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If you haven’t heard it, no worries, I linked the music video below.  The music I am referring to is “In My Blood.”  An amazing new song that was just released in celebration of National FFA Week at the end of February.  It is a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of female membership in the FFA organization.  For me, listening to it the first time on the Shining Bright Podcast brought a massive lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.  Song lyrics have a way of doing that to me, especially when those lyrics are speaking words that I hold in my own heart.  Tenille’s words and the images from Marji are an amazing combination that has truly left me reflecting on what is In My Blood.

Love is in my blood

There’s a piece of me in these fields of gold, when I drive by I feel it in my soul…

Love of the land and the animals we raise.  I could take a drive around our beloved Hawkeye state every Sunday from now until the day I leave this earth and never tire of looking at the fields, herds of cattle on green pastures, and work being done to the landscape.  I will never tire of seeing a newborn calf stand on wobbly legs or the feeling of watching hay go up in the barn. It’s in my blood.

Community is in my blood

Everybody waves hello...

For as long as I can remember my parents have been members of boards or volunteered to be part of organizations, whether it was the local rural cooperative, women’s group, or church board.  My parents taught us to not only give to those in need financial but to also give to our community by being a leader.  I continue to give by holding positions on boards at church, the Floyd County Fair Board, and leadership teams at work.  I believe giving back is one of the greatest things we can do for our community.  It’s in my blood.

My dad was a member of the Butler County REC Board for 15 years.

Grit is in my blood

Little never givin’ up is what I’m made of…

I have had fabulous role models in my life that have helped instill the courage and perseverance that I have today.  Setting goal after goal is how I live, whether it is a financial goal, fitness goal, or goal on our farm.  Have I hit every goal? H, E, double hockey sticks, NO.  I believe that’s what keeps us going.  Every fall or stumble gives the push to keep moving forward.  It’s in my blood.

It's in their blood

Just like my mother and her mother, too. I am gonna find my way...

I am thankful EVERY single day that it's in their blood, too. We are blessed to instill the values of hard work, grit, giving, and love in our girls. I pray daily that they find their way. As Tenille has said in many of her interviews, "It makes me feel like the next 50 years are in very good hands.” I am beyond grateful for the men and s women that have led the way and helped me find my way, including one of the Rockford FFA's former Chapter Sweethearts, my mom.

My mom, chapter sweetheart, prior to females being allowed to be members of FFA.

From the gravel road,


There are so many secrets between mothers and daughters. So many funny and sometimes deep conversations that occur. I have found that at Grace's age some of those conversations are heartwrenching as she is looking for advice about a friend or needing encouragement. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes she talks willingly and other times there are slamming doors and "DON'T COME IN HERE" screamed from her room.

One of those screaming nights happened a few nights ago and magically I received a text from a friend (that had no idea of the stressful parenting evening I had just endured.) She had sent me the cover of this book and said she had thought of me. I ordered it immediately, like didn't even give it a second thought, just hit buy now and thank goodness for Amazon Prime it arrived within 2 days.

It is the coolest, little journal. It gives mother and daughter a chance to communicate through words (Um...perfect for me) and perfect for when Grace might have a question she doesn't want to ask me face to face. We decided that when I was done writing in it that I would put it on her bed and when she had written back to me she would put it on my nightstand so I would know she was done.

The book includes writing prompts and free space, both so that those questions can be asked or deep thoughts can be written. The coolest thing about the book is that there are really no "rules" the only thing we decided for a rule is that what was written inside could only be shared between the two of us, which makes it extra special.

If you are looking for a fun way to engage with your tweenage girl, this is it! Even though we are just getting started with it we both agreed that it is going to be lots of fun!

From the gravel road-


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