2017 Year in Review

Good gracious. I haven’t blogged since July. It’s been crazy, folks.

2017 was a hard year, wasn’t it? From tragedies like Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, to the fires here in my own back yard to dealing with sick kiddos, to losing three of Ty’s family members, if I am honest, I am leaving the year exhausted and ready for a new beginning.

But, there were some great moments too. From trips to funny moments with the kids to newfound obsessions, I am grateful for what I learned these last 365 days.

Here are some of my favorite things from this year.

Podcasts. Guys. I am officially podcast obsessed. It all started when my friend Whitney somehow mentioned The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey on her Facebook page. The rest is history. I listen to at least 2 a day and I am here to tell you, they have changed my life. I feel so inspired and motivated listening to the shows I now can’t live without. If you need help getting started or aren’t sure how to listen, hit me up! Here are a few of my favs.

  • The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. I never miss an episode. I am also listening to all her prior shows. Jamie is an amazing interviewer who has guests that are honest and inspiring and funny and real-life. I really think there is something for everyone on this show! I don’t know if I can pick a favorite episode…but a few from this year are Abby Kampman, Kat Lee, Rachel Cruz, and Heather Avis.
  • DAIS with Rachel Hollis. Learned about Rachel from Jamie Ivey and I am hooked. My friend Lyndse makes fun of me for quoting Rachel so much. This is a podcast for women in business, but I find it fitting for any woman who has goals and dreams and is getting stuff done. Start with episode #3 which is about Rachel’s own story.
  • Goal Digger Podcast. I am new to this one, but can’t stop listening. I pick and choose (not all the nuts and bolts marketing ones are relevant to me) but Jenna is so good with practical tips for getting what you want out of life and career!
  • The Daily. Okay, right up front this one can be pretty political and is probably somewhat left leaning. But…I appreciate knowing a bit about what is going on in the world in 20 minutes per day!
  • How I Built This. I am not in business but the stories of how ordinary people built these amazing companies like Starbucks and Southwest Airlines and Kate Spade are so interesting!!
  • Super Soul Conversations. Y’all. It’s Oprah. Enough said. Amazing guests. Great stories.
  • Ag Law in the Field. Last but not least is…me! I was so excited I launched my own show! It is ag law focused and I talk to a different guest about a different legal issue each episode. Check it out!

Dates. Given our insane life with jobs and livestock and toddlers, it’s easy to sort of put “us” on the back burner. We have started trying to be more intentional about spending time together, whether that’s a weekend away or just grabbing lunch alone. Our favorite date this year was to the OSU-K-State game where we met some great new friends and ended up with club level seats!

Nature Valley Biscuits. Yes, these things are good enough to have their own spot on my year in review. I eat them every morning. Almond butter is my favorite. Coconut butter probably second. There are also cocoa almond butter and peanut butter options.

Comphy sheets. Heard about these in a podcast. Where else? They are amazing. So soft and they don’t wrinkle! We ordered one set and they are amazing. Downside…they are pricy. But worth it in my mind!

Book report. I managed to knock out 8 books this year, something I am really proud of. I know that doesn’t sound like many, but for a girl with a full time job, 1.5 hour daily commute, and 2 toddlers, it’s pretty good! Here they are:

{If you order any of these books, pretty please use the links below and I get a tiny little cut for referring you!}

Floating the river. This is one of those things I feel like every Texan has done. You rent a tube (black, round inner tube), sit in it, and let the river carry you along for 3 hours or so. We went on the Comal while in New Braunfels for our friends’ wedding. And we took our 18 month old, who thought it was awesome.

AALA. I was finally not pregnant or taking care of a newborn in October, so I made it back to the American Ag Law Association Conference. In addition to learning all about the newest ag law issues, I got to see many of my favorite lawyer friends again!

Halloween. I’ve never been too much of a Halloween fan, but this year a little tractor and a cute elephant may have changed my mind!

Brussel sprouts. In Louisville, I had amazing brussel sprouts at Guy Fieri’s restaurant. I have made them multiple times sense. I just chop them, add bacon, grated Parmesan, pepper, olive oil and a little butter. Toss and bake about 30 minutes. Amazing. Trust me. Even the farmers and ranchers at church gobbled this up at the Thanksgiving potluck.

Work trip with my little one. I took my little boy with me to Fredericksburg for a women in ag conference where I was speaking. As you might imagine, he had a blast and was quit popular with the attendees!

New school. In July, we made a major change when we left out sitter who had kept the kids their entire lives and switched to a Montessori school. It was a happy parting as the reason for than change was that Audra got into nursing school! Other than the germs they bring home (all the germs!) we could not be happier. I am so grateful for women who love and invest in our kiddos!

Giving back. This is a priority for us. This year, we were able to adopt a Syrian refugee family and with the help of our friends who graciously pitched in, we made a real difference in their lives in the refugee camp! Ty gave a good deal of time and support when the wildfires tore through the Panhandle and I am so proud of his willingness to jump in and do whatever needs to be done. This Christmas, we were able to match up with a family in need and send gifts to an 8 year old boy and his mom! And, of course, we basically buy any raffle ticket a 4-H or FFA kid is selling, although we’ve had no luck this year.

Birthdays. Lastly, we all turned a year older. Our baby girl had a first birthday full of pink and gold and our big guy turned 2 with a tractor cake created by his amazing great grandmother!

So there you have it. Another trip around the sun. I am grateful for our little family and the life we have built!


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