Overcoming Your Past…

I don’t know about y’all, but for me, my past has been my biggest demon to overcome. I have wanted to unpack it for so long, wanted to examine it, wanted to figure out where I went wrong or why I made the decisions that I made. By doing this, I realized that I will never move forward and become who I am supposed to be if I continue to keep my head in the past.

It is a wonder what some therapy, some amazing conversation between the important people in your life, and some alone time reflecting, writing, and listening to podcasts can do. I would say that the majority of the time when we look at our past, we look at all the failures. We look at the mistakes we made and things that we wish we would have done differently. What we are failing to see though, is that all those trials and tribulations have made you the person you are today. Without those, who knows where you would be.

For me, I begin to see things in a whole new light. Instead of being the grown adult still trying to get her Master’s. I am the grown adult who chose to go back to school and is so close to finishing that degree. I am the women who left an easy desk job to go back to school. To get my degree so that I could give Mattie a better life. I am the lady who did all this as a single parent, playing mom and dad, who has worked 2-3 jobs since the age of 20. I am the amazing person who left one abusive relationship after another because I knew I deserved better. So instead of thinking about all that has gone wrong in your life. Stop and realize how far and how much you have overcome.

You are so much stronger and so much braver than you realize. Tap into that magnificent you and sit back and watch your life change. You are capable of so much more than you know.

Share some love, we could all use a little more love

XOXOX

Casey

Cheesy Bacon and Broccoli Chicken Recipe

I got back in the kitchen this past week and it felt so good. Now, if you know me you might have just laughed out loud. I am by no way shape or form a cook but I have gotten this itch to cook more lately, so I have decided to try and start scratching it, at least once a week anyway.

We try to cook low-carb meals, which I am all about. Last week, I ordered two new keto-friendly cookbooks and got busy picking out recipes when they came in. My mom and I decided to make it even more interesting, we were going to cook together, along with some quality bonding time!

Our first recipe was from – “The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook” page 107. “Cheesy Bacon & Broccoli Chicken.”

Ingredients include:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 6 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat your baking dish with ghee.
  3. Season your chicken breasts with pink Himalayan salt and pepper.
  4. Place the chicken breasts and the bacon slices in the baking dish and cook for 25 minutes.
  5. Once complete, take the chicken breasts to a cutting board and use two forks to shred them. Be sure to season it some more with Himalayan salt and pepper.
  6. Place the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate so that it will crisp up.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, shredded chicken, broccoli, and half of the bacon (be sure to crumble it up). (Instead of frozen broccoli, we chopped the florets off raw broccoli and cooked it while the chicken was cooking.)
  8. Transfer the chicken mixture into the baking dish and top with Cheddar and the remaining bacon. (I did not measure out our cheese, just covered the top layer.
  9. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and browned for roughly 35 minutes.

This dish was so good and was super easy to make! I felt almost like a chef! It reminded me a lot of Broccoli Rice Casserole. If you aren’t a broccoli fan you could always swap it out with cauliflower. What are some of your great low-carb recipes I can try?

I found joy in that kitchen this past week and for that, I am thankful!

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

XOXOXO

Casey

Every Decision You Make Changes Your Life

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Six years ago I made a decision. I packed up pretty much all of my belongings, a two year old and headed to College Station. I left my full time job with a construction company and my bartending job on the side with the goal of getting that degree. I moved in with my mom and started College full time again for the first time in 8 years. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew that I wanted to finish my education.  I was 26 years old and boy did I feel that 26 years old. I was very shy, felt really out of place, and needless to say, had a lot of growing to do. At the time I didn’t know this decision would change my whole life, my only focus was to finish my last two years of school, go back home and eventually get married.  Needless to say, God had other plans.

That first semester rocked my world. Even with my total GPA of 3.5 at the end of the semester, I got put on Academic Probation. Yes, you read that right. You see, I was an AgBusiness major and I had taken accounting that semester and got a D! Yes! A D and I was an AgBusiness major, like I said God had other plans. At A&M, the AgBusiness program has certain core classes that you have to make a certain GPA in, accounting was one of those classes and since that was the only core class I took that semester my GPA was a 1.0. I was devastated. I can remember crying my eyes out in the back of the kitchen at Chili’s on the phone with my mom trying to figure out my life! I thought it was over but it was only getting started. I had to meet with the Dean and he actually told me about an AgEconomics program. It was similar to AgBusiness, had no core classes, had an entrepreneurship class, and I would be off Academic Probation. I was sold and switched programs.  See, I had had a dream of owning a feed store one day. When I was younger, I would go Hallettsville when we went to our deer lease and they had this feed store there that I loved! I wanted one similar but a little bigger sort of like the D&D store in Seguin.  By the way, if you have never seen that store it is HUGE!

During that first semester I also took an Animal Science class. This class changed my life, period. Everything that I thought I had wanted to do workwise was out the window. Besides the feed store, I now had new dreams. I wanted to run a cattle operation and I wanted to be involved with Agriculture. It took me roughly a year of taking Animal Science classes along with my other course load but I made another big decision and added Animal Science as a double major to my degree. This added roughly an extra year to my graduation date but I did not care. I was soaking up knowledge left and right. Extremely grateful that I went back to school when I did, I actually wanted to learn and I cared a lot more.

The AgEconomics program was a huge blessing in disguise. I met so many mentors and was able to network with so many people. The best part was in one of the classes, you have to start a business from scratch. That class was probably one of the hardest classes I have taken due to the amount of work required but I loved everything about it. My business was a cow/calf operation, where I sold preconditioned steers and bred heifers. I loved that class and my Professor Dr. Rister. He was one of the best Professors I have ever had.  I still have all my binders under my bed from those classes, that way when I am ready to open a business I can pull out all my old tools.

One day during my first year at A&M, I was sitting in my statistics class and I saw this girl wearing a Texas Aggie CattleWomen shirt. I actually got the courage to ask her about the shirt (told y’all I was shy) and she told me about this Collegiate Organization and that I should check it out. It took me a whole year before I got the courage to go to one meeting! At that meeting they made us stand up and introduce ourselves. Of course I sat in the back and tried to hide, I was literally ringing with sweat when I had to stand up and say my name and where I was from. I mean I was terrified! Did I mention I am currently the President-Elect for the State Organization? A whole year, I wasted a whole year because I was afraid of what other people would think of me and I didn’t even know the people yet! Crazy! Needless to say, I joined the organization and haven’t look back. I have served as the Treasurer and President for the Texas Aggie CattleWomen, Vice President and currently President-Elect for the Texas CattleWomen and I am also on the Board of Directors for the American National CattleWomen. This organization has given me so much life. I am so thankful for all the people that I have met along the way. While at the time I didn’t realize it was happening but I have been slowly growing. I can speak in front of people without sweating, I can run meetings, I can help host events, and plan them well too. If you have never heard of Texas CattleWomen or are interested in learning more about it, please reach out to me. I would love to help you find a local chapter. Tune in next time for when I finish my college adventures and tell you about the next couple of decisions that have set my soul on fire even more than it already was.

As always, spread some love.

XOXO

Casey

“I will Soar on Wings like Eagles..”

As I was driving home last night, this topic was really weighing on my heart and mind and I felt I needed to share.  Yesterday was a good day.  No, yesterday was a great day.  Texas CattleWomen had an informational session in Decatur and the best possible outcome happened that could have, we got a new local started.  How can all these great things be happening but yet it feels as if I am not doing enough or the results that I am getting are not good enough.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have really noticed how much and how bad negative thoughts can affect someone.  Trust me, I get them all the time and normally always assume the worst.  Why, why do we do that?  I can work my tail off at something and nail it and get told that what I did was great and yet I am still so unsure.  It is crazy how the mind works, why some people feel certain ways and others can’t.  How self-confidence can make or break you.  How it can be so hard to genuinely accept that – Hey! You are doing a dang good job!

Just know that You are enough! When you get that compliment, say thank you and enjoy it.  Relish in it and give yourself a pat on the back.  Believe in yourself as much as other people do – this is HUGE, something I struggle with a lot.  It is okay to have bad days, everyone has bad days, but get up, dust yourself off and make tomorrow better. No one is perfect, no one.  Smile, you never know who is watching or wanting to be just like you.

Find things that make you happy and do them.  Learn to be you and don’t let anyone take that away from you.  And sometimes you just need a three-hour jam session of some Jesus music.  This next week I challenge you to do something out of the norm, whether that be saying hello to someone on the street, trying some new food, or even picking up a new hobby. Have an amazing week and as always share some love, we could all use some more love.

 

 

From One Week to Three, How Life is Flying By

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For some reason, my best thoughts seem to come when I am flying and plugged into music, or in the middle of the night because waking up in the middle of the night is always fun.  The last three weeks have been an incredible experience.  The first week at my new job was definitely one for the books.  I was able to go to Lubbock and learn about cotton.  Who would have thought?  The first day I was very nervous, one, I didn’t know anything about cotton.  Two, I had never worked the video camera before.  Granted, I was not there by myself nor was I working it by myself but it was still an eye-opening experience.  The day started out great but the terms and lingo of cotton just flew right over my head.  However, by the end of the first day, I had learned the whole process cotton goes through to get from harvest to yarn.  The second day we started on our road adventure and headed home making a couple stops on the way to video some producers and Co-op owners.  My favorite part of the trip had to be the road trip back home.  You never know where your GPS is going to take you!  At one point we ended up driving down a back road and when I say back road, I mean a gravel road with no stop or street signs.  Instead of panicking, we went with the flow and got to see the beauty that surrounded us.

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The week rolled into the weekend and Jeffrey and I spent the weekend with all the kids.  We went to a Safari Tour which was pretty interesting.  I almost panicked when we got there though, the lady checking in the people had a huge snake just hanging out around her neck letting people touch it.  I had to be brave and fight not running away! The weekend was special as we were able to get in some family time before I had to leave again for Denver.

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I was headed to Denver for the American National CattleWomen meetings.  I love these meetings.  I am always able to meet someone new along with catching up with everyone else from across the nation.  The ladies have some exciting things in the works and I am anxious to see how it all turns out.  I normally do not get to attend the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association summer meetings but this year, I stayed an extra day to be able to go to some of their meetings.  It is important to know what is going on in the industry at the National level.  Everything that takes place there has the potential to funnel down and impact the individual producers.  For more information on American National CattleWomen be sure to check out ancw.org.

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The weekend flew by as we got ready for the Texas Aggie CattleWomen Steak Dinner & Dance.  The event was successful and went off without a hitch!  I was able to step into place as the new Texas Aggie CattleWomen President! I am beyond stoked to see how this year is going to turn out.  This years officer team has some great ideas and events planned.  The next few weeks are going to fly by and I will have a big first grader.  Now that is coming that I am not quite ready for!

As always share some love, the world could always use a little more love!

Living My Best Life

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Alright ladies, have you ever just had one of those days?  You know that day, that one where you just aren’t feeling it.  As soon as you wake up, you just already know it is going to be a long day.  When you are tired before you even get out of bed, even though you had 8 (okay let’s be honest), a solid 6 hours of sleep. When you can feel your patience running thin.  When you constantly eat all day, even though you are not hungry.  When you just want to scream for no reason at all what so ever.  When even though everything in your life seems to be going perfect, you just want the day to end.  Hormones, they can be something tricky.  That being said…  someone told me that the 30’s were going to be some of the best years of my life.  Boy, were they absolutely right.  Granted, I am only a few months in, but this year has been phenomenal and it is only getting better with each day that passes.

 

IMG_2778These past few weeks have been splendid. I’ve met new people and felt like I instantly connected with them. I know that having them in my life is going to be a great thing. I’ve reunited with friends, the ones you have not seen in a while and how you can just pick up where things left off.  God sure does have an exciting plan laid out for me and I am beyond stoked to see what the future holds.  It is amazing how things seem to start falling in place when you thoroughly enjoy life.  It is kind of crazy how one girl at A&M who wore a Texas Aggie CattleWomen t-shirt, pretty much changed my whole life around.  Gretchen, I thank you by the way if you are reading this.  I am so blessed to be able to have so much passion and love for an organization that I can actually participate in.  Another thank you “Shout Out” to my parents for helping make that possible as well.

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The rest of this month is going to be crazy busy.  This coming week The Texas CattleWomen have our brand-new event.  It is our “Women In Ranching” Program that we are hosting in Decatur, Texas.  I am beyond pumped about this event and this opportunity for women in the industry. Shortly after that my baby graduates Kindergarten.  Yes, you read that right, Kindergarten.  Time definitely needs to slow down however, I know that it will only start going faster from here on out.  Make sure to give those loved ones an extra hug and kiss and tell them how much you love them.

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

Oh The Places I Will Go…

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These last few days have been amazing and they have continuously reminded me how wonderful God is.  I got in the truck last week and headed to Burlington, Colorado.  If you have ever had a doubt in your mind about His existence, get in the truck and go for a drive.  Don’t just drive around town, drive somewhere new.  Drive out in the country. Drive all day and see where you end up. Drive somewhere and watch the sun set.  Take the time to see how beautiful the world actually is.  Take some time to go somewhere new, explore, be adventurous. Roll down the windows, let the wind blow through your hair and take some time for yourself.

IMG_5432Burlington, Colorado.  A new place that I had never been before.  I went to the American National CattleWomen Region IV meeting.  While it was a little drive to get there, it was exactly what I needed.  When you are on the road for that long, you get time to clear your head and look at all the spectacular things in life.  Burlington was a different side of Colorado that I had not seen yet.  There were lots of pastures and open spaces and hardly any trees.  The weather could not have been more perfect.  I was a little worried as there was a rain storm forming but it turned out phenomenal.  Being with my CattleWomen is never a disappointment and I continue to look forward to every meeting that I have with them!

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If you have never been to Burlington, you have to check out the town.  It is a pretty small town but they have a historic carousel there.  It was built in 1905 and is a hand carved wooden merry go round.  This thing is definitely special!  It has quite a few oil paintings and when you walk on it, you can tell that it is hung up on suspension.  It also goes around quite a bit faster than the normal carousels that they have now.

Another very interesting thing that you need to visit is the Old Town Museum.  This place is stellar! There are a bunch of old style 1900 buildings and you can walk around checking out all the buildings. It is like a small little town!  They have a saloon and even a huge barn that people can gather in.

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We were also able to visit some feedlots and have some great speakers present to us.  The comradery is my favorite thing in these events.  Each event I meet more people and gain more friendships.  Heck, most of the people to talk to at the meetings live multiple hours away or even states away!

Find something that brings you joy and do it!

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

2018

IMG_1436             Wow! I am having trouble coming up with the words!  My trip to Ireland was simply amazing.  I do not think it was from all of the beautiful sights or the wonderful food that I tasted.  I think stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something new made it exciting.  I think being able to disconnect from the phone, social media, people in general from time to time helps.  While I did not unplug as much as I wanted too, I did some.  I do not think people realize how hard it is to unplug until they actually try and do it.  Give it a try, it does put things in perspective.

IMG_1269               Hanging out with the locals, meeting new people and just listening to what people had to say made the trip worthwhile.  My favorite part on every tour we went on was learning about all the history.  Most importantly though, I had the time away to think and re-evaluate my goals, my passions, what I want in life, and what I want for Mattie.  While there was no ringing in the New Year, I welcome this New Year with a huge smile on my face!

DSC_0332              2017 was one of those years to remember and to cherish. It was a year where I felt accomplishment, many blessings, joys, along with heartache and disappointment. 2017 was a year where I took a chance and decided to step out of my comfort zone. It was a year where I learned that it is perfectly fine and acceptable to not know ALL of the answers. I learned to trust and have faith in a plan that is bigger than me. It was a year full of being able to spend time with the people who mean the most to me. 2017 was a year of learning and discovering my passions, and taking those passions and making something out of them despite how crazy they may seem.

IMG_1486                Most importantly, 2017 was a year of a tremendous amount of growth.  Growth in being able to look at yourself in the mirror and love the person looking back at you.  Growth in knowing that despite the past, you are right where you were supposed to be.  Growth in knowing that the future is bright and there is so much more out there for you.  Growth in learning to love here, and now, in the present.  2017 was a hell of a year and here is to 2018!

IMG_1463              I started 2018 off with a bang and am looking forward too many more new adventures. I’m going to take more chances and continue to step more and more out of that comfort zone. I’ll be taking extra time to cherish all of the little things. Honestly, they are the only things that matter. I’m going to follow my passions, even if it means going against the grain. My passions burn like a fire in my heart and given enough time I can explain why they matter to me. I’m going to laugh every day and multiple times a day.  Laughing is good for the soul. If you do not laugh, you definitely need to start.  Most importantly, one has to love.  Love as often as you can and as deep as possible.  And pray.  Pray hard and pray often.  Only the Big man upstairs knows what plans He has for me.  However, I am betting that it is something spectacular.

IMG_1573Smile-Laugh-Love.  We could all use a little more love.

December 15, 2017

Today is the day……My Graduation from College. Who would have thought?  I remember envisioning this day and all the emotions that would come with it.  However, I never imagined that it would come with these emotions. I’m not sure what they are yet…. maybe it hasn’t hit me yet?

IMG_0043It has been quite a journey, even though I probably took twice as long as the average student.  The last four years have done some amazing things for me along with a lot of growing.  I worked three different jobs continuously over the last two years and my home and school life is anything but “Normal”.  I’m a single parent doing my best to make every performance, every parade at school, every Christmas program, and being there to walk her into her “Big Kindergarten School” every morning. I am so thankful for the amazing teachers that have touched my life and always understood and done anything they could to help. Cheers to the countless late nights and projects that were done under crunch time. Oh how many times I wanted to throw in the towel and just succumb to the tears. Cheers to the many tears shed not knowing if I was doing the right thing or what I was supposed to be doing. Cheers to my parents, who no matter the day or time where there for me.  To my Mom, who would pick me up along with all of the pieces during those tearful nights and tell me that everything would be okay.  Cheers to discovering a passion that was buried deep downside and to learning about myself all over again.

IMG_3355College not only gave me an education, it gave me a dream and a new meaning to life. I am immensely thankful for the amazing people I have met on the journey; The ones that I cannot thank enough for the support they have given me along the way.  To the awesome friendships that I have developed and to my old friends (more like “family”) who rooted for me no matter how often or how little we spoke.  I thank each and every one of you.

Today starts a new day, but on the other hand not at all.  I am not quite ready to leave Aggieland just yet, and I have some more growing to do.  Graduate school is calling my name.  I simply did it. I finally accomplished a Major goal that I set for myself.  I finished one semester later than I wanted, but hey I could not pass up the internship of a life time!

IMG_3152While some people may not think that Graduation is a big deal, that is okay. Everyone has their own story and this is mine. Everyone has hardships and tribulations.  I would just like to give myself a little pat on the back. I have been at rock bottom and slowly but surely crawled my way back up to where I am today.  I still have a long way to go to get where I want to be, but I know I can get there. I have made it this far, nothing is going to stop me now.

To everyone else graduating today, Congrats! To the rest of the students, hang in there. Finishing is possible, it just takes time.

As always spread some love, we always can use some more love in this big ol’ thing called Life.

Goals

unnamedPlan for the future, but stay in the present.  This thought has been staying with me this week and I felt the need to go into more depth with it.  People always ask me, “Well, what do you want to do after you graduate?”  In years past, the first thought that would come to my mind would have been, I have no idea.  Lately I have been figuring myself out and getting to know “Me” all over again.  I have discovered the things that bring me happiness and joy, besides my family.  Cows, Traveling, Reading, Writing, and Photography…….. Pretty plain and simple.  Now that I know these things, I can make the right steps in the present to plan to hit my future goals.  I know that they are not going to happen overnight, and I truly know that they will not happen at all if I do not put in the work or make the effort.  The thing that I love most is that I know my future goals and I have put the pen to paper and that will only drive me to accomplish more.

  • Run my own cattle operation
  • Write a Book
  • Travel to every State in the United States
  • Travel to every Country
  • Read as many books as possible/ have a library in my home

 

blog 14 picThese are the top 5 things that I want to accomplish, nothing too crazy right? I know they can be obtained but I also know that it is going to take hard work and a lot of patience.  However, if you want something bad enough anything is possible.  The best part about all of this is, my path to get there is going to be amazing and I am so excited to see where it takes me.  You never know, a year from now I may find something else I want to add to my list.

In my mind, the hardest part was figuring out what I truly loved. I really enjoy a lot of things; Fishing with my dad, being a Mom and seeing that smile come across my baby’s face. I love listening to my grandparents talk about how things were back “in the good ole days”.  Heck, I even enjoy working out (Once I actually make it to the gym; The hardest part is getting there).  While I love and enjoy all of these things and more, I really had to sit down and figure out what made me the happiest. Figure out what makes you happy and what drives you and go for it.  Will I hit my goals?  Only time will tell but you can bet I a plan on getting there.

unnamed (1)Thoughts for the week:

“Everyone wants happiness and no pain, but you can’t have a rainbow with no rain” – Dolly Parton

 

Book Review:

“Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion” –  Gary Vaynerchuk

I just finished Gary’s first book and I thought it was great!  If you are into creating a business or already have one and do not use all platforms of social media, I highly recommend reading this book.  This is basically a step by step guide on how to get on all social media platforms and why they are important.  It is an easy (must) read with roughly 140 pages in the book. If you have thoughts of being an entrepreneur- pick this book up.  As Gary says – “You aren’t only building a brand, you are building a legacy.  Legacy always wins”.

 

What are some of the top goals you have?  What are some top book suggestions for me to read? Let me hear your feedback.  Email me at caslmatzke@gmail.com.