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In the garden with Faith Kirby

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

Faith is a mama of two living in the lakeshore of West Michigan. I had the opportunity to chat with her about motherhood, gardening and life by the lake! She loves to bake, read, write for her blog and spend time in the garden.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

We live on the lakeshore of West Michigan, and absolutely love the lake town life! West

Michigan is so fun--especially if you love the outdoors. We have sand and the beach, woods

and hiking trails, stretches of beautiful water, sand dunes and rock sculptures farther north,

bigger cities to the East, beautiful, rich farmlands, vineyards and orchards, and of course snow in the winter! And, there is nothing quite like the community and people here. We are a military family and nowhere has ever felt quite like HOME.

I feel incredibly blessed to say I am married to my high school sweetheart. We have known each other since kindergarten, began dating sophomore year of high school, and have been together ever since! We have been married 6 years this past May, and it is crazy how fast time flies! We have 2 beautiful little girls: Avary and Everly. Avary is 3.5 and is a carbon copy of her mama. I see so much of myself in her the older she gets. She is the sweetest, most sensitive, timid, feisty little girl! She still loves her baby blankie, has a killer dimple on her left cheek, loves to be “mom” to her little sister, and cannot wait to start preschool in the fall!

Everly is 1.5 and is as fearless and mischievous as they come! She is our daredevil, risk-taker,

“been to the ER 2 times before 2” kid! No matter how brave she is, though, she always wants her mama. She prefers being toted around on someone’s hip, if they allow it. She loves all animals--especially kitties. Her big sister is her favorite person, and I know the 2 of them will be inseperable!

How did you get started gardening?

This year will only be our second year gardening! Over the last 3-4 years, our family began feeling the desire to overhaul our lifestyle. To live more simply, more responsibly, and closer to nature! Gardening was a natural step in this direction. So despite buying a home with less than .2 acres in the middle of the city, we chose to look at what we could do with what we did have, and started raised bed gardening!

Gardening is definitely a family affair in our household. It was really important to my husband

and I that we teach our children where food really comes from and how to nurture the earth and plants. Our girls help us plant seeds, pull weeds, water the garden, and of course eat the produce right off the vines or straight out of the ground!

Do you have any tips, recommendations, or favorite resources for someone getting started?

I actually wrote a blog post over on Growing the Nest specifically for first time gardeners with all of my favorite resources: books, websites, blogs, YouTube channels, etc.! My advice is to not look at the space you feel like you don’t have or the resources you don’t have. Start now, start small, and do something! For several years, we kept putting it off thinking ‘one day when we have our homestead’ and ‘one day when we are in our forever home’. You’d be amazed how much you can grow in a small space and how little you truly need to start a garden. Also, think outside the box! Raised beds, vertical gardens, container gardening, back to eden gardens, a community garden in your town! Go to the library and grab some books on gardening, urban gardening, homesteading--whatever applies to you--and get started. You can do it!

What does a typical day / week look like in your home?

As a stay-at-home mama, my days are centered around my kids. Think: play dates, coffee

dates with mama friends, playgroups, library storytimes, playground/park runs, grocery

shopping, errand runs, farmer’s market days, picnics (all summer long), swim class, cooking

from scratch at home, baking, and laundry--all day every day! Honestly, I couldn’t be more

grateful and blessed in this season of motherhood. It is busy, exhausting, exhilarating, and

fulfilling all at the same time!

I have really been learning to find joy in the little things. At home, it is in my houseplants that

bring life into each room. It is in the rituals that we do daily as a family: preparing meals,

working in the garden, playing together, baking new things, having dance parties, reading books together, making my afternoon coffee. All the simple things during the day are what I have come to appreciate the most.

Do you have any tips for creating an organized home?

One of the best ways I have been able to keep our home more organized has been embracing minimalism! When we moved into our home that was smaller than we had initially planned, I began decluttering. Anything that hadn’t been used within the last year, was not sentimental, or served no purpose, I got rid of it. Also, keep decluttering a regular event in your house. Keeping in this mindset and purging, even monthly, can keep your home so much more organized! Also, my husband jokes with me all the time about how I have a basket obsession--and I might--but I love thrifting baskets and creating designated spaces for everything in our home. Make a home for everything in your home and cleaning and tidying up will be that much easier! When it comes to cleaning schedules, I don’t adhere to anything strict. I try to make it a point to have my kitchen, living room, and the playroom picked up every single night. These are the areas we live in the most! When I wake up to these areas clean, it makes our day run so much smoother. I am a mom of toddlers, so I sweep and vacuum often.

I have adopted a very simple approach to meals these days. I love preparing meals that can all go into one bowl like, soups, stews, nourish bowls, pasta bowls. Our nourish bowls are generally a grain like rice, quinoa, lentils, or gluten free pasta loaded with

fresh veggies, and a meat protein. My 1.5 year old was recently diagnosed with dairy and

gluten intolerance so our diet has changed drastically. We eat lots of raw fruits, veggies, nuts, dried fruit, protein, and whole grains for lunch (kind of like charcuterie board style) and for breakfast we keep it simple with coconut milk yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, local organic eggs, bacon, sausage, gluten free waffles, or whatever I have baked at the moment.

Eating the same kinds of food and meals allows me not rigidly meal plan because I know the

kind of food I need for every grocery trip. I just sub different veggies, fruits, and grains to keep it fresh, and Pinterest a meal idea when I want something special!

What “fills your cup” as a mama?

Slowing down and remembering to spend time in the quiet is so important for me to stay

inspired. Our world is so loud, and we have so much vying for our attention. My mind can get lost if I let too much in. Also, reading my Bible and seeking out what God wants to teach me, and spending time with people that encourage, inspire, and motivate me are all ways I stay inspired.

Being able to be creative, working in the garden, listening to a good podcast, reading a book, coffee dates with friends, running errands alone are some of my favorite things that fill my cup!”

What is your go-to daily style?

You can typically find me in some high-waisted mom jeans and a comfy top, but now that it is

summertime, sundresses are definitely my go-to when I want to feel put together without having to think too much!

What are you reading right now?

I just started reading Own Your Everyday by Jordan Dooley and it is so good! It’s all about

letting go of the pressure we place on ourselves--what other people may think of us, labels,

expectations--and finding and living in our God-given purpose!

Connect with Faith

Faith has a beautiful blog called Growing the Nest and you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram @thegrowingnest

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