We are already on the cusp of the middle of September. Most of the leaves are still green around here but everywhere you look, there are whispers of Autumn. Yellow leaves are spotted in every tree, our tree rows have a few gatherings of crispy leaves that crunch underfoot on our daily walks and the air is cool to the skin. I would like to say its a welcome reprieve from the heat of our Summer but honestly? It really isn't. Spring was long and cold and wet, flowers and vegetables were slow to take off and only really began producing in August. So with Fall gushing in, its kind of a bittersweet time.

The other morning I awoke to find the first frost had taken most of my flowers. The dahlias now lay blackened the zinnias lost all their colour overnight and the cosmos lay heavy on the ground. My sunflowers are still showing their cheery faces to me, but I know its not for long. It feels so very bittersweet this year..

If you have known me for some time now, you know that I absolutely adore Autumn. The orange/yellow leaves, the golden sunlight..its a photographers dream to live in such a place where seasons truly shine. This Summer, the weeds took off on me in the garden, snakes were in my flower beds and the lawn seemed like it constantly needed was an exhausting job and I looked forward to Winter to have some more time for other things in my life. But now that its finally here, I shake my head at myself for, once again, wishing away the time. I was scrolling thru my camera roll on my IPhone and came across a photo I took of our backyard this last Winter. Everything looked so bare, so dark, so...cold. And I wondered if wishing this Summer away was the smartest thing I've done?!

The last few days here have been unseasonably cool & wet and has once again postponed our harvest. When will it get done you ask? We're starting to wonder the same thing! Harvest should have been done by now. The men should be on to sloughs and machinery maintenance and farm chores outside the field. But here we are, humbled by mother nature again.

Then yesterday happened. It was a dark and dreary day..both outside our walls and within my soul. I questioned so many things in my life. Where I am & where I want to be. And then I came across a video from the keynote speech my mentor, Joy, had just given down in Salt Lake City for ClickAway. She spoke of her journey in life and as a photographer. She was raw and honest. She spoke some words that cut so deep I found myself watching her thru my own tears. It was like someone finally spoke to that hurt inside of me and made me truly feel it for the first time in a long time. And it was finally the truth. And that truth is, I'm going through a really hard time in my life right now. A really, really painful time. I'm feeling, I'm hurting, I'm learning and I am changing. Only my husband and one other true soul mate knows what I am currently going thru. But I won't let it stop me from smiling Why? Because. Even though I'm going through a painful season in life, I still want to be that smile for someone else. I want to bring hope to every day. I want to inspire, in any small way I can. The truth is I never thought I'd speak these words outside of my own mind! But I realized that keeping it all in hasn't done me much good these last few months so maybe writing them out will help. And if any of these words have started resonating with you, then I guess I've done my job!

Anyways..I walked away from that video feeling raw but hopeful. I bundled up my little man for our daily afternoon walk to the chickens and started contemplating the words I had just heard. And as I got to my coop, my flock looked smaller. I couldn't figure out why until I got closer, but I knew something wasn't right. My last remaining barred rock hen from 3 years ago was lying dead on the pen floor and a rooster from my new addition was laying dead in their pen. And I was still missing 4. I opened up the door to their coop and there they were..all 4...dead in a pile. All wheaton marans. I have waited for my marans for a year and a half before they were mine. I couldn't wait to proudly show off my chocolate brown shelled eggs. And there were my hens...gone. We have no idea what happened. Possibly a weasel, possibly poisoned, possible disease. No idea. Every other chicken looks healthy though so we have checked disease off our list but the question still lingers.
And while I am now used to losing livestock (as my friend once told me, "if you have livestock, you have dead stock") it still hurt me. Maybe more so because it was just another "thing" to add to the list of hurts this year..but man, I felt so..defeated.

So, to sum up my feelings right now? I am so over 2014. OVER IT! 2014 gave me my amazing son and I can't imagine life without him, I love him so. But, otherwise? definitely hasn't been "one for the books". Its been an off year. A weird year. A painful year. Am I looking forward with hope and faith? You betcha! But I know that this season I am in right now is a journey and it's not something I can just skip over and move on to happier, sunnier times. I have to put in the work. I have to feel, have to ponder, have to really work at it.

The truth is I hate change. And thats exactly what 2014 has been about. CHANGE. Everything has changed for me and I am most definitely not the same person I was 2 years ago. And instead of fighting it. I have to let that person go. I have to be real with myself and let myself go and be the person I am meant to be now. Life has changed me. People have changed me. And thats not necessarily a bad thing! My life, my views, my art are all progressing as they should and I am actually kind of excited to meet this new version of,

I apologize if this post is just a bit too deep for some of you out there but, I needed to put this out in the world even if just for myself. But if this did resonate with you at all, know you aren't alone. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may find some of my quotes on the board *words* may be just the ticket for I know they definitely sit right with me ;)

I hope you are all staying warm this weekend and enjoying the company of those you love. Happy weekend!!

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