Monday, December 28, 2015


I was thinking of what my new resolutions were going to be for the next year. I think I did pretty well with the last ones.

I think that I have accomplished a couple of those. Its a continuous process on being healthier. I did allow a few doors to close on a few dreams of mine in order to try something new or challenging in my life. I've let a few people go in order to have a healthier mind and be more confident and secure in my life. If I am to be honest, I have some regrets in some of the choices I made- or maybe regret is the wrong word, but I wonder if sometimes I made the right decision. But God has a plan and even if it was a wrong decision, the outcome with be the same, it may just take a little longer. 

I ended the year with a little less debt and I am still working on that for this next year. I struggle to slow down and spend time with more people. I took a new job thinking I would be home more but I just traded the 1-3 hour drive into an 1-1.5 rush hour commute. That will change come April and maybe I'll have more time to learn to sew, scrapbook, or get back to training for a half. 

I think this year my theme is going to be about having a new me. I feel like this is going to be my year. I have my goals and I'm working on them and I have people in place to encourage and keep me moving steadily onward.

For 2016 I want to do the following:

End the year healthier than I started
End the year with a little less debt
Spend more quality time with those I care about
Visit Alaska and cross something off my bucket list
Bake bread and learn to make scones

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Till Next Time

The last couple of weeks I've been attending our county annual meetings. I accepted a new job earlier this month. So this as our state president has said is my "No Tears" Tour. Problem is I cry every time because when you work along side amazing people for eight years they become family and it's hard to say goodbye knowing that yes you will still see them but not regularly. I think of it as sending all my counties off to college hoping they are well prepared for the next phase.

My first stop of the tour was with Pima County. Stefanie Smallhouse and I started eight years ago with just a few other people and we worked hard, Stef more than me, to build it up. We met with elected officials, worked on issues and promoted ag. I have so many memories of those first years but two really pop out at me. The first one was a Food Check Out Day event we used to do with the grocery stores. We always picked the Super Bowl weekend and this one was no different. We would have our display just inside the door in the produce section,  and people would come in the door and spin the trivia wheel and ask a question. It was a huge success that year, I think it was mostly that Stef intimidated the customers to come over and spin the wheel. You can't really say no to pregnant woman who in the next few days would give birth to her son. And there are a few cool memories of her son that I have from when he was little- him getting so excited for his milk bottle and the time he snatched Stefanie's sandwich off her plate.

The other story involves her daughter. We spent so many times meeting and working to build the county and learn together as we were figuring how to make the situation work and be positive that she was always telling her daughter that she was headed to meet me for a Farm Bureau meeting that I just became known as "Meeting Lady number 1." Stef and Andy's daughter also has holds many fun memories for me as well. They have turned out to be great kids and have grown up so fast.

The next stop on the tour was with Cochise. In the beginning I struggled with Cochise. It was personalities but you don't get to pick who you work with and from those struggles, I learned a lot about board dynamics and how the board can interact with the community. They too have come a long way. They have really worked hard to become part of the community and work on local issues and be an organization that is looked to for leadership within the community. From them I learned that sometimes the person in charge is not always the person who runs the meeting (from an influential position).  With them I tended to say the stupidest things. Such as, I was headed out to their meeting several years ago and had just come back from spending time with family in Florida. As I was passing a car it hit a deer and the deer flew up and over my truck spraying my hood and windshield with blood. Seeing their car in the rear view mirror I pulled over to call 911 and wait with them. I made the mistake of mentioning when I finally made it to the meeting that for a split second I thought the deer looked like an alligator as it flew over my windshield. They haven't let me forget it.

But I'm super proud of what they have grown to be and know, just like with all the counties, they have so much more potential. They stepped up when tragedy hit the community and pushed safety campaigns. The looked at the new industries within ag that were coming into the community and saw a need for grain bin training and worked with my counterparts in Mississippi to train and educate both farmers and first responders.

So as I look back with fond memories on these two counties I am grateful and feel blessed that I could live life, work along side them and cheer them on for accomplishing so much. It's been an honor to work for them all these years.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ranch Girl Jams went to Dallas

Last weekend I attended the Jamberry International Conference. I'm a consultant and I love it! I can finally have cute nails. When you grow up on a ranch, it's hard to have cute nails. In  college, my roommates gave me a gift card for acrylic nails for Christmas and I had them done the night before I went home. The next morning I broke 3 picking up the bales of hay feeding the cattle.

Then my friend Jodi came along and gave me a sample of a new product she was excited about and selling. I tried it and loved it and it lasted longer than 4 hours the next morning. So she was my dealer (for Jams- a.k.a. Jamberry) until January when I jumped in.

I love the product but I also love the company and love that I am a small business owner. Yes I have parties- mostly online to my friends who live hours or states away and I sell a product. But I realized this weekend that my product is a lifestyle product. Jodi went with me to Dallas and she's all about encouraging women to be healthy and supportive of the healthy lifestyle- her jam business is about running.

So this weekend was the international conference. I was able to meet people that I'd only heard about in passing. I hung out with some cool chics who are part of the legacy of the business and who until this weekend, honestly I thought was just some cool ladies who loved style, had similar interests and were just like me- then I saw their names on the Founders Circle Wall and when you said they were your team leader it was like I knew a rock star. To me they will be just be Bethany and Elizabeth not "OH MY GOSH YOU ARE {insert name here}!!!!

I saw the business side of the company. They brought in author's and experts in the field- outside of the nail business- to give us knowledge on building our businesses and marketing ourselves and our businesses. It could be applied to selling nail products, computer software or even cattle or crops direct marketed to the public. It was just amazing!

But here's what I really walked away with... I saw women coming
together to build each other up and encourage each other not tear them down. As I said my friend Jodi was with me- when we showed up she really was the only person I really knew, I knew by acquaintance a few others. In Jodi, I knew I had my friend. And as she says we are Ying and Yang. I'll talk to anyone or jump up to have my picture taken with someone walking by. She conquers the small talk that I struggle at.  But we were there to bridge our weaknesses and be a team. I learned that I can ride a bull  (very slowly)when I don't have people around to judge me. And that friends can be reach out to you and ask how they can be supportive of trying to eat better and make better choices without feeling like you are being pressured. I have several people who are supportive of me but it took a specific sentence spoken in trust for me to finally get it.

And then I finished the weekend feeling excited for what is to come both in my personal life, career life and my Ranch Girl Jams life. I am a very blessed person. I always have been but when your view of yourself shifts you discover a new part of you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This Crazy Life I Live

My friend Dana is home for a couple weeks- she and her family live in the UAE and they teach but get to come home for some time during the summer. While she's been home we have had some great conversations that I've really missed over the last two years. The kind that you just can't get with a friend through text messages, Facebook and such. The good kind that come with face to face, heart felt conversations.

I have those conversations with some of my friends- it's nice because we can walk, go to coffee, travel or just hang out at a house and have real conversations about our fears, our joys and the things we struggle with and we get encouragement and friends who are willing to stop in the middle of a sidewalk- circle up and pray for one's family or come with them and sit with them during an orientation for a big step in a new journey. There's never dumb questions or tearing each other down because we need to feel better.

Looking back on the previous post- which I can't believe was last year- I've journeyed a little and started to accomplish my list. I've pruned some people from my life because I don't need to feed my own negativity or fear- I do that just fine on my own. I've crossed things off my bucket list. I've prayed for friends who have lost loved ones and been reminded how life is fragile and fleeting.  I've conquered challenges, had my pride hurt but worked through it and had to accept some truths in my life that have then allowed me to see a window that is giving me hope and peace.

I've thought over the last six months how blessed I am. I have a wonderful job and I get to work with amazing people who humbly work 365 days a year to feed and clothe the world. I have amazing friends who encourage and build me up but also call me on my crap. I have two good, solid small groups that I have learned a lot about myself and my walk with God. And I have friends who I've never met in person but only through social media that inspire me and challenge me to rediscover my passions- reading, my faith, service.

It all comes down to something I read last month in my book club. If you are going to speak the truth in love- it will hurt both the speaker and the listener. If you don't hurt to speak the truth but you are going to find joy in it then it's not being done in love. I've had some honest and frank conversations the past six months- some spoken in love and those are the ones being taken to heart.

We all face challenges in our lives- it's how we face our challenges that speaks volumes on who we are and what we believe in.