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A Backpacking Trip

Last weekend Ben and I went on my first ever overnight backpacking trip. We trekked 3 hours up a mountain to celebrate our 2 year anniversary.  What fun!
We packed up our bags and set out (not so) early Saturday morning. Somehow my legs survived the hike and we ended our journey 10 km up a mountain at Green Drop Lake in Chiliwak Lake park. It was grand.


Dinner was lentil chili and partially cooked quinoa… A result of not enough water + impatience and hunger. Partially raw quinoa was the inspiration for our site name: Gebraulter Raw Quinoa. After dinner we went for a trek to the right side of the lake were we watched fish jump and had a swim in the icy lake. I beat Ben at both our after dinner games, I hope the trend is a winning year for me!


When it got dark it was time to put the food in the fridge (the lake) and the dry food in the bear box. Rain made the forecast look foreboding but we woke up Sunday morning to clear skies. After a delicious breakfast of potatoes, eggs, bacon from Yarrow food co-op and coffee, we went back down the mountain with our slightly lighter but still ridiculously heavy packs.
We stopped on the way down to swim in Lindeman lake on the hot day. A quick snack of homemade beef jerky and gluten free cookies from Spiritual Ingredients Bakery were pre-dinner to our Mayan burgers at Milestones. We might have been the stinkiest patrons in the restaurant but the server kindly pretended not to notice.


My legs are still sore but my heart is happy. Good food and beautiful scenery with my love. What could be better? Until next time, Gebraulter Raw Quinoa!!



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A victory indeed!

Judging from the messages I received from some of my freaked out friends, I’m pretty sure I caused a lot of people to think Ben and I were in grave danger or close to death when I posted this picture and caption on Facebook last night:

If I caused you to have a minor heart attack, I apologize. Yes, we are dying but as far as we can tell, we’re still expecting about another 70-75 years each… death from natural causes usually takes that long. It would not be wise to post all of the details online,  but I do want to let you all know what happened and the reason why I asked for support.

This year, I found myself in a situation where I believed that I had been treated unjustly. I spent many hours crying over what had happened, and another many hours ranting about how angry and frustrated I was. I spent a lot of time at my parent’s house the month following (I basically moved back in) as I tried to figure out what to do and how to move on.

I submitted a complaint to the government branch responsible for dealing with situations such as mine. A mediation was scheduled. It was to be over the phone with a government mediator and both parties. As the mediation date drew near, I was required to submit documentation that supported my side and they were to do the same. Both were sent and the mediator exchanged the documents with the other party. I knew that reading their documents would upset me… and they did.


Reading their documentation was incredibly intimidating. With the mediation date fast approaching, I was nervous about the direction it would take. Both my parents and Ben’s parents were very supportive and helpful. My dad gave me a crash course on “Sounding Professional Under Stress 101”, my mom prayed and Ben’s parents offered direction and support. I felt prepared, but completely unprepared at the same time.

There’s a feeling that one sometimes gets when they find themselves in a situation completely beyond their control. When it seems like there is no hope, and dread weighs in the stomach like a boulder, hands shake with fear and nervous anticipation bad enough to puke – that is how I felt last night as I pulled up to the church for youth.

It shouldn’t surprise me that God showed up when I needed him to. Last night at youth we taught the kids about Matthew 5:2-12. A passage that seemed more applicable to me then to them. ha. It was a huge reminder that without Jesus, I am truly lost. I know that I suck, but this passage makes me so thankful for grace and the opportunity to live through His mercy and with His strength. The game I led might have stunk (literally) that night but that was unimportant in light of love and value and power in His name.

When Ben and I got home from youth, we wrote out the verses and stuck them on our wall. We added a few others and Ben wrote encouraging words at the bottom of each page. My favorite is the one where he wrote “Be still and know that I am God” and then added “you aren’t…” A good reminder indeed. We prayed a lot and went to bed early.

The morning dawned and honestly, I was nervous but felt peaceful. I was scared but calm. Ben and I set up a little station with both of our computers – one to view their documentation should it be necessary to look at and one to see mine. We prayed and at exactly 10:01 I had a phone call from a mediator explaining that the other party was on the line and that they were there to facilitate the mediation session. Ben sat silently beside me, occasionally writing on a note pad, and held my hand as I talked and we listened. It lasted about 30 minutes before the mediator explained that they wanted to speak with both of parties separately. Ben pulled out a bar of chocolate and we munched and waited for the phone to ring again.

In the end, a resolution was suggested. Though it was not what I had originally hoped for, Ben suggested to accept the offer and I agreed it was for the better. We had gone in expecting there would be nothing and received something. The opportunity was given to decline the proposal and further pursue the issue but I was content with what happened.

In the end we actually got more then what we had hoped for. We had prayed for peace, a sense of calm and the ability for me to speak without crying or yelling. We hoped for a clear head, patience and a stronger trust in God’s ability to work in a situation.  We needed courage and reason to be able to say what I needed to say. We wanted to let this go without bitterness or regret. We got it. All of that was victory enough for us. Jesus taught us a lot through this situation; the experience was a learning one, and in the end, knowledge is of far more value than anything else that could have been given.

For our celebration? Bacon. Obviously.


Just look and wonder in awe at the sheer magnificence and beauty of it!

The blessing in disguise of allergies is that I appreciate food so much more than I did before. Sure, I always loved bacon, it was always magical but now bacon is held with such reverence and appreciation that even smelling it is a treat.

Unfortunately, pork in any form isn’t so good for my system which makes even organic “regular” bacon not an option… but turkey bacon? Pretty dang close. The brand we buy is labelled as organic, gluten, casein, dairy and nitrate free aaaannnnnd it is expensive. We save it only for truly splurge-worthy occasions and deemed today worth it. So we made BELTGC’S! Bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato and goat cheese sandwiches. Thank-goodness for wonderful food 🙂

Thank goodness for wonderful friends as well! Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers…and for reading all of this. I know that many of you weren’t aware of the situation but offered kind words and support when it was truly needed most. We really appreciated your Facebook messages and texts. Thank you.  We feel loved, blessed and humbled by the love from the people who care for us 🙂

Case closed. I am a happy camper today 🙂


Honeymoon! (An extra long post)


It’s been over 2 months and I have yet to post pictures of our honeymoon. What! Well… mostly it’s because the blog was dead.. but now the blog is alive again! SOOOO honeymoon 🙂

On August 10, 2013 (exactly 2 months ago!) I was privileged to marry my best friend! Horray 🙂 It was an absolutely PERFECT day. Both Ben and I were so pumped, everything was better then we could have imagined. Except for the parts that didn’t go so well.. but neither Ben nor I “know” about those parts.

The day after the wedding, we packed up the car made a pit stop at our parent’s houses and then headed off to our exotic vacation destination: Whistler, British Columbia.

Ben chose Whistler, he had been there on three (?) stags over this summer and decided that he wanted to go there with me as well. Having only been there in the Winter, I figured going in the summer was worth a shot.

If you’ve never been to Whistler in the summer, I highly recommend it! There was sooo much to do!


In the beginning…


Day 1. Jenga.

Our hotel room had a window overlooking the town plaza. Right away when we arrive we began to unpack. It seemed like every 5 minutes or so there was a crashing noise or some cheering coming from the plaza – a noise curious enough to halt our unpacking and send us down to figure out what the commotion was. Turns out it was a game of giant jenga! Jeep was doing some promotion that week and had the jenga set up as their attention grabber. It

worked. We played a well-fought game and by the end, we had a crowd of people watching us. So much fun!

After jenga we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring and had a marvelous time

Day 2. Bike ride.

We brought our bikes, of course. There was so much to do that it seemed we hardly used them at all, but it was awesome when we did. On day 2 we went for a bike ride along the lakes but it was cut short when we were stopped by a cross country bike race. It was cool to watch the riders weaving through trees and between rocks.


We live in such a beautiful place


Day 3. White water rafting!

Self explanatory! We used a combo deal from the adventure group to do white water rafting and zip-lining at a “reduced” rate. I’m not to sure how “reduced” it really was but it was awesome regardless! Rafting was so much fun. We choose the intermediate river over the advance simply because it was 4 hours instead of 8. As fun as it was, both Ben and I would like to do the advanced river next time because we found it too short. We’ll just have to plan for it to be a day-trip.

Day 4.

Yikes. What did we do on day 4? It’s getting late and my brain is turning into mush. I THINK this was Farmer’s Market day. Have I mentioned that I LOVE Farmer’s Markets? I think local food is the coolest thing ever 🙂  Also the coolest thing ever, cauliflower! I DID NOT know that there we so many different kinds! I forget what farm they were from but it was pretty awesome. This farm also had like 10 different types of potatoes including a red variety and a purple variety. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that

vegetables are boring! IMG_1392

Also on Farmers Market day, I checked off an item on my bucket list “Go on one of those flippy trampoline things.” Check.


How fun 🙂

Day 5: Zip-line!

I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory for these ones 🙂


Check out my shirt in the wind 😛


Zipline 1

Fun day 🙂

Day 6? Yikes. I think I’m done with this “day” thing. I want to share a few more pictures and I can’t remember what day’s they are from.. I could if I tried but I’m to tired to carreeeeeee. And most of them are of us eating food.




Ben may have got 2…


Isn’t he just the best?


About to do the Peak to Peak


We LOVE pancakes 🙂




When WE eat

Ben is all about making food look good on the plate. Which is great, because it means we take… slightly better looking pictures of food then I was doing before. It also helps that we used some of our wedding money to buy a fancy new camera. What doesn’t help that much is that I have *no* clue how to use the thing. Not true, I’m learning. Just slowly. It’s frustrating though when I think I’ve figured it out one time, and it does something completely different the next time.

Oh well. I’ll learn eventually! I’ve figured it out enough to know that if you click the button, you magically end up with a still image on the screen. WOW! Here are some of those magic still images taken of food that we’ve eaten this past while.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been getting vegetables this season from the wonderful Zaklan Heritage Farm in Surrey. It has been fabulous and many delicious things have been created with their veggies 🙂


Beautiful salad with veggies from Zaklan Herritage Farm 🙂

For the most part, I do the cooking however, sometimes Ben will pull out something wonderful. Like this! Steak, rice and salad with yellow carrots and mangos!


The Sunday that Ben “had no idea” what he was making. right.

This next one is definitely not the prettiest looking.. and it was quite strange tasting. However, for the experiment that it was, it turned out about as good as it could get. Basil pesto rice with fried tomatoes and steak. Both of us really liked the tomatoes and the steak (obviously) it was the rice that threw us off.


Still learning how to focus.

Technically neither of us made this pumpkin pie, but I really like this picture. Unfortunately, I have yet to make a pumpkin pie this season and since I am unable to eat pie from Safeway, I consoled myself by taking pictures of Javier devouring his.


Pie fingers.

One day Ben made himself breakfast.


Yam and Eggs 🙂

Then he sent me this picture while I was at work. Totally unfair!


Yam and eggs in a bowl!

These little babies came from that wonderful farm I was telling you about. Did you check them out yet? Anyways, neither Ben nor I are crazy about squash, infact, both of us were hesitant to eat these because.. squash. No matter how cute they are, I do not have fond childhood memories of squash. I hated squash. Yuck. Howeever, since we’re adults now, Ben and I have decided that we can tolerate squash. In the end, it was the filling that made them good but I was quite proud of both of us for eating them 🙂


Little baby squashisquash.

We also had roasted corn and extra filling with our squash.


I love him 🙂

I love food! I love Ben 🙂 It is sooo much fun to eat with him!  I just love it, I love it, I love it!