Work In Progress

mother and child in farm
family smiling in Arizona desert

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?

construction of farm home
men construction of home
mom and children with cow
little girl holds chicken

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.

farm field Phoenix Arizona
dad hands drill to children
little girl kissing small chick


Please join us by sharing, continuing the conversation below, and connecting with Sarah at the following:


MORE Stories

Dealing with Expectations

Dear mamas.
This is Sarah from @sarah.akti
I do not live in a perfect house.
I do not have perfect kids.
I do not have a perfect garden.
I am not a perfect mum.
I am not a perfect homesteader…

Read More

Saturday Morning Pancakes

After a busy daycare week for our toddler, and the hectic joys of infant co-parenting + farming, weekend mornings are eagerly anticipated family time; the weekend promise of adventures great and small is so refreshing…

Read More

Simple Wheat Bread Recipe

Simple Wheat Bread Recipe

This is a great, simple recipe that can be quickly thrown together multiple times a week for the perfect, from-scratch, whole wheat bread recipe. It’s a half wheat, half white flour recipe with a slightly nutty flavor, a hint of sweetness from the honey, and the perfect texture. I love that this recipe is so versatile that it can be sliced as an addition to a cozy soup dinner or hold perfectly for spread and sandwiches. I make this recipe multiple times a week in our home. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect recipe to jump into making bread at home, you’ve come to the right place.

Read More

Our Homesteading “Why”

Greetings! I’m Mandy Vander Kolk, a joyfully married mother of three, suburban homesteader, and sourdough enthusiast! From very early on, I have had a great love for the natural world.

Read More

Two-Loaf Artisan Sourdough Bread

Soon after I began my sourdough journey a few years ago, it quickly became very clear that one loaf was never enough for our family! Between my husband and I and our three children, we can easily devour an entire loaf in one sitting….

Read More

Mountain Lion Hunting Montana

Hi homestead mamas! As mountain lion hunting is a large piece of our homesteading life, I thought I would share a few words on the topic.

Mountain lion hunting is primarily done for conservation…

Read More

The Giving Pie

This recipe is nothing exciting, there I’ve said it. But I’ve got a lot on my heart and fruit I’m hoping to share will you; it may fill you in ways no dinner can…

Read More

Join In The Conversation

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A Patchwork of Homestead Mamas

An inspiring & encouraging community of Homestead Mamas. For growers, hunters, foragers, & explorers; with little hands & little hearts alongside.

Join Our Community