Because You Did It, I Knew I Could Too

Posted October 14, 2022 by Prairie Wife - 1 comment

“Because you did it, I knew I could too.”

It’s a simple phrase, but to me, it is one of the most empowering and humbling phrases I’ve ever heard…or said.

“Because you did it, I knew I could too.”

I’m going to take a moment to share some of my story with you, but I promise it’s all going to lead us back to where we started…That phrase, “Because you did it, I knew I could too.”

I came to Wyoming for the first time when I was a 12-year-old girl. It was a family vacation to Yellowstone and my first time in the mountains. Growing up in Milwaukee, I was no stranger to severe weather…but I will never forget the feeling of standing in the flats outside our hotel in Wapiti as the wind whipped up around me and blew a massive storm cloud our way. I was shocked at the power and the speed of that storm descending upon us…but I also recall feeling utterly and completely alive and in control as my hair slapped my face and goosebumps rose on my arms.

My dad (who obviously had a better understanding of what was actually headed my way) grabbed me and pulled me into our hotel room. Where I promptly looked him in the eye and said, “I’m going to live here when I grow up.”

Time passed, and much to the shock and astonishment of my parents, I applied to the University of Wyoming and moved to the UW campus site unseen, with 500 dollars to my name and a work-study at the college of education lined up, which paid me enough money to buy books and not much else.

I told them I wanted to find a Cowboy to marry. My mother still recalls the phone call that happened early on a Saturday morning when her 19-year-old daughter told her all about the cute green-eyed cowboy she met at the beer tent at frontier days…who was so drunk he asked her to marry him that night!

Fast forward, and that cowboy became my husband, and we had two children. A two-year-old son and a 3-month-old daughter. My Cowboy was on the road five days a week working (a familiar story in Wyoming), and I was living on 10 acres between Glenrock and Casper with absolutely no clue AT ALL what I was doing.

No family.

No friends.

No neighbors with children.

All alone and lonely on the Wyoming Prairie.

But. I knew I was where I was meant to be.

I knew I could figure it out… I just had to dig deep and find my grit. And pray for a whole lot of grace.

As I shared my life on the prairie with friends (Facebook at this time was just starting to take off), I began to joke about earning Prairie Wife badges. My rattlesnake killing Prairie Wife Badge. My first loaf of homemade bread Prairie Wife Badge…and so on.

As one year turned into two and two kids turned into 4, I made friends.

And I learned the value in having women around me that knew…really KNEW what I was going through as a stay-at-home mom with little to no help and more kids than I had hands to hold.

And as we shared our stories, I learned that if they can do it, I can too.

Isolation in Wyoming is a real thing.

And multigenerational households full of women sharing their stories are rare.

So I began with the basic idea of offering the support that had been missing for me to others.

I knew that if I publicly shared the ups and downs of my life, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I could give other women a chance to say…

“Because you did it, I knew I could too.”

I talked about being a hunting widow, sleepless nights nursing fussy baby number 5 by the light of the moon, my struggles with depression, and even my decision to have a preventive mastectomy…pictures of my carved flat stitched up chest and all.


And I have hundreds of emails and messages saying, “Because you did it, I knew I could too.”

I wept as I typed out the story of my three miscarriages.

I laughed as I wrote about how my toddler had covered an entire wall and herself with a permanent marker.

I’ve shared the struggles of parenting two teenagers in this tech-infused world full of totally unpredictable dangers.

“Because you did it, I knew I could too.”

Two weeks ago, I announced on my radio show to thousands of listeners that I was walking away from a job I loved. I was saying goodbye to 4 and a half years on an award-winning radio show that has been one of the best things I’ve done in my life…to have more time with my family…and to focus on building the brand I began on my kitchen counter nine years ago.

I cried on air as I made the announcement and the last thing I ever said on the show will forever be “thank you,” squeaked out between gasps and tears.

But you know what happened?

For the last week, my email and messages have been filled with “because you did it, I knew I could too.”

And as I stand in front of all of you, I want you to know that without a doubt, each and every one of you is someone’s “because you did it, I knew I could too.”

This is an entire room full to the brim of inspiration, comfort, support, and a heck of a lot of grit and grace.

This room is full of women dedicated to building other women and Wyoming.

Your legacy is that you are inspiring other women simply by being YOU.

By following your passion but being willing to fail, by being strong enough to simply keep moving forward, you have made an impact on our state that cannot be measured.

But it IS most assuredly appreciated.

And that’s what today’s Women of Influence 9th Annual Luncheon is all about.

We are showing our appreciation to you.

Honoring you and reminding you that “because you did it, we knew we could too.”

Thank you.

NOTE: This is a copy of my Keynote Speech from the 9th Annual Wyoming Women of Influence Luncheon

Are you interested in having me speak or emcee at your next event? Follow this link to learn more.

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