Women

Faith for the Long Haul Involves Trust in Your Path

This morning on my drive into work, I started to reflect on some of the big changes that have happened in our life in the last year, and how much faith plays a part into success.

These past six months have been difficult for various reasons. It is a season in my life that I’m sure one day I will look back and see it as a small stepping stone and a time of profound discovery about my strength as an individual, a wife, a mother, and as our own little family unit.

I have quickly learned to adapt to changes – to rework – to think on my feet. Part of that is probably why I have enjoyed my roles in project coordination, management, and events, as there is always a fire to put out somewhere, a misstep to fix, or tasks to plan ahead on as part of an effective prevention plan. I continue to be convinced that hard work will win over a handout any day, and that work ethic plays a stronger role in the success of business deals, connections, transactions, and negotiations than anything else.

We will have been living in our little farm site for a year when May arrives. I sometimes forget how far we have come when I think about where we started with it. The big things that weren’t so fun that we did were a new roof, a new septic, new electrical, some new plumbing, and spray foam insulation throughout. I often forget about those major things we had to do first, when I see all that still needs to be done. I often catch myself wondering what our neighbors think of our poor yard or the weird front part of our house that we had to fix foundation on and remove a tree that looks so ridiculous…which it will for a while. I also tell myself, we can only do so much, especially when we are paying cash for all the updates, including the major ones. Uff-da. It definitely slows down progress. I see some beautiful renovations done in a month, and I’m just getting a finished kitchen ceiling a year later…not to mention the countertops still waiting to be installed.  It can be easy to feel discouraged when it seems as if we take one step forward with the house and then two steps back, but I try to tell myself, we are making small baby steps towards progress, and someday, all the trim will be finished…hopefully.

Where we started – no walls, completely gutted – and where we are today – a toilet, shower, tile, trim, and cabinet (and we do have a full sink top on now too!)

Our upstairs bathroom has undergone a significant transformation in the past month. I even had to remind myself at where we started with it. We completely gutted it and installed new walls, a new shower, new toilet and a new floor. I redid the solid oak cabinet that was in the bathroom – a good scrubbing and some paint later and it looked completely different. We are still searching for a few items to complete the bathroom (like a mirror and light fixture), but hopefully in a month or so it will all be tied together. Harper really loves having a big bath again needless to say!

We have been working to develop a plan for our farm-site that exists in 5, 10, and 15 year time frames. That often seems like forever when we could use it all right now! Our major things happening this summer are repairs to our shop and burning down the barn. We finally got the official “go ahead” with the fire department to use the barn for training. It will be interesting as my husband is already throwing out things like “water curtains,” “tanker stations”, and other firefighting terms. We are rearranging some of the critters to new homes to protect them from the smoke. Luckily, we have some amazing friends that will take the horses in temporarily during it all, and another friend busy building a small hog shed for us. The chickens will also be moved into a new building as we arrange the driveway a bit differently in the future. The plan is to reach some bigger goals of an office addition, some fencing for livestock, and reworking another shed for livestock in those 10 and 15 year plans. We have some amazing people on our team that believe in what we are doing, tell it like it is, and definitely build up our confidence that we can make it all work when there are plenty of days that seem to tell us differently.

I have really started to refocus my trust in Him. Sometimes it takes an infinite amount of strength to realize that He has a reason for what is going on in these various seasons of my life. When I seem to be saying, right now…He tells me to pause and wait. After a phone call to my sister a few weeks ago where she really stressed that I needed to give it all to God and truly trust in His plan, because later on, even though it may not seem like it now, it is the right path, and the right steps to take. Her words hit home. That I needed to remember who was in control of this crazy mess of a life I lead.

This is one of my favorite songs – Trust in You by Lauren Daigle – and I listen to it often.

Our journey has never been easy – we’ve had plenty of people tell us we should write a book with as much stuff that has happened to us before the age of 30, but like so many, we just keep plugging along. Hard work matters, even when it goes unnoticed or unappreciated. So when you feel like throwing the towel in, like you are getting nowhere, remember where you started, how far you’ve come, and all the hard work you’ve put in. That fire, that passion you first started with, is still there, it might just need some rekindling every once in a while. So for now, I won’t forget where to put my trust, and let Him fan the flame – it will all be just fine.

-Sara

To the Farm Momma Doing it All

I belong to a group on Facebook for women in agriculture. I often see posts or questions pertaining to children on the farm – how do you keep them occupied while doing chores? Do you baby wear? What carrier do I get? What creative ways do you have for strapping them in a tractor?

Lastly, how do you still make sure you are giving your child your most precious asset, time?

I have been struggling with figuring out this new role on the farm. Am I farm mom? A Farm wife? Am I farmer? Am I a full-time employee? Am I a student in agriculture? Am I a mom? Am I a wife?

Needless to say, I am all of those things in one form or another, and finding the balance among it all has been a tricky one. I have been having a hard time accepting that I am in a new season of my life, and as such, a season of my role on the farm. Things are more difficult (but fun!) when you throw a kid in the mix.

Last fall, Harper spent a lot of hours in the car seat in the tractor with Dad. I had taken on a second job because we had bills that needed to be paid, which meant Dad had to step-up his game and besides working full-time, farming, and being a Dad without Mom while she worked 2 jobs was part of that. He did beautifully. We only lost 1 toy and 1 changing pad, and had one feeding mishap in the 2 month harvest season. No tears over any of that.

Time with Daddy in the tractor. He drove grain cart most of the time so he could stop for bottle feedings!

Time with Daddy in the tractor. He drove grain cart most of the time so he could stop for bottle feedings!

This spring was not as easy. Especially with livestock chores. Packing up a kid in a car seat, to move her to a stroller for chores, to pop her back in the car seat to go back to where we were currently living since we weren’t at the farm full-time yet, was an interesting predicament. I quickly realized that I can’t just hop in a tractor anymore or  run a supper out to the field when bedtime is at 7. I felt a little isolated. A little disorganized, and out of sorts with my “normal.”

This fall, I chose not to pick up my normal second job. Could we use the income, oh most definitely yes. It seems like every other day something goes wrong with this renovation…not having a working air conditioner and a softener we are pretty sure just kicked the bucket a few days ago. Some projects are on the back burner…that new garage roof is going to have to wait another year. Strapping Harper into a tractor is a little different as an almost 1 ½ year old. I won’t be as easy for Mark to just take her a long if I had to work, and he is also traveling for his full-time job on top of it. I chose to focus on taking care of my family this fall. It may mean I get to run more meals out to the field, or it may not, if Harper has an early childhood class instead. It means I probably won’t be spending much time in the tractor, but instead attending Halloween parties, feeding the pig and chickens at home, and selling honey. Will I still strap her in her Tula for some tractor driving? Most definitely!  However, I am also recognizing that she’s little, and a mover, and hours in the tractor won’t last as long as they used to. A second carseat that was a little easier to remove and transfer in vehicles was purchased in preparation for picking people up, transferring equipment, etc.

Harper in the Tula while doing horse chores with me. This is how we get chores done now.

Harper in the Tula while doing horse chores with me. This is how we get chores done now.

It is strange, being in this new season of my life. It is strange trying to figure out my role as a mom, a wife, a farmer, a business owner, and so much more. But I also know these days won’t last forever. Before I know it, she’ll be learning to drive the tractor herself, feeding the livestock herself…these days are precious. I don’t want to take this time for granted.

So mommas struggling to do it all on the farm, here’s what I’m saying…Go easy on yourself. You are doing SO MUCH.  

I once got told that the most important job you can do on the farm is to raise the next generation. What an undertaking we have.

It can be really hard some days. When your baby is crying, and somehow you are still supposed to do laundry, feed yourself and your husband and the dog, write out checks for seed and fertilizer, and schedule the veterinarian’s next visit.

It can be really hard. But mommas, it is so worth it when you see those little munchkins checking fields with their daddy or riding next to you in the tractor or showing their first calf. You are not alone in your struggles, your feelings, your excitement, your celebrations, or the long, exhausting days. We are a strong group of women, raising the next generation. What an undertaking it is.

Mark with Harper checking bean fields earlier this year.

Mark with Harper checking bean fields earlier this year.

-Sara

CommonGround: Field to Fork Dinner

Common Ground. That is the goal of the CommonGround group…to find common ground around food and farming, and for everyone to walk away with a better understanding of farming and why farmers choose to farm the way they do.

This past week, I was able to be part of an amazing event – The first CommonGround Field to Fork Dinner held in Minnesota.

Field to Fork Dinner at Thallman Farms

Field to Fork Dinner at Thallman Farms

Planning for this event started many months ago with four of us working on the details, look and feel of the event, in preparation for a crowd that maybe was unfamiliar with agriculture, but eager to visit a farm, ask questions, and have a conversation about food.

Thallman’s have an absolutely gorgeous farm, and were so generous in hosting the event. It couldn’t have been more perfect…dining right next to the soybean field.

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We diligently planned things like signage, decorations, photographers, custom printed invitations…even down to what forks and style of plates we should use were discussed. Details were key in the Field to Fork dinner.

It was nice to meet consumers and just talk…what about food concerns them, what questions do they have, what are they passionate about? How can I help you as a farmer? What things do you enjoy doing? Even transportation in the cities versus rural areas was discussed at my table.

My friend Betsy from Jensen Farm and Seeds provided me with a large box with wheat, canola, dark red kidney beans, navy beans, barley, and pinto beans. She also provided us with some fun facts like this one about dark red kidney beans!

My friend Betsy from Jensen Farm and Seeds provided me with a large box with wheat, canola, dark red kidney beans, navy beans, barley, and pinto beans. She also provided us with some fun facts like this one about dark red kidney beans!

All of this conversation was accompanied by amazing food – with most ingredients grown in Minnesota. Caprese (which I think I’m going to now make with some fresh tomatoes from my garden), roasted sweet corn, a delicious vegetable medley and pork ribs. Dinner was complete with delicious pies including strawberry rhubarb, apple, and pecan to name a few. The pies were topped with the most amazing fresh whipped cream.

Sweet Cheeks Honey was given away as favors, which was a really awesome opportunity for me to talk about our bees and what we do on our farm. Martin County Magic Seasoning was also given as favors.

Sweet Cheeks Honey as favors

Sweet Cheeks Honey as favors

We finished off the night with a Q&A session from the crowd.  I was genuinely surprised by some of the questions, and intrigued as well. Sometimes I start to wonder if maybe we aren’t listening enough to our consumers. Many of those I talked to, just wanted to understand better what we did, or wanted to support local with their dollars, and they weren’t sure how to do that. Some of the questions were around regulations, the farm bill, and even technology.

The food was delicious and  beautifully prepared. The handcrafted tables came from Country Style Accents.  The weather proved to be perfect, even if it was a bit muggy while setting everything up. Lastly, the conversation and sharing what we do as farmers was so meaningful to everyone who attended.

My boss provided some of the wine grapes from his vineyard. He sells his grapes to Chankasa, a winery that was featured at our event.

My boss provided some of the wine grapes from his vineyard. He sells his grapes to Chankaska, a Minnesota winery that was featured at our event.

I am so grateful to be a part of this group of amazing women. This was my first major event with CommonGround, and I can’t wait for more. If you ever have questions about your food and farming, please reach out. If I can’t answer it, I will find someone who can…and the farm women of CommonGround have a wealth of knowledge to share. Join in the conversation.

The Women of CommonGround and the FFA Volunteers who assisted.

The Women of CommonGround and the FFA Volunteers who assisted.

-Sara

Holiday Beauty Swap

I love the beauty swap that Crystal does a few times a year on her blog, Crystal Cattle. It has been a great way for me to connect with other women in agriculture all over the United States. This time around, I was paired with Myla from the Purple Front Door, who was co-hosting the beauty swap with Crystal.

Myla and I connected over a few things such as horses, Farm Bureau activities, and her work as an Ag in the Classroom Coordinator. Her passion for connecting kids with agriculture is very inspiring. Myla also is a big crafter, and you can check out some of her projects on her blog. They are very cool, and I’m a tad bit jealous! None of my projects ever turn out that well!

You can check out what I sent Myla here. I sent her a few things from my favorite cosmetics line, It Cosmetics, and my favorite product for adding volume, Powder Play. I use it every time I need a little added “oomph” to my hair style.

I was so excited as I came home from my latest MARL experience to find a package from her in my mailbox!  Just in time for me to open it and leave again for the weekend with the goodies in tow in my suitcase!

Myla sent my goodies in this gorgeous package!

Myla sent my goodies in this gorgeous package!

Beauty Swap contents!

Beauty Swap contents!

We had talked about my love for chapstick. I think there is a trait that runs in my family involving chapped lips, and she sent me the stick EOS lip balm. I didn’t realize it came in a much more convenient tube form. I have the little spheres, but Myla is right – it is super awkward to fit those in a pocket. She also sent me the Smashbox mascara. I  had told her how horrible I am at replacing my mascara when I should…oops. It is also waterproof which is a must for me. She sent me the Revlon ColorStay lipstick too, and it definitely works. As a mom on the go, my hair often gets left to a pony tail, and the headbands she sent will help dress that up. I have never tried the SPARK drink before, but if it gives me a little more energy to keep up after my crawler, I’m all for it.

I tested out the mascara, the lip color and the Smashbox photo finish primer sample over the weekend for a wedding I was a bridesmaid in. The lip color survived  photos, the wedding, drinks, and dinner. I just kept reapplying my chapstick over the top, as I mentioned, chapped lips are just what I deal with. The color was fantastic with my skin tone, and I loved the mascara. I had never used the primer before, even though I have quite a few of the sample packets at home (I event sent Myla one, great minds think alike), but I think I will be using them up after this, and ordering an actual full size product!

Harper was the flowergirl in the wedding that I used most of my beauty swap goodies for!

Harper was the flowergirl in the wedding that I used most of my beauty swap goodies for! She’s into headbands too…we are still working on that whole hair thing! 

Thank you again to Crystal and Myla for hosting the beauty swap! It was so much fun!

-Sara 

Farm Momma Necessities

 When you are a farm momma, you know that your baby will be out and about in some unique places like feeding calves, brushing out a horse, or riding along in the combine.

Farm moms often turn to other farm moms for advice on “must haves” to keep your baby safe, occupied and still with you while you continue to do your routine chores around the farm. We all know farm work doesn’t stop just for a baby. I know I was told right away to get an extra car seat for in the combine or tractor (we found one on a buy & sell site) and an extra pack ‘n’ play you could set up in the shed or out where you were working (we had a Farm Bureau friend graciously give us one).

There are many things that might make a farm momma’s life easier or they might prefer based upon how they want to parent. Some of this I am looking forward to using this fall during harvest. Here’s a few things that make my life easier when giving Razzy a good brush out or extracting honey!

Harper

  1. Ciao Baby Portable High Chair. We received this as a gift from my brother and his fiancée. I am excited to use it this fall during harvest season for suppers out in the field. The tray is covered in a clear vinyl making clean up an absolute breeze. I like that they are in their own chair at a level you can reach. We have a Bumbo with tray too, but it is way to bulky to carry anywhere, and I hate having to feed Harper on the ground. This puts her at my level, and folds up into a carrying case just like a lawn chair!
  2. Dura Built buckets. Why would a farm momma need a feed bucket for a baby? Hear me out. Babies poop and puke. Harper pukes a lot thanks to acid reflux. We soak a lot of onesies. These feed buckets are absolutely perfect for soaking onesies, changing pad covers, etc., when the mess happens, and it will happen mommas. Trust me.
  3. Dove Dry Shampoo. Alright, so this one isn’t for baby. This is for momma. It will make your life so much easier when a shower is just out of reach but your hair needs some serious help. Even if it is just for a run into town to get rabbit food or dewormer for the horse. Hair fixed in 60 seconds. You’re welcome.
  4. Baby Bjorn. Or any carrier for that matter. I have a Boba wrap as well, and have my eye on a Tula Toddler for next year. These are a must for doing anything around a farm. Harper goes in the wrap or the Bjorn  when we go to the garden to pick veggies, she goes in there for brushing out her horse, she goes in there for rides in the tractor or skid loader, and she goes in there when extracting honey (if we didn’t get her to sleep in the stroller). Get whatever kind/brand you want/prefer and fits in to your budget. Don’t read reviews – everyone has something bad to say about every carrier – the ergonomics, the straps, the stretchiness…wahwah. Pick what you like. I like the option of having a carrier and a wrap. The hubs will only wear the carrier.
  5. Insect Netting.  My mom actually made me one out of sheer curtain that she added elastic all around. We found the curtain for $1 at Goodwill. It works great, but it stays at Grandma’s house because we do a ton of yard work and wood splitting every time we are there. For $8.99 you can pick this pack up to cover your Pack ‘n’ Play while working out in the barn or in the yard, cover your stroller if you have your little one in that while doing chores, or even cover your carrier if your little one is still asleep after a drive to check livestock and you need to set her outside while you water flowers.
  6. Infantino Disposable Squeeze Pouches. I love making Harper her own baby food. So far she has had green beans and carrots from my garden, pears and peas. It is much more cost-effective than buying baby food containers, although I always keep them on hand for traveling. I bought the Infantino Fresh Squeeze station as well. We will be trying a lot of squash and apples this fall and I’m excited to make my own blends with spinach, quinoa, cereals, and blueberries and put them in these pouches. I can freeze in them, throw them in our cooler with the spoon attachments and feed her on the go in the field, while delivering straw or hay, and then just throw the pouch (not the spoons) when I am done. Maybe I’ll try the reusable pouches in the future, but when it is extremely long days and late nights during harvest, I don’t want to have to worry about washing out the pouch, thus why the disposables are the way to go for me right now!

There you have it. Things that make my life easier as a busy, working farm momma. Some days the dishes still pile up, and Harper refuses to nap in her crib but we just keep taking in all those smiles, laughs, rocking on her knees and hands (at not even 5 months old, Lord help us), and soaking in the moments, even when they involve puke.

Farm mommas/wives/farmhers – you rock. You have one of the toughest jobs in the world, and you are doing it all while showing that little one with you what a wonderful job that truly is, and how blessed we all are to be working in agriculture.

Harper loving her Ciao Baby Portable High Chair in Camo of course!

Harper loving her Ciao Baby Portable High Chair in Camo of course!

What item/tips do you have for mommas on the farm?

-Sara

River Valley Woman – Today’s Faces of Farming

Who would have thought…I’m now a cover girl, and at 8.5 months pregnant none the less!

I was recently asked to be part of the Women in Ag Issue “Today’s Faces of Farming” put out by River Valley Woman, a local publication that serves the Mankato/New Ulm area region.

April issue of River Valley Woman

April issue of River Valley Woman

I was pretty honored when they asked me to be the feature. Their reasoning? Because I am doing so many different things in agriculture! Maybe it is because I’m interested in it all, or I just love agriculture that much or that I thoroughly enjoy giving back to my ag community, but I never really thought of myself as “busy.” I just do it all because I love it. Yes, I work a full-time job in ag. Yes, I farm. Yes, I volunteer my time on boards in my community. Yes, I help do all the communications for our farm and our businesses. Yes, I am going to school for a Master’s in ag. Yes, I am in the FBM program. Yes, I am completing a rural leadership training. Yes, we are expecting our first child smack dab during planting season and honey bee arrival. But honestly, none of it ever feels like work because I thoroughly enjoy doing it all, learning more every day, doing the research, interacting with others, and being in the tractor.

Ag is in my blood. I grew up on a Century farm and continue to farm that same exact land today. I hope to be able to continue that farm far into the future, and pass the same love I have for the land, animals and livelihood to my children. I did not take a traditional route of ag education, but I think that helps give me a very different and often consumer driven perspective to agricultural issues. I also think agriculture needs to embrace those who don’t take the traditional route – we need everyone working in ag to make a difference and help feed the growing population.

I am lucky enough to be able to work alongside my best friend and husband as we work to build our honey bee business, Sweet Cheeks Honey, continue our education through Farm Business Management, operate farm land with his brother and contribute to the family business. We are both passionate about agriculture, and the legacy we are working to continue, that it doesn’t make any of it ever seem like a job.

I love working along side my husband, who is one of my biggest encouragers!

I love working along side my husband, who is one of my biggest encouragers!

If you are in the area, I invite you to pick up a copy – there are some amazing women in Ag featured as part of it, including my friend Wanda from Minnesota Farm Living, and you’ll even catch a photo and information from some of our relatives, the Annexstad’s who operate a family dairy in the county over from us!  I love that there are so many amazing women in ag featured in this magazine. Honestly, there were far more deserving ladies I work with and know for the cover and feature story than me. There are days where it doesn’t feel like we can move our ag dreams ahead fast enough or get where we want to be. We still have so much we want to do in agriculture and with our farm dreams! I just sincerely hope more women will consider a career in agriculture be it in communications, IT, finance, education, procurement, seed sales, soils and plant health, engineering…the list goes on! We need everyone, and we need good ideas & perspective.

Don’t forget to read the latest edition online!

A special thanks to Despres Photo and River Valley Woman for their work on the story and photos, and giving me a chance to be featured and tell my story.

Doing some online communications via the iPad for our businesses.

Doing some online communications via the iPad for our businesses.

Out with one of the hives before we start adding more.

Out with one of the hives before we start adding more.

P.S. For those wondering from the article, no baby update yet – I’m thinking rock picking in the skid loader this weekend might help with that situation. ;)

-Sara 

Christmas in the Country

I had heard lots of great things from those that have participated in the Christmas in the Country gift exchange in the past. This year, I decided to try it out.

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They pair you with someone throughout the country for you to send a gift to, but you have no idea who is going to be sending you a gift! I liked that there was some mystery to it. You could learn about the person you were paired with by reading the short bio they filled out, visiting their blog, browsing their Facebook pages and other social media channels. I was busy checking out Kathy Hasekamp’s blog  as I was paired to send her a gift as part of Christmas in the Country! I ended up sending her 2 scarves that my Aunt makes. My Aunt keeps busy with tons of knitting and crocheting, so she always keeps me supplied when I ask her for items to send or give as gifts. I also sent her a redneck wine glass – have you seen them? They are really popular in Minnesota. I wasn’t sure if Kathy was a wine drinker or not, but I did fill the wine glass with chocolates just in case! I also made her a “H” Hasekamp family print out on burlap and framed it. I bought the burlap “paper” a few years ago and it has been in my scrapbooking drawers waiting for the right time to be used, what better time than to make a homemade gift such as Christmas in the Country suggested! It took a few tries with Photoshop and my printer to get it right, but I’m glad it turned out as cute as it did! I also sent her a handmade hand soap, and some Christmas dish towels/hot pads. She said she liked to cook, so I thought that would be a good idea on the dish towels and hot pads for Christmas.

While I was reading all about Kathy’s family and farm on her blog, someone was doing the same to me! Mindy from Farm Fit Mama had my name for the swap and sent me an amazing box of goodies all the way from Kansas!

My amazing box full of goodies from Kansas!

My amazing box full of goodies from Kansas!

For those that don’t know, I have been busy working at completing my Master’s degree, online, through Kansas State. Notice those purple and white snacks? Or their awesome Christmas card with their adorable little girl which has quite a bit of purple in it?? I would venture to say, we both have a love of K-State and the Wildcats! It made me smile, knowing I was getting some awesome stuff supporting K-State! :) I also thought it was pretty awesome that she sent a copy of the Wizard of Oz! Definitely Kansas! She wrote that she hoped I would read it to my little girl when she arrives, and I definitely plan on doing that! We already try to read a book to her every night, and she isn’t even here yet! I’m thinking I should start a few pages of the Wizard of Oz every night now!

K-State themed goodies!

K-State themed goodies!

local honey!! Perfect for both me and my hubs!

local honey!! Perfect for both me and my hubs!

I’m not sure who was more excited about the honey, my husband or me! We love trying honey from new places, now that we have honeybees. We search out for where the bees were pollinating to try different flavors and varieties, we search out local honey and typically will purchase honey from all of our vacations now if we can find it! We were almost out of our last bit of honey we had purchased – a cranberry honey from the cranberry bogs of Wisconsin- so my husband was ecstatic! I love that this is totally “us” now that we have this as a farming venture, and she went out of her way to send honey all the way from Kansas!

Wheat ornament

Wheat ornament

This piece in the box, is probably what I loved most. Being a fellow farmer, the quote that went along with this brought tears to my eyes. My husband and I hung it on our Christmas tree for now, but I’m going to find a hook for it and place it in my kitchen window for the remainder of the year, because I think it is something I need to be reminded of.

“Wheat Weaving symbolizes the cycles of nature – the endless struggle, eternal hope and perseverance of the farmer.”

Mindy sounds like someone I would love to meet in real life, and I hope one day I can! I found it pretty awesome that they raise meat goats – another idea Mark and I have toyed with since Minnesota has a greater need for meat goats due to our ethnic populations. I loved reading about her chickens and egg recipes. We raised chickens for about 3 years before moving, and I sincerely miss the eggs and meat. She is also all about fitness if you didn’t guess from her blog. I am excited to get back in shape once Baby Hewitt makes her appearance, so I will definitely be turning to her blog a lot more.

I will definitely be back to participate in next year’s Christmas in the Country swap! I will have to get on canning of my garden produce for next year’s swap, as many people sent yummy canned salsa, jams and more! What a great idea!

-Sara