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

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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!

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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!

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.

When Life Happens

IMG_1314                            What do you do when you don’t know what to do?  I believe everyone has reached this point at some point or another in their life.  What do you do when it seems like you can’t go anymore?  What do you do when it seems like every time you take a step forward, you end up taking two steps back?  What do you do when you finally decide to take a chance and open your heart up for someone only for them to walk away?  How can you carry on when you have a heart so big and so much love to give? What do you do when you begin to question yourself on every decision you have made so far?  What do you do when you don’t know if you are on the right track?  What if you feel stuck and wonder if maybe you should have taken a job instead of going to graduate school?  What do you do when all you want is to make sure that your kid is happy and has more and better opportunities than you do? What if you don’t know if you are doing anything right? I hate it when life gets hard and the days come when you just don’t understand.  What if you know what you want in life but you don’t know which step to take to get there?  What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

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You shed a few tears.  And then you probably shed quite a few more.  You slowly begin to pick up the pieces and you hit your knees hard.  You pray. You pray hard and you pray daily.  You have faith that the Lord has an amazing plan for you.  You trust in Him and the process no matter how hard or how much you may not understand.  You pick up those pieces and you begin each day with a smile.  You laugh. You laugh hard and you laugh often.  You grab a good book and dive in to clear your head.  You reach out to the people who mean the most to you.  You talk to that best friend at 3 o’clock in the morning because they know you need them.  You spend time with the one who believes in you the most, who sees more potential in you than you could ever know.  You reach out to the one who lives in another state to have them remind you that life is hard and everyone struggles, but it is about owning that struggle.  You even reach out to the ones who tell you what you need to hear, even though it may not be something that you WANT to hear.  You be yourself because you are special just the way you are.  You continue to love because that is who you are.  You continue to push forward because that is what you know how to do.  You keep going and one day, one special day, you will be amazed at how much you really have accomplished.

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

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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.