Saturday, April 11, 2015

Annual Re-mulching, Garden Progress

Every year for my birthday, I ask my husband for the same thing.


Yes that is right, I ask for beautiful, red landscaping mulch!

I LOVE to have a nice, neat, and orderly yard.  It just makes me feel awesome. I love the smell of fresh mulch, and the way it neatens up our home on the outside.  It has become something I look forward to each and every year!  Take a look at my before and after pics, and I think you will see why:

Porch side:

East side:

More of the east side:

West side:

Ahhh.  It just FEELS so much better!

While he was at it, hubby got our garden tilled up again and the raised beds cleaned up.  So far we have planted lettuce, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes.  We plan to plant watermelon, corn, sweet peppers, and a few other things still yet!!  I am very excited for this gardening season.

Raised bed cleanup:
Tilling the garden:
I have so far had ZERO luck finding the right chicks at the feed stores around here.  But I *think* we might have a hen sitting so we will see what the future brings!  For now I am LOVING this weather and how neat and tidy our lawn is looking.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mommy Post: My 9 Month Post-Partum Update

*First I would like to be sure everyone understands what the term "post-partum" means.  All it means is the period of time after you gave birth to a baby.  It is not to be confused with the term "post-partum depression".  This is just an update on my weight loss goals post baby.*

So here we are, a little over NINE months since I gave birth to my sweet baby boy.  It is crazy that time has gone so quickly!  The reason I haven't given a weight update prior to nine months is because of a great thought I read before I had my Littlest Farmer.  It said that "it took nine months to get all that weight on, so give yourself at least nine months to get it back off".  So I wanted to be fair to myself and wait that long before evaluating where I am at.

I am very happy to say that I am the same weight I was pre-baby.  This makes me happy because I gained a pretty whopping 55 pounds while pregnant.  The first 35 came off fast, but then the last 20 pounds took a lot more work and dieting.

All that being said, I would still really love to lose another 10-15 pounds.  In the months before I got pregnant with my little boy, I was unhappy with my weight and wanted to lose 10-15 pounds then, too.  Now I would especially love to do that because even though I weighed what I did pre-baby, things just do NOT look the same!!  I have had to learn to dress differently to hide that flabby, post-baby belly.  It doesn't seem like I can do ANYTHING to get it tucked back in!  But of course, it was worth it for my sweet boy.  Being a mom equals sacrifice in a lot of areas, and the body is certainly not exempt!

The photos:
About a year before I got pregnant.
Nine months pregnant:
The night before induction.
Heading home from the hospital.
Nine months later:

During pregnancy and for a while after, I just felt SO huge.  I never thought I would see the scale show a number that I was pre-pregnancy EVER again.  And even though I want to lose a bit more, I feel pretty good about where I am right now.  So take heart if you were like me and gained a lot during pregnancy!  It CAN come off!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Tree Growth!

A couple of weeks back I mentioned that we had obtained some trees from the Beaver Watershed Alliance that serves our area.  Well I am happy to announce that I am seeing some growth on our little seedlings!  Take a look:

My Flowering Dogwood hasn't shown much life yet!  So I am trying to be patient. :)
These aren't seedlings, but I thought they were so pretty!
Our tree row!
A little budding action going on!!  I think this is a Serviceberry tree.
More buds.
Red Maple budding in the dog's yard.
Ahh I love spring and all the new beginnings!!  I am still keeping my eye out for just the right Bantam chicks so hopefully we will be adding a few cute little chickies to our mini farm soon as well.

Also we have officially started gardening - we have the plot tilled and bought some potatoes last night!!  We also have four tomato plants ready for planting.  I will try to get some pictures of our garden to keep track of its growth.  We are looking forward to a bountiful year!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Your Smile

The younger version of me seemed to be an unhappy sort.  I didn't smile a lot.  It really had more to do with being insecure about my smile rather than being unhappy, but many people interpreted it that way.

Ladies, we live in a world that makes us feel ashamed of being US.  Ashamed of stretch marks and those pounds we can't shed.  Ashamed of under eye bags and imperfect smiles, of acne and scars and wrinkles.

But I want you to be encouraged today.  Proverbs 17:22 (ESV) - "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."  Laugh!  Share your smile with a world that desperately is in need of it.  Forget any flaws you think it may have.  Can't you see that the world is sick, and in need of a medicine that you can help to provide?  God made your smile especially for you to wear, so put it to work for Him.

Your smile is so precious!  It is the one your family and friends would miss if it were gone.  Not some celebrity's flawless smile or the smile of that girl over there whose smile you wish yours was like.  It is the smile that has woke your sweet little baby from his sleep since the very day he was born, the smile of perseverance when you want to say something nasty, but refrain.  The little crooked smile that your parents remember when you were tiny and innocent.  The smile of kindness a friend needs on a dark day.  The smile your husband was beaming at when you walked down the aisle to be his bride.  The smile God gave you that started out gummy, and then a little toothy, and then missing some spaces and maybe even with a few braces, and then a beautiful grown woman smile.  And one day it will be an old woman's smile, and it will still be just as beautiful to your grandchildren, to your children, to your husband who has stood beside you for many crazy, wonderful, messy, beautiful years.

Love your smile and share it.  It means so much to those you love.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Cleaning, frogs, and naps.

Tiny spring flowers right out our front door.
Oh the past few days have been so nice!  The temps have finally decided to warm up and stay warm.  We have gotten a lot of rain so the grass is starting to get green, too!

During our last snow just a couple of weeks ago, I got some good spring cleaning in:

Then it rained and rained and rained.  And of course, there will be more rain to come.  That is the way spring is out here!  I am allowing the chickens to free range again.  They did not love the rain:
After the rains, this little spring peeper frog decided to visit:
So cute!
And now today it is a balmy 70+ degrees.  Windows are open!  I took a walk outside and plan to run later.  Ahhh.  The animals are loving it too:

Now it is time for a nice nap...
Engine sleeping away in the kitty condo.
Sweet baby naps:

Ahhh.  What a perfect day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring. And things.

Good grief.  Over the course of the last couple of weeks, a LOT went on.  We had to make a mad dash across 3 (treacherously snowy) states to visit one of Ben's family members who is dealing with an unexpected and serious illness.  The Littlest Farmer had a routine doctor's appointment.  He weighs 20 pounds at 8 months!  He is a big boy!!  Teeth were cleaned.  It snowed and then snowed some more.  Trees were planted.  Church activities abounded.  Siri came back.  And Siri disappeared AGAIN.  And a week later she came back, AGAIN.  Where on earth is that crazy cat going?!  Oh, and the time changed.  Oh my.  It is plain weird how losing a single hour can make you question everything.  Haha!!  I have been SO sleepy lately!

Anyway, now I find myself finally getting 2 seconds to sit down to type only to find that it has been close to a month since my last post.  Goodness how time flies.  Here is a photo recap of the last few weeks!

This was the snow and ice on the roads at the end of our journey.  Most of the time wasn't too bad thankfully.  I am MOST thankful that we got over there and back safely.  There were moments that were very frightening, especially coming back home we hit a lot of black ice in Oklahoma City.  Semis surrounded us.  You get the picture.  I needed a blindfold.  Somehow hubby managed to navigate the icy roads with great skill.  I was proud!
 I can't brag enough on my boy.  He pretty much either slept or smiled the entire 24+ hour trip.  What a gem he is!!

This was the Littlest Farmer's second road trip, but it was by far the longest and the most condensed.  We covered hundreds of miles over the course of 3 days.

Today I received some free trees from a program going on here in Arkansas for residents who live on or near the river.  I was able to get them planted pretty easily which felt awesome.  I will have to get some pictures of the new trees soon, but as of right now they just look like dead twigs!  I just love being outside working when the weather is so beautiful.  I hope it sticks around!!

Have a great evening!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Queen Returns

Yay!!!  Siri came home last night!!  After a week of being gone, I was sure she was lost for good.  I had just sat down on my bed to shed a few tears that my dear kitty had been either eaten by something or kidnapped.

When I heard Ben say, "Siri?  SIRI?!"

It was a joyous moment of reunion.

So now, Siri is inside again as is Gypsy.  We will be trying a few new things to improve Siri's.... bathroom habits.  Once the weather warms up, we will let them go outside as usual.  But for now, I am just too scared she might leave again.  She seemed very happy to be home and I have no idea what happened, but I would very much like to avoid a repeat!

Siri is a mess, that is for sure.  But she is a mess that I love.  I hope she is around for many years to come!

Also... there has been a fly in my house... in February.  That is just ridiculous.  It has been pestering me for DAYS.  What happens as soon as I the cats in?

Gypsy catches it.

Eats it.

Looks at me like... "teach you to throw me outside".  


Yes, cats.  Lesson LEARNED.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow, A Missing Cat, and Our 7th Anniversary Date

The beginning of this week we got a bit of snow.  First it was about an inch of ice, and then a couple of inches of snow on top.  I am not a fan of snow but I was more than okay with it this time when it managed to enable hubby to work from home for the day!  That I could get used to.  Since the temps have hardly risen above freezing, it is still sticking around!

My week has been a little rough because Siri has very unfortunately gone missing.  She is my little queen-bee and I have been missing her terribly.  We have looked and called for her everywhere.  Ben is going to ask the neighbors tonight if they have seen any sign of her, but of course I am afraid since the snow and all that something may have happened to her and that there will be no more Siri.

No more Siri to tear up my toilet paper roll.

No more Siri to meow at me to get up in the morning.

No more Siri to make me giggle as I watch her biting her own back feet.

Ugh, my heart.  I am praying this is not the case.  Siri got me through some really hard times back when we were struggling with infertility issues.  Whatever ends up happening, I am so thankful for her.  Cats have had a funny way in my life of popping in at really hard times and popping right back out when times get easier.

On to lighter subjects!

On Saturday the hubby and I celebrated our 7th anniversary by taking the day away in town.  It was the longest I had left the Littlest Farmer so I am not gonna lie.  It was hard.  But much needed!  The Littlest Farmer's grandparents watched him and of course they had a ball together.

For the start of the day, we got all gussied up:

And headed to Rogers, Arkansas.  We got a bit of a late start to the day so by the time we finally got to town, the GPS lead us astray, and fighting Valentine's day traffic, Sonic was about the only place serving breakfast.  So we ate.  And it was YUM!!

Next up we did a little shopping at Hobby Lobby.  Hubby needed a new frame for his desk at work, and I was wanting to check out the stationary.  Also I have a little project I am planning for the Littlest Farmer's room, so I picked out some burlap-type twine for that.

By the time we finished shopping we needed to head to the Pinnacle Mall for our movie.  We walked around in the shops a little while, just enjoying some time together.  Then we saw Big Hero 6.  It was adorable!!  The short film "Feast" at the beginning had me crying... which was ridiculous.  I guess it was just being away from the Littlest Farmer and how the short ended that just totally got me.  I don't cry easily.  But yeesh!!  
"Feast" short, Disney 2014.
We really enjoyed Big Hero 6.  Yes it is probably weird that we enjoy watching "kid" movies.  But quite frankly, I enjoy not having to worry about seeing or hearing something distasteful.  This movie really had us laughing, and I can always appreciate that!

After our movie, we did a little shopping again.  My sweet hubby helped me pick out this:
I had to take it off my right hand and put it on my left because
I can't take pictures with my left hand. Haa!
Which I am loving.  It is my reminder of our sweet day together, and that we have been together 7 years.  It has been a beautiful, fun, crazy, messy ride.  And I cannot wait for many more!

We decided to take in another movie before our evening ended, and so we watched Mockingjay, Part 1.  I had read the books therefore I wanted to see the movie, but it was hard to watch.  Just so sad and basically just stressful!  We enjoyed Big Hero 6 much better.  

Not my picture.
We ended our evening with a DELICIOUS dinner at Johnny Carino's.  Our waiter was extremely nice and attentive, and that is something we always appreciate.
Not my picture, but this is what I got. SOO good!
We had a truly enjoyable day, and came home that night to find the Littlest Farmer had gone down to bed perfectly (like he always does) for his grandparents.