Posts in adventures
Add to your Phoenix Itinerary: Fossil Creek

Two hours north of Phoenix, and a bit of a jaunt down a slow-paced gravel road, you’ll find the Fossil Springs Wilderness in Arizona’s Coconino National Forest. Fossil Creek is one of only two National Wild & Scenic rivers in Arizona and is fed by springs coming from the cliffs of the Mogollon Rim.

Let’s all take a moment to swoon together. This is what day trips are made of, friends.

From April - October, you’re required to snag a $10 permit to enter/park, which is one of the many reasons this is a must-add to your itinerary. With a cap on visitors, you’re guaranteed minimal crowding. There’s nothing worse than gearing up for an adventure only to realize everyone and their second cousin’s new girlfriend’s uncle has the asme idea.

Fossil Springs Wilderness ARizona.JPG

Two years ago, this was the location of a birthday hike for my bestie, Hannah, and it turned into one of the best parts of our Phoenix weekend.

We arrived early, which gave us ample time to stop for dips in the quite cold, azure waters before making it to the final destination: the waterfall.

And, honestly, thank goodness we did. We were not prepared for how long the drive in would be. The road was rough, and reminiscent of Jurassic Park, to be honest. Arrive early, drive slow, enjoy the moment.

Hannah Brooke.JPG

What you should know:

  • I recommend high-clearance vehicle to enter. At the time, I drove a Chevy Trailblazer and couldn’t imagine driving a smaller vehicle.

  • From April 1 - Oct. 1 you must secure a $10 parking permit to enter. While it secures you a spot, it does not secure a specific spot.

  • Arrive early. This is a destination. If you arrive early, you’ll get a good spot and the hiking trail will be empty. And, thee stops on the trail are just as good as the final destination.

  • Fossil Creek has its name for a reason. Don’t go barefoot! I wear Chacos and they did the trick!

Fossil Springs Wilderness Hannah Brooke.JPG

Would I go again? Yes. Should you go? Yes.

Happy birthday, Hannah.

Next year we adventure. We’ll celebrate your birthday. And, we’ll celebrate #kbyecancer being in the past.



Hannah Miller and Brooke Clay under the Fossil Creek Waterfall.

Hannah Miller and Brooke Clay under the Fossil Creek Waterfall.

Wildlife Baby

So many things had to align perfectly so that in this season, we’ve got this guy.

The guy who can make me laugh so hard my c-section stitches might pop. Who said, “just cry,” when I hadn’t even been able to say the words “dr frame called. it’s cancer.” Who says “move over” and climbs in the hospital shower to remove my c-section bandages. True story. I’ll for sure blog about that.


How insane is it that after he made his tour through Nevada, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska building his career and living the wildlife dream ... and I made my tour through North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, with stints in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Arizona ... we unknowingly moved back to Oklahoma only weeks apart. Wild. Just wild.

Day one of #kbyecancer means I’m spending 24 hours away from Elsie James, who sacrificed her cushy womb space and joined the world early so I could spend this week getting a PET scan, meeting my medical oncologist, a mammogram, et al.

Today, day one - and her day seven, he’s got her. And me.

And she, friends, is already on the job as the cutest little refuge intern.

A Big Sky Montana Winter Elopement - Lone Mountain Ranch

I asked my best friend, Stacy, who happens to be a wedding photographer, what she thought about Montana in February. She said, “sounds cold, but I’m there.”

It was below zero. The snow was falling like a snow globe. And, well, it was perfect.

Here’s the proof.


Lone Mountain Ranch
Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky Blooms

Stephanie Gibbs

RL Bridal and Prom

Luxury Vintage

Stacy Pearce Creative

rural gone MoMA

Three nights and four days in New York, and I’ve yet to be phased. I live for adventures. The rural ones. The urban ones. The literal dancing through the city ones.

But, today, while walking through the Museum of Modern Art, I couldn’t keep from recording my thoughts. So, here we are. Let’s do this.


Unfamiliar languages echo through the galleries. None more than a whisper. Yet collectively, the room is shouting. Knowing gazes, contemplating forehead wrinkles; some connecting, me struggling. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? Maybe I’m not as open-minded as I fancied. I pull the buds from my ears. Maybe Drake is influencing my perception?

Still, nothing.

The art, maybe, is the people: their clothes, the way some care profoundly, while others care very little - but maybe they care the most. I certainly do today. Sorel booties - my everyday errand kicks, walk down to the creek to fire a few practice rounds kicks, my wear in the car en route to the place before putting on heels kicks - paired with black, on black, on black, with perfectly touslled hair, matte Ray Bans. Read as: my interpretation of how to New York.


For a moment, I get it. I appreciate the talent. The hours. The commitment. Picasso, van Gogh, all artists I’ve been told to appreciate. [To be frank, the ones who held the inspiration for the wine and canvas classes.] The next moment, well, I clearly made something just like this in kindergarten.


So I stand at ease. My head tilts. My eyes squint.

And I struggle, still.

Then, I walked through the Steven Shore Gallery. An evolution of his photography through decades of styles and technologies. 


In the well-lit corner overlooking 53rd street was a simple, elegant, seemingly unimpressive photo of Montana.

But was it?

In the peak hustle and bustle of life, Shore escaped for two years and ... went urban gone rural.

Our paths, in this gallery, were at a crossroads. He in Montana, me in the city. He doing the thing you’re supposed to do in the place you’re supposed to do it, evolving through the silence; me doing the same, weaving through coffee shops, happy hours, and never-sleeping cities, evolving through the noise.

Both looking for something.

He, clearly, finding it.

Me, still, looking. 

Devil’s Bridge Trail; Sedona, Arizona

Walking an empty trail, my breath providing a cadence to pair my stride, my brain began to unwind - really unwind.

Cutting-edge content - videos that take on lives of their own, graphics that reel in followers like bobbers on a hot summer night -  gives me life and the Arizona National provided just the right opportunity. After six consecutive days of leading the media initiatives, my creativity rested on E.

While creativity is a renewable resource, the turnaround time is dependent on dedication to the refuel process. Simply: you can not create from nothing.


One step in front of the other, one service bar disappearing after another, my once depleted creativity tank began to fill.

Losing yourself, making space for your mind to wander, is a never-ending practice. You might say, even, it’s an art.


A steep, moderate difficulty hike to the largest natural stone arch in Sedona was just what I didn't know I needed. Reaping the benefits of an early alarm, I was a solo hiker on the heavily-trafficked trail, although I passed herds of tourists on the hike out. 


what you should know about the trail

Without a high-clearance vehicle, you’re not going to start at the trailhead, which means you’re looking at a brisk 5.8 miles on the out-and-back trail.

Park at the Dry Creek Vista Trailhead and at the end of the paved section of Dry Creek Road, and venture down the Chuckwagon Trail to avoid the unpaved portion of Dry Creek Road, which is a popular Jeep trail.

You'll not only avoid the tourists, but the views are 10/10.


The short - but strapping - Devil’s Bridge trail includes a steep, natural staircase that leads to the the most tremendous natural views of Sedona red rocks.

The bridge, 5 feet in width, is a stupendous 45 feet in length, which is ideal for those seeking the perfect Instagram.

Cheers to new sights and big adventures. They're waiting on us if we only make the time to enjoy them.

Resolutions for the Novice Traveler

So, you’re single and dreaming of big travels? Girl, same.

If you’re stuck in the dreaming phase, it’s time to make resolutions to make wanderlust a part of your brand.

Make Adventures Part of Your Routine

The word adventure is not exclusive to cross-country road trips or international destinations. No matter your zip code, we’re surrounded by shops, parks, and venues waiting to meet your acquaintance.

Book A Solo Trip

Find a small town, national park, big city within a few hours from home, book an AirBNB for two nights, pack a bag, and go.

Figure out what to do when you get there.

Better yet, tweet @RuralGoneUrban and I’ll send you suggestions.  

Stop Apologizing for Your Choices

Your journey is your journey. You can choose to be a good steward of your finances and stock away money for travel, or you can choose to spend your money in other ways.

I’m not here to place judgement, but I’m confident there’s always one person, let’s call her Carol, who mutters “must be nice” when she sees your travel post on Facebook. She’s generally the same person who has a bi-weekly nail appointment, carries an expensive handbag, and dines out six days a week.

[Disclaimer: I carry a pretty pricey Frye bag. I love her. She’s been around for years. She was absolutely worth the investment.]

Bottom line, we all have our choices to make. If you want adventures to be part of who you are, there’s no need to apologize.

2018 is your year. You’ve got this.

This post contains affiliate links, which means Rural Gone Urban will receive a commission if you purchase or book via a link at no extra cost to you. This helps with things like paying hosting feeds, domain registration, etc.  

7 Things to Buy on Amazon with your Christmas Gift Cards

You know you’re an adult when you’re holding a stack full of gift cards, and instead of heading to the closet shopping center you weigh wants versus needs.

This is also true if you spend Christmas day cleaning because new steam mop and vacuum combo was under the tree. (guilty.)

Spend 2018 traveling like a pro - regardless of your road trips or rackin’ up air miles preference - with the following products.

OGIO Suitcase 

Try as I might, it’s impossible for me to tip the 50 lb luggage limit at airport check-in. This piece is über light, easy to pack, and extremely hardy.  


Face sheets

Life on the road can be chaos for your skin regime. Whether your traveling for work or having your heart set on a day-long hike, crawling into bed with a sheet mask is one of my favorite ways to look less tired the next day. That and sleep, of course.


Roadie Cooler

While not verified, I could be easily convinced NASA scientists are behind YETI technology. I keep my Roadie in my car and stock her full of water before a long road trip or a day hike.


Vera Bradley Packing Cubes

Packing is an art. An art I’m still mastering. Packing cubes help me keep my luggage organized, which meas packing for the next stop is a walk in the park.

Drybar Baby Buttercup Travel Hair Dryer

If you have a lot of hair, add this guy to your cart asap. Drybar’s travel dryer has the same functionality as their primary product, but is easily packable. It’s on the pricey side, but for a girl with a mane, it’s a solid investment.

emerginC Facial Serum

This keeps the “are you tired?” questions at bay.


And, as a bonus, if you like returning to a clean house, I highly recommend the the Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood and Tile Floors. Because, if it can whip my barn apartment into shape, I'm certain it can get your place spotless. 


This post contains affiliate links, which means Rural Gone Urban will receive a commission if you purchase or book via a link at no extra cost to you. This helps with things like paying hosting feeds, domain registration, etc.  

Pomeranian Has Better Summer Than You

Molly, the 10-year-old Pomeranian, had a better summer than you.

Some people dream of summers like this and she just lived it like she's been there before. 


Starting her summer in Tulsa, Molly kicked off the summer with snow cones and pool days. Because, why wouldn't you? 


She packed her bags, pointed the car west, and slept through her shotgun obligations like a true veteran. 


The happiest tourist at the Cadillac Ranch.


Locked up a 72 oz. breakfast.


Kept her head on a swivel in Alberquerque. 


Learned a lot at the Petrifed Forest National Park. 


Ate more Sonic ice than the average Pomeranian. 


Drove miles and miles around the Phoenix valley.


Howeled at the moon in the Tonto National Forest. 


Survived one of the hottest weeks in Phoenix history. 


Slept through a beautiful drive through Utah.


Watched a Colordo sunset. 


Fell in love with Colorado.


Climbed to the top - and back down - of a Colorado waterfall. 


Ran super fast to the water in Dillon until she realized it was super cold.


Came back to Tulsa, because tiny humans love her. And she loves the tiny humans.


And, finally made it back to Perkins, Okla., to hang with her tribe.

pw mercantile on the corner of main street and kihekah ave

I booked a plane ticket for Oklahoma months ago with a girls' weekend on my mind. When I landed, however, I wanted to nail my Frye kicks to the ground. No longer did I want to head north to Manhattan, Kansas. Instead, I stopped the world from spinning a little too quickly and just stayed home.

It's no secret small towns make my top five list of the most beautiful traits of America. I love the way communities boom when all hands are on deck. The way an entire community can help raise a child. The way you can drive a 4430 to school during spirit week and be crowned Homecoming Queen on a Friday night. 

Small towns are the foundation of everything that is good in this world.

In graduate school, I stumbled across a blog many of you know by heart often refreshing my browser to check for a new post. Then - it was a little rough around the edges, sans digital ads, and winning a mixer giveaway didn't seem like a longshot. I loved the way the girl behind the keyboard poured her heart into her family - and her community. And her wit. Man, I loved her wit. 


Saturday, my mom and I drove a few miles up the road - stopping every 10 miles at an antique store - to visit a new venture in Pawhuska, Okla. It was less about the destination and more about how my mom and I haven't been in a truck together in a while. Man, I forgot how much she likes to talk. And, how thrift shops tug at her soul. 

People from all over the region lined up for blocks to spend their hard-earned cash money in small town, Oklahoma. As I held our place in line (for two hoursmaking friends with those around us, my mom ventured into every single store in town. Pawhuska is going to reap the rewards of this store in more ways than a TravelOk listing and sales tax, because while this store has a line wrapped around the block the other stores are swinging their doors open saying "come on in!"

Lines typically are not my thing. However, it was clear the other folks in line were not present for celebrity or autographs, although the Drummond kids walking the line like Mickey and Minnie at Disney was something Pawhuska hasn't seen before. Folks were standing in line to celebrate a good thing about a small town. 

It's when we invest in small towns they can truly thrive. When kids can be proud of their hometowns, they'll come back. When small businesses can keep their lights on, the town can become a destination.


So, take my cash money, Ree. 

Because your mercantile on the bustling main street of Pawhuska is the perfect combination of Antropologie, the feed store, and all my favorite boutiques. Take my money and make more jobs, give back to this special corner of Oklahoma and keep telling your story.

And, please, for the love of everything holy, open an online store.

before thirty

With consistent travel for work or to visit friends/family the times in between feel more like catching up than intentional living. A really solid friend said recently, "if you can't take care of yourself how can you take care of anyone else?" Mic drop. You're right. I can't. 

I looked at my list titled Before Thirty, because if we're being honest we're getting close to the fourth quarter. Slow down, 2016!

before thirty: take a floral design class

My favorite flower shop in East Nashville hosts occasional workshops and I was lucky to grab a seat! Eight humans standing around the table learning how to make a grid with tape, arrange flowers with a focal point and imagine a life where your job is to arrange flowers and make someone's day brighter. 

In a world of technology, it was so nice to do something with my hands. To make something from nothing and know it could be a catalyst for making someone's day.

What about you? 

What can you do for yourself to make the world stop spinning for just a bit? Wake up a bit earlier for quiet time? Take a walk on your lunch hour instead of eating at your desk? Drive home sans radio to get lost in your thoughts? 

123 S 11TH ST., NASHVILLE, TN 37206

Places to visit in south-central Oklahoma

A long, long time ago my full-time hustle was living life as the original Chickasaw Country blogger and community manager. As such, I’m often asked to give my two cents as to the best places to visit, stay, explore, et al.

For those looking to extend a quick trip from Oklahoma City to Dallas in more of an adventure, here’s my top five.


Wayne Payne Exit

This has no actual relevance except that I have a dream to one day byline a fictional children’s book about two brothers - Wayne and Payne - who are divided because of the evil road builders who disregard their historic deeds and divided their land. With herds of buffalo (with the strength of Greek gods, mind you) to attack from both the east and west and faithful scissor-tailed flycatchers to deliver messages to align strategic attacks (rural reception is the worst), Wayne and Payne become victorious and unite their communities once again.

Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park


(Wynnewood, Okla.) Here’s the deal, you get to play with a baby tiger and see a Liger in real life. Worth. It.

Smokin’ Joes

(Davis, Okla.) Because, barbecue.

Downtown Ardmore

Places to visit: Threads Clothing Co., Cafe Alley, Cloverleaf  

Picking a favorite town in south-central Oklahoma is what I imagine picking a favorite child would be like. Today, I pick Ardmore, but know tomorrow I could easily pick Sulphur. Maybe because I once covered a free Pat Green show downtown, or watched our now-IRL friend, Josh, play in a historic venue. Bottom line: spend a few hours in Ardmore. 

The LadySmith

(Tishomingo, Okla.) Last fall, we celebrated my friend’s birthday in Tishomingo, Okla. - a weekend with the Lady Smith at The Ladysmith. With talented ownership, passionate staff and a curious town filled with proud citizens this stop is the best return on your investment. Each room in the Inn is uniquely decorated (yes, by Miranda) and the bar is equally stocked with top-tier wine and low-tier domestics. 

Across the street you'll find the Pink Pistol (a tick touristy) and the Ponderosa (filled with locals).

Of note: I should really byline a post about this weekend.


Although this list doesn't include ziplining, gaming (sorry - won't blog about that), restaurants, or concert venues know they're there. There are simply just too many to list. 

Comment below if you need suggestions for a particular town. I'm always game for discussing one of my favorite regions of Oklahoma. 

I haven't unpacked my suitcase.

As I mentally prepared for a week on the road (work-week in Hartland, Wisconsin; friend weekend on Grand Lake, Oklahoma) I told myself this was the week I would conquer suitcase living.  

If I mentally prepared, pinned all the right pins and planned accordingly I could still make it to yoga 3-4 times, run on the treadmill and make good food choices. Try as I might when I’m on the road it’s like I push pause on real life.

I can’t run errands, run to the grocery store or clean the bathroom, so I’m basically on vacation, right? 


I’m just really bad at living out of a suitcase. Just ask my yet-to-be-unpacked suitcase.

I suppose as long as you fill your week with adventures like visiting rural Wisconsin's The Kiltie, where you'll most definitely question the Steak Pizza, but devour a double cheeseburger you're doing okay. 

Because sometimes you begin your day knowing you need to sell working-from-home in Nashville to your boss and end your day by celebrating that your boss is completely okay with you working-from-home in Nashville

Surprisingly, I only needed one Spotted Cow for that celebration. 

And sometimes life brings you lemonade and you get to spend the week with your friend since sixth grade lockers on one of Oklahoma's most beautiful man-made creations. 

And sometimes you get to keep all the vodka to yourself because your friend is rockin' a baby bump. Which, by the way, makes you the skinniest person on the boat.

Turns out adulting is hard, but I'm really good at faking it. 

lady bird lake with the lady molly

Man, I love my dog.

She’s survived a bachelors, masters, a handful of boyfriends, a new last name, seven houses, four jobs, three states and more slices of pizza than I care to admit.

There’s just something about the way she stays close when I’m under the weather, knowingly tilts her little white head when we’re deep in conversation, yearns for someone to knock on the front door and ditches me for the sportswriter’s office when I head for bed.

More than anything, I truly believe she wishes she were a farm dog. When we’re home (home will always be Oklahoma, y’all) she loves nothing more than rolling in the horse stalls, chasing the chickens and sneaking into the bull pen to get up close and personal with an animal that could end her without a second thought.

Since she’s a rural gone urban girl, too, we take long walks when possible.  Saturday was no different. This weekend, we headed to Lady Bird Lake for a few miles of squirrel hunting.

At 9 a.m. it was around 75°. With her short, summer ‘doo I thought we were good to go. She was in her element, man. All systems go.

She treed a squirrel, made friends with a few walkin' ladies and swooned at her reflection in the lake.  

We stopped for water breaks at the 1.0 and 1.15 mile markers, respectively. In our eight years of walking, this was the first time we've ever had to stop for a break. The temperatures were in the 80s now, but I was hopeful we could keep at it. 

Molly had other plans, however. She was satisfied with chillin' and people watching. She. was. done.

So we turned on our heels and headed back to the car.

Except Molly was all, "nah, call an Uber."


Her legs refused to walk. So I carried her back to the car like a princess, turned the ac on blast and drove home.

Home, where she whined like a toddler because she wanted to go back into the heat to chase squirrels. 


This is my 'hood.

A photo posted by Molly Haney (@themollyhaney) on

Follow @theMollyHaney on Instagram

It's true. Molly is on Instagram. You can follow her if you'd like. If you're not into following dogs on Instagram, that's cool too. 

Basically, I just really needed to cut back on the number of dogs photos I was posting. 

It was getting out of control. 

Small Town Virginia

Adventures are my thing; however, in recent months I’ve become jaded with work-related travel

I was in a travel-too-much slump. 

Granted, I don’t travel as much as some humans, but it’s difficult to navigate a new city and a new marriage while cultivating a community of friends and digging deep roots. Such a whiner, right? Girl you get to travel, suck it up!

A slump, for sure.

Thank the heavens for Mexico. Its delectable tacos and top shelf margaritas pulled me out of my slump like a one-sided tug-of-war. That’s a feat considering I was nothing more than dead weight.


It’s when I drove into Smithfield, Virginia, the Ham Capitol of the World, my love for small town America washed over me like the first time I stumbled into a Chickasaw Country.

My heart found rhythm with the windshield wipers, the rain was falling like a Forrest Gump soliloquy – perfectly in tune with all of its surroundings, and the corners of my mouth turned up even though exhaustion was radiating through my body. 

After a quick stop at Smithfield’s headquarters (agency life, eff tee dub), my co-worker and I headed downtown to collect content assets. Read as: exploring with a camera. 

Businesses thriving on Main Street found success through antique stores,  ice-cream shops, confectioneries and boutiques. Oh, the boutiques.


I nearly dropped $300 for a bag I didn't need. Then I remembered I didn't really have $300 to spend and I have way too many bags.

The lovely lady at Wharf Hill (photos above) was Lorelai Gilmore in the flesh - I'm sure of it.  She loved her job, her town and new little nook of Main Street and her secureness in self and contentment in life was evident. A bright spark on a rainy day. 


And because I love food, we stopped by Taste of Smithfield to swoon over the tourist trap the locals surely frequent. The cuban sandwich paired with tomato basil soup was just what I needed to get me through meeting prep. Speaking of, could something please make me a cuban and bowl of tomato basil soup. Please?

The thing about work-related travel is that you have to, in fact, work. When all three team members made it to Smithfield, it was time to buckle down and review presentations, reports and update each other on projects. Face time is valuable when you work in two different states. 

As we poured over details we did so surrounded by locals in Smithfield's newest (and only?) brewery. At exactly 5:05 locals poured through the front door ready to celebrate hump day with a glass (or two) of local, craft brews.

This girl, however, squealed at the sight of an Oregon Pinot. 

From our corner table with elevated pews for seating, we got to work. 

Consider the travel-too-much travel slump over. Just in time for a trip to Wisconsin. 

What to do and see in Smithfield, Virginia

Stay: Smithfield Inn, Smithfield Station
Both equally adorable and delightful. 

Eat: Taste of Smithfield 
Try the pork wings!

Drink: Wharf Hill Brewing Co.

Visit: Main Street


Rose Bowl 2015hu

I’m a fan of Oregon. I have been since I saw them play in CenturyLink Field and then again Stanford Stadium. 

Their speed combined with killer uni combos has earned them the spot deep in the pit of my heart as my favorite Pac-12 team. 

Walking into a historic stadium knowing I was part of history – the first playoff game in the history of college football. I tried to act cool – you know, like I’ve been there before.

I walked into the stadium like, “oh, no big deal.” Except it was a very big deal. And I had very good seats. (Thanks Lyle, if you’re reading.)

With the sun casting its last breath on the mountain scape in the distance and a B2 Stealth Bomber making its way overhead, my skin began to take on the appearance of a fleshly plucked goose.

I was at the Rose Bowl. 

Two Heisman quarterbacks were facing off in the first playoff game in history. History. 

Even if you don't appreciate sports, you should appreciate history. it's human nature. 


The first quarter kept me grounded. I made friends with the agricultural marketers to my right and golf clapped along every milestone play. This was when my inter dialogue was at its best. "I'm probably not appreciating this as much as I should. I wonder if my grandma is watching. Man, I walked too much at Disney yesterday." 

it was all fun and games until I got cold. Who knew it could be that cold in California? 

I was underdressed, man.

In those chilly moments I had a choice. I could stay cold and stay lame, or I could get loud and get warm.

I chose the latter. 


The Ducks kept scoring. 

Jameis thought about crying.

My fingers hurt.

I lost my voice.

The Ducks scored again.

I was so happy thought about crying.

I laughed until my stomach hurt.

I tweeted.

I borrowed a hat.

I cheered like an actual Duck fan.

It was perfect. 

Ag Facts

I met up with fellow advocate, Marie Bowers Stagg, during halftime. She's a fifth generation Oregon grass seed farmer. 

On New Year's Eve she, her husband and father toured the Rose Bowl to see the field up close. (jealous.)

The Rose Bow's field is perennial ryegrass with a Bermuda grass base. This works well because Bermuda is a warm-season grass and Perennial Ryegrass is a cool season. So when the Bermuda goes dormant the Perennial ryegrass takes over.

Read Marie's Rose Bowl recap on Oregon Green

ah-ha moment

This week I had one of those lightbulb, ah-ha moments while in the midst of a 10-day stint on the road.

I've spent my week chasing meetings with more meetings only to be late to the next meeting. I'm in meetings with team members of all levels discussing clients representing all commodities and disciplines. With so many meetings on the docket, I've found myself working in my hotel room late into the night and attempting to get to the office early just to stay on top of things. 

Bottom line: I'm mentally exhausted, y'all.

(insert ah-ha moment)

I love my job. 

I'm exhausted and love my job. 

Wait. Wha? That's not an ah-ha moment. Sure it is! 

 I've never felt more on the brink of something in my professional career. It's happening, you know. The I wishes are my right nows


I think it happened when I stopped to take a photo of the Wisconsin snow. The ah-ha moment, I mean. 

I want everyone to have this moment. I think you can.

On Saturday while speaking at AgChat's Collegiate Conference someone asked me what I've done - as a girl - to get to where I am in a male-dominated industry (ag). 

That blew me away. 

I'm a girl? I've never really thought about it and I've never been treated as such. A girl, I mean.

My influencers have never told me I couldn't do something regardless of my gender. Looking back, I suppose this mindset started by fixing fence, mending water gaps, loading trailers and evolved as I loaded grills for promotional events

Girls, if you're reading this, you're not a girl! You're a human! A hard-working, goal-oriented human. Do you. Make it happen. Don't be your own obstacle. 

Let me be your cheerleader. I'm serious. Send me a 140 or comment below and I'll fill your inbox/DMs/texts with so many random pep talks and inspirational GIFS your head will spin. 

</random pseudo inspirational post >

frozen sunset

Confession: I've been dreading this week in Wisconsin since I booked my flight in December. With each temperature joke from a coworker I've moved the dial closer to canceling flight. Turns out, it's just not that bad up here. 

Maybe I was able to transition into the colder climate with a few days in Indiana? Who knows.

Yesterday, Kelley and I (the official Texas representatives) met up with Ann and her husband to watch the 'hawks take on the packers. With one mention of Carp's Landing in Lake Mills I was all "yes. please. when. of course."

If Lorelei and Rory were to claim a town in Wisconsin as their own, it would be Lake Mills. I can just picture the mother-daughter duo ice skating in the town square, walking to the library on Saturday morning and hanging out at Carp's to watch the game. With it's local crowd, craft brews and quality fare Lake Mill's Carp's Landing is my kind of place. 

And not even because they have Spotted Cow, which, by the way, would be my favorite of the beers.

This lake community is picturesque with its historic homesteads and ice fisherman. Even with a close game we ventured the three blocks to the lake to take in the sunset. It's not often I stumble across a place that has a fighting chance at beating Oklahoma or Texas with their sunset game; however, the setting sun reflecting on the frozen tundra made my heart skip a beat or two. 


The takeaway is sometimes things are out of our comfort zone. Cold weather is literally out of my comfort zone. 

Do it anyway. 

Typical Friday: Books and Karaoke.

I can escape into a book. Really escape. My senses cease reacting, the world halts on its axis and my entire being is absorbed into the crisp paper neatly adorned with characters of freshly-printed ink. Honestly, it can be frightening for those around me.

Brooke? Absent.

From Charlotte to Atlanta the words of Emily Giffin’s The One and Only were transcribed onto my soul.

I sound like such a fan girl. In addition to the Harry Potter series, Giffin’s books are the only others to avoid adoption. (Does re-reading books count toward the coveted personal-pan pizza in the BookIt! Program?) She writes, I read.

Rolling into Atlanta, I had barely looked up from the final pages when we were greeted by an evening my college-self applauded.

Listen, folks. I can karaoke with the best. I’ll cover Conway Twitty or Sammy Kershaw and wow you with my inability to hit a key, any key — on or off.

Live-band karaoke? You win, 10 High.

I proudly recorded Nick’s performance like a true soccer mom. Maternal instincts, y’all. Maternal instincts.


Nick covers Rage: Killing in the name

Of note: Emily didn't pay me to endorse her book. Is that even a thing? No? Carry on.

Do you, North Carolina.

Brooke_Haney_Canola Rural scenery is my drug of choice. Turns out, winter wheat is gateway drug into the world of row crops.

Returning from the beach, this canola field took my breath away. Gone. Breathing was just no longer an option while standing on the side of a [paved] country road, staring in wonder at the beauty of a canola field.

Rural America and all it encompasses — is the epitome of joy.

Once surrounded by winter wheat and black cattle, this rural-gone-urban girl needs scenes like this. Too often I get caught up in the hustle of urban living: the homes, ‘hoods and schedules.

Keep showing off, North Carolina. It looks good on you.

Swipe right for Wilmington

By nature, exploring my surroundings is intertwined into every fiber of my being. In Oklahoma, I was paid to explore. Yes, it was a real job. This weekend, Stephanie flew to North Carolina for one of many girls’ weekends. Never will I take for granted meeting this girl at sixth grade lockers. She’s been instrumental in so many aspects of my life, it’s only natural she would support adventures in my new state.


Charlotte is geographically blessed. East for the ocean, west for the mountains: choose your adventure. We swiped right for Wilmington.

Staying on Carolina Beach was a strong choice. Like any girls’ weekend, we popped a bottle (or two) of champagne and solved the world's problems as the ocean crashed against the shore. (Shout out to the stock the bar wedding shower!) Let’s level, I’ve never been a huge champagne drinker. I was wrong - so wrong. That stuff is delicious.


Downtown Wilmington encompasses everything one would want in a downtown: history, culture and the location of Brooke Davis’ Clothes Over Bros HQ. This weekend is was overflowing with visitors from all over the southeast for the North Carolina Azalea Festival. You guys know how much I love festivals. Talking to people about their history and their business is by far my favorite thing in the world.


Unknowingly, the rest of our day was predetermined with a simple purchase. Destiny by way of coasters, if you will. Read as: piers and dive bars are how to really experience Wilmington.

Brooke_Haney_Kure Because until you see the moon rising over the Atlantic Ocean…


… and drink a local beer with your best friend in a dive bar…

Carolina_Beach_Brooke_Haney … you haven’t truly experienced Wilmington.


Over&Out. B.


Links to help plan a Wilmington getaway: Visit North Carolina: Wilmington and It's Island Beaches Wilmington and Beaches CVB