ranch life

#FaveFiveThings [4.28.17]

Hi, y’all! So, this is a few days behind, but I had some work travel through the middle of the week, which kinda threw my week off in both directions (beforehand as I was getting ready, and afterward as I was catching up), so I’m a little behind. Forgive me! I’ve got some great stuff to talk about to make up for it. 😉

Let me start out with a bonus very favorite thing this week…


I had an interview and Steven sent this to me Thursday morning while I was getting ready. I started crying in my hotel room, it was so sweet (I can tend to be a little emotional…). I was gone less than 24 hours all said and done, but I missed them so much! (I’m getting soft in my old age 😉 ).

Okay, let’s talk about the #FaveFive and then I’ll throw in some other fun stuff from our week! 🙂

Zach Williams– Chain Breaker

Zach Williams is a Christian artist, and if you listen to any Christian radio stations, you’ve probably heard his radio single “Chain Breaker”. I was listening to the album on Spotify a few weeks ago and found one of my absolute favorite songs right now.

Y’all. This is a turn it up and shout along song. Ain’t nothin’ gonna steal my joy.

There are other good ones on the album, so I would recommend checking it out! (And blaring it while driving down the road in the sunshine. You can’t help but be joyful.


Turquoise Slide On Crocs 

Okay, I can’t even believe that I’m saying this out loud (or in print to be remembered for all eternity). My husband has had not one, but two pairs of camo Crocs that he has loved with an undying and steadfast devotion for as long as I’ve known him. And I’ve made fun of him for as long as I’ve known him about this because, well, Crocs are ew.

And then I stumbled across a turquoise pair in Bass Pro Shop a few weeks ago on clearance. And it’s hard for me to resist anything turquoise. Or anything on clearance. I was just intrigued enough to give them a shot.

Y’all. I hate myself for even saying this, but they are SO COMFY. Still not super cute (better in the turquoise for sure). But so comfy and easy to clean, and easy to wear. Just easy and comfy. They started out as an around the house shoe, but with me being at home the last few weeks, they’ve made their way out of the house a few more times than I’d like to admit.

These aren’t great pics, but you get the idea. They don’t have the back strap and are just slide-ons.

And side note– if anyone can tell me how to resurrect hydrangeas, I’d be eternally grateful. I can’t tell if I’ve over watered or under watered as the Internet tells me the same thing happens to them either way 🙁


Hard Core Decoys Dog Stand


First of all, let me just say that hubby and I were shocked at the few options on the market for this particular product. I’m not really sure how many options I expected there to be, but it seems like a surprisingly small number. And it took quite a while for someone at Bass Pro to track this down for us in store, and I still honestly couldn’t tell you where they keep them. The only reason we knew they had them was because the website said they were in stock and we had them check for us.

Any who, this guy sits up about a foot and a half off the ground, and is 2 feet by 3 feet on top made of a woven canvas material. The legs have locks to keep them locked when they are out, but it collapses for travel as well. Technically, it would be big enough to put both labs on, but so far Ruger likes to lay on his when he’s hanging out up there, so we will probably get one for each of them.

Basically, this will sit out in the field/pond/etc. while they are hunting and the boys will sit on them until Steven releases them to go get birds that he’s hit because it’s their “place”. They are trained to go to their “place” when told, which means to hop up on there and stay until further notice. Ideally, they sit, but if they are up there for a long time, it’s not a huge deal if they lay down.

We have been keeping this one set up in the house because it’s smaller and it helps with training. When Ruger is in the house, we (usually Steven) will tell him “place” and he’ll go sit there until someone tells him he can move. This is to help keep him from breaking and running out while others are still shooting when they are hunting. The goal is for him to not “break place”- period. So, I usually end up being the meanie that tries to distract him, call him, entice him, etc to get him to break while he’s practicing. So far, he’s done really well! If you are interested, you can find it online here!


Bangin’ Bertha Texas Tech Mugs


I found these (I actually have 2) in a small boutique in the mall here in Temple and I am IN LOVE. Y’all. I just love Texas Tech. I’m so proud to be an alum and Lubbock will have a piece of my heart forever. And I love having little pieces of it here with me.

I first thought this was a mug from Glory Haus, but upon inspection, it is not. Glory Haus has this one available, which I also love (and they have options for a ton of different universities if you fancy another school). If you are also an alum, or live in Lubbock, you can get one like mine at Red Raider Outfitter.

And for those of you that don’t know, Bangin’ Bertha is our enormous bell on a trailer that the Saddle Tramps (our mens spirit group) ring at all home games and homecoming events. She’s kinda famous. 😉


And Still She Laughs, Defiant Joy in the Depths of Suffering– Kate Merrick



This book broke me. I mean, like smashed me all week. It was SO GOOD and SO SO moving, but there were parts that I had to shut it and take a break because there was such truth there.

A little backstory…

I cleaned out my sewing room earlier this week. It is supposed to be an extra guest room/ my sewing and craft room/ my office. And somewhere along the way it turned into my crap storage place. I’ve found over the last 27 years that the more room I give myself, the more stuff I allow myself to accumulate, and that room had become the place that everything that didn’t have a place went to hang out.

So, I tackled it last Tuesday. I had a large folding table up, and I took it down and moved or trashed everything that was on it. It’s becoming strictly a guest room to keep it better organized. I have a few more ideas for it, so I’ll post pics of the finished room later.

Anyway, while I was cleaning, I listened to an episode of The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey (which I discussed on last week’s #FaveFive). This was Episode 133 with Kate Merrick. Kate is a pastor’s wife, writer, and speaker, and had an 8 year old daughter battle cancer. Her daughter passed away, and after this, Kate wrote this book to talk about that experience and how prominent Biblical women (Sarah, Bathsheba, and Mary) overcame immense suffering with joy. I highly, highly recommend listening to the podcast for yourself as the interview is so inspiring, but I was definitely pumped to read this book after listening to the interview.

I feel like I should preface that I’m not in a season of depths of suffering. But this book is about so much more than for just when you are in those seasons. It has such wonderful truth and reminders that we need to see joy in everything. The title is based off Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed in strength and dignity; she laughs without fear of the future“.

Y’all, I have a shirt with this printed on it. And I thought I understood it. Until this book. I just can’t describe all the amazing truths I underlined and highlighted and reread in this book, but I can urge you to read it yourself.

Example: “An excellent woman laughs without fear of the future– not because she is perfect or her life is perfect, but because is good and right and honors God”. Basically laughing without fear of the future means you trust that God’s plan is so great, there is no fear for anything that might come your way. And sometimes in that the trenches of that plan, you totally don’t want to laugh, but Kate talks about how you get there, and how those powerful examples got there as well.

One of the other big themes she talks about is perspective vs. comparison. She discusses that in the situation with Daisy, her daughter, it was very easy to get caught up in comparison, especially on social media. The thought that what some complain about (kids being too loud, messy, etc.) is what others would love to have (for her, to have her kid alive and well, etc.), and that this robs your joy for no reason. “Perspective is a giver. Comparison takes. Perspective is generous. Comparison pares down the loveliness of your life until is appears a thin shred of its former glory. Perspective carries us through life laughing. Comparison evokes cursing and frowns and grumbling.” She urges readers to consider what your social media drives you to do– does it give you perspective or drive you to comparison? Is it giving to or taking from your life?

SO CONVICTING!! I cannot recommend this book enough, and have to say it’s in the top five books I’ve ever read.

So, I downloaded the Kindle version of this (and ordered a hard copy to have for later) right before I was set to fly out Wednesday and fly back Thursday for a half-day working interview for a new job. I started out reading this on my flight from Austin to Dallas, and then read more from Dallas to Lubbock. I actually finished about half of the book in that hour and a half but had to stop because I was giving myself a headache from trying so hard not to seriously cry on those airplanes (people tend to look at you reeeeeeally weird  when you cry on an airplane. or I imagine they do, luckily I haven’t actually done that!). My plan was to finish it up Thursday on my flights, but I actually ran into a very dear friend from Lubbock that happened to be on both my flights, so I took a break and finished it up this weekend. It’s without a doubt in my top five books of all time, and I plan to recommend it to anyone who will sit still long enough to hear my spiel about it. (Maybe one day I’ll do a #FaveFive on my top 5 books… would y’all like that??)


In other news this week, Steven got a new shotgun…


This is the Benelli Super Black Eagle 3, and Steven’s had his eye on it since they announced the release, and we finally found one at Cabela’s in Fort Worth last weekend. He also has a Benelli Over/Under, Supernova and Super Black Eagle 2, and says there is major improvement with this one (which is saying something because he LOVES his other Benellis). And y’all heard it in the video– he loves this gun!


When I flew in Thursday night to Austin, Steven and Ruger decided to meet me about halfway (ish) in Hutto at Hutto Lake Park for a picnic. It was super pretty- they had nice covered picnic tables and a decent sized pond (“lake”). I grabbed Rosa’s on my way through Round Rock and we enjoyed the outdoors. An adorable set of little girls were a little fascinated by Ruger, and the younger (maybe 2-3 years old) kept wandering over to hug him and tell us “I love him! I just love him!”. We do, too! 🙂


Alright, y’all, thanks for stopping by and have a great week!


Linked with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!


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