Tough times go away not tough people

I have to muck the barn this weekend. I’m dreading it honestly. Manual labor is not one of my specialties but I know it needs to be done.

There’s a lot of work involved with having a farm or small homestead. Getting the fencing up was no joke. Here’s a picture of what we had to work with before.

Before we moved in

Our pasture looks completely different now. Thanks to an excavator buddy & my husband’s hard work we were able to get the blackberry bushes and brush down so we could put up a fence.

I have never lived on a farm before or had a barn. My animal experience has mostly been limited to having a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel & a little hamster (may she rest in peace).

Pigs & goats are hard work. There’s also the scary barn critters that terrify me since I’m a bit of a wimp. I know eventually I’ll find some rodents like rats and we’ve already had our first bat experience (pictured below).

I brushed it with my hand by accident & nearly had a heart attack when I saw it😂

My point is that nothing worth having comes easy. My mom likes to joke when I get another animal or even want another baby. Her favorite comment: “It’s like you picked up a rock and wanted to smash it with your head.” What words of inspiration. Thanks mom.

But I know she has good intentions. She is only looking for my best interests because I get overwhelmed quite easily. Going from one baby to having another one 15 months later is a good example. I ended up having to go to an outpatient hospital stay because of my severe postpartum depression.

You never want to put too much on your plate. It’s hard enough just going through the motions of life without feeling completely swamped. But the heart wants what it wants. And I wanted a farm.

I mentioned in previous posts that I had a lot of naysayers that didn’t believe that we could pull it off. I even wrote for advice in my community Facebook page and I got a lot of miserly responses. It didn’t discourage me but having people who I thought were friends not believe in me did.

Not everyone’s going to have your back. There’s always going to be haters who don’t want you to succeed. But one of my favorite quotes is “tough times go away not tough people.” Hard work isn’t fun. Waking up at 5:30 am downright sucks for lack of a better word. But I do it everyday.

Don’t listen to the cynics. Do what your heart wants you to do. If that means moving across the country and starting over, do it. Our time on this planet is finite. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. So find that strength inside of you because you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option.

After pic. Our hard work paid off 💪🏾

Pack animals

When I was first thinking of getting a pig, I just wanted one. I already had responsibilities as a wife, mom & teacher. We already had a dog. One farm animal would be just fine I thought.

Pigs & goats are pack animals. They are social animals who thrive off companionship. Later when I learned they needed to be in a pack, I found a friend for my one pig. I then added two goats. I went from wanting one animal to now having four. It was the best decision because now they’re a little family.

After I had my first baby, I felt so alone. I was still new to Washington and I wasn’t working. The isolation as a stay at home mom and not having friends intensified my “baby blues” I was experiencing. It later became unbearable and turned into full blown postpartum depression. Coupled with my preexisting bipolar depression thoughts of suicide had creeped into my head.

How was this possible? I just had a beautiful baby. My parents lived across the country in New Jersey but helped as much as they could. My husband has always been my rock but was working 50 hour plus a week for our family.

I realized I needed a support system. I joined local mom Facebook groups. I befriended my next door neighbor (who has become one of my dearest friends). I got out of my comfort zone & befriended people from all walks of life.

Soon my depression lifted. I was surrounded by people who loved and supported me. I began to count my blessings & not my burdens. My friends helped me realize this.

I truly believe that “your vibe attracts your tribe.” Once I realized I needed further companionship than my immediate family I began working on my vibe by cultivating real, meaningful friendships.

Friendships are the family you choose. My network is now compromised of people who are truly invested in my life. So to all my girlfriends, near & far, thank you for lifting me from the darkest place & choosing me to be your family.

My Seattle bossbabes

Happier than a pig in mud

Gizmo & Goku, my handsome guys

Scrolling through my social media, you’ll probably notice I favor my pigs. I do. I’ve been in love with pigs since I was a little girl after watching Charlotte’s Web. If you come to my home you’ll see it covered with pig decor. I really love pigs.

They fascinate me. I can spend hours out there watching them. And I did. I studied their behaviors and thought “how nice to be a pig.”

Pigs are one of the smartest animals in the world. I didn’t know that, but later discovered it by watching their habits. Maybe humans have something to learn from them.

They eat, sleep, and enjoy life. They are always present in whatever it is they’re doing. I think the key here is being present.

My mind is all over the place whether I’m feeling manic or not. It’s hard for me to settle down with my thoughts because I’m always distracted. If I just focused on what’s in front of me- I think I would be a much happier person.

I spent this afternoon immersed in being with my kids. There are many things stressing me out at the moment especially with going back to teaching in the fall. However I really tried my best to “think like a pig”. I put down my phone, stopped my cleaning, and really played with them.

In today’s world we are constantly distracted. I’m guilty of it by spending entirely too much time on my phone. It connects me with others but prohibits me from being actively present.

My boys are 3, 4, and 9. They are only getting older by the day. I’ll never have this time back with them. It seems like I blinked and now they’re not babies anymore.

So tonight I’m going to put down my phone. I’m going to think like a pig. Eat, enjoy my boys, and go to sleep. Because what else is more to life than that?

Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain.

Dave Matthews Band

I’m no farmer

My happy place

Let me preface this by saying the following- I am not a farmer. My “farmhouse” is moreso a petting zoo than a real farm. We have two pigs, two goats, and hopefully more eventually.

The beginning of the pandemic and before the official lockdown of Washington state we decided to buy a house. Just for fun, like I usually do as a harmless pastime, I was scrolling through Zillow. I saw a house settled on almost 2 acres & had a barn.

My husband is the voice of reason in our relationship. Once he saw it he immediately agreed to check it out. We fell in love but I was more excited about all the LAND. Now 2 acres might not seem like a lot of land. However we had just come from a subdivision home with a postage stamp lot so this was huge to us.

Countless people have shared the power of nature with me. Knowing I struggle with a mental illness they encouraged me to be outside as much as possible. I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest. Spending time out in nature did not sound appealing to me. Now that we owned a home with land opened so many possibilities in my head.

I was joking with my girlfriends one night & said “hey maybe I’ll get a mini pig!” Soon the idea was cemented in my head. I became obsessed with it, devouring every pig book I could find.

My husband agreed to the pigs as long as we could get goats. My heart soared. Afterwards we spent a month getting the barn & fencing properly secured.

It’s been about three months since I’ve had the animals. People who supported me & even the naysayers both said “it’s not going to be easy”. And it hasn’t been. I wake up earlier now than I did when my boys were babies. I spent the first month covered in bug bites. The pigs are also escape artists which is something I had to learn the hard way. But anything worth having doesn’t come easy.

Being out in nature and surrounded with animals is exactly what I needed. It is my self care & my break when I need to step away. Self care has many definitions for people. It can be as simple as making sure you drank a lot of water that day.

For me, I thought just being with my children would sustain my happiness. They are the blessings in my life. However I know that a moment to myself out with the animals makes me a better mom in the long run.

So treat yo self. Find something, big or small, to bring a little joy into your day. And to all my mamas- it’s ok to need a break sometimes.

Their first tiktok 😜