Life Snippets

The majority of my attention recently has been devoted to several large work-projects (like, huge), some of which are still on-going. Whatever energy I have leftover at the end of the day goes to my family and my critters, then after that, there’s not much left over. So, here’s just a few snippets of what’s going on to let you know I’m still alive and kickin’…

Myles' 2nd Birthday | Life In Beta

Myles turned TWO.

This birthday snuck up on us with all the other chaos going on. Mike’s family was all out of town over his birthday weekend, so we decided to have a low-key celebration and just have dinner out with a few friends and family members. It was super nice and low-stress, but part of me felt very guilty about it.

I felt by not throwing a Pinterest-perfect celebration, I was somehow being a bad mother. (Welcome to the influence of social media in parenting, amirite?) Thankfully I had several loved-ones to talk me down and supportively remind me that Myles with have many, many more birthdays when I can go overboard (and he’ll be old enough to remember)!

Samples, samples... | Life In Beta

Renovation plans are a GO.

I met with our builder last week and went over our home remodel plans. (The short version: adding just over 1,000 square feet including a full second story to our home.) The quote was a little higher than planned, but he built in a lot of wiggle-room. For instance, he gave us very generous allowances for things like lighting and bathroom fixtures. If we choose more basic fixtures, we can save a lot of money that way. (And of course, we can always DIY and upgrade later!) Plus, he added a few things into the quote that I hadn’t even anticipated — like central air conditioning — and I was thrilled to see that was even feasible.

We’re working on zoning and permit details right now, and it will probably be at least 8 more weeks till any real work begins. I’m simultaneously thrilled and terrified.

My chickens are getting BIG.

People don’t believe me when I say chickens grow fast. Broiler-specific breeds grow even faster, but even my layers at about 5 weeks old are getting quite large. (If you’re curious, the photos in this post from The Chicken Chick illustrate week-to-week growth quite well.)

In the interest of educating y’all, here’s the less-than-glamorous truth: I’m ready to have them out of my dining room. Don’t get me wrong – I adore them. But somewhere between three and four weeks old, it became really clear that they’re no longer adorable little house-pets. They’re barnyard animals that belong outside. When I open the brooder, there’s immediately a bunch of flapping because they all want to try to fly out and stretch their wings, and as a result a mix of fluff, feathers, dust and wood shavings goes everywhere. I have to clean the brooder more frequently than when they were young (which makes sense) and their odor is definitely stronger. You don’t really smell them unless you stick your head right above the brooder, and it’s not a terrible smell … but I would call it distinctive. (Like I said, I’m ready for them to be out of my dining room.)

We have at least three more weeks till they can go outside, and even then it’s dependent on what our weather is doing. (We have mixed snow/rain in our forecast this week, so I’m not holding my breath.) Getting the coop built has been a challenge as well because our back yard is extremely muddy. Spring just hasn’t been cooperating with my plans this year! But the coop will get built this weekend or next and my little hens will move out when the weather warms up after that. I’m very excited to see how they like they like the outdoors!

Myles' Smiles | Life In Beta

Separating Work & LIFE.

I work in the web design/development field. I listen to lots of tech and business podcasts. (Shout-out to my FAV — Being Boss!) I’ve spent a lot of time considering the direction of this blog and my freelance business. It’s all been an evolution, and for a long time, I have struggled to decide on a “niche” for this site.

Last week, I made the decision that this site doesn’t need a niche, and that was the most stress-relieving and freeing decision I’ve made in a long, long time.

I’ve agonized for so long over how to limit what I share here, or how to make it “fit” the direction I want to take with this blog. It just became NO fun. The simple fact is … Life In Beta is me. Just like the name says, it’s my life in beta-mode: running along, making changes, fixing bugs. I’m not the type that will ever have a polished, branded, advertiser-ready LIFE.

Now when it comes to my business, that’s a different matter. I’ve decided when I re-launch AmandaWeber.com, it will include a blog that focuses on web development, design, business, branding, etc. It will be super-focused on providing helpful content for my readers. (PSST… let me just tell you how excited I am! I have a whole list of articles I can’t wait to share with you!)

If my websites were a mullet… AmandaWeber.com would be the “businessy” front view, and LifeInBeta.com would be the party in the back. (Ya know, except my “party” is more about family, homesteading, and general nerdiness.)

I have no doubt there will be spill-over between the two sites, but when it comes to THIS blog, I really just want to get back to sharing my stories without the overhead of thinking about monetization or search engine optimization or “shareability”. It’s just for fun. If you’re down with that, then I’m more than happy for you to hang around and keep reading. If not, I totally understand too. No hurt feelings.

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Chick Update: Almost 2 Weeks

I knew chicks grow fast, but until witnessing it in person, I really had no idea HOW FAST it really goes. There have been days that I feed and water them in the morning, and when I come home after work I swear they look totally different because they’ve grown so much.

1.5-week old baby chicks | Life In Beta

1.5-week old baby chicks | Life In Beta

As you might expect, their little appetites have grown right along with them. I started out with a little 5-pound bag of chick starter feed. It was going great for the first several days. Then suddenly I found myself filling their quart-sized feeder twice a day! Needless to say, I had to buy some more feed. I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable at Tractor Supply.

1.5-week old baby chicks | Life In Beta

1.5-week old baby chicks | Life In Beta

It will be a several more weeks till they’re ready to move outside, but we’re starting construction on their coop very soon. I’m anxious to see how it comes together and hope they’ll like it. For now though, I’m enjoying having them in the house.

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Happiness is…

Our chicks | Life In Beta

… finally (*knock on wood*) having a flock of healthy, adorable chicks to start our little flock.

Family watching baby chicks in the brooder | Life In Beta

… enjoying every moment of our boys getting to know the little chicks — they just love them!

Myles helping in the garden | Life In Beta

… getting to work in the yard a little bit, despite the mud, muck, and lingering snow.

I have BIG hair | Life In Beta

… wearing spring colors and BIG HAIR, just because.

Daddy & Myles snuggling | Life In Beta

… sleeping in and Daddy-snuggles.

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