Just wiggle harder.

OH, how I have missed writing things.  For eighteen long months, this sweet, wistful life on the homestead became bombarded by circumstances and ambitions that mostly seemed contrary to my entire life philosophy.  As I plowed deeper into the rigor of further education, my sweet girls went to public school for a year, The Man switched careers entirely, we ate entirely too much frozen pizza, and my brain was nearly left in a crumpled heap of exhaustion.

I can barely remember the ride…

And somehow while all of that was happening, Peanut is now almost to turn thirteen (and consequently no longer thinks kindly of being called “Peanut”).  Ladybug is double digits and always dreaming of Paris, fashion, and lip gloss.  Lovey is entirely too lovely and no longer looking so smallish.  And Cupcake.  Sweet cupcake is no longer a baby and nearly four.

Perhaps one of the most beautifully hysterical things to happen in recent months is that Peanut and Ladybug have discovered that their mother writes a blog!  (Two, actually, but who is counting? And seeing that this blog has now been going for nearly six years, they are caught somewhere between utter hysterics and death-worthy embarrassment upon reading its contents.  (HELLLOOO GIRLS!)  You see, Peanut and Ladybug have bookmarked this blog to police me.  (Nice try, Ladies!)

But  I must tell you about Lovey and Cupcake.

I believe one of the greatest victories this side of heaven surely must be the day you are done with diapers.


Twelve.  Years.  Of.  Diapers.


But in a house brimming with girls, it seems that there may never be enough bathrooms.  And even if there are, they will always choose to use MINE. And so it was, just last week.  The facilities were full, Lovey taking her time as girls often do.  (You know, because bathroom time is the best time to write songs.  And poems.  And talk to your imaginary friends.)

And Cupcake is a wiggler.  Yes.  She does not do that normal thing that most children do when it is time to go, but rather this awkward, yet cute-as-a-button, wiggle.  And as I happen upon this interesting display, our conversation usually goes something like this:

“Cupcake, do you have to go Number 1?”

“No.  Just wiggling.”

“Cupcake, do you have to go Number 2?”

“No.  Just wiggling.”

“Cupcake, surely something is wrong?”


“The bathroom is free.”

(Makes mad dash for the bathroom.)

Perhaps it is a tendency to be modest.  Or perhaps we are raising a pathological liar.  I am never entirely sure.  However, on this recent occasion, as Lovey composed and recited and conversed to Cupcake’s chagrin, I apologized while she wiggled, “Cupcake, darling, I am sorry for the wait.”

“Don’t worry, Mama. I’ll just wiggle harder.”  My sweet, oh-so-positive, Cupcake!

I nearly spit my coffee all over kingdom come in amusement, yet her words rang true.

Because that, Friends, is what we do.  When things are weird.  And the wait is long.  And  nothing turns out like you had perfectly imagined…

We “wiggle harder.” 

You know that feeling when you come home after a long, tedious journey?  Not the one to Disney, but the one you didn’t really want to take in the first place?  The one where you were not really sure what you were doing there, but were hopeful it would make sense later?

Well, here I am.  Home again.  (As a college graduate, no less!)  And planning my spring garden.  (It is going to be amazing!)  And whatever unexpected things may come…

Just.  Wiggle.  Harder.

Because spring is coming.  There is much to be done and the homestead is coming to life again.

Love & Coffee, Friends.

(Seriously… BIG love.  And HOT coffee.  I’ve missed you.)


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Begin Again.

DSC01626 I feel like we are starting all over again.

All. Over. 

In March of 2012, we moved here to this sunny little Iowa acreage just shy of heaven. We had plans. Really big ones. Plans for all sorts of things. (You can read about all about our initial foray here: Dreams and Things.)

The Man and I have a long-held dream of rural, sustainable living on our little homestead. But there’s this thing… We’ve never really done anything like this before.

And we have been quick to learn that more often than not, things do not go as we foresee them to. Shortly, after moving here in 2012, we found ourselves completely surprised by pregnancy. (You can read about that here: Crayons in the Fridge.)

And as God would have it, it was no easy pregnancy by any stretch of the imagination. Riddled with complications, bed rest, and the longest winter of our lives, we did nothing but wait and wait and wait (and not usually patiently) for our precious Cupcake to be born. (More on that here: Sitting Still. And Thanks.)

We spent so much time just yearning for the terribly wonderful ordeal to be over and, of course, our sweet Cupcake was worth every second. (How it Went Down.)

It was just so much waiting.

Almost as soon as she arrived late last winter, The Man was ready to jump head first into homesteading. I was still trying to remember how to take care of a baby. (Funny how one can have four babies and everything seemed new all over again. I knew everything and nothing all at the same time.)

Cupcake was scarcely weeks old when The Man brought home 10 chickens to raise in our foyer. Uh-huh. (Chick-a-licious.)  Soon after, he surprised me and came home with a Rottweiler. (A Boy and His Dog.) Then the chickens died. All of them. (Counting Chickens.) Then the dog died. (Then She Was Gone.)

Our garden never even had a chance. I did manage to put in 4 lone tomato plants, but I only bothered to water them every so often and Lovey helped herself to the few small, green tomatoes she spied before they could ever dream of making into our kitchen.

But really, my baby just had my heart, my time, and my attention.

So THIS is the year. Cupcake is newly 1 (gasp!) and we are all healthy (woohoo!). We were blessed to have a lovely friend till our entire garden space last fall. I am really bad at estimating distance and size so for now, I will just say it is mildly gargantuan. After poring over seed catalogs for months, the seeds have finally been started. (Crossing my fingers.) I expect to lose a lot of lovely things to critters so I fully anticipate this year to be somewhat of a test year. I have grand ideas of canning and freezing anything and everything.

And here we go…20140324_211104225_iOS

The Man brought home chickens again last week. (A baker’s dozen and every last one getting cozy in a box in my foyer.) Naturally, we have a better chicken house security plan in place if the The Man can find the time to finish it up.

And a dog. The Man has Rotty fever once again, so that is also on the horizon. By the end of the week, our sweet little Rottweiler puppy will be here.

(Perhaps a goat or two are also in our future?)

In addition to all the plans we have for the interior of this cozy, old farmhouse, I’d say we have our work cut out for us. But things have never looked brighter.

Love & Coffee.


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Out of Touch

Phone. Abstract techno backgrounds for your designTwo.  Years.  (A very long time.)

For two years, I have endured having a mobile phone number that was formerly the number of a trucking company.  For two years, my phone rings at odd hours of the night and day only to find that on the other end of the line is a trucker wanting to give me his “load number” or asking for assistance of which I am in no possible way able to provide.

But all of that has suddenly changed.

I think The Man loves me.  He bought me a smart phone.  (He either finds me delightfully out-of-touch or they were on sale.  Probably the latter.)  It’s a very, very smart phone.  Is it embarrassing that I have been clinging to my trusty flip phone that takes me roughly 37 minutes to send just one text message?  I still kind of miss it.  It was familiar.  It was easy.  And it was well-loved.

I. Am. Not. Ready. For. This.

They say it will make me more connected, but sometimes I rather enjoy being disconnected.  I am simply not one to be “on call.”  There are just so many important things that I would rather be doing.  Coloring, playing dress-up, and bedtime stories will always trump a text message.  Every.  Time.  And when it’s time for family dinner (yes, we still do that nearly every night) all of those electronic devices are comfortably nestled far away from the table, leaving us focused on each other.  Real people.  Real faces.  It’s all real.  And amid the clanking of silverware, passing of butter, and spilling of milk, I find these sweet moments where we all share our daily adventures, challenges, victories, and always leave room for dessert.

It’s a beautiful way to live.

If you call, I may not answer.  If you text, I may not reply.  But rest assured, you may leave message and I promise I will get back to you… eventually.

P.S.  The sunrise is especially lovely this morning.

Love & Coffee.

If you liked this post,you might also enjoy The Quiet.

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Icicles on Log CabinIt’s so very difficult to lurch out of a warm, cozy bed on such a frigid morning as this.  I was snug, my pillow was just so, and my blanket hugged me like a long-lost friend.  I lay still, eyes closed, in blissful silence, savoring the lullaby of the friendly owls perched in the tree just outside our bedroom window.

The sun is yet sleeping.

The darkness still envelopes.

Yet the day beckons.

And there is coffee to be brewed.

Drink up, Friends.  It’s going to be a lovely day.

Love & Coffee!


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Back again.


No… Wait!  Don’t leave!  Trust me.  You are in the right place.  Blue Jeans & Coffee Beans has undergone a makeover!  I am still tweaking a few things so there may still be some subtle changes over the coming days and weeks.

A few important things to note:

1.  If you are an email subscriber to my blog and want to continue receiving updates via email, you may have to re-subscribe.  The email subscription box is located just under the About Me section on the top right corner of the Home page.

2.  The Recipes page is currently under reconstruction and will be functioning again in the very near future.

3.  Please, let me know if you encounter any problems along the way.

It’s lovely to be back.  I have so many beautiful things to share.

Love & Coffee.

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No nukes…

is good nukes???

No, this isn’t a political statement… but a family experiment of sorts.

I ditched the microwave.  I thought we were ready.  I thought it was time.  And I’m driving everyone crazy!  But it is gone, gone, gone.  

Sort of.

There is plenty of good material/research on the negative effects microwaves have on our food.  This is not one of them.  As a family, we decided some time ago to reduce our use of the microwave as much as possible for a lot of reasons.  Aside from the obvious health concerns, zapping perfectly good leftovers until they resembled barely recognizable, chewy, leathery fare didn’t seem to mesh with the simple, homestead-y life we are aspiring to out here.  

So the microwave… it’s been banished to the utility room to co-exist amongst other appliances such as the washing machine and dryer.  Currently it resides on the floor until I can decide on it’s permanent home.  (Or until I can clear off the laundry counter and make room for it!)   I will probably still use it to heat water on occasion and for warming rice pillows (to toast cold little toes in the winter).

Besides.  I really needed the counter space.  

How true it is… you don’t realize how much you really use something until it’s gone.  I was under the impression that we were truly already living without it.  Until I didn’t have it.  

Day one didn’t go quite like I expected it to.  Things were going along quite swimmingly until around 10:00 am.  This is the time when the morning coffee has often gone cold.  And I usually sneak a cup into the micro for a quick warm-up.  No such luck!  Okay… so I pour my cold coffee into a small saucepan to heat on the stove.  No problem, really.  Perfect in no time at all.  Swish out the pan and I’m good.

Noon.  Lunch.  The kids want leftover spaghetti.  Oy.  Is it sad that I have practically never re-warmed anything in my entire life on the stove?  Correction:  NEVER re-warmed anything on the stove?  I dump the spaghetti into the pot, adding a little water to keep it moist, cover, and heat over medium until it’s hot.  Five minutes.  Not bad!  I could get used to that.

Then dinner.  Shoot!  I have not one bit of thawed meat.  No chicken.  No beef.  No nothing.  

And it’s 5:00 pm.  

I called The Man and asked him to pick up a pizza on his way home from the office.  Epic.  Fail.

I don’t regret it, but it is definitely something new to get used to.  I’m positive there will be more to come on this topic, but until then…

Love & coffee.

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I Voted.

I really did.  I went bright and early.  Around 7:30 am, dragging the kids along with me.  The Man came, too.  And I even got a cup of coffee down the hatch first.  I am fighting a head cold, still on bed rest, and the kids couldn’t even find clean socks.  But I voted.  And we all celebrated with donuts on the way home.  (Even though, I later nearly died choking on a sprinkle from the aforementioned donuts.)  

I am fiercely political, but you won’t hear me ever discuss it with anyone other than The Man or a few close family members.  

I’ll just say this:  Vote.  

Know what you’re doing first… then just go do it.  It’s easy.  It’s fast.  And it grants you the right to complain about your government for the next 4 years.  (Not that you necessarily should…)

I am back home.  And counting the spare change in the jar.  I sent the kids on a “scavenger hunt” around the house to locate rogue socks.  It seems no one has socks.  Yet the hamper is nearly empty and the wash is mostly caught up.  Strange things happen when mama is laid up.
I offered them a nickel piece.  Ladybug said, “How about a quarter?”  Ummmm… no. 

Grab some coffee and go vote already.  And then have a donut.  But don’t choke.

Love & Coffee.

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