We have all heard it before and experienced it in our lives. We are told that it would be too hard, or you do not even know anything about that. Many times, we give up on a dream before we could even give it a chance. The truth is no one is going to hand us our dreams. We must take chances, work hard, and continue to get up each morning after failing and try again to get a taste of that dream. Failure is part of the recipe, but perseverance is the secret ingredient that is sometimes forgotten and hardest to find as we must dig deep on the worst of days to find it.
When I joined the Marine Corps infantry out of high school, it was a dream that I was chasing to be a part of something bigger than myself for something I believed in. I experienced some of the best times of my life in the Marines, but without a doubt, I also experienced the worst days of my life as well. I have learned that not all scars are visible, and we must fight battles that others may not be able to see. Sometimes we need the support system of our peers, but it is hard to come to terms with internally that we need someone or something else to help us keep going. That is part of the reason we wanted to start this whole website/blog/etc. We did not want to spotlight our dream as if it is easy and perfect. We wanted to bring you along to experience our dream, hardships, and everything in between. We want to encourage those of you about to take that first step toward your dream, as well as help those who have taken the step to their dream to keep grinding on. We want to share successes and failures so that we can all learn together and work toward finding joy.
When Katie and I met, we never imagined we would be on the adventure we are currently on. We moved to upstate New York after we fell in love with the beauty when visiting my sister. We were only supposed to spend a couple of days there as we had planned a cross-country trip, but due to a blizzard that was sweeping across the United States, we decided to spend more time in upstate New York and loved it. The area also holds a special place in our hearts because on that same trip is where I proposed to Katie. Originally, we had a preconception of New York as cities and skyscrapers or cookie-cutter neighborhoods but were seeing rolling acres, farms, and lakes. Needless to say, we decided to make a big adjustment in our lives and move. We decided to give up the coastal North Carolina beach life for land, mountains, and snow! I was able to find an opportunity with my employer at the time for a transfer and Katie was able to do her interior designing remotely online for her NC bosses and freelance work here in NY.
As we moved into our new property, we never had the intention of getting into the many things we are currently embarking on. We viewed our property as a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of people and be on our own. It was not until my sister told us that she was placing an order to get ducks and asked if we wanted to place an order as well. We were not sure if it was the right time as we had never had ducks before, but we decided to take the step toward the new adventure and said “YES!” Kind of reminds me of that Jim Carey movie Yes Man. We started with 9 ducks, and we were excited! Little did we know we were embarking on our new adventure.
Our 9 ducks arrived, and we fell in love with them quickly. In fact, we loved them so much that it became a bit of an obsession... let's just say we are currently at a total of 19 ducks and counting... Katie treats them like royalty. She quickly became their favorite as she spoke to them constantly since day 1 of their arrival and her voice has imprinted on them as the motherly figure. As time went by and the ducks grew, we refinished areas in our barn to house the ducks and have experienced everything from bumblefoot, brooding of new ducks, and the feisty ducks associated with the natural brooding process. Our ducks have become more adventurous, and so have we as we start to increase our knowledge and desire into expanding our growing of fruits and vegetables, canning, home renovation, and increasing the animal life on our property. We do not know what the future holds, but we hope to have you all along on the ride with us. We hope that you will share your experiences with us as we share ours with you!