Valentines Day - Year Seven.

It's Valentines Day, so of course I'm reflecting back on past celebrations with Shane.

I thought I'd skip the Valentines day of 1998 when I purchased my then "boyfriend" a stuffed animal and shoved it in his locker instead of talking to him that day.

So romantic!

Our first year of marriage I went all out with my grand ideas. I stayed up until midnight the night before, cutting felt hearts to string together across the windows of our cozy home. I made a little mailbox, glued a 'B' made out of yarn and painted it yellow. 

The happiest color.

My thought was that Shane and I could write out little letters to each other all year long, raising the little red flag to let the other person know there were kind words waiting to be read after a long day at jobs neither of us liked.

Guess what never happened?

I can smile thinking about it now, but the year that followed was full of disappointment. Even when I would place that darn mailbox in places I knew he would see - the little red flag was never raised. And as a dramatic newlywed, I equated his love for me to that darn mailbox.

What I didn't realize back then, and still struggle remembering today, is that I don't always love him the way he wants to be loved either.

Isn't that typical though? It's more common for you to nag on someone else instead of owning up to partial responsibility.

You will rarely see me sitting out in the shed with Shane as he works on equipment, even though I know he feels most loved in that scenario. Or riding the dirt bike. Or handing him tools when he works.

We were having a mini date after our tax appointment when I was overwhelmed with gratefulness that our marriage reflects differently today than it did 7 years ago. It looks a lot more like showing up with grace, patience, forgiveness and love in the smallest of ways.

And for that, I'm thankful.

But also I asked for a new handheld vacuum and if he doesn't get it for me then we're back to square 1.

Kidding. Kind of.

No really, I'm kidding.


p.s. Proof that I used to blog a lot and also proof that I used to be crafty --> click HERE.


When Saying Yes is Hard.

Its December, so I'm going down memory lane and thinking about our year as a family.

Some people don't know this - but the biggest thing to happen for our family this year is that we are starting to farm on our own. We said yes to farming.

And truthfully - it's probably the hardest thing I've ever had to say yes to.

Kallie, would you like this beautiful new rug? Yes. 

Kallie, do you want to have a coffee date and eat brownies? Yes.

Kallie, would you like to buy a beautiful craftsmen home that needs a little tweaking? Yes.

Kallie, would you like to jump into this world of farming, not knowing if you'll make a profit, knowing that it'll require sacrifice and understanding, time away from your husband and daily dedication? Uhh, sure? Actually, no. That doesn't sound like what I had planned for our life.

Honestly, I would have liked my husband to have a job at a bank. Hours 9-5! Every single holiday off! Let's go on a family trip over Columbus Day! No interruptions. No uncertainty. No last minute changes.

But - you know when God calls you into the unknown? He doesn't give you an outline of what to expect. And whats funny is that we might say yes and take that first "yes" step forward, and then immediately start second guessing, frantically trying to grasp control.

The song Oceans says "take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, so my faith will be made stronger, in the arms of my savior."

I was telling my Dad that I had to stop singing that song. I couldn't sing it because I didn't live it. I didn't want to because it means letting go. It means change, hardship and most likely suffering on some level. Heck no. I like my comfortable leggings life. Thankyouverymuch.

I think my problem is that I focus only on "take me deeper than my feet could ever wander" and then totally miss "so my faith will be made stronger, in the arms of my savior."

Meaning that he promises to be with us. That he would be glorified and our faith richer than before.

We can boldly say yes, approaching God in full confidence knowing when he is asking something of us - it's for our good.

Starting up a farm in 2017 is definitely is a rarity. It has it's own set of challenges that we've yet to even experience.

But my hope is locked in on the one who holds it all.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have an apron that needs ironed and chickens to tend to.

Just kidding - I'm terrified of birds.


second date of Christmas!

I've been going to the Oskaloosa Lighted Parade since, eh - forever.

One magical year, I actually got to walk in the parade. Our church had put together a float and the ribbons team (yes, the 2000's were good to me) got to walk in front it doing a little routine. We spent the days leading up to it making sure we all had matching white gloves and headbands. The hour before was full of spray glitter in our hair (and Pam's bathroom floor, sorry!) and makeup. And if that wasn't enough, our jitters were covered in a light snow as we walked through town twirling our ribbons.

I didn't think anything could top that until I saw Rhett's eyes as he discovered the lighted train going down the street last week. And the feeling of him clinging to my leg when the larger than life characters from Charlie Brown marched towards him. When the horses went by he screamed, "I WAN DAT!" Which is how I feel when I see a cookie.

This is the second year that we've ended the evening at Smokey Row with some peppermint mocha and ice cream. I actually considered jumping behind the counter to work with the employees because they were just downright jolly.  Don't you love it when people enjoy what they do?

Already looking forward to next year! 


First Date of Christmas!

I'm bringing back the date series guys!

Mostly because I love holding Shane's hand. And then a couple weeks ago I thought about a conversation I had with a friend a couple years ago.

"Hey. I think that your 12 dates of Christmas idea that you posted on twitter is pretty great." 
- Jeff Knobloch

So here we are, kicking off the first date at the Budweiser Farm in Boonville. 

I have a couple things I need to say about this:

A- The lights and atmosphere were magical! The traffic was not. 
B- Rhett decided to test how much I loved him while we were there. Good news, I love him a lot. 

Somehow, Shane and I always end up talking about what we like about outbuildings and then start dreaming of what we would want someday. I'm still holding out for 40 acres in the middle of town. 

Ah, there's my little terror tike!

You see, the battle of the night was getting Rhett to take a picture. He didn't want any part of it, so we thought we'd take one without him - which turned out to be a terrible decision too. How dare we take a picture alone? 2 year olds are fun. 

And really, they are. Just crazy sometimes. 

Here's a picture of Shane and I looking fairly awkward! 

And here's my parents and their friends. Their friends are so sweet - and check out my Mom's cute new hair! 

Next up, date two!


cheerleaders are friends too.

I like my friends. They are beautiful, witty, persistent, compassionate and completely life giving to me.

You know the best part about being a friend to your friends? You get to cheer them on. 

Instead of feeling left behind when a friend is pursuing a deeper career - you get to send them extra coffee for fuel to study. And notes that let them know that you’re rooting for them to succeed.

Instead of feeling jealous of big life achievements and adventures that a friend is going through - you get to help them paint their kitchen cabinets and eat pizza on the floor of their new house.

Instead of sitting in sorrow when a friend is experiencing new life - you get to hold that baby and let your friend shower and eat in peace. 

It’s really easy to let sin take over our hearts when people we are close to seem like they are getting ahead of you, when they are receiving what you’re praying for instead of it becoming true for you. 

Don't sit there. Get your pom poms out and put a scrunchy in that hair. (I hear it's cool now?) 

Lets take the focus off of ourselves. Let’s little by little - choose the gracious, excited, encouraging route. Let’s do it with an expectant and grateful heart. 

Go team go! 


communication stories

Shane at 3:36 pm: Kallie, there's a package that is going to be delivered tomorrow via fed ex, okay?"

Me: Okay. 

Shane at 5:59 pm: Hey Kallie, I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow fed ex is going to be bringing me a package. I'm not sure of the time.

Me: Okay. 

Shane at 7:01 am: Today at some point, I'm not sure when, fed ex is going to be dropping off a package. Okay, Kallie?

Me: Shane. You've told me this 3 times. I hear you, bud. 

And then we talked through why he's repeated this info and blah blah blah, I can't remember the rest. Maybe that's why we're struggling with conversations? Nah. 

When I saw the truck pull in the driveway this afternoon, I threw my fork across the dining table, jumped out of my chair, slid my feet into a pair of random shoes and bolted outside. Trying not to breath heavy, I thanked the nice employee for his service and tucked the folder under my arm so the windmill gusts couldn't take it from me. 

Then I sent Shane a video telling him that I got the mail. It's safe. And then asked him if he wanted me to tuck it in for a nap. 

He called me back after a while, "You think you're pretty funny, don't you?"

To which I replied, "Babe. I just want to be the laugh of your life."

And here are a few still shots of the video to prove to you that Shane is a lucky guy who sometimes gets to come home to a wife with no makeup on and sassiness to last a lifetime. 


July Recap.

I can't be the only person to feel like the summer went by way too fast, right? I know there's a whole month of glorious humidity left, but it seems the transition to fall starts creeping in as soon as the calendar page flips to August.

July was good to our family. And by good, I mean real good. 

Here's what worked:

Going to Mom's Group every week.
I joined a mom's group a couple months ago (that I legitimately was scared to go to ) and cannot begin to describe how good it has been for my heart to not only connect with women I didn't know very well - but to see how other families are doing life with such love and grace towards each other. Bonus points for the tasty snacks and learning how to be a better wife and mother myself.  Shane told me the other day that I don't seem to yell anymore. That's a win. Thanks, God.

Leaning into time with family. 
We immersed ourselves in family time this past month! July 4th was spent in Perry with Shane's Dad's side and that is always my favorite. Rhett and I cheered on a family member at the county fair, I spent ample time learning beside Grammie and we wrapped up the month going to Wisconsin for a couple days to hug extended family members and dreamed about having a lake house. Thankful doesn't even begin to cover it.

Going on nightly walks. 
This filled my bucket daily. It's purposeful, helps Shane and I to connect intentionally throughout the week, and keeps our priorities in perspective. Plus I like holding Shane's hand.

Getting my hair chopped off. 6 inches baby. She gone. I feel fun again! And I wear lipstick sometimes too. Who am I!?

Here's what didn't work:

Googling. Everyone knows that you should not look things up on the internet when you feel funny. Well, I apparently need this tattooed on my hand because I spent a good chunk of time worrying last month because of my own doing. Thank goodness for husbands who tell you to put the phone down. Just don't ever do it. 

Bedtime. Rhett's bedtime basically went out the window as soon as the sun started setting later, it's just so hard to go inside. And Shane and I? Don't even get me started. I think we're averaging a bedtime of 11:15-11:30 on a good night. We've got to figure out something different in August or I'm going to get even bigger bags under my eyeballs.

This month we're looking forward to the state fair (always!), a Cardinals game with family at the end of the month in St. Louis, and hopefully earlier bed times.

Let's do this!