Stop and Smell the Roses

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We’ve all heard the saying, but do we actually stop and enjoy what’s in front of us? For me, the answer is yes…sometimes. This is my first year attempting to grow roses and so far I’m hopefully optimistic. I planted 4 bushes — 2 white, one red and one pink. For you garden geeks like me, you’d understand the excitement one gets when you walk out and finally see some beautiful blooms! I may have done a happy dance when I saw these beauties, and there was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to take in their wonderful smell. There’s just something about roses, they give off such a classical vibe and are the grandmother of flowers. You simply can’t beat them. I’m hoping my hard work pays off and that they become a fixture for many years to come…plus when I feel like I deserve a dozen roses I can damn well get them for myself 😉

Sooooo, with that said, these last couple weeks have been busy ones (summer, amiright?). My highlight was driving 6 hours south to the wonderful town of Calmar, AB and being a part of a long time friend’s wedding. Now, this was my first time being a bridesmaid and I’m not going to lie, I might have had a few nerves about the whole ordeal. Luckily for me, my good pal Jessica was hands down the best and most organized bride I’ve ever seen and the day went off flawlessly. Like, I’m not even joking, their wedding was the most perfect wedding I have ever been to and I’m still reminiscing about how magical the day was (and that perogy bar at midnight).

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We of course had to watch “Bridesmaids” the night before (ohhhh Helen) and were happily in bed by 10. We kicked the wedding day off with mimosas (duh) and got our hair and makeup professionally done. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never had my makeup done before. So needless to say when she handed me the mirror I straight up felt like a Kardashian and was trying to budget in my head how I could afford this every weekend. It was literally that great *cue Beyonce music*. The champagne was flowing and oddly enough we were ALL ready ahead of schedule. I of course had to get my emotions in check when I saw Jess in her wedding dress, because having a child has made my heart grow 3 sizes and tears flow on a daily basis. We then all jumped in a limo with the guys and may have cracked a few beverages for the drive. It was pretty heart warming to see the groom so nervous and excited for everything (bring on the waterworks again) and my heart got that warm, fuzzy feeling when they finally got to see each other at the aisle. With the ceremony over, everyone got to enjoy some time to visit (and those beverages again) and it was so cool to see how chill the guests were. Pictures followed right after and that limo was a happenin’ place. Who knew a bunch of Ag people could rap so well? The reception was FLAWLESS (of course) and I can’t even describe to you how beautiful and well thought out it was. I definitely got to witness first hand how Ukranian people party and I was impressed and slightly in awe at the dance skills some of them possessed.

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Sweaty messes on the dancefloor, full of perogies and rum

All in all, I drove the 6 hours home the next afternoon (because hangovers suck) and had a very full heart. The group of people I got to spend my weekend with were wonderful and I definitely left with a few more friends to add into my life. It’s a great feeling seeing two families come together and I will forever remember it. Now if only life could stay on such a high note…

The following Wednesday after I got back, we had made the decision to say good-bye to my  childhood dog Roxy. She lived a very full 14 years here, but sadly cancer had taken over her body. I spent a lot of time with her on the farm and she became quite the fixture in the passenger seat of the Gator. She was the kind of dog who in her prime, did everything from fighting beavers to even taking down two porcupines and landing herself a couple trips to the vet. She was an all or nothing dog and at the end of the day would gladly attempt to curl up in your lap despite her size. She was never one to give up so that made it all even harder. Casey grew fairly attached to her and was always trying to snuggle up with her and give her kisses whenever he got the chance. I’m thankful he’s not at the age yet to quite understand, but at the same time, I kind of wish he was. Good byes are never easy and a family pet is no exception.

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Thankfully, bad days don’t last forever and a certain blue-eyed boy has a way of turning my mood around. This age is so much fun, it’s such a neat feeling to see things through his eyes and watch him experience things for the first time. I have a feeling it’s only going to get better too. Case has become quite the “talker” lately and has even started to “sing”, which is ridiculously cute. He gives me big bear hugs now and calls me Momma, which seriously melts my heart. We were able to end the week off with a fresh haircut and a play date with our pals Carolyn and Ellie. It was a great day to be outside and watching him interact with other kids is priceless. We’re still learning personal space, but so far he’d much rather hug and kiss them than push or shove so that’s gotta be a win of some sort.

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Ummm where did my baby go?

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Straight cheesin’ for the camera
*Photo Creds to Carolyn*

Once again, these past weeks have brought a lot to the table and have given me a reminder on what’s important in life and where to focus my attention and energy. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for being so patient with this long post, I had a lot to get through! And with that, I leave you with one of my new favourite pictures, because who doesn’t love a cute blonde boy and paint pony?

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Current Mood: Wine

Have you ever had a day where it feels like the world is against you? If the answer is no, then you are lying. I know for a fact that everyone has had a day where you wake up in a seemingly good mood, only to be hit square in the face with one frustration after the other until it’s 6 o’clock and you’re drinking straight from the bottle. Well dear readers, today was one of those days. Now I’m not going to fall into a pity party and tell you how awful or aggravating my day was, because really, who wants to read about that? I will tell you though, that today was hard. Nothing tremendous or horrific happened, but it was a day where all the little things slowly added up and built upon one another until it felt like I needed to find a corner to cry in (which I still might). It was a day where I had that overwhelming feeling that life was just not being fair and that I wanted to run — no sprint, as far away as I could. But guess what? I can’t and I won’t.

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Carrie gets it

I refuse to allow one bad day to define my overall feeling of this crazy life I’m living, and I have a sweet little boy to look after and love. Parenting isn’t fun to do when you’re feeling down in the dumps, so some of my motivation comes from that boy’s big grin and twinkling eyes. I could have easily thrown in the towel today and hid under the covers, because believe me, I wanted to, but then that means I would have been defeated by circumstances I can’t control, and I’m not about to let that happen.

After taking a moment to myself and indulging in a new plant for my room (geeky, I know) I decided that getting upset over the day’s events just wasn’t an option. I preach positivity to everyone I know, so I might as well take note and try to see the bigger picture in front of me. Shit happens. Life happens. People happen. THINGS HAPPEN. It’s all a part of living and if it’s beyond my control  then I might as well see it as a lesson and move on, even if it’s the hardest thing to do. There are always going to be tough days, you just have to be tougher. I believe that if you keep your chin up long enough and look on the bright side as much as possible, then good things are bound to come your way (even if you feel like yelling and have dropped 500 f-bombs in your head already).

It’s so easy to get caught up in the “woe is me” feeling, but have you ever noticed that as soon as you do, you start acknowledging the negativity around you and almost start looking for it? It’s not a good time and I have been quite guilty of playing into it in the past. Since these last couple months have been a huge learning curve in the life department, I have learned to not fall prey to the negativity monster lurking around, waiting to rear it’s ugly head. Six months ago I would’ve seen this day as one of the worst, but now, I see it as one bad day and look forward to creating a better day tomorrow. No dwelling, no over-thinking, just recognizing it as a less than stellar day and moving on. Simple. I think…

I may not have all the answers, and I still may drink a bottle of wine and shed a few tears tonight, but one thing I know for certain is that all crappy days come to an end and I have so much more to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. So if you’re having a bad day, please be kind to yourself and do whatever you need to do to pick your chin back up and push your shoulders back and give the things bothering you a big middle finger. Give yourself a pep talk if you need to and remind yourself that you are a strong, independent woman (or man) and that you have no time for things that bring you down. Life happens too fast to be worrying about all the things that have gone or will go wrong. Plus, tomorrow is the weekend, and who can be mad about that?

 

Summer is Here

Now that the dust has settled, I finally feel like I can take a deep breath and sit down and blog. Over the long weekend I hosted my annual barrel racing series, 6th one to be exact, and no matter how much preparing and organizing I do, I always end up feeling flustered and overwhelmed until the exact moment it starts. This year we had lower numbers (only 100 riders) compared to last year when we had about 200. The weeks leading up to it were exhausting. There are so many little things to take care of and no matter what I did, this year proved to be the most difficult. I’m a planner. So obviously I started getting things in order for it in January. I booked the rodeo grounds, got a rough idea of sponsorship money needed and sat down and figured out what prizes and payout should be. Fast forward to June when I think I have everything in place, and my brilliant “planning” started to crumble. The original photographer I had backed out, we were slightly over budget come time to order prizes, and I still was needing a concession to feed these 100 riders. Talk about stressful. It was almost as if I would get one thing handled and then another roadblock would pop up. There was even a moment 2 weeks before that I was sure this would be the last year hosting. Life was much too busy and complicated and I had every excuse in the book as to why I shouldn’t put myself through this again. Whoa.

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People will tell you you’re crazy for hosting a series, but I say the beer helps

Thankfully, my trusty support system talked me out of it and reminded me to STAY POSITIVE. Things started to fall into place quite quickly once that happened. We got a photographer, we got a food truck, we got extra sponsorship money, and we got a great group of volunteers to help us pull it all off. I was breathing a huge sigh of relief when we were finally ready to go and everything was in place an hour before start time. As hard as it was to get the series under control and organized, it was probably one of the best years we have had. We had zero wrecks, were able to get almost 60 riders through in an hour, some very fast and deserving runs were made, and payout and prizes were done without a glitch. It was definitely a weekend full of lessons, like don’t sweat the small stuff, and patience will get you a lot farther than frustration will. I was still smiling at the end of it all, but I won’t lie, the few beers at the end of the day definitely didn’t hurt!

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My biggest fans (and helpers)

I’ve come to realize that being involved in the things you are passionate about can create a love/hate relationship, especially when you are trying to balance motherhood in with it all. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and hectic atmosphere, but in the end, it’s so worth it. I told myself from the very beginning that I was going to stick with barrel racing and hosting our event, even after having Casey, and I’m so glad I did. I hope that he grows up appreciating the hard work I put into hosting this series for other people and that I can lead by example and instill that same sort of passion into him. After seeing so many people have fun and bring their families out for the weekend, it left me with a very full heart. The memories made by the kids there will never be replaced and it’s one of the best atmospheres for them to grow up in. You can’t beat a weekend full of horses and laughter, so for now I’ll keep hosting them.

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