Tuesday, September 29, 2015

T h i r t y S i x

I turned thirty six several weeks ago. Surrounded by people I love...and a new little life growing in my belly. It was a simple, beautiful day. I'm not really into crowds or big parties, so a few of my favorite people gathered around the table for a few of my favorite meals...that's my happy place. 

Life isn't perfect. It's full of chaos and crazy and pain and confusion...but there's still beauty and magic and miracles and so much goodness. There's grace and mercy and love. Unconditional, amazing, life-sustaining love. 

I look around sometimes and reflect on the blessings showered throughout my life, and I think to myself...I don't deserve one bit of this sweet Lord, but my goodness I am so very thankful for it all. My cups runneth over.  To God be the glory and praise and all my love for all my life.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


{aka: growing a little human...not so much of a garden}
Since the last post, we've revealed to the world that we're adding another arrow to our family. A new life to join our chaos. There have been appointments and prayers and morning sickness and exhaustion. Some days I'm doing good just to keep everyone fed and alive. Seriously. To my poor, beloved garden though, I offer my deepest apologies. I go and just stand in defeat some evenings, shaking my head at the weeds, the bugs, the disease...
I mentioned recently that I love how good the garden looks in pictures because up close it's just a big mess. True story. But I still love it and treasure it. I yearn to expand it, learn from it, improve upon it. While I haven't felt up to spending the time in it this summer that I should have, we've still enjoyed our small, beautiful harvests. There are still many good things buried among the weeds.

My girls like to play in the garden, picking things that aren't yet ready, and that's totally fine with me. Just to have their company and interest and dirty little hands joining mine is all I want.

Border Patrol.

 Filling jars with lovelies from the backyard, I wait all winter for this.

Backyard Fresh.

Full counter, happy heart.

I must have sunflowers, always & always.

We also added a couple of cuties to our flock. I have wanted Speckled Sussex chicks for some time, so when I found out our feed store was getting them...well, I just HAD to bring a couple home. {A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.} Plus a beautiful little Ancona, our first white egg layer.

I had their names all picked out, but when you live with two little girls, you get overruled. So, Beatrice, Patches, and Peaches it is.

Yes, we sure do appreciate our pretty ladies.

So, despite the neglect during this special season, I'm thankful for the blessings and joy our little backyard spaces and friends still bring.

“I love my garden, and I love working in it. To potter with green growing things, watching each day to see the dear, new sprouts come up, is like taking a hand in creation, I think. Just now my garden is like faith - the substance of things hoped for.”  ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

We hope you're having a blessed and beautiful summer ♥

Sunday, May 24, 2015

How Our Garden Grows

May Garden Update:

When I last wrote our dear seeds were popping through the dirt, making their first appearances and bringing us joy.  We've since potted them up, watched them grow, and moved them outside.

I am so thankful for the time my girls and I share digging in this ground, watching life begin through tiny seeds, making this little plot of land our own...

My Dad grows wheat each year and saves back a little straw for me and my backyard farmyard. We decided this year to try our hand at straw bale gardening. {Squash, Zucchini, & Nasturtium}

and just like that, with a little water and a lot of sunshine...

"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." 
~ Genesis 8:22

There have been several mornings when I head out to the garden to grab my lunch for the day. It's such an awesome feeling. I dig it.

We have a small patch of rhubarb, asparagus, and strawberries that we planted last year. I was thrilled to see them all come back this year. I'll give you two guesses as to who grabs the strawberries as soon as they spy them. Hint: they are both smaller and cuter than me. 

The dirtiest eggs in that basket belong to those crazy runner ducks who lay them right on the muddy ground...I can't teach them anything.

I found a little red wagon at a local antique shop, and let me tell ya, I was all kinds of excited.  Into the garden it went.
I planted purple basil in the "herbs" bucket, and it's finally taking off!

The roses are blooming, my ladies are enjoying the longer days, summer vacation is upon us...have I mentioned how much I love this time of year? ;)

Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Sweet Dream & an Old Theme

{I'm a terrible planner. Agendas, schedules...they kind of drive me nuts. I have attempted many times to sit down and type up something to update this little space of mine. It's only been about four months since my last post.}
We've been celebrating holidays and birthdays and anniversaries. We've been enduring cold, preparing for spring, and taking care of our menagerie of beloved pets. We've been living. I had no resolutions to share, no little word for the new year, just a desire to soak up and live in each and every moment. It's kind of my theme.

Seeking the extraordinary in the ordinary, the meaningful in the mundane, capturing the beauty of our days, counting blessings along the way.

I need to start with a few introductions: 
Because we don't have enough animals to love, we welcomed two of the cutest new family members...

And I canNOT stop with the pictures. Won't ever stop.

{they even have their own IG hashtag...if you're into that kind of thing: #thetalesofmidnightandcocoa ~ I'll let you guess which is which}

The funniest thing is that the bunnies match the girls' personalities. One is calm and laid-back, and the other is wide-open. Ready to get into everything. I'm not naming names.

17 chickens, 4 fish, 3 ducks, 2 dogs, 2 rabbits, 1 cat, and a pig. Our guy says no more animals...but I kind of have my own thoughts about that. In fact, anyone out there with construction skills, I may be needing you soon to add on to the chicken coop because the feed store tempts me every time I walk in, and I just don't know how much longer I can walk by a tub of chicks and not bring some home. It's unconscionable and unforgivable really. I can totally pay you with fresh eggs :)

{we will even decorate them for you}

We love sharing our eggs. One day I would like to be able to share more than eggs. To grow enough food and flowers to share with others. A small fresh market from home. Wouldn't that be delightful? I'm working on it...slowly, and it might not seem like much...but it's my dream, and I want to chase it ♥

And I want to share it with these two...

because they love growing things and being outside with me and when kids dream, there are no limits. And that's the best. 
I like them beside me, little bits and pieces of their childhood magic rubbing off on me.

Now that spring is here and I feel alive and awakened from my winter slump {i.e. grumpy/moody/I should live somewhere sunny and warm year round -ness} Maybe I'll be around a little more to share our adventures, our progress...or our disappointments. Because life is all about those ebbs and flows. All we can do is give it our best. 

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands." ~ Psalm 90:17

I'm off to play in some dirt, feed some animals, and start some seeds. Have a blessed and beautiful day, and since I'm just a few weeks late, Happy Spring!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful all of the Days ♥

With my sporadic ramblings lately, it probably comes as no surprise that my Thanksgiving post is late.  But I try sincerely to be thankful all of the days, in all ways.  Not just focusing on one week or holiday.  Opening each and every prayer with thanksgiving.  Giving thanks and praise daily, from the bottom of my heart, for the showers of blessings that I do not deserve. For the people I get to share this crazy, messy, beautiful life with.  
For family & home.
For health & happiness.  
For grace, mercy, love, & forgiveness. 
For so much more.  

"I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High." 
~ Psalm 9:1 & 2

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations."
~ Psalm 100:4 & 5

My cup runneth over...

 Blessings to you and your family as we head into another glorious season overflowing with goodness and joy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Summer Reflections in the Midst of Fall

You know when summer vacation is on the horizon, all you can see is beautiful time and your accumulation of amazing plans and projects laid out before you in their shiny, pinterest-worthy glory...then the months unfold {Instagram takes over your blog} and before you know it, you're losing daylight, adding layers, and wondering where summer has gone.  

I told someone the other day that all I really wanted to do was homeschool my children and grow things.  Summer vacation is my respite.  I am always entirely disappointed by how quickly it goes...

~ I'm pretty sure we nailed our Fourth of July picture ;) ~

Little hands picked all the flowers in all the places...if the delicate flowers were lucky enough, they were delivered with bright smiles as gifts to mommy and made it into water for a few days.  

We added to our backyard flock {chicken math}. 
A Welsummer, a Blue Favaucana, and two of the cutest Blue Copper Marans : Peanut Ice Cream, Maleficent, Regina, and Miss Grace.  

Hoping to add more colors to this beautiful basket.

And share more eggs with friends and family...it's one of our favorite things ♥

We were so consumed with our chickens and our garden...we hardly did any crafts.  Compared to the summer before, it was a little disappointing.  We had to rescue the paint from the depths of the closet, dust off the tops, mix a few colors.  The girls often collected chicken feathers whenever they found them, so we decided it would be fun to paint them.  A cute little craft with feathers from our own chickens.
It sounded like a good idea...
Until I hear, "You want to put so much paint on it that it almost won't dry!"

Then we get distracted by all the pretty colors...
We are easily distracted by lots of things.

I was so proud of our little garden.  We planted all kinds of tomato seeds...which is crazy because the girls and I don't even eat tomatoes.  But our guy does.  I told him that I just want to grow all the things and let someone else cook with them.  Give me some dirt and sunshine.  You can have the kitchen.

The backyard farmyard crew also enjoyed the summer harvests.

and clovers.

These two found all the dirt.  The fluffy girl on the right had her own methods of staying cool.  She preferred mud baths to bubble baths, and just look at that youthful skin.

Runner beans running.  Green garden growing.  Little love looking.  Savoring sweet summertime.

{These were just a few of my many favorite moments.} 
We hope you had a blessed and beautiful summer!
We're off to greet falling leaves and s'mores weather...