Progress, Not Perfection

Progress, not perfection. This has been a theme in our lives lately. Our good friend Deborah is a nutritionist we are working with and she introduced us to this mantra which has definitely been an encouragement over the past few weeks. If you’ve been following our journey, you know our vision for a beautiful farm filled with love and animals and things grown from and made here in this place. That vision has definitely not changed. Over the last 12 months, we’ve almost finished remodeling a house from the ground up (literally). We’ve built structures of all kinds to house our animals. We have accumulated almost 200 chickens, hogs, turkeys, guineas, honeybees and rabbits. We’ve launched our website, social media pages, a line of beauty products, our catering business and our Simply Good Essential oils. We’ve undergone two surgeries, countless doctors appointments, visits with specialists and more tests than I care to remember. I was down for almost 8 weeks this Spring and Steve has been down with multiple health problems on and off since January. We’ve moved from the city to the country and done our best to become an active part of our new hometown. Grace joined the volleyball team, made the cheer team and has better grades than she has had in years. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Yet when you drive up our driveway, you’ll see patches of grass we haven’t had time to weed eat, flowerbeds that are full of grass, the garden is a disaster and there is stuff stacked everywhere as we try to figure out how our spaces should be laid out to support our future goals of aquaponic gardening, our weekly delivered farm-fresh boxes, our Youtube channel, our designer chicken breeding program and so many other dreams we want to pursue. I imagined our pantry with shelves stacked neatly full of canned goodies from our garden. Instead, it’s a hot mess, piled up with stacks of items with no organization whatsoever.

I try to be the perfect mom, with the right balance of accountability, encouragement and support. I think I’m getting better at this every day, but wow, sometimes I’m reminded of how imperfect I really am. Progress, not perfection, right?

Today was a tough day. We had grand plans to get up early, do the morning chores, get to the bank and make a quick run to Heber Springs to get the tire fixed on our new trailer so we could take our hogs for processing today. Well, at 2:30 this afternoon we were still working on the tire after driving over half of White and Cleburne counties looking for a part that didn’t exist. Only three of the five hogs fit into the trailer so we have to make another trip tomorrow.

We are trying to eat super healthy right now, and today, I failed. I’m over my calories and my macro goals and I just may have a glass of wine before bed (not on the meal plan).

But today was indicative of this life we are living….a life made up of progress, not perfection. This isn’t easy for me, says Kelly, the perfectionist.

Grace got her report card today and even though her overall GPA is perfectly acceptable, she still doesn’t have the grade she wants in Geometry. She has been working so hard but just didn’t quite get there. It’s a hard lesson for a 15 year old that hard work isn’t the only factor in making your goals. Sometimes, it’s faith. Sometimes it’s luck and sometimes, it’s just by the grace of God when you finally reach your goal. Progress, not perfection, right? That’s a tough lesson for a fifteen year old. Heck, it’s a tough lesson for this 48 year old.

I’m learning that the grand plans and the big lists and a clear vision for the future mixed with some sweat equity, support from your people and big faith is the winning formula for gaining momentum. It has taken us a year…..let me rephrase that….it has ONLY taken us a year to get this far. And I’m so excited about the momentum we are gaining. I can’t wait to re-read this a year from now to see how far we have come.

So tomorrow is a new day. We are making big plans and long lists. I’m going to be a great mom, a loving wife, eat healthy, grow the business and do some laundry. I’m sure I will fall short on something. I hope it’s just the laundry. And once again, I’ll be closing out my day with our new mantra…. progress, not perfection.



  • Great piece of writing, Kelly. So true. As long as we are heading in the right direction, it doesn’t really matter, because at some point we will get there.
    Love you.

    Connie Hurst
    Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:13 am
  • Love this, Kelly! Such a great reflection! You said so many things most people are only thinking and beating themselves up about, but would never admit out loud! Progress is the closest to perfection we’ve got, and you have made a ton of it! So proud of you and your family, Kelly! Love Ya!

    Posted October 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm
  • Today was a great day…..not perfect, just plain great!

    Posted October 17, 2019 at 9:25 pm
  • I am so very proud of you guys, Kelly! You have made a major lifestyle change, moving from the city to the country, taking on the many challenges of farming and raising all those animals, remodeling a house, building structures to house all your livestock, growing and harvesting a huge garden. It makes me tired just thinking about all you have accomplished. Give yourselves a little credit. I don’t think there are too many young people today who could have done what you, Steve and Gracie have done. It will get easier with time, so hang in there! Love you bunches!

    Carolyn Bowers
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 1:46 am

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