16 November 2018

Crazy Chicken Lady

It was pretty much immediately apparent that I was going to become a crazy chicken lady. For years I've ordered the Rochester Hatchery catalogue, dreaming of green eggs and fancy plumage. It was just a matter of time before I got my own little flock and lived happily ever after.

Well, luckily, the previous owners of our new home loved chickens too, and left behind a beautifully fenced chicken yard, and five gorgeous chickens.  Unfortunately, 3 of those five chickens are freeloading roosters, and the two hens weren't carrying their weight in the egg department either. 

Not to be deterred by the silly details of coop size or fencing, I very quickly acquired 6 young Lohmann hens!  And, just a few weeks later, the little ladies graced us with our first egg!

And what's nine more?  Nothing, I know, right?!  And so we welcomed nine more hens-a-laying into our coop. Except, this time it was apparent that we did not have enough room.  And that's where Jared and his mad carpentry skills came in - because 20 chickens were definitely not going to fit into the tiny coop that we had.

And, I'd be lying if I said that that little project took the weekend, like I expected it would. It's really become the project of the month, and still not quite finished, but we are getting there, and I can't wait to introduce the ladies to the new coop.

And now we aren't excited about one tiny egg, we are disappointed if we get anything less than 12.

So, if you live near me, and need some eggs, come on over!

16 September 2018

Welcome Home

When I was a little girl, I went to horse camp in Bragg Creek, Alberta every summer. For one glorious week each year I got to live my little girl dreams on the back of a tired pony.

As a teenager I worked at that very horse camp, where I spent my entire summer filthy, and utterly happy.

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point that farm became the epitome of what I wanted in my life - where I wanted to live and what I wanted to do with my life. 

Fast forward about 20 years, I'd finally convinced Jared that we should move out of the city and onto a farm, and low and behold, that very farm was up for rent. 

And so, naturally, we moved, again. We sold the house in the city and moved to the country!

However, no matter how loudly my childhood dreams tried to convince me, that 50 year old tiny farm house was not our dream house.  As it stood there wasn't room for us, and certainly no room for us to grow. It was able to provide us with on last service: a safe place for us to be while we searched for our elusive forever home.

And that is what brings me to where I am right now, sitting in the dark, staring at the log walls of what is our new, and our forever home! 

I don't know what I thought I'd feel, finally in the house I plan on calling home forever, but I don't think I'm feeling it.  I am feeling stressed. I am feeling the heavy weight of finality on my heart. I'm feeling all the questions that came up when we were deciding to buy it. When Eli was younger he would react so badly when we moved - he hated to be alone anywhere in the new houses for at least 6 months - even if all I did was try to go to the bathroom by myself.  I'm sitting here now, with everyone else asleep, and I'm feeling a little of what he must have felt. 

I'm praying too. I'm praying for many years of happy memories.  Many years of Christmas trees and Easter Egg hunts. Many years of dirt biking and horse riding.  I'm praying that this home will become the safe harbor that my children will always feel welcome at, will always want to come home to.  A place where generations will gather.  I pray that my door will stay open to family, friends, and even strangers who may need to feel the comforts of home. 

And so, on this first night of the rest of my life I sit here in quiet contemplation, resisting sleep, because that will mean that this first night is over and the real work of making this house a home begins.

16 April 2018

10 weeks and I'm pretty sure I'm rocking it

It's easy to feel like a complete and totally failure in this world of tiny squares of perfect lives - but I don't believe in that kind of crap.  Seriously. 

I'm ten weeks into this whole mother of 6 things, and ready to celebrate the little things, like how I made the bed this morning, and last week I taught my kids science. You have no idea. That's big. 

This morning we decided to go skiing, and we were out the door in 20 minutes.  20 minutes, people. 

Of course, we didn't pack a lunch, and so I had to buy $8.50 bowls of soup for the boys, but what's $8.50 between friends, right?

Also, while I swear I'm not hinging my self esteem on it, I can do up my pre-pregnancy pants.  I don't really fit in them, but if I lay down on the bed first, and suck in really tight, I can do them up.  Also big. I attribute it to belly binding, which sounds like torture, and it kind of is, but after 6 babies I've finally put all that relaxin to work, and dang it, it works!  Now if I can only drop 50 lbs, I'll fit into my pre-Silas's-pregnancy pants, and then I will have all sorts of self esteem to brag about.

Also, I've made a few meals. Like real meals with cut up vegetables and cooked meat.  

And I've taken the kids on vacation to the cabin. 

And I've mopped the kitchen floor.  

Rocking it, I tell you.  Rocking it. 

07 April 2018

I should be mopping.

I have kind of, sort of, completely and totally, slacked off over the last 10 weeks, since Edythe was born.  I should be mopping, but for now I'm searching for some inspiration, for me and my kids. 

There are days that I would much rather sit on the couch and knit than clean the kitchen or teach long division. There are days that I dream about sending my big kids to public school and basking in the glory of a tidy home, grocery shopping by myself, and enjoying my little ones without worrying about math equations and grammar instruction.  And to be perfectly honest, I think that on those days, my kids dream about going to public school as well just to escape cranky mom. 

But, I have faith that if I change things up a bit, and put in a little more effort myself, that I can change the way that things have been going lately and return to loving what I do. 

nothing will work || for the quote wall downstairs

What do you do to stay motivated?  I need a little ispirationion. 

06 April 2018

Blessing Day - and a truly epic Blessing Gown

On Sunday March 18, 2018 Jared blessed our sweet Edythe Rose at our church.  A baby blessing is a ritual in which men who hold the Priesthood gather in a circle around a baby, and in Edythe's case, her father, pronounces her name for the records of the church, and provides a blessing for her spiritual and physical welfare. I love to see my babies, surrounded and held up by righteous men, while being blessed with a wonderful life. Edythe was surrounded by her dad, most of her uncles, her grandfathers, and a close friend.  I hope that as she grows up she knows that these strong, worthy men of God will continue to support her and that she can go any one of them if she ever needs them. 

No pictures are taken of the actual blessing, but we definitely took a few afterward.  You see, the dress she was wearing is truly epic.  It embodies 10 years of dreaming of a girl.  I started crocheting this beauty when I was pregnant with Eli, and didn't finish it until after I had Atticus.  I worked on it every time I got pregnant, and stopped once I had another boy.  While I would have been perfectly happy to have to knit up another something for another boy, it was sure nice to see it on a little girl of my own. 

 All of my lovelies.  Aren't they adorable!?

My biggest and my littlest.  Evy is lucky to have a wonderful older sister, who has shown her just how to be a good big sister, herself. She is absolutely thrilled to have a baby sister, also. 

And the boy's, who it's obvious completely adore this little nugget.

My mom and I.  I'm wearing a necklace that my Grandma Jackson (Edythe) gave me at my university graduation. It's an Egyptian cartouche with "Edythe" on it in hieroglyphs. She would love to know that she has a namesake.

And 4 generations of Jared's family, his mom and Granny. Can I say how stinking lucky I am to have married into such a family!

Okay, and just a few more of Edythe and the dress, because seriously, 10 years. 

05 April 2018

Newborn Photos

Edythe is almost 10 weeks old!  How did that happen?!?  Seriously. I luckily have a very talented sister who was willing to take pictures, so that I could remember the fleeting newborn stage forever! And let's be honest, with my kids, the newborn stage is truly fleeting - according to my trusty bathroom scale, Edythe is 17 lbs - 10 lbs up from her birth weight!

The declaration has been made, quite unequivocally so, that I am never going to go through pregnancy or labour ever again - but when I look at these pictures of sweet tiny Edythe, it is easy to question my resolve. Am I seriously ready to never hold a newborn again, to never smell that sweet newborn smell again, to never dress another baby in the clothes that have been worn by all my newborns since Eli?  Well, I'm not resolved enough to get rid of all those clothes just yet, that's for sure.

These pictures were taken on day 2. I love every single one of them! If they don't make your uterus ache (for those of you with a uterus), you are probably a heartless, broken mess.

31 March 2018

An anniversary of sorts

I shared this on my Instagram, but wanted to put it here, with my other thoughts and memories about Israel.  

In my heart there is a place where both joy and grief collide - and I've spent the last 8 weeks trying to figure out how to reconcile the two. 

Yesterday marked what would have been our stillborn baby Israel's first birthday, had he lived.

But, if he had lived, Edythe would not.

In the weeks after Israel died I wondered if I would ever not feel the pain. Now, I honestly find it hard to even remember that sorrow that was so immense. 

Until a song plays on the radio that makes me think of Israel. Or I fumble when people ask me how many boys I have, and I have to awkwardly explain that I've had 5, but only have 4. Or when I go through the bins of boy clothes to pull out what will work for Edythe, and realize that the clothes might have been worn once more, but will never be. Or when I'm scrolling through old pictures and see ones of his lifeless body or his tiny casket. 

Israel's death does not consume me or define me, but it definitely is part of me. 

But then there is Edythe, in all her glorious loveliness. Her pregnancy was an emotional battle: everyday that I remained pregnant felt like a victory. Her birth was the answer to countless prayers, and her life is a healing salve to my heart. I wouldn't want to live in a world without her in it. 

And therein lies the struggle - how do I wish that Israel had lived while being so joyful that Edythe does? I love them both with all my heart, knowing that I could never have held them both. 

So, today I will put aside the confusion and instead hold a space in my heart for both Israel and Edythe, as that's the only place they can both exist, where I can love them both the same, with everything I have in me. 
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