4/2 Wedding

There are some stories you don’t want to ever forgot.
Then there are stories that you couldn’t forget, even if you wanted to. This is one of those stories.

This is the fantastical story of how Zak and I got married.

Zak and I dated for 3 years before getting engaged (more to come on that at a later time). We knew that we wanted a small, private wedding – as cost effective and simple as possible, without sacrificing any of sentimental meaning that our hearts desired. For months, we dreamed and dreamed of what the day would look like. Finally, Zak proposed the idea of ordering a greenhouse kit – we could get married in it and it would benefit us later on the farm. [*I’m pretty sure this was Bek’s idea, but happy to take credit.] WHAT A DREAM!

We planned a small ceremony in our beautiful greenhouse with our boys and parents in attendance, then a trip to Iceland afterwards to celebrate (I hate the word “honeymoon”). Zak had written a script for the ceremony, we each had written our own vows, and Zak’s dad was going to officiate the ceremony. Less than a week away from our big day, we finished building our greenhouse. It was almost midnight when we turned on the lights, illuminating the most beautiful little greenhouse – something of a dream.

Fast forward less than 24 hours: I pulled in our drive after school pickup as a storm was rolling in. I noticed a gust of wind and saw a piece of the greenhouse dislodge and go airborne. The boys and I frantically ran to try and save it. I stood inside the greenhouse, holding the doors shut as the relentless wind folded the entire greenhouse in half. To this day, we are still traumatized by wind storms. [*If I close my eyes, I can replay this day. I was at work when Bekah called me, crying hysterically. I could hardly understand what she was trying to tell me. “It’s gone. It’s all gone.” As I drove home, I tried to imagine what I would find upon my return. Maybe she’s exaggerating? Maybe, with a few days work, we can repair it? When I got home and saw the pile of rubble that was, just the night before, a beautiful sanctuary for our wedding, I learned a valuable lesson – trust and believe those you love.]

Shortly after we collected the tattered debris of the greenhouse, we got a call that Zak’s dad (our wedding officiant) was in the hospital. So, to recap: just 4 days before our scheduled wedding day, we lost our venue AND our officiant. We gathered up the bits of our heart and moved forward with a new plan. [*Pause! I feel like this paints us as some overly optimistic, positive people. Sure, we would love to be able to roll with the punches – but we aren’t those type of people. What Bek failed to mention is the deep sorrow and depression that this fallout brought with it. Superstitious or not, I would imagine that if anyone had such calamity just days before their wedding, they would start to question if this was God/karma/life/[insert spiritual power here] attempting to prevent the marriage. With literally only a few days before our flights were booked to Iceland, we were up against a wall, forced to not only pull ourselves off the ground and keep moving, but also overcome the innate fears that maybe the universe was destroying our plans for a reason. It was dark days – lots of crying and questions, very little comfort and answers.]

Our new plan was to move forward with our trip to Iceland and to marry there. We would spend our first three days scoping out a location, then we would fly our photographer up to join us for the last portion of our trip. We signed our marriage certificate with Zak’s parents and, armed with our vows, we set off on our adventure to Iceland. Three magical days went by as we traveled the magical countryside of Iceland – staying at beautiful farm B&B’s, soaking in natural hot springs surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and finally had the feeling that we were going to have a beautiful wedding after all.

The day before our photographer was scheduled to arrive in Iceland, we checked into an Airbnb, connected to WiFi, and got another blow: our photographer was at the airport getting ready to board her flight, but was being told that her flight was cancelled. We scrambled to figure out what was happening, only to find that our airline had gone bankrupt that very day! Not only could our photographer not make it to Iceland, but we had no flight home now – we were stranded! The next 24 hours are a blur as we desperately tried to figure out what to do next and how to get home. [*Insert aforementioned depression, crying and questioning here, as well.] 

As life goes, the stars aligned and things ended up working out better than we could have imagined. We ended up connecting with a lovely local, who just happened to be a photographer. He and his wife opened their beautiful home to us and helped us piece together yet another revised plan for our wedding and secure a rescue flight home. We ended up exchanging vows on a cold, windy day outside a beautiful little chapel on a secluded coast of Iceland. It was nothing like what we envisioned – it was so much better.
[*Rightly so, nobody picks this story. Nobody wants their wedding day to be destroyed time and time again. But from the other side of it, I have to say – the life lessons are priceless. Nothing says ‘I do’ more than choosing to pick up the pieces of failure (sometimes literally) and keep moving forward – time and time again. Starting our marriage with such intense calamity and disappointment, we learned how to fight, together, for what we want. Oftentimes, life is not what you expect (world in 2020),  but having a partner that has proven that they will stick by your side through the thick of it – that’s what marriage is about, right? That’s love. So while I would not recommend you attempt to recreate any of this story, I am glad that it is our story – I wouldn’t have it any other way.]

3 / 24

Spring is here and with it 3 sets of twins! 5 bucklings and 1 doeling. After all these years of breeding goats this was the first time I was able to catch and witness 2 of the 6 births and WOW what an experience. I will hold these memories for a long time and never take for granted the wonder of nature and birth.

12 / 21 my favorite cookie

My favorite cookie, but BETTER! My kids joke that I take all our favorite foods and recreate them in a better/healthy version. They’re not wrong, but isn’t that the point? I tend to see most things in life through the lens of how it could be better. In this case, my long standing favorite: old fashion gingersnap cookies. I pulled this recipe out of a taste of home magazine when I was a kid, likely while sitting in a hospital waiting room for my little brother. I remember always feeling so guilty over taking pictures or recipes, but the guilt couldn’t stop me because I wanted more! Visual inspiration has always been a driving force for me. I do believe that’s the closest thing I’ve ever done to shop lifting, although I’ve never pulled anything from a magazine that hadn’t been purchased – but I digress. The recipe, shall we?

Gingersnaps are holiday in a cookie, and if you haven’t had them, you should treat yourself.

Old fashioned Gingersnap Cookies

3/4 cup butter

1 cup sugar (plus more for rolling the cookies later)

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups flour (I use 1 cup AP and 1 cup whole wheat)

1/4 sourdough starter (this is optional, but recommend if you have it)

2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1 t ground cloves

1 t ground ginger

Cream your butter and sugar. Add egg and molasses; mix well. Add your sourdough starter if using. In separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients before slowly adding them to your butter mixture. Mix on low. Chill the dough. Roll into walnut size balls and roll in sugar, completely coating. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet, but don’t flatten. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes or until set and surface cracks. Best to under bake just a bit as they firm up when cool. Let cool completely on a rack.

12 / 9

Things that have felt supportive lately

1/ creating (gnomes and Santa dolls)

2 / family dinners, really good food + these people

3 / any and every tradition

4 / the fall garden prep with my little…

5 / … garden gnome

6 / creating more intentional traditions + more creating. A simple felt advent calendar and tutorial I shared on Instagram

7 / a really good thrifted piece and lighting so many beeswax candles

8 / having our tree set up for a few days without decorations + a new skirt made from a thrifted quilt (also a tutorial)

9 / new stockings from the same quilt

10 / home + foraged

11 / my favorite new to us vintage ornament closely resembles the church we got married by in Iceland

11 / 23

1 / rendered beeswax

2 / a little late. Zak made me a celebration ring this year on my birthday and we’re having fun making ornaments with each holiday and celebration

3 / the care and keeping of butcher block counters (a fair warning)

4 / the last of the last of the last. Salsa and verde and a little wild blackberry jam

5 / my favorite part of 2020

11/1 weeksEND

1 / an acorn dye bath for a special project

2 / the time it takes to finish anything these days, but the joy of doing them

3 / I’ve decided we will never be without a fall flower garden from this point on

4 / fresh herbes salées. like the flower garden, a MUST. I keep making jars for “winter,” only to find it empty by the week’s end. Far superior to the dried herb. Simply chopped fresh herbs packed between layers of sea salt. Look it up, thank me later

5 / my nature loving taurian. 6 months and cries when the back door opens if he is not let out. We make a good match, him and I

6 / sourdough pumpkin scones on repeat


1 / sitting!

2 / classic jack

3/ the aftermath

4 / that view

5 / Collins fall garden

6 / sunned diapers

7 / fall comfort food

8 / making last seasons salve of infused oil and beeswax to grace these lovely ball canisters I threw on the wheel last season. Missing my time in the pottery studio greatly.

9 / all the nights here watching the sky turn shades of orange and pink. Eating local brats with sauerkraut and mustard. Enjoying each other’s company by the warmth of the flame.

10 / my first fire cider per Zaks request. A blend of jalapeños, garlic, lemon, onion, ginger, apple cider vinegar, honey and cinnamon stick.

10/8 butterfly cats

Since school started this year with the boys virtual full time I’ve realized the moments that bring me the most joy are the ones unplanned and unscripted. The lessons of love, respect and communication as we navigate being together all the time. The spontaneous science projects and crafts but my favorite yet is the butterfly caterpillars. Very recently on a walk though my garden I discovered a handful (6 to be exact) swallowtail butterfly caterpillars! I love the bugs around our property and had recently learned about these low flying wasps that hover our yard and garden. They’re called ground wasps and search for larva of bugs to lay their eggs on making it prey to their hungry larva. These wasps sleep huddled in my fennel buds the same place where the butterfly caterpillars were now growing. I decided to bring them in in an effort to spare them the fate of the tomato horn worms I found a few weeks earlier who had already fallen prey to the wasps. Pictured last you can see the white eggs embedded in the worm rendering it paralyzed to be sustenance for the young wasp larva. Isn’t nature a trip?! So we scrambled to do our research in order to bring the caterpillars inside. I arranged a bouquet of their host plants parsley, rue, Queen Ann’s lace, dill, and of course fennel. It was such an enjoyable distraction watching them munch. One day I noticed one of the cats moving rather quickly all around the bouquet till it found its way off and onto the table. I scooped it up with a piece of paper and put it back only for it to find it’s way off again. Through a little added research I learned that when the cats are ready to chrysalis they move as fast and far away from their host plant as possible looking for a safer place to cocoon. I had provided some sticks but added a few more and it eventually found a spot it liked. My plan was to build an enclosure for the others but didn’t get it accomplished before 2 of the cats disappeared! They move fast and our search efforts were in vain. Wondering if one day we’ll find a butterfly lose in our house. We were able to get an old aquarium set up for the reaming 4 who have all formed their chrysalis. I’ve heard there’s varying success and sometimes this late in the year they opt to over winter till spring time. Regardless of the outcome the experience has been inspiring with plans to increase our butterfly attraction garden and propagate milkweed to attract monarchs as well. Next year I’d like to build a structure that we can keep outside to house the cats safely but keep them exposed to the elements.