Farmwife Transparency

Help bridge a gap between farmer and consumer


2 Comments

A Confession of an Imperfect Mom.

I’m that Mom. The one who is sitting here at the moment tearing up about everything, and about nothing. Thinking of how much of a jerk I’ve been.

What am I talking about? My kids, my husband, my life and the farm. BUT in general…the kids.

I don’t spend a lot of time on here talking about family life in the home and outside the farm. Mainly, because farming is so sewn into every inch of our lives, it’s hard to separate the two.

We have two kids that love the farm.

 

20170514_172107

My son, he never smiles. My daughter, who always smiles for photos.

 

My son, Dillan, who is going to turn 10 years this June, and going to go into 5th grade this next school season. Our second, Jessica, is turning 4 this September and is determined to be the strongest willed child, ever! I know, not my kid heaven forbid she be strong willed. Here lies some of the problem. That, and their age difference

Dillan was an only child for the first 6 years of his life. I know what that’s like, being an only child. It has its ups and downs. The downs are being alone on the farm, no-one to play with…ok, maybe toads. He now has learned that with being a big brother, comes the insistent nagging of little sister wanting to tag along, everywhere! Another thing working against him is his age. I slowly realize that my baby boy is growing bigger. His emotional, I call it “Eeyore” state. Everything is a glass half empty look at things. It’s such a thrill talking to him sometimes. (Sarcasm) After talking with other mothers at a baseball practice, we all decided it must be hormones and times that are changing. 5th grade is going to be a big wake up call to him. 5th – 8th grade was just something to get through when I was young. Don’t get me started on being in the 9th! Ugh!

Jessica is the little firecracker in our family. Literally. I despise the 3-year-old stage. The endless temper fluctuations. Happy one minute, and then, “Mommy put my hair up wrong!!” Insert: Scream, crying, face flat on the floor. Us, telling her to go to her room. We don’t want to see it. Not but 3 minutes later. Coming back out acting as if nothing happened. Are you serious, child? She wants to do everything herself. And if she can’t she throws a fit! I mean, geez. I was never that bad…was I?

 

20170503_135723

Constant rains have flooded some fields.

 

It comes to these moments when my husband and I get so stressed. Beyond it actually. Right now we’re already stressed due to the endless rains we are getting and not getting anything done on the farm. Pressure is always there, regardless of rain. But, now we’re behind. Not only that but our son is getting out of school this Tuesday, has Bible camp coming up, more Baseball practices, Baseball games, 4-H, Archery, Vacation Bible School with his sister, and whatever else I have forgotten to put on the calendar. Another thing that is coming, Harvest. We’re almost less than a month from wheat harvest! I know. Thank goodness for my parents and some friends that help us out.

20170501_195800

Wheat

 

This all together doesn’t make me feel any better about how things, emotionally, have transpired in the last week. Yelling. Anyone who knows us well knows that we don’t do that, intentionally. It seems that all we appear to do is yell. Yelling really doesn’t get anywhere with the kids, or towards each other. It only really causes more stress. Which we need less of.

So, today after having another emotional day and my body killing me from my silent battle. I apologized to my son on the way to the store. I told him how very sorry I was, on how we were behaving. He understands, at his age, how stressed we are. He still deserved the apology. I got home to Jess and my husband outside, playing. Her, smiling while riding her bike that she just recently accomplished to ride. That’s when it hit me. I’ve been an emotional jerk. Both of my children are healthy, enjoying life and their accomplishments. I, later on, said sorry to my daughter while singing her lullaby songs before bed.

How many of us have felt like jerks at the end of the day and admitted it to ourselves? Apologized to those who love us, regardless of what we say and do. I don’t see it as a weakness to tell my children that I was wrong. I see it as a way to teach them. Adults make mistakes too. Adults should own up to them, for some, in their own way.

 

20170506_114802

Enjoying donuts, together. 

 

 


2 Comments

My few minutes…

 

20170501_090249

My husband is always my supporter. 

 

We all have those memorable moments in life that stick with us. The other day I had one. Last Monday I was invited to speak about this blog, my reason for starting it, why I keep going, and the struggles that we try to overcome daily.

A couple weeks back I got a private message on our Facebook page. It was a local news anchor, enquiring if I would be interested in telling our story on set, live. I was taken back for a few hours. Why me? Why our story? Then, I started messaging friends, and genuine people that I trust. There are a group of individuals that I consider “experts” when it comes to tv, or all around media outlets. My questions were standard ones. Should I? Why shouldn’t I? Is it too much? Am I ready to do this? The consensus was, this was my favorite, “Um, Yes!!!”

I am one of those people that have learned to reign in my excitement until I’ve done my homework on the current situation. Too many times when I was younger, I would jump at anything. I’d end up humiliating myself because I wasn’t prepared, or experienced enough. After confirming to myself, and my friends, I messaged the anchor back. Saying, I would love to do this. But, here’s what I need to know.

Questions:

What will the questions be towards me during the interview? I didn’t want to be caught off guard, by anything. Also, I didn’t want to say, “umm, or uhh” that doesn’t signal confidence or experience in what I’m talking about. Another reason I wanted to know was that I wanted to see where the conversation may go with these questions. I didn’t want it to go badly on my end, or on theirs. I’m their guest and didn’t want to offend the anchors or the station in any way. Regardless if I meant too.

What to wear:

IMG_20170501_072703Who knew there were so many rules about what to wear on tv?! I didn’t. Until a friend told me not to wear certain colors or patterns. I just ended up asking the news anchor in the end and decided from there. Solid colors, pastel tones, not bright colors, no shiny bling, no black or white. Don’t do stripes! They can make you look big or just awkward. Patterns on anything, like checkers can do weird things with the camera. What did I choose? I wanted a pair of skinny jeans that were a very dark wash. A coral shirt underneath a dark gray blazer. My neckless was a borrowed one from a good friend. Not too shiny and fit in with my gray blazer. My shoes were a nude pump heel. I wanted to be comfortable in my attire, while still representing the class. I did choose a blazer over my blouse because I knew there would be a microphone box and wire with it. It discreetly covered it all. Plus, this girl is not showing her farmers tan and big farm muscles on tv. Ha!

20170501_095901

The things I didn’t ask, just did.

Do your homework! Watch the show that you’re going to be on. It will give you an insight on how they present their show and what the stage looks like. What is their backdrop colors? What are the chairs like? I realized after watching the show for a week, every morning at 9:00 a.m. that everything looked pretty relaxing. Another thing I noticed was that the chairs you sit in were deep. If you were to sit back, you could look like your slouching. I saw a couple guests that sat back, they slouched. So I sat on the front edge, cross-legged, and back straight. I feel that if I look confident, then those who are listening to me, will actually see that confidence in and will translate that I know what I’m talking about. Another thing I did that helped. You are just answering questions, my eye contact with that person that’s asking them. Looking up or down at the floor is very rude, no matter if you on tv or not.

So, I did everything above.

  • Prepared for the questions
  • Outfit put together
  • Watch show
  • Be confident
  • Make eye contact
  • Have fun!

How did it go? Brilliantly! My husband says in his British accent. One thing that did surprise me was, there was hardly anyone there. I thought there would be a camera crew, director, and others in the background working things. Nope. Just the two news anchors, and the weather man. It seems everything is robot operated. I should have realized that technology has advanced for tv stations. Just don’t understand it until you experience it yourself. After waiting for the first two guests to go first, it was finally my turn. I thought my voice was wobbly at first, but the further I went the more comfortable I got. Another thing that helped was the anchors. They were so sweet, and they made everything feel very casual. After the interview, I got off stage and realized that I didn’t remember a thing I said! Not one word. Ha! Who knew that would happen?

 

20170501_094850

From left to right. Me, Angela Green (Wichita Moms Blog), Alyson Acklin (KAKE News), Shane Ewing (KAKE News), Tonya and Dale Ferguson (RV Oilers).

 

Before we left, we got a few pictures taken of all the guests and news anchors. My husband and I had to get a selfie with the weatherman. He’s a great guy, and apparently, the one that dropped my name in the bucket to be on. We’ve chatted back and forth when it comes to weather on the farm. A very down to earth could chat with him always, kinda guy.

20170501_095001

Frank Waugh-KAKE Meteorologist

20170501_171958

His green screen doing the weather. Check out his shoes!

Thank you so much for KAKE News and Good Morning KAKELand anchors Shane Ewig and Alyson Acklin for having me on. One of the best experiences of my life.

Here is the full interview.

 

 

Jen


Leave a comment

Childhood memories

20170314_135048 (2)

Most of us can recall childhood memories. Either through a visual, touch, or smell. It can spur something we thought lost to time. Some experiences in the past have helped shape who we are as adults, today.

Recently at my parent’s house, we were going through photos of my childhood past with my kids. It is funny how we remember as quickly as we forgot the childhood we had. There were many laughs of what we used to wear compared to what we do now. Some memories are painful of those whom we have lost. The adults in our lives that helped shape us into respectable Adults. My Great-Aunt was one. Never to shy on letting me know the errors of my ways. Alternatively, my maternal Grandmother who had a laugh that could make the sourest faced person, smile.

The memories I have in my childhood are those of being an only child on a hobby farm, with parents that had in town jobs. They were raising a strong willed child, dreaming of independence. There was a barn on this farm. We moved to the farm when I was just 2. This barn was a majestic building. At least it looked like it from my point of view. I would walk through her, when old enough to set out playing on my own. I would smell the musty, and old air that was within her. I would wonder the story she could tell and through her empty stalls, sagging doors, and the creak of a hinge that has rusted over. As a child, I would also spend much time pretending I could fly on the rope that tied to the rafters above the hayloft. Swinging back and forth, not a care in the world about the safety of myself, but just the joys of flying above a floor of boards that use to hold hay. They were warped and askew and could at any moment not support the weight of a small child landing on them.

Family Barn

How she stood. Before her end.

This barn could have been worked on, at great expense and time. But not everyone has the money or the time. When I was nine, my parents decided that it was time to take down half of this barn. It was starting to become a hazard. She was leaning, and boards rotting off. They did keep one side up for shop use for my father. It was quite a day taking that east building down. It became a family affair. My Mother’s side came out to help. There are stories and memories of that time, as well.

Family Barn

This was when she was being brought down.

Now today the barn that once stood is no more. Just a foundation of a built structure that once stood. They had to take the rest down this month. 107 years old. Over a 100 years, of memories. Some of our family, the other years before my family. Most of these big barns were the symbol of the Midwest. When people still think of farms, they think of these buildings. Why is that? Is it the thought of these buildings that tie us to the past? They all stand differently than their neighbor. Each one built to suit what that farmer raised.

Ask any farm kid from my generation and older, of farm memories. I’m sure “the barn” will be in their memories of the childhood past. What will be in our children’s memories when they are older? I’m afraid most of them won’t have the same old structures to play on. What they will have is still a fond memory of riding that tractor or truck during harvest. Family nights spent eating dinner, together. I hope my children remember the vast open space and freedom to work alongside us while building our farm.

 

Family Barn

After the barn is fully taken down, dad points to the rotted boards that no longer support structure.

 

Family Barn

Aluminum sheets left over from the barn. These covered the side of the barn for wind barrier. They were previously used as printer plates for newspapers.


Leave a comment

My door is open…

As I sit here thumbing through piles of paperwork, and numbers upon numbers entering into my bookkeeping on my computer, getting ready for another tax season. I realize that others are possibly doing the same. Are they trying to figure out how much “Uncle Sam” is going to take this year, or give (ha-ha)? There are other things people are working on this New Year, new month. Resolutions. There can always be many of those, but it seems one plays a big part. Losing weight, eating right, going to the gym regularly. Are we trying to find accountability?

If you have not realized it already by the ads on the radio, commercials on T.V., social media bombarding you with the latest diet or FAST weight loss gimmicks. It seems to explode everywhere in January. If that is not bad enough, you go to the gym and get intimidated by someone you may, or may not know, running, lifting, all out looks like they can do anything type. Then, you start hearing among the gym about what works for them, and what they do not do. It can be intimidating to them just working out; now their diets seem scary too. However, they look great, so I should probably do it. I would not want to be the fat one in here, have them shame me into thinking that I am sabotaging myself and my family by what I do or eat.

Here is my letter to those of you that are seeing all these scary things.

20150625_140949-2

I am there too. Among those people in the gym, in the grocery store, online, or picking my kid up from school, as you are. Sometimes worried regularly on how I look, or if I am feeding my family the right way. I am in no way an expert in the right way to lose weight, with what machines, cardio or weights. I am the one who is, a Mom, Wife, and woman trying to get by my wits. What am I experienced with? How I produce your food, you are consuming. Things like wheat, corn, soybeans, and milo (grain sorghum).  I want to be that resource for you. If I do not have the all the answers, I could steer you to those who may have them.13403358_1393063854040899_5816439309909555112_o

Being a farmer does not prevent me from knowing your concerns or hearing them in these places you hear them. I want to be your neighbor you can come to, a friend. Listen to these concerns and help navigate a way to understand them better. You may be nervous coming up to me, messaging me, or heck, if you know me, calling me! Not only will I listen, but I will try to understand. This world can be scary if we listen to only certain people. I want you to step outside that group and find someone you would never speak too. A Farmer. We are just as scared to talk to you as you are to us.

Broadening your horizons are more of a challenge than that diet or treadmill. They make you endeavor into the unknown. Let’s bridge that unknown, together. We will learn to live, and not fear the things that we do not understand.

~Jenn


2 Comments

If farming were an office job…

planting-wheat-2

I haven’t written a while on here and thought that I’d have some fun. Finding things that could -almost compare to office work on the farm.

 

  • Being able to walk out in your pajamas with muck boots. The only judges are the animals and they don’t care.
  •   No one is going to care if you walk out in your underwear to get the mail for work.
  •   After smashing your finger you can cuss and no one is around to hear it.
  • The only sexual harassment you’ll get here is when a cow licks your butt.
  •   You’ll never get bored with doing the same thing every day. Something always breaks.
  •   Paper cuts? What’s that? We have emergency room visits, gorilla glue or duct tape.
  •   Your main attire will always require jeans. No matter if you’re on or off the farm. Casual Friday every day!
  •   Your Lunch break room: Depends on location. Always eating your food now, taste it later kind of break.
  •   Your cubicle has windows. Your cab of a tractor.
  •   Its always take your kids to work day.
  •   You sleep with the boss, and that’s ok.
  •   Bathroom break? Find a good location to squat, anywhere. Female: Not many options for you. You could be exposing more to your neighbors than you’d like. Full moon anyone?
  •   Your 40 hours week is usually done by Wednesday lunch time.
  •   A company car is 35 years old, goes 40 mph, and gets 6 miles to the gallon.
  •   Business meetings always happen at the kitchen table.
  • Your office filing system is the center console of your pick-up.

What would you add? Or, what is your list? I wanna hear it!

~Jen

Remember you can always find my other writings for Kansas Living Magazine and AgDaily!


9 Comments

Struggling times

clone tag: 4023154697418811627

 

 

We have been swamped lately it seems and has that feeling, we may never catch up. Wheat harvest is over and done with, but now we have disking to do, spraying improaching weeds in our fall crops, and mounds of paperwork that I still haven’t seen the bottom. Life of the farm and a farm family. We just recently got back from a long weekend together as a family. It’s nice to step away from the farm for a few days and try to hit refresh. A refresh button that I wish was big enough….

Many times when I tell our story I share it through pictures. It can be a quite beautiful the life we live. The outdoors, the crops, wildlife, the laughter of my children, and being able to work for yourself. But sometimes things aren’t so rosy colored. Lately, it is the feeling of storms rolling on in, approaching with their fierce noise and darkness. Just picture yourself stuck in mud up to your ankles and you look around seeing your friends, family smiling upon you not knowing the struggles your family is facing, or going to face. I had shared our struggles of being the first generation farm family just last December. Very nervous about the reception I would get. Surprisingly, all positive. Now, they are the same struggles but just….enhanced.

FB_IMG_1429932775689

Markets.

They are the culprit of most of our anxiety. This year we had the best wheat crop we have ever had on our farm. In the state of Kansas the average bushel of wheat went from 45 bushels per acre to 56 bu/ac. Our farm went from 35-45 bu/ac to an average of 68! We were so excited, even though we had to fight the rains that were constant during harvest. Now let’s go back around to the markets. In another post, I explained about how we take our grains to the elevator in town. From there we can sell anytime we want, most times we have to sell because we have bills to pay. Right now the markets keep going down. The inputs (seed, fertilizer, chemical, etc.) we put into our wheat crop didn’t go down. (Just imagine your paycheck being cut in half, but your bills never went down or possibly went up.) The bill we got to pay back with those inputs showed up and we had to pay. With our operation we don’t have cash on hand to pay that, so we have to sell our wheat to help pay it. It was a wash everyone. That means we made zero profit, and that it cost more to produce that crop than what you get out of it. Sometimes we feel that we can just burn the pile of money that we put into the crop. We sold our wheat for $3.05 a bushel. Guess what? Some of that input cost also required an operating loan from the bank that now doesn’t get any money put down on. All the other usual family bills, equipment payments, landlords to pay is pilling.

The hope.

Our fall crops have had great moisture with the recent rains and are looking great. Our hope and prayers are that we can pay for things with these crops. We have Corn, Soybeans, and Milo (grain sorghum) to get in the bin yet. Another hope we have is that of our other business. We still fix/repair other farmers and ranchers equipment and trucks. There will always be work for us to do, whether it helps to pay for daily living is always a gamble. But hey, we wouldn’t be farmers if we didn’t gamble things every year.

Why keep going?

We don’t like to give up, it’s not in our vocabulary. Do you ever have that feeling that you have to prove something? Many still think we’re going to fail and not go anywhere. They lump us in with some people of our generation that have the “just don’t care” attitude and the “I don’t have to work hard” one as well. That’s just not us. The few who do know us well enough know that we aren’t that type. Another reason we keep going is for our children. We hope that they see some day the struggles we went through and the only way we made it was doing together. Never giving up on your dreams, you may have to alter them slightly, but if you have a goal and a dream there is always a way.

We always say to each other that we’ll make it through somehow. God willing, there will be a way. We may feel that we’re stuck knee deep in something that people can’t see, but being able to get out of that mud will require you to get on your knees and crawl. Yes, you’ll get dirty and it may require you to pull each other out of the hole you feel you’re in. In the end, you will have accomplished something and look back upon the challenges that make you who you are today. That’s why we have so much respect for our older farmers. They’ve been there, done that, differently but did it.

So, next time you buy that loaf of bread, cereal, pasta, etc. Think of how much a farmer has worked to provide you that food item, only to get paid pennies for it.


Leave a comment

What’s happening on the farm

Take a look at my new post for Kansas Living! 

 

Many times I feel like I should be losing my sanity. This time of year always has us running around with multiple things going on at one time. Right now we are still trying to plant soybeans and milo (sorghum) while also trying to keep up with the weeds in the fields that are starting to emerge with the recent rains we’ve had. My son just got out of school for the summer too. As a mom with two kids, I feel swamped. Now we have wheat harvest right around the corner. Want to see what we’ve been doing? Join me on the farm…

Source: What’s happening on the farm


Leave a comment

Why not rye in wheat?

 

20160524_1457162.jpg.jpeg

My son helping walk the wheat field

 

Awe June is here. Just a couple weeks from harvesting our wheat crop. With all the other things happening on the farm we still do take the time to walk our wheat fields as they progress. One thing we come upon ever so often is rye in our fields. So what’s the issue with rye in a wheat field? And why do we pull it out of the field? Here are just a few examples why.

~Any crop that isn’t the intended crop is considered a weed.

~When you harvest your wheat and have more mixture of rye in your truck, the elevator you will give less money per bushel for your wheat.

~Prevention of rye spreading seeds for next year.

20160524_1455072.jpg.jpeg

Ways to fix this problem?

Crop rotation.

We rotate our crops every year. What does it mean to rotate? Well, we don’t just grow one crop on another every year on the same piece of land. Our normal rotation is Wheat, Milo (Sorghum), Soybeans, and Corn. Depending on where you live or how long your growing season determines how you can rotate. By being able to grow crops of different types you can help prevent weeds, like rye, in those intended crops. Wheat is in the grass family and so is rye. When we grow soybeans which are a broadleaf and round up resistant, we can spray and get rid of the grasses as well as any other weeds. This way by the time our rotation is back around to wheat, most of the nuisance weeds should not be present.

Pulling it or mowing it.

Yep, many farmers like ourselves will spend hours walking our fields looking for these tall plants to pull or mow. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the last resort. My kids love pulling it at first, but when it’s hot and humid out, they dislike it really fast!

In the end, it’s a simple problem that can be fixed in how we manage our ground. My husband and I are almost OCD about how our fields look. We will STOP the pickup when driving by one of our fields, just to go get that one rye plant.

We’re growing wheat for that wheat bread of yours, no rye please! 😉

~Jen

20160524_1454562.jpg.jpeg


Leave a comment

A Love Story

In this story there was a young girl. Confused about what to do with her life. An only child that is growing up on a nearby Hobby Farm with her parents. She recently just got hired on at a local restaurant, per her parent’s request. Handed an application form from the owner a couple of weeks prior. She was happy just going to school, riding her horse on her time off and staying on the farm. Her parents thought she needed to work for someone else and expand her working experience. She was a teenage girl who thought her parents were just “pushy”. She took the job with a roll of the eyes and huff of frustration. Who knew what this path shoved on her could have changed her views entirely and her life.

    On her first day at working this job she was nervous, apprehensive, and quiet. Her co-workers were twice her age, but kind-hearted. Showing her the ropes of serving people, local people. The first day was so busy, but she didn’t know that. Her boss later explained at the end of the day that normally there weren’t that many people to fed. So where is this story going? Well, that day at the tail end of the work day a group of young men came in. All scruffy and dirty from a days work. To her they just looked like the next group of farmers she just helped serve, but there was something different about them. Most of them weren’t from here. Not from Kansas and not from the four corners of the United States either. They were either from Australia, Scotland, Ireland, and England. For a small town girl this was just, weird. Why Kansas? Were they lost? Nope, they worked for a local Harvest Crew and just came in for some grub before calling it a day. Already nervous about her day and add young men with accents in the mix? Ha! There was one in particular that caught her interest….

    Geoff was his name. Very shy, but very kind. Yet they were all very polite young men, only she could barely understand some of them. There were a few American boys with them from different States that would helped translate a few things for her like…. Chips were French Fries, and Crisps were Chips. The most confusing, and funniest thing is when Geoff ordered a Chicken Fried Steak; expecting Chicken because of the name, he cut into it and said, “This isn’t chicken, this is steak!” The many laughs were always to be had by the differences in the countries terms and sayings. This particular day was Geoff’s first day in the States. He had just moved back home to England from working in Australia for three years. Barely stayed home long before this opportunity landed at his feet. Travel to the States through an exchange program and be placed on a harvest crew in Kansas.

    This boy and this girl became friends. Both uninterested in dating each other because he didn’t know if he was going to come back and stay, her because she didn’t want to lose the friendship if things went south. 3 years this friendship kept together. He would go back in the winters to his home in England. They would write back and forth via emails to catch up with what is going on. The year she was a senior in High School he came back again. It was another year again, but this time he was staying on the farm the local harvester had. This meant they would see each other more. Sooner or later Geoff had decided that this was the town he wanted to stay in. He wanted to move here because of the opportunities that were here that weren’t at home. This meant? Trying to ask her out on a date. A simple birthday party to go to with him. Seemed simple enough. When he tried this the young girl’s mother was with her. Eating their lunch together in the restaurant. “Would you, uhhh. Would you want to go to our friend’s birthday party with me?” Her with the surprised look and just taken a bite of food. Did he just ask me out? She thought, can’t be. “No, I’m afraid not. I have to work then.” Whoops. That didn’t work.

Scan_20160424 (3)

    A few weeks later another young gentleman asked her out. A friend of his. She saw his disappointment when another young man asked her out in front of him. To her puzzlement he didn’t ask again for a while. Weeks passed and the friendship was still there. She could confide in him anything that troubled her, and he could do the same with her. Soon they realized that they no longer were just friends. Dates started to happen without either of them realizing what was going on. How can it be that you can talk for hours at a dinner table about childhoods, hopes, and dreams for the future? Not aware of the world around them. Only them, at that moment. In the end they realized that they didn’t feel complete without each other in their lives. He had to go home sooner or later, back to England. She had graduated and was still working. Scared that he wouldn’t be able to come back. “Come home with me.” he said. “To England?! I can’t do that.” she said. “For Christmas. I would love for the family to meet you.” Wow, she thought, that was a big jump to do. I’ve never even left the State in over 10 years. He wants me to leave the country? Yikes. For a small town girl to leave her family and fly over a big ocean to a different country was quite a leap for her. But guess what? She did take that leap.

    That December she flew off with him. Fairly nervous and excited at the same time on this new adventure. What will his family be like? What will England be like? Am I going to survive being this far from home? Soon enough those questions were answered. Yes, his family was lovely. Yes, England was just fine. Everything was cramped together for this small town country girl. No wide open spaces, but plenty of cars driving on the left side and people crammed together in small places. She learned much. Soon enough while touring London the young man asked the girl to marry him while looking at the British Parliament. At exactly 4:05 in the afternoon, she said yes. Of course she would.

    The next hurdle was to be had. She had to go back home without him. With the ring on her finger and her love staying 4,000 miles away to return to her in 3 months’ time. Will they make it?

    When she returned home without him, her family was waiting. Back to work and routine, but keeping phone calls frequent between her new fiancé and her. Emails back and forth as well. She, along with her family were planning the wedding details. A spring wedding was going to happen. It was torture at times trying to plan things without him physically there. He had his work to do across the way and also paperwork to come back as well. Meanwhile rumors had started, like any small community does at times. Why is she getting married so young? Is she pregnant? People and family concerned that he is taking advantage of her to get a green card. Her parents knew him better than most, and knew he was not that sort. Like most things talks and rumors fade with time.

    The young lady finally found herself pacing back and forth, with her parents in the background at the airport terminal. Waiting for that one plane to land that carried a special person in her life. With people walking down she finally spotted her best friend. No words to be had, only tears and hugs of joy. The wait was over, he was FINALLY home.

    They got married May 01, 2004 in a big church with family and friends on both sides surrounding them. Some in town said they wouldn’t make it. They were unaffected by those doubts. Only hand in hand, realizing that their life’s journey had only begun together.

Scan_20160424 (2)

    So who is this special couple and how did this story end?

12274677_1016176235099287_5743065880613574047_n

    My husband and I. Today marks 12 years of marriage together and 16 years of being best friends. 2 people with dreams and hopes. 2 children that come from that love. It’s hard to put much into words what we mean to each other now. Love never ends just grows and changes. Every single day there are times when the most simple of things reminds you of how much I love him and he loves me. Simply holding out his hand for mine, playing with the children, or sitting together drinking our tea. Reminiscing of how far we have come and the dreams that we still have for not just ourselves now, but our children’s.

    I love this man beyond words. The sacrifices he has made to come here and live here. Imagine leaving your family and your friends, never knowing when or if you’ll be back. He hasn’t been back to his home country in 8 years, when our first-born was only 18 months old. He’s had 2 grandparents and one godfather die while living here. His parents come every 2 years over here to visit and we just now have his brother and sister-in-law visiting. It’s been nearly 6 years since they were here last. It’s hard sometimes for him, I can tell. Lives change, people grow, or are gone. Would he change where he is? No.

    What sacrifices have you made to be where you are? Our story is still continuing and still growing.  I hope to continue sharing our life story for a long time. For not only you, but our children and their children.

Happy Anniversary to my best friend, my heart, my love, and partner in this life and the next.

❤ ~Jen

    


Leave a comment

Let’s talk food & farming

Hi guys. I thought I would tell my followers on here that I am now, once a month, writing for Kansas Living Magazine! Make sure to hop on over for the rest of my post and to look at others. I’m so excited about this venture and to answer any questions you may have!

~Jen

Hello! My name is Jenny Burgess, and I’m excited to connect with you here on “Kansas Living” online. I will be sharing what our family does on our farm, and I’d love to answer any questions you might have about food and farming.  I’m a small town Central Kansas girl that grew up on a small farm. We tried a little bit of everything there–chickens, goats, cattle, horses, hay and wheat.  I learned to throw small square bales at a young age and got taught early what hard work was. Farming is rooted deep on both sides of my family.

Source: Let’s talk food & farming