Montana Prairie Tales began in 2010* with big change in our lives—a move back to our home state of Montana to do something neither of us imagined we would ever do: work on my family farm.
While I grew up on the farm, my dreams took me away to experience a different life. After graduating high school, I attended Montana State University, Bozeman, to study Graphic Design. In college I met and married a funny and outgoing guy named Tom. We both finished our college degrees and relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah in 2000 where my husband worked in commercial construction and I got a job working as a Graphic Designer and then Art Director for Stampin’ Up! (an international paper-crafting company). In 2002, our gorgeous daughter Abby was born. In 2005 we had a second beautiful daughter and named her Sarah.
Our life in the city afforded us a beautiful house and a lot of entertainment (NBA games, shopping, good food, etc.) But something was always missing. Our family lived miles away back in Montana and my husband’s construction job kept him on the road much too often. We were busier than we wanted to be juggling our two girls and two jobs. And then (surprise!) we found out we were expecting our third baby. I couldn't imagine paying for child care for a third child, so it was time for a change. We sold our house and both quit our high-paying steady jobs (gulp). Only 10 days after our third adorable daughter, Eva, was born, we moved home to Montana to be farmers. (I don’t recommend moving states, changing careers, and having a baby all in the same year, let alone the same month, for the record!)
The slower lifestyle we wanted has been evasive—but we are loving our new life (even the bit about everyone in a small town knowing everything about your life). Our busy days are filled with family and my husband is around to experience it too.
The move came with an exciting challenge: the home we moved into was built in the early 1970's by my Grandparents, and had been updated very little. We have been spending our winters transforming it into our ideal home. You can follow our progress here. In 2012 I decided to turn my long-time passion of home design into a business, launching Joellyn Clark Designs.
A little about our farm:
We farm about 5000 acres of dry land (no irrigation) in the "golden triangle" of Montana. It is run solely by my father, brother, and husband, though we do usually hire a hand or two during the summer and harvest time. We grow mostly wheat rotated regularly with pulse crops (peas and lentils) and oil-seed crops (mustard and canola). We also have a small amount of hay ground, but no livestock. We are completely at the mercy of mother nature, so pray for rain!
* Posts dated prior to June 2010 were imported from our previous blog.