Buying a Farm

Our life has circled the edges of it.

The horse we own, the husband whose work is with the land and the children who desire to live outside more then in. Yet we remained in our beautiful suburban community, in all 3700 square feet of a house we really didn’t “need”. We have stayed because it is “comfortable”.

Like many, the weeks at home have found us contemplating things that mean the most to us. We began to dream about what life could look like living with those things at our center.

That is how we found ourselves one beautiful Sunday afternoon walking through the doors of a farmhouse for sale.

As we explored the house, the two barns and the 17 acres of farmland, forest and stream, all eight of us felt joy settle deep in the soul.

We offered what we thought was reasonable and now we find ourselves in contract.

There are steps still left in the process, a house to sell in a beautiful suburban community, but we are hopeful in months time we will have a new place to call home.

Syd at 13

Dear Syd,

I love you but I don’t get to claim you.

You don’t come from my gene pool.

I don’t know what your cry sounded like at birth or what your favorite baby food was.

I missed first steps, first days of school and five hundred other firsts, but I am grateful that I get to be here today.

Watching you transform into this confident, funny and thoughtful young lady is one of the greatest gifts of my life. I can’t take credit for a single second of who you are becoming, but I get the profound privaledge of watching life unfold for you.

I know sometimes our relationship must feel awkward. I am this woman that walked into your world at 10 and upended life as you knew it.

Thank you for forgiving me for my failings. For understanding when I don’t say the right things or how I sometimes serve raw meat for dinner. Thank you for teaching me that love comes at different times and in many different packages.

I am so happy we get to do life together.

For your thirteenth year I wish for you more late nights laughing with your sisters, more inside jokes and crushes on boys, more stargazing, more growing in grace, more tiaras, more tutus and less worrying about what others may be thinking of you.

I get prouder of you with every passing year.

Happy birthday beautiful girl. I love you more then words can say.

Love,

H.

Momma.

P.S. Can I say I am patting myself on the back with this year’s pick? Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Miles

I found my way back home on its belt.

25 miles a week over ten years means 13,000 miles of treadmill runs logged.

While little girls slept she showed me I could soar.

Today she stopped working.

I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I wondered if it was a sign.

As 43 lurks around the corner was someone whispering that this body was better suited for pilates and the occasional pavement run?

While standing in a pool of my silly tears I realized I was being reminded that I could find myself again in the run.

Tomorrow at 7am when the forecast calls for 34 degrees and partly cloudy skies, I will fly.

Here’s to 13,000 more on the open road.

Lost

The job gone.

Position altered, choices made.

The whole of a adult life wrapped up in the climb. Each job over the next defining self worth.

And, in the midst of the fog, catastrophe strikes, one only Hollywood could dream up.

So we sit.

While the world waits, I wait with it.

Giving up on asking questions, knowing the answers will be reached in his time, not mine.

Living in the limits of twenty-four hours. What would he have me do today?

Be here.

Sit with them.

Steer the ship through this storm.

Navigate what is new to all of us.

Grace

The house silent.

The quiet can be felt.

Where most Monday’s from 9-3 would feel like this, today is different.

Girls working, me left contemplating the days ahead.

Whispering prays for protection.

The challenges ahead unknown, but wasn’t that truth the same last Monday as it is today?

Forced to live in this moment, grace will grow.

Roads

There was a former work colleague who lived a life of faith.

Invitations extended to daily mass, philosophical debates about the eucharist and eternal life, all while sipping coffee at Clementine’s.

“So I should thank him for you and I meeting?” Matt spoke last night.

Instantly reminded of the role others played in leading us to this life lived here.

The connections that covered me in love and brought me a husband and three more beautiful girls.

In a world that teaches us to wear independence as a badge of honor we ignore the truth- it is only by walking with others that we are able to understand who we are called to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Tall trees

Matthew is an arborist by trade.

He warned me once about the fate of some neighborhood trees. He spoke of how they would fall.

A new house in our community had been built; tall pines cut down to make room for it.

Where there had once been a rich forest only a few remained.

Matthew told me of how the trees that had grown accustomed to the shelter provided by others would now be left vulnerable.

No sooner had the first major storm passed than one of the remaining pines found itself on the brand new roof.

I think of Matthew’s words often.

The analogy fitting.

As we stand two years into building our family, I am reminded of how we predicted the rains and the winds, but underestimated the forest that surrounded us.

They can’t stop the storm, but they bear the brunt of it’s beating.

During a week when the forecast is particularly brutal, I find myself filled with gratitude for the gifts of those who stand beside us. May we one day be their forest.

Thirteen

January 12, 2020

 

Dear Audrey Hope,

It was just last month when I realized you had made that transition from girl to young woman. We were waiting for you to perform at your recital. I caught you in your chair taking deep breathes. I assumed your were nervous. When I asked you got a silly smile on your face and told me you were doing the breathing exercises your teacher had taught you. Then you walked up front, played your guitar and belted out your song. Your confidence in your craft was impressive, but more than that it was your independence. You had this. Why would I doubt?

So today beautiful girl you turn thirteen and I can’t but help remember the baby you were. Your Papi said you looked like a cabbage patch doll and with the round face and big blue eyes you really did.

You’ve been a gift from the moment your graced our world. You have always been easygoing.

You roll with the punches and you teach your rigid Momma to do the same.

Your world is big and your heart is even bigger.

Thank you for loving all of us so effortlessly.

The way you reach out to cuddle and care even when we are at our prickliest, is pretty special.

This year will hold great things for you, I just know it.

Keep in mind I am along for the ride. There will be more date nights, conversations about good books and dance parties in the kitchen.

I love you baby girl.

I am so proud to be your Momma.

Happy 13!

Love,

Momma

PS- In appreciation for both the words and the talent behind the guitar, it had to be Cat Stevens for this year’s birthday song.

 

Away

 

We left.

Packed our bags. Pulled out the drive. Drove south.

13 hours and one detour later we made it to our destination.

Now we spend these days soaking up the shore.

It may not make sense to many. Why we choose to leave behind holidays at home.

But you see, when these lives have been about the tug and pull of one house or another, special days can become a blur. By removing ourselves from what was, we have a chance to focus on what is.

Building this family not by glitter or gold, by the gift of our presence.

 

 

 

Hard

The husband captured the moment.

Wife contemplating months of mothering.

The waves, the metaphor for the back and forth of the season.

Just when she thought a course had been charted, a decision reached, a new question would wash ashore.

The weight of the world rested on those shoulders.

And then it was over.

And now she can’t quite remember why it was all so hard, in part because this season has welcomed a new hard.

The heavy is here and the waves aren’t retreating.

So she will once again stand at the edge. She will ponder the places he’s calling her to.

She will remember that the hard brings the happy.

And she will be grateful for this gift.