Tag Archives: marriage

Good Idea! Poor Execution…

My favorite farmer and I played racquetball on Saturday morning. Temperatures were hovering around zero outside, so we headed for the indoor court after I got farm chores finished.  We both enjoy athletics as well as doing things together, so it’s a good fit on a cold day.

I’ve loved Matt since I was eighteen and we’ve been married more than half of my life. One of our strengths as a couple is our dedication to the concept of team. We both place a priority on the realization that together we are stronger, just as we also acknowledge that the key to this is using our blend of strengths and weaknesses to continuously work to make the team better.

Matt is, hands down, a better racquetball player than I am. He’s bigger – He’s stronger –He’s faster. In fact, he’s also ambidextrous so he doesn’t have a “weak side”. Playing the game could be frustrating for me with him acing the serve and never giving me the ability to participate; but that isn’t the case because of our unwritten rule of always working to build the team.

As we play racquetball, I have lots of good ideas with poor execution. I’d never played the sport before I met Matt, and our games are pretty infrequent with the responsibilities of family and farm chores. I know enough that I can envision what I need to do, but my body doesn’t always move with the precision needed to make the play. However, each time that we play, I get better. This happens for two reasons:

  1. I bring a positive and passionate attitude to the games.
  2. Matt holds strong to the goal of helping the team to get stronger.

There is a reason that there is no “I” in TEAM. The lack of “I” keeps the team going with universal hope for the future.

Life is full of times when we work to build different skills. It is also full of moments when a fresh set of eyes allows for the development of good ideas. I believe that the secret to success is in the team mentality.  It creates a culture which nurtures the teammates. New ideas are created and embraced, and a level of support exists to inspire the work needed to improve execution.

  • It takes good ideas to inspire continuous improvement.
  • It takes practice to develop good execution.

Common acceptance of the goal, good communication, an underlying level of respect, and a dedication to finding group success makes each individual teammate stronger just as it builds the team. The score board said that I lost all three racquetball games, but I had moments of success and lots of improvement over the two hour period. Matt broke a sweat and I only lost the last game by two points. We finished with smiles on our faces – looking forward to the next time.

Sometimes, that’s the biggest victory of all 🙂

How do you build the concept of “team” in your life?

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Filed under Coaching / Personal Growth, General

Celebrating 21 years…

Today my favorite farmer and I celebrate 21 years of marriage. I’d like to deny that I am old enough to celebrate such a milestone, but when I look at my daughters it’s pretty difficult to dispute the facts 😉

Matt and I met at Dartmouth College the fall of 1993 and said “I do” in June of 1996. We spent a year on the East Coast before making the decision to move back to the family farm in Nebraska the summer of 1997. I often claim that the three girls in the above picture are my greatest blessing, but likely a better statement is that the family that we all make together is our greatest blessing.

At age 21, I had no idea what the future would bring the day that Matt slipped the ring on my finger; but I recognized that honoring the gift of our love would provide the basis of the life that we would build together. I tell my girls that the road to excellence isn’t meant to be comfortable. Rather, excellence is about reaching above and beyond your capabilities in order to accomplish far more than your dreams. That statement provides a perfect description of our marriage.

  • The road is often bumpy.
  • The bumps can make it uncomfortable at times; but there is joy to be found in the journey of togetherness.

Matt has taught me that no matter what you can accomplish alone, accomplishing things together is what makes life meaningful. Being a team creates the needed strength to turn uncomfortable into joyful success. We are devoted to each other — finding strength in the togetherness that transforms the wedding day into a life-long partnership. We work hard for each other, always striving to honor the gift of our love.

Today I count my blessings as I look back with pride on the last 21 years, while also looking forward to next 21 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Family, General

15 Years and Counting..It just felt right.

As I look back at my life, I am always amazed at how the pieces came together and unfolded…  It is almost as if my life has been a series of well timed building blocks that stacked one upon the other.

If I had not had scoliosis, would I have become a nationally ranked swimmer?

If I had not become a nationally ranked swimmer, would I have been accepted to matriculate at Dartmouth College?

If I had not attended Dartmouth, would I have ever met my “farm boy” from Nebraska?

If I had not ever met my farm both from Nebraska, what path would my life have taken?

He's been my soul mate for more than half of my life...

Without him, I most certainly would NOT have had the opportunity to manage a cattle feed yard in Central Nebraska!

I am nostalgic today because last week I wrote an essay on how Matt and I met and our subsequent love story.  Matt’s and my story will be included in a book entitled So… How Did You Meet Anyway? by Susan Amestoy.  Susan found me via “Feed Yard Foodie”, and asked me to contribute Matt’s and my story to her collection.  My essay is featuring on her blog site this week, and can be found at:

http://wwwsohowdidyoumeet.blogspot.com/2011/09/it-just-feels-right.html

The essay is entitled “It Just Felt Right” and it is the September 10th post on her blog site.  It warmed my heart to write the essay and hopefully it will warm yours to read it!  Happy Monday!

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Filed under Family, General

Fifteen years and counting…an unusual anniversary gift.

June 15, 1996

On June 15, 1996 I awoke in my bed in South Florida and headed to the beach for a run.  It was my wedding day, and since I never had been one to spend a lot of time with hair and makeup it seemed like a good way to start the day.  I was young, I was in love, and I was excited to build a life with my soon to be husband.

On June 15, 2011 I awoke in my bed in Cozad Nebraska and made the short drive to the feedyard to “read bunks” at 6:00am.  The day came in the middle of a very challenging week for me as my cowboy was on vacation and my foreman was away from work due to back problems.  With only four of us at the feedyard, it is pretty tough when half of the crew is gone.

A "horseback" view while riding pens...

It had rained the night before, so I needed to scoop some excess water out of a few of the feedbunks that did not drain properly.  I also needed to get the feedtruck running, ride pens checking cattle, and rush back to town to coach swim team over the noon hour.  My afternoon was packed full as well because we were shipping cattle to harvest.  It was pretty obvious to me that I needed a little bit of extra help.  So what did I do?

An unusual, but much needed anniversary gift...

I called my husband, Matt.  He knew that I was exhausted and had told me the night before that he would do anything that he could to help me out.  Ten minutes later, armed with a scoop shovel, Matt showed up at the feedyard (by the way, its only 6:20am).  It took him about 45 minutes of scooping to get my feedbunks cleared out. As soon as he was finished he headed off to the fields to begin his “regular” day as a farmer.

I had checked about 10 pens of cattle before I remembered that it was our anniversary…

Well, at least he had not remembered either!

As I finished riding pens and checking cattle, I thought about how blessed I was to have Matt.  I thought about how proud I was of the life and the family that we had built together over the last 15 years.  I thought about how appropriate it was that Matt’s 15 year wedding anniversary gift to me had been rolling up his sleeves and running a scoop shovel.

Matt is my partner in every sense of the word—he is my rock that I can always count on—he is my sunshine—he is my best friend.  The last fifteen years have been an incredibly journey for me, and Matt is at the center of that journey.  We have been enormously blessed, and we have also been incredibly challenged.  Through it all, we have always been together, moving forward as a team, and giving our best.

I got home to find that our three daughters had made us a chocolate cake to celebrate our anniversary as well as gotten us flowers to decorate our dinner table.  With tears in my eyes, I

My thoughtful daughters who make me so proud.

knew that life didn’t get any better than that.

The flowers that the girls got for us...

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Filed under Family, General