Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Temporary

To celebrate Father's Day two weeks ago the local farmer-owned cooperative asked readers to complete a simple sentence:

My Dad taught me _______________. 

I submitted a few filled blanks but the lesson I really thought worthy of passing on deserved more than one sentence. So here we are. 



I remember I had just turned eighteen (late bloomerwhen Dad taught me this lesson. I also remember the disappointment I felt as I sat against the headboard of my bed, kleenex in my hand.
Crying. 
I was experiencing heartache I hadn't yet known:

My first broken heart. 

Dad did something really simple that night when he got in from the farm. 
He came into my room. 
Sat on the end of my bed.
Acknowledged that I was upset (probably by saying something very straightforward, like: "I know you're upset...."
And then went on to say something so basic and true that I've remembered it several times since:


"This is so temporary."



Dad went further to say that what I'm going through isn't uncommon (turns out, this was true)
And though it was the first time for me, it very likely it won't be the last time (turns out, this was true)
And though it felt like the disappointment was about to shut my heart down, it would be over soon (turns out, this was true)

What I was going through was so temporary. 

Years - actually more than a decade - have passed since that evening and the things that weigh on my heart have certainly changed, but this lesson has never waivered. 



This morning I think of a long list of friends and family who are going through a particularly difficult time. Some are in a place so dark and hidden, they're wondering if they'll ever get out. If there is even a way out. My reassuring (unpaid, unschooled) counsel always seems to be the same, because I believe it, year after year. I hope you believe it, too: this is so temporary. Sometimes I say it enough just to reassure myself. 

Whatever you're going through

A tough work situation
Frustration at home
A class that leaves you feeling less than brilliant
Deep and broad disappointment
Addiction that changes a family
A situation that just doesn't sit well with your heart
Guilt, upon guilt, upon guilt
Poor health
Monetary issues that ensue panic
Heartache
Absolute anger
Fear of the unknown
Frustration that keeps you awake
Discouragement, doubt or disbelief 

Nothing lasts forever, including this. When you get to the other side, you'll be so glad you stuck it out. 





This is so temporary.



One possible exception: Pregnancy. 
Pregnancy is a condition in which the last two weeks actually lasts more than a month. 
I guess maybe I just need to talk to my Dad



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

And Now, We Wait

So the nursery is done. 



It should be noted that these are before photos

Like most things we do, there was some thought into how we got this room ready. 
How about a tour? 
A virtual tour. 
You all know how I feel about last minute company


We did keep the Compromising Crib theme throughout the room. 
A nice reminder at 3:37 AM that this is a partnership.
The Compromising Crib: Tearing down an old barn, then moving it 
into the house because we both had our heels dug in.


Have you read about one of the greatest lessons I've ever learned?


Anyway, back to the tour - 



Our inspiration for this little room that will hold our entire world:
Heritage.
Family.
Cattle. 

Not knowing the gender but knowing how this kid will be raised, we went with a lot of neutral tones and a vintage western theme. I found the perfect fabric at Hobby Lobby and my wonderful Aunt Susan of Susan Bell Upholstery made us curtains as a shower gift. 






Family friends gave us a beautiful crib that we really loved. Then someone called it a "double-drop-sided-death-trap" and these clueless parents-to-be got a tick nervous. I went on to order this DaVinci Jenny Lind crib for peace of mind purposes only. 




It just wouldn't be a Lindsay Bowman project if I didn't recycle something from a former life. The bookshelf came out of 851 David Ross Road. Thanks to whoever's Dad made these shelves years ago. They were passed down from sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister to sorority sister and left Purdue's campus with me. Sharpie names still on top, and all. Function over fashion. 



I found this little dresser at A Corner Cottage in Noblesville, IN during an annual girls' day with Purdue friends. I loved the blocks as drawer pulls, but Cody had an even better idea. 



He sanded the dresser down and took it to one of our favorite shops, The Vintage Market in Cambridge City, IN (you have to visit this store to do it justice!). There they painted it and distressed it to fit the room. 


Then he found these drawer pulls and painted them out in his shop to make them look like Angus calves. 



Many gave me the advice to buy a comfortable chair since we'll be spending a lot of hours in it. I worked with Bullerdick Furniture to get this rocker-glider-swivel chair designed and put together. I also worked with them on a no-questions-asked warranty that covers bodily fluids, Sharpie marker, nail polish and anything else I could think of before signing the paperwork. 


Let's get a close-up of that fabric before it gets 
abused by a tiny, popsicle-wielding tyrant. 


Tags will stay on as long as possible. 
Which is right about the time I'll yell, 
"This is why we can't have nice things!!"

The quilt, you ask?


Friend and co-worker Cindy surprised us with this quilt just last week. Isn't it beautiful?!
The kicker: She didn't know the neutral/vintage western theme before creating this for us. 


I can't believe how perfectly it fits into the room and even matches the curtains. 


Every perfect stitch!


We were also handed down this family quilt with some pretty special initials on it. 




To encourage less writing on the walls. 


A Shepler Family Favorite:
Harry Shepler's Palomino stud horse, 
Goldie


Every kid needs a horse, right?
Well, this is the only one our kid is getting. 
Already kid-broke.


Is Book-It still around? If so, we need a new button to start earning free pizza ASAP.



We found what we thought would be an ideal dresser/changing table at Building 125 in Cambridge City, except the color and a few of the options weren't quite right. We went on to work with the owners to order this one in the color, solid top and pulls that suited this place perfectly. The crew at 125 were wonderful to work with - another must-stop-shop if you're in this area. 







How long will 138 diapers last? 
I'll let you know.
I'm hoping a year. 


One of my favorite personal accents: Vaccum lines that haven't been touched. 
I thought them important enough to document. 
Makes us look fancy. 



And now, we wait. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What Dad Really Wants This Father's Day

Father’s Day on the farm can be tricky. It’s a day to celebrate a man who typically doesn’t enjoy the three things that encompass the holiday:
  1. Being the center of attention
  2. Celebrations when there is work to be done or
  3. Receiving Hallmark cards that make his nose burn,  his eyes water and a mysterious tennis ball develop in his throat.

Father’s Day on the farm can also be tricky for the rest of us. What do you buy a man who has everything? Or, at least knows how to use bailing twine and WD-40 to fix/create whatever he needs?



To Get All of His Tools Back

You can buy Dad all the 101-piece socket sets you want, but what he really wants for Father’s Day (and Christmas and his birthday) is just to get his tools back.
To where they belong.
In one piece.
He doesn’t need a 1/47th,  3/734th or 8/39290 th socket.
He needs to open his toolbox and find his 1 1/16th wrench and a pair of pliers that still cuts wire.  
Just bring it back…all of it.
And don’t “borrow” it again.



A Gate Opener

This Father’s Day, give your farm dad the gift of a gate opener. Someone who has the intuition to know where he’s traveling to next. Someone who knows what gates can be left open and which ones need to be shut. Someone who knows how to do two things, well: hustle and pick up a gate, rather than drag it on the ground. Relieve Dad of this familiar, time-consuming scenario: Stop the truck or tractor in front of the gate. Climb down. Open the gate. Walk back to the truck or tractor. Drive it through the gate. Then stop the truck or tractor behind the gate. Climb down. Close the gate. Walk back to the truck or tractor. And finally get to work.



To Work With His Kids, No Matter The Age

Farm Dads kind of miss their help when they grow up, even if said help isn’t that much help, at all. He may miss the tiny shadow following his every move and mocking his every word (this can be dangerous most days). This Father’s Day, give Dad the gift of companionship and conversation while he works towards the success of the family farm. Sometimes he doesn’t need a tie; sometimes he needs his buddy by his side while he does what he loves. 

 



An Inch of Rain

(Unless, of course, they are in the thick of wheat harvest or baling hay)
I understand you can’t exactly “gift” someone a perfect day of weather (no one would ever create a wedding registry at Bed Bath & Beyond if that were the case), but you can do some things to guarantee a mid-June rain shower. For the perfect Farm Father’s Day gift, follow these easy steps:  
  1. Pray for rain
  2. Wash your car
  3. Mow hay
  4. Leave all the windows open – vehicles and home - and go somewhere far away
  5. Pray for rain





May your tie count be short but your tool count be exactly where you think it should be. 
Good luck keeping track of that.