Anniversary #2

May 23rd. It's rolled around again. And to prove a few marriage stereotypes correct Jerrel and I have had to remind one another as the day approached. Not because we forgot the date, no, neither of us really pay much attention to a calendar. We just do our days as they come.

Jerrel informed me the 23rd was Saturday and so I know what today is- our 2nd wedding anniversary. This year has been a year of settling in. The changes haven''t been as radical and the routine has been more set. It's this kind of stability though, that has made us grow deeper this year. Our roots have sunk in further and our family has flourished.

Our "settling in" has included some other dreams coming to life. Things like family a canine, eating produce from jars we grew, harvested, and preserved together, chickens, and of course raising our own baby.

These were things we said we wanted with one another by our side.

Our marriage has changed and I know it will continue to, but I also know we will continue to make the choice to cling to one another. We will continue to choose to love, honor, respect, pray for, and laugh with one another. I can't imagine doing this with anyone else and I don't want to.

Happy 2nd Anniversary Jerrel.



A Homemaker Update

I decided I liked doing my last Homemaker Update so I thought I'd throw another in. My life isn't glamourous and to most it's not all that exciting. However, I'm tickled pink with my season of life right now so I like giving a glimpse of just what I'm up to. 

So where have I been going? To nurseries. I'm a fall girl. I'm a winter snowstorm girl. But you know what else I am? A spring girl. I love flowers. I love nurseries. I told Jerrel on one of our trips that when I die I want my ashes spread in a greenhouse. He said "Let's talk about this a different time." I may have been caught up in the moment. Honestly though, a greenhouse, with all of it's humid air hitting my face and the freshly watered plants is my happy place.

I'm trying to teach Millie the same love for new life in the spring. 

She has been such a trooper with my multiple trips to greenhouses with my mom and then our big trip with Daddy. She's such a good egg. 

What have I been doing? Well if the greenhouses are any indication then you can probably guess. Digging. Planting. Playing in the dirt. That's us these days. We decided to move the garden to our house this year. Last year it became a little unkempt because we weren't at my parents as much to tend to the space. One side of our front yard just wasn't looking great anyway so we tilled it up and decided to try our hand at deep mulch gardening. So far we are loving it! Between the mulch and the nice rain we have received we haven't watered much. 

We order our seeds from here, in case you were wondering. Everything we have bought is fantastic! So far beans, potatoes, melons, and cucumbers have made their appearance. Tomatoes, peppers, and onions went in today and I planted flowers. It's looking so lively around here, I love it!

So we have spend our days outside, getting tan lines and letting our girl get dirty. Dirt up her nose, in her ears, and under her nails. It's good for her. 

Finally, What have I been eating? In one word: SUGAR. I have an issue. Between working outside, working inside, nursing a 14 month old, and all the other craziness that is life, I'm left hungry and craving food-anything but mostly sugar. Then add graduation Saturday. That means cake. Delicious, wondrous cake. Jerrel made me Mother's Day Maple Bacon Scones on Sunday. Hello Holy Grail of Scones.

Then Monday I decided I needed a vehicle for ice cream. WHEN DOES IT END? I'm one bite away from a cavity. It's time for the garden to be producing so I can kick it when healthy options literally, right outside my door.

In the meantime I think I need some chocolate.



Mother's Day

Another year of being a Momma. Another year of loving what I do and doing what I love.  

Her sweet cheeks, her button nose. The creases of her wrists and elbows. The way she reaches for my hand to pray before we eat. Her smile, her snoring, and her squealing. I am thanking the Lord extra today for Him choosing me to be her Momma. I am thanking Him for the mothers I have in my life to learn from.

For this is the hardest job in the world but it's the best.

The very, very best.



The Graduate

I hid my head under a pillow when I found out he had arrived.

I already had one little brother and dressing him up as a girl just wasn't cutting it anymore. I remember however, getting home from the hospital after meeting this new one for the first time, and being filled with excitement. I had another brother. Evan

And while my head has always told me that I am not his momma, my heart has acted a little bit like one from the get go. I've lost count how many times both my brothers have told me I am not their mother. I don't intend on starting to keep track either.

Evan talked incessantly as a child, had theme songs for everything, and ruined my games of pioneers by informing us that aliens were joining the homestead. I remember asking Mom one day why he had to add things like that. She gently reminded me that everyone is different and likes to imagine differently. Got that right. He became obsessed with sports and I still chuckle at the thought of him playing catch or one-on-one...with himself. The rest of us never really got it.

But that gift of gab, musical talent, and wild imagination has settled in on a young man who is certainly someone special. Evan can talk to anyone, pretty much about anything. He is quick witted and hilarious. Sometimes shockingly hilarious. He can dance, play the drums, and is fantastic at song parodies. He is ridiculously athletic and those events have been the cornerstones to his high school career, dragging us all around the state for four years to watch him toss around a ball. We as a family survived bleacher butt watching sports we never really thought we cared about, until it was him in the game. He has integrity and passion. We never have to wonder what he is thinking, we hear about it.

Then there's Uncle Ev. Oh my heart. Those brothers with my girl-you guys, it's so sweet. From the moment Ev met Millie he was hooked. At 6ft 3in they make quite the pair and she loves her Uncle and he would do anything for her. He loves her when she is silly, sad, mad, messy, or glad.

Today Evan will walk across the same stage Aaron and I did. He will greet people whom come to congratulate him and he will eat cake. We will try our hardest to not think about him moving in a few months. We will simply celebrate Evan and all the hard work. We celebrate Mom and Dad and all their hard work.

It's going to be a great day. Congratulations Ev, Evan, Evie Pie. Good work. We are so, so, so proud of you and love you.

Hopefully "Millie" won't eat all the cake!



Fresh Eggs Daily

Jerrel and I have a dream. Our dream includes chickens, pigs, goats, dogs, cats, bees, gardens, and a pony...if Millie and I have our way. This spring we decided the time was right to add some chickens to our chore list. They are our first venture into livestock. 

We went back and forth, trying to decide to get chicks or find some older birds. It was decided though since we have Chester who is a nut job, bigger birds who can attempt to hold their own, was necessary. We also didn't want to wait for eggs, older birds are better fit for now. Maybe after I learn a little about grown birds I will jump in and add some chicks. I heard of a woman locally who wanted to thin out her flock. So we got to work. 

I had a rabbit when I was younger. My dad built a rabbit hutch mansion. The mansion was still at my parents and in pretty good shape. From what I was seeing for chicken coops the basics were there. Just needed a little tweaking.

My friend Abbie has a collection of pallets. I decided this kind of siding might look nice and was cheap, cheap, cheap. So the husband took the wire off the sides, took pallets apart and cut the free wood to size. He also built some doors, cut another entrance into the now nesting boxes and left some ventilation at the top of the coop.

On the inside we added a plywood floor and roosts out of a nice sized branch. Finally we added a ramp up to the coop and I attached sticks to the ramp for something for them to grasp onto. 

When it was all said and done we spent about $15 on the coop and Millie thought it was her playhouse. Little did she know we were bringing her some new playmates. 

5 layers. They are excellent babysitters.

We have a dog kennel in the backyard we aren't using. Chester can literally climb out of it. So we decided to use this for the girls. 

All six of them. Millie would hang out in there all day if we would let her.

We have fresh eggs daily, it's wonderful. The eggs aren't necessarily cheaper than the store-but that's not why we have chooks. We know our eggs come from healthy, happy, well kept birds, and that's why we want chickens. It is also important for us to teach Millie where her food comes from, to be raised around animals, and to learn about being at least somewhat self sufficient.

And we all are just pleased as punch with them.