So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 25

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my not-so-glam 20-something life. See past posts HERE}

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Gearing up for Fall…

I am usually annoyed at people who proclaim September 1 as the first day of fall. But I am just SO READY for it this year! I will also never understand why being obsessed with fall seems to infect ALL WOMEN, but it does, it really does. I’m basic, and not even ashamed.

Sawyer June

Sorry for the spam of baby pictures but Sawyer June is growing so fast and I miss her so much!

The Teacher

I shared this on my Facebook a few weeks ago, but I just had to include it again. If any regular readers still don’t know why I fell in love with Manhattan, KS, just read this.

Bill and I actually have something in common, because my first visit was also on a cold December day and the kindness of the people I met is something that has always stuck with me. I left knowing that it was where I needed to be.

At the very least, if you are a sports fan, this is still worth your time to read.

Article here —> https://www.theplayerstribune.com/bill-snyder-kansas-state-the-teacher/amp/

In Case You Missed It On the Blog in August

  1. Love Letter: To Those With Hometown Roots and Wandering Souls
  2. #MeganFINALLYGoestoOregon Part 1: Hermiston
  3. #MeganFINALLYGoestoOregon Part 2: The Cabin
  4. Summer 2017: Top 10
  5. Best Day Ever – Show and Tell Tuesday

Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon

Saved this as a screenshot from Facebook… but I can’t remember the source. Sorry!

Not to downplay anything related to Hurricane Harvey and Irma, whatsoever, but fewer people are aware that Oregon is hurting quite a bit too lately (as is much of the west!) because of a fire in the Columbia River Gorge that now covers an estimated 37,500 acres and is only 13 percent contained. The fire has changed the landscape of so many beautiful natural landmarks and treasures, some to the point that they will never again look the same during my lifetime.

Its been a rough couple of weeks all around, folks.

Motivation from Filly Flair

Growing up with a grandma and mom who own their own business, I have always had a special place for women entrepreneurs. Maybe a little less than a year ago, one of my friends told me about an online clothing boutique out of South Dakota, called Filly Flair, that I should check out. I am now a super fan and customer, but lately I also started followed the company’s owner on Instagram and have really enjoyed her overall message and transparency. So I wanted to share a little video that they recently posted about her and the company. I’d recommend it if you need a little motivation today. And no, this is totally not an ad of any kind, but hey Filly Flair hit me up! 🙂

K-State Capital Area Alumni

Recently I joined the planning committee for the K-State Capital Area Alumni group and my new job is handling social media (big surprise there!) We just kicked off our football watch party season, so I’ve already been all over our Facebook page and also started up our own Instagram account. We’re at @kstatecapitalalumni if you want to check it out.

But really though, making images with K-State purple and football? That will never get old.

The Power of Rituals and 6 Other Ways to Get in The Zone

My Shine Texts are always on the money for what I need to hear, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Habits and routines that help my productivity and focus have definitely been a struggle point for me for a while. This article lays it all out in a way that makes sense to me. Now to just better implement those things…

Article —> https://advice.shinetext.com/articles/7-ways-to-guarantee-youll-have-a-productive-day/?utm_source=Shine&utm_medium=BroadcastMain

Out and About

A few snippets (and Snapchats) of life lately.

My Life in Memes

Memes that are speaking to me right now… both thought provoking and just plain funny.

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So, There’s That.

Cheers!

Family, Love Letters

Love Letter: Dear Sawyer June

Sawyer June Ego
7.13.17 at 2:09 p.m.
6 lbs 10 oz

Dear Sawyer June,

We’ve been waiting for you for a long time. No, not just these last 9 months, but 23-ish years to be exact. That’s how long its been since there has been a new baby in this part of the family, so Janci and I have been waiting all of that time to have an Ego cousin. And to be honest, Janci was long overdue to give up the “baby of the family” title.

Don’t get me wrong, having our grandparents all to ourselves while growing up down the street from them was actually pretty great. As far as grandparents go, our Grammy and Grampy are one of a kind and now it’s your turn to get spoiled by them. And trust me, they are pretty great at that too.

This family you were born into is kind of crazy. It’s been said that we should have our own sitcom. We are a bit loud and a bit sarcastic, so you’ll need some thick skin to survive. But our love for one another is just as big so it balances out at the end of the day.

Your daddy was like a big brother to me, instead of an uncle. He let me annoyingly tag along and my Barbies to co-exist with his Legos. He taught me to geek out over movies and to have a sense of adventure. I’m pretty sure you will have seen Star Wars no less than 100 times by the time you are 5. I hope that someday you will let my own kids tag along without too much fuss. And your mama, well she has been the perfect balance to all our chaos and I was so happy when she became a part of our family.

You are already so loved little girl and the fact that I don’t get to hold you for another 3 weeks is making me more homesick than I ever have been before.

You’ll learn quickly that family is the most important thing we have and we are so glad that you joined ours.

Love, Mandy

So There's That Series

So There’s That Vol. 16

{Sort of like  a “Friday Five”  or a “Life Lately” except it’s probably not Friday, and I gave up on the idea of a catchy alliteration. These are some bits and pieces of my glam #postgradlife. See past posts HERE}

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1. Baltimore Weekend

Wrapping up a bit of catching up I needed to do here on the blog — one of my college friends, Kyle, had informed me and our mutual friend Katie, who lives in Baltimore, that he was going to be starting a family East Coast vacation early by coming to visit us. This was the DAY AFTER my 3 weeks of crazy traveling, working, moving/mom visiting…aka I was exhausted.

But despite that, it ended up being a great weekend and it was great to see one of my best friends from college who I hadn’t seen in a year. Katie took us to a Maryland Wine Festival outside of Baltimore and then we headed to an Orioles game, where I tried VERY hard not to fall asleep. #sorrynotsorry

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2. Life

I posted this on social media right before I began this really busy couple of months. It pretty accurately describes my view on how I try to live, or in the case of the “weird” part, how my life ends up going. It’s fair to say I’m accomplishing all of this lately 🙂

weird life

3. Gorgeous Timelapse of Washington DC

If you click on anything in the blog post, please click on this. This city is just so beautiful.

4. Columbia Basin Student Homebuilder Program

My little hometown and high school in Eastern Oregon got quite the shoutout the other day over on the Hill by Senator Wyden.

Growing up as an ag teacher’s kid I saw so many examples of the incredible value and true impact career and technical education programs have on individuals and the community as a whole. Without that focus on intra-curricular career development, I don’t think I would have pursued the dreams and goals I had, or be doing what I do now.

I always felt so supported by my community and so many wonderful teachers. Happy to see this new HHS program get this attention, and proud to say “that’s my hometown!”

5. A Letter to My Younger Self

http://allisonfallon.com/letter-to-my-younger-self/

I don’t reshare articles on Facebook too often, but this I had too. I read A LOT, and this is one of the better reads of its kind that I’ve seen make the rounds. Really, especially if you are a 20-something, check it out. This quote below from the article has been speaking to me in leaps and bounds lately.

Do what you

6. Titus

I was sad to hear that my Uncle Joe and Aunt Susan’s big ol’ pup Titus passed away. He was such a sweet dog and I loved having him around during our trips up to the family cabin.

Titus.
Titus.

7. Harry Potter Hater

So glad I have friends that are watching out for me…

(click here read about Grant’s HP hatred)

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8. Star Wars

The original Stars Wars trilogy is returning to theaters this summer.

And one of those theaters in here in Washington D.C.
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Since I can’t convince my uncle who raised me on these to make a special trip out here for them I need to find like-minded friends immediately…. stay tuned.

9. Wheat Harvest

I could seriously look at wheat harvest photos all day… good thing I kind of get paid to do that anyway. Check out is gorgeous photo story by Elliot Ross in the Washington Post and follow #wheatharvest16 on social media for updates and pictures from this year’s ongoing harvest.

Photo by my friend Greg Peterson (@gregpeterson33) near Assaria, KS.
Photo by my friend Greg Peterson (@gregpeterson33) near Assaria, KS.

10. Random Picture Roundup

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Not a fan of cats, but kittens make any day better. Also, yes that is Olaf chilliin out underneath my work desk…

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Our girl Ellie, my family’s dog back home, had a health scare, but with some new meds and lots of love she is going to be fine! She is seriously the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet.

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If you haven’t figured it out by now, my am in love with the rooftop deck at my new apartment building.

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Wesley Ray – 3 ish months
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Robin Michele – 2 ish months

My two favorite babies, Wesley and Robin in clothes that their Aunt Mandy got them. #babystyle #ohmyovaries

So, There’s That.

Cheers!

Career/Professional, Family, Friendship, Oregon

Catching Up in 2016…

So it has officially been a month since I last blogged.

Oops. I’ve been doing so well over the past year, but I was bound to have a dry spell again, and it definitely won’t be the last time. To be fair, 2016 has already been a whirlwind, and when I wasn’t busy, I really wasn’t motivated. So today will really just be about catching up a bit and sharing what I have been up to so far this year.

Extra points for those who aren’t related to me and didn’t just close the web browser.

Homeward Bound Again

In the almost 8 years since having left Oregon, I usually always go a few months in between my trips home. This time though, work sent me back just two short weeks after I had been home for Christmas.

This is also where I should note that over those past 8 years of a LOT of air travel, I have a pretty good track record. Only once have I had to spend the night in an airport. I have had to run to make a connection maybe 2 or 3 times and again there has only been one time that I had to get a hotel because of a missed connection due to delays. But my flight to Portland on this trip? I missed completely because I slept in. Let me tell you, the feeling of dread when you wake up and see daylight through the window when you should have been at the airport before sunrise, is not something I want to feel again. I was able to catch another direct flight later in the afternoon, but I am still pretty embarrassed.

My trip to Portland was to participate in a PNW Wheat Marketing Tour with the Idaho Wheat Commission, to experience the wheat supply chain from start to finish. I really value anytime that I get to spend quality time with our farmers and I especially enjoyed seeing a city that I grew up near through a new set of lenses. I won’t go into to much detail, but I did write a short article about my experience, “Pacific Northwest Grain Industry Tour Reveals Source of Quality, Reliability” that you can read here.  My favorite part was hands down, was the opportunity to ride on a tugboat that was pushing a barge up the river.  I didn’t know it was possible to nerd out that much over a tugboat, but friends, IT WAS SO COOL. Even though I grew up watching tugboats and barges on the nearby Columbia River, transportation in agriculture is one of the sectors that I know the least about. Life on the tugboat is a unique line of work and I now have a much better appreciation for that part of the supply chain.

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The Wheat Marketing Center is one of a kind. This is a great place for tours and learning about wheat foods. They are doing a lot of really could research!
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Out on the tugboat! It was SO cold!

I was in Portland Sunday through Wednesday, when my sister drove in to pick me up and take me back home to Eastern Oregon. As always I packed as much as I possibly could into my time at home. On Thursday I went to my old high school to speak with two groups of students. My audience ranged from freshmen to seniors so instead of just focusing on same old college and career prep that they are going to endlessly hear from someone else, I chatted with them on the importance of your “own personal brand” and the role it plays — whether you have an online presence or not — in both college and the start of your career. I shared with them about some of my personal experiences, how I’ve handled both success and failure and a few real life tips. The one student that I personally knew assured me that it was a really good presentation, and I definitely wasn’t lame. .. to be honest, I was just really pumped that I was able to tie in both a Harry Potter and Doctor Who meme into my key messages. #adulting.

I spent some time with my family, watching the high school boys basketball game that my Grampy coaches, and on Saturday my whole family went to our local annual variety show, which was complete with a cast iron-cooked dinner. This is the first year that I have been able to go, and it certainly reminded me why I love my small hometown. The highlight of my weekend though, was being able to attend my best friend’s baby shower. Richole and Dustin are due mid-March, and when they heard that I would be back home again, Richole’s mother-in-law agreed to move the shower date just so I could be there. I have a few friends with babies now, but Richole is the first of my best gals, and that meant the world to me that I could be there to help celebrate.

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Love this girl so much, and I am so excited to see her become a mama.

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Winter Storm Jonas

A few days after I got back from Oregon, the East Coast was hit by Winter Storm Jonas. Now I’ve grown up with snow in the mountains and there were blizzards in Kansas, but this storm and experience was UNREAL. My college friend Jancey had been in town that week for a conference and was planning on staying through the weekend for a fun tourist weekend with me. Instead, she ending up snowed in with me and couldn’t get a flight out for another 2 days. The snowfall lasted for about 36 hours straight and accumulated an average 17 to 26 inches throughout the area. My office was closed for two full days and there were many more half days and delayed starts. When I first moved hear people tried to explain that the city pretty much shuts completely down. Of course, until I experienced it first hand I couldn’t quite grasp what that meant. Grocery stores were empty, and I had a carton of eggs stolen out of my cart the day before storm! A reporter I know back in Kansas even referenced it in a article she wrote #thingsyoucantmakeup. Jancey and I watched A LOT of movies, ventured out a few times when visibility finally cleared up and participated in an epic snowball fight outside of the Clarendon Metro Station. Oh and I had a leak in my kitchen ceiling. I might have some good stories, but its definitely an experience I am not looking forward to having again anytime soon. I really wish WordPress would get its act together and make it easier to attach videos without first putting them on YouTube, because there are a few on my Instagram and Facebook that capture quick looks at our long, crazy weekend.

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Josh Abbott Band

In college I built my budget around being able to go to concerts of all sizes and genres.  But Aggieville, the bar district in Manhattan, KS, is where I fell in love with red dirt/Texas country music. Since moving to DC I hadn’t sought any of the music scenes yet, so when a friend told me she heard JAB would be in the area, there was no way that I was going to miss it. The venue, 9:30 Club, was great, and apparently one of the more popular small venues in the area. A K-State friend who is a student at Georgetown Law tagged along, and while it was great to hear some of their new music, I was really excited to hear most of my old favorites that made me fall in love with the genre and really, Kansas, in the first place.

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Josh Abbott Band at 9:30 Club

Board Meetings

A lot of my busy schedule recently was due to the winter board meeting at work. While our summer and fall meetings are always at other locations, the winter one is here in DC. Between the holidays, travel and the winter storm, by the time I reached the week of the board meeting, it felt like I hadn’t had a “normal” since about mid-December. But even though this meeting had a different pace because the staff doesn’t travel, I really enjoy board meetings. I love the collaboration and hearing about what the different parts of our organization are working on and accomplishment. And of course I really value the opportunity to interact with our farmers and state staff. Outside of the DC office there are so many quality people who contribute to our mission, and getting to know those people personally adds so much more purpose to my career. I was especially excited though, because we recently brought on one of my good friends as a freelancer for the communications team and she was able to make it up to DC for the meetings. Nicole and I both call Northeast Oregon home and vaguely knew each other through FFA, and then ended up becoming friends as ag comm majors at K-State. It’s always nice when the world feels a bit smaller and I am so excited that our paths have continued to cross back and forth.

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Nicole and I were able to make a little bit of time for some tourist fun.

Thanks for catching up with me. Next week I will be back to a regular blogging schedule. I am pretty excited that end of winter is in sight! So far my spring calendar includes National Ag Day events, a girls weekend NYC trip with my best friend Megan, a quick work trip to Kansas, searching for a new apartment to move into at the end of May and HOPEFULLY a quick trip to Georgia to watch my sister play in the NAIA Women’s Golf Championship!

Always something to look forward to.!

Cheers.

Friendship, Kansas

Home is Where the Heart Is

I’ve been somewhat lazy this week when it came to writing about my recent trip to Kansas, but I was struggling with coming up with something to say other than that it was fabulous and then recounting all of the details.

I mean it was fabulous. The weekends/vacation time was stuffed full with my favorite foods, places, activities and people. And my work days on wheat tour were fruitful. I was able to take what I already knew from my K-State days working for the grain science department and learn so much more about wheat as a crop, and now have a very hands-on experience to reference back to. And even though I lived in Kansas for six years, it was great to travel and see the state in that way. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over those wide open spaces. If you are interested in learning a bit more about what exactly “wheat tour” is then you can read my summary here http://bit.ly/1JudR6Q (scroll to the second story) or join all of the cool kids and look back at the action on Twitter by searching the hashtag #wheattour15.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures I took on the tour. You can see more here: on.fb.me/1cx9b5P

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It was a very surreal experience being back in Kansas after moving away two months ago. During those two months in DC it seemed as if my life back in Kansas was years and years ago, but when I landed back in Manhattan it felt like I had never left, as if I had just driven to Wichita or KC for the weekend.

I think I struggled earlier this week with what to say about the trip, because I was still processing it all. But now that I’ve unpacked my bags and settled back in at work, there are a few things that my trip back to Kansas showed me.

I really am one of the lucky ones. The years I spent in Kansas were so full of all the things that we deserve to have in life, and revisiting some of those memories was a true testament to that. And the people…my people, man I’ll just say this, they are pretty darn great. But being there, especially on wheat tour, also reminded me why I left. I wanted to do more for agriculture and I wanted to do more for myself. I know now that I would have been selling myself, my past experiences and my passion for agriculture short if I had decided to not step it up and take on the next challenge.

Unfortunately for my family back in Oregon, this trip also confirmed something that has been on my mind for a while. I’m not really big on making too many assumptions about long term plans or where I see myself in “XX amount of years,” but when that time comes someday, Kansas wouldn’t be such a bad place to land back in. Oregon, you and my mountains better step up the campaign game NOW.

It was great to see you Kansas, I’ll be back soon!

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With Megan at the Bogner Wedding!
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Pretty bummed that I won’t be cheering on the ‘Cats here this fall. But I definitely had to check out the new construction during my morning run!
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Soul Sistas….and Luna, who I guess can join the club.

 

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Hanging out with this guy is always a crazy time.

 

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The main four. I’m so glad that Nathan and Kyla were able to join us in Wichita.
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Kyle and Mega. Or essentially…TROUBLE.
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Enjoyed my first weekend with Leah, who helped me indulge in all of my Manhattan favorites. It was also good to see Ryan, Brandi, Jancey, Logan and the IGP team in the Hat!
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The Bogner wedding was fabulous, right down to the purple cotton candy martini’s. We were big fans.
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This guy is just about as good as they come. I am so thankful that my work trip allowed me to be back in Kansas to help celebrate his wedding!
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At the wedding I overheard Emily telling someone…”If it’s going to rain on a wedding, it might as well be on a farmer’s wedding.” Blaine-o you definitely married the right girl!
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Mr. Kellan belongs to my old roommates Cam and Audrianna, who are the first of my close college friends to have kids. This little guy is always so happy and I’m so thankful I could set aside time to sneak in a few Auntie Amanda snuggles.