I have been more than absent from blogging lately and it bothers me but at the same time I know it was needed. Not that I have ever been a consistent blogger, but usually it is an outlet for me. A way for me to disconnect and let me mind go where it wants. Each season brings new challenges hopefully met with grace.
Farming continues to be part of our livelihood along with myself continuing to work off the farm. We are very fortunate to have what we have. The winter months (November-January) are our precious moments where we all get to enjoy meals together. There is no wondering when Mr. Farmer will be home, there is no cold suppers left on the table waiting for him far past bedtime, there is no single parenting. We get to be together enjoying precious well deserved time together.
Don’t get me wrong that the business of farming is teaching our children things we never would be able to teach to this degree if we worked in other industries. Our children get to see perseverance, grace, hope, trust, and patience daily. Some say farmers are the eternal optimists and I would have to agree. So as I make a commitment to share more of our real farm life with you, I ask for your grace as each season brings new challenges and with that a continued faith in God, our Heavenly Father.
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.
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!
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 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.
I have been struggling with farm topics to blog about lately which really shouldn’t be a problem at all. There is soo much to blog about, but I tell you what as an off the farm working mom with two young kiddos some days it doesn’t happen. I hate to say there are days that I am not in touch with the farm or my husband. I feel like I am not sharing the story that I was set out to tell. I sit here reminding myself that this is reality.
The reality is I work off the farm and my husband works on the farm. At the end of some days we don’t even talk about the farm or agriculture. I work with farmers in my job off the farm, so I have a good grasp of what is going on in the neighborhood, but sometimes I miss out on what is happening in my backyard.
This is more of an internal struggle so I thank you as you listen to me rant. How do I fix this? I think its letting go of what isn’t important: the laundry, vacuuming, paying bills…okay paying the bills is important but you get the gist! Focus on family and farming and why the two together are important to us. So these are my goals for #harvest16 :
So there it is, #harvest16, I’m coming for you with my big girl pants on!
We are headed into a long Labor Day weekend and have no idea what to do with this extra free time. Anyone else get like this when busy schedules and farming seem to consume your life? We keep throwing out ideas and none of them seem to stick. Do we do the State Fair, Duluth, a lake getaway, or a staycation? We sat in the living room for over an hour last night listing pros and cons of each. You are proably thinking its not that hard people get your poop in a group and go, go have fun as a family. Sounds simple until we start looking at hotel availablity, the cost of hotels, tickets to attend certain events and all I see are dollar signs, BIG dollar signs. Oh and one other thing Mr. Farmer and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage on the 3rd so that sparks one other thought, do we ditch the kids instead and have a weekend to ourselves? More or less I STINK at making decisions on things like this. I should just flip a coin, but then I might just end up reflipping it. So here is to a weekend full of last minute decsions spent with those closest to my heart.
It’s been a tough few weeks in our rural farming community as tragedy and grief unexpectedly hit and touched many people. These are the times when I think about how blessed we are to live a life on the farm with close knit communities, but it also reminds me how fragile life is. I do not know the grief that these families and friends carry but I have learned something from it.
Love life and be kind.
Believe that there is good in the world.
Be the good in the world.
Hold loved ones close.
Pay it forward.
Love your career.
Have passion and share it.
Wake up with a smile on your face.
Go to bed with a smile on your face.
Trust in God’s plan.
The other night I had to catch myself before nasty words came spewing out of my mouth. This isn’t the first almost assault that has happened and I guarantee it won’t be the last. After a long day at the office there are days that I need five minutes to discombobulate. A time where I can shut my brain off and not think about the supper that needs to be made, the tomatoes that are getting put in the dogs kennel by our one year old, the clothes that need to be folded or the garden that needs to be weeded. I hope I’m not alone when I say it is hard to parent without your spouse at times. It just seems that with each busy season (planting, spraying, harvesting) I have to retrain myself into handling many things on my own and when things don’t go my way to not spew those thoughts/emotions out on my spouse.
So how do I do it? I’m not really sure, but I guess there are some things that I do on a nightly or weekly basis to ensure a happy farm family! So here it goes:
1. Rest – this isn’t so much my rule as a family farm rule. This is one that has been passed down through generations so that we may attend church and have a day of rest with the Lord and our family. It is crazy that one day can reenergize all of us and prepare us for the week ahead. Plus who doesn’t love an extra board game or a swing in the hammock?
2. Meal Planning – this comes and goes with the seasons. When it is “go” time I like to have meals prepped on Sunday so the weeknights are a little easier on the whole family. This way I don’t let Mr. Farmer have it for things he or I cannot control…like a screaming toddler at your feet because he hasn’t ate in the last 5 minutes.
3. One-on-One time – this does not only apply to the kids but to Mr. Farmer as well. Our daughter goes to bed about a half later than our son, we use this time to play an extra board game, read a book or share an extra scoop of ice cream. This is a little tougher with our son as he is a one year old, but he loves to rock and is just starting to get into books. When Mr. Farmer gets in late and I’m ready to crash I know even if we get fifteen minutes before I hit the hay to snuggle on the couch and hash out the day, things are much better in our world.
4. Housework – don’t let it pile up. Now my house is not white glove approved by any means and I don’t expect it to be, but when the house gets filthy Momma about loses it. I’ve found that if I do the dishes right after supper and spread laundry throughout the week I am a much calmer mom and wife. Tasks such as vacuuming should be done more often, because I know stale cheerios could be found in the couch cushions and a week old sippy of milk is stashed in the lazy susan , but dangit the kids are happy. So I guess I clean what needs to be cleaned and leave the rest until I’ve gone crazy ;)
5. Keep calm and farm mom on
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!