Things I wish I knew in my Twenties ….

The past few days I have been seeing posts that say – People in your thirties, what advise do you have to give to the people in their twenties? While I did comment on some of them, I did want to share more than just one tip. So why not do what I do best and write, it is my cure for everything. Check out my Top 5 tips I wish I knew or had done in my twenties

  1. You don’t have to go to College right away or even at all.

While this is totally against what most people say and think, I am living proof that sometimes it is okay to wait to go to college. My advice would be to go see the world. Move out of your home town. Work. Travel and figure out what you want to do in life, without the influence of other people. There is a huge world out there, explore it. You never know what you will fall in love with. On top of that, if you do go back to college at an older age, you will appreciate everything you learn so much more! Trust me, this I know for a fact.

2. Do what makes you happy regardless of what society, your parents, your friends, or even your neighbors think.

You only have one life. Do not waste it trying to make someone else happy or doing something for someone else.  For so long I tried to “fit in” with what I thought was the right thing that I should be doing. Which in turn pushed aside what I really wanted to do, what my passions were.   You are your own person. Your thoughts, your feelings, your passions are yours and no one else’s. Do not let anyone take those away from you. Pursue those passions with a fire. Do things you love.

3. Save some money from every check

I waited tables and was a bartender for almost 12 years of my life and I have nothing to show for it except some great customer service skills and I know how to make a drink or two. Seriously though, regardless of how much money you make, make sure you save some of it. Save some from every paycheck or every shift you work, even if it is only $5. After 20 shifts you will have $100. Depending on how many shifts a week, that’s roughly $100 a month you are saving. Now just think, if I had done that, I would have over 14 thousand dollars in the bank not including interest. If you have a full-time job, fantastic. Make sure you set up your 401K and at the very minimum put in what you need to get your company to match you.

4. It is okay to be alone

For some reason there is this huge expectation that we have to be married right out of college and have a baby the following year. I am here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. Trust me, I would love to be married and have a family but I also want it to be with the right person. Don’t ever settle because you deserve the world. If your partner isn’t willing to do for you what you are willing to do for them, then maybe just maybe they aren’t the partner for you. It is okay to wait. It is okay to not get married in your twenties. It is more than acceptable to wait for the person that sets your soul on fire.

5. Be a nice human being

There were a lot of times in my twenties when I was not a very nice person, especially since I worked in a restaurant for all of them.  Be a nice person. Show compassion and love. Show grace. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. That perfect family or life you see on social media isn’t real.  Everyone has their own troubles and struggles that you may know nothing about. Be nice and spread some love.

These may seem like small tips to some but sometimes it is the little things that matter the most.

Whatever you do in your twenties, be great doing it.

And as always, spread some love. We could all use a little more love.

XOXO

Casey

How Changing Your Mindset Can Change Your Life

IMG_1084

You might be wondering why I am feeling compelled to share my college experiences. I do promise there is a point. Every decision that I have made the last 6 years has put me to where I am today. Some of those decisions included me growing and getting out of my comfort zone. I wanted to translate how important it is to get out and grow. To experience life. When you don’t, you honestly don’t know what you are missing or what you are capable of achieving.

The semester I was supposed to graduate I took an internship with the Texas Beef Council. Yes, I postponed my graduation! Once again, God was working his magic. The decision to apply for this internship was one of the best decisions I have made. I don’t even remember how I came up with the courage to apply. I just knew when I saw the email about the internship opportunity that it was something that I was really interested in, especially since Texas CattleWomen worked so close with them. Y’all this internship, there are no words on how awesome it was. My partner in crime for the semester was the greatest. I am telling you, this was a dream come true for me. I met so many incredible people, I got to work with some of the best in the industry and this internship truly taught me to spread my wings and grow. I am so thankful for that opportunity, for the people I have met are truly amazing.

Around this time I decided to apply for Graduate school. I had no intentions of moving back “home” (Wharton) anytime soon. College Station was/is my new home, for now anyway.  Graduate school was/is rough, the whole first year and a half I felt I made the wrong decision. I was on the major struggle bus.  I couldn’t find a project to do to write my thesis on and I honestly wanted to quit and just go to work. I was really unhappy with my life, for the whole past year actually. It was the “woe is me” type thing. I was stuck and never thought I was getting out and my life was so hard, it wasn’t fair, blah blah blah. When I look at myself back then, I just shake my head. I had done so many awesome things and grown so much and when I hit a road block those negative thoughts started happening and good went to bad and bad went to worse.

Roughly 6 months ago I was looking for a way to make extra money. I didn’t want to go back to waiting tables, I loved my full-time job but I wanted something extra to try to pay off some debt and get Mattie to Disney. I made a decision that has really turned my life around. Not only my life, but my mindset on life in general. I joined Younique, which is a makeup and skincare company. I had no idea what I was doing when I joined but I figured I would give it a shot. Once again God is so good y’all! I was blessed with the most amazing black status upline. She literally took me under her wings and has worked with me and taught me to fly, because at the time I had very little experience with makeup. She is one of those amazing ladies who is always positive no matter what, she keeps the positivity, the charisma, and the “I can do” attitude in all our group chats, team posts etc. She turned me on to Mr. Ray Higdon who has been such a blessing for me. I have never met him personally but I learn sooooo much from all of his online trainings. I have seen my mindset shift from woe is me to being grateful for the opportunity to wake up and do something I love every day. Mindset is everything. If you get anything from this blog let that be it and when I say mindset, I am meaning the way you look at things. If you are constantly negative and only see the bad in people or pay attention to all the terrible things going on in this world, that is what you are going to attract. The Law of Attraction. Transition your thoughts to what you are grateful for, transition your thoughts to how you would feel when you accomplish your wildest dreams, transition your thoughts to thinking you have already achieved them. It isn’t easy. I have to work every day at it and some days are a lot harder than others. Keeping negativity and negative people out of your life is probably one of the hardest things to do, especially if they are your friends. It all depends on you though and what kind of life you want for yourself.

I have my fingers crossed that I can graduate this Fall. I haven’t started job hunting yet but I have been finalizing the vision I have for myself. I did find an incredible project that I am so grateful to be working on for my graduate work. Needless to say, I am very excited to see what 2020 has in store for me.

As always spread some love

XOXO

Casey

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!

img_4867

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.

img_4864

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.

img_4942

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

374820_2894611053175_1396516189_n

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.

578393_10151004516570989_1053923983_n

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.

1528713_10200999425098285_680800519_n

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.

DSC_0429

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.

unnamed3

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.

unnamed4

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.

Mattie.2

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

unnamed (4)

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.

unnamed (5)

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.

unnamed (6)

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!

unnamed (7)

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.

unnamed

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.

unnamed (1)

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.

unnamed (3)

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…

IMG_3359

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”.

IMG_1210

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.

IMG_3353

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!

IMG_0794

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

IMG_2937

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.

IMG_2402

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.

IMG_0929

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.

IMG_E2736

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!

IMG_2366

 

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