What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

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fear

A year ago at this time, I was living on a beautiful homestead with a husband-chickens and pigs I adored, working in the same emergency room I began my career in, living just a few miles from where I was born and raised.  This question appeared to me and hit me so hard I was physically rocked.

Was life decent? Absolutely.  Was anything horrible happening to me? No.  Could I live the rest of life as things were and be ok? Probably.  But this question alone completely changed the course of my life.  I have touched on the happenings of my life over the last year and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your ears and eyes as I have gone through that challenging journey.

Separating from my husband of just a few years, was literally one of the most awful experiences of my life.  The courage it took me to emotionally and physically leave that marriage, that homestead, that lifestyle, came from some small seed in my belly, that had been slowly growing roots for some time-and for that seed, I am eternally grateful.

The fear that racked my brain and my soul about that decision and all that was to come, was palpable.  Fear that I was making a terrible mistake.  Fear that I would never find the extraordinary life I intensely craved.  The fallout of that decision financially and personally was grueling-and I continue to deal with the consequences on a daily basis.

But a year later, I stand on the other side of that dark cave.  I broke loose of my fears that kept me heavily chained and hit the ground running.  I pushed, I endured and I survived.  I left the comfort zone of my marriage and ran smack into an amazing man who shares the joys and sorrows of life with me in a way I have never experienced.  I left the comfort zone of my local emergency room and traveled to a new state, completely alone, and found a wonderful group of people and a great experience I’ll never forget.  The plans for joining my family on the farm in the next year were interrupted-and thus a new chapter began in this redhead’s life book.

For those who follow me on facebook (which you totally should because you get to see plenty of videos of Oliver’s craziness and Lilly’s very odd sleeping positions) you saw this post…

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I made a choice to follow my gut and move forward with what felt right to me.  I heeded the important lesson I learned over the last year and made the choices I wanted to make.  I didn’t let fear hold me back.

I am beginning a new job in a fresh new hospital this week and my biggest news of all is(drum roll please) I bought a lovely little homestead to house my family and fulfill my dreams.  It’s not a lot of land by most folks standards, but it’s enough to start over with chickens, a garden and get back to the rural way of life I hold so dear.  This purchase came with sacrifices- physical possessions, old dreams and others on a more personal level, but I know that it is exactly the right step for me to take.

So my dear friends, I am thankful more than ever that I have you as companions on this new chapter.  Stay tuned as I start a new job in a different (but not too far) city, majorly renovate (with lots of Neil’s help of course!) and make the new house a rustic chic style, and embark on the homestead life once again.

“Everything you want, is on the other side of fear.” -George Adair

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

Weekly Wonders

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*This weekly post is dedicated to highlighting a few of my favorite happenings over the week* 
  • My traveling nurse career came to an end this week.  It was bittersweet leaving the awesome team of people I worked with and came to know as friends over the last few months.  On my last shift, the Virginia folks showered me with homemade goodies, a very sweet card and these gorgeous flowers

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  • I loved being home all week.  I cooked dinner every night, officially unpacked my suitcase and got to spend time with my man and my furry family.  It’s the small things that make life so lovely!
  • I am having two of my favorite kiddos over today for a sleepover filled with goodies, pumpkin carving and haunted village making.  So looking forward to some good old fashioned fun.
  • I have some very exciting news coming up, can’t wait to share it with you.  As soon as the details settle out I will share. Can’t wait to tell ya’ll!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

Weekly Wonders

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*This weekly post is dedicated to highlighting a few of my favorite happenings over the week*

October is a wonderful month.  Mother Nature begins to extend her cool fingers into all outside life.  The leaves begin to change and crisp and the color fades from bright to dark.

However, if you live in North Carolina, Mother Nature suffers from intense schizophrenia.  The weather around here changes in an instant and then before you can dress to fit the change, it will change back again.  The low sixty degree nights and crisp days we have been having vanished this week to a sprinkled few 80 degree days.

  • Neil and I took full advantage of this last blip of summer weather and took to Wrightsville Beach to enjoy a day of pier fishing on Johnnie Mercer’s Pier (the only concrete pier in NC).  Although we did not make out well on this trip, we got to spend a beautiful afternoon together with a lovely breeze blowing all around us and the most emerald colored ocean I have ever seen.  We also saw a large shark swimming slyly among the pier posts and saw a barracuda caught and reeled in-which by the way I hope I never meet one of those in the ocean-their teeth are huge!  We also saw the most dolphins in one place I had ever seen.  They swam lazily in a sunny patch in the green sea and hung around for a long time just enjoying themselves in the warm water.  It was beautiful.  The largest sting ray I have ever seen in real life also kept us company down below.  The picture doesn’t do it justice, but trust me it was huge!

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  • Since the plans to move to the farm are put on the back burner for now, and our lease is ending in a few months, we have decided to buy a little homestead.  After viewing quite a few homes, Neil and I found an updated 1960’s home on a little patch of land, that we both absolutely adored.  While we are still putting together the financial end of things, I am praying that no one buys it before we can!
  •  Sleeping in my own bed.  This is something that one can easily take advantage of, but to a redhead girl who has spent the last 3 months sleeping in hotels of various degrees of cleanliness, there is nothing like slipping into the crisp, fresh sheets that you know have only been slept in by you.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

 

Love That Knocks You Over

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For those of you that have been on the homestead for awhile and read my articles in Carolina Country (catch up HERE), I love spending time with my Papa and Grandma. Papa and Grandma are my daddy’s parents.

They owned and worked on the big dairy farm, along with my great grandparents, in Chapel Hill.  My Papa is suffering from Alzheimer’s and this has been extremely hard on the family, especially Grandma.  Papa recently made a move to an assisted living facility, while my grandma remained at their house.

My grandparents have been married for 69 years.  That’s nearly 5,000 days spent together.  That’s literally a lifetime of living, learning and growing together.

The story of how they met is one of my very favorites of all time.  After a long week’s work, my grandma and her friends went out to a local bar to get a drink.  As she chatted and relaxed with her friends, a flying cigarette landed right in her beer.  Outraged at this, she looked around and demanded to know whose cigarette landed in her beer.

A young, enlisted army soldier made his way to the table to apologize.  That soldier was my Papa.  That act of fate brought four children into this world, four grandchildren and six great grand children.  That flying cigarette set into motion a chain of events that forever altered the universe.

I spent the day with my grandma last week and we had a lovely lunch, cooked dinner together and visited Papa.  He showed me all around his new place and excitedly told me all about his new friends.  We looked at a scrapbook of all his accomplishments and just enjoyed simple conversation.  As Grandma and I got ready to leave Papa, who is in his nineties, jumped up to walk us out.  Grandma asked him for a kiss and he excitedly pulled her to him.  They kissed so hard it nearly knocked them both to the ground.

After 90 years of life and 69 years of marriage, their love still nearly topples them over. True love is such a rare creature in this world, cleverly disguised and showing itself to only to a precious few.

Every day can bring a new adventure, a twist of fate that changes the universe forever.  I’ve learned to embrace the detours of life because they have always wound up teaching me a lesson I’ll never forget.

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Until next time,

FINALSIGNOFF

Weekly Wonders

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*This weekly post is dedicated to highlighting a few of my

favorite things over the week*

  • With me traveling so much, I miss the quiet nights spent cuddling with Lilly, Peanut and Oliver on the couch.  During this busy week, I got in one night of cuddling and it was so awesome to have some quiet time.

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  • I have had so much fun being apart of Carolina Country magazine.  I completed another article this week, which will be published in the next month or two, and the pictures for the article turned out great.  Take a look at this gorgeous shot of our barn

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  • I’m currently on my second to last VA trip, I am counting the days until I am back home full time and not watching the cost of a hotel and gas disappear from my paycheck!

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

 

Maiden Kayak Voyage

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This week Neil and I headed to Jordan Lake to enjoy our new kayaks.  As we packed up our camping gear, the rain poured and the air was chilly.  Determined to press on and having faith in the weather prediction of less rain as the day went on, we headed out.

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We found our campsite and it backed right up to Jordan Lake.  This spot was awesome because we could launch our kayaks right from the site.

We unpacked all our gear and started to set up camp.  The rain poured.  We got up our massive canopy and were able to keep our supplies from getting totally soaked.  Luckily we had stopped and bought some rain gear before we arrived.

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As we finished getting everything set up, the rain lessened, a little.  Since we were already soaked, we decided to go ahead and launch the kayaks.  The lake was so wild, there were whitecaps showing.  We had the huge lake all to ourselves.

Neil helped me get settled in my kayak and launched me off the bank so I wouldn’t have to get my boots wet.  I had to paddle hard to get through the current to get away from the bank.

As we paddled out into the swirling lake, it felt exactly like being out on the ocean.  The waves were crashing up over my kayak and the wind blew the rain into my face.

As we pressed on, the rain settled and we ended up having a blast.  We were soaking wet and exhausted, but laughing and happy.

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The next day we took the fishing rods out, but didn’t have much luck.  We paddled out for a few miles and enjoyed the stillness of the lake.  It was such a contrast to the day before.

Packing up the gear and heading home, my heart was full of joy.  There was a time in my life the wind and the rain would have made me miserable and soured the entire trip, but at this point in my life I couldn’t be happier.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF

Officially Fall Today

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“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” –William Cullen Bryant

It is the first official day of fall.  The summer heat has faded into cool and my favorite season has ended as abruptly as it began.

Fall has always been a fun season for me-although summer is still my favorite, full of comfy sweatshirts, bright pumpkins and cool nights spent by a campfire.  What are some of your favorite fall traditions?

Neil and I are starting the season with an overnight camping, kayaking, fishing extravaganza.  We are headed to Jordan Lake this week to enjoy some outdoor time together.

The barn at the Big Farm is officially, unofficially completed.  The stalls are still left to finish, but the main structure and paint are up.  What do you think?

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As life tends to do, my original plan of making it out to the farm by Spring 2015 won’t be a reality.  I was initially super upset about this event, but have come to embrace a different path and have an open mind about the adventures to come.

While I am still going to be working with my parents on building our family farm, I am venturing out for awhile on my own to focus on building my life, family and my own mini farm.  I know that one day, in the not so distant future, I will end up on those beautiful 30 acres, and I anxiously look forward to that time.

My days of travel nursing are swiftly coming to a close and I am grateful.  I have met some wonderful new friends and learned a lot about myself in the process.  I now know my roots run deep in this fertile, North Carolina ground and I belong in the state that has birthed and raised me from the moment my mama and daddy brought me into the world.

Until next time…

FINALSIGNOFF