March 8th

Friday, March 8th, 2019

The weather has been absolutely marvelous the last couple days.

I’ve been walking back to the barn (for context: over a half mile one way) because the sun on my face and fresh air have been such spirit lifters. I’ve been able to leave the house in just my barn jacket and rubber boots (no Carharrt coveralls and heavy winter boots!), and be the perfect temperature.

Truly marvelous.

Once back at the barn, being able to open up the barn doors and let fresh air in is just as much a spirit lifter – for everyone, I think.

Our boys grow heavy winter coats, so the shedding process begins early for us each spring, and begun it has! No more wearing chapstick to the barn, am I right? Pony kisses are a magnet for said shedding hair when your lips have any sort of stick to them, haha! That first time is always a rude awakening 🙂

Buck has a lot of hair to begin with, so it never seems to end with him.

However, with the weather as great as it was today, I was able to unbraid and brush out his tail (I braid it to help protect it as it grows back, so it’s been braided for months), and eventually rebraid it after admiring it’s length (two years later, we’re almost back to full length!!). It has also proven to hold it’s conditioner when braided; I didn’t need to use any detangler on his tail when I brushed it out, which was a small miracle. His mane is a different story, however, but we tackled that and got it all brushed out.

I’ve always been an “on the ground” equestrian. I connect really deeply with horses on their level, without the need to ride. That may sound strange, but while I enjoy a good ride, I enjoy a good roundpen session even more. I enjoy asking my horses for things without physical touch and aided equipment.

I like being a herd member, earning and proving my coveted herd position through my body language.

I think this also aids in my barn time with my boys. The act of me brushing out Buck’s mane has become part of herd grooming. He no longer fights it, but instead falls asleep. This hyper alert thousand pound animal has handed over his vulnerability to me; he trusts me to have his back and protect him.

It’s pretty humbling.

He’s always so soft after we work too. So soulful, so gentle. His eyes and body relaxes, and he becomes a teddy bear.


I’ve always had people tell me I could train horses, but I am not qualified under saddle to do any such thing. However, I have thought about buying weanlings, yearlings, and ground breaking them. Can you imagine those sassy, long legged know-it-alls in a round pen under liberty – I’d probably be constantly laughing! A true hoot and challenge, for sure. But ultimately, I’d have to sell them again and I may be too picky in what homes they go to.

I would love it though!

Think of the sweet faces. Oh goodness.

December 24th

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Merry Christmas Eve!

While we won’t be having a white Christmas this year, the big positive about the weather being mild is that all of the ice has melted.

The big thing that stops Paul and I from riding outdoors in the winter is fear of ice; even with a layer of snow on top, you don’t know what’s happening underneath and the idea of our horses slipping and sliding is not an appealing one. Especially since our horses are not in peak shape by any means right now, so pulling a muscle is a real possibility with too much of a slip or slide.

Since the ground is dry because of the weather, over the past couple weeks we’ve been going out on short but wonderful rides down the driveway. The boys basically put their halters on themselves they’re so excited to get out, and it’s a great for everyone to get some fresh air and exercise. It’s great for their mental state, too, as they get to go out and take in new sights that they don’t see in the pasture. Our boys aren’t big fans of riding in the arena, so it’s great bonding for all of us to go out and do a ride everyone wants to do.

In addition to all of that, with a busy day tomorrow it just seemed right to spend Christmas Eve in the barn, the site of Jesus’ birth, with livestock, Jesus’ first witnesses.

What a beautiful place for reflection on the reason for the season. What a privilege.

October 21st

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

The sun was just starting to peek through the thin layer of clouds this morning when I looked out and saw this.

The swans are on the move, and they’ve chosen our pond as one of their flocking up points. By the end of the day, we had over 40 swans on the pond.

It was quite noisy.

They trumpet and coo and playfully splash with one another, which is loud in itself, but the taking off the water is the truly noisy part. It rings through the air and sounds like it should – pairs of massive wings and webbed feet slapping the surface of the water as they run across the water trying to gain speed and altitude. But, in contrast, when they come in to land, it is a soft sound; their wings are cupped, and their big, webbed feet break the surface of the water and they gently glide over the top until they settle all the way into the water. It’s nearly silent.

Combined with the sounds of our fields getting harvested today, there wasn’t much quiet.

Those who came out to the patch today got quite the treat though – the swans were constantly landing and taking off, essentially buzzing the field as they do, and the combine was in the field for the majority of the afternoon, which we all don’t get much of an opportunity to simply stand and watch them work.

A busy day for all.

September 20th

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

We made it home!

It was a busy day of just running, but my heart is full.

Paul and I met up at the airport this morning, walked over to another gate to meet up with our friend Pat (AKA Hippie) coming in from Seattle, then packed up the truck, swung by home and switched bags, then made our way to Brainerd to start the weekend.

Andrew and Katy get married this weekend, and it’s really going to be a “the gang is back together” kind of weekend. Nick (Corn Dog) came in from San Diego where he’s based, Hippie came in from Seattle, Clint and Hannah came in from Minot, Bryce and Megan from Mandan, Andrew and Katy from Iowa, and Paul and I from Minnesota.

The last time we were all together was for Corn and Katie’s wedding in Bismarck two years ago, and a lot has transpired since then, so it’ll be good.

Before everyone got to Katy’s parents house tonight, she took us on a tour of their farm, and they had the prettiest hayloft. We’re camping and doing lots of outdoorsy stuff this weekend so this just felt like a good image to start the weekend.

We’re all staying in The “Glamper” (pop up glamour camper) tonight at the farm, and cabins with wood burning stoves tomorrow and Sunday night. Basically 24/7 togetherness, and it’s going to be awesome!

July 11th

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

This girl, I tell you what.

I went over to Cody and Dana’s this afternoon for a pool party with one of my favorite gal pals.

When Brooklyn got up from her nap, it hadn’t really started to heat up yet, so we went down to the barn to check out the horses, tree farm, and the growing chickens.

I love photographing Brooklyn. Whenever I plan to go over there for the day, I always know who my photo of the day is going to be of. 😉

I think why I love photographing her so much is because she isn’t shy with me. She does her own thing, goes about life just like any other day, so I get the chance to play with a more photojournalistic feel to my images.

Follow an almost-toddler around, and you get a lot of opportunity for authentic moments.

That’s what happened here. Dana and I followed Brooklyn into the barn, and while I fully expected to have an image of Brooklyn with her 40 chickens on the blog today, I just loved this one of her and the mama kitty barn cat.

A farm girl life. Surrounded by farm items that would make a lot of parents nervous, but it’s truly just a regular day in the life. A girl who plays with water buckets next to a pitch fork. Who loves to stand on the fence and watch the cows and the horses, who snuggles her kitty, and talks to her chickens. Unplugged, no iPad in sight.

I love this way of life, and I love that we have friends who feel the same way.

February 25th

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

These are the kind of snowfalls I love!

Snow Saturday evening into Sunday morning, Paul is at home, no one has to go anywhere. The sun is shining this morning, full of God’s glory. I often think of a day of sunshine after a snow storm like the rainbow after the flood.

Especially on the farm. The horses love fresh snow, the pup can barely wade through it, but she’s enthralled and entranced. Paul and Dad are out plowing in the tractor (because we couldn’t go anywhere even if we wanted to).

It’s cozy, and I love it!

I’m extra excited this morning because the TobyMac concert is tonight!! Mandisa, Finding Favor, Danny Gokey, Ryan Stevenson – it is going to be AWESOME! If we’re being honest, I went out a couple of days ago and bought waterproof mascara for tonight because I could already feel God working in my heart. Preparing for an intense, heartfelt worship tonight.

I really like TobyMac, but Mandisa is who pushed me to buy tickets for this concert. She is by far my favorite female Christian artist, and I connect so much with her story, so that just adds to the appeal. She was a top ten finalist (I think, don’t quote me on the exact number) on a season of American Idol, and that’s where her music career started. A normal person, kind of thrown into the spotlight quickly. She’s very open about her journey with anxiety and depression, and she’s written many songs as an outlet and coping strategy for that. So, as you can imagine, a couple of her songs have really hit home for me.

So when all of these big names were coming together for one concert, I begged Paul (although he didn’t need much convincing) for us to buy tickets. I asked him what level tickets he would be willing to purchase, and he told me “The best we can get.”


So not only are we going to this concert tonight, but we are in the lower level, pretty close to the stage!! I think we’re row K, so that’s what – 11 rows back. SO PUMPED!

Some lyrics from songs I’m hoping to hear tonight:

So I can pick myself back up
And keep on telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
No, my God’s not done
-Unfinished // Mandisa

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin’ thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I’m hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
-Love Broke Thru // TobyMac

When fear feels bigger than my faith
And struggles steal my breath away

When my back’s pressed up against the wall
With the weight of my worries stacked up tall
You’re strong enough to hold it all

I will cast my cares on You
You’re the anchor of my hope
The only one who’s in control
I will cast my cares on You
I’ll trade the troubles of this world
For Your peace inside my soul
-Cast My Cares // Finding Favor

Mmm, when my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I’m runnin’ out of faith
I see the future I picture slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache
Are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name.
-Eye of the Storm // Ryan Stevenson

But something inside you can’t deny
You hear the call of your creator
I made you for more, unlocked the door
I wanna restore your glory
So rise
Breaking the dark, piercing the night
You’re made to shine
An army of hope
Bringing the world
A radiant light
A radiant light
You were made to rise, rise
-Rise // Danny Gokey

February 3rd

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

Well isn’t that the way it works.

Inches of beautiful, fluffy snow falling at the farm today.

Why the sarcasm, you may ask.

1. I have to drive to the airport this afternoon. Usually I can avoid driving in snow and just admire it from inside.

2. Because I am going to the airport, that means I can’t be out in it. Both to play and to photograph.

Oh well. This adventure I’m on now is 100% worth it!

Where am I going? Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Yep, Iowa.

Paul has a 30 hour layover there, so I’m going with so we can lounge around and watch the Super Bowl together tomorrow.

The perfect day! 🙂

October 10th

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

A quiet evening with the four-leggeds.

This fall weather has everyone feeling so mellow. Horses were snoozing, dog was content to lay at my feet, kittens basking in the sun.

At almost six months old, the kittens aren’t really kittens anymore. They’re starting to fill out and they look more and more like grown cats each day.

They’re also starting to step up into their role of mouser. Finn caught a bird this week, and Colt has left a couple of mice at my parents front door. Is it ridiculous that I’m proud of them? They’re basically our kids after all. 😉

July 17th

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Colt accurately depicting how we’re all feeling about the weather today.

It was hot as heck today; 105+ degree heat index. Both of the kittens and the dog pressed themselves into the cool concrete all afternoon, and I don’t think it helped much.

These sweet kittens are growing so fast – they’re almost twelve weeks old!

July 5th

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

100 degree heat index means you either stay inside, or you run through the sprinklers.

I did both today.

With the holiday weekend, I got a bit behind with work (thanks for your patience with this blog!), so most of my day was spent inside at my desk downloading, editing, and placing orders.

But a girl’s got to play a little, right?

So after six hours in the office, I went down to the barn. The poor boys were soaked with sweat, and were miserably standing in front of their fans. Now, they don’t often get baths because our barn water comes straight from our well, and is usually cold water. It’s hard for me to ask them to stand under cold water unless the air temperature is stifling.

So out came the hose! I was going to take as much advantage of the heat as I could!

They LOVED it! I use a garden hose attachment when I bathe them, and it’s gentle enough for them to stick their faces into. Buck was literally drinking out of the hose, and Junior loved wiggling his top lip over the spray causing it to splash all over his face (anyway he can make a mess is pure joy for him).

Its always satisfying to make them more comfortable – after a good soaking and shampoo, they each napped at the hitching post while I cleaned up the hose.