We used to be dinks (double income, no kids). As such, we ate out frequently, cooked “quick-fix”/easy meals, comfort shopped, and had insanely busy schedules. Our entire perspective on the food that we eat and where it comes from changed with the birth of our first daughter. We realized that what we eat has the potential to profoundly influence life.

We initially started our quest to eating healthier foods by making two decisions. First, we wanted to completely eliminate high fructose corn syrup from our diet. Second, we decided to reduce the amount of processed foods we eat and try to eat real, genuine, authentic food that we made from the most basic ingredients (milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and meat) that we sourced (raw milk from a farm, farmers markets, etc.) or grew ourselves. Perhaps, we were and are, clueless, but we thought it would be an easy switch like switching from using one brand of milk to another. What we found and are experiencing is more like a revolution in the way we eat and even live our daily lives. This is where our blog began. Fast forward eight years and now we have seven children. Yes, you read that correctly, seven children. We still strive to eat real food and grow as much of it as we can while we do life with our kiddos, but, let’s be real, we’ve got a lot more going on these days beyond food.

This blog chronicles the story of our family’s desire and decision to eat real food, the lifestyle changes that came, unexpectedly, along our journey, and the struggles and joys that we face along the way. You’ll also find posts about our family, adoption and faith. We hope by sharing our family’s adventures it encourages others (and ourselves) to thrive where they are planted, walk boldly wherever God leads and have the courage to jump into the unknown, knowing there is a plan and purpose even in the crazy.


We  currently live in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Our family is composed of Ryan, Grace, Joshua, Myla, Elliette, Hudson, Esther, Pippa and Georgie. 

Grace: Career woman turned stay-at-home mom when her daughter, Myla was born in December 2009. Follower of Jesus. Married to Ryan. Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies. Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Worked in the non-profit sector and in marketing/advertising industry. Currently working on taking care of and homeschooling the kiddos. Loves: Reading, writing, cooking, researching, hiking, traveling, leisure moments, and learning new things.

3 interesting things about Grace:

  • She hates TV and thinks it rots your brain.
  • She is originally from a family of seven (two parents and four sisters) and was born and raised in Virginia.
  • She’s named almost all of her plants.

Ryan: Avid outdoorsman who wears a suit by day. Follower of Jesus. Married to Grace since 2006. Father to all the littles. Bachelor of Science in History. Project manager in the grocery industry. Loves: Hiking, reading, playing guitar, discussing and reading about politics, gardening, and taking care of the few acres of land Grace and he call home.

3 interesting things about Ryan:

  • He was involved in musicals in high school.
  • He has hiked several of the Adirondack peaks.
  • He’s originally from Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Rachael DeBruin says:

    Hey Grace,

    I saw this link on facebook, thought, “How interesting…” and clicked over here. It took me until the bottom of the page to realize this is your blog!

    So, healthy living, huh? I’m curious to see how it goes 🙂

    I had a similar thought about snack-y junk food while grocery shopping today but more in relation to the cost. My newest attempt to eat healthy is to plan a fruit and/or veggie to eat with every meal, not just dinner. Hopefully, the girls will develop a taste for it and maybe I will, too!

    I’ll be keeping up with your adventure!

    Rachael DeBruin

    • Grace says:

      Hi Rachael! Yes, we’re curious to see how it goes too :). We sort of got around the cost issue by not having any snack food in the house. Okay, so we do buy one package of Cliff Bars a week, but that’s it. We’ve also started making a ton of stuff at home (like yogurt) instead of buying it. We’ll see how much of the changes we continue with long term and how much of it we decide isn’t worth the time/effort to do. Ryan and I are enjoying both the food we’re eating and learning more about being self-sufficient (e.g. producers versus consumers). Thanks for following along our adventure with us!


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