by Marcie
Marcie Holladay on a riding John Deere mower with her 4 year-old daughter on her lap.
Marcie Holladay holding a 5' evergreen tree she's planting in her right hand and a blue shovel in her left hand.

Welcome To Single Mom on a farm!

I’m thrilled you’re here wanting to learn more about how I’m raising my large family on a small farm single handedly. I hope I can inspire you to also do hard things and follow your dreams. You’re already an awesome person and I know you can do whatever you set out to do!

Single mom Marcie Holladay hugging her 10 children. Happy family group hug.

About Me

Hi, I’m Marcie! I was born and raised in the foothills of Northern California in a big family living on 4 acres back a ½ mile dirt road. I had an idyllic childhood and then went to Brigham Young University where I graduated in 2000 with a BS in family science with an emphasis in home and family. During my 2nd year I met and married Nathan and a year after we married we moved to Texas where Nathan got his MD and PhD in 7 years. During those 7 years we had 4 children and lived in a tiny 761 sq foot house with no oven, stove, dishwasher and only 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. After graduation we moved to North Carolina where Nathan did a residency for 3 years, had a part time job with the university’s physician group for 3 years, and was unemployed for 2 ½ years for a total of 8 ½ years. During those 8 ½ years we had another 5 children and 1 stillborn. We moved to Utah in 2016 for a new job opportunity and had one more child. Nathan quit his job after 5 months and since then has started his own small practice. We divorced in 2020 and in 2021 I moved with the children to Southwest Virginia to a gorgeous 36 acre farm, a dream come true for me. It’s hard being a single mom but God has blessed us so much and we are loving life.

 I am a proponent of real foods, creative play, limited screen time, and plenty of outdoor time for children. I feel passionate that mothers are way better than they think they are and they can do hard things like potty-train, homeschool, breastfeed and cook from scratch. And I also think it’s not as hard as they think it is. If I can do these things, they can too! I love encouraging and supporting my friends as they try to sleep train newborns or potty train toddlers and I’d love to help you too!

Meet the Children

Kylie Holladay

Kylie, the oldest is 22. When I was pregnant with her I prayed that my firstborn would love being the oldest, help out a lot, and be a good example to the younger children. I got even more than I prayed for! Kylie has always loved being the oldest. She would plan lots of fun activities like playing store, office, library, building forts, pretend swimming lessons, dress-up, and more. She’s always loved doing dishes, folding laundry, organizing closets, planning meals, and combing the little kids’ hair. Because she’s always kind and patient, all 9 of her siblings love, respect, and look up to her. At 17 she graduated from our homeschool and attended BYU for 2 years. Then she served a mission in Brazil, teaching people about Jesus Christ. She returned in 2021 and is back at BYU finishing her degree in humanities. For the fall of 2023 she got accepted to a study abroad program in London!

Madalyn is 21. She learned to read 2 months before turning 3 years old. And she’s been an avid reader ever since. She’s also been a precocious speller. She graduated from our homeschool at age 17 and attends BYU-I. Music has been one of her gifts as she’s good at the piano, harp, flute and singing. She’s super sweet and never says anything bad about anyone. She’s easy-going, never complains, and is a peacemaker in our home. When I found our farm 2000 miles away she was super excited to have the country house she’s always wanted. She took a break from college and lived here for 6 months before going on a mission and loved it. Currently she is serving a mission for our church in Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois. She is a tour guide of those historic sites and helps with the pageant all summer.

Madalyn Holladay
A 19 year old missionary wearing white shirt and name tag standing in front of a California desert with a beautiful sunset.

Spencer is 19. He was a big, happy baby who ate and slept great. As the oldest son he’s always been a big help diagnosing things like lawn mower problems and figuring out what to do. He’s been a big source of comfort, support and common sense for me. He also graduated at 17 and went to BYU, starting the summer we moved out here. With perfect pitch, I can say music is his gift too. He loves to play the piano and violin and sing. He loves rubix cubes, sports, puzzles, and games. Actually, he loves practically everything and is good at anything he tries. He completed one year of college and is now serving a mission for our church in the San Jose, California area, helping people live a happier life.

Alexis is 17. When she was born I was excited to have my first baby under 8 lbs and first to have brown eyes like me. She’s always been able to make us laugh with her silly and adorable personality. She makes life fun. Alexis is very empathetic and knows what others are thinking and feeling and how to cheer them up. She was a huge help and support going through the divorce and picking a new place to move. I couldn’t have done it without her and her clear, calm thinking in stressful situations. She loves to play the piano and oboe, sing, read, crochet, baby-sit, and bake. Alexis graduated at 16 and also went to BYU where she’s currently finishing her first year. She plans to be a NICU nurse one day.

Alexis Holladay
Thomas Holladay

Thomas is 15. His pregnancy was the easiest and he was a very happy, easy baby also. Thomas was, and still is the calmest kid, has never had a tantrum or gotten mad about anything. He’ll stop whatever he’s doing to play with a younger child when they ask him to or to bring wood in or do a chore for me. He loves to play the cello, write music, and act in plays. Recently he was the star, Buddy, in Elf Jr the Musical and had a lot of solos. Computers come naturally to him and he loves to learn coding, watch science movies, practice Spanish and teach himself whatever he feels like that day. When I need help with something he’s my go-to guy because he can always figure it out. Thomas is a sophomore in high school this year and can’t wait until he gets his license next fall.

Kaitlyn is 13. She was born after we had a stillborn baby and a miscarriage so she brought me so much joy. She loves to play the piano, read, do crafts, write plays and perform in them. Like Thomas, she has been in 7 plays just since we moved here. She loves to baby-sit, play outside, and raise chickens. Kaitlyn has always been competent beyond her years. When she was 3 she held the baby so I could exercise and shower and could change the diaper as well as I could. She’s been cooking without help for years and figured out the sewing machine by herself at age 6. She makes up her own doll clothes, church bags, and costumes and sews them without any help. She also makes up her own things to crochet without patterns. I don’t think she knows patterns or tutorials exist! Also deciding to graduate early, Kaitlyn is in 8th grade this year.

Kaitlyn Holladay
Makenna Holladay

Makenna is 11. She is my little breech baby. The doctor wanted me to have a c-section but I pushed her out in the hallway on the way to the OR. Makenna is a sweetheart, never wanting to hurt anyone. She is very obedient, always answering with, “Yes, Mom” when I ask her to do something. Lately she’s been playing the piano a lot and hopes to be as good as her older siblings. Makenna loves being in plays, likes playing Legos with anyone, and playing dragons with Kaitlyn. When she goes walking in the woods she loves to make up stories. A few other things she loves is learning morse code and Portuguese, playing baby dolls, reading, and baking.

Samuel is 9. I was sure he was going to be born late so when I went into labor on his due date I denied it and as a result he was born in the bathroom at the hospital before I could change into a gown. He’s a good natured kid who loves Legos and building things. He loves to hike and is my go-to when I want a hiking buddy. On his birthday we hiked 12 miles in 3.5 hours and he loved every minute of it. When I need an electronic thing figured out I ask him and he can usually figure it out.

Samuel Holladay
Anderson Holladay

Anderson is 7. He’s tall for his age and Samuel is small so they are frequently mistaken for twins. They do everything together. All day they can be found playing cars on the mat, train tracks, a board game, or roaming the woods together. Anderson is super creative and is constantly making something. When a sibling gets a new piano book he goes and writes his own. He’s the king of cardboard creations. He makes garbage trucks, airplanes, lots of board games, nintendos, a computer and mouse, a handheld scanner, the list goes on.

Our little caboose is Talea, age 5. She’s the sweetest little girl, always cheerful and willing to do whatever she’s asked. Whenever I think I haven’t seen Tilly in awhile, I’ll find her in her desk, quietly drawing a picture for someone. Most of the kids are artistic but Tilly surprises me with her amazing drawings and handwriting. She loves art and does it every day. She also loves baby dolls, tea parties, picnics, and ballet. She has good form for a child without lessons and hopefully some day she’ll get some. As soon as she turned 5 she auditioned for the next play and got in. She’s been in 3 plays now, always the youngest cast member, and is doted on by everyone. Tilly is a ray of sunshine in our home and we’re so glad to have her in our family.

Talea Holladay