Calving Season

A mama cow and her new born calf standing in the sunset of the high plains grass.
It’s here. The time of year that One Cute Cowboy is getting up throughout the night, along with my dad, and brother-in-law, to check for calves. It’s not an easy season, can be heartbreaking, but also incredibly rewarding. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. 

A Cowboy checking out a new born calf, watching it stand up.
There is checking, and re-checking, waiting, hurrying, and hopefully very few trips to the vet.

After they’re born there’s a lot of watching-watching to make sure the mama claims them, making sure they get up, making sure they get that first meal. There’s tagging and weighing, and making sure all is matched up.

A Cowboy tagging a calf, while the mama cow stands close by watching.

Mamas don’t like when the cowboys get too close to their babies.


 
Sunday we had 4 babies, which is a pretty big day for a pen of heifers. Two were born naturally and were on the ground when one of the cowboys went out to check. One was pulled by my dad and One Cute Cowboy early yesterday morning, and one we had to rush to the vet and finally after much trying, was born weighing a whopping 95lbs by C-Section. That was a first for me. Those of you who aren’t familiar with cows and heifers (heifers=first time mamas) a desired birth weight for a heifer having a calf is about 60lbs. So this calf is a whole 35lbs heavier than a normal heifer birth. Woah! We were thankful for our local vets Carrie Jo & Rusty.

(I have a picture of this, but maybe it’s too much for my readers.)

Today we’ve had 8 calves. The cowboys (my dad, brother-in-law, and One Cute Cowboy) have been busy busy. One was pulled in the wee hours of the morning by OCC and my brother-in-law. But don’t let them fool you, they love it!

Two cowboys drenching a new born calf.
Every now and then you have a baby whose mama won’t claim it, or a mama that doesn’t have enough milk, or maybe they lost their mama. That’s where a big part of my role comes into play (besides waking One Cute Cowboy up in the middle of the night to go check heifers) that’s when bottle-feeding is needed. It’s my speciality! There are few things I enjoy more on the ranch than bottle feeding baby calves. Though I hate the reason for needing to bottle feed, I enjoy being those babie’s mama for a short while. 

A bottle calf trying to nurse on the feeders jacket

Always trying to nurse on my jacket.

A close up of a baby bottle calf.
This is my current baby, Maybell. She’s as sweet as they come, and has become quite the little sassy pants. She loves to drink her bottle while you rub on her sides. Her little tail just swishes back and forth in happiness. She’s about 10 days old.

Black cat, looking into the cow owns

Pen boss and mid-wife, Mama


To say calving season is busy, would be an overwhelming understatement. But trust me, it’s the very thing these cowboys live for. Seeing their hard work pay off. Caring for these heifers and cows, striving to help them in every way possible. They always want the very best for each animal. They love them deeply. For this reason I’m proud to be a rancher, a rancher’s wife, and a rancher’s daughter. May the traditions live on. ❤

A Cowboy on his horse, riding through a pasture in the sunset

*ASpottedHeart 

Story time…

Since yesterday was the anniversary of the day Riley proposed to me, I decided I’d tell you a story about how One Cute Cowboy and I ended up together and how God is good!

From a young age, I loved music. I sang everywhere I could growing up and eventually learned to play guitar and learned to plink around on a piano. Fast forward to the college years. I studied Commercial Music (no, not music for commercials) and  Entertainment Business at South Plains College in Levelland,TX. After graduating I spent some time contiplaiting what my next step was: Austin,TX or Nashville,TN.

After 8 months, I finally decided to take the leap to Nashville. I lived there for 3 years, worked at the famous Grand Ole Opry, and met life-long friends and had some really great experiences. I played music here and there and though I enjoyed Nashville, I knew I would never make a permanent home there. I moved there in hopes to start a music career, I feel like what really happened was I truly became myself there. I learned things about myself and who I was in the time I spent there. Then the opportunity kind of arose to move back home for awhile and help take care of my grandma. I was kind of burnt-out on Nashville, and thought it’d be nice to go back home for awhile.

Now, in a parrallel world, Riley had been growing up, riding horses, chasing cows, and roping everything he could only 84 miles away. He started working with his dad after high school and after a few years and a couple of adventures, he decided to join the military. He went off to Boot Camp in Georgia, and came back and was stationed in Colorado Springs, CO. Then (at the time I had been in Nashville for about a year) he willfully went to Afgahanistan. He was there for a full year before returning home. ( I thank God every time I think of this, He fought for and brought my future-husband home so I could become One Cute Cowboy’s wife and build my life with him long before I knew him or knew God’s plan for me.) He spent one more year at base in Colorado before joyously returning to his family ranch, only 60 miles from me, 2 months after I, myself, had just moved home.

I remember one of my Nashvillian-raised friends making the comment, “Just watch you’ll move back to Oklahoma and fall in love with some cute cowboy!” I distinctly remember rolling my eyes and telling her she didn’t know where I was from. I was moving from a city of around 168,000 people to a county of right under 2,000. There wasn’t a cowboy in a 60 mile radius I didn’t already know.

For the next 10 months I stayed days and nights with Grandma, helping take care of her, and helping my dad with his puppies, and just enjoying a quiet, single life. I didn’t have any concrete plans on what I would do next, and really had no kind of timeline, I was just taking life in stride, watching Andy Griffith & Bonanza with Grandma and playing lots of dominos. Life was good. I was happy!

Then, one day in mid-May, we ran into a couple of family friends. Like us, they were in the middle of working their Spring calves. The conversation got around to if I was seeing anyone. I knew then and there Sherri had something up her sleeve, for since I was in High School she and her sister had been trying to set me up with this boy and that boy, just regular ‘ol matchmakers. She went on and on about this “young man” she just knew I’d hit it off with, how sweet and polite he was, how he was fun and kind. Once again, I distinctly remember rolling my eyes. “HA!” I thought, “that’s the last thing on my mind, and I’m definitely not interested in any cowboy!” She kept mentioning how they’d be branding again that Thursday, and how I should come out. Now,if you’ve been with me for awhile, you’ve probably read my Rancher’s Wife post. I’ve only ever helped with my own family’s brandings, so the thought of going to help with someone else’s branding was a bit daunting. I went back and forth about it and had pretty much decided I wasn’t going to go, I really wasn’t all that interested in dating at the moment anyway. The night before, Sherri called me and said she’d had an idea. She said that they always like to have someone take photos during one of their Spring brandings. So if I wanted, I could bring out my camera and take pictures and then help with lunch, then I wouldn’t feel the pressure of helping since I wasn’t used to drag branding (my family had always used a chute to brand, though that’s not entirely the case now that Riley has come into the picture 😉  So I begrudginly agreed to go.

The next morning I got up early to drive the 45 miles out to the place they were branding. It was unusually cool and foggy for May. I met Sherri at the house and we drove over together to serve a little morning snack after they’d gathered the calves. I was nervous, a bit embarrassed even though I was assured he knew nothing about it, so there wasn’t any real pressure there. For all he knew I was just a girl that came out to take photos. We pulled up to the pens and there he was on his horse, getting a calf that had turned back. He was grinning from ear to ear-I could tell he was loving what he was doing. I remember that making me smile.

Sherri and I had parked and gotten out the coffee and little snacks. The whole crew came over to get something warm and I quickly took the chance to look at his face while serving him coffee. His eyes were clear blue, and again, he was grinning. I quickly looked away, but even after I looked away, I could feel his eyes on me. He was handsome in the most rugged, best way.

We got over to “the Dandy” to sort and work the cattle. I started watching and taking photos.

These are just a few from that day, though I have well over 100. I mean, how many people can say they have a picture of their spouse the very first day they met? I’m so happy to have these. Anway, on with the story…

They finished working the calves, and it was time for us to serve lunch. We set everything out, and Sherri came over to me and said, “Let’s take over some tea to Riley and his friend, and I’ll introduce you.” We walked over to where they had just sat down with their plates and he jumps up for Sherri to introduce us. He was trying to hold his plate, take off his hat to politely shake my hand, while I was trying to hand him his drink and shake his hand, all at the same time-it was a pretty funny sight I’m sure. He said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you! It really is,” with that big grin spread across his face. That was it, that’s all he said. That was the only real exchange we had the day we met, except for when he left, he thanked us, as a group, for lunch, and smiled once again and repeated the same sentence from before. Haha! It was endearing, but I was just sure he wasn’t that interested in me. I mean, that’s all he said. The whole day. The day was done, so I left with Sherri to go back to my car and head back to town. On the way there Sherri informed me that though Riley didn’t know I’d be out there today, he did know about me. Stormie, her niece, had been telling him about me as well. She asked if he were to ask for my number, if I’d mind her giving it to him? I told her that’d be perfectly fine, but I just had a feeling he wouldn’t be asking for it, but it was a good day,and I had fun regardless if he was interested or not…so I told myself.

The following day we were working our own calves so I’d been out all morning and half the afternoon helping with that. We got in late afternoon and I decided to take a nap. When I woke up, I had a missed call and a message from a number I didn’t recognize. I quickly listened to the message and LOW & BEHOLD, it was from HIM! The One Cute Cowboy himself asking if I wouldn’t mind calling him back. I called him back and he asked me on a date for the next night! I was excited, I was nervous, I was worried we’d end up being too different. The next night rolled around and we went to eat in town and we just talked. I mean really talked. About anything and everything and I was surprised at how immediately at ease I felt with him. I had my mind set out that I was not going “out of my way” to impress this guy,that had never worked in the past, and if this guy was going to like me, it was going to be for all of me. We had so much fun, that night, talking and dancing on a dirt road. For the next 6 months we were pretty much inseparable. Then October 27th, 2013 One Cute Cowboy asked me to be his wife! The rest is pretty much history: we got married April 5, 2014, and never looked back!

This is a picture of right after Riley proposed!

The reason I wanted to write this, and in such detail (sorry I know this post is long) is One Cute Cowboy was not in my “plan,” but thank the Lord, he was God’s plan for me! We went from growing up merely 60-80 miles apart our whole childhoods, never meeting, then Riley literally went across the world to war, and I moved 1,000 miles away from home to pursue music, only for God to bring us right back where we’d both grown up, to meet each other, fall in love, and make our life here. I’m amazed at the persistence of God. There were times I questioned if what I was doing was God’s plan for me (as I assume most of us do) but now I see all those steps were for a reason. God knew Riley and I neither one were ready until that exact moment in time. I thank God for not giving me all those things I thought I “wanted,” and for showing me that He truly had a better plan for me.

So there’s our little (condensed) story of how we ended up together! If you made it this far, thank you for reading!  There’s a lot of other details, but I didn’t figure you have all day 😉  

It’s the weekend! Hope it’s a blessed one!

Friday Favorites: All the Things 

Friday’s are for sharing favorites, and this Friday I want all the things!  My favorite season is underway and all kinds of cute things are popping up on my Instagram feed and emails! Can’t wait to get my hands on some of these fall goodies! You’ll recognize some of the shops/brands. Enjoy my Friday favorites that I’m seriously crushing on!

You guys! I am in love with this new top designed by the sweet gal, Geena, over at Fit On The Farm, one of my favorite instagramers! They’ll b sold through Redford Ranch Style, also a great insta to follow! This will be perfect for Fall!


I was so excited to see Pioneer Woman was adding to her line. I absolutely love these mugs! They’d be perfect for my morning tea and Riley’s morning coffee. Not to mention the beautiful Fall colors. 

I’m loving my new sign from OkieWild! Sam sent this to me for my birthday, and it’s been my motivation all week. She has some great ideas brewing! 


Anyone that knows me knows I’m a sucker for World Market and kitschy kitchen stuff. Also used to be purely a dog person, but marriage does weird things to you, and in short, I’m now a cat person too. I can’t get over how cute these measuring cups are and sponge holder are. They remind me of my sweet Bumpercat. 


Who wouldn’t love this Kate Spade “Dalmatian” tea pot. 🙂  I spotted this last spring and have been dreaming of it ever since. 

This wraps up my Friday favorites! What are some of your current favorites? 

A Rancher’s Wife

I’ve  been around horses my entire life. I’ve loved and brushed, and fed cake out of my hands to the beloved horses of our family for years. Some may read this as I’ve ridden horses my entire life…well, not quite. As I have, for many years ridden, I’ve always been more of a lover of the animal, then the rider. *insert my whole family nodding at this statement.* haha


As a kid, I was a bit, ahem, strong headed. I did a lot of things in my own time and in my own way. With this said, after being drug to what seemed like every rodeo in the country during the summertime for my two older sisters to compete, the last thing I wanted to do was start rodeoing  myself. So naturally I didn’t become as skilled a rider as my sisters. There was one horse, and I do only mean one horse that I would confidently ride by the name of Billy Anna. She was a sweet, gentle little roping horse that pretty much did whatever I wanted. Except for the one time I tried to run barrels on her, that she would not do! But she was a great horse, that I got along with and felt comfortable to ride. Once Billy Anna passed, it was hard for me to feel real confident on any other horse. I didn’t feel like I was in control like I did on her, so as the years have gone by, I’ve ridden less and less.

Then out of nowhere comes this irresistable cowboy that is the real deal. He ropes and rides, lives in boots and a hat, and can wear a pair of leather chaps like this girl didn’t know was possible. So as you might imagine, I’ve ridden a bit more in these past few years.

This is a picture I took the very first day Riley and I met.


Yesterday was one of those rare times I got to go with him and just simply ride through the cattle, and check to see if there are any to be doctored.                                                                           It was a cool, overcast day, ideal horseback riding in my books! We had 3 pastures of mamas and babies to check.

Boone and I looking at the cattle.


Riley loaded me up on his Red Roan, Boone, and he rode his little Sorrel mare, Mazie. This was my first time on Boone. He’s fairly gentle and likes to go slow, and so do I, so we were a good pair. 

We started to ride through the cattle, looking to see if all the calves looked healthy. We look for scours, calves with their heads looking “droopy” and just all in all making sure their mobility and all look okay. When one needs to be doctored, Riley has to rope the calf, and gives it a shot of medicine. A lot of times the mamas don’t really like for someone to be getting so close

to their babies, but it only lasts a matter of seconds and their

off again. 

You hear people talking about the “Great Wide Open” well, I live right smack in the middle of it. 

Riley doctoring a calf while its’s mother stands by.


It turned out to be a really good day. A day that I was thankful to get to go horseback for awhile and thankful to be a ranchers wife.