Growing up doesn’t really sound like an adventure because of all the responsibilities that it entails, but it can be.

I appreciate that you respect our opinions, thanks anon :) but I am always surprised when people look up to us. We don’t have everything figured out, and I’m not sure that we even want to. There is a sense of comfort in knowing that you are prepared for the next stage of life, but comfort can lead to complacency. Some of the greatest adventures Hanna and I have experienced are ones that we are not totally prepared for.

In a couple months were having a baby. Talk about becoming an adult. I will be a father before my brain is even fully developed. But instead of being scared, I am excited. I am not prepared 100% but I am trusting in God. I believe that God loves us, that He is in control, and that He knows best. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) and James writes, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Rest in the fact that life isn’t always in your control, growing up is a normal part of life, and just because you’re growing up doesn’t mean that your life is coming to an end. Embrace change because it teaches you to value what you enjoy. Don’t give up on being adventurous just because you have more responsibilities. Learn to enjoy life whatever the circumstance.

“Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.” —Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe