Fresh Off The Farm {coming home}


Every year we travel back to Illinois to spend a few weeks at my parent's farm.


This is a place of pure joy for my children!

I didn't grow up here.  

When my parents told me four years ago that they were going to sell the house I grew up in I cried and cried.  I was quite pathetic about the whole thing.  It was hard for me to let the house go and to realize that my children would not grow up playing there.

My dad grew up on a farm and was eager to have a little more room and quiet.

I had no way of knowing how much we would all come to love this land and the peace and quiet that this little farm would bring (the water pressure is another story…sorry  mom…it has to be told).


Many of our mornings begin with coffee or tea on the front porch as we watch the children already running around and playing in the tree house.


My children talk ALL YEAR about Grandma Madolyn's popsicles. 


I swear they eat about four a day while we are there.  I don't want to spoil it for them but it is just frozen grape juice:-)

Hours upon hours are spent outside playing with tractors, an old pogo stick found in the barn, exploring the land, tree house building and of course…digging for all kinds of creatures.

Picnik collage(toys)

Every night for dinner we were blessed with fresh vegetables from the garden.

Picnik collage(garden)

Every morning we would take a fast walk down the lane and a few times in the evening I walked the lane by myself just taking photos and thinking.

Picnik collage(road)

Being here helps me to focus and think more clearly.


After our very first visit ,four years ago,  I have completely understood why my parent's moved here and I have never missed that beautiful old home we grew up in. 

We are making new memories now.

Do your parent's still live in the home you grew up in?





Share this Post


  1. I love that you have fallen in love with this place and I can see why. The house I grew up in was sold 4 years ago as after Dad’s passing Mom had a hard time with things like snow removal and getting the lawn mowed. The day of the move I teared up but it was the next day when we went back to pick up a few things from the garage when I went into the ugly cry. I stood out in the driveway before getting into the truck and sobbed and sobbed ~ the ugly cry for sure. My childhood passed before my eyes like a film ~ so many memories but I realized that I will carry those in my heart forever. Gorgeous shots as always Jeanne ~ I so enjoy each and every visit to your blog.

  2. staceyyaculastudio

    Such beautiful photos of such a beautiful place.
    My attachment seems to be with the family cottage. Like you there is a certain peace and calmness about the place. I truly feel at ease and really “me”!
    Like you this special place I spent many days growing up with lots of family memories. My children have been blessed with that experience & they love it! It has been so wonderful to be able to share such a “happy” place with my little family. However, life grows and changes and we are unsure how many more summers we will have. It makes me very sad to think of not being able to escape to such a place that has shaped me and given us so many family memories. I find it easier to just be thankful every time we are there and make a secret wish that it isn’t our last!

  3. Kathryn

    It looks like such a beatiful place to create new memories in. My mother sold my family home a few years after my father died (it was too much for her to handle on her own). I recently did a trip home to the UK and got to see her new place, it’s smaller and a lot nearer to town which is so convenient for her. It’s not the house that makes the home but the people in it.

  4. deborah

    my parents moved from my childhood home a few years ago and my boys miss it more than i do. your parents’ *new* place looks heavenly. i’d love to walk that dirt road and have fresh picked veggies at every meal. see? it’s all good;)

  5. Leah C

    It looks like your parents found a little “slice of heaven”…beautiful, beautiful place! My parents sold the house I grew up in and moved next door to us; the best neighbors:) And even though Mom only lived in their new house for two years, I still feel her presence beside me.

  6. Becky @ Farmgirl Paints

    I would have bawled and bawled too. That’s where your memories are…but boy did you get something great in return. Makes me homesick looking at those beautiful pics. I haven’t been home since March!
    Oh and it’s the only home I’ve ever known…outside of my own that is:) Have a beautiful day friend. Get lots done!

  7. shannon

    How I wish we had a farm to go to and stay at! My parents recently moved from my childhood home as well and it was very hard for me in the beginning but now we have come to love there new home even though it isn’t an amazing farmhouse πŸ™‚

  8. cowgirl

    No, my parents moved off the ranch I grew up on to another ranch– which is actually closer to where we live now. I can’t wait to take my unborn baby to visit the grandparents on a ranch… such fun will be had by all! πŸ˜‰

  9. Courtney Walsh

    What a great job you’ve done capturing the heart of it and why you love it there. It looks just beautiful. I can still see the house where you grew up in my mind, and I know why it’d be hard to see someone else living there, but this is a wonderful trade!
    So glad you had a good visit! πŸ™‚

  10. rachel

    Such lovely photos. πŸ™‚ My parents live in Missouri so I know exactly how you feel when you visit. πŸ™‚

  11. Katsui Jewelry

    My family home has been gone for forty-two years, since I was eighteen. My mother died suddenly and my father could no longer stand to live with the memories. He moved into his parents’ house and locked the door on our house for a year, leaving everything as it was. My SIL and I used to break in the back door and look at pictures and writing that my mother had done. One day, when I was gone, it was all thrown out. It still breaks my heart. We had taken one piece of her writing. I wish we had taken it all.

  12. amy

    pogo stick!? is it mine??=) great porch, tractor, and barn shot. nice, jeanne. look forward to seeing more of the trip!

  13. Mikal

    I completely understand your panic when your parents said they were selling… I went one step nuttier and bought my family home… there was NO way someone else was living in it. I already dealt with someone buying my grandparents home, it couldn’t happen to me again!
    Now when my little fixer upper is causing me to pull my hair out, I remind myself of why I did it…
    I would rather be living on a lovely farm like your parents though… so, sooo beautiful!

  14. lissa

    that is such a great place to take the kids and they will always remember it! Now… are we ever going to get to see the new haircut? Still waiting….

  15. Holly

    My parents do still live in the house in which I grew up. They moved for a time (family drama), but are back now. It is in the country, with fields around, so I know the air and the feel and the space and peace that you are talking about when you visit your parents. . .

  16. Lara

    OH, it’s just dreamland, isn’t it? No wonder you fantasize about living there again. You “looking up barn image” is one of my faves you’ve taken. It just takes me there.
    Happy homecoming, sweet friend!

  17. Suzen

    Thank you for sharing this, Jeanne. I am on the other end, being the Grandma. I married very young and had my children right away, so never did anything for myself, really. Now I want to travel and I want to live somewhere else besides where I am, and where my girls and grandbaby is. It is a heartbreaker for everyone, but what I am going to do? I’m glad to see that there is a happy ending eventually and it looks like it’s a real blessing for your kids, especially!

  18. Traci

    such a beautiful place. magical for you and the kids. i think your parents made a wonderful choice. my mom still lives in the house i grew up in.

  19. Flower Patch Farmgirl

    So gorgeous!! This is the sort of thing that is HOME to me.
    My parents do still live in the house I grew up in and I love being able to go back and visit, climb the old stairs. I think the day is coming when they’ll have to down-size a bit and it’ll be sad! But you’re right – it’s ok to make a bunch of new memories and traditions.

  20. anne marie

    darling photo of his curls…and of the farm – especially the clothes line –
    i wish I had my grandparent’s farm still in Michigan – but this one will do (lol)

  21. Heather

    The house I grew up in is now a “weekend home” and personal golf course for someone who has more money than he knew what to do with. I grew up there, was married there, and at one point called it home with two of my children while my husband was in the police academy. Lucky for me, I can still drive by and see my home…of course it isn’t quite the same (sometimes money does NOT equal style!) but we can see it and I love it. I cry just about every time, but it is always with a smile on my face! I can’t wait for the day that I can have my own slice of land for my children to bring their children and build their own memories!

  22. phyllis

    Country kids must be the happiest! Room to breathe and all that…explore and get dirty πŸ™‚ I always hear the Green Acres song in my head LOL!

  23. LuLu

    It’s breathtaking scenery! No my parents left our home i grew up in.. left the State of CA for WA state and love it there. Their home is “theirs” i love it because it shows me that they have continued to build a wonderful life after all 4 children left home… they didn’t feel tied to their roots and that has stuck with me. Home is where you are and what you do with it.

  24. Lana

    We are on the other end of that…we will soon bid farewell to the home my children grew up in here in Sugar Land…all memories of friends over, fights over the remote between my two youngest girls – that resulted in red fingernail polish all over my white carpet…and finally one by one…graduation parties and farewells said in the driveway as we loaded each of the five off to a different college…some near…one very far…
    Since that time, we have grown ever so fond of a peice of land we bought in the Hill Country…and for the past year we have been building a little house for us…and with every hammer of a nail…with our future grandchildren in mind! I can’t wait…I want my children and my grandchildren to love our new place just as much too!
    I think I will steal the popcicle idea for sure…just to cement the deal!
    Tell your mom thanks for me!

  25. Alicia

    Jeanne, just got my skirt in the mail today!! So cute…love the packaging πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to wear it…thanks!

  26. andrea

    It’s such a wonderful place for your kids to make memories…there’s nothing like visting grandma and grandpa on the farm.
    Oh…and I wanted to tell ya…when I receive your packages they are always so beautiful…and I absolutely love the painted words on the old book pages…I have them pinned to my inspirations board…and they truly inspire…thank you friend ;o)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.