I've dreamed for years about writing a book.
In fact, in college, I wrote a children's book about my brother and I that I read every single year to my students. And then they read and reread it.
I never published it though, like my mom said I should. I just ordered it printed through an online scrapbooking site.
For now though, I decided that there's no time like the present to make a dream come true.
In the summer of 2017 (five years ago now!), as we were purchasing and moving into the farmhouse, I started to dream about writing a book for adults.
Just sharing my story and some lessons I've learned on this journey called life.
You might have seen that I've published a morning routine journal this year and I've created a little farmhouse 654 blank notes journal.
And today, I've added a printable eBook to my published books.
In March of 2021, Mr. Farmhouse and I made the decision to schedule a surprise road trip for the girls.
The tail end of their spring break aligned with the beginning of mine, so we took advantage of this and planned a little mini-vacation.
We used AirBNB for the first time and booked our stay at The Old Riverton Post in Riverton, Kansas.
There were a few things that really made this trip fun.
First of all, the girls had no idea we had anything planned until the morning that we were getting ready to head out.
I still had to work that day, so to build their anticipation, I hid bags with clues in them around the house. The clues gave them a little bit of information about the upcoming trip and also had a surprise inside...road trip snacks, a game to play, a small piece of jewelry to wear on the trip, a photograph of some friends we were going to visit...you get the idea.
Secondly, the best part of the scavenger hunt (for Mr. Farmhouse and myself) is that there were chores tied to each of the clues. So once they found a bag containing a clue and some sort of little surprise, they also found a short list of things that needed to be completed before we could leave. By the time I got home from work that day, the house was picked up, the girls were packed, and we could jump in the car and head out!
Finally, we decided to visit little "hole-in-the-wall" joints for meals and we didn't do anything really "touristy" (except for maybe visiting Big Brutus in West Mineral, Kansas). We spent most of our time at the AirBNB, playing board games, reading, and watching movies.
We had such a great time on that trip, that I immediately scheduled another similar getaway for March of 2022.
This time, we visited a cabin in Greenfield, Missouri -- on an unexpected cold and snowy weekend!
The girls were off school on the day we left, so again, I had clues set up and ready for them to find throughout the day! It was a fun and relaxing trip, filled with lots of cozy family time in this beautiful cabin.
One of our family goals that we have set for ourselves is to have lots of experiences for our girls to look back on, especially since our oldest will be graduating in just a few years.
With this in mind, I scheduled a little summer getaway and we ended up in Phillipsburg, Missouri just a few weeks ago. This stay was super-unique -- we slept in a converted grain bin! It was so much fun!
We did have a few more experiences outside of the airBNB during this trip and they were all well-worth the cost!
We have decided that booking a bed & breakfast through AirBNB or VRBO is the way to go for lodging when we travel.
Mr. Farmhouse and the girls love to cook, so they prepare a lot of our meals wherever we travel.
We take board games and our books and spend a lot of time just being together.
One of my favorite parts of each trip is when we're driving home.
Mr. Farmhouse and I sit up front and talk the whole time, as the girls sleep in the back seat, all cuddled up to one another.
When we pull into the driveway, the girls wake up and thank us for the trip and usually say something along the lines of, "Ahhh...home sweet home".
Planning our next little getaway here at the farmhouse,
I have dreamed for many years about writing a book.
I have several manuscripts that are partially finished. It seems that I make significant progress on them and then life kind of takes over for a little while. I hope to finish some of these longer manuscripts in the future to share some of my own thoughts on life.
Some of these checklist items are left a bit open-ended. I personally use my "personal development" time to do my Bible study & prayer time. Some people I've talked to are using this time to read for a certain length of time or a specific amount of pages in a book.
My household chores include emptying the dishwasher and starting one load of laundry.
Next to the morning checklist is a place for the reader to share five things that he or she is grateful for. On the bottom of this page is a place to note a "highlight" and "challenge" from the previous day. It's really just a time of reflection and rememberling.
I've been really pleased with the positive feedback regarding the journal and I can't wait to share with everyone my next book (and eBook), set to release in the beginning of August! If you have purchased the book and have found value in using it, please consider leaving a positive review on Amazon so others can find it a little more easily.
I would also love it if you would take a photo with your book and tag Farmhouse654 on Instagram or Facebook!
If you've not checked it out yet, feel free to pick up a copy here!
So grateful for everyone's support here at the farmhouse,
In some ways, it's hard to believe that I haven't written a blog post since October of 2021.
In other ways, it just makes sense.
Last October, when I wrote that blog post, we were just finishing up the first quarter of this last school year. From that point on, it felt like we were meeting ourselves coming and going.
This school year, we had a child in high school, one in junior high, and one in elementary. This made for some interesting schedules and lots of nights where Mr. Farmhouse and I split up to attend the girls' activities, often accepting help from the grandparents and aunts & uncles to get the third daughter where she needed to go.
I know this is something that parents have accomplished for many, many years...but for us, it was the first time that we were really pulled in three different directions, on top of career and farming duties.
If we're being honest -- our home suffered because of this. I don't think we were ever caught up on laundry or dishes and our mud room became a dumping ground for our belongings as we ran in to change clothes quickly and head out to the next event.
As Gretchen Rubin states in her book, Outer Order, Inner Calm, "it's easier to keep up than to catch up..."
And we are to the point where we desperately need to catch up.
However, we WILL NOT spend the whole summer "catching up".
We have three more summers left with our oldest daughter Harlee here at home, so we are going to work hard to create beautiful family memories in the midst of taking back our house.
Already this summer, we've visited the Kansas City Zoo, toured the Hallmark Visitors' Center & Kaleidoscope, attended a Royals game, and we've taken a mini-vacation to Phillipsburg, Missouri (more on THAT trip later...).
We've also already filled a 6-yard dumpster and gathered up over 20 tubs of belongings to sell or donate. We have gotten almost caught up on laundry and have marked off a few tasks off of our "list of things we have procrastinated on throughout the school year".