BrandBacker Member

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Life Update: Where Have I Been?

Photo by Little E Photography

Hey friends!

I honestly can't believe it has taken me so long to come back to the blogging world.
When the pandemic hit in March, I kind of froze this part of my social media. I didn't have words to share with y'all because I didn't quite know what to say. I didn't feel as though sharing products I loved made any sense and I was so stuck as to what I could say to make anyone else feel better, when I wasn't quite sure what I felt myself.

Now that I'm collected (as much as one can be when this pandemic is very much still going on), I am looking forward to getting back in a rhythm of sharing with y'all what's going on in our lives, what I'm loving (because if I'm using it now-I really love it!), what we're eating, what I'm reading and watching, and more.
But today, it's all about a quick catch up recap of the last eight months. . .
Going in to Spring and throughout the Summer, we spent a lot of time in the hayfield.
I've learned that every season gets sweeter and sweeter with Charlie because he was really able to understand what was going on this time around. It was just the best.
   My dad bought two different Farmall tractors this Spring/Summer and Charlie loves them so much. It's been fun to see how much he cares about this kind of thing & we really hope it sticks!
The best part about farming and living rural during a pandemic?
Your life doesn't change all that much.
We struggled getting grocery pickup times at the Wal-Mart that's 45 minutes away, but other than that we were okay. We try to stay on farm and to ourselves for the most part, living in our own bubble with our immediate families and the guys who work for us, so we were thankful for that.
Also thankful for wide open spaces to roam and fresh air to enjoy.
One of the most exciting things that happened during my time off?
We had a HUGE garden this Spring & Summer (and I actually just gathered what I'm pretty sure will be the last of my peppers this past weekend).
My husband is meticulous & was so against weeds, he spent tons of time out there 😂
But he wanted to use every square inch of the garden and we didn't waste a centimeter. We had every bit planted with zucchini, squash, peanuts, peas, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn, watermelon, flowers...and more!
I planted a whole row of zinnias this year & they were completely stunning.
I will definitely be planting more next year and experimenting with other varieties and different types of flowers as well.
Having fresh flowers for myself & to bring to others during this time brought me so much joy.
Another thing that kept me busy?
Canning & preserving!
I (with the help of my husband, mom, and sister) put up so many types of jellies, jams, and preserves as well as filled the freezer with all different types of veggies.
There was also a lot of cooking like this going on alll the time. Except add fried green tomatoes to almost every plate because they are my kryptonite! I will cook them any time of year 😂
We also spent a lot of time hanging out with these ladies (plus more). We love spending time with our cows and letting them become gentle to us. This was a day that we brought them corn husks to snack on!
This Spring I got back into riding my horse, Willow & Charlie even took his first official ride on her.
Sadly, at the end of April she became very sick and even after constant vet care and 24 hour care by myself, we lost her.
It was devastating to lose not only a horse I loved and adored, but one that was in the prime of her life.
Luckily, my family takes great care of my tender heart and we spent a lot of family time over the next few weeks. This photo of Charlie was taken during an afternoon boat ride with some of our best friends.
We also took a few "field trips" as I jokingly like to call them-date days where we're also working.
This shot was taken at a quick stop at Little River Canyon.
We had taken a bull to be delivered to be collected and we took a short detour.
We also got into the habit of taking Forrest with us on these short trips where we could, because we didn't feel 100% safe taking Charlie. We would get the grandparents or my sister to watch Charlie and we would take off. This trip was to pick up a piece of equipment with a quick stop at Bass Pro Shop (which is totally dog friendly!)
We shipped calves to Kansas at the end of the Summer, always an accomplishment to get them on the trucks. We definitely needed a shower after this day, but those are proud smiles for sure.
In July, my heart was longing for another horse companion.
We ended up contacting the guy who sold us Willow and spending an afternoon with him, picking out two horses a mare we named Sioux and the gelding pictured below, Creek.
They were just what I needed to pour myself into to heal my heart from the loss of Willow.
Late this Summer/early Fall is also when I discovered my instagram friend Mary Pat's wonderful cheeses!
You can order them monthly from The Cheesery & they are so yummy!
The cheese curds and the buffalo wing are my favorites that I've tried so far, but I have a new order coming in December.
September brought Charlie (& Chris') birthday, and although thanks to all that's going on in this world we did have to have a much smaller party than we would've liked, we still celebrated our boy.
We hosted this party in our home and it was Little Blue Truck themed (I'll probably do a short post on the party in a few days). We had bbq from a local place and I made a Texas sheet cake, my sister also made the cutest personalized cookies that I can't wait to share!
This Summer/Fall was also when our sweet Sally-Cat came to the farm!
My friend actually called me to let me know their was a cat in the engine area of her car & I came by to see if I could get it out. The kitten was super friendly when she got out, so I dropped her off at our barn and she's been there ever since. She's adorable & Charlie loves her so much.
Photo by Amy-Cole Photography
I also had the of attending the Amy-Cole Creatives Workshop in October & it was such a game changer for me. It inspired me and motivated me, I'm so thankful that I was able to go and meet all these beautiful women!
Charlie trick-or-treated as a chicken this Halloween and it was the cutest thing!
We only visited family & friends, but it was such a sweet afternoon.
Charlie also got to help us work cows for the first time this year, he really has learned so much and is going to be quite a hand when he gets bigger!
Just a few weeks ago we went and picked out part of Charlie's Christmas gift...this sweet little mare!
She's just short enough to be considered a pony, but is big enough for Chris or I to ride her, too.
She's so gentle and doesn't quite have a name yet, but we're working on it.
I can't wait to watch her and Charlie grow up together!
Chris & I have really been enjoying getting back into riding again. It's one of those things we did a lot when we first started dating, in fact that's how he proposed to me...on a trail ride!
But thankfully this is something we hope to do a lot in the future as a family and I'm thankful for that.
The last big thing that's happened is Tiny-Cat!
One day I was driving down the road that leads to our farm and a kitten bounded out in front of my truck and into a ditch. I definitely parked on the side of the road & hunted down the kitten to take him to our barn...kind of embarrassing now, but whatever-he's cute!
He's Sally's little friend and is so precious.

So tell me friends. . .
What's been going on, what have I missed??

I hope to be updating a lot more here in the future!


Sunday, September 13, 2020

To Charlie: A Letter to My Two Year Old

Photo by Little E Photography

 To my sweet Charlie, 

Our Little Chief, Turkey Leg, Chicken Nugget, Charlie Horse, Slick, and all the other names we come up with for you at the drop of a hat.

You are the biggest blessing to our family & you have changed so, so much in year two.

When people told me, before you were born, just how fast children grow I didn't know how true that statement would be-but it is so unbelievably true.

You learn something new each day; your colors, counting, letters, animal sounds, names of animals, types of machinery, tractors, and equipment. You can recite parts of books as we read them, which never ceases to impress me.

Your favorite book right now is Roadwork, with Jamberry being a close second.

I don't doubt that you'll know every single word to Roadwork within the next six months, you love it so, so much.

You are such a hand on the farm. We wake up each day, eat breakfast and then get ready to go farm. You're right beside me, checking cows & horses, feeding the calves, and all the other things that go along with farm life. You love every second of it. I know all too soon, I'll be the one tagging along with you and the thought of that makes me choke up just a little.

Your fearlessness is inspiring. As just a little guy, you climb fences and gates, you'll climb to the top of the cab of the pickup truck and just grin. And you can get yourself down too, you don't need anyone's help.

You will face down cows with nothing but a cow flag and your voice, "Get back cow!"

You are adventurous, independent, fierce, and brave.

Photo by Little E Photography

But you are also cuddly, snuggly, and love to pretend to be "tiny baby Charlie" and have me cradle you like I did when you were once that tiny. I soak up those moments because I know that just like the days when you were a tiny baby, the pretend moments will pass by too.

You love to climb up on my lap and us read together or watch "Hudson" on YouTube. In fact, that's pretty much the only TV you'll allow because you're just too busy for all that.

We are always brightened by your smile and happiness, although there are some fits had too (but you get those honest, on both sides of the family).

And most of all, we love the future we see in you.

How smart you are, we hope you love learning and are always interested in books and "figures" as you call them. I hope that you always look forward to exploring the world around you. I've seen you interested in reading, history, geography, and sciences already even at such a young age. I hope to always foster that love of learning in you.

Photo by Little E Photography

I love to watch you at the farm, how you already know things that people much older than you don't. You're passionate about equipment and learning the proper names for things, you want to learn how to drive them and how they work. You are learning how to care for the animals and are so kind and gentle with them.

Who knows, maybe that will be the career path you choose one day?

Your daddy & I pray that you will always be hardworking, honest, kind, and generous. We want you to be the kind of man that inspires those values in others. We hope that you always choose to help others that need a hand. We want to encourage you to press forward and be a leader, to choose the right path-not just the easiest path. We love your heart and how you are compassionate and caring and hope you always retain those traits.

We hope that you know no matter what path you choose in life, you'll always have us cheering you on. We'll always be there to offer sound advice and encouragement.

You're our son & we can't wait to watch the boy and then the man that you will become.

We love you so much, Charlie Man!

Happy second birthday!

09 10