Hello. Can you hear me? Or is my voice muffled through the foot and a half of fresh, powdery snow that is currently covering the homestead? I hope you can hear me. Because I've got some things to say, yo. After all – it's almost Christmas! Time for love and mushy stuff and reflection and all kinds of good stuff like that.
Another year down in the books my friend – another year down on the farm.
We were shocked out of our minds to find out we were expecting our fourth, very unplanned, child. We recorded cooking videos with a (real!) Production Company. We started homeschooling.
We signed some very important contracts (the details of which we can't wait to share with you in the new year!).
We pre-released our second cookbook, Family Table (due Summer 2016!).
Frankly, we worked our tails off. I say tails because the word I really want to say isn't appropriate. But you get my point.
I look back at this year with tremendous love and appreciation for it's lessons. Truth be told, I'm rarely thankful in the moment. I tend to blow up, scream, cry, kick my feet, and curse the skies. But then, eventually, I decide to act like an adult for 3 seconds, and I can easily see God's goodness and mercy through the pain and toil.
… amongst the chaos, the mess, the destruction, the death – there is so much goodness. When we lost Pocket, I spent more time praying than I care to admit. And after we lost Sal, well, I wanted to curl up and die. And since I found out I was pregnant the week she died, that's pretty much what I did for the next 12 weeks anyway. (Though, I'll admit, I was thankful to not be dry heaving next to the milk bucket the entire first trimester like I did with Will).
But throughout all that, there were some seriously killer meals. There were breakfasts with homecured bacon and pastured eggs from the hens. There were garden tomatoes. Bumper crops. Lots of kisses (hence the 4th baby…) and lots of hugs. The kids flourish with farm life – getting in on milking, harvesting, cooking, and feeding – this year that really began to take root. I can't wait to get to the new farm and get into the routine of their work and chores this next year – Georgia's quite smitten with our new Champagne meat rabbits (‘Raspberry' and ‘Moonbaby', the does, and ‘Chanceaux', the buck). This year she'll be completely responsible for the meat rabbits. And Owen? Well, I anticipate him to spend his days riding the pigs and breaking eggs. He's not too much help yet. But when the boy's ready, I'll have a heck of a farmhand.
Our last month has been complete chaos – filled with packing boxes, garbage bags, and the financial beating that is home-buying. It's excruciating. We're celebrating Christmas with a tree drawn on butcher paper tacked to the empty wall. There's one lone gingerbread man ornament that's hanging from our kitchen light and perhaps a popsicle stick snowflake or two hiding around the house. Hardly the send off I was hoping for the year! But in 14 (!) more days we'll be at the new house. And even if I have to sleep on a tarp in the front yard, you bet your bottom dollar I'll be there on closing day. We're heading into the new year with something we've never experienced before… our own home.
And, I'm sorry, but how cool! We're beyond thankful for this madness. This blog – the entire farm – would not be possible without your love and support. I mean this. We now earn most of our income from this blog, so I mean it when I say it – THANK YOU. You don't just offer your support with kind words and prayers, you choose to support us financially as well by spending your hard earned dollars on cookbooks, essential oils, meal plans, and online products.
You show up here, post after post, to read whatever madness I'm spouting off at the moment, and yet you still come back.
You take time out of your day to email me and tell me how this blog, it's recipes, it's resources, it's community, have been a blessing to you and your family. Or have inspired you in some way to give it a go yourself.
You are continually a part of building this dream with us.
There are currently 1,193,572 things that I can't wait to share with you. I very much look forward to our new year together – a year of hardwork, progress, sweat, sore muscles, beautiful cookbooks, new babies, and even more!
And did I mention sweat and sore muscles?
May you and yours be blessed this Christmas, my friends. Thank you for sharing your time and your love with me. I love you all.