Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sixth Annual Jean's Boots Christmas Letter

You read that right. 
We're in week two of 2017 and I'm just now getting out my Annual Christmas letter. 
If you know me, you'll think nothing of it. 
If you don't know me, you should. You'll feel better about yourself. 

Let me be the absolute last person to wish you Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!! I hope you returned from a wonderful holiday recharged to take on another year, with a cleaned out heart, mind and refrigerator. 

I received a scathing message over the holidays from a Jean's Boots reader who claimed that I live in a fairy tale world. 
I'll admit: I was a bit taken back; but that's part of writing your life's story and leaving it for the world to read: everyone has a voice. The fairy tales I remember from my childhood included ball gowns and soft kisses and princes and white horses. 
My life includes Carhartts and mouse traps in the kitchen and heifers in heat and barn cats. 

One hundred times over I'll still take option 2. 

2016 was a big year for the Sankey Tribe. 

Cody spent the first couple weeks of the year in Denver at the National Western Stock Show and I became all too familiar with the intricate mechanics of our ball waterers on the farm. I learned at what temperature each would likely freeze, what tools removed the lids, what damage a chipped seal can do, why it is important that the blue ball floats flush to the top of the tank, why you shouldn't completely removed the valve cover as you pour hot water over it, which animal health company thermos keeps water hottest for an extended period of time, that I have a hole in my left Carhartt pocket where I used to carry the socket wrench, and that my iPhone doesn't work in temperatures below 20º when the battery is less than 38%. Bummer deal. That was my January. 

In February I traveled solo to a dear friend's wedding in Texas where I read during the ceremony. Pregnancy brain was just enough in full swing that I flew there to learn that I had booked myself into the wrong hotel on the wrong side of town, had no rental car or transportation to get myself to and from the rehearsal, ceremony or reception, and also forgot any insurance cards, health insurance cards and even my beloved Spanx. This means I had one  he** of a time renting a car in Abilene and an even worse time trying to zip my non-maternity dress in a hotel room alone. That was my February. 

March, April and May were mostly comprised of waiting room prayers and Cody and I holding our breath in a dark room with our eyes closed, waiting to hear a simple - but so complex - swishing sound. We spent more time walking the aisles of Buy Buy Baby and reading reviews on than either of us want to admit, but we did that for good reason. 

In June Cody represented the American Angus Association and attended the NCBA's Young Cattlemen's Conference. From Denver to Chicago to Washington, DC, it was the experience of a lifetime. He proved to be a force on the Hill - all those years of livestock judging paid off million times over. The guy can convince you of anything: trust me. He was voted by other attendees to be the 2016 YCC Chairman, which means he'll return to the trip in 2017 to represent his class and also go to the national convention in Nashville in a few weeks. 

For the first time in my life, in 2016 I spent exactly one-half of the year pregnant. 
Then, on July 1, 2016 Caroline Jean Sankey entered the world. How amazing that God entrusted Cody and I to raise up this little girl? She brings us so much joy. Wowza is she a cute kiddo. You all told me motherhood would change my life in a thousand different ways and you were so wrong. I counted 2,857 ways back in September. I. WAS. NOT. PREPARED. 
In fact, I was the World's Greatest Mother until I became one. Now, I spend my days wondering if she's getting enough verbal stimulation, if she's over exposed to cat residue in the barn (seriously - I don't know where they sleep/step/live) and if I cram her into that sleeper one more day: Will she turn out bow legged? I spend some nights rocking her from 2-4 AM and other nights checking her breathing five different times because she hasn't awaken me, at all. 

In August Cody accepted a role within Genex as Bull Procurement Manager. He now travels the world looking at cattle and in search of sires to add to Genex's line-up. Sometimes when he sends me photos like the one below, I send him photos of whatever I'm looking at (diaper? sink full of dishes? barn cat frozen to a shovel?) just to remind him of the kind of woman he married. 

I went back to work in October and still really enjoy my job, even if I do take 2-minute breaks every 45 minutes to watch videos of Caroline. Every day I enjoy writing and working for Harvest Land. I like the people, the mission and the work; I do miss our girl. 

2016 was year of little sleep, huge change and even greater love. One hour I find myself completely frustrated with the number of toys, books and burp cloths scattered across our farmhouse. Two hours later Caroline is in bed and Cody is asleep in the recliner and I find a strange sadness in putting everything back to it's exact place. Another day is already gone. 

I use more under eye concealer than those within the entire city limits of Las Vegas, deeply respect a new set of individuals who talk more to a washing machine throughout the day than they do a human being and now measure days in two-hour increments. 

2016 changed things. 

2017 will, too. 

Cody, Caroline and I hope that you have a wonderful year. And if you, too, believe that my writing is fairy tale ramblings, I invite you to read the last five years of year-in-reviews. Need a confidence boost? Here ya go:

Year One
Year Five

Take care of yourself, 

- Lindsay Jean


  1. I am so happy for you,,
    YES your life is still a fairy tale, our carhartts,are part of that and who we are. You live a normal country girl life that is still a great story,, about love,family and heart.
    Knowing you forever it hurts when I read negative comments.
    The love of family, respect and manners your life is and was based on your parents raised you to care about othere more than yourself, stick up for less fortunate and be kind. Your beautiful and smart and funny, so take it with a grain of salt. Their will always be negative out their.
    Your still a princess in her own type of castle.
    Blessings for a wonderful new year and enjoy that beautiful baby.
    Like me your looking forward to spring.
    Ginger and ed,,,

  2. I enjoy your blog quite a bit. I really can't imagine any sort of negative feedback--especially around Christmas, but to each his own. Kep up the good work!