Just write.

I feel like it's been a while since I've journaled about my life, and I feel like writing it out might help me organize my thoughts, so here I go.

I've been using the same version of Photoshop Elements for the last TEN years! A great $90 well spent, it seems. And today it won't open. I'll have Rory take a look at it, but isn't that weird? I've been limping along with it because I'm too cheap to pay the subscription each month and I know how to use Elements. But my days may be over. Hence, no pictures in this post. Instead, here are all sorts of words and stories tumbling around in my head.

Two weeks ago I took a HUGE load of laundry out of the dryer and discovered that a red crayon had made it into that load and came into contact with every single article of clothing that I had stuffed into the machine. But here's an interesting insight with how I cope: My heart rate didn't even rise. I simply didn't have time to get upset. I just took it all out, put it in a basket and put the basket in a corner for the next week and a half. I believe they call this denial. I call it saving my energy. And it was only when Rory asked what my plan, exactly, was with all of that laundry that I decided to go article by article and throw a whole lot of it away. It looked like blood. I saved big bath towels to use as rags. I saved a pair of Rory's NEW jeans for work clothes. (I clearly do not pre-sort my laundry...) I tossed the rest. It was terrible. But what are you going to do?

Here's a happier story: Yesterday Alden was dedicated at church and it was such a special day. We will have him baptized around Thanksgiving with my side of the family, and as I always say, in both services we are proclaiming the same truth: this is God's kid first. We get to raise him. We get to be his mom and dad. But God will always be his heavenly father. We recognize that. We acknowledge that. We believe that. And it always feels so good to have these services as a public declaration that we stand on that truth while doing our best to raise our kids to know and love and fear their Maker.

After the dedication we celebrated Rory's 40th birthday, Hattie's 2nd birthday and Ivar's 7th birthday. At the beginning of the fall I had asked Rory what he wanted to do for his 40th. I had always planned on a big barn dance, but then we had the Family Corn Roast and we both felt a little exhausted of event planning. He said what he wanted most was to have help get the farm ready for winter. So we invited family and friends (who knew how to run a tractor!) to come and help triple the size of his garden. Unfortunately it rained hard on his birthday so we cancelled. But the thing about a farm is that the work doesn't actually get cancelled even if the party is cancelled. So the two of us worked our tails off over the course of two days. And you know? It was a lot of work! And it also was very, very satisfying. I was happy to have him and he was happy to have me. It was all shoveling dirt, raking leaves, and using a pitch fork to spread wood chips. But we did it and I do believe I will take more ownership in that garden now that I worked so hard alongside Rory.

Speaking of working with Rory...the farm partnership has morphed into his work as well. We launched a sales campaign last week and stuffed a bunch of envelopes with a mailer selling his weather monitoring services. I signed my name on each letter, Rory folded and stuffed, Elsie sealed each one and Ivar put the stamp on. We worked hard as a family and it was very rewarding to get those envelopes in the mail. We are in a very new-to-us, uncharted season, where we are working together more and more. And what we're seeing quite clearly is that my gifts and his gifts compliment each other really well. It feels exciting and full of possibilities.

Another whole topic: I have a friend, Cori, who invited me to her 7-day pure eating group. I accepted with enthusiasm and then she set me up with a menu for the week, grocery list, ideas for healthy snacks and had a facebook group where she posted encouraging thoughts and truths about our bodies and God's hope for our lives. I loved it. Ate great for 7 days and have now continued another week. Yesterday there were three birthday cakes and a plate full of my sister-in-law's incredible sugar cookies and I pulled through. I had a cup of coffee instead (with a whole lot of maple syrup as my consolation!) and decided if I can withstand that sort of deliciousness, I think I can pull this eating off. I never weighed myself...it's not about that for me this time. It's just eating what leaves me feeling good and gives me energy.

Oh here's another story. On Saturday I pulled into the driveway with a van full of groceries. The sheep were all on my front sidewalk eating my hollyhocks. I tried to open the garage door, but it gets off its track easily and takes Rory to lift it while I press the button. (I have a call in for a new garage door). So I parked the car and shoo'd the sheep out of the way, tripped on the cats, told the chickens to move and started bringing the bags of groceries in the front door, careful not to step in any of the sheep poop that was scattered along the sidewalk.

I brought in bag after bag, closing the sliding door after each load because the chickens and cats were trying to get into the van and the sheep were sniffing around.

I got all the groceries into the house, left my shoes on the front step, and then went in to bring the groceries from the entry into the kitchen and put them away.

Sunday morning rolled around and we were all dressed up for Alden's dedication, running late for the meeting before the service for families who had kids being dedicated. Rory took Hattie to the van in the driveway and then came back with Hattie and announced, "Boa the cat was trapped in the van overnight. There is cat poop and throw up in three places that I have found so far."

Can. You. Imagine??!!

Can you?!!!!!

So Rory found the big towels that had red melted crayon on them (perfect!) and used them to start cleaning up the mess. As fast as he could. Then we checked everyone's seat and told the kids to load up and raced off to church.

And now I have a call in for a full interior detail. The works. Heavy clean. We want it to look brand new.  And please, make it smell brand new too.

On that note, I'll let you go now. Thanks for listening. I miss this space for these mind dump posts. They're good for me. As always, I'm still posting quick posts on The Grovestead Instagram. So if I ever go to quiet here, I'm likely over there...

Happy Monday!


Nancy Holte said...

You amaze me! I'm sitting here ready to eat my weight in donuts because of internet/phone issues that can't easily be dealt with. And yet, I don't have cat poop in my van - I don't think.

Emily Torgerson said...

I so love your stories. These are stories you can't make up. The joy and messiness of raising a family. These are the stories that will be told for decades!

Unknown said...

Hi Becca! Thought you would enjoy this recipe from Lynn Cash for kale soup. You can substitute collard greens for kale if you want and omit the cilantro. Serve it with lots of shredded mozzarella. This is one of my favorite winter dishes! I eat it for dinner. Freezes beautifully too!
Love, Cathy & Chuck
1 pound fresh chopped prepackaged kale
One cup onion diced
26 or 32 ounce box chicken stock
Two cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
Two cans great Northern white beans
Fresh lime juice to taste (2-3 limes)
Fresh cilantro to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onions in a large pot, then add everything else, cover and bring to a boil until the leaves are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.