September 30, 2013

one of my most prized possessions.


This ring was my grandmother's spoon ring.  I have never seen her wear it, but when she passed away and my aunts/mom were going through her jewelry, this was one of the things that my mother took. When she brought it home, I knew that I wanted it and really haven't taken it off since. It's a beautiful ring, so old and so unique.  Several times a month, someone comments on what a beautiful ring it is; I just smile and begin telling a story of my grandmother. When that moment happens, it doesn't really matter if I was in a rush to get somewhere.The world just stops for a few moments and I think about all the memories I had with her.  She taught me how to knit, encouraged me to be a woman after God's heart, and to love people even if they don't love you back. She made some of the best yeast rolls and was always active in the church and community...she was always a servant to others. My grandmother is no longer with us, but there isn't a day that goes by without me looking down at my hand and thinking of her. I am so thankful that God chose me to be one of her granddaughters.  She was such a special woman and I will always remember her.  



September 27, 2013

coffee thoughts.


I am not the biggest fan of sitting in coffee shops and working, so this blog post is coming from my usual place of blogging. But, I did go get my favorite drink from Starbucks, then indulged myself in a wonderful, much needed haircut. My favorite drink is a soy chai...I love coffee, but coffee after 11:00am or so is never good for me if I want to go to sleep at a decent hour. I am super sensitive to caffeine, so I never drink much of it to begin with.  I have grown up as a decaf girl :)

Lots of things have been rolling through this little mind of mine here lately.  

Some happy. 

+My job is extremely satisfying and challenging right now.  I am even taking a class to learn how to become a certified crop advisor.

+My family is starting to plan our holiday travel.  Sounds like we may possibly be getting some northern visitors down here in the south for Thanksgiving!

+There is an North Carolina State football game this weekend.  There is also a Georgia game.  Go Pack! Go Dawgs!

+ I am traveling next week to the great state of Oregon!  I have never been there and cannot wait to cross it off my list of states visited!

+God and I have got a good thing going right now.

Some sad.

- Many of my friends are ready to settle down but are struggling to find someone.  

-The amount of food in my house is rather low. I am trying not to have too much before I travel so it doesn't get wasted.

- I am really struggling to find good TV shows that fulfill me.

- I miss my family and my dogs.


"Go to a coffee shop and order your favorite drink.  Write down what makes you happy. Write down what makes you sad."

September 26, 2013

my words are my biggest mistake.


I'm not perfect and over these 23+ years in life I have realized that nobody is...we all make mistakes that hurt ourselves and those in our lives.  We hurt the people that love us most and are hurt by those same exact people.  Sometimes it is just by our words and other times it is by our actions. We have all hurt. We all know what it feels like. We all know those mistakes we have made and won't ever forget.

My words hurt.  As much as I love words...love expressing them through writing and speaking...every once in a while, my words sting.  They pierce the hearts and souls of those that I love.  My words weigh me down after I have realized what I said.  My words hurt those around me.  

Once something leaves your lips you can't take it back...you can apologize...but you can't ever take it back.  Your words can lift someone up one minute and take them down the next. I believe words are one of the most powerful tools of the heart, mind, and body.  

My words have bruised more hearts than I can count on my fingertips. Not many of us have the intention to hurt those that we love...we don't mean to...but sometimes mistakes happen and we let those little words do more harm than good. 

I want to do better. I try to do better...and sometimes all I can do is hope those that I love take the time to forgive me for the hurt that I have put on their hearts.  Every day I just pray to the Lord to heal my heart and make my words of service to Him. We all make mistakes; it's up to us to forgive, forget, and become a stronger person because of them.  


September 24, 2013

the fit bit.

My mom got me hooked...and a bunch of other people too.  Y'all, this is the fit bit.


This wonderful little thing is a daily activity tracker...so, what does that mean?  It means that this little thing (most days) holds me pretty accountable to the activity that I do.  When I was teaching, I had absolutely no issues getting in the exercise I needed each day.  Now, that I sit at a desk most of the day, it take A LOT of work for me to get any exercise in.  As you can see in the pictures above, this tracker has several different settings.  It keeps track of your steps, the number of of stairs you climb, how many calories you have burned, and the number of miles you have gone. That little flower grows a little bit taller the more active you become.  This device is absolutely amazing.

Now, it's not the cheapest thing...its actually about $100, but it holds me accountable and sometimes that's all I need. One of the best parts about it is that I can compete with friends and family on the number of steps we take each day.  Currently, I compete against my mom and sister, some church friends, and a few co-workers.  It's fun, it's competitive, but most of all, it gets me outside walking.

Yep...even makes me put on tennis shoes with my dress to go walking. Bless my heart.





September 23, 2013

life lately.

Life lately. Whew.

It's been about discovering myself, falling in love with myself, and living life to its fullest.  Its been about strengthening my relationship with the Lord and living to serve Him. It's been about spending time with friends and family.



It's been about going on adventures and doing things that I have always wanted to do.  Its been about getting up a little earlier to enjoy the nice people at Starbucks and a wonderful coffee. Its been about laughing at the little things and not worrying about the big things.  Life lately...well, its been about me and the Lord and the blessings He has showered me with.


And  here lately, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that :)



September 22, 2013

making that dollar bill y'all.

70- Write out a budget and stick to it- DONE (09/22/13)

I made a budget!



The above is obviously not my real budget...$40.00 car payment...say what?!?! I wish!

Making a budget is much more difficult than I thought, but it was a much needed aspect of my life.  When I was teaching and receiving one paycheck a month, I saw my money come in and go out in a period of about 4 days. It was easy to mentally track where my money went and I never spent anything extra!  I lived in the boondocks...the closest Target and Starbucks was at least an hour away, so my money stayed right in my bank account.  Now, I am receiving two paychecks a month and really struggle keeping track of where my money is going.  

So, as part of my 101 in 1001 goals, I wanted to make a budget. I saw Molly Stillman's at Still Being [Molly] and loved it!  I wanted to alter a few things, so I made my own that has the same idea as hers with just a few extras. I also wanted to use my excel skills (from work!) to develop something for myself.  Now, I just really need to concentrate on saving all my receipts so I can track my actual expenses!

In order to effectively track my expenses on the road and at home, I have been using google docs to help! Now I can access it from just about anywhere!

How do you track your expenses?

September 21, 2013

comfortable.

The other morning I was driving to work and just got this overwhelming feeling of comfort.  My body just seemed to relax, my mind cleared, and nothing mattered but that moment. I have honestly never felt that way before...never actually lived in the "present moment".  I wasn't worried about anything, I didn't feel stressed, and felt more than ready to conquer the day.  

Why this moment came about...I really have no idea; but it was a feeling that felt so good. Normally I am stressed, worried, and anxious about something.  It is an exhausting way to live...and I know that, but it doesn't make living the "stress free, worry free, anxiety free" lifestyle any easier.  




In that moment this past week I caught myself watching the sun rise as I drove to work.  It's been a while since I have seen the sun rise. When I was teaching and commuting about 50 minutes every day, I loved that moment in the morning.  It was just me, my coffee, and my radio rolling down the highway watching the beautiful sunrise.  

I don't wake up to see it anymore and I forgot how much I miss those mornings of my life.  I have always loved mornings and find the early morning hours comfortable. I perform better, I am happier, and living in the present moment is so much easier when there are only just a few others experiencing it with you.  I think it is time to seek those moments again. Have you ever had an overwhelming moment of peace?  Do you truly live in the present moment?

September 16, 2013

relivable moments.

There are three distinct moments in my life that I would love to relive...and every single one of them revolves around agriculture, family, and the organizations that influenced me growing up.  

While my family was in Michigan, we were extremely involved in 4-H and the Oakland County 4-H Fair.  I was an active member of the livestock club and met so many friends that I still love today.  We would wake up early and go to bed late having some of the best times our lives. I started 4-H at the age of 9 with two goats.  After that, I decided to show goats, cattle, hogs, and chickens. Most of my life was spent with my animals and I was completely okay with that.  Winning ribbons and grand champion banners was fun, but the memories and lessons learned are some that I cherish near to my heart every day.  


One of the most traumatizing moments in my life (or so I thought) was my parents picking our family up and moving south.  I was only 15 at the time and had just finished my freshman year of high school; I was losing my friends, my 4-H club, and my many memories at the Oakland County 4-H Fair. All in all, it was one of the best decisions my parents had ever made.  I found my niche' in the FFA, ran for state office my freshman year of college, and was elected to serve the 17,500 members in North Carolina.  I gained a new family, developed new friendships, and put over 40,000 miles on my car traveling North Carolina.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!


Last but not least, I was given the opportunity to run for National FFA Office in 2010.  I went through a 3 day interview process that challenged my public speaking ability, presentation skills, and knowledge of the agriculture industry. Even though I wasn't elected, God led me to meet a man that I love dearly and ended up dating for a few years.  I got some of the best advice, met some of my best friends, and felt even more inspired to be a leader in an organization that I loved so much. 


As you can see, agriculture has always been and always will be a large part of my life.  It has molded me into the person that I am and the person that I can be.  It has taught me the value of hard work and a love for the earth.  It has given me some of my most precious memories and has made me love family more than I could ever imagine. Thinking back and reliving these moments make me smile...and it makes me fall in love with my life all over again.

66- the electric run.

I have completed another 101 in 1001 goal!!!



66. Run a 5k- DONE (9/13/13)

I am not in love with running...never have been, never will be, but these fun races aren't too bad. Ever since running in the Color Mania 5k with my friend Amanda, I knew I wanted to run another. My sister Katherine and our friend Genia really wanted to run the electric run and I am so glad that they encouraged me to!
The Electric Run supported Special Olympics, something that became near and dear to my heart when I was studying to become a teacher.  Races can get expensive, but when you are doing it for charity, it is always a rewarding experience.  If the Electric Run is coming to a city near you...I highly recommend it!  

The race was so energizing, so exciting, and so fun!  Definitely go with a group of friends, buy way too many glow sticks at the dollar store, and take lots of pictures! I would run it again tomorrow if I could!


September 10, 2013

a turning point.

There are so many times in my life when I have often wondered why God placed me in the situation that He did.  As I look back on those things, I realize that it was all for the good of my heart, soul, and mind.  Knowing that God has got my back not only some of the time, but ALL the time is a pretty comforting feeling to have.  


Some major turning points in my life were: (get it? the space needle turns...maybe I am the only one laughing...yep, definitely am.)

+ Moving from Michigan to North Carolina
+ Running for National FFA Office and not being elected.
+ Starting as an agriculture teacher at St. Pauls High School
+ Being offered a job at Cheminova, a job in the agriculture industry.

I was about 15 years old when I moved from Michigan to North Carolina and let me tell you...it.was. traumatic...or at least I thought it was at 15 years old.  Let's just say that there was a lot of unhappiness in the Miller household for a couple of months.  At the time I didn't realize the impact that living in North Carolina would have on my life.  I went to one of the best high schools in the state of North Carolina, I was able to join and become an active member in the FFA, and I have had some of the best memories a girl could have asked for.  

After preparing many months to run for National FFA Office and not be elected really brought down my self esteem.  I was lost without the FFA, but thanks to a couple special people in my life, I found my way and eventually saw that I had a passion to work with people in the agriculture industry.  

When I accepted the job at St. Pauls, I did it because I loved the FFA chapter and loved the work that could be done in the community.  Little did I know how much of a positive influence those kids would have on me.  They made me comfortable in the world and taught me a few lessons (and a few hip-hop songs). I met one of my best friends and learned a lot about being on my own.

When God dropped the Cheminova job in my lap and told me to go...I went...and I am so glad that I did.  He took me completely out of my comfort zone, challenged me to be a better agriculturalist and gave me the opportunity learn the crop side of the industry while traveling the nation.  This job has been a blessing and has allowed one of my best friends to be my roommate. 

I couldn't be much happier than I am now and know I wouldn't be where I am without God making these major turning points part of my life.  When you spend some time looking back at all that you have...you begin to realize just how blessed you really are!

September 9, 2013

I got the ESFJ.

Guess what?  I am an ESFJ. Yep...extraverted, sensing, feeling, judging.  Otherwise known as "the caregiver".

After taking this personality test, I spent some time learning more about some of my characteristics.  The last time I took a personality test was probably my freshman year of college...so in other words, it's been a while.  



Here are a few characteristics:

+I love people and being around them.
+I am good at reading others and understanding their point of view
+I have a strong desire to be liked by others and seek approval
+I take responsibility very seriously and will do all that I can to make sure something is completed.
+I am dependable, most of the time!
+I am easily hurt by indifference and seek understanding.
+I value security and stability in my life.
+I get a lot of my personal satisfaction from the happiness of others.
+I like to feel appreciated 
+I like to give my things or service to others
+I love structure and organization
+I like to follow the rules and like to follow laws placed by authority.
+Sometimes I can be insecure
+I love tradition, practicality, and consistency.

As I look back through most of my pictures in college, it's crazy to see how accurate this personality test was. Most of the time, I am always with people and am in the act of helping those around me. Take the short test...see what you are. I would love to know a little more about you!  


September 7, 2013

just a simple dog.

Dogs are just so happy.  These two spent a good portion of Saturday night sleeping on the couch while I watched my North Carolina State Wolfpack play...and it was wonderful. I wanted to watch the game out, but the game wasn't televised anywhere, so home was my best option. As much as I wanted to go out and celebrate with my fellow Wolfpack, home was good with these two.  

Something about these dogs can automatically bring a smile to my face.  They greet me at the door and want all the attention I can give them.  They curl up on the couch and enjoy the game with me and that's just heart warming. 

Lately, life has been interesting and I have been thinking a lot about it.  You know what...people don't tell you how hard your 20's are.  People expect so much out of you...and sometimes that can be stressful. Friends and family encourage you to choose a major that you may or may not pursue a career in.  People ask if you are dating someone or if you are getting married anytime soon. You are expected to succeed in your dream career immediately and make plenty of money. Guess what...some of that happens, some of it doesn't.

The reality is what you choose to study in college probably won't be the career field you end up working in.  You will find someone you love and a breakup or two will happen.  You will probably start in a job that isn't where you thought you'd be and that "big girl paycheck" provides just enough to live paycheck to paycheck.

That's the reality...because some of those things happened to me.  

But, that's the beauty of life. Just when you think the going gets tough, it gets better and it challenges you to be a stronger person. It opens doors and allows you to make decisions to make you a better you.There are going to be days that you just want to run away and hide from it all, but there are also going to be days that instead of taking 20 steps back, you are taking 20 forward. I've realized it's all about perspective and finding those that want to take the ride with you...and sometimes, it just takes a simple dog for you to smile and make your life just a little bit better than it already is :)

September 6, 2013

high five for friday.


It's FRIDAY!  Recently, I have been loving Fridays.  Maybe because Friday night football is back...maybe because Friday is the day before the weekend...maybe because I have gotten to enjoy some time with close friends.  I don't know...but my Fridays have been some of the best these past few weeks! 

Here are my top 5.

1. The Griffon.  So, on our way to our conference in South Carolina we decided to take a little detour and go to Charleston for dinner.  While there enjoying the scenery, we found this little bar near the water that was COVERED in dollar bills. The entire inside of the bar had $1 bills people wrote on.  I loved it.

2. My dog Trixie (the yellowish) dog made my mom so happy this week...not.  This picture was sent to me by my mother after her 3rd bath in 2 days.  Guess what? This pup found a skunk! Needless to say...most of her hair is gone since it is the only way the smell would come out!

3. Let me tell you...it has been so much fun to come home to this guy and his monkey.  It is great having someone excited to see you as soon as you walk in the door.

4. Milo/Sorghum is one of my new favorite crops. It is such a beautiful crop and is being found to have so many new uses in the agriculture world.  I really loved working with it this past week.

5. I love having a roommate. It has definitely been a highlight for the past few weeks!

September 4, 2013

if I had three months...

If I had to take 3 months off from my current life to go and do anything in the world...I know exactly what I would do. It is really quite simple.

I would drive myself down to one of my favorite places in the world: Beaufort, North Carolina.

Crazy...I know. I have been here several times, but for some reason, this place, this little town holds so much meaning in my heart.  I just love the quaintness and beauty of this place.  Most nights it is so peaceful. Honestly, sitting in a rocking chair watching the boats go by...that's my kind of three months.  



I could easily eat a sandwich from this small town grocery and enjoy life walking up and down the streets of this historic waterfront town.  There isn't one thing that I don't like about this town...and it takes a lot for me to say that since I have visited so many places.  I cannot wait until I can go again...hopefully, with someone special!

September 3, 2013

where we were...and where we are now.

My brother posted this picture on Instagram this morning and after I saw it, lots of memories came flooding back.  Yesterday, while my mom, dad, and I were cleaning out the garage, my mom found our old Highland Feed sign and wanted to hang it up. I guess my brother saw it this morning and took a picture of it...and I am so glad that he did.


See, these two stores make up a majority of my life.  Not too many years after I was born, my parents decided they wanted to start a feed business. Both of my parents have always worked in the animal feed industry and as I watch them each day, I can honestly say that they love their jobs.  My parents work together every day...through good times and bad...and have made these two businesses the best that they can be.

Photo taken by Houston Photography
Highland Feed is where I grew up...it's where my parents put countless hours, buckets of sweat, and love into something that they wanted to achieve in life.  It is where I learned my spelling words, was dared to eat dog biscuits, and played some of the best games of hide and go seek. This store taught me the value of the hard-earned dollar and a genuine work ethic.  It's where I learned to respect people and developed a love for agriculture.

Photo taken by Houston Photography
Photo taken by Houston Photography

Pittsboro Feed taught me to live life a little bit more slowly and to value family more than anything else in this world.  It is where I picked up a southern accent, learned that a "bitty" is just a baby chick, and that the feed business is in my blood.  It's where I learned about relationships, laughed at the silly things, and learned that a little bit of sweat doesn't mean you can stop working.    



Growing up, so many people would say that I had "the best life ever" and I really never understood why...but now I do. I have got the most dedicated parents, two crazy siblings, and a family business that makes our family story just a little bit different than everyone else's. And I wouldn't change it for anything.

Linking up with Jenni for her Blogtember Challenge
"Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are."

September 1, 2013

the strength of the wolf is the pack.


Y'all.  I cannot even begin to explain my love for North Carolina State University.  There is just something about Carter Finley Stadium that gives me the chills every time I step foot into it. I have always enjoyed athletics but this university made me love them.  I love every part of it. The loyalty of the fans despite our tough seasons, the beauty of the red and white, and the tradition of Mr. and Ms. Wuf as they lead each game in cheers against some of our top rivals in state.  

This university is full of tradition, full of pride, and full of my sweat and tears. I attended the first football game of the 2013 season on Saturday and the memories came flooding back.  I made so many friends in this stadium...I reconnected with those that I loved...and I learned any North Carolina State chant that you have ever heard.

This place taught me about family and it taught me about life. Football isn't easy...life isn't easy, but North Carolina State, you taught me how to have fun living it and that's something I will never forget.  

This university showed me this beautiful state. Sometimes it wasn't enjoyable as others (like soil science or forestry...) but I am so thankful I now know how different  the east is from the west.  This university gave me the opportunity to travel and it sent me to places that I never thought I could go.  It gave me opportunity and never stopped believing in me.  

North Carolina State University...thank you for showing me the beauty of the earth and reminding me how special life really is.  Thank you for reminding me how important it is to be part of the pack but to also be a leader.  Thank you for showing me what true love is and how to be forever loyal to those that you love.  Forever and always...

This Is Our STATE.