Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Hi there! Welcome to my new blog home, it feels so wonderful to be back at it. Please excuse the unfinished parts, they are coming soon. I tried to think about how to capture the last year + since I was last blogging regularly and how on earth is that possible? So I thought I would instead introduce my self and family, and try to sum up a few of the highlights of the last year or so. Grab some tea and maybe a snack because this might be a long one!

So for those of you who are new readers, I am Mackenzie, a twenty something (that's such a nice way to say it isn't it?), wife (to Joseph), mama (to Jenny, Bobby, and Nomi-- not their real names exactly, but totally what we actually call them), adventurer, homesteader novice, and maker of all of the things. As some of you will know, the last time I was blogging Joseph was in Afghanistan on a two year civilian contract. Those two years were long and hard and so full of growth and change it's hard to know what to say about them. People often say "I can't imagine" or "that must be so hard", and while yes, single parenting two young children and a baby was certainly not easy--forget the move, the first asthma attacks, and the spiders-- it was also time that was full of blessings and growth as a woman that I would never have had if it hadn't happened. So I didn't hate it. It was an amazing time in our lives and it has made us so grateful to be all under one roof now. We are going to celebrate one year of him being home early next month, and I have to say I can't believe it has already been a year. It feels like we are still learning to be a family of five, and maybe it's one of those things that takes as long to come back from as it was happening. There are lots of growing pains that come with it, but they are bringing us together again, and like the deployment, it's a time of blessings and growth, hard work and change. But oh baby do I love not having to keep the bed warm by myself...and those late night puppy walks? Not this girl. Oh, and sometimes, I get to be ALONE, can you believe it?? I'm still marveling.   

This September my sister and I founded Spark!, which if you haven't seen it yet, is a growing community of down to earth women supporting other women, and celebrating the beauty of everyday life. You can check out our photo project  on our blog and @oursparkblog if you're on Instagram; there is tons of awesomeness (hmm, a word?) happening daily--and currently a giveaway too! Stay tuned because we have some seriously awesome plans for growth in the coming months! 

 {Recipe for these pumpkin apple muffins coming tomorrow!}

This summer we raised 14 chicks {in our kitchen, ahem} and are eagerly awaiting eggs. I think they are a little late to lay, but it will happen when they're ready I suppose! It's so fun to watch my kids doing the same chores I did at their age, and the funny little crow from our surprise rooster is pretty charming too. We recently acquired three adorable kittens, in various shades of grey and black. They are more fun than we could have imagined and have saved many a cranky afternoon. Our sweet dog Muffin died early this September, which was so hard on us. In a moment of the weird thought that comes with grieving I got on craigslist and found the most perfect four month old puppy (we think she's a lab/shepherd mix, but she has the color of a golden so we aren't positive), just a few towns over and brought her home the same night we lost Muffin. I was totally unprepared for a puppy who had never even been on a leash, but she and I are learning together, and her sweet snuggles and insane bounding energy (puppies redefine that phrase) was just what we needed while we were missing Muffin. Expect to see a lot of Miss Clover around here, because I just can't stop with the puppy pictures!

In late February I developed a bad case of tendinitis in my left wrist/arm and was unable to knit for what felt like years, but was in fact a very, very long six months. I'm still being careful and doing my stretches, but it seems like I'm mostly recovered. In fact I'm busily knitting up a supply of woolen goodness to start my very own shop! Obviously there will be more on that in the coming weeks. 

We are settling into a lovely unschooling rhythm, with lots of reading, playing, and always so much's got the ups and downs everyone has in life, but I think if we keep our focus in the right place it's mostly ups. Today might not be the day I get caught up on the dishes (no dishwasher in this little farmhouse), but it is going to be the day when I make a Franken-shark costume, drink lots of tea, and introduce my kids to some of the classic Halloween movies. 

Love and light,

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Thank you so much for commenting! I will try to answer any questions as soon as possible. ~Mackenzie