My Dad passed away the day after my 27th Birthday on Jan 26, 2018 from Stage-4 Colon Cancer. I only mention this because his passing built this huge inertia that I could feel in my bones to find a place where our souls could feel at peace.
For the next couple years after his passing, I was on what felt like this constant treadmill of life; I was feeling this urge to run but didn’t know where to run to.
Heaven sent us running for the hills and we are so thankful we put our running shoes on.
Fast forward to January 26, 2021, exactly three years after my Dad’s passing, we were sitting in an office signing papers for the Ranch.
This place that I felt so desperate for, for so many years was finally ours on a dotted line.
It was a giant leap of faith for our family.
To make this journey work, we didn’t sell our Western Washington home right away because we didn’t want to lose the sale over a contingency. We also had our desk jobs and our whole lives planted in Western Washington that we had to slowly transition over.
This huge leap led us to lots of time in the car and living out of duffel bags for nearly the entire year of 2021.
We would leave the Ranch every Sunday morning and drive 4-hours West. On Wednesday after a full day of work, we would either haul a stock trailer full of cows or an enclosed trailer full of our personal belongings and head 4-hours East.
We brought our first trailer of heifers over in the pitch black on February 10th.
Keith and I unloaded them while the kids slept in the backseat of the car.
It was like we saw stars for the first time in our life; it was so dark and the stars just hung there, so beautifully. In the dark and cold, we just smiled and knew this was going to be worth it.
On March 18th, we had officially hauled the last trailer of cows to the Ranch and just like that life sped up a whole new notch.
Throughout my life, I have been a consistent perfectionist. I like things in order and I don’t like when things spin out of my control.
The Ranch knocked that perfectionism right out of my soul — because here, there is no such thing as perfect and there is certainly no such thing as a plan always going accordingly.
We all are going to be new at something at some point in our lifetime, that is just how it goes. But what I wasn’t prepared for was how much I would grow in the failure. The things most people don’t talk about but you are still bound to experience, you just have to learn as you go through it; there isn’t a roadmap for Ranching. We have brushed our knees off time and time again because we genuinely love what we do.
We have watched life come into the world and we have swept tears off our cheeks when it left. But these lessons in the heartache are the most fundamental. These types of lessons we get to share with our kids and they get to carry it with them forever.
This year of 2021 was a year of true growth.
We left everything we had ever known for a dream that was firmly planted in our hearts. We felt God whisper joy back into our souls here.
The way the Aspen tree leaves shake in the summer breeze.
The way the snow drifts across the pasture and sparkles in the sun.
The way we see a newborn calf open its eyes for the first time.
Its all here on this Ranch and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.