December 29, 2012


It was November 29, 2006. Nate had been living in England, where he was transferred for work, for almost a year. He and I were best friends until a certain beach trip showed us that we were destined to be more. After not even a year of 'dating', when Nate moved away, we decided to just see what happened. We both figured it was over and planned to move on with our lives, separately. We were surprised, however, to find that we each felt incomplete without the other. We continued our relationship online. It was a hard year and I was lucky enough to visit him there twice.

On that night in November, during one of our daily Skype sessions, Nate asked me to marry him. We both agreed that we didn't want to live apart anymore. It was an exciting time for us. We had a month to plan something, as he would be coming home for a visit over christmas. We opted for a very small family gathering at my mother's home where we were married just after christmas. A week later, I kissed my new husband goodbye as he left to return to the UK while I packed up my life here and made plans to join him.

We lived in a sweet little coach house that was part of a large estate. It was the first time we'd ever lived together and we made it a home. As that first year drew to a close, we made the decision to return to America to start a farm. We didn't know how we would do it but we felt it deep within ourselves as something we were meant to do. So, we came home.

Four months later we found an awesome farming situation which enabled us to get our feet wet on someone else's farm while we learned all we could. This was an amazing opportunity because we didn't have to buy a farm and could take our time searching for the right place once we were ready. We rented the house next door which couldn't have been more perfect for us. It was as if we lived right there, on the farm. We set up shop and got to work farming.

After a year, our landlord told us he needed us to move out so he could renovate the house to put on the market. We moved into a 27 foot camper, parked on the farm, for five months so we could finish out the season with all of our animals. That farm was for sale as the owners had purchased a larger farm in search of more grass for their growing herd of cattle. This meant we had to move on and, well, you know the rest of it.

I'll make this very long story short. If you had told me six years ago that we would become 'nomadic farmers' for the next few years, I would never have believed you. That''s just not the life for me, I would have thought. I need to feel grounded and have some roots. But, you do what you have to do and you become acclimated to the new normal. And so, that's what we did.

Our journey to find the right farm has been long, bumpy and paved with beauty, love and a whole lot of learning. And it's far from over. This trip down memory lane is all to say that aside from our year in England and our year living next to the first farm in 2008, Nate and I have not had a home that's been ours. We've not been able to feel settled or put down roots.

This is a really strange and difficult time for my little family. We have no regrets about anything we've done, or the choices we've made. We're very grateful to have a safe and warm place to stay right now, but we want a home. For the second time in just a few years, all of our belongings sit in storage waiting for us. Our larger farm stuff still sits with no place to move it to. We're feeling so displaced and to be honest, we're losing our freaking minds. We just don't belong here. We belong on a farm, tired to the bone, overworked, with dirt under our fingernails. 

In a way, this time is a gift. Time for us to be helping to take care of both of our mothers when they need us most. Time for Zander to be with family. Time we wouldn't normally have to bond with our son. And time for us to catch our breath and take care of our bodies.

But it's not what we want or what feeds our souls. There is much stress, many tears, and a lot of hoping. It's time for some roots.

Still searching, still waiting. Though I have no doubt this is all happening for a reason, it's still hard.

Now more than ever, we need to find our home.

December 17, 2012

the party

photo by Andy Johanson

We had a birthday party for Zander last weekend. I made "Gracie's Yellow Birthday Cake" from this book for him to eat and it was fantastic. Daddy made a banner, I made way too much food and Zander was surrounded by the people who love him. It was a good day.

Z got a little overwhelmed by all the people singing to him, the flaming cupcake, and the lack of nap. But he quickly recovered and enjoyed the cake.

A good time was had by all. My baby isn't much of a baby anymore.


December 6, 2012

to zander ~ love, mama


A year ago today, you came into my life, changing it forever. You made me a mama. You were even more beautiful than I ever imagined and I felt like I'd known you all my life.

There were days that were challenging and days I wasn't sure if I could do it. But we got to know each other and figured it all out. Thank you for being so patient.

I dreamed of a home birth and you taught me that your birth was about you and not about me. Right out of the gate, you showed us that you were in charge and that you wanted to do things your way. Your birth was not what I had imagined and I felt defeated. It's been a year and your love has helped heal that wound. I know now that none of it mattered and I'm proud of you and proud of the way you entered this world. Here's your birth story. I want you to read it someday.

You're smart, you're funny and you have the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen. I wonder if you'll ever know how happy you make people when you smile at them. It's the best feeling in the world. You are an old soul and I know you've been here before. You're here to teach and we're here to learn.

You make me a better person, Zander Gray. Your daddy and I love you more than you'll ever know. We never knew how much we needed you in our lives. Happy First Birthday!!


photo by Andy Johanson