This fathers day Kyle and I will be 870 miles from our dads. We love our fathers and are so grateful for the life lessons they taught us and the love and discipline they faithfully applied in their years of raising us.
So, Dad (Ron & Nick) if your reading this, thank you for be our dads. We love you!
Closer to home, I want to take a moment to honor Kyle the father of my children Colton, Alex.
Did you know there is a deeper reason as to why we have chosen the ranching lifestyle? We are not doing this because of Kyle's dream of being a "cowboy". We are not doing it for money. We are not even doing it for the adventure of saying we did it. Though those are all factors, the reason we do this, and live this way is for our family.
It is no secret that when Kyle and I got married we made no plans for a family. Children just were not in the picture. But, God saw the void in our plans and graciously gave us Colton. At the time of Colton's birth I had been working full time and was the primary breadwinner as Kyle built his farrier business. I was heartbroken at the thought of leavingg my baby to go back to work even though we had the best grandmas to care for him. As I neared the end of my maternity leave, one day Kyle got up, got dressed and informed me he was going to go find a job. I was so surprised by this and honestly skeptical that one could just go out and get a job. But, sure enough God provided and Kyle returned that day with a job. Thus releasing me of the pressure to return to work full time.
God knew what he was doing when he gave Kyle that job at a local dairy. It opened our eyes to a lifestyle we thought was dead and gave us the vision for how we wanted to raise our family.
Through this experience we realized that we could have a lifestyle that would keep us together and allow our son(s) to receive a very important gift. They could learn not only about being close with their family, but they could also literally watch their father work.
Today, so many fathers have to leave to go to work, precious time is lost and few children even know or truly understand what it takes for bread to be on their table. While we understand and respect this is often a necessity. We can't help that we were drawn to an older simpler lifestyle, where from early on the children work alongside their parents. We truly feel this is the best way for us to teach our boys work ethic, responsibility, and how to be ...men.
This desire to impart our values in a very kinesthetic manner led us to further pursue a lifestyle that not only made ends meat, and was something that Kyle enjoyed (after all if you are going to bring in the bacon, why not try to have a little fun too.) but allowed us the flexibility to still be a part of Kyle's work. Ranching seemed to be our next best option. Once again God blessed us with a wonderful job opportunity in Montana. The Hatches fully embraced our family and supported our desire to work closely together. Colton loved beging able to go out irrigating with Kyle, or feeding in the tractor. Even Alex (from a few weeks old) and I got in on the act from time to time.
And still when we had to move back to Michigan, God faithfully provided jobs that even though the opportunities where much more limited we still got to see Kyle work.
I don't know how much Colton and Alex are really absorbing through all this but I can tell you this, They know their daddy works, works hard, and they have a pretty good idea what he does.
And though Colton has plans to be a paleontologist, super hero, police man, cowboy, bull rider. He will also tell you that he wants to be just like his dad.
And Alex... Well, if dad has a rope, he wants one too. And I can't think of a better person for these boys to look up to.
So, Kyle if you read this, I just hope you know how much we all love you and appreciate the sacrifices you make and time you spend with us, you are so important to these boys and to me.