Tuesday, May 31, 2016

13 years of dating

Today marks the 13th year anniversary since Jeff and I went on our first date. I love this day. I'm so glad he asked me out before his friend had a chance. He has been my best friend ever since.

It's funny, the whole concept of time. I can remember that Friday night (or was it a Saturday night?) like it was yesterday. Sort of. I remember big things like what I wore; red tank, black cardigan, gap jeans, my most favorite Steve Madden black slip ons... I probably remember those details because I focused on them so much leading up to when he picked me up. Funny to think about how much I wanted to impress him. How much I still always want to impress him. I hope I always impress my husband. And I hope we always date. Which I am sure we will because we have kept it up for this long already. I remember what he wore too and I can still see that boy who came and shook my dad's hand and opened up the passenger side door for me.  He looks so young and less handsome than he is now. I love how we have aged together.

Jeff woke up at 3:30am this morning to my alarm, which we both hear but only he responded to. He left to do a business job before it opened and from there drove to South Whidbey to do a church job. Long day and it's 9:00pm now and he's still not home.

I woke up at 6:30 and did the farm chores since the farmer was gone.  When I came downstairs there was a note from Jeff wishing me a happy first date anniversary and it said, "thank you for saying yes." I love him.
I drove the tractor out to both pastures with the feed and fed all the chickens and let them out into the day. Then I took the dog out for his morning wee and when I came inside Emmett was the only one awake. Slowly the kids woke up and read, showered... I made eggs and toast. Fried eggs for Braxton, Emmett and myself and scrambled for Adelle, Gage and the dog. We ate. Read scriptures. Gage and I walked the kids to the bus.

Then Gage and I took a bath together. I shaved my legs and he asked me 500 questions about the razor and why I am shaving and why men's faces have hair and when he can shave... Then we got out and met our friends at the beach. Hence why I was shaving my legs.

After beach bummin it for a few hours we came home and I laid Gage down for nap. It took no time at all as he was so tired from all of the swimming. He must have told me a million times thank you for taking him to the beach. It was so sweet. Once he was asleep I inhaled a few chips with bean dip and then got back on the tractor with my crates to go out and collect all the eggs. I texted Jeff from the tractor seat and told him that he makes me the happiest lady in the whole world. I got all the eggs collected, 622 to be exact, and still made it in time to come back in the house while Gage continued to nap.

I had to wake up Gage to deliver the eggs and pick up my big kids from school. Tuesday is busy day around here. I grab them a couple minutes early so we can make it to town for Emmett's eye therapy. We stop at Great Harvest on the way to pick out our individual favorite slices of  bread and buy a loaf of cinnamon raison for Wednesday's breakfast. Emmett always picks cinnamon chip. Adelle surprises me every week when she picks roasted garlic and then smothers it with butter and honey. Braxton likes the dill swiss and Gage changes his weekly. Today Gage went with the raspberry pound cake which was amazing and I stuck with my standard whole wheat sour dough. I love that part of Tuesday's tradition.

After eye therapy we met Gabe and John and their kids and cousins and the whole gang out at Semi Ahmoo. Gabe and John are visiting this week. The kids got into the water up to their waists and found armfuls of baby crabs. We picnicked and visited and enjoyed being together. I wish Jeff had family that lived here still. We don't get to see any of them nearly enough but it's always wonderful when they visit.

We came home late, brushed the sand off our bodies and the kids went to bed while I sit down to record the day. I love this life. I never would have guessed in a million years that going out on that first date with Jeff would lead to where we are now. We are a team in every sense of the word and I can't wait for the next forever years.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Oh la de, Oh la da, Life goes on...

The flowers on the table all month have been from my own yard. They vary week by week and on Sundays when I plan my meals for the week I switch out the flowers. The lilacs were my favorite because they smell so good but this week I have a peony and it's white and so pretty. 
Also  when we moved I brought some of my lily bulbs from my old house and planted them here and this year one is blooming. Reminds me of so many happy springs from  years past.   

Jeff and some of his buds have been busy being boys and playing with chain saws. They fell this tree this month to offer our orchard we are starting more sunlight. Also, the existing apple trees will be happy this tree is no longer shading them for most of the day. 
Gage and I watched this whole thing go down and it was amazing. 

Braxton got the Good Citizenship award at school this month. Adelle and Emmett recieved the award earlier in the year and were all excited for me to come eat lunch with them to celebrate. Braxton told me I didn't have to come. Then he asked if Kamal, who is one of Jeff's employees could come instead of me! It was a laugh out loud. I wasn't offended, just thought it was funny that he wanted a 19 year old kid who he barely knows to go to his recognition lunch instead of me. I got to go in the end and of course my sidekick, Gage, tagged along. He loved being surrounded by the big boys.

The tractor is coming in handy as the coops are way out in seperate pastures. Jeff or I usually use the tractor with the pallet on the end to carry the eggs back. Here Braxton and Emmett are catching a ride back as well after collecting. We are getting around 700 eggs these days. 

Gage is Mr. Social and always asking me who is coming over to play with him. When cousin Corbin came over he had a good time watching Gage use the bathroom. 

All the kids played soccer this spring season and it was so wonderful. I helped coach these cute girls on Adelle's team which was really fun and they had an awesome season.

Adelle also participated in the district Talent Show and her and her friends made it to the finals to win the best group musical number.
Adelle and her friend sang, "The Perfect Nanny," and another friend accompanied them. It was adorable. Adelle's voice is spot on.

Emmett is still the child that wakes up early and right away starts on his chores and responsibilities. He is always reading without me telling him to, doing his eye therapy and taking care of the bathroom garbages. I will also often find him in his sisters room helping her clean up. He is so self motivating. 

Spring has brought more chores and longer days to get them done. Working together as a family continues to be one of the most enjoyable parts of my life right now. I love the skills my kids are learning and the fun we have while working together. There are rings around my tub every time the dirty kids bathe.

Braxton and I ran the Haggen to Haggen 5k this month together. Well, sort of together. We took bets on who would win and all the kids voted for Braxton. Jeff was true and faithful and voted for me. I really thought I would outrun him. I knew he would start out faster but I didn't think he would be able to maintain his pace. Originally I told Braxton we would stay together. Then he talked me into just being able to see each other. Finally on the day of the race we decided he could go ahead and I would just make sure I could see him at all times. 
That didn't even happen. He was so fast and endured so well. I chased him the whole way until the last bend when I lost him. He ran at a 7 min pace and I ran a personal best of 7.49 minute pace. It was a beautiful day and we both had a blast. He was so proud of himself he got 4th place in his age division and wants to run the next 5k.

For my mom's birthday and Mother's Day this year my sister and I organized to go to dinner at Thai Food and then to see the movie, "Mother's Day." It was so wonderful to be with my sister and my mom and my aunt and my Gramy. We laughed so hard and had a great time together. 

Emmett and his buddy Cayson at one of their soccer games. Emmett had such a great season, being his first year, and scored 4-5 goals this season. He was our only soccer played to score. All the parents who know Emmett couldn't believe how aggressive he was on the field for being such a nice boy.

One of our recent projects is building a bigger coop for our little personal chicken flock that we brought with us from Ferndale. They have been free range until now and I am tired of them pooing on the patio and scratching through my garden and plants so we are giving them a nice big, grassy area to roam but they will be contained. All the kids have helped to build it.

A couple weeks ago we threw a big surprise party for one of our good friends. The kids loved the lights that we set up for it and now in the evenings you can sometimes find us with the lights on and dancing. Adelle took a picture of us doing just that. It's the little things.
Jeff is my best friend. I'm sad because this past year really tried us.  The farmer and the farmers wife were sometimes just that and we have to work, harder than ever now, to not just be co-workers. We get so tired and so burnt out. We get frustrated and impatient and sometimes it all feels so heavy. In those moments I would often wake up early to write my feelings. To release as I would call it.
I was writing a memoir about our farm, our marriage and our faith. I was writing my blessings of blueberries and the funny mishaps of poop. It's all gone now though. The tears and the trials and the hammer flying through the air in anger are no longer recorded. Neither are the huge accomplishments and triumphs. The feeding our first 500 chicks or the first time we found an egg.  The rain that ceased when I said a prayers and the all nighters we spent, together, transporting hundreds of chickens to their new coops. All while other couples were doing what other couples do at night. 
I will start over now and though the stories will be different, they will still be stories. 

It's Sunday night and there is an amazing sunset. I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water and one for Jeff and I told him how amazing the sky was outside. He got up and came and stood with me and we just gazed out the front window. Pink and red and purple and blue. Orange. It was amazing and I'm glad we took the time to enjoy it.

My journal that I've kept for the past 5 years died with my hard drive a couple weeks ago. After multiple attempts it's been concluded that nothing from the drive can be retrieved. I am grieving. I feel broken and sad and lost without those words. Two thousand plus pages, typed, single spaced, of words. 

I've spent since Wednesday laughing at how saddened I am. Crying about how unfair it is. Curious about how pioneers traveled through snow and rivers with their journals and yet they still have them and here I am, in a warm house at a nice computer starting over at page one. 

Life goes on. Life is so good and full and although I will never again be able to read the reaction I had to Gage being rushed to the ER, shortly after a beautiful home delivery, or Emmett's first day of Kindergarten or Braxton's feelings about moving to a new school or Adelle's first time riding a bike... I have some of them in my head and I will start again. There is so much more life to live. More stories to be told. More memories to make. More treasures to behold. I lost a part of my heart in those lost words and pictures, but not all. Oh how life goes on.