So here’s the Skinny. Here is how we as a family are going after our dreams. Way back when, ok… twenty-five (ouch that hurt) years ago when I was a senior in high school, I met my husband, Eric and WOW, WOW, WOW did we fall for each other! After two years of dating and a one year engagement, we married and our crazy adventures together really began. Let me backup a little further… when Eric was sixteen years old (before I was in the picture), his parents helped him buy a small lawn and landscape maintenance business. Over several years, he grew this business into a decent income that allowed him to save enough money to buy a small property and build a sweet little ranch house for us to move into when we married. I realized from the start that I had married a major entrepreneur! He has a knack for business and the courage to take risks. Sometimes those risks pay off and other times…not so much, but that, I quickly learned, is the risk of going for your dreams.
Five years after we married, our first son, Alex, came along. Then, two more years, we added Owen to our tribe and last but surely not least, a few years later, came Evan. I just have to say we love being parents to these guys. Our lives quickly filled with superhero outfits, soccer balls, light sabers, a few tears and lots of laughter.
As young parents we contemplated very seriously how we wanted to raise our children and what type of environment we wanted surrounding them. We decided our kids should have wide open spaces mixed with family and friends, so we did what any other dreamers would do, we thought outside the box. We got together with our family (my husband’s two siblings and their spouses, as well as Eric’s cousin and her husband) and bought 90 acres of farmland and built houses, a barn, and a pond for our kids to grow and play. As individual families, we were not able to purchase a large amount of land on our own so we decided to combine our financial resources and purchase the land together.
Let me say straight up, this was not a commune. There was no wife sharing weirdness, no nudity or any other disturbing ideas people come up with. We are working professionals and productive members of society…Just needed to clarify. I love how it is “normal” to build a house several yards from a perfect stranger but build a house next to family and everyone thinks you’re weird. We just held to the idea that we wanted fresh air and lots of roaming space for our kids.
As a child, Eric’s family had owned and operated a dairy farm and he and his siblings saw the value in raising kids in wide open spaces. I, too, had grown up a country girl, though not on a farm, and had loved playing in our stream, riding my bike down our country lane, scraping my knees for the sake of adventure and chasing lightning bugs. You have not truly lived until your 9 year old self and best friend pile into a little red wagon and fly down a hill! For a nine year old, it is just as good as an amusement park ride, let me tell ya!
Over the last twelve years since moving here, we have hosted church picnics, youth events, soccer tournaments, volleyball tournaments, family reunions, art shows and even a concert or two. Crazy, right! We have swum, fished, gone sledding and ice skating, had bonfires, cookouts, sleep-outs, and hayrides. There have been cows, pigs, chickens, horses, goats, guinea pigs, cats, and dogs (not all at once, thank goodness). Oh and you can add a turtle and hamster in there somewhere.
Let me tell you, our kids to this day thank us for providing this space for them. Our oldest son, Alex, will be going to college this fall and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone! I am so grateful for all the awesome memories we have made here.
Somewhere, during those years of our kids growing up, Eric and I traded our personal goals and dreams for stability and security. Shortly after we had married, Eric decided (a little later than most) to go to college and get a bachelor’s degree in business accounting. After graduating, he started his own finance/accounting business. While we were busy raising our kiddos, he built his business and hired several people to work for him. While he was always creating and collaborating on new business ideas, he was feeling drained and exhausted. Let me just say, it is hard for a dreamer to sit behind a desk. In 2015, we decided it was time for a change.
One of Eric’s dreams, reaching all the way back to his sixteen year old entrepreneur self, was the idea of a sports complex. So after much deliberation and trepidation, Eric dissolved his accounting business and chose to go for it. We shared his big idea with our parents and other family members and I am blown away at how they supported us. They readily jumped on board.
Together we found and bought a property, a seven acre farmette, that in its past glory, had been a horse farm that provided boarding stables and private riding lessons. The farm was complete with a huge farm house (as in 5 bedrooms-huge!), big red barn and a separate indoor riding ring. With a lot of hands on work, the riding ring was transformed into an indoor soccer field.
Over the past twenty-three years, one thing I have found about living your dreams is that you are guaranteed it will be exhausting hard work but when you get to step back and see it coming into focus…MAJOR YAY MOMENT!
Over the years, some of my dreams have become reality and many are yet to come but I make it a point to write them down, to keep them in front of me and to work toward them every day. One of those dreams is this blog.
By education, I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. I have seen way too much brokenness and illness and it makes me weep and sobers me to the core. I realize all too well that life is short and we can be slammed with the unexpected at any moment. So I strive to choose a healthy active lifestyle,to do my best to live without regret and to have courage to go after the things God has placed in my heart. I know full well the importance of treating our body, mind, and soul with respect and care. Do I always do a good job… No. But I work hard to do better, be better, live better. I want to find ways to encourage myself and you to be the best version of ourselves we can be and to go after the dreams that are buried like gold inside us.
I know first hand that living out your dreams is HARD work! Some days make me question why I am such a crazy person and wonder if I might need intense therapy and then… I meet other dreamers and I realize…hey, I am not so crazy after all!
I love talking to other creative people and learning about their heart’s desires. I love discovering all the ways people create new concepts, businesses, or works of art. It makes me giddy to see someone do something that is outside the box or venture out into a dream they have carried for years.
I want to share our story and the stories of the wonderful people I have met that are going after their dreams and putting in the time and hard work to see their dreams come to fruition. May this blog encourage you to step out and go after your dreams!