Friday, January 16, 2015

2014 - A Year in Review

Well folks...2014 flew by so fast that I'm not quite sure what really happened and if most of it was a dream or not. And here we are half way through the first month of a new year! It truly is amazing how much has happened in the past year...and how many people are now on this journey with me.

When I started blogging back in 2011 I honestly didn't know what it would lead to, or who would even read my ramblings. I started out talking about food that I was cooking and then it turned into more. This past year I took a rather long break from blogging because of things going on in our lives...the biggest being the move to our new home north of Snohomish.

Let's take a stroll back through 2014. Here...grab my arm...walk back with me...

January 2014

Michael and I vowed to get healthy...we purchased an elliptical machine, started eating healthier and I even purchased T25! (Fast forward a few months...there sat the elliptical machine...we continued to kind of eat healthy...and T25...well its the same angry guy yelling at me on the screen and me yelling at him LOL). At the end of January we took a trip to Honolulu. 10 glorious nights we spent on Oahu, we had a great time catching up with friends and just enjoying just being with each other. Hawai'i still holds my heart, and no matter how long between visits...she welcomes me, and now Michael, with open arms.

Nothing beats a Hawaiian Sunset....nothing.

February 2014

February was a quiet month for us...Michael worked a lot and I spent my days with the chickens and living the housewife life! :)

March 2014

In March we took trip to Napa Valley to attend a conference for medical professionals at The Culinary Institute of America. I was allowed to attend this conference as well...and most of it went over my head! :) I think one of the take-aways from this was...when you feed 400 people beans and fiber for four days and stuff them all into a conference room...well...not smart! But in all seriousness, we had a wonderful time, and I learned so many wonderful things and even had the opportunity to cook in the kitchens there! What a wonderful thing! We also enjoyed Napa Valley immensely, making our own wine and purchasing a nice 2010 bottle of wine to have on our 10 year anniversary. After the conference we drove to Nevada City to see and stay with Michael's uncles. It's always wonderful to meet more of his family! Also...I set more hatching eggs to attempt to get some more hens for my flock!

April 2014

April turned out to be a busy month for us, in an unexpected sort of way. After we returned from our trip to Napa...I started getting that itch...the itch that could only be scratched by having a house in the country. Michael tried as hard as he could to fight it...but he started getting the itch too. So we set off to look at everything within a 30 mile radius! We saw houses on 1 acre and some on 20 acres...but most of the ones we were drawn to were on 5. After seeing dud after dud we started to get a little disheartened...until the end of April...when we found and put an offer in on the house that would become our new home! During all of this I had another hatch of chicks (and a purchase of a few others lol) So things were quite busy around here!

The view from the patio at the new house!

May 2014

May proved to be quite a challenging month for us. Michael worked a ridiculous amount that month and while he was doing that I was busy getting our home in Edmonds ready to be put on the market. I had to remove the wooden retaining wall and replace it with a stone one in the garden, have more soil blown in...have the exterior of the house painted and get the inside in tip top shape. Our house went on the market on May 17th and we were officially in escrow on the evening of the 21st...which happened to be the day we closed on our new house! Things were falling into place...but still incredibly busy! Even though we closed on our new home...the former owners asked for a rent back period, which worked out because we were still working on the house in Edmonds.

June 2014

If I thought May was busy...I had no idea what June was going to bring. The movers came on June 14th...and before that we had a ton of sorting, Goodwilling, throwing, packing and moving of other things to do. I made many trips back and forth between the Edmonds house and the new house. I also put in motion the plan for my new chicken coop. Michael told me to build the coop of my dreams...because I get one tear downs and complete remodels. :) So I had an 8' x 16' cement slab poured and then got ready to build the coop of my dreams! The last week of June I started building my coop, and the inspiration was the chicken coop I had on my model farm set when I was a kid...and that progressed into July. I also had my first batch of chicks delivered from Murray McMurray Hatchery! Life on the farm was really starting to get busy! Oh...and did I mention that I also picked up more hatching eggs? HAHA!

July 2014

Chicken coop building was in FULL SWING! I worked on the coop in the mornings and then in the house in the afternoons when it was warm. I also had a 2nd batch of chicks delivered the third week of the month...right around the time the eggs in my incubator were set to hatch! :) My coop was ready for its residents on the 22nd of the month...and I have to be honest...I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out! :) Of course over the next several months things changed and evolved...but that's what happens when you build something, you learn and correct things. :)

August 2014

This is where things here on my blog and on my RHOSC FaceBook page really took a turn. My friend, Lisa at Fresh Eggs Daily, posted a link to my blog post on the building of my coop. I had a flood of activity both here and on the FaceBook page, and because of that I have built up a wonderful base of loyal fans, some who have turned into friends. I went from a few people interacting and seeing my well over 1000 in a short period of time. Talk about overwhelming! I also used that as motivation to kick myself into blogging a bit more. I can't tell you how much I learned in the month of August when it came to raising chickens. I now had close to 50 chickens (shhhhhhh) and I relied heavily on pages like Fresh Eggs Daily, and the knowledge of my friend Lisa and her book! So a big shout out to Lisa! :) Thanks for your help, your inspiration and motivation when I feel like things are getting the best of me!

September 2014

In September I had the amazing opportunity to once again be a part of Camp Erin of King County. This year they split it up over two weekends, and I had the honor of working with both the kids and the teens. I won't lie...I wasn't prepared for the kids...and I felt that it showed...but nonetheless I was there, and I hope that that in and of itself helped. :-/ But I can't say enough how blessed I feel to be able to be a part of this wonderful experience. Grief is something that we all experience at some point in our lives, and when a child is going through it, having a place to go that will give you the tools and permission to do it...well that can change your life.

At the end of the month we had the split rail fence put in here at the farm, and I can't even begin to tell you how much of a difference it made! We also had the fencing company set the posts for my permanent run, and Michael helped me put up the wire fencing around it!

October 2014

October was all about preparing for fall, the leaves were starting to turn color on the Big Leaf Maples, and I had a feeling we were in for some trouble when it came to the amount of leaves we'd be dealing with! :) Things around the farm started to consume the day to day life and I found myself just getting lost in the beauty of this place I am so lucky enough to live!

November 2014

In November I made the decision to have some of my chickens processed. By processed I mean, prepared for the freezer. I ordered an abundance of Red Star chickens with plans for a business of sorts, but that didn't pan out so I sold a few to a friend and then took the others to a farm nearby where I watched and helped process the birds. There is something about knowing where your food comes from that is an amazing feeling! As November flew by, I began preparing for our Thanksgiving meal with Michael's parents. This year my sister and her family opted to stay on their side of the water. So I busied myself with those plans, as well as getting ready for our amazing vacation that was to come in December!! What I wasn't prepared for was the 3 inches of snow that fell on the night of the 28th! But we were blessed with an amazing winter wonderland around us! The trees looked like a scene out of a winter village where the snow hung on the branches dramatically. I was in awe! I wasn't in awe of the fact that the snow was wet, sticky and heavy and collapsed the netting on the top of my run...but win some and you lose some!

How blessed we are to be able to share a wonderful meal with family!

This is our front yard!

Our home in the winter wonderland!

I loved how the snow weighed the branches down!

December 2014

If there was a month that would win a contest...December would have taken the cake for us. We left on December 1st, for our vacation in France. We spent 11 nights in France, most of those in Paris. We had an amazing vacation, and as always I blogged through the entire trip! I can honestly say that I am so blessed to have an amazing husband, an amazing home, wonderful friends and family and the ability and means to travel. I don't take any of this for granted...and I'm thankful for everything that my husband provides for us and our family. After returning from our trip, we again were blessed with spending another holiday with Michael's parents.

Chateau de summer home!

Another wonderful holiday meal with family!

Looking back over the past year I can't believe how truly blessed I am. As I said before, I have a wonderful husband, home, family and friends and I wouldn't trade any of it. This past year has taken us to Hawai'i, Napa Valley and all the way to France. But each time we returned to our home and our life together. And even though that home changed physical locations...the love that we have was there. (Okay that was mushy and gross...sorry about that. LOL) It's amazing to look back at the last 6 months even and see the changes that we made in our lives...and how our "farm" in Edmonds turned into a hobby farm with chickens, dogs, rabbits and gardens here in Snohomish...and we know that is just the beginning! :)

I hope you all had a wonderful year...and I encourage you to take a trip back through the archives of my blog and stroll through the streets of Paris and the French country side with us. Take in the beaches and the sights of Oahu. Drink wine and cook with us in Napa. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my blog, I don't take you for granted either. I appreciate each and every one of you.

For this new year, going forward...I am going to make it a point to blog more...I know I say that all the time, but as our lives, family and farm grow, I want to share that with all of you! I hope you come along for this ride, a ride where being The REAL Housewife of Snohomish County not only entails cooking and housework...but mucking chicken coops and maintaining a farm.

Until next time...Keep Cookin'!


  1. Jennifer Haga JohnsonJanuary 16, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    You give me hope!! Your April is my January this year, looking for land and it is dud after dud after dud LOL I so enjoy your blog, your personality, your love for your chickens, and now goats! Forever a fan!! Jen.

  2. I love your blog and FB - and read every day. I too am blessed. You are hep however inspiring me to get into my home and make changes. Cool.