Thursday, September 22, 2016

First day of Fall

2015 calf crop post weaning
Tuff and the pumpkins he helped herd in 2015
Today is the first official day of fall!! For those of us involved in agriculture, fall is so much more than football games and pumpkin spice lattes.  
Load up the car and take a drive in the country – you will see changing leaves, corn and bean fields drying up, milo fields turning that pretty shade of burgundy, and big calves hanging out with their mommas for just a few more days.
I know that here in Tripp County, farmers and ranchers are busy giving calves fall shots, hauling hay home, getting combines ready for fall harvest and making plans to wean and sell calves. This is one of our busiest seasons, and can be the most rewarding. You get to see that all the hard work you put in is worth it when the combines are rolling through the fields, or when you contemplate all the hay bales you have to haul in. I
t makes the days you spent during calving wondering if your toes were frozen feel insignificant when those same calves run across the scale on weaning day.
Hopefully all that hard work pays off with decent commodity prices and a good day at the sale barn when you sell calves.
Happy harvest– and folks, if you are following farm equipment, semi-trucks, or cattle down the road drive smart so we all get home safe.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

DIY things that we did!

Awhile back I wrote about why you don't have to make it all yourself for your wedding - today I am going to hit on the things we did do ourselves!

The pretty little ring box that sat on the altar was made by my grandpa Jim. He had some health problems this spring and I felt very blessed that he was able to be there. The ring box was just the icing on the cake!!  It was turned on a wood lathe using three different types of wood

I am a very crafty person, but florist I am not (My attempts at bridesmaid bouquets were a very sad and epic fail). My mom on the other hand has a knack for making flowers look pretty. She filled all of the cream cans at the lodge and made them look really nice! We borrowed most of them from friends and family - and some came from the lodge. They were filled with dried millet, hydrangeas, wheat and fake flowers. Mom also decorated the makeshift altar that was at the lodge with a little help from Jay. They made everything look great!

Mom had the horseshoe cross made by a guy over in Platte. It was really unique and looked great up at the front on the altar. Jay and I own purebred Herefords and wanted a way to incorporate our hide into the decorations - so we put it up front! It looks really neat in the photos. We also designed our own programs and had them printed at the local print shop. I made all of our boutonnieres and corsages from dried flowers to fit the fall theme (but failed at bouquets.)

I had two big DIY projects I did for our wedding  - designing and making the jewelry for my bridesmaids and for myself. I had a blast with my bridesmaid jewelry, customizing each piece to fit my friends' style. I finished their jewelry in June. 

The jewelry I made for myself was a little more nerve-racking. While I wanted to wear turquoise, I didn't want the jewelry to take away from my dress. My dress was delayed in getting here, so I wasn't able to really envision what I wanted until the beginning of September. As soon as it arrived, mom and I picked it up and brought it home ( I had a local lady do the alterations. She did an awesome job and was way cheaper than doing them in store! She also remade my mom's veil for me to wear) After that I hustled up and made my jewelry the week of our wedding!! 

I couldn't resist sharing this picture of my dress and jewelry! I think it all fell together pretty well!! 
Happy New Year folks!! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Engaged? Enjoy it.

(This was supposed to post on 12/22 and blogger didn't post will post it now!

We got engaged a year ago last week! It seems like it just happened, yet so much has gone on in the last year!! I'm taking the week off from Western Wedding Wednesday, but have a quick post to share.

A dear friend of my mom's also lost her daughter to a car accident a year ago - the day before Jay proposed to me. Watching what that family has been through in the last year has reminded me to make every moment with my loved ones count - from going to visit, to picking up the phone to call Grandma once a week. You never know how short life is or how long you will have together. I always remind myself that everyone is fighting some kind of battle, so a warm smile or just a message to let them know your thinking of them can make someones day.

For those of you who are newly engaged - remember and revel in this moment. Be excited about being engaged, be excited that you have each other for the rest of your lives - because the rest of your life can end anytime. So take a deep breath and slow down. Slow down before you jump into wedding planning. Spend the holidays with your loved ones and make them one to remember. Wedding planning can wait till after the holidays.

Planning a wedding is stressful. Remember how excited you are to marry that man, remember the flutters in your stomach when you look down at that big sparkly ring, and remember to call your grandma after he proposes! When your stressed about planning, look at the big picture - it might not be worth that fight with your mom over something small, or forcing your fiance to do something he doesn't want to. At the end of the day, your getting married to the man you want to spend the rest of your life with - in front of God and your friends and family. And that is what matters the most.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Jay and Sarah Myers

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

You don't have to make your decorations!

Early on in the wedding planning process you have to pick out colors and a general theme. With a early fall/late summer wedding, I knew I wanted turquoise, but didn't want to pair it with brown or coral. I saw some pictures of a turquoise and orange wedding on pinterest and decided to roll with it!

Obviously we were going to for a rustic feel, which, according to pinterest, can go several ways. Some different things I saw were chalkboard, burlap and lace, mason jar, barb wire, lanterns, real flowers, dried flowers, wine bottles, hay bales, old windows...the list goes on and on. Pinterest can get you into trouble if your not careful!!

I originally planned to make the decorations myself - I had thrift store vases that I was going to paint to match our colors and then put babies breath and wheat in them, was going to paint cowbells and wrap wine bottles in rope.

Then I found these super cute bells on the for like $12. (That site is really great for finding anything wedding related - from decorations to dresses and everything in between!)

I found 25 jars with barbed wire in them for $25 on Facebook. (see top photo) The horseshoe candle holder jars I found on Craigslist for cheaper than we could make them before investing our time. Our table runners, backdrop and table skirt all came from people on different Facebook groups.

Another place I found some of our decorations was Etsy (it's addicting. Just search wedding) My garter, the cake topper, the pretty Bride hanger, our invitations and all of our dried flowers came from various Etsy shops. I picked up all the metal letters we used at Hobby Lobby on sale. Most of our chalkboard signs were dollar store frames that we painted with chalkboard paint, and one of Jay's sisters wrote them for us.

Life lesson learned? You don't have to DIY your wedding decorations, but they don't have to be a huge part of your budget. It takes a lot of time to make them all and can get expensive - and chances are someone else already made the decoration you want or something similar and wants to part with it! (Since we had a set budget, it was important to me to not break the bank decorating). I sold most of our decorations within a month after the wedding for what we paid for them, and put that money away to spend on our honeymoon. I think by the time all was said and done, we spent maybe $300 on decorations for the wedding and reception, and got most of that back selling things after the wedding.

We did DIY some parts of our wedding - and will blog about that later!! Did you find it easier to DIY or buy for your wedding??

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Things they don't tell you about wedding dress shopping.

the dress I had saved on Pinterest 

I was excited to try on wedding dresses, but I was also nervous. I am not a dress girl. I am a jeans, boots and a hoodie girl. But like most 20-something women who have Pinterest, I had a dream wedding dress picked out - which cost WAY more than I was willing to spend.

So off we went dress shopping, with a dream in mind, and mom, one of my bridesmaids, my little sister and my grandma in tow, on a Saturday in February.

While the shop was very busy, our saleslady was pretty attentive (I had to wait for dresses/for her to help me for longer than I liked a few times). First she brought out a dress that was exactly like what I wanted, but was a little out of the price range we wanted to stay in. and I loved it. After that,  I tried on what felt like fifty different dresses, some in different styles, some just for fun, and some I think the saleslady (or my friends) just wanted to torture me in. When every dress started to look the same, I called it quits. I knew which ones were my favorites, so I decided to come back later and pick out my favorite.

Things I learned wedding dress shopping-
1. February happens to be prom season. Saturdays are when high school girls go prom dress shopping. If you don't like shopping, that is probably not the time to be dress shopping as stores will be crowded and you will have to wait for sales people.

2. Don't try on too many dresses. I got very overwhelmed by the end of the appointment because I tried on so many different dresses - while it was fun most of the day, by the end I was sick of white and crawling in and out of them! ( I really wanted to have pictures of some of the funny ones I tried on but apparently they got deleted from my phone :( )

3. Take the right people along. I was very glad that I had only four people along. They were the ones whose opinion mattered most to me!

4. Go with your gut. I knew the dress I bought was THE DRESS the first time I tried it on. It was the only one that gave me goosebumps and made me tear up.

At the end, I was very glad I only went one store to try on wedding dresses - Sandra Rose in Tyndall, SD.  I found the perfect dress there and didn't have to deal with the hustle and bustle of dress shopping in Sioux Falls, plus I really wanted to support a local business. 

It ended up being April 1st before I made it back to the dress store - between calving, work and the weather it just didn't work to go back any earlier. This time I just took my maid of honor with me (she hadn't come the previous time) I tried on my two favorites - and knew right away which one was the winner!!

Check back next week to learn about picking out decorations and bridesmaid gear!!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pastors, Photographers and Music Masters


Once we had the date picked and the place picked out, we had to double check with the church to make sure we had a pastor – which was slightly nerve racking! While the church had the weekend open, there was the smallest issue – our pastor was leaving in May, and they weren’t sure if we would have another by September 19th!! The interim assured me that if they didn’t have a new pastor in Kimball by then, he could come back and perform the ceremony. (My mom’s friends with the mayor of a nearby tiny town, Reliance – and in SD she could legally perform the ceremony. Back up plan? Check.)

Right after we got engaged, I asked a buddy of mine to DJ. He originally told me that he didn’t want to DJ friend’s weddings anymore (he wanted to be able to enjoy them instead)– two days later, he texted me that he would do it(they had several requests for that date)! I was ecstatic – not only is he an outstanding DJ, but he is married to an excellent photographer! We were pretty excited about their package deal, and booked them right away!  You can check them out  at and 

(If you book them, tell them you heard about them from Sarah and Jay!!)

Erin and Drysen were very easy to work with and made our entire experience personalized from start to finish. Our engagement photo session was out at Jay's family ranch in June. The pictures Erin took turned out amazing - and she made Jay and I super comfortable in front of the camera; plus she was willing to go along with all our crazy ideas - and had some of her own! It was very important to me to have a professional photographer with wedding experience that would take awesome pictures while making the picture process fun - and Erin blew all of our expectations out of the water! 

In early January, I made my first wedding related purchase. It wasn't decorations, a dress or anything of that nature... I bought myself the boots I had been eyeballing for almost a year!! I always knew I wanted to wear boots with my wedding dress - I can't walk in heels to save my life! (and let's be real ladies, who doesn't want new boots!!) I bought a pair of gorgeous Corral's in cognac and turquoise - we had already decided on turquoise for one of our wedding colors, and these boots are just too pretty not to use for a wedding! 
My boots!! 

Some more of our pretty engagement pictures! 
Two of the things that mean the most to me - My Engagement ring and my saddle!! 
Stay tuned - Next week I am blogging about wedding dress shopping!!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Western Wedding Wednesday!

Western Wedding Wednesday

Jay boy and I got married over two months ago – eek!! Since then, many friends, family and people I don’t even know have asked about our wedding day, planning and how we pulled it all off – so I decided to start a Wedding Wednesday section of my blog (which I realize has been non-existent for like a year - !!)  So I will go all the way back and start at the beginning J Enjoy!

My pretty engagement ring with our new brand! 
It was December 22nd – a Monday. I had been out of town for two weeks, working in Storm Lake IA. I was ready for a break, and was going to spend the whole week with my fiance and family. Jay had been acting goofy for a few days, but I figured that he had some big joke planned or something along those lines (he tends to be onrey like that), but when he left one morning without saying goodbye, I was slightly sad. Later that day, when we got home from doing chores out at the farm, he told me that he had to do some stuff in his pickup and I should just carry all his stuff up for him. I hardly noticed – I had rearranged that morning and was all excited to show him, so I didn’t pay much attention to him. I was bouncing around, all excited to show what I had accomplished – until he grabbed me around the waist, and was whispering sweet stuff in my ear, being all cute – then he popped the question!! 

Once we settled down from the excitement of getting engaged and Christmas celebrations, it was time to start planning. The first topic of discussion was when and where – we figured that September would work best as it fell between wheat and corn harvest (#truckerprobs), and that we wanted to have it in my hometown of Kimball. Both of us feel more connected to God when we are outside, so we wanted an outdoor wedding, and we really would like an outdoor reception too. Our list included – near town, so our friends and family wouldn’t have far to drive; a pretty setting; and a place for our wedding party to sleep – and the easiest place to pick was the Konechne’s Red Barn Hunting Retreats!
Photo cred: 3 Cord Photography
This lodge is located near Kimball, SD and is owned by the Konechne family in the middle of pheasant country. This barn was brought in during the 1990s and was renovated into a lodge. It features 10 rooms with 33 beds, a full kitchen and dining area, and all sorts of space for pheasant hunting. The rustic feel was felt perfect for our wedding day! For more info on the lodge, visit or

 (I'm only going to let you see one wedding picture this week. My friends and family have seen them. Everyone else has to wait!!)

Photo Cred: 3 Cord Photography