Monday, January 11, 2016

Christmas In The Country 2015

I vaguely remember when I first learned about "blog world." 

I thought blogs were really strange.  Who has time for that?
When I would happen across one or two to read, I thought it was extra strange how these people acted like friends in the comments with people they had never met.
 Fast forward…
You can only sit through (and promote) so many workshops emphasizing how important it is to tell the story of your farm before you act.  So, I entered “blog world.”  What a great experience it has been, so far!
I love being a part of this edifying environment of smart, strong farm ladies.  I even got to meet one of our hosts, Laurie at Country Linked!  Here’s to the cynics: Blog World IS the Real World.  Real people, real stories, real relationships: here’s to more in 2016. 
On to Christmas in the Country!  This is my first time participating, and I loved the experience.
Lara at My Other More Exciting Life received my name.  Bless her, because I have relatively few posts on my baby blog, which I’m sure made it more difficult to figure me out.  She did wonderful! 

She sent me soup mix made with Minnesota’s wild rice.  I live close to rice country, but we’re just a shade too far north to grow it – and my agriknowledge pride suffered a bit as tried to make sense of rice being grown in Minnesooooota?  Needless to say, I hit up internet.  First of all, Lara, thanks for the wild rice lesson (which isn't the same as our rice, as it turns out, but does have an interesting history). 

Any soup that calls for sour cream and butter sounds like a good bet.  The wild rice definitely did not disappoint.  It had a little spicy kick, but when combined with some garlic bread on this cute plate, and it was perfect!
She also sent me a cute necklace made out of a wheat stamp.  I remembered knowing of wheat stamps, but once again, Lara sent me researching.  The stamp was issued with the beginning of the World Food Congress to commemorate the Food for Peace Act, which was designed to connect farmers’ abundance with hungry people. 
I’m no fashionista, but I did think it looked pretty doggone cute with a simple black tshirt.
I think these might be my first selfies.  Definitely the first to make it to the internet.  It's way harder than it looks.  (Seriously, these are shots #19 & #20.  How can it be so hard to figure out where to look?)  I figured I'd be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity for a duck face.  Enjoy.
Last but not least… one of the gifts did arrive broken: a sweet little dish.  I didn’t want to inconvenience Lara, but word must have cycled back around to her because low-and-behold, a brand new one showed up at my door!  How extra-thoughtful of her!  I really do love it!  I’d never heard the saying before, and it means a little extra knowing one of my new blog world friends picked it out with me in mind!  Perfect for our bread plate, and I didn’t get a picture, but it made one adorable dish for Santa’s cookies.
 Most of all, it’s great to connect with Lara!  She’s quite the impressive lady, which doesn’t take long to figure out by stopping by her blog.  She’s a great communicator, and always on top of current agriculture news.  Bonus: she has a fantastic twitter handle, that you'll have to visit her blog to find. 
I also shipped my own gift out to Julie at Farming Grace Daily.  I was surprised to find Julie, and I had lots in common, mostly in the heart.  After reading her blog, I knew exactly what I wanted to send her because so many things she wrote resonated with me!  You can check out what I sent her over at Farming Grace Daily.

Yes, it meant a few more late nights for this already exhausted mama, but this gift exchange has been a bit of a refuge for me.  A time to take for myself to meet other ladies, create, and enjoy a little something thoughtful for myself.  A big thanks to our hosts Jamie, Laurie, Lara, and Kirby!  Life is good.  Blessings for 2016.


  1. I think you summed up the reason for this exchange perfectly! "a bit of a refuge for me. A time to take for myself to meet other ladies, create and enjoy a little something thoughtful for myself." I could not of said it better Laura! During the busy of the holidays we seldom take a minute for our selves and getting something special in the mail, makes us top and take that moment. I have to confuse, I never open my gift in front of anyone. I wait until the kids are in bed or open it while they are at school so that I have that moment of just seeing what surprises wait for me.

    Best of luck as you continue on your blogging journey!
    Laurie - Country Link

    1. Thanks, Laurie! I'm definitely loving the blogging community more & more! (And I have you to thank for a lot of that!) :)

    2. You are too kind!! If you need anything, you know I am just a click away. 😊

  2. I loved your blog post! And Laurie is so right - you captured the essence of why this blogger gift exchange is so special. :) I'm glad you enjoyed your gifts and I look forward to staying connected!

    Lara - My Other More Exciting Self

  3. Hi Laura! I'm glad you enjoyed the swap so much and I really appreciate the kind words you have to say about it. Everything you mentioned is EXACTLY why we put this on every year - seeing the connections and joy it brings people is beyond priceless, you guys are such blessings! Looks like you got a great gift, and I'm glad the second plate made it in one piece ;)

    1. Thanks, again, for hosting, Jamie! I look forward to next year! :)