Back in the day the blog was just that – a place where our family did a brain dump, posted untouched photos from our phone or point-and-shoot, and jotted down foods we wanted to remember for next time. It has obviously evolved over time into something much more than we could have imagined, which is great, but we lost that connection to the now as it happens.
But now that Monica’s here we actually got time again to blog about the stuff we want to share, instead of spending that time with the administrative upkeep of the blog! I know, I know… you guys are mostly here for the dessert recipes – but sometimes, it’s not always about the food! That said, I wanted to share with you what our Saturday afternoon looked like.
If you don’t love that Aimee’s daugher wore a pink tutu to the farm and wanted to pet the pigs then your heart is broken.
We ventured to Mount Vernon Farm, run by Mike & Molly (who have become friends) to take some family photos with their friendly and happy pastured Tamworth hogs for the last remaining content of Beyond Bacon – PRAISE THE LARD! Of course, we’re still editing before it goes off to print in about a week, but getting that last item off the checklist feels huge!
As you’ll find out in Beyond Bacon Tamworth is our favorite breed of swine, and it’s not easy to find. Paired with Mike’s fantastic farming practices, Mount Vernon Farm is where our family buys whole hogs. We knew we wanted to take photos with their beautiful red-headed piggies and were thrilled when M&M graciously agreed to open up their farm and help us out.
However, as I mentioned, this was the last thing we needed to do and the last day we could do it before the book went off to print. Stacy was a bit wound tight; a natural born control freak – the weather, boys getting dirty and animals made for too many components out of her control! Everyone chuckled as she started yelling outlandish demands. “Don’t get excited! No jogging! Ten feet away from the puddle! Don’t let the grass touch your pants!”
The boys managed to stay clean – even treking through mud on a farm!
And Aimee, much more comfortable shooting newborns and food that doesn’t move, wasn’t exactly at ease either. We were both pretty nervous about how we were going to manage to get the family looking “put-together” (trust me, getting 3 boys to look at a camera when there’s adorable oinking going on behind you is no easy feat).
Turns out, the weather was fantastic! Mike had even put the two groups of pigs in separate but equally gorgeous fields perfect for photos. And despite monsoons where we lived, the farm hadn’t gotten the same rain and the fear of kids rolling in mud puddles was completely unwarranted. The boys actually behaved extremely well! And Aimee found her groove, performing acrobatic feats to get the perfect shots (she had to get up high to capture the piggies behind us)!
Also turns out, we don’t like to pretend to be something we’re not. So there were only a few posed shots taken before we all laughed at how ridiculous we were being and then let Mike and Molly herd the pigs around us as we enjoyed their company… trying our best to keep the boys focused in the direction of the camera, instead of the oinking happy piggies around us.
My favorite line of the day was when we came back to our cars, parked in the cow field, and Mike says “You’ll probably have some cow nose prints on the van, they’re really curious about cars.”
It was just a beautiful and touching way to end the journey of this book, our 5th child (ELaD being our 4th). I get teary eyed at the thought of figuratively closing the book on the writing we poured ourselves into. Being able to share that day with Aimee (and her family with whom we’re very close) and Mike & Molly at Mount Vernon was just perfect.
A special thanks to Molly Peterson for taking all of the photos from this post on my iPhone, we’re thrilled to also have some of her professional farm photos of Mount Vernon’s pigs featured in Beyond Bacon!
Edited to add two quick videos I didn’t realize we had to share!
Please note, Wesley likes to shout at the pigs. Evidently he thinks they’re going to take his food, because last time they stole an apple out of his hand… “No take food, piggies!” (even though he has no food for them to take)