Lets just start at the top, shall we?
We started the first of last year with a bang, literally, as we began demolishing the old ranch house to build our new home. When the walls came crashing down we knew we had committed ourselves to this adventure! Although it was oddly satisfying to take a sledge hammer to the old house, it did get tiresome and the work seemed long but after 3 months we got it down!
In January we realized that there was nowhere near enough feed to calve out all of cows in Locomotive so we kept back an additional 250 cows at the ranch. Luckily we had an easy winter that helped things go more smoothly, but calving was a lot more intense. And because there was such little feed in Locomotive, we ended up hauling a lot of hay down south, putting a lot of extra miles on the feed truck.
When we weren't busy on the ranch or demo-ing the old house, we were busy studying to be EMRs (aka first responders). The Rancher and I took a class to test and certify to run on the ambulance in our little valley. The long weeks and late nights of studying took me back to my college days and I was so glad when we tested and PASSED the beginning of May. Don't worry, if you get hurt out here in Holbrook and need assistance, you have a ready, willing, and terrified crew to put you back together!
The spring was its normal craziness of branding, turning out, and praying for rain. Luckily, we were blessed on all fronts with a successful branding season, fast turnouts and a lot of rain!
The busyness of spring only got busier with summer as we were full swing into building a house, haying, hauling heifers to rodeos and ropings, and summer fun. I worked on my bucket list and scratched off hiking Mount Timpanogous with my siblings (it might have been a few days before I could walk normal...). Being the cool people that we are (and humble, I promise...) we volunteered in our community at every chance we could! A few highlights included our 4th of July where we cooked breakfast with Farm Bureau as the Young Farmer and Rancher's chairman, had a fire truck in the parade to represent the Holbrook/Stone fire crew, cooked dinner with the Search and Rescue and put on a fire work show with the Malad fire department. I planned and took (with help!) the 12-18 year old girls on a week long camp trip (that had its own ups and downs with beautiful sunny mornings and snowy afternoons!). And we ended the summer with a week long of fair fun where I helped organize rodeos, a hypnotist show, vendor booths, and horse races all while doubling as EMS after a huge meth cookhouse was found (don't worry, it hadn't been running in years, but still scary to have in our little valley!). And if that doesn't sound like a crazy summer, lets add in a little morning sickness! Let me just tell you that one of the highlights for our summer was NOT our garden... I don't know that I have ever neglected it so bad as this summer.
As the summer came to a close, we hit a new milestone when we sent The Rancher's Sidekick to school for Kindergarten! I didn't cry, but the house certainly felt empty without him. While we was at school, The Ranch Princess and I spent a lot of quality time at the new house painting... and painting... and painting... Don't ask me to come paint anything... I'm all painted out...
Even though we were solely focused on getting the house done in the fall, we took time to go on school field trips to the zoo and pumpkin walk and our annual family fishing trip. Of course we had calves to wean, cows to preg check and fall pasture to be moved to. And before we knew it, the calves were sold (so glad that we contracted in the spring!!) We also learned that my dad's cancer had returned but we are hopeful with a quick catch and aggressive treatment he will beat it again! With appropriate timing, we gratefully moved into our new home the day before Thanksgiving. In fact, we moved our crap in and then jumped in the truck to head to Montana for Thanksgiving all in the same day!
We closed the year out by watching The Rancher's Sidekick first Christmas program, Christmas shopping, The Rancher breaking a few ribs, a week long trip to Tijuana and strep throat. We were delighted to stay home for Christmas to celebrate the season and enjoy our new house!
Yep, looking back we had a crazy year, but I don't think that I would have changed anything about it. OK, I could have done without camping in snow in July or the morning sickness or The Rancher breaking a few ribs (I mean, did you have to do it right when we were finishing moving in?!) but we learned and lived and laughed so much! I love and appreciate my family more this year than ever and truly look forward to the coming year. In some regards I'm a little afraid, because I have learned that times can be tough. But I have also learned that together we can get through it all!