Cattle, Cattle and More Cattle

There are no words to describe our first Women In Ranching Fall Tour.  My heart is full of joy and happiness. You know when you go to church and you come out feeling high on Jesus, or that feeling you get when you get back from a church retreat? On fire for Jesus! Well, after this event, I am on fire for BEEF!   Even though there were some things we had originally planned that fell through, I believe the event was a success.

43241591_1872149859571776_6003269557068759040_nWe started out in good ole’ Decatur Texas.  We left the infamous NRS store and made our way for the Bradley 3 Ranch.  I have to say; the good Lord was on our side as the forecasted rain held off and we were able to get to tour the ranch.  Bradley 3 Ranch sells Angus cattle and even a few Charolais.  During the tour, we even had the pleasure of getting to hear Minnie Lou Bradley speak.  She was the sweetest lady with a great sense of humor!

43301715_1872149879571774_7197624495216001024_nOne of my favorite things is being able to tour other people’s ranches and see how they have their facilities set up and the way they run their operation.  One day, I hope to take all this knowledge and put it into play at my own ranch.  On a side note, I decided I definitely wanted to raise bulls after leaving this ranch!

Lakeview, Texas.  If you have never been there, you need to go.  Only make sure you go on a Saturday evening between 5-9.  There is a restaurant called Lakeview Grill.  My mouth is watering thinking about the superb meal they provided for us.  There is no menu.  They serve a salad bar, beans, a ribeye, and potatoes.  It is worth the drive no matter where you live and the history of the place just tops it off.  We made our way to Amarillo as we stopped there for the night.  Sunday morning started out with a nasty drizzling rain.  However, as we made our way to Channing, the drizzle stopped and we were able to enjoy the tour of the Barber Ranch.  Mary Barber got on the bus and we were able to actually take the bus and drive through the ranch.  We were able to get out and see some Hereford’s and Mini Hereford’s before the rain came.  The trip began to wind down as we made our way to our last stop.  The Pullen-Mayfield Ranch.  The hospitality was phenomenal.  The information that I was able to learn over the weekend was something that can’t be taught in the classroom.

43296381_1873263359460426_2742397413758074880_nI am so grateful for the opportunities to visit ranches and meet and empower women in the industry.  One of my favorite things was to sit on the bus and just talk to the women I met on the trip.  I love hearing and learning about them and their operations.  Thank you to all the ladies that attended! I am already looking forward to the next one.

I am looking forward to this coming weekend, Texas CattleWomen Fall Convention at the Texas Beef Council Offices!

On a side note, the tooth fairy came to visit our house while I was gone.  My baby isn’t so much of a baby anymore!

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As always share some love, the world could always use a little more love!

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

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Have you ever wanted to do something and got your self really pumped up just to back out at the last minute?  I know I have, there have been a lot of things that I wanted to participate in but didn’t.  Getting out of your comfort zone is something for me that has required some work, but something that I am thankful I have been trying to do.  Public speaking and having to meet new people is something that has really been a challenge for me.  Now, the people that know me probably think this is crazy, I mean I did work at a restaurant for 10 years.  I have come out of my shell quite a bit and continue to do so on a daily basis.

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Now the real reason for this blog is to brag about my kiddo.  The last few weeks, I have been able to watch her while she participates in her extracurricular activities.  Gymnastics has been the highlight for the last couple of weeks, it has been an amazing journey getting to watch how far she has come.  I have seen her tell her coach, that she did not want to do a cart-wheel, but then after a conversation with her coach, she went and did it anyway.  I have seen her become so brave and try her best to do toe touches on the balance beam.

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While this is amazing and great, Monday we did a big thing.  She had her first horseback riding lesson.  She was so excited yet so scared at the same time.  Now, I was worried the whole time.  I was afraid that she was going to change her mind at the last minute.  She did the total opposite. She soared.  I quietly snuck away and watched her from the sidelines.   After her lesson, she was beyond thrilled.  There are no words to describe how overjoyed she was and how happy it made me.  I am thankful that my family and I are able to provide her with opportunities to get her out of her comfort zone and try new things.  Looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for her!

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As always share some love, we could all use a little more love!

P.S. – There may be a new horse whisperer in town

Learning From Life – The Ups and Downs

Priorities.  This word has been on my mind for the last two weeks.  What are your priorities?  I feel like every person has different priorities depending on what stage of “life” they are in.  I know my priorities have changed immensely over the last couple years.  Sometimes, the changes have been for the better and sometimes they have been for the worse.  I think that is all part of life, living, learning and readjusting when something you thought was important turned out to be not so important.

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As I have gotten older, my perspectives on a lot of things have changed.  I can sit in class or walk the halls and hear so many different conversations that people carry on.  I think back to when I was their age and look at how different my mindset is now.  There are so many times that I want to tell them it’s not worth it or that probably is not the smartest idea, but then they lose their ability to live and learn. My past and my experiences have made me the person that I am today, while I may not be proud of all the decisions that I made, I know I learned from them and for that I am thankful.

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What are some of your priorities? School? Career? Family time?  Is God in your priorities?  I recently started a Bible Study at home and this topic really hit home.  While your things in life are important, how important is it going to be 5 years from now?  How about when you are old and grey?  Now don’t get me wrong, I believe wholeheartedly that you should push to be all that you can be.  I know that is what I want.  To make something for myself, for my family and specifically, my daughter so she is able to say “Wow, look that’s my mom!”  While pushing and driving for your future, don’t forget about the biggest priority of them all.  He is with you through every success and every failure and He is there to pick you up along the way.

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I got to finalize one of my priorities today, my Master’s degree program.  It felt so good to know how close I am and how it is just within my grasps.  Being able to nail down when I can finish only boosted my desire to continue to push forward.

Whatever stage of life you are in or whatever your priorities are, know that you have someone right there along with you on your journey.  You are never alone!

As always share some love, we could all use a little more love!

Questions and Answers

Today is supposed to be an exciting day.  A fresh start to the new semester.  Tackling yet another semester of college.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am excited about progressing toward my end goal, but right now it feels like I am a snail slowly making that progress.  I signed up for Graduate school because I wanted to accomplish one of my goals.  I wanted the chance or opportunity to hopefully land a better job.  I wanted to continue to learn because I felt behind since I did not grow up in the agricultural industry.  I wanted more time to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted to do.  It is crazy how over the last 5 years, my whole life plans have changed dramatically.  I am thankful for those changes, even though some may be scary at times.  I can feel myself developing and getting more in tune with what I enjoy and hope to do one day.

I still hit those brick walls though, wondering if this is the right thing to be doing. Wondering if I am wasting my time. Wondering if this will ever benefit Mattie.  Thinking, do I really have another four years of school in me if I want to pursue my Ph.D.?  So many questions with so many different answers and outcomes.  Torn between wanting just a simple life and making a difference in people’s life.

As I am running these questions through my head, I know the answer to each and every one of them.  It is accepting those answers that may be hard to do at times.  I know God has a plan for me and I know I have to trust him.  Handing the reigns over to Someone who you have been distant with lately is not an easy task to do.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of things that we forget about the important things.  I know I do.  I know I should spend more time praying and less time wondering.  More time trusting and less time questioning.  It can be a struggle at times.  Moving two steps forward just to take one step backward. Life is hard at times, but I also know life can be rewarding.  You just have to learn to trust the process.

I hope everyone has a fabulous week, whether that be at school or work or living the retired life.  I hope you get to do what you love and enjoy every minute of it.  Cheers to a new semester, one semester closer to accomplishing yet another one of my goals.

From Mommy to Mom…

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Today was a big day.  My not so little kiddo started 1st grade today.   How can she possibly be going into 1st grade?  How can she almost be 7?  They say time travels fast and this is very true. I do not think you realize how fast until one day you turn around and your baby is not a baby anymore.  When one day she starts calling you mom instead of mommy because well “I’m almost seven now and I am like a grown up”.

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All parents think their kids are amazing and I think Mattie is as well.  She is one of the sweetest people I know.  She is kind and loyal with a heart full of love.  She loves me with all her heart despite my flaws and failures.  She has grown up in a little bit of a different situation than most, but she has blossomed.  While she may not understand now, one day she will.  I hope that she knows that she is the reason I push to be successful.  The reason I went back to school not once but twice.  I want her to be able to see that you can accomplish your dreams if you just keep working at it.

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Mattie had a great day for her first day.  While she was a little nervous at first but then proceeded to get excited.  We walked in together and I dropped her off at her class with her new teacher.  I do believe that neither one of us shed any tears. We got to finish the first day with our annual 1st-day tradition, ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery.  Today, she decided to try chocolate with a kit-kat, then proceeded to eat mine!

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I got to spend some time this weekend with my Meme and Papa.  It is not every day you get to cook with four generations in the kitchen.  When four people have four different ways of doing things, things can get hectic, but I loved every minute of it.  Family time, I have learned to love it and am so thankful for the time I get.

As always share some love, the world could use a little more love.

From One Week to Three, How Life is Flying By

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For some reason, my best thoughts seem to come when I am flying and plugged into music, or in the middle of the night because waking up in the middle of the night is always fun.  The last three weeks have been an incredible experience.  The first week at my new job was definitely one for the books.  I was able to go to Lubbock and learn about cotton.  Who would have thought?  The first day I was very nervous, one, I didn’t know anything about cotton.  Two, I had never worked the video camera before.  Granted, I was not there by myself nor was I working it by myself but it was still an eye-opening experience.  The day started out great but the terms and lingo of cotton just flew right over my head.  However, by the end of the first day, I had learned the whole process cotton goes through to get from harvest to yarn.  The second day we started on our road adventure and headed home making a couple stops on the way to video some producers and Co-op owners.  My favorite part of the trip had to be the road trip back home.  You never know where your GPS is going to take you!  At one point we ended up driving down a back road and when I say back road, I mean a gravel road with no stop or street signs.  Instead of panicking, we went with the flow and got to see the beauty that surrounded us.

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The week rolled into the weekend and Jeffrey and I spent the weekend with all the kids.  We went to a Safari Tour which was pretty interesting.  I almost panicked when we got there though, the lady checking in the people had a huge snake just hanging out around her neck letting people touch it.  I had to be brave and fight not running away! The weekend was special as we were able to get in some family time before I had to leave again for Denver.

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I was headed to Denver for the American National CattleWomen meetings.  I love these meetings.  I am always able to meet someone new along with catching up with everyone else from across the nation.  The ladies have some exciting things in the works and I am anxious to see how it all turns out.  I normally do not get to attend the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association summer meetings but this year, I stayed an extra day to be able to go to some of their meetings.  It is important to know what is going on in the industry at the National level.  Everything that takes place there has the potential to funnel down and impact the individual producers.  For more information on American National CattleWomen be sure to check out ancw.org.

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The weekend flew by as we got ready for the Texas Aggie CattleWomen Steak Dinner & Dance.  The event was successful and went off without a hitch!  I was able to step into place as the new Texas Aggie CattleWomen President! I am beyond stoked to see how this year is going to turn out.  This years officer team has some great ideas and events planned.  The next few weeks are going to fly by and I will have a big first grader.  Now that is coming that I am not quite ready for!

As always share some love, the world could always use a little more love!

Persistance, Laughter, and Happiness

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The last couple of weeks have flown by.  I cannot believe that summer is almost over and school will begin again.  I have really been doing my best to have Mattie time as well as doing as much for Texas CattleWomen as I can.  We have been having informational session across the state of Texas the last couple of weeks.  I was beginning to get a little discouraged as I felt I had not made the impact that I was hoping for.  However, this past weekend, God reassured me that with determination, persistence, and hard work, things will begin to work out.  In the near future, there will be a new local chapter emerging in Texas CattleWomen.  Words cannot begin to describe how incredibly excited I am about this.  God knew exactly what I was needing to make me feel that my work was making an impact.  Concho Valley CattleWomen will be the new chapter.  I was able to visit with these ladies this past weekend in San Angelo.  They are some of the sweetest ladies I have ever met.  One thing I know for sure about CattleWomen, no matter what the outcome is, you will always make new friends and not just some new friends, some lifetime friends. I have gotten some renewed energy from that event and look forward to the upcoming events that we are having in Georgetown, Stephenville, and Cleburne.  If you are a CattleWomen, meaning you love beef, and are interested in either joining a local or creating one, please feel free to reach out to me!

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Mattie and I were able to make a trip to the Houston Zoo the past couple of weeks as well.  While it was hootttt! It was a blast.  If you have never seen of an okapi before then you should check them out.  It is one of her favorite animals and one of the first ones we saw.  We were also able to see a baby elephant that was about three weeks old, it only weighed over 300 pounds that’s all.  Jeffrey was also able to join us while we went to the aquarium in Houston.  It was pretty interesting if you have never been, however, I recommend not going if it is raining, you will miss out on the rides outside.

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Overall, life has been crazy, but a beautiful crazy.  I could not ask for anything better.  I am healthy, Mattie is healthy, we are both happy and things seems to be looking up in the right direction. We also have Jeffrey who we spend time and get to be silly with.  Laughter cures everything and is one of my favorite things to do.   In addition to all the great things already going on, I was also able to start a new job recently that I am super excited about! It is with Ranch TV that is a program with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services.  While it is just a student worker position while I am in school, but it is a step into the industry. I will be able to do projects and programs that I love doing, so it is a win-win for me.

As always share some love, we could all use a little more love.

Waiting Rooms and A Good Music Playlist

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Sometimes, there are things in life that can bring you down.  There are things in life that can give you wake up calls, and there are things in life that can bring you joy.  I am hoping that you get to experience the more joyful times, I, however, have all of the above over the last couple of weeks.  It is crazy how life can be from time to time.  When everything seems to be lined up perfectly or going well and you often have to wonder when that next “bad” thing is going to happen.  I have had an amazing year this past year and have really tried to stay positive despite the hiccups that occur, I mean it is life, nothing is ever perfect or that easy.  I have often struggled with listening to what people say too much and changed my way of doing things based on what one particular person may or may not have said.  When in reality, I should listen to everyone’s opinion about particular topics and form my own.  I think the way society and the world are today, it is so much easier to just follow the crowd.  While if this is what you choose to do, there is nothing wrong with that.  I, however, want something more.

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I was recently told that my writing was just about another trip I was on and that it was not cutting it, or that is how I took it.  It took me some time to think through this as writing in particular about anything I was doing was a huge step for me.  Then I read a blog by Curt Pate Stockmanship, it was exactly what I needed to hear at the right time.  After reading it, I came to the conclusion that I know all too well, but just need to be reminded every once in a while.  You can’t make everyone happy and there is no point in trying.  Do what you do, write how you want to write and be who you want to be.  Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.

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That wake-up call was one that I knew was coming but I was not quite ready for.  I write this as I am sitting in the hospital waiting for my dad to get out of his back surgery.  Back surgery.  You hear so many things about that kind of surgery.  While he should be in and out in an hour, it still makes you realize how important family is.  He is my superman, so helping to take care of him will be quite the change.  He has always been my rock that has been there when I needed anything.  Looks like I get to return the favor and I can foresee lots of grass mowing in my future, or for the next 6 weeks anyway.

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There are so many things that bring me joy in my life, too many to name but Mattie is a huge part of that.  It is amazing to watch her grow and see the person she is becoming.  She is definitely my mini-me and sometimes that is really scary, but she also has her own way of doing things.  I am looking forward to the weekend as well as my best friend will finally be home.  Surround yourself with people that love you but people that also push you to be better.  The future looks bright, make sure you make the most of it!

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As always spread some love, we could all use a little more love.

From Cattle Handling to Tap Dancing

CLV_4530_There are no words that can express how much this past weekend meant to me.  I was a whirlwind of emotions from frustration to being on the brink of tears multiple times due to the overwhelming feeling of joy.  There is nothing like putting your heart and soul into a project and then it turns out even better than you had hoped.

Texas CattleWomen hosted our first “Women In Ranching” event at the NRS store in Decatur Texas.  This is the same store that I have talked about multiple times.  I am telling you, you definitely need to check it out.  While I was hoping to arrive Thursday night, sometimes God decides you have other plans.  He definitely keeps me on my toes.  I was finally able to arrive Friday evening.  Boy, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve!  I was so tired and drained from all the emotions going on, but I was excited as well.  It’s very hard to get to sleep under these conditions, but I finally did it.

34063822_1686496768137087_7845814912214368256_nSaturday morning started out early and with a bang.  I loved checking everyone in! I was finally able to put a face with the ladies that I had been talking to.  Dr. Gill started out the morning with his amazing cow handling abilities.  He is such a Rockstar to watch.  I learn something new every time I hear him speak.  It is almost like magic how he is able to move the cows around on horse and on foot.  The afternoon was a favorite part of the event for many ladies.  I, however did not get attend this part.  When Mother duty calls, I have to go.  I drove back to College Station to watch Mattie at her dance recital.  She did awesome! She is definitely a talented little girl.  After the recital I drove back to Decatur, Texas to make sure I was there for the next morning.  Yes, that is a lot of driving but when you are that passionate about the things going on in your life you do what you need to do.

I am glad that I made it back.  The drive was definitely worth the thanks and gratitude and the pure joy in the faces of the ladies that attended. The event was a special one.  It was the first event that Debbie Gill and I put together. WIR is our “Baby”!!  We are stoked about the outcome of things and we are already planning our next event.

34207156_1686497018137062_1937355396700176384_nToday as I was driving I was thinking and God has been amazing to me this year. I can not thank Him enough for that. I really believe that if you are on the right path and you give thanks and praise to the right Man upstairs, He will continue to bless you and you will experience happiness.  Yes, life is always full of ups and downs, but that is life.  The way you look at things determines the outcome.  You only get one life…… Live it to its full potential.

As always share some love, we all need a little more love.

Living My Best Life

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Alright ladies, have you ever just had one of those days?  You know that day, that one where you just aren’t feeling it.  As soon as you wake up, you just already know it is going to be a long day.  When you are tired before you even get out of bed, even though you had 8 (okay let’s be honest), a solid 6 hours of sleep. When you can feel your patience running thin.  When you constantly eat all day, even though you are not hungry.  When you just want to scream for no reason at all what so ever.  When even though everything in your life seems to be going perfect, you just want the day to end.  Hormones, they can be something tricky.  That being said…  someone told me that the 30’s were going to be some of the best years of my life.  Boy, were they absolutely right.  Granted, I am only a few months in, but this year has been phenomenal and it is only getting better with each day that passes.

 

IMG_2778These past few weeks have been splendid. I’ve met new people and felt like I instantly connected with them. I know that having them in my life is going to be a great thing. I’ve reunited with friends, the ones you have not seen in a while and how you can just pick up where things left off.  God sure does have an exciting plan laid out for me and I am beyond stoked to see what the future holds.  It is amazing how things seem to start falling in place when you thoroughly enjoy life.  It is kind of crazy how one girl at A&M who wore a Texas Aggie CattleWomen t-shirt, pretty much changed my whole life around.  Gretchen, I thank you by the way if you are reading this.  I am so blessed to be able to have so much passion and love for an organization that I can actually participate in.  Another thank you “Shout Out” to my parents for helping make that possible as well.

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The rest of this month is going to be crazy busy.  This coming week The Texas CattleWomen have our brand-new event.  It is our “Women In Ranching” Program that we are hosting in Decatur, Texas.  I am beyond pumped about this event and this opportunity for women in the industry. Shortly after that my baby graduates Kindergarten.  Yes, you read that right, Kindergarten.  Time definitely needs to slow down however, I know that it will only start going faster from here on out.  Make sure to give those loved ones an extra hug and kiss and tell them how much you love them.

As always spread some love, we could all use a little more love!