Intro to who I am
Hi Y’all! I am not a blogger. The idea that people I don’t know and may never meet will be reading and possibly critiquing what I am writing makes my heart race and palms sweat. I enjoy writing in my personal journal because it’s for my eye only. This is on a whole new level. So, bear with me as I take on this adventure.
I am a Texan, born and raised. I grew up in Mesquite then moved to Sunnyvale my junior year of High School. When I was 19, I married my husband, Mike. Yes, I know, I was extremely young. Mike had been a longtime family friend. He was living in Oklahoma at the time and happened to be in town on business. He called me and asked me out for breakfast one morning and that started the engine to the crazy train. This May we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. Our marriage has been a complete roller coaster. (Yes I have his blessing in saying this) We have both had to die to our own selfish flesh and pursue God more than our own desires to make this marriage work.
When we first married we moved to Broken Arrow, OK. Mike was a youth pastor and I was a 19 year old newlywed trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. Oh, did I mention Mike is 8 years older than me? (Enter evidence A for marriage difficulties) We lived in Oklahoma for a short time then moved back to Texas. We lived in Waxahachie, TX while he served as a youth pastor at a church in Red Oak. From there, the Lord took us to Artesia, NM. I say the Lord took us because there was no way without the Lords guidance that we would have ever considered moving to Southeast New Mexico. I don’t say that to be negative. We both grew up around big cities, green grasses, lakes, etc. Artesia is nothing like that. Artesia is flat, dry and brown. It was in Artesia where I learned how to be content with little. I learned the value of community as a part of a great church family; we also found out we were expecting our first child.
I had a miserable pregnancy. My pregnancy was filled with frequent ER visits and false alarms. I spent the end of my second trimester and all of my third on bed rest. I passed my time cuddling with my furbabies and watching Paula Dean or Rachel Ray on Food Network. When I had the energy, I would pull up a stool to the stove so I could bake. Lemon Pie. Oh, how I love lemon pie! A pregnant woman on bed rest can put away lemon pie. Just saying!
We had just finished our last sonogram appointment in Roswell, NM (about 45 minutes from where we lived in Artesia) Mike wanted to stop off at Big Lots to look for a bookshelf for his office before we headed back home. I’m waddling through Big Lots looking for a place to empty my very small bladder. It was one of those single stall bathrooms, where of course no one would be able to assist you, if you happen to go into LABOR! Yep, that’s right. I went into labor in the Big Lots bathroom. I tried to call my husband on his cell but I could not get service. I opened the bathroom door looking for anyone to help me and not a person around. Determined I was NOT going to have a baby in the bathroom floor of Big Lots I managed to waddle very slowly around the store until I found my husband. His complete bone head response was “Just sit down, I’m still looking. You’re not in labor, they just checked you and you weren’t dilated” Oh good, I’m glad he knows I’m not in labor. It’s completely normal to feel a baby head in your pelvis! I stood because I could not sit as he finished looking for his book self. As he helped me to the car Mike called my doctor but he had left for the day. They advised us to make a trip to Labor and Delivery since we lived 45 mins away. After being evaluated it was determined I was in active labor. I just hit 35 weeks so we opted to stop labor to allow our baby finish developing his lungs and learning how to breathe. I was admitted and we played red light, green light with my labor all night. Day 2 in the hospital was a breeze I didn’t have one contraction, I did not dilate any further than a 3, we were making plans to go home. My labor had been stopped and I was going to go home on strict bed red for another week. 4:30 AM on March 5, 2008 our little bundle of joy had other plans. I will never forget waking up my husband telling him we were going to have the baby. His response “Your water didn’t break or leak, you just peed on yourself babe, go back to sleep” Nurses ruptured in laughter and we finally got him awake enough to understand we were going to have a baby. After a very long labor and 4 hours of pushing I delivered a 5lb 7oz baby boy, Ian. When he arrived the room was silent. I got a glimpse of him and my first words were “He does not look normal, what is wrong” His nurses said we are going to take him to the nursery to have the pediatrician take a look. I had Mike go with Ian and the nurses while they finished taking care of me. It wasn’t for several hours until I knew what was going on with my baby. Mike finally came back holding Ian. He looked as if he had saran wrap over his body. His skin was so tight around his mouth that he could not close his lips. His fingers and feet looked like they had been dipped in paraffin wax.
The hospital had arranged for Ian to be transported to the NICU at Covenant Lakeside in Lubbock, Texas. An air medical team flew in on a helicopter to whisk Ian away. When Ian’s flight nurse came in my room she informed us that Dr. C had a good idea on what it was but wanted to examine Ian first. I watched Ian wheel to the helicopter outside my delivery room window. Mike and I cried, prayed and felt completely helpless.
Ian was covered in a collodion membrane. He has a genetic skin disorder called CIE Non Bullous Ichthyosis. It’s basically a very long word for extremely dry skin that was unable to retain moisture. I will share more about his condition next month as it will be Ichthyosis awareness month.
The Lord also blessed us with a beautiful daughter, Ivy. She is full of personality. There is no denying who her mother is! 100% spitfire! She’s sensitive yet tough as nails. I never thought I would enjoy having a little girl. I always wanted four boys. I can’t imagine not having Ivy. She brings so much laughter to our house. Her smile is contagious and she gives the best hugs. If you want an honest opinion about anything, she will give it to you. Even when you don’t want it.
Ivy had a 25% chance of having Ichthyosis. My pregnancy was so much like Ian’s. In and out of Labor and Delivery, preterm labor, and much more. Several times we thought we were going to lose her. When I went in for my c-section we had the NICU team in the room on stand bye as a precaution. When she arrived my doctor squealed at all of the rolls her chubby little legs had. Her skin was like butter. The Lord answered our prayers. We prayed for soft skin and baby fat rolls!
Nothing can prepare you for motherhood. Yes, you can read books, watch birth stories on TLC, listen to webcasts or go to parenting seminars. These are all good things and should be done. It can provide you with tools in parenting but it does not prepare you for the sleepless nights, blow out diapers and projectile spit up. Both of my children would take the gold medal in projectile vomiting/pooping. Yes, I went there. If your child has not shot poop across the room on to the wall or blown out a diaper in the dressing room of an upscale clothing department, consider yourself lucky.
While the kids were babies, I stayed home. I had seasons of working nights and weekends at various retail stores to help make ends meet. I was so afraid of putting my son in daycare. I did not have much faith in the day cares around that they would be able to care for his skin needs and monitor him closely. We struggled a lot financially. God remained faithful and kept food in the fridge and kids needs met. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I won’t say I loved every moment because I didn’t. I battled with a lot of anger and depression. I resented my husband for being able to leave the house to go to work. I felt as if I was just a glorified baby sitter. The Lord continued to mold and shape me as a young mother. He used two special ladies that lived next door to show me that my job as a mother is the most important job in the world. It took me a while to receive my job title as a stay at home mom with pride.
Let me fast forward a bit. Both kids are in school and I was working as a Veterinary Technician at an Animal Clinic. I had been in this industry for about 3 years. I started out as a dog bather and worked my way up. I absolutely loved my job! I never imagined doing anything else. It didn’t feel like a job to me. It was my passion. I was able to help save the lives of precious pets, cry and pray with pet owners saying good bye to their fur baby, and enjoy the smell of puppy breath every day.
Once again, God had his plans and it was not the plans I had for my life. Ivy needed surgery to rebuild her left eardrum. Chronic ear infections and holes left by ear tubes caused her ear drums to completely dissipate. We arranged for the first surgery September of 2017. She had a very difficult recovery and December 2017 I left my full time job to become a stay at home mom once again. Ivy was battling with eating disorders brought on by damaged taste buds from her surgery, PTSD and the human version of the Parvo Virus. She was a sick little girl. She missed a lot of school and when I could I would sub or volunteer at the school to help ease her anxiety. Ivy went through 8 months of counseling and play therapy to work through her struggles. She has hearing loss in both ears and fights through anxiety but she has really blossomed.
A New Chapter
This bring us to how I arrived at G Farms. School is back in session. It’s August 2018. I started applying for full time positions. I was excited to get back to work and hoped to find a job working back at a vets office. I applied at clinics and never head back from anyone. I also applied at the school district and any other office job I could find. I sent out over 50 resumes and job applications but nothing came of it. Discouraged was an understatement. Then I get a text message from my brother saying I needed to apply for this job. The job description was very vague. It was something like this: Intern needed for a cattle farm. Well-groomed and hard worker. Communication and people skills a must.
Hmmm, a cattle farm, Okay, I can do that. I don’t know anything about bovine but sure, I will try it. I would love to work with cattle. Within minutes of submitting my resume I had a reply to my email asking for a phone interview the next day. I gave Willie a call at the time suggested. His first question was “What made you want to apply for this job?” I laughed and said “Well, honestly, I just need a job. I know nothing about the job. Your description was very vague but my brother said I needed to work for you.” We discussed how he knew my brother and it turned out they went to church together. He started to give details about the position: Cutting, raking and bailing hay the first half of the day and the second half calling on prospective customers doing sales. Hold your horses, you want me to do what? Drive a tractor? I can barely drive a standard much less a tractor. Oh, brother, you’re funny!
He sounded like a nice guy to work for but I was unsure. He asked me to think about things and call him back later that afternoon. When I got off the phone I couldn’t stop laughing at the idea of me driving a tractor. I love the outdoors, camping and working with animals but I am far from mechanical. When I shared this conversation with my husband he laughed too. Then he said, “Why not?” Are you kidding me? Babe, me, driving a tractor? Nope, not going to happen. I’m a mom, I have kids, and this is not going to work. I’m going to keep looking and keep praying.
I gave Willie a call back to thank him for taking the two hours out of his day talking with me on the phone but I do not feel I am the type of person he is looking for. Y’all he would not take no for an answer. He asked to meet and share all of the details in person. Then he relayed the information that was extremely appealing. The business side of G Farms would allow me to work from home. I was still convinced that this job was not for me but I agreed to meet him. What could it hurt? It’s just going to prove to the both of us that I am NOT the person he needs for this job. He also asked me to come with a list of questions. He said “I like questions, nothing is off the table, ask me anything.” I came with three pages front and back, full of questions. Surely, he will see that I am not the type of person for this job. I am strong willed, a bit bull headed at times and know nothing about farming. I love farms and animals but this is not what I had in mind.
(One thing I forgot to mention, my husband and I had been praying that I would only receive one job offer.)
During our 3 hour meeting at McDonalds I had a peace overflow like I have never felt before. It felt as if the Lord was telling me this was the job for me. I honestly wanted to cry because this would take me completely out of my comfort zone. At the end of our meeting, Willie offered me the job. He asked me to go home and talk things over with Mike and call him this evening for Mike to talk with him as well. What??? Who does that? I have NEVER had an employer ask to talk with my husband to make sure he was on board with my position. That blew me out of the water. I couldn’t believe this guy’s integrity. I went home and googled him. I reached out to people who were mutual friends to verify his character. They did. Every one of them said the Willie you met with is exactly who he is. I took a leap of faith and accepted the position. I thanked the Lord for answering our prayers of allowing me to have one job offer.
Never in a million years would I have ever imagined having a job like this. I don’t feel like it’s a job. Willie is my boss, but more than that, he is a friend. I have an employer I work WITH not FOR. How many people can say that? How many people have an employer that wants to know how they can help you succeed in your job? I absolutely love talking to my customers and hearing how life is going. I sincerely want to know about the trials they face and how I can pray for them. I call them even when I know they are not needing or ready to purchase because I care about them as a person. Our customers and future customers are not just a name in a data base or a spreadsheet. They are real people, with real stories and it’s a joy building those relationships.
I ended up loving and enjoying my time in the tractor. It saddened me when hay season was cut short due to the rain last fall. It was my favorite part of the day. My shift was 7am-12pm Sunrises over a hay field is absolutely beautiful. It’s like watching the Lord paint the sky right before your eyes. Mornings became my time alone with the Lord. I could sing, pray, and reflect on God’s Word in complete silence. A lot of praying and worshiping has happened out on our hay fields. I’m extremely thankful to be a part of the G Farms team. I look forward to getting to know you and sharing more about who I am so you can get to know me. If you made it to the end of this blog, thank you! I am new at writing for others to read. Thank you!