Life on the Farm: Vol. 5

Life on the Farm, Feb 2016 | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (3 of 13)Life-on-the-Farm_-VolLife on the Farm, Feb 2016 | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (4 of 13)

A couple of days ago on the way back from a walk, baby strapped to my chest and puppy at my side, as the sun began to set and glow just so from behind my house, I decided I’d better grab my camera and capture the moment.

Something about being outside for the first time in a while, with the sun warm on my face and two of my very favorite creatures nearby, just made me feel like the moment was worth capturing. This season of life feels so very fleeting. Sure, there have been moments in the middle of the night where I’ve wondered if I’ll ever be done being needed so much, but then the morning comes and his little face has changed overnight and I’m ready to stay awake 1,000 nights if I could just freeze time.

I’m not trying to paint some perfectly rosy picture of new parenthood and sum it all up under some ridiculous platitude like, “it’s all worth it,” because this shiz is hard, man. Hardest work I’ve ever done, including labor and that crap was intense. But from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been determined not to waste precious time being frustrated, complaining or feeling sorry for myself. Because this is all only going to happen once. I only get to experience Emmett’s little life ONCE and good grief that is worth sucking it up now and again.

Of course when you make a determination to suck it up and cherish the moments, there inevitably comes a test of your will.

Today I spent my day with a baby who was either eating, sleeping in my arms or crying. When his Dad got home, I passed him off and prepared to take a little break, realizing very quickly that the house was a disaster and my time to myself was very likely to be spent cleaning. As I dove into the mountain of dishes, listening to Emmett fuss upstairs, I faltered a little on my “relish the moment,” resolve. I felt like a failure for not being able to make my kid happy all day. I felt annoyed that I’d taken care of the baby all day and the only moments I had to myself would be spent cleaning up the dinner that never got put away last night. I felt frustrated that I hadn’t gotten anything on my to-do list done for the day. I let it all build up and I yelled at the dog.

So much for sucking it up.

As I filled the sink and grumpily began to work through the pile of dishes, I squeezed the dish soap bottle and suddenly was reminded how much I like the smell of my dish soap. The smell of Lemon Verbena opened a door in my brain and all of a sudden I was thinking how relaxing it is to have your hands in hot, soapy water. How satisfying it is to clear a counter full of dishes and load them up in the dish washer. How grateful I was that Taylor has taken care of so many of the meals in the last six weeks. How nice it was that Emmett slept so well last night. I closed my eyes, and slowly, I regained my composure.

By the time Emmett was ready to eat again, I’d finished the dishes and happily tinkered about the house tidying, feeling refreshed and ready to be needed again by the people I love.

This season, both inside and outside of my house, is a short one. The calm, quiet days between winter and spring will be gone before I know it. Soon everything will bloom and the craziness of farm life will set in. Soon my sweet, tiny, needs-to-be-held-all-day babe won’t need me so very much. And the reality is, I’ll miss all of those things when they’re gone.

So when I can take a moment to step outside of myself, to grab my camera and capture the rare sunny day in February, to relish in the smell of a sink full of Lemon Verbena or to soothe and snuggle a fussy little babe, I’m going to. Because we only get to do this once, and I’m not going to waste a minute.

Life on the Farm, Feb 2016 | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (10 of 13)Untitled-1Life on the Farm, Feb 2016 | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (8 of 13)    Life on the Farm, Feb 2016 | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (1 of 13)

Never Forget

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It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted to come here. Since I’ve felt that familiar burning, un-ignorable need to sit down and write out my thoughts. In fact, for the last few months the idea of sharing my personal life with the world wide web has seemed completely unappealing. But I realized today that it’s been nearly six weeks since my baby was born and if I don’t write a few things down, and heaven forbid, happen to forget them, I’ll never forgive myself.

I never want to forget the way he felt when they placed him on my chest. My memory of much of the delivery, and especially the hours of pushing are pretty fuzzy, but I can remember exactly how he felt when they placed him in my arms. Big! And squishy. And so warm and kind of slimy and a little bit bloody. I could hardly see him through my eyes that had swollen shut, and I was so tired I could only look down at him for a few seconds before needing to lay my head back on the bed, but all I could think was that he was everything I ever wanted. “I got my boy,” I kept thinking. I’ve always wanted to be the mom of a boy.

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Even though we made such a point to keep the gender a secret to the very end and keep an open mind, some part of me knew it was him the whole time. A couple weeks before he came, I’d started to say his name in my head when I thought about him in my belly and when they finally laid him on my chest, I just thought, “Finally. You’re here. I knew it was you.”

I never want to forget his big, soft cheeks and the little shelf in his head and the way that head smelled. I never want to forget the way I rocked him side to side as he cried his first cries, and they sewed me up before the pain medication kicked in because my IV fell out. But I didn’t care because good Lord I wasn’t pregnant anymore, and he was there and it was over.

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I never want to forget laying there in the dark after we were both cleaned up and everyone had cleared out and Taylor had fallen asleep in the corner. Feeling completely decimated, holding on to him for dear life and whispering in his ear who I was and who he was and how much I loved him. I never want to forget thinking that despite how much I loved him, all I really wanted was to sleep after being awake for three straight days, and what the heck were these people thinking leaving me alone.

I never want to forget the moment they told us what he weighed, and instantly feeling like the biggest bad ass ever for having a baby that big.

I never want to forget those first nutty days in the hospital, worrying about blood sugar and jaundice and vital signs and latching on. That amidst all the stress and check-ins and shift changes and heel-poking, there was this tiny little person that looked like me. I never want to forget how we didn’t put any clothes on him until it was time to leave, and the feeling of his warm little body nestled into my bare chest. I never want to forget those moments when it was just the three of us, figuring out how to be a family for the first time.

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I never want to forget the first couple weeks at home. Just the three of us in a near-constant cycle of eating, sleeping and pooping. Changing our first diapers, giving our first baths, delighting in all the coos and coughs and taking a million naps on our chests. Worrying about the umbilical cord falling off to early, fretting over the circumcision and shedding tears over whether or not I was making enough for him to eat.

I never want to forget the naps on my chest, the weight of his little body on mine, his mouth gaping in pure relaxation and milky bliss. Thinking, I’ll never move. Never. Just stay like this forever. This is the stuff. The stuff I dreamed of.

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I never want to forget his little sighs, the way he grunts in relief as he fills his diaper and how his eyes water. I never want to forget the way he sneezes, always three times, each one a little more violent than the rest, just like my Dad. I never want to forget the little perplexed look he has when he focuses on something, like he’s saying, “Now tell me about this, Mom.”

I never want to forget taking 1,000 pictures of him sleeping. Having to restrain myself from posting them all. Wishing so hard he would fall asleep so I could, only to spend his entire nap time looking at photos of him.

I never want to forget how he was born with feet too big for baby shoes and a body too tall for newborn clothes. I never want to forget the little green hat we brought him home in, and how hard I cried when I found the dog had chewed it up a few weeks later.

I’ve spent the last five and a half weeks staring down at his sweet face, my neck at a constant angle, so much so that I have a giant knot in my right shoulder, but I never want to forget. To memorize the way his face changes on an almost daily basis, to pet his head and tell him I love him, to wrestle away the hands that are constantly flanking his chubby little cheeks.

Never in my life have I lived more in the present moment. Trying desperately to memorize things before they fade away, simultaneously celebrating and mourning the coming of every Thursday and my baby turning another week older. I’m so looking forward to watching who he becomes and getting to know him, but thinking about him not being this small anymore fills me with some weird mix of sadness and longing and I can’t think about it for very long without getting totally overwhelmed.

I spent most of my pregnancy in hibernation. Wanting to hide away from the world and experience it all on my own terms, avoid the platitudes and unsolicited advice that comes from anyone and everyone. Feeling it all such a private, personal experience, but unable to avoid the very public awareness as my belly grew. I started to fear myself an incurable hermit or something, far surpassing my normal introvert status and literally wanting to avoid the entire breadth of humanity. But I mentioned this to my counselor and remember her saying that as far as coping mechanisms go, for a person who experiences anxiousness, limiting the sources of stress and anxiety might not be the worst thing in the world.

I figured once he arrived, my ban on social interaction would lift and life would return to normal, but now that he’s here, I’m feeling just as much the hermit as I was before. We’ve had plenty of offers for baby holding so we can get something done, and while I’d love to have a kitchen counter clear of dishes, there’s only so much time in the day to spend memorizing my son and I’m just not feeling especially inclined to share him.

Despite all the less glamorous things that come with a new baby- night sweats and soaked shirts and at least a month where using the bathroom is quite an affair- it’s all I can do to get cleaned up as fast as possible and get him back in my arms.

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I never want to forget just who he is in each present moment and to tell him every single day that he’s exactly what I wanted.

Baby Favorites


Since I shared some of my pregnancy favorites, I thought it only fitting to also share some of the things I’ve found for Teeny that I’ve really loved. This is hardly a “must-have” list, 1) because I don’t yet have the baby and therefore have no idea which items are most helpful and 2) most of these are more on the fun than practical side.

So while it’s not the most practical list in all the land, perhaps it could be helpful as a gift guide for the babies in your life. Because what baby doesn’t need a gangly, stuffed moose?

1. Zip-Front One Pieces for Baby, Old Navy, $12. Our girl’s trip to the beach was the first time that I really let myself wander into the baby section of a store. I found the tiniest, most insanely adorable, dark green pjs and bought them for Teeny to wear home from the hospital. Later on I ended up ordering our whole newborn wardrobe from Old Navy, including these zip-up jams in pretty much every neutral shade they make.

2. This Moose Belongs to Me, Amazon, $9.98. The first book we were given for Teeny and our undisputed favorite. We read this quirky book at least once a week and it never fails to crack me up. I can’t wait to read it to our kiddo after they’re born.

3. Hand Knitted Newborn Baby Beanie, StarSeventeen- Etsy, $18. One of the things I knew I must have the moment the baby comes was the perfect beanie. I wanted a soft, chunky-knit with a giant pom-pom and this one fits the bill perfectly.

4. Mary Meyer Wall Wobbles, Amazon, $19.99. Taylor was in charge of finding the perfect buddy for the baby to grow up with and after falling in love with Marcel, the star of This Moose Belongs to Me, we knew it had to be a moose. He spent weeks researching and landed on this guy. I think he’s just perfect. First test as a dad, check!

5. Duck Boots, Gap, $49.95. Love at first sight. Everyone who has seen these laughs and says, “just like Mom.” You better believe it. Can’t wait to share the goodness of duck boot life with the babe. A huge thank you to my cousin Chantelle who sent these to us!

6. Minnetonka Genuine Bootie, Amazon, $32.95. Our drafty old house requires slippers in the cooler months and I thought these were way too cute to pass on. A little pricey, but one of my splurges.

7. Classic Beaded Pacifier Clip, NomiLu- Etsy, $10. Teether and pacifier clip? Non-hideous pattern? Quality materials and nice, clean look? Sign me up. I admired these on several people’s Instagrams before tracking down the perfect one. If I had to guess, I’ll bet we order another one of these at some point.

8. Gold Orthodontic Pure Rubber Pacifier, Nature Baby, $9.95. Natural rubber and way less obnoxious looking than regular pacifiers. Done and done.

9. The Peaks- Original Modern Wool Mountain Pillow, Three Bad Seeds- Etsy, $60. This was another one of my favorite splurges. Since we got a steal of a deal on our Craigslisted Jenny Lind crib and already had a dresser and rocker, I decided to go for it with this mountain pillow. It’s by far one of my favorite items in the room and I’m so glad I bought it. It’s also the perfect back support for a pregnant lady, settled into a wooden rocking chair.

10. Baby Hairbrush, Nature Baby, $24. I mean, come on. Cutest thing ever.

11. Charcoal Swiss Dot, Solly Baby, $65. I’ve thought these were the coolest thing for the longest time and am weirdly excited about running around with my baby strapped to my chest. They just released this color/pattern this fall and I knew it was the one.

12. Field Canvas Tote Bag, L.L.Bean, $89. The term “diaper bag,” kind of gave me hives, so early on I decided I wanted something that looked as little like a bag full of baby junk as possible. A friend had bought the backpack version of this bag when she had her baby and I decided to copy her and go with this rendition. I like that it can be slung over the shoulder or worn cross-body. Options people, options.

13. Little Willard Baltic Amber Teething Necklace, Amazon, $15.99. Another Instagram inspiration. These seem like such a simple, subtle way to help your kid out in those painful, drooly months of cutting teeth.

14. Gemma Nest, NativeWilds, $49. I don’t fancy myself especially bashful about breastfeeding, but when a friend showed me these attractive, multi-use nursing covers, I was intrigued. Infinity scarf, cart cover, high chair cover, car seat cover, nursing cover and blanket. That’s a whole lot of uses right there for only one thing I have to schlep around in my non-diaper bag. Perfection.

I will say that I had a really, really good time picking stuff out for the baby. When I told people I wasn’t having a shower they often seemed very concerned that I wouldn’t have what I needed, but there has been something about getting to hand-pick the items for our first kiddo that has been really, really special. Like somehow getting all their belongings ready has helped me get to know them a little. I don’t know, deep thoughts and stuff.

I can’t believe we are a month from our due date. Lots of mixed feelings about wanting time to pass quickly and also savoring the moment, but overall we are both pretty pumped to meet our little bud.

What are you favorite buys for baby?

Big Fat Failure

North Umpqua Anniversary | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (42 of 58)

It’s 5:20 a.m. on a Saturday morning and though I’d rather be fast asleep, wrapped in my warm fluffy duvet, the third trimester has brought with it a significant lack of rest, so here I am.

As I sit awake at night, I often feel a surge of more energy than I ever seem to have throughout the day, so rather than spend another night scrolling the hours away on Instagram, I decided to get up and try to clear my head.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been feeling like a big, fat failure lately.

In reality, I worked hard all spring and summer long, catering events and doing photoshoots. I finished all of our baby preparation with two months to spare because I wanted the last couple months to relax, enjoy my husband and the holidays. I’ve deep cleaned the house, stocked the freezer with meals and treats and have most of the items laid out for our hospital bags. I’ve gone fly fishing over ten times, camped, hiked and explored the Canadian rockies. I’ve raised a puppy this year, started a new branch of my business, survived our first harvest as a farming family and written a monthly column for the local newspaper.

But all I can see right now is that fact that I’m “not working,” not doing anything worthwhile and definitely not bringing in any income.

Nevermind the fact that I’m growing a human and have managed to walk three miles a day, five days a week for the entirety of this pregnancy. Nevermind that I’ve gone to counseling once a month since the beginning of the year so I could prepare my heart and mind for this big life transition. Nevermind that I’ve found a way to find joy and meaning in the somewhat menial tasks that make up keeping a home.

Nevermind all that. I’m obviously a failure.

The first half of pregnancy I did such a good job of living in the present. I wasn’t worried about anything, I read the single baby book we decided to read and focused on my day-to-day life. Then we hit twenty weeks and I hit the nesting wall. Suddenly everything had to be deep cleaned, reorganized and put together. I felt clear, focused, purposed. And then the third trimester came, my life slowed down and simplified just like I’d planned, and here I am having an existential crisis.

Who am I? What am I doing? Why isn’t my photography business taking off? Should I get a part time job? Are people still going to remember I’m a caterer after my maternity leave? Will I ever work again? Should I change careers? Why did I decide I wanted to be a business owner again?

And so on.

I’ve spun round and round in this broken cycle the last few weeks, but after finally verbalizing most of it last night in a conversation with my husband, I realized how silly it all sounded.

Bottom line, yes it would be lovely to be earning an income right now despite the fact that I’ll be giving birth in less than two months. Yes I look around with a bit of envy at others still totally consumed with and distracted by their work towards the end of pregnancy. But, that’s not how this “job” works, and that’s not what we planned for.

In fact, we planned for exactly what’s happening, to happen. Which means I am not actually a failure, but instead the very opposite, succeeding in carrying out the very plans that we made.

Plans to have the very much needed time and space to process my thoughts, fears and hopes for being a mother. Plans to set up, build and organize a whole new website and launch a new branch of my work. Plans to think about writing, what it means to me, where I’d like it to go in the next year and what I need to work on. I’ve had time to recover from a season of seeing my husband just a few hours a week and recoop from a long, hot catering season.

I’ll make no promises that from this point forward I’ll be able to see with clear eyes that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I should be doing- enjoying my loved ones, resting, being quiet and preparing my heart. But I’m sure going to try.

Because the reality is, all those people I’m looking around comparing myself to, the ones with the steady jobs to distract them and the incomes to entertain them, would probably kill to be able to do what I’m doing. Or at least to have the choice.

So after I *hopefully* fall back asleep tonight, and then wake up in a few hours for the day, I’m going to tell myself how it is. How lucky I am to have a whole ‘nother day laid out before me, with the opportunity to call the shots. To be present. To take the space and quiet I need to feed my soul and invest in the things and people I care about. How that’s what I wanted. What I planned for. And what it means for me to be a success right now.

Because I’ll probably, hilariously, look back at this short season of life and long for it someday. When my world is crazy and I can’t seem to catch my breath. And I’ll laugh at the time I sat at my computer at 5:20 in the morning giving myself a pep talk on enjoying the quiet, wishing desperately for just five minutes of that kind of peace.

So let’s do this thing, am I right? To infinity and beyond!

Weekly Roundup

Blueberry Fields | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (10 of 19)

Every morning I go on a walk around the three mile loop near our house and tell my self, “I’m going to write a blog post today.” And then before I know it, it’s Friday and all I have are some silly little links to share and another week has passed without me producing any sort of intelligible writing. It’s a weird season of life, this one. Anyway, some things that really made me happy this week:

I didn’t watch the CMA’s, and rarely get an opportunity to watch awards shows as a whole since we don’t have TV, but I always like to check in and follow along anyhow. Last night, after perusing Instagram I quickly learned that he-who-can-do-no-wrong Justin Timberlake had teamed up with one of Taylor and I’s very favorite new artists, Chris Stapleton. And let me tell you, the results were magical. Watch this. And then this. Is it just me or did Brad Paisley have a little “Adele Dazeem” moment there?

Not sure if any of you are sports fans, and honestly it’s taken me a few years to come around to podcasts in general, but I’m a huge fan of Bill Simmons and am so glad he’s back on the air after his beef with ESPN. I just listened to this podcast where he talks about how everything went down and found it really honest and refreshing. Have a listen.

It’s no secret that I kind of love everything Pendleton does, and am still kicking myself for not pulling the trigger on one of their Portland Collection dresses a few years ago, but when this collaboration with Portland’s Poler Stuff was released, I got so excited. I love that they make an effort to partner with so many different brands and on so many different levels. Everything from large corporations like Nike and Subaru, to little local operations like Poler. Go getcha some.

I’ve begun my annual watching of terrible, terrible TV Christmas movies but being my third or fourth year at it, am having trouble finding new material. Any favorites to recommend? I favor the ABC Family and Hallmark channel types. Don’t judge me.

The stinking L.L.Bean Christmas catalog gets me every time and makes me dream sweet dreams of sugar plum fairies and flannel pajamas. Here’s a few things I wouldn’t mind in my stocking this year: Wool Fedora. Sherpa-Lined Wool Jacket. Lined Poplin Shirt Jacket.

We are going to be spending the weekend at the hospital touring the Birth Center and doing our Labor and Childbirth classes. Eek! I can’t believe this day is here already. What are you all up to?

Happy Friday!

Weekly Roundup

Blueberry Fields | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (5 of 19)

In addition to my list of weekly list of links, I’m going to share a few things that “freaked my week” as one of my favorite podcasts likes to say. Here they are, in no particular order, because sometimes you need to make a list of good things when you are wide awake at 3 a.m.:

  • Giving Cash a bath in the tractor wash pit at the farm.
  • Sleeping in an extra hour and a half wrapped in our down comforter like a burrito.
  • Eating chocolate chip cookies out of the freezer, one at a time.
  • Discovering yoga for labor and relieving some of the pressure on my back.
  • Foot massages with Burt’s Bees Foot Lotion.
  • Our annual viewing of Mike Wazowski.
  • Waking up to Teeny’s cross stitch in the hall outside my bedroom.
  • Hanging the vintage postcards we bought on our Montana trip last year when we first started talking about having kids.
  • Spending my insomnia hours going through the archives of my favorite blog.
  • Texted photos of my friend’s daughter enjoying the birthday gift we gave her and a video of my other friend’s daughter losing her mind at Frozen on Ice.
  • Watching the first NBA games of the season with my love, knowing soon we’ll be watching as a family. #ripcity #dubnation
  • Burying my face in fresh, clean puppy fur and thanking my lucky stars for the last year we’ve spent together.
  • Listening to the rain and wind beat against my windows, while I stay toasty warm thanks to a recently serviced furnace.

Blueberry Fields | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (3 of 19)Blueberry Fields | Kali Ramey Martin, Bird is the Word (2 of 19)

Now onto the link-y goodness.

This is the toy we got for our friend’s daughter’s birthday that has resulted in the most adorable texted pics and cleanest mirrors in the land. I think this will stay at the top of my list for kid gift ideas. Reasonably priced, nice quality and teaches your kids to like CLEANING. Win.

I tried this on when my mom was in town last week and It. Was. Heaven. I didn’t expect to like the green color so much, but it’s really lovely. Does growing a human put me on the “nice” list this year? Santa?

I went to Target today to buy a couple new bras because pregnancy, and couldn’t resist throwing these in my basket. Christmas babies are da best.

Speaking of Christmas, I randomly got a craving for a peppermint mocha this afternoon and I already have all of my holiday cards addressed. Three cheers for nesting! The last two years I’ve ordered my cards from Artifact Uprising who currently has a 10% off special on holiday options. Recycled paper and cute kraft envelopes, swoon!

But not to get too ahead of myself, which recipe should I use for my first ever Thanksgiving pumpkin pie? Keep it classic or go for something fancy like this one, complete with pie crust leaves?

I’m not forgetting about Halloween, though I’m pretty sure the amount of candy I consumed in the first trimester more than covers this year’s indulgence. I think I’ll be eating popcorn and watching the Blazers Saturday night instead.

Happy Friday! Happy Halloween! Everyone stay safe and dry out there this weekend!

This Old House

Life on the Farm- Vol. 3 | Bird is the Word (24 of 46)

Having lived in our house for nearly a year, which I feel is the minimum required time to really to know a space, I thought it was high time I post some photos of our little farmhouse’s transformation. I forget sometimes how much work was done for us and though it may not be my “forever” home, I never want to forget to be grateful for this beautiful place I get to live, so let’s dive in!

These before photos are from a walk-through we did with my in-laws long before there was even a glimmer of hope we’d get to move in. I’d had my eyes on the place for years, but had been told time and time again not to get my hopes up and that it was impossible for us to live here. But I knew. I knew from the moment I set foot in the door that me and this house were meant to be and so I nursed a secret, quiet hope that someday we would be united. And nearly a year later we were painting walls and fixing toilets and laying new floors.

Outside (Before): house-side_14508167026_o sideyard_14551392513_o backdoor_14344683829_o backyard_14344834157_o

To be honest, we haven’t done too terrible much to the outside. Last fall we did a major yard clean up, hacked some of the overgrown yard back to a somewhat manageable state, trimmed trees and cleared the beds of weeds.

Taylor built me some beautiful garden boxes this spring which have produced quite the summer’s bounty and I filled the back patio with fresh herbs for clipping. We enjoyed our green grass until this summer’s heat sucked the life out of it and now we are thoroughly enjoying the return of the green as the fall rain sets in. I can’t wait until the house looks fresh and clean again from winter rains. Right now we are still kind of covered in a coat of dust from the fields, inside and out. But such is life on the farm!

Outside (After):

Bedrooms (Before):
The bedrooms in this house all looked pretty much exactly the same before we got our hands on them. Dark, dingy carpet, outdated light fixtures and way too many window coverings. We tore out all the window treatments, coated the rooms from top to bottom in a layer of Behr Coastal Beige and replaced the fixtures with these from Home Depot (these in the smaller spaces). We refinished hardwood floors in the bedroom downstairs and in one of the rooms upstairs, and carpeted the two larger bedrooms (and hallway) upstairs since their hardwoods couldn’t be salvaged. Once we found out about Teeny Martini, we installed a window a/c unit in our bedroom window and thank God! we did. I’m not sure I would have survived the summer without it. The downstairs bedroom became my catering room, storing all of my items out in the open to be easily accessed and hauled out to the car.

It’s been so wonderful to have the space to house family and friends and even take on a roommate in the form of our future sister-in-law!

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Bedrooms (After):
I’m only giving you a peek at the catering room and our bedroom, as Teeny’s room isn’t done and the other bedroom is currently occupied by our soon-to-be SIL, but I’ll give an update on those rooms once they are a little more put together. Between the Craigslist dresser and the new bed I got for my birthday, our room has had quite the upgrade in the last couple months. Since I took these photos, I found some curtains, but I still need to hang the new copper wall sconces and find a chair for those middle of the night nursing sessions. Thinking maybe the striped one in the living room will make it’s way upstairs.

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Bed. Nightstands. Quilt (in Ivory). Pillowcases. Throw Pillows (Joss & Main, old). Euro Pillow Covers. Dresser (Craigslist). Metal Letters. Moses Basket + Stand (Craigslist). Lamps (Target, old). Bench (family heirloom).

Bathroom (Before): 
This one kind of cracks me up because things don’t look all that different in the two pictures. In reality, I took an entire container of Comet to the bathtub, we painted every square inch Behr Ultra White and I hung a few things on the wall, but to tell you the truth, I kind of liked the vibe they had going on in there and did my best to imitate it. Being the only bathroom in the house, this baby is a workhorse and I wanted it to be simple, functional and easy to keep clean.


Bathroom (After):
Shower curtainRugArtwork above toilet (on opposite wall).

I still need to find a roman shade I like for that window and maybe replace the fixtures at some point, but overall, this bathroom works quite well for us. We do have a half bath downstairs, but I’ve hardly done a thing in there besides paint so I’m not bothering to show it.

Office (Before):

I was so thrilled this house had a quirky little space in the back corner of the house that could easily become a pretty great office. It has a roomy closet and that gorgeous built-in you see above, and even came equipped with a manual pencil sharpener, which everyone seems to comment on. But the walls were dirty and covered in cobwebs, the carpet was ripped, stained and musty and the blinds on both windows made it dark and gloomy.
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Office (After):
Ripping up the carpet, we found the original hardwoods were in immaculate condition, especially in this little room. The dark wood trim looked new and bright against freshly painted walls and ceilings, and a schoolhouse light added a little class to the place.

Taylor made the wall mounted shelves for me and I was thrilled to discover that my antique pantry, originally rescued from a Minnesota farmhouse, fit perfectly against an open wall. It works really great for me to have an entire space where I can hide away and get some work done, especially when there’s a lot going on in the summertime. The views out the window aren’t half bad either, especially around sunset.

Desk. Chair. Wall-Mount Shelves (2″x6″s and brackets from Home Depot). Aqua Shelves (Craigslist).

Dining/Living Rooms (Before):
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Biggest issues in this front room: terrible carpet, super heavy window coverings on every window, dingy walls and outdated light fixtures. We painted every square inch besides the trim, ripped up the carpet and refinished the original hardwoods, swapped out light fixtures, and happily removed every single window covering. The light in this room is incredible, especially in the winter, and I’m hard pressed to leave it every day for my morning walk.

Dining/Living Rooms (After):IMG_3306IMG_3307 IMG_3310

Though there are plenty of things I’d still like to change as far as furniture goes in both of these rooms, I’m also very content with the way we’ve made use of what we have. We inherited two large area rugs from Taylor’s grandparents, and though they’re not what I probably would have picked out on my own, they’ve been a perfect temporary solution.

We still love our couch and get a ton of use out of it, but it was so great to find the ticking stripe chair on Craigslist (for only $50!) and to “borrow” the rocker from Taylor’s childhood room for a little more seating in this room. We’ve also really loved having a coffee table for the first time in our lives and I love the little baskets full of Cash’s toys (and soon to be diapers!) that we’re able to stash underneath. I’ve yet to master the mantle arrangement, having to work around that built-in nook, but I’m determined I’ll find the perfect set up someday. Perhaps at Christmas time when my Nutcracker collection makes its grand debut. Though the rocker and pouf have been transplanted to the baby’s room and the striped chair will probably end up in ours, I’ve been keeping my eye on Craigslist for the perfect wingback chairs to take their place. I’d love something I can get recovered in a nice textured linen.

Couch. Reading lamp. Side table. Coffee table (borrowed from MIL). Glass lamp (thrifted). Fire screen (Target, old). Ticking stripe chair (Craigslist). Pouf. TV Stand (IKEA, old). Dining Table (custom made). Chairs.

Kitchen (Before):
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The kitchen is probably my favorite room in this house. It has the best moody light, a large window that overlooks the driveway so I can watch my husband and pup playing in the side yard, and a ton of storage and counter space. The giant, two-compartment farmhouse sink doesn’t hurt either. But before we got our hands on it, this kitchen was DATED. Stained linoleum, metal pulls on the cabinets that had long come undone, hideous light fixtures and curtains everywhere, and ancient appliances. Despite the fact that I convinced my in-laws to let me keep that vintage fridge with it’s built-in egg cartons, it sadly died on us earlier this summer.

Kitchen (After):
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Though it was already my favorite room in the house, the kitchen is definitely the most “complete,” in my mind, even though there is still a ton I’d like to do in there someday. Before moving in we painted the walls and ceiling, changed all the metal pulls out for oil-rubbed bronze ones, put in a new, vintage-style vinyl floor and some gorgeous bead board in the nook. We changed the light fixtures and replaced the sink faucet. We were also lucky enough to get a brand new oven and dishwasher, which were later joined by this beautiful GE Artistry model fridge once our vintage fridge bit the big one.

The hutch of dreams, which my MIL and I drove down to Bend to pick up, houses my canned goods and supplies and serves as an extra pantry space. We originally intended to put a small kitchen table and chairs in the nook, but now I can’t imagine anything other than that big beautiful hutch taking up that space. Almost a year in this home and my little kitchen is full of memories of good meals, long days of prep and hundreds of loads of dishes.

Someday I’d love to take out the upper cabinets and replace them with open shelving, swap out the old countertops for butcher block, put up some white subway tile and install a nice, big apron sink in front of that window, but for now I am perfectly content here in my little white sanctuary.

So there she be! Our little old farmhouse. It’s been pretty fun to put my “nesting” instincts to good use and clean and organize all the corners of our home this fall. So sincerely looking forward to welcoming a new little resident in December.

Weekly Roundup

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Taylor and I spent last weekend on the banks of the North Umpqua celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. We stayed at this historic fishing lodge where we enjoyed great meals, no phone service and a three hour nap on Saturday afternoon. Saturday morning we spent on the river with local guide, Tony. He was super patient and knowledgable, and took us through the basics of Spey casting, which Taylor picked up right away and I, of course, struggled through for a few hours before finding my rhythm. Typical.

We’ve ordered the last of the “necessary” items for Teeny Martini’s arrival, but I’m obsessed with these baby duck boots from Gap and keep hoping if I tell enough people about them, they’ll magically appear at my house. Hint, hint.

Every night we read a book to the babe and so far anything by Oliver Jeffers has completely stolen our hearts. This Moose Belongs to Me is by far our favorite. We were lucky enough to be gifted Once Upon an Alphabet as well, and figure we’ll probably end up buying them all at some point. Super creative illustrations and hilarious storylines.

This is kind of old news at this point, but did everyone watch the Felicity Reunion video EW did? There’s nothing like starting your day out with a little Ben Covington, am I right? Also, is it just me or does Keri Russell laugh like a pirate?

One of my favorite blogs posted the information for this class a couple weeks ago and in light of my recent news, I’m thinking it might be a good idea. Anyone else struggle with digital file organization?

Hope you have a fantastic weekend everyone! Get out there and do (or eat!) something fall-ish. For me.

A New Piece of the Puzzle

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Exciting news around here!

Bird is the Word is expanding. Yes, yes, I’m having a baby. And am quite literally expanding. Hardy har. But I also want to share that we are adding a new branch to the BW tree…photography!

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Since it’s beginnings two years ago, I’ve felt like I should hold onto the concept of Bird is the Word with open hands. I have loved catering and all the experiences I’ve had and evenings I’ve shared with you lovely folks, but as we jump into a new family dynamic, it feels like it’s the perfect time to make some adjustments.

I’ll still be catering events, I’m just going to be a little more selective about the type and number of events I take next year. After my three month “Maternity Leave” (until March or so), I’ll be booking events of 50 people or less. I feel like I can really knock it out of the park for 50 people. Create a special day, evening or moment that they’ll never forget. Put on events that live up to not only the expectations of my clients, but also the ones I set for myself. It’s really important that the work be special and enjoyable for me because it’s a lot of work for one person and I’ve had one too many nights spent driving home exhausted and frustrated with the limitations of a group too large. I’m really looking forward to the clients that will come my way in 2016! It feels good to know your boundaries and to know that you can really excel within them.

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I’m also going to pursue freelance photography as a new piece of BW. Photography has been something that has very slowly and quietly become one of my great loves, and I finally feel confident enough to add it into the mix of my “career.” I’m hoping to do a wide variety of work, but focus mainly on these areas: Family, Adventure, Agriculture, Lifestyle and Food. You can see some of my current work here.

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Anyway, if you all wouldn’t mind spreading the word around town, or getting in touch if you have photo needs, I’d love to get you more information!

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me so far and as we dive into this new chapter. You’re the best.

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