Eleanor Joyanna | 6 months

Some days, time seems to be barely moving and it feels as if the day will never end. Then one day I wake up and realize that Eleanor is 6 months old already and I wonder where the time has gone.

Eleanor has a kind heart. Her eyes could pierce the coldest heart. She has a smile that lights up the room and a contagious giggle. Although she is not yet crawling, she is definitely exploring and getting pretty good at scooting.

Last week she helped me nurse a lamb back to life. She was so patient with the little lamb and just tickled pink when “Sunshine” started responding. Eleanor got to see Sunshine again out in the field just a couple of days ago and was happy to pat her head again and give her “kisses”. She is such a caring child and I’m sure she’ll be our little farm vet before long…probably bringing me every injured sparrow and frog in the county. ๐Ÿ˜‰

While we planted our garden during the weekend I had Eleanor sitting in the shade of her ย bassinet. She was so cute sitting there so I gave her a couple of lilacs from our bush and grabbed my camera for an impromptu photo shoot. ๐Ÿ™‚



These Two | A girl and her daddy

When I look at them together my heart nearly bursts with joy.

Do you know how her eyes light up when her daddy walks in the door? Or how she giggles when he lets her play with his beard?

She is a lover of nature. She got to walk through the orchard in Kimberly a couple of weeks ago with Zechariah. She sighed deeply, wiggled her toes, and her eyes were filled with wonder. She breathed in deeply the smell of the blossoming apple trees as her daddy held the blooms in front of her. She talked to the bees as they quickly buzzed by.

Then she got to meet the sheep. Oh how she loves them. She becomes so thoughtful when she sees them. I hope she always enjoys them so much.

This evening she enjoyed transplanting Sarah’s Starts for the first time. She loved playing in the dirt, exploring everything she could get her hands on, and “helping” transplant. It’s safe to say I’ve never seen such a happy, dirty child.

ย p.s she will definitely get a bath. ๐Ÿ˜‰

One thing is for sure, she will always be her daddy’s girl.


Bloom Where You Are Planted…

Bloom where you are planted… Those words resonate in my soul.

In a recent conversation, my mother and I were talking about how often we moved when I was young. 20 some times or so. Often we’d sell everything and start from scratch all over again. Yet, I never remember it being scary or sad. I was asking my mom how she did it and her answer has stayed with me.

“I learned to bloom where I was planted a loooong time ago.”

She taught us children that too. She always made the unexpected or could-be-tragedies into adventures. She taught us to count our blessings, to make the best of each moment, and always leave wherever we were in better condition than when we arrived. If we were at a park, for example, she would have us each pick up 3 pieces of garbage and throw it away properly before we left. Or we would pray for the new family moving into our home. She was constantly reminding us and teaching us toย bloom.ย Although I didn’t realize it at the time, now I know she was actually teaching us life long lessons in how to view the world around us.

Life doesn’t happen to us my friends, it happens for us. Are you blooming where you are planted?

Livestock Adventures

It’s been rather quiet around here lately. Well, just quiet on the blog…We’ve definitely been busy on the farm and in the home!

Recently we checked on our flock of sheep in Kimberly Oregon. They will soon be moving up to our farm here in Dufur. Our farm in Kimberly is up for sale. It’s a beautiful farm and it holds a special place in my heart. God is leading us on to other things though so although I shall miss the farm, I am thankful for the time we had there and our farm manager that lived there and cared for it for us. The sheep are the last bit of livestock that we still have on the farm. Although it is a little bittersweet, I am definitely looking forward to caring for them here in Dufur.

The sheep are just lovely creatures. I’ve never raised wool sheep (I had hair sheep) so I am excited about this new adventure. Eleanor adores them. Did you know one of her favorite toys was given to her by a friend (Danielle)? A little lamb rattle. It shouldn’t surprise you that the real sheep have captured her tiny heart. The chicks have also captured her attention. Speaking of chicks…

We’ve got a ton! Well not a literal ton, but it feels like it! I love working with our local hatchery to take their over-runs. Did you know that a lot of hatcheries “euthanize” their extra chicks? I sure didn’t! I was really glad to start working with our local hatchery to provide a source for them to send their extra chicks to. We’ve loved working with them!

It’s hard to predict what we will be doing one week to the next. The livestock have added new joys to our year. I think my farmer husband is even beginning to have a rather soft spot for his little friends. I get us into such a mess sometimes and yet he is so gracious. We literally had thousands of chicks last year and I didn’t help raise them very much (morning sickness was intense)…yet he was cheerful as ever and ready to take on the project with such enthusiasm. As we’ve refined our processes to make sure we don’t find ourselves unprepared with more chicks than we can handle, I find myself increasingly grateful for his character. His patience, his work ethic, his passion, his love…definitely his love.

Motherhood | Two Weeks In…

So much in life has changed in the past two weeks. It’s the same, and then it changes all at once and one can never go back again. As Eleanor sleeps on my chest, bundled against my skin, I can’t imagine life without her and yet, it was less than a year ago that she wasn’t even in existence in our lives.

I am quickly learning how sleepless nights turn into days, how many diapers a baby can go through, how much spit up it takes to soak an outfit, and how incredibly awesome this thing called motherhood is.


It’s not easy but all of you know that. It’s not the spit up, diapers, or even the sleepless nights that make it hard. It’s the uncertainty. It’s the desire to make the world a beautiful place for her to grow up in. It’s the desire to keep her safe physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s the realization of how little I control. That’s what makes it hard. All these diapers and such will go away in time…but will the world be a beautiful place for her? I don’t want her to see the greed, selfishness of the world. I want her to see the world full of opportunity, full of joy, and full of abundance. I suppose this is probably every parent’s wish for their child but I didn’t realize how much I wanted it for Eleanor until she was placed in my arms.

Watching Zechariah become a father to Eleanor gives my heart so much joy and reassurance. I don’t know what Eleanor’s future brings but when I look at them together, I know that it will all be okay. Here in this moment, we live together. We will show her the snow in December and the peach blossoms in April. We will make memories together living and loving.

When I think about motherhood in this perspective, it gets a whole lot easier.

Almost There and Maternity Photos

With less than 20 days left until we meet this bundle of rambunctious joy, I feel similar to a ticking time bomb. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Zechariah and I are still working as quickly as possible to wrap up the remaining projects for the year before we settle down to meet this little one.

Our bathroom project is coming along amazingly. Zephaniah has been helping Zech figure out the plumbing (one of the last *major* parts of the project). Timothy and Josiah also helped us out with tiling, sheeting, painting, and such. Everyone’s help has been a huge blessing.


My photography for Azure is pretty much completed for the year. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to learn and grow this skill. Providing Azure with photos as we harvested was really fun and I also got a good bit of exercise walking up and down the orchard rows. How Zechariah’s crew walks up and down all those rows, while carrying 50 lb fruit picking bags, is beyond me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ One of my favorite parts of doing pictures this year was getting to know the members of Zechariah’s crew a little more.

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Since my due date is getting increasingly closer, Zechariah and I finally decided to stop procrastinating and we took our own maternity photos. Zechariahย is so good to me and helped make all of these photos possible. I couldn’t have taken these without him. โค Really, there were just a few pictures that I wanted capturedย of our pregnancy so I didn’t feel the need to hire someone else. I’ll definitely recruit someone else for our family photos though. I can’t wait for our first picture as a family of 3.






So now I am simply wrapping up the nursery, making the last issue of 31MOM Magazine, making grape juice from the abundant concord grapes that we were blessed with this year, and editing one of my last photo sessions of the year. As much as I’d love to meet this baby today, I think I need the next 20 days to finish my list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pregnancy Ponderings

I’m well into my third trimester now. It’s crazy how the time has flown and yet how slowly the time seems to be going by. I truly cannot wait to meet this little one, to count their fingers and toes, to memorize all their tiny features. We have so much to do still to be “ready” and yet I don’t think I’d complain one bit if baby came a little before we were ready.

Pregnancy has been an amazing journey for me. I hope this is just the first of many positive pregnancy experiences for us. I was thinking this week about how “pregnancy after loss” has changed my perspective of a lot of things. So here is a little back story on Baby Joy and what pregnancy after loss has been like.


I may not have “given up” trying to get pregnant and definitely still had a small stockpile of pregnancy tests, but I definitely wasn’t as excited about it anymore. I don’t know how to explain it really. Previously, I waited each month anxiously and excited to take a pregnancy test just in case “this was the month”. After two years of seeing “Not Pregnant” pop up every time I took a test, and the few times I did get a “Pregnant” reading to be discouraged and heartbroken only a few weeks later, I had really just come to peace with not being pregnant. I think part of me was a little afraid that I’d never see that “Pregnant” test again as it was almost a year exactly between our last miscarriage and our current pregnancy. Honestly, seeing other people excited about pregnancy burned a little bit…like getting salt in a cut. I couldn’t help but be happy for those around me but at the same time, I couldn’t help but remember when I was pregnant and how old our babies would have been, and wonder about what could have been.

The month we did get pregnant, I refused to take a pregnancy test. I didn’t need a pregnancy test to tell me what I knew every month. Of course I wasn’t pregnant. When my period was a week late, I shrugged it off and really didn’t think anything of it. Irregular periods have always been a part of my life and I was also pretty busy traveling that month so I just packed extra “necessities” and called it good. It wasn’t until we got home from traveling that I finally decided to take a test just to confirm what I already knew. I actually didn’t read the test. I didn’t want to. Getting that “Not Pregnant” reading always made me feel a little bit like a failure. So instead, I sent Zech to the bathroom to read the test for me while I hid under a blanket on the couch (as if that was really supposed to help).

Just writing all of this out brings back so many memories…and makes pregnancy seem so unreal….like it’s almost a dream. Yet I have a rather huge abdomen and *someone* is rather rolly this morning so I cannot deny the inevitable truth.

I remember the sound of his footsteps, I remember feeling him sitting down next to me on the couch (I was still hiding under the blanket by the way), and I remember him slowly pulling the blanket off of my face. One look at him and I knew that everything was about to change. One look at the pregnancy test for myself and I knew we wouldn’t be keeping our pregnancy a secret. I think we might have managed to wait a full hour actually. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what felt different about pregnancy after loss?

Morning sickness was a blessing really. It made me feel safe for some reason. Like as long as I had morning sickness at least I knew I was normal. Did I “enjoy” it? no. Who enjoys 24/7 nausea anyways? Not me. I hate throwing up with a passion.

Baby moving has been everything I always dreamed of feeling. Although I will add, I have a deformed ribcage (no, seriously…one side is slightly caved in and the other side has broken cartilage). It is also “extra long” according to the one doctor I visited a couple years ago. These two things combined have made it a little uncomfortable at times. Luckily, I am carrying low. I can’t imagine carrying any higher. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t like feeling a baby move. It really is one of my favorite things even at 3am. Baby Joyย loves to kick Zech out of bed. Literally. As soon as the alarm clock goes off, Baby Joy starts kicking Zech’s back.

Weight gain was even encouraging to me. I have never gained weight easily. It might seem like a blessing but it’s really not. It’s a little depressing when nothing fits because you’re “too thin” and people make the same jokes about skinny people as they do about obese people. Gaining weight felt like a huge accomplishment. Now I’m hopeful that I can lose at least some of the 30+ pounds that I’ve packed on. My midwife says she has never seen a more ideal weight gain chart so I feel pretty proud. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Between you and me though, I don’t think I would have gained a pound had it not been for Zech. He would get me whatever food I was hungry for or try to find something similar to what I was hungry for. During the first trimester, this mostly just consisted of watermelon. Lots and lots of watermelon. Now, he makes sure I don’t get too unbalanced with our meals. If it were left to me, I’d probably just eat a block of cheese and and apple most of the time. He makes sure I take my vitamins as well which is awesome because I am a little forgetful.

Blood draws were extremely comforting to me as well. That sounds weird and 99% of people probably think that sounds creepy too but I don’t know what else to say. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I loved being able to see on a chart exactly what my body was doing, exactly what my baby needed me to do, and see that my baby was indeed happy and safe. I felt like my body was so unsafe for babies after losing 3…I needed reminders that baby’s really are born safe and sound.

The last thing that pregnancy after loss has done to me is this. I was overwhelmed by the community of women who have lost babies. Most of them, you’d never know had lost a child. It’s not something people talk about and they shouldn’t have to. I grew to have friendships with these women though and I love each of them dearly. When I hear about someone else that is going through the loss of a child or simply waiting to get pregnant, part of me aches for them. It’s the part of me I never would have known existed had I not had the experiences I have. I can’t tell you how much I wish that each of these women would receive the miracle they are hoping for. My heart remains hopeful for them mostly because of how God has brought us a baby and I can’t deny that miracles really do happen.

Overall, this pregnancy has been amazing. God has used it to bring healing to places I didn’t know I needed it. I feel more confident in my body than I did last year.

This was a long, rambling post, but if you made it this far reading, thanks and I hope you enjoyed it.