Monday, December 8, 2014

Double Digits

Happy happy birthday to my beautiful, smart, strong, and ferocious big girl.  I've loved you since the second we met.

I cannot believe it's been a decade since I first laid eyes on this little sweetie.  Her little smile has been lighting up my life ever since.

She has an spirit that cannot be conquered and a thirst for life that is unequalled.  She literally loves every second.

She's taught me about unconditional love, determination, and positivity.

She's the kindest pet owner, most compassionate friend, and best big sister I've ever had the pleasure to know.

She is who she is one hundred percent of the time without apologies.  She's a true original.  She knows what she likes and what she doesn't.

She's smart, confident, and beautiful on the inside and the outside.

She's diverse - she athletic, she's artistic, she loves to read.  She has fun in any situation.

We've done some amazing things together - gone to football games, visited cool places like Destin, Disney, and New Orleans, ridden horses.  Each and every experience was enriched by her presence!

Watching her grow over the past ten years has made me so happy.  She's changed Ryan and I for the better and she was the start to our very special family.

Happiest of birthdays to the one and only Alli Lowe - We love you so much!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Alli's Tenth Birthday Party

I think I need my head examined.  I had the bright idea that Alli should have a sleepover for her tenth birthday party this weekend.  And I let her invite ten people thinking at the most four would show.  It is Christmas, after all - you never know how people are spending their holidays,  Instead we had SIX RSVPs but I assured Ryan they were ten year old girls - what could be that hard?

Everyone got here around six on Friday night and started with a rowdy game of hide and seek.  Like screaming, running hide and seek.  Ryan actually asked me "What is that noise they are making?"  Some kind of ungodly scream-yell-squeal that they all knew how to make.  We finally corralled them to eat pizza and cake, but even that was an ordeal.  Please don't topple the cake!

After that, I loaded them all up in the Pilot and drove them to Ozark Lanes to bowl.  The sound continued in the car, along with some Christmas caroling.  When the car was still, all of the movement inside actually propelled it forward.  Yikes.

Bowling was a lot of fun once we got everyone's shoe size figured out.  I stood at the counter with several girls while they tried on size after size to get the perfect fit.  I apologized profusely to the bowling alley worker who had to deal with us.  But we bowled a game, which took about an hour, and then brought them all back home.  I warned them that Riley would be sleeping when we got back so they would need to hold it down, but my request was futile.  There's just no quieting six pre-teen girls.

I put a movie on upstairs and brought them three bags of popcorn which they devoured.  Even after strict instruction to not come downstairs unless there was an emergency I had to chase groups of them back upstairs until about 12AM.  They finally got silent and I had the internal "Do I go check on them?" struggle.  Riley got up a few times in the night too, so when the girls started sneaking downstairs at 6AM, Ryan and I were on fumes.  We got out of bed at 7AM and started making pancakes and bacon, which was a huge hit.  Then the hide and seek shriek started up again.  With an hour to go before pickup time, Ryan put on Elf for them to watch and I managed to snap this pic.

Look at little Riley right in the middle of it all eating her popcorn - she loved chasing the girls around and yelling "Ah-Eeee" which translates to "Alli!!" and all of the girls were so sweet with her.

Thank goodness for Saturdays - little Alli is exhausted and so are we.  Even the pets are worn out - the girls adored them and chased them all over the house until I let them find peace in the master bedroom.  Now someone go get me a Starbucks, please!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Misty River Hounds - Opening Hunt

A week after I did my first foxhunt with Harvard Hounds it was time for opening hunt at Misty River Hounds, the hunt that my barn is very involved with.  We had a much larger group attending and my mom and brother decided to tag along and ride the tallyho wagon so that they could watch.

Hunt Master Dina on Moses with the hounds

After my intense experience at Harvard, I decided to ride third field at Misty River.  If Harvard was supposed to be "tame" then what did Misty River have in store?  Jabbar was wound up again, but a little stronger bit, a straighter saddle, and several more stirrup cups helped things a lot.

Unfortunately, the hounds pretty quickly took off across the river onto some land we weren't allowed on, so much of the hunt was spent looking for the hounds.  That didn't keep anyone from having a a good time though!

In third field we did a lot of hilltopping, chatting, and trotting.  It probably would have been a much better first hunt experience, but after a taste of the thrill at Harvard, I could see myself wanting to step it up to second field at Misty River.  After the hunt there was a catered meal with a live band and a silent auction where I won myself a yellow vest!

Deer Creek Farm representing at Misty River Hounds
All in all, it was another awesome hunt with this boy that I got to share with my mom and brother.  I was so excited to have them along.  They were troopers on a very cold morning and a very long day.  I think we're all hooked, though.  Tallyho!