high heels and grits

high heels and grits: November 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

A few more cow photos....

By Sunday evening we had about 4 inches of snow. I wanted to see the cows Sunday "morning" (more like 10 am) so Farmer J let me tag along again.

The adventure started with a serene drive making the first tire tracks out on the country roads.

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When we pulled into the first field Farmer J spotted a cow in the second field who had jumped the electric fence so we raced over to field #2. 

Cow in the road, cow in the road, Good God Almighty there's a cow in the road!

I don't understand how Farmer J can spot this black dot half a mile away. When he asked me if I saw it, I fibbed and said I did.

How did he jump the fence? I think it was the snow that brought the ground up to a certain height that allowed the cow to jump the electric wire. How do you get him back on the field? Well, these animals weigh over 600 lbs so you definitely don't get out of your car. They aren't smart so the minute they see a truck coming they get scared. If you were to approach them on foot they might freak out. Or like last year, they might charge at you - which is what happened to Farmer J. Each animal is different. We just pulled up next to him, honked the horn, corralled him near the fence and he jumped right over.

Again the cows were not friendly and I could only catch a few shots. There are black cows, white cows and these orange cows. I like the look of the orange ones. Farmer J says people don't like the taste of their meat so they are usually used for other purposes.

With 4 inches of snow they had to dig for that wheat. See the mouthful he got? Love it!
Farmer J does put out dry hay, but they prefer the fresh wheat and rarely enjoy the hay. 

Yee haw!

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Snowed In Saturday

A Winter Weather Warning was issued over the weekend. My plans for the weekend were to take a belly photo in front of the cows saying "at least I'm not as big as a cow! (yet)". But when Hubby and I woke up to find it 29 degrees outside we didn't want to get out of bed. Trying to be a good wife I woke up and made breakfast while Farmer J warmed up the truck. I was still set on getting some cow pictures so we headed out to the fields. 

At the first field Farmer J left me in the truck and he walked out to a water tank for the cows. If I had went with him I would have had to jump over an electric fence which I probably couldn't do 6 months pregnant. 
That green (above) isn't grass, it's wheat! The cows eat this throughout the winter and the wheat still grows back good and strong by spring for a nice harvest. The cows on this field were huddled in a corner too far for me to snap a photo. They looked so cold!

At the 2nd field, the cows were around the water tank but they ran away as soon as we pulled up. Last year's cows were much friendlier!

Here are a few who were a little interested in me. See the snow on their backs? I could never be a rancher, I felt too bad for the cows...even though hubby says they are fine. Gotta love that marbling (that's fat in restaurant language).

I'm sure you are wondering how a farmer makes money from a rancher by letting cows eat their crop. Well I was wondering and I found out how it's done out here. The cows are weighed! When the rancher picks up his cows in the spring they should weigh more than what they weighed when he dropped them off. So it's up to the farmer to keep them fed and watered if he wants a nice profit later. *Now you know!

Here is what Farmer J did Saturday. He broke up the ice that formed in the water tank over night. He ended up pulling out 3" thick slabs of ice. Heavy, cold and wet..not a fun job. He does have warm gloves under those plastic gloves, but still I couldn't even stand outside taking pictures the entire time he was out there. 

Hubs dropped me off at home after these two fields. It had only been an hour but I was cold and had had enough. I'm such a baby! Oh that's right, I'm pregnant...I'll use that excuse. While I was home cleaning I could hear ice beginning to fall. It had been two hours since he left.  The fields he went to were further from home, but the water tanks have heaters so he doesn't need to break ice - unless the heaters stop working. Turns out, the heaters did stop. He made it home for lunch with ice and snow hitting the ground as he walked in.

After lunch we looked out the window to find a winter wonderland!  Complete with snow lined pine needles, the soft sound of falling snow and what I call a "collision of holidays" - my jack-o-lantern covered in snow. 

I took these photos from inside my house. Love the snow but this city girl hasn't gone country yet! I'll stay inside with the heat on for now...


P.S. As of 3:00 pm the snow had stopped. However there had not been a salt truck or plow by to clear the roads, everyone knows someone with a tractor or 4x4.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lara Casey

Remember January 2013? Ya, me neither...

That month I posted a blog post titled 'Making Things Happen' (Part 1 found here, Part 2 here). I also started a pinterest board with inspirational words and photos to help me throughout the year. 

Following the wedding, honeymoon, and now the pregnancy I haven't visited this goal setting exercise much. 
However, I did come away with my 2013 vision which is: There is no right time to do the right thing.  Translation: JUST DO IT! I can confidently say this stuck with me, subconsciously, throughout the year and I've done a lot of "good for me" things that I am proud of and less of those things I'm not so proud of.

I'm writing today to share more about Lara Casey. I stumbled across her blog and just fell in love. It might have been a Holy Spirit moment she is a true positive influence in my life.

Things I love about Lara:
  1. She is a spiritual woman who has a relationship with God...As she wrote throughout the years her blog began with her struggles in business and personal life. Her blog has since transitioned and she is constantly quoting the Bible, confident in her business and thriving in her personal life. The power of blogging!
  2. She runs a magazine out of her home - her staff works upstairs and her garage turns into a loading dock once a month. See her office tour here
  3. She never gives up: Read about how she wanted a URL that was used by another company and with persistence...I won't tell the end of the story. Be inspired here
  4. She gardens here
  5. She is all about motivation, organization and Making Things Happen! <-- that's a link to her very own conference in North Carolina...can I please attend?!?! It is VERY pricey because they only accept 70 participants. So TONS of one-on-one time with a personal life/business couch! 
  6. She doesn't blog daily or even weekly - in October she posted 4 blog posts. I'm striving for once a week and beat myself up when I don't do it.  (Her posts are VERY long so I'm sure they take more than a few hours to write)
  7. You can surround yourself with all things Lara Casey and motivation by visiting her shop full of FREE downloads and printables and some inexpensive luxurious prints such as:
This is the backdrop on my office computer
You can download one of her many desktop backgrounds on her website

"Done is Better than Perfect" as mentioned in previous blog posts, this is my new mantra. I am VERY productive with this saying in the back of my head. I was married in February and kept putting off changing my name. I couldn't decide if I wanted to keep my middle name or my madian name. I was stressed about the cost of all the paper work and the time I would spend away from work standing in line in a lovely government office. I finally bit the bullet and did my research. In the end, it's free to change you name (In your lifetime you get 10 free social security cards!). The office was incredibly efficient! With touch screen check-in and over 20 'tellers' I was in and out in 20 minutes. And in the end I got the name I wanted. I guess that was Done and Perfect. I'm extra thankful it's done before tax season and our son is born.

In closing I encourage you to do Lara's CHALLENGE. Step 1 in her challenge guides you through picking 3 action items for the day - just three things you want to get done. And then the three steps it will take you to get those done. I thought I could change my name in three steps and in one day, but that didn't happen. However I was able to JUST DO IT!

This week I'm on part 2: Where am I in control?

  • I am in control in my car (is it clean? do I take care of it? do I have road rage?)
  • I am in control at my home desk (is it clear and organized? Does it help me function? Here is where I pay bills, if I find myself behind on bills I know where the real mess is)
  • I am in control at my office desk (is it organized? If I am out of the office can someone find what they are looking for? Does it help my efficiency at work?)
  • I am in control in my bedroom -NOT LIKE THAT! (are my clothes in proper dressers and closets? How will I function in bed with a baby? Do I really need 10 books on my nightstand?!)
  • I am in control of my e-mail inbox, my facebook, twitter and blogs (Is this a bunch of digital clutter? Am I distracted? What can I unsubscribe from or unfollow to help me spend time away from the screen? What can I start following that will help motivate me to be the Best Version of Myself?)

I'm using the Lara's FREE eBook found here to guide my journey. I've written and highlighted all over this workbook like it's a university final exam. I highly encourage you to at least read through step one - it WILL help you. 

If you haven't clicked on any of the links above you are doing yourself a disservice. Come on! Try something before the end of the year! If it works, make it your New Year's resolution!

High Heels!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's been half a year?! 24 week update

November 13, 2013
I've been pregnant for 6 months!
Half a year!
That means I haven't had coffee for 6 months! 
I haven't drank alcohol for 6 months!
I have been growing another human being inside of me..I've been +1 for half a year! 

How far along? 24 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: So far I have gained 10 lbs. This past weekend I was at a retreat and a woman at my table gave me pregnancy advice, as most people feel the need to do...she told me I don't need to gain a pound. She said she weighed less at 9 months pregnant than she did before she was pregnant. I asked her how she did that and she said she worked out like crazy. Well I'm not working out like crazy, even though working out does make me feel AWESOME. I am, however, checking in with myself when I get an urge to eat something. "Am I really hungry or am I just craving something?" With my healthy snacks and lots of water, I've stayed at a 10 lb gain all week.

Maternity Clothes?  yes..At first I loved these clothes, but the more I wear them I think- "Am I supposed to fit in these with a basketball belly? How is that going to happen?" I guess we'll wait and see!

Stretch marks?  nope

Sleep? The crazy dreams continue. Daylight Savings Time is no longer helping me sleep. I'm tired, but up at 5 am. Good times.

Best moment this week:  Baby kicks all around! Hubby actually felt one last night! Yay!

Miss Anything?  My coats and jackets. I've had most of my coats since high school, and they don't fit comfortably anymore! A lady from church gave me a heavy beige pancho she never wore, so I'm a big beige ball of baby belly.

Movement:  Yep! When I lay down at night he'll kick a few times and it startles me! I've been know to jump or scream out loud!

Food cravings:  none. Still can't eat big portions. I'm trying to curb my appetite because hubby is gaining my pregnancy weight for me. I want to be a good example but I can't help what he eats when I'm not around...

Anything making your queasy or sick?  Nope. 

Have you started to show yet? Yep!

Symptoms: Sciatic nerve pain on right side (haven't had a professional massage in months) Hubby did try his best the other night and did a great job! Also my teeth are beginning to get sensitive. Might be that I'm drinking cold water in cold weather, but ugh they hurt as I type this. After a weekend standing in praise and worship during my retreat I have lost my ankles. For the first time in my life (if you don't count sprains during HS basketball) I have cankles! That is a merge of your calves and ankles. 

Gender:  BOY!

Labor signs:  none

Belly button in or out?  in

Wedding rings on or off?  On.

Happy or Moody most of the time?  Before the retreat this weekend I wanted to run away and hide in a cave. Nothing was making me happy. I was in a total rut. Hubs could tell and was trying his best to help but more often than not that meant he just left me alone. But after this retreat I am on cloud 9 with life. It was this time last year I attended my A.C.T.S. retreat, so I guess I just need a nice Jesus pick me up around this time each year. 

Looking forward to: Thanksgiving and being surrounded with family and friends. We're trying to decide if we can squeeze in a trip to east Texas or the Hill Country while we're in Dallas. Sure would be nice to see a change of scenery.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

15 unforgettable moments in pregnancy

I found this on Babble.com via Pinterest...thought I'd share my journey

1. Sharing your news
     This was fun for us. Sharing news with immediate family, then friends and then the Facebook/blog world!

2. Making your first doctor appointment
     We did this before sharing the news. It was exciting. We thought the response from the nurse would be more animated - but I guess they meet pregnant ladies everyday. That's why we looked forward to sharing with family and friends. 

3. Hearing your baby's heartbeat
     This scared me! The doctor didn't tell me it was coming and then -there it is! A very cool experience, every time I hear it. With the heart conditions within my family, hearing this little guy's heart pumping away like it should is a beautiful sound.

4. Experiencing your first craving
    I'm not sure if I've had this yet. I've wanted certain food but when I get it (usually not immediately) it's not as good as I remember. Is a craving supposed to be met and enjoyed? Like you crave ice cream and eat the entire tub? Or you crave pickles and eat the whole jar? That has not happened yet. Usually at one bite I'm no longer interested.

5. Starting a Scrapbook
     Haven't done this...I want to but I've only seen a few baby books that have 'pre-birth' journals. I pointed one out to Hubby, but he didn't take the hint.

6. Writing a Letter to your unborn baby
     Way too emotional to do this right now. The blog will have to do.

7. Feeling that first kick
    check! Read about it here

8. Starting your weekly belly photos
    Oh ya...I need to post those.

9. Having your belly touched by a complete stranger
     Haven't had a stranger do it yet, but my brother-in-law was the first to touch it and the same day my husband's aunt touched it. VERY AWKWARD. I'm fine with it...just SO weird.

10. Arguing over baby names
    It's not an argument if you win ;) kidding, we really aren't discussing it

11. Buying your first baby item
     I bought a onsie that reads "Rad Like Dad" for my husband's birthday in July. Thankfully the baby is a boy and will rock that onsie! But with Pinterest and Etsy I want to buy so much more!!!

The following have not yet happened!
12. Watching your belly move
13. Waking up and having nothing fit
14. Realizing you now waddle
15. Feeling your first contraction

I'm halfway there and more than half of these have happened! Exciting times! 

High Heels!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Done! Not perfect,

During the planning of my sister-in-law's baby shower (read more about that here), I discovered a new technique for decorating wreaths. I have had this Styrofoam wreath for about 2 years. I think I found it at a Good Will. I've only used it ONCE, that was last year when I stapled on silk leaves (another GW find). That was a complete fail. The staples were too short to keep the leaves attached to the wreath. 

I found this technique at Infarrantly Creative with straight pins and thought I'd give it a try. 

Step 1: Wrap the wreath form in yarn. Beckie says it took her 3 hours to do two of these wreaths. It took me three weeks to do ONE! In between laundry, meetings and let's face it - naps, I finally completed wrapping the wreath! It was very awkward to do and I tangled the yarn on multiple occasions, but in the end it was a simple task. As you can see, the Styrofoam shows through in some areas. That didn't bother me because I knew I would be covering up those parts. I could see how that would bother a perfectionist. But my new mantra from Lara Casey is "Done. Not perfect". 

Download this image for FREE at Lara's blog

Step 2: Attach your decorations with straight pins. For some reason I bought white glass head straight pins. I should have just bought silver straight pins with no heads. The white heads were an eye sore on my first attempt at this application. I quickly realized I would need to layer the leaves so that the pins hid behind a neighboring leaf.

Step 3: Add ribbon and enjoy! 
You can see I didn't put leaves on the sides of the wreath because it hangs on my front door between a wooden door and a glass door. You can't see the sides behind our glass door. And again, I'm not striving for perfection here, so that didn't bother me. 

High Heels!

p.s. Do you like the editing and logos on each picture? It didn't take as long as I thought it would. Got it done, not perfect!

p.p.s. I am considering a logo for my blog so I can start advertising on other blogs...stay tuned. I might ask you to vote for your favorite. 

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

We broke up last night

You heard it here first, it's over.

Last night at 4 in the morning I was wide awake, in the bathroom (of course) and I came to the realization: My nights will no longer be the same. Gone are the nights spent cuddling with my husband. Gone are the beautiful mornings waking up next to each other. Never again...

As I sat in the restroom I tried to deny it, but I had to be a big girl about it. I had an intervention with myself and broke up with sleep. I will no longer get 8+ hours of sleep a night. My relationship with sleep is over. No more sleeping through the night, no more Oscar worthy dreams, it's done. At this point in the pregnancy it's my bladder that is waking me up, but in only a few short months (THREE MONTHS!) there will be someone else keeping me up at night.

Right now I loathe all those people who say "waking up in the middle of the night while pregnant is just preparing you for when the baby comes". I didn't want it to be true, but after a week of interrupted nights I realized it must be true.

The little girl who fell off the bed, rolled under the bed and scared her parents into thinking she was kidnapped because she slept through the whole ordeal has grown up! The pre-teen girl who slept on the hide-away couch during a burglary in that same house, now wakes when a car's headlights shine through the crevasses of our black-out curtains.

Maybe I'll become an Erica,

Or maybe I should register for this book....
Either way, it's over.

Wasn't the alarm clock this time - or ever again!

p.s. I am still happily married to a man who wakes up every time I get out of bed...bless his heart. Just wanted to tease you with that blog title ;) 

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Baby Kicked!


I have been anxiously waiting for this baby boy to kick. Everyone was asking and I started to feel bad about myself for not feeling it....(you know how women are) Awaiting his first kick became an obsession! I convinced myself that whenever I felt his first kick would be this magical moment and it would "mean" something. When I was sitting at church I would imagine him kicking during the gospel or the Eucharistic celebration, but nothing. When I was eating certain foods, I thought he'd kick to give me a hint of his likes and dislikes, nothing. I even started talking to him (very little, b/c it seems SO awkward right now), but he didn't seem to care.

One night Farmer J and I were awake in the house at the same time (it's harvest and he's usually working so late that I'm asleep when he gets home). We started talking about baby registry, nursery, etc. Let me rephrase that - I started talking about it. I told him every scenario that would pop into my head about the nursery, baby gadgets, what we NEED and what we think we need, etc. He's a caveman at heart and kept shaking his head saying "we don't need that, we'll be ok, etc." His response was frustrating because while I spend every hour of my day thinking about how to prepare for this baby, it seemed like he was just writing off all my ideas. I finally blurted out "What do you think - they are just going to hand us the baby and we'll have everything we need to take care of it!?" cue the hormonal tears - and cue the terrified look in hubby's face.

I ran into the bedroom to cry because I was tired and I just want to lay down. He comes in and tells me he's worried that I'm taking in too many opinions and overwhelming myself. I tell him, that is my personality. I need to be prepared. I'm type A personality. This is soothing for me. I also tell him that I don't care about anyone's opinion except for his and he better have an opinion when I ask (would help if it was the same as mine). So as we are laying in bed I feel something grumbling in my stomach. I turn over onto my back and feel this HUGE KICK. I grab hubby's hand and put it on my stomach hoping he can feel it. There's another one...WOAH! I ask, "Did you feel that!?" He says no. Darn. Magical moment, party of one (and a half)

So as far as signs go...either my baby will be happy when mommy and daddy stop fighting, or my mama's boy will kick his dad when he makes mama cry! Either way it was a cool feeling. And as is EVERYTHING in my life: I built up the expectations of this event and it didn't amount to what I thought it would. Maybe I should just go with the flow...All we really need in the beginning is diapers and breast milk right? .... Nope. Not going to happen. Type A all the way!

High Heels and Grits,

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