Summer is nearly gone and I'm not sure that I am ok with it. August has felt more like September so it will be interesting to see what shakes out weather wise in the coming months. We definitely need some heat to finish out our corn and soybeans. I do know this, we won't be harvesting soybeans during Big Iron like most years. One plus weekends in September will be ours with Mr. Farmer likely not having to work Saturdays and we always take Sundays off.
I start back at work next week and the later than usual harvest is helping with my anxiety. Harvest is always tough on the kids as it's single parenting, our daughter said it best "Mom, you need 8 arms like an octopus." My kudos go out to all of the parents who single parent around the clock! Here is a little update of where we are for the week:
1. What’s for supper: Lasagna - I'm taking advantage of having time to put meals together, this is a hard one to make when I am working unless I prep it on a Sunday.
2. What am I listening to: Old Dominion's new record.
3. Weather: Was cool but we will be in the high 70s low 80s this week and into next.
4. Weekend plans: Bridal shower, maybe the Minnesota State Fair.
5. Watching: Who watches TV in the summer?! Still trying to convince my husband to cancel our satellite TV.
6. Boy moment of the week: Starting back at daycare has been a little bit of a struggle, like peel his legs from around my waste. He politely says "no thanks" when we ask if he would like to go see his friends.
7. Girl moment of the week: Mastering our peddle bike this week. We had used a strider bike with her the majority of the summer and Sunday was the first day of the peddle bike and she has mastered it!
9. Recipe of the week: I have been in a canning frenzy with all of our garden produce and have tried a couple new recipes this year including one for green tomato salsa which is phenomenal.
10. Reading: I wish I was...
11. Farm moment of the week: August is pretty uneventful on the farm which is just how I like it :)
You would think I could at least keep you all up to date on our Tuesday Ten, ha guess not. So with a long overdue edition here we go :)
1. What’s for supper: Anything on the grill, we are enjoying the season of cooking outside. Think brats, burgers, steak, bacon wrapped pork chops, asparagus, foil packets filled with potatoes and onions.
2. What am I listening to: The kids playing/screaming
3. Weather: HOT! Not ready for this type of weather in June. We will need a shot of rain soon and I am sure the hot temps will bring us some gully washing rain.
4. Weekend plans: Stay in the air conditioning and get the water toys out in the yard.
5. Watching: I think I need to change #5, coming from the lady who tells her husband we should just cancel our cable.
6. Boy moment of the week: I might be oversharing here but any parent should be able to related. We are nearing the stage of potty training and will let him be in undies when we are at home. Last night he used the toiled so I thought perfect let's give it a go. About 20 minutes later our daughter yells "Mom, he just pooped on the floor!" We couldn't help laughing a little and I think we have some things to work on.
7. Girl moment of the week: Singing the Cow Cow Boogie, an original remake off a Paw Patrol song. We also got a name suggestion for our soon to arrive baby. Our conversation went like this:
"Mom, if we have a baby let's name him Norman"
"Yes, like Penny. She is a Norman shorthair."
"Honey, she is a German shorthair not a Norman shorthair."
9. Recipe of the week: I don’t cook as much from recipes in the summer, but would love to try using our cast iron pan on the grill to cook some steaks. Ok just kidding I do have a must make for the week, it’s this delicious rhubarb simple syrup.
10. Reading: The Hopefuls. I still have my goal of reading 14 books this year and I am falling short so I have drug my butt to the library recently to get some. I have only finished two so far so in other words...wish me luck.
11. Farm moment of the week: this was a couple weeks ago, but we took our first family ride in our Hagie sprayer. So neat to see the functionality of this beast. We are also in the process of putting up an center pivot irrigation system on a piece of lighter soil to improve production.
Phew, see it's not that hard. I just need to find the time to keep you all updated. ;)
No matter how I say it I can’t believe it. I’m no longer in the stage of saying my baby’s age in the number of months. We are to years. It seems like up until two you always say how many months old your child is, then boom like a slap in the face you have a two year old, a t.w.o. y.e.a.r o.l.d. Someone wake me up from this crazy whirlwind. Each stage in life is so precious and as our little man turns two, here is what I have learned from my role as a #boymom:
Each year will bring new learning experiences on both sides, parent and child, but I truly hope that we can continue to grow together; that you teach me as much as I teach you. Stay wild little man. We love your crazy heart and antics even if mom is getting gray hairs and dad’s hairline continues to recede.
We moved back to the farm in April of 2012 newly married with a very narrow vision of the future as far as careers. I was about to celebrate my one year anniversary with a company that I loved but I also knew that commuting an hour one direction was unrealistic in the long term. This became more evident as we found out that we were expecting our first child. There were no sizable towns on my drive so the first question became daycare and the second became do I find a new job?
I’m sure I’m not the only crazy hormonal pregnant lady who breaks down to their husband about these types of solvable problems. I started to search, but jobs in the field of agriculture are hard to find around our area unless you want to be an agronomist or sell seed. I wanted to do neither. I spread my search to banks and other financial institutions with little luck and held onto hope that something would open up with my current company.
Through many tearful conversations with my husband of trying to find daycare we decided that for now we would do what we could. My husband would head one direction to drop off our firstborn while I headed the other direction to work. Extra miles, but it was reality. Fast forward to December of 2012, I was 7 months pregnant and still lost. The uncertainty of it all and knowing how far I was going to have to drive was eating me up. Just as I was about to call it quits, God stepped in. A fellow coworker had the opportunity to take a position in her hometown cutting her commute time from thirty minutes to five. The good Lord helped me through the interview for that position selling and servicing crop insurance. I knew little about the insurance industry, but knew that the change was needed for our growing family. I would say this was a little divine intervention for both my coworker and me.
Looking back the jump from credit to insurance was a little daunting, but would I change it? No, absolutely not. I have been afforded so many neat opportunities while fueling my passion for education through customer outreach and activities like Ag in the Classroom. Know that just as one door is closing or you are not sure that there is hope you need to leave it out on the table. Some things are out of our control. Bless the good Lord that he knew what I didn’t.
When I started blogging I really wanted to share farm life with all of you and I soon realized that in order to share farm life I also needed to share my heart. If you have read some of my previous posts especially this one you know that my roots in agriculture run deep. This passion does not shut off, it does not get old, it only grows.
Attending conferences with other “aggies” only spurs that passion and creates a desire in my heart to share what I love even more. So today step back and think about what pushes you in your life, where does your true passion lie?
Mine is in educating others, specifically women about the wonderful field I get to be part of in my day job and when I get home. Agriculture is much more than farming, it is more than dairy cows, more than farrow to finish operations, more than a man dressed in overalls. The career possibilities are really endless, they can be on a farm or they can be in a high rise in the city. My intended career path was to provide credit to farmers. I wanted to be a banker for farmers. Little did I know God had a much greater and somewhat unexpected plan for me...
Does planting season change anyone else’s family dynamic? It is such an exciting time, but it is also difficult on our kids. A whole winter of Dad being home for suppers turns into meals on wheels or no sight of Dad except for the early mornings. We start to hold onto those short breakfasts together and look for extra snuggles where we can get them.
Our four year old daughter seems to have the hardest time transitioning, we ran into the same issue during harvest last fall. More issues at daycare with not using words to express our frustrations. This stresses me out but I also know that it is a time for me to slow down and spend extra time with the kids. I can let the dishes sit in the sink until they are in bed and if they ask for just one more book at bedtime I’ll do it.
Here are my tips and reminders to myself for surviving the widow season of planting:
The list could go on and I would love to hear your survival tips. Also a special shout-out to all parents who find themselves a one person parenting show as the other spouse is busy providing for their families. Farming isn’t the only sector that has widow seasons, so embrace it and provide a helping hand or a listening ear for others who face some of the same challenges.
Seriously exhausted. Whoever said you get your energy back in the second trimester does not have kids at home. Still pinching myself that we have a four year old in the house as well. We did her height measurement the other day and guess who accidentally wrote 3 instead of 4 on the board? Don just laughed at me and shook his head. I think it is half pregnancy and half not wanting her to to grow up. Why does it all go so fast? I’m sure summer will be here and gone in the blink of an eye.
We are all getting spring fever as MN is treating us with weather in the 40s. We had our first thunderstorm of the year last night. Seems a tad early. I keep reminding myself that we will get more cold spells so don’t get too used to it. March will be our true test. If the weather stays like this it will be another early year of field work here in the Red River Valley. If it cools down I will break back out the parka, but I will have to button above and below this growing belly. Fashion at its finest. ;)
Still busy at work and trying to follow through on my goals for the year. Really slacking on the blogging twice a week, but I will get there. Until then here we go:
1. What’s for supper: Used leftover roast to make stuffed Philly cheesesteak stuffed peppers. One of our favorite meals and uses for leftover beef roast. Had a side of brussel sprouts and buttercup squash. Our squash from the fall are keeping well and are such a treat.
2. What am I listening to: Nothing in particular.
3. Weather: As I stated above, seasonally warm and a good way to catch a cold.
4. Weekend plans: I might need to work some on Saturday, but other than that a pretty laid back weekend. Wanting to make a double batch of these cinnamon rolls. We usually make them into caramel rolls, either way this dough recipe is one of the best I have found. When we double the recipe we should be able to put 3 dozen rolls in the freezer. TRIPLE YUM!
5. Watching: Too busy and priorities.
6. Boy moment of the week: We continue to learn how different boys are from girls. And by different I mean crazy energetic and rough. We should have known what we had coming for us with four nephews prior to our sons birth, but I don’t know if we fully believed how crazy they can be. ALL. THE. TIME.
7. Girl moment of the week: Four year old sass. She’s so sweet and care for others but knows how to lay on the sass fairly thick.
8. Recipe of the week: Finally made this sweet and sour chicken over the weekend. Don has found his second love.
9. Reading: I restarted The Most Excellent Way to Lead by Perry Noble
10. Farm moment of the week: The warm weather. Tile pumps are running and like I said, SPRING FEVER.
Enjoy your week and a look at the sweet cake for our f.o.u.r year old.
*all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and are not endorsed
Do you know what makes me terribly happy and a little sad at the same time? Watching our littles grow up. We will have a four year old in the house next week and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Mixed emotions for sure!
Being a parent opens your eyes to a whole new world and it is true that you don’t remember life before kids once you have them. I am totally ok with that, even if it means bag under my eyes or getting poo on my finger accidentally when checking for dirty pants. It doesn’t take long to learn parenting hacks and what really matters and how to fight your battles. Looking back over the last four years makes me nostalgic, a little sad, but mostly happy. So this is for you baby girl, what you have taught your momma in the last four years:
1. Smile - your heart is sweet and your smile makes my heart happy. Those big baby blues with that cheeky grin brighten any room, a constant reminder that we all need to smile a little more.
2. Tune in - not to the TV or to our phones but to you our sweet children. These are the moments we will never get back and I sure don’t want to miss them.
3. Pray together - watching you say the Our Father makes my heart swell. I love answering your questions about God and hearing your inquisitive mind at work. It truly leads me to want a better understanding of God so we may better serve him as a family.
4. Spontaneity - From impromptu dance parties to crazy stories, life is never slow with you. As a planner you and your dad have taught me to live a little more on the wild side, including leaving the house with dirty dishes in the sink. ;)
5. Listen - the things you remember astounds me. Your dad and I will talk about something and three weeks later you can repeat our whole conversation back to us. The true gift of listening with full attentiveness.
The list could go on but I’m getting teary eyed just thinking about the fact that you will be four…and in preschool in the fall. Here is to staying little baby girl but growing all at the same time. Mommy and Daddy love you!
Sat down thinking I was going to write a post and then I turned on Fixer Upper. Is anyone really surprised that I was side tracked by Chip and Jo?! I was just thinking about the little things in life that keep me on track and looking for the positive and you know what? I feel like Chip is a good example of what we need to be. Not afraid to show our silly side while getting business taken care of.
I was working at the office on Saturday morning with high expectations for the looming stack on my desk. To say I didn’t get much accomplished was an understatement. The systems I needed to use weren’t working, I was having to do excessive calculations by hand. This was followed by a meeting that went longer than expected. I got home feeling defeated and my husband brought me right back to where I needed to be. He said “that’s one more policy done than you had when you went in this morning.” He was sooooo right. He looked for the positive while all I could see was the negative. Isn’t this part of the reason God places people in our lives? To bring us right back on track and to keep us honest. We are in a class at church together and just tonight we discussed surrounding yourself with people who you want to emulate. Again glad he placed my husband in my life to reign me back in.
And with that here is my Tuesday Ten:
1. What’s for supper: We had spaghetti. I have been back on track with meal planning and love the meal planning pages in my Heart of the Farm Planner (https://www.heartofthefarmplanner.com). Even better there are freezer inventory pages. (insert praising hand emoji)
2. What am I listening to: Catching up on EntreLeadership. This is my favorite podcast hands down. So many things to pick up on even if you aren’t an entrepreneur.
3. Weather: We got some nasty snow rain mix today. The roads were not treated so pretty icy but nothing a good Minnesotan can’t handle.
4. Weekend plans: We are road tripping with another couple to a college friendswedding. So fun to be able to reconnect with our friends from our NDSU days.
5. Watching: I think you already know the answer. ;)
6. Boy moment of the week: So many new words, he just keeps melting my heart. There are talks of transitioning to a big kid bed soon with a new bundle arriving in June. This makes me really want to spend extra time snuggling with him. They are only little for such a short period of time.
7. Girl moment of the week: We have been experimenting with dressing ourselves lately and the results…while I bet you can about imagine, pretty psychedelic. We were floral on floral on floral yesterday. She looked like a fresh breath of spring.
8. Recipe of the week: Looking at trying some sweet and sour chicken. I’ll report back.
9. Reading: Not sure I am going to make my goal for the year, I need to pick one up and get to it.
10. Farm moment of the week: Teaching our little boy to say John Deere and my sweet parents bringing a bottle lamb up for the kids to see. My Dad typically watches the kiddos on Wednesday but with lambing he takes a couple weeks off. They were worried the lamb would be too big by the time we return to our regular schedule for the kiddos to enjoy.
I tried writing this to words about a week ago and the words were not there. True proof that his timing is always better than mine whether I choose to believe it or not. He has a way of teaching us like no other teacher. He knows the right time for all things in life even when they do not seem fair, right or just. In 2016 my word was Trust, which somehow perfectly leads me into my word for 2017: PATIENCE. Last year was about letting things go into his hands fully knowing that he can handle my ups and downs. The struggle with this is not knowing how long the ups or down will last.
Trust and patience are true reminders to me that no matter the hectic schedule he has a plan much greater than mine. This plan may take seconds to play out or years. He is the only one who truly knows. As a person who embraces new challenges and wants to be challenged I sometimes struggle with patience. Wanting to advance in my career while putting a family first is at the forefront of this struggle. I am a learner and growth junky. This does not always pair well with patience. Letting things happen at their own pace is a hard for me. The time we have here is limited and being committed to his timing will continue to teach me the act of being patient. His timing may not always seem perfect to us, but I believe he is always teaching us even if the lesson is years down the road. The patience to ride out the tough times will teach us far more than we can imagine.
Learning the act of being patient will also guide me in my home life. Letting the kids be little and savoring the extra book at bedtime instead of mentally going through my to do list. Snuggling on the couch with my husband instead of folding clothes. The patience comes in savoring this time. I rarely stop moving when at home but I am beginning to wonder what I am missing as I focus so much on the to dos instead of the right nows. So here is to a year of growth and understanding that his timing is far better than ours and that patience is so much more than staying calm while asking your three year old to put her socks on for the umpteenth time.
I'm Lisa, a farm wife, mom and old lady at heart (or my husband tells me so). Agriculture, quilting, and baking were my first loves and now I get to enjoy them with my family!