Serving in a war zone will change you. It is a part of my life I will never be able to forget. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an invisible war wound that you can’t see or touch, but it is very much real. It can be debilitating if left untreated, and I know this from personal experience.

Transitioning after military service was challenging. I missed the adrenaline from combat, the lack of purpose and duty. Shortly after returning home, I turned to prescription pills to cope and became a functioning addict. 

In 2016, I was working for the Department of Veterans Affairs while pursuing my BS in Psychology.

Wife, Combat Veteran, Animal Rescuer, PTSD Survivor, & your new BFF to explore Homestead Living with.

EVERY homestead has a story. THIS IS OURS.

“Sharing your story frees you and allows others to connect with you in a beautiful and authentic way.”

My unresolved PTSD manifested into psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) and chronic pain. Eventually, no amount of pills could dull the pain, and I attempted suicide.

It was a very dark time, but it was a pivotal moment in my journey. I started treatment for my PTSD and chose a life of sobriety.

I needed to change my current environment to have the best chance of success. Thankfully, my husband understood and supported my decision wholeheartedly.

So, we quit our “soul-sucking” jobs, sold our suburban home, and bought a 42-acre homestead where the nearest Walmart is 45 minutes away, and the only “restaurant” in our town is a Subway. 

Instead of working our lives away to have a big, fancy house and the latest BMW in the driveway, we learned to live within our means and live a slower, quieter, and simpler life. Moving away from the masses of people, traffic, noises, and pressures of city life was the best decision we could have made for our healing journey. 

We discovered joy in simple pleasures like harvesting homegrown veggies from the garden and providing a forever home for neglected and abused animals.

For us, homesteading is living a simpler, purposeful, and more meaningful life close to nature. It’s slowing down, learning new skills, and embracing a more sustainable lifestyle away from the toxicity of hustle culture.

Now. we’re on a mission to share our homestead journey with veterans and other trauma survivors to inspire and motivate them to seek healing through homestead living, no matter where they live.

It doesn’t matter if you have a 100-acre farm or live in an apartment, if you pinch pennies or are up to your eyeballs in debt (been there, done that, friend), if you have one tomato plant or grow all your food, cook every meal from scratch, or order out… homesteading is whatever the f*ck you want it to be.

So, embrace where you are TODAY and make that space the homestead of your dreams.

xo, Jen


building a homestead

Homesteading is a journey, not a destination...

Maddy gave birth to a healthy mini colt we named Elvis. He is our pride and joy.

We're excited to have you following our journey!


New life on the farm!

We added chinchillas, peafowl and  mini horses (including a pregnant mare) to our growing homestead.


We started rescuing abused and neglected farm animals, and within a year, we had donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, parrots, and bunnies.


We traded our suburban home for 42-acre homestead nestled in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.


We also started documenting daily farm life & hit 10k followers on Instagram.

Meet the Herd

baghdad to barnyard's celebrities

We have an assortment of animals on our farm. Just like us, they all have a story that is worth sharing. Many were abused and neglected, but now they live a life full of love, freedom, + cookies. We know you will love them as much as we do.