You wondered where I went? I started getting sweet emails from some of you saying, “Is everything okay?” “Why aren’t you blogging?” “Blog!” I didn’t forget to blog for two weeks. I just have been busy…failing to carve out blogging time like I used to so carefully do everyday. I don’t know I ever did that but for now, I’m back, inspired and ready to share. From speaking to family life and then a little dusting off of my passport to be inspired by a farm family, it has been a busy couple weeks.
Last spring when I took the leap of faith to leave my state job and benefits, one of the first emails from a friend I received to ask me to come and speak at an event, the WILD Conference (Women In Leadership Development) in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Fast forward six months. The conference was held last week and was a stepping out moment for me. Our keynote speaker, Renee Rongen, pushed me in a way I wasn’t expecting, to get my “ship out of the harbor” in some areas of life and reached out to me to mentor and guide me with my speaking business. I spoke on a panel with two women doing awesome and inspiring community-focused activities in their “boomtown” of Williston, North Dakota. My friend Sarah Gustin introduced me and as I looked out into the crowd I thanked a few individuals in the crowd for having faith last spring and still today as I find my way on this new career journey.
At the WILD conference I spoke on community advocacy. It was a new topic for me to tackle and one that hits close to home for me. I shared about Sensible School Lunches and our small town preschool and steps to engage, empower and build community to create change within communities, both online and offline.
It meant a lot to me to have two ladies from our small town ride along with me and attend the conference. They sat right up front and center. We left the WILD conference bubbling with new ideas for our community. I was given inspiration and a jump-start, post-summer I needed. Nothing like a group of energized women to provide a jump-start!
And I also decided every conference should serve ham and cream cheese wrapped pickles for an afternoon snack. I may have had one or three or five. I may have to start wearing two pairs of Spanx instead of just one if I eat as much as I did at this conference. I digress.
To get me off of thinking of how much I love ham and cream cheese wrapped pickles, I better share about some other non-food loves and inspirations of mine. My little sweeties, Miss A and Miss E crack me up everyday. Their personalities are often opposite from one another. Last week when Miss A and I were walking into school, Miss A said, “I’m a cowgirl. And she’s a school girl (pointing at her sister, Miss E).”
I said, “Can’t you be both? A cowgirl and a schoolgirl?”
Miss A said, “Not when you wear flip flops!”
Miss E took in all in stride and just kept smiling.
I made them stop and take a picture outside of school to document just what a cowgirl versus a schoolgirl looks like.
And now you know. Cowgirls don’t wear flip-flops to school. Miss E is indeed a schoolgirl now, learning to read and loving kindergarten. This week is “P” week in school. She is proudly showcasing our family business Pinke Lumber to her class later in the week. But even though she is a schoolgirl, she still has strong cowgirl, outdoors loving and future hunting girl genes in her.
Miss E displayed her passion for future hunting plans by refusing to let her daddy to change clothes after church on Sunday before he set up her new pink bow and arrow set.
Just the determination on her face shows that she hit the target, without a doubt in her mind!
With Miss E’s determination apart of my inspiration, a couple of days ago I dusted off my passport to head north for a project I am working on through my consulting work.
Now some consultants travel to big cities and sit in boardrooms. I have done that before and will certainly do it again. But let’s face it, boardrooms in big cities are not my passion.
But working on the prairies of western Canada this week for a couple of days has me feeling right at home, minus my favorite kiddos and husband.
Did you know that June bugs in Canada are HUGE and even are crawling around in freezing temperatures in September? I had never seen a June bug but now I have not only seen one, I have held one. How many North Dakota farm girls can say that they held a Canadian June bug in September?
I know. I am pretty fortunate. Actually with a client, I spent a glorious full day on a family seed farm during wheat harvest filming for an upcoming campaign.
For a day, I got a glimpse into a Canadian farm family, their heritage, legacy and future. I interviewed them, captured their innovative stories and rode along in a combine. They invited me to eat with them at their family style supper in the field complete with beef, buns, pickles, salads, carrot cake and coffee.
The wheat field was full of heads, heavy with wheat, an abundance after this farm family had a tough crop last year from five hail storms. It was joyful harvest to be apart of this year and reminded me so much of my home farm, GriggsDakota.
A country’s border doesn’t change passions for family, farming, food, faith and freedom. A wheat field with a passionate Canadian farm family reminded me of that this week. Together they gave me deep inspiration and added more friendly farm faces I will draw upon to connect farming to food and food back to farming in the future.
Now that I am caught up with you, my friends, I promise I won’t take two weeks off from blogging again…well at least not anytime soon. So hang on for the ride! I am inspired, celebrating the fall and harvest.
To wrap up the month, I am going to do my monthly giveaway that will be shared on my blog on Friday and go through Monday. Hint…it’s from a favorite jewelry maker of mine on the North Dakota prairie. Her work inspires me too. I will share more on her on Friday!