updated 10/20/2009 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/20/2009 AT 11:00 AM ET
You can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl.
“We spend the weekends outside L.A, in Ojai, where I have a farmhouse,” she says of her life with her kids and her boyfriend, who happens to be Jake Gyllenhaal. “We have chickens and we grow cucumbers and tomatoes. I love it. It reminds me of where I grew up in Tennessee.”
Of course, it’s no substitute for a real life in the South, but Witherspoon, 33, makes do.
“Sometimes it’s really difficult for me, being far away from home,” she says. “I never imagined that my children wouldn’t grow up next door to my brother’s children. Or my mom and dad wouldn’t constantly be around. At least I have a lot of Southern friends in L.A. – I gravitate toward them.”
“You just have to keep going. You have to keep it together for your kids and for yourself too,” she says. “I’m trying to learn from the things that have happened in my life, live more in the moment and have more fun.”
Witherspoon is on the cover of InStyle’s November issue, on sale Friday.