My city girl's dream of riding off into the sunset with my Prince Charming was coming to fruition. We began our "wedded bliss" in the small town of Belmont, Texas in late 1992, in the area where Bubba's family had settled. He took a job at the local feed mill and I worked retail until we had our first child, Justin, in 1993. As I held that precious bundle close and gazed into those big, beautiful, blue eyes, I realized that no matter how fulfilling being a wife, mother and homemaker was at the time, it would not be enough to support him if something were to happen to Bubba. The reality and responsibility of motherhood took hold, and I felt in my heart that I needed to continue my education in order to be able to contribute financially to our family, if needed. I also began to understand the importance of setting personal goals and developing my own identity.
At the age of 22, I enrolled in Southwest Texas State University as a non-traditional student majoring in interdisciplinary studies and minoring in special education. I had our second child, Michaela, during winter break my sophomore year. Despite the naysayers, I went on to earn my bachelor's degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Yes, Bubba and I did things the hard way. We were still growing up, along with our children. However, it didn't break us, like most people anticipated, it strengthened us.
I commuted from Belmont to my first teaching job in Lockhart, Texas. I had our youngest child, Mackenzie, in 2001. Bubba was traveling to Austin for work at that time in order to earn an income that would support our growing family. We eventually moved to Lockhart to be closer to both our employers. After being in the classroom for nine years, I earned my Master's in Educational Administration. I took a position in Round Rock, Texas, as a school district administrator. After commuting for a year, we made a family decision to move to the city, in order for our children to take advantage of the opportunities and offerings available to them in the schools, especially at the secondary level.
"To make a long story, short," as Bubba always says, the city did have its positives, but it was far from perfect. I was working 60+ hours per week, and Bubba was battling bumper to bumper traffic to get to his office in South Austin. The kids were running in all directions with their extracurricular activities, so quality family time was rare and home-cooked meals were few and far between. We learned that school districts, no matter what their size, have their strengths and weaknesses. We began to miss the wide open spaces, and peace and tranquility of being surrounded by God's creation, not man's. We were ready to leave the "rat race" and go back to a more simple life.
I retired from education to focus on our family and our future. We found and purchased a secluded piece of property in Caldwell County, near the small town of McMahan, Texas. We sold our house in the "suburb" in record time and moved into an RV resort, near our property, after Michaela graduated from high school in 2015. We cleared the land and built a barn and workshop first, so Mackenzie could continue to raise show pigs, something she and Michaela both did in Round Rock through a campus-based Future Farmers of America chapter. Then, we hired an architect and builder to design and construct our farmhouse. I had a full-time job making decisions regarding the details and ordering various supplies, such as paint, fixtures and lighting. The house was completed a year ago, although we are still working on some of the finishes inside. We recently purchased another 25 acres, adjoining our existing property, to use as additional grazing land, if needed, for our small herd of cattle.
Country living has become our passion, but what's important in our eyes is not so much where you live, but how you live. We invite you to relax and and unwind as we celebrate a lifestyle embracing faith, family and farming. We encourage you to settle in with us and simply reconnect with all of God's goodness.