three months…

today marks three months on the farm, and eight and a half in Texas.

the journey has been every emotion imaginable, and I want to try to capture how i'm feeling in this moment because I know that months from now i will feel differently. hopefully better, hopefully more settled, and more balanced.

the anxiety is real. it's reached a level where I have to acknowledge it.

the expectation i've place on myself for the garden, the beginning of flower growing, on sustainable living (chickens, bees, veggies) is a lot. the projects that have been started and not finished due to contractors leaving us high and dry, or small business people getting paid for most of the work and leaving the last 10% has taken a huge toll on me. i just want work completed. i want to be able to plan, to budget, to execute and to celebrate the finished work.
the time that has been spent to start, stop and pick up a project again has been frustrating and a learning experience for both M & I. to have to manage a professional business owner to the levels we've had to has made me crazy and caused some friction in our home.
i know we have time. we have a lifetime to be here on this land or however long we have. and i know what we do with it will change. this is iteration one, the initial plan, the first go round. we will learn the seasons, the things that work and things that don't. but i'm eager and excited and i've seen it all in my head for over a year. i have to be patient and live in the moment, remind myself to not take on too much (which at least once a week it feels like we have).
the anxiety builds.

as an introvert it's hard for me to develop new relationships. the move to SF came with people we already knew. people M knew from living in the Bay area. the move here to Austin was a blank slate for both of us. i have some work colleagues i knew, but nothing deeper than work relationships. i've always been satisfied with a handful of good friends, and as i get older i think i'm getting more selective. i'm in a brand new environment, around people who haven't ever been on a plane, haven't eaten or tried the kinds of food/wine we love, people who dress, shop and have interests that are a direct opposite of me. i feel alone, isolated and like finding "my people" may be harder that i envisioned. i am drained by going out, and socializing in large groups of strangers terrifies me. but i'm holding on to hope that there are women and couples not too far away that we will connect with. people closer to our age, our career length and learned life lessons. i have nothing against the people we've met so far – the twenty something's who are still finding their way, and who look at us like what we've achieved just happened over night. nothing against them, but also not feeling very much in common with them.

anxiety is fear. i recognize that. i see my fear and meet it with deep breathes and patience, and tears and sleepless nights. i'm trying to embrace this moment for what it is, because maybe it is what im supposed to be experiencing.

time. give myself time. let things unfold as they are supposed to. and find a way to accomplish things in a manageable manner.
time. take my time. organize the wants vs the needs. and give it time.

these are growing pains…..

xo
n

the first thirty days….

the first thirty days….

I wanted to make sure I captured the blur of events that happened during the first thirty days in the farmhouse.  i’m sure i’m missing some things, but these are the most memorable. 

in no specific order:

  • we unpacked and organized close to 90% of our boxes – including stuff we’ve had in storage for the last 6 years. 
  • we had concrete backsplashes poured to match the counters. and successful got one was installed. the larger one has to be remade. (ouch)
  • we learned that a dehumidifier would save our air conditioning bill and keep us a lot more comfortable during the humid pre rain days. (it works!!)
  • we bought a zero turn lawn mower and a regular push mower – yes there is that much grass. 
  • we designed and finished a 60ft x 40ft fenced in garden space with 10 raised garden beds made from lawn timbers. 
  • we had 2 giant piles of fill and organic planting soil delivered for the above veggie boxes. (we may have too much dirt – so flowers may be coming sooner than i thought)
  • we put together rocking chairs, a bench, a love seat, two chairs and a table, a dining table and six chairs for our outdoor front and back patios. 
  • we had a total of 8 overnight guests. my dad came for 10 days! it was awesome to have him here. (i think my mom would agree)
  • we bought a circular saw that i used to cut logs!
  • we made it through 30 days over 80+, with a lot of them being over 90 degrees. (even in the rain, and it’s not summer yet!)
  • brooklyn made friends with the horses. 
  • we all learned how to feed the cows what their owner calls “cow crack”. the cows now come straight to the fences to see if we have treats. 
  • we goat fenced the playpen, and in a few months we’ll add nygierian pygmy goats!
  • we hearded the cows out of the playpen twice – gotta fix the fence where they keep getting in before the goats come. 
  • we had a run in with a local politician over misplaced recycling – which we had nothing to do with, but because he found our info on some of the boxes he called and accused us of illegal dumping.  M went NY on him for the false accusation. (eek)
  • we took a trip to see The Alamo!
  • we got a pool cover made to keep the pool clean. 
  • we built a fire pit and enjoyed it 3 times before it flooded. 
  • we took the jeep mudding 
  • cooked a jackrabbit shot on the property 
  • we lived through our first tornado. it went right over the house, broke two trees in half and took limbs off of 8 others. we survived, the house survived, and our little country street made the local news. what didn’t survive we discovered a week later when the standing water from what we thought was poor drainage started flowing over the driveway. our main water line to the house had been cracked because the tree roots wrapped around it were pulled in the 85mph winds. 
  • and, we bought a chainsaw 

it’s been a crazy 30 days, full of fun, learning, anxiety, and love. we look forward to the upcoming year being a little less stressful, but equally full of things learned and great accomplishments!

wallum farm – #firstthirtydays

xo – n

we’ve moved (again)!

moving has to be one of the most unsettling, stressful, and chaotic times in your life.  the good part about moving is the purge that happens every time. sometimes you purge because you’re forced to touch what you own and you realize how much stuff you don’t really need, and sometimes you purge because you’re just tired of packing stuff!   hopefully this will be the last move for a very long time!

the mornings in the new house have been my favorite. it’s quiet, the sunrises are incredible and the house feels calm. these first couple of days have been surreal – hard to believe that we really live here, and aren’t just on one of our fun vacations. 

while there is still a lot to unpack and organize, we are taking our time. not having a garage means that storing our outdoor stuff becomes more strategic. there are car ports, but they are open to all the friendly barn swallows and their babies, which means bird poop galore. creative (and covered) storage is on the list. 

with the kitchen remodel complete – that’s where I focused first and I have to say, I can’t wait for family and friends to join us in our kitchen! ​

so grateful for everything that has brought us to today….

xo

the remodel continues…

we are halfway (I think). 

first let me say that watching HGTV is a terrible representation of what happens when you take on a remodel. things don’t go as smoothly as they show in their 60 minute episodes. things don’t stay on budget, and dealing with your contractor isn’t always smooth and easy. 

all of that to say that we are progressing, we are watching the budget closely and we are excited to be nearing completion so that we can move in. 

pictures below show:

  • the repainted interior – we are light and bright. it’s so clean and refreshing!
  • new carpet (in all bedrooms).
  • a few new light fixtures.
  • repainted the kitchen cabinets in two tones.
  • the new custom island – its huge, and we can’t wait to see our family and friends gathered around it. 
  • the beam feature we added to add some interest to our very high ceilings. 

the next update will include – the finished island with the installed  soapstone, and reclaimed barn wood. we will have the thick plank open shelves over the range hung, and newconcrete counters.

we’re almost there! 

​​xo – nat

wallum farm

established 2017.

it’s official.  we found a farm!  on new years day we drove to the property that had been listed 5 days prior, and we immediately called our realtor. it was a holiday, so there was no way we were going to be able to see the inside, or even go onto the property – but it was almost love at first sight for M and I both.

we went back the next day and couldn’t find a reason not to move forward.  this was not planned, it was much sooner than we thought it would happen, but sometimes when things present themselves you have to acknowledge and move forward.

we saw a few more properties, but nothing that stopped us from thinking about the farm with the WL in the gate. oh, I didn’t mention that this property already had our last name initials in the gate!  (kismet, the universe, meant to be…?)

one more visit a few days later, and a long talk with the seller who told us all about the history of the land as we walked the acreage. we really liked her energy, and we think she became pretty fond of us and our story.  we told her of our desire for a farm where our grandkids would make memories, where we could raise animals,  grow our own produce and tip toe into organic flower farming.

there is so much more to come, and as we get closer to closing the deal – we’ll share pictures and more details.  the story will unfold here and on the brand new @wallum_farm instagram account. follow us there!

the adventure has begun – and we’re ready!

xo

reduction | week 6

today was my 30 day check up! hooray!! dr. Anthony has been so positive and supportive of my healing process. he got a big hug as he entered the room and a thank you for relieving my neck and back pain and for just being amazing. 

upon examination he was thrilled with my scars – thin, flat and in time he assured me that they would fade away beautifully. I have one spont on the right that for me hasn’t folded under they way the left has and he’s sure that as my swelling continues to decrease and my new perky girls continue to fall this spot will be hidden, but just in case it doesn’t he can take care of it with a small in office procedure. 

I didn’t mention that with my reduction I also had some body sculpting done. that has been where most of my healing  pain has come from. but dr. Anthony also said that where I am in recovery is great. I probably have another 2-3 months of swelling reduction, and weight loss to come. this has all been such a process, and required support of my family and friends (you’ve all been wonderful). 

so far I can sum up my recovery by week:

1: lots of pain, little movement, drugs. 

2: still lots of pain, a little movement but exhaustion from minimal exertion. tried to ween off the drugs – failed and used what I was given as instructed by nurse Taylor. 

3: naps, naps, naps! naps were amazing week three. I was moving around more, feeling much better, and managing pain with Advil. 

4: still napping, but oh my goodness the cooking goddess awoke and I was a beast in the kitchen!

5: finally started to see the new shape of things. stitches fully fell out. sleeping at night began to be more difficult as the sensitivity of my back shaping intensified. oh and the nipples……ON all the time and so sensitive which is good because I didn’t loose any feeling, but they are so embarrassing!! 

6: things are only getting better, but it’s a slow process. your body needs good foods, lots of rest and water to heal. I’m so happy that I’ve taken this much time off from work to recuperate. it’s been a blessing. 

next week I ease back into my 1.5 HR commute each way and the crazy politics of “The Fruit”. two days in the office and then fully back the following week. as my final days home come to an end, I’m making strawberry jam, slow cooking chicken and visiting the wholesale flower market weekly to keep our house in fresh arrangements. I’m photographing when I can, and excited that today’s check up gave me the green light for carrying more that 5lbs and working out. 

getting this reduction was the best decision and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner – but everything happens when it’s suppose to. 

next check in will be at 3 months (September). thanks for following along!!! 

xoxo – nat

(.) (.)

reduction | week 2

today is officially 14 days since surgery and I’m doing better than I expected I would be. yesterday was my second check in with the doctor, and he was really pleased with my progress. 

he clipped knots in my stitches which will allow my new perky girls to fall naturally into their new shape – right now we are still pretty high, tight  and boxy. the craziest thing is the pain or pressure that has always been in my shoulders and upper back is completely gone. for those of you with small cups sizes or men out there reading this, imagine carrying a backpack with 20lbs in it but in reverse. so a 20lb front pack – strapped to you at all times. sleep with it, exercise with it, lounge around with it, cook, clean, play, get dressed up fancy with your 20lb front pack and then someone takes more than half the weight out of it. “ahhhhhhhh” literally is what my back is saying. 

the Dr took photos yesterday and showed us before and 14 days post op comparison.  I can’t believe I was that large and so extended, droopy, fallen, saggy, pendulous (that’s my favorite). we used the bend of my elbow as a point of reference for the then and now nipple position. let’s just say, I was once a permement resident of the elbow area and there is no chance of me visiting that region again!!  I could also see a huge improvement in my posture which was cool. my body is reacting to the decreased weight – all on its own!!

I fully stopped narcotics for pain a few days ago, and I think I’m having weird narcotic hot flashes or I’ve fully jump started menopause- the heat comes from no where and then fades away. it’s bizarre! 

we done some serious walking (every other day) and some serious napping. both are highly recommended. 

I still can’t lift or carrying things – nothing over a pound for about six weeks (love my Sherpas). and I have continued my acupuncture and homeopathic medicines which I believe both make a huge difference. I will be working on scar reduction for the next few weeks and we see the Dr at 30 days for the next check-up. 

thank you to everyone who has sent well wishes and gifts and flowers – you all know how much I LOVE flowers!!  

a special thank you to my daughter T, and to M for being the best recovery team a girl could have!! I love you both more than words!! 

unless there is breaking news, I’ll be back with the 30 day update. 

xoxo

(.) (.) <- littles!


p.s. – this is the hand drawn explanation from my surgeon of the procedure. you can kind of see the elbow bend landmark I described. 

I’ve also discovered lots of Drs on snapchat who film their reductions so I had a very clear understanding of what what going to happen during surgery. I have an odd sense of needing to know things. (weirdo!)

tata!