Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Country Acreage Sold!


After imagining the best place for our family to settle,
 raw land surrounded by cows, full of critters, and devoid of city comforts, felt as close to an adventure brewing as about anything else we could envision.

It has been unexpected and yet familiar, chaotic, but soul soothing.


The last three months have been an intense time of decision making in our little family.
It has been, at times, hard.

Really hard.

And also exhilarating.

Mainly because I like to take things slow, look at all of the options, talk through it from every angle, and then talk about it a few more times.

But with a fast market, buying acreage in the country has been anything but slow.


We took a drive out in the country late one Sunday afternoon, three months ago, and took roads we had never taken. It was a day meant for getting lost.

We happened upon a piece of land for sale- and I called on it.
It wasn't a good fit {odd size and on a busy road} but the realtor mentioned a few tracs of other acreage that he had available, but hadn't yet hit the market.

Land that hadn't hit the market yet?
In our price point?

Yes, we would like to see it right now, if possible.


The realtor met us and took us to see three different properties.
This was the last acreage we saw- we were riding with him in his truck since it was a rural area and dirt roads can become confusing fast- and we fell in love instantly.


So instantly, in fact, that we made quiet eyes in the back of his cab without speaking- and signed all the paperwork, wrote the man a check, and gave signatures right there, on the spot, in his pickup truck.

No going to the real estate office for us! 


At 3.01 acres, flat, and heavily {heavily!} wooded, it is a little slice of heaven.
It isn't a huge amount of land, but enough for us without being overwhelming.
We can garden and can, grow pumpkins, park our toys, have chickens {maybe?} and lots of tire swings. 


The only catch was the 30 day wait from signing to closing.
It was really hard to keep quiet about such a huge decision, especially since so many friends were wondering what our future plans were. But, alas, the very day after signing in his truck, we loaded up and drove back to Colorado to oversee the movers and packers and all the logistics involved in moving a family of five cross country for a new company. 

There wasn't an opportunity to linger too long on the topic as we were immediately swamped with overseeing so many crews.


After we made it to closing, my mom joined us for a day excursion on the land, and she offered to  take these family photos.

What a keepsake!

David and I pulled on work jeans and boots and hiked the land, bushwhacking our way through all three {dense}acres, determining the best layout for a future driveway, carriage house, and main house.


We marveled at the size of the trees- many over 100 years old- and stood silently in thickets of cedar, breathing in the deep, raw woodsy smell of them, our eyes spinning at their spindly arms, zigzagging high above the canopy.


We marked off all the important locations, ordered a carriage house plan that will serve as a temporary living space for us {that will morph into a glorified shop for David- and guest house} and made all the modifications needed with our builder. We rented a back-ho tractor that David-single handily worked himself, and began the enormous job of felling trees to create a winding, long circle driveway from the dirt road to the back of the property.

It has been hard, grueling work.
And David has yet to hire any contractors or help.


It has also been emotionally hard for me.
I have struggled through tear-filled nights and raw pangs of intense sadness.
And I have struggled to share my grief.
After all, what a dream! What a blessing! How fortunate!
Who could complain about owning land and building a dream?


But the truth is that, despite David landing a dream job, this move has been the hardest of them all.

I miss the mountains.
I miss the Aspens.
I miss my tribe of friends.
I miss Harbor's school.
I am homesick for a place with front range Rockies and endless snow.
And sometimes even the prettiest of wooded land can't erase the pangs of sorrow I feel for the home I once had.

To be honest, sometimes it all feels like too heavy a burden.


It feels unbelievably spoiled and selfish and ungrateful to confront those emotions, but alas, there they are. If anything, I am learning to walk in grace, to embrace life and all its flawed ways, and to grow roots where the Lord plants me.

David loves his new career as a Global Engineer, he travels weekly on airplanes to new, exciting places, he is blooming, and my kids are thriving. We are immersed in extended family and the calm of the countryside.

I have so much to be thankful for.


But sometimes life is unpredictable.

In fact, boy oh boy, it almost always feels so!
What we have gained in this move has been abundant.

But my heart aches for what has been lost.
Instead of pushing that sorrow aside, I have given myself permission to be transparent in my journey.

I have allowed myself to feel both excitement and joy, but also the mourning of what was left behind.

My girlfriends, my high altitude hiking, my Rocky Mountain photography, my snow covered peaks, and flowered alpine vistas. 

My soul sings in those lonely places full of adventure!

I am giving myself permission to feel both and be both and embrace who I am as a result.

Life is hard and beautiful.
But always good.

Really, more than anything, I am falling at His feet and searching His mind as I walk in a new season.


And I hope that my transparency doesn't feel as ungrateful as I'm sure it must sound.

Moving with little ones, on the tail end of a whirlwind career, leaving places and starting places, is full of many lessons.
I have been a student at the desk of a great exam, and I am learning to exhale.


Our land is full of birds that chatter and sing.
And a million flat, Arkansas native rocks that beckon me to sit and play.
We have bellowing cows and a bull with long horns.
We have fuzzy caterpillars and giant, oak trees that scatter acorns like dandelion seeds.
We have long, isolated dirt roads with rambling barbed wire fences and occasional red barns.


It is a magical place.

It might not have the towering mountains, but it does have rolling Ozarks.
And my kids giggle and build forts.
And for today, it is enough.


Psalm 1:3
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,  
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do, prospers.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hollin's 2nd Tea for Two Birthday

My baby Hollin is two years old.
I can't believe it is true.

I can still feel those unmedicated labor pangs, pacing my hospital room, tracing a path from the top of Pikes Peak with my eye down the Front Range, imagining what hidden waterfalls and Aspen groves must be tucked into the hills, and again, falling into a deep silence as my labor quickly brought Hollin into the world.
Very quickly.
She was born in less than 30 minutes from my water breaking.
How can a memory so tender and fresh be two years old?
I'll never, ever understand it.
We celebrated Hollin with a "Tea for Two" party on my parent's property, late {late} one evening at 7:30 p.m., after the hot sun had finally set and the cow pasture grew dark with shadow.
I shopped my mom's house for treasures and vintage flea market finds.
I made the cupcake toppers myself and bought the fabric bunting on the fence from a friend.
Last year, for her first birthday, I set up a woodland party in a roadside Aspen grove just outside of Woodland Park, Colorado.
There were no Aspens or Rocky Mountains this year, but we had family present{for the first time in over five years!} and we had bellowing cows and rows and rows of pastured fence line.
It was a party fit for a princess.
A Tea princess.
: )
Enjoy!
















































































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