Fail Forward

You know those moments when you just feel like you don’t have it together? A failed expectation turns into another and before you know it you find yourself in a spiral of self-doubt and self-criticism?

Reflecting back on the last 12 months I see professional wins, areas of growth, and opportunities for improvement. I think we all can. Going into 2020, many of us wrote goals for our institution, departments, and for ourselves. Then March 2020 hit us like a freight train, and we were forced to pivot in monumental ways that the majority of us had never been trained for. Each individual, regardless of profession and career, was challenged.

Pandemic challenges aside, we all need to have reality checks with ourselves from time to time. A moment to say,

“Hey, girl. You’ve got this”

It’s easy to get caught up in a glass half empty state. Like the times when you feel you’re losing more than winning? Losing a little control and the ability to succeed? When in reality, what you’ve actually lost is the ability to see the situation from a different lens.

I’ve fallen in that trap several times this last year. I found a note in my phone from January 2020 reminding me that I am capable. I had lost focus of the professional wins and the supporting team surrounding me. I had allowed myself to get lost in the self-imposed losses and the notion that I had to prove myself at every moment, when in reality, I really only had myself to prove.

It’s natural to fall in a trap of uncertainly and question. And it’s imperative that we all give ourselves a moment of pause for reflection and a reality check.

Beautiful girl, you don’t need to prove anything or anyone. Do your job and do it to the best of your ability. And the things that don’t go as you wanted or planned? Well then, fail forward. You’ve got this.

J. Pirtle, January 2020

And you, dear reader? You’ve also got this.

Lean into the people you trust. Let go of the idea that you need to have control and a hand in everything. It’s not possible. There are too many moving pieces. Handle people, projects, and situations with grace, a smile and an inquisitive mind.

Actions speak louder than words. That trying to “prove your worth” thing isn’t becoming of you. The relationships built, the opportunities provided, and the product of the work speak loudest.

Fail Forward.

Find Your Place.

Find Your People.

Bring Them With.

Pecan Pie Bars

Clint was really hoping for some Pecan Pie over Thanksgiving this year, but with our cancelled plans and my life in quarantine, his dreams were looking dismal.

I am not a pie maker. I love to bake and Lord knows I do a ton of it, but pie’s? Nah, girl. We will leave the pie’s to my niece Payton over on The Road Less Traveled. She’s the Queen!

I was looking for something a little more simple and landed on an easy Pecan Pie bar recipe over on Cookies & Cups.

The shortbread base had me at helloooooooo!

The Recipe


  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour


  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups  chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Combine butter and sugar together on medium speed. Add flour until combined. Mixture will be dry. 
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
  4. While crust is baking, whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the flour and salt and whisk again until combined. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Pour the pecan mixture on top of hot crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center is set.
  6. Slice and refrigerate.

Thanks, Shelley at Cookies & Cups for the easy recipe that saved me from the tedious process of making a pie. Husband approved!


Friday Faves | Edition 10

Bringing back the Friday Faves as an opportunity to share with you some things I am enjoying lately. Sharing is caring, am I right? I’ve got a few small business shares, a local Omaha fitness option and a couple other random things up my sleeve today.

  1. Title Boxing, Omaha

I joined Title Boxing early August as I was looking for another outlet to burn off stress. Can’t think of anything better then punching the living heck out of a bag to remove the unwanted weight nesting in my mind, body and spirit. And you all have been here long enough to know I love any and all fitness adventures.

Bonus: Starting November 23rd – 29th new members pay NOTHING until January 2021. Free Dollars! Membership is also month to month, so no contracts or obligations after. You can even go give it a try one time for free before you decide to commit. I try to hit the T and TH 4:30pm class times as often as my calendar will allow, so if you are local, come hit up a class with me! If you stop in be sure to let them know I referred you!

2. Antique Candle Co

Antique Candle Co. is a 6 year old company out of Indiana offering farmhouse inspired soy candles made with non-toxic oils and fragrances. Grounded in faith, Farmhouse Candles support missionaries close to their heart.

There are so many amazing scents. Some of my top faves include Peppermint, Fall Harvest, Pecan Pie, Momma’s Kitchen and Christmas Day. I highly recommend grabbing the Fall & Christmas and Bake Sale sample pack to get a jumpstart on finding your favorite. They are offering Free Shipping for a very limited time. Enjoy!

Antique Candle Co.

3. Letterboards by Main Event USA

Main Event USA offers letterboards, signs, and other misc. gift items. A USA owned company, each product is made by a person and ships lightning fast. Become a VIP member for 20% off your first order and have fun creating your letterboard slogans. 🙂

4. Living Proof Vanishing Oil

Living Proof Vanishing Oil

This product has been a game changer for my hair. I use this oil on clean damp hair prior to any heat product application. My hair is visibly more smooth and shiny and holds up over several days without washing. This product is hard to snag as it goes out of stock quickly. Keep your eyes peeled!

5. Kale and Chicken Sausage Sauté

I have been loving this dinner combo as of late. Quick, easy and very nutrient rich.

Sauté red pepper flake and garlic in a little olive oil until fragrant. Add in kale, onion, Kalamata olives and cover and sauté on low for 5 minutes. Add protein of choice (chicken sausage, shrimp, chicken…). Top with walnuts for a little added crunch. For seasoning I use a balsamic glaze or Liquid Aminos.

Cheers to a great weekend!