31 December 2008

Another List?

Not so much. I'm not a big countdown kinda girl.. So I'm going to just write some random thoughts. You know - I try to blog at least once a week.. I really suck at it - But I'm doing much better in the last three months of '08 then I did in all of '07 and the first nine of '08. So that's a plus, right?! As I think about the past year - I am curious as to where it has gone. It seems like just yesterday I was heading to New Orleans for AFBF last January.. when in fact I'm gearing up for another AFBF Convention - This time in San Antonio, TX.

We were talking this morning about how everyone resolves to lose weight for the coming year... I pose the question - does that set us up for failure? Do we hold our sights too high and then become discouraged and quit? I wonder if reverse psychology would work.. What if we vowed to eat crappier foods... Would that result in us eating healthier... I doubt it. But - I think we could be more successful if we made conservative goals for the next year. For example - I resolve to eat at better times and healthier meals. My schedule doesn't always allow for those things to happen - so I will do my best.

My biggest goal for 2009 - Become more patient. Learn to bite my tongue instead of be quick to respond. I think sometimes people get the wrong impression of me. I like to be correct. Sometimes that comes off abrasive. But, I really am a nice girl, I promise!

2008 Has been an incredible year... Professionally - I have been able to travel to great places and learn new things. I have witness first hand "The Tale of Two Cities" if you will... From record high commodity and oil prices - to a market that has turned a complete 180. High input costs, bad weather and a challenging planting, growing and harvest season. But yet - what did we see? Still - a phenomenal harvest. It is a testament to how successful and how amazing the Agriculture Industry is. As 2008 comes to a close - I am thankful for the opportunity to really enjoy what I do - the opportunity to connect with some really amazing people and the ability to continue my education.

This year has been a roller coaster of emotions personally. I lost two very dear members of my family. My Uncle Ducky this past summer and my Aunt Elise a few weeks ago. Not to mention I nearly lost one of my cousins this summer. It was Father's Day when I was on the phone with my dad and I overheard my mom talking to Aunt Diane. It was a day that the rest of us will never forget. Kristina was in a car accident and was being Life Flighted to OSF. That week following Kristina's accident was incredible for so many reasons. I saw the true strength and meaning of the word family. My aunt and my mom's faith was so incredible. Their actions and faith truly proved their power of prayer (not to mention everyone who prayed for Kristina's recovery). Unfortunately, we sometimes don't appreciate a life as much as we should until it is almost lost. A couple of days later the newest edition to the Grebner family came into this world. We welcomed Sophia Grace with open arms. Knowing Kristina was on her way to recovery and we were bringing home a new baby to love and hold - I reminded myself how truly lucky I am. No matter how much we argue or disagree or how little we see them... Our family is unique and I am blessed to have them. It's even been an interesting year in the realm of dating.. There was Sam and then there was Peter. Both of which where failed relationships. But both provided insight and life lessons that are irreplaceable.

Things have slowed down a little bit around the Holidays - but January, February and March are filling up so quickly. Which leads to my final "resolution" for 2009. To not forget to stop and smell the roses. Life is too short.

In closing - I'll leave you with my favorite Irish Blessing...

....“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

Until next year...

Here's wishing you a Happy and Prosperous 2009.... God Bless.

29 December 2008

Breathing a *sigh* of relief...

Holidays are always stressful... And quite honestly this year was no exception. I try to remember the "Reason for the Season" but sometimes, the drama of the whole situation just gets overwhelming.

When I take a step back and look at everything from outside the box - I remember the reasons (no matter how much someone may be irritating me at the time) I have such a dynamic and incredible family. We had a small gathering Christmas Day with my Mom's side of the family... Grandma and Grandpa Faucon, Aunt Lorie and Uncle Todd, Mom, Dad, Mason and a girl that works with my mom at the hospital... Heather. It wasn't all my mom's family - but it was the fact that we are all together in spirit. We all remember how much we loved the big Christmas Day at my Grandma Faucon's. The big meal, the mounds of presents and Uncle Phil coming home. I miss those days - but quite frankly... the small things are so nice, too. As we've grown up - it's more about the fellowship and family and friendships and how thankful and lucky we are to have all of those.

This year was the first time we've had a little one to open presents from Santa on Christmas morning in years. Our friend, Mason, needed a place to stay.. and as my mom always does - she opens her heart and her door to all. So early Thursday morning, I drove out to the house - made sure all the presents were in place and crawled in bed with Mason to tell him Santa had been here and it was time to open presents. How fun it was! I had a nice surprise, too... My mom and dad got me a TomTom (I think it is because they're tired of me always grabbing theirs when I am traveling).

Saturday was a different story.. My dad's family is a different breed. The dynamic between family members is so different than I am used to with my mom's side. I'm not saying that as it is a bad thing - they're just all so different. My Uncle Stevie and Aunt Sandy live in Aurora - and they really enjoy having Christmas (I think it's because Uncle Steve gets to cook)... But oh man - I have no clue how they do it... The only way I can get through it all is with a bottle of wine and hopes that it is all over soon.. Now I don't say that to be catty or hateful... But it seems like everything with some members of my dad's family is a chore. One of my younger cousins came into the house with a chip on his shoulder and left with a bigger one. I guess I am still under the philosophy - life isn't that bad - as long as you have a roof over your head, a nice meal at your table and great people to spend your life with. I was in utter shock when he came in the door to do nothing but complain... about everything. I kept thinking (and reminding him) - it is Christmas - it is one time a year we all get to spend time together - and sadly enough - there aren't a lot left. But what should I expect with a 21 year old that knows everything?!

Dinner was fabulous - everyone brought their specialty - and when you have a family filled with food allergies it can make dinner difficult - but everyone was accommodated and the food was amazing! When I look back on the day - the only thing that really bothers me - is the fact that we don't all sit around and talk. I love that part of the holidays.. Sitting with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine laughing and sharing stories. It is the fellowship that the holidays are truly about.. A gentle reminder of how God loved us all so much he gave His only Son. That is truly the reason for the season.

I wish more people (myself included) would remember that... That we were blessed with one family - and no matter how much we like or dislike them... we always should love them.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and will have a safe New Year's. Here is to an even better 2009.


23 December 2008

Dreaming With My Eyes Wide Open

I haven't sat down in ages to blog. The last few times I have started... then stopped.. then started again. I just haven't found the right thing to talk about. Today is no different... I'm going to start with a story... Hopefully - I'll make a point... at some point.

I was having a conversation with someone earlier today. He and I happened to be discussing what I wanted out of life. What my dreams and aspirations were. I had to stop and think about what I really wanted out of life. I know what I do every day - and how much I truly do love my job... But I also know how much those dreams and goals have changed over the years. I remember the dreams I had as a child - I had lofty goals of changing the world. Making it a better place to raise my children and my children to raise their children. I reverted back to what my mother used to tell me growing up "leave it nicer than how you found it". That is something that has always stuck in my mind.

As I have aged - that dream has changed and morphed into something different and it continues to change every day. I've often times said I wake up every morning excited about going to work. How amazing is this - I get the opportunity to educate a society that hasn't a clue about the importance of Agriculture in their daily lives. You know - from that Christmas Ham or Turkey (or Tur-Duk-En if you're some people) this industry has its sticky hands in everything we eat and use. Think about it, whether it is that hideous Christmas sweater that is inevitable for every Holiday party or the food we consume, the beverages we drink, the fuel we use to drive from point A to point B - their roots are found in this incredible industry of Agriculture.

So you may be wondering where all this is going - as I grow older - I think about what I want in the future. As I said in my conversation earlier - my goals as a 27 (nearly 28) year old woman... I want to have a family... I want to raise my children with the same determination, work ethic, admiration as I was raised. I want my children to have the same respect and admiration I have for the men and women across this country that make it their business taking care of others. You know who I am referring to - the soldiers that protect America, the farmers that feed a growing world, the doctors and nurses that give their time to heal... I could go on forever. But most of all, I want my children some day to appreciate and hold true the dreams my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my dad had and lived... I want my children to continue the education of society.

I guess what I am saying is - don't lose sight of what your dreams once were... No matter if they've been the same since you were a kid or they've changed over the years... They're always rooted in you somewhere. (and for some of us.. they're rooted in Agriculture... who knew!?)