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Friday, December 23, 2016

Live in the Moment

I always preach about slowing down and embracing each moment.
And I've been acutely aware of that advice this year as our little girl has gone from being a tiny newborn to a smiling, little baby with thick cheeks and the cutest fat baby legs.

While I am still busy and can't quite understand the concept of saying "no", I have
learned to really slow down and spend time doing nothing at home while I read to my
daughter or stare at her (as creepy as it may sound).

I'm not going to apologize for not writing more blogs and taking time to stare at my computer, I have her journal to write in and her precious face to stare at.  I'm not going to apologize for not sharing more because I have a lot to share with my daughter - even though she just stares at me and smiles, she already understands I want to be a part of her life and share this amazing journey with her.

With a year full of firsts and another one around the corner, I pray that time slows down.

This was the first year I spent Thanksgiving without my mom and the first I spent with my daughter.
As you may well know, Thanksgiving is hard for our family because we lost my dad over the holiday 7 years ago.  Funny how the holiday of thanks can remind you of the blessings that once were and still remain. And how the time can move so quickly.

Last month was the first time Mae rode the clouds and got a little closer to heaven.
She loved it and is ready to play Mary Poppins in the school play.

Not only did we celebrate Mae's first few months on this earth, but we celebrated Indiana's Bicentennial!  She has been a great state for 200 years and our families have been a part of her heritage for a good portion of that time.  We are excited to see where the next 200 lead us and to share the rich history of her ancestors with our daughter.  

Then we saw Santa and smiled and laughed a lot.  
Mae loves to read and enjoyed reading about Katie the Candy Cane Fairy!
I hope she grows up to think I have magical powers.....and not to mess with me.

I don't apologize for my lack of engagement on my blog or social media.  While I appreciate and am truly touched when people comment about my writing, the blog is not what my moments are about.  Sometimes I think we get too wrapped up in our moments online that we forget about the moments we are in.

My moments are about who's beside me and who is in my arms.

I pray that we all celebrate this holiday season and are thankful for our blessings and our Savior.
Instead of opening up presents and snapping pictures of tangible things that the kids will forget about in a few months, open a book and read a story, The Story.

I pray that you are present this holiday season and live in the moment with the people you love.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Friday, October 28, 2016

When They Go

This farm wife and working mom has been getting used to our new schedule and evenings without her husband.  I rush all day long to get things marked off my to do list, and when I get home I just want to spend time feeding my child, reading to her and playing.  She is growing up too fast so my spare moments are spent with her, not the blog.  So the post below is my recent Farm Indiana article and hopefully when the farmer is finished with harvest I'll have a little more time to write.  
Happy Fall!


They go to the farm on a daily basis not ever really knowing what that day may bring.  And we as farm wives see them off never knowing when they will come home.  Farmers leave at all hours of the day and night for various reasons.  I’m currently experiencing early morning goodbyes and the late night hellos, and sometimes a repeat of the same greetings late at night when he runs to check on the grain dryer. 

Miss Mae watching harvest from our backyard.

However, sometimes when they say goodbye they don’t return.  My mom experienced that the day we lost my dad on the farm.  And I hope and pray that I never have to endure that heartache as she has.  I try to be fully bright-eyed and busy tailed when he leaves in the morning to kiss and say goodbye.  And then I try to be at home waiting his return with a smile and sometimes a hot meal. 

When we were first married, he left in the morning a few times without saying goodbye or giving me a morning kiss and I was devastated.  Let’s be honest, I was probably a little more dramatic than I needed to be but I could not start my day without that goodbye or that kiss.  In the back of my mind, I am always prepared for it to be our last.

Before the farmer goes to the farm to work the land that he loves and the animals that he cares for, he has to prepare for his day.  First up, a check of the weather—always.  Next, he makes some morning coffee and maybe some eggs if there is time because you know, there is no burning daylight so a few extra minutes of sleep might have cost him his breakfast.  And he now knows he can’t skip the last portion of his morning routine—the goodbye.

Before the farmer goes to the farm to collect dirt and cow manure that will end up in my washer, I say a prayer that he and all the farmers will be safe as they work so passionately in the early morning fog until well after sunset.  I embrace my dirty kitchen floors and loads of never ending laundry because if the floors were clean and the laundry was done, he would have only left and never come home. 
Sometimes when the farmer leaves now, it’s to take a walk with our baby girl to introduce her to the cows and watch the Indiana sunsets (and to give me a moment of peace and quiet).  And while they are gone, I pray that she learns about the goodbyes and hellos of life and that sometimes they are really hard but they make us stronger and more prepared for the next greetings.

No matter how the farmers may leave us or when God decides to take them, when they go there is always a lesson to be learned.  Dad always said, “There’s no burnin’ daylight”.  And my farmer always says, “It will be okay”.  So I guess I’ll survive the early morning goodbyes and pray for the late night hellos.  I know that he's always working through the daylight and he will be okay and come home at night well after God's paintings have faded into the dark sky to become stars.

The view from our upstairs window--golden corn and God's painting.  
(Don't judge my dirty window!)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Moments In-Between

I've been taking my last few weeks, days and moments before going back to work today to spend time with our little girl.  To soak up every moment because she grows every day.

As my mother-in-law says, "my mom always said when you lay a baby down they grow."  
And oh how this is true!

So here is my recent article in our local newspaper Farm Indiana.  
I'll write again soon but I've been enjoying the moments in-between her growth spurts.


I woke-up on a recent morning to the sounds of the evening crickets and the morning birds.  I had never really heard that sound before, the sound in-between the night and the morning, probably because I have always been asleep at that time.  However, with the arrival of our first born, the moments I found myself in lately are in-between a lot of different things.

When I was little, we played in the woods a lot and made up various names for the rolling hills and valleys behind my childhood home.  We had to set-up different forts just in case we got too tired and had to rest along our treks on our various adventures.  The life of a child in-between reality and imagination is so charming, yet we forget to let them have those moments.

I live a life in the country but work in the city and the time I found myself in-between the two places is the time I take to reflect on my passion for both where I live and what I do.  It’s a time where I try to remember where I came from while I’m trying to get to where I’m going.  However, many times I am so rushed that I forget the moments in-between the two places are treasured.  I need to remember when my wheels are rubbing the pavement, my thoughts are only my own. 

And now that we have our first little baby, I am really trying to slow down because the moments I find myself in-between are too precious to let go and forget.  I’ve found motherhood to be a lot more calming than I realized because it has taught me to slow down, relax and just be.  I have to sit down for a good portion of the day to feed my child and after I do that I just want to watch her.  Her eyelashes grow longer overnight and each time I pick her up I think her legs are chubbier than before.  The nursing, trying to eat with my non-dominant hand, changing diapers, keeping us with the daily news and communication with friends and taking care of myself is exhausting, but the moments in-between are worth every minute of it.  She changes daily and if I don’t slow down and pay attention, the moments will be lost forever. 

As a farmer’s wife, I live in-between seasons and each one brings its challenges and its thrills.  From the outside, it may seem like the planting and harvest are the only seasons a farmer works. And yet it’s in-between those moments that farmers take time to reflect on the past and work towards the future along with doing all the other chores you may not see.  It’s a time they may stop rubbing the pavement and dirt to have a little adventure and slow down to reflect and care for themselves and their land for the next generation of young farmers.  And during those moments, I bet they still wake-up to hear the crickets and the birds.  I hope you take a moment to hear them too.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Good First Time Heifer & Her Baby

Just like that, we had a baby and now she's two months old.

I'm not quite sure why time passes by so quickly when you are trying to embrace the most precious of moments, but it does.  Our little Glick Seed has gone from a tiny baby resting in our arms, to a wiggle worm with so much personality already that I'm unsure how my husband is going to survive us both.

I expressed to my husband recently that I thought I was a good momma cow.  
(Yes, this is how I think in terms of motherhood because of growing up on a farm.)  

His reply started with, "No...." which I thought he would say something about not being a cow, but no, like any good farmer he went back to the farm reference.
He finished by saying, ".....honey, you are what we call a good first time heifer."

"Oh.......thanks honey, I really do take that as a compliment."
And I do, a good momma cow is well respected by her herd and the farmer.

I really have to give thanks to my husband for the nice compliment only a farmer's wife would understand and for his patience.  I don't have to thank him for his help because he should be doing that anyway, I mean she is half his.

We respect each other enough to know we both have to chip in and make sacrifices for each other and her.  And when I do thank him for something random, his response is always, "I'm happy to do it".  
And I know he truly means it.

While I will be raising my little girl to love fancy things.....

.....he will be teaching her about the family business and helping her get her hands dirty.

And we both will teach her where she came from and where she can go. 

And now that the corn is turning from it's bright summer green to the harvest brown, the little Glick Girl is changing from a tiny baby to a chubby, smiley baby with lots of personality and curiosity. 

So as the time flies and the seasons change, we will continue to cherish and enjoy the precious moments with our little Miss Mae and those well respected cows.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why Are We Going This Way?

I really should know better than to ask that question.  Growing up with a dad who was a farmer and now being married to one, you just know that sometimes you are along for the ride.  And sometimes they are the best rides.
We were coming home recently from the lake and he turned a different way, well a new way that I had never been.  “Why are we going this way?” I asked.  And I got the classic farmer answer, “I want to check some fields.”  “Great,” I thought, another road for me to learn in this county that I’m still getting used to.

 Much of what you learn growing up on a farm are from things you observe.  Growing up, I would patiently wait in the back seat or next to my dad in the truck.  One thing I learned pretty quickly is that he could drive on the road without actually watching the road!  It was as if he had eyes on the sides of his head as he looked out the windows to check each row of corn and soybeans growing in the fields.  When I first started to notice this, I was scared.  But then I realize that it’s just part of it, we were safe, it is just part of the farmer way of life and something they do. 

The second thing I learned was not to ask where we were going.  He was going to get us home or to our destination even if it took a little longer which I learned was okay.  We got to explore new ways of getting somewhere; we learned new things along the way about the history of our county or the family that once farmed the land.  Our parents never let us have a TV in the car and we rarely read or played games, we looked out the window at the fields or roads or towns along our drive and explored the world on a different path each time.

 The third lesson I learned from these unexpected drives was to listen.  Once you get farmers in their element or on a topic they know, you learn a lot.  I basically learned much of what I know about farming, the crops we grow, weed and pest control, the markets, the weather and the land I love by listening to my dad on these drives.  And now I’ve continued that tradition with my husband.

I’m not one to question God about the way things are going or the path he has set forth before me.  So I’m not sure why I asked the farmer because I am certain he was taking us along a path that would lead us to where we were going, we would get there safely and 
I would even learn a thing or two along the way. 

With today’s ever present questions of “why this way?” and “why that way?” about so many topics and issues, I feel pretty lucky to know why I am going a certain way and down a certain path.  And even if I don’t, I know everything will be okay when we get there.  I hope you have that confidence or luck and if not, maybe you should take a drive with a farmer.  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Commit to the Clover

It’s a long standing tradition, one that has been around for over 100 years.  It’s about hard work, commitment, education, responsibility and development.  For many people it’s about “summer homework” and hot, summer days spent committed to something other than yourself culminating in a week of fun with friends you may only see once a year. 

I am sure you have grasped that I’m talking about 4-H and imagining the green clover.  It’s a long standing tradition that empowers and teaches our young people and reminds us alumni of the power in our head, heart, hands and health.

I will admit, just like most people, that I hated homework so filling out my 4-H project books wasn’t my idea of fun.  And the hot summer days really got to me especially working with the pigs.  We shaved our pigs one summer so they would look nice, and I will never, ever forget that day, what it felt like and what I looked like in the end.  And fair week, while it seemed like hell for my parents, was a mini-camp or vacation with my friends from around the county I only saw once a year with many great memories I think of often.

 One of the great things about 4-H is that it’s not just for the country kids.  It’s for all kids of all kinds to be a part of something special, something greater than themselves, which has been a part of people’s lives for three different centuries.

Sometimes I think about what would happen if more of our children experienced 4-H, and had the summer homework, the commitment needed to get through the summer day and had the lifelong friendships and network from just one week a year.  What would happen if every child of ours was able to learn, recite by heart and commit to the 4-H pledge for a lifetime? 

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

I personally think we would be a better community, country and world.  So as we approach fair week in our community, I am recommitting myself to the 4-H pledge.  And as a 10 year 4-H alumnae, I want my daughter to experience a long-standing tradition and commit herself to positive change through her head, heart, hands and health. 

I hope you will do the same for the program, yourself, the children and our community. If you never experienced 4-H, it doesn’t mean you can’t support the program with you contributions or skills.  You can and you should, just as the alumni, encourage our young people to be a part of a tradition that will stay with them for a lifetime.  When I see the 80 and 90 year old men and women still visit the fair because of their commitment to the 4-H program and to our youth, I can only imagine the memories they have and their reasons for still showing up.  With their aging heads and hearts, their worn and callused hands and their dwindling health, they are still committed to the clover just as we all should be.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What Have We Done?

It's a question we ask ourselves regularly these days.

"What have we done?"
"Why did we do this?"
"What are we going to do with her?"

I guess expecting your first kid when you both have been single and independent for so long will entice these types of questions.  And it all has seemed to go by so fast but yet soooo slow at times.

I've learned you can't really prepare fully for having a kid so I guess we are ready more now than we ever will be.

We already grow grain, have planted a few trees here and there and are now ready to grow people.

I'm a tad bit worried our daughter will think we are crazy.
And she may wonder how her parents ever got married because we are so different.
I like to get dressed up and go to fancy parties while the farmer doesn't like that so much.
He would rather sit on the back porch with a beer, cigar and a good novel.

I give daily presentations to my husband, and he doesn't seem to mind.
However, one night recently we were quietly reading for a few hours and I apparently seemed to give lots of many presentations in that time frame.  When I interrupted silent time to say something, yet again, he took a deep breath and looked up from his book.

I said, "I'm sorry, what's wrong?"
He replied, "you have been talking for two hours."

I almost started crying, actually I did, because I didn't realize how much I had been interrupting and for how long.  However, he quickly interrupted my mini-pregnancy breakdown to assure me it was okay and really not to worry.

In the end, it's all about "compromise and love". 
And I think our daughter will learn that from us and we hope she does the same thing with her significant other in the future.

In prepping for baby, I have been all about making sure she has nice and fancy things but also that her family and heritage is a part of every step of this process.

My late father-in-law loved columbines.  
And my sister-in-law, made sure there were some at our family shower.

I love my roots and celebrating, so I made sure to plant a Tulip Tree on my family farm in honor of my daughter and Indiana's Bicentennial.

And I love all things fancy in the country and this diaper cake really brought that all together.

Many people have asked how I have been and if I have gone off the deep end or been more demanding than usual (not really sure why they would think this!).  My husband will honestly say that I have been pretty good through this whole process even if I hate being pregnant.  

I have been keeping a baby journal and it asked to write all the things I love about being pregnant and the things I don't like.  Let's just say the love part had 1 thing and the other side had several.......

I am a people person, so not having the energy to socialize as much has been difficult for me.
I got really upset during the Indy 500 activities and said, "I should be at this event and that thing and really should go to the race."  He looked at me and said, "that's what you used to do.  You are at a different stage of your life now.  Accept it."  My response with a few tears, "you are right...."

When we were checking cattle recently, all the cows gathered around the truck except for this cow and her calf.  She stayed away from the crowd, feeding and caring for her calf while she watched the chaos that ensued in the distance.

I realized at that moment that I am going to be that cow.  

And my husband, who would have much rather been up on that ridge alone like the cow may have to deal with the chaos more than he would like in the near future.

Everyone says that parenthood will change your life, and I have no doubts about that.
But there are some things in our life that will not change when our daughter comes, well they may change slightly.

The ambition to be active and involved in our industry, community and world.  (Don't worry, she already has a suit jacket for political fundraisers.)
The love for quiet, reading time but now it may be with baby books instead of the 
Foreign Affairs Journal and Vanity Fair.
The dreams of travel and planning trips that we will continue to take, now with our daughter.
The desire to learn something new every day but now we will have to teach her along with each other.
The passion for our work and our family farms that we hope she observes every day by our actions, 
love and hard work.

Every time my husband touches my belly to feel our daughter, she stops moving and kicking.  
I think she likes him better which is just wonderful.
But recently he felt a kick and said, "I just took a direct hit!"
I replied, "No, I did.  You just got the aftershock."

In the many years we have ahead of us in our marriage and raising our children, I know that we will be able get through it with our love and support and everything will be okay in the end.  It won't matter who takes the direct hit or expereiences the aftershock because the compromise and love will have made us stronger.

And in several years when we ask ourselves, "what have we done?", we will be able to answer confidently that we did our best to raise our children to appreciate their roots and wings, live with ambition, kindness and passion to prosper for generations to come.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Lessons of Life & Death on the Farm

A new baby will be arriving on the farm in 4 weeks or so.
No, it's not a calf or another animal but our baby girl.
The time has flown but yet I am so, so ready (physically, not mentally).
During the entire pregnancy, I have thought of things I want her to learn, know, do and be a part of.

Father's Day is soon and there have been plenty of advertisements to remind us of that.
This year will be the last year we don't celebrate Father's Day.
With both of our dad's gone to heaven above we don't celebrate,
but with the little one on the way, we will next year!

Here is an article I recently wrote for Farm Indiana.
There are lessons I want my daughter to know and it's about the two grandfather's she will know of
but will never meet until she gets to heaven.


I am sure I have written about this before but now that we are about to welcome our first baby into the world, I have been thinking about it more often.  
I have been thinking of things I want to tell her and stories I need to share. 

Our daughter will be a part of two farm families that have been around for generations.  She will understand the seasons at an early age and how much Mother Nature is a part of our lives.  She will run around in the dirt that will produce a crop that will help feed a growing world and sustain our family farms.  And our daughter will know a lot about life and death at an early age, just as I did. 

I have been a part of many celebrations in my life—birthdays, weddings, graduations, welcoming life into this world, career successes, sharing love, laughter and accomplishments 
with friends and family and finding the love of my life. 

However, I have also been a part of a lot of negative things and death.  I was in preschool when my paternal grandfather collapsed at the county fair surrounded by family and friends and was rushed to the hospital.  I remember the chaos of the day, the days that followed, and I vividly remember his funeral.  My great cousin was playing the piano at the end of the service when I turned to look at my dad and he was crying.  My maternal grandfather passed when I was a sophomore in high school.  My mom took me to the nursing home to see him often, and I would sit in his room while she talked to the nurses.  Grandpa was a firm believer in education and being involved in your community.  So as I watched him wilt away from this earthly life, I studied my vocabulary words and planned student council activities.  At the funeral, I saw my dad cry again. 

I only saw my dad cry a handful of times in his life; at those funerals and a few times during sports movies and westerns.  I also saw him laugh a lot and celebrate with family and friends.  When he died, I cried but I also celebrated because that is what he always taught me to do.  There were signs that came in the weeks after his death that made me realize his life was worth celebrating and laughing at even after death. 

Our daughter will never know her grandfathers, maternal and paternal, as they have both have gone to heaven above.  My dad and my husband’s father died on their farms, where they worked and lived--a place they called home. 

However, our daughter will know them by the stories we tell and the lessons we teach her.  One of our family beliefs is that “God will take you when he wants you” and really there is nothing you can do about it. 

At a young age, she will understand that sometimes baby calves die of complications or you have to end your animals’ lives to prevent them from suffering more than they have to.  I learned at a very young age on the farm that the killing and caring of your own animals makes you more connected to life.
You understand life and death better when you are living it every day. 

I hope my daughter lives a long, happy and prosperous life.  I hope she understands just how precious it is and how quickly it can be taken away.  I hope she sees us cry some and laugh a lot on our farm where we live and work and stay connected to life and death.  It’s a wonderful lesson we learned from our fathers on our farms.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Calm in the Storm

It's been raining a lot lately on our farm, too much.
The days of sunny skies that bring dry weather to soak up the moisture 
in the fields have been few and far between.
(But this week has been great and with a few long nights, we are finished planting!)

I came home one night to my farmer who I knew was stressed but didn't show it.
"Let's go check some fields and cows," he said.
I obliged, didn't change out of my dress and hopped my pregnant self in the truck.

I love checking cows with my husband.  
It seems so natural to him to stand in an open pasture with the cattle.

I love standing in the pasture too, but they don't seem to like me as much as they like him.
I get these stares quite frequently when I'm with the cattle.  
Maybe they know I'm not the one that feeds them.

As he continued to walk through the pasture, I just starred at him and watched the cattle follow him calmly.  Everything was so peaceful even though a storm had just come and gone and another one was about to arrive.

I looked away for a few minutes and all of a sudden, I seemed to lose him.
But he was there.....in the middle of the cattle acting cool, calm and collected just as he always does.

I, on the other hand, was standing near the bull who wasn't really pleased with me.
While I did and always stay calm with the cattle, I felt like the bull this time.
The one that can cause havoc and disrupt the peace.

Pregnancy has made me realize how much I love and appreciate my husband.
While I may be the bull in the china shop with sudden bursts of emotions and tears, he is the calm in the storm.  

When I yell, "honey, I'm pregnant!  Look at me!"
He responds with his calm demeanor, "yep, there's a baby in there."

He's the one with the steady hand that deals with my crazy requests, 
my constant need for cuddling and pregnancy shopping habits.
I talk too much and disrupt his peace, but after all of that he still loves me.

I've pretty much accepted that I am like the bull and can hang with him as we try to keep our emotions intact.
And when we do cause a storm, the peaceful cows and my calm husband will be around to bring us back to reality and remind us to chill out.

Even my husband's steady, calm hand can soothe our baby and she's not even here yet.
Maybe they both will be the calm in my storm....let's just hope!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Motherhood on the Farm

It's almost Mother's Day and it seems to be a bit different this year.
It might be because I will be a mother soon and I can feel the child moving around all the time!
Or it might mean that I'm totally freaked out and really have no idea what to expect.
And you know what that means, I will be calling my mom.....a lot.

She knows it because I already do.  
I still call her from the grocery asking her where things are, so she gets it.

There are so many things I want my little girl to know and do and hope for.
I want to tell her a lot and teach her a lot.
However, I need to realize that my daughter will pick up on things from me just being me 
and living a full, happy and wonderful life.

Kind of like I picked up my love for polka dots from my mom without her telling me.

My daughter will grow up on a farm just like I did.
She will be a farmer's daughter and a part of two family farms that have been around for generations.
I want her to be proud of the ground beneath her feet and the dirt that feeds her life.

I want her to realize she may have to run to the field to help her dad or her family while she in her high heels.

I want her to realize she may have to chase cows in a fancy dress or while she is wearing pantyhose but it's okay because her mom and grandma did.

I want my little girl to be able to look in the distance at a storm cloud and see the rain coming, 
not to be oblivious of it's arrival and the impact it may have.

I want her to understand when life starts and when it ends and everything in between.
I want her to realize that sometimes life is hard and we lose some--fights, animals, crops, friends, family, etc.--but to still have optimism.

I want her to embrace each moment of life--the good, bad and ugly.
I want her to surround herself with wonderful women and role models (men included).
I want her to fall down, get some bumps and bruises, cry some and then get back up and live it all over again.

I want her to not be afraid to express herself through her words, actions, wardrobe, career and involvement.  
And if she wants to be Fancy in the County, that's great!

On this Mother's Day, I hope my daughter is okay living in the country and on a farm even though many people don't think working farms exist anymore.

Someday, she will learn of the love and sacrifices her mother, sister and grandmother made for our family farms.  She will know that her father and grandfathers were the salt of the earth that gave much of what they had to her without even knowing she would come along.

I hope motherhood on the farm is just as amazing as my childhood was, and I want my daughter to pick-up life lessons by watching the wonderful women in my life.
And if it's not that great and she doesn't do what I say, I'm calling my mom!
Farm moms always make things better.