Two {freakin awesome} years

Posted on September 18th, 2012 by Tonia 13 Comments

Happy two year anniversary to my favorite person! Waking up today to clear blue skies, a nip in the air, fall colors and sunshine brought memories flooding back from our wedding day. Thank you to all the friends and family who made that weekend so incredible. We are so blessed!!

Mike, so much has happened since we said our vows under the cedar arbor you made. That arbor now stands rooted out in our back field. We planted grape vines under it this summer, and in a few years they will have climbed all the way up its posts to create a shady canopy. I imagine we’ll sit there in the shade together on summer evenings and talk about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

In two years we’ve made this place a home, learned how to keep a large garden alive, we’ve raised animals for companionship and for food, we’ve made friends, we’ve grown our business and started new businesses, we’ve traveled, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried and we’ve grown. I have you to thank for all of this, my partner and my best friend. I love my life, and I love you Mike! ♥


P.S. We’re back from CA! It’s so good to be home. It could be because we were working our tails off outside in the 90+ degree heat all day for eight days, but it turns out I’m not a fan of Southern Cali. It’s dirty, the traffic is phenomenally horrid {like, I feared for my life every time I had to get on the freeway}, and {I don’t really know how to put this…} the people who live there seem to value material things and money over basically everything else.

BMWs and Benzes everywhere. 30 million dollar homes. Fancy sunglasses. Even the middle class seems to be trying to come across as wealthier than they are. Everyone aspires to live like a millionaire. It’s….creepy. I don’t know how else to say it. I’m sorry if this observation offends any CA readers. I’m sure that not everyone in CA is this way, but it was certainly my observation that in general, the cultural value system is focused around money and materialism. And it weird-ed us out.

I’m sure that many people out there would look at how we live and think, “Gross! They have to go outside and chop firewood and stoke a stove in order to not freeze to death!! Who would want to live that way.” Or on the other hand there are many people who live even more simply and more low-impact than we do and they would tell us we’re the ones who are materialistic. And that’s fine. We’re all different, and there’s no necessarily right or wrong way to go about living life. But for us, coming home felt like going on vacation compared to how most people in CA live.

We came home to a blast of fall weather and fresh, clean air and the slow pace of life in the Northwoods. And Keith at the bakery in town said, “Hey welcome back! How was Cali? Are you having the usual?” And crappy cars! Or rather, normal cars. The kind of cars that you can drive on slippery roads and pack full of your kids’ hockey gear. I could not be happier/more thankful about where we live. It seems that every time I leave, I’m reminded that I belong here.

This week my mom is coming to help me harvest the garden and preserve massive amounts of tomatoes, kale, peppers and beans. We’re going to my friend Sarah’s yoga class tonight. There’s talk of an apple cider pressing party with friends later in the week. We made our first fire of the season in the woodstove last night and I wore wool socks.


  1. Pam says:

    HAPPY FREAKIN’ ANNIVERSARY! I live in Northern California and you’re not wrong about the people in the Southern region. There’s plenty more like ’em in the Bay Area, as well. Personally, I think that you and Mike are living the ideal life. Yay, Fall on the farm!

  2. esb says:


  3. esb says:

    p.s. happy anniversary!

  4. Tonia says:

    I LOVE Northern Cali, Pam. Been there several times and could definitely live up there.
    @esb- I KNOW!!!! 😛

    Thanks for the congrats!

  5. jessica says:

    esb- if one of the things she hated about LA was the dirtiness, then I’d hardly think venturing to the east side would do much to improve her opinion.

  6. Lori says:

    happy anniversary! :)

  7. Devin says:

    It’s such a great thing to really love you where you live! It’s easy as Midwesterners to feel like less than our coastal counterparts. Less cool, less hip, etc.
    But what I love most about the Midwest is the people. It’s cheesy, but true, that Minnesota nice ( or Wisconsin nice ) does exist. You don’t really have to search to hard for it either . Welcome back to the mother-land!

  8. Dana says:

    Happy Anniversary to you guys!(a day late) Your way of living is much more appealing than SoCal. You guys are Midwesterners. How you can not be when your last name is in the word Midwesterners?!

  9. Tonia says:

    Hahahaha Dana!! Good point…..that’s so funny!!

  10. Caitlyn says:

    Happy Anniversary you guys! I would totally love to do a wedding redo. Your wedding was so much fun and absolutely beautiful

  11. Christine says:

    I am a regular reader of your blog (which I love). I have never been to SoCal but have heard exactly what you mentioned in your post. I would love to visit Northern CA and see what that is like, however!

    When I was in Alaska, and Seattle WA, this past summer I was amazed at how amazingly nice everyone was. I live in a very countryish area in NY (about an hour north of Manhattan) and just could not believe how polite and friendly everyone was out West.

  12. Cynthia says:

    I live in California and completely agree with you :) I am very hopeful that not all of California lives with money on their mind all the time lol, but for the most part that is where Hollywood is and has portrayed such images, and so has society. I wish the world was evil free but what can we do, but live our lives as pure and righteous as we can. I wish I had been raised on your way of living, and always say when I have enough money I’m buying a farm. I have 3 kids and wish I did have a farm for them. California is not for me but this where I have to be for now. Thank you for being so honest, but there will always be people who want to live simply, and there will always be those who have that privilege but want to live the glamorous life. May God Bless and keep you and your family always.

  13. hena tayeb says:

    Happy Belated Anniversary and here’s to many many more.

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