It’s been one week since I left and I am still in Yee Yee heaven! We were on our way back from the airport when I got the call. Ryan and I had just spent the weekend in Las Vegas, it was supposed to be for National Finals Rodeo, when it got moved to Texas I didn’t cancel our Vegas trip. Little did I know, I would be going to Texas in four days. Getting a call from Hayden, Brand Management for Yee Yee Apparel was surreal, my dream was actually coming true. When he put Granger Smith on the phone to ask me if I could come to the Yee Yee Farm that weekend my heart started racing, this was all God I thought. Watch the recap of my experience in this video and read on for all the details!
Rewind to the weeks leading up to the contest, I decided to follow the advice of Terri Savelle Foy to make a vision board. She has a ministry out of Rockwall, Texas and is a cheerleader of dreams. She teaches success principles based on God’s word. To create a vision board for your dreams, write your goals down and speak over them daily. So I created a vision board for Granger’s truck by making the photo of him and his truck as the screen saver on my phone. I spoke positive declarations over it daily, I knew God was the only way I would be chosen for the contest. I also sowed seed towards my dream, I donated a significant dollar amount to her ministry believing to be chosen for the contest. Glory to God he made my dream come true!
I worked hard on my family farm the few days leading up to the trip. You can see a little of what we do on the farm in this video:
Finally the day came to fly to Austin. We left Cincinnati and met the other contestants on a connecting flight in Minneapolis. We all arrived in our Yee Yee Apparel at the Austin airport. Our ride to the hotel was better than expected when we got picked up in Granger’s tour bus by his drivers Butch and Bull! The ride to the hotel was so fun with Granger’s music playing and meeting everyone. The other contestants were from Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Utah. Three girls and two guys, all ready for the time of our lives. I got to bed quickly knowing I would be up a long time for the contest.
The next morning we were escorted by Covert Auto to the Yee Yee Farm. This was another surreal moment, seeing Granger’s tour buses all parked in the barn. After temperature checks and an offer from Granger to give up now and just hang with him for two days, we all declined and put our hand on the truck! We started at 9:30 a.m., every hour we rotated positions around the truck and got a quick bathroom break. I started at the highest position close to the passenger door, hoping it would get a little easier for me later on because I am short I had to reach my arm higher to keep my hand on the hood. During breaks we could switch hands, so every couple hours I would switch to give each arm a break. There were GoPro cameras surrounding the truck to make sure the hand we placed on the hood after each break never left.
Everyone was having a party around us all day. Thankfully the weather was sunny Saturday, so it wasn’t cold until evening. They tempted us with a taco truck for lunch because all we were allowed to have during our break was water, crackers, nuts and fruit snacks. I’m used to being too busy on the farm to eat much, so I felt good all day. I also chose to wear my boots with thick socks that I am used to wearing on the farm, so I was comfortable. I felt warm in my Carhartt jacket and new Yee Yee beanie I bought during the black friday sale. As the evening approached they changed our breaks to every three hours to make it more difficult since no one took their hand off the truck yet.
Around 6 p.m. they offered the same beanie I had on to the other contestants. I was glad I had mine on already because when the girl from Illinois went to put hers on, she accidentally took her hand off the truck. A few more hours went by and I was glad to rotate spots to the center hood of the truck. my body felt fine, but my hand started getting cold from the metal hood. On break I put on an extra pair of gloves, hoodie and socks. When our 9 p.m. break came, Granger came out with some footage that caught the girl from Utah barely lifting her hand off the truck by mistake, so we were then down to me and the two boys. The cold eventually got to the boy from Pennsylvania, so he willingly took his hand off the truck to go get free Yee Yee Apparel with the other contestants. This caught everyone by surprise and I was now in the final two with Mark from Wisconsin.
We are both 31 and hard workers, so we knew the contest was far from over. Every few hours throughout the day Granger had been giving us generous offers such as cash and plane tickets. No one accepted these offers including the offer he made to Mark and I around midnight. It was going to be a long, dark and cold night so Granger wanted to give us one more offer; a trip to Las Vegas or $2,000 cash. Neither one of us budged. I was ready to give my all. I was praying the entire time for God to give me strength, warmth and to renew my energy. I knew not falling asleep would be the hardest part. Every uncomfortable moment of the contest was a blessing. Even though it was hard, I kept reminding myself of how blessed I was to be there.
I was doing this for the glory of God, my husband, my family and for Granger’s family. I know how much this truck means to him and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to be there. I wanted to be farm girl tough and see how much I am capable of. I think it is good to be uncomfortable, challenge yourself and push through hard situations. I was thankful to my husband Ryan for staying up with me through the night. The hours of 4 to 7 a.m. were the most difficult. I told Ryan to keep talking to me to stay awake, I kept praying and telling myself to make it until Granger gets back. Around 7 a.m. Granger returned and by this point we were awaiting another offer. Neither of us wanted to leave the truck after we had worked so hard to stay up during the night. We also didn’t want to go through another night, but knew it would take a good offer for one of us to leave.
Granger didn’t come out with an offer right away. He had us play trivia games for a cup of coffee and a stool to sit on for 15 minutes. Mark won both, but I kept hanging in there. I started to talk about how the money and trip offers were nice, but what I would care about more is an experience with Granger. Anyone who knows me and reads this blog, knows how much I love Granger’s music and how passionate I am about sharing the work of country musicians through my writing. When the 24 hour mark hit, we could not believe the offer Granger made!
He said this is something they have never done for anyone outside his band and crew. He offered $2,400 cash for being there 24 hours OR a priceless weekend on tour with him. They would fly us in to a city where they had two good shows planned for the weekend. We would experience everything on the tour bus and at the venue including stage set up, sound check and production. I told Ryan I was really tempted to take the weekend on tour because it was what I’ve always wanted. To be able to experience everything back stage with Granger first-hand would mean the world to me. So I took my hand off the truck! God had something bigger in store for me all along.
After the contest it was so nice to talk with Granger’s wife Amber. I love watching her Arise With Amber show on The Smith’s YouTube channel. Her words of encouragement with scripture lift me up. She was kind enough to bless me with some of her Arise merch and a nice note. I felt so much joy and love from her and everyone! Watch a behind the scenes video from The Smith’s here:
I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity. I can’t thank Granger, his family and team enough for this experience in the contest and a trip on tour I will cherish the rest of my life. I am happy for Mark; I wish him and his family many happy moments in the truck. Life is short and we must always appreciate every moment. I always want to live the Yee Yee life, living each day to the fullest! I hope you will continue to follow my journey as a girl writing stories on farming and country music as a way of life. Be inspired by the hard work and dedication it takes to make dreams a reality and leave your mark on the world, Yee Yee!