July 7, 2004
I'm not going to deny it, moving to the ranch was the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life. Even though I grew up in a small town in eastern South Dakota, I had lived in bigger cities up until we moved to the ranch. I had grown accustomed to running to the grocery store whenever we needed anything, going out for dinner when I didn't feel like cooking, or just catching a movie if we were bored that night.
We aren't able to do things like that now that we live 100 miles from Rapid City. I have to keep a very good grocery list because I can't just run to the store if I forget something. We hardly ever get to go out to eat (unless we're in town buying groceries!). And catching a movie doesn't happen very often either. Needless to say, I never dreamed I would ever end up living in the country, let alone on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, but now that I'm here, I wouldn't dream of leaving.
The first year was the roughest, which was to be expected. We moved in with Scott's parents for 4 months while our house was being finished. I think moving in with anybody would be tough, but it was even harder because we had a 15-month girl and a 2-month boy who was colicky. (I won't even go into the trouble we had with getting our house set up.) When we finally moved into our home, it got better.
I believe what truly helped me adjust was getting involved in the local Bible study group for young mothers. That was the best thing I could have possibly done for my family and myself. It helped me realize I wasn't the only one going through trying times; other women were experiencing the same everyday frustrations that I was going through. Another great thing that happened to me was the close friendship I instantly formed with a young mother who is considered a neighbor (she lives 18 miles away).
We are now six weeks away from having baby number three and a lot of people think I'm crazy. I think it will be a little rough for the first year, maybe two, but after that I'm hoping our kids will be the best of friends and will enjoy playing with each other. I'm a little anxious about being a good hour and a half from the hospital where I'll be having the baby Ã but I'll put that into God's hands.
Beyond my role as a homemaker, I also help out with the ranch business. I have taken over all of the finances, which I hadn't gotten involved with before moving to the ranch. I've also taken Beginning Farmer classes, which were required for our FSA loan to purchase our cattle. Additionally, one of my first real involvements with the ranch was going to a bull sale with my father-in-law, and actually getting to help purchase our first two bulls. Even though the whole ranching concept is still foreign to me, I'm learning, and wanting to get more involved in helping us to become successful ranchers.
Overall, moving to the ranch has been a positive experience for all of us. The kids love chasing the cows and riding horses and Scott and I love the peacefulness of country living.