Monday, July 9, 2012

Colorado Time

I'm convinced that a little time in the mountains is good for the soul! We went to Colorado Springs for a ranch rodeo two weekends ago and then slipped over to the family cabin for a few days of vacation. 

My awesome husband! 

Here are a few more shots that are my favorite: 

Then on to the cabin -- the guys fished and my sister-in-law and I spent time reading, shopping and cooking.

Same picture with an old polaroid -----> 

So the guys got their picture taken to go on the fridge. 

 I learned a lot about myself during our time at the cabin (with no cell service or internet!). I've never taken the time to simply sit and enjoy God's creation. I'm constantly busy whether it be with an actual task or just thinking and planning. My mind is always engaged. By the second day I started to unwind and kick back.

I was able to read a few chapters of Strong Women, Soft Hearts that my afore mentioned sister-in-law gave me. And with an open mind, clear of everyday clutter, God did some major work in my heart! This book is deep and there are several chapters that I have re-read to soak more in and self reflect.

Here's one of the powerful things God showed me:
I've always been a perfectionist and since RA & I got married and I've expected him to be a perfectionist too (without realizing it). A little piece of advise - your spouse will never be perfect! Imagine that! When I realized that I had been expecting him to be who I thought he should be, lots of the little issues that we've had came to mind... most of which were probably due to him not meeting my "perfect expectations."

It's only been a week since I took the time to sit and open my mind and heart to God and what He has probably been trying to tell me since I met my wonderful husband - and we are already a stronger couple. I know we will both continue to learn more about ourselves and each other as we grow as a couple and with God but it's been a pretty neat experience over the past seven days.

Workout Update: I was awful in the month of June about working out but am ready to get back on track. I started the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred yesterday and am feeling it! I've had the workout DVD for a while now and have done the workouts on and off but I'm sticking to it for the next 30 days. Anyone want to join me? I'll encourage you if you encourage me. 

May God bless you immensely this week! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ranch Life When It Rains

I smiled as I typed the title to this one - Ranch Life When it Rains. It's so nice to know what that is like now! I think we have figured out the key to get rain... we need guests at the house. This past weekend we had several friends over Saturday evening after RA finished up at a horse sale and I got home from a wedding and we received a nice evening rain. Then Monday night we had RA's cousins, Ben and Tom, over for steaks and got an inch and a half. The next morning, RA had a road to fix. 

This tank was dry two days ago... now it is holding more water than I've ever seen on the ranch.

And here is the finished product - my husband does such a good job! 

Speaking of the wedding that I had the honor of being in this weekend.... 

At the bridal luncheon last Friday, (the wedding was at 10 a.m. Saturday), 
these were our "seating cards." 

And this is Carly - she was a beautiful bride! She was my maid of honor and it was a joy to stand up beside her as her matron of honor this past weekend. I can't wait to share pictures from her wedding - it was a gorgeous morning wedding on the family land under a huge tree! 

Get Fit Update: To be honest, I haven't been jogging much lately. We've been busy and I've been helping RA with different things (like fixing the road) in the evenings after work so jogging moves to the back burner. I hope to go jog (or at least go on a walk) this evening.

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Clayton & Cristina

So I have this awesome friend... and she is engaged to a pretty good guy. Cristina and I met while we were both at Tech and have become lifelong friends. We spent many many evenings in Lubbock discussing Power Thoughts, an amazing book by Joyce Meyer about the battle that goes on in our mind and how we MUST take control and responsibility over our thoughts. I highly recommend it! RA and Clayton have become good buddies as well. We love having them out at the ranch!

So, back to Clayton & Cristina - they got engaged back in March and I had the honor and privilege of taking their engagement pictures this past weekend.

I typically have cattle, horses or plants in front of my camera lens so it was fun to add people this time!

It's a never-ending battle between Clayton and Cristina and I. He went to A&M... enough said. 

And since we had received a little rain (thanks again for your prayers!!), the cactus are blooming.

Ok, I think this one is my favorite - and I took it completely on accident. I was trying to get a different angle and snapped this picture in the process of getting on the ground. 

Photography is definitely something that I enjoy and I look forward to sharing more from ranch adventures that we've had so far and ones to come! 

Remember, shine God's light everywhere you go, to everyone you meet! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Running Buddy

A quick note ~ We received about an inch of rain over the weekend – your prayers were answered!! Thank you for your faithful request. ☺ We are blessed and thankful but also look forward to more.

Living 30 miles out in the country, with the closest neighbor about 10 miles away, it’s challenging to find the motivation to go jog without a friend. The day we got home from our honeymoon, RA and I decided we were going to jog every evening. We quickly discovered that his legs are much longer than mine and we don’t stay together. Jogging every evening together lasted for a total of one time.

Since I’m not a huge fan of running alone, I want to introduce you to my running buddy.

We’ve had Gus since March and he is turning into a fine ranch dog. He guards the yard from birds and keeps the back steps from levitating. And his best quality – we stay together when we jog (although it is more of a brisk walk for him).

I’ve never been much of an athlete but I enjoyed cross country and track for a few years in high school until it started cutting in to my time with show animals. All through college and the year since I’ve graduated (it’s hard to believe a full year has almost gone by!), I’ve wanted to work out but could never stick with a routine.

Over the past few months, however, I’ve been more focused on getting fit. Note that I said “get fit” rather than lose weight. I’ve been the same weight since I was about a freshman in high school so I don’t anticipate a huge change there. I would rather incorporate healthy eating habits and a regular workout routine into my lifestyle rather than just meeting a single goal.

My workout: 10 minute jog without stopping two or three times a week. Now, if you are an experienced runner, this probably sounds really simple, but simple is working great for me at this point in my working out career. A very special friend of mine ran cross-country in college and is my “running mentor.” She and her husband and currently expecting but after their little one arrives in October, we are going to train for a few races. The 10 minutes is starting to get easier and I plan to move up to 15 minutes soon. My focus isn’t really on distance right now but simply getting my body “up to speed.”

Check back next week for insight into a 90-mile commute to work!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's been a while...

So... Kristen's Corner is back! I haven't written a blog post in a very very long time and this time around it's a little different. Every post in the past has been a weekly column that was published in my hometown newspaper. Now I hope to just share about life. As a newlywed, a young professional and living on a ranch 30 miles from the closest town (1 hour to the closest grocery store and gas station) I hope you will find something you can relate to! I've started jogging a few times a week and with my new iPhone (I switched to AT&T yesterday and hope to have better service here in the middle of nowhere) I am testing out running apps and have a much better camera than my old phone. I hope to share tips as I learn and incorporate jogging into my lifestyle. I will introduce you to my running buddy next week! Here's a shot of where I run most evenings:
Ranch Update: RA, my amazing husband, manages a family ranch 30 miles from Channing, Texas which has a population of about 300. There's a school and a post office and that's about it. The closest gas station, grocery store and the church that we attend is about an hour away in Dalhart. It's been a challenging year to live on a ranch. With the lack of moisture last year, my father-in-law made the decision to send the majority of the cows we had at the ranch to grass in Arkansas. We still had the first-calf heifers here to keep a close eye on but it was a huge reduction in the typical stocking rate. This picture was taken back in January - the scenery hasn't changed much:
Now that we still haven't had more than half and inch of rain since January, the rest of the cows will be leaving in the next few weeks. Mother Nature hasn't been in our favor this year but we thank God every night for the rain that He is sending and we wake up each morning knowing that we are one day closer to moisture. We will press on.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Life is grand! I’ve graduated from Texas Tech University with a 3.83 GPA in three years, I have my dream job of writing for cattle magazines and I get to marry my best friend is three months! Life should be perfect, shouldn’t it?

Each of these things – graduating college, having a job and getting married – are all goals that I have been working toward my entire life. It’s almost a surreal feeling to have everything within my reach. I can fully enjoy each of these things now, but a few weeks ago, I was in a different boat.

During the spring semester I was enrolled in 24 credit hours, part of which counted towards my internship with Certified Angus Beef. I was a teaching assistant for an agricultural communications writing class where I had 94 students. In addition to that, I was the editor of my capstone Agriculture Publications class where we produced a 72-page magazine.

Through going to class, doing homework, studying for tests, editing articles and layouts, writing news releases and grading projects, God got lost in my schedule. My infrequent prayers usually revolved around asking for help to complete my long ‘to do’ list or that my brain would absorb a months worth of statistics notes in five minutes.

It hit me during finals week as a lay in bed thinking about how fast time has flown by. I remember going into the semester with God as my number one, knowing that I wouldn’t survive the next few months without Him guiding my steps. I don’t know when it happened, but I got the mindset that my way and my scheduling was better than His.

It hurts my heart to even think about how I placed God on the backburner to the things of this world. I got so busy and wrapped up in what I wanted and thought I needed to do that I lost my focus.

It seems that it is a slow fade – we miss a prayer or a devotional. The next day, we miss it again and before we know it, a week has gone by. Then we remember to say thanks here and there and pick up our Bible for a verse or two, but heartfelt love isn’t present.

I’m so thankful that we have a loving God who welcomes His lost children back with open arms.

How are things with you and God? Where is your focus? Who, or rather, what, is your number one?

Give meaning to your life – spend time with God.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Texas Tech University Chancellor, Kent Hance, shared a poem titled “If” which evokes lots of thought.

From the poem that each graduate received, “Rudyard Kipling wrote “If” in 1896 as a tribute to the character of Dr. Leander Starr Jameson. The poem was intended for Kipling’s son.

Jameson was a man of tremendous character who courageously led a raid in South Africa against the Boer Government. Jameson was defeated in the raid, and the poem was partially inspired by the way Jameson handled the defeat.

Though Kipling was just 31 years old when he wrote the poem, it has gone on to become one of the most popular pieces of literature in the world.”

IfIf you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk to wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kinds – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor living friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a man my son!