68 In Life

I love life in the country…

Are you ready for a long post? I should have posted these pictures in little snippets over the last few days but we’ve been having too much fun to sit behind a computer… the result is a back up of pictures! So… here goes!

little travelers

Our car trip up was not only one of the quickest, but also one of the most pleasant. Rover has decided that he is okay with a car seat {even a flowered one} which thankfully makes for far less screaming!

In case you are new, my parents {whom we all call Mom & Daddy Boy} own a farm in southern Illinois near a small town where they were both born and raised, but Erika and I have never lived here. My dad has worked hard at restoring the property and farm house. He rents the farm land to a local farmer who rotates soy beans and corn {this year it’s soy beans}.Β  Most of my extended family still lives nearby and we get together often usually in the school house that sits on their property.Β  We love coming here and try to make theΒ  long trip twice a year. Last summer we spent all of July {if you want to read about our time last summer you can click on July 2009 on the sidebar}Β  and everything about it was wonderful and so far this visit has been just as wonderful. Especially since Erika, Chance and Sloane are here too!




Daddy Boy always goes all out when it comes to food and always prepares enough to feed a small army. Usually Chasey and Bird Brown, PhD are never far from his side!



Rover has been particularly enthralled with all things green, which there is no shortage of around here…







I’m pretty sure we’ve logged more hours on the Gator in the last 5 days then my parents have in the last 2 months.

Life is slow here and I love it and so do the kids. They have enjoyed playing in blow-up pools on the patio, climbing mulch mountains, picking blueberries, and helping “Mom” in the kitchen. Unfortunately the GIANT blow-up slide we brought didn’t want to hold air which made it impossible to slide down! Oh well, the kids didn’t seem to be disappointed at all.








And JM has done quite a bit of weed eating… in the nude, of course.

As for the adults, we have enjoyed having the company of life long friends from Chicago down for the weekend. Growing up, we lived in Chicago on two different occasions and Anne {and her family} have been friends for life. We were so thankful she and Jeff made the trip down. Just the fact that they beat Erika and DaddyBoy in Scrabble was worth it!! I also wanted to steal Jeff’s shirt… might be my favorite shirt of all time!



We’ve also been: watching hummers, throwing horseshoes, gutting the cottage, swinging on the front porch swings in the chilly {yes chilly} mornings and enjoying all of our surroundings!











Daddy Boy is never short on “BIG” ideas when we get here. This time he figured it was time to gut the cottage {pictured behind Morgan on the mulch pile}. The cottage {which will become what Daddy Boy calls the “Camp House”} sits between the farm house and school house and was in need of a little TLC. They recently installed new windows and added columns out front but the inside of the 1 bedroom house remained untouched. Chance and Justin went to town on it Friday and had it down to the bare bones in a matter of hours. Daddy Boy has been taking full advantage of Erika and Chance while they are here… the after dinner hours have been spent taking Daddy Boy’s post-it note floor plans and elevations for the cottage and putting them in AutoCad.





I love this picture of Daddy Boy because this is how I think of him… smack dab in the middle of a major renovation! He is ALWAYS up to something.


And so is this squirrel. I had a picture of her breaking it down, booty-style in the gutted house but she MADE me delete!


As you can see there’s never a shortage of things going on. The kids love it here… I dare say it’s better than Disney World!


Daddy Boy had a birthday yesterday and I think the kids all thought it was their birthday too. He graciously let them open his presents, blow out his candles, and even shared his delicious cake with them! We love you Daddy Boy thanks for all you do for us and for making our summer vacations always so memorable! Happy Birthday, we love you and we love being here!





Before I sign off… will you please keep the family of Hannah Grace Harrison in your prayers. She passed away yesterday morning at the young and precious age of 4. Jarrod and Marci have clung to Jesus through her whole battle and their post yesterday, although heart wrenching, shows that their source of strength is Jesus Christ and their comfort is in her now complete healing. Hug your children, savor the moments you have with them… every day we have is a gift from our gracious Heavenly Father!

You Might Also Like

  • Jennifer
    August 2, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I loved this post! This looks like absolutely the best place to take little ones in the summer, and I have to say (as I’m sweating over my keyboard down here in GA) that your mention of “chilly” mornings made me even more envious. You’re last point is absolutely right- enjoy every minute πŸ™‚

  • Shar
    August 2, 2010 at 10:32 am

    If I could describe that post in one word, it would be, “LOVE”. Because, that is what comes through upon reading it and viewing the photos. Thank you for reminding us what it is all about!

    August 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

    i just love how you capture such special and sweet memories in your photos. so glad you are enjoying time with your family!! happy bday to your daddy!

    and a prayer has already been said for hannah grace. thank you for sharing.



  • Heather
    August 2, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Looks so fun! I have to check out the link to the school house.

  • CarrieBeth
    August 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    what a fun, fun post! i love pictures of people savoring summer, it’s my favorite season of all! thanks for writing!

  • Adriana L.
    August 2, 2010 at 10:41 am

    This looks so amazing! I love the lifestyle your parents live and how you can go and enjoy all of it! This is the type of place I want to have when I’m older. Just beautiful!

  • Shannon
    August 2, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Sounds like such a fantastic summer escape! You always seem to have so much fun at the farm, I wish I could tag along!

  • Champagne Maker
    August 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Once again, I wish I could photoshop my family into your pictures. I’m closer to your parent’s age than yours, so I could be an aunt or something. Right?

  • DrayaAnn
    August 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I LOVE your trip to Southern Illinois recaps. It is just what I would love to have for my family. So simple but some of the best times ever. Your family is so beautiful and very lucky to be so tight knit. Glad you made it home safe and sound. I dont comment often but I just love your family and photos. They are always so honest and positive.

  • Ashley
    August 2, 2010 at 10:50 am

    What a FUN post!!! Love all the farm pictures πŸ™‚ And SO jealous of the chilly mornings… can’t even remember what those are here in Texas!

    Will be keeping the Harrison family in our prayers…can’t imagine.

    Have a great time with your family! πŸ™‚

  • lauren
    August 2, 2010 at 11:01 am

    the farm looks like such a fun place to be! your children are beautiful and i love to read about your adventures. thanks for sharing!

  • Tessa
    August 2, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Beautiful pictures…looks like a whole lot of sweet memories in the making…thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation with us…that pic of Rover on the tractor with the sun setting behind him belongs in a picture frame. Adorable! πŸ™‚

  • Melissa
    August 2, 2010 at 11:07 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE those photos and rennovating the cottage sounds amazing. You have such an adorable and amazing family.

  • Dianne
    August 2, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Oh what fun!! Next year I’m joining you! LOL

  • Kim at Yellow Brick Home
    August 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Looks like heaven!

    Slowing down is SO good from time to time.

  • Gramercy Home
    August 2, 2010 at 11:47 am

    What a lovely way to spend the summer. Those little babies are getting such great experiences and memories that will last forever!

  • Love This Life
    August 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I grew up in a renovated farm house in the country (where my parents still reside) and seeing pictures of your family reminds me so much of ours when we go to visit my parents. Your parents farm is so dreamy! I absolutely love it and really enjoy seeing the pics of your family’s adventures.

  • Whitney
    August 2, 2010 at 11:51 am

    What a fun post! I’m a new reader, I absolutely love your blog. I can’t wait to see the progress of the cottage! Sending prayers for the Harrison family.

  • pam
    August 2, 2010 at 11:54 am

    darby, the photos are awesome! thanks for sharing them all. love seeing your time on the farm. saying a prayer for hannah’s family. pam

  • Melanie
    August 2, 2010 at 11:55 am

    My best friend’s parents have a summer home in Alton Illinois, and I miss going there in the summer. It is just unbelievably quiet and peaceful. Your pictures are wonderful, it looks like a fabulous trip for you and your family.

  • Kristen {a little ditty}
    August 2, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    These pictures are awesome! I am definitely jealous of your time in the country and the farm and grounds around there look so beautiful! Makes me long for another week off this Summer!

  • Angie
    August 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Looks like so much fun! The farm is so beautiful. So glad the trip with JM was better this time.

  • rhonda
    August 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Love the pictures! Savor these moments…seems like yesterday that I was riding my own little rovers around my parents farm. I will be praying for your friends

  • Sarah
    August 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    As always Darby-thank you for reminding us about family. Will gladly look at more pictures if you got em’.

  • Erin
    August 2, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Darby, I just ADORE your pictures! I am a relatively new reader and after I read this post, I read all of July 2009 and just loved it all! I want to come too! Which lens do you use when most often? And which lens did you use for these pictures (if not the same one:)! Enjoy the rest of ya’ll trip!

  • Kim
    August 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Looks like such a fun laid back trip full of summer memories. I must tell you that your last few posts on summer time have given me a major attitude adjustment. I kinda dreaded summer this year for various reasons and your posts made me realize that I have practically let it sail by without really enjoying it with my three kiddos. So, anyway, thank you for making me wake up and realize that I need to embrace summer and all of its goodness and just fun with my loved ones. THANK YOU!

    And I have been praying and will continue to pray for the Harrison family. Life is so short and so precious.


  • Leslie
    August 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    What an AMAZING place!! I seriously have to show this to my husband when he gets home. Not many places like that in Texas I’m afraid. Have a great trip!!! Looks like you have such a fun and caring family!!

  • Erica
    August 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    What a special place! It looks so peaceful and serene. Moments spent with family are so very rewarding. I imagine your children will have many fond memories of your parent’s farm as they grow older.

  • Kim Dodd
    August 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I have stalked (I say that lightly) your blog for awhile now and just have to tell you that I love your life choices. My girls are 28, 19, and 17…they grow up so fast…and to this day my very favorite time of year is the lazy summer months when we can hang together (the 28 year old is married and recently had our first grandchild which pretty much elevated her to saint status)!! Enjoy your family…make those memories…your children will thank you in the future!

  • Jules
    August 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    It all looks so wonderful! I hope you’ll tell us how you liked the new Francine Rivers book. I’ve been wanting to buy it, but I’ve grounded myself from purchasing new books until I finish all the unread ones I already have.

  • andrea
    August 2, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for all the pix. Daddy Boy ages gracefully! Please tell him I said that! What a handsome man! Woo hoo! πŸ™‚

    I will keep Hannah Grace and family in my prayers.

    If anyone would like to pray for me and my family, that our hearts heal and open up to love and God’s love, why that would be great. Andrea, Matt and Oliver.

    Thank you so much for your blog. Country life is so wonderful. It’s great to be around friends and family. Thanks for sharing.


  • Cat Moore
    August 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Wow! I have no other words, but WOW! Their place is beautiful. Totally and completely breathtaking! Looks like everyone had a good time. Thank you so much for sharing. I would hate for my parents to be that far away, but I guess if they have to be…that’s ONE good place to visit. πŸ™‚

  • Carolyn
    August 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Love seeing all of your great pics…esp. the ones of family time…and your mom and dad cozied up with the kids.

  • andi
    August 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I love all of the pictures!!! It looks like a DREAM!!! What fun! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for our little blessings! You are precious~ Miss you!

  • Lori
    August 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    What fun – thanks for sharing your pictures. Have a great rest of your trip!

  • Shannon
    August 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    beautiful pics. I would love to get more photography tips from you, especially now that I have my own DSLR–but mine are not turning out nearly as good. πŸ™ Also can you tell us where Ericas gray plaid shirt is from? Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  • Shannon
    August 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    oh–and her red pjs…:)

  • Claire
    August 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    What beautiful pictures! Beautiful kids, beautiful farm and surroundings, and beautiful family. All three of my babies used the EXACT same walker that Sloane is pictured in. Sweetness! Enjoy your visit.

  • christy
    August 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I never realized how much Rover looks like your Daddy but in that picture of your Mom and Dad with all the kids in the leather chairs (the one where all the kids are staring at what I will assume is a TV) they look so much alike!

  • alison g. (brazil)
    August 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I LOVE your pictures of the time ya’ll spend at your parents’ – they just make my heart happy! Such a precious family – all of you!
    Birthday wishes to your dad – all the way from Brazil!

    My heart lifts up for Hannah Grace.

  • Jennie-Marie
    August 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Oh how I would love to be there with you all!!! I know you are having a wonderful time and I know in my book it totally beats Disney World! Have a wonderful time and tell your sweet Daddy happy birthday!

  • Aja
    August 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Oh how fun!! What a fun post and summer trip!

  • kayce hughes
    August 2, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Sounds like my idea of heaven.

  • Lauren
    August 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Your parents have a beautiful place! I am sure ya’ll are having an absolute blast…it looks like it from all the pictures! I love the ones of JM in all the green toys! How fun! Cute family~have fun!

  • Meredith
    August 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I always LOVE your posts of your parent’s farm. Have a great trip!

  • kat
    August 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Great pics! Fabulous post. The one of a naked JM in the yard is hysterical.

  • Staci
    August 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    The pictures you post of your parent’s place are always some of my favorites. How blessed you ALL are!

  • chesley
    August 2, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    i love this post! you are the best storyteller with your photos! love them all!

  • allison
    August 2, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Adorable post! I love that hummingbird picture! It is fantastic!
    Enjoy the rest of your trip and be safe coming home!

  • melissa stover
    August 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    what a beautiful place! love that nekkid hiney in the grass.

  • Suzanne
    August 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    The posts about your trips to Illinois always have the BEST pictures! So gorgeous. As I was reading the post, I tried to list all of my favorite pictures in my head, but by the end of the post there were too many to remember!! I do love the one of Paige on swing outside next to Erika in her PJs. Paige’s little smirk in that picture is precious. And I love how she’s been sporting a lot of pony-tails lately ever since you said she wanted to grow her hair out. Anyway, I love your blog. You continue to have the most beautiful family ever!

  • Justine
    August 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    i Love your pictures, and i love the gardens at your parents farm.

  • Sarah
    August 2, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Is the Francin River’s book yours? My mom just finished it and says that I must read it. Beautiful pictures!!!!! Happy summer!

  • Janet Becher
    August 3, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I love your blog and as I am reading it realize your parents are from a place close to where my husband is from he grew up in Evanisville, Indiana. What a small world. Your family is beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing such precious pictures.

  • Kendall Boggs
    August 3, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Beautiful pics Darbs!!! Hope you have a wonderful time! and hope I got my ad right this time!!! so sorry!

  • Tara Verdigets
    August 3, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Looks like a great trip! Tell Daddyboy is the most handsome 57 year old man I know! What a STUD! Love, 61

  • elizabeth
    August 3, 2010 at 7:27 am

    i love your posts from the farm the best! What a great place to kick back and enjoy your family. It makes me wish I was there. I love the pic of your dad with all the grandkids….

  • Abby Maddox
    August 3, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I have been anxiously awaiting this post! So glad the car ride went well, and you are making me wish I was back on a farm with my own family πŸ™ I love the shot of Erika and Morgan. And JM and Justin in the Gator. Missing yall…way on out here in Seattle!

  • Abby Maddox
    August 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I’d like to add as well, that I’m pretty sure you’ve passed on vinegar lady to me. Thanks a lot! πŸ˜‰

  • Courtney
    August 3, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I grew up in Southern Illinois, so I’m wondering where your parents’ farm is . . . all that flat farmland looks familiar! And of course no authentic Illinois farmer would ever use anything other than John Deere πŸ™‚ Love all your photos, and happy to know that you have an IL connection!

  • Mary-Grace
    August 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    These pictures make me desperately want to be a kid again! I am living vicariously though your little Rovers:)

  • Barb
    August 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing! The farm looks so neat and I love that barn!!

  • Aimee
    August 3, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I must say, this is what families and summers should be about. I love this post and wish my family or my husbands could be this way! I grew up in a family like that but we’ve all gone different directions and gotten too busy and because of a c-r-a-z-y sister, my husband’s family has ceased to be one. We used to vacation together in a different place every year and about 3 years ago, that all ended. It’s a shame, but I enjoy living vicariously through you. Thanks!

  • Melissa (melissab74)
    August 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    What GREAT photos and an absolutely wonderful trip! Can’t wait to see what y’all do with that cottage!

  • Marianne
    August 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    What a remarkable and magical place! Disney doesn’t even come close! You are truly blessed with such a beautiful family. Enjoy every second at the farm and soak it all in. It looks fabulous! Looking forward to the rest of you pics!

  • Rachael
    August 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

    New to your site! Love the old barn. I am not sure of your exact location in IL, but there is a great flea market called third sunday market every 3rd Sunday in Bloomingtom. It is large and indoor/outdoor.

  • Beth
    August 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Two thumbs up for all thing green. The hubby works for John Deere and we love to see those green toys on the farm! The trip looks wonderful. πŸ™‚

  • ahhh the country » Urban Grace Interiors {the blog}
    August 5, 2010 at 9:21 am

    […] it happen.Β  I took too short of a maternity leave and would like to cash it in.If you’ve already read my sister’s blog sorry if this is old news.Sloane and her daddy flew up on Thursday morning, Sloane’s first […]