Reflecting on a year in Nevada…

Happy 2017! I cannot believe how quickly 2016 came and went. So many people talked about what a terrible year it was. I thought it was a pretty great year. I thought I would take a moment to reflect on some of the 2016 adventures.

In December 2015 I announced in The Book of Life I had accepted a job with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and would be moving back home closer to my family.

We had some time in-between leaving Nebraska and when my new job started, so naturally we stayed with my parents. We were involved daily with the chores and animals on the ranch. And boy did it get cold, caring for baby lambs in freezing temperatures was certainly a priority.

The weather actually ended up delaying our moving truck, and needless to say we had to camp out in our apartment for about a week until our stuff arrived. It was kind of awkward to come home and night and not have anything (nothing) to sit on. But we survived and spent the next months unpacking…

We spent much of January and February settling into a new normal. The Hubs looked for work, and was actually able to get employment with the same security company he was with in Nebraska. We went to the ranch when weather permitted and enjoyed being able to help out my folks.

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Because who doesn’t need a sheep selfie?

After almost six years to the date, the Hubs became an American citizen. Whew what a process that was. If it wasn’t for a fantastic immigration lawyer (and money, and time) we could not have done it. Hindsight is always something, but we put together a list of 10 immigration tips in case you ever need to go through the process yourself (or know someone who is), as knowing some of these things upfront would have been helpful.

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Becoming an American!

I became an aunt! My Mom and I made several trips to Wyoming to help my sister get ready for his birth, then to meet the little guy, then to spoil and cuddle him. He is seriously the most adorable kid ever… ok, I am probably biased, but he is pretty great, and cute. The whole family was able to spend Labor Day (for the folks’ 40th wedding anniversary) and Christmas together. We are eagerly anticipating the big cake smash birthday coming up.

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He was so little here…

In March, we headed south and took advantage of the Death Valley Super Bloom. Neither of us had ever been there, but enjoyed the few days we had. Not only was it an excellent place to visit, but one we certainly will return to. Next time we go, we decided we would camp in the park instead of driving to the motel in a nearby town. We would also watch all of the sunrises and sunsets, as the ones we saw were fantastic. And we probably wouldn’t try to see every.single.thing in the park in one visit.

Death AValley Super Bloom

If you know anything about me from social media, you know I like to cook (and eat). I experimented a lot with clay pot cooking, and tried cornish game hens, meatloaf, and chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

In July my office hosted the first-ever youth summer day camp. We spent a week highlighting some of the projects youth can do in 4-H and explored the great outdoors. We had so much fun that we will continue this camp and talked about adding a winter one as well.

Living in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range gave us the chance to hike, swim, and explore areas near us. We didn’t make near enough time to enjoy as much scenic beauty and we wanted, but have been building our 2017 list of places to visit.

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Lake Tahoe

In the fall I had a ton of travel. I was fortunate enough to attend meetings and conferences where I could catch up with friends, as well as make new friends and learn new skills from events like BloggyCon and Top of the Class. I also was able to squeeze in a couple of fun trips too.

We bought a house! Apartment living was not for us. So we bit the bullet and bought our first home. Surprisingly, the process went much, much better in real life than I had imagined it would go. Yes, it seems we ended 2016 much the same way we started 2016, packing and moving. And let me just say that going through a move twice in one year is way too much. Two months later I am finally at the stage where I am hanging stuff on the walls and decorating.

2016 was a year of change and challenge, new beginnings, exploration, and family. I saw my family more in the past year than I had in the last six years. It was great being able to go 4-wheeling in the mountains, celebrate life events and holidays, and just hang out. On the work front, getting adjust to a completely new and different system has taken time, but we are once again full-staffed and everyone has learned their roles and responsibilities. I look forward to what 2017 will bring, and wish you all the best.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

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15 Tips from BloggyCon

I recently had the opportunity to attend my very first blogger conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I am not a “mommy blogger” nor do I sell stuff through my blog. Nonetheless I signed up, and off I went to Sandusky, Ohio for my first BloggyCon.

Below I wanted to share some of the best takeaways for me. These are things I hope to continue doing, start doing, or do better in the future.

  1. Podcasts – keep them between 10 and 15 minutes.
  2. Present yourself – what is your story? Everyone has a story. Be real and share your story.
  3. Take the time to work on content and schedule it, then it frees up time for other things and helps remove the guilt about not posting regularly.
  4. Perfection is the enemy of production – sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end and go with it.
  5. Don’t be afraid to go back to old blog poststhat are performing well and re-purpose them into additional or follow-ups posts, podcasts, webinars, etc.
  6. The ideal  blog post should take 7 minutes or less to read and be 500-750 words with pictures.
  7. Solve a problem for your audience. If you have a talent or skill make a video and share it. “How to” videos on YouTube are tremendously popular.
  8. Use the YouTube thumbnails when posting a video.
  9. Do not spend more than 15 to 30 minutes editing a video. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
  10. You don’t have to have expensive equipment to produce a good product.
  11. Facebook Live videos are being prioritized over other content… Be there.
  12. Go live for 10-15 minutes on Facebook Live.
  13. Use good keywords and do not ever include a hashtag in a Pinterest post.
  14. Blog post titles should be around 60 characters
  15. Take advantage of internal linking. Go back through old posts and link in newer stuff (and vice versa) that you have written that relates to it.

This conference focused a lot on monetizing your blog, which is something I cannot do at this point. However, I learned a lot at BloggyCon and need to spend a day or two going through my social networks making various changes. I also met some great ladies that I look forward to keeping in touch with, and will perhaps see again someday. And to top it off, the location for this conference was fantastic.

Have you ever attended a blogging or social media conference? If so, which one was it?


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest