A Year of Picnics


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  • Being a mom is the hardest job Ive ever hadhellip
  • Oh holiday splendor and magic I feel you in thehellip
  • Today is World Prematurity Awareness Day Each year around 15hellip
  • Its time to stock up your winter wellness apothecary friends!hellip
  • Yall ready for this? I am beyond excited to announcehellip
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The Ultimate Homemade Living Project

My husband and I are the ultimate collaborators. With both of us working from home as we do, we see each other a lot. It never gets old. We consult and chat and scheme on everything, from what’s for dinner, to friends, relationships, Project Runway looks, and what on earth is really happening on “Lost” (does anyone know, because I don’t see how it could possibly get tidied up nicely in two weeks). We discuss fashion choices and new dinner plate options and weird interactions with folks at the grocery store. We’re tight, super tight. He’s got my back, always, and I’ve got his. We’re permanently propping each other up, full of unconditional loving support.

And so, when we got a certain suspicion that a certain monumental event was building in our lives, we set about chatting about it. With cautious optimism, we starting reading, and researching, and consulting professionals. Today, I’d like to share with you that our suspicions are in fact completely true: we’ll be adding to the English clan. “Nugget”, as I’ve temporarily dubbed our little nudger, is due on the scene November 1st, an auspicious date as it’s both my older brother’s and a dear friend’s birthday (although, no offense to All Saints Day, but I’d be thrilled if Nugget decided to permanently throw down on Halloween; is there any better birthday, really?).

I’m 15 1/2 weeks along. A visit to our nurse midwife today confirmed, for the third time, Nugget’s strong and fast heartbeat (every time they put the sonogram on my belly in a quest to locate our squirmer, all I can imagine are synchronized swimming movies, a la Busby Berkeley). Nugget is a quick and agile glider, moving around and about as fast as fast can go.

I won’t lie-it’s been challenging so far. An indication of a strong fetus, Nugget has kept me almost constantly queasy, among other things. I’ve taken more naps than I’ve ever taken in my life. I’ve started eating turkey and chicken after over a decade-long hiatus. I’ve had heartburn and weird tastes in my mouth and a superhuman sense of smell and other things too delicate to discuss here. And I’ll take more. Whatever Nugget’s got, I’ll take it, because hubs and I couldn’t be more thrilled. We invited Nugget into our lives at the turn of the year and have been ready for it’s arrival ever since.

And so, if I’ve been sluggish in my posts, or lagging in my social obligations, or just generally AWOL, now you know why. When you’re cooking up another being, you need a few passes every now and then. I’m thrilled for all that’s ahead. We’re planning on having Nugget here, chez English. There will be dogs and cats and autumn breezes and a blazing wood stove when Nugget bids us welcome. There will be Halloween candy and maybe costumes and pumpkins and hard cider. There will be friends and grandparents and loads and loads of love.

For the author of the “Homemade Living” series, I’m ready to celebrate the birth of this project with flair, gusto, and open arms.

*Image from here.

55 Responses to The Ultimate Homemade Living Project

  • Valeria says:

    Oh congratulations! As a silent reader of your blog I couldn't be more happy for you and can just imagine how great of an atmosphere your countryside property (and cooking!) would be for a child growing up. Wish you lots of luck and how exciting that you're due in the fall time!

  • pamwares says:

    Many congrats! You and my good friend are due at the same time. So it will be fun to watch you both grow, learn and set up a baby room! Love the blog!

  • Gail says:

    Congratulations! There's nothing better than a sweet baby! blessings on you all.

  • Amber says:

    Congratulations to you and yours, Ashley! :) Manifest abundance, indeed!

  • tigress says:

    congrats! i am so excited for you. and if little nugget decides to get here a week early, we might share the same b-day! i absolutely loved having a fall birthday growing up – and still do! :)

  • DarcC says:


  • Congrats! I just started reading along, and this is my first comment :) I have a 2 month old little boy, and being a mom so far is the hardest and best job!

  • Meredith says:

    Congratulations! As a fellow “constantly queasy” survivor, the super hero sense of smell kind of rocks. Except when you get around the litter box.
    Take it wasy and enjoy!

  • kelly says:

    woohoo! congratulations! by the way, Remedy Issue 2 is finally here. thanks again for your story and recipe!

  • Emily says:

    The cat, or rather the NUGGET, is out of the bag. Next to come in your series of Homemade Living books – organic baby food? Congratulations! I couldn't be happier for you!

  • meg says:

    Oh fantastic! Congratulations! What a fun sounding family to be born into!

  • Congratulations!!! As an avid canner (and underground farmer's market seller in SF), I've been consistently inspired by your stories, and love your canning book. We're looking forward to watching your family grow!
    ~Becky in Oakland CA

  • Willi says:

    What fun news! You have a very lucky baby on the way!

  • Emily says:

    Congratulations! The cat, or rather the NUGGET, is out of the bag! We couldn't be happier for you!

  • Anonymous says:

    congratulations! wonderful news! btw, I just got your chicken book and I loved it! – one of your anon readers

  • Paula says:

    Hey congratulations! Methinks that 'Nugget' will probably stick, regardless of what pops out and what you really name it. What a lucky child to grow up in the kind of lifestyle you guys have chosen for yourselves. Good luck!

  • Kim says:

    Congratulations on “lil nugget!” Such an exciting time for you and your husband. My youngest son was born on Nov. 1, so of course I have to concur that this particular day is a wonderful day to come into this world!! Take care………..

  • Courtney says:

    Oh my goodness Ashley! Congratulations!! Best wishes for a healthy happy little Nugget.

    P.S. My b-day is 10/27. Late October/early November really is a great time to celebrate a birthday!

  • Congratulations! WNC is a wonderful place to have a little one.

  • brandi says:


    And I'm not sure how they'll pull LOST Together in 2 weeks either.

  • That's so awesome! I ordered your two books last week, and I suspect they'll be arriving soon, but this makes them extra awesome :)

  • Nancy from Mass says:

    Congratulations! If you are still getting queasy I have a weird trick…eat potato chips (plain potato chips) while drinking real lemonade. I don't know why that works, but it does.

  • many many congratulations ashley!!!
    your due date is my birthday…a very auspicious day i might add!

  • Kerry says:

    Congrats!! I love your blog and look forward to the continuing “homemade” adventures your family has!

  • sk says:

    Oh my gosh congratulations!!!! How absolutely wonderful. I just got teary reading this. yay!!! best wishes to you guys, and keep us updated!

  • Ally says:

    Congratulations! I am officially de-lurking to say how happy I am for you both.

  • That's wonderful news!!! And congratulations to Nugget for choosing awesome parents!
    Mel x

  • Denise says:

    Congrats to you and your hubby. I hope she is a healthy baby. Cant wait to see pics when she gets here.

  • Stacy says:

    Oh my goodness! You could not have posted that in a more beautiful way! I am so touched and happy for you!

  • Anonymous says:

    Whoo-hoo! Congratulations – that's awesome news! A baby is the very best homegrown project possible :-)

  • Congratulations!

  • kaela says:

    So, what you're saying is that you just published 2 books while suffering through 1st trimester nausea? I hearby dub thee SuperWoman of the Year.

    And congratulations – always exciting news and truly the ultimate home crafy project! Know that there is lots of love in the air for Nugget and the whole English clan.

  • Just got your books – they're so well put together!!

  • thanks, matt! i'm super pleased with how they turned out myself! i had the immense good fortune of working with an incredibly gifted team. i couldn't be more thrilled to work with lark books.

  • Busy Beavers says:

    Congratulations!! How exciting!!!!!

  • Bailey B says:

    Congrats lady. Welcome back to the world of carnivores! Go Meat!!! (oh yeah, WOOHOO on the baby thing too)

  • Nikki says:

    Ashley, I signed on to your blog this morning to congratulate you on the article they wrote about you in VERVE- my mom sent it from North Carolina to California with a post-it that said “Cute chicken girl.” Then I read your blog post…I'm SO happy for you and Glenn!! And wish you and the nugget all the best in the coming months. Lots of love, Nikki

  • Conny says:

    How exciting ~ that IS big news!! Congratulations!

  • melissa says:

    Congratulations! That's wonderful news. :)

  • Cyn says:

    I am sooo happy for you, Ashley! It's a great and crazy journey you've started, but it sounds like you have the perfect partner for your travels.

    Congratulations to both you and your husband! Nugget's a lucky little creation.

  • Melissa says:

    What exciting news and what a fun adventure you have ahead of you. Enjoy every minute :) Cheers!

  • Meg says:

    The best news! Congrats, you guys! Godspeed, Nugget!

  • LisaLou says:

    Congratulations! My son's birthday is on Halloween. We all think it's the best ever day for a birthday!

  • Rebecca J says:

    A massive congrats! I was born on Halloween and love it. Wishing you all the best for this new adventure. Tis the season for announcements such as this! Must be something in the water…

  • Jessica says:

    Oh! Congrats!!!

  • Chroma Lab says:

    Let me add to the chorus! Hooray!

  • Many congratulations and blessings to you!

  • lealou says:

    Congrats! I'm a week or so behind you — lovely news!!!!

  • miss liss says:

    Congratulations to you and your dear husband! I love your posts on D*S, they're one of the articles I read every week, thank you for sharing your common sense with the rest of us.

  • Many congratulations to you both! And best wishes for a healthy and happy baby!

  • Yay! Congrats!
    So are you doing a home birth as well? My little lady was also due Nov 1st (2009 edition) and despite the fact that she came a bit “early” (Oct 23rd) and super fast (before the midwife got here!) we had a super fabulously wonderful home birth! If you haven't already seen it The Business of Being Born is a pretty amazing documentary.
    Congrats again!

  • Rantler says:

    Oh congrats Ahsley how exciting for you both. I started eating meat in my 8th month of being pregnant with my son after 15 years! the body knows. As for your birth, I'm sure you know of this but Birthing within is great as well as anything by Ina may Gaskin. Good luck and many blessings.

  • natashia says:

    congratulations! it sounds like you are bringing your baby into a considered world full of love and support :) I also had a homebirth, and it was the most beautiful experience of my life

  • Maria says:

    Wow! How did I miss this?? Congratulations, Ashley!!! I hope all is going well! Let me know if you need anything!!

  • Heather says:

    Finally having a chance to catch up on some blog reading…Congrats I just know you'll be a fantastic mom.