My baby sister is getting married and she doesn't cook very well (her words, not mine). So we decided that a kiss the cook shower would be in order so that she could fill her kitchen  with handy utensils and her cookbook with tried and true recipes.


Everyone invited is charged with bringing Little Sister at least one recipe for her recipe book that was handmade by Mr. OKTrailerParkFriend. And might I add that he did an awesome job! Her book will even be filled with matching recipe cards.


Even with the threat of bad weather, there was quite a showing for the party. We ate some good food, we drank some good drinks and Kelsey filled her cookbook and kitchen cabinets! And a HUGE shoutout to OKTrailerPark Friend and Mr. OKTrailerPark Friend for the awesome cookbook to store her recipes in!


Thank you for everyone who was able to make it to celebrate with Little Sister!



Girl Between the Lines Link up

We all imagined what our lives would be like when we were "grown up".. . how does that compare to what your life looks like now?? 

I'm pretty sure that I was going to be a professional basketball player when I "grew up", I was going to change the world, one jump shot at a time. I was well on my way, playing Division 2 basketball in college, except I quit playing after my sophmore year (and I was playing D2) and haven't touched a basketball for more than 365 days. I just knew I'd go to college then I'd get married and then I'd have kids (like real ones, tiny humans, not ones with fur).

My life today looks something like this: a 30-almost 30something with a mortgage no place to live and a dog. I've got one of those good government jobs that gives me enough time off to travel. I'm not saving the world and I'm definitely not playing basketball to save said world.

Even though my life looks nothing like what I thought it would be at 30-almost 30something, there are a few things that I thought would be there and are there. My family is great. I have some of the best friends anyone could ask for, my dog is cooler than your dog, and I get to travel alot!

So does my life look like I thought it would? Heck no! but it ain't bad!


Over the past few months I've learned a lot about who I am and who I want to be. The revelations have come from some very unexpected people and circumstances. Its been stressful, its brought tears and laughter and its been stressful......did I mention its been a bit stressful? And that I'm very thankful for those who have shown, not told me what kind of person I am and continue to strive to be.

Although I don't do it often, as in I should go more, I spent some time at Hastings the other day. You just can't beat the rows of books, waiting to tell you a story, surrounded by the warm smell of coffee and its quiet! I ended up picking up a devotional book by Joyce Meyer. Joyce Meyer is a favorite of the Assistant Pack Leader and I decided it was high time I tried one out. Because I've been struggling so much with being strong, standing up for myself and making changes in my life over the past few months what better to help me along than Power Thoughts Devotional?

And so the power thought from last week that I loved? and want you to love too!

Our Words Are Seeds
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. HEBREWS 4:13

Every action is a seed we sow, and we will reap a harvest from our seeds. our words, thoughts, attitudes, and actions are all seeds that we sow; and seeds produce harvest. Sow mercy; reap mercy. Sow judgment; reap judgment. Sow kindness; reap kindness. If you don't like how your life is right now, I have good news for you. You can change your life by sowing right seeds. 

If you're not in a good place in life, you didn't make one wrong choice to end up where you are, and you can't make one right choice to get yourself out of it. Change won't happen overnight. But if you invest you life in learning what is the right thing to do and then do it with God's help, you will reap the harvest.

Power Thought: With God's help, I'm sowing good seeds every day of my life.




Excerpt by Marie - This fund has been set up to help our family with the expenses that come along with Jeremiah having heart surgery. 

For those of you who may not be familiar with our sweet Miah our journey began back on October 5, 2010 on the day that he was born. I was scheduled to have a c-section in Hereford Texas but when I went in that morning they found a blood clot in my leg and decided that it would be best for me to be sent to Amarillo. When I arrived I was in active labor, so much for a easy c-section! I was sent to ultrasound so they could locate my blood clot and get a plan together. To all of our amazement there was no blood clot to be found!!!! A God thing for sure only HE could know that our sweet little man would need the best heart doctors in the area the min he was born. After he was born I had the moment every mother waits for I had a screaming baby that I was shown and then he was carted off to be looked over. 

That's when our world changed he was blue and they rushed him to the NICU and found that his oxygen levels were very low. It was discovered by the on call heart specialist that he has tricuspid atresia which is a disorder where his right ventricle did not develop and he has no valve between the non formed ventricle to the atrium. He and my husband were flown to Dallas Children's Hospital that night. We were then sent home after one week, only to be emergency flown back to Dallas 2 weeks later to have his BT shunt operation. Shortly after we arrived he crashed and his oxygen levels were in the teens. He was taken into surgery with in the hour. We were at the hospital for over a month with this procedure. His second surgery was in July of 2011 when he was only 9 months old. This surgery is called the Glen and is the beginning of the process to transform his heart into a newly routed heart that will carry him into adult hood. This hospital stay was closer to a month but was still very hard on us all being away from family. 

Jeremiah is now ready to have his Fontan procedure which is the last surgery that he should have to have to help his heart function normally. We are asking for help with the financial aspect of this. We have insurance and they cover most of the hospital stuff but its the extra. I will have to be off work for at least a month if not more to be with him in Dallas and to take care of him when we get home. This will cause a financial strain on the household. I will also have some expense while I am there for food, laundry, and other things that may come up like a taxi to go for things that Jeremiah may need that are not offered at the hospital. Also to help with the household bills the month that I am off work things like our water, electricity, gas, food at the house for the other kids, who will be holding down the house while I am away. 

God Bless you all who can help and for those who may not be able to financially help prayers are always more than welcome! They are what get us through and our faith that God will provide!

Litte Jeremiah is such a fighter and is named after "Miah" who left this world too soon. I can't help but think that Miah is looking after Little Miah through the many struggles he has been through all before he even is near the double digits of life. If you have anything to give....a dollar, a hundred dollars, a prayer, a card, a matchbox car.....please, please consider giving in honor of Little Miah. He has so much life left to live and although I've never met the little guy I know from meeting his older brother and knowing his mother, he is full of life. The gift of life will not be wasted on this little boy.

Check out the easy website that Marie has set up to help relieve some of the financial stress associated with a small child having another extensive surgery.  

May God keep you and hold you in the palm of his hand. 
Things I love (not necessarily in this order):

Pepperoni & Onion calzones from the Southside Carne Tapita from the Vaq Bud Light Whiskey and Sprite with Lime from the squeezy thing Outside Friends&Family Oklahoma&Colorado&Texas&Wyoming Insulated coveralls Easy Sudoku puzzles Tylie Traveling Positive friends New hair Jeans Square toe boots running shoes Excel co-ed slowpitch softball Starched jeans Boat Shoes Lonestar beer and riddles 1/2 and 1/2 salads from Marios Snowboarding Free movie channel weekends Campfires Sweatpants and baseball hats Red Dirt music Flip-flops Boating snowboarding

Things I don't like (not necessarily in this order):

HOT Hearing cars ALL the time People who pull trailers with cars People who drive with only their parking lights on Cooking for 1 Dressing up $4.00 diesel Mean people Cold feet Lost baggage Smoking Cauliflower Leaving Tylie at the kennel American Airlines Driving Broken transmissions Buying big kid stuff...like tags, tires, freezers Embedded Entities Cancer Wind





Go ahead, break a few rules. I dare you.
[Linking up with Hayley and Lauren]



Girl Between the Lines Link up

These two got a good idea! This link up is awesome because it tells me what to write about and I love it! Up this week?

What is one tangible thing you have that holds intangible value to you?

When graduating from Limon High School and as a Girls Track member, one could be sure to receive a black banner from Coach Grimes that read Limon Girls Track - Teammates Forever, Thanks Grimes. 



Lots of you are probably wondering why a black banner is so important to me, why that would mean anything. At the Limon gym all state champion teams have black banners showing the sport, the year. Black = champion. In addition to black banners, there are white banners covering the walls of that gym in eastern Colorado. White banners are runner-up teams, showing the sport and the year. Limon has a long legacy of excelling in sports....all of them, football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, track and softball. Many are proud to call themselves a Badger, proud of the athletic excellence that is important to so many.

Me? I am proud to be a former Lady Badger. I am proud of our accomplishments, our hard work and our dedication. I can only claim to be a part of one banner hanging on the walls of the gym, but Grimes taught me to be a champion even though I wasn't a part of multiple state championships. Each time I look at the black banner that came from Coach Grimes I remember to believe in myself, believe in others and above all else to work my ass off for what I want. Win or lose, work harder than everyone else.
The kitchen was probably the biggest makeover in this house. It took a long time and I had ALOT of help. As in they did most of the work and I played the part of the 'assistant'. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here we go!


Good riddance tiny, crowded, dark, ugly kitchen!




When I turned 30, I made a Dirty 30 list which remains unfinished. Since its a new year, I'm making a new list of things to get accomplished in 2014. Its going to be a good year folks! What's in store for me (I hope)?



1. Meet a yearly savings goal
2. Have a spa day/weekend at a legit spa (with a robe)
3. Palisade, CO vineyards pedal bike tour
4. Get to/maintain goal weight
5. "Pay for" season snowboarding pass
6. Finish the Dirty 30 list - See what I have left!
7. 12 months, 12 massages
8. Only go to Wal-Mart once a month
9. Instagram Photo Challange (copying Football Fan once again)
10. Sell my house

2014 Goals

This year Military Friend and I had BIG plans for NYE....we just couldn't stand staying home and doing nothing. But our big plans kept falling through, so we decided to hit up Monarch with our season passes and celebrate with big time in a small town. Verdict? Small ski towns really are the best ever!


We rang in the New Year with the Boys from Kansas, who we kept running into all weekend trip long. They were a riot and impressed that I requested Randy Rogers Band. After ringing in the New Year and staying up way past our bedtime....and by way past I mean until 3 AM. Ouch. We hit the slopes on 4" of new snow by 930AM on New Years Day. Military Friend and I are usually a chatty pair, but we mostly just sat in silence on the lift that day. 

After playing in the snow, we decided that a trip to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs was exactly what was needed to prepare us for the nap that was to be taken before dinner on New Years Day. We had some VIP passes and the hot springs didn't disappoint. Although it was crowded it was still very relaxing! Take away points for not getting a robe though.....I wanted a robe!

I saw my second torchlight parade for the week and finished off with some fireworks. This was only my second time to board at Monarch and I think I'll make it a point to go back despite the long drive from Wyoming. And Salida, Colo for NYE....I'll recommend that!

[Linking up with Hayley and Lauren]



Girl Between the Lines Link up

This is a new link-up for me and was given the heads-up by none other than Football Fan. I'm tellin' you guys, my blog would be spotty at best without her. I've been struggling with writing lately, so help and prompts are welcome! This link-up provides a prompt for the next week's link-up with the goal of getting to know other bloggers better. So here we go and this week's topic is:

WHAT IS SOME OF THE BEST ADVICE ANYONE HAS EVER GIVEN YOU? WHY DID IT MEAN SO MUCH?

Advice is everywhere, its our job to sort through all that is given and decide which pieces we are going to take, use, pass on or toss aside. When I read this week's prompt, my mind immediately went to 2 pieces of advice that I think back to frequently. And, alas, I couldn't pick just one to share with you.

Can't shine a turd - Coach Gibson
Its true, you can't. A turd is a turd, not something to be proud of, it can't be cleaned up. Always do your best, produce something to be proud of, something shiny. Weather it be a project at work or school, your attitude, your workouts, your eating habits, your reputation, how you treat others...everything! Do your best, others will appreciate it and you can hold your head high.

Fake it till  you make it - Assistant Pack Leader
There are so many times where we are just aren't quite where we need to be....at work, in relationships, workout program, life but if we can just hold on, just keep trying, keep telling ourselves that we are enough, we are good enough, we can do and eventually we will be there......we can make it!

So really these two pieces of advice boil down to do your best until its the outcome you are looking for--no matter what the situation. do.your.best.
I've gotten an invitation for several years to join the fun in Red River NM from Football Fan and this year I made it a point to go. After all, the snowboarding was "free".

Although this year's group was smaller and calmer and abided by the the new rules. Rules like:
1. No puking 2. No bar fights 3. No cops/jail. Even with rules in place, we had a great time and even got some fresh snow to play in.**We may or may not have even needed rules, as we were sound asleep by 11pm, we were on vacation, we do what we want**


I had a conversation before I left on the trip that went something like this......
Friend: So how many people are going?
Me: Oh, I'm not really sure, I think like 10-ish
Friend: Wow and you know all of them?
Me: No, I actually only know one person, but I'm sure we will all be friends because she likes me and she likes them so its pretty much required right?
Friend: Um, sure.



I win, I came away from the weekend with some new friends!

Thank you new friends and Football Fan for actually taking some pictures!

Red River is a neat little ski town because the lift come literally right down to Main Street! We watched the torchlight parade down The Face from the Lifthouse Bar. Our condo was only an easy walk, about a block away. I even made it in my snowboard boots, and the boys made it in ski boots so you know it was EASY!

Great time and I think I'll be asking to be permanently added to the Family.


This is the room that I really haven't done anything with. Its an awkward long skinny space and I'll be honest I just don't really need it. I had some extra furniture so I made a little reading nook on one end....that I never use (I read in my big comfy chair in the living room).


The other end was converted to my workout room, which I never used until recently. Now I use it at least 5 days a week and its totally worth having it!


I'm excited when ranchers out of my area have exciting opportunities to promote agriculture and tell the story of range sheep operations because what they do, how they make a living is not known by many and its pretty fascinating.

Recently, a 3rd generation rancher in southwest Wyoming hit a deal with Farm to Feet socks. Farm to Feet is a completely American made product. The wool is American, the manufacturing workers are American in America, packaging is made in America....well you get the idea, American made.

Fred's some 7,000 ewes provide wool for these awesome socks. Go ahead check out the official story....I'll wait for you.

I have a few pairs and I love them. I wear them alot! to work, snowboarding, out in the field. I'm being converted to wool as we speak. It's not itchy (even though I was convinced it would be), its warm and it keeps you dry, plus they have some super cute designs!

Farm to Feet, ready to hit the slopes!

If you are looking for some fun new socks that will keep you warm, check out Farm to Feet. You won't be sorry! Want to go straight to ordering your very own pair? Click here to shop!

Farm to Feet

by on 5:00 AM
I'm excited when ranchers out of my area have exciting opportunities to promote agriculture and tell the story of range sheep operations...
I spend most of the time when I'm at home in the living room. I love big furniture and some of my favorite things have found their home in my living room. I love my couch and chair, they are the first furniture I purchased brand spankin' new when I got my first job in Tennessee. The other piece that I love in my living room is the antique radio cabinet that doubles as my tv stand. My mom and dad bought this at an estate sale for $5 and refinished it and I LOVE it!


And for the record, I was nearly in tears when I finished painting this room before I moved in because it was so ugly. BUT, I was so tired of painting that it just stayed and I ended up loving it after moving in my big furniture!



As usual Football Fan has awesome blog ideas and as usual I'll be copying her.

My ideas on the best Almost Gypsy Soul blog posts of 2013:

Dirty 30: Well I'd be lying if these weren't some of my favorite posts, mainly because its the whole reason I started blogging in the first place. Although I didn't get my list finished and it will be spilling over into 2014, I did get alot done!

Letters to a Soldier: I really enjoy putting together care packages for deployed soldiers and even though I never heard a word from them this year, I know it made at least one person smile. God bless our military!

Sweetwater Series: There is so much neat stuff around my 'new' home and I want to share it with everyone! Especially those who think I live in the worst place in America! Just get off the Interstate!

And my favorite because it got a lot of comments! Filing Cabinet in my Wallet.

Do  you guys have any favorite posts? What would you like to hear more about? What would you like me to never, never, ever write about again?

When I started pushin' 30, it started pushin' back......and I compiled this Dirty 30 list . I'm at one year of working on my list and about 3 months until I'm 31. ouch, that hurt to type that! I realized quickly after my last update that I wasn't going to complete my list, but I'm still workin' on it....the longer it lasts, the more I spread out the fun I suppose. I'm going to whittle down all my comments on here, check out my Dirty 30 tab for recaps of all my goals and what I got accomplished off my list this year.

I'm adding on to my first quarter report (shown in brown) and my running totals after the second quarter are in green, the third quarter accomplishments are in red, and my newest accomplishments are in blue. And remember when I reserved my right to change and amend my list....yep I'm doing that and those are in purple.

What I got done this year


While I didn't finish in the money, I finished. and ate mini cinnamon rolls.

5. Save $6,000
I made this one early, preceded to spend a medium sized chunk and recently made it back. Homeownership seriously wrecks my world sometimes.

7. Finish Chalean Extreme
I finished the 3 month program and loved it! Although I didn't hit my goals, I'm starting another round so hopefully I can get there in Round 2. I did lose 7.5 lbs and 17.5 inches total.

8. Golf 3 new courses (3/3) (4/3)
I did good on this one! Even though I felt like I didn't golf as much this year as I did last year, I got in several new courses, most of which was within one weeks time. I guess I was super focused! I golfed in Billings, MT, Thermopolis, WY and Monpelier, ID to complete my goal. Then threw in Sherwood Hills in Sardine Canyon, UT to go above and beyond!
 
9. Learn to wakeboard
Got this one covered! I can get up and move around a little bit, sometimes making out AND in the wake, so we are calling it a success. Plenty of room for improvement though!


13. Meet my neighbors
I met a few of my neighbors this year, still can't remember most of their names but that's just the way things go sometimes. They are mostly nice neighbors.

15. Far-away friend of the month card/care package (3/12) (6/12) (9/12) (12/12)
While I didn't really get the care package part of this done, I did pay tribute to a far-away friend each month. And I sure have some pretty great friends that live too far away from me, in my opinion.

17. Have a blog  
Well, I have a blog and I even have some readers! I have to say that blogging has been way more enjoyable than I ever thought it would be for me. I think I'll continue, so if you want to humor me....keep commenting....I love those alot!
 
20. Donate blood 3x (1/3) (2/3) (3/3)
I can't tell you how much I want everyone who can to donate blood. Its easy, you get free food and each donation can save 3 lives. And that's pretty darn cool!

 
21. Adopt a soldier program
I got back into the adopt a solder program through Soldiers Angels again. It has been a very enjoyable experience and I've even gained a few new friends that I still talk to. One highlight was getting a request from a troop leader that had recently been deployed for a Duck Dynasty care package for his whole troop. I had so many great people volunteer money, time, ideas and love. It was AWESOME!

22. Volunteer at National High School Finals Rodeo
Checked in horses from 10 pm to 2 am, then I went home and took a nap (or 2).

23. Get my concealed carry permit
Wyoming is pro gun. I was really surprised at how simple it was to get my concealed carry permit. It took a couple months, but since I already had my hunter education safety course completed all I basically had to do was fill out paperwork, pass the background check and write a check.

25. Zip line 5 state road trip, just me, my car and the open road
Just under 3,000 miles, a 41 hour book on cd and lots of stops to see friends and family. I never thought I could drive this far pretty much on my own, but I think I might do it again. Best part? Next to no itinerary, just going where the wind blows (not blows...just a breeze, after all I'm not a real gypsy, just almost).


26. Finish my house projects - trim, yard, closet doors
Finally getting some of these last details completed and I'll be honest, I wish I wouldn't have procrastinated so long. The little details sure make my house look a lot better.


27. Pay off my car.....again (which also means paying off the basement swimming pool removal)
I finally got this one paid off again, got the title back, just in time to start paying on another house disaster. Hey I guess 1 is better than 2, but I won't be saving lots of money for a new car (someday) any time soon.


28. Visit my grandparents (2/2)
I was able to spend some time with both of my grandparents during my Really Big Road Trip this summer. I know I enjoyed it and I'm pretty sure that they did too. As I get older and older, it seems harder and harder to find time to make the trips to see everyone, but it sure is nice to catch up with everyone!
 
29. Make 12 new Pinterest recipes or projects (3/12) (9/12)(11/12) (12/12)
Pinterest is all the rage and man on man does it have some awesome ideas. Its been a lifesaver for those nights where nothing sounds good for dinner! If you aren't on Pinterest....you should be! Follow me, I pin cool stuff!
 
30. Read 6 new books (1/6) (6/6) (8/6)
Thank goodness for traveling, that is where I get my reading in. I don't think I read a bad book this year. Click here to check out my library!

What I didn't get done this year (but I am going until my actual birthday in March so there is still time to squeeze out some last minute checkmarks).

1. Hike a 14'er
Summer is over, snow on the mountains, this one isn't happening while I'm in the 3-0 because I'm for sure not extreme enough to take this on my snowboard. Military Friend and I are recruiting....its going to be Pikes Peak this coming summer!

3. Buy the person behind me's meal
I'm a lazy hunk of junk. I had many opportunities and good intentions to get this one done. I mean seriously how easy would it have been to get this checked off, yet I'll be doing it in the coming months. Better late then never I suppose.

4. Lose 30 lbs (7/30) (5/30) (14/30)
Slow and steady wins the race. I'm still working on this, I am trying some new programs, joined a challenge group that is full of motivating ladies and as always trying to straighten out my diet.
 
6. Finish TurboFire
I'm probably going to change this goal to a Chalean Extreme/Turbo Fire hybrid program. I just love Chalean Extreme and I don't want to quit doing it.
10. Brice Canyon
I guess a road trip is in order to mark Brice and Zion off the list.
11. Zion National Park
See #10
12. Territorial Prison Museum
I just need to slow down on I-80 long enough to visit this one....I may try to combine this with a snowboard trip or something to get it marked off!
14. Finish my will
If something happens to me someone please come get Tylie asap so that she doesn't become a ward of the state. I really, really, really need to get this done, but I'll be honest the actual making an appointment with a lawyer and writing him/her a check is what is holding me up right now. Poor excuse I know. I'll get on it.

16. Have outdoor Christmas lights
I decided that instead of putting up Christmas lights this year I would put up a for sale sign. That's right the house is on the market. Come one, come all and put in an offer!
 
18. Go night snowboarding
Its snowboarding season once again! I'm saying this one will be complete before the actual 3-1 arrives!

19. Glow-in-the-dark golf tournament
Not happening this year, the snowboard is out and the golf clubs are tucked away for the winter. Unless I go to AZ or CA or pretty much anywhere warm....hummmmm.

24. Take a Spanish class
 I'm signed up for Spanish at Sheep Camp. We shall see if it delivers, if not there is always conversational Spanish offered that the college. I bet there are different words taught at these 2 establishments.


Well I'm fashionably late and it was actually my fault not Bryan's. I'll admit it. Here is Music Man's picks for the New Year!

New Year, new tunes. Some people make resolutions for the New Year; make yourself a better person, better health, yada yada yada…. I say why not do something that makes you happy, or maybe, something you have never done before, do something that you will follow through with. It’s high time we did something like that for the New Year, so here are some tunes to get you started.

True Love Never Dies, Cody Canada and the Departed
Even If It Breaks Your Heart, Eli Young Band
Springsteen, Eric Church
Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain), Gary Allan
Fly Over States, Jason Aldean