Summer has always been a busy time for the Hawkins family, but this summer has been especially hectic and full. Obviously an active two-year-old, cows, a dog (who is temporarily crippled, more on that in another post), and a very pregnant wife/mother adds up to a busy household and lots of responsibilities, but that’s not all we’ve had going on. You see, this year we have had the truly wonderful and incredible opportunity to increase our farming operation big time. Like quadrupled, maybe quintupled the amount of acreage we farm. In one year. That means a quintupled amount of work for Mr. Rancher. More ground working, more planting, more irrigating, more hauling, more marketing, more invoicing, more bill paying, more bank meeting, more away-from-home-and-family being, and more not-sleeping. Henley and I have been on our own for most of the summer, and if we did want to see Ty we hauled lunch or dinner to the fields and drove the tractor while he ate. So while we are all thrilled to have more ground and this chance to really grow our business, it has been a hard summer.
Ty being gone so much has really been tricky with the Little Miss. We’ve had to get creative about family time and I’ve been solely responsible for caring for her. Poor kid has been stuck with a largely pregnant mother all summer! Even so, we have carved out a little time to have fun and make more memories this year than just working around the clock.
Here Henley is in her favorite dress, all ready to go to church. She felt so fancy in her new shoes, poofy dress, and pigtails.
The Budweiser Clydesdale horses stopped over for a break in my hometown this summer and we got to see them! They are huge horses and very friendly. Henley wasn’t too sure about petting this guy at first. I think something about his monstrous size put her off.
Okay…bragging moment right here. Here I am 37 weeks pregnant and surfing on the Fourth of July. If I’m being honest, I only managed to stay up for a few seconds but I did get up!
Mr. Rancher actually made it to the boating party–yay!–and totally rocked surfing. And don’t even ask about the hat. He has a weird compulsion that makes him wear it, all the stinkin’ time.
Miss Henley had a blast with her cousins, grandparents, and aunts and uncles. Her she is chumming with my big sister Ruth. I love this picture.
We have a very trendy (it’s funny to me that stock tank swimming pools are a trendy thing) swimming pool made from a leaky stock tank that we have patched up and added a filter to that we spend every afternoon in. It’s been a life saver for me and Henley loves to play in the water. If I could only keep the dirty cowdogs from jumping in every time they walk by it might stay clean a bit longer.
Muffins! We’ve made so many batches of muffins and thrown basically all of them in the freezer for when Baby gets here. Henley is a champ at using this old-fashioned egg beater to mix all the ingredients. She is my helper–and she has gained enough coordination and focus that she really is helpful around the house. From making muffins to sorting laundry, she helps me get everything done around here.
Another freezer item: homemade burritos. Henley’s contribution to this project was eating half the grated cheese while I filled and rolled the burritos. She’s a cheese monster too.
I sent this picture to Mr. Rancher partially to make him hurry home for dinner and partially to brag on my cooking skills. Trust me, dinner does not always look or taste this yummy.
Thanks to all the snow and rain this year, the mosquitoes are horrible. Wretched. Awful. They don’t care if you have insect repellent on every inch of your exposed skin. They will bite through clothes and spray. Since we have animals and plants and just the basic need to be outside every day, we improvised mosquito-wear from loose button-down shirts–thank you Mr. Rancher–and long pants. Thankfully, our landlord came and fogged our yard last night and it seems to have cut the numbers down, at least for a little while.
Finally, I bought a paddle board! I have wanted one for years and found a great deal on Craigslist so I went for it. I am super proud to report that I can do it, even pregnant, and am actually kind of good at it. Mr. Rancher prefers rafting. He doesn’t do so well with balancing…but don’t tell him I said that! Henley is great about riding with me, though she is still mad about the one time I fell off and left her alone on the board. Even Bo has ridden on the board with me, though he really gets nervous the further we paddled from the shore.
All in all our summer has been a busy but beautiful one. We’re all working hard to keep things going at home and on the farm/ranch. Now if I could just have this baby, that’d be great. I’m tired of not being able to reach my toes and being a human heater. Henley is excited to meet her baby sister and has been practicing her baby-care for weeks now. Ty is so over having a pregnant wife who is cranky a lot of the time (hey, it’s hot, okay? Cut me a break!) and the six pillows it takes me to be any sort of comfortable at night.
Hope you all are having a good summer!