Weddings, CattleWomen and More

It is been a while since I have put pen to paper but this has given me the opportunity to think through a lot of things.  Sometimes taking that step back from a situation helps clear our heads and enables us to look at things from a different viewpoint.

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There have been a lot of beautiful things that have happened lately. Roughly a month ago, I was able to witness my brother say I do to his new wife.  The place was fantastic and the wedding was great, however, my favorite part was watching both of them share their vows for each other.  You could honestly see the love they had for each other beaming out of them.   To love someone that deeply has to be a feeling that is out of this world.  I know I am a little late on this but I had to share it.  To my brother, if you are reading this, I hope that you know how incredibly proud I am of you.  You amaze me every day with your selflessness to serve.  I look you up to you in so many ways.  I know most of the time we spend together we normally end up picking on each other but just know that is out of love.  It has been amazing watching you grow up to the man you are today.  Thank you for stepping in and playing a role in Mattie’s life, watching y’all two at the wedding brought more love to my heart than you can ever imagine.  It brings tears to my eyes writing about it now.  So thank you.

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This past weekend I was able to rejuvenate my love for CattleWomen.  We spent the weekend at our annual Women In Ranching program and it was a blast.  Being surrounded by women with like minds is an incredible thing.  I was able to sit and watch ladies of all experience levels come together to make a weekend successful.  The one thing I loved most about all this is the friendships I have made and continue to make.  There were times in these last few months that have been pretty lonely, not really quite sure I had any friends at some points, but these ladies have changed that.  It is not often that you can get a bunch of ladies in a room together and have everyone get along.  My favorite moment of the whole weekend was Saturday evening, killing some time before dinner.  I sat down at a table with two other ladies and within 10 minutes, not only was our table full, we had a circle of probably almost 15 ladies, talking, sharing stories, and getting to know one another.  This event has put me on fire and I can not wait to finalize the Fall Tour and get the ladies on board.

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There have been some struggles the past few months but everyone has struggled in one way or another, it is how you look at those struggles that changes your way of thinking.  Keep pushing forward to be the best you can be. Keep growing in your faith and as always share some love, we could all use a little more love.

Sliding into 2019

2019 started with my foot on the gas pedal!  A quiet New Year’s Eve evening with Mattie popping fireworks with my dad and me, which has turned into a tradition, has turned into a non-stop roller coaster from Mattie’s extracurricular activities to starting a new job to my CattleWomen to school starting.  My life has been busy busy busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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I am definitely excited to see what is in store for 2019.  2018 was amazing overall but I was glad to see it go.  A new year always means a new slate to me.  A new year to make a difference and to live life to the fullest. 2018 started off with a bang and slowly dwindled down so I can only imagine what 2019 has in store.  It is true, my thirties have already been better than my twenties and I am just getting started.

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It is crazy how your path can take you to different places, with different people, and you learn and become interested in different things.  I always knew that I had a creative side in me.  I mean, I did originally want to go to College for a photography degree. The more time I spend working the more and more I fall in love with it. I was sitting at my desk the other day working on a design for a new website and I thought to myself, I should have been a communication major or something equivalent.  I wish I would have gotten more experience in that field in school but one of my classes this semester is Ag Design so I am super excited about that.

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God continues to bless me every day and I am so thankful for all the wonderful opportunities that I have been given and my amazing parents for making those opportunities possible for me.

2019 is going to be a year of rebuilding for me, a year of growing up, a year of finding new hobbies and pursuing them, a year of traveling (gotta love my CattleWomen ladies), a year of making new memories and a year of cherishing everything and everyone around me.

Here is to 2019 and I hope your year is the best that is can possibly be!

As always share some love, we can always use some more love!

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!

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.

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.

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.

Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do….

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They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and I will have to agree.  I was able to return to one of my most absolute favorite places this weekend and participate in a Grilling 101.  Yes, you read that right, the famous Grilling 101’s I have talked about before.  I do not think it can be much better than being surrounded with people and an organization you have so much passion for and being able to cook an amazing steak.  The famous Grill Master was there, showing us the skills on how to cook the steak properly.  I will have to admit, I still got it.  The steak was phenomenal and the food was astounding as always.  If you have never tried grilled angel food cake then you need to add it to the list of things to try!

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Being there brings back some wonderful memories and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to experience my internship with the Texas Beef Council.  The last two weeks have been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but I think the struggles that we go through only make us the people that we are today.  That struggle tends to push me to do more and make more of myself.

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As I was sitting at the table yesterday, talking to the incredible women that surrounded me, I realized that things were starting to fall in place.  The connection between local chapters across the state was slowly but surely starting to happen.  That brings so much joy to my heart.  I am thrilled to see where the future of CattleWomen is going and I know I will be along for the ride.  Find something you love to do and invest in it and only make it better.  Life is too short to be unhappy or hold grudges.  Take time out of your day to do something special for a stranger. Be caring to everyone regardless of what may have happened and try to be a positive impact on someone’s life.  I have met some remarkable ladies in my life who have left a lasting impression upon me.  I only hope that one day I can do the same for someone else.

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

1st Timer

27751743_1710199699002582_2993604091170085740_nMan oh man! My trip to Phoenix was simply magical!!  This was my second year to attend the American National CattleWomen (ANCW) annual meetings, but this was my first year to attend the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) annual meeting. First and foremost, wow. Just WOW!  I did not realize how big this event was or how many attended this convention. Even if it is only for one day, the trade show is worth it.  In the market for a job? The trade show is where it is at.  So many different companies were represented. From equipment companies to insurance companies to feed companies; Whatever your interest in agriculture is, there was a booth for it.

My first day I was able to attend the ANCW meetings and meet CattleWomen from all across the country.  This is probably one of the more special parts of the convention.  Seeing all the different women who are working hard in their communities spreading their story and their love for beef.  The more you are able to see these women, the more friendships are formed and relationships are built.  It truly is marvelous!

27657675_10160629144290347_1324125336082093514_nBesides meeting new people and being nominated to serve on the Board of Directors for ANCW, I had one more piece I really enjoyed.  Believe it or not, I loved being able to hear Colin Woodall speak.  He is NCBA Chief Lobbyist on Capitol Hill. He is an astounding speaker and has given me the drive to become more knowledgeable about the current legislature affecting our agricultural industry.  If ever given the chance, I highly recommend attending any meetings where he is speaking.

In addition to the ANCW meetings, I was also able to attend some of the NCBA meetings.  Some of these meetings were broken up by Regions, some were broken up by committees.  If you are ever interested in the Beef Checkoff, this is a great place to get information.  What is the Beef Checkoff you ask?  Every time cattle are sold, 1 dollar is taken for every head and sometimes 2 dollars depending on whether the state is set up that way or not.  For example, in Texas, 2 dollars are taken.  This money is used to come up with programs to promote beef, educate consumers, and do research.  There are several meetings that occur containing anything and everything that is happening with the Beef Checkoff.   If you are interested in learning more about the Beef Check off, be sure to check out this website. https://www.beefboard.org/producer/CBBFinalUnderstandingBrochure.pdf

Besides the stunning tradeshow, there are also live demonstrations that occur as well.  There are equipment demonstrations as well as live cattle handling and colt breaking, just to name a few.  These demonstrations were done by Dr. Gill and Curt and Tammy Pate.  I learn something every time I listen to them and it is always great to keep improving.

unnamedI wrapped up my convention by attending an emerging leaders luncheon.  This is an incredible opportunity for college students and the youth coming up in the industry.  We were able to sit down with some of the more knowledgeable people in the industry and learn what it takes to succeed.  There was also a notable speaker there by the name of Bruce Vincent. He is an impeccable speaker, so please make sure to check him out as well.

This was a remarkable opportunity and I urge everyone in the industry to attend this convention at least once, especially for any students or young people wanting to get in the industry.  I know I am already looking forward to New Orleans next year!

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