Roll on…

As Alabama’s “Roll On” began playing through the car stereo the other night, I tried to really listen to the words of that song. I know it, word for word, because the song has been on the radio longer than I have been alive. But it seemed to really hit home while my oldest child was sleeping after a long week at school and a complete and utterly embarrassing meltdown at daycare, and her little sister sat quietly next to her in the back seat, peering out the window into the fading daylight.

As I took a quick peek in my rear-view mirror, silent tears started streaming down my face as I realized how this song has become my family’s anthem.

Their dad  was still on the road, heading home from hauling cattle to the sale a hundred miles away for some good friends of ours. He’s been on the road for what feels like forever; in reality it hasn’t been that much, and he has been home at night more than before he became a self-employed trucker.

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Loaded up and ready to roll.

That said, it doesn’t make life in our house any easier.

The girls miss their daddy, and I do too. Not only do they tell me on a pretty regular basis, but I see it in their eyes that they know things are different. It is a strange thing for me, because my dad was always around growing up. The good thing is that it isn’t always this way.

I miss our semi-normal routine when their dad is gone; and although I maintain a pretty tight ship whether my husband is home or not, it is tiring to do it all alone.

I secretly worry every time the wheels on our truck turn. I worry he hasn’t had enough sleep, I worry about other drivers, I worry about the weather; even though I know my husband is more than capable to handle anything the miles under his tires might throw at him. Worry does no good, but just like a child, I can’t help but worry a little about him. I guess that’s what happens when you love someone a hell of a lot.

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I am blessed to have a man in my love that loves his family very fiercely.

I pray for the scales to be closed, yet I know and appreciate the importance the DOT workers do to keep all of us safe- no matter the headache it causes my husband and the other drivers we know.

I both despise the sound of the phone ringing, yet can’t help but wish for the work to steadily pour in. Sometimes I struggle to not tell the guy on the other end how self-absorbed he is, calling my house at supper time, asking my husband to leave his wife and kids; while I can hear his family in the background of the call. But the truth is that we signed up for this when we went into business for ourselves.

I hate when he is gone, yet sometimes (secretly) wish for him to be gone for a couple days; you know, so I can have some time to myself…

When he is gone overnight, I never sleep very well.  The kids hate the fact they don’t get to see their daddy in the morning, and the drama seems more constant. I know there are a lot of kids and wives that see their dads and husbands a lot less, and I don’t want to sound ungrateful- I admire the hell out of Shane for busting his butt day after day to help us chase our dreams. If it takes him being on the road, I guess the kids and I will keep on singing these words:

“Roll on family, Roll on along; Roll on Daddy till you get back home; roll on family, roll on through; roll on mama like I ask you to do, roll on eighteen-wheeler, Roll On!”

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To all you wives and mommas out there, holding down the fort; and to all you guys making a living on the road: God bless you. Thank you for all the work you do behind the scenes to keep America rolling on!

~Much love,

Richelle

Anniversary Mush

 

It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating 10 years of marriage today. Who thought we would make it this far? We sure have lived our  vows. For better or worse (through depression, and man colds 😃); for richer or poorer (though the poorer never really went away!). Through good times and bad- pregnancies, births, car wrecks, broken bones, surgeries, sick kids, new jobs, new careers- we’ve stood beside each other through it all.

We love, we laugh, we fight, and make up. We share a love for music, beer, and horses; and agree to disagree on television shows and just where that darn line between funny and disgusting lies.

We share our bodies, our goals, and dreams with each other, and do what we can to help each other succeed. You eat my cooking, read my blogs, and laugh at my corny texts… I listen to your stories, debate politics, and try to not get too mad at you for being a guy. I love being a trucker’s wife, your best friend, and mother of your kids.

The girl I was the day I said “I do” may have gotten older, plumper, slightly crankier, and less adventurous, but being your wife has made me feel wiser, funnier, sexier, and best of all, has made me a mother; so ten years hasn’t been too bad. I love you more today than I did a day, a week, a month, ago; seeing you mature into to the man you are today makes me love and adore you more than I did years ago. I love you- “to the ends of the earth, to the moon and back”.

I cross my heart. Happy Anniversary babe.

 

Love, Richelle

Messy, Ordinary, Life

​Life is full of messes. Challenges. Mountains that seem insurmountable. Issues that are depressing. Events that happen leaving us looking for a seemingly invisible light at the end of our tunnel of grief. Full of anger, hate, and sadness. Once we start to see our lives in this light- or rather, lack of light, we tend to stop looking for the light. Life gets tough and we stop. Stop talking, stop loving, stop moving forward. We get complacent and stop trying. Trying to get better, trying to seek things that give is happiness. We stop seeking help. We stop seeking God. Maybe we curse Him- after all he has let all these terrible things happen to us. “Damn you”, we scream at the sky. We fall to our knees in tears when the pain gets to be too much to bear, then wipe the tears and pretend it never happened. Why? Because we are afraid to be weak? Because we feel stuck? When others ask how they can help, we push them away… the very people that could save us, help us through our pain get shoved away because we refuse to hear them remind us we aren’t perfect.

Life is full of lessons, whether we like it or not. it is full of hard times, yet it is also full of so much joy. None of us experience life the same as anyone else, and even though we might go through the same situations, how we perceive those situations can be at the total opposite end of the spectrum. Maybe pregnancy was easy for you- or maybe getting pregnant was your own personal hell. Maybe the day you got married, nothing could have been more perfect: the dress, the cake, the look in his face as you walked down the aisle; or maybe he got cold feet and left you at the altar. Life ain’t fair- but we should learn to remember that just because giving birth was the scariest damn thing you’ve ever gone through, does not mean that young woman asking for your advice needs to hear your horror story. On the other side of that token, just because you think your marriage is awesome and damn-near perfect, does not give you to right to judge the couple whose life together is falling apart. Instead of bragging how good you have it, or wallowing in your own self pity, ask others what you can do to help them. Lend an ear. Lend a smile. Hugs cost nothing, but may mean everything.

We all have a story. Good, bad, or otherwise, we should all be able to share it without being scared to talk about it. Never stop loving your story. Never stop sharing it with those around you. Never give up on yourself, and never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. God doesn’t expect us to bear our burdens alone. There is always someone who cares and wants to be there for you. You just have to let them.

Love, Richelle

{Disappointment} Means I Have Values

Someone once asked me if I thought I was setting myself up for disappointment by expecting so much from others. He also told me that I needed to loosen up, have more fun at work, and that I would be a lot more likable if I just wasn’t such a hard worker.

True story.

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Yep, true story.

While this particular conversation happened about a year and a half ago, it crosses my mind once in a while and makes me shake my head. He was a gem of a boss- needless to say he didn’t stick around much longer after we had this little heart to heart.  But he is not the point of this story- he could be so many people anymore.

Imagine his horror when I told him I am often disappointed by people- including him- because I was raised with an apparently naive idea that people should have to work for the things they want in life; that I believe that you have to start climbing the ladder from the rung closest to the ground.

That I am often disappointed by others who say one thing, and yet do the total opposite, or do nothing at all.

That I am often disappointed to be treated strangely by others because I come to work and, well, work. This is not to say that I don’t screw off my own fair share, but my work is done before I waste time on the company’s dollar. That’s my choice, and that is my responsibility.

If I remember correctly, he about fell out of his chair when I said I didn’t mind being disappointed, because that meant I still held true to my own values and that while he might not find me to be as much fun as a barrel of monkeys to be around, the feeling was mutual. Perhaps if we had more in common, or if he would have had an inkling of work ethic or even a little bit of motivation to do more than discuss football scores, we could have gotten along. Anyways….

After a very rare weekend spent helping my husband at home, getting to play rancher while my parents got to go on a mini vacation to a bull sale (Yes, going to a bull sale during calving season is very much a mini vacation for my parents), I had a good reminder that there is nothing wrong with being a hard worker and being a productive member of society. My husband was raised in town- his dad was a railroader and his mom worked at different office jobs through the years- and very easily could have refused to embrace my family’s lifestyle.Instead of denying me of living on our ranch, he has grabbed the bull by the horns and has become quite a hand. He is hard working, responsible, and respectful of my dad’s sometimes crazy ideas. He is patient, and to be completely honest, has taught me a few things about ranching that I never knew. I guess in my heart I always knew he had it in him; he proved me right and I love him more everyday for that. I love to be proud of others- it brings me so much joy to see others blossom and succeed.

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These guys. Both ranchers, two very different ways of getting here.

I wish more people were like him– willing to be a sponge, to learn everything they can, and to be the best they can be in the situation they are in. I believe that we can all do so much more than we think we can, and if the people around us expected even just a little bit more from us, we might try a little harder to exceed their expectations. But if no one expects anything from us, what do we have to prove?

 

Being raised on a cattle ranch taught me that actions speak louder than words. Hard work, hustle, and independence will take you farther than any bullshitting gene you may have been born with. My parents expected my brothers and I to help do chores, take care of our animals, and when it came to my 4-H animals, I was the one getting drug around the corral, not my dad. I had to do the ground work with my colt, had to teach him respect, and had to feed and care for him. I was the one getting up before school to feed my steers, and working with them after school and work so they wouldn’t stomp me into the arena dirt at the fair. And this was done all summer- not the week before the fair, like some kids I knew.

Unless I had to work in town, I was expected to help out at home- that meant either cooking meals, driving the grain truck for dad while picking bales, bunching bales for him when the truck broke down, or helping clean pens during calving. We were the “hired men”. Our wage was our meals, a house over our heads, and clothes on our backs. We fenced, picked rock, and had lots of “character building” opportunities. And looking back at it now, I am eternally grateful for all the blood, sweat, and tears we shed all those years. It wasn’t just livestock that we gave our attention to either. If we hunted, we walked our asses off to find, shoot, and haul our kill out. We helped mom cook, clean, and saddled our own horses. We had responsibilities, and though they weren’t always fun, they got done.

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Even pregnant, I worked my rear off for what I wanted.

I know not everyone was raised the same as me- and while I respect that and am okay with that fact, I have to accept that I will always be different than everyone else. I am okay with being the workhorse. With being the quiet leader. With being labeled the worker bee, rather than the social butterfly. I not only accept those titles, I embrace them!

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Embrace being different!

Someday, I will be back on the ranch- and am sure that wandering aimlessly through my days will not be on the agenda. The cows don’t care whether I was a manager or a janitor, as long as they get fed. My horse could care less if I used to wear high heels and rubbed elbows with “really important people”… she’ll kick me just the same I don’t put forth the effort to train her not to. You can play once the work is over- celebrating a job well done makes life so much sweeter!

~Much love, Richelle

Thirty Years?!??

“The Thirties: Cut the Bullshit and Go Be Awesome!” ~ Olivia Wilde

I just celebrated my thirtieth birthday this week. Thirty years worth of watching sunrises, laughing until I cried, crying tears of joy and sadness, and just living and being. I have never been one to worry about my age- getting older has never been something that scared me or caused me to get all freaked out. Of course, I have never turned thirty before, either.
Truth be told, I had some reservations about this birthday. I always thought that by the time I was thirty, that I would have my shit together and have life figured out. I figured my lack of self- esteem would finally go away; that I could finally accept that not everyone is going to like me or understand me and that would be okay. I was sure that I would get over my social anxiety and awkwardness- that finally, I would be able to walk into a room full of people and find more than one person I could talk to. That I would finally understand what the hell is so entertaining about “The Bachelor”… apparently, I have yet to figure any of this out.

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Socially awkward, except with horses and dogs.

If being blond could be a full time, paying gig, I would never have to work another day in my life. Unfortunately for me, being awkward is an everyday occurrence in my world- I never quite what to say to other women when they complain about the chips in their nail polish and the terrible dye-job done to their hair, how to sympathize with their diet plans, or even how to wear girly clothes. I embrace my own style so much that I am rarely offended when people give me strange looks when I walk through the grocery store in boots and spurs, or when sitting down at a restaurant table covered in manure after shipping calves; but I still feel weird wearing a dress, leggings, and tall boots to work. Not to mention that I still can’t figure out how to wear infinity scarves or eye liner. Seriously.

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At least my boots are stylish...

And quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. (If you don’t know what movie that is from, we can’t be friends. Just sayin’…)

The older I get, the more I realize that being a woman ain’t for the faint of heart.
That no matter what you do, you are going to step on someone’s toes and piss them off.
No matter how hard you try to fit in, there will always be people that judge the book’s cover and always treat you differently because they are too self absorbed to appreciate your differences.
That people will use you to fit their agendas– they will tell you they love you as you are, that they will always support you, and be there for you. Until they don’t. No one needs you more than when they have their own personal crisis and they think you can, or will, fix it. That might be why I like horses and dogs so much…
More importantly, though, I am learning that the best thing I can do- which is also the hardest- is to be myself. Every strange, awkward, quirky, crazy part of me is something that makes me exactly who God wants me to be right now. I have learned you have to love yourself first, because if you don’t love yourself, there isn’t anyone that will do it for you.

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At least my kids love me!

When it comes to motherhood, well, I have the combined experience of 8 years as a professional rug-rat-wrangler. I have learned you have to do what works for you and your kids. Who cares if you can’t breastfeed? Who cares if it takes forever to potty train your little ones? As long as you take the time to be present and be a loving, involved parent, it is nobody’s business how you raise your kids. Take the crazy and sometimes unwanted advice with a grain of salt and remember, kids don’t come with a manual, and there isn’t anyone that has this parenting gig figured out. Learn to have a sense of humor; and I have found that drinking (in moderation, mind you… hangovers help NO one!) also helps when your mini-me’s make you crazy.

Thirty years has taught me that the love of a good man is something to never take for granted. If he is honest, makes you laugh, makes you cry (in good ways- like he does romantic things like makes dinner once in a while, tells you that you are beautiful when you feel like a bloated sea cow, and stands beside you through childbirth), hold on loosely! Nobody likes to be nagged at, bossed around, or given an inferiority complex, so don’t be that way. Laugh at his stupid jokes, listen to his stories no matter how convoluted or boring they are, and share yourself with him. Life is better spent with someone who absolutely loves and lives for you. Reciprocate that.

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I love this guy.

At this age, good friends are hard to find. I have been blessed to rekindle old friendships with women that mean the world to me, and make new friendships with gals that are now like sisters to me. I have also learned to let go of people that never were friends, and to accept that you can’t put all the effort into a relationship and expect it to last. Be a good friend, and good friends will find you.

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Happy. Birthday. To. Me!

I never imagined that I would be celebrating my oldest daughter’s fifth birthday, my tenth wedding anniversary, and my thirtieth birthday all in the same year. To say that the woman I am today is very different from the woman I was ten years ago would be an understatement. In a lot of ways, I have gotten better- being a mom has made me realize there is more to live for than myself, and my heart has never been more full of love and pride.

I also know that time has jaded me- that having to go to jobs that I don’t care for, working with mean girls, and giving up a part of myself to raise my kids as best I can has changed me. And that is okay. As I enter this new decade of life on this planet, I realize that nothing lasts forever- all good things must come to an end, and yet the bad times never stay for too long. I hope that when I grow up, I will learn to love myself a little bit more. To stop using the F*bomb so much, and start smiling more. To find more humor in things that would normally irritate me. To learn to tell people to shove their self-righteous bullshit up their ass with a smile. To just enjoy my next thirty years- because I can’t believe how fast the first thirty have gone by.

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I hope I have many more sunrises to enjoy!

So to my next thirty years I say: bring it on!
Much Love ~ Richelle