Family · On The Ranch · Personal

Back in the Saddle


Every mama I know marks the first years of motherhood by a series of milestones not only for the baby—first bath, first laugh, sitting up, crawling, walking, speaking—but for herself. It starts small—first time to the grocery store with the kid(s). First time out without the kid(s). First time exercising, first time sleeping well, first time you start to feel like yourself again. First time some of your old clothes start to fit, first time out with girlfriends, first time you realize that you’ve got this, whatever this is.

And then comes the bigger things: maybe first time back to work, or first time deciding that you are going to stay home. First time starting a small business so you can stay home. First time realizing you’re in a routine, and not only can parenting be wonderful, but it can also be really fun. I love the firsts, especially around the fourth month when the baby’s personality starts coming out, and mine starts coming back. Then, even though there are the inevitable hard days and meltdowns and breakdowns, at least I feel like myself doing it, and not a weird sleep-deprived zombie blob who doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Now, don’t think I don’t feel like a weird sleep-deprived zombie blob after ze bebe in question is four months old. Because sometimes, or lots of times, yeah, totally. But around 4-6 months, I’ve found (the two whole times that I’ve done this) that things start to level out, and I start feeling more the Cassidy the Mother instead of someone I don’t know very well who is surviving and taking care of all the things but isn’t very connected to herself because hormones and alien skin pouches and newborn sleep cycles and pumping and oh yeah getting the hang of a whole other person. You know?

(Cassidy the Mother [is this an allegory?] sounds weird, ya? I can’t say Mama Cass for all of the obvious reasons. Or, maybe I should say Mama Cass for all the obvious reasons.)

So. We have babies, and every time we come back to ourselves, our husbands, our children slowly, slowly, and then faster and faster and bam! We’re back, baby. Or at least back enough, because I was talking to a teenager (young adult? I don’t know, the kid was in college), and I’m never going to be that back. That ship sailed awhile ago, but the land on the horizon disappeared almost exactly three years ago and there’s no going back.

I’m not sad, though, because golly the fraughtness (that is a word; I say so) and the drama and the uncertainty of being that age. No thank you, hard pass, been there done that, no mas.

Anyways. I’ve had two babies. Each time I’ve gone through almost the same milestones for myself and watched for the same for my babies. Yesterday, I hit another one, and it made me very contemplative, as these things can do.

Bert looked at me on Saturday and said “Let’s ride tomorrow.” And after thinking of all the reasons we shouldn’t–so much to do–I said “Let’s.” I’m not going to tell you how long it’s been since I’ve been horseback. This isn’t a huge, huge deal to me, to be honest, because I know it’s a season and someday, when the kids are all in school, I’ll ride as much as I want.

But, as my husband helpfully pointed out, if I waited oh, ten years to ride a horse it would be a) a travesty because we ranch for heaven’s sake b) ridiculous because we have nice horses and I really enjoy it, and c) I’d have to pretty much start over, at least muscle-memory-wise, in a ten-years-older body, and I hate starting over, and feeling old, so better now than later. So, we snuggled Buster in the stroller, saddled some horses, and rode in the round pen. Wacey played in the pen next to us, roped with Bert, rode with me, and it was prettttty amazing.

When we were done, the horses were put up, and I was sitting on the sofa marveling at how tired I was because Lord, we used to ride all day, I remarked to Bert that I felt good riding, that I felt like I actually had a pretty good seat, which was surprising considering the muscles that are used for riding are also the ones that are pretty consistently wrecked by pregnancy and childbirth, and I’m not exactly exercising consistently. I expected him to laugh a little and say something nice while also saying no, I looked like a sack of potatoes, but he said “I thought so too. I think you looked better than before, actually.” Friends, that was great to hear, because so many things are so hard after having a baby, and it was nice to have something be not so hard. Or that getting back in the saddle was, really, just getting back in the saddle and picking up where I left off, or maybe even a little ahead.

Motherhood has consistently reminded me that I can do hard things, that the human body is amazing (but also gross), and that getting back into things that remind me about myself are very, very important.

Which leads me to this aside: If you saw my stories yesterday, you’ll also know that my riding pants finally fit, which is a BFD for me because if you know me at all, you know I have very specific ideas about how work/riding pants should fit, and that I hate buying new pants, and that I found my last few pairs of these unicorns at a tiny feed store in Pennsylvania, and that they’re the last jeans to fit, usually, because of how they fit and the lack of stretch.

I don’t think we need to “bounce back” after baby (ew, stop), but for me it’s so nice to feel at home in my favorite clothes again. And to not have to wear unacceptable pants to ride in.

So, if you’re a mama who is in the early days, or wondering when you’ll recognize yourself, it will happen. It can take a long time, or a not-so-long time, and it can definitely vary by kid. If you’re a mama, or any person, really, that is worried about getting back in the proverbial or literal saddle, do it. Take a leap of faith! It might work out, it might not (like the last time I tried to put on my riding pants, or actually buy everything on our grocery list with both boys in tow), but at least you’ll know that it’s not time yet, and to try again soon.

Happy Monday! Try something new this week!

Celebrate · On The Ranch

Miss’ First Mother’s Day

Miss and Little 1
far away
Miss and Little 4
Miss and Little 5
Miss and Little 3
Miss and Little 2

Guess who got to celebrate her first Mother’s Day yesterday? Our mare, Miss! Her little baby girl was born late last week and I am one proud horse grandma! She’s beautiful. I’m sorry for the poor quality pictures, I took these with my phone but will get out with my big camera this week.

So far, it looks like everything is great–babe’s walking and running around, and Miss is a wonderful mother. It’s so fun to see her be so attentive to her baby. The other horses are a tiny bit jealous of all the attention we’re paying to Miss and Little, though, I think, because Steve was a major camera hog.

We haven’t named her yet, but she looks just like her mama! Welcome to the family, Little Miss!

On The Ranch · Personal

Welcome! Hi! Howdy!

Oh my gosh you guys, I’ve written, re-written, and imagined about writing, this post a thousand times. The first post. The First Post. The First Post.  How should I write it? What would it say? How should it say it? Do I dive right in and start posting like mad? Do I have a little intro into the blog? Do I try and hide my crazy and ease you in as we go along, so as not to alarm you? Or do I let it all out so you know what you’re going to get right off the bat? Do I try and have an amazing, slam-bang finish (start?) planned? If you can name that Christmas movie, we should basically be real life best friends.

Or, do we just #reallife this business and try a mix of everything?

Yes. Let’s go with that.

I’m SO happy you’re here. This blog has been a dream of mine for years. I’ve started, I’ve stopped, I’ve false-started, and I hope this is neither a start-stop nor a false start. I don’t plan it to be! I’ve held back because the internet can be a scary place, and because I wanted to be so sure about my audience and my goals, but I am so passionate about sharing the story of agriculture in general and ranching in specific that it’s time to overcome the scaredy-catties (yes, that’s a thing) and just get going! Also, life is too short to just dream, and I want my boys to see their mama pursuing something that helps me feel happy and fulfilled outside of my “mama” role.

So, this blog. What can you expect from it, from me? You can expect an honest, not-always-pretty, not-photoshopped-or-staged look into our lives on an actual, working cattle ranch.



We work for one of the biggest ranches in the country (that, because we don’t own it, will go unnamed), and our division grows the bulls for the rest of the divisions, which combined include around 15,000 head of cattle. Here, we have about 1200 mother cows, all registered (meaning purebred, papered cattle). Our herd includes Black and Red Angus, Charolais, Hereford, and a Red Angus-Charolais cross. We have so many breeds here because we have several different divisions to which we provide bulls and they have varying criteria for their male bovine needs. The ranch is run more traditionally, with the guys doing pretty much everything horseback vs. on four-wheelers, although we do use tractors and pickups to feed in the winter, so horses (and dogs!) are a huge part of our lives, too.


I work for the ranch as the “office lady”, which means my time is split between your regular administrative stuff like paperwork and invoices, and keeping up with our cattle records, which are extensive, and making sure everyone is fed when we have big cow working days, and always carrying extra pens because someone always needs one. I work primarily from home (I go to my office at headquarters a few times a week for just a little bit) since I have Wacey with me, unless we’re working cows, in which case we’re allll in the barn. If it sounds crazy, it sort of is, but it’s also pretty great.

working bulls calves day 1.jpg

And no, I have no idea how we’re going to work all this out with two very small boys, but the Lord chose me, in this season, to be their mother and so I have faith that we’re going to make it work. We sort of have to, right? Right.

Now, if Starbucks could open a branch in my barn, or do an auto-delivery each morning of  an Espresso Frappucino Light, we’d be so set.


Welcome! So glad you’re here! Please bear with me as I hammer out the kinks, and please oh please leave your questions, comments, constructive criticisms, you name it. All I ask is that you be kind, because the internet is so often an unkind place. We don’t need to add to that!

(Seriously, thank you for being here, thank you for reading, please stick around!)