I believe in activism. I believe in standing up. I believe in speaking out. Power. To. Da. People.

What I don’t believe in? Slacktivism. That is, the act of sharing and shaming online without actually doing your homework or better yet, getting your hands dirty. Getting involved. Getting your boots on the ground.

I was recently invited to do just that when I went on the #FarmFoodTour, sponsored by Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Soybean Commission. It was a three-day trek from Kansas City all the way to Scott City and back again to tour various elements of our agriculture landscape. While I’ve grown up in a farm community and have written for ag publications for several years, there’s SO much I have to learn. And more importantly, I wanted to see for …

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My sweet toddler perched on her own swingset in her own backyard.

My favorite part about tucking my toddler in each night (other than disciplining her multiple times for running out of her bedroom) is caressing her soft, smooth, round cheeks. I talk to her in a low voice, and wish her sweet dreams. The lights are very dim, but I can still see her liquid blue eyes as they start to take on a less alert state. Tonight, I asked if she wanted to pray, and was surprised when she took the lead. And because it was just so sweet, I must spell out her words exactly as she said them.

Heavenwee Fodder, pwease help my daddy, and my mommy, and my Anna. And pwease help my singset. Amen.

As I finished up with kisses and hugs, I …

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Father and daughter at sunset.

If you’re like me, when you latch on to a new hobby, you bite down…hard. You’re all consumed with dabbling in your new craft, often at the expense of family and friends. Lately, I can’t seem to pry my camera from my hand. I just keep snapping and snapping and snapping…and I’m sure it’s fairly annoying for my children and husband. And to be quite honest, it’s sucked some of my creative energy from my writing. But I’m trying to just go with it. I don’t want to do it for money, or take classes, or compete with others. I just want to do it for the sheer pleasure of seeing what I can capture.

Little lady on the wheat.

So tonight, as the golden sunset began forming on the horizon, …

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You’ll find this shortly inside the entrance at the Bartlett Arboretum. Beautiful.

I looked at the clock on the stove in the kitchen. 3:05. I was unshowered, and still in my pj’s, taking a day’s rest to nurse my sinus headache and resulting malaise. While a small part of me wanted to stay in the comfort of my home and my leopard pajama bottoms, a bigger part of me, much bigger, spurred me into action. I had to get to the Arb. Year after year, I vow to check out Art at the Arb, a weekend of music and arts at the Bartlett Arboretum, just a short drive from my house. But something comes up every time. This year, though, my only excuse for not attending was…well..the whole needing to shower …

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My young cousin’s room is decked out in space gear, including her fan.

Above her head circle the blades of a space-themed ceiling fan, while in her mind swirl dreams of scientific exploration and discovering the heavens. She is 11, and just beginning to formulate goals and aspirations for the big world outside her home. She wants to “shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.” At this crucial age, this time of ripe learning with an untarnished view of everything her future has to offer, the sky really is the limit. But how can she tap into this potential? How can she test her dreams against reality? How will she ever know if she really can shoot for the moon?

Shoot for the Moon! Even if you …

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