Thursday, March 13

It Takes Two

To make a thing go riiiight!
Am I right?
I am.

Today marks our two year wedding anniversary!
Two years might not sound like much, but to me it's everything.  Trust me, I don't think I know anywhere near as much as I will need to for the long haul...but I'm learning every day.
I mean, the Mr. America thing was a total surprise.  I never knew I had married a celeb.  Now that I look at it, the blacked out windows make total sense.

I do know one thing for sure, communication is the MOST important ingredient when making a happy, healthy marriage.
Don't even care what you say....

Nothing, not one thing, can change my mind about this.

Yes, I love this man, with all of my heart and soul I love this man.
He's my happy beginning and end of each day.
He is my rock, the place I come when I'm sad, discouraged, or lost.
He finds me.
I absolutely adore him for all that he is.
I'm inspired by all that he pushes me to be.
Talking to him...occasionally at him...completes my day.

If I wasn't able to talk to him, tell him everything, this wouldn't work.
We could have all of the love in the world, the attraction, and the common interests, but if we didn't share our thoughts...we wouldn't connect.

Now, maybe you're relationship is different. No two couples are alike. But for us, we can lose touch quickly if we don't tell each other what is on our mind.  Maybe I can't help, but I can listen.  At least then I know what's bothering him....and vice versa.

It's us, and it works :).

But there's not just 2 of us, there are 3, and we are celebrating our second 'Fammiversary'.
Yes, I did that;).

Caden is just as much a part of the last 2 years as we are, and I thought it would be neat to take a look back and compare pictures! (Come on, it will be...)
Here are our engagement pictures!
Caden was so small!
...and so were my weenie-arms, yeesh...
I was curling 5's then....nickels that is......

So two years following, we were doing this on March 13th, 2012
Charles couldn't wait for his salt n' peppa to come in....
Just kidding, that's my dad ;).

We made it official..
He wore the cow tie and all.

Wuv, sweet wuv!

Then, the day after we shot these...
Look how young...
(I don't think Tye-dye was ever "in".)

Here I am, taller than him...

2 years later, here he is...
Handsome as ever.

Here we are, he's taller than me now..
But I still out-weigh him...heh:)

There they were...
a hero and his min-me.

Here they are, thick as thieves.
And the two most special people I know.

My heart can't hold much more, I'm afraid.

There we were.

Here we are:)

Two fammiversaries down, the rest of our lives to go.

Maybe it doesn't take two...maybe it's 3.
Yes, I think that's it.


Tuesday, March 4

That's Makes Me Mrs. America, By Default

A few weeks ago, I began noticing a trend.  It was a Saturday, and Chuck and I were working out together.  Yeah, together.
This is something I really never thought would happen, seeing as he says, "you do all the un-fun abs...lunges..", all the time.  And he's right, I'm an un-fun gym rat who sweats a lot and doesn't talk to anyone.  Guilty!  However, to force myself to do the chest and arms(the muscle groups I find to be the MOST boring), he has agreed to let me work in with him on the weekends.  He's a sweetie like that. 
Anyway, a few Saturdays ago, in the midst of bench-pressing, I started noticing him taking a weird resemblance to someone.  He knows everyone, and because of that he is constantly throwing up a hand, or saying, "hey!" with a grin.  It took me a few moments but then I had it!

True Life: I workout with Miss America.
But without the flowers.
Or a crown.
OR annoying sash.
And I can't say that those sleeves would allow for mighty flexing.

SO what I'm sayin' is... I workout with Mr. America, and by default, that makes me Mrs. America.
Go ahead.  Take it all in.

I must say, since this discovery was made, some things have changed around here.....
-I think about ironing his shirts.
(But I'm certain Mrs. America would have someone do this for her, and so do I. Mr. America.)
-I wipe the sweat off of the gym equipment before he uses it.
(Technically it's my sweat, and I generally just rub my entire body across it and the problem seems to take care of itself.)
-I no longer wait impatiently as someone(no doubt an admirer) strikes up a conversation with Mr. America DURING a set.  I mean, I can't blame them.
(I smile off into space, counting the beads of sweat rolling down my back, and imagine that 'this is how Jackie O must have felt'.)
- I accept the fact that people of Mr. America's popularity cannot be expected to offer a good "spot", and in return I don't do much dumbbell work on chest/arm days.
(I still can't remember how many times I rep'd 65lb pullovers that day, but it did mess up a perky ponytail.)

All games aside, I'm proud to be married to such a good man :).


Wednesday, February 5

Wedge Salad

Are you familiar with 'Modern Family'?  You know, the TV series on all the time...or at least the reruns are.  Charles and I frequently(as in every night) watch this show, and are thoroughly entertained. 
It was not until the "Wedge Salad" episode, that I realized I belong in the Dunphy household.
OK, here's the rundown...Phil and Claire Dunphy are married with 3 children.  He is a realtor, she is a stay-at-home mom.  Claire is a control-freak, Phil was a college cheerleader who thinks his memories of riding on the back of his buddies scooter were "some of the best times".  Claire tries to live everyone's lives for them, while Phil is in the front yard practicing tight-rope walking.  Phil's a dreamer, Claire doesn't have much imagination.  Phil is laid back, while Claire
Get the picture?
If not, you should watch it, it's probably on right now.

In the "Wedge Salad" episode, Phil comes home from the grocery store and proudly displays the bag of broccoli to Claire, because he remembered she wanted it!!
But! She! Wanted! Cauliflower!
Then, she loses it.
Here's a clip of that....

I can't watch it...the mess she makes in that kitchen makes me cringe...Cuz I know who'd be cleaning it up.
For the rest of the episode Phil is trying to figure out why Claire is SO mad.  Cauliflower isn't a big deal! Near the end, Phil orders a wedge salad and tells Claire how much, "she really needs to try one!".  This is when she REALLY loses it.  You see, Claire had been telling Phil to try a wedge salad, but he never listened until one of his buddies told him, "how great they were!".
Phil doesn't listen.
This is my life.
I spit new information at my husband not until either he READS it on The Facebook, OR hears it from someone at the office, does he believe it to be true.

Exhibit A:  I drink over a gallon of water every day, and we have ALL heard about how it helps to drink a glass of water before you eat for a number of reasons...right????
Do YOU think I failed to mention this to my husband??? noIdidn't.
He called me one day to tell me he, "just heard that you should drink a glass of water before every meal to help you feel fuller faster".
*Wedge salad*

Exhibit B:  He was lying on the couch one night and hollered at me in the kitchen, "Hey! Did you know that cinnamon actually boosts your metabolism AND is really good for you?!".
People, I buy the BIG container of cinnamon...not because I like apple pie.
*Wedge salad*

TODAY: I was on the phone with my darling sweet thang, and he says, "Hey! Are you ready? I'm about to wedge salad you.....".
THEN he told me all about the health benefits of Metamucil. 
Yesterday I told him all about how I was going to buy some(and did) because of the information I had recently been reading about it.  I tried to convince him that he should take it and he just sighed.

At least he recognizes.
I think I'll keep him ;).

Maybe someone will put something on The Facebook about the health benefits of folding laundry....


P.s. THIS little fella just turned 3!!!
Happy Birthday Jackson!!

Monday, January 27

Ice Queen

Well, wouldn't you know it?  Right after, no...probably during the last post about "how much I love my babies..." I had to put my money where my mouth is.
Funny how things work like that, huh?

This is how it went down:

Last Friday morning I was immersed in my usual work routine, which now consists of feeding obnoxious amounts of hay Seeing as it was a balmy 8 degrees (with sun shining!!), I had to feed awholebunch everywhere.

But first!

This is what we do, we take pictures of fearless felines doing phenomenal stunts!
...I wish phenomenal stated with an 'f'.

Back to the story:
I finished feeding Prospero, one of the finishing herds, and headed to my cow/calf haven at Sheets Hollow.  It is a haven, you would agree if you saw it.  Sent from above.
Now, when the sun is shining, especially in the morning, I pull into SH and they come a'runnin'.  Big old pregnant black cows, little Piney Woods, red, black and white, you name it.  Tails UP and hammered down!
That good old sunshine brings out the best in them :).
Anyway, (I got lost in the moment) I headed to the top of a hill to drop a round bale and let it unroll itself(really the easiest way), and upon dropping it turned to spot a teeny,tiny black dot in the middle of a great big pond.
A frozen pond.
A frozen mudandcowpoopfilled pond.  Sorry.  It's true.
It took me exactly .375 seconds to get to the edge of that pond, get out and say, "well crap".
I did.

(you can't see him because I took this
Poor little fella, I assumed fella because...I mean really...
Anyway, the poor little calf was all splayed out, in the middle of the frozen slab of what used to be their favorite swimming hole.  Mama, #5, was standing at the edge, and I knew it was her by her constant "calling" to him with the unmistakable sound of distress.  Like The Heat did that time we got chased by a Jersey bull, Oh Rachael! I can't do this!!!.
I looked at him, looked at the ice, took into account the sun and his body heat(what little of it there was), and decided if I didn't get him off of it quickly he would fall through and would be lost.
I made a miserable attempt at crafting a rope with a loop in the end out of a ratchet strap I had.  Every time I threw it his way he would scootch a little further, never mind that the rope never made it actually to him.  Way to go me.
So, being the dingy I am, I started stepping onto the ice....step...step...ste...WAIT!  Well this is stupid, I'm going to fall!
Back to the shore.
I decided I would kneel down, yeah yeah! This will work! I crawled a few feet then, like straight out of a movie, a big crack erupted from between my knees and extended through my hands and all the way to him.  Panic!!!! Scootchscoothscootch all the way back.
Plan D.  It's always good when you get to D.
From the frozen shore where I knelt, I decided that I weigh entirely too much.
No, that's not it!
I decided that if I was going to get him I needed to lay down, spreading my abundance of weight out, and slide my body to him that way.
At this point there was NO second thought.  It was all you got this! Just go real fast! You might get wet, but hey it will take a little while for the moisture to make it through all those clothes! Rah rah rah!
And so I did, I slide out there, grabbed his little hoof and made like a bandit for shore.
This is him with mama....

He couldn't bring his legs together very well, due to the fact that he was very new to this world, and had probably been on the ice for some time.  I worried about him. A lot.

This was the little feller today.

He has his tongue out for ya :).

Now, you can't tell me he wasn't worth the effort.  

Anyway, the story of the Ice Queen ended like it should have; the baby was reunited with his loving mother, and as for the Queen, let's just say if this happens again the Ice King won't be the first person she calls ;).

My "normal" routine has changed from 'check the cattle', to 'check every square inch of the field because strange things happen after you blog'.  Amen.

Love and  icicles,

P.s. THIS is what I have to look forward to tomorrow....
The forecast makes me sad.


Tuesday, January 21

Proud Mama

Ok, so there are a few things that really get under my skin.  Reaaallllyyy get in there, ya know?
Wait. I'm sorry. How rude of me.

How are you?
Cold? Gettin there?
Oh, I'm fine...other than the fact that I got YELLED at in the Wal-Mart parking lot yesterday.
Yeah, let's not talk about it.

Back to the matter at hand...things that make me go, "ugh".
1.  Men being men when they're around men but being men around women who can do stuff.
2.  The silent treatment.
3.  Being told, "you'll understand when YOU have kids".
There are more I'm sure, but those are probably my top picks.

We will not be addressing numeros uno or dos today because;
-I'm sure I will address number one later (because it's sooo true) and to be honest,I gave Caden the run-down last Friday when I had a fresh wound and it still stings.There.
Poor Caden.
  Number 2 is not very exciting. Just talk to me and don't be weird. K?

Number three it is!!!

Let me preface this by acknowledging the fact that yes, I'm dirty 30, and no, I have not birthed a child...even though everyone I went to high school with evidently has so I pretty much feel like I have had at least 2.
Thanks for the bm updates, guys.

Anyway, it may sound silly, and actually probably does to 90% of the people who might stumble upon this, but I consider my calves(not the ones on my legs, come on) to be my babies.
No, I don't coddle them, or play with them, but I watch over them and take care of them when they are sick.  They are mine.

Yes, I realize they don't need me to feed them(beef biz now peeps), burp them, or empty their potty, but they need me.

Last week I happened upon a calf who was in the beginning stages of pneumonia.  4 months old, just laying in the field all alone. Was mama around? Nope.  So I got the calf, with a temp of 107, up and treated her.  She's fine now, thank goodness.
She's my baby.  They all are.

This past Sunday I got called-out in Church by Pastor Brad. I didn't breathe for 5 minutes.
Like, during Church.  Like, remember when the teacher was totally not looking at you, then calls YOUR name to answer a question?  And you're all like, "uh, I carried a watermelon".  Likethat.
Thankfully the Good Lord was paying attention at this very moment and I didn't have to say anything. whew!
Anyway, Pastor Brad used our little family as an example in his sermon, and do you know what tiny, fragment of those mere seconds I remember like my birthday???  The words, "you're son".
He called Caden, my stepson, my "son".
And he is.

He is a beautiful, smart, big-hearted boy who encompasses all that any mother would dream of, and he's mine.
No, I did not birth him.
There are zero of my genes in his entire body.
I never saw his first steps, teeth or skinned knee.
BUT, I am here every night when he is.
I make him snacks for school.
I pick him up, talk to him, help him, and I dare say how I would react if anything ever happened to him.
I love him.
He's mine and the fact that he claims any part of me means more than any blessing I could receive.

So, here's the thing and the thing about the stuff I just said.
I understand.

Not because I have been there necessarily, but because I am a caring, compassionate person.

I don't know how you felt going through labor, but I can show you compassion. 
I don't know what you have to juggle to get to where you're going, but I can listen, and I do respect you.

So, maybe the next time you assume someone has to have a child in order to obtain a certain level of understanding, think about how they feel.
I dare say any of my friends know exactly how it feels to be feeding round bales in an open bobcat on the coldest day of the year, but I think they could probably understand that it's a bit chilly.
Ya know?

I so dearly love Caden and could bot be prouder of my son.

Love, respect and compassion,

P.s. We'll get to the "Wal-Mart" ordeal in good time.

Sunday, January 19

Pulling the Trigger

I have written 9 posts since the last one I published, and have just not been able to pull the trigger.
It's not you, it's me.
I have problems.

I think about posting every single day, for real, but the problem is one day I feel convicted to talk about Jesus and the next?  I want to talk about how much I despise the word, "skinny".
And 'bikini bridge'???? Don't even get me started.

I have decided to just get over it, over myself

Since we last talked I have continued working on the same grass-fed, grass-finished beef farm, and LOVE it. Just do. Can't help it. Would totally do it for free if I didn't need the money. don'ttellmyboss. ormyhusband.

I feel like during the last 6 months I have evolved into a different, but better, version of myself.  Still working on it though;).

My morning walks to check the cattle are my time to give thanks, and to breathe in all He has given me.  I tell you, sometimes I cannot seem to breathe deeply enough.  

Working out daily is still a non-negotiable for me.  It is my happy place.  My honey goes with me almost every morning, and my fitness approach continues to evolve. 
I have really gotten into eating...without apology. Sound weird?
Back when I competed for the first time I immersed myself in self-education on food, food as fuel, and fitness. 
I worked hard, trained hard and got the results I wanted. Good, right? Eh, kinda.

I had very, very low body fat, a six-pack and a couple of trophies.  Woot.
Problem is, my relaltionship with food became very strained.  I started to look at food as just fuel to get me through my day.  No fun involved.  I ate clean, didn't "deprive" myself of an abundant amount of it, and gave myself a hard time if I splurged.

Just last week I was talking with my good friend K, and we shared stories about "allowing ourselves sodium" and not eating every 2-3 hours
Those things were mental hurdles for us. 
As were "eating carbs after 5 pm" and not running 5 miles after a piece of cheesecake.
^^^^^^^^^These things?!  These things aren't healthy!
Sure they get results, duh!  But, no one should have a negative relationship with food.
I love food. Food+me=TL4E.

Things have changed.  Food and I have reconciled and so has my body fat. sigggghhhh.
Don't get me wrong, I still eat clean and healthy, but I love every second of it.  Every breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert.  No remorse.  No sweating over cheesecake.
I also stopped doing cardio and have replaced it with heavy weight-lifting.  Guess what?
I have less body fat than before I quit cardio.  Yep.
I have a butt too...whaaaaaa????

Now, this recipe for success is only for me.  I have a physically demanding job, and I know my body.
That's not the point of this.  The point is you have to give yourself a break, listen to your body and EDUCATE yourself on what you are eating.
None of this, "what's a carb?" garbage.  No, "is a potato good for you?", "how much is a serving?".
People, you can Google these things on your phone.  There's no excuse.  Don't be lazy.

When I began educating myself I had ZERO dollars to my name.  Like, zero. I could only afford a gym membership, no diet coach or health training. 
I used all my savings to buy Clean Eating books, fitness magazines, and I scoured the internets daily.   You can do this!
Figure out your body, what makes it tick and how it responds to food.  Then, repair your relationship with food.

Now, before you go 'calling me out' and such, I am getting ready to start doing cardio again...gasp!!!
But, only a little after I lift.I think I'm ready.  So there.

And, for the record, I totally meant to talk about Jesus...I'm not sure what happened!  I have a lot to say, and I reckon this has been on my mind as years resolutions and all....;).
This is EXACTLY why I have so many unpublished posts..ugh!
Needless to say, you'll be hearing from me again soon...hey, I walked to the front at Church today, anything is possible ;).


Tuesday, October 22

This Picture

I don't know what it is about this picture, but it stirs something inside of me.
I took it when I got to work the other morning, just like every other picture I take, but for some reason it hits me differently.
Each time I look at it, like when someone "likes" it on The Facebook, it literally takes my breath and almost brings tears to my eyes.

Is it hope
It certainly has something to do with hope.
Maybe it reminds me that each morning, each sunrise, is truly a gift.  Something we aren't guaranteed, something we often take for granted, something simple like a sunrise.

To be honest?
If I could dedicate this picture to anyone, it would be to those who lost their cattle in the blizzard in South Dakota.  Sounds a bit cheesy, but it's the truth.

To me it's like they are walking in Heaven, surrounded by light and a promise.
Maybe cattle don't make it to Heaven, but they certainly bring it to me.