My name is Jess and I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California with my wonderful husband Ryan and our two boys Wyatt and Micah (our brand new addition). We live on a property just under an acre among the redwoods. We have fruit trees, a garden, chickens, and a border collie. While it’s a longer commute to live up here and much more yard work than a home in town would be, we wouldn’t trade it for anything!
In this blog I will be writing on the topics of: homesteading, family, and health. While I would in no way consider myself an expert in any of these areas, I do have a passion about learning and crafting new ideas. I figured I would start to document my journey with the hope that it may help or inspire others.
I suppose to start off a blog I should give some info on the author (moi). I am not going to lie, the ‘about me’ section was painful to write. Not painful in an emotional way. I have a great life! Painful in the ‘I think it’s awkward writing about yourself way’. However, I will say that doing this exercise helped me connect the dots between the things I value most, the things I enjoy, and the reason I am passionate about the things I am. So here it goes…
Sunshine and Nature
I love the outdoors! I grew up playing outside a lot as a kid. If I wasn’t doing gymnastics I was usually outside on some adventure. I remember countless nights riding my bike on our street and my mom yelling for me to come in for dinner and then me pleading with her for 5 more minutes. When I was older I fell in love with horses and started riding regularly. My husband grew up in a surf family and spent most of his outdoor time on the beach. While his outdoor time growing up looked a lot different than mine, we both share the love of the outdoors. Our first date was a hike and he later proposed to me on a hike. Now, my husband and I are in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz mountains. We are in a completely different scenery from where we grew up in the midwest and a small surf town, but still loving the outdoors just as much.
Family time is a high priority to me. Because my husband and I both work full time, it’s really important to me that the time we get with our kids all together is high quality time (i.e. limited TV/devices and rather engaging in fun conversations, games, hikes, etc.). I’m a pretty big fan of kids playing outside in the natural elements as much as possible. I’m not anti-toys by any means (my son Wyatt has way too many toys), but I do feel like kids don’t need to be entertained with a loud flashy toy every second. I am a fan of encouraging them to use their imagination and play a game with random objects (digging in the dirt, collecting sticks, etc.). Most importantly though is that we, as a family connect with each other, laugh with each other, and help each other, as a unit.
The homesteading part of me may be deeply rooted since my family has always been pretty big DIYers. Aside from a temporary rental home, my dad has built every house that I have lived in during my childhood. My parents now have a large 46 acre property in the midwest with horses and it’s where they are building their dream home. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Actually they had to work really hard to get where they are today. Nothing was ever handed to them. It was because of their hard work, diligence, and God’s blessings that they now have what they have. I mention this because this (hard work) is also one of the values that makes up part of who I am today. It’s not just about producing something (like a homestead) but rather it’s about knowing how to work hard and to value what you have already and to care for each other.
I love to learn about an array of topics! In my spare time (which I don’t have a ton of these days!) I love to read non-fiction books, listen to podcasts, and brainstorm new ideas to apply in our home/to our life. My ideal morning is to wake up before everyone else with an enormous cup of coffee and start reading.
It mostly started when I had my first son and he was almost to the age of starting solid foods. All of the sudden I realized that I was responsible for making sure this child had all the nutrients he needed that would fuel and sustain him. I also realized that I didn’t really know very much about health myself, aside from eating more veggies and less sugar. On top of being motivated to make the right choices for my son, I also felt pretty awful at that time of my life. At the time I thought it was just due to being so sleep deprived that first year, but I later learned my body was actual nutrient deficient in a few key areas. I tried to talk to my conventional medical doctor, but it wasn’t helpful. Not because they weren’t a good doctor, they were actually. It was because they were trained in emergency care and pharmaceuticals, not in nutrition and preventative care. I really couldn’t blame them for not being able to help and I needed to prayerfully take on improving my health and my family’s health. So it all started…one book led to another book…led to a podcast…led to reading scientific and medical journals…to now…where I still wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I definitely feel I have a better grasp about how the body works holistically and ways I can help to fuel it rather than tear it down. I want to share what I have learned through my own research to others who may benefit from the information.
God & His Word
Another tid-bit about me…I am a Christian. This is absolutely the most important part of my life. I am thankful to have been brought up in a loving household where the Word was taught and treasured; and I am so excited to get to do the same in our home.