I’d love to share with you how this crazy dream of a iddy biddy backyard farm got started. To do it though, we have to go all the way back to 2009. When we first bought the property our home is on, over ten years ago, we would come out to, what was then, just a giant pasture and dream. Steve and I would talk for hours about what we would love to do with this place one day. And our two girls, Kamryn and Karsyn, then 8 and 6 years old, would ride their little purple scooters all over exploring every square inch of ground. I would call each of them my little wild child because when it was time to go they were always filthy from head to toe from all of their exploring, and they had pockets full of treasurers they had found. Play is the work of young children you know. And they thrive in the wild. Don’t we all.
You may be wondering what a wild child even is. To me, a wild child is someone who loves to be out in the wild. It is someone who loves to be out of doors, even if as far as you ever go is your own backyard. A wild child has a spirt that is revitalized by nature, one that is inspired by God’s creation, and that enjoys the beauty in the world around them. Whether it is pulling over on the side of the road to pick wildflowers, planting a garden, bird watching, or raising chickens, a wild child’s soul is fed when it is enjoying the beauty of nature, of God’s creation.
When we moved in to our home in 2009, we knew that we were going to build a chicken coop right away. It wasn’t but a few weeks and Steve had what we lovingly referred to as The Chicken Shack up and running. There is something about raising 12 chicks in the garage that will set a fire under anybody to get the coop finished. Our first flock, and many others after them, were raised in The Chicken Shack. But, as our daughters grew older, we found ourselves being gone from home more often, and our long afternoons spent at our beloved Chicken Shack became more and more rare. Our little Chicken Shack was falling down in disrepair and hadn’t housed a chicken in years. Just like our souls it was empty and neglected. We had become, like most parents of pre-teens, busier and busier while our souls became more and more worn. It is a funny paradox isn’t it? How we can have a schedule so full and a soul so empty.
Our days ran together like water molecules in the ocean and our souls were bone dry, but we didn’t know it. My daughter, that little beauty above (the one without the feathers) began to struggle with symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, and my oldest daughter (the beauty pictured below with a chick from our first flock) had migraines and eczema flare ups that were painful and stubborn. After exhausting many traditional medicine options with no results but lots of prescription offerings that just didn’t feel right to me, we started to see a Naturopath. The very first thing she told us we had to do in order to begin to heal was REST. Imagine that. And in learning how to rest, we also began to remember what life looked like before…and we realized it could look like that again.
But change never comes easy. We had all of these commitments, obligations, full schedules, and toxic relationships that we had to address before we would ever truly know rest. So, I did the only thing my Type A Momma Bear personality knew to do. I threw my entire self into healing my girls. I researched. I learned. I studied. They healed. I didn’t.
Our brains fight against change. Did you know that? And the older we are the harder it fights to keep all things the same. The path of least resistance is the path our brain wants. So, any time we think about making changes, our brains will immediately throw a hissy fit and convince us that talking of change is talking crazy. If you don’t believe me, try it.
“Our brains listen to our bodies to tell it what to do, and we tell our bodies what to do by what we put into them and how we treat them.”
My Naturopath told me that at my first visit, and I thought she was crazy. But I finally realized she was right (about that and lots of other things) when I could see that I had helped my girls get healthy again, and that they were beginning to thrive. But no matter how much I wanted to get off the runaway train myself, I couldn’t. I JUST COULDN’T.
I remember the night so well in 2016 when my husband sat me down and basically told me that he was worried about me. I had gained twenty pounds (really more like 30, but give a girl some grace here), I had tremendous anxiety, and was caught in one hamster wheel of crazy after another, but I had convinced myself I was fine. He sat me down and told me that he thought I had lost who I was. He asked me if I felt like me? My answer. No. His suggestion? Build another coop. Plant a garden.
He knows the me that is fueled by being in God’s creation. He knows how close I feel to my Creator when I am out in nature, and he knows how much clearer my brain is with an abundance of Vitamin D and Oxygen. So he built me a new coop, a new garden, and a new life.
We drew plans on scratch paper and dreamed in the backyard again, just like we had done when we first moved here all those years ago. This time, though, our girls weren’t driving their scooters all over the property. They were driving their cars all over town.
But Steve and I…we were slowing down and dreaming again. After months of work, our Coop De Ville was ready for a new flock of chickens. It is the coop of my dreams and can house three or four times the birds we had before. It has a large run and a big garden surrounding it where we grow all kinds of veggies year round, and we are still dreaming. Since finishing the Coop De Ville, we have fenced the back quarter acre or so of our yard off for our chickens. And we are growing like we never thought possible. Most importantly, I feel a deep calling to inspire others to get out in nature too. Most of all, I want everyone to enjoy God’s creation as much as I do. I wan the busy moms that feel themselves running non-stop on the hamster wheel of crazy to learn to slow down, to re-train their brains, and heal. I know how to do it now, and I want to help others do it too. I want to show busy women the beauty of living seasonally and help them grow! If I can do it, anybody can!