Happy one year at the blog

I can hardly believe that one year ago I posted my first story about Wild Olea Farm. When I was a reporter, we used to take the last issue of the year to reflect on the major events we covered. With this post, however, I’d like to add some new photos and with them reminisce about some of our cherished moments that I didn’t have time to write about until now.

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For Thanksgiving last year we took a family trip, which happened to coincide with a surfing contest on the North Shore. This magnificent rainbow appeared after a downpour, and the professional surfers wasted no time showing off for the crowd. I love that rainbows are something to look forward to after a storm–a reminder of the promise of protection. Thanksgiving was also special this past year, because we had our friends and family scratch off a pumpkin card to reveal the gender of our baby girl. That trip was memorable for so many reasons, including feeling her first kick as I fell asleep one night.

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This is an action shot from our going away party. It’s hard to tell, but my husband is on the bottom of that pile of guys taping him up for the last time (part escape training / part tradition). We both left our careers in the military, about 20 years between us, to start something new and beautiful. This photo represents the joy, the struggle, the victory, the camaraderie, and just one glimpse into what it’s like to serve. I know we will miss that family, and many tears were shed along the way and saying goodbye. But we can always point to so many reasons to be grateful for that time, since it brought us together. Thanks for the memories, guys.

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This photo really captures the fun we have as a couple, as he pretends to drink hot chocolate while I cut down our first real Christmas tree. In reality, I spent about five seconds of sawing before I realized this was tougher than it looked. We’ve lived a few years in the PNW without a real tree, but I think this is the beginning of a new family tradition.

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The farm and all the animals were naturally a highlight of 2017-2018, but this has to be one of the best shots of the cows that Holly took on her phone. We turned some of the photos from this shoot into artwork for the maker’s market. Yes, it gets muddy and messy around certain parts of the property, but how can you look at Ella and not smile?

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This picture may look like just another stage in the renovation, but the story behind it is incredibly sweet. I was about 8 months pregnant and getting so anxious that the house was not going to be ready in time for the baby’s arrival. After a particularly rough day of puppies running off to roll in mud and feeling generally exhausted, my husband came to the rescue. He sent me off to spend a couple nights in a hotel to enjoy a warm bath and good sleep, while he stayed up late painting the subfloor, so we could walk around the downstairs without shoes on (you can see the line dividing before and after on the right side of the picture). This photo depicts his labor of love, and I am so grateful to have someone with that kind of work ethic and devotion. To me, this photo is ROMANTIC!

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The baby shower was just incredible, and I could go on and on about the friends, food, gifts, games and excitement from that day. The best part actually happened a couple days prior, when Holly asked us to meet her friend for dinner who had just flown into town. I was tired and not really feeling like making the drive, but we didn’t want to be rude to her guest. As I was coming out of the restaurant’s bathroom, I saw my brother-in-law and sister walking to our table! Holly surprised me by flying them up for the baby shower, after I resigned myself to the fact that it was too much to ask my family to make the trip. What a gift! I was really moved by her thoughtfulness and getting to share that weekend with family.

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Okay, I’ve shared this photo already, but it’s good enough to repeat. As the due date was approaching, I started to get really nervous about diaper changing and having everything ready. My husband offered to buy a doll at the store for me to practice on, but I brushed that off as silly. He recognized I was still uncertain about the whole thing, and came up with this brilliant idea to practice on Honey. She loved the attention, and I appreciated his willingness to keep trying different ideas, if it made me feel more confident about the future.

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This completely candid moment happened after I was coming downstairs from a nap. There was my husband playing guitar and singing to our newborn daughter, who adores music. Words can’t really express those feelings, so I’ll just leave it at that.

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We had a lot of visitors after baby girl was born, and my sister was a natural with her. There was a moment when the baby was in such a deep sleep that Aunt B was dancing around the room with her, and she was snoozing through the whole thing. I just know they’re going to have such a great relationship and love each other forever.

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This last picture kind of sums it up: Wild Olea, the baby, succulents, the wine barrel table, and “just because” roses from my favorite person. What a year!

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