To My Heart – Mattie Moo

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This blog post has been weighing on my heart for some time now.  I have written it probably a 1,000 times in my head and it still isn’t and will never be perfect enough for you.  You were the game changer for me, the life changer, the, I wanted something more for you changer.  Words could never describe the feelings I have for you, but I will try. This is for you Mattie Moo.

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I remember it just like it was yesterday, the first time I felt you move.  At that moment things begin to change.  You were more than just a heartbeat, you were a real person.  From the first time I saw your squishy head fly past me to when we left the hospital, I knew it was going to be me and you kiddo and that it would always be me and you.

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It wasn’t always easy although you were an angel of a baby.  I was back to work before you could blink and you were off to daycare.  It was hard being without you the majority of the days and weekends but sometimes those were the sacrifices I had to make.  Sometimes you have to do what needs to be done and that included working.  I have to thank your grandparents (both sets) because, without them, we would be lost.

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I remember the first steps you took and when you finally decided to grow hair.  The thing I miss the most is holding and rocking you to sleep.  I still get snuggles for now, but I know those won’t last forever.  I made a big decision and we moved towns and I went back to school full time.  I know things for you can be different at times and I know you may not always understand but I hope one day you do.  The things I do, I do for you.  I want you to see the passion and desires I have to follow my dreams.  I want you to know that your dreams are possible and to never give up.

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You are the most loving, the kindest, and the most caring kid I know.  You have the sweetest soul and your love for Jesus, animals, and people shines through you.  Please don’t lose that.  Life is going to be tough but just know that you can make it through anything and I will be right there with you along the way.

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You never seem to amaze me with your infectious belly laugh and your toothless grin.  Keep being you Mattie and never lose that. I have heard that children in heaven actually pick their parents out before-hand.  If that is the case or if God chose me, I am so thankful for that.  You teach me things every day and we learn how to “tackle” life together.  I love you sweetheart and I always will.  Don’t lose your faith in God or me because together we can make it through anything.  You are about to turn another year older and get another year wiser, just know you will always be my baby.  I love you Mattie Moo.

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Cruising Through Life, One Life Lesson at A Time

The past couple of weeks, I have learned some life lessons.  Some I have known for a while but needed to hear again.  Some that are new but needed to be learned.  Some that are hard and while they may not be something I wanted to learn, I learned them anyway.

Slow down and take the time to enjoy the things around you.

Okay, we all know I have shared this plenty of times.  However, God sent me a reminder to slow down when I reached down to pick something up out of a bag and my back pretty much gave out.  Needless to say, two days in bed makes you realize that sometimes the things we think are so important at the time really are not that important.  I know we all have deadlines to meet, projects to turn in, work that needs to be done, but don’t forget to take some time for yourself.

Sometimes even when you love someone, the best thing to do is walk away.

                Relationships can be tough and when I say relationships, I mean all relationships.  The relationship with your siblings, your parents, your significant other, your friends and family.  I have learned that communication is key, but Trust, you can’t get anywhere without trust.  I know that in the grand scheme of things, relationships shouldn’t be hard. They should be fun and happy.  I mean you only get one life, right?  Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you care about someone, the only way to fix things is to walk away, pray, and let the Big Man upstairs do his thing.

Do whatever it is that brings joy into your life.

                I know that if I am not happy, then it not only affects everything else going on in my life but Mattie’s too.  Life is too short to be unhappy all the time.  Be joyful.  Find your purpose, find something that brings you joy and do that.  Yes, there are going to be people that may not quite understand but if they are that important to you, they will stay around regardless.

Always have a good pair of mud boots to work in

                You never know when your phone might ring and you may get that chance to go work cattle or go hunting.   Always make sure you have a good pair of “work” boots ready for any occasion.  I failed at this last weekend, but my sweet friend helped me out and I survived the day.  It was my first time actually getting out there and working cattle and I must say, I just fell in love even more.

Make sure you have at least one goal in life and work towards that goal

                Sometimes we get lost in the hustle and bustle and lose sight of what we are really working for.  Make a goal, even if it is only one and work towards that goal.  My big-time goal, that I wake up every morning and think about? I want a house on a hill with a wrap around porch so I can sit out and watch my cattle grazing. I realized that I am not getting any younger, after my weekly chiropractor visits, and I need to start working harder towards this goal.  On a positive note, I only have about a year left of graduate school and most of all my classes are online, so if you are in the market for a full-time employee, let me know!

We all know that life can be hard at times, just learn to look at all the positive things and suddenly life may not really seem that hard.

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

Texas CattleWomen

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This past weekend something spectacular happened.  I received an award that I held in high regard.  Texas CattleWomen of the Year.  To make the event even more special, one of my best friends was able to present this award to me.   Not only has she taken me under her wing, but she has become more like family to me.  I am so thankful for her and will forever be grateful for the time she has given me.

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I fumbled through a speech at the presentation of the award but I can express my feelings through my writings better.  Receiving this award was one of the greatest experiences that I have had with CattleWomen.  It is nice to get recognized and know that the work that you are putting in gets noticed.  I know that sometimes I can be a little impatient when it comes to things.  I, however, have so much passion, love, and drive for CattleWomen, that I want it to be the best it can be.  I hope that everyone knows that all the work I do is for the good of the organization.

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CatttleWomen is not just an organization to me, it is another family.  I honestly do not know where I would be without CattleWomen.  I joined this organization at a time when I was discovering myself.  This organization let me belong regardless of my background, my views, and my past.  From day 1, I have felt nothing but love from the women of this organization.  It is an amazing feeling to know that you have family across the state of Texas to call upon.

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I am beyond excited about the future of the organization.  I feel great things are in the work for us.  Thank you again for all the people that have a passion for the organization and want it to succeed.  Thank you to my family who helps me out so that I can do the things that I love.  Find your drive and your passion.  Find what brings you joy, explore it, and do everything in your power to not lose it.  You only have one life, make the most of it.  CattleWomen, you will always have my heart.

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

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.