Closing up 2015, growing on the farm...
Monday, December 28, 2015
I'm struggling to write this post. There's so much joy in our lives right now, so many things to be thankful for. At the same time, we're experiencing tremendous heartache. This has been the most emotional fall to date for our family. In the last four months we...
-Found out we were pregnant!
-Had a cousin lose their sweet baby girl in full-term delivery
-Have gone through some ongoing and absolutely devastating family matters
-Were offered nearby land to purchase
-Had an aunt diagnosed with cancer
-Decided to buy the farm land on our own!
-Aunt started chemo
-Second aunt diagnosed with cancer
-First aunt had kidney failure
-First aunt had infection spread to her heart
-First aunt needed open heart surgery for infection, very dangerous and not likely to fully recover
-Second aunt had surgery for cancer
-First aunt's infection miraculously disappeared in her heart, canceling the risky surgery!
-Second aunt's pathology report came back negative for cancer!
-First aunt's infection spread to foot, which is to be amputated tomorrow if conditions don't change
-Found out we're having a baby girl!
It's been tremendously painful. We're consistently experiencing all-time highs, and all-time lows. Emotionally, it's been more than I can handle. Pregnancy waves hit strong and I cry about all of these things at any point in time. We're thankful for the joy of our sweet baby girl in this trying time and have felt God's strong presence in his continued answering of prayers. He's brought so many people to support us in this time and we feel so blessed.
Yeah about that farm land thing... James and I don't own land, we rent from his dad and another landlord. We have been debt free so far; we did take out a small loan for his truck last year to gain some credit, but we had the money sitting in our account and paid it off right away because it drove us nuts. Neither of us had school loans and we don't own our house. Debt terrifies me. Especially hundreds of thousands of dollars... An opportunity arose to purchase about 80 acres, located 1/2 mile from our house. We prayed about this and felt as much worry as we did excitement. We knew an offer similar to this (ground so close to us) would not likely arise again. James felt that it was time for him to throw his hat in the ring. We're still waiting for a few loose ends to be tied up before we'll have that big red number staring at us, but we're thrilled about the opportunity. I can't think of a better thing to invest in than my husband's future. The first three years are transitional from conventional to organic crop, meaning we'll have to sell conventional in this low market. We'll not likely turn a profit until it's certified organic and will have to make land payments out of pocket until then. Good-bye Stitch Fix! I'll miss you.
At least we've got a couple future farmers to lend a hand!
Our good buddy Luxy became a big sister this week! We can't wait to see baby Maverick tomorrow. It'll be fun to have him and our baby girl be so close and to be able to watch the four of them grow together.
We've been practicing letters for a while, especially his name. The only two he can remember to write are the T and i. So that's how he signs his name, and of course a self-portrait to go with it.
Mostly he's just happy to go to work with Dad. That heated shop has been a perfect place to run off some energy, and Mimi's house is next door, always prepared with a snack when he's hungry.
December has been good for the soul. So many gatherings, activities, parties, and events. Starting with our church's women group hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes. Since our basement was freshly remodeled, it was a great way to let everyone see it at once. I didn't take many pictures of the day, but we had such a great morning touring and my house got cleaned, win-win.
Here's a tour for you all that missed it!
James built this shelf with the same wood as the ceiling. I told him he did too good of a job; now he needs to make a couple more.
Seriously, you all need a fireplace AND a wood stove in your house. So much warmth. And coziness. Next winter our challenge will be keeping baby away from it.
That buffet is my favorite thing. It started out like this.
James hates it. It messes with his masculine basement. I told him that was the point. I literally put fur and antlers on it to help tone it down, but he's still not thrilled. Enough people have voted for it to stay, so I think he's going to lose this one.
All the ceiling wood came from an old barn on our farm that was tore down a year ago. The trim and baseboard are from a horse barn that was tore down to make room for the new shop. It's fun to have the old wood repurposed and it's pretty special to have such sentimental value for us.
The hallway is amazing. So hard to believe it was solid dirt two years ago! When we were digging it out I mentioned several times that we should just dig it all out and add a couple rooms to the basement, but the project was already massive and we knew it was ridiculous to take on more. After we've finished, James has said, "We should have dug out the rest." Oh how perspective changes! Maybe someday we'll add an extra bedroom and bathroom down there, you know, when we're bored and want to hand shovel dirt for a year...
This cut out will eventually have a countertop with cupboards; sort of a serving buffet area. But for now a table will do! We snagged the table from Paul and Dori, maybe I should actually return it. Yeah, I really need to do that.
|Christmas caroling on a warm December night!|
Trevin helped me package jams for Christmas gifts. Gifts are my love language and the jams are one of my favorite traditions.
Church Christmas program 2015:
Trevin did all the actions but wouldn't sing. The poor teachers had a duet while a bunch of 2 and 3-year-olds stared at them.
Seriously, time is flying. This kid will be four by the time baby comes. It's really not fair. I want to start him all over again. He's such a hand-full (you don't even know) but I desperately don't want him to grow. Even as I'm typing he's repeatedly asking the same question to me, with the same answer. But these moments are fleeting and it's hard to swallow.
We actually had Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day together at home and it was wonderful. We decided with all that has gone on and all the festivities that fill up December that we really wanted to slow down and have a memorable time at home.
We started Christmas Eve with our traditional ebelskivers breakfast.
Then the Christmas story.
The presents have been wrapped since November and Trevin has been bursting at the seams to get into them. After all the gifts the bubble wrap was still the toy of choice...
James got me some snow/work boots, because I was using old Uggs as my best option in the snow. My toes will be so happy!
He also got me two Sonos speakers and my world has been forever changed. They are incredible and I'm convinced every room in my house would benefit from one.
We gave Ashton everything she needs to make donuts, because they are her first love, and gave her some money to put towards a new camera.
Ashton got James some caramel Kisses. His response was, "Kisses from my sister, that's weird." Trevin picked out a set of nerf guns for him and Dad to have wars with.
James' Christmas present was in planning for 6 months. You should be so proud that I kept a secret that long. He had no idea what he was getting until a week before Christmas when he was buying my Christmas present at Best Buy, he stopped to look at the drones, dreaming of getting one. When he saw the price it was similar to the charge on our card, and the box was the same size as the one under the tree. Then he knew. And I was devastated. I'd built up this surprise in my mind so big that it was shattered when he figured it out. Thankfully he was really excited about it and still lit up when he opened it.
Christmas Eve was a nice enough day we got to try it out! We flew it down to the farm from our house and creeped on the neighbors.
Christmas at Grandpa and Grandma's
Ryan and Kristin bought my nephews Jelly Belly's Bean Boozled game. The game with identical looking jelly beans, one being a good flavor and another being a bad flavor. I laughed so hard I was crying through the entire thing. My brother got coconut/baby wipes and said, "Ugh! I hate coconut. I hope it's baby wipes." It was.
Trevin was immediately interested in the jelly beans. We tried to convince him they were gross and he that he didn't want any, but he was sure that he was missing out. The first one he ate was baby wipes. He ate it like it was actually candy. (Goes to show this kid really isn't picky, he just chooses not to eat things.) He really didn't mind it, so he asked for another one. He picked up the next one, chocolate pudding/dog food. He popped it in his mouth and we waited for the reaction. He said he liked it so we assumed it was chocolate pudding. I told him to breath in my face. It was dog food. I was laughing so hard, then started gagging because I could still smell it on his breath. Oh my word, it was hysterical. Later he asked for another one, and I figured it couldn't get much worse than dog food, so I thought he was in the clear. The last one was tutti-fruitti/dirty socks. He got a couple good chews into it before he spit it out with the most disgusted face I've ever seen from him. We passed the spit-out dirty socks bean around for everyone to smell, and it was so freaking awful. James and Ashton both got barf and about barfed in response.
This was Ashton smelling the dirty socks that were in Trevin's mouth.
-We've passed the 1/2 way mark, reaching 21 weeks yesterday. How is that even possible? This pregnancy has gone so incredibly fast.
-Kicks are getting stronger, enough for James to be able to feel them. Every time she kicks I tell Trevin to come feel. He puts his hand on my stomach for about 1/2 a second and says, "Yup, she's kicking!" Then he walks away, without actually feeling anything.
-Hormones, mood swings and emotional waves are a constant occurrence right now. Some have been justified, due to the events life has brought our way. But others are just ridiculous for no reason. When I was pregnant with Trevin and had an emotional wave overcome me, I would simply take a short nap to help reset my brain and body. Doing that isn't so easy now that I've got a 3-year-old to chase.
-My brain is not all there, a typical pregnancy symptom. I fumble over my words, do stupid things, forget everything, and can't think things through.
We took Trevin with to see our sweet babe last week at our ultrasound. We got more anxious as time went on; we could hardly wait to hear the sex of the baby. The doctor showed us her sweet little face and let us soak her in before she moved on. I couldn't believe it when she said, "Looks like you've got a girl!" I cried. (I'm so unpredictable, aren't I?) People had asked me what I thought we were having and I really didn't know, but I just felt like it would be a boy, because we had a boy, we know boy, and we live boy every day. When she said it was a girl, I think I finally realized how much I thought it was going to be a boy. I was shocked. We just stared at her, in awe and completely in love. Trevin was so intrigued with watching her move on the screen. When we moved back to her face at the end, she had moved her hand over her eyes so we couldn't see her. We told Trevin she was playing peek-a-boo with him. Now when he shows off the pictures, he always has to point out the peek-a-boo one. He thought that was pretty cool of her. And now he's decided that he's ok with adding a girl.
Baby Girl is growing right on track, and looks as perfect as can be. We are desperate to meet her, face-to-face.