March 2016 archive

What life is like

I don’t know what I expected life to be like out here in the woods, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t at all in my mind what it’s turned out to be.

It’s slow. And calm. And peaceful. And VERY humbling.

We are still living out of boxes going on 36 days and I’ll be okay if I never eat out again, but our perspectives have completely changed. I’m reminded constantly why we made this huge change in our lives.

From Reeve excited to put on him mud-covered boots to feed the horses to the cobwebs covering the barn and even the not-perfect house.

I won’t lie…that part has been the hardest for me. I seem to cross one thing off my list of what I want to do to this house and three more get added. New carpet, built-ins, appliances. There is always something and that’s been really hard for me, someone who likes things nice and neat and doesn’t like to wait.

But there is a lesson in all of this, I know.

My home isn’t perfect (like the one in Coloardo) and it certainly has some quirks, but I’m reminded daily that I don’t want perfect anymore. I don’t want to live my life trying to find the *perfect* picture of the *perfect* curtain. I would tell Reeve, if he were to ask, that *perfect* is boring!

I’m reminded with each sunrise, each thunderstorm, each foggy morning, each time I hear frogs croaking in the pond, each time I make a right turn into our gate….we didn’t buy this house for the house, we bought it for the land.

And I couldn’t not be more happy that we did. I see our family changing. I see myself changing so much. I like what I see.

Here we are are sitting on our white porch swing under our wraparound porch listening to blues music and the rain pattering on the roof as we hear thunder and horses whinneying…we will call this “Front Porch Session.” I see many of these in our future. 

This Cree that runs at the edge of our land is called Deer Creek and has become our daily excuse to get out of the house. Here are my boys watching for tadpoles.

  Showing an old friend’s daughter our new life.

  I saw this tree root when we first moved in and just knew it would make for a perfect Gnome Home. Reeve saw it and gasped! He covered his mouth and insisted we whisper. I made up this great story about how he trusted our family enough to be seen and how we needed to buy him some furniture. He hasn’t told us his name yet, but we can’t wait until he does!  And here is his food. I put some sprinkles in this tic tac container and Reeve just thought it was the coolest thing!
  The clouds! I love how daunting and ominous they are. You can see the grass is greening! That’s Cody, the male horse. Every time we come up to the fence he thinks we have food. Lowe doesn’t know what to think of the horses just yet.  This is the very front of our land (the creek is just behind me). I still can’t believe this beautiful land is ours.
  My dad gave us this horse swing and Reeve named him Trigger. In this picture, Reeve had just sat down and said to me, “I need to think. We need to do some chores, let’s pick up sticks for the firepit.” I can see the changes in him daily. As responsibility grows, he seems to flourish and love having “jobs” to do.

Two of our daily visitors. We now have 3 deer, 4 fat squirrels, 2 geese, a ton of HUGE bullfrogs, 20 turkey, an owl and who knows what else.

Reeve and “the girl next door” who walks down our long drive nearly daily now that we’ve met her and whom he works so hard to try to impress. She’s 7 and he’s as tall as she is. She’s also darling and has the cutest smile. She adores Lowe and is very polite, yet stern to Reeve when he says things to her like, “just so you know, I’m not wearing any underwear.”

Walking up our drive with Hannah on a sunny day to Deer Creek. He ripped his shirt off and kept talking about how Vitamin D gives you energy.   Taking the flag down so it doesn’t blow away after spreading corn from the yellow bucket on the lawn for the animals to come visit. He still looks like a baby with these pajamas on.  I call this a Traffic Jam these days! Life sure has changed.
  From inside my car. I hadn’t realized how much I missed living where it rains, thunders and lightnings. You wouldn’t believe how one rain can make things blossom and bloom.

Sitting at the Creek again looking for tadpoles.   I find myself taking anywhere from 10-20 pictures daily of just something new we discover right here in our own yard. With this slower pace sure comes an appreciation for nature. You actually NOTICE things here.

When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in appreciation of life.

Christy Ann Martine

I pinch myself most mornings as we bounce up the gravel road in my truck. I give thanks at each meal that we aren’t looking at our neighbors eating out the back window also.

For every thing I miss about Denver, I find 2 new things here that I love.

 

Peanut Butter, Paint & Playdates

As I sit at the island in my new kitchen eating my new favorite snack and thinking back on the day, I find that I am quite in love with this little town. Lawrence has filled the holes our family was looking to fill.

Less than 2 weeks in this small town and I’ve met some of THE most amazing people!

Living in Colorado, I sort of grew to expect people to be busy or “too busy.” Everyone seemed to have “too much going on” or were going “up to the mountains.” My friends were mostly my neighbors and trying to find a Mommy Group that I really fit into wasn’t that easy. I loved my MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers) group, but never really grew too many of those friendships too deep. My neighbors were great people and we loved them…we MISS them, but again, BUSY! I get it. Once you have kids, your lives are busy.

Or are they?

“Busy” became an excuse it seemed. You can easily tell someone you are “busy” and just get out of a lot of commitments and promises.

In Lawrence, it’s slower. I don’t live in a Concrete Jungle that 100,000 people PER YEAR are moving too. In fact, I live in the opposite of that…a country dirt road and a quarter mile private road where I actually saw a pack of coyotes gnawing on a crow today.

It’s slower here. People aren’t racing. Highways aren’t full. Buildings don’t block the sun and there isn’t a Brown Cloud over the city. Strangers wave at you from their car with what I call the “Two Finger salute.” You can stop on the side of the road on your drive home to let your babies get out of the car and look at the tiny calves at the cattle ranch next door….and by “next door” I mean about 1/2 a mile down the road.

Finally….our Insides match our Outsides.

I feel like I’ve made more *friends* in the two weeks here than I did after 10 years in Denver. Now, mind you, I’m still getting to know a lot of these people and most of them don’t know how crazy I can be yet….but these people are opening their doors to me. Their hearts. Telling me their stories and it’s been humbling to have found what we came looking for.

Think about that….

When Kirk and I started whispering this dream to move out of the city and away from the mountains we love to let our boys grow up on land and with space, we really didn’t even think we were serious! We honestly would just say that we wanted “a slower life” and for our “to be less consumed by stuff.” We wanted a life where our boys knew corn grew in fields that farmers tended to and that it was their livelihood and that corn did not, in fact, come from Target.

Our dreams and whispers are now a reality.

And we are meeting so many great people! It’s been so fun these past 2 weeks. I can’t wait to see what some of they will add to our already so very full hearts and lives. Getting to know new people and hear their “stories” has really shown me how blessed we are to be at this place at this time in our lives.

I swear I’ve told our “story” 40 times.

Here is the condensed version if you are just now tuning in.

We lived in the City. Bums shit in our yard. Intravenous needles on our porch. Sirens all night. We moved to the suburbs, got married, had kids and could see from our dining room table what the neighbors were having for dinner. We were sad that our boys had a cul de sac patch of grass and one rock to jump off of. Was it enough? We would visit family here and started fantasizing about renovating a farmhouse (F You, Joanna Gaines). Two years passed. Looked at houses. Found one we liked. Almost made an offer. Kirk went to look at a house in the country on 13 acres with 2 horses. I didn’t go with him or realtor because I didn’t want to live in the house based on the pictures. Kirk was gone for 3 hours. I called Kirk. Kirk said I had to come look. I drove down the drive and two horses galloped along side me. Kirk had hands in pocket, smile on his face and had taken a Lover….she was a white home with a red door and a barn and animals galore. Made offer. Offer accepted. Listed our house. Sold in one showing. Two months later lived with friends and family until house was ours….BOOM!

You should see the looks on people’s faces. Their first reaction is ALWAYS, “we LOVE Denver…we would love to live there” and then they realize what they’ve just said and next is, “Well, welcome to Lawrence, you will love it here.” And we get that…we DO! Denver is gorgeous! The mountains are gorgeous. The weather is gorgeous!

But…my amazing, thoughtful, smart, kind and wise husband said this one night and I stopped him and grabbed my iPhone just so I could write it down (an act which takes ALL romanticism out of what he actually said).

“Colorado is beautiful. It says, ‘Come!! Play here.’ But Kansas is beautiful in a different way, It says, ‘Come!!! I will feed you, I will take care of you.’

And who doesn’t want that? Would you rather play or be held tight by a place and people who will take care of you?

Reeve is loving his new school and already has new best friends (but he does cry a lot of Deklan, Camden, Lucas and Jordan….and it breaks my f-ing heart. Real tears….sad tears in the backseat with no words or whining and that’s how I knew it’s real). And all of this after 2 weeks straight of painters in my home and 3 melt downs over wall colors. All of this after a bag of graham crackers covered in my new favorite Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Spread with Honey. And all of this after yet ANOTHER day where my best friend, Whitney, takes Reeve for the day (while she’s actually working from home) so I can run an errand of some sort.

And that’s a whole other post…the help we’ve received from her and my Sister-in-law….that’s another one. Also, there is the “take me to my knees” emotions that I experience every time I’m with my best friend and our boys are best friends and it all began with a sorority almost 20 years ago. She said it first when she said, “Would our 20-year-old selves ever have thought our boys would be best friends?” And all of this after THREE playdates with people I’ve never met but who have heard about us or who we met at church or on a playground.

It’s crazy how this town has opened it’s arms to us…LITERALLY!

Why, the other day, at Story Time at the library with Whitney and another sorority sister from KC someone came up to me and said, “are you Jessie?”

SHIT…..who doesn’t get sweaty pits whenever a conversation starts like that?

It was a friend of a friend (4 friends and counting actually) who I became Facebook friends with. She recognized Lowe and me and we hit it off just like we were REAL friends and not Facebook friends. We chatted and she introduced me to another friend and now I’ve got 12 friends here in Lawrence I didn’t have 2 weeks ago! We even have a coffee date this week and will probably find a way to either get drunk together or spend money on jeans together soon!

Her name is Melissa and she has a new blog too! CHECK It out HERE!!! Her story is REAL! I can’t wait to see what brought us together in this world! I can’t wait!

She is quite a bit funnier than mine and makes me rethink my whole modus operandi. I’m all “need to buy some boots to kick horse shit piles in because that’s what the previous owners told us to do to make the grass in the pasture green” and she’s all over there blogging about cute clothes and Luminous Weightless Liquid Foundation and pink skirts and bottles of wine that cost TWENTY DOLLARS!

Folks….if it ain’t got a 9 and a 9 and then a period and another 9…it ain’t coming home with me.

But, Melissa, I’ll drink your $20 vino and let’s skip that coffee playdate and go straight to The Wheel and show them young bitches what Black F Me pants and a choker look like.

Thank you Lawrence for being such an awesome little secret in the very middle of the US of A….we love it here and can’t wait to meet more cool people! Also, I think we are the only people here who don’t have a KU basketball schedule memorized and who have to look for the mountains to know where West is?!??!!

and some random pictures from this week

My boys looking out the back window. Every morning the same 3 deer come eat and these two wait and watch them. I love how they look so much alike here.12783597_10208932696019568_21454204118041882_o. These should give you an idea of how exciting MY life is.

These two thought it was so cool that they had on, as Reeve said, “Similar but different shirts.” Addison said his Polo shirt (with Polo players) had “two guys playing golf riding on horses.”

IMG_7453I don’t know how to rotate this, but I am obsessed with these $2.00 wax melts from Wal Mart and giggled when i read this one. It’s Fire Amber and it says “souls catch on fire.” IMG_7461

and, when you have Honey Peanut Butter on Graham Cracker addiction you must use the treadmill to an extreme!IMG_7468