My First Year On The Farm

December 30, 2015

 

The month is almost over and I can’t let it pass me by without a blog post. I set out on this blogging journey  with a fire in my heart and millions of words spinning around my head that I needed to give purpose.  I really thought I would have a weekly post but I realize monthly is a little bit more realistic with three babies age 3 and under. I don’t have any one thing  in my farm wife persona that I’d like to give topic to.  I want you to remember, this truly is my diary. I’ve had diaries before, but they have all been lost, deleted, or have been burnt. I am very nostalgic and reflective so I refuse to lose these precious memories with my small children. As we all know, the little things end up being the big things after all.

With the new year right around the corner I’d like to give mention to a milestone I reached back in October. It marked the completion of my first year staying at home as well as my first year living on the farm. October 2014 was a huge month for us. October 1st was my last day working at the bank. A few short weeks later, we moved into our new house on the farm. And we lived in our farm house 4 short days before I realized I was pregnant with our third child!

It is amazing to look back to one year ago. Our construction costs were higher than budgeted (not uncommon) but instead of increasing our loan or sacrificing our dream house we chose to finish it as we could afford it. We moved in with plywood floors, a hand me down sink held up by 2×4’s, an unfinished bathroom (which meant I had to shower next door at the inlaws) But our two busy little boys had a great first winter in our new house. They were delighted to ride trikes from bedroom to the kitchen, living room and beyond. It takes incredible patience but I am so proud of my husband for his blood sweat and tears because he has done so much in the last year. And I am proud that we have not succumbed to the instant gratification trend of our generation. We have waited patiently for our house to become the beautiful expression of who we are and it is still not finished. I have learned to appreciate every single curtain rod being hung and every shelf nailed to our walls.

With me staying home, we took a huge monthly budget cut as well. When I was working full time, I never budgeted for groceries or shopping. I seemed to always come up with money for whatever we needed to buy. Not that we were ever rich, but money was never a huge stressor. Adjusting to living on one income was very challenging. But it is doable. I used to go to any nearby grocery store and walk around and throw random things in my cart, never once looking at a flyer or paying attention to what might be on sale. Because we realized food is the hardest category to budget for; Jake and I have developed such a good system now. We have even started a nerdy grocery binder where I have started to save my receipts so that I can create a price list. I am trying to learn and memorize for various items such as paper towels and fresh fruit what is a normal price per package or pound so that I can stretch those grocery dollars even further.

We even started our own garden this past summer, which I really did not have high hopes for. Jake put all the planning, planting, and nurturing into the garden. He started with the harvesting of our 6, yes, 6 zucchini plants of which we did not realize produced 2-3 zucchinis each, every few days. Jake would bring them in the house but I couldn’t even figure out which one was the zucchini plant for the longest time. By the end of the summer, the boys and I had buckets and got really involved with the harvest. I am now obsessed with zucchini meatloaf, zucchini bars, roasted zucchini, and I even throw frozen zucchini into my smoothies. I can promise you, I was not familiar with zucchini until this year. I also tried my hand at canning tomatoes, and it was mostly a success.

Growing up, I had no interest in learning how to cook. I loved to bake, but hadn’t the first clue about how to prepare a meal. Confession: I didn’t even know how to use a paring knife. I have grown as a person so much being home with my husband and my children. I am one of the luckiest stay at home moms, because my husband is right outside. It isn’t all sunshine and gravy, but the farm is truly the best place to raise a family.

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