Raising a Farmer

Alot of work but always room for laughter

One birthday present can change everything

on November 16, 2020

This last year many steps have led me to the point of where I am now. I was lost last fall after selling our dairy cows. Not knowing what I should do or even who I was. My birthday is the end of August. My birthday has always been filled with dread and joy at the same time. Joy because it was my birthday and dread because it marked the end of summer. End of warm days with school around the corner usually in a few short days. 

 For my birthday in 2019 I received a gift in the mail weeks before my birthday. The thick envelope arrived in the mail. Nathan handed me the envelope with the kids siting in the back seat of the van. Nathan knew what was inside. We sat in the driveway as I opened the envelope. A birthday package from my dear friend Amanda who lives in Connecticut. Big crocodile tears rolled down my face as I read the card and I asked Nate if this was for real. Amanda had gifted me a plane ticket to visit her for three days the end of October.

Amanda and I in Woodstock, VT 2019

Amanda and Nathan orchestrated my time away from my family without me knowing. Opening the present could not have come at a better time. It was the week of our Morrison County Fair. Tension and stress were high in our house. We were nervous about going into the fair of 2019, Everett was not going to be showing dairy and we weren’t sure how us as a family would feal about it. At the same time we were excited and nervous about our new role in the Morrison County Ag Learning Center.

October 2019 came, and I was beginning to count down the days I would see my dear friend Amanda. I had longed to see New England. Many times I would joke with Amanda how she must drink tea with her pearls in the morning sunlight. I might have watched one too many Hallmark movies to create what I think New England is supposed to be like. At the same time I was nervous because what if I had created this unachievable image. For me this was a new adventure because it was the first time in a long time I was traveling without a purpose little did I know what this trip would mean to me and the purpose it was going to give me. 

Woodstock INN 2019

New England is everything I had imagined and more. I felt like I did in fact step out on to a Hallmark movie. This gift from my friend gave me an opportunity to just be. I had a lot of time to self-reflect. When I graduated high school in 1999 I had attended St. Cloud State University. Life happened and I never finished. It had been something that had always bothered me. While I was in Vermont I did a lot of thinking about maybe now was the “right” time to finish. Vivian would be starting kindergarten in a year. Nathan and I had decided I would continue to stay home with Vivian until she started kindergarten. As I thought about this I thought “Than what?” Little did I know what 2020 would bring.  

 I met with an advisor after Thanksgiving 2019 to see even if it was possible for me to go back. I had no idea how many credits I had or what I should even do with the credits I did have. I was advised with my hodge podge of credits to pursue a Bachelor of Elective Studies. The beginning of January 2020 I purchased books with my kids in tow as a St. Cloud State University student. The night before my classes started I was in tears. I was nervous, I was upset with myself for not finishing 18 years ago-everything came out in tears as I crawled into bed. I hear many times people saying how they went back to school for their kids. I didn’t. I went back for myself. 

I took a mixture of online and in person classes. My husband & kids supported me every step. Friends and family supported me and helped watch Vivian this past winter. I have amazing professors who when I needed to, allowed me to bring the kids to class with me. Geography Prof. Wall helped me secure prior learning credits with projects and outreach I have done surrounding rural communities. I took 18 credits this spring making the Dean’s list. This is the first time I ever made this list, ever. I proudly have the certificate on the refrigerator. With all the summer cancelations of activities we normally would be busy with I decided to take 16 credits this summer. This fall I have taken 18 credits.  

The middle of December 2020 I will be graduating from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Elective Studies and a Minor in Geography.   

One response to “One birthday present can change everything

  1. Sandy says:

    Your momma and dad would be so proud of you and your accomplishments! You deserve the good things in life that are coming your way.

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