Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It's A Miracle Anybody Gets Married

In exactly 1 month, the boy and I will be saying our vows. I, for one, can't believe that it's almost here. And not just in that "oh my goodness we are going to live happily ever after" kind of belief. More along the lines of what the heck are we getting ourselves into?

Every day is a new adventure of discovering idiosyncrasies, deep seeded traditions, outright stupidities and then trying to figure out how to move past them all and still come out relatively friendly housemates at the end of each day.

If you don't believe your environment shapes you, then you have obviously never lived with somebody outside of your own family.

Having roommates is completely different than living with a future spouse. For one, if your roommates piss you off then there's always a great chance they will move out soon anyway so problem solved. Unfortunately that's not the case with spouses. Unless you want to get divorced. Which some days sounds appealing...but probably doesn't count if you aren't married yet right?

Learning to live with somebody else's bizarre habits can be a trial and a half. Especially if the 2 people involved are as intractable as mules and twice as prickly as porcupines. Some might say we deserve each other. I think it really boils down to the fact that nobody else would be able to handle us without committing murder, going insane, or both.

So maybe we do deserve each other.

Even if it means putting up with a guy who comes home at lunchtime and sits in his boxers cuz that's what his dad does. Or not peeling potatoes over the trashcan (which I think is efficient because I'm the one that ends up cooking 99% of the time and cleaning up 100% of the time) because he thinks it's disgusting. Or fighting over TV shows because we don't like any of the same shows.

I could probably write a book on the differences in this household. Along with the billions of other people in the world. I will spare you all the gory details though since I think the above examples will do for now.

Why the heck do we put up with it?

I could go into a dissertation on love, the biological need to belong to a family unit and keep the species going, la la la.

The truth?

Even when I want to strangle the doorknob, I still want to be with him. Even if it means sitting shoulder to shoulder with smoke coming out of our ears and not speaking all night. Or day.

It would be too simple to say that it's "true love" or a chemical attraction.

We may not fit in every way, but in the ways that matter, we are a match.

And nothing reminds me to look at the positives instead of the negatives as much as being away from home. Even just 1 night is enough to remind me that at the end of the day, there is nobody I would rather be with. And nobody I can imagine spending each and every crazy, stupid, terrifying day with than him.

So maybe this is a dive into "true love". Because true love is hard work. It's not all rainbows and butterflies...but it is worth it.

It really is a miracle that marriage exists. In a good way :)

**Note: Could you tell I wrote this post in 2 separate days? I thought so! Day 1 being a frustrated day and Day 2 being a sappy day...if that doesn't show the complexity of relationships then nothing ever will!**

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Faith When I Fall

It has been a rough 2 months. Maybe the roughest 2 months of my life. Worse than losing my Dad to a sudden heart attack. Worse than moving across the country twice for 2 different college experiences.

How could it have been worse than all of that? How could I have spent 2 wonderful months with my heart and soul yet been so miserable at the same time?

In case you hadn't guessed, this is my heart and soul. :)
It's a long story. One that I won't share completely on here because I don't want to dredge up all the awfulness. Especially since I've finally regained the drive to blog (again...this year has had many blogging interruptions).

When we moved to Nebraska we didn't have a house to live in. The first two weeks we were here and working, we lived in a suite at the Days Inn (used to be a Western Extended Stay). The stock trailer full of our things was parked in a storage lot. Those 2 weeks were a breeze. As stressful as it was finding a place to live, we didn't fight at all. And if you can imagine living in a hotel room with your significant other for 2 weeks (especially if your significant other is a farmer's son with ants in his pants ALL the time) then you can imagine how much there was that we COULD have fought about.

If we didn't fight, then what the heck happened that could have made moving to Nebraska feel like the biggest mistake I have ever made?

Work happened. 

You see, I'm technically in a training position, a "Junior" position, designed to make me a more effective employee when I become a real "Field Advisor" for Wean-to-Market hog units. It's actually a great idea because there is an insane amount of information to learn for this job. Mostly because the company I am working for has policies for EVERYTHING. But when you are as large as this company is, then you need to have a pretty sturdy system in place to make sure everything runs the way it's supposed to. Or at least mostly run the way it is supposed to.

So the first month and a half after I started I was placed in a facility that was getting 24,000 weaned pigs in. I was to learn company practices from the ground up, or from weaned pig start-up and on. Basically I needed to learn our feed systems, treatments, vaccinating, ordering feed/medication/supplies, etc. Well what started out as a good experience turned into a complete and utter disaster. I've seen prettier train wrecks. Seriously.

This was the perfect storm. It was a leased unit (our pigs in a rented barn) that needed a lot of work before pigs were ever placed in the unit (which never happened) under a brand new Field Advisor and a relatively brand new manager and technician that were also responsible for 2 other units. Can you imagine how this might turn into a disaster?

But why was this so hard for me?

Well turns out my mentor had no desire for me to succeed in my job. When I started questioning some of the things that were going on and talking to people above my mentor, things got ugly. Terrible things were being said about me behind my back. Lies were flying all over the place. It finally came to a head when I came back to the unit after a week away and I was told the current lie was "So-and-so doesn't want her at his farms either so he sent her back here." It was so bad that the techs that I was working with were in complete shock over the way I was being treated.

I have never been in a situation where somebody so clearly wanted me to fail. And they almost succeeded in pushing me out. I came home bawling my eyes out every afternoon for a month and a half. And have bawled a few other nights since. The only thing that kept me hanging on was a fierce stubborn streak...and not wanting to move Cody again so soon.

Because if it had just been me, I might have picked up and moved to a different job in a completely different state. It's not that I don't like it here, because I do. It's that I don't feel as though I fit the mold for this job. But I am determined to learn as much as I can and use it in my future endeavors. If it hadn't been for Cody telling me we had to stay though, I wouldn't have stayed.

And trust me, I've been mad at him for making me stick to my guns. But Cody and Kip Moore know what they are doing. All I needed was Faith When I Fall. 

"Give me love when I ain't got nobody
A little hope when I ain't got none at all
Give me light up ahead on a journey
Give me strength when I'm standing
And faith when I fall."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Planting 2014

As usual, I've been hanging on to this post...but it's been a crazy couple of weeks! Finishing up grad school and getting ready to move to Nebraska has been one heck of an adventure. And it's not over yet! But this post is from planting almost a month ago...

Life with a farmer's son and an ag mechanic is never a dull one. 

I've stacked hay, driven through more equipment lots than one person should ever have to-preview of the rest of my life :), kept the boy company while he worked on one thing or another, helped haul grain to the elevator, and most recently, got to witness the first run with the new planter. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

So Cute Sunday: June 8, 2014

Everybody loves babies. It's a fact. 

Today's baby was a surprise to its owners (I don't own any horses so I'm not trying to disguise myself)...and is a bizarre cross between a Morgan mare and a Miniature stud. 

Not sure how that worked but Mother Nature sure is a tricky one...just look at a Zorse! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

This Is Why Nobody Leaves Home

I'm an adventurer. If I had a living quarters horse trailer I would just travel the country and float. But even I am half tempted to just say forget about it and move back home right now.

I moved from Virginia to Wyoming for college...and that definitely wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. I did NOT like Wyo that first year. And I changed houses every year I was in college. I spent 2 long years without my darlin' pups. But I ended up falling completely and utterly in love with the West and wouldn't change my experiences for the world.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

So Cute Sunday: June 1, 2014

If you have ever tried to capture pictures of piglets, especially with a cell phone, then you know how incredibly difficult it can be. Those suckers move FAST! But I managed to catch this blue-butt standing relatively still...I sure do love the colored pigs the most :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Plans Are Overrated...How Bout We Get Married Covered in Dirt?

I’m not one of those girls who has had her wedding planned out forever.

In fact I’m not even sure I really believed that I would ever get married. (Hello crazy dog lady!)

So when it’s come to making wedding plans my plan has been to make none. And I mean none.

It’s not that it hasn’t been discussed in an abstract sort of way but as far as the legit details? They don’t exist.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Round the World Part Two

At MSP, there was a lounge where every seat had a tablet! Crazy!
The best thing about being a graduate student on the downhill slide to done is the freedom to disappear frequently.

This last semester of grad school has been nothing but crazy. But who wants boring? Not me!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

So Cute Sunday: May 25, 2014

I could wax poetic about my darlin' loves forever. And I'm sure I will at some point, but for today I will just share this picture of my bookends :) They are getting to be old ladies (11 this year) but I swear they will never be anything but puppies at heart...and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

Friday, May 23, 2014


Spring in Kentucky means a lot of things:

Adorable foals run in paddocks along almost every roadside.

Races are on at Keeneland, and of course the Derby is run at Churchill Downs.

Spring means rain in Kentucky.

Spring also means Rolex.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Tire From Hell

There are some women who are happy to let a guy do all the manual labor.

There are women who are determined to do the manual labor.

There are women who do the labor until they have reached their limit and then call the guys.

Then there are the women who desperately wish they could hand the task over to the men but just can’t.

I think I managed to run through all 4 of those categories in this adventure.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Round the World Part One

I’m famous for crazy ideas that usually involve a lot of fast-paced traveling. Some people are born to stay put and some are born to come up with hare-brained schemes. 

 Recently my grandma was moved to a retirement community. It wasn’t her choice and it wasn’t our choice, but it’s what happened. And because the powers-that-be were in a hurry to get the house on the market and the furniture delivery didn’t happen the way that was originally planned, it was up to me to figure something out.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring Has Sprung…and So Has the Mud.

Rain, Rain, Go Away,
Come Again Another Day...

I've been singing that song every day for the past week. The worst thing about Spring (and Fall) in Kentucky? The fact that it rains alllllllll the time. Guess we know why the grass is always so green now, huh?

Oh and not to mention the random Hail we saw the other day. Luckily it was tiny, the pickup and trailer were very thankful for that. Even if they haven't sent out their thank you notes to Mother Nature yet.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

So Cute Sunday-April 6, 2014

Spring is starting to show its face here in central Kentucky. The rains have started to come down in abundance and the grass has gone from a dirty brown to an almost vibrant shade of green. In honor of the foals dropping all throughout the local Thoroughbred country, I am going to share one of my absolute favorite photos taken by my baby sister :) Here's to Spring! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

So Cute Sunday

There is nothing cuter than a piglet. And they have their own special kind of soft (for the first couple weeks). And their cute!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Where Has Faith Gone?

I was alarmed to read two news stories this week that were eerily similar. Both of which hit me hard.

You see, they were both about little girls who were in trouble with their schools for just being themselves. They were not malicious, disrepectful, dangerous creatures. In fact one of these girls should be (and has been) applauded for her great bravery and compassion.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

So Cute Sunday: The Start of Something Adorable

I've seen some great end of the week/start of the week ideas for sharing pictures. Farm Fact/Farm Picture Fridays, Wordless Wednesdays, the list could be potentially endless. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dolphins and Horses

Dolphins & Horses? Together? That was a fantastic sight to me.


I wish. Could you imagine executing a show that involved dolphins AND horses? Would you have both in the water or just the dolphins in the water and platforms for the horses? OK, OK ending this tangent now.


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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Leaning In...& Terrified

As usual I am way behind the curve. Several months ago I read many glowing reviews of the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I added it to my list of books I wanted to read in the future (when I had more money) and promptly let it drift to the back of my mind. Until we went to Target a couple of weeks ago and it was on the sale shelf...we all know the vortex that Target represents. Buy one thing and it's all downhill from there. But I could not have read this book at a better time in my life and I'm sure that's the way it was supposed to be.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Six Things That Have Bothered Me

I've spent quite a bit of time keeping Mom company. Which until recently has meant spending a lot of time parked in front of the TV. Not all of that time has been spent watching quality programming, but most of it has been entertaining if not educational. This may not be a politically correct post so I apologize if anyone is offended in advance, but this blog serves as an online journal for me. Here are some of the things I have been concerned about:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Christmas Lights and Broken Legs

Valentine's Day has come and gone but since we still have our Christmas tree up (yep, you read that correctly) I am going to post the pictures I took when we drove through the Bull Run Festival of Lights in January. It was a weird holiday season for us with our Mom in the hospital right up until Christmas Eve and then in a drug-induced haze for a week or so. So we postponed driving through Christmas lights until she was lucid and able enough to crutch to the car. Doesn't everybody drag their mother who is only a week out of the hospital on family outings? No? Well why not?!?!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Day I Usually Avoid...But Couldn't This Time

For today's post we are going to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming (hah now we are on MandyTV!) and check out a story that I couldn't resist sharing. The following post comes courtesy of my dear friend Callie. Forewarning-it's an adorable Valentine's Day story. Normally I won't touch Valentine's Day with a 10 foot pole because frankly I consider my birthday more of a holiday than Valentine's Day is (that may sound egocentric but seriously shouldn't every day be a celebration of your "Valentine"?) but this one brought tears to my eyes. I hope you are as touched as I was. 

The last few months I've spent with my new boyfriend hadn't been easy by any account. A rough first semester of graduate school, being sick, and most recently the death of my Grandpa. My Grandpa and I were very close, and he and my Grandma had a wonderful, love-filled 67 years together. They were the reason that I came to  believe in this oddity called true and everlasting love…not that any guy I had met ever fell into that category, but I have always held onto the belief that it exists because of them. My boyfriend had met my family, including my Grandpa, right before Poppa passed. He was constantly there for me and my family through this event until the end. The day before we lost Poppa, he drove me to my hometown to help my parents prepare for it and so I could say goodbye (as there was no way I was fit to drive, especially on the interstate). He hugged my Grandma almost as many times as I did during it all.

When it comes to a new relationship, holidays-- particularly Valentine's Day, are slightly stress-inducing. I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day, primarily because I hate materialistic holidays. And, okay, yes there's always been a mild of twinge of "single jealousy". Valentine's Day was actually more of a family holiday for us, it was my grandparents favourite holiday, and my parents and I always did nice things for each other. It hadn't occurred to me that this year it would be hard with Poppa gone, especially for my Grandma. 

Anyway, I hadn't wanted my boyfriend to do anything extravagant. We had planned on doing dinner, but that was about it as we both had work to get finished. He had stopped by my house after class, where we made plans for the evening--after the long debate of who was choosing the restaurant, how I wished there was a good Italian joint like back home, etc. I was pretty excited, I mean I had never had a "real" Valentine's Day  before. A little while later, my boyfriend rings to say he's changing our plans. My heart immediately sank, he had been extraordinarily busy with school so I assumed it was a "raincheck". Instead, he had a strange giddy tone to his voice, telling me to make dinner reservations somewhere in Cheyenne (my hometown). Utterly confused, I asked why he wanted to drive 90 miles round trip for was ridiculous and no restaurant is worth that, seriously. He refused to tell me, merely said to call him back when I had a plan. Several restaurants and calls later, slightly exasperated, I rang him with the plans.

"Babe, WHY do you want to go to Cheyenne?!"

"I feel guilty, my conscience is getting to me."

"Um….why? Is this about the restaurant? I only meant that Italian sounded good."

"No…I just feel guilty."

"Why? What's going on?"

His tone was reminiscent of a little kid who had a secret they wanted to share, and I was no where near ready for this reply. Honestly, I'd never have guessed it in a thousand years.

"I …got your grandma flowers because she's short a valentine this year…and I wanted to give them to her."

Almost dropping the phone, I was struggling to keep the tears out of my voice as I searched for words. Here is a guy who keeps a stoic face on most of the time, I was almost unsure that I had heard him correctly. For someone who also hates Valentine's Day, he had already been extraordinarily sweet and cutesy all day, so this just knocked me completely over. As soon as we hung up I started crying; I had no idea that someone could be so thoughtful. Not only was he doing something wonderful for me, his gesture would mean more to my Grandma than any flowers or cards. He had remembered what all came out of my mouth as I babbled through tears after seeing Poppa for the last time: how he loved my grandma, the things he did for her, how they treated each other every day.  

So that's exactly what we did. We loaded up and headed out, roses in tow. Holding his hand all the way to Cheyenne, I couldn't help but look at him in a new light, and have a whole new appreciation for this incredible man's heart. My grandma was definitely surprised, very touched, and nearly cried herself. She called me a few days later saying how amazing my boyfriend is and that she adores him. Even now writing this I cannot wrap my mind around how sincere and thoughtful that gesture was. Here's a holiday where people expect their admirers to dote on them and flowers are a requirement. And then here's a man who reaches out to his girlfriend's recently widowed grandmother. If that doesn't show a celebration of love and caring, I really have no idea what does. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Long Road to Walking Again

Well friends, it's been almost 2 months since the last time I put up a blog post. I know, I know, I fail. So since I have been absent for a couple months I will just start up back where we left off...that is, Mom was at the hospital. If you are squeamish you might want to avoid the pictures in the middle/end of this wordy adventure but don't worry they aren't too terrible!

On December 20th, my Mom went in for her 3rd surgery on her right leg in 1 year. Yep, that's right, 1 year. She managed to break her right femur (big bone in the upper half of your leg), her right hip, and then her right femur again. Not a good year for Mom that's for sure. So this time she was going in to get her femur fixed again. Before and after X-rays are to the right...see where the bar was coming loose? YIKES!    -------------->

Now I don't know if it is because we have spent so much time in and out of hospitals for a variety of reasons, but hospitals fascinate me. Especially when they are using cool new technologies like surgical waiting boards. What the heck is a surgical waiting board? Think airport flight information board. Yep that's right, your loved one now has a flight path! Except instead of Dulles to San Diego, it's Arrival to Recovery. Pretty darn cool if you ask me. 

The invalid in Procedure. 
Board Explanation Sheet

But the shine wears off a penny pretty quick when you spend all day (aka 7am to 5pm) in a hospital waiting area. Even a nice hospital waiting area. But I guess that's to be expected when a surgery requires rebreaking somebody's leg and then fixing it up again. Ugh. It was a 4 hour surgery and a 3-4 hour recovery period. Let's just say that by the time Mom was getting ready to be moved to a room, Kelly and I were starving. And tired. Thankfully the nurses gave us directions (an entire sheet of about a confusing hospital!) and we were off to the room Mom would end up in. I dropped Kelly off to enjoy the couch while I ran out to get some food before we both fell over in a pathetic puddle. I'd say she got the better end of the deal because she got to enjoy the nicest hospital room any of us have ever been in while I got to drive through Fairfax. This whole experience reminded me why I would never want to live any closer to D.C. than we do. 

It turned out to be an eventful weekend in the hospital for Mom, including bloody leaking bandages (I will spare you this awesome pic), low blood pressure, high temperatures, and a lot of dozing interrupted by a revolving line of nurses. She was finally sprung from the joint two days before Christmas, which is really where the fun began. 

Right after surgery

Ready for the staples to come out

It's been an interesting two months, filled with shots and doctors appointments, lots of TV time and the first hope of walking again since October. 

Because of a history of blood clots, Mom has suffered through rounds of Lovenox after all 3 surgeries this year. Now I've given my fair share of shots to all kinds of animals-dogs, pigs, cattle, sheep, etc but hadn't really tried my hand at humans. Some days I managed to make it painless...other days not so much!

Oops...sorry Mom!

 Look what I found out though...SURPRISE! Thank you pigs for your contribution to keeping my mother safe and healthy :) 

It's been a couple of weeks since Mom has been allowed to put weight on her leg and every day brings a little improvement. The road ahead is still long but it's been an adventure. As usual :) And like the machine says...Caring is Thirsty Work.