Sarah Withers is the mama behind Nest In The West and as the name hints, lives with her husband and three children on a two acre homestead beneath the mountains in the far west valley of greater Phoenix, AZ; a beautiful backdrop for her dreamy photos! The following is an excerpt of a previous Instagram takeover.
Hey Homestead Mamas! Sarah Withers here, from Nest In The West, taking over this account for the next couple of days! I’m married to my sweetheart Zack, and a very blessed mama to Charlotte (6), Beatrice (4), and Theodore, who arrived four months ago. We live on two acres beneath the mountains in the far west valley of greater Phoenix, Arizona. Neither my husband nor I grew up with farm animals or property, but two years ago we jumped feet-first into our dream life and moved from our tiny townhouse in the city to acreage in a neighborhood where everyone has cows and horses, and we’re surrounded by farmland.
We bought our property with my parents, and for the last two years we’ve been living together while we build our own little house in the back! It’s been a long process and labor of love (and lots of YouTube videos and learning curves) but we are hoping to be living in our own home by the end of summer.
Currently on our little Homestead, we keep a Jersey cow and Mini Nubian goats for milk, Kune Kune pigs for pork, laying hens, barn cats and a very excitable Aussie farm pup. Last year we harvested our first homegrown beef and turkey, and I’m really looking forward to pork, meat chickens and rabbits in the future! I’m excited to spend the next couple days sharing more about motherhood and our little homestead with you all. Are there any other mamas out there, living and homesteading in the Southwest? Anyone else homesteading in a slightly suburban area?
If I could describe our homestead in three words they would be “Work In Progress”. Can any of you feel me? When we bought our property two years ago it was fenced for horses, and the pasture was knee-high dead grass. Since then we’ve added lots of fencing, but also torn a lot of permanent fencing down and replaced it with a temporary set-up in order to make room to build our house. Everywhere I look I see the projects I want to do – the orchard, the paddocks, the big garden site, the beautiful milking parlor.
There’s so much I want to do, and with little ones underfoot it can be difficult to feel like I’ve accomplished much of anything most days. But when I begin to feel discouraged, I find it helpful to look back at the photos I’ve taken over our time living here. To see how far we’ve come, but also to see just how quickly these precious little ones grow. Oh I will never look back and regret taking the extra time to teach one kid to plant carrot seeds and let the other “help” milk the goat; to pause and marvel together over a still-damp freshly hatched chick, or wear the baby and watch his little feet kick delightedly to see the animals during chores.
These days of slow-going and interruptions galore, they are numbered. This homesteading life together is a gift to my children, of that I am sure, but how much more is it a gift to me? To have ample opportunity to slow down, pause, and see the world as wonderful and exciting and full of life. The projects will get done, little by little, and they will be all the more appreciated because they were hard-won.