“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.

Patience

IMG_3455It has been quite some time since I have written.  I have wanted to write, but I was a little unsure of my desired topic when in reality I know that I just need to start again.  I had an amazing Spring semester and I was involved in a lot of Beef Industry activities.  Now, I am back at home and finishing up with school and I have not felt like I have been making the impact that I want.  They say that your Senior year is supposed to be the easiest, HA!!  This semester has been one of my most challenging.  I credit a lot of that to my own undoing by taking on a little more than I could handle. In less than 40 days I will be able to walk across that stage having accomplished one of my goals in life.  Who would have thought that the day would ever come?  I know that I have often wondered if it would EVER happen and I was the one pursuing the degree.

It has been a long journey with some bumps and hills and rough patches along the way, but one thing I have learned is that the journey made me the person I am today.  I am so grateful for the journey; It has made me understand that hard work, determination, and more hard work can help a person overcome anything.  The choices that I made when I was younger were not always the right ones. While some set me back, others helped me push forward.  I know that your past makes you who you are but it does not define you.  You have the choice and the opportunity to look back to the past, but also make different choices to change your future.  I recently came across a motivational speaker named Gary Vaynerchuk and I was struck by his relevance.  I have listened to most of his material and one thing that has stuck with me the last couple of weeks is PATIENCE.  I need patience. I have so much time left and instead of trying to do it all overnight, I need to be patient and let it all play out.  If you have not heard of him before, be sure to check him out.  While his language may not be appropriate for all ages, his work is on point and I really enjoy it.

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I am so thankful that Mattie is here on this journey with me as well. She is the one that has helped push me to make changes for the future without even knowing it.  I cannot wait until she gets a little older and then she can understand that getting out there and pursuing your dreams is possible. One day she can look back (or have me tell her) on the things that I have done and know that even when you think all is lost, there is still hope. If you keep pushing and working hard, things will fall into place.

I have tossed the idea around for the last two years, but I do believe that I am going to try and stick around in Aggieland for a couple more years and get my Master’s degree. I have officially submitted my paperwork, so we shall see what happens.  I have grown so much here in the last three years, why not grow some more and get a little more out of my comfort zone?

Thoughts for the week:

So many times, and over so many things, I analyze and stress about things that have not happened yet or could potentially not even happen at all.  I have been working so hard with staying in the present; Yes plan for the future, but do not agonize over what is not even known.  Appreciate every day that you get and make the most of that day.  Most of all keep pushing, the best things are yet to come.

 

GaryV

From the Ukraine to Good Ole’ Texas

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I know it has been a while since I have written, but I have taken some time to get used to the transition of being at home all the time. Things have gone very well; I do think being on the road all the time has helped me realize how special children really are and how much you can miss when you are gone. That being said, Mattie and I have become closer than ever these last few weeks and we have had lots of fun together. I still miss being on the road and my friends at Beef Council, but I do know that I will be seeing them in the future!

As I was driving to our camp house the other day something hit me. Besides seeing all the glorious countryside, I remembered another reason why I enjoy driving in the country. Every single person I passed waved at me……… every single one. It did not matter if it was a man or a woman or what they were driving, they all waved. Granted I was driving in the country and I did not pass that many vehicles but every single person waved. Just think of what an amazing thing that would be if we all waved to people we passed everyday instead of getting road rage? How different would the world be?

IMG_2946While at Beef Council, I got to dive into one of the most unique experiences I have probably ever been involved with. The Texas Beef Council works with export teams from different countries, so the staff at TBC is accustomed to meeting people from other countries; well I was not! I was privileged to work with the export team of chefs that even came over from the Ukraine! It was such an amazing experience! Jerry and I met the export team in College Station at Texas A&M University. The export team was there to work with- Dr. Cleere and Dr. Griffin about beef cattle production, yield grade, and various cuts of meat while Jerry and I grilled up some of those fabulous flat irons. If you have not tried them yet, you really should. It’s a great cut! After lunch that day, Jerry and I headed back to Austin but the Ukrainian’s stayed and where able to tour through Texas A&M’s Rosenthal Meat Center and watch some meat cutting demonstrations.

IMG_2938That evening we met up with the export team at The Salt Lick BBQ outside of Austin. If you have never been there before, I suggest going for the experience. Just make sure you have cash because it is cash only. The food is great and the atmosphere is amazing! The evening was a fun filled session. Learning some of their language along with the translator was a blast! We were also given a tour of the restaurant. My favorite part was the giant barbeque pit in the middle of the restaurant that is prominently displayed when you walk in. I have seen a lot of cooking areas but Salt Lick is very unique.

IMG_2949The next day the export team was welcomed at the Beef Council office after they had breakfast at Rudy’s and toured their place as well. Jason Bagley, whose program involves the export teams, went through a cutting demonstration on a variety of different whole cuts and broke them down to selling cuts. We wanted the Chefs to see what kind of cuts are sold here in the United States in hopes that they will consider using some of those cuts in their own places of business. Some of the Ukrainian chefs own restaurants, some hotels, and one even has his own television show. While there was a bit of a language barrier, good food and fun needs no translation. It was great getting to know the chefs and learning about their culture.

This was my last day with the export team, but their trip to Texas was not over yet. They traveled up to the Panhandle where they were able to see some cattle feedlots along with some beef processing plants. This was such a great opportunity and experience for me. It opened my eyes to another country and it increased my sense of adventure. I’m so anxious to travel, explore and see all that the world has to offer. I am still very thankful for all the opportunities I received at the Texas Beef Council.

IMG_2951This week I will be traveling to Colorado to attend the American National CattleWomen meetings. My mother and I are driving together and I am excited for another adventure. Until next time…

 

James 3:18 – “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness”

 

Beef Bootcamp 101….

Bootcamp 1As my last few weeks are winding down at Texas Beef Council, time seems to be going by even faster! Thankfully, I have been involved in so many wonderful events over this semester that I will be able to write about new events and reminisce over the next month.

Texas Beef Council and H-E-B have a great relationship. Quite a few times over this semester I have been able to participate in the H-E-B Bootcamp which is sponsored by the Texas Beef Council. This is an amazing program and every time I was involved I learned something new!

Bootcamp 2Different H-E-B’s Stores from across the State of Texas will bring in close to 20 different managers from their stores to spend a day at the Texas Beef Council. They arrive early in the morning and walk into the joy of breakfast pizza. I will never forget the first event I worked and walking into the office to the smell of the breakfast pizza. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. If you have never made a breakfast pizza before, you should definitely try it! On our pizza we included hamburger meat, black beans, corn, pico de gallo, eggs, and lots of cheese!

After breakfast, they are given an introduction to what the Texas Beef Council is and what it is that we do. Next, our amazing Chef Tiffany comes in and does some cooking demonstrations. This part is really fun because I learn something new every time. Chef Tiffany does a pan broil, a pan fry, a stir-fry, a Mexican pot roast, and an oven finished demonstration. All of these are done with different cuts of meat and all cooked differently. Let us just say that my family is very thankful for these demonstrations as I am cooking a lot more at home now.

Bootcamp 4The participants are split up into separate groups and each group has their own work station set up. They each have different recipes on their stations and have to work together to cook it and have everyone sample it! This is also a lot of fun, as you get to watch how the members interact with each other and even get to taste and see how their final product came out.

After this, the groups are moved outside and given a Grilling 101 lesson. I promise I will write a blog about the famous Grilling 101, but our Grill Master Jerry McPherson does a phenomenal job with this, so first I have to make sure I have all the steps down perfectly! While the groups are letting their grills burn down, Chef Tiffany sits down with them and talks to them about marinade and rubs. There is a really awesome test that she does with jelly beans. The jelly bean test shows them how you can taste something first and then when you smell it, you can actually smell what it is you are tasting. For example, you can taste a sweet jelly bean, and after holding your nose, you can breathe in and know that it is a cherry flavored jelly bean! It is really neat how it works out!

After their Grilling 101, the participants go back to their groups and work stations. They have another recipe to make, which is normally a salad with Beef of course! This recipe is also for a contest, so the groups must make sure that their presentation looks amazing as well as being able to explain it really well. They are then able to eat the goodies for lunch. After the amazing lunches, they are introduced to the nutrition aspect of the program. Normally after this section, the day is over. Every participant has a full belly and definitely full of more knowledge about Beef.

Bootcamp 3Some may ask why we do this program with managers who are not in the meat department? Well, every person that we interact with can impact a potential customer. There could be times when someone who works in the floral department sees a particular cut of meat in a customer’s basket and they can offer a recommendation on how to cook that particular cut of meat.

I feel that the more promotion of beef the better. At the end of the day, it all comes back to supporting the producers that we represent. Without them, we would not be able to have the fine beef products that we currently have.

2 Corinthians 5:7 – ” For we live by faith, not by sight”