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Bishop Family Farm

This chronicles the first year of our home at the BFF.



START HERE: Home Sweet Land


We got to work right away on the demo, which is now complete. We uncovered beautiful hardwood floors that we plan to refinish. We also took down walls and closets to reconfigure the layout and give us more open space.  It was in rather BAD shape to begin with but, for the most part, it has good bones. There’s also that 6 acres, which is what we were really going for! Our contractor starts next week and we are so excited to see the little house come together.


This month we have been knee-deep in the middle of our remodel. Things have been changing at a rapid pace, which is both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Our contractor has been AMAZING and it’s been a lot of fun to watch our house completely transform in just a few weeks. As for me, I am all decisioned out. Between cabinets, light fixtures, tile, paint, grout, doors, faucets, vent covers, granite, trim, windows, shelving, knobs, and pulls – surely, there is nothing left for me to have to choose. Ha!

We watched our little house get demolished down to the studs and it’s been fascinating to watch it get put back together in a new and improved way. At this point, we are closing in on the final stage and are just a few weeks away from being able to move in. Granted, we still have the 1, 3, 5 and 10-year homestead plan ahead of us, but we are super close to having a house that is night and day different from what we started with. I’m definitely looking forward to living at our new address! It’s turning out even better than I had imagined.


So much of February was a TOTAL blur. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be painting. We painted our booties off and there is still more to do. I’m here to tell ya, painting an entire house is not easy. We’ve painted ceilings, floors, baseboards, windows, trim, shelves, and more! At this point, I would say we are about 85% done with painting. The big thing left is doors.The first 2 weeks of February were a mad dash to finish up all of the logistical details to get us ready to move in. We literally had windows being installed the day before our storage containers arrived. It was a tight crunch and I was barely sleeping but we moved in 6 weeks ahead of my original timeline and 2 weeks ahead of my contractor’s original timeline. Boy, it was a whirlwind but I honestly enjoyed every bit of this process.


MARCH 2017

We’ve been here about 6 weeks and it just gets better and better every day. It has been exquisitely functional for our needs. There were so many times in the building process that I would have to make a decision and thought “Eek, I sure hope this works out.” I haven’t regretted a single decision so far!

My mom came at the beginning of the month and helped me decorate and now it feels super homey. We went from wood to a house and now we have a home. My style is what I would refer to as “minimal.” If it doesn’t serve a purpose and a function, I don’t really see the point in owning it. Stuff on walls or sitting on tables? It’s all “pretty crap” if you ask me.
We worked so hard to make this home beautiful so I new the decor was a necessary evil to complete the look. Just so you know, decorating is HARD work!  Mom and I shopped til we dropped two days in a row and got the majority of our entire house decorated in ONE weekend. Whew! Turns out I actually like “pretty crap” after all. Each room is transforming as we add little touches of decor here and there.  It’s still pretty minimal but it’s just enough and I might be biased, but, I think it’s gorgeous! I have never in my life owned a home that I thought was magazine worthy. The BFF will never be featured in Southern Living (because we, um, LIVE here – and, also, my 10 year old is a tiny hoarder) but it’s closer than I’ve ever been before so I’ll take it. ?

My Dad came a few weeks later and helped us with some outdoor projects.  My hammock is my new happy place (seriously, it’s divine) and Skylar has a tree swing. He even transplanted 6 elderberry bushes straight from the Circle S Ranch. Yes, that’s right, my family has a thing for naming our properties. We also finished up the chicken coop. Having chickens has been on my list forever ’cause we eat a lot of eggs!

I went with Dad to “see a man about some chickens” and brought 9 hens back to Nashville. It was fine until about Huntsville and then my car smelled like a barnyard for the next 2 hours. Lawsy mercy. I’m sure that story will be one of many in my adventures of chicken farming. Our coop really only has room for 6 so we adopted out 3 of them to my friend Sarah at The FancyPants Farmyard. All of the chickens are settling in rather nicely. In fact, they’ve already given us a dozen eggs.

APRIL 2017

We hosted our first family gathering at the BFF for Easter and it was so much fun! This house and land really are perfect! The open floor plan and room to roam just make it super easy to entertain.

MAY 2017

On the BFF front, we are basically consumed with grass cutting season. It now takes us about 3 days to cut the grass as opposed to 30 minutes at our old house. I’ve ran the zero turn out of gas twice. Bless it! We have to divide it up in sections. Still, I wouldn’t trade all this land for anything. We’ve also been working to clear out a ton of brush to open up around some of our trees and help them mature.

JUNE 2017

We  had the house painted this month, had our gutters installed, and D-Dad helped us finish our porch. The transformation is amazing and it looks SO much better!

We celebrated our first summer solstice at the BFF and it was amazing! We invited over our family, friends, and neighbors for a pig roast and it was so much fun! It was such a delight to share our new space with everyone. We had a variety of activities set out for the kids and all of the adults congregated under our beautiful shade trees. The Lord gave us such good weather and it was a gorgeous evening. A few friends even abliged me and let me give them a full tour and gush about all the work we’ve done over the past 6 months. I went to bed grinning from ear to ear! (full event album)

JULY 2017

I’m sad to report that we lost one of our chickens over the weekend. A little Google research leads us to believe that we have a weasel as the culprit based on the bite marks and cracked eggs. We’ve taken steps to beef up the security on our chicken coop and hope to set a trap to catch the little pest soon.


One super exciting event this month was the Solar Eclipse. Our new home was right in the path of totality. We had 60 friends join us at the BFF for one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It was so eerie to see it get dim during the middle of the day and then go to complete darkness when the sun is in the middle of the sky. We saw stars and our flood lights came on. The sun’s corona was whispy and beautiful. We didn’t get a chance to listen for crickets because we were all cheering and chattering away. It seemed like the fastest 2 minutes and 8 seconds ever!


 We’ve also added 2 new chickens to the BFF, Dot + Freckles. I call them “the twins.” They stick pretty close to each other and I really can’t tell them apart. They’ve had quite a time trying to acclimate to the rest of our brood but things are finally starting to get better. Everybody went on a laying strike for a while but I think we’ve gotten the pecking order in line now.


Last week we had our concrete poured for our garage so things were pretty exciting around here. I sweet talked our contractor into leaving the key for the bobcat and we were able to get some more gravel moved on the driveway and mulch moved over the garden. Mike taught Skylar how to run the thing and she actually did most of the lifting and moving while we did the spreading. I’m not kidding, we turned her loose and she ran that thing like a boss! I was so thankful to able to get my garden squared away. I may still put some leaf mulch on top but it’s ready to sit and compost for the winter. I didn’t get to garden this year but I’m so excited for my “Back to Eden” garden next year.


We did finally get our garage installed this month. That was the last “big” thing on our renovation list. It was so fun watching them put it up in the same day. We also got our shutters installed and I painted the front porch. The outside transformation has been just as drastic as inside. This past week we finished up staining the grout in the kitchen, bath, and laundry area. I’m not sure why in the world I thought I wanted white grout. Thankfully it was a pretty easy $20 fix.

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