January 12, 2016

Christmas in the Country

I've been involved in several secret gift exchanges, but non like Christmas in the Country. The excitement of shopping for the gift receiver and getting your own package from the post office is like none other. Why you may ask...because these are like-minded, agricultural related people that you have been stalking for weeks!

First, I was to send a gift to Robyn Goddard of South Dakota. I spent a few weeks looking through her blog, The Ranch Wife Chronicles, and learning more about her. What I found was that we are the same age, doing the same job, in very similar lifestyles. We have similar beliefs and could probably throw a great BBQ and have a lot of fun, laughter and serious conversations. Do I want to make a quick trip to South Dakota, absolutely!

Second, I was on the receiving end of a great surprise. I received a box from Mexico, Missouri. At first I couldn't pinpoint why that would even seem familiar, but before I even opened the box I knew it came from someone that GOT me! Boy was I surprised to see Christmas in the Country from Melinda Bastian. Like us the Bastian's raise cattle, and especially show cattle. That is a whole different breed than the people who just run cattle on wide open spaces. This family understands the planning, generations, time and long hours of raising a calf into a cow that produces something that will spend a lot of it's life in a barn. The barn hours are long but so rewarding!

Here is a picture of my Christmas package:

First - notice the family picture. That was something I included with my package because I wanted someone to put a face with names immediately. There is also a cookbooks, something I sent as well. It's amazing how much this group of women have in common. I also received a few Christmas ornaments with show calves and a show mom necklace that I can't wait to wear! There is also a hand stitched western piece that I have on a special side table. The thoughtfulness and excitement is overwhelming. The box also had candy canes...that my daughter stole!

The thing that inspired me the most is that Melinda is a mentor. She's a mother, a wife and involved in the show cattle business. I hope to be able to communicate and ask questions as she's been in situations that I will be in soon.

Thank you to the Christmas in the Country hostesses, Jamie (This Uncharted Rhoade), Laurie (COUNTRY LINKed), Lara (My Other More Exciting Self) and Kirby (15009 Farmhouse).  I am already looking forward to next year!


  1. Katy,
    If, or when, your family travels to the western side of South Dakota give me a call!

    I loved the package I got from you and think of you every time I use the cutting mats, wear my necklace and see your photo. By the way, the necklace gets lots of compliments!

    I must have missed the fact that your family shows calves. I grew up showing cattle and it was my passion for many years.

  2. So glad you enjoyed your package. I was thrilled to be paired with a younger mom just getting started with her kids showing. Being on the other end of the spectrum, I can't wait to see updates of your showing escapades and adventures. Feel free to call, text, email or Facebook me.

  3. Hi Katy! I'm so glad you were able to make some great connections this year - Robyn is a dear friend and I know you and Melinda have a LOT in common! It looks like you both sent and received a really great gift. Thanks for joining us again this year and sharing about the exchange. Have a blessed new year!

  4. I love hearing about all of these great connections! Thank you Katy for joining us again!
    Laurie - Country Link