I Can Sleep When I’m Dead Right??

The last week, I’ve had trouble sleeping. My mind won’t shut down.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE staying home with my children. Like today, I was able to attend Grady’s Halloween party at school because I have the luxury of staying at home. I think of those moms who work everyday all day and then come home and begin their second job of taking care of their children and the household. I give them so much credit. When faced with the question of me getting a full time job, a part time job, or staying at home I always begin to get queasy.

I have applied for a couple of positions (full time) that I think would’ve been a very good fit (ag related offices). However, after being called for an interview for both I declined. Who does that? The thought of working 8 hours a day and then coming home and taking care of the kids alone, because most nights my husbands not home until they are in bed, scares the living day light out of me. I know I need to suck it up and bite the bullet, but with bipolar even the smallest thing can trigger an episode, and I don’t want that to happen. Often times I start to feel worthless. Like people think I use this disease as an excuse. I promise you I am NOT.

The old me, would’ve done anything in her power to get anything she wanted. The new me, the me I am living in right now can’t even look a person in the eye or not stumble my words when talking to someone even someone as close as my mother in law or aunts and uncles. To most, I come off rude and stuck up but the truth is I have such bad social anxiety that it is so hard to make conversation with people especially small talk. Until I feel totally comfortable with someone I can’t let loose and show the Brittany I like. I literally can’t look people in the eye or even say hi when walking into a group of small or large numbers.

I can write and use my words on paper so easily. So far, writing has been such a release for me. I have 4 finished blogs that I haven’t published, but they are vents for me.

I get so overwhelmed, so EASY. This week with running on barely any sleep, completing a report for work that my boss (I am just helping until they hire someone) gave me literally 24 hours to do and it is a 50 plus page report that has to be sent to DNR twice a year. Then making the kids costumes because I couldn’t break down and buy them when I could make them for less than $10 myself. To running out of medication and not being able to get a hold of my psychiatrist.

The medication I am on, the anti-depressents, mood stabalizer, and xanax to calm my nerves when needed are crucial. If I miss more than a few days things go south quick. I tried to go without my medication once and that landed me in the hospital. It scares me taking all the medication I do, but without it I can’t live normally and if I can’t live normally and take care of myself then I can’t take care of my children. I have discussed this over and over with my psychiatrist (who is AMAZING) that I feel as though the medication is causing memory loss, but he reassures me that I need this to live a normal life for not only myself but my family. Am I ashamed of taking the medication I do, yes but if it keeps me stable enough to not go from wanting to end my life, to spending obscene amounts of money or incredible irritability and rage then I think I need it.

In an episode I can be such a mean person. Things and thoughts eat me alive. I become so envious and jealous of others. So unsure of my life in general. So as I am finishing this week with the insomnia I am having I am worried an episode is on the horizon. I hope within the next couple of days I can get a few hours to myself where I am able to take something to sleep and get caught up on my rest.

Life is tough. It has its roller coasters and I need to learn to buckle in and go along for the ride like everyone else. I promise I am trying.

In the last two weeks I have began to feel those thoughts of blahness and depression. I think most of it is that it is Harvest time and that I am basically a single mom, but I need to get off my soap box and live life and face the challenges like everyone else, and I promise I am trying. When I get in these moods, I avoid phone calls, emails, facebook, snapchats, and even texts. I don’t want to say something that may hurt a relationship with someone who means a lot to me.

Seth has been more than gracious with putting up with me, along with his family. My first thing when I have an episode is I want to leave, I want to drive to the end of the earth and never come back. I can’t count the times I have left in the middle of the night and just drove and drove because I didn’t want to face my thoughts, because my mind continued to play games. Is it childish yes, but when I get in those mindsets its hard to not to take flight when I’m faced with fight or flight. Since having both kids, I haven’t had this issue because I know I CAN’T and will never leave them. Those nights it is so hard fighting the urge to do so, but I don’t.

I know most are reading this and thinking “life is tough, just deal with it”, and I promise you that’s what I am trying to do.

It took me forever to realize that bipolar is like any disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes. It is an issue and it’s not something a person just makes up to take the easy road in life.

So if I see you in public and can’t look you in the eye and talk to you, I apologize now. Just know I am try my hardest. If I slip and put some random self pitty post on Facebook, call me out. Give me a reality check.

I still will never know why this disease decided to surface when it did, but it’s here and it is settled into my brain like the roots you would see on a 200 year old oak tree. I am soaking up the nutrients I need to support and stabilize it though. I am going to a psychiatrist, I am being open and honest about this disease and I am constantly reminding myself life could be so much worse. It could be SOOO much worse.

There are so many nights I lay awake at night and worry about losing someone so close to me. It is one of my biggest fears. Would I be able to make it if something happened to Seth unexpectedly? Could I go on without my rock? Could I go on without the man who has stuck through my side even though I put him through hell? The other day I watched a video about a farmer about our age who was in a farming accident almost burned to death, family was told he would die, but he didn’t. I cried so hard. That could be my husband. These nights I can’t sleep I often end up on the couch but all week I have gone to bed anyways lying awake next to Seth, the snoring grizzly bear, but I do because it could be my last night I have with him. You just never know. Maybe this is another thing triggering me this week.

Sooo as I quit my rambling, just know I am trying. I am giving it all I’ve got. I am growing up. I am facing this battle head on. I have to for the sake of my family and mostly for the sake of those two little blessing sleeping so soundly in their beds as I type away.

I am living like there is no tomorrow. I am spending time playing with my children verses cleaning my house. I am sleeping ( not really sleeping) next to my husband because I can’t even think about how I would feel if I lost out on a night I could sleep next to him. I am loving those who love me, and I am taking care of myself to the best of my ability not only for the sake of me but for the sake of the ones who I love so much.

So tonight  my brain might win, but tomorrow is a new day. A fresh start. A beginning of a day I am blessed to still have a beating heart and the ability to breathe in the fresh crisp fall morning God has blessed me with.

Picture Perfect is Overrated

I’ve always been one of those people who cares to much about what others think and trying to make my life look perfect. NEWS FLASH—it’s not. No ones life is perfect.

There have been so many times I have wanted to delete my Facebook just for the sole purpose that it has made me feel worse about myself because I am constantly comparing myself to other moms, other birthday parties, and comparing my children to theirs.

It wasn’t until after a few months I had Kinze that it dawned on me, I am wasting to much of my time trying to make my life look perfect, portraying a false image, and thinking to much about what others think of me. Grady’s first birthday I went above and beyond to please everyone and make MYSELF look amazing over making my sons special day the best it could be for HIM. I worried to much about having all the decorations, the neat cake, and the whole set up that other mothers have for their kids birthdays. I blew way to much money on something that my son who was just one won’t even remember. How selfish is that? Since when do we worry more about making ourselves look good and competing with other mothers verses doing everything we could to make memories with our children that are irreplaceable? Granted, many women are more grown up and can’t relate to this, but I honestly feel as though some women out there can.

I have finally realized that I can’t be perfect. I can’t please everyone. That I can’t be happy in my life if I am not happy with myself.

If you were to see my house right now you would see masking tape holding down burlap ribbon to the tile floor to serve as a road for Grady’s farm equipment to travel from one field (room) to the other. You will see a sink full of dishes. Loads and loads of laundry to be done in the hallway. Loads and loads of laundry to be put away in my room. Toys scattered everywhere. Papers piled a foot high that need to be filed and organized. You would see REALITY.

At the end of the day NONE of this matters. My kids aren’t going to remember me for my cleaning abilities. They are going to remember me for being their mother. On my hands and knees playing farm. Letting them make a mess while we do a craft. Reading them book after book as they sit on my lap. Letting them help me make cookies and cupcakes and instead of cleaning up the mess right away continue on with our day of playing.

You see, for SOOO long I worried to much about how others viewed me as a mother. Instead of worrying about how my own children thought of me as a mother.

So for Kinze’s birthday party I didn’t go overboard. I didn’t make an extravagant cake, buy lots of balloons, and buy her tons of gifts. I chose to make her a simple cake, plaster a happy birthday banner to the wall, and buy her things she needed verses toys that will be tossed aside before the day was over. It felt good. I didn’t care what others thought because I was happy with my decision to spend more time enjoying the day with the birthday girl.

Since staying at home, I haven’t worried about the house as much. I have spent 95 percent more of my time with my children and it feels AMAZING. Yes I get uneasy when my mother in law stops by and you can’t see the counters from the dishes and things that need put away, but then I remind myself that I am making special memories with our children. I’m not saying I never clean my house- I do as much as can with the time I am given. Could it be cleaner, yes.

Life is tooo precious to worry about the small stuff. Those that know me well, know that I am very uptight and worry about everything. Day by day I am trying to be better. Trying to put my life in the right direction.

I’m yelling it to the roof top: I AM NOT PERFECT. I am a human being. I am a mother of two. I am a woman trying to do the best for my family. I am molding the minds of our children. I am doing what makes me happy. I am living life verses putting it on auto steer and letting it take me for a ride.

I am choosing children over housework, admitting my flaws, and not hiding behind a false image anymore.

My true image is as follows:

I am small town girl. I am a mother of two. A wife to a farmer. A woman who would rather spend her days getting her hands dirty in the dirt verses getting my nails done or my hair dyed. I am simple. I feel most comfortable in jeans, a basic tee, a ball cap, and tennis shoes or boots. I love agriculture. I have a weakness for elderly people and helping them anyway I can. I have my fair share of flaws and mistakes. I love sentimental things. I’ve often been called an 80 year old in a 20 year old body. I’m an introvert. I have severe social anxiety and bipolar depression. I have a soft heart. I am sensitive. I care to much. I would go to the end of the world for someone I love. I am scared to death about losing someone close to me. Family means the world to me. And last but not least I am NOT perfect.

Catch 22

I have always been involved in the agriculture industry in about every point of my life in some little way. My dad got out of farming to quick for me to be actively involved on a daily basis growing up, but I still managed to steer back towards it when I stepped out on my own.

I have talked over and over about the pride that comes with the industry. Even today, G and I were watching You Tube videos about Windrowers because I bought him one when I had to pick up parts at John Deere this morning. Which led to watching videos of custom wheat harvest from this year. It is soo cool. I highly recommend watching them. Grady loves them and could sit and watch them for hours. Back to the topic at hand, sense of pride, I will FOREVER be so proud of being part of this industry.

I’ve always been one who beats the topic to death about supporting agriculture and anything that might entail. Whether that be caged chickens, GMOs, hog barns, feed lots, etc. I would fight to the end for those issues and supporting the agriculture side.

However, today my thoughts and opinions were thrown a curve ball. News of a hog barn that will be going up within a two mile radius (as a crow flies) to our home and our community was introduced to me by a local farmer. He posted a letter that was sent to a resident back on September 24th.

Copy of the letter sent to resident.
Copy of the letter sent to resident.

I am very confused as to why most of the community members are just now finding out. In the letter it states that written comments can be sent to the DNR within 30 days from the date the letter was sent. That only leaves roughly two weeks to get something put together to express our concerns for our community.

Seth and I have toured a hog operation owned by this same United Hog Systems. We were impressed by how clean and well maintained this facility was. Honestly, I don’t remember smelling a thing, granted we didn’t get off the bus that day as it was a drive through tour but I was very impressed. It looked as though a white two story house with a wrap around porch and a white picket fence should be placed beside it because it was that well maintained. Granted, things might have been cleaned up with the knowledge that members of the Missouri Young Farmers and Young Farm Wives was coming for a tour, but I still give the owner the benefit of the doubt. He had a very nice facility.

Growing up I was involved with hogs, granted no more than eight a year. Even then we had neighbors complain about the smell of these eight gilts…EIGHT gilts. Which gets me really thinking……this barn is said to be bringing in 7000 gilts/boars and it is my understanding that those numbers aren’t including the litters. The average sow produces 8/10/12 ( I found all three numbers) pigs a litter and I have found numbers suggesting 40 piglets per year expected per sow. So lets just low ball it and say those 882 sows that they mention in the letter produced 8 piglets per litter, that would make 7056 piglets. You multiply that by 3 (Sows gestation period is 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days- 114 days) that makes 21,168 piglets a year. The letter is vague about the operation with exactly how those barns will work although those who are actively involved in the swine field make know exactly what they are talking about with those numbers–if so, please feel free to comment so I am able to understand.

Many are also concerned with the land value decreasing due to this barn being put in. After doing a small amount of research I really only found a few things about decreasing land values. This being one of them:

A study by the University of Missouri found that the existence of a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) decreases property values of nearby farms by about $100 an acre (Mubarak, Johnson, and Miller 1999). A broader study (Palmquist, Roka, and Vukina 1997) found a 9 percent drop in home values caused by nearby CAFOs. – See more at: http://www.perc.org/articles/hog-farm-justice#sthash.OlNjfCsH.dpuf

This information is from 1999 so really its a wash. That was 16 year ago. So really that number may have decreased or increased.

Like I have said prior, I am always for AGRICULTURE. There are so many ag bashers out there that those in the industry have to really stand their ground about the industry and beliefs. Am I 100 percent in favor of this barn coming in to the area, honestly no. It kills me to say that because I am going against something I believe so firmly in. However, I believe with the advances in technology and knowledge, this barn will have a less ill effect on the community than most may think.

After thinking about it, there are a couple other barns or operations within a 20 mile radius that I can think of and after thinking about it, driving by there you don’t smell anything. Granted my nose may be accustomed to these types of smells thanks to working for the City of Sedalia’s sewer department for two years now, however I can’t remember a time I actually smelt them. The chicken barns around here you for sure can. Tyson you for sure can….there are many nights you can smell tyson from our house and I swear sometimes it’s almost as though you can smell what type of chicken they are making that day (BBQ is what I always seem to smell).

I don’t want those reading this to think I am a hypocrite and going back on my beliefs, because I am not. I simply understand both sides on this. Either way this goes, I will understand.

The fact is America has to eat. Most Americans gripe and complain about the smells, the way animals are treated, and the farmers and ranchers who raise our food. The fact is without those people and their animals all of us (except those who could live off the land themselves) would be naked and hungry.

Do I understand why this man can’t put his hog barns on the many acres he owns in Saline County? Yes, he wants to save that ground for crop productivity since the dirt north of us is way better than here.

Let’s look at it this way…..if this was a local farmer who we all knew and loved who was wanting to put in this hog barn, would we be against this as much? Is it because it is an outsider coming in? If Seth and I had purchased this property and decided to put a feed lot on it, would we all have the same outlook??

Before we go bashing these barns, we need to look at the big picture. Pettis County is a county I would considered based around agriculture. The people you meet for the most part have some link to agriculture even if it’s in some little way. We can either stand behind agriculture and show the community the pride and compassion we have for the crops and livestock we raise, or we can turn around and bash those that are trying to do what we are, make a living doing what they love. Am I concerned that this may be a way for United Hog Systems to get their foot in the door and to continue to bring more barns to the area…YES, but that is no different than what Tyson or Cargill has done in this area before. It is my understanding that these hog barns have to meet strict regulations and guidelines, by the EPA, DNR, etc. I simply don’t know all the facts and I would assume (even though we all know what assuming does) that most of those against it don’t know all of the facts either. Until we can get the facts and find out how these barns will cause problems in the area whether it be through air quality, water table, land values, etc we can’t jump to conclusions. We think hog barns and we automatically think of the worst smell you can smell times 10 and the filth and crap that comes with it. In today’s case that’s not how it is at most operations. Most are well maintained and high tech.

As I have said before, I am not 100 percent for these barns going in. If it was someone local I don’t think I would have a problem. If I knew more about the water table and how these barns may cause problems with it I may have more of a issue. I honestly do feel for those who have land that is beside this property and even those within closer proximity than where I sit. However, I also feel for the farmer. He is doing what he has to, to make another dollar. We would all do it. Money is a high demand product in today’s world and most would do whatever they could to make more. My head tells me no these barns will be bad for the community but my heart tells me otherwise. My heart has always had a soft spot for agriculture and those involved in the industry and each year as I grow another year older, my blood pumps a little bit harder for the ag industry thanks to my heart and love for something we all need, whether we want to admit it or not. So before we decide we are against these barns completely I suggest you investigate and find out a little more information if you are so concerned with these barns coming to the community.

These barns may be put in and the stench will be terrible and all of you will rub it in my face and say I told you so, or we may not smell a thing, may realize this company and its facilities are well maintained and be thankful we didn’t over react. Either way, I encourage those who are against this to investigate find out more about how these barns may effect our community, but I beg you not to not only look at the ill effects but the positives as well. We can’t rule something out just because of the stereotypes that comes with any CAFO.

I encourage you to look past what your head is telling you, and take in to consideration how your heart feels about this situation. My heart is for agriculture and always will be.

Risky Business

Most people look at farmers and think one of two things; Either they are extremely poor or extremely well off. This can be true depending how you look at the lifestyle.

The average age of a farmer in the United States today is 57. That means most of the farmers are aging out, passing their farms down, or selling out.

To get into farming it is EXPENSIVE so EXPENSIVE, that is if you start out fresh with no resources. Some are lucky and will be handed their family farm at some point in their life. In that case, their livelihood is established and in most cases thriving (but not always).

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A man- a farmer- both Seth and I look up to and love more than he will ever know. Three generations of farmers.

Seth and I have been very fortunate to be able to use the Farm Service Agency to get our feet wet and start building slowly but surely. They offer many programs to help young or beginning farmers out, and I highly recommend that if you qualify, you should sign up. It’s low interest rates, someone monitoring your actions, and they won’t approve something if they don’t think it will work. Using their program we were able to purchase our first farm at a lower interest rate than you would see at a bank or another financial lender. Along with purchasing all the cows we have so far.

Many people on the outside looking in don’t realize the upfront cost to farming. To start up you have to have the ground. If you don’t own that ground you must lease it. Depending on what type of ground it is the price will vary. Pasture may be 60 dollars and acre and row crop ground can go anywhere from $90-180 acre just depending on where that ground lies and how bad you want it.

From there, if you are renting pasture you have to supply the cows to put on it. This can be anywhere from $2600-$2900 (these numbers could be off don’t hold me to it–just get the point its EXPENSIVE) for a bred cow. So lets say you rent 300 acres at $60/ac that is $18,000 in lease right there. Then you have to supply the cows you put on it. Say you put 100 head on it that is $290,000. What 26 or 27 year old has that type of money lying around?

Of course any lender isn’t going to let you go that big that quick. Seth and I started with ten cows and we have just continued to grow year after year. We have been fortunate enough to buy a majority (not all) of our cows at a very reasonable price from his grandfather which has helped out tremendously.

From there you have to have the equipment– trailers to haul them to the sale barn, a tractor or truck to feed them hay, some sort of 4 wheeler or side by side (not necessary but it makes life easier when it comes to calving), haying equipment, brush hog etc. You then have to supply the feed, the mineral, the vaccines, tags, etc.

Nothing better then green grass and black cows--or so the husband says
Nothing better then green grass and black cows–or so the husband says

Am I griping that it is a lot of money, NO? You see going into farming you have to realize how risky the business is. You NEVER know what mother nature is going to throw at you. Like just a few years ago we had a terrible drought and were forced to buy HAY to feed cows before summer was even over. Or the freezing temperatures can make calving difficult if there’s no place to keep that calf warm away from the ice and out of the conditions. Or with row crops you never know how the weather will hurt or help your crops. For instance this year with all of the rain most farmers didn’t get all of their soybeans in.

With BIG risks comes BIG rewards! Or that’s how it’s suppose to work. It doesn’t work like that all the time with farming but you hold on and hope the next year you can make up for the loss you maybe took the year before.

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I hope when our children are our age we are established enough so they don’t have to worry about trying to find the money to start farming if that’s the career they choose to take. Farmers and farm families persevere because that’s what they were taught and shown to do. I don’t know a farmer out there that wouldn’t do anything they could to keep the farm they have. It is a sense of pride to pass down something they have worked so hard for to the next generation, in hopes they will do the same.

So to all those young farmers out there…..keep your calm and keep farming (or ranching). Keep your eye on the prize and remember it won’t always be this hard.

No matter how bad the harvest--I'll always have my family!
No matter how bad the harvest–I’ll always have my family!

A war with my mind

In 2009 I was diagnosed with bipolar depression and severe anxiety. I have had my many ups and downs. Thanks to medicine, family, friends, and sometimes praying until I can’t pray anymore I have been able to stay afloat for the past six years. Everyone says leave all your worries to God but I can’t ever seem to. There is such a stigma against mental illness. So many people think its all in a persons head, that its a shout for attention, and it’s all something they make up. I can’t count on my fingers and toes the number of times that someone has told me it, it’s all in your head, its your mindset. Yes, sometimes it may be, like I posted in my blog last week. However, 95 percent of the time it’s not. For a person whose never had to fight a war against their OWN brain its hard to understand.

Nothing is scarier than thinking that the only way out is to end it. I am not proud of it, but I have had those thoughts many many times. It’s so scary!! Thankfully, I have had family to step in and intervene. Now more than ever, what yields me from those thoughts are my two littlest blessings. I don’t want to put them through that, but at the same time I often worry that there might just be something that pushes me over the edge. The battle with the mind is an AWFUL thing.

The normal word associated with BIPOLAR is CRAZY. Without my medication I honestly was, and even with medication I have my moments. So often I put on a front because I don’t want people to think I’m making it up or using it as an excuse. I am not! When I say there are days where I can’t drag myself out of bed I mean it. When I say I can’t be the first person to walk into a group of people (people I even know) I mean it. It is still so hard for me to walk in a large room or area with lots of people by myself.

When Seth and I first met, I was so confident. So passionate. So driven. I never have pinpointed what triggered the bipolar to make it’s front but it was my third semester at UCM. Change, lots of change, stress, and facing the unknown. Just a few weeks before our wedding I was at my worst. I hadn’t eaten in over a week ( I lost ten pounds). I hadn’t slept in days, and I wouldn’t leave the house. Seth had a welding presentation he had to give that day and couldn’t stay home. I called him probably 50 times (no joke) that day. I was a bit much. I called my parents over and over and eventually they showed up to find me pacing outside  shaking and crying uncontrollable saying I just want to end my life, I don’t want to feel like this. My dad was close to calling an ambulance but they chose to take me home. That night I cried I cried hard all night long. I shook and shook. The next morning my mom took me to the doctor and I was placed on my first medication for anxiety and depression.

I felt like a failure. I had become one of those people who uses mental illness as an excuse I thought. I thought I could fight it with nothing. That I was fine. I was wrong.

Over the next few weeks, I put Seth through living hell. Sometimes I feel as though I still do. My life is an emotional roller coaster, but whose isn’t.

I’ve learned my biggest triggers are change and my marriage.

I will admit and admit over and over, I have taken Seth to hell and back and much of it he doesn’t deserve. I am not proud of some of the things I have done to disrespect our marriage and those vows we stood up and said in front of family and friends. Life is waaaay waaay to short to live unhappy. I stress to those getting married to never stop dating it is so important. Our lifestyle of farming has put so much stress on our relationship. I love being a farmers wife but at times I get where I don’t understand why he’s never home to help. I’ve learned that’s just part of it, and I am trying my hardest. I try so hard, I do Seth and I hope you see that. Life is hard, so hard and I am trying to realize that’s just how it is and I have to continue to move forward and tackle any obstacle life throws at me.

Starting Monday our life will change and I am so scared! I am so scared of it triggering another episode and I am trying so hard to keep my mind in check. G starts preschool and I will now be a full time stay at home mom. I am excited at the opportunity to stay at home with my children and help their minds grow but I am so scared that the loneliness and exhaustion are going to bury me. Being married to a farmer means he is up and out the door before the kids wake up and home late after they are in bed. I honestly don’t know how single moms do it. You guys are super heroes in my book!

Some may read this and be thinking she just needs to suck it up and get over it. To an extent I agree but on the flip side adding the games I play with my mind adds a whole other aspect to the situation.

I wish I could put a microphone on my brain some days. I wake up thinking, geez I let my kids sleep to long. I’m not feeding them a healthy breakfast, I let them watch to much TV. I don’t spend enough time with them. I don’t keep our house clean enough. I don’t play with our children enough—these are thoughts all moms have I’m sure, or at least I assume they do. Then my brain takes it a bit further I put all those together and start to think I’m worthless that I don’t deserve to be a mom. That Seth and my children deserve better. That I can’t keep a job or keep our house clean that I’m worthless. That my husband deserve a woman who can wake up make his breakfast, keep his clothes clean and happy. That everyone would just be better off without me. One wrong comment and I tend to go off on Seth. The witch unleashes and I let my mind get the best of me.

I feel as though I am good to Seth. I may have not always been and I’m sure there are some days I’m not. I feel I am more than lenient and let him get away with more than most. I honestly do this because I feel like he has to put up with so much with what I put him through that he deserves to do what he wants. This however is hurting our marriage in return.

I pray that someday I find the old Brittany. The one who could stand up in front of a large group of people and talk. One who when talking to someone or meeting someone for the first time could look them in the eye. The one that when she put her mind to something she achieved it.

Tonight, Seth and I had a little fight and I am having one of those nights where I can’t sleep. Where my mind is angry and upset and won’t shut off. A night without the kids and instead of watching a movie and cuddling up with my husband has resulted with me sleeping on the couch.

Writing is a release to me. It is a way for me to get those crazy bottled up feelings out so I don’t snap.

All of this may be to personal and too much information. However, the way I look at it is that someone may read this and relate and know that they aren’t the only one. There are others who struggle with the same issues and are willing to share it out loud for the sake of those who don’t feel they can or don’t see the need to.

Know that you aren’t ALONE that there are people who care and are willing to help and listen. I have been fortunate enough to have those people in my life. I hope someday I can pay it forward and help someone who has walked or is currently struggling down the dark path of mental illness.

Pray for those who are struggling. Pray for those who don’t believe mental illness is real, and pray for those living or married to someone with mental illness. Its not an easy road but at least they have EACH OTHER to make it through TOGETHER.

YOU AREN’T ALONE–THERE IS SOMEONE ALWAYS THERE TO LISTEN.

You are the reason I say NO with the war with my mind. YOU are the reason I keep on keeping on.
You are the reason I say NO with the war with my mind. YOU are the reason I keep on keeping on.

When one door closes……a few windows open!!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where NOTHING I mean absolutely NOTHING goes right? That was my week last week and the beginning of this week. It just seemed as though everything was going wrong and it just continued to escalate. It only took me a WEEK to figure out that my negative thinking was causing my negative week. I was to focused on what was going wrong in my life to even notice the huge blessings I have in my life.

I have always been a pessimist and almost drowned myself in not only everything that has gone wrong but everything that may go wrong as well. Looking back I can’t remember a time where it wasn’t like that. I would honestly have to say that this is probably my biggest weakness: MY OWN attitude towards life.

After the week I had though I had a realization and my outlook on situations are beginning to change. Last week Seth and I found out that our AMAZING babysitter was closing up shop (I don’t blame her, I don’t know how she does it). The same day I managed to drop my phone out of my back pocket and in to the toilet (is there a nastier place for it to land). My ATT phone that I had unlocked wasn’t accepted at verizon (which I still don’t understand). I completely missed a meeting at work which I told my boss I would be there for. I spent soooo much of my time running from one farm to the next to look for my husband since I had no way to contact him. A BIG opportunity that Seth and I have been hoping for came in to sight so close we thought we could touch it but was ripped away and I don’t see it ever coming back to us again. Last but not least, I had to put my two weeks notice in at work; to a job that I LOVE. A job that I’ve been at for two years, which is a huge accomplishment for me judging by my past work history and my mental illness that has put a road block in front of me more than once. This time though, with help from a boss who was more than great to me I was able to hang on to the position. What I did, wasn’t saving lives, shaping the minds of the future, or serving our country but I loved what I did and I didn’t mind going to work, I actually was excited for work (mostly for the adult interaction, but who wouldn’t be). So I guess in hindsight it wasn’t really it a job because I loved what I did.

After last week and all my complaints and whining to anyone who would listen…..mostly the guys at work since I didn’t have a phone……I realized how awful of a person I was being. How awful of a person I’ve been a majority of my life. I have SO much to be thankful for, I am blessed with so much.

I have a roof over my head. A truck that gets to and from where ever I need to go. I have a full stomach (to full 85% of the time). I have a husband who has stuck by my side through disloyalty and basically throwing him in the mud. I have a family who despite my mishaps and mistakes in life, still love me unconditionally. I have friends who no matter how long its been since I’ve talked to them, we can pick up right where we left off no matter the distance. I am living in the best type of life a person can live: farm life. I am blessed to have medicine to keep me stable and control the crazy side that likes to come out more than I would like. Most of all I have two little human beings that I never knew would consume every ounce of love and then some, because being a mom is simply the most amazing thing I’ve done in life.

Today everything is looking up. While hustling around from work to Verizon and back and forth, I noticed a sign for preschool sign up. After meeting with what seems to be an AMAZING and SWEET teacher Grady is finally in preschool. I’ve been behind the eight ball on everything for him for most of his life, so I felt a HUGE sense of relief after meeting with this wonderful woman.

It is SOOO hard to trust your child with just anyone. I know you have to let them out of their bubble and live life, but I want that to be in a safe environment where I know they are safe and I have no need to worry about them. After seeing all the news on TV about children being abused or even killed at daycare, quite frankly the thought of leaving my child with someone I barely know scares the crap out of me. There I go over exaggerating and only seeing the negative. Regardless of what some may think, Seth and I have decided that right now it is best if I stay home with our children. Don’t get me wrong I am very EXCITED at the chance to watch my children grow and meet all their milestones but I also feel as though by staying home they miss out on the interactions with other children which I think are very important in life. However, as you read earlier Grady will finally be going to preschool which I think is CRUCIAL if he is going to stay home with this crazy woman all day.

Yes, I am the type who gets frazzled and freaked out when things don’t go as expected but after these past ten days I have decided I can’t live life like that. I can’t show my children that being negative is the way to be in life. They need to grow up knowing how blessed they are that they have food in their stomachs, a family who loves them, and a roof over their head. They don’t need to dwell on all that goes wrong. If they fall off their bike, they just need to get back on and go again. I’ve maybe fallen off the wagon this week but the wagon finally stopped, I got back on and I’ve told the driver to turn around and go the opposite direction towards “Blessingsville”. I now know that even when God slams one door shut on me…….he may open another or even multiples. I am blessed so blessed and that is a door that will FOREVER be open.

My three biggest blessings from blessingsville
My three biggest blessings from Blessingsville

Am I meant for this life as a farmers wife?

I’ve started this blog with the hopes of it being an outlet for me to vent and share stories and memories of being a farmers wife and a farm mom.

Growing up, I knew I was going to marry a farmer. What I didn’t know, was how hard it would be. They say its the simple life living on the farm but what many don’t know is its an everyday 24/7 365 days a year job.

On Christmas most children rush to open their presents from Santa, where a farm kid has to wait until the animals are fed. Or on Halloween most families go together to take the kids trick or treating, but for farm families this is the busiest time of the year: Harvest. Therefore, most of the time its just the mom and the kids doing the trick or treating.

I had this outlook when my husband and I first started dating that this would be the life. I would cater to my husband and bring him his every meal, spend endless hours in the tractor with him, and be there with a smile on my face when he rolled through the door every evening. Yes, that outlook lasted awhile, kind of similar to the “honeymoon phase” after marriage. Then reality sank in……how do farm wives do it?

When we first had our son, Grady I was a mess come planting and harvest. I didn’t know how I was going to make it. I looked at it as though “how am I going to raise this child on my own”? I tend to over-exaggerate things.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the farm life. The smell of dirt being turned, diesel fuel, fresh cut hay….shall I go on. The sound of the fans on a grain bin, weaning calves bawling, and the combine roaring through the field. I love the people of the agriculture industry and the values and worth ethic it teaches the generations to come.

That being said I am still having such a hard time adjusting and I’m TEN years in. We were blessed with Kinze last year, during the middle of harvest. On top of that Seth was coaching high school basketball and he was literally never home. I thought I would be so mad when I was in the hospital and he wasn’t there because they were in the field, but surprisingly I wasn’t. Had it been our first child I may have been, but with each harvest that passes I become a little stronger.

I think a lot of it was in the early years “we” weren’t farming to make a living, Seth was just farming for his grandpa. Within the last few years we’ve made farming our livelihood. Its crucial that the crops and livestock are tended to, or we wont be able to make ends meet. This has majorly changed my outlook on the long hours and all the work.

I love the way our son fills with joy each time he sees his dad or gets to ride with him in whatever tractor he may be in. I love that Grady knows more about farming, the equipment, and the process than most adults my age.

I love that when we meet a combine in the road and that farmer may have five cars right on his tail, he lets them go around when he gets a chance, but Grady says,”no mom stay behind him and put your “bashers” (flashers he can’t pronounce his f’s) on, he needs our help”. I love that my children will grow up knowing where their food comes from and have to work for the things they receive.

I enjoy nothing more than spending an afternoon in the field beside my husband harvesting something that has been tended to so closely over the year. Its do or die. There are so many risks with farming. Take this year for instance, with all the rain many fields didn’t get planted. My husbands grandfather and uncle then lost a majority of the crop that they did get in the ground to hail.

I may complain more than I would like to admit during harvest about my husbands absence. However, with each year that passes I gain a little bit more independence, patience, and strength to get me through. Yes, my truck and kitchen becomes a meals on wheels, my washer and dryer get the occasional corn kernel floating around, and I put double the miles on my vehicle going back and forth to the field but EVERY piece of that is worth it. It is worth the smile on my husbands face when that corn yields a little higher than expected. The excitement it gives Grady by being able to be a “barmer” (farmer) like his dad. Getting to see Kinze riding in the combine for the first time and finally warming up to it. The sense of pride that comes with knowing that even in some little way you had a hand in producing this crop. It truly is a miracle watching the corn or beans being put into the ground and watching them grow day by day. Watching what the weather and mother nature throws at them and how they react. Then watching the men work endless hours taking that crop out of the field and putting it in the bin. The whole process is truly remarkable. The lifestyle is amazing and the people involved are some of the best people you will ever meet.

So yes I might gripe and moan a little bit when I feel like I haven’t seen my husband for more than an hour in months, but I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. There’s no way I would trade my life…….because I am one proud farmers wife.

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