The Beginning

A Journey Through Life

Be completely and totally in love with your life.

100% in love with it.

The above picture is a view similar to mine many days out of the year. Yes, I am the wife of a die-hard trucker. Come join me as I take you along on our journeys. Down winding roads, past shimmering lakes and cascading waterfalls, across snowy mountain passes, and deep into our journey we call life.

Saturday Nights

Some folks head to town to eat out and meet with friends. Others spend a relaxing time at home with family, a bowl of popcorn, and a good book.

Not us. We’re out trucking.

On the bright side, it’s really quite a fine night for strolling back and forth from grain elevator to feedlot. “Cows still need to eat on weekends and holidays.”

The take-out carne asada tacos from our hometown Mexican joint were phenomenally tasty.

It’s been a fairly long week. Longer than the average. Baby dear came down with her first sickness. Ross and I are still in the process of getting over the bug ourselves.

I’m feeling a bit bleary-eyed from numerous nights in the recliner holding Ravielle in a upright position so she could breathe.

Steamy showers and Baby Nose Frida have been faithful and true. Highly recommend.

Ross had the brilliant idea today to stick the easy chair under one end of her crib to get a good slant on it.

Follow him for more dad hacks. (Most of them are not CDC or FDA approved lol.)

I will give him credit for having the space in his brain to come up with such light bulb ideas tho. The poor man has work running out of his ears. Our driver, Hose-A didn’t work out so hot. We are in search of Hose-B.

Nowadays working is not the popular choice, it seems. Tis a shame.

We were very fortunate to have a cousin come help us out for a few weeks. Appreciated beyond words!

Every once in awhile I chew on the thought that perhaps I should pursue getting my CDL. Then I watch Ross back a 53-foot trailer into a narrow bay from a very narrow road and I have second thots. And third and fourth ones. I have enough stress backing up the lawnmower.

Goodbye for now.. and enjoy your Saturday night!

This Old Truck

Funny how a truck can become a part of you. Like a member of the family. An old comfortable friend.

I cried the day we sold the red truck. Couldn’t stop the tears from spilling over as it disappeared down the driveway for the last time.

Kinda like moving away from the old home place where you grew up. It was just so full of memories. The hours we spent in that truck were countless…full of conversations, arguments, laughs, and dozens of meals shared.

Going to California to buy this old truck in the first place turned into an adventure. Needing to kill time, we hit Alcatraz and San Francisco. Fresh oranges from a roadside stand, a thrifty motel that turned out to be a little shady…we made memories, that’s for sure!

The roads we traveled in it, back when we were young and carefree. Nothing to tie us down.

All the time in the world to watch the trees go by.

Sleep never comes easier than when listening to the rumble of a 3406 E model Cat through 10-inch stacks.

This old truck was made of shared dreams.. where we pooled our ideas, fixed it up pretty, and spent all-nighters together in the shop working on improvements.

Never mind that we had some real fits with the engine due to it being run with no air filters, and the fuel pump constantly clogging from unknown junk in the fuel tanks.

This old truck hauled hay, sugar beets, wheat, and beans. Organic corn to a quaint little dairy. It pulled hundreds of tons of silage.

Tonight I’m riding with Ross in a different truck. Windows down, cool fall night air swirling our hair. Baby asleep.

It’s a new era.. 3 of us instead of 2. A diaper bag instead of books to read.

And I realize that I’m getting attached to this old truck too.

That First Year

The year that two became three..(No. More. Hot. Tea.)

The year of not leaving your side for more than an hour.. and feeling revived from a two minute shower.

The year of white noise, cuddles, and baby slings. As you slowly adjust to the outside things.

The year of sleep regressions, monkey impressions..panicked Google searches (too many to mention).

The year I realized that women really do hold all the powers! Rocking and pacing for hours and hours..

Being more selective of the company I keep.. and dreading that question, “So how does he sleep?”

The year of building all the rods for my own back, binning the baby books, and not looking back.

Endless walks with the pram to help you to nap..pounding the pavements lap after lap.

One whole year to realize that there’s no wrong or right. There’s what works.. what you need in the middle of the night.

The year of doubts and fears and bending the ears of family and friends. He’ll sleep eventually. But when?

But you’re more than your sleep struggles; so much more! You’re that look of wonder at a knock on the door. Your giggles, your protests, and that tiny roar.

Beaming with pride, as you take in your stride. Learning to roll, crawl and stand..and wave your wee hand.

A sudden respect for those who’ve done all this before! But with two, with three, with four! (Or more!)

The year of grand plans and dreams of these homemade cuisines. But some days just called for eggs, chips and beans.

And yet somehow you thrived, and we just about survived..the hourly wake-ups. (And some almost-breakups.)

You really did shake-up..

These two kids.

Words: Karen McMillan

Taken from “Mother Truths: Poems on Early Motherhood”

Conscious Choices

It’s been one of those weeks…

The kind where you have to bite your lip a lot to keep from saying things you’ll regret later.. (too bad there’s not a lip in my brain to bite. Cuz the thoughts still tend to swirl in there even if they don’t come out.)

Little frustrations that add up.. the dog digging up freshly planted flowers, grabbing a shirt off the clothesline and eating out an armhole where I’m pretty sure Ross doesn’t have an arm to go through.

The day you come home from town and realize that you forgot to do the most important errand which was why you went to town in the first place.

Headaches and low milk supply which in turn causes sleepless nights which causes cranky unproductive days.

A lot of life, it seems, is lived in hindsight. You make a quick decision in the moment, then later think about it more deeply and realize there would have been a much better way to go about it.

It’s then you come to a place where a conscious choice is made. You can either sit there and fret and stew about how dumb it was and regret how you made a poor decision.

Or you can lift up your head, kick out the negativity, and make a conscious choice to look forward.

Because hey, at least now you’ll know better for next time!

Life Is Good

It’s the little things that keep life interesting.

Working in the shop once again, this time I’m putting new teeth on the rake. The third and last cutting of hay for this year is drying in the field.

Late night joy rides in a new (to us) Peterbilt..windows down, rain-fresh air pulsing through the cab.

Re-doing a flower bed that never looked quite right. Dreaming of winding paths, blossoms, and butterflies.

Giggles and smiles from a very small little person. Precious.

The art of conversation. The past two days I have crossed paths with story tellers. Older folks with nothing but time. Time to tell stories upon stories.

Corn on the cob.. dripping with melted butter and lightly-coated with salt. Aaahhhhhhh.

Ripening grapes fresh off the vine. it’s hard to tell who enjoys them more..me or Buster!

Supper with good old comfortable friends.

I find that overall, even among the busy, the work, and the stress, there is always something to find happiness in.

Life is good.

P.S. And as I write this, Ross is confessing that he put hand soap on my toothbrush tonight. Yes, my very own toothbrush that I just brushed my very own teeth with just a minute ago. And I never noticed! 🤦🏼‍♀️😂 Now, all I can taste is Dial coconut. Ugh.

Everyday Angels

nounkind people who pop up unexpectedly in my life and cause small miracles to happen. Someone who spreads love.

I run into these everyday angels nearly every time I go to town. I meet them at gas stations, parts stores, and in the Home Depot parking lot.

One day, a couple showed up at my house to help mow and weed in the yard.

Sometimes they come bearing groceries, or just to hold baby and bake cookies.

Often they appear in the form of a kind text or a heartfelt smile.

One everyday angel walked clear across the parking lot just to offer me assistance with loading numerous water softener salt bags into the pickup bed.

Everyday angels sprinkle love like confetti. They hold doors open, start conversations, and compliment strangers.

They are, in short, a little piece of heaven on earth.

The Farming Game

Back when I was young, my siblings and I would play a board game called The Farming Game. We played it for hours. The clock ticked on, midnight came and went. We got out pencil, paper, and calculator to record our finances because there wasn’t enough play money to go around eventually. Sometimes we would leave the game out for days on end.

To explain the fun, each player rolled the dice and moved around the board, square by square. A good “year” (trip around the board) meant you landed on the squares that said hay cuttings and wheat harvest, where you rolled high dice numbers (hopefully) to see how much your crops yielded.

Then other “years”, you would completely miss a couple of the hay cutting squares or roll a 1 for your tonnage when you really needed a 6. Without fail, you also seemed to hit all the “Farm Expense” and “Machinery Breaks Down” that same year.

We’re having that kind of a year with our own farming game. Short water year, poor soil, aphids and grasshoppers devouring the hay, low yields, and breakdowns. Difficult landlords that raise rent and threaten worse.

Some years are like that.

In the back of our minds, the question arises.. do we leave the game out and keep playing, hoping the next years will be better? Maybe try different crops, farm other property.. Or do we put the pieces back in the bag, close the box and set it back on the shelf for awhile?

The Things Nobody Tells You…(musings from a first-time mom)

Nobody tells you that you really should grow an extra set of arms during pregnancy (along with everything else you’re growing). Cuz you’re really really gonna need more than just the two you have. They’d come in handy for driving swather and baler while essaying to feed and burp a floppy little baby at the same time. And for making supper. Because invariably the baby will cry and need to be held and fed right when your husband is fixing to walk in the door for supper.

Nobody tells you the sheer panic that wells up inside your mama heart when your precious little baby screams and cries and you have no idea why. Living with a newborn is comparable to moving in abruptly with a person from a foreign country. You both speak different languages but to live peaceably, you will need to figure out what the other is saying. Good luck with that!

Nobody tells you that some babies don’t know how to sleep through the night for very long stretches of time and that there are ways to help teach them these skills..

Nobody tells you how exhausted you will get. Sure they talk about being tired, but I mean the mind-numbing, emotion-crashing, overwhelming weariness after countless nights of 3-5 hours of sleep and no time during the day to nap. I look back now and really have no idea how I am still alive and kicking. Maybe the all-nighters I pulled in my youth are finally coming in handy 😂

Nobody tells you how important naps and sleep are for babies. And how very crabby they get on low sleep. (Crabby doesn’t begin to describe it though actually.)

Nobody tells you how loud everything sounds as soon as the baby does finally fall asleep. Floors creak twice as loudly, the door slamming sounds like a gunshot, and your husband’s voice seems to be nearly deafening.

Nobody tells you that motherhood is just a series of thinking you finally have it figured out and then the next day everything changes and you really have no idea what you’re doing after all.

Nobody tells you the amount of excitement you feel when someone texts you that they made a freezer meal for you. Simple joys, I know. 😅

Nobody tells you that you are the very best mama there could ever be for your baby. But it’s true. You really are ❤️

Happiness Is…

  • A gorgeous harvest moon peeping through the livingroom window as I rock my baby to sleep
  • The never-ending laundry caught up (momentarily)
  • 5 whole hours of sleep in one stretch
  • Indirect compliments (if you don’t often get direct compliments, listen for the indirect ones 😉
  • Baby smiles and long “conversations”
  • fresh apricots off our very own fruit trees, the first crop of their lives
  • playful orange kittens
  • Rides with Ross in the truck and ordering Freddys to the grain elevator for supper
  • Changing water on a hot day, the water from the wheel line sprinklers feels sooo good on a 105* day!
  • Blooming flowers.. glorious ghalardia, daisies, garden phlox, trumpet vines, lush fragrant honeysuckle, and so many more
  • Meeting new babies, thinking of all the good times these 3 little girls will have together growing up..
  • Ready-made food in the freezer that’s easy to heat and quick to serve
  • getting mail from friends!

These Are the Days

Of milk and diapers. And more milk. And more diapers.

Of sweet baby cuddles and growth spurts too soon.

Of bright baby eyes, sweet-smelling hair, and cutesy outfits.

These are the days of a newborn.

These are the days of overgrown lawns and weedy flowerbeds.

Of dirty windows and sewing piled high.

Of the rocking chair becoming the most-used belonging in the house after years of sitting quietly in the corner.

These are the days of priorities changing without warning.

These are the days of Ross working double-duty covering all my farm work, trucking besides, and hurrying home to hold his precious little Elle.

Of sleepless nights.. of crying spells..

Of speedy meals, and quick showers.

These are the days of survival.. but we wouldn’t trade them for anything in the whole world.

These are the days.