Life… and a year in Kentucky!

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HELLO! It’s been awhile, I know. Nearly every day, I tell myself “I need to stop slacking and update my blog!” Yet…. you know what happens. Life. Life gets in the way. I get too caught up with things that when I think about posting a blog update, I tell myself, “it’s not really that important” and I go read a book instead. Or run away to Colorado.

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Yes, I did go to Colorado for a long, lovely weekend for the wedding of some dear friends. It was just what I needed to recharge a bit, too (love those mountains).

But anyway, I just…. haven’t had the motivation to blog much online these days. I have a love/hate relationship with blogging/social media/the internet. Currently? It’s leaning towards the ‘hate’ (or rather, the strong dislike of and desire to stay away from screens). Those of you’ve known me for awhile might have noticed this pattern over the years…. *ahem*

But, that aside, I owe y’all a short and sweet update of the last several months!

  • The RV. We sold our RV about a month ago. It was very bittersweet. So hard to see it go, knowing all the energy and love we (and others) put into it. But, after evaluating what to do next regarding a place to live, it was good to get it off our shoulders and into someone else’s hands. This journey isn’t over yet. We’ll get another one in the near future for weekend travels. Once you RV, you’re hooked!!!
  • Speaking of RVs, we finally met RV Wanderlust! Eric and Brittany Highland are the two wonderful and humble souls behind RV Wanderlust. After nearly a year of being connected through RV groups and getting to know each other online, Kyle and I spent a wonderful evening in Lexington with them. If you’re about to embark on an RV adventure (or you already are), do check out their blog.
  • Geocaching is my addiction….. all over again. Sun’s shining, we’re living in a windowless room, and there’s plenty of Kentucky to explore. What to do? Geocache! Kyle and I became hooked on this game nearly six years ago. We kind of let the hobby slide for a bit but got back into it again a couple months ago to beat the windowless room and see more Kentucky. Hooked. I’m looking for geocaches whenever I can… and it gets me out of the house.
  • Summer travels! Aside from a few days in colorful Colorado, we’ve been to Chicago a couple times with intention to return one more time before winter holidays. After that? I anticipate traveling less. Staying in Kentucky and using our weekends to relax at home or explore surrounding states and cities (St. Louis, Nashville,…..) We did manage to hike up Natural Bridge in Kentucky in June and loved it. Beautiful. Kayaking down the river in town has also been checked off our list.
  • Work. I want to mention that Kyle found a new job he loves, which freed up his weekends and allows us to spend more time together. I’m happy for him, and I’m happy for us. Whee!
  • We are back on our feet. We went through a rough patch within the last year as we started over a couple times, but these days we are feeling a bit more stable. It’s a good feeling. Kyle and I had a pretty easy life together in Chicagoland and we took a lot of things for granted. I have a greater appreciation now for basic, daily things that keep life calm.
  • Whole30? Oh yeah….. what happened with the Whole30? Well. It was off to a good start. And I did notice some improvements in my overall health and energy levels. But by the time the third week rolled around, I was tired of obsessing over my food and stopped Whole30. All these food lifestyles and diets (whether or not you want to call them that) take up brain energy that I’d rather distribute elsewhere. As long as I keep a varied diet of whole foods and eat with moderation, I’m fine.
  • Last but not least, Jesus. I am thinking more and more lately about what it means to follow Jesus, especially in the wake of all the controversial issues that have popped up lately. I’m digging deeper into scripture and reflecting on what kind of life I want to lead and how to lead it that way.

Also, a couple weeks ago marks a year since we’ve moved here to Kentucky. Whoa.

We’ve had two different experiences: six months in our RV on a lovely ranch and six months in a studio apartment on a main street in a small town. Both were enjoyable: I loved our sweet RV and the farm (with all the ducks and that crazy rooster) and have loved being in town, near the stores and events. I’m thankful for both the farm and the apartment, but looking ahead to the next living situation. We’ve also developed friendships with honest, humble people who have deeply blessed us. Our roots are growing with these people, with our church, and with this community. Every day I am in awe that we are here.

Nothing is forever, but plenty of things can be right now.

And right now? Kentucky is home.

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chirp, chirp, peep, peep.

Baby chickens!

Jordan’s white hen has been sitting on a batch of eggs for a few weeks now with no luck. We’ve found a couple dead chicks (which have been stolen away by the ducks) and ‘bad’ eggs but no babies. We nearly gave up on her last week, thinking that she would give up on the eggs soon too. One morning, a fluffy head emerged from under the mother’s white wings! A baby!! Success!! Then another day, another baby! Yay! 

The one year-old hen is a first time mama hen, and we are so proud of her! I’ve spent quite a bit of time crouched in the shavings beside the nest, watching the mother spread out her body to keep all the eggs warm and tuck her head underneath her body to push some eggs around or scold chicks. She sits patiently, clucking quietly at chicks that have wandered a couple inches away, calling them back to her. The fluffy chicks trip and tumble about the nest, falling backwards when attempting to tilt their heads up to drink water, and accidentally pecking mama in the eyes. The little blonde chick with the brown stripe on its head is a joy to watch. He studies his mother and immediately imitates her actions. I love it.

The chicks are not without some sadness, though. More hatched chicks were found dead in the past couple days. There are still a few eggs left, so there’s hope for more healthy chicks. For now, we’re just enjoying watching the mother (and rooster) interact with the two fluffy babies.

My adopted duckling Judy is also growing larger each day. Her pin feathers are starting to come in and she recently enjoyed her first ‘big girl’ bath! Soon, she’ll be out with the other ducks. They grow up so fast….

I found a job! Woo-hoo!

As we transitioned from our lives in Illinois to our new life in Kentucky, I was going back and forth on whether or not I still wanted to teach. The desire to teach was still there, but it was marred by disappointment of not finding a teaching job in the last three years since I left grad school.  I want to be a homeschooling/unschooling stay-at-home-and-volunteer-everywhere kind of mama in the near future, so I decided to pursue teaching assistant jobs in Kentucky. I got phone calls from a couple places — for teaching interviews! A few days ago, I accepted a position as a teaching specialist in a Christian early childhood education center. The job couldn’t be more perfect: be a teacher without the late-night/weekend workload, work with a very small population, use my experience from working with low-functioning students with special needs, be close to home, incorporate some sign language, and work within a private school/Christian environment, which my heart has been yearning for….. in addition to a few other perks. God sure has strange and wonderful ways of providing and fulfilling my dreams. I am full of joy and cannot wait to start working there!

The beginning of the end of summer.

I cannot believe it’s August already. The heat is peaking, but cooler nights are just around the corner. This is the beginning of the end of summer, and I love it. We’ve been here three and a half weeks. Time flies. I am in awe of how crazy/beautiful life can be. One more month and I’m going to start decorating with apples and pumpkins. Hehe.

Much love, friends.

Bourbon and Church.

Kentucky loves their bourbon. And beer. And wine too, I suppose. In a span of twenty-four hours over the weekend, we visited a brewery, a distillery, and a winery! Oh, Kentucky. We were unable to tour the bourbon distillery, but hope to head back as we tackle the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in the future. Otherwise, we’ve been exploring different small towns (and falling more in love with the area, one road at a time), moving the ducks into a new ‘home’, cleaning up the land a bit, hanging out with the horses (as usual), and enjoying the quiet out here. We’ve also had to bury a dog (Kyle helped a neighbor out with her dog too) — that was sad, but such is life. With all the animals around, things like that are bound to happen. A sneaky fox steals ducks on occasion, and raccoons have stolen a couple turtles. At least I’ve got a little duckling following me around! Oh, and that rooster. He’s a character.

We also found a church, which will be a vital source of grace and community for us. The people are warm and friendly, the community is tight-knit, the pastor is not afraid to address serious issues, and there are plenty of ways for us to grow & connect through volunteering, small groups, and worship. I’m excited.

Oh, there is an Amish community here! I’m not quite sure where their homes are, but one of my favorite grocery stores is a little Amish-owned store north of town. They come to town occasionally to sell goods and shop. It still throws me off when I see an Amish woman pushing a cart around at Walmart. In the past year, I have been reading a lot about the Amish simple way of life and feeling very inspired to incorporate some of their wisdom and methods into my own life. (I may expand on this in a later post.)

The residents we talk to seem so shocked that we moved from Chicago and usually remark with, “Wow, what a big difference!” Yep. That’s why we are here: to live life with an adventure our hearts desire.

I probably have more to write about, but all I want to do is get off this computer and go outside. It’s funny how my priorities have changed in just a couple weeks. Stepping back from what we used to know and considering how we want our future to look has given me some clarity. I won’t stop writing, but my desire to share everything has lessened. I want to be here. Now.

We woke up today to a chilly fifty-degree morning (in July!). I don’t mind – I love layers and hot drinks (is it too early to say that I’m looking forward to fall already?). Our plans for today include more odd jobs around Jordan’s farmstead and a continued search for jobs. We’re also picking up the truck from the shop (the trip out here was a bit much for it). Asking for prayers and luck in our job search! Hope you are well, friends. 

Of course, what’s an update without some photos!?