Saturday, July 14, 2012

38 Years

Me, around 1975-1976
Me, around 1982?
A photo taken of me, by one of my very best friends, while still in high school - around 1991?
When Mark and I were first dating - around late 1995
Taken just a couple of months ago
This morning/early afternoon, while Mark and I were sitting on the front porch, we were talking about my 38th birthday, coming up tomorrow. He asked me to name the top five things I'm proud of accomplishing in my 38 years. I thought I'd share them here.
1) Through all the ups and downs, I'm proud, in this day and age, that after the whirlwind of a courtship (we met each other in Sept. '95, moved in together Oct. '95, got engaged December '95 and were married on July 23rd, 1996) that our marriage has lasted 16 years, so far.
Mark and I, the night we got engaged. December of 1995
Mark and Shelby - July 23rd, 1996
Mark and I actually had two wedding ceremonies...the one in July, so Tiffany and Kait could attend and the other, a larger celebration in December of 1996.
2) My five awesome kids. Mark came with two girls, that I am honored to be able to call my daughters and we have three children together.
Family photo from a couple of years ago <3
First day of school for Gage, Drake and Cora a couple years ago. We were still in our apartment then. So much has changed for us.
Cora, Gage and Drake - just last week.
3) Graduating from college. Mark and I did things a little backward - we got married, had kids and then decided to go back to college. I even gave birth to Cora in the middle of fall quarter one year.
4) My job - it is everything I could ever ask for. I work from home and am able to balance work and farm life...and I'm saving the world, one energy efficient light bulb at a time.
5) This homestead. I am unbelievably proud of this place. It is beautiful. I absolutely love the wrap around porch, the amount of space we have inside, the land, the barn, the animals, the garden and more...

I'm so thankful for the past 38 years...with all the lessons I've learn, from all the mistakes I've made...with all the wonderful opportunities that I've had in life and everything I've had to fight for. I love where I am in life and look forward to see where I am in another 38 years. 


  1. So much has changed...except Gage's shirt lol

  2. Happy 38th Birthday!!! Wow you have accomplished alot. Hope that you continue to enjoy your many blessings (especialy your beautiful house, husband and children) for many many years to come. Gosh, I am 10 years older but feel like im the student on this walk to simple living. Greeting from Down Under - cant wait for the Olympics - we are going to kick some butt!! We dont do too bad for a country with only 22.5 milion.

  3. Thank you so much. This birthday was a little rough for me. But I keep reminding myself that without the bad times, the good times wouldn't feel so damn good :-)
    My husband is 10 years older than I am, he turned 48 in February...and he's learning right along with me - so don't worry about what age you are when you started all this...just keep working to get what you want out of life :-) There's a few blogs that I read and one of them is - the writer of the blog, Jenna, is younger than I am. While I don't agree necessarily with every decision that she makes, I feel that she makes the best decision for her own needs and the needs of her farm. I've learned a lot from her...she's one of the reasons that we just decided to jump in with both feet. "If Jenna can do it, and she's so much younger than me, I can do it too" lol.
    My kids are really excited about the Olympics too :-) It's always fun to watch.
    SO GOOD to hear from you - hope you have a wonderful day.

  4. Did you join the Against The Grain Society? Are you growing your own grain and do you intend to go to the harvest? Yep, checked out the blog (im very obedient) and yeah, looks good. Will have to devote some time to it on the weekend. My two boys (hubby and Son) leave me alone. They are both hooked up to computers as soon as they walk in the door. There's no use fighting it - im hoping that the up coming garden will get them interested. My 15 year old Aspie seems to have a thing about it and keeps telling me not to waste my time in the yard and not to buy pots etc. He's point blank told me im not having chooks. I think at some level he thinks it will take me away from him but he doesnt want to do anything with me. I've offered him his own space but at the moment he doesnt want it. We will see, its confusing, They both treat me very badly but they both need me. Tom, at 15, still wont spend the night away from our house unless im with him. I read alot and like I said im planning on spending time in the garden this summer. Confession, I havent put the spuds in yet. Im waiting for something to put it in. Im doing raised beds as I live on a clay pan thats solid BUT the engineers at work saw my garden plans (yes I measured and graphed them to scale) and they want to build them for me. Two of the companies I look after are sheet metal fabricating and powdercoating businesses. The biggest one is a (wait for it) power switchboard manufacturer - yes the dreaded big power sucking devices that run factories and mines). I could have brought the bed frames by now but Im kind of stuck waiting for them. Good Lord, I saw my garden bed rotating on a computer screen the other day on solid works (CAD Designing). I can hear you laughing from here. How do I get myself into these situations. I just want to play with dirt. So I bought a few pots (hence my sons comments). I cant push work, they are very understanding of my difficult homelife and they just want to do something for me. I was a mess a few weeks ago and they sent me to a ghost house for a weekend - not that im into that but I had a good sleep and read. So, i will wait patiently for a break in production for my frames to be made and hope my seed potatoes dont sprout.

  5. Ha ha ha - sounds like you have yourself in quite the pickle with your garden. That's too funny about seeing it up on a CAD design. I have mine on Excel - that's about as tech as I get with it.
    Are you seeing a counselor to learn how to deal with everything your son and husband are throwing at you? I understand that your son may have fears or suggestions on how/what you should do with your space...but, since you are the parent, are you able to develop the stronger role and say "this is how it is going to be"? If you want certain things out of your life - then you deserve them. They don't have to be a part of all of it...but maybe the garden and having your hands in the dirt is how you take "me time" and find some sort of release for any anxiety tht you might be feeling with everything that is going on in your life. You'll feel accomplishment and see growth and there is NOTHING better than eating warm peas right from the garden :-)
    I have decided not to join Jenna with the "Against the Grain" - I don't really have the extra money for something like that. Meaning - the cost of joining the soceity, plus the cost of traveling to her (she is approx. a 13 hour drive for me), and trying to get away from here for a length of time (if the family goes along with me, we'd have the added cost of hiring someone to come here and watch the farm for us). Although, I think next Spring, we may plant some grain, because I too have tried to figure out how to incorporate grain here at the farm...We just don't have a ton of space for too much of anything. So we need to be strategic on how we use our space :-)

  6. Yep, I've been on the merry-go-round of therapy for a while and it was through my son's assessment and on-going therapy that we came to find out that my husband was a Aspie as well. WHen I'm in strife I seek information, so I am always trawling the Web for like minded families and support groups. Discipline is a big issues in our house as if my son goes into meltdown then this will throw my husband into the same and then it is Kaos. So I often have to bite my tongue and pick the battles I want to win. Yes, I think that the garden will be my "me" time but that hubby will enjoy it once the work is done. No matter, Im a strong country girl and I know how to haul a load on my own. I am blessed with strong faith and a good upbringing in country ways. I just need to tap into them. Thank you for your support. I enjoy reading your blog.