County Fair Blog Party #6 + Spring Giveaway

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Let’s start this week’s County Fair Blog Party off with a bang, of the giveaway sort. This week we are offering the opportunity to win a 8×10 copy of the poem below, from our friend, Sierra Blachford, who writes over at www.sierrashea.com. Details on how to enter you will find at the bottom of this post.SierraPoemFLATweb11_400w

If you don’t win, or you are looking for the perfect gift for the Farmer/Rancher’s Wife in your family, you can purchase the print on her blog for $10.

Now to party.

B-B-B–Blog Parrrrtttaaayyyy.

Okay, I’ll quit being a nerd now.

 

Maybe.

This past week’s County Fair Blog Champions are:

Agriculture
Every Day Is Ag Day from Kim’s County LineEvery Day Is Ag DayFood

Sweetheart Pudding from H&K FarmsDSC_0536

DIY
May Day Cookie Flowers from A Gentle
WordIMG_1650resize1

We didn’t have any DIY entires this past week, so we are recognizing second place in the food category, since it is a form if DIY. This also mean DIY bloggers of the world — Jump. On. It.

What in the Dickens am I talking about with all this?? Check out previous weeks here. And make sure you are following the other hosts, Nicole of Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram and Taysha Reitzel of Dirt Road Charm on Facebook, TwitterPinterest.

Now, it’s your turn. Click the link below for several very easy ways to enter the Spring giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And click this cute little link below to enter posts and read this week’s County Fair Blog Party.

 

Mine still doesn’t look like Nicole’s and Taysha’s, but it’s at least getting a little cuter. That’s progress folks.

Until next time!

 

County Fair Blog Party #5

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We’re starting to become a well-oiled machine at this blog party business, and by well oiled machine, I mean, I’m actually getting this week’s post before ‘this week’ actually begins. We also took out the whole voting aspect of previous weeks. It was messy, it only worked for some and for others it was a master disaster that left one person beating her head on her desk while trying to vote. (Raises hand.) So now winners will be chosen by most views. That being said, if you find a post you really like, you might revisit it a couple of times…

New to this? Wondering what in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks I’m talking about? Well check it out here: County Fair Blog Party.

And there is also this:IMAG3622 (800x479)Here are the Grand Champions from County Fair Blog Party #4:

AGRICULTURE
Hauling Hayhauling-hay

FOOD
Field Mealsfield-meals-collage

DIY
Frame and Barbed Wire Inspiration Station

inspiration stationSo now it’s your turn again, link up 3 of your own or someone else’s posts, here’s how:CFBP How to 2And while you’re at it, make sure and follow the other hosts of the County Fair Blog Party on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

Nicole of Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

Taysha of Dirt Road Charm on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

I have issues getting my Link Up to look like the others, but I promise it works just fine. Just click the red link and go from there to read and enter posts for this week.

http://goo.gl/Ukw66R

Until next time!!

County Fair Blog Party #4

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The title may say, “#4,” but this is only my second week co-hosting. If you want to know what this is all about, please check out last Friday’s post.

I did a terrible, no-good, very bad job of promoting last week’s County Fair Blog Party, but none-the-less several of my fellow bloggers on my end, entered. One even won! Hip-hip-hooray for Team Dani! Not that this is a competition, at least I don’t think it’s a competition.  But in my head I like to think of this kind of like a County Fair Version of The Voice.

Any who, last week’s Grand Champions are:

Agriculture
How Women Should Be Perceivedwomen

DIY
Recycling Momentos From the Pastdiy

Food
She Works with Willing Handsfood

 Be sure and link up your own posts to be entered in next week’s County Fair Blog Party. Don’t blog? No worries!! Click on the link below to view this week’s entries and to vote for your favorite. Voting begins Wednesday.

An InLinkz Link-up 

Happy reading!!

County Fair Blog Party

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If you’ve been snooping around my blog for anytime at all, you know I’m head over heels in love for a good county fair. I know, I know, it’s March. Totally not county fair season, but why should a good time be limited to just one time of year. Think of what I’m about to tell you like Christmas in July.

Recently, Nicole of Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom, contacted me about co-hosting a blogging county fair, along with Taysha, of Dirt Road Charm. “County fair?!?!” I said through the phone. “Count me in.” Somewhere in my excitement, I didn’t pick up on the fact, my co-hosting duties were starting TODAY.

An email, and a couple of Twitter notifications later, I had an ‘Oh crap! They already posted theirs,’ moment. I sprang out of bed, bound for my computer… Then turned around and made a beeline towards the kitchen. Nothing good ever comes from me before I’ve had one to two cup of coffee.

Metaphorically, think of this like an FFA judging trip. Nicole and Taysha have had breakfast, arrived 10 minutes early, their official dress has all been pressed and they’re waiting patiently in the ag truck. Then there’s me, I arrive 10 minutes late, my shoes aren’t on as I sprint across the parking lot towards the truck. I have an unheated Pop Tart in one hand, and I’ve probably used a hair straightener to iron just the collar of my white button-up. (If you knew me in High School, you’d know how real that scenario is.)

Anyway, back on topic, here’s the details — written by Nicole:

Welcome to our weekly addition of the Country Fair Blog Party! It’s a place for bloggers to share their finest each week whether they live in the city, country, or somewhere in between. It’s a place to brag a little about what you have been doing in the kitchen, the farm, or craft room.

(What she’s saying is you can walk through the county fair without messing up your pre-swimsuit season diet and without getting manure on the bottom of your shoes.) 

Just like a local county fair we name Grand Champions each week in three divisions: Food, DIY Projects and Agriculture.

The posts with the most clicks each week are featured the following week as our Grand Champions! Here are the Grand Champions from Country Fair Blog Party #2.

Agriculture

Food

DIY

 Established Antique Window Sign

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Feel free to join in the fun and link up with up to 3 posts! Click through the links, find some new friends and leave us a comment to tell us what your favorite post is. This step is important, since this is how we get entries AND decide the winners.

While you’re at it be sure and follow your hosts for this party:

Nicole of Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

Taysha of Dirt Road Charm on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

Danielle of High Heels and Shotgun Shells on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

 Posts in consideration for next week’s County Fair Blog Party so far are:

To add your post to this list, or a post you feel should be recognized, click the link below:

http://www.inlinkz.com/new/luAddLink.php?id=382573&cookie=53230177aeac0&ref=http%3A%2F%2Ftalesofakansasfarmmom.blogspot.com%2F

If you have any issues linking a post, simply comment below and I will get the post entered for you.

What I Learned My First Two Months of Marriage

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A few of you just snorted at the title, I could feel it… futuristically feel it, that is. ‘Two months little girl? Try 25 years.’ Don’t worry my marriage veterans, I’m not here to tell you I have this whole “till death do us part” thing figured out, I’m here to tell you what I’ve gotten out of it thus far. Many of the things I list now, might not be true for my marriage 6 months or 5, 10, 20 years down the line, from what I can see that’s the beauty of this roller coaster — it’s ever-changing.

So what have I learned, you may wonder? Well, even if you didn’t I’m about to tell you.Two Months

Husbands are expensive to feed — This one is no shocker, men are bottomless food pits. When I was single, living alone, my grocery bill ran about $150 per month. I rarely looked at various food prices, I didn’t have too, I’m low maintenance to feed.
Since marriage, we have to be extremely careful that it is not $100 PER WEEK. The first month I cooked something different for lunch and dinner, I was building wife points. Month two, wife points? Boy, we are cooking on a budget. Even still, the man is ALWAYS hungry AND he snacks before dinner AND he eats dessert AND he stays skinny. The last part is the one that gets me… I’m strongly considering pouring a little Ivomec down his back. Kidding, kinda. ;) (For anyone outside of agriculture, Ivomec is a pour-on cattle dewormer.)

Baby Talk — You thought people overly asked how soon you would start trying to have a baby before marriage? Multiply that times 10 from the moment you say ‘I Do.’ But it is no longer just family and friends bringing up offspring. You find yourself talking about it more than you ever thought. Not in a ‘let’s have a baby soon’ way, but just curious about them — who they may look like, act like, their interests, who they will become. But let’s not get to carried away here, every talk about offspring is ended with “Not. Anytime. Soon.” or “Practice makes perfect, and let’s aim for perfection.”

Speaking of practice…

Interrupted *cough* ‘Playtime’ — “Hey, the newlyweds are probably having sex right now, let’s call to chat and/or go visit them.” Okay, maybe that isn’t peoples exact train of thought… but it seems that way. It never fails our cell phones start ringing, or the doorbell starts chiming. The bad thing about the doorbell is, that one can’t be avoided. We live on a busy road, practically in town, the three vehicles we own are all parked outside, in front of the house, there might as well be a damn billboard saying WE ARE HOME.
To add flame to the fire, our home is very small, so sneaking around inside is not an option. So let’s just say if newlywed things are happening in the back of the house when the doorbell rings, and clothes were left in the front of the house with all the windows, you’re up a creek. That leaves the person who has an extra pair of clothes on the floor or in the laundry to answer the door and visit, leaving the other person stranded in the back until visitors leave. Somehow, I’m always the one stranded, and My Someone is a talker, so that means I’m stranded for awhile. On the plus side, this is usually the perfect time to paint nails.
My nails are pretty much always painted the last two months.

Men are Messy — When I first met My Someone he told me how in college the house of women he lived with were incredibly messy, how he and the one other male in the house were always the ones to clean, and how he couldn’t stand a dirty house.
Now, as his wife, I’ve discovered he totally lied. There is a reason he is always the one to have clothes nearby when the above scenario happens, because I put mine away. He is also a farmer, hunter and roper. Meaning the amount of manure, ammunition and gloves I clean up is redonkulous. It’s like living with Pig Pen from the Peanuts.

You Become ‘That Wife’ — You know, the one you said you’d never be. The one who hasn’t worn makeup all week, the one sporting yoga pants and her husbands oversized tee.
I work from home, it’s been a long winter, <insert many more excuses here> as to why camouflage moccasins, yoga pants and a Murray State (My Someone’s Alma Mater) t-shirt are now considered acceptable Tuesday attire.
Sure Danielle, just keep telling yourself that is ‘acceptable.’

And while we’re on Murray State t-shirts…

You Inherit a Whole New Wardrobe — What’s yours is mine, and holy comfiness! I suddenly have a huge selection of t-shirts, hoodies and lounge pants. It’s glorious!

Showering Together is not Like a Nicholas Sparks Novel — Who needs a steamy make out session when you can style your wife’s shampoo-laden hair like a Who from Whoville or use your husband’s face as a target for shooting water through your front teeth.
When our maturity level isn’t that of Kindergarteners, it is the polar opposite. The shower for some reason has become the meeting place of serious conversations and financial decisions. Because doesn’t everyone get hit with, “I have to go to Frankfort next week for a meeting,” or “I’ve picked out a group of heifers I need you to approve before we buy,” while shaving their legs?
Oh and you don’t have to guess about when these ‘shower meetings’ will be happening, because “HEY! I’M TAKING A SHOWER NOW” is commonly yelled through our home, and just in case you can’t hear the yelling, a text message will soon follow.

Money is not Sexy — During our pre-marital counseling, there was this whole lessen on how “money can be sexy if you’re constantly communicating with your spouse.” Well, no offense to the Catholic church or Dave Ramsey, but we communicate daily about our finances and I have yet to see the turn on. Money is not sexy to newlyweds, because newlyweds don’t have money. Maybe if they offered a course on “Sexy financial planning for beginning ranchers,” then I’d find the appeal. Wait, never mind, that whole sentence is an oxymoron.

The Idea You Have of Buying Your First Home Changes — We currently live in a rent house on my in-laws land. Which has been incredibly helpful, but being the independent driven duo we are, the search for something to call our own began the moment we were pronounced man and wife. During that search we found land, and with that I kissed goodbye the dream of a cute starter home with a two car garage and hello to the prospect of a 1991 single wide trailer.
The last time I lived in a single wide, I was four years old in the swamps of southern Louisiana. The floor of the entire place was slanted, and at night, my parents had to carry my sister and I from the car to the house on their shoulders, since the gators would sleep, hiding beneath the a dense layer of fog, on the banks close by.
So, judging from my personal experience, I wasn’t real keen on the idea at first. But as the reality of our bank account set in, a little pin-spiration on home remodeling and the realization of the lack of gators in western Kentucky, I began to sing a different tune — one that is much more accepting of being the Queen of my own single wide.

Before you get married, everyone tells you what marriage will be like at first. That you will be broke, that you get to know your significant other on a whole other level, and if they weren’t before, they will truly become your best friend. However, until you experience it yourself, you can’t fully understand what others have said. Marriage is messy, chaotic, fun and amazing. One thing I have learned to be most true in the past two months is that there is no one else I could imagine sharing this crazy adventure with.

And on that note, I will leave you with this…

Glass Walls Project

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I woke up this morning with a YouTube video playing in my ear. I didn’t have my contacts in to look at what he was watching, but by the eery music and startling information being shared, I had a feeling as to it’s source.

Trigger words like, “factory,” “confinement,” “facility,” “filthy,” “driven insane,” etc. Words that stimulate negative thoughts and play with your emotions.

“What are you watching?!” I snapped at him.

“HSUS just released an undercover video about a hog farmer in our county. I know this guy, I grew up with these people. They aren’t the type to abuse their animals, they care too much.” You could hear the sadness in his voice as he continued to watch the video.

I’m not going to attach a link of this video to my post, because I don’t think it should receive anymore attention. But, I did watch it. Many of the things I witnessed were things that had been taken out of context and misconstrued. I realized that if I added eery music, intimidating camera effects and edits that I could probably make even my Scottish Terrier, Oliver, look abused in his current state of sunbathing, on our ottoman, in the living room wearing his spring colored scarf. (Boy, he has it rough.)

Were there parts of it that confused me? Yes. Most definitely. I don’t know why there were buckets of dead piglets, I don’t know why they hobbled some of the pigs, but that is because I am not a hog farmer, nor was I raised around it. NEVER during the time of the video did the narrator ASK the farmer WHY things were happening the way they were. The entire video was from one perspective, and it’s sole intention is to instill fear.

With all that being said, I would like to announce the outline of my newest project that will kickoff Monday. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Glass Walls Project: Chicken Houses.

For the next six weeks, I will follow and blog about poultry production, from the time the chicks arrive until they leave to be harvested as full grown birds. I will talk about EVERYTHING. Environment, conditions, food, water, their handling and care. I will do my best to leave no stone unturned. Glass Walls

Why ‘Glass Walls’ and why Chicken Houses?

During many agriculture conferences I’ve attending they discuss how they “wish slaughter houses had glass walls” so people outside of ag could see and interpret for themselves, instead of getting misinformation from the internet.

For those who may not have known, My Someone is a farmer. Him and his family raise cattle and have four chicken houses. When we first started dating, poultry production was a new concept to me and I’ve spent much of our time since asking questions. One day, My Someone and I were discussing how we wished “chicken houses had glass walls” much like the thought behind putting glass walls on slaughter houses: to educate. Since, at this time, that isn’t something we can realistically do, this blog project idea was born.

Our goal is to show you the ACTUAL truth, so you can see past the fear objective videos and propaganda of animal activists.

What to expect.

I will be incorporating as many photos and videos as I can. I think visual aides are important in educating. I will be photographing the chickens at least once a day, at the end of each week, I will show their growth progress from each day. I will be showing you the people who work on My Someone’s family’s farm as well as interviewing them. I will be answering any, or all, questions I receive about the chickens and will be completely transparent in the information I share with you. No stone left unturned.

What I expect from you.

Questions. Questions. Questions. I hear so much incorrect information spread about poultry production, that I know you must’ve too. This is your opportunity to get facts, so please do not hesitate to ask. If I don’t know the answer, I will find out. Secondly, and most importantly, BE RESPECTFUL. This is the internet, where it is easy to sling mud and be a bully from behind a screen, but this project is about educating, not slander. You don’t have to agree with me and you don’t have to agree with what my husband does for a living, but you do have to be polite. All disrespectful, hateful, inappropriate comments will be removed.

101 in 1001

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I’m a list maker, they make me happy. So when a friend of mine posted her new 101 in 1001 list on her blog, Buzzard’s Beat, it inspired me to investigate further. Turns out it was originally created by Day Zero Project, with the purpose of helping people achieve their bucket lists in shorter increments. Because who wants to look back on their life with a bunch of “I should’ve.”

When I started creating my list, I discovered it was more difficult than I thought to come up with 101 things. It wasn’t coming up with things necessarily, but coming up with 101 things I knew I (or we) could realistically accomplish in 1001 days. So here goes nothing, since I having difficulties changing the colors of my text, I will italicize the ones that are in progress and cross through them as they are completed.

Start Date: February 12, 2014
End Date: November 8, 2016

Knowledge & New Skills
•Learn to crotchet
•Become better skilled at InDesign and Illustrator
•Read 6 new books
•Learn to hookup and pull a stock trailer. Confidently. (The second part is what I’m focusing on.)
•Try 30 new recipes
•Get my MBA (Master’s in Beef Advocacy)
•Learn to can
•Take dance lessons
•Relearn how to saddle a horse (I used to be able to no problem, but it’s been a couple of years.)
•Take a cake decorating class
•Learn to change a flat tire
•Try a different Crockpot meal once a week for a month
•Grow strawberries
•Make an onion blossom, and dipping sauce
•Successfully make a mixed drink
•Learn how to cook game. (Daniel always cooks what he shoots)

Foundation Building in Marriage & Faith
•Have one Bible verse written on a chalkboard per week for a year, spend each week memorizing the featured verse.
•Pray for my husband everyday for 1 month
•Learn to pray daily
•Have one date night outside of the county we live in per month
•Lead before dinner prayer once a week for three months
•Find a church
•Write in my personal blog for Daniel once a week for 4 months
•Read the Bible from front to back

Professional, Networking & Social Media
•Update my blog design
•Have a personal profile (resume) website
•Meet 5 social media friends in real life
•Design my own business cards
•Have a constructive conversation with a person with a different viewpoint
•Blog everyday for one month
•Be a guest speaker
•Have 1,000 Twitter followers
•Move my blog to self-hosted

Financial
•Complete a “no spend” month
•Establish a 3-month emergency savings fund
•Get a joint banking account, keep that account balanced
•Have a vacation savings account
•Have zero credit card debt
•Have an organized file cabinet
•Have and maintain over 5K in savings
•Start a college fund for our children (even though we don’t have any yet.)

Photography
•Complete my current photography project, have the images put in a book. (The project’s content is a secret for now.)
•Buy Lightroom
•Have studio floor setup made
•Build a backdrop frame
•Upgrade my camera
•Take a photo editing class
•Have 1,000 likes on the Two Arrows Photography Facebook page
•Buy two new lenses for my camera (Tamron 17-50)
•Complete a 30-day photo challenge
•Have an official Website for Two Arrows Photography

Adventure
•Go hiking in the Appalachian Mountains
•Sleep under the stars
•Attend NAILE
•Attend a UK tailgate
•Attend an Oklahoma State game near the date Daniel and I met
•Visit the west coast
•Go kayaking
•Go to the Kentucky Derby
•Visit 5 new states
•Go to the Grand Ole Opry
•Travel internationally

Pets
•Get Oliver his own “car seat” (Don’t judge me.)
•Have Oliver groomed once a month for 6 months straight
•Have Snickers groomed once every 3 months for a year
•Have a barn cat
•Buy either a Scottish Highlander or a Miniature Hereford

Home
•Either buy a dishwasher or move in a house that has one
•Put up Christmas lights
•Have flowerbeds
•Have one room in our house completely decorated
•Move out of the Hobbit House
•Put shelf paper in all our kitchen and bathroom cabinets
•Buy a gun safe
•Get a new (new to me) vehicle
•Buy a sewing machine
•Have coordinating living room furniture
•Complete 5 Pinterest projects
•Have all three of our vehicles completely clean at the same time.

Health & Fitness
•Drink 3 glasses of water per day for a month
•Try Crossfit
•Get back to freshman year of college weight
•Workout 5 days a week for 3 months
•Workout 4 days a week for 6 months

Personal
•Not have a baby before I’m 26
•Go to a fine dining restaurant, order exactly what I want to eat, without looking at the cost AND get dessert. (I never order what I want, I always order by what costs the least.)
•Skype with a friend once a month
•Shoot my first deer
•Volunteer to babysit someone’s children so they can have a date night
•Try 4 new foods
•Send one “Just Because” card to someone in my life, once a month, for a year
•Purchase 6 Disney movies
•Have people over for a home-cooked dinner once a month for 5 months
•See something born (I’m in Agriculture and I’ve never seen this. Weird, I know.)
•Buy myself a new pair of boots (There is no such thing as too many)
•Finish my Harry Potter movie collection
•Host a murder mystery party
•Pay for the next person’s meal
•Send all my grandparents a card or letter once a month for a year
•Make another list when this one is complete

If you were to make your own 101 in 1001 list, what is something different you would want to include?

Looking for other 101 in 1001 list examples? Check out another favorite blogger of mine’s list over at Crystal Cattle

Unplugged Honeymoon

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Hi there friends, long time no blog, I know.

The last couple of months have been such an emotional roller coaster, I decided it was probably best to step away from the blogosphere until I had a full handle on this major life change.

But I’m back and ready to blog. I plan on covering all the wedding details, as soon as I have pictures, therefore you’re getting the honeymoon first.

The details, like state, town, lodging, you know… small details, were all unbeknownst to me until we were boarding our flight. All I knew was we would be going somewhere cold for a week. I loved the idea of our honeymoon being completely planned by My Someone, it was a lot less stress for me. But what I’m most impressed about is the large amount of our family and friends that knew, and still managed to keep it a secret. Props to y’all.

So where was this mystery vacation? None other than the absolutely breathtaking, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.IMG_2381e

Now before I start blowing up and finishing this post with photo overload, I think I should mention something else that was neat about our honeymoon… From the time the plane touched down in Jackson, Monday Night, until we arrived back in the airport, Saturday afternoon, we were almost completely unplugged.

What does “unplugged” mean?

Well basically it means relearning how to use these:

Yeah, that's a map. Like a paper one, not one with a name that tell you every move you need to make. I was Sacagawea and he was Meriwether Lewis. The only problem was Lewis kept forgetting Sacagawea is ALWAYS right. *Sigh* Men.

Yeah, that’s a map. Like a paper one, not one with a name that tells you every move you need to make. I was Sacagawea and he was Meriwether Lewis. The only problem was Lewis kept forgetting Sacagawea is ALWAYS right. *Sigh* Men.

And results in a whole lot of this:

IMG_2243bw

Hand holding… duh. What? That’s not what you were thinking I meant?

For five days we never opened a computer, and only used our phones the one time we needed to call and make a reservation. That meant no email, no social media, no games, no texts and no answering phone calls. A completely unplugged honeymoon would’ve meant no technology at all, but My Someone ended up sick with a fever one entire day of our trip… So that day just involved couch cuddling and marathon Law & Order SVU watching.

Why unplugged?

The past few months have been such a constant go-go-go, constantly on our phones, me dealing with the wedding, him with the farm, both of us trying 24/7 to make everyone else happy. We NEEDED the beginning of our marriage to be just about the two of us. As it should be, before we were forced back to the whirlwind that is reality.

So enough about the technology-lessness of the trip, how exactly did we occupy our time in Teton County. Well for starters, we stayed in this A-M-A-Z-I-N-G place…IMG_2376eIMG_2371With breathtaking views like this…IMG_2266eWhere the mule deer paid me no mind…IMG_2228eWe took a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge…IMG_2260eIMG_2262eWe explored downtown Jackson, and drank gourmet hot chocolate…IMG_2232eAnd then, “Stop looking at me swaaann”…IMG_2388eWe discovered sometimes if you take a ski lift up a few thousand feet, you might find the most inexpensive meal of the entire trip…IMG_2294And then you can travel a few more thousand feet up in elevation and be cold as Hell for a photo op…IMG_2305IMG_2298In my effort to photograph a moose, I discovered how close I could get to make my new husband extremely nervous…IMG_2324eIMG_2321eWe drank wine by the fire…IMG_2234eAnd I photo stalked My Someone…IMG_2244e

IMG_2367eIMG_2369eWhile snowshoeing, we left our mark in the snow…IMG_2334eOur snowshoes allowed us to walk on top of a lot of snow…IMG_2341eDid I mention A LOT of snow?

This is the top of a trail sign

This is the top of a trail sign

And then at the end of the week, we were both really sad to leave honeymoon wonderland to fly back to the ranks of reality…IMG_2400
Until next time!

If He Coordinates His Rope Color Just for You… Marry Him.

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Today marks our one year. In a way, it seems a little silly to be celebrating a one year anniversary when we are getting married in exactly one month and one day and the whole anniversary thing will be completely changed. But, in my dating history I’ve only made it consecutively to one year ONE other time, so you are darn right we are celebrating it.

Notice all those ones in that paragraph? Well brace yourselves, there is about to be more.

As I was saying, today marks one year since this guy I had been on a couple of dates with made a two hour detour to Middle-of-Corn, Kansas on his way home to Kentucky from Stillwater, Oklahoma, just to take me to lunch.

It was during this lunch this guy randomly said, “Well it’s not going to be easy, but I’m willing to give it a shot if you are.”
“I know no idea what you are even referring too right now…” Was my extremely romantic response.

Obviously, eventually we ended up on the same page, and so now here we are at the one year marker. However, today instead of sharing an extremely mushy story about our love story, I want to share a highlight of our engagement photos.

I kinda-sorta apologize if you follow me on our sites or if we are friends in real life, I’m a little in love with our photos. I’ve been over sharing, but they turned out better than I could’ve imagined.

My friend Sasha, is our official wedding photographer, but has also photographed our Save-the-Dates and our fantastic engagement photos. Sasha worked for Artworks Tulsa Photography, while I was an intern there. We spent many hours at the same computer editing weddings, it was a bonding experience that has kept us friends since. She now has her own photography business over at Sasha Heather Photography. Give her page a “like” and check out her work, she is extremely talented.

I always do my own makeup BUT, I decided for the wedding I wanted something professional that would last the entire day. It also helps that I know a very fabulous makeup artist. Ashlee and I also met during my time at Artworks. What I love about her work is that it always looks classy and natural. My makeup trial was set for the morning of our engagement photo session, which ended up being a blessing in disguise. My complexion is typically clear, but with the stress load I was under at that time, my face was straight up pepperoni pizza. It was a.w.f.u.l. Ashlee was able to cover everything, and no one would’ve ever known what my face was doing my looking at the photos. But… Now everyone knows. While you’re checking out Sasha’s page, steer some traffic towards Ashlee’s as well. => Ashlee Bivins Makeup Artist.

Drumroll… Here they are. Just a few, compared to the 165 finished photos Sasha sent me.

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I have an intense love for paintings of couples with red umbrellas. My bachelorette pad sported several on the wall… I have yet to figure how to incorporate them into the Beard/Hayden abode, but I did figure out how to incorporate them in our photos… And incorporate I did.019023034040048052066

This was one of those accidental, (I was supposed to be posing one way and completely failing at it and My Someone was trying to explain what I needed to do) life happens photos, and I absolutely love it.
070074076This scenario beginning below happens anytime My Someone ends up with a rope in his hands… Which. Is. Often.078079081083088Notice if you will the color coordinating rope? That was My Someone. One of the many reasons I’m marrying that guy.

148152156…and of course, we had to have cattle.159That’s a wrap of this (very long) preview, y’all. If you want to find a reason to get dressed up and make out with your significant other in an alley, field or barn, and you happen to live in Oklahoma, give Sasha a call. ;)

Itttt’s KNOWING!!!!

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Friends, in case you haven’t heard, Oklahoma, and pretty much everyone else, is being hit by a snowstorm.

Normally, I am snow’s number one fan. However, this snow/ice combo decided to strike on a very inconvenient weekend. My Someone and I’s Kentucky Derby themed Oklahoma wedding shower is to be held Saturday. However, it seems my bridesmaids are like the US Postal Service (before budget cuts) and deliver in sleet, snow and ice, because all is still a go. It will just be a go with fewer in attendance.

After yet another friend let me know she probably wouldn’t be able to make it due to the weather (understandably), she added, “On the upside, nothing about you is “traditional bride” so snow during a Kentucky Derby shower will make great pics!” Dang… She knew to play the “will make great pics” card with me…

Reaffirmed in it will be what it is, I decided to embrace snow… To my closet, I flew to grab my polar bear sled and warm winter clothes, only to remember all of it had already been moved to Kentucky. “Because we NEVER get much snow before January, right?!

I jinxed myself.

At this point is was Snow: 2 Danielle: 0.

Then it happened…

The calls… texts… “Itttt’s KNOWING!!!” From my family and My Someone.

You see, when I was in middle school, my mom, watched several little boys during the day. Every time, without fail, the moment the first snowflake would fall from the Oklahoma sky, excited squeals would ring through our home from baby boys announcing, “Itttt’s KNOWING, MIST MECHELL!!!”

*Toddler Translation: “It’s snowing, Ms. Michele”*

It was downright adorable, and it has stuck with the whole family since then, even spreading to our friends, my brother-in-law and now my fiancé. It’s the kind of saying that makes you feel warm and fuzzy after exclaiming it, and I promise after saying it yourself it is pretty impossible to find a reason to hate snow.

So with a new outlook on the weather, I dug out my mom’s winter clothes, grabbed my camera and out into the winter wonderland I went…IMG_1876Except, as it turns out, I was in it… everyone else was in the barn.IMG_1884It took a bit, but I finally did get a couple of willing participants to play in the snow with me.IMG_1896…and play, they did. (Notice the photo bomber in the back?)IMG_1902Then they noticed I was there, and suddenly my space was invaded.IMG_1898This is seconds before Mailbox slimed my lens, while Gunner (the gray horse pictured a few photos above) chewed on the hood of my jacket.IMG_1924Snow ‘stache, anyone?

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These two turkeys aren’t sharing my winter weather excitement.

It may have snowed on my weekend plays, but it won’t rain on my parade! Get out and enjoy it! Itttt’s KNOWING, y’all!

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