Thursday, March 31, 2016

On Writing and Speaking and Other Highlights


It is now Thursday, and I just realized that tomorrow will be APRIL.

As in, the month in which I celebrate a birthday.
The month we generally start planting.
The month of FFA Banquet.
The month I run a half marathon.
The month of three, yes, three concerts at school.
The month that boasts Fridays off, thanks to no snow days and no Spring Break.

Otherwise known as, the month I may go crazy.

Or crazier.

Either way.

Anyway, March was a month that fueled my soul, professionally and personally. I am so, so lucky to call a group of really amazing professionals, mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, whatever--friends. We all met in the Chicagoland area to not just celebrate our friend Holly's 40th birthday, but to gather to support each other and attend a women's conference. These ladies are a part of an online Bible Study I participate in, and you'll never know it, but I was SO FREAKED and GEEKED out when I read their bios. These are women who are leaders in the communications field, both in the agriculture and "general" sectors. So, when one is asked to post on a book one is reading, and one's audience is one that includes people WHO EDIT and WRITE for a living, one stay-at-home mom turned blogger maaaaaaaayyyy do a little bit more editing than usual! Ha!
My tribe at the Kelly Minter Conference

It was Holly's birthday!! And, we had HOURS in the car on the way up to talk! 
Credentials aside, this group has become my tribe, and while they have prayed for me and supported me through the birth of the twins, job changes, house remodels, etc., getting together and actually seeing their faces has solidified our roles as supporters and friends.

Plus, we got a house in Chicago from Air B&B (B'n'B?? I obviously didn't book it!), and MEGADEATH was across the street for a concert, Ethiopian food was consumed, and many, many, many funny stories were told.

My advice to you: get a group of people who are in it for you, even if they live far away, get together with them, and you'll be a better friend and care giver and mom and wife and whatever to your people closest to you.

The End.

Might I also add that I spent time with my sweet, college bestie? Lori has been with me through thick and thin, and when she was in a horrible car accident recently, I made it a point to make her house a stop during this time up north. She is lucky to be alive, and while has sustained lots of broken bones and continual pain, she's a fighter, friends. Would you please keep her in your prayers as she recovers, and if you feel like you're getting road rage, don't pull out in front of oncoming traffic.
Okay, so Lori and I didn't get a picture together, but this is from our walk down memory lane trip back to our college campus!

The End, again.

But not really, because the next week, I was able to take to the road and speak at the Stephenson County Cattlemen's Annual Meeting. I wrote my talk just 12 short hours after being completely fueled by my weekend getaway, so to say that I was on fire for Jesus and agriculture and writing would be an understatement! My talk was well thought out, written in complete solitude (thanks to my Monday morning babysitter!! !), and I delivered it well to a very friendly and engaging audience. Plus, the ride up to Freeport, Illinois was about 3 hours from my own home, so Serial was binge listened to, and my heart was soaring because I knew after I spoke, I would be staying the night in a hotel room all by myself (like a big girl) that night! Yay for Diet Coke in a king sized bed and March Madness basketball games!

Yes, I was stopped, and YES I was excited!


Because the next day...I drove to the Women in Agriculture conference in the Quad Cities to be a part of our annual live podcast (is it now annual, since we've done it two years in a row??), after spending time with my good Farm Bureau friends, Holly Spangler (my partner in crime), and others.

Podcasting with Holly and Natasha, a Chicago Illinois Farm Families City Mom
It sounds like I spent a lot of time away from my family, and it also sounds like that makes me a happy person.

Well, the answer to that is yes, and YES. Friends, it's not that I don't adore my family. My husband and kids are my number one priorities, but for nearly 18 months, I haven't been able to step away from my life as Mom Emily into Working Emily.

These past weekends spent with friends old and new, in professional settings and in my jammies are ones that make me a better me. That make me see that while I am in the thick of diapers and shuttling and haircuts and concerts and planting and days off, there will be a time that I will look in the mirror without a friend asking why I'm filling in my eyebrows or plucking out the gray hairs. There will be a time that my shuttle bus will just have me in it and my appointments to get to.

Weekends away let me catch a glimpse of this life so that I can endure the crazy that will be my life for years to come.

So, I am refreshed. I am renewed, and I am ready to tackle April.

Or at least celebrate my birthday.


  1. Holy cow you had a busy March! I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the quality time spent with strong women. Good to meet you!

  2. Holy cow you had a busy March! I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the quality time spent with strong women. Good to meet you!