A note from summer; an introduction of sorts

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I’ve had some odd jobs.  The most odd, and most fun, was the time I got paid to dress up as Lady Liberty during tax season and dance on the side of the road.  I made a playlist titled “SHAKE IT MISS LIBERTY," put my earbuds in, turned my sign into a giant air guitar, and danced til I was sweaty under my green velvet robe.  I’ve done house cleaning, I worked at a bookstore for years, and I worked a super profesh job at the university which had great benefits.  I miss the paid vacation days, but spending nine hours a day in a room with no windows and one bright computer screen to stare into all day... not so much.  

I went to community college, then quit because I had anxiety and no clue what I wanted to do with my life.  I went to cosmetology school, then quit when the morning sickness got too bad.  Motherhood is by far the most relentless and the most earthshakingly joyful job of them all.  

Fast forward a decade and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.  But lately I’m losing sleep over this huge and exciting leap I’m about to take.  WE are about to take, I should say.  My love (Eli) and I, our two nine year old girls, our two funny dogs, and our two independent cats are packed up and moving from downtown to farm town.   We are moving to 27 acres of rolling hills, gorgeous sunsets, cow patties, fruit trees, and a house which needs some real TLC but already feels like home in my heart.  I fall asleep imaging it, with fresh new interior paint, with our furniture and our style.   It’ll be minimal mid century retro, meets tropical surf shack, meets artsy vintage boho, meets... oh you’ll see. 

 Eli (papa bear), Morgan (that’s me), Alice, and Jade

Eli (papa bear), Morgan (that’s me), Alice, and Jade

We’re currently in a halfway house, so to speak, AKA my mom's house.  We moved out of downtown Gainesville and into my mom's place in the northern suburbs while we prepare our new house.  We’re currently surrounded by boxes of our crap, which is also eagerly awaiting the day we cart it out to the country.  We’ve got a few big renovation projects to complete before we can move in though, which I’ll dive into in my next post. 

I’ve been talking about wanting to do this for years.  Forever, really.  I always imagined raising my kids out in the country.  And when I fell in love with a man who was raised on vegetables his parents grew, and who tells us stories about catching snakes and running through the woods with his long hair streaming out behind him, it just solidified that I wanted to give my children something similar before they got too old to truly feel the wonder of it all.  I want them to feel connected to the Earth, I want to have to spray them off with the hose before they come in at night.  I want us to grow our own food, and raise animals with respect and kindness.  I want to build a paradise which is filled with wild spaces and homey hang out places, someplace to make memories we will cherish forever. 

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I still have my pros and cons list saved on my phone, from one of the discussions Eli and I had early on when we were trying to decide if we really truly wanted a ginormous life change.  My list was what you’d imagine a sheltered dreamer would say about picking up and moving to a farm.  I mused on how it’d shape our children.  I toted the health benefits of growing our own food and living a more organic lifestyle.  I imagined the freedom we’d have with that much land, of all the weird art we’d create and fun parties we’d throw.  Eli's list was much more realistic, and honestly a bit of a downer.  But we’d known they’d turn out that way.  He grew up on this same piece of land, literally moving rocks around for his stone sculptor dad, and knowing first hand how much time and physical labor go into living on property like this.  His list was the reality check I needed.   Having weighed pros and cons for years, we’ve landed on the side of “let’s do this thing!!” 

Still, I can tell you I’m taking this leap wide eyed (forever with rose tinted glasses on my face and a glass of rosé in hand) without knowing what the heck to truly expect.  I feel wildly excited and a little scared all at the same time.  

 Welcome to Sweetgum Kingdom! My loves created the name, inspired by the beautiful Sweetgum trees that surround our house on the hill. Looking out on this land we feel like kings and queens, rich in life and in love. Also, it’s pretty fun to pretend the cows are our loyal subjects.

Welcome to Sweetgum Kingdom! My loves created the name, inspired by the beautiful Sweetgum trees that surround our house on the hill. Looking out on this land we feel like kings and queens, rich in life and in love. Also, it’s pretty fun to pretend the cows are our loyal subjects.

I’ve decided to try something else totally new to me as well, and attempt to blog through all this change and adventure.  I’m passionate about photography and am eager to document and share with you the early days, the hard days, the days so beautiful we sit out on top of the hill in a rainy sun shower because we are just so grateful to call this land home.  

It’ll be a lifetime of hard work and ongoing projects, but it’ll be one hell of a beautiful life.  Cheers! 

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our kingdom awaits