I’m pleased to introduce Sarah, also known as Sarah In Illinois. Sarah is a long time reader and commenter on the blog. Over the years we’ve exchanged a few emails and gotten to know each other a bit. It seemed like Sarah and I were living similar lives in a lot of ways, so I asked her if she’d like to share some of her story here. Sarah doesn’t have a blog of her own, so I’m happy to turn mine over to her today.
Hi! My name is Sarah, and I am so excited to stop in and share with you. You may have seen me leave comments here as “Sarah In Illinois.” When Julia asked me if I was interested in an occasional guest post, I was flattered and honored. I hope my contribution to this site will be interesting to read!
I really enjoy reading everyday life/farm living blogs and I think it stems from having pen pals when I was in elementary school. I loved to read how everyday things were done differently in other countries or even in other areas of the US, and I view blogs as a modern version of a pen pal.
A little about myself: I am in my late 30s. I have always lived near small towns in rural Illinois. In fact the population of my current town is less than 1,200. I am engaged to my boyfriend of over 6 years, Steve. Steve sells seed, farms for another person and more recently he started farming for us.
He has 14 year old twins that are often with us, and our pets include a German Shepherd, a Chocolate Lab, a barn cat and 3 hermit crabs! Both of our sets of parents and my brother live less than 15 miles from us and his siblings and our extended families live not much further away than that!
I attended college and received a bachelor’s degree in construction management and a minor in architectural design. I chose that area of study because I love old houses, but I never went to work in that field. My parents owned the automotive parts store where I worked growing up, and when they sold it I continued to work for the current owner. So my love of old homes is really just a hobby, at least for now.
Until a couple years ago I lived alone in a huge old farm house. There was never a shortage of projects there and with my dad’s help I learned so much about home renovations hands on. After 10 years, I began to realize that the house was really too large for me both physically and financially. And it was about that time Steve and I decided we were ready to move in together, so I said goodbye to my farm house and moved in with Steve.
Our current house is smaller, but of course there is a long list of projects we want to accomplish there too! Steve and I have tackled projects together with nothing more than a quick look on YouTube and a run to the home improvement store. We have replaced windows, tiled floors, built walls, textured walls (often called knock down) and our next project, that we plan to do all on our own, is a two room addition!
When I am not at work or working on home projects, I like to bowl in a league, read self-help and dystopian fiction, watch TV with Steve (thank goodness for DVR!), paint with acrylics, feed and watch hummingbirds, and run. This year I decided to try to make healthier decisions and so I started training and ran my first 5K in July!
I plan to share some of our projects in the house, in the yard and in the garden in future posts. Like Julia and Matt, we love our pets like family members so I am sure they will make an appearance occasionally.
I hope you enjoy my posts and if you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me at email@example.com. You can also follow me on Instagram: sarah_in_illinois.
Thanks so much, Sarah! I had pen pals growing up too, but it’s been awhile. And I don’t think I ever had a pen pal in Illinois. It’s great to learn about your life there. Country living, DIY home reno, pets, running, living close to family, dystopian fiction… I feel like we could be the same person (except for the hermit crabs, of course)!
Hi Sarah! I’ve read your comments many times. It’s nice to put a face with a name. I’m new to instagram, so I just went and followed you there. I love the photo of your farm. I spent the majority of my life in Alberta, so that sky and those puffy thunderheads look like home to me!
Cheers, Jan Eli
Hi Jan! Thank you! We love our home. It is so peaceful. We love to sit out on the deck and just listen to birds and hear the wind blow through the corn fields. Although, cicadias are here now and they are so loud, that is about all we can hear!
Thanks again for inviting me Julia!
I may have to post some day about the hermit crabs, they weren’t planned to be pets. But they turn out to be pretty interesting and actually really low maintenance!
You’re very welcome, Sarah. It was great to learn more about you and your life in Illinois.