[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
I grew up in heart of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Shortly after high school, I fell in love with a country boy who was unlike any man I'd ever met. I was 19 when he swept me off of my feet and 19 when I married my best friend. Thirteen years later, and we have FOUR precious girls (9, 6, 4, 2) and feel so incredibly thankful and blessed to get to parent them together by God's grace. I seriously adore being with them! Our days are spent on our farm in a teeny town in Texas in which we get to do work alongside one another and be closely connected with God's beautiful creation on a daily basis. We are full-time farmers who raise grass-fed beef, pastured pork, pastured chicken, and pastured eggs (www.YonderWayFarm.com). Our lives are very simple-minded, but farming is one of the hardest things that we've ever done in practice. We absolutely love it! We feed around 300 families in the Houston area who have chosen to be a part of our farm community through the food that we raise on our farm. There is so much joy in taking the meat that we've harvested and putting it directly into the hands of people. We also home school our girls. It's been so beautiful to see them grow up into the gifts that the Lord has uniquely given them. But also see their gifts fit into the life of farming that the Lord has called us to. I love to snap photos of our daily farm and life happenings, being in the kitchen working on hippie concoctions, cooking with cast iron, laughing, creating beauty in our home, and sitting on the porch swing of our farmhouse dreaming big dreams with my best friend and farmer.
[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
As with most things in farming, the part of the day depends on the season that we are in. During the Texas Summers, my favorite part of the day would have to be in the evenings after we've had supper and it starts cooling down. We usually take off outside and walk down the dirt road, go exploring in the oak grove, sit on the front porch swing and talk, or drive around the farm in our farm buggy and see what the animals have been up to for the day. Whatever the case may be, we are usually spending this part of the day outside all together, being intentional, and with daddy. We will sometimes tackle a family project together during this time and choose something that everyone (even the babies) can participate in. This has truly been my favorite part of our day as of recently.
[#3] Name Three Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
Gracious sakes a livin' this is hard! I'm constantly inspired and amazed at the lens in which other women view their life, create their own version of beauty, and the differences in scenery that we are all placed in. The diversity of Instagram is a beautiful thing to me.
If I had to pick 3, I would pick these particular women who happen to be in a little different season of life than I with older children and have been a great source of encouragement for the type of women I hope to be in the future along with seeing how they relate to their older children in such beautiful and connected ways.
[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
Being creative and making time to create is so important to me and something that I'm realizing the more busy life has become and the more time consuming farm life has been. As my girls have gotten a little older (especially my 9 year old), it's been amazing to see their need to create as well. So, when I tackle a project, I usually choose something that they can participate in with me and we learn together. This was not always easy for me since I struggle with wanting things to be done perfectly or not at all. Over the years, I've come a long way in this area because I went through seasons of not embracing my creative side and children at the same time. I thought you could only have one and not the other- obviously the children weren't going anywhere, so creating took a backseat. Inviting my girls into creating with me has been something that I have learned to love and also seeing their little creative spirits flourish as well is truly special. I want them to grow up learning to embrace creativity and be able to learn to tackle whatever their heart's desire to create.
[#5] What is a family tradition that you love sharing with your kids?
Our family typically shares 3 meals together every single day. We enjoy food and cooking and the art of preparing dishes from scratch using whole foods. The prep that goes into our food allows my girls to be in the kitchen with me! They are turning into such great helpers, cooks, and bakers. There is usually a job for everyone to have! Meals tend to be anchors for us that we get to sit down and connect over a good plate of food. I hope that my girls will continue to carry the love of preparing and sharing a meal with their one-day families.
[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home - what image would you share and why?
I'm in the kitchen a lot! That tends to be the hub of our home since much of our days consist of eating good food and raising good food. We recently completed a kitchen remodel to make the kitchen more functional for our family and pleasing to the eye (we had fruit basket wallpaper from the 70s....ha!). Our home was built in 1906 and was in major need of updating. I still have some finishing touches to make, but the bones are all there and I'm loving being in the kitchen even more now!
[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
Be sure and follow @five_chicks_and_farmer on Instagram! You can also keep up with the series by following @kelliandvanessa or #myeverydaymoms