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…..


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….


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

valentine’s day

this year valentine’s day was the best I’ve ever had.  our dream to own a farm came true.  2/14/17 we signed papers, and make it official.  since then we’ve changed all the locks, slept in a tent in the master bedroom, taken the first dip in the pool, and started demo.

there wasn’t a lot to do to improve the house, but once we started making the list for little updates here and there, it became long really quick.  this is where my professional project management skills have been a huge benefit.

prioritizing our list, adjusting the budget, and adjusting the priorities over, and over, and over seems to be our initiation into home ownership.  M & I have both owned homes before, but for some reason this house feels completely different.  maybe it’s maturity, plus the fact that financially we are at different places in our lives than we were when we owned our first homes.  these two things have made our ability to make adjustments to this house a possibility – with limits!

outside of the remodeling priorities we have also been compiling the list of tools we need to maintain 10 acres, and the companies/resources that will help us take of our home. so far so good – we’ve got a great team in place, and a good list of “farm toys” that we will be acquiring over the next year. animals will come…in time

flowers!  that is the next thing on the list.  to get my hands in the dirt, and cultivate grown things.  I’ve done a bit of that at the rental house with some raised planting tables I bought right away (not knowing we’d be moving so soon).  I planted anemone bulbs and they’ve begun blooming.  It’s been a dream to have my own cutting garden, and a cutting garden I can eventually sell from.  I quickly realized that having an acre of cut flowers growing all summer and into the fall, I should also have some sort of flower arranging skill. so I signed up for a local workshop that will allow me to learn floral design basics 4 times this year (once each season).  Here’s the crazy part: the flower farm is 10 minutes from our farm – almost in direct line of us, just west!  so I’ve set up some time with the owner to do a “day on the farm” and hopefully she will serve as a mentor for me as I begin my flower farm journey.

Here’s a quick snap of the “before”…..once things start to take shape, I’ll be back with progress pictures.

xoxo, n.



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!




two thousand and sixteen.

struggle, learn, network, grow, awaken, create, gather, reflect, intention, change, listen, heart, spiritual, healing, power, print, darkroom, need vs. want, gratitude, focus, social impact, loss, empowerment, reshape.

I started this blog by just putting down whatever words came to mind when thinking about this past year. they were written in no particular order, and I think they do a pretty good job of capturing the labor process of my 2016.

the year was pivotal. for me it was a year of preparation for a new beginning. it was also a hard year for most of us, a year of sadness, confusion, frustration and disbelief.  I think those things are the precursors to change as well.  there is something happening in this world, something coming, and my gut tells me that we will survive, we will be changed, and it will get better.

to pause and look back on this year, I am going to try to write one sentence for each word I’ve listed above. M isn’t mentioned specifically in any of my reflections, but he was an integral part of every one of them.

struggle: There was a heavy sense of discomfort in the biggest parts of my life that ultimately was my own struggle to work through.

learn: Learn and grow – they are interdependent, and this year I did a lot of both.

network: Living in San Francisco made creating a personal network of “super-guides” easy.

grow: The need for space that would allow me to grow personally, grow vegetables and flowers, and to prepare for future growth of my family was a huge driver this year.

awaken: When a veil is lifted from your eyes, you awaken to see the world in a different way.

create: Create a plan.

gather: I looked back, way back, to gather ideas for future photo shoots.

reflect: Take a moment each day to reflect on what presented itself and what lessons were provided.

intention: State your intention in the positive, as the universe hears the ask itself and not the part you “don’t want”.

change: Oh boy, change is exhilarating, and scary, and freeing, and hard.

listen: I learned this year that everything is here for us if we listen to our inner knowing.

heart: Place your hand on your heart, feel it beat, and know that you are alive and present in this moment.

spiritual: Becoming open to and aware of my own spiritual path was a giant step for me this year.

healing: Physical changes to my body, and the letting go things that were not mine to carry both required different types of healing time.

power:  The power to change the course of my life was within me, and it’s within you too.

print:  Making things tangible through print was a huge focus at the beginning of the year, and I can’t wait for the plans I’ve made to come to fruition.

darkroom: I spent a lot of time in the darkroom printing images from the last few years by creating my own digital negatives.

need vs. want: When conflicted, I learned to find clarity by journaling what I need vs. what I want – there is generally a big difference.

gratitude: The #gratefulproject2016* was my way to show and share my daily gratitude for the everything around me this year.

focus: In an image where everything is in focus it can be hard to see the details, so I chose to keep my aperture wide this year and focus only on a handful of things.

social impact: More than a year without Facebook, and the social impact of technology is still strong for me, but it is quieter, and curated to what I actually care about.

loss: There will always be loss, it is the balance of nature – but this year it was pervasive.

empower: Weird as it may seem, Beyonce’s “lemonade” empowered me and I think all women, to FEEL and express what they need when going through something with their partner. #notjealousorcrazy

reshape: this was the year of “realizing stuff”, and the year I was able to reshape my body, my relationship, my job and what the next phase of my life will focused on.


— it will be what we make it, so stay hopeful, stay positive, find your tribe and take steps to focus on what makes your heart sing. 

I want to say I am so proud of my kiddo’s for all they accomplished in 2016! it was a huge year for both of them, and I couldn’t be happier for what their futures hold.  cheers!

xo – nat

*#gratefulproject2016 can be reviewed on my instagram account: @tallienatt