Winter is Coming

All year we obsess over the world standings, obsess over who is going to be in Vegas come December and even though its an 80 degree sunny spring day all those cowboys are thinking… “Winter is coming.”

I think there is a stigma with anyone who has made the finals, almost like we all assume the reason they made it wasn’t just because they rope/ride well but also because they had an “in.” Whether it be someone lent them an outstanding horse, they have sponsors to pay their way down the road, and my personal fav they have “luck”

As a backseat driver it’s easy to come up with excuses of why someone else is having more success, but when you are a backseat driver, you tend to have blind spots. Since being fortunate enough to watch my husband make the finals the last few years I’ve come to understand not only the behind the scenes work he’s put forth, but also the heartbreaks and the stressors that were caused by someone who has made the finals. It’s a double edged sword. They have the opportunity to live their dream, but their relationships, body and sanity are impeded. Vegas is so glamorous and rodeo announcers, sponsors and the athletes themselves are so good at celebritizing their standing status that the exhaustion and frustration is over shadowed.

For example, while competing at the NFR (where they have worked endlessly all year to get to), the cowboys/girls actually are entering their first rodeo of the next year. Which means they basically get to turn their horse out in the dead of winter for Christmas and New Years and then its grind time again. Not only that but as luck may have it, they could have a harsh dry spell for the new year which can definitely be an ego deflation after being so high at the finals.

Emotionally they are spent. Physically their spent (basically the walking dead.) Most of all, the families are spent. We finally get them home for the holidays and bam…. the success of the past year has now someone slid far into the “when is our next payday” of the current year. Ryle and my relationship has always been long distance, and even though we own a home together, have a child together, travel occasionally together, half of our relationship if not the majority of it is still long distance.

The fine print that comes with riding in the Thomas and Mack goes on forever, but the point is, they made it there with a strong will, raw talent, hard work and a hell of a list of sacrifices. So for the past, present and future top 15 Winter is coming. Good luck to you all in your fight for the iron throne, I mean gold buckle.

Without Shadows We’d Have No Sense of Direction

A year ago I sat in my newborns nursery, holding her as she slept and crying harder than I should have (probably due to hormones) as I watch my husband win $70,000 at The Days of 47 Cowboy Games. Today I’m watching my one year old nap while my husband prepares for his chance to do it again and wether or not he wins or loses I can’t help but to feel this overwhelming sigh of relief and such gratitude. I am so lucky, I have a healthy and happy baby girl with a father that loves both of us unconditionally and who provides for us doing what he loves. But, then again I’m not lucky, because it isn’t luck that got me here. All the heartbreak, the hurt, the mistakes I thought I made. For every near death experience I had, it was only to make me feel more alive. They were all for a purpose, they were the lows that made my highs unimaginably tall. Every step back I thought I was taking, was really a redirected step in where I was supposed to go. I never believed that you were born to a path, but the more I reminisce, the more I realize I am not lucky, I am just where I need to be.

So here’s my address to you. Let go of any guilt and trust yourself. You are right where you need to be.

Rodeo Shit List

I am no rodeo expert, I did not grow up in or even remotely close to rodeo. In fact, until I started dating a calf roper I had never even acknowledged or attended a rodeo. Which is sad, because now knowing what I know, I only want to expand its audience and share it with other people like myself who are oblivious to a highly underrated sport. I’d also like to honorably mention that I feel that I (feel being the key word, referring to this as my opinion) can prove once and for all that not all liberal hippies believe rodeo to be animal abuse, in fact my favorite and most used line in defense when accused of sympathizing with PETA solely for the fact that I am a lefty is “to whom do you believe is filling the stadium at St. Paul, Oregon?” Anyway, where this is leading……. I have a few suggestions for committees, sponsors and board members. Rodeo, unlike other sports, was not created out of entertainment, but instead grew out of practices used by ranchers dating back to the sixteenth century. Bronc riding, calf roping, bull fighting, etc. are all events with deep roots in the ranching world. So, here’s my theory about rodeos plateaued popularity. Todays culture is all about high stimulation, loud and bright ads, provocative entertainment. When rodeo begins to adopt these behaviors, it loses its purity and historical importance and really to be frank, in its effort to fit in it becomes a joke. Many rodeos to date have added laser lights, pyrotechnics, seriously and literally setting fire to the ground…. Que eye roll. Not only do these additions take away from any budgets that may be in place, but it also puts itself on a platform to compete with concerts, clubs and raves. Now, say you are in a “I’m going out” kind of mood, like you want that base to jar your body so hard you feel like you have to take a shit (I’m not kidding, my sister told me once that there is some octave that a base can hit that makes your body shit itself, she could have lied, I’m not musically inclined) are you going to go to a Cardi B concert or are you going to Rodeo? But now let’s say you aren’t looking forward to loud aggressive entertainment, but some fun, low key and relaxed family-friendly fun on the weekend, are you going to go to Cardi B or a Rodeo? My point is this, Rodeo will never be able to compete with Waka flocka flame or Club Get Lit (not a real club).. so don’t. Just like I will tell my daughter when she is growing up and insecure about her differences… Be original, think independently and be true to who you are. whoever it is that is convincing rodeos to conform to this weird world we live in, Stop. Instead stick to the wholesome and historical truth that rodeo is. As a new comer I appreciate the respect between animal and athlete, I fell in love with idea that the agricultural and ranching worlds celebrate their beginnings with rodeo. I am not entertained by lasers and fire, but by Bobbi Kerr and his Mustangs, by Nellie Williams-Miller and her homegrown mare, by my husband and his dedication to the sport.

I didn’t choose the rodeo life, the rodeo life chose me

I’m beyond grateful for the adventure and freedom that has come from being a rodeo wife. I haven’t worked since the year my husband and I married, which just so happens to coincide with the first year he made the NFR. As I said before, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do what I want when I want, go where I go with whom I want to go and raise my daughter in a lifestyle I’m proud to be a part of. However, I miss my old grind more and more everyday. It’s one of those consequences that some of us full time rodeo WAGS seem to bury and hide. Kind of like the fact that we just wore our really expensive sponsored boutique western wear in a hot Port-a-potty full of aggressive flies and Redneck vomit just before we instagrammed our #OOTD.

Twice now I’ve tried to go back to my pre-rodeo career and twice I’ve failed. It seems Rodeo just isn’t finished with me yet. My first attempt was a serious tragedy! Prior to moving to TX, I’d interviewed and accepted a job offer from a beautiful young business owner whom I clicked with instantly. In fact my interview lasted 3hours because we got so caught up in conversation. Just a week before we were to relocate and I was to jump start my career I got one of the most surreal and tragic phone calls. My new boss had suddenly passed away and her husband wasn’t sure if he would continue or sell her business….. it sold. My second attempt was more recently when I had finished and passed through a video interview for MY DREAM JOB. I was offered a final interview and kindly had to decline because my husband, who has still thankfully been successful in his rodeo career aka extreme gambling begged me to reconsider. So here I am, co-piloting a rodeo rig, forever chute help, meal prepping for a one year old and an athlete, and acting as a personal travel agent.

Let’s get real. The point is (to my husband and maybe a few others out there as well)….

husbands, boyfriends, lovers or partners who are blessed with a full time rodeo assistantship; please for the love of god, when you begin to complain, or make excuses, or just simply hangry on the rodeo trail; remember this…. this was not our dream. We have now adopted your dream, we want so badly for you to succeed that we’ve willingly and are actively suppressing our dreams to help you achieve yours. Because we love you and ultimately we love rodeo, just be mindful of that next time you become sour. We are lucky to have stumbled into this life with you, but maybe, perhaps you are even luckier to have had us stumble upon you. Because maybe that extra support was just what you needed to handle that stress, because maybe that love is what helped you to push your dream further, because maybe our sacrifices are what catapulted you into your dreams.

Late to the Party: NFR ‘17 Makeup Trends… who to marry, who to kill…

The Levity and Lipstick blog was created as a beauty/makeup/esthetic blog… I quickly (like as in one short entry) realized that beauty blogging is extraordinary difficult. Really, how much time can one spend passionately writing about a highlighter and as a reader how much narrative is necessary other than “it is a stunning cool toned champagne liquid highlight that looks great on everybody.” ? Obviously talking about the not new, but new to me ABH Liquid Glow in “Perla.” Anyway, it’s clear that I can’t sit down and really let true creativity flow in the direction of a beauty or fashion blog all the time. I would though, like to dedicate this entry to my OG niche by revisiting some of the 2017 NFR makeup trends. Better late than never!

Let’s begin with the trends straight from heaven…

1. LASHES… long lashes, bold lashes, fluffy lashes, everything lashes! Maybe it’s all of this R&F Lashboost that’s been going around or it could be the fact that investing in lash extensions can make even the orneriest of morning witches wake up feeling like a glamazonian fembot. Whatever it be, let it be.

2. Natural brows. Having a few stray brow hairs used to mean nearly blinding yourself with tweezers whilst trying to keep the rig in a straight line on California’s tragic highway system. Not anymore ladies! Let them be shapely but free. Goodbye harsh lines, hello soft angelic facial framers. And if you weren’t brought into this world as half Neanderthal… microblading saves lives and time.

3. The wet highlight… not the glittery, Tinkerbell looking, obviously artificial stripe of so called “glow” I’m talking the sat in a sauna for a sec and started glistening like the goddess that you are “GLOW.”

And now the “please for the love of God, NO” trends…

1. This should come as no shock, please for the love of God, stop highlighting your entire face! Especially with sparkly ass rainbow colored chalk. You are not blinding haters, you’re just summoning, I don’t know, fairy demons.

2. Next really isn’t a trend, it’s more of a consequence. Contour and baking can transform your look into something spectacular… if done appropriately. Both are best with the “less is more” kinda groove if you feel me. I saw a lot of makeup at the NFR this year and I don’t mean a lot of different looks… I mean like fuckin’ cake face a lot of makeup! Girls, we can do better, there are 10 year olds on YouTube that can teach you how to contour. Watch them, learn from them, replicate them; leave the clown act to JJ and I know rodeo fashion loves animal print, but let us find our makeup inspo from something other than a zebra. Ya dig?!

In conclusion, NFR ’17 was full of beauty highs and lows…. it was both tasteful and tacky…. populated by both fashionistas and slut shamers, but what’s new? Viva Las Vegas Baby 💋

Rodeo Wasted

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog 2 years ago, because it feels like 2 decades. So much has changed, we are no longer living out of our horse trailer as newlyweds dreaming of adventure with just one goal of Ryle making it to the NFR. We’re home owners, with a daughter and have made it to Vegas the last 2 years now as well. I couldn’t be more proud of my husband for achieving his goals and providing for us by making his dreams a reality, but in the midst of this whirlwind of a lifestyle I’ve seemed to have lost my own dreams and been sucked into the rodeo vortex. Since being introduced to it I’ve always related rodeo to a drug, it’s as addictive as heroin with virtually no visible side effects other than exhaustion and the occasional missing finger. I knowingly married into rodeo, but unknowingly spore an addiction to rodeo myself. It consumes you easily, the thrill of the chase, the loaded bank account after a win, and endless miles of open road. Sounds so romantic, fairytale like, but it was never my dream, it was his; and now I find myself 2 years fully invested in someone else’s life and loosing my own along the way. It’s a life crisis that I assume everyone associated with rodeo has to deal with at some point. Whether it be a world champ fighting off retirement, or the rookie who had his ego shattered, or like myself, the wife who exchanged her own simple dreams for his extraordinary one. At some time or another you’ll be hit with the consequences of rodeo too. No matter how hard you deny, once you’ve entered up you’ve unlocked the high and the addiction is strong and a relapse is almost certain. All you can do is take one day at a time, just as you took one rodeo at a time.

Blowing OG Smoke

Greed and envy, two of the seven deadly sins, and in my opinion the easiest to commit. Living in an era of social media being our main source of entertainment and with such ease of access, the size of our egos are almost so big that navigating through real life has become almost impossible without the satisfaction of the “like” button. Our media pages are full of edited photos with captions of “OG” and “trend setter.” In the wake of such edited images being celebrated, living truthfully and without the need of acceptance has become obsolete. My life is not perfect, in fact far from it. I am also extremely guilty of both editing my images as well as my personality in order to better market myself to the world wide web. More recently, I’ve been overcome with a sense of responsibility to myself as well as daughter to find peace within my life and how ordinary it is. I ask you this … who are you really, and how does you Instagram differ from your true self? What do you really look like when you wake up…. And do you really care if Facebook approves? Will you change your profile picture if you feel like someone might swipe left because your tits are unevenly padded? Let’s drop the act, if you want to post about how ridiculously trendy you are, then you better be blowing some god damn minds with your fashion choices, and if you’re going to claim to have undoubtedly started a trend then I better see some one of a kind pieces that have never even graced a runway. If you so feel this is unattainable, then perhaps you should claim the mediocrity of your actuality. Because sometimes that’s what the rest of us wish we could have, is a run of the mill, unremarkable hero to make us feel like maybe our simple lives are better than the imaginary ones we’ve posted to snap chat. Without the greed for a double tap, we can surrender the heaviness of envy from our constant scrolling.

Pic cred to Reins and Roses Photography