I am so guilty. I am just as responsible as the next American parent for a phenomenon that is swiftly and sadly sweeping the nation.

Techno-Kids. That’s not what the experts call them, but it’s my word. These are the kids who aren’t getting enough of real life because the majority of their time is spent using some type of technology device.

I sense a type of irony here since I am using a laptop (technology). Let me explain.

Last night as I was trying to power down my brain before bed, I was thumb-scrolling mindless posts on Facebook. Yep, there’s that double standard again. I stumbled on the following post. Reasons Today’s Kids are Bored at School, Feel Entitled, Have Little Patience and Few Real Friends

It’s a harsh title, but I’m a teacher, so I clicked and read. And

It. Hit.  Home.

My teacher friends have lamented for years that kids are getting “worse”. They won’t sit still anymore. They’re bored.They are ruder, they interrupt more. They argue with peers more. Consequences don’t phase them. They’re bored. They whine. They can’t handle any challenge. They refuse to try if you’re not holding their hand. They’re bored.

And all the parents blame US for their children’s failure in schools. Socially, behaviorally, and academically. We are TRYING so very hard to help the children we serve. Every second, every report, every test we’re forced to give. We’re trying, but the kids (not all), just aren’t rising to the occasion. The potential of a generation is sitting, stagnating, and atrophying before it is ever cultivated. It is defeating and even the best teachers sometimes have a hard time finding the motivation to do it again the next day.

It’s not a revelation that technology has a hand in what is happening to AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF AMERICANS. The revelation that I had last night I AM ONE OF THOSE PARENTS. I am raising a child who is going to turn into one of the thousands of children across the country that can’t do anything for themselves because they are so dependent on their glowing box of entertainment. Because we love them so much we help them do everything. Because we are blessed enough to have the means to give them what they want. We’re not helping them. We aren’t raising them anymore.

I SWORE I would not let my kids grow up to be one of THEM. For the first YEAR of my oldest’s life, she did not watch TV. We ate dinner as a family and talked to her. She was my pride and joy as my teacher-heart watched her play in the floor, ‘reading’ the same 3 books over and over.  Then, to my pride…She really was reading the books! Early literacy is being able to tell the story by looking and describing what is going on in the pictures. At 14 months old, you could give her a book and she would make up  a story. (very broken words, yes, but the point is she was so incredibly engaged).

Then, I unexpectedly got pregnant with our little boy. By the time my daughter was 18 months old, I was 7 months pregnant, but I was full-on Dudley Dursley by that point. For the non-Harry Potter fans (books, not movies), that equals roughly the size and shape of a baby whale.  At 30 weeks, I had reached the size most people are at 40 weeks- The size I was when my first was born. My back hurt so much I could barely walk. My feet were beginning to fracture under the weight of the small planet that was growing inside me. Having an energetic 18-month old who loved to run, jump, climb, be carried, ‘sit in the floor with me’, had become so exhausting and I just needed to sit down after being at work all day and I was no longer up to dedicating the time and energy to her that I had been previously.  I worked full-time as a teacher up until 37 weeks in that condition–in a brand new position, too– and it. was. rough. I needed help. Insert technology here.

By 30 weeks, sweet girl was watching TV. Yep, I gave in. Then, I downloaded because I had seen it advertised on PBS. I was still trying hard to make sure that anything she saw on TV was wholesome and educational. It advertised that it was books in an app that kids could choose from and it would encourage early literacy and love for books. Well, let me just say that it is a pretty great app as far as they go. It’s definitely worth the subscription fee, except… It was the Pandora’s box for my family.

Slowly, the ability to sit in the floor and engage with a book began to fade. She preferred to be able to instantly have that entertainment without having to work for it. She found my Netflix app and could navigate it without any effort. Suddenly, she’s gazing like a zombie at idiotic shows that have no educational value. I let it slide because I knew that as soon as I had that baby, I’d be able to physically move and engage her again.


After I birthed my dwarf planet, (little Dude was 11.1 at birth. Yeah. I know. I mean. Yeah.) I discovered a type of busy that I didn’t know existed. My bright baby girl slipped deeper into iPad land. Just watch this while I nurse your brother back to sleep. Here, watch this so I can cook dinner quickly while your brother naps.

I have become on of those…. I am working hard now to fix this though. I knew it had become a problem, but now is the time to correct it…while they are young and I still can!

Tomorrow is Saturday. What a great way to start. Let’s get back to the LAND and set our souls free. See ya on the homestead tomorrow!



Here’s my sappy Thanksgiving post.

Every once in a while I get a big wake up call. I tend to take how incredibly blessed I am for granted. I can get so swept up in wanting, that I stop appreciating.  My husband gets to go work on the Land SO much more than I do. I get pouty about it. It was mine! We only have it because of ME! I want to be out there cutting and playing and dreaming. Instead, I stay home and watch the kids. Indoors. I get to go over for 20 minutes and look at what he’s done and play excited, but it is just not the same. It makes me so jealous even though I logically know that I am benefiting. If he didn’t go work, no progress would be made, but I still want to be a part of the progress. I want to do it, and I just can’t because we have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and the Land is just not at the point where it is safe to let them roam while we are chainsawing and bushhogging, etc… It will never be ready for them if I don’t let him go work…See the cycle?

I named our homestead Halcyon because of its meaning. A perfect, complete and blissful happiness. However, when I get hung up on how much I don’t get to go enjoy it, I am not appreciating what I do have.  I am blessed beyond measure.

I have two beautiful, perfect, healthy and strong children who keep me busy because they are such happy creatures who always want to be with me, near me, on me 🙂

I have a strong, loving, dedicated, hard-working, smoking-hot husband who wants to clear my Land for me as a hobby, after working full -time all week long. He wants to build our dream. He does it for me. For me.

I have Land. Land. I have a part of the Earth where we can have a blank slate to create our own Halcyon Homestead.

Time goes so fast. Others would trade anything to have my problems instead of theirs. Instead of pouting that I can’t go, I need to be grateful for what I have, and start working on how I can get us all there. I’ve got to figure out how I can bring the kids and still get work done. It’s their Land, too. The original homesteaders had babies galore romping around their Land. It can be done.






In a previous post I mentioned that we have to get across the creek before we can do anything really big in the push to get onto the Land.  I’m at home with the kids today. It’s rainy. It’s the first really cold/cool day. (you can’t really compare our cold to normal cold- we are in central Alabama) My husband is getting ready to go over to the Land and do some creek work.  As I sit here at the kitchen table, loving the silence before the storm (kids wake up) I realize that bridging the creek is a metaphor for where we are with our homestead.  We are literally and figuratively standing on the edge, looking over to where we want to be, but with such a huge gap to cross.  Our foot bridges do the trick for our daily work. We are just in the path building, land clearing, planning phase. However, if we are ever going to be able to get equipment to the main area of our Land, we have to have  substantial bridge.

Metaphorically, that’s where we are as well. We have such huge dreams and goals, but there are huge obstacles that we will have to cross before we can get there.

Money- We both work full time and have to work full time to survive, so there’s no option of quitting our jobs to get more time in on the Land. We have to work and then go work on the dream in our precious few off moments.

Money-  To build a bridge that would support trucks, tractors, etc., we need supplies.  We have looked into the idea of a culvert that has been _____

What about steel I-beams?

What is our best option for affordability and strength?

Part 3

Here is the final chapter in the baby building saga. It’s not really final because this was written in March 2013 and I didn’t get pregnant with our first child until April 2014. This is the moment that I made the first step toward trusting. You’ll read how I was such an idiot. LOL. You’ll see that I still thought I had control, but you’ll also see that I realized that a house is not a home without a family and I accepted that in order to grow there must be change. I am so thankful now for my kids because even though we could have made so much more progress on the Land if we hadn’t been focused on babies for the last 3 years, whatever we would have built would still be empty. Our progress is slow, but our hearts are full.

 Friday, March 29, 2013

Working things out

It’s official. I want a family. I am just as mercurial about things as Anastasia, but I know what I want and I want to go after it. I know that the decision to have a baby is the right decision because it is natural and wonderful. It is what I am made to do. If I have a true purpose, what is more basic than building a family. I am excited about the idea of beginning to think about conceiving a baby. I know now that I want it, my husband wants it, our family wants it. It feels right. However, mercurial tendencies dominate. So…when?

I feel 90% sure I shouldn’t stop the pills this month. I picked up my next pack today. I have the 7 placebo pills left in my current pack and then i will start the new pack next Sunday the 7th. If I take that full pack, I will run out  and my first day to not take a pill would be May 5th.  I am excited to stop taking the pills. I have been taking them for 10 years. It all started over a bad period, but with the side effects being no-pregnancy, I just continued taking them…indefinitely. The last 2 1/2 years that we have been married, we have been very NO KIDS. I have taken the pills very strictly and seriously. Now, I am glad to begin getting it out of my system. I am anxious to see how it will affect my system. I am pretty certain that I have endometriosis that my pills keep in check. I haven’t had the surgery to check, but my Dr. thinks that is unnecessary unless we are unable to conceive. With endometriosis, it’s likely to be difficult. My mom had a very hard time becoming pregnant. I am afraid of this being the case for us. My pills have kept the endometriosis down, but without them, it may act up making it hard to conceive. The best cure for endometriosis is a pregnancy. The only thing to make it stop is to stop ovulating– which I haven’t really been doing for the last 10 years on pills. I am afraid stuff is screwed up, more screwed up by pills, and then will not work correctly. It seems like we need to get this show on the road, just in case there happen to be some road blocks along the way.

If I take one more pack of pills, it will start my first “normal” cycle day on May 5th. According to my ovulation calculator, I would be good to go May 10th – 15th. After 10 years of pills, I highly doubt that I would become pregnant a week later. If I did, it would be because that’s the baby God wants us to raise. Most everything that I have read says that it will take a couple months for things to return to normal. WebMD says that some women can conceive quickly, and that would be fine…definitely earlier than preferred, but unlikely enough that would be a good date to quit pills. I might be regularizing out by June and another cycle. The next ovulation days would be—if things go immediately normal (DOUBTFUL)—-June 9-14. This is good because I would be unlikely to become pregnant during those dates because we will be in England. Well, we actually might be doing a lot in prep for England because we will be with family — no good alone time from the 11th-22nd. We would just need to be careful, maybe. Remembering that probably not a regular cycle yet. Also, not ideal because I do not want to be pregnant on that trip.  I am dying to go to Amsterdam and party down— a celebration before focusing on baby, and just ultimate EuroTrip!! I can’t do that if I am preggo already. That is a selfish thing and if God sees me pregnant before then, its God’s timing and not mine. I will take it as part of the plan…

BUT REALLY — Here’s getting to what would be ideal.
Pills stopped- return to normalcy begin:
May 5th  FD: 10-15 = Feb Baby
June FD: 9-14  = March Baby
July FD: 9-14 = April Baby
August FD: 8-13 = May Baby
Begin recording temperature each morning–plotting for next cycle: Happy Anniversary!
SEPTEMBER FD 7-12 = JUNE 3rd Baby!!!
Why yes, I would be pregnant all year, but I wouldn’t have to miss hardly any school with maternity leave. I can save all my days up or take off the last couple wasteful weeks of school- HOOORAY!!
This is maybe doable. That is best-case-scenario 4 complete cycles. I have to continue to pray that the endometriosis will not be a problem and that by May- September my system will have straightened out.

I just read on a blog that there are quite a few people who got pregnant within a 1-3 month time frame… I guess we will see beginning in June!


Homesteading isn’t just about the Land. Look at the word. Homesteading. It’s about creating a home. I want to now share some about our family because without a family, you don’t have a home.   My husband and I have been together for 12 years and married for 7 of those. We just celebrated our 12 year dating-a-versary yesterday, actually. Our children are 2 and 1 and creating them is the greatest accomplishment we will ever have no matter what happens on the homestead. The following set of posts comes from the days before we had children because I want to share so that other people who have hopes and dreams will see that you have to look past the moment that you are in and look at the big picture. Four years ago when trying to decide if we would have kids, I didn’t know the joy they could bring. I could only see myself in that moment and there is no way that I could have imagined that having kids would define my life, not constrict it.  I had to learn to let go and trust that everything would work out. I had to let go of control. If you are in a similar situation, I hope this brings you comfort. If you are reading my blog because you’re interested in our Homesteading journey, hold tight- there will be more about chainsaws and bridge building to come. For now, this is the story of how our house became a home.


Saturday, February 9, 2013


My heart has been a little uncertain lately. Mostly because it keeps having conversations with my brain and that usually leads to indecision. I have so much fear in my heart that keeps being fed by my brain. However, I am more and more certain every day of what I feel. I want to start a family.

My brain reminds me of how much I love the way my life is now. I love my job. I love the freedom I have to work and plan and enjoy. I love going to school and spending money on acquiring new knowledge so that I can make more money in the job that I love. I love my husband so much. I love the freedom to just be encased in each other. I love not having anyone to worry about except the two of us. I love my puppy who brings such joy to our lives. I love being young and enjoying extravagance.

It all started at Christmas. Our beautiful tree with nothing under it. It made me see that this life I love so much, this life that is seemingly, overflowingly full, is still not yet full. We have a missing piece.

But the fear! The uncertainty. I have lived so long being against the idea of having a baby. I have felt for so long that I don’t want the life of a “mommy”. I am still not sure that I want my life to change. But I can’t shake the feelings in my heart. I want my life to be full of the things that are important. Is work important? Is money important? How can I shift the way I think to match the way that I feel? Am I being selfish?

I sit and type this realizing that I have so much more that I need to be doing, but I am tired of holding this thoughts and feelings in. I am scared to have this very real conversation. I feel like we have talked and joked about it, but it is getting so real in my heart. Should it be real in life? What does he really think deep in his heart?

I think it is fear of change that is really holding me back from embracing my feelings and moving forward. I want to stop taking my birth control pills. I want to let nature take its course. What if I do get pregnant? What if I don’t? I think that is what I am most scared of. I want to begin my family because there is nothing in this world that I really want more than LOVE. There are so many THINGS that I love. But what I want, and need, and dream of is a LOVE that is so strong that there is not a THING that could break it.

Fear again- What if a baby is not the love I’m looking for? What if we are just fine the way we are now and I mess everything up and lose the love I already have. I love our evenings spent in relaxation. I love our nights spent reveling in the feelings we can share together. How much would a baby change that? No more wild and crazy love? No more long conversations and laughter in the basement?  I just wonder if that is true. Why can’t I know what the future will hold? I am SCARED. So SCARED and I don’t want to be.

Does the fact that this scares the hell out of me mean that I shouldn’t be having these feelings. I am so tired of uncertainty and fear. Do I pray? Do I cry?

How can I find clarity in what is in all actuality the simplest of all actions we do in this life?
Give and Receive LOVE.

Reality calls and I must return. Give me clarity.