Friday, October 31, 2014


Whew! It has been one wild and crazy week. We have been working hard from sun up til sun down on our kitchen make-over and farm clean-up, and I am exhausted and bone-weary. 

Somehow, in the midst of all this hub-ub, Halloween snuck up on me and we barely found a moment to celebrate. For the first year I can remember, we didn't carve a pumpkin, and it broke my heart just the tiniest bit. 

Trick or treating flew by tonight in a flurry of excitement and chaos. It was so cold, but the kids enjoyed every minute of it. Practicing their trick or treats and Thank You's all day, they were thoroughly prepared for their evening. Even little Eleanor joined in on the fun and was so proud of herself, showing off her skittles like it was the best thing she had ever accomplished. 

When we finally made it home, we took a break from everything, piled up on the couch under a hoard of blankets and watched Charlie Brown in It's The Great Pumpkin. I snuggled my babes close and breathed them in, soaking up every inch of them. Hugging them a little tighter and kissing their cheekies a little longer as I tucked them in. 

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

oh the wonderful things kids say

When asked a question about what his mom was like, Isaac replied- "she's a clever gal."

Aussie gushing to friends about her baby sister- "She has learned to say 'please' she just says AAAAGGGHHHH."

Zain-"Hey pretty lady" when I walked into his room.

The Ice-Man (aka Isaac) still uses the f sounds for a lot of words. Example- truck, well, you can figure it out from there- slays me every time.

We were invited to a family's house for dinner recently, they have a few kiddos and one is adopted. A gorgeous little girl from China. I told Aussie they were celebrating her 'gotcha day' and Aus was so confused. I explained that she is adopted and asked "have you ever noticed that she looks different from her brother and sister" Being that they are all red heads I thought it may be obvious.  Aussie says-" nope, they look like a beautiful family to me."  Exactly.

"I want to be a man, just like Daddy"- Zain's answer to what he would like to be for Halloween.

Eleanor actually does say "look." She yells it while pointing at everything she sees."Look, Mamma, look!" She also sings "glory, glory, hallelujah" and it's the best thing ever!

I recently put a hoop in my nose and the night before an event Aussie asked if I was going to wear it. I assured her that I would of course change it if it bothered her, to which she replied- "no, Mamma I think it looks beautiful."

Isaac-"Ahhhh, your poor head." Me- "What's wrong with my head?" Isaac- "It's all dark down the middle." ha, guess it's time to go get some highlights, love the honesty of a child.

Our cows have been going thru a 'season' shall we say. Aussie was telling me all about it-"Mamma, our bull calf and white face are bf's. They give each other piggy back rides all the time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

a gourd-geous day

Kaleb and I TRY to make things a big deal for our crazies. We like to pile them up and whisk them away for small adventures, we celebrate all holidays big and small and aspire to foster a love for the outdoors and an active lifestyle.

Some they won't remember. Actually, most they won't, and that's ok. There is definitely a few moments I hope they do forget. What I crave for them is a sense, a feeling, a knowing that they were surrounded and filled up with love. That we tried, that we gave them our all.

Not all of these special events turn out exactly as you dreamed. You have a vision in your head of creating this perfect family memory only for it to fall apart at the seams.

Life with four little ones has it's moments, sometimes they can be a little difficult, aaaannnd I'm sure they could say the same thing about me. But, there are days when it all falls into place and I enjoy their company so much, and for the briefest of moments I think- this is going to be alright, them growing up, it may even be great.

Anyhow, that's a long lead in to what was one of those magnificently beautiful days this past week. The kind where it was everything you wanted and yet so much more. The kind where you genuinely enjoyed them and it felt less like parenting and more like a great day out with loved ones.

We headed to a nearby pumpkin patch on Friday and spent the whole of the day foraging our way thru thick green corn mazes. Filling our shirts with soft puffs of hand picked cotton, and sending bright yellow corn sailing thru blue skies shot from a long cannon. We strolled thru seemingly unending fields of pumpkins searching for the perfect ones to finally paint and carve with silly faces and set atop our porch.

It was a day that they may not remember in year to come, but a day Kaleb and I won't soon forget.

p.s. guest posting today over on Helen's blog- I will bloom. She is seriously one of the most fantastic writers, and I was honored to be asked. You can check it out here, if your so inclined.

Monday, October 27, 2014

faq's and facts

I had a post planned for today, chalk full of gorgeous photos of the wee ones as we all relished in another fall family adventure, but if I'm completely honest, I'm a little bit frazzled. So, I thought I would share some of my personal overwhelmingness (soooo not a word) and also answer some questions some of you have asked.

We have a to do list here on the farm near a mile long, some with upcoming deadlines, some less pressing but necessary and desired. With some help, we hope to knock quite a few off the ole list this week, and though we have yet to even begin, I'm already stressed.

I have hopes and dreams of painting my kitchen this week with the  help of my amazing DIY'er mother-in-law. The problem- I have no idea what color to paint it. Right now it's a country barn reddish color, but it's chipped and stained and desperately needs a makeover. If you have any color help, do send it my way!

I have the matter of children's clothing to attend. Does anyone else know this stress? It's a bi-annual headache of finding seasonal appropriate wear that fits,going thru packed away hand me downs, and finally packing up old clothes in big containers to hopefully fit another wild one at another time.

And. . . Halloween is Friday! I have not even started on costumes and we have yet to carve a pumpkin. Seriously the fall season has near come and gone, and we have yet to even welcome it.

Ok, to answer a few questions. First off, for those who have asked- yes, our life really is pretty great. There are certainly bad days. Times that I get bored and stressed and as I've just pointed out, overwhelmed. As a whole though, it's awesome. I love being a wife and mother. 

Here on the blog, I like to post beautiful images and fill it with whimsical poetic writing. Mainly because that's what I enjoy  but more because, it's simply my writing style. I love to be shown happy people, who are enjoying life. It's really just small snippets of the whole, so I generally choose to show the lovely, but I try to give an honest look of it all.

Next, Four kids is really not any harder then one or two. Honestly I think it gets easier. I would say that having my second was my most difficult transition, but after that, you're really just adding into the chaos. It only gets better and better, promise.

As for my hair, I have been using the beach waves tutorial from here, (well, not in this photo. This is week old hair, don't look to close:) it's amazing. Takes a little time, but well worth it.

Alright, the time has come, the kids are almost up and I need to get myself in gear, and tackle this week head on.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 24, 2014

highs and lows

This week has been full of some beautiful messes, incredible weather and a lots of laughter, but like any week- it's also had a few minor hiccups and it's fair share of challenges.

Let me fill you in. . . 

High- After years of being handed drawing after drawing from my wee bits, and me not really knowing what to do with it and eventually throwing it out, only for them to find it and then me looking like a heartless.. well, anyway. I finally built them a beautiful barn wood display that I found on pinterest here. Now they can proudly show off their artistic talent and be in charge of what stays and what goes. Why I never thought of it sooner, I have no idea.

Low- I had one day where I was so unbelievably weary, dragging from the moment I awoke, truly exhausted. It was a long day only made worse by falling asleep for a bit of a nap on some misplaced chocolate chips and waking ten minutes later to the melted, messy aftermath that was matted in my hair and smeared down my arm. Thanks you baby bugs, thank you.

High- The big kids have been unbelievably happy this week. So content and self-entertained- building forts, playing football on a make-shift field their daddy made them. Erecting large wooden teepees with wood scraps, and swinging for hours on end. They have been outdoors from the minute we finish school til night is closing in and it makes my heart soar to see them so free.

Low- My baby bit is getting some fresh molars and she is a little ball of rashy, clingy, fussiness. In all the cutest ways possible of course.

High- Kaleb and I were craving some good quality time at the end of the day. We're both pretty worn out and it's easy to just want to sit. So we challenged ourselves to spend our evenings doing something fun, active. It's been so refreshing- we've finally broken open that game cabinet, and spent time creating together- either in the kitchen or outdoors. We've talked and laughed so much more and I love this new time.

Low- My Zain-o is having a difficult time remembering the numbers 11 and 12. I've tried everything- making it a game, using exercises and legos, maps and buttons. So far nothing is working and I am trying to decide if this is some kind of test he has  devised to find my breaking point or if he is being serious.  Either way, we've had some tricky school days.

I like to end on a high, It's always best to see the good, in my opinion. Kaleb was gone one night and we were fresh out of food, hardly a nibble to be found. After some serious searching, I was able to rustle up some pasta and drench it in butter and salt. I set the big table, lit all the candles I could find, poured some water in wineglasses and blared some italian music. We decided to make it a celebration with toasts to happiness and family and beautiful blessings. It's amazing how a few simple tweaks can elevate life, turn it into something beautiful.

Finally, the weekend is upon us again, a much needed break from chores and routine. We have lots of upcoming excitement and big to-do lists that we will hopefully be checking off next week with family coming into town to help. Plus, I'm so hoping to get halloween costumes made, pumpkins carved, and mums planted.

How was your week- any highs or lows?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

natures bounty

My love and I did not grow up on a farm. We weren't taught how to raise cattle or hunt for our own food or cultivate the land.  Homesteading is definitely not in our roots. Yet, we were taught about caring for the world around us. Preserving family traditions and enjoying the great outdoors. 

When we moved out to this farm, we took those ideals we were taught and built them into a dream, a vision. One that involved us raising our children to the music of mooing cattle and clucking chickens. An adventure where we learned to live off the land. Where we could preserve all those beautiful values and instill inside our children a hope and love for future generations.

A few years ago, Kaleb was gifted a bow and a quiver of arrows. From there, a little love affair was born. He enjoyed being out in the woods, hidden from view. Animals stumbling upon him while perched high in the tree tops. He loved the adventure of it, the skill it took to know where deer may be walking thru, and the challenge presented by using something more primitive. He loved getting back to the land, feeling the pull of early settlers in his blood- hunting not for a trophy, but for sustenance. 

He dreamed of a day the two of us would be out together- he so badly wanted me to be a part of it, to join him on this new venture. So, he bought me my own bow.

Now, you would not look at me and think- 'now there's a real outdoors woman.' I'm tiny, a little bit girly, but still, there was no way I wasn't going to support him on this venture. 

So I learned to shoot my bow and took to the woods.

It has been amazing, for so many reasons- I get to be outside wholly surrounded by beauty and stillness. Kaleb is so excited for me, he nearly pushes me out the door. A few hours of alone and quiet time -ummmm yes, I'm all in. Plus, it is so exciting, open-ended possibilities fueled by hope.

I bring a book, I read, I ponder, I praise and if the moment is right- I shoot.

Last year we ate only deer meat for six months, and to be able to play a small part in providing that, was an incredible feeling. I am so excited for this season especially. Kaleb and I have been reading and learning more and more. Focusing on putting everything to use and having much less waste. We have great plans of bone broths and our first attempts at tanning hides. 

Steps like this, pulling us closer and closer to our dreams for this farm and our family, excite me. They light a fire for what may come and fuel the love I have for this way of life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

calling all readers

We are readers. Like for reals- we read a lot. 

It's been my favorite pastime since I was a wee lass. I have an obsession some might say. I prefer a more romantic term-like a passion for the written word, or a literary carnivore. Anyway, that's beside the point. . . if I were to start a book, I become enraptured, fully overtaken and I must finish. There is no casual, one chapter a day, read in my spare time, going on here. 

So, for the sake and well-being of my family, I have banned myself. For at least the past year I have not so much as dained to crack open the cover of a deliciously enchanting mystery, or even flipped thru the pages of a charming beach read. No, there has been no young adult dramas, no Christian fiction set on blissful Amish countryside. No thrillers, no autobiographies, nothing ( of course, I've taken up blogging which has more than consumed me- but that's neither here nor there).

Yet, I stumbled upon a bit of a loophole. Like any addict looking for a fix, I found a way. Except this time, I have accomplices- my kiddos. 

They love to be read to, and we've finally hit the stage where we can all enjoy a good chapter book together. No more Hungry Caterpillar, or Brown Bear Brown Bear. Gone are the days of Goodnight Moon, and Guess How Much I Love You. It's one of the few changes I have accepted graciously, even joyfully.

I have taken this new path very seriously, for I want them to grasp the full power of reading. How words can transport, enlighten and foster change. I want them to understand the mysterious and fantastical worlds only reading can take you to, and let's be totally honest- I want to read a good book too!

Finding something age appropriate that has appeal to both boys and girls, and is enthralling from the get go-has been tricky, and I am at a loss. We've read the Little House series. We've read Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Tale of Despereaux, near all the Roald Dahl classics. Our favorite has been Summer of the Monkeys, (seriously one of the best books around), but now I find myself stumped. I need help, advice, suggestions. What were some of your favorites growing up? What are you reading to your wild ones? Favorite authors, favorite series? Guide me on oh fearless readers.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

a walk thru the woods

A few days of chill and rain had left us with energy and tension pushing at the seams. We needed to get out of doors, run wild, be set free. 

Finally, for the briefest of moments, the rain ceased. As quickly as we could, we bounded right outside, thru the woods and down the hill, for a little exploring.

With the sky cast in gray and darkening around the edges, the color of the leaves popped, cacooning us in a sea of greens. Ethereal almost. Everything seemed shrouded in mystery.

We tip-toed around the bend half expecting something from a fairy tale to appear- an uncovered path leading us to a secret world, or a troll with bad manners craving answers. Surprised to find nothing, we forged on.

As we meandered, we happened upon a buckeye tree. Known to bring good luck, we stopped to gather them, making wishes on each singular one, before piling them into pockets and quickly schemed knapsacks.

The wilds ran ahead, always with a surplus of excitement-seeking something to climb, or chop, or balance, or throw. Always moving, always busy, chattering easily as they went. Kaleb and I hung back fascinated, happy to take it all in.

Soon time overtook us. The sky ever so slowly fading into charcoal, we circled back and headed for home. Mother Nature having done her job, performed her own sort of magic- we arrived feeling lighter, freer, and in dire need of bath-time!

Friday, October 17, 2014


There is always something a little bit wonderful about the weekend. Regardless of whereabouts, circumstance, or phase of life, it blankets out before us with open-ended promises of excitement and rest. It carries a tinge in the air, a sparkly aura, that is weighty with possibility.

My little crew has a vacant, unplanned two days ahead of us- a rare and beautiful occasion. One to be savored and not taken lightly. I have lofty hopes of filling it with small adventures, good coffee, long hikes, snuggles on the couch, and a meal that I don't cook or clean-up after.

It has all the makings of a perfect time- offering some much needed leisure and a moment to revel in the joy of simple pleasures. What about you, anything lovely on your agenda this weekend?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a wee little love poem

I love these wee bugs with all of my heart

 Watching them spiral motion into art.

They are funny and silly, wild and kind.

Sometimes, I swear I'm losing my mind.

They push me and pull me, break me and build me.

This unending love is ever so dreamy.

Their presence grounding, it strengthens and binds

only One could have crafted so perfect a design.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

you light up my life

We have been blessed to celebrate Zain's birthday the last two years at the beach. This past year he absolutely had his whole heart set on going to the beach at night to play with glow sticks. So late in the evening after a full day of his bidding, the lot of us piled into the car and headed towards Seaside, armed with near a hundred glow sticks.

The littles were antsy with excitement as Kaleb and I sat under a beautifully constructed pavilion, the sky black with just a light sprinkling of stars overhead, cracking sticks til they glowed bright with oranges, yellows and pinks.

As we worked, gradually a crowd trickled in. Other children began gathering around hoping to join in our little party. Overcome with the joy of it, my bugs began handing out their glowsticks to bystanders, small infants in carseats, toddlers in sand filled diapers. Literally chasing down kiddos, to hand them one single glowstick, simply so they could also delight in their fun.

Kaleb and I did manage to convince them to keep a few for themselves so they could live out their dream. We ran to the beach with our remaining glowsticks. We twirled, had a mini dance party, played catch and finally when the time had come to an end, we drifted our way back to land.

We crossed the street to finish the day out with a deliciously cool snocone. There they met other children, busy workers, and tired parents, who obviously needed a glow stick too. Finally having given away every single one of their treasures, we left Seaside with a stream of colorful lights popping up all over town. My wee bugs floating on a high from their evening and me with tears in my eyes, and thankfulness in my heart. These wild ones understand that love is at the heart of it all, they truly get it, and to be a part of that, to share in the joy of their world is a beautiful privilege. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tour Through Blogland

It's been the loveliest of weekends. We had a downpour of rain Friday that finally blew in that chilly, crisp weather that coincides with the cozy, tartan feelings of fall. We relished in it. 

This is the perfect time of year to cozy up with a deliciously decadent drink and catch up on all your favorite blogs (cough... hollands reverie), while hopefully finding some great new ones.

On that note. . .  I have been invited to participate in a Tour Through Blogland by Lyndsay from Prosecco in the Park. Her blog is so great- full of wearable and accessible styles, with a few amazing cocktails thrown in the mix, combined with wit and a comfortableness that makes you think you're old cronies. It's a good one. I will be answering some of her questions so you can get to know my mind a little more, and also introduce you to a few blogs I thoroughly enjoy, and know you will too.

What am I working on?
Well, I'm still quite new to the blogging world, and it's definitely got a learning curve. I feel like I'm just starting to figure out the direction I'm wanting and pinning down what I would like to see happen with this little adventure. Plus, I will always continue to work on my photography and editing, and still feel like I have so much more to learn there.

How does my work differ from others in it's genre?
I think it's always hard to find your own voice and portray your true self. I work to simply stick with my own personal style and I try so hard to not compare. What I'm putting out there is me, and to quote good ole Dr. Seuss "there is no one alive, who is youer than you." 

Why do I write/create what I do?
I've always needed a place to be creative and maybe, in some ways, had denied myself that since having kids. I was seeking something that would force me to get out the camera, to actually edit my photos, to document our little lives and I truly wanted something that would be mine. A blog seemed the perfect bit, and it has been the most beautiful process for me. Challenging my creativity and pushing me to be brave and proactive.

How does my writing/creativity process work?
I would love to say I have blog posts done weeks in advance, but in truth, I sometimes struggle to come up with content. I just hope and pray that something will come to me and when it does- I run with it. I wake up early in the morning, before anyone else is about, and that is my blogging time, my moment to myself to work on something I enjoy.

Now, enough about me- let me introduce you to three really lovely and talented gals.

First is Cassie of farmbrews. She was one of the first to comment on my blog and I was beyond excited. I love her space- it's homey and sweet, and her kindness for animals and others shines through in her writing.

My blog is about homebrewing, hobby farming, and good times in northern New England. 

My (new) husband (ah! we just got married on 10/4) and I decided to start a hobby farm when we moved into our first home back in April. Neither of us grew up on farms, but we are originally from semi-rural areas so it's not really one of those "city girl turned country" stories either. On our little farm we are raising lambs, hens, and meat birds. We hope to be somewhere around 85% self-sustainable at some point in time. We also brew beer and are always up for any sort of concoction or experiment you throw our way. Aside from all that crazy stuff, we have a rescue doggy who has us wrapped around her paw and love to be tourists in our own backyard. 

I hope that maybe my blog will serve as some weird tutorial for those who don't really come from "this type of thing" either, but have some interest in becoming just a bit more self-sustainable. If that's not for you, then I hope it is at least entertaining!

Michaela of Michaela Jean Blog- She is lovely! Her writing varies between funny to artistic to inspirational with great style always as the backbone.

Michaela Jean, my self-entitled blog, bloomed out of the bones of a post college fashion blog and the need to virtually organize my creative interests. Although I post a fair amount of personal style I refuse to limit myself to all things worn. Instead, by narcissistically dubbing my blog I have the freedom to write about anything I so please.  In truth, I am all over the place, not quite a contrarian and far from a conformist. I don't swear on my blog out of courtesy to those who might be offended, but my family and friends would say I have the mouth of a sailor. My syntax is solid, yet my spelling ability is questionable, auto-correct is my crutch. Lastly, I often blog about fashion but if you saw me on the street I would most likely be sans makeup wearing my Lulu's and a sweatshirt from my alma-materMy constants are art, love, the ocean, and a great pair of shoes. I hope you better understand what's going on here, because honestly I am even confused by that convoluted description of MJB.   
xo Michaela

Anya of The Peppermint Pencil - I actually just discovered her blog recently and instantly fell in love with it. Her photography is first class, and the writing is so soothing. It's a beautiful space she has created.

'I'm Anya an illustrator, foodie and creator of the blog The Peppermint Pencil.  I first started my blog as a creative outlet after I finished at University, but in the year and a half I have been blogging, it has evolved into a lot more.  I share posts about lifestyle, adventures and my travels around the UK and beyond, lots of recipes including ones that are gluten and sugar-free, as well as creative DIY projects.'
Alright, what are you still doing here, go explore!