Farmhouse Fall

Welcome to Willow Hill Farm! Fall is my favorite time of year around here.

The Keeping Room

These cheese boxes were found in our family's old barn. 

I love how the sun filters onto the kitchen table.

Living room

We made this scripture pumpkin last year. Dollar store Bible, Mod-podge, and a foam pumpkin. So easy!

Grandfather's tool box is the perfect place to showcase some funky gourds

We have a dear farmer friend who blessed us with an abundance of fall delights. So thankful!

The sky seems bluer this fall.
Sure do love these boys!

 Happy Fall Y'all!

I'm linking up with Imparting Grace today... come join the fun.


The Beauty Surrounds

When the chaos of life is filtering in too close to the quiet spaces of my heart, I try to find the beauty that surrounds me. 
The quiet reminders that I am to be still.

To remember He is a God of order, not chaos.

Sometimes I am reminded by the sights in my own backyard, or on the faces of the ones I hold dear.
Other times I am inspired by someone else's sanctuary of home.  
I frequently drive past this farm...
and the beauty causes me to pause and savor.

 Are you looking for glimpses of glory?
Beauty surrounds... seek it out.
Listen to the quiet He is whispering to your soul. Let it drown out the chaos.


Meet Murphy

 We've been looking for a little dog for about three years. We went through a ton of foster dogs hoping to find the perfect addition to our family, but they were meant for other families. One night I stumbled upon this little guy while scrolling through the local classifieds website. The Farmer was out of town so I texted him the picture with the link. He replied in a text: "Let's do it!" We don't usually make major life decisions via text...
The day we picked him up... a very happy boy
 He is a Shorkie (Shih Tzu and Yorkie mix). At three and a half months he weighs 8 lbs. Not to big, not too small...

His name was a bit of a dilemma because we have 5 opinionated people living at Willow Hill Farm. Some of the names in the running were Oliver, Nugget, and Bucky. After a veto and two votes, we finally agreed on Murphy, which suits him perfectly.
 He is so sweet and cuddly. He wants to be by my side constantly when the kids aren't around. Seriously, who can resist that face??
He has wiggled his way into our hearts, so I'm sure you'll be reading more about Murphy here on WHFG.


Easiest Pumpkin Muffins

My kids ask for these every fall. They are embarrassingly easy to make, so go for it!

Pumpkin Muffins
1 can of pumpkin
1 box of cake mix (yellow or spice)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all three ingredients with mixer until smooth.
Pour into paper-lined muffin tins.
Bake according to directions on box.

Cinnamon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar*
1-2 Tbs milk*
1/2 tsp cinnamon

With a fork, combine all three ingredients.
*Amounts of milk/sugar can vary depending on your preference of icing thickness


Fill Your Cup

Hello Fellow Mom. 
You who does the laundry only to find a pile of dirty clothes hidden under the bed. 
The one who hides in the bathroom, seeking a little solitude as fingers slip under the doorframe and children call your name. 
You who have played referee for the hundredth time between your offspring who claim rights over an object that will be forgotten tomorrow. 
To the mom who wonders why some days feel like years, especially when there is potty training involved.
The woman who searches for the dinner recipe that will cause all of your children to call you blessed. Or at least eat it without complaining.
To the mom who has felt she has lost her identity to the name of taxi driver or teen atm. 
For those who are struggling to hang on to the days because the years have become short. 

I have been there. Don't get me wrong, I am completely devoted to motherhood. It has been my calling since I was a little girl. I've made it my profession for most of my adult life. I adore my kids. I love being a mom. I soak it up and savor the moments.

When my mojo reserves have been syphoned and there isn't much left to give, I become weary. My guard is lowered and my heart attitude is vulnerable. Even those things which typically bring joy can become annoyances. They want to eat dinner... again. Bedtime becomes a formula rather than a joy. The car ride becomes too loud. The sibling rivalry sounds like war. The laundry becomes a mountain that no human should be expected to climb without an oxygen tank. The Legos get stepped on and vicious words choke my throat. 
When I am drained dry, the joy is shrouded. 

Are you taking care of yourself so that you have the mental, physical, and spiritual energy to pour back into your kids? Sure, a day at the spa would be great. Ok, heavenly. But most of us can't afford that luxury (cost or time). So what can you do to refill your cup? Some of us need an hour of quiet. Others need an hour with a friend (sans kids, of course). Most of us need to increase our prayer life. 
I think this was a subtle hint that I need to "pray on." Ha! Just popped up on my screen like this.
Even when you can't get away, search for serenity in the day surrounding you. I discovered this scene on my way home from taking my daughter to school one morning. I had been struggling with feeling out of control and holding on too tightly. When I saw this dew-kissed meadow it was as if the Lord said, "I hold this day in the palm of my hand. It is not your burden to bear." 

Ask for help. Your fellow mommies understand the need to recharge. Swap mornings with a friend. Don't use that morning to go grocery shopping or to get the car fixed. Talk to your husband and figure out an evening you can have to yourself... guilt free. When my kids were little, we had a standing rule. When I got a night out, I didn't want to hear about anything that went badly at home (unless health was involved) while I was gone. It helped me truly be free and not feel guilty. 
Do something you wouldn't normally do with the kids around. Make an appointment with yourself (it's cheaper than counseling later).  Get coffee and settle in with a magazine. Treat yourself to a new journal, if that's your thing. It's totally my thing...

 Linger. Go to a store you wouldn't normally venture to with children in tow. Last week I had a 30 minute window so I stopped in the local spice store and enjoyed every minute.

Be inspired. The spice store had the cutest pumpkins out front. If I had had my kids along, I probably wouldn't have noticed. Take the time to notice non-mommy things.  It's okay. 

Everyone's cup is filled up differently.  I'm not an artist, but there is something soothing about picking up a paintbrush. Would I have found the time to do this when my kids were toddlers? No. But every season has its new struggles and blessings.

 Look for fun. Laughter is healthy. Looking for the joy in the mundane is worth the effort. My car has been in the shop this week.  My sweet dad let me drive his sportymobile (okay, it's a revved up sedan, but when you drive a family SUV, anything feels like a sports car). It's amazing how much joy a sunroof has brought me this week.  Oh, and XM radio.

Take a break. Even Wonder Woman has to get her invisible jet refueled once in awhile. You are worth it. Your kids are worth it. This sacred thing called motherhood requires mind, body, and soul. With your cup filled up, you will be ready to pour back into your little gems.