Sunday, January 22, 2012

Coffee Talk

So far I’ve posted several times about the tumultuous first year of my life, but then I left you hanging.  I wanted to pick up where I left off and tell you a little more about myself.  Grab a cup of coffee and let's chat!

I grew up in the Midwest and was raised by two wonderful, Christian parents.  I’m the oldest of three.  Due to my dad’s job, we moved around a lot growing up.  By the time I hit college, I had already moved 20+ times.  Although it wasn’t always fun moving around, especially when we got somewhat settled and met some nice friends, it made our family very receptive to change and showed us God at work many times. 

I can remember when I was about fourteen years old, we came back from being away for the weekend and our landlord of six years left a note saying we had two weeks to move because they had hired a new worker for their farm and he needed a place to stay.   My parents were devastated and tried to figure out how this would even be possible.  They set a very good example and prayed about it.  Guess what – everything fell into place before the two weeks were up!

Growing up, my family and I spent lots of time together!  We traveled the country, showing Herefords.  Unlike many other families who went on vacations to Disney World and other amusement parks, or went camping, our summers were filled with cattle shows.  The hours we spent together getting our show calves ready, driving to cattle shows, hanging out in the barns and spending time together in hotels, were some of the most memorable times of my life!

My school years were filled with a lot of variety, since we moved several times.  I went to several public schools in my early years.  During second through seventh grade, I attended a parochial school.  My mom got offered a job, so we ended going to a different Christian school during a portion of my seventh and eighth grade years.  I finished the last couple of months of eighth grade back at the parochial school I attended before.  Then it was off to a public H.S. in a small town! 

My high school years were fairly typical.  I was involved in volleyball, band and I was a wrestling cheerleader.  My years flew by since I was very active in many organizations -  the National Honor Society, FFA, the Student Council , the yearbook committee, just to name a few.  The first couple years were filled with lots of girl drama.  I’m not going to lie – none of that was fun, but it taught me to lean on God and to be a stronger person.  Then, the last two years I finished on a stronger note.  I was crowned Miss Congeniality and was one of our town’s pageant Attendants.  During my senior year, I was honored when my peers voted me on the Homecoming Court.  Overall, I enjoyed my high school years, but towards the end I was definitely ready to spread my wings and head to college.

My college years were also very busy.  I majored in Agricultural Marketing Communications with an Animal Science minor.  I was involved in Block and Bridle, Association for Women in Agriculture, and the Dairy Club.  I was fortunate enough to hold a work-study position the whole time I was there.  I had a very active social life, but I still graduated early in just three and a half years, mainly due to the internships I had.

My internships were great!  The summer after my sophomore year of college, I was a sales intern for a dairy pharmaceutical company and sold their products to dairies around the Midwest.  The next summer I was an intern for the American Hereford Association, down in Kansas City, where I wrote articles for their magazine, helped design the magazine and attended trade shows and cattle shows around the country. 

After college, I was offered a job in the insurance industry.  I spent four months studying for my licenses.  I’ll be honest, though, my heart wasn’t in it and I was just going through the motions.  Luckily, and, yes, I say luckily, I failed my tests.  If I remember right, I think I tried taking them again and passed, but I couldn’t pass my Securities test.  I decided this industry wasn’t right for me, so I thanked the company for their time and went on a job search again.  Within a few weeks, I found another job, this time in the dairy industry.  I was hired as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator and sold a feed management system to dairies around the country.  I also had the opportunity to put my degree to work and designed all of the marketing materials.  It was a very glamorous position, but after a year and a half of living out of a bag four to six days a week, I decided I needed a slower-paced job.   I found a job at a vet clinic, which I loved.  Then, since my husband and I needed benefits, I took a job in a bank.   I was a loan assistant, but my duties went far beyond this position’s job description.  Honestly, I was thankful to have this job, but the two and a half years I was there, were not my favorite.  When my husband and I felt we were financially secure, I quit this position so I could be at home with our daughter.  This was the best decision we could’ve made - I loved being at home with her and focusing on being a mom!  I took several months off before sub-teaching at several schools in the area.  Since then, I have been sub-teaching for six consecutive years and I love it!

We need to back up…  I purposely left out telling you about my husband and my kids, because I wanted to set them apart.  My husband and I have known each other since 1999.  We didn’t start dating, however, until the fall of 2000.  We dated a couple of years before getting engaged on Valentine’s Day in 2003.  In June of 2004, we finally got married.  Then, only four months into our marriage, we unexpectedly got pregnant with our daughter.  This pregnancy came as quite the surprise, because my parents were told I would most likely have problems getting pregnant since, as a baby, I was on so many medications.  My husband and I weren’t sure if we’d ever be able to have kids, so we weren’t very careful.  Low and behold, we got pregnant, which was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to us.  I’ll tell you more about that later…  During the summer of 2005, I became a mommy to a beautiful, little girl!  Two and a half years later, we welcomed our little boy into our family only a couple days after the Thanksgiving of 2007.  Both of our kids are such blessings and teach us so many things!  We love them more than words can describe!!!  Our family life has had some challenges, but I can honestly say, my husband is one of my best friends and our kids keep us going every day.

Do you need a refill on your coffee?  ;)  I’ll be getting more personal in my upcoming posts, so stick around.  If you haven’t had the chance to read my other posts, please, feel free to catch up.  Until next time, God Bless!

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