Farm Wife Reflections
When I first started this blog almost seven weeks ago, I promised you balance in my writing. Yes, I am excited to share with you images taken with the many marvelous people I have the privilege of working with, in all forms. I also want to give you an opportunity to know your photographer. Because honestly, how are you ever going to feel comfortable getting in front of my camera if you feel as though I’m a stranger?
You likely already have a sense of my passion for the small town, farm-raised, rural way of life. Don’t get me wrong, ALL of the beautiful places in this wonderful world have their own amazing qualities – I am simply a lover of wide open spaces. When I met my husband (I am going to share that story with you in a future post), our courtship was pretty effortless. We were definitely on the same page about a lot of things and shared a similar outlook for what we hoped our future would hold. Both raised in agriculture, with mothers who devoted their days to staying home with us, and solid family network all developed in a Christian environment. We both shared a desire to be home with our future children in their early, developmental years, watching them grow into the unique individuals they are meant to be, and cherishing all the moments (good and bad) for we knew they would go quickly.
Our kids - growing up on the farm, riding in tractors with dad, baking with mom, lunches on the porch, gardening, running through hayfields, feeding cows, admiring horses, collecting eggs, playing in dirt, running through puddles... just being farm kids.
Sounds pretty peachy right?
Six years ago I began working on my vision for my future as a wife, mother, and contributor. With no experience in starting a business, I marched forward boldly and decided I would start a personal business that would set me up to work from home once we had children. It was a goal that quickly ignited my passion for entrepreneurism which eventually had me wearing 17 hats daily and managing what sometimes felt like chaos in all shapes and forms. Eventually I would step away from my cushy salary to adventure into the world of self-employment… a world of no guarantees, daily hustle, and a lot of unknown.
It took time. Laying the brick work for a business and working towards financial independence takes time. Period. I knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. I knew it was going to take blood, sweat and tears – but, that didn’t stop me. It still takes all of those thing, every day as I diligently work on reaching my goals, making objectives, and continued to growth.
The game really changed when my husband, Rob, also decided to make a bold decision for his future. Honestly, what fun is life if you’re not chasing your dreams? Life is short!
Rob has dedicated his life to agriculture, to the land, to working tirelessly to ensure equipment is going to run smoothly, that crops are planted, nurtured, and harvested before winter freezes the fertile earth beneath our feet. This doesn’t happen in an 8 hour day, or a 40 hour work week. When I met Rob, smack-dab in the middle of soybean harvest, one of his first comments about us starting to see one another was that he had a complex schedule, and little free time. That was no lie, but I was already very familiar with the hours required of a farming lifestyle, so this was no surprise. All I pictured was beautiful country drives after work, heading to meet him for an evening spent on the combine and watching him do what he loves. I didn't want it any other way, and still don't. Add children to the equation; the personal sacrifices that comes with feeding a nation quickly become apparent. There were endless days and nights Rob spent in a tractor or combine – that was his job.
When you're expecting your first child the world lays upon you it's wisdom. Everyone will tell you a different story about how life is once you have kids. We heard the 'everything is going to change once you have kids' stories all the time. It wasn't untrue - everything does change, for the better. We changed as well. After months of feeling like he was 'missing out', Rob decided it was time for him to make a bold move of his own.
I still remember the night we tucked ourselves into bed, and Rob asked me; “How much money do you think you’re going to make next year?”
Heck, I still feel my heart pounding as I responded with an “I don’t know.”
He quietly stated that he was thinking about quitting his job to come home full-time and farm with his father. Seconds later he quickly fell asleep – he'd got that off his chest! And there I lay… fretting, wondering, hoping. The pressure was on.
God works in mysterious ways – his plan is much greater than ours.
A little faith, a lot of hard work and here we are today making it all happen. We are living life by design - living happy. Our happy doesn't mean taking extravagant trips, going out to fancy restaurants every weekend (all of those things are wonderful if that's your dig). We were and continue to seek the simple joys that are easy to miss daily. Things as simple as viewing the world through your children's eyes. Watching their excitement as they hear the rumble and roar of the combine as it starts up for the first time in preparation for wheat harvest. The evening ritual of heading out to our garden to check for new homegrown produce. The anticipation of cookies coming out of the oven, just because we felt like baking at 3 pm in the afternoon. All of the little things. The easy to miss things.
Holly McFarlane Photography & Design sounds like it’s a one-woman show – but the truth is, it’s a huge team effort. It requires balancing our schedules, backing each other up when we have responsibilities awaiting us, pushing each other, encouraging one another, early mornings, late nights… sometimes even middle of the nights.
I have to be honest; I had no idea where this blog post was going to go when I first sat down this morning. Yes, I have photos I could share from sessions. I have logos I’ve designed that deserve to be seen, and the list goes on…
Maybe next week.
Today, I’m sitting here writing from the heart. Writing about OUR journey so far, and giving you a glimpse of how this crazy dream of mine plays out every day. Sharing a slice of my world, so you get to know your photographer! NONE of this is possible without the endless support, encouragement, teamwork, compassion and love from my husband. He is my better half, an amazing father, the most patient individual I've known, and the silent team player in “Holly McFarlane Photography & Design” - my best friend.