The Chicks Leave the Brooder for the First Time!

The baby chicks have left the brooder box and are ready to explore their outdoor chicken run for the very first time! Such an adventure and I'm sure they are thrilled to be out of that coop and start getting a daily dose of fresh air. My baby chicks are growing too fast! 

Fort Morgan- Gulf Shores, Alabama

It's been a few sad, sad days for us with the passing of our other dog Tech.  We're struggling to find a rhythm again, a routine without him since things are so different now that he's gone.  The house is so quiet and I still wake up at 4am to let him outside even though he isn't jumping up on my bed to wake me.  

Because him, and this beauty here, Sobe were never ever apart...Sobe is having a hard time figuring her own world out.  She doesn't like being left at home alone at all, now that Tech isn't by her side.  This being the case, we are bringing her with us wherever we go trying to comfort her and help her feel secure again. We're hoping she will eventually not suffer so much anxiety when she's alone but for now, having her with us all the time is comforting not only to her but to our whole family.  

We decided we needed to get out of the house on Sunday since things have been so rough over the last few days. I'm so thankful we made the decision to go for a long drive and stop at Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It was the first time we had been there but we all had a great time.  

Fermenting Kit, by GoFerment!

Alright, so the other day I stumbled upon GoFerment. In doing so I just had to have one of these sets! You NEED one of these kits. EVERYONE needs one...This is too cool. Having one of these makes harvesting your own homegrown produce like cabbage and carrots even more exciting! 

This kit is made from BPA FREE materials, is perfect for beginners, uses anaerobic fermentation so you don't need to "burp" your ferments. It is wonderful, even ideal, for small batches or "test batches" PLUS it is made in the USA, Boston proud.  It comes with everything you need and is compatible with any wide mouth mason jar you already have at home. Make a batch anywhere from a half-pint to half gallon in size!  How cool is that y'all?

I cannot WAIT to try a batch of something delicious.  This kit will surely make fermenting fresh produce from the garden easier than ever. It even comes with an e-recipe book! 

Watch the video below to see us opening up our GoFerment kit for the first time! 

Kayaking, Big Wheel Riding, & a Low Country Boil

We started off the day by throwing the kayaks into the water, and then grabbing some amazing greek salads from Georgio's.  Later we let Noahh ride her Big Wheel, and we finished up the day with a fabulous Low Country Boil with taters, onions, corn, crawfish, mussels, and royal reds. (For the best picture, click on the settings wheel and change the quality to HD. )

Addiction. Why I'm Not Afraid To Talk About It.

These types of posts aren't as regular as others we share. We spend a lot of time talking about our kids, homeschooling now, gardening, playing at the beach, and raising urban chickens...yet several years ago I realized I had an awesome opportunity to start sharing our "real life" story...a kind of "behind the scenes" look to those who have been following us here.

My husband and I are still both "taken back" when someone out in public recognizes us from our blog. We think it's crazy ridiculous that so many people are following our story via Instagram, FB and the blog. The tens of thousands of views that this blog gets every month is baffling to the both of us, yet we are so thankful that each of you are here and you like to stop by from time to time. Sharing our lives with you has been just so much fun, and we've learned a lot in the process of it.

You've witnessed the birth of our second and youngest daughter Noahh, came with us on a MAJOR move across the country and you've seen all of our gardening and urban homesteading efforts. Recently in the last year or so we've begun to open up a little deeper, touching on addiction, our faith, the recovery process and our healing.

Something that has really struck me odd, is people's reaction to it.  Most of our readers have been supportive and thankful for our openness, and others have shy'd away and left (for whatever personal reasons they have).  One thing that has been super beneficial to both Erick and I both was opening up and basically "Out-ting Ourselves" to the public. Addiction is hard and nasty, and believe me it does nothing pretty to those who have a spouse fighting addiction.  (I've BEEN THERE! I've been nasty. Mean. Ugly. AND a TERRIBLE person at times because of the emotional rollercoaster I was forced on when I had my own "Discovery Day".) So you ask how can we not be ashamed or embarrassed of the addictions, betrayal or the trauma it all has caused? Well, we realized that we didn't really begin to HEAL until we started being open. We found that the more we talked about what was really happening to us, the better we started communicating with one another, the less ashamed we became, and it was like a giant rock had been lifted off both of our shoulders. The beauty and serenity that this brought was indescribable. Being able to talk about the raw and un-filtered emotions that I was having while I struggled with betrayal trauma somehow made me feel better. It made me realize that I wasn't crazy and there were more people around me suffering with the same symptoms and emotions I was feeling...I wasn't alone.

Erick talks openly about his struggle with addiction, and from his dark past.  We can do so very easily now since we've come up out of that dark place, but it wasn't always that way.  There came a point when we realized that we had a purpose, and if we could help just one other husband or wife feel like they weren't alone, or crazy...then us sharing our story would be worth it.  Addiction touches more lives than you could imagine and if you're one of the few people who have dodged it's ugly face then I am so incredibly happy for you.  If you are however, someone who has experienced the hurt, anger, or betrayal that comes with loving someone who has dealt with addiction then I send you warm wishes of peace. You're not alone, don't be afraid.  There are so many of us who are here to love you, and be there for you. I know that the only reason I was able to pull myself out of that kind of hell was because someone showed me compassion and said "I understand, I've been there too."

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo & Joe Patti's

We went across the Florabama to drop a drink off to Daddy and then we stopped at the zoo on the way home.  Once we got back into Perdido Key, we drove out to Pensacola to hit up Joe Patti's for some fresh seafood.  

To see ALL of the blog posts from past ZOO trips, click here

Boat Ramps & Baby Seedlings

Noahh thinks she's eating "hot sauce" for lunch, we update you about the seeds we started on March 20th (Tomatoes & Peppers) AND we'll spend some time at the Boat Ramp across the street and watch the sunset.

**In the video I mentioned that I'd post a photo update of how our last batch of seeds are doing that are currently growing in the hydroponic beds.  These plants are just starting to flower now and form fruits, which is what we've been waiting for!**

Visiting Historic Fort Pickens, in Pensacola, Florida

Sunday was conference and because we usually watch conference as part of our family home evening on Monday night, we used Sunday as a time to get out of the house and go for a drive.  We ended going through Pensacola Beach and over to Fort Pickens for a morning of adventures.  Here are a few pictures from our trip, and a video at the bottom.  
Daddy and Noahh

Whoa! Big gun! 

It was a challenge keeping up with her. No tunnel or fort was too dark for her!  She led the way through the entire park, dad following not too far behind trying to video. (Which may cause motion sickness, beware!--We're still learning.)

A view of the Gulf of Mexico from the top! 

Overlooking paradise from the top of one of the forts.

Going down! Carefully...

Come with us on our day trip to Fort Pickens along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico here in Pensacola, Fl. WARNING...this was Erick's first time filming and this video may induce motion sickness once we get to the fort. We'll work on that! We're still learning over here so bear with us and we promise to do better next time. Enjoy!

VIEW the LAST TIME we visited Fort Pickens, Here! 

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