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!

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.

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.

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.

Graduate School

IMG_1545Graduate school. My next big step.  Grad school officially started last week and I was a big ball of emotions. First of all, I was relieved that I was accepted.  I was also ecstatic that I can continue my education in the field that I love and am passionate about.  I was nervous.  I am the new kid on the block so to speak.

As I sat in class that first day and looked around, everyone seemed to know everyone else.  I could almost feel myself withdrawing, but NO, not this year!  This year is about meeting new people and trying new things.  This year is about continuing to step out of my comfort zone. How else can you get better if you never challenge yourself?  It looks like I will have quite a few people to meet.

DSC_0504Almost on cue, I began having the “questioning” feeling.  Am I doing the right thing?  Am I supposed to go to graduate school?  Is this all part of my plan?  While I pondered my whole ball of feelings last week, I was really stuck on this last feeling, questioning.  I sat down and decided to write out my goals and dreams. Here is a trick I learned from Gary V……… Write out the top goal you have, no matter WHAT it is.  From there, work backwards until you get to the present time.  You then have somewhat of a schedule or agenda on the steps you need to take to get you to your ultimate goal. After writing everything out and working through it in my mind, I do feel that graduate school is a step in the right direction for me.

I think we all want great things in our life and we often question whether we are making the right decision or not.  I, however, got the message I needed as I sat in church.  Listen for Gods call.  The immediate thoughts that went through my head were something along the lines of; How am I supposed to hear God? How long do I have to wait to hear Him? What am I supposed to be doing in the mean time? Then I went back to, how am I supposed to hear Him?  If you can imagine, all of these thoughts were going through my head at the same time as I was trying to listen.  It was very interesting to listen to other people and how they have felt God speak to them.  For some, they were awakened in the night and heard Him speak to them.  For others, it was not until after the fact that they realized that this is what God intended for them to do.  Still for others, it was just a nudge in a general direction, a gut feeling.  This left me to do quite a bit of thinking.  I think it comes down to prayer.  If you include prayer in your life, especially when it comes time to make those big decisions and whether you can actually hear Him or not, He will be there with you.

DSC_0289I know that all of the decisions I have made in the past have led me to right where I am today.  However, I feel that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.  I am super excited about the amazing things that are coming this year and I know He has so much more planned for me.

As always, spread some love.