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Life is hard. It is especially hard when you're barely one quarter through it and expect so much from it or are expected to be who or do what others want you to do. Yuck - what a mouthful. Life is also beautiful. As I'm making myself do this week's blog entry I'm having a pretty strong contraction that is preparing my body for childbirth. I've experienced this before so I know what to expect. I've never been this pregnant per se but have a pretty good grasp on the concept of having a baby and the process, un-medicated even. Getting the chance to go to term is so exciting. Our trip to UVA was once again a short one last Friday and the doctors even talked about making it to 39 weeks. We'll be 36 weeks this coming Thursday. Our hospital bag is packed, we have a super awesome car seat and I even have detailed notes for care of the animals if we're gone for a few days. Our son will be such an amazing big brother. He reminds me daily to 'sit down' and 'take breaks'. My nesting has overflowed into the yard with flowers in pots and just a few things in our tiny garden square.

We cleaned the barn out today and it almost made me cry. What I would give for a proper barn with hay storage and stalls and elevated loafing areas and lean to run ins, just to name a few. Not to mention an area our kids could play while we do chores or a shady spot dedicated to sweet tea and good conversation. We are so fortunate yet so stuck. Land prices are out of this world and farming just doesn't pay the big bucks. Daydreaming of out West seems more and more inviting the closer we get to having the baby. Goats are my passion but you have to wonder some times.

On a more positive note - each and every girl is trained to the milking stand and the kid crop this year looks better than the last. I guess that's progress. We'll be weaning the boys and taking a load to market in the next 60 days. The doelings will grow up with their dams until the smaller paddock rests and has fresh grass to wean them as well. We'll definitely be at our 30 milking doe limit next year - wow, that was fast. The cheese cave looks nice and even though some of the rounds weren't perfect there is 100% hope that we'll have aged cheese on the shelf this summer.

A Winter's worth of poop and straw. Ideally and in the future we will have large stone and man sand for the loafing areas.

Shedding makes the girls look rough and almost sickly but in a few weeks they'll be shiny and smooth again.

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