Monthly Archives: November 2016

I took the road less traveled….

and it has made all the difference. 🙂

June 13th was here- finally. Unfortunately, it was going to be a long day for Mr. Australia….oh, wait, I guess I can call him by name, can’t I? It was going to be a long day for Daniel, who got stuck in customs and then had delayed flights to deal with, and for me, who was tracking his flights and thinking that they were kinda taking half of forever to finish up. 😀

Around 11 that evening, we heard footfalls on the porch and a knock on the door- he had arrived! I opened the door and asked him to step inside- he was real! My family and I spent some time talking to him for a bit before we called it a night- the next morning was going to be an early one, as I was taking the kids to their 4-H forestry competition and Daniel was to go with us.

The next day, as anticipated, started very early. I remember hearing talking out on the porch that morning and headed out to see Daniel talking to a few of the “middles”. I was very much looking forward to having the opportunity to talk to him and was glad that we were finally in the same time zone- in the same country, state, town, and on the same porch even! 😀 We all small-talked for a bit and introduced him to a couple of our cats, and then it was time to head to Prattville for the competition.

The competition was a two day, all-day event, and it provided lots of time for us to be able to talk about various things as we continued to get to know each other. In addition, we got to see a lot of beautifully scenic rural Alabama backroads making our way down to the sticks. It was such fun!

Over the days to come, we began to settle into a bit of a routine. There was lots of coffee enjoyed…

My mama had also picked up a puzzle so that all of us could chat and get it put together. This was accompanied by ice cream on many nights…

As it turns out, Daniel likes ice cream as much as I do….we may have went a bit overboard acquiring it at times….

As the days went by, we were able to spend a lot of time in conversation, and found another pastime to enjoy together- washing dishes! I don’t know how many hours we spent washing them, but I’d reckon it is probably quite a high number. We talked, laughed, and just thoroughly enjoyed the time. 🙂

Daniel started introducing me to all sorts of different kinds of fruits…. lychees were one of the favorites that I tried!

And the fourth of July was rapidly approaching as well, so that meant it was time for us to introduce Daniel to a little taste of celebrations at our house. We typically do a large Independence Day bash, so now was the perfect opportunity to let him see how we par-tay. Or something. 😀

Fireworks o’ plenty were gathered up….

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos on my phone from that, because I was taking them all on the big camera! Ah well. :p

I introduced Daniel to Kool-Aid….bless his heart….he’d never tried it!

It was also about this time that we started doing some bona fide sightseeing. Peavine Falls was the first official destination after seeing photos of the falls online.

And of course, summer wouldn’t be complete without more 4-H activities! It was time for day camp, and I was an adult volunteer for the two-day summer day camp. It was such a blast! (Made moreso by the fact that Daniel got to come along as well. 🙂 )

We got to visit a pottery studio one day…

And a stable one day…..

It was such fun!

Daniel and I were continuing our many, many conversations, and were still realizing that we were very like-minded and were headed in a similar direction. We continued to spend time together doing little projects around the house and sight-seeing, as well as going to church and visiting with friends. Tannehill State Park became a fun excursion after doing market days. 🙂

And then there was “Cow Appreciation Day” at Chik-Fil-A…..this photo brought more questions from friends, haha!! (“Who is that guy standing next to you??”) It was so much fun introducing Daniel to the amazing fun that Chik-Fil-A provides each year with this event. 🙂

Back to Tannehill!!

Daniel really encouraged me to cross the waterfall….which I didn’t want to do, but did anyway. It freaked me out majorly, but I am so glad I did it now! He, like my dear mama, encourages me constantly to step outside of my comfort zone when I wouldn’t otherwise. And, just like when mama does it, I always learn and grow from the experience and am very glad that I did it!

Besides, we got to take this nice picture of us together:

As the days went on, I found myself realizing that I was more and more interested in this amazing Australian fellow who had flown so far to come and spend time with me… I wasn’t sure what he was thinking, but I had many conversations with my parents about how things were going and what they were observing. I’m so thankful to have had so many people with their eyes on the situation who were praying and encouraging me to seek the Lord’s will in however we moved forward.

On July 21st, Daniel asked to speak to Daddy for a few minutes. A little later, Daddy came and found Mama and I and said we (along with Daniel) would be having a discussion later on that evening, once the littles were down for the night. He didn’t say what the meeting was about, though I had my suspicions.

Now, this was rather funny…I had recently began teaching piano lessons professionally. The mama of my student that day asked if I had any plans for later. The only thing I could think was “Yes! I’ve definitely got plans for later!”, but, I simply said that I knew I had a workday I needed to finish up and then I’d do whatever else popped up. 😀

Well, as you’ve probably figured out, that day seemed to creep by. 😀

We sat down that evening and discussed many things, but most importantly, Dad asked both of us if we wanted to proceed forwards into an official courtship. Our answer? A resounding yes! 🙂 And thus a new chapter was started….

(and yes, more to come! 🙂 )

life keeps on a rollin’

Tobias’ arrival our home marked a new chapter in our lives, that’s for sure. We have been so blessed by his cheerful and joyful disposition- he’s like a little ray of sunshine in our lives!

I was still plowing through school, and making somewhat decent progress. I was paying for school as I went, and each new lesson arriving in the mail made me more and more excited to reach the end goal.

Spring had also very decidedly set in….and with it? Mud!! I got the John Deer stuck in the mud and had to get it all dug out…. oops.

Homesteading projects were in full-swing….

….and so was writing to a certain Australian. Remember me mentioning that I had signed up for that dating website again? Well, someone amazing wrote to me during my time there. We traded a few emails, and then started writing every day. We also traded Instagram handles after we realized we had a mutual love of photographing sunsets and sunrises, and that was a good way to be able to see the pictures each of us had posted.

After a couple of weeks of our writing back and forth, he expressed a desire to be more intentional in our correspondence, so I went and took copies of all of our notes to my parents. I was going to print them out to make it easier to read, but upon realizing we had exchanged 53 pages worth of correspondence (in TWO weeks!), I thought it might be better to just take the laptop instead. 😀 After discussing my thoughts with my parents, and asking their advice on the matter, I decided to write back and let him know that I was interested in being more intentional with our correspondence, with one condition- we would have to spend a great deal of time in communication with each other, and we would need to meet and spend a substantial amount of time in person. He responded back with a “no problem!”, and planned a trip to come out and meet my family and I to see where things might go. I emailed a few mentors in my life and asked them to be praying over the situation and that we would have wisdom to make the right decisions, no matter what the end result was.

Now, after a few weeks of us being friends on Instagram, I started to have other friends noticing that I had a new friend on Instagram….and so the questions started. 🙂 “So, who exactly is this guy that is suddenly quite active on your Instagram?” “Dare I ask who this guy is?” “How did you meet?”….etc. 😀 You see, this Australian and I were starting to realize more and more by the day of just how much we had in common, and conversation was easy between us.

We had our first phone call not too long after “that” email. I remember being so terribly nervous….we are both introverts…would we even talk?!? To my surprise, we had a rather nice phone conversation- not too long, not too short, and we had broken the ice. It wasn’t too many days after that when Mr. Australia sent me his travel dates…he was actually coming here to meet us! We had a few more phone calls in-between him sending the travel dates and him arriving here, each growing longer than the last. I think the last one was right around 3 hours long! We were also still emailing pretty much daily, and by this point, had a text conversation going, were friends on Facebook, and were ever-more active commenting on Instagram. I couldn’t wait to meet him in person, and find out if he was the same in person as he had been online and over the phone. I was becoming quite interested in learning more about this guy from the Land Down Under

While counting days until his arrival, life continued to roll on at the Lambert Estate…

I had just finished installing our first round of bees, and caring for them each day was such a delight:

I was still working:

And of course, enjoying the lovely sights of my beloved Lambert Estate….

Learning new skills…

Oh, and Jacob purchased a shiny red ‘Stang….. it has been such fun to go on various adventures with him with the top down and our hair blowing in the wind….

I was still working on school….

And branding for a new endeavor we were working on….I was so tickled to see things I had designed on the computer arrive and turn out so nicely in person!!

Hand’s down, having the booth at the farmer’s market was one of my favorite things that we did over the spring and summer. I loved working together with my family to get everything done each week, and then later on with my stock tracking buddy (you know who you are! 😉 ) to make sure that the inventory was being tracked correctly. We loved meeting people, developing our products, trying new experiments for marketing, and so many other things. It was a huge blessing!

Time was winding down until Mr. Australia arrived….and then, finally, it was June 13th- the day he was to arrive. Was he really real? We were about to find out…

life has this way of sneaking up on you sometimes…

If you had told me of the things I would be doing this year, of the people I would meet, the places I would go, and the things that would happen each day on this grand adventure of life…..I wouldn’t have believed you. We’ve had so many different things happening each and every day- I hardly know where to begin!

I guess I’ll start at the beginning- that’s a very good place to start. 🙂

In January, we were delighted to have the Wissmann family with us once again for a bluegrass gospel concert!

We thoroughly enjoy getting to visit with them every year and listen to the delightful music as they seek to minister to others. They are a huge blessing to our community and church when they come down each January!

February marked a change for me- I was starting to get an idea of what exactly I needed to do next, and the Lord brought a lot of clarity and direction to my life.

I knew that I needed to finish piano technician school, and I had so many ideas for different things I wanted to do and try…the interesting matter would be figuring out where exactly to start! I continued on with work and was reading and studying lots of different things.

Josh and Kylie invited us and Kylie’s family over in February for a fire and smores roasting…I so love smores, and the fellowship was delightful!

Of course, adventuring was still on the lineup on into February….we spent each week trekking up to Centreville for 4-H Forestry Bowl practice:

We saw lots of Centreville by day, and Centreville by night.

I started taking fiddle lessons from the amazing Mrs. Sharon Bounds!

And I took my first mandolin class as well!!

I did a little poll working:

And of course, a trip to Vulcan was in order as well. 😀

I never get tired of the beautiful view from there.

4-H was back in swing for livestock somewhat by March, so I took the siblings down to Auburn University’s meats lab for a workshop on different meat cuts and processing procedures. I LOVE road trips, and this one was no exception!!

Planning the route:

Headed out!

My meat lab participants… they were so excited to be there:

I picked back up woodburning as well, after a very long time of not doing any! I’m having so much fun with that….

We also decided to do quite a bit of kitchen remodeling. Here are some of the “in progress” pics:

And here’s a pic with it pretty much finished up. We are so loving the new floor, especially. You’ve never seen someone so excited to be rid of the white vinyl composite tile in their kitchen!! 😀 😀

After we had the kitchen remodel somewhat behind us, we celebrated National Sibling Day. Cause all the feels…we weren’t able to get everyone together, so I decided a bad photoshop job was in order. Because yeah…

This was the last sibling pic pre-Tobias…. 🙂 Oh, did I mention Tobias? 😀 He is my sweet and precious newest little sib!! 😀

Tobias’ day of birth began early…Mama had to be up at the hospital at 4am, so I took her and Daddy up there and dropped them off. It’s just easier to keep all the cars at home when Mama is having a baby since they wouldn’t be needing it anyways.

Mama’s labor ended up being very long, and Toby had gotten rather comfortable and wasn’t helping much with the labor process. He wasn’t really getting settled where he needed to be, and was causing little to no progression of labor.

Later that evening, I went ahead and came back up to the hospital. I had all of the luggage/supplies for after the baby was born in the car, and I didn’t want my parents to be without what they might need. We were also all figuring that labor would move a bit faster. I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with my parents during that time, and for being able to watch them together….my mama’s love for Toby, my parent’s love for each other….the prayers that were being offered up on Mama and Toby’s behalf… watching them, I was realizing once more that if it was the Lord’s will for my life, I really wanted to be a wife and a mama. I had been considering signing back up for a particular dating website for a while, and made the decision that yes, I wanted to try that again. So, whilst waiting during the labor process, I went ahead and filled out the application to sign back up….(more on this later. 🙂 )

Late in the evening, it was decided that the safest thing to do would be for Mama to go ahead and have a C-section. There was some concern that both Mama and Toby would end up in distress if the labor continued for too much longer, especially since her water had been broken since early that morning.

That was my first time to be at the hospital when someone who is dear to me is rolled out for surgery. After they took my mama to go and get her prepped and ready for surgery, I just sat and absolutely bawled. I know that C-sections happen all the time, but this was *my* mama….I’m thankful for my dad, who gave me the biggest hug and told me everything was going to be just fine, and for a friend of mine who was texting me through the evening reassuring me everything was going to be just fine…..

After about 10 minutes, they brought my dad scrubs and he began to get ready to go and see mama and get Toby….the whole surgery didn’t last more than 1/2 hour. When he came back, he had Toby with him, and he had been able to talk to Mama and knew everything went well and that was doing wonderfully.

And Toby…..<3

I spent the next couple of days driving back and forth to the hospital so that we could visit with Mama, Daddy and Tobias.

In between driving back and forth to the hospital, making sure things were running smoothly at home, and getting the necessary shopping done, there was quite a bit of coffee consumed.

It was finally time to bring Mama, Daddy, and Tobias home from the hospital.

During the duration of Mama’s pregnancy, Jackson was telling everyone that he was pregnant too….with a black chicken. We thought it would be quite funny if a black chicken came home from the hospital with Toby, so I made one! Mama wrapped it up in a blanket and put it in the car seat with Toby. We brought it home to the proud papa:

After Tobias was born, life started settling back into a routine….

(to be continued)