Sunday, January 12

#kfbyfr14

Tim and I are currently beginning our second and final year of service on the state YF&R committee (sad face). Last year I wrote about our first conference planning experience, and now we're gearing up again for 2014 in 12 short days!

Here are just some of the highlights for this year:
KSU Quiz Bowl Winners, 2013 
Dessert Bar at Flint Hills Discovery Center, 2013
This event and organization has grown to mean so much to me because of the impact it has on our profession thereby affecting our livelihood. We had record-breaking attendance last year with over 530 people gathered from across the state; and this year we're expecting a similar turnout. Where else can you meet with and learn from so many others with whom you share so much. 

I'll report back in a couple weeks to tell you how it goes- it's sure to be no fail fun. As long as I don't go into early labor. Which isn't to say that wouldn't be fun, but it's not part of my birth plan and we just can't have that. 


Monday, October 28

I'm thankful.

Corn harvest is hopefully wrapping up this week for the Franklins. We're going on almost a month, thanks to some much needed moisture, and I am giddy with excitement to see it all out of the fields. This year was not necessarily a bumper crop, but given that we are still in a drought, we are thankful and blessed to have the harvest we did. When you rely on Mother Nature for a good part of your livelihood, you see your definition of successes and failures change. Certain events on our farm are controlled by us and we're held accountable for how well the crops perform, based on our preparation and execution. Then there are the events where you give up all control, give it to God and say, "please let it rain. please let it snow. please let it do anything but hail."

So today I'm thankful we have any corn at all. I'm thankful for my husband and in-laws who worked tirelessly to get it all picked. I'm thankful for their safety. I'm thankful for Tim's cousin who came down to help. And I'm sure that everybody's thankful I'm preparing one of their last ham sandwiches with cheese and miracle whip. Amen.



Tuesday, October 22

Back in the saddle. Again.

Nothing like a month-late "National Talk Like a Pirate Day" post to bring someone out of the blog abyss. Nevertheless, I thought my dad's efforts should not go unnoticed- especially since he earned a dozen free donuts from Krispy Kreme.
That's commitment. Something both he and Ben Affleck share.
Good job, Dad. Maybe next year, I'll go with you...


Saturday, May 4

On miscarriage: one year later.



This post has been written and re-written in my head so many times before today. While by far the most personal thing shared on this blog, it is part of our journey- our story and I want it told.

It is now a year ago today that we learned I was pregnant. I had gone for my yearly exam and much to my surprise, had a phone call a couple hours later with the news that would forever change our life. Tim and I had prayed for and loved this child, long before its existence. An ultrasound just a couple days later showed us a 6-week, 4-day-old little Franklin. All seemed well and good throughout the coming weeks, other than an aversion to lots of smells and fruit, which I happily endured. When we went in for an appointment at 13 weeks, all continued to look and sound good (as we thought we’d heard the heartbeat.) First trimester, check. It was only a few days following that appointment that I started spotting. It was confirmed a day later that I had in fact miscarried. And the hard truth was, our baby’s gestational size read 8 weeks, meaning life had been lost 5 weeks prior- only two weeks after learning we were pregnant. Shocking.  And despite the best of intentions, the completion of my miscarriage was not happening on its own. The weekly blood work consistently showed lowering amounts of estrogen levels, but never to zero. And so determined my need for surgery.

The thing about experiencing a miscarriage is there are always milestones to mark the journey. Dates. The day you find out you’re pregnant (May 4); your due date (Dec. 27); the day you learn you have miscarried (June 21); the day of your D&C (July 19). No matter how hard you try, these dates are written on your heart and you can’t forget. And you don’t want to forget, as if forgetting will somehow diminish your loss.

But there’s also a time for healing and moving forward. The thing is, I kept looking toward the next “well, when” and waiting for time to help heal me: Well, when we hit our due date, I can finally start to heal. Well, when I can get through ___________, things will be better. And that’s where God has been teaching me (read: lovingly correcting) lately that while He may use time to heal our wounds, He is the ultimate Healer; and in order for that to happen I have to cling. Cling to Him. Cling to His promise to never leave or forsake me. Cling to Truths that tell me He is always good, always right and always loving. And Beth Moore maybe explains it best to my heart in her Breaking Free study, “Our Bridegroom sometimes leads us to difficult places, but we can trust Him always to have purpose in our stay and never to forsake us. Remember, Christ can’t lead us somewhere He refuses to go.” I know that can be a hard thing to hear, and on some days it still is for me. But I believe it to be true and I cling.

There are surely parts I’d like to forget and feelings I’d be ok to never have to feel again; but I want to remember God’s faithfulness, His provision and the way only He can bring us through.


Wednesday, May 1

No fail fun.

It's now 12 years post-high school and my girlfriends are just as fun, lovely and weird as ever. Simply the best. We spent the weekend together in San Diego celebrating Jessi's wedding, hanging out and for some of us, turning 30. If you gotta turn 30, you might as well do it surrounded my your pals of 20 years. If turning 30 didn't make me feel old, having friends for 20 years does. But I love it. I love it because no one has seen me sillier, stupider, hungrier, weirder, funnier or any other kind of -er. They also keep me humble and grounded and more importantly, encourage my walk with Christ. Many of our friendships began in middle school youth group, and I attribute our faith to be the main reason we still like each other. That and because Rachel scares us. 
You might notice an overt amount of pictures and that is also normal among this group. You can never have too many pictures. When you have two or more of us gathered, the beach and a remote camera timer (or a husband- thanks, Russell) you have an abundance of {mostly} ridiculous shots. I have kept it fairly normal so that you will not be scared away.
Sometimes it takes a few shots to get a good-ish one. I mean, Michaelangelo didn't paint the Sistine Chapel in one day.
Below is from the birthday dinner. My friends indulged my love of italian food and we all managed to find something acceptable...Hillary also did my hair. For some weird reason I had really wanted to braid my hair and since I can't braid for anything, Hill agreed to do something. And. It. Was. Awesome. Here's to turning 30 and having a braid. Bonus points to anyone who can guess what or who Courtney is impersonating above. Anyone?
Here's a closeup. Thanks, Hill, for making me princess for a night!
Cheers to Jessi and Brad (isn't she beautiful)! Cheers to friends! Cheers to turning 30! I am blessed. Viva la BSC!


Monday, April 29

29 + 1 = 30.

Saturday was the first anniversary of my 29th birthday. There were lots of things that made this one extra special, but my mom and dad got things started with a great surprise: 30 gifts and one to grow on! My mom said it started out as a few little gifts; and then she thought it'd be fun to do keep going. I agree. I am overwhelmed by their generosity and love. What a way to make a girl feel special!
I think other than the fact that I will surely be called Ma'am wherever I go and no longer be mistaken for a college student, I am a little sad that I can no longer classify myself as being in my 20s. For instance, take the all-important magazine advice: it's about to get real. Real old.
Thanks to all my family and friends for making this day so great and for sending me some birthday love. I look forward to the next thirty and going to bed early. 




Wednesday, April 24

We bought a planter.

Farmer Tim and I just got baptized into the fire that is farm equipment ownership. We purchased a Case ih 24 row corn planter. Here it is in all its 60 feet of glory. Friends, don't you want to come visit?
Under normal weather conditions, Tim would tell you he likes to start planting corn around April 25th. Given the more recent ahem snow events, that date will likely be pushed back a few days. No matter the start date I know he's dying to take Big Bertha for a spin (or two, or three, or four...).  
This was early Tuesday morning and also what 9" of snow looks like on April 23. It's melting fast, but it's still a major player in the aforementioned delay. I'm secretly glad about it because despite his best efforts to think otherwise, I like having my farmer around. But don't tell him.
Other than the fact that's it's really huge (that's what she said) and he can cover a lot of ground really fast, my favorite thing about the planter is the camera he had installed on the back. This way, he can see what or who is behind him when he's driving down the road between fields- all from the monitor in the cab! We're high tech. No seriously, Tim has GPS in the tractor so all he has to do is press a button and it drives itself; he only has to turn the tractor at the end of the row to get it started on its next line. Seriously. If you don't believe me, ask Barry. He not only geeks out at technology but he also came to visit and we force fed gave him all this information. We love you, Barry (and Paige and Carter).
If I've said it once, I'll say it again. And probably again and again, but we'd love for you to visit. Come see what farm life is like and watch Tim work. Or at least you can watch the tractor work while Tim plays games on his phone. I'm kidding because that would be dangerous. Yes, I love technology, but not as much as you, you see. Always and forever.