Starting Over…

Travel Washington

Yeah, I know, y’all. It’s been awhile. Covid has hit us all in different ways, but as ER nurses….this has been a special kind of hell. Fortunately for us, we work with phenomenal folks who keep us laughing at best, and at worst, offer us an understanding shoulder to cry on. 2020 has been one emotional roller coaster for us all, though, hasn’t it?

Not being able to travel has really changed our perspective on things. Daniel and I have spent a lot of time talking about what we want our lives together to look like. Chico has served us well for the past many years, but things have changed. Our town has changed, we have changed, the times have changed, our children have changed and (mostly) flown away. The puzzle pieces aren’t fitting together like they once did. Maybe instead of trying to force the round peg into the square hole, it’s time to make a change? But should we? It’s so scary! Change is hard! Change is the unknown. Change is risky! I’m not good at change. What if it doesn’t work? What if we fail? What if we hate it? What if…. (fill in the blank – and trust me – I’m good at filling in that blank!) But…..what if we regret NOT giving it a shot.

What if we regret not taking the chance to change the course of our lives for the better just because we were scared we would fail.

For a few years now, we’ve been talking about buying some property so we can live a slower-paced country life with space for animals and room to enjoy and maybe even some views of some mountains or something. We’ve always wanted this, but we just hadn’t gotten to the time in our lives when it was right. Last year, we visited the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm and absolutely fell in love with these wonderful, curious creatures and our dream began to flourish and grow. Property with reindeer! Yes! Let’s do it! So, we’ve been researching reindeer and contacting other reindeer farms to learn more. We joined the Reindeer Owners and Breeders Association. We have binders of information on the care and feeding of reindeer and all the books we could find about them (which sadly, aren’t many). We have been living and breathing, (but not eating!) reindeer.

The dream is growing!

In June, we decided that it was time to start searching for our farm property. Neither California nor Oregon allow cervids, so after some thinking, we zeroed in on the Columbia River Gorge area, Washington side. Maybe it’s time for me to return to my home state, I thought? Let’s just look, we said. It’s now August and we have made five round trip drives up and back ‘just looking’ for the perfect property. It’s been a tedious, frustrating process, but recently, we found the property we hope will become our reindeer farm. We got RN licenses in both Washington and Oregon, interviewed for jobs, received offers, and yes, we put money down on our reindeer property. This dream machine has a million moving parts and the last big cog is selling our Chico home.

Daniel said to me the other day, ‘you should blog about this.’ I responded with the safe answer….’nah. I’ll wait until it’s a done deal and then do an awesome one talking about all the exciting news.’ Then he said, ‘but Tanya, maybe they need to hear this part of the dream, the scary, uncertain, take-a-chance part of the dream.’

Well, you know? I think he’s right.

So here we are, on the edge of our seats, sharing all our hopes and fears, and fervently praying that our home sells in the next few days so we don’t lose the property we envision our reindeer farm to be on. Every morning, I wake up and hold my breath, hoping this is the day we get an offer on our home so we can really move forward. Every night (and really, all day!), I pray for our dream. I will the goodness to come to us. I visualize our reindeer farm, the hard work it will take, the happiness and joy it will bring to ourselves and others, the satisfaction of following a dream from infancy to fruition. I breathe deep and I believe. I believe it’s worth the risk.

I heard a song on the radio today. Chris Stapleton’s ‘Starting Over.’ I’m pretty sure he wrote it for us. I’ve listened to it several times this evening and it really resonates with where we are in our lives right now. Here’s a little snippet, but listen to the full song below….

‘This might not be an easy time
There’s rivers to cross and hills to climb
Some days we might fall apart
And some nights might feel cold and dark
But nobody wins afraid of losing
And the hard roads are the ones worth choosing
Some day we’ll look back and smile
And know it was worth every mile

And it don’t matter to me
Wherever we are is where I wanna be
And Honey, for once in our life
Let’s take our chances and roll the dice
I can be your lucky penny, you can be my four-leaf clover
Starting over
Starting over’

So, we aren’t sure what will happen. We are close! We are so close. But one thing we know for certain….we never would have gotten this far if we hadn’t taken that first step. We are taking our chances and rolling the dice! Nobody wins afraid of losing, and some day we’ll look back and smile. And it don’t matter to me, wherever we are is where I wanna be, as long as it’s with you, Daniel.


I'm an only child who grew up on a sailboat, a lover of adventure, a mom, wife, an RN, and a friend of all dogs.

11 thoughts on “Starting Over…

  1. I’m soooo excited to see where this adventure takes you. I am sad to see you go but can not wait to come snuggle some baby reindeer!!!! God provides EVERY TIME!! Let go and let God!! ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Do it take the chance gonna miss my security blanket (Dan) but only want happiness for you two!

  3. This as the post I have been waiting for…I have been curious about so many things mainly if you would continue working as nurses (did you both get er positions at the same hospital?) I am still curious about what reindeer farms do with reindeer…do people come and visit your farm? How does a farm become profitable? This is so exciting and I am enjoying watching you follow your dream.

    1. We did get ER positions at the same hospital. We will keep the reindeer as pets/family members, work to socialize them, then do small group farm tours where visitors can feed, take photos, interact with, and get to know these sweet, curious, amazing creatures. We have a bunch more fun and creative ideas that we will share as we go along This won’t be our main source of income so though we are making business plans, we will still have our income as nurses. Gotta get our Chico home sold! Thanks for your wishes and prayers, we will continue to update!

  4. Praying for the Lord to continue to provide! He is so GOOD. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your journey- it is what I need to hear, what I need to be encouraged by. Love you guys ❤️❤️❤️

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