And we said................I DO!

To begin this journey you have to have some history. After about 5 years, Jim finally proposed! He said he didn't want to rush me (I think we're safe there!). So, almost a year later (don't want to rush) we got married, on May 12th 2007. A very small wedding in our backyard; 11 people counting us and officiated by one of my closest friends (yes, ordained online). The next day we headed out on our honeymoon. A road trip down the coast line into California to Disneyland, then over to Las Vegas, up to Reno and back home in three wonderful weeks! And who thought that 8 months later we’d be moving to our very own horse property but, that’s exactly what happened!! Sometimes, childhood dreams do come true!! So, here begins our journey…..

2009-Projects and Ponies

2009 was a busy year! It's all a big blur so, I'll try to remember the highlights! LOL. We made it through our first full winter with no mishaps and when February arrived we were ready for some home improvements. We had bought a large amount of laminate flooring the year before but were too scared to start! So, there it had sat for almost a year but, thanks to Frank and Tammy, on February 14th (yes, Valentines Day) we got started! First off was the guest room. New paint, shelves, flooring and curtains. The scariest part was pulling up the carpet and not knowing exactly what you might find.

The next scary part was actually installing the new floor and thinking we were in over our heads. But, Frank and Tammy were our heroes!!! And, they stuck it out clear until the middle of May when we finished our last room; the kitchen. I think it was the worse room as them all!! The flooring was alot of work but in the end it was totally worth it (even the 12 hr day we put in). We love our new floors and we had such a great time hanging out with Frank and Tammy. Of course, there was always a big FEAST on "flooring day". I loved that part!! We literally couldn't have done it without them!!

In between flooring days we had pony days. Jim and I and the horses made so much progress, it was mind boggling. Jim and Jake passed their Level 1-Online and Minnie and I passed Level 1-Online, Level 2-Online and Level 2 Freestyle. What does all this mean, you ask?? The short story is that the Parelli program has levels of achievements in the developement of you and your horse and your relationship. Once you complete a certain level, you should be able to do certain tasks, games or maneuvers. To get recognition for this and to get constructive feedback, you can do a video audition of you and your horse demonstrating your accomplishments. Your audition is reviewed by certified instructors at the Parelli ranch and graded with the relationship being the real test. The "means" really has to justify the end. They aren't looking for or expecting "perfection" as much as they want to see a strong partnership between you and your horse. I can't tell you how gratifying the experience has been. I feel like it's the first truly EARNED award I've gotten with a horse in years! In May, Jim and I drove to Reno to a 3-day Parelli conference along with our friends Emma, Kip and Beth. It was incredible!!! To top it off, Emma and Beth had been selected to take their horses and do what they call a "spotlight performance". Basically, a live audtion in front of everyone!! All three days were so amazing. I can actually say, I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. If you'd like to learn more about what we do and the Parelli program, visit or . I almost forgot the one 'mishap' before we left. The afternoon before we left, Minnie comes LIMPING in for dinner! Yes, limping!! She had bowed a tendon a couple years before and was now favoring that same leg. AAAAAAAAH! So, I spent that evening holding ice packs on her leg and really stressing out! Luckily, our neighbors mom (Brenda) was staying at our house while we were gone and she was very willing to play nursemaid. She was amazing! I was so thankful to have someone like her taking care of things. Plus, my friend, Jeanie stopped by to help out. Everyone rallied to Minnie's side. It was great! Don't get me wrong, I was still really stressed out being away from home but, Minnie couldn't have been in better hands. She was laid up for a few weeks but, healed just fine and was back to running and jumping as usual. :)

By June, we had formed a little group of Parelli students; Emma and her husband, Kip, Beth and Jim and myself and did our own spotlight performance at the Scio Buckaroos horse show. We had such a great time!!! Kip did some commentary while the rest of us played with our horses and demonstrated what you can achieve when you put the relationship first. We later came up with an official group name- The Aspiring Horseman (I plan to do a photo album just for our group so, watch for it). The June show was also Jake's first experience in the show ring (it didn't go so well). We went in an English class. He wasn't too sure about being in there with a bunch of strange horses and decided to buck and of course, caught me off guard and lets just say it was a looooooong way down (sorry, no pictures)!! You have time to think about the ground when you come off a tall horse! LOL. In July my little cousins, Morgan and Hailey came down to go to the horse show. They even came out in the arena and did their own little spotlight with Jake and Minnie. What a blast!!! No competing this time though. That's when I finally decided that competing was no longer important to me. Having my horses be happy with what I ask of them was more important. So, the rest of the summer was spent just riding each of them during lunch break at the shows. It did wonders for Jake. Less strange horses and no pressure. By the end of summer he was pretty relaxed in the ring. I have to say, my favorite part of the summer was Jim and I doing the Waldo Hills Trail Ride. We had such a wonderful time and I really think our horses did too. It was Jake's SECOND trail ride ever; a 10-mile trail ride and Jim rode him with a halter and lead. Gotta love it!! Minnie was a hero that day. Her and I led three different horses across a creek crossing that her, herself may not have crossed the year before! She was such a trooper and I owe it all to the work we did in the months before.
Of course, our summer still had some projects too! We had our horse trailer stripped down and painted and some extra's added along the way. We started pulling shrubs out in the yard and started landscaping the "island". It's a work in progress but it'll get there. We really put the tractor to work, that's for sure. In September we tore down my Jeep and took it to the shop that painted our trailer. That's all I'm gonna say about that right now. It warrants a separate post. Let's just say it's a loooong story!

Time sure flies by! Before we knew it, here came the holidays. We had another belated Thanksgiving which, we've decided we prefer. And because we did it that way, Jim and I ended up having three Thanksgiving dinners! lol. We had a party with the Scio Buckaroos the weekend before. We had dinner with Laurel and Glen on Thanksgiving and then had our belated dinner at our house on Sunday. The usual charactors were there; mom, dad, Michael, Jason, Jordan, Susie, Kim, Jessy and us. Everything was wonderful as usual! Then came Christmas, at our house this time, with mom, Michael and dad. What was really fun was that I had gone to the Holiday Crafters Market and found something for everyone on my list so, everyone got something handmade and unique. I love it when I can give people something that's one of a kind and didn't come from a retail store.  :)
So, there it is.....2009! What a whirlwind of a year!

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