2019 Recap

In the words of Parker McCollum, “it’s been a hell of a year.” Here’s a little recap.

{Word of the year}

I always like to choose a word to sum up the past 365 days. For 2019, I’m going with survive. In many ways, it feels like that was the biggest accomplishment of the year. I survived medical issues and arguments, unexpected twists and wonderful opportunities. When I think about things that could have easily have taken a wrong turn and people who were not as fortunate as I am, I’m very grateful for that being the best word to sum up my last trip around the sun.

{Family photo}

{Photo Year in Review}

Teaching at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management
Valentine’s Day
My first column in Progressive Farmer
TSCRA Convention
Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Selling show lambs
Finished my ag law handbook
Speaking at graduation at my former elementary school
Riding horses with Grandad
Took the kids with me on a work trip to Dallas to see Cousin Sean
Family reunion in Red River
My sweet Maddie’s wedding
Swim party for our friend
Reunion with former college judging coach & teammate
My praying nurse—the biggest blessing in the kidney stone fiasco
Braun’s 4th Birthday!
Bringing Lou to live at our house
Annual Tri-State Fair photo
Drinking wine with one of my favorite gals
Gardening success
Three new kitties!
Harper turned 3!
The infamous feed sack ghost Halloween costume
Joshua the bottle calf
Dinner with one of my favorite people
Attending oral argument at SCOTUS
Winning an AALA Excellence in Ag Law award
Sneaking cake at a wedding reception
Advent activities with the kids
Kansas Beef Expo with some great friends
Read the the Bible cover-to-cover

{Quick Q&A}

Favorite Quote

“God will bless the pilgrimage.” -Kevin Queen on That Sounds Fun Podcast with Annie F. Downs

Favorite Trip

In July, I went to Albuquerque for a wedding and had the chance to meet up with several dear friends and former professors and be back in a place I called home for 7 years. Maybe it was the mountain air or the break from Mom life or all the green chile, but that weekend just rejuvenated my soul.

Favorite Podcast Episode

I have a highlight reel of all of my favorite podcast episodes if you follow me on Instagram (@littlehousebiglifeblog), but if I have to pick one, I’m going with 4 Things with Amy Brown’s episode on December 5th with Steven Young on homelessness. Everyone should listen. It is literally one that could change your life.

Favorite Book

I read a total of 9 books this year and will deem them all excellent. Seriously. For the full list, go see my Instagram highlights. My favorite was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s another that addresses a hugely important issue and might change your perspective on race, the justice system, the death penalty, or all of the above.

Biggest accomplishment (life)?

Reading through the Bible in a year with Tara-Leigh Cobble and The Bible Recap. I cannot tell you how proud I am about this. I have had this on my list for years but always quit. Then, enter Tara-Leigh and her daily podcast that explained what I was reading (or listening to some days) and she kept me going and motivated. My gratitude for her cannot be adequately expressed. If this is a goal you have, you can join for 2020!! Here is the link for more info, or you can contact me and I’ll help you get started. Dedicating 20 minutes a day will have you done cover to cover by this time next year.

Biggest accomplishment (career)?

In November, I won an award at the American Ag Law Association Conference. This meant so much to me first because I am such a fan of the AALA organization and second because it was peer-nominations and selections by a committee of my peers. To think that so many of the best and brightest ag lawyers in America selected me for this award just makes me feel speechless.

Biggest challenge (work)?

Finishing my Owning Your Piece of Texas Ag Law handbook. When I undertook to write a 14 chapter legal handbook for landowners and ag producers by myself, my friends told me I was crazy. They were right. This was quite the project and thanks to people like my friend Robyn who helped keep me on track with frequent pep talks, my lawyer friends who helped review my content, my Mama who proofread this whole thing, and my friend Haleigh who is a printing guru, I got this one off my list and to the public.

Biggest challenge (life)?

The kidney stone fiasco. I have never had a single kidney issue in my life. I have none of the risk factors they look for. I have none of the habits that can cause them. Yet in August, I landed myself in the hospital, had an infection that could have been deadly, and underwent three surgical procedures to deal with this mess.

What do I know about God today I did not know on January 1, 2020?

I have so many thoughts thanks to reading through the Bible (blog on that coming soon). I think for me, it is the blessing of having God with us. Reading through the Old Testament, I was struck at how God dwelt in the Tabernacle rather than within his people. How they must have yearned to have the blessing of his presence. What a gift that believers have his Spirit dwelling not in an unapproachable tabernacle, but within our very hearts.

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