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".  

Ha!!

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.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Learning Love - What I've Learned in Seven Years of Marriage

Usually on Mondays I do a mommy post, but today I wanted to participate in the Learning Love linkup put on by Better Than Eden.  Especially since it just so happens that we just celebrated our 7th anniversary on Saturday!  It has been a wonderful 7 years.


2008

We were young.  And reminded of that often.  At 19 and 20 years old we said "I do" on February 14th of 2008.  That first year was the hardest we've experienced yet.  For one, our honeymoon started with me being sick and a visit to the ER.  We were young, we were dumb.  We were *so* immature.  I cannot say that enough.  Haha!!  We had to learn to put each other first instead of ourselves.  I was learning to run a household and balance work as a surgical technologist.  We had to learn to grow together.  We loved, we laughed, we screamed, we cried.  There were times I thought we weren't gonna make it.  My favorite memories are when we would come home after church on Sunday and cook burgers for ourselves on our little indoor George Foreman grill.  It was tough sometimes, but I have never regretted - not for one moment - that we got married young.  It was so worth it.  Worth every tough memory, worth every growing pain, worth helping each other become something better.

1. I learned this year that marriage isn't easy.  It isn't all rainbows and butterflies.  And quite frankly, people who act like it is easy scare me.  There are hard times, but that makes the good times more beautiful.  Marriage is about knowing that someone loves you enough to endure your ugly moments.  It's about helping each other fight through those not-so-Christian characteristics to become something way better.

2009

It seemed like this year was filled with a LOT of work.  Hubby was working and going to college still, and I was constantly working as well.  We were trying to save up to get our finances in order, pay off all debt, and save for a good house down payment.  But it wasn't until the fall of 2009 that we decided to let our family know that we would be making the move from the plains of West Texas to the beautiful hills of Arkansas.  My mother was ecstatic, to say the least!  She and Dad were very happy to have us near them again!  It was also this year that I was having some frightening health problems.  I would nearly pass out, sometimes couldn't stand and barely talk.  I would have headaches with blind spots.  I know now that this was all hormone related, but at the time of course I was convinced it was a brain tumor.  I did have an MRI which showed some white matter on the brain, the after effect of such severe migraines.

2. It was this year I learned that my husband had a way of giving me the confidence that I had needed for years. We had to really start listening to each other's body language, emotions, and to watch each other spiritual development.  We had to learn to tell each other when something bugged us, when something made us feel loved, when something helped us grow in Christ.  This helped confidence and trust to grow, something I'd never gotten to experience with anyone else.

2010

In February of this year, we made the big move to Arkansas.  It was a scary time - especially because the move took place in the middle of a big snow storm.  But with my family's help, we made it!  I got a job at a local hospital and Ben at a bank.  Elders were ordained at our congregation, my Dad being one of them.  Such a wonderful time!  We bought our first home together in April, which is where we still live today.  We love our little home!  We were able to open our home up for Bible studies and keeping preachers and family and friends which is a dream I have always had.  The summer of this year, we had our first "youth" meeting at church and we kept 13 girls for a week.  It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life!!  So fun! Towards the end of this year, my job did not go too well and I ended up starting school for medical transcription online.  At the end of this year, I quit at the hospital and became a full time student.


3. I learned this year that fear is often at the core of anger, and that being held and reassured is what I need when I am the most upset and angry.  Some of these moments are my most precious memories, when I had a brake-down because life was hard, but Ben knew to stop everything and hold me.  Somehow that always made it better or at least a little easier to face.

2011

This was a tough year for us financially.  I finished school and started working as a medical transcriptionist, but it took me a WHILE to work up to making what I needed to make for us to make it by, which I didn't expect.  But somehow we made it!  Thank goodness for a good emergency fund.  We went camping together as a couple for the first time this year.  Pearl had kittens.  My cousin lived with us for a few months.
4. I learned this year the glaring truth that just because you do good things doesn't mean you won't face hard times.  I think I just grew up thinking that if you help put on enough Bible studies, keep enough people in your home, and visit enough sick people that some how things will magically work out perfectly.  Because you are being a good Christian, right?!  Sad to say I had that frame of mind early on.  I mentioned I was inmature, right?! Haha!


2012

Got my first flock of chickens this year.  I was given Siri this year, also.  I started to embrace the homesteading life!  We had great fun this year as Ben and I and my entire family went to Florida for a big vacation.  We went to Disney, SeaWorld, and stayed in a gorgeous beach side home.  We had a blast!!  




5. This year was about learning patience and understanding that would continue far into the next year.  It was a year we had to learn to enjoy living in the moment, not wasting away "today" because you can't have what you want right now.

2013

I started my blog in 2013.  The year was a very hard one.  It is one I honestly can't remember a lot of (until the end) because I feel like I was just in a dark pit of sadness and fertility monitoring and testing.  I am so thankful that Ben was there to keep pushing me forward when I just wanted to lay down and sleep my days away.  This was also the year Ben went to India on a missionary-type trip.  But in October we were surprised with a positive pregnancy test.  It was a wonderful, wonderful time.  Full of fear of course, but I was so happy to finally be a mom!

6. This year I feel like Ben and I learned a lot about being more long-suffering with others, more understanding, and less critical.  Going through trials and hard times has a way of molding your heart into a more compassionate person.  This was something I really needed, since in the past I tended to be more of a cut and dried, "just get over it and move on" sort of person.

2014

What a wonderful year 2014 was.  This was the year that our Littlest Farmer was born!!  I still remember that day as one of the best of my life.  I think it was year 2014 that Ben and I have grown the most so far.  Becoming a parent really changes the way you look at everything.  We have made so many changes!  We have learned to forgive, to build up, and to be more steady for each other spiritually.  Mostly this year we really learned what it means to communicate.







7. I learned this year that the only one who is never going to let you down, no matter what, is God.  The rest of us will all make mistakes at some point and disappoint each other.  Ben and I learned how 
awesome it is to be parents, to bring a child into the world together, and how it feels to have your entire life changed by that little baby.  We really started to examine our lives as Christians and make some big changes.  Ben also really started getting serious about work and started school again to get his Bachelor's in Marketing Management.  His focus is to be able to make enough one day that we don't have to struggle to get by on one income and that he will also get to spend more time with the Littlest Farmer and me.

2015

While I know the year 2015 has only just begun, I want to note what I have learned so far this year.  I have learned how beautiful life is.  It is so, SO beautiful - even if you don't have a lot of money to enjoy the finer things.  The simple things are the most priceless and make your life the most rich!!  I have spent precious moments drinking in baby smiles and that sweet baby smell.  I have begun to develop a new respect for my husband who will do anything and everything to provide a way for me to stay home with our son.  We have started to study the Bible together and that really changes things.  We have furthered our communication with each other which always makes things run smoother.  It has been a beautiful year so far, and to think it has only just begun!!



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thrilling Thursdays: Animal and Baby Update!

The last week or two has been filled with moments of fun and moments of frustration.

For one thing, the Friday before last started with my cat.

Peeing.

In our printer.

UGH.  Not a good day.  Siri has been bad about doing this kind of thing lately, and this was the last straw.  I love my girl SO much, but once a cat starts to pee inside in random places (when there is a perfectly clean litter box just a few feet away) there is no stopping them.  So my WONDERFUL brother in law helped me out by making my two inside kitties a beautiful cat house.

Now they can live just outside our french doors and watch us all day just like they are inside, just minus the urine.  I think Gypsy is already loving it way more, but Siri will probably take more time to adjust.

Then there was Engine who decided he would rather be a chicken...

I couldn't find him all day and was starting to get worried when I went to check on the chickens.  Here he came out of the empty broody house, just stretching and as happy as could be.  The chickens weren't phased a bit by his presence.  They didn't so much as bat an eye!

Next was the cold front that came through... we haven't had hardly a speck of snow all winter and the weatherman said we might have a little something.  Even the animals were excited that something was coming....


But we ended up getting nothing more than a few flakes.  Boo!  I mean I don't want to be snowed in for days, but we usually get at least one pretty snow during the winter!  I kinda miss it.

This past weekend we all went to eat with our family to our favorite Chinese restaurant.  Oh, so good!!  They had an aquarium that the Littlest Farmer really enjoyed...

Then on Sunday we visited the park with the Littlest Farmer.  There were all sorts of neat things to see and do!  We went on a little hike afterwards, too.  We love spending time outdoors with our baby boy!
Cave demonstration.
Bird watch!
 It has been a great week!  How was your week?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Whimsical Wednesdays: Budgeting of Money, Time, and Eating

One of my biggest resolutions this year has had to do with budgeting... from about every sort of angle imaginable.  I think teaching ourselves that we need to have self control when it comes to food, money, and our time can make us happier people.  I think it already has for me!  I have a LONG way to go and I will never be perfect at mastering the art of budgeting, but I am going to give it my best try.

Budgeting Money

Learning to budget money, I think, is one of the keys to being able to enjoy it and not allowing it to control you.  After a very rough past few years for us we have a long way to go in this area, but we really enjoy listening to Dave Ramsey and applying a lot of the principals about money that he suggests.  At one point in the past we were just about to start "baby step 4", but currently we are on "baby step 2" again (paying off all debt).  Hopefully we will get that one done within a reasonable amount of time so that we can move on to the next baby step.  I like to work in steps!!

I also think budgeting money is great because it helps us achieve our goals.  We have two main goals: One is to help others.  We would love to be able to give more.  I often feel frustrated because we want to buy someone else's dinner, give more at church, give to worthy causes, leave big tips for a waitress, etc. etc. and we aren't able to do as much as we would like right now.  Another really large goal that will probably take years to achieve is living on more acreage so that we can have more animals.  Think horses, goats, alpacas, more chickens and the list goes on!  It is one of my biggest dreams to live on a small farm and it always has been.  I am hoping with some good, sturdy budgeting that one day we can reach these goals and dreams of ours! 

Budgeting Time

I am learning you have to be really wise with the time that is given to you.  Time goes SOO fast!!  It has really gone fast since we had our first baby.  In order for me to feel good about spending all the time I have been blessed with, I feel that I need to learn to use it wisely.  I try to cuddle my sweet baby boy, laugh with him, read to him, and all sorts of other things as much as I can while I still can.  


I am trying to spend my time actively... not laying around but moving, going, being, doing.  I have bad days, sometimes more often than I would like to admit.  But this is a work in progress!!  I am ALWAYS trying to improve on it.  I don't want to look back one day, in my old age, and regret spending my time unwisely on things that didn't really matter.

Go, be, and do!!

Budgeting Eating


Oh I love a good burrito!!
UGH I hate this one.  It is a very hard one for me to properly grasp.  I am a serious over-eater.  I could easily weigh 100s of pounds if not careful.  I love juicy burgers, carb-heavy foods covered in cheese, fried EVERYTHING.... I could go on all day.  I LOVE food.  I enjoy eating a little too much at times!  So I have really been trying to be careful lately, just trying to remember that moderation is key.  Sure, eat a burger now and then.  But not every day.  Have a Coke, ahhhh.  So yum.  But not everyday, it has to be a special treat.  Because of adopting a new way of thinking about food, I have been able to shed a few annoying pounds and I am hoping to shed even more.  I am starting to feel a lot better about myself now that I am just beginning to fit into those pre-baby shirts! (Jeans were easy, it has been the shirts that have been impossible to get back into for me.  Weird!)

These are some major things I am focusing on in my life right now.  What are you currently trying to budget?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Tales - Spark the Rooster's Adventures at Little Bitty Life, Chapter 5

Click here to start at chapter 1 of Spark's Adventures!

I woke up early this morning because today I am a flurry of excitement.  According to Gladdice, one of the hens here at Little Bitty Life, the postman is arriving TODAY!  With chicks!!

"All right everybody!"  I crowed across the barnyard. "As you have all heard by now I am sure, the postman is bringing our chicks today."

"What's a postman?" Engine the cat mewed aloud.  Clearly he is new around here.  Arrived about 6 months ago under the hood of Mr. Farmer's car.... hence his name.

"A postman is a most wonderful thing," I explained, "He brings us farm things from afar when he has seen that we have been good little chickens and kitties and doggies."

"AND ponies!" Bill piped up.

"Yes, that too."  I said, remembering the giant bouncing ball the postman once brought Bill.  Ponies enjoy the strangest things.

"Now I need everyone's cooperation for the parade!" I clucked. "When the postman arrives, we must give him a fine welcome.  We must let him know we appreciate him, after all, or he may never come back."


In a bustle of feathers and fur and paws and claws, we each took our places along the entrance driveway up to the farm.  The hens sat in a huddle, clucking and laughing like hens do.  Siri the calico cat had managed to work the lock on the dog yard so Arwen and Jake were there, panting happily in the sunshine.  Bill even decided to attend, carrying a big bucket of oats to munch on until go-time.  The cats were here and there, acting like they could care less but I knew the truth.

We were all excited!!

The squirrels even took a place in the trees overhead to chatter about what was happening down below.

I kept an eye on the turn off to Little Bitty Farm.  Looking for that old white truck that the postman drove.  Looking... looking...

"HE'S HERE!!!!!" I flapped my wings and crowed.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mommy Post Monday: Some Days You Just Get By

Last week, I entirely disappeared from the blogosphere.  I was not to be found.  Not here, not there, not anywhere.  It was kind of like a Dr. Seuss novel.

You could not find me in a tree.

You could not find me on a ski.

I just tried to focus on breathing...

Why? Because my baby is teething!!

Teething is forreal.  I always just thought people had cranky babies and made it up as an excuse.  Yes, I am that stupid!!  Well I am here to tell you it is a real, VERY real thing!  The Littlest Farmer is usually such a sweet boy, pretty laid back and low-key.  So I knew something must be up when he was waking often in the night and screaming during the day.  Upon further inspection were TWO tips of tiny teeth in his lower jaw.

That marks another thing that I, Mommy Clueless, did not know.  I just assumed a baby would teethe a couple of days and WHAM - one big beautiful tooth to show for it.  NOPE!!  More like screaming, crying, wailing, needing constant cuddles through the night with nothing to show for it other than maybe 1 millimeter of tooth sticking up.  It isn't even enough to get a picture of.  It looks more like just a suspicious line on the gums.  

Pitiful.  All that work for that?!

The good news is that since these two teeth seem to have broken the surface, our Littlest Farmer seems much more settled.  You can still tell he's uncomfortable sometimes, but it isn't quite as bad as before.

So I was really counting my blessings last week, even through the tough teething times.  SO thankful hubby works hard so that I can stay home with our Littlest Farmer, cuddle him as he needs it, sing to him, read to him, and try all sorts of remedies for his discomfort to see what works and what doesn't.  Sometimes, I am learning as a new momma, you just "get by".  Laundry?  Dishes?  BLOGGING?  Ha.  It doesn't happen....

"The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep."
- Ruth Hamilton

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mommy Post Monday: My Hospital Bag Must-Have's

My Labor and Delivery Hospital Bag Must-Haves 

1. Electronics and chargers: Your camera, phone, and/or laptop.  For us, the laptop was nice to bring for a few reasons.  One being that we ended up being in the hospital for 4 days, so in order to share pictures of the Littlest Farmer with others off of our old DSLR camera the laptop was needed. 

2. Quarters. It is so nice to have a bunch of quarters for the snack machines and Coke machine!  Judge me if you want, but after having the Littlest Farmer I wanted some pretty fattening feel-good foods from the snack machines at all strange hours of the night.  And hubby kindly obliged!

3. Super soft socks of the prettiest kind. You are gonna be uncomfortable in all sorts of ways. Let your feet be warm and happy at least. 

4. A robe. Hospital gowns sometimes just need a little help when it comes to good coverage. A robe is so useful!  I used mine a LOT.

5. Nursing sleep bra. Anything else with more support than a sleep bra was very uncomfortable while I was trying adjust to feeding a tiny human. COMFORT is KEY. 

6. Your going home outfit: I suggest wearing the *most* comfortable thing home, and a skirt instead of pants. I have heard some women can wear pants home just fine, but not I.  It was a nightmare. I wished I would have brought a skirt.

7. Nursing pillow. I just ended up using pillows that the hospital provided, but some find a nursing pillow very useful. 

8. Slippers. You might have to do a lot of walking either during labor or after birth for various reasons. Slippers with a non-slide bottom are a must. 

9. File folder. They will give you tons of papers and instructions after you go home from the hospital, and this can help contain everything. 

10. Toiletries. It is soooo nice after a long labor to hop into the hospital shower and be able to use nice shampoo, conditioner, body soap and to simply brush your teeth. Also bring makeup and hair tools to fix your hair. You won’t regret and it will make you feel so much better about yourself!! Don’t forget to be sure your hubby brings his toiletries, too. Don’t forget the deodorant! 

11. Contact lenses/glasses. You want to be able to see everything. Bring your contacts!! 

12. Lanolin. If you are going to try breastfeeding, lanolin is a life saver. Get a big tube of it from Wal-mart and apply it generously as needed.  The hospital did provide some for me, but it was precious little and I would have appreciated a LOT more!

13. Clothing for your family. This includes clothes for hubby and clothes for newborn baby. Bring more than one change of clothing for both, because you don’t know how long you will be there. 

14. Chapstick. If you are in hours of labor, this is sooo nice. 

15. Hairbands and clips. To keep that pesky hair out of the way when you need it out of the way!

Happy delivery!  Think positive thoughts.  :)