What’s Next?

It is amazing to me that every day directs the course for the next like a factorial taking away possibilities with every  number.

Twenty fifteen has already been a year to remember.

In January, I met my brother for the first time in New York, saw Niagra Falls, played many games of Candyland with my niece, and learned what snow really looked like.

Later that month E started back to school with a class mix up that completely restructured our weeks, not that I was paying attention to how one day followed another. I spent December, January, and most of February getting to know our toilet really well, with morning sickness lasting well into my second trimester. Until about two weeks ago, we were trying not to think about the possibility of twins because I was so big for my weeks.

Since last summer we had roaches in our apartment and it never got cold enough for them to stop breeding, so by February we were overrun. I could keep everything clean and they would still lurk on counters and walls, hiding in the pocket under the stovetop until I turned the burner on.

On January 1 around midnight the first mouse made himself known at the same time we discovered a burst pipe that had been pumping water for a couple days. In the month to follow we would realize we were infested, but our landlord wouldn’t take care of the issue until March.

At the end of February they started spraying for roaches which meant moving all of the things I could come in contact with out of the house. After a week of moving, spraying patching, and moving back we found out we would have to do this every month for the next four months and even then there was no guarantee the roaches would be gone. They could even be doing it the week I gave birth.

When our lease ran out we decided to move, suddenly, with only four days to pack and get out, not to mention finding somewhere to go. We had been scoping out the market for a while, but as soon as we made the decision to move all of the rentals dried up.

The weekend we decided to move was the one weekend where most of our help was out of town, but through God’s grace, good friends, and some new ones too we were on my in-laws doorstep by Saturday night with two cats and a couple boxes.

During that time I started subbing at my old high school and loving it. Now I am working on setting up a multi-layered tutoring program for the next school year that would encompass all of the classic subjects, college prep, dual credit work, and learning skills.

My parents recently announced their move and the impending sale of the house after being on the market for almost seven years which means we now have no place to have the baby who we found out a couple weeks ago is an energetic little boy (and we get to help them move :)

There is a chance I could have this baby in my in-laws (hopefully renovated) barn.

This Sunday was my due date with our first baby and as we continue to grieve the loss of that little one, we are so excited to welcome our son into the world in July.

Between now and then we hope to find or build a place of our own, finish school (for both of us), successfully renew a driver’s license (after five months of trying to deal with the DMV on top of everything), and maybe take a deep breath.

I feel like I have forgotten things.

I have no idea what will actually happen…

-M

Already There

Most of my time is spent in partial shock at the newness of everyday life. Comparing year to year is impossible and month to month still unrecognizable, but matching the changes between this week and last week, day to day are a little more manageable.

I imagine this is how Sarah, Rebecca, and thousands of nomads have felt. Where change is normal, nothing settled, and there is no knowing where I’ll be next week, much less what will be happening. I’m not used to it yet. I have yet to find routine outside of my surroundings.

Out of our first apartment, not yet finding home of our own.

Out of my old self, into this new body sacrificing stage of motherhood.

Out of my old emotions, even.

Our son’s kicks are a constant reminder of the daily changes. Last week I felt a few, now they are something I can set my clock by. As we come upon the due date for our firstborn, all of the fears and stresses pull at my heart and I’m left once again remembering that God’s plan is so much greater than my own. Even in the most difficult of times, He is already in the next day holding my life together. I am guided gently from one day to the next, no matter the frustration or change.

I read a book title yesterday with its entire message simply etched on the binding:

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow; God is Already There

Emmanuel – God with Us

More than just a Christmas song. Isn’t it funny that we ask the God who is with us to come to us? I am so blind when I think I have to ask Him to come to me, when he is the God who is already there.

– M

Family: Chosen, Given, Found

Every year at Thanksgiving I try to think of three things that sum up my year’s blessings. I couldn’t sum it up this year. I tried, but in all of the joy and heartache I couldn’t figure out how.

To start – Going back years I always thought I had to chose – Friends, Family, Adopted, Biology. In my mind there was never room for both. There wasn’t time for everyone. I was selfish. I wanted it to be about me. Given, I was fifteen, but still I was locked down.

In time I learned what is obvious –  Love makes room.

In February I doubled my family, We chose who we love – not just romantically. We lock out in laws, friends who’ve hurt us, family who disagrees with our decisions. Why? Because it might hurt. This year I gained an entire family and it has made me love and value my parents and sisters more.  I realized loving more people does not make you weak or in pieces, it gives you more to pour out into those around you.

In July I found out I was pregnant – one more life so filled with love before we had even met. When I lost him, I was told by some I was just practicing for a real baby, that I couldn’t love a child I never met. My arms ache for my child. But successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven. I have not lost forever, just for now. Our little gift expanded our hearts again and left a gap.

Around the same time, I got a phone call from my brother who I never thought I would have a chance to know. Again my family grew and with it my heart.

This year is ending with hope, fullness, and an excess of love.

Our family is only limited by our choice to love.

I’m thankful for my husband, my child, and my brother and the family we have.

– M

Confessions… I like vlogs

I have been doing a ton of work over on my other blog, Homestead Revival. My house is filled with Sourdough starters, ferments, kombucha scobys (I really want to make that scobies, but my husband points out it is an acronym) , and flats full seedlings. I am living my dream. This guy would be proud.

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But I have a distraction – Intelligent vlogs.

At first it was these classes done online in a really interactive way:

Then I started checking out the guys who wrote them and they are pretty cool:

This list is all of their current events explanations. All of their other videos, while hilarious and interesting suck you into the kingdom of Nerdfighteria….

We’re all mad here…

These guys are liberal, but there is a lot we agree on for different reasons. I believe in being ecologically responsible because of my God given stewardship, they don’t want to destroy the future. There is some language especially in the earlier videos, but they discuss literature, current events, and being active in the world around you.

After these videos I got attached to transmedia renditions of some of my favorite pieces of literature like Pride and Prejudice:

Jane Eyre:

and Emma:

I have to pull myself back into the real world now… and look at starting a seed bank and do dishes.

– M

Let’s Start At the Very Beginning…

I live in the top story of an apartment building.

We love it here. No neighbors, kindly landlords, and a rooster that crows on the far side of our draw at 0430 every morning.

I love my kitchen which has developed a lot since I wrote the original post about it.

Details

There are a ton of things to do here:

– Find a place for the books I am pretty sure have multiplied since E and I joined our collective libraries. They are climbing up the walls now.

– Do Mason jars procreate? I started out with a couple flats for canning and now I have two cabinets full plus a bookshelf full of jams and preserves.

–  Figure out how to have two people’s clothing in one closet (If you figure this out, let me know – you should get a Nobel)

Those things are minor details in light of one fact: We want to farm. 

We want that rooster.  

farmingI’m not saying we are desperate, but I have a bad history with roosters and even with the scars I’m willing to go beg for chicken time.

I grew up with my parents in constant transition from house to homestead. We started with a huge garden at the bottom of a gully and graduated to one on top of a mountain. Over the course of six or seven years we got chickens, goats, and bees, as well as the obligatory two dogs and indeterminate number of cats.

Then in February I moved and we no longer had a way to get our farm fix, so in March I started work again at our local farm.

Before I knew it I was itching to ask my landlord if we could get chickens. IMG_0678

When the season ended for me four weeks ago, I tried to get my fix by living vicariously through the lives of Barbara Kingsolver, Kristin Kimball, and Jenna Woginrich among others. This only served to expand my fantasy farm to include guard geese and heirloom vegetables I’ve gathered in my travels.

After a long discussion on our life goals, we have decided for the next six months I get to start figuring out what area of farming fits us best.

I am so excited!

I am going to explore dairy operations, beef and poultry set ups, full diet, specialty crop, and shepherding.

My goal is to garner as many skills and as much knowledge as I can for the two of us.

In one of the homestead planning blogs they made a list of twenty things they had done to get where they are and another twenty to direct them.

Here is my first one: Exploring fall gardening. Which method of planting works best for fall crops? Vertical shafts made of chicken wire, wood pallet garden, raised bed, or hanging basket.

Since we’re at the beginning, I’m linking a few buttons that helped me get organized. I’m far from all set, but as my husband pointed out – We need to just jump in.

– M

 

 

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The Purpose of Parenting (Why a Miscarriage is A Success)

In the last couple weeks I have been struggling – which is to be expected.

Everything is to be expected - bleeding, pain, hormones, depression, tears.

I was sitting in the emergency room last week across from a room that had a beautiful baby inside, about six or seven months. She didn’t stop crying the entire time I was there – about four hours. The nurse looked at me like I was crazy.

“You’re sure you want one of those?”

Her mother was attentive, not leaving her, talking to her, trying to calm her down. The parenting had already started.

To parent is to guide,

through life,

through hurts,

through hope, 

to find Jesus and His redemption.

Successful parenting is guiding a child to heaven.

It feels like it is shredding me to pieces – but I have a child in heaven

I have not lost forever, just for now. 

I am assured that at some point I’ll start to hurt less.

Right now – knowing there is a purpose to it is my comfort,

and knowing our family has grown by one is beautiful.

– M

Distance

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Twenty First Birthday

The distance between me and myself one year ago is staggering.
Last year, on the cusp of twenty one,
more to be done,
the unknown yawned before me,
fear adorned me.

Now, almost twenty two
God has won.
He has taken my life and done remarkable things.

Often those things that bring Him the most glory are the things we dread the most to talk about.

What does it make me when I admit I struggle?
Small, not at all, undone and broken down before the God of the universe… who loves.

One year – battles and victories
Distance from the starting line and the battle line

Last year – struggle -
Bitterness, baggage, hurt and sadness bottled up for years-
Ache for lost family,
Bitter for not admitting my weakness,
Fear of being like the woman who gave birth to me.

553 Eric Kate-

Newly Engaged

I looked forward into my relationships and saw myself cowering, afraid to feel, distancing myself from the pain of loving.

Victory – Loving him, but the victory was not in loving him, but trusting that no matter the hurt God had a reason to guide me through the continuing struggle of my relationship.

I was ashamed of tears and now they are a release to me, a gift that cleanses.
Weeping heals sorrow.

From that moment of victory God took me through storms and fears, testing me. Then one afternoon I sat on a log and the man I loved said he loved me and the journey continued.

Three months – to finish school, finish childhood, and prepare myself for a life long vow.
I made that vow in my heart months before trusting that I was following God’s leading. (To be clear – there was the blessing of parents, pastors, friends, and family – All seeing the blessing God had poured on our lives. It just took both of us longer too)

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Six Months Ago

In February, I became a wife.

In sickness and in health was tested right away as I struggled with a kidney infection that had me bed ridden. I was resistant to all antibiotics except for one and my recovery was stilted at best.

In May, I was trying to work on a farm, run a business, be a wife. My husband was on crazy shifts – two weeks on nights and two on days, not enough days to adjust to one or another. I was still sick. We decided to try something new. It was radical.

A diet. At this point I was so gluten intolerant that if my husband ate something and kissed me, I would get sick

So we both started with only eating meat and vegetables for a couple weeks. No newlywed flab for us.
We worked at it – I cooked everything from scratch and E helped until I had enough energy to do it myself.

The purging process dragged through June, but finally in July I started to drastically improve. During this time E quit his job to help me expand my business and go to school this fall.

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Just Found Out We’re Pregnant

Then on July 19, I got a call. My brother, the person I had ached over, found me.
And by God’s grace I was ready. We’ve been able to talk and become family. A victory again over the fear and bitterness I struggled with. This story is another year long miracle. 

On July 21, I found out I was pregnant. We were so excited. The feeling of being a mom welled up inside me and I could hardly contain myself. We wanted to wait to tell anyone for a while.

During the first part of August we drove up to Washington and tied up loose ends before E started school last week. We have been married six months.

Last week, August 27 our latest struggle began.

I lost our baby.

Our first child is in heaven.

So, here I am one year later.

Twenty one seems an eternity away.

From college student to wife and mother…

Who knows where the next year will take me?
Or even the next six months of marriage.

-M

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4