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.
Almost two weeks into the New Year and life has kept its pace. January through the end of March are crazy busy for me with crop insurance deadlines equaling extra time at the office while savoring the minutes at home with my family. I recently watched a video that Dave Ramsey put out specifically on accomplishing goals in the New Year. His words of encouragement on making your life better lead me to this weeks Tuesday Ten. So here it is a look at my goals for the upcoming year:
This list makes me very excited! I wasn’t sure if I should stop at ten, but if these items are getting crossed off faster than expected I can add to it. I get asked how do I do it with a young family, a full time job, a farming husband and I tell people it’s life. My blessings are wide and deep. The craziness is eased by extra hugs and kisses from a two year old and a four year old that begs to help me lay out my next quilt top. These goals will hopefully allow me more time to do the things I love while spending meaningful quality time with those closest to me. So here is to a year of crushing goals and loving hard.
We are in a cold spell in Minnesota right now (queue polar vortex) and I am wearing ALL the layers. Thank goodness for autostart and garages. My husband would tell you the same, but he would add a heated shop and tractors with cabs to the items he is thankful for.
In the winter farming slows down on our operation in the sense of time in the field. Winter equals time to fix equipment, tax planning, continuing education, budgeting, and researching inputs and their costs for the upcoming growing season. There is no doubt that winter is somewhat slower, but it is busy in its own sense. At our farm we take Fridays off to make up for the long hours worked during the growing season.
Our biggest equipment maintenance for the winter is on our beet lifter. It takes four guys about three days to get it tore down to the bones. We fix what we can on our own and the grab rolls are sent off the farm for yearly maintenance. The grab rolls purpose is to clean the beets and feed them through the lifter. Depending on the workload of the remanufacture business the grab rolls can be off the farm for up to two weeks. Once back they are the last item to get put back on the lifter and it usually takes a day. Winter work is typically slower so there are a few added coffee breaks and side conversations that add to project timelines. Maintenance will continue the remainder of the winter on other pieces of equipment and trucks as well as hauling stored grain to elevators.
I know as grain farmers our winters are slower than livestock producers which makes me appreciate that sector of agriculture even more. Growing up on a small sheep operation gave me a glimpse into how hard these livestock producers work year round. No matter the temperature the animals must be fed and watered. There is no week long vacations or time off. The animals need tending, daily.
More or less all famers work hard regardless of the time of the year. I’m forever thankful for the seasonality and ability to enjoy suppers around a table or in a tractor. The ability to watch sunsets from the top of the grain leg or from our living room windows. In the case of livestock producers, watching new life enter the world during lambing or calving seasons. No matter the season, life on the farm carries on.
Holy smokes it's 2017 and I haven't blogged in ages. A new year always brings about resolutions. I'm not really a fan of resolutions, but I am a fan of setting goals and choosing a word to live by and pray over for the year. More on that in the days to come.
Back to the New Year. Our New Year's Eve was a low key evening with family and plenty of food. My sister made a delicious white choclate mousse served with fresh fruit. I could have ate the whole bowl, it tasted like a mix of homemade ice cream and homemade pudding. It also made me want homemade tapioca pudding. For the main meal we had hoisin wings, cocktail meatballs, meat and cheese tray, cold veggies and dip...the list does go on but I will spare you. My husband teases that I picked up the genes from my mom's side of the family where we make enough food to feed those invited times three. Needless to say the leftovers are an added benefit to not having to cook much this week. With that here's another edition of the Tuesday Ten.
1. What's for supper? I somewhat answered that above. Some leftovers and tonight I used leftover ham to make a rice, vegetable and ham hotdish. In typical fashion I made enought to feed an army so our leftovers have grown yet again.
2. What am I listening to? Nothing on a consitent basis, but I would like to get back into listening to podcasts.
3. How's the weather? COLD, this weekend brought about 6 inches of snow followed by a dip in temp and an increase in wind.
4. What are our weekend plans? Enjoying time at home before my busy season kicks in. Busy season = Saturdays at the office.
5. What are we watching? Fixer Upper.
6. Boy mom moment of the past week: Learning lots of new words and testing the limits. He broke one of my favorite decorations this week when he knocked it off the dining room table. I need to remind myself that objects are not as important as those little hands accidently braking them. ;)
7. Girl mom moment of the past week: Enjoying sips of coffee with her dad in the morning.
8. Favorite recipe of the week: My sisters white choclate mousse! I don't have the recipe YET, but hopefully soon.
9. What am I reading: The back of my eyelids. Whoever said you get energy back in the second trimester must not have been chasing two kiddos around.
10. Farm moment of the week: It's pretty quiet on the farm, working on the beet lifter and budgets (really that is what the guys are working on, I'm a spectator and a third ear when needed).
I've been somewhat absent lately, more by default than design. We wrapped up harvest this week and tillage will take us another week or so. It's November and we are wearing T-shirts outside. Mother Nature is sure treating us with temps in the high 50s low 60s. This makes it hard to want to be inside when I get home for the day. We have been trying to soak up that last minutes especially with daylight savings upon us. It will be dark by the time supper is on the table.
Speaking of supper I had to break out my favorite soup recipe last night even with the warm temps. Best part is this recipe is one part easy and two parts open cans and dump. I am a true believer that there is nothing wrong with taking a shortcut, sometimes it is needed.
We are in the thick of harvest and I love this time of year, but at the same time I am ready for the end. It really all goes too fast and is a blur but I know that I will embrace harvest more as our kiddos get older. It's a hard stage of life where I could hear the reminder daily that "the days are long but the years are short." That really needs to be my motto for harvest. Before we know it planting season will be here and the cycle will begin once again and POOF the year will be gone.
Besides farming I have been busy with kids, work and housework. We spent the weekend with family and I conquered hiking and a pumpkin patch alone with the kids. Throughout the day Saturday I was giving Mr. Farmer a play by play of the above activities. At one point he text me "you're the mom of the decade." Can you say confidence booster!? So men if you are reading this take note. Sometimes all us ladies need is a little encouragement and words of affirmation to let us know that we are doing alright. Those little words let me know that he truly appreciates all that I do when he is busy in the field. Marriage is a partnership and some days I feel like we really have it together and Saturday was one of those days. Ok enough of that mushy rubbish onward to this week's Tuesday Ten:
1. What's for supper? Leftovers...let's be honest I did not feel like making supper and sometimes the fridge needs to have some attention too.
2. What am I listening to? I listened to an Entreleadership Podcast that featured Lou Holtz on my drive to a meeting yesterday and was blown away by his message. I am not a huge college sports fan, but his message applies to everyday life and hits home! So please humor me and check it out...you will love it!
3. How's the weather? It's October in Minnesota, one day you are wearing shorts and flip flops the next you are in your parka and winter boots.
4. What are our weekend plans? Attending my nephews football game and lots of family time on Sunday!
5. What are we watching? I didn't watch a lick this past week , but I do know there are quite a few things dvr'd
6. Boy mom moment of the past week: He finally got his first combiner ride AND I think he is hooked. Surprise, surprise :)
7. Girl mom moment of the past week: Wanting to ride with Papa in the grain cart every moment of every day.
8. Favorite recipe of the week: I made egg bake for tomorrow morning, does that count? I guess it does, because I write the rules here. ;)
9. What am I reading: The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting, it's providing me with lots of belly laughs and relatable moments.
10. Farm moment of the week: Getting a rain day so the kids could see Mr. Farmer for more than 5 minutes.
It seems as a parent you are trying to live in the moment and you don’t remember what life was like before kids or marriage or college or any of that stuff. Thinking back makes me sentimental and truly appreciate where I grew up. I had exposure to farming since I was very little but did not live on a farm until the fifth grade; little did I know this farm would change the landscape of my future. It would teach me hard work, perseverance, how stupid a sheep can be and how to trim a sheep’s hoof.
Most of this seemed trivial at a young age, but I also knew this was a dream of my parents to be able to raise us on a farm how they were raised. Scooping poop, feeding bottle lambs, and helping the neighbor fill vials for milk testing of his dairy cattle are some of the first jobs I ever had. These were not jobs that paid in money, but rather in character building.
This character can be seen in dirt covered hands, manure covered boots, and exhausted eyes. The dirt covered hands of my parents and neighbors taught me how to drive a tractor before I knew how to drive a car, how to throw a hay bale better than a ball, and how to fix anything with twine.
Today’s farming and ranching population only accounts for 2% of the United States population. So the ability to have the same character building moments that I had are few and far between. The patience to help a lamb latch on for the first time, the skill of listening to directions and taking action, long hours raking hay then later bailing it up in small squares, the perseverance to scoop a pen of manure that is over a foot deep by hand, the list can go on and is different for every kid that has ever grown up on a farm.
It’s crazy to think that when my kids start school in a couple years with 15 classmates they may be the only student that has a tie to a farm. So as a farm mom and wife I take great pride in building similar character and passing on the farming tradition to my kiddos even if it all seems like one crazy whirlwind of a chicken coop.
I'll keep this one short and sweet this week.
1. What's for supper? Guess I missed the memo that is national taco day so a chuck roast is in the crockpot with carrots and potatoes from the garden. Clearly messed that one up. ;)
2. What am I listening to? My country playlist which includes Eric Church, Old Dominion, Maren Morris...
3. How's the weather? Windy...very windy but the wind always seems to blow in the red river valley, on the plus side it helps the corn dry down.
4. What are our weekend plans? A full weekend of pumpkin patching, combine rides, church and birthday parties.
5. What are we watching? Masters of Flip new season is on HGTV!!
6. Boy mom moment of the past week: he can say tractor and it's the cutest most heart melting thing to hear as a farmer.
7. Girl mom moment of the past week: Finally slowing down together doing girl things like painting nails.
8. Favorite recipe of the week: homemade vegetable beef soup
9. What am I reading: Trying to stay up to date on daily devotions, making a commitment to do at least 5 days a week.
10. Farm moment of the week: Bringing the kids to the field to see the corn being picked and letting them ride in the grain cart with papa.
Here's to another week friends, make it a great one!
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!