Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Smile Because it Happened

With the 2015 Minnesota FFA State Convention quickly approaching, I feel a wave of mixed emotions every single day. Excited, nervous, and happy are three of the most common emotions I am constantly feeling when thinking about convention. It is crazy to think that almost 11 months ago, I was blessed with the amazing opportunity to serve Minnesota FFA. This year has truly been an utmost blessing, but my heart aches that my state officer journey will come to a close in just one short month.

I felt the same way just last year when I was a senior in high school. To me, high school was fun! I loved being surrounded by my friends each and every day at school. When you go to a small school like I did, you grew up with your classmates, a majority of my class had gone to school with me in kindergarten. At the time graduation was quickly approaching and it was scary not knowing where life would take us all. We had been there for each other through the easy elementary days, the awkward middle school times, and the "lasts" of senior year. It truly was saddening going through senior year experiencing our last homecoming, state tournament, and sporting events. Our upperclassmen we not lying when they said that this year was going to fly by, it sure did!

One of the saddest "lasts" I had to go through, was the HLWW Chapter Banquet. At the time, I knew that this would be the last FFA banquet I ever attended as a high school FFA member. FFA had been a huge part of my life throughout my high school years, what was I going to do now that it was over? I started to dread that Saturday because I knew it would be horribly sad for my senior member classmates and I. Finally, I got sick and tired of being sad over something that I loved so much. I decided that instead of being upset, I would smile because I was blessed with four amazing years as a high school FFA member.

Do you ever start to feel bad for yourself or sad at the fact that something is coming to an end? That is exactly how I was feeling my senior year and now with state convention quickly approaching! Just remember something, you were blessed with some pretty amazing opportunities that are making you feel that way. Do not take for granted the limited amount of time you have left, just because you do not want it to end. SMILE because it happened, my friends.

Minnesota FFA, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to serve you these last 11 months. I cannot wait to continue to serve members, supporters, and teachers, as a state officer for one more month. You all have truly made this year the best year of my life and one that I will never forget. YOU ALL ROCK! Cannot wait to see everyone in 33 days at the 2015 MINNESOTA FFA STATE CONVENTION.

Signing off....

Stationed by the Plow,

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Every year for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I hope that my aunt I will be making pumpkin pie cheesecake for dessert.  It is one of my favorite desserts at almost any gathering.  However, we don’t always have it because my Nola says it is hard to make.  So recently I took the initiative to look up how to make the dessert.  This is when I realized that she was right, it is a rather complicated dessert to make, at least for me.  Basically what I got from it was that you had to mix a bunch of things into a bowl, heat it and then put it in the fridge overnight to cool.  You also had to make the crust with graham crackers or something.  Anyways, it was rather complicated for me.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I can make a good meal sometimes, but the extent of my cooking is usually what it was last night.  I made tomato soup from a can where all I had to do was put the same amount of milk in as soup, not too hard right?
Well as I was making the soup, I was thinking about all of the ingredients that go into our food just like all of the experience that go into building a good person.  I know it sounds a little weird, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it is not that much different than making a pumpkin pie cheesecake or even tomato soup.  Each ingredient will make the food taste different, just like every experience will make the person different.  Likewise, there could be a big difference if you substituted certain ingredients for others, such as putting in vinegar instead of vanilla.  It could also make a big difference in a person too.  Such as if the person was to sit on the couch and watch tv, or go outside and work with their show steer. Substituting the two ingredients in food will change the dish drastically, just like changing one event in a person’s day could potentially change the person overall.
This makes me realize that we have a choice.  We have a choice every minute of every day as to what we will do to make ourselves better.  Whether it is what we do, how we act or react or even what we decide to eat for supper.  Every decision that we make could potentially change the outcome of that day, week, month, year or even our life.  The only question that is left is which choice are you going to choose?

 Stationed by the door,

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Everything You Go Through, Grows You

You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage, literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery and I promise you, something great will come of it.” - One of the well-known facts from the movie, We Bought a Zoo. I first heard this quote 4 years ago when I was an officer in 4-H and the other week it caught my attention. Thinking back, I liked to think I lived by this quote by taking nearly every opportunity that was presented to me. A good friend of mine would remind me of this quote when I was at a turning point that required some form of a decision. Her reminders then formed into a habit…20 seconds…that’s it. Make a move. Take a chance. Do something.

Those around me inspire me. Those that made small decisions that affected their whole life. Those that make a large decision that ultimately affect a small portion of their life.  I am inspired. Through middle school and high school, like most, I hit major life changes. Through classes, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, I became an involved student. Through these activities I established relationships with others and bonds that were seemingly unbreakable. I was introduced to events and conferences in addition to leadership roles and chances to strengthen my skills. Surely, I tell you friend, not everything went as planned. Sometimes committee meetings were not successful, events got cancelled due to weather or I was not elected to the officer position, but through my struggles, I have grown. Plus, sometimes everything went just as planned. An event was successful, I was elected to my desired office, and the committee meeting was on point. Through my success, I have grown. The same applies to you. It’s time we realize that just because one thing fails doesn’t mean we quit. It’s time to realize that just because one thing goes right doesn’t mean we’re set for life. Please know, everything you go through, grows you. Know that you have a purpose with the words that you speak and the actions that you do. Do something for yourself once in a while. Find growth. Seek opportunities and don’t stop growing no matter what the outcome is.

There is no growth in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growth zone

Take that leap of faith, or those twenty seconds of insane courage, and I promise you, something great will come of it.