Well it’s the middle of June and we are off and running in SEVERAL directions as usual!  I survived the graduation ceremony of our youngest child without embarrassing him too much, although there may be some discrepancy on what constitutes “too much”…  And Cody and I managed to take all three kids plus a couple of their friends to Orlando for vacation and survived that as well.  7 days of Disneyworld and Universal parks in summer temps and 90% humidity makes me question our choices sometimes, not to mention our sanity, but ultimately, we all had a fabulous time.  Several weather delays for the flight home made for a really long last travel day, but that just made it all that much sweeter to finally be home again.

Some of you may have already heard about Cody’s latest venture:  he has decided to run for the Texas Legislature—TX State House Representative for District 59 for the 2020 election!  Now, I know what your first question is:  Has he lost his mind?!  I know because that was my first thought as well.  But after hearing the reasoning from some of the folks who approached him about it, I finally had to concede that Cody is actually a great choice.  He’s not a politician, which we have all had enough of ad nauseam, and he does sincerely care about the issues that are really important to Texas voters and wants to make sure they’re handled correctly for a change.  So yeah, we’re neck-deep in it now, fund-raising, meet and greets, speeches, etc.…  and he’s going for it!  This is an area that none of us have ever ventured into before, so it will for sure be interesting learning as we go.  I’m sure there will be plenty of hilarious stories to share with y’all and I plan to be brutally transparent.  I mean, a strong-willed, tells-it-like-it-is team roper on the campaign trail—what could go wrong, right?!

As if that’s not enough to keep us busy for the summer, there’s plenty of other things going on for our family as well!  As I’m writing this blog, on the eve of Cody’s big Campaign Kickoff Party tomorrow night, Clay is preparing to go to college orientation tomorrow.  The good news is that he’s decided to do his pre-law studies here in Stephenville at Tarleton State University, my alma mater by the way and yes I can actually still sing all the words of the fight song, and follow that with Law School at Texas Tech.  So, I get to have him here close for 3 more years which definitely softens the whole empty-nest blow a little.   And for an added bonus, he received an invitation to take part in a pre-law program at Stanford University this summer, and since he’ll still technically be a minor when it begins, Cody and I get to make the trip to Palo Alto with him and see the sights for a few days while he completes the program on campus.  We’re ridiculously proud of him, not just for the honor of receiving the invitation, but for the enthusiasm with which he’s accepted it.  Grabbing life with both hands is one thing that we’ve always encouraged our children to do, and it’s gratifying to know he’s been paying attention.  So, this trip happens in roughly two weeks—just about the time I’ll be finishing the laundry from the last trip…I know, I know…first world problems lol.

And then…yes, there’s more.  Hard to believe I know, but I literally can’t make this stuff up.

To preface the next adventure, I probably should explain a little about how we got here.  Two Christmases ago, we gave to Cody’s mom as a Christmas gift, ballroom dance lessons at the Arthur Murray Studio in Fort Worth.  She’d always wanted to learn how to do the Viennese Waltz, plus she’s really hard to buy gifts for, so we set her up with a few lessons.  And in the process, she really fell in love with the whole ballroom dance experience, so she kept going.  She’s been dancing in competitions now for about a year, and we try to go and watch anytime we can.  So this summer, her studio is going on a competition trip to….Prague!  And she really wanted to go, but didn’t want to go by herself.  So Bayli said she would go with her—Bayli’s been to Italy before on a school trip so we figured she could handle it by herself.   Except Bayli felt like they really needed one more person to go with them.  Tori pretty much broke out in hives just talking about it so she’s out, neither of the guys were interested in going at all, which left me.  So, guess what—yep I’m headed to Prague at the end of July with Bayli and Linda.  Can’t say I’m super excited about the 14-hour flight over, but I have to admit I am pretty excited about being there.  This will be my first trip to Europe and so far, everything I’ve seen about Prague looks breathtakingly beautiful.  Plus, I’ll get another stamp in my passport which is always fun.

By the time we get back the campaign will be in hard-core full swing, Fall semester will be just about ready to start, the music venue will be kicking off our spectacular Fall lineup, and there will be zero time for jet lag and recuperation.  No rest for the weary, just jump right back in the race and do our best to keep up.  And laundry…don’t forget the mountains of laundry.

On other fronts, in the midst of all the travel excitement, we completed our first breeding season with our two new stallions, which was an enormous success and better even than we’d hoped for.  In spite of the weather refusing to fully cooperate, we finished the season with a 93% success rate on our own broodmares, which is phenomenal in such a difficult year.  My boys are packing some mighty strong swimmers…just sayin’.   In addition to that, we managed to get all of the foals here safely, which is a huge blessing, so we honestly couldn’t be happier with the prospects at the ranch right now.  And with absolutely perfect timing, our great friend, Larry, has come back to run the ranch for us again.  So, between him and Whitney, we couldn’t feel better about leaving everything in their hands while we’re traveling.  We for sure have an amazing group of people working with us and we count that in our blessings every single day.

So, I’m hoping, cross my fingers, that my next blog will actually be written in Prague.  Unless, of course, I stumble upon a subject before then that just won’t wait.  And given that I’ll be spending 10 days in and around San Francisco soon, where as I understand it, people are pooping in the streets, yeah…I’m not going to rule that possibility out just yet.

All in all, looking forward to yet another jam-packed Summer for the Johnson bunch.  I’m sure there will be some unforgettable experiences, and some Oh-how-I-wish-I-could-forget-them experiences, and we’ll end up treasuring them all, as we should.  Someone told me once that it was up to me to write my own story and I fully embrace that philosophy for all of us.  Write it in big, bold, beautiful letters and use every color of the rainbow. 

And then leave it for your loved ones to use as a travel map.

You can’t always see around the bend to your next step, step anyway.  What if you fall?  But what if you fly?!  

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  



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