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Backstory





I've actually never read a blog before, so some of you may cringe the whole way through this. This is my 3rd time giving this "blog thing" a shot. I have written this post 2 other times and never posted it. I keep trying to "keep it light, don't over share". But I'm now just accepting the fact that I only know how to tell the story one way. And so I'm leaning in and then just clicking "publish."

My name is Haley and my husbands name is Robert. We have 4 kids: Izzi (13). Levi (9), River Lea (7) and Olive (4).We got married in 2014 on my mother in laws beautiful, historical front porch. That same year my husband watched me piece together an eyesore of a chicken coop right on our 1/3 acre in downtown Black Mountain. I'm sure the neighbors loved us, as we broke all the city limit rules. We also regularly had grading equipment parked right in the front yard and Izzi running around barefoot. We won zero socially cool points. Needless to say, the city living didn't last long. By 2015 we had moved to our first farm in Old Fort, eager to give our children the life we dreamed of. It was ten glorious, over grown acres and a creaky fixer upper house with an ancient, cracked wood stove. It was our Taj Mahal and we were in heaven.




For the next 5 years we flipped mini farms in our area. We realized we weren't too shabby at taking bare land, clearing it, building coops and fences; working really hard just to sell it once it was finally finished. Some people thought we were a little crazy, but the memories together was worth it. We flipped 3 farms in 5 years. We were good at "roughing it". We moved into a camper between moves and even spent half a year living off grid; no water and no electricity at our camper (even after Olive was born). We really enjoyed raising cattle to feed our own family, gardening, and raising our kids in the outdoors. I guess the term is "hobby farming". I personally super loved the adventure. I didn't have a traditional upbringing and hated the idea of being stagnant. A 9-5 life really freaked me out (weird, I know). The more we kept the bills to a minimum meant the more time we got to invest in our kids and create the family dynamic we dreamed of. A lot of shopping at thrift stores, unimpressive vehicles, and freedom. A lot of dinners over the fire, family projects, laughs, and unrushed evenings just talking on the back porch. We were consistently taking steps to get closer to our goal- our forever farm.






Then how did we wind up in Mcdowell county? Well, for lack of better words, all hell broke loose. In Feb of 2020 I gave birth to my sweet and beautiful final child, Olive. I literally can't even start typing about that day, because I would need 389234290 pages, boxes of tissues, and all y'all would think I was even more crazy than you already do. I will say this- the day of Olive's birth, we found out she was born with Down Syndrome. Ever felt 2 feelings at once? Ever felt 50? There was joy, so much love, and thanksgiving. There was grief, guilt, and so much fear.

We were in love and we were terrified. That same year, we had an incidental medical finding with one of our other children. Then we discovered that Olive has to sleep with a ventilator. Hello, sleep deprivation. Hello, fear. And of course, Covid. Our lives were nothing but doctor appointments, therapies, fighting the system to allow both parents to be present during procedures, and all the other unnecessary insanity that came with Covid. I'll spare you my thoughts on that. Look, it was just chaos.


In 2021 we put our kids in private school and my husband focused on his grading business. He was now gone all day, 6 days a week. We felt like we were doggy paddling in a big sea. We still farmed, and spent a lot of time outdoors with our kids, but my husband and I felt so unbalanced. That season of life was really, really hard and it wasn't for lack of trying. I could feel that freedom I once loved, start to drift away. It honestly, just felt gone. I spent the next 3 years doing farm chores with my precious little Olive strapped on my back asking God, "What the hell is the plan, man? Are you even there?"






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7 Comments


dmcjmc1
Jun 10

This is the first blog I’ve ever read!!! I loved it. I needed it. Thank you for sharing your story. Looking forward to a visit with my daughter :)))

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Alexandria Viera
Alexandria Viera
Mar 02

Thank you for sharing your story with the world!

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haleympolk
Mar 06
Replying to

Thank you, Alex!

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kathy.gaffneybuickgmc
Mar 02

This brings back so many memories for all of us who love your precious family. I am so thankful that God gave you all the life that you are experiencing now. 🩷

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haleympolk
Mar 06
Replying to

We are thankful too, Kathy. Love you!

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Jean Kreutzer
Jean Kreutzer
Mar 02

Excited for you Haley! Can't wait for the next page!

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haleympolk
Mar 06
Replying to

Thank you for all the support, Jean!

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