Here’s to 33

Yesterday I turned my Jesus year.

My Dad said I am closer to 40 than 25. To be fair, he said, he is closer to 70 than 55. Another trip around the sun.

Our supper plans were averted by Influenza A, so Country Man cut ribeyes, poured wine and cleaned up. I would like to say I am lucky but I think every person deserves a person like mine.

As I am typing this, my sick babe is running around the house with his shirt lifted up, squealing because he is showing off his belly and bellies are funny. I love my little weirdo.

Now he is smearing snot everywhere. This is the marking of a true toddler.

I hope 2016 has been as good to you as it was for me.

Happy New Year’s, friends!

Deadwood, South Dakota

Deadwood, South Dakota

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Christmas 2016

While my little one eats his lunch (a diet of ketchup and banana bread – yum!), I am going to pause and relax for a few moments in front of the computer.

Christmas was great and I received a fitbit from Country Man. I have been wanting one for a while now. It is more fun than anything but encourages me to move around and be more aware of my activity level. I stay busy but it doesn’t hurt to be more conscious of how I spend my time.

Little Man received way more gifts than any child deserves and we’re left trying to figure out how to organize so many toys in a small home. Why don’t grandparents listen?

I am excited for the new year but also feel this underlying political tension from those around me. Normalcy will settle in and we’ll have to face certain realities that we’ve been putting off. I just hope 2017 brings unexpected peace and prosperity.

Hope you all had a great holiday and we’ll see you in 2017.

On South Dakota Sunflowers & Camping

Did you know South Dakota is the largest producer of sunflowers in the nation? I did not until I learned about it on the South Dakota Tourism Facebook page.

South Dakota sunflower field

South Dakota sunflower field

It may explain why I see them everywhere. The biggest field I see is along the drive to the Missouri River, where we love to camp even though it’s only 15 minutes from the house. 15 minutes exactly; I’ve timed it because I’m weird like that.

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I’m not sure if you camp or not, but it’s one of those activities I did not grow up doing but could now go every weekend if possible. Being married to a busy farmer has changed me. Even 15 minutes away, it feels like a vacation and a chance for him to “take his hat off.”

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It could also be inherited, as my mom used to love it and would camp alone before she met my dad. She now loves to come out and camp with us, and will sit along the river for hours on her little floatie device. Apparently her dad used to live on the Missouri river, so the connections run deep. I still need to learn more about that.

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Summer is coming to an end and we only have one weekend left to camp. We’ll be winterizing it as the sunflowers are being harvested, and my drive toward the river will be replaced with that of barren fields and cattle moved back.

However, this weekend is the South Dakota State Fair, and I can’t wait to bring our little guy out to enjoy the activities! We’ll keep you posted.

Camping waffles

First camping breakfast unsuccessful

enjoying life

We recently celebrated our little boy’s first birthday. I suppose that means he is a toddler now and not a baby, but most days a baby is who I see. Even as the teeth continue poking through tender gums and he drinks from a straw, still, a baby. My baby.

He began walking a week before his 10 month birthday and has been unstoppable since then. If it’s any indication of his personality, we will always be two steps behind trying to keep up.

One of the best moments are in the morning, when he is standing in his crib with a sleepy smile, ready for some snuggles and singing. It’s strange to think some day he will outgrow all this, and there may come a time where I never cuddle or kiss him again. I don’t want to believe that day will come.

This is our life right now. We’re still farming and gardening and even camping, but mostly, we’re cuddling and chasing and kissing the sweetest little boy in our world.

I feel really lucky.

Too fast

This first time mother thing has been a ridiculous joy.

I share happy photos and moments on social media, and even in my effort to “keep it real”, I find I have so little to complain about. How did I get so lucky?

In one month he will be a year old.

I’ve been told often it goes by fast, savor the moments, soak up the cuddles… and any other common saying that flows from well-intentioned mouths to new mothers.

And it’s all true. I’ve had to discover this for myself, but it’s true. I am thrilled to know what is meant by those words, finally.

I am also realizing it’s not the birthdays that measure their warp speed development for a mother.

It’s the exchanging 9 month for 12 month clothing in their dresser, or the moment you realize they no longer need to be rocked to sleep, but can do it on their own. Or when they throw their head back like a wailing widow because you won’t let them have your cell phone. When did you stop being my baby? We just brought him home, didn’t we?

There are enough photos stacked on our desk to fill two albums, enough toys in the living room for ten kids, and he’s not even one.

A ridiculous joy.

Happy Camper

Happy Camper

the dance

If you think about your interactions with your baby—you smile, he smiles; you tilt your head, he tilts his head; then you laugh and he bursts into peals of laughter—it is easy to picture this as a dance. This leading and following is teaching your child much about social interaction, not to mention the beginnings of conversational rules. What a dance! – Leap Frog

Dancing with my baby has been one of the most joy-filled experiences of my life. I’m not much of a regular dancer, but this dance, I can do without fear or self-awareness. It’s a pure, ridiculously happy, tired, exhausting and worth-it dance.

Happy seven months to the love of our lives.

4 month old boy

My boy is 4 months old.
My boy is the most beautiful thing in the entire world.
He loves his toes and loves to smile and is surprised by his laughs and then by his sneezes.
He thinks momma is funny when she’s not trying to be.
He thinks daddy is silly and he is, which is one of the reasons momma loves him.
We are forever momma and daddy, and in the evenings and baby is asleep, Country Man will say he’s never been so happy and I couldn’t agree more.
Our boy, how we love him.
And he’s turned 4 months old.

theo-monster-naked

Halloween 2015

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First snow, not so sure

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Loving his feet

And then there were three

Our sweet baby boy, Theo, made his debut July 31.

new baby

It was a beautiful labor and delivery; I can’t complain about it one bit. I’ve heard my share of horror stories, but mine wasn’t one thankfully.

theo birth with daddy-2

We are so in love and have enjoyed almost every second of watching him grow. We especially love watching him grow while he sleeps, if you know what I mean.

momma-wrap

One of my favorite things about having him home are seeing the love of those around us toward Theo. His grandparents, the neighbors, our siblings and friends. It makes me so happy to see him well-loved. He is surrounded in love, what more could I ask?

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For now we are still learning about this little guy, and I suppose we always will be.

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First day home

Can’t wait for all of our adventures together.

Worstest blogger ever

This post isn’t about me.

It’s about everyone else who blogs consistently and is making me look bad.

Chris Farley

No reason for this image except that it makes me laugh

I hope things are well with you. Not a whole lot new around here. The cows are still mooing and my Country Man is readying himself for calving.

Plan to update with photos over the weekend. Subjects in this sunny weather always look better than the gloomy winter ones.

We’ll see you soon.

Until then, what’s going on with you?

Buffalo

Sometimes this is my morning view.

The Buffalo, who mostly ignores me, stands tall with his head held high.

It’s like he knows he is a rose among thorns. If cattle were thorns, that is. Which they’re not of course. But the Buffalo stands out, nonetheless.

I get the sense his understanding of his heritage goes beyond the horns and faraway eyes, as if he’s aware that not that long ago his kind were driven off cliffs to be eaten and worn.

A couple hundred years later, he’s on a farm in South Dakota in a pen with the bulls.

I haven’t even tried to drive him off any cliffs yet.

Either way, he’s a pretty amazing creature.

Not a bad view from the window I’d say.