Hello There...

Welcome to my blog. I'm a full-time mommy of a 4-year-old & a 0-year-old, part-time waitress and a rookie blogger. Living on a farm with my son, daughter and husband among dogs, chickens, ducks and other various wildlife keeps life interesting and anything but normal!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I am so tired...

Being the day before Thanksgiving and all I just had to get this out of my system before tomorrow. Because I AM thankful, SO thankful for so much. But right now, in this moment, I feel less than thankful. So I just want to vent and get it out there so that it doesn't drag me down anymore.

The farmer has been recovering from a shoulder surgery. A very minor, routine surgery, but surgery nonetheless. He's on pain meds, he's tired, sore, and pretty much useless. I've actually enjoyed taking care of him. He's not the type of guy to EVER sit and do nothing. So for him to take the opportunity to rest and relax and be waited on is good. I know he appreciates my attention to his every need, he's been very thankful and I can sense his sincere gratitude. But I am just so tired.

We've transitioned Princess to her crib (which at 6-months old she may have actually been the oldest baby still sleeping in a bassinet) so she sleeps less soundly and wakes a few times each night - luckily only needing her pacifier. It could be worse, I know. But add a preschooler who doesn't go to bed until midnight and a farmer who's napping all day because of the pain meds and that is just a recipe for no sleep for this mama. We even had to set the clock to give the farmer more meds in the middle of the night. So if going to bed at 1 am wasn't painful enough - after being up since 6am and spending all day at the hospital - I had to set my clock to get up at  4 am so he could take more medicine, then we were up for the day at 7. And tonight we get to rinse and repeat. I'm just so tired. We have no food, I made egg sandwiches for lunch and the farmer hates those, I tried going to the store 3 times for groceries and I never made it. Pizza Hut and an MGD for dinner was the best decision I've made all day. Luckily tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we'll have enough food to get us through until the weekend.

And let's not even talk about the on call doctor that I had to page about a concern the farmer had about his shoulder. He made me feel like such an idiot and that the farmer's concern wasn't even legit. I actually told him "thanks, but you were no help." and then I hung up on him. They better hope I don't have to call back because it won't be pretty.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, a little light at the end of my tunnel. Family time is always good and Jack can finally play with someone his own age - and get out some of his pent up energy. There should be enough commotion to keep the Princess entertained all day and the farmer will have big screen TVs and cable to keep him entertained. Maybe I will be able to sneak a nap in...or a bubble bath. Both? In my dreams, I am sure.

On the bright side, Cross Point Church's website has gotten tons of attention over the past 36 hours and I've been able to really put my patience skills to the test. Win-win.

So, here's to hoping I can shower sometime soon.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Farm,
The Farmer's Wife

Friday, October 25, 2013


One of my recent posts highlighted my excitement about Cross Point Church's big move to West Allis and the fabulous building God provided for us. Well, only a few short days after that post, as we were about to submit our offer an offer much higher than ours was submitted to the credit union that owns the property.

Today I was reminded of a few simple truths about God's love. And here is why I believe that God still has mighty plans for that building.

A couple weeks ago when the leadership stood before Cross Point Church and told us all about the miracles that had happened before their eyes with the sale of our building, the encouraging correspondence, negotiations and agreement to purchase the building in West Allis for an amount within our means and finally all of our people coming together to raise the final sum of money we needed to move forward with our big move - my pastor stood up and talked about how he had prayed for this building and for it to be redeemed for God's glory. He said he had often driven into the parking lot, sat there and prayed very specifically and intentionally for that building that it would be used for God's glory. He also said that he never prayed that we would get the building, only that it would be redeemed for God's purposes.

I thought that was awesome. And last week I encouraged my pastor and thanked him for his steadfast guidance through the past few weeks. His vision for our church has never waivered and his focus has remained the same. He reminded me that the building we meet in does not define us. And he is so right. Cross Point Church is not defined by a gym or a huge office, or a computer lab, or 126,000 square feet. My pastor - who just so happens to be my brother-in-law - has been an awesome encouragement to me and has helped me increase my faith. This move always was "God-sized" but it became "God-sized" of epic proportions when that second offer came in.

[side note: the credit union has accepted the other offer, but there is a period of due-diligence on their part so nothing is a "done-deal" yet and so we are still waiting on God's timing and not throwing in the towel for that building just yet]

So that brings me to today. I was out and about on my way to Sam's Club - which just so happens to be a hop, skip and a jump from the building we were so excited about moving into before the year's end. And I remembered what Dave had said about sitting in the parking lot and praying for the building. Not that it would one day be OUR building, but just simply praying for the building and for God's plans.

As I pulled out of the Sam's Club parking lot KLOVE was playing "My God" by Jeremy Camp - probably one of my favorite songs.


And then it dawned on me. God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Things may look different now, but God's plan never changed. So I drove up to 1300 S 109th Street. Parked my car in the parking lot in front of the building. To which my four-year-old asked "Mom, why are we at my new church?"
...Oh yea - I hadn't filled the four-year-old in on any of the new developments. So I tried explaining that it might not actually be our new church after all. He literally started crying. He said to me "but mom, I will be so sad if I can't have this church. I won't be able to have a gym!" And I was reminded of what Dave said about not being defined about the building and this came to mind:

 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:16-18]

So I softly told Jack that God might not have this building in His plans, so we might have to find a new one. And I told him he could pray with me for this building. His prayer was sweet and simple:

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for this day. Please let this be my new church because if it is not, I will not have a gym and I will be sad. In Jesus name, Amen."

So adorable.

Then I prayed out loud with Jacks hands folded and his head bowed. We prayed that God would use that building for His purposes, not for ours. That we would see that this building is temporary and that we need to fix our eyes on the unseen. That He would redeem it for His purposes. That our faith would not be shaken if the outcome is not what we expect. I had tears in my eyes when I was done.

God's plan is mighty. Mightier than we can understand. It's hard to wait on His timing, but we know based on the promises in the Bible that he has plans to prosper us and not to harm us - plans for hope and a future [Jeremiah 29:11]. And that is the promise I rest in.

One thing is certain - God is moving us. We are on the move to redeem people. Our prayer is that God also redeems this building. Whether we are part of that redemption or not is still unknown but I am fixing my eyes on the unseen and waiting for God's glorious plan to be revealed to us.

God is good. All the time.

-The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Recipes, Fires & Hot Coffee

My Facebook news feed has been blowing up with everyone's fall recipes with pumpkins, apples and tales of pumpkin farms and apple orchards, so I couldn't help but jump on the bandwagon.

However all I had in the fridge was 3 Honey Crisp apples. But I had to try. Chopped apples. Sprinkled cinnamon sugar. Poured in pie plate. Topped with brown sugar, flour and butter crumble topping. Baked for some amount of time that I'm not really sure of. And while it was baking I made this amazing caramel *whiskey* sauce. Yes. I just said that. Caramel. Whiskey. Sauce. Because if there is something better than apple crisp on a fall day it's apple crisp with caramel whiskey sauce.

Of course the alcohol gets cooked off but it leaves this rich flavor that is fabulous! I just found a simple caramel sauce recipe from Pinterest and doctored it up. I am pretty impressed with myself that I actually have enough culinary knowledge to just kind of wing it when it comes to things like that. I wasn't 100% confident in my ability to create something edible, but now that I accomplished it I will be a little more liberal in my attempts to "doctor" recipes.

Haven't eaten it yet (well, I haven't had my serving yet - I've definitely sneaked a few tastes!) but I just warmed up my Keurig and I'm going to have a piece of apple crisp with caramel whiskey sauce with a hot cup of coffee and finish up some emails in front of the fireplace.

[right after I clean up - per the farmer's request] I left him with Princess for some daddy-daughter bonding time while I baked my apple creation and he quickly retreated to the garage to find a project to do...he's just not into babies. He actually admitted to me yesterday that he often forgets that we have two children. [sigh]

So now there's a 20x20 square hole in my wall and he's installing vents so that the fireplace heat will make its way into Jack's room so we don't have to thaw him out every morning this winter. And I get the lovely task of picking up the drywall pieces and vacuuming the dust. Yay.

Happy Fall from the Farm,

The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God of this City


My blog is really not a "spiritual" blog, but every once in a while when I really feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart in a particular area of my spiritual life I decide to sit down and blog about it.

And I couldn't think of a better time than 1:00 AM on a Wednesday morning. Really.

So as I lie awake pondering all the wonderful ways God has been moving in Cross Point Church (formerly New Hope & Fair Park Community Churches) - I just can't help but be SO FREAKING EXCITED about what God has in store for us. This past Sunday our leadership unveiled plans that have been long in the works to purchase a huge, I mean HUGE new building located on hwy 100 & Greenfield Ave in West Allis. It has been our intention since early this year to move into the city of West Allis.

Now, from a person who, in the first year of my marriage moved 3 times - and have since moved 2 more times! - I am pretty used to this idea of "being on the move". But I have to say when I learned of our intentions to move I was emotional. I grew up in Franklin. Franklin has been my home for many years, I went to high school and spent 4 great years wearing black and gold as a Saber (saber tooth tiger, not a stupid sword), New Hope was the church I was married in, my son was dedicated there I have been on staff there for over 4 years and while I was not part of the founding group of people that started that church, a lot of my blood, sweat and tears went into the growth of the church. It was home. 

But with movement comes change and while change can be scary and emotional, it can also be exciting! Monday night there was an open house for the building that we are set to purchase sometime before the end of 2013. I have been to this building quite a bit - it was formerly Heritage Christian School - the school which the Farmer attended for many years and graduated from in 2002. I also was on staff there for a short time when I coached the high school JV Girls Volleyball team. I spent many fall nights there in 2007 and lead my team to an almost perfect 9-1 season.

The building is BEAUTIFUL. Part of the building is quite old, but there was an addition put on a few years ago that includes a humongous brand new gym, classrooms, computer labs, huge offices - it's gorgeous. New Hope Community Church - the little white church with tons of character and that storybook look about it was a great church, but it limited us in so many ways. Any time we have a large gathering we have to rent another facility. We host an AWANA program every Friday night that sees over 200 K-8th graders through the doors each week - doors of another church, that we rent. So this move is going to be good. It's not going to be good, it's going to be GREAT. We will finally be able to house ALL of our AWANA clubs, at the same time, in the same building. Most of you don't realize how huge that really is for us! It's such a blessing. We will be able to host all of our own Thanksgiving Dinners and Chili Cook Offs and AWANA Olympics. We will be able to add things to the list of events we can host.  I already plan on having Volleyball open gyms and eventually hopefully leagues. I want to contact all the old team from FHS and get the girls back together to play and srimmage. I mean I might just have to Facebook them all after I'm done writing this. I am so excited to have all the things that come with this new building.

On Sunday when the leadership was talking about all the new opportunities we have with this new building it was just so clear what God's plan is for us as His church. All the things that had to coordinate and fall into place for this to happen, happened within a matter of days. I mean anyone who's dealt with real estate in any capacity knows that's a miracle in and of itself. We negotiated and sold our old building in Franklin in about 4 days (from what I understand)!!! God has been performing miracles before our very eyes and I'm so excited (have I mentioned that I'm excited?!) to see what the future holds for Cross Point Church.

The meeting on Sunday included a slide show of pictures of the people of West Allis, the businesses, all the new things that are going to surround us. There were pictures of our new building and all the great opportunities we are going to be able to offer the city of West Allis. The music behind the slideshow was "God of this City" by Chris Tomlin. And I have to be honest as the slide show was playing I had a really hard time staying seated. I honestly just wanted to stand in humble adoration and praise God for this amazing opportunity. It took all I had in me to just sit and watch the pictures scroll. The song gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes.

"For greater things have yet to come
Greater things are still to be done in this city..."

Another reason I think God is on the move. The excitement and emotion that it has stirred up in our people is so encouraging. I think walking through the new building on Monday brought us together and helped us realize what can be accomplished for the city of West Allis in the name of gospel when we're in this building. It means we have room for a food pantry, it means we can offer sports leagues, we can host zumba, yoga, aerobics classes, there's room for a library, computer lab, weight room, there's a kitchen, cafeteria for large gatherings. We are no longer confined to our 5 little classrooms and cold dingy basement. (Don't get me wrong, that building has served us a great deal over the past 12 years and it's going to be missed, but I think we are all ready for this change) God is so much bigger than even this new building we're moving to, but I think we will finally get to put our faith to the test and watch God do great things with Cross Point Church.

So I'm not really sure where this post is really leading, all to say that I"M REALLY EXCITED! Did you get that? I'm super excited to see what God has planned for Cross Point Church and how He wants us to use this great new tool He's provided for us. Miracles are happening before our eyes and it will be a matter of weeks before we are worshiping together in West Allis. You're all invited to join us on this journey! The more the merrier.

Ok...hopefully my Venti Soy Latte has worn off now...that's the last time I drink coffee at 8:30 pm. I think I'm getting old.

Good night,

1300 S 109th Street, West Allis, WI - *Future* Home of Cross Point Church!!!!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The week in review...

Well, it's been a week since I sat down and wrote my little rant on my failures to be a health nut. So what have I learned? Well, I decided not to go all gung-ho with this because I knew I would burn myself out sooner than later and that was confirmed. The first three days of this week were a clean eating success. I ate fresh fuits and veggies at every meal and didn't indulge in a single processed food or drink! Then Thursday happened.

Thursday was one of those days when I just said screw it. I ran around doing errands all day, all while attempting to be healthy - I packed my apple and peanut butter snack, ate a healthy protien filled breakfast of eggs and veggies. But as I ran around doing errands for both the farmer and Cross Point Church with two kids in tow, I had a moment of weakness. One of our errands actually put us out on 164 & West in Waukesha...and anyone that knows me well enough - which may actually be no one - knows that whenever I'm in Waukesha - ESPECIALLY if I'm on West - I NEED to go to...

TACO JOHNS. Potato Oles. Yum. Nostalgia.

So I caved and shared some Potato Oles with Jack...and they just aren't the same without the totally evil nacho cheese dipping sauce. I mean if there isn't a more processed thing than nacho cheese dipping sauce. Seriously. But it was good. I mean SO good.

So really that wasn't too bad...it was just one little treat. Dinner that night was left overs from the various meals I had made. I never got around to making the chili - so that one will be carried over to next weeks menu. Friday was another OK day. Again I was crazy busy running all over the place. I had a burger at PS23 for lunch because I ran an errand out that way...it was a burger but it was grassfed beef -that has to count for something, right? And the ranch I dipped it in was not hidden valley, it was homemade ... that also gives me "clean" points, right? Haha, I just keep justifying it to myself. Oh well, I cheated two days. But other than those two little blips I think I did a pretty good job.

If nothing else I at least put more thought into what I ate and when I ate it. I was much more concious of the snacks I chose and the ingredients on the label. I even drank just plain coffee at Starbucks instead of the crazy high calorie White Chocolate Mochas I usually order or the Vanilla Lattes with a bajillion grams of fat. I even went so far as to have soy milk added instead of half and half. Now you know I'm serious when my coffee gets involved. I did my best to choose whole foods over processed ones. And so in my book this week was a victory. This is going to be a transition, not an over night conversion.

What I want to know is...don't all you health nuts out there ever just have a day when you flip out and say "screw it, I'm just having a Snickers bar"? Because truth be told I just ate a candy bar while I wrote this post. But it's just been one of those days. I've been working since I woke up, and I have 45 minutes of silence at the office  by myself - which almost never happens. And I decided that I deserved a candy bar. That is all.

Here's to week 2 coming more naturally to me, less temptation to eat silly things like candy bars and potato ole's, and more motivation to get my butt in shape. This week I'm going to add a work out schedule to my plan. Yikes.

-The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Spaghetti Squash = Mind Blown

Ground Turkey &Veggies
Clean Chicken Tacos
As day 2 of my clean eating journey comes to a close I have a few reflections/confessions.

I'll start with confessions:
1. I ate a string cheese as a snack
2. I used a little bit of butter to saute some veggies

...phew! Glad I got that off my chest. Other than that today has been great. I started with my breakfast of avocado and a hard boiled egg. The avocado was creamy and delicious today - not hard and nasty like yesterdays. I had a snack of apples and peanut butter around 1pm then when I got home from my staff meeting at church I started cooking - which is something that I seriously love to do. Fall might be the start of some serious cooking - now that summer is winding down and being outside will soon be less and less.
Finished Meat Sauce

I think I swapped the order of my original menu, but I forgot to soak the black beans last night and so I decided to hold off on making the chili. I probably will make chili on Thursday since I work a dinner shift tomorrow PM.  Oh, aaaaand I made spaghetti squash to eat with my homemade Paleo meat sauce. Now I'm not trying to go straight Paleo just yet, but I am going to try out some Paleo recipes here and there in hopes of making a slow transition being completely Paleo. The spaghetti squash was SO yummy. A little watery but a really awesome substitute for pasta! The farmer even sucked it up and tried some...he wasn't really convinced - but I commend him for trying. I offered to make him noodles but he was starving so he just ate- he said, and I quote "It tastes like flavored water" ... I'm really not sure how to take that...but I guess I'm just glad he tried it. I think I am going to check out how to make zoodles  next - which is like noodles made with zucchini because that seems interesting and I LOVE zucchini!

I did most of the prep for making the meat sauce last night while I my chicken was simmering. Which made it super easy to make this sauce. I just sauteed the onion, added the ground turkey to the stock pot and browned it with the onions. Oh-and remember my giant tub of already-minced-just-throw-it-in-the-pan garlic...I left it out last night by accident and it's totally spoiled. Grrrr! So I had to make some garlic powder work - it did the trick. I seasoned the turkey and onions with just a dash of coarse sea salt and some garlic powder. Then drained the meat while heating some more olive oil in the bottom of my stock pot (which I've quickly learned to love - best Christmas present ever) Once the oil was heated I threw in all the veggies I had prepped last night (zucchini, red bell pepper & mushrooms) cooked them until they were soft and then added my meat back to the pot. I threw in some dried herbs for flavor and mixed it all together with the can of crushed tomatoes. Then just let it simmer on low for a couple hours. It was DElish.

Ok, time for another confession: I ate my fill at dinner but only an hour later I was hungry again. So I decided to warm up a small bowl of just the meat sauce and made it unPaleo by adding a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top...yum! Then after I finished my little bowl of meat sauce I was still hungry...this is where the butter came in. Sauteed mushrooms have got to be one of my favorite things in life. Seriously if you're one of those people that turns their nose up and makes a face at mushrooms, I just don't understand you. They are SO delicious. So I threw some butter, olive oil, mushrooms and asparagus into my sautee pan and was seriously eating them out of the pan before they were done I was so excited. But now I have a burnt tongue from eating blistering hot mushrooms. But my belly is full and I made it through another day of this little experiment.

So I need to get out to the chicken coop to get more eggs because I am currently unsure of what I will eat for breakfast if I don't have eggs...lunch will probably be some sort of my left overs (today I had lettuce wraps with the left over chicken from last night, they were also very yummy) and since I'll be at work tomorrow night I'll most likely pack another salad and get some yummy Caesar dressing as a treat! MMMmmm I can already taste it. Ok, time for bed because now I'm thinking about food...ugh - and so it starts.

 thank you Pinterest - you saved the day, again.
Cut lengthwise and scoop out seeds.

 Drizzle with EVOO & give a sprinkle of sea salt place flesh side down on baking sheet
Roast in oven @ 400 for 45ish minutes, until its soft. Use a fork to pull the strands out- serve with sauce. YUM

Please excuse my plastic plate...ew.

PS - would it be super terrible of me to have a beer? Or maybe a "skinny" margarita - tequila & fresh squeezed lime...or a gimlet - hmmm... 

The Farmers Wife

Monday, October 7, 2013

Happy Monday!

Again, feeling encouraged I decided to update the blogosphere with my progress for the day.

Let me just start with a shout out to working moms everywhere. I went back to work last Monday working lunches - just once a week because a dear coworker volunteered to watch my children for me. So this morning I rose (wayyyy to early because Princess slept terribly) tired, eyes blurried from my contacts that I sleep in and I stumbled to the kitchen to make Princess her bottle. Then I ran around for the next hour making the farmer's lunch, dressing my pre-schooler who would have rather been watching TV, feeding and dressing the baby, then preparing my own lunch, packing the diaper bag and ran out the door in a crazy whirlwind. The farmer all the while still resting peacefully in bed...

I just wanted to give props to working moms everywhere - single, married, divorced, whatever you are. You are amazing for doing that every morning. Don't get me wrong, stay-at-home-moms are amazing in their own way. But that was a lot of work. I am glad I only do it once a week! And I love my job so it's not a big deal but that is quite a show we put on in the morning...oh what will my life look like next year when school starts *gasp!* I feel blessed though to be able to see both sides of the fence here. I love spending time with my children and my days at home are challenging and tiring and emotional and stressful all the same. But days when I go to work are like getting a little break  - as soon as I jump over all the hurdles to get there! So way to go working moms! You rock.

...And then there's this whole clean eating challenge that I embarked on this morning, I packed my breakfast and ate it when I got to work because it was just not happening any other way. I ate two hard boiled eggs and an avocado with a little salt and pepper. The avocado was weird though because it had been in my fridge since last week -  I thought it might be a little over ripe - but it was like totally unripe in some parts and brown and over ripe in other parts...so that was just OK. I only ate about half of it. But the hard boiled eggs were delish.

That got me through until about 12:30 when I made a Caesar salad with the Romaine hearts I got at Woodmans dressed with Parkside's Caesar dressing (while not super high on the "low fat" or "low calorie" list - it was still made with nothing processed, entirely whole ingredients, freshly this morning!) I paid $4 (after employee discount) for a chicken breast to go with it. For a snack I had some of the organic peanut butter and one of my Honey Crisp apples sliced up - that was SO yummy. I'll admit I've never had apples and peanut butter before, and it was very good! Another confession  - the organic peanut butter alone is pretty nasty but with the natural sweetness of the apple it was delicious! And I ate one of the fruit leathers on my way home from work this afternoon.

Now my house smells amazing because my two ingredient clean chicken tacos are simmering on the stove. I modified the recipe from a crock pot recipe. It only called to cook for 4 hours and that wasn't really a good window of time for me since I was at work most of the day. Not to mention I can't find my crock pot anywhere (and it's a Green Bay Packers one too...boo!) I used a dutch oven stock pot over the stove - heated some olive oil on medium high and seared the chicken breasts on both sides to brown them, then deglazed with a little chicken stock and poured the fresh salsa over the breasts and they are simmering away  on LOW heat. And it seriously smells soooooooo good in my kitchen.

Ok just checked the chicken and it literally fell apart when I tried to pick it up with my tongs. I hope these taste as awesome as they smell! Can't wait for the farmer to come home so we can eat dinner. Then I have a volleyball game at Elmbrook tonight and I'm hitting the sack early. I'm so tired, but so glad that this day was yet again encouraging and not a total fail!

1 down, infinity to go!

Happy Monday from the Farm,
The Farmer's Wife

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Said I Was Dead Serious!

I feel so encouraged after my post last night about my general inability to committ to any type of healthy diet/lifestyle. I received many comments on my Facebook link to the post, inbox messages, I even had many dear friends approach me personally at church this morning to encourage me and offer their advice. So if you are reading this and you were one of those people- I am grateful because I have so much more motivation to follow through this time. Your love and prayers are SO appreciated, thank you.

Another reason I feel totally encouraged is that I went grocery shopping tonight. I had planned on hitting Trader Joes this afternoon with both kids after the Packer game, however after talking with many friends today and getting lots of recommendations for Woodman's I decided to check out the new one in Waukesha on HWY 164. The farmer let me go sans the 4-year-old so with princess in tow (wearing her on the Baby Bjorn) I did my weekly shopping at Woodman's. I survived - although that store is GIANT and I'll have to get used to organizing my list appropriately. It was such a great experience! It is open 24/7 which is another plus because here on the farm we run on an anything-but-normal schedule. Princess Elle & I headed out about 9pm and we returned around 11. Shopping with just the baby was so nice...I can't even imagine what it would have been like if I was actually alone!

Yet another encouraging thing, I got EVERYTHING on my list PLUS a couple extra things for only about $3 more than I had planned to spend. I was planning on spending about $70 at Woodman's and price-matching a few things at Wal Mart either later tonight or tomorrow and spending another $15. For $88.07 I got everything on my list and didn't have to go to two stores - totally worth the extra $3! And our grocery budget still has $200 left for the rest of the month.

I thought I would share what I bought for $88.07 since the majority of it was meat and fresh produce - and I'll share with you what I have planned for my meals this week. *Fingers crossed* the farmer doesn't totally hate some/all of them. I bought a few organic things, a few gluten free, mostly just tried going  for fresh over processed this time...I will refine my process as I go along. I figured fresh is better than processed and if I decided to go totally gung-ho organic and all that I might just wear myself out. OK ready, here it goes:

4 28oz Cans of Crushed Tomatoes
1 16oz Jar of *Organic* Peanut Butter
1 container dried Thyme leaves
1 container dried Rosemary
1 Container dried basil
2 6oz cans Tomato Paste
1 box Shur Shine Pancake Mix (NOT for me)
3 cans of pringles (for the farmer)
1 package corn tortillas
1 box *gluten free* pizza crust mix
1 lb bag of dried black beans
1 bottle of pancake syrup (again, NOT for me)
2.5 lbs of Ground Jenni-O turkey
1 lb of salmon filets (frozen)
2 lbs of Just Bare Chicken Breast Filets (Just Bare is my FAVORITE brand of "all natural" chicken)
1 16 oz tub of fresh salsa
1 3.84lb Spaghetti Squash
1 lb Mini Bella Mushrooms
2 avacados
1 lemon
1 lime
1 22oz package of Romaine hearts
1.85 lbs of Honey Crisp apples (which I just noticed on the reciept she rang me up for Pink Lady apples which were $1.00 less per pound - SCORE!)
3/4 lb fresh green beans
1 lb fresh asparagus
2 zucchini
1 10 oz package of matchstick carrots (shredded carrots)
2 Red Bell Peppers
8oz container of fresh mozzarella pearls
1/2 gallon of Chocolate milk (for the farmer & Jack)
1 gallon of 1% milk
2 lbs of salted butter
1 8oz tub of Sour Cream (farmer)
2 boxes of Motts Fruit snacks (for Jack)
2 Fruit leathers (organic fruit roll up type things - for me!)
1 bag Quaker Oats Rice cake snacks (for Jack)

48 items for $88.07

I was proud and impressed. I did not get a case of water as I had intended and we're almost out of the farmer's soda, so I might need to make a Walmart run yet, but I think I did pretty well. The scary thing is we're doing this budget thing all with cash and so when the "food" envelope is out of cash, that's it! So I am probably going to hold off on the soda for a bit, maybe get him some 2L bottles to get him through the next week or so until we see how well I really did with the grocery budget.

I also went through my cabinets (just two of them for starters) and threw away all the cookies and bags of candy that were opened (the unopened ones I did save). That felt good. Now the cabinets look orderly and I did the same with the fridge. Threw things away that have just been in there for too long and made room for all my fresh produce!!

So to close I'll leave you with my menu for the week (my lunches and family dinners). Note that I did make a Sam's Club run last week and picked up lunch meat and bread for the farmer's sandwiches so he's set for his lunches for the week. Also just a weird random side note: Almond Butter is FREAKING expensive. I wanted to get some because I read it on a blog as a yummy snack with apples - NOT FOR $14.99 a JAR. Holy cow. . . ok that's all I want to say about that.

**For breakfast I plan on eating hard cooked eggs (which we have no shortage of here on the farm!), apples with *organic* peanut butter, organic granola with milk, and/or lightly salted avacado**

Menu for 10/7-10/13//2013

Lunch - Caesar Salad (bring my greens and shredded parm cheese to work & use the *homemade* parkside caesar dressing) & bring a fruit leather or apple & peanut butter for a snack
Dinner: 2 ingredient clean chicken tacos I got the recipe from Pinterest and it looks both delicious and super easy! And of course the farmer can just have his with cheese, sour cream, and in flour tortillas. Mine will be with corn tortillas & avacado

Lunch - tuna salad lettuce wraps-not sure yet what/if I am going to substitute the mayo with but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
Dinner - Chili (recipe here) - gonna substitute ground turkey and use dry beans (which I've never done before so that'll be interesting) instead of canned

Lunch - left over chili (barring a catastrophe & the chili is terrible or something)
Dinner - Spaghetti Squash & Paleo Meat Sauce - this is where the farmer is going to need your prayers & some serious coaxing!

Lunch - Salad
Dinner - Sauteed chicken breast & Veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini)

Lunch - Variation of leftovers from the week (hoping there's left overs of the chicken tacos from monday)
Dinner - Gluten free homemade pizza (fresh mozzarella, sauteed veggies - simple)

Lunch - Chicken Caesar Salad
Dinner - Date Night?? Hoping for a reward from the farmer for doing my best

Lunch - Friends house for the Packer Game - lunch is usually served (although if I'm feeling super ambitious I'll pack myself a salad)
Dinner - Steamed salmon and sauteed veggies (green beans and carrots)

I hope maybe this was helpful/encouraging to some of you. I have learned a lot over the past 24 hours just from talking to people and reading on Pinterest. I would love to keep learning and know more about how I can make foods that taste good and are good for my body. I am excited to start this journey and as long as people are interested I'll keep posting on my progress. Thanks again for all the encouragement - it meant the world to me!

Good night from the farm -
The Farmer's Wife

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Clean Eating...a No Brainer for the "Farmers Wife", right? Wrong.

So as a self-proclaimed "farmers wife" I have been contemplating the idea of "clean eating" for quite some time now. I'd say about 6-8 months. You'd think living on a farm would make this whole idea of organic and natural foods a no-brainer, right? Wrong. I am a fast-food junkie, potato-chip-eating, ranch-sauce-dipping, soda-drinking, healthy-lifestyle failure. And as much as I really want to overhaul my diet and change my eating habits--I am having the hardest time taking the plunge and committing.

I am a serial crash-dieter with a bathroom cabinet full of those belly-fat-loss green tea pills, slim quick, and every other get-skinny quick diet pill. I've done extreme cleanses - only drninking water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and pure maple syrup for 10 days - all while running off more calories than I was taking in. You name it, I've done it.

For a while it worked actually. I was feeling pretty good about my body in August and September of 2012...only to find that our little princess was cooking beneath my almost-flat-stomach. Ugh...back to square one.

And here I sit, having just finished my dinner of sauteed chicken breast and green beans...good, right? Wrong, because I washed it down with a diet Pepsi - possibly the most toxic beverage I could have possibly chosen - and polished off the pot of Kraft Mac n Cheese that I made for my son for dinner. Hashtag epicfail.

Seriously, everytime I find myself in the Taco Bell drive-thru I say OK this is it! And I vow to stop eating fast food...until reality slaps me and says "who are you kidding?" And while I'd like to say I've had my last Beef Chalupa Supreme and finished my last pot of Mac n Cheese - I honestly just don't think I have it in me. Not to mention how much I love to enjoy a Miller High Life or 4 from time to time.

Another thing: I have a billion questions about this eating clean thing. Like tonight, for instance. I am sauteeing my beans - which I always do with garlic and olive oil - I have the giant tub of minced garlic from the grocery store. Does eating clean mean I have to ditch the tub of super-convenient-already-minced-just-throw-it-in-the-pan garlic and mince my own garlic - because that's just NOT happening.
Can I still use butter? Because I LOVE me some butter. Don't get me wrong,  EVOO is delicious in it's own right but you just can't beat the creamy-deliciousness of REAL butter.
Can I still season things with regular salt and pepper? How does salt come into play here?? I'm just so confused as to what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to seasonings. I know there's organic spices and stuff - do I go that route? Oh and Lawry's Seasoned Salt - I don't think I could part with it...is that "clean"?

And really, how "clean" do I have to be for it to be effective? I want more energy, I want to feel better, I want to be healthier and I want NEED to lose some weight. But I don't want to do it half-heartedly only to fail again.

I have read blogs and was scouring Pinterest tonight looking for some information and I swear all the blogs on "clean eating for beginnners" are just too vague for me. Where do I shop? Because that's another little issue we have here on the farm  -- budget cuts. We're on a serious spending hiatus and our grocery budget has gone from small to miniscule. Which is fine, I have accepted the farmer's challenge with grace and agree that we could stand to shave a little extra off our spending. I'm not going to use the "eating healthy is just too expensive" excuse because I hate lame excuses and I don't buy that excuse for a second.

Does Trader Joes count as a good place to buy these "clean" foods? Because if that's the case then I'm in! I ♥ Trader Joes. Trader Joes I can do. It's the Heath Huts & Whole Foods that scare me. Not so sure about those. And meal planning. Because the problem with eating foods that are fresh and not processed is they go bad a lot quicker! No such thing as stock piling fresh fruits and veggies - so meal planning and shopping 1 week at a time.

Accountablility is my last little obstacle. I mean the farmer would be great at that...all while eating his cheesy-creamy-preservative-filled plate of chicken alfredo and garlic bread. Because hell would literally have to freeze over before he joined me in my "clean eating" adventure. So I would seriously need to find a buddy or something. Someone to keep me in check. And I don't have time/money for like a personal trainer/dietician either. I live in the real world - where kids cost a bajillion dollars and mortgage bills come every month, cars break down and kids break their legs and go to the ER, then the hospital, then back to the ER for an ear infection. In other words pre-paid meal plans and personal trainers are out of the question for this girl.

So I guess with all that being said, I'm ready to make the change and I want to, but it's one of those "easier said than done" type things. So here's to really committing and kicking my habits of poor meal choices and half-hearted work outs and "crash diets" and "jumping on the bandwagon" and all that. I am going to work on a meal plan, grocery shop tomorrow and even go through my cabinets and nix everything that is really unhealthy and shouldn't be there. (AAAHHHHH!!!) Seriously though, I am going to do it.

Ready. Set. Go!

-The Farmer's [dead serious about this] Wife

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Equipped by Him

I write to you a tired, weary mother tonight. My sweet little Jack and I (accompanied by his baby sister) spent the day in and out of numerous doctors offices and finished our day at the orthopedic clinic at Children's Hospital where he was fitted for his full leg cast and given a walker to assist him for the next 4 weeks.

Broken bones stink. But they heal- and this time of recovery for us is only temporary. All day I was reminded of this. I am dealing with this for such a short time - be patient.

I will spare you the details and just share what I've learned. After being to the pediatricians office this morning, promptly sent to Urgent Care for an X Ray, then on to Orthopedics at CHW and finally over to Physical Therapy I can honestly say that I'm grateful. God equipped me with such patience today and for that I am grateful. My poor sweet boy cried and whined all morning of his "owies", I slept about 3 winks last night, woke early to tend to his injury and have spent all day in and out of various clinics and offices. I am grateful that my sweet child is healthy and well and that this broken bone will mend itself (beneath a pile of itchy, sweaty bandages) and that he will walk and run and play once again. I'm thankful.

God is so good to remind me of these things in the times I would imagine myself being a complete basket case. I am proud to say that I conducted myself as a quiet, patient, composed mother-of-two - but for this I cannot take the credit. When I overheard a mom lose it with her children in the parking lot of the urgent care I was reminded that I need to be patient. God did this - not me. He has equipped me.

When I approached the Valet at CHW today I saw a mother, father and son going for a "walk". The father pushed the boy in a wheelchair and the mother, who resembled that of a sleep-walking zombie, followed behind pulling with her the tubes and IVs that were attached to their young son. This immediately gave me a sense of relief. Relief that my child would only be here temporarily - a few hours at most - and that he would recover from this little injury and return to his life as a normal functioning 4 year old boy.

At the orthopedic office there was a girl who had both her legs casted and a bar between them - she was screaming as they cut the casts off. I was again grateful that my sweet child only has to endure 1 cast. All these little things added up to a lot of thankful moments in what should have been a frustrating and sorrowful day.

Not to worry - I had my share of sadness today. My Jack is going to miss all the fun that he's literally been counting down to - Bay Beach with all his cousins this weekend. The tears and sadness that poured over his face when I told him we'd have to skip was just heart breaking. He won't be able to swim in his pool or play outside for the next 4 weeks. His temporary disability has brought me much sadness - but the sweet relief of knowing that he will once again play and run and jump and swim is where I find my rest. Bay Beach will come again next year - and the memories we can laugh about remembering his stint in a cast will be so sweet. He'll get to bring his little sis along for all the fun and rides next year - which will make it even sweeter to witness.

My prayer tonight is for all the mothers of children who do not have the fortune of my little Jack. Those who's lives are built around appointments and specialists and clinics and surgeries and medicine and the list goes on...and on...and on. My prayer for them is peace, understanding why God has you in this place and for rest. Be strong and carry on - it's what mom's do every day. But you don't have to be strong in front of God - He will bring you peace and understanding and rest. His strength is shown through our weakness.

I just wanted to remember this day and how grateful I am to serve a loving God, a God that in such trying times would equip me with patience and gratitude. This is surely a day for Jack's memory book. Here's to hoping the next 4 weeks are handled with as much grace as this day...

From the Farm,
A Sad & Tired "Farmers Wife"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pirate Party Take 2!

Well, it wouldn't be August 7 without my annual blog post about my birthday boy! Remember after last years party I joked about having to plan 2 parties this year...who knew that'd come true!? Although I don't really have to plan two parties until NEXT year...but you know what I mean.

So Jack is 4 today. Man, that went fast. Time sure does fly. There. I said it. Again. I pretty much should just rename my blog "Time Flies" because I say it at least 3 times in every post. But for real. It does.

My little birthday boy requested a Pirate Party this year, which is funny because I threw him a Pirate Party for his 1st birthday, 3 years ago. Man times flies...haha just kidding. You thought I was crazy for a second, didn't you?

So when he asked for a Jake & the Neverland Pirates party this year I was a little hesitant, but he's finally old enough to tell me what he wants, so I thought "what the heck" let's do it again!

I mean he was so stinkin cute the first time around, I figured he's be pretty stinkin cute this time too! And I was right...

Fortunately for me this year has gone a lot more smoothly as far as preparing for the party. I scaled it WAY back, since the farmer and I want to throw an all out bash for his 5th next year...and I all but filed us for bankruptcy after last years "carnival". I think the farmer still has nightmares about that credit card bill...

I'll do my best to post some pictures  post-party. For now I need to go draw up a treasure map and fill some water balloons. Maybe I'll vacuum, or maybe I'll just hope no one looks that close...yep, probably that one.

I have to say that Jack is just the sweetest kid, he's so grateful! I did one of those pinterest plastic table cloth streamer decoration things...did anyone understand that? Anyways, I was working on it and Jack came over, watched for a minute and said "Wow, Mom. That looks great!" A little while later after the tables were all set up and decorated he said again, "Mom, the tables look great! Thank you!" I mean seriously, I can't make this stuff up if I tried. He's just so precious to me. I hope he has a great day and enjoys his pirate party! I just love that kid!

The Farmer's [much less-frazzled] Wife

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Floors Might be Sticky, but My Children Will Only be Young Once...

As I lay in bed unable to sleep, God just laid these thoughts on my heart, so I decided to share. I am baffled once again at just how quickly time flies. I spent a few minutes tonight looking at old videos of my little Jack when he was about 2 years old. He has grown so much over the past 2 years and matured into a little boy, he's no longer a toddler who struggles to articulate his thoughts. He's now quite the opposite. Talking non-stop and soaking up knowledge like a sponge.

I have realized once again just how precious these moments really are. As I tried to clean up tonight after dinner, Jack begged me to play a new game with him. Earlier today I had promised that after dinner and after he cleaned up all his things in the living room we could play his new game. He waited patiently all day and when the time came he put away all his things and obeyed all my requests. Somehow I still found myself buried in housework, baby crying, dishes piled to the ceiling-all while the oblivious farmer relaxing after a day of work on the farm watched TV - and all my little Jack wanted to do was play his game.

This is making me teary just reliving it-and it was only a few hours ago. It seems each time I struggle to regain order in my house I am reminded of this little poem:

Cleaning your house 
while the children are growing
Is like shoveling the walk
while it is still snowing.

Now whoever penned those words was seriously a genius. I mean is that not the truth? And so these are the thoughts I have on my heart. Be intentional. I told Jack I would play that game with him, and had full intentions of stopping what I was doing and taking some time to play with him. I got caught up, as usual, when I should have just quit for the night and spent the time I had promised. Make the most of my time. Honestly, there will come a day when my floors won't be sticky, and the dishes will all be clean and put away and I'll get around to vacuuming daily. But when those days come, gone will be the board games and Disney Jr, and tickling little toes and singing songs, and wiping booger noses and morning snuggles, bedtime prayers and the rock-a-bye babies (which I still sing to the gonna-be-4-year-old). All those things will be only memories, in fact it will probably all be a blur. So for right now, in this moment, if my floors are sticky and my sink full of dishes - I will cherish the fact that my home is filled with laughter and my arms are full of hugs because these times are fleeting and they certainly won't last forever. Be patient. This one is easier said than done. There are moments in my day when I stop and give gratitude to God for the patience He's equipped me with. I blow myself away sometimes when I realize how patient I am! And then there's times when I need to stop and ask God (and my 4 year old) for grace because I reacted poorly and had little patience. We all make mistakes, but patience is one of those things that kids will remember. I want my kids to remember my patience. Be grateful for life's blessings. I am blessed to be able to spend time at home with my children. That is something I need to remind myself of everyday. This job is a blessing. And there's no one better for this job than me. That's why God hired me to take care of and love these babies. Because He knows best.

Now if I could just be reminded of these simple things everyday, and not while I am laying in bed recounting my day. It's times like now when I am trying to figure out what I did well and what I could have done better that I am grateful for, but wished would come at more opportune times. I did, by the way, play Jack's new game with him and it was fun and I know it meant the world to him. And the sink is still full of dishes. I will get to those tomorrow...

Good night from the farm,
-The Farmer's [tired] Wife

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wee morning hours

So as the mother of a newborn you would think being up at the wee hours of the morning would be commonplace. Well, not here on the farm. Our little Elle does do one thing right-sleep. She's has been sleeping through the night pretty much since she was 3 weeks old. Yes, I know that's amazing. But it's pretty much the standard around here. We don't put up with much less.

So this is the second night in a row I have found myself up into the wee hours of the morning completely unable to sleep. Which, as you can imagine, is SO frustrating! But as I laid in bed playing around on my iPod Jack came into my room upset because he had wet the bed (which almost never happens). He fell asleep on the way home from a sitter tonight and didn't have a chance to go to the bathroom before he went to bed. He is actually pretty good about waking up if he has to go but no nap today so the poor kid was probably so exhausted he didn't even know.

Anyways... Luckily I was already up so getting out of bed to fix his sheets and get him new jammies really wasn't that big of a deal. But putting him back to sleep, talking to him briefly about his time at the baby sitters, having him thank me for fixing his bed and then sweetly say "I love you mom" just melted my heart and left me tearfully grateful for this precious moment. God is so good. I look forward to more sweet moments with my beloved son and hoping that princess learns to be just as sweet as her big bro.

People have told me that there is nothing quite like the relationship between a mother and a son. And they are right, there isn't! I also hope for the Farmers sake that he can enjoy the same father daughter bond relative to the bond that Jack and I share.

So, good night from the farm. Signing off from my iPod - The Farmer's Wife
( that was a lot to type on a miniature touch screen keypad! )

Friday, June 28, 2013

....and then there were 4

...Well it's been a hot minute.

I am pretty sure that last time I blogged I was miserable and pregnant and ready to be done (or kill someone). Luckily I was done before any lives were lost. At 39 weeks 6 days the Farmer and I welcomed our little Elle McKenzie into this world - which she would soon learn to hate. Our little Elle, while beautiful and aesthetically perfect, has quite a bitterness about her. I just know that she longs for the womb and really wishes she had never left. But who can blame her, really?

These first 6 weeks have been an adjustment, to say the least. Crying (or should I say, wailing) has been the soundtrack to our lives and our Elle is far from the perfect baby that her big brother was. And I am not kidding - her brother was the PERFECT baby. The only time I remember him being really inconsolable was when he was 2.5 months old and had an ear infection. An EAR INFECTION. Now, that type of crying is just commonplace with this child.

All kidding aside, she is beautiful and precious - she does smile occasionally - and she's my baby girl. I love her to pieces and I know this is just a season. The crying will subside and her sweetness will abound. She's healthy and growing and parents really can't ask for much more. I am blessed.

It's summer and there's lots going on at the farm. The Farmer is busy with lawns, the laundromat business has picked up quite a bit and I have found myself in the company of two demanding children pretty much 24/7. Life as a mom. Wonderful and tragic all at the same time. I miss going to the bathroom by myself, taking showers (what are those?) on a consistent basis, having energy to put on clothes that aren't in the yoga pants category, let alone put my hair into something other than a messy bun. Again, I am constantly reminded that this is a season - one in which I would be amiss if I desired anything but to spend it "...training my children in the way they should go"  (Proverbs 22:6). It is a blessing that I am able to spend this time at home with my children and I wouldn't want it any other way. But if I said it didn't make me weary, tired, emotional, physically and mentally stretched and overwhelmed, then I would not only be lying to you, but to myself. It's exhausting.

However, I will blink my eyes and soon be missing the cries, midnight feedings, morning snuggles, pitter patter of feet, and yes...even the endless, constant chatter of an almost-four-year-old. But in the mean time, the Farmer and I are looking forward to his birthday (well, he is not so much...he hits the BIG 3-0 in February) because it means a Vegas getaway for us (at least that's the plan).

Of course, as I write this my little princess is sleeping soundly in the swing next to me. There are certain points in my day when I look at her sleeping peacefully and I just say "really, child? REALLY?" Why can't you figure this out when it's midnight and I am exhausted and all I want to do is sleep. Unfortunately with a 4 year old I can't just sleep at 2 in the afternoon when princess can. That is probably the most frustrating thing about being a mom of 2. When it's just the one you can sleep whenever your little heart desires (or whenever your newborn will let you) 2 kids - not so much. Oh! Aaaand it takes you like 18 times longer to get out of the house. I honestly don't know how people with more than 2 kids ever get anywhere - not to mention on time. I mean it's like a comedy over here in the morning. I find myself seriously wondering if there are hidden cameras in my house and it's all a big joke.

BUT-and that's a big but. I can thank my 2 children for helping me shed the pounds a little more efficiently than the 1st time around. There is really no such thing as being lazy. Because if I am not bouncing a baby or playing a game, I am desperately trying to regain anything that resembles order in this house. It'll be a while before that's a reality. But I got pretty close today - and I am feeling pretty successful. It's really the only reason I could justify sitting down for 45 minutes to blog. The only other time I sit down at the computer for an extended period is to plan my couponing hauls - another seemingly impossible task with 2 children. The Baby Bjorn has helped immensely with that (shopping, that is).

So in short, there won't be any other bundles of joy joining the family here on the farm....like, EVER. We're totally maxed out and thanks to our Great God we've rounded out our bunch perfectly. One boy, one girl. That's all I prayed for - God is good, He is faithful and He listens. Can I get an amen?

Now I am focusing on other things as this summer wastes away. Like the genius that I am, I signed myself up for a 5K on August 17. I signed up when I was about 6 months pregnant thinking this would be the perfect way to force my butt back into shape. Well, it has forced me...but man I am anything but in shape.I'm getting there though, slow and steady. Thanks to Groupon I purchased a 2 month membership to Innovative in Franklin for only $27! What a steal, and it includes tanning, childcare and classes! I mean, seriously-FREE TANNING. I am going to feel like I am in high school again. Boom. If only I could look like I was in high school again - ha, that is the goal though...

...Well I really must return to planet earth and finish the dishes, figure out if/what the heck we are going to eat for dinner and finish my Double Double Daze planning for tomorrow. I am hoping to save some big bucks on our grocery bill this week and *fingers crossed* with only one child in tow.

Until next time on the farm (which will most likely be around Jack's birthday - when I am way too overwhelmed to do anything but waste precious time blogging) cheers to the freakin' weekend!

-The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

End of My Rope

As I sit here eating lunch and going over all the thoughts in my head I have decided that this post could seem extremely whiny, negative and just downright annoying. So if you'd rather not listen to a 9 month pregnant lady moan and complain about the status of her life, I suggest you move on, because that is what I fully intend on doing.

I have officially reached the end of my rope. On Saturday I threw in the towel for work. I called in sick after being nauseous all day and just having no more energy to give. It was probably best because I was told by a co-worker on Monday that it was crazy busy and I would have probably just been a hot mess. She didn't use the term "hot mess" but I decided that's what it would have been.

Right now my biggest pet-peeve is being asked 12 million times a day "how are you feeling?" I would really love to respond with "How do you think I am feeling" and I would love to just tear apart their guess as to how I am feeling. Is it unreasonable to want to be treated as though I am not carrying around 40 extra pounds (or 50...or 60), have completely swollen feet and ankles making them appear anything but human and walk like I am going to fall over at any given second (which yesterday this did actually happen in Menards. I squatted down to ask Jack a question and he answered excitedly and hugged me which sent me tumbling to the ground, flat on my back. Luckily I was only a few inches from the ground to begin with. The farmer looked over and chuckled with a sad look on his face) Is it unreasonable to not want to be asked "when are you due?" or "how do you feel?" or "are you getting excited?" or "are you nervous about labor and delivery?" Can I just carry around a sign that says "Saturday, crabby/irritable/tired/sore, DUH, and NO I just want this baby out I don't care how it happens, just make it happen." 

I have had a fantastic pregnancy, a healthy baby with no complications, 9 months relatively pain free, I've been able to work all the way up until now, I have gained less weight than with my first pregnancy, I love my doctor and the nurses at Elmbrook are awesome. Everything is ready for this baby, she has a fabulous wardrobe awaiting her arrival, she has a chic nursery to dwell in - it's really been a wonderful 40 weeks.

But now I quit.

I am sore, I never sleep, I pee 18 thousand times a day, at least. I would love to enjoy a piece of pizza or a taco without choking on acid vomit when I go to sleep, I want to drink as much Coke and coffee as I want without having to keep tabs on how much caffeine I've had for the day. I don't want to have to think about when was the last time I took my Pepcid and if it's been 12 hours so I can take another. Which brings me back to that questions "are you getting excited?" YES I am so excited. To have my baby girl, to snuggle her and kiss her and hold her and swaddle her, even to change diapers and be spit up on and to get up umpteen million times a night. At this point that all sounds just fine to me! But I am also excited to never be pregnant again, to lose weight, to go on a run, to do a massive overhaul on my diet and get healthy, I can't wait to wear skinny jeans and cute shoes and short shorts. I can't wait to enjoy a drink with friends on the weekend and plan our next trip to Vegas. I am also excited for the Farmer to enjoy all those things with me, I know he can't wait!

Speaking of the Farmer. I do actually feel bad for him. This is his busy season so now he's overworked, underfed, doesn't get any sleep thanks to me and my non-stop tossing, turning, [apparent] snoring, and bathroom breaking throughout the night and then he gets to deal with my hormonal wrath for anything and everything. Yesterday it was the chickens that set me off, the day before that it was nothing at all. He just came to the kitchen to find me sobbing at the table. I was mostly just feeling sorry for myself. I'm a wreck. So naturally he's burnt out too, he's probably more ready for this baby to come than I am. Just kidding, that's not possible.

I am grateful for the abundance of friends and family I have praying for me. I know they either totally get it and can personally identify with this miserable state of being, or they just have tremendous pity for me. Either way I covet their prayers and  am so thankful to have the support system that I do. Honestly, in all my whining and complaining it is humbling to know that so many people truly care about me.

I think I've done a good enough job of complaining for today. My lunch is finished, which I am sure will be promptly regurgitated - sorry TMI - as I am about to take a nap (hopefully) and acid reflux has been my biggest enemy this pregnancy. Pray with me for a miracle! I suppose I really can't be super impatient until Saturday, which is officially D-Day. But color me impatient anyways - I am already there. Going to the doctor on Thursday and hoping for spontaneous combustion of my water bag while she's checking me. Seriously.

But my wonderful Parkside 23 co-workers are having a little luncheon thingy for me on Thursday afternoon, so if nothing else, I do have that to look forward to. Thanks for suffering me. Until next time (I hope I have a baby to blog about!)

The Farmer's [Super Pregnant] Wife

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ready to go!

Well, here I sit, once again, after having not blogged for what seems to be an eternity - attempting another post. I just re-read the last two posts about our beloved Lola. We still miss her so. It's hard to believe it's been almost 4 moths since we said good-bye. The farmer has been researching tirelessly to determine her exact breed. We always assumed she was German Shepherd but he thinks now that she was probably some other breed (the exact name escapes me right now).

Now that Spring has finally decided to show up it's even harder not to have our precious pup. She loved Spring. She would lay in the garden beds as the farmer would plant them, she played fetch and swam in the pond. It was so fun to finally get out after the long winter and play with her. Of course there's Reggie - as annoying as he is - he does fetch and swim, but it's just not the same. He is still the same ol' Reg. Attention span that lasts all of 9 seconds, he pees on EVERYTHING, sneaks into the house any chance he gets to tear apart the garbage. The only thing that's different is he doesn't run away nearly as much as he used to.

But the good news (at least for us humans) is that while we endured the sadness of saying good bye to our sweet Lola, we get to welcome a new sweet girl into our lives in just a few short weeks! Our baby girl can safely come any day now - although with the way my impatience is going I'm sure she'll take her sweet time and make her mamma wait! I'm so ready to meet this baby, and right now the only thing that has me being somewhat patient is that for whatever reason an April birthday doesn't really appeal to me. I would much prefer she have a May birthday. However, not Mother's Day. That would not be cool. I mean, ironic, yes ... but to spend Mother's Day in the hospital...not so much.

I have been stocking up and nesting like CRAZY! One of my latest hobbies includes extreme couponing. It's pretty ridiculous actually. I'm amazed at the deals I can get. I've always been a bargain shopper, but this takes it to a whole new level.  I mean I'm getting hundreds of dollars worth of stuff for next to nothing. It's kind of a science and I feel like I've gotten a pretty good understanding of it - thanks to a friend and her awesome Facebook page that posts all the helpful tips on current sales and hot coupons that are out. The farmer really hasn't said too much about it, because I think even he's impressed (secretly) with how much stuff I can get for so little. I won't ever pay for Bounce dryer sheets again, I know that for sure! I'll be getting 9 more boxes for FREE tomorrow. Actually my latest "haul" that I have planned out - assuming it all goes as planned - I should get everything for FREE make $10 in overage toward other things in my cart and get paid anywhere from $15-25 in gift cards from Target. I'm a little nervous, because it might not go as planned...but that's the "extreme" part - LOL it's kind of a gamble.

I digress...I'm having a baby in less than a month! I've been having contractions like crazy-and they've actually worked! At my 37 week appointment I was already 1 cm/50%. Which is way more than I could say for my first pregnancy. I am really hoping my doc will strip my membranes on Thursday. Maybe that'll get this little bean movin. I'm just so ready to be done that it's really not even funny. I think I'm totally ready-except for the fact that my house is less than sparkly clean - it's not in the worst shape ever, but I do have higher hopes than it's current condition by the time I go into labor. My bags are packed AND in the car...so I don't even have to think when I go into labor, just get in the car and GO. I do have to pack a small bag for the farmer, I was going to include snacks this time because the poor thing was STARVED half to death last time. I just picked up nursing bras, nursing pads, lanolin cream, and other "new mommy" essentials today at Target.
SIDE NOTE: now that I'm an "extreme couponer" it's really hard to go to Target and spend $88 - even if it's on things I need - because I'm just so used to getting my total down to below $20 that it's depressing to have to spend so much money. Technically today I bought a pillow for the nursery that cost $35, the lanolin cream was $10 and the nursing bra was $15...so I guess the fact that I got 2 pair of shorts for the farmer, 2 really nice razors (Schick Intuition), pacifiers, 3 boxes of Bounce sheets, baby spoons and two snacks for Jack for the other $28 is pretty impressive, no?

Again, I digress...The nursery is totally done and ready, thanks to the farmer and his handiness! I have to admit I was skeptical that it wouldn't get done in time, but he was right - in his infinite wisdom - it got done. And it looks great. There's a chevron wall, ombre dresser, old-fashioned rocking chair - it's exactly the chic nursery that I wanted! It's funny because 4 years ago if I would have had a girl, the nursery would have been like bright neon pink with flowers and pink everywhere! Who'da thunk I would have picked grey and peach for a girl nursery? But I  LOVE it. Seriously, it couldn't be more perfect.

I even got a mani-pedi yesterday. That was awesome and a much needed treat! My feet are incredibly swollen and just fat in general, but they are well manicured and pink! So when I'm pushing I'll atleast have my cute toes to look at, right? So pretty much I'm ready. Nursery, check. Bags packed, check. Carseat installed, check. Mani-pedi, check. House clean ... ... ...Ok, well I'm almost ready.

Now I'm just ready to give birth and have a glass of wine. I can't wait to see this baby girl, I want to dress her up in all the awesome clothes I've bought her. Thanks to a good week at work a few weeks ago and some amazing coupons from Boston Store I am pretty sure this kid owns every single thing that Carter's has out right now. Her closet literally doesn't have anymore room.

Alright, well I've blogged enough to make up for the 3.5 months that I took off. I'm sure I've lost half my audience by now since no one cares about how many free boxes of dryer sheets I can get at Target. Here's to hoping this pregnancy is over sooner than later. I know the farmer would appreciate that as well. He might be more ready than I am. Especially to have his wife's pre-baby body back. Don't get upset, it's ok- I am SO ready for that too.

Til next time!
-The Farmer's Wife

Friday, January 11, 2013

Drama Queen

...I feel like such a drama queen. It's been almost 36 hours since we took Lola in to be put to sleep. Not that that's a lot of time, but I feel like I shouldn't be having these mini meltdowns and being constantly weepy. I haven't put makeup on in two days because I just never know when the water works are going to start.

I mean seriously, it's ridiculous. In my own defense I am a bag of hormones the way it is. But today the farmer had to return something at Auto Zone and he came back to the car to find me sobbing. He was like, what is your problem? I really can't explain this. I'm way too emotional about this.

It seems like no matter what I do, something reminds me of some quirky thing Lola used to do. When I drove up the driveway last night as I got home from work I realized she'll never run down the driveway her crooked, sideways run to greet me at my car door. When there's a thunderstorm I will miss the way we had to bring her in our room because she was so scared she would beat any door down. The door between our breezeway has a hole in it the size of her that she would climb through. Delivery men never came up the driveway because she stood there staring them down, she got SO excited when I would come to her room with the leash in my hand, I mean SO excited she could hardly contain herself. The list goes on...

The worst part is I can't get the picture out of my head of her last breaths. When the veterinarian put the stethoscope up to her chest and said "that's it", I lost it. The image in my brain of her half open eyes and lifeless body just kill me. Yet, I would have not had it any other way. I wanted to be there and I am glad I went. Someone offered to take her for us and I really couldn't imagine not being with her in those last moments. It was perfect and horrible all at the same time. She really didn't trust anyone except the farmer and I so to have her life end like that without the people whom she loved and trusted the most would have been doubly awful.

That was it, sorry if this seems dramatic to you too...trust me, I get it. But I just had to jot these memories/thoughts down because I'm just having a rough time dealing with all of this. Off to do some work...good night from the farm.

-The Farmer's Wife

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Sad Day on the Farm

Lola "Monster" Spielman (Nov 2005-Jan 2013)
It's still a little shocking to think that she'll never be by our sides again. I have a lump in my throat and tears flowing down my cheeks as I write this.
We loved Lola as much as anyone ever loved a pet. She was our protector, she was the farmer's trusty side kick, she only barked to warn us of danger, she was patient with her rambunctious dog brothers and her human brother, Jack. Lola was our definition of the perfect dog. She chased chickens, she played in the pond, she followed the farmer around like his second shadow.
I have never had to put a pet down before, so this whole thing was brand new to me. I can remember the farmer's sadness when our first chicken "Girl" was found slain in the barn, he was sad and had missed her because she was from his original flock. I remember feeling sad for him. But honestly - as ridiculous as that story is - that was my first experience with losing a "pet", if you can even call her that. Then we lost Scott and Walker, the original ducks. That was also a sad day. But nothing compares to the wrenching sadness of this day.
I mean this was gut wrenching- to watch a dog who, just yesterday seemed like she had a chance and had so much life left to give- go from full of life, to a motionless body within a matter of minutes. Wiping my own tears and the farmers as he clenched her and pet her head. It seemed like the right decision and the wrong one all at the same time. The infection in her leg had gotten so bad that there was no skin left on the inside of her hind leg, tendons and muscles were exposed and she was bleeding. It was only going to get worse, the medicine wasn't working anymore and it was hard to watch her suffer. In my heart I know we did the right thing, but it just seemed extreme. It's only been 4 days since we noticed a problem. Everything happened so quickly we really had no time to really wrap our heads around losing her completely.
I will say this, I am loving my other two dogs more than I ever have. I can remember being so annoyed with Lola for snuggling up on my clothes or laying on our clean bed and getting hair all over it, or being so mad when she would rub up against me when I was all dressed for work and shed all over my black pants. I'm telling you that all seems so silly right now and I would really give anything to have her shed all over me again. Now as I look at the blood stained towels that we used to clean her wound it just rips my heart out all over again.
I never thought that we would have to say good bye to her first. Honestly, this day seemed like it would be forever away, I thought my kids would be in college before we would have to deal with saying goodbye to our pets. Reggie, is like the dog of eternal youth, will probably never die, but I guess now maybe that's a good thing. And Amos, while his mouth is rotting away and he has more teeth problems than most elderly people, is thriving and really is a good snuggle buddy-as bad as he smells. It's going to be impossible to replace Lola and I wish for the farmer's sake that it wasn't frozen outside, we couldn't even bring her home to bury her here. I was going to suggest a burial at sea (the pond) but thought that might be ridiculous. But she loved that pond. Then I sort of laughed at my own idea, so I didn't bring it up.
I am going to have to start training Reggie to run. How else am I going to get this baby weight off? She kept my pace, she protected me, she could go 3 miles no problem. She was perfect for running with. I feel so sad, I can't even imagine what the farmer is dealing with right now. I mean he loved that dog more than anything. I really had hoped it wouldn't have to come to this. But he didn't want to see her suffer anymore. It's hard to watch someone you love hurt so much.
Well, before this post gets totally out of hand, I will just say goodbye. Lola, you were a great dog, who loved us and listened and we're so sorry there wasn't more we could do. We fought so hard to save you, but it wasn't enough. Love you forever, our sweet girl, Lola. <3
Until next time,
The Farmer's Wife
(Lola's Mom)