To Hear or To Listen…There is a Difference

It is without a doubt that once a week my husband and I go through the following conversation: Me: Did you hear me?, Husband: Yes, Me: Are you listening to me?, Husband: I said I heard you.  And that is where the difference lies, hearing what is said and actually listening to what is said. Recently, a series of unfortunate, tragic, and heart breaking events has taken place all around me and like many of you I have “heard” the following phrases: Life is Too Short, Don’t Take It For Granted, Tell Your Loved Ones You Love, Count Your Blessings, Thank God for What you have. In that moment, I think to myself yes, yes I have to do this and I might even take the time to say a prayer to God and ask him to watch over those that need him and thank him for all I have, but am I actually LISTENING to the signs he put in front of me. I am actually following through with his message and practicing this for more than 24 hours. I think the real struggle for me is that until you are put into this life altering experience you don’t understand the multitude and severity of it. However, I am going to challenge myself to LISTEN to the signs God has sent me and try to be an advocate of these messages, I hope that you too will open your ears and hearts to his message and remember to live, love and laugh in every moment you are given breath.

As a last request I would ask all of my friends and followers to add the following four people to your prayer list for the months to come.

1.) The Family of Nick Reimann- Although I did not personally know him, from what I can see from my friends on Facebook he was a young man who touched many lives and was loved wherever he went, a great cattleman, father and husband. His two beautiful young children and wife need your prayers and support to help them through this challenging time. I only hope that when I leave this Earth people think so highly of me.

2.) Brenhem and Berwick Bloomberg– Many of you have heard their story, but these micro-premies have a long road ahead of them.Please send prayers for comfort and joys to their parents for the journey ahead.

3.) Lesley Willis – Lesley is the mother of sweet little Ashton Willis, who earned a spot in my heart during my time as an AJSA Board member. This little girl’s passion for the Shorthorn breed inspired me and reminded me why I wanted to wear the red coat. Lesley is battling cancer for the second time and everytime a step forward is taken it seems two or three steps backward are taken. It breaks my heart to see this happen. Please send prayers for healing and hope for this family. The link will take you to a page for donations if you would like to help this family out.

4.) Tucker Brown- Last but not least my little buddy Tucker. At two years old Tucker has already exceeded expectations,born with CHD Tucker has been fighting for his life since the day he was born and will continue. I met the Brown family when I took my position with the American Lung Association in Illinois and I have been inspired ever since. From a small farming community in Illinois, The Brown Family has been the largest fundraising team for

My little buddy, Tucker.

My little buddy, Tucker.

the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb the past two years and has a community to back them. They have inspired individuals all over and have truly shown them what a blessing it is to do something so simple as breathing. On Thurs the 1st Tucker goes to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for echo, EKG, chest X-ray and preop appt with anesthesia. The next day, Friday May 2nd he has a cath procedure to balloon his Pulmonary Arteries (hopefully no stents) and a bronchoscopy to check out the compression of his left bronch by his aortic arch. If all goes well he will be home Saturday.
Tucker could use a lot of prayers Friday morning during his procedure. His heart has a history of not liking Cardiac catheterization. Any prayers for Tucker and the Brown family would be greatly appreciated. 

 

 

Forgotten Blessings

Between buying a house, getting a puppy, moving, getting a big kid job, and planning a wedding my life has been like a whirlwind since May (hence why this blog has been neglected). But in that time there has been a few moments when the storm has calmed and I have stopped for a breath and it is those moments that I need to speak about. See in these past few months the only thing that has seemed to catch my attention and make me pause has been at the moment of tragedy or sadness.

Within the past few months, I have had to say goodbye to three young, amazing, smart, hardworking, handsome cattlemen. Each time was a tragedy in itself and a moment of sadness. It seemed like every time I was talking to friends it was to tell them about another loss in our livestock family. However, it was in these moments of sadness and tragedy that I realized a bigger picture and a bigger lesson that we all forget just way to easily.

Just like I categorized my life as being a whirlwind, I think most others would as well, but we need calm the storm and pause at the beauty of life that is around is. I myself need to take more time just cuddling on the couch with my man and my puppy, watching the sunset, talking to my friends just to say hello, spend time at the farm just sitting the pasture, tell my family how much I love them, and spend more time talking to Big Man. I know you have heard it a million times before but each day we have is a blessing in itself and something to be thankful for. I know that I have taken advantage of this very thought until tragedy struck so close to me. My advice is to wear out the words I love you, never go to bed angry at loved ones, and go the extra mile to make yourself and others smile.

A wise person once challenged me to write down three things I am thankful for every day, no matter how big or how small they are. Do you think you could come up with three new things you are thankful for each day for a year? I challenge you, even if you don’t write them down, to take a moment either in the morning or at night to reflect upon your day and find your three Forgotten Blessings.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

In Memory of Justin, Jared, Nate, and the others we have laid to rest this past year.

When Life Gets You Down

When life gets you down… How many times a day, a week, or a month do you get to feeling down on life? For me, I always try to find a positive in every situation and look at those moments as challenges or obstacles to pick my self up by my boot straps and go at it again. But sometimes something occurs that leaves what I like to call a scar.

Occasionally something that I have been working for or towards my whole life shatters into a million pieces and falls deep into the hole of no return. It’s at these moments that I find myself letting life get me down. Recently, I went through one of these moments and I am still working on picking myself back up. I have a friend that always says,

Tell God your plans and he will laugh in your face.

My current obstacle isn’t life threatening or the worst thing that could happen so its time to start back over at square one.

With current illnesses and issues taking place in some dear family and friends I am reminded just how precious life is. In an effort to help out some of these individuals I began a small fundraising campaign to generate a little token of faith and strength. To my amazement my little “idea” grew with the love and support of great people. I am still shell shocked at the gratitude people have for someone in a time of crisis. In a world where negativity and wrongdoings seem to make the headlines while honesty and good deeds are thrown under the carpet for lack of reader appeal there still shines a light at the end of the tunnel.

So I guess for me it’s time to get back to the drawing board and start at square one.

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Accepting Imperfections

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This post comes as a result of a certain heifer in our shoestring this summer, known by my family as “red rose”, but for an outsider there is one thing they can’t get past when they look at her. It is her imperfection. See red rose got a stick stuck in her ear as a baby and as a result has a crinkled ear on her show side. Every single person livestock person that looks at my heifer instantly ask what happened to her ear. After having this question asked to me about 200 times I realized how much our society really cannot accept anything below perfect. I just want to point out that nothing but the man who walked on water and healed the blind to see is perfect. We all have a flaw(s) whether big and small. We need to look beyond the one flaw and find everything that is good in an individual. We need to reminded of the saying don’t judge a book by its cover.
As far as my heifer is concerned her ear is a long way from her heart and she will be a wonderful donor cow for my herd.

Why Agvocacy?

Well my summer journey is coming to a close, but before that happens I need to recap my latest journey to the L.E.A.D. conference with the Angus juniors in St. Louis, MO. During the conference the youth got to engage in some exciting opportunities from speakers to tours. My favorite tour was when we got to have an insider look at Busch Stadium!! However, during the conference many speakers talked about the importance of being an advocate for Ag. Since I have been wanting to do a post about this I think now is a perfect time. We as farmers, ranchers and those related to the livestock industry have not fully grasped how IMPORTANT it is to share our story. So many times we feel its not our job and rely on others to do this for us. FOLKS, THAT IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT!

With anti- production agriculture organizations recruiting funds and membership by the thousands daily we too must do the same to save our livelihood and our industries. I feel many people here this speech over and over, but don’t understand HOW to be an advocate. Here are a few simple things one can do.

  • Post ag-related facebook status
  • Link your facebook to great articles, videos and pictures showing what agriculture is about
  • Post videos of yourself or others caring for your animals in a humane way and show how much you love your animals. 
  • Post pictures of your interacting with your animals and cring for them
  • BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MASTERS of BEEF ADVOCACY PROGRAM- There is no reason that every single person who shows or raises cattle is not a member of this. Take the time to take the program so you can stay in touch with what is going on and get helpful talking points and fact sheets to make a difference.
  • Invite people out for tours of your farm and let them live a day in the life.
  • Tweet and retweet things related to agriculture
  • Start a blog and take about what is going on at your farm
  • Talk to kids at school, the bus, airplanes, lunch tables.
  • Help a consumer make a beef product selection in the grocery store. 
  • Hand out proper beef product handling and recipesI
It is really not that hard… we spend many of hours on social media everyday, just take a few seconds of that to dedicate a little time to an industry that has provided each and everyone of us with opportunities and a positive experience. It is only fair to the animals and the people that we love and care for.
Also Check Out Masters of Beef Advocacy Homepage: http://www.beef.org/mastersofbeefadvocacy.aspx
Check out the Drive Magazine for more tips about Advocacy! August 2011 Issue: http://www.drivebyev.com/magazine/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=59

Wyatt Hugh Copenhaver

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Finally after two years I was able to meet my little “nephew” Mr. Wyatt Hugh…. unfortunately I had been unable to see him so far as my journeys had not lead me to the Missouri area. After a few minutes he had quickly warmed up to me. He has struggled a little bit with my name, so I have just become ME…haha. He is such a happy little boy with such a wonderful personality. He loves his tractors and his farm animals. I am so glad that I have finally been able to meet him. It reminds me of how simple life used to be, when you still got pushed around in a stroller and got a nap time. I can’t wait to watch as this little cutie grows up into a handsome young man. 

I have been talking lots of photos around the office and will take time next week to share post with what I have been doing at work as well as my travels. I will be heading to the state of Wisconsin next weekend for their state preview show, which is sure to be an adventure.

 

Well time to go lay by the kiddie pool!!!

SUMMER FUN…..

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A picture of something you love and something you have been wanting for awhile.

Once again this is an easy one- Something you love I am going to put down as my wonderful boyfriend, Justin. We have been together for almost 3 wonderful years and what a wonderful 3 years it has been. I love you sweetheart!

Justin and I

As far as something I have been wanting for awhile hands down a Corgi puppy. My dear puppy Roscoe, got hit by a car my senior year and I am not allowed to get a new one until I have my own place to raise it. So for anyone out there needing a graduation gift for me in approximately a year from now…Here’s your sign! 🙂 (P.S. pembroke welsh corgi- black and tan only!)

 

Sweetie Pie


day nine

Day 09 – A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most and a picture of your car (or dream car)

Other than my parents, this one goes to my boyfriend. We have almost been dating for three years and a lot has went on in that time. Although, there are times we are completely fed up with one another when it comes down to it he’s the person I go to when things aren’t or even when the are going right. He’s the one I confide in and the one that I can’t go a day without talking to. I am so glad I have you in my life (most days, just kidding). You’re an amazing person and I appreciate your support in my big ambitions. I love you!

My current vehicle is my lovely ’03 or ’04 Dodge Dakota (Gray Goose) that I purchased when I was sixteen, however I am hoping that there is new vehicle in my near future. 🙂  My dream car would either be Hummer or a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500 like “Eleanor” in the movie Gone in Sixty Seconds.