We closed on our house on August 30, 2011. I remember getting those keys and Mister and I calling our family members to tell them the news... then I remember us feeling sick. "Did we just do the right thing?" "Are we going to regret this?" "Can we handle it?" 

Most first time homeowners/newlyweds (although I don't quite see us in the newlywed category anymore) opt for a low maintenance type of dwelling. We had that option. We stared it in the face. We almost chose it. But then we saw 6 acres. We saw a green metal roof over a big front porch. We saw space for a garden and animals. We saw our future running around freely under a big open sky. And we saw the sunset from those front porch steps. While I'm not at all saying there's not value in a neighborhood, Mister and I knew that we were not meant to be cooped up in a half-acre lot with little room for being who we are. Sometimes I think Mister feeds off the sun itself and the smell of grass and sawdust somehow give him nourishment. Me. I need dirt. And lots of it. Give me dirt to dig in and I am happy. So with plenty of sun, dirt, grass, and trees, we knew this place was right for us.

Then, we came "home" to it. Mister carried me over that threshold and the first year of being homeowners had begun... The last year has had its share of successes and failures. We've learned a lot. It's a good thing we like to learn or else we would be in a world of trouble! 

What have we learned in our first year?

1. Boots are not just for fashion. I look at people wearing boots in a totally different light, now. As my teacher saying goes, "They're tools, not toys." If I had a dollar for every time I stubbed my toe, got stepped on by our goats, or stepped on something much less pleasant than grass, before I finally learned my lesson about the true value of my Tony Lama's, well, I'd have at least a hundred bucks.
2. Goats can get out of anything. Period.
3. You should really make sure you have what you need before getting an animal. Period.
4. Things leak.
5. Things break.
6. 4 and 5 happen when you really don't want them to.
7. You can be as innovative as you want to be. And should really want to be as innovative as possible. 
8. Having a spouse that shares a love for hard-work and outdoor things is truly a gift.
9. If you have a lot of grass. You need a lawn mower.
10. Lawn mowers cost a lot money.
11. Just about everything you need for a house costs a lot of money.
12. We don't have a lot of money.
13. Growing your own food is worth every bug you have to kill, knee you scrape, and arm you bruise. 
14. I hate weeds.
15. I hate dogs that eat my herbs.
16. I hate that I planted my herbs in a horrible spot and that it doesn't really matter if the dogs eat them anyway.
17. Dogs? Those cost money, too.
18. All animals, for that matter, cost money.
19. Knowing every animal you own has a purpose and give you something in return? Priceless... somedays... when they're not crowing, barking, bleating, or screeching at 4 in the morning... or all day. Or just whenever the heck they want to.
And... I'll stop at 20 or else I'd go on forever...
20. A sunset, shared on the front step with the person you would give your life for, looked upon with the knowledge that the Good LORD put it there just for the two of you, and is pouring out His love, wisdom, and blessings daily... that's home. No matter where you are.

So, with a year under our belts, I'd say that the Twin Cedars Homestead is off to a pretty good start.