Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Heavy Hearts and Little Woes

My little man has a fever. Its breaking my heart to see him this way but more than that it is breaking my heart to know it could be worst; Babies who are abused or neglected or starving or have to have extensive care and shots. :( I can't imagine the trauma those poor babies have been though in their short, first years of life. I thank God we didn't have to go through that or have our little Button hurt so much. Thank God our child is safe and has such strong woes over such small pains (his fever only got up to 100 and has been stagnant at 98.5 all day today so it has never been high enough to go to the dr. or medicate... which would be 100.2 or higher) and will never know what’s is like to only have ONE choice of food to eat or a snuggle-less day, or stronger pains then a icky stomach. My heart is heavy today.
I see my son crying, begging to be held and I rock him, shushing him and patting his back. He fell asleep crying last might, laying on my pillow beside me and holding my hand. There are children falling to sleep with no mommies hands. No soothing or comfort or hungry and restless or in pain. That child might be my child far away. One of my babies, safe in his mommies arms, sick and sad but comfortable and confirmed in his love, the other, far away, sad and longing. But it’s not just my children... it's all of them.
My little Button is sick, but I'm so blessed to know that this, only this has been the worst of his woes. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Moving Fast

Life has been good... but busy. I have had the blessing of shooting my sisters maternity photos, asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding, and shooting two wedding within the next few months. That along with packing, trying to find Darling a job and a house for us, working out traveling planes, working on the garden, planning holiday gifts and treats (yeah... I know... way too early :P), and chasing around a 1 1/2 year old, life has got me stumped. Things are starting to look up. Even though I cry at the idea of even holding a baby (that actually happened *sigh*) I know our life is blessed and moving forward each and every day. I find that with work and being a stay-at-home mom, blogging is really something I have to MAKE time for. I want to do it more and I say that a lot... and really really mean it. This is my little escape. It's my referee after a long day and, in a way, my diary to look back on and remember fondly our life and how far we have come and how far we are going. I love it. And I love all my readers. So, even when it gets hard I will fall back on this.
I digress. I came here to share a little sunshine with you all. Here is a few of my favorite shots from my simple stunning sister's photo shoot. 




She really does have that "mommy glow". I think sometimes we get so caught up in the now that it’s hard to step back and really relish in each moment. These photos help me just take it slow. Soon enough this little child will be stealing my heart and playing with his/her cousin(s) and chasing chickens in our backyard. It will happen too soon and not soon enough but for today I am just so blessed to be a part of this baby’s and his/her mother's life. Life is good... and busy, but it’s the busiest moments that make me realize how truly important it is to capture those moments; because it’s the busiest moments that go the fastest. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

In a Pickle

One of the major reasons we want to move is to become more selfishness so we have been doing a lot of things to prepare ourselves for that new lifestyle. There is a lot of big changes that come with homesteading!
Yesterday we ventured into just a small part of what it’s like to create something of our own to provide for our family.

I had saved up a ton of cucumbers from our garden and picked up a few canning supplies. All in all, it DID end up costing more than if we had just bought the pickles but in hindsight, I'll never have to buy a pair of canning tongs, canning pot or jars again (we plane on re-sanitizing and reusing the jar and rings even though we still have to buy the lids) so all in all I say it was worth it.
I'm so excited we got to do this and look forward to putting all my future abundance of crops to good us (I'm think'n spaghetti sauce!). My house still smells of vinegar and it was a bit time consuming but all in all I think it was a labor of love and I can honestly say this won’t be my last canning experiment.


We made pickles! Bread and butter variety actually (which is my favorite but I'm not so sure now that I know how much sugar goes into making them!). 
As for how to make pickles and can them I used 'Simple Recipes' recipe/ guide. It turned out great. Our pickles are just a bit less crunchy than I would like but I know that that was my fault. The longer you keep the cucumbers in the hot vinegar bath the less crunchy the get. Let’s just say I didn't realize how long it actually takes jars to come to a boil (to sanitize them) and ended up having to let the pickles sit a bit while the jars boiled. -.- lesson learned. 
Sometimes when I think of being a homesteading wife I think 'Anne of Green Gables', living Amish, and using a butter churner. Save me! but when I step back and see what I can do and thank God for my washing machines several times a day and dishwasher, I realize it can be so much more than that. I think how accomplished I feel to provide something for my family and have made something of value out of my hands.
Yesterday we took a small step into the way we have always dreamed of living and you know what... it was a lot less scary and a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Now I'm going to have a pickle. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Planning In the Rain

It has been pouring all morning here. It's so much needed for my growing garden though so I don't mind. This gives me more time to get some much needed "little" stuff done. You see, Darling and I are planning on moving soon! To Texas! We have always dreamed of owning a homestead somewhere to raise our children and teach them about hard labor and creating a home not just a house. So, today, I have been planning some stuff for our future homestead. Manly I have been researching ideas on how to be more self-sufficient and sustaining like making our own cheese, raising chickens and cow (not sure about that one for now), making soaps and cleaners, and canning goods. There's a lot to learn if I want to be a good homestead wife! Part of what we plan on doing is owning quite a bit of land and only supplementing our food with store bought goods. This mean we need to grow, make, or raise most of what we will bring to the dinner table. So, I have been working hard to make a list of what we will need to grow, when they are to be planted, harvest, and how many to grow of each plant. To make things just a little easier I designed this simple spreadsheet to keep that that information easily accessible to find and use.
Here's what it looks like
You can download your own copy from the link above... you know... for all the other organize/ garden nerds out there ha. 
I know it’s simple but it's totally something I haven't seen around and thought would be useful for me... so I made one. I also used this site to assist with filling it in along with a few other random ones for the plants it didn't have (like blackberries and lavender). 
So who else is planning for next year’s adventures already? Any big vacations? weddings? A big move?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Healing

Summer is in full swing here. I know we are two months away from fall but don't tell my garden that! We have been in busy bee mode the last month just getting into the sprite of caring for our garden and focusing on the future together. It’s such a nice, relaxing, enjoyable thing we can do together as a family. Even Button has gotten in on some "helping" (i.e. picking up dirt and rocks and tossing or dropping them places). During a period of not doing much at all but being on bed rest and pelvic rest fallowing a period of depression the garden took a beating. No water made for wilting herbs and no weeding resulted in a vine burrower problem and over abutments of grass. 
So, we got to weeding. We cut dead plants back, did some much needed surgery on the squash and buried that part to allow for new growth, and started watering daily. We even decided to raise part of the squash vines up onto the fence with a little bit of picture hanging hardware and some careful maneuvering. 
I will have to get photos of how beautiful that looks now.
Our labor is paying off.



I even planted some things in the main bed at last. Though the summer is nearing an end and loss of these flowers will not yield much, I feel hope. We have three squash growing and a cucumber almost ripe. In a way, it’s a relief to see something growing and prospering in our lives... even if it’s just our garden. But, in a way, it’s not just that; our marriage is, our child is learning and growing out there and so is my spirit. Some days it’s hot... really hot and I don't want to go out and water plants... but I do. I do because when I'm out there I feel successful. I feel worthwhile and capable. I go into my garden and know that I can grow things. I can make something beautiful and so the healing begins.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Grieving

I miss writing. I have so much on my heart right now and not enough words to say them. 
We lost our third baby. I was five weeks and 4 days along and not even ready to open up and really tell people we were expecting but my heart is grieving... my body is hurting and grieving... and it will take time. Time to feel again, to not look at my son with longing sad eyes and dream of days that will not be. Two children I will never have missing from our family photos. Two siblings my son will never know or play with. I can't type it. Not now. I can't see though tear stained eyes. But I am not gone. Just grieving.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Garden Progress

The crops are finally starting to bloom and I am just so excited to see all the fruit we will yield!
I also found out something I didn't know abut squash... the flowers close at dusk and open at dawn! I love watching them "wake up" each day with new, giant, yellow flowers for me. There is about six flowers now and quite a few buds which I will inevitably and reluctantly have to pluck off before they bloom (so I get a full, healthier crop instead of a big crop with smaller fruit).

The green beans are even starting so grow fruit already. I had no idea the flowers looked so much like snap dragons but I love it!
You can see in the above photo that right now the green beans are smaller then the leaves. They have a while to go but it is exciting to see my diligence being payed off. Especially when the other side of the flower bed still has itty bitty baby sprouts of plants (zucchini, cucumber, and peppers to be exact).