Updated: Sep 21, 2019
Owning a small farm was not always something that I had in mind when I married my sweetheart. We were married young and very quickly for today’s standard. I was finishing up my college degree, and he was busy with his job.
In the first part of our marriage we moved around A. LOT. Every 10 months we were somewhere new for his job. Not exactly conducive to literally putting down roots.
We started having babies, and life got a little crazy. We needed to settle down so the kids would have a stable environment. We wanted to buy a house near my family in notthern Utah. Our first real home was on a 1/3 of an acre, with a lot of warts, and a very small income. But we loved it!
We did what we could when we could and were slowly able to build a few garden boxes, plant a couple of fruit trees, and eventually get a chicken coop and six chicks to have some delicious farm fresh eggs!
The chickens ended up being such a joy for me. With three small children and one to join our family later, I needed a little time to myself. I would go out to sit with the chickens and watch them scratch and peck around. It was so relaxing and helped me to clear my mind and just be in the moment.
When I would go out the chickens would all come running up to me for treats and my husband started calling me the chicken whisperer. Ha!
As time went on Austin started to really not like his job. Long hours every day, usually answering phone calls that came in at any hour and frequently having to leave in the middle of the night to run an "emergency" call.
We were unhappy and starting to look for a simpler way of life. We wanted to be healthy and felt like even the "healthy" options were anything but, and the amount of fresh wholesome food we would need to buy for our growing family was simply not doable for us at that time.
Cue starting to dream of rolling acres of pasture, a big red barn, and a white farmhouse.
We decided that we would take the leap into having our own business doing the work that Austin used to do. As we were able to really start looking at the future and where we wanted to be we had in mind that we would love to be able to be more self sufficient and know what was going into our food.
I had always loved to garden and I loved having my chickens. Austin was trying to determine how much trouble we would be in with the city if we brought home a goat or two. Ha ha. But unfortunately, that was not a possibility no matter how much he argued that they would just be like a dog and no one would notice!!
As we were able to focus more on what we really wanted for our future we started to make plans. We decided that we would sell our home and buy a couple acres from his parents to build a home and have a few animals.
We really wanted more land, but wanted to be able to afford what we had and not get into too much debt. Plans were drafted, plots mapped, permits and fees paid for, then everything stalled out.
I was in the middle of a serious health crises, which I will share in a separate post. I ended up in liver failure, nearly being listed for a transplant, and hospitalized for over two weeks.
That only solidified our desire to know more about where our food was coming from and what went into it. On all of this we were still trying to make our plans for moving.
The city was wanting us to make major improvements to our lot so that their ladder truck could come in and TURN AROUND in a paved driveway and other equally ridiculous things. I joked if their crew couldn’t handle backing the truck up, I would just hop in and do it!!!
Needless to say, we were not able to in good consience continue. After months and months of work, planning, and dreaming we were back at square one. It was very disheartening, and there were more than a few tears shed, but we were trying to trust in the Lords timing. We had sold our home and moved to California near Austins job to figure out where to go from here.
As we were thinking about it we had a strong feeling to look at other states and places to live. Most of our family lived in Utah and it is where Austin and I had grown up and thought we wanted to raise our family. As we broadend our horizons and started looking elsewhere we narrowed it down to three major cities to look near. Two we had been to, one we had not.
We booked flights to Nashville, called a Realtor (Andrea Dyer is stinking awesome btw) and made a plan to check out the area and some homes. She had a property that was not on our list that she wanted us to check out on our way to another place, and we happily agreed.
Guys, when I walked into the house I felt at home. I was trying to play cool and look around without bias, but my heart was hammering and my emotions were starting to get the better of me. I had no idea what Austin was feeling and again didn't want to get my heart set on something that he hated.
Long story a little shorter, he being the more level headed one took a second to really think about it, do some research, and make sure it was going to be a good fit. In the end he loved it too and we put an offer in on the cute 70 year old farmhouse of our dreams.
We were one of a good number of offers, but we won out! A month and a half after visiting Austin and my amazing, awesome, didn't-know-what-he-was-agreeing-to, brother in law were on their way out to Tennessee with nearly everything we owned.
I was emotional as we got nearer to leaving the state that had been our home for so long and nearly all of our family. We didn't know a single soul near us. We were moving far away from everything and everyone we knew and loved. (We were very lucky that Austins parents live an hour and half from us for a little while longer.) But with the Lords help, we knew anything was possible!
It was scary, inimidating, and I was second guessing myself the whole way. Now that we are here and starting to see our dreams of raising our children on a farm we couldn't be happier! Does life always go smoothly around here? No. Not even close! Ask me about how many times the pigs have escaped already!
But we are started on our way to owning an amazing homestead, becoming more self sufficient, and knowing where our good comes from! Come follow us on our journey.