They say you shouldn’t go into business with friends or family, but for Nate and Nick, breaking the rules for some good “clean” fun is all in a day’s work. I use the word “clean” with caution as I have heard a few tales from long ago about discarded Christmas trees lining the drive, mustard-filled donuts, and then there was the skunk in the mailbox…but those stories are for another day.
Just 13 short years ago Nate and I were newlywed and back in Tipton after graduating college the year prior. We ventured out to an auction on a cool rainy day. After 4 years with little contact our paths crossed with Nick and Michelle I got to meet the childhood friend I had heard so much about. After introductions and a bit of catching up, we made the realization that we were both expecting to become parents within weeks of each other that coming fall. The excitement was almost too much to bear! We exchanged numbers and made plans to get together again soon so that Michelle and I could get to know each other a bit better.
In my humble opinion, it takes a special kind of person, filled with love, patience, good humor, a sense of adventure, patience, determination, more good humor, and understanding (did I mention patience and good humor?) to commit to a life of unexpected adventure with guys like Nate and Nick. Michelle and I were no strangers to hearing those words, “So, I’ve been thinking….” and going with the flow with what was sure to follow. We quickly became friends. That fall, our firstborn kiddos, Olsen and Emilie arrived just a few weeks apart. The years passed. We both had one more addition to our families, Sophia and Natalie. Nate and I, faced with a difficult decision brought about by a great opportunity, made our way back to Iowa.
During our 8 years there, the kids grew, we worked our day jobs in the office and lived the small farm life on the nights and weekends. We enjoyed our acreage, planting a large garden, renovating the farmhouse, raising chickens and ducks, playing with tractors, and exploring the land. We visited Tipton often, and our trips always included catching up with the Mumbower. Each time we were thrilled that our kids picked up right where they had left off, running, laughing and having so much fun that we knew those words, “It’s time to go,” would bring out the sad faces and puppy dog eyes.
While we loved our remote Iowa life, our hearts were still in Tipton. We decided about 3 years ago now that it was time to bring our kids back to be closer to family and friends. The Mumbower’s were one of our first calls.
The summer before last, we were sitting out on the deck watching the kids swim and Nick and Michelle told us about the new adventure they were starting….raising bees. Since then we have heard stories of lessons learned like how to properly zip up a suit to avoid being stung, how to mow around the hives to avoid being stung, when (and how) to open the hives to avoid being stung….well, I think you get the picture! Late last summer we got to try the delicious honey for the first time and last fall we visited for the first annual pumpkin sale at their place just outside of Atlanta (IN). (We’ll talk more about the pumpkins in a future post!)
Well, we all have busy lives, and I have taken up enough of your time that I better wrap this up before you lose interest, if you haven’t already. Nate and Nick would agree as they excel in the art of storytelling, while Michelle and I are often very lovingly told, “Get to the point, already!” LOL!
So, here’s the point. Our families are no strangers to hard work and love making the most of it by having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously. When Nick and Michelle made the proposition to Nate and I that we go into business together, we couldn’t have been more excited! Nick wanted Nate on board to balance him out and Michelle and I are crucial to balancing them both out. We all have our skills that we excel at and most importantly, we are all committed to being in this together and not losing sight of why we got started.
Our families come first. This is a way for us to grow and learn lessons from each other. Though we know it won’t always be easy, I have no doubt we will create priceless memories of lots of hard work and plenty of good times.