I haven't written a true post in forever, but this is the perfect week for an update. Remember when I predicted that 2012 would be an awesome year? Well, it's definitely living up to my hype! After a disappointing start when I had to retire both of my big guys (Caruso & Barney) and all of the emotion that comes with that decision, the blessings just started pouring in and on all of us at Sally Run. This past week was the most exceptional yet. The greatest blessings come in the form of new friendships, and I am grateful to have a handful of wonderful people to call new friends.
While the press was eating up dressage as their sport du jour, we had the most charming visitors in Junior Rider Hannah Hewitt, her precious horse Lasall, and her equally precious family. These are the kind of people I love having around the barn and would love to catch up with at horse shows! A young lady who adores and appreciates her horse, her cute-as-a-bug younger sister who was more than happy to serve as her sister's groom at the Festival of Champions, and parents who have embraced the sport because they love their children and value all of the life lessons these experiences have to offer - it really doesn't get any better than that. And while the rest of the country was obsessing over the cost of saddles and horses, I spent my week appreciating the great distance a parent will travel (physically, emotionally, and financially) to help their child reach their dream. Horses are expensive, no doubt, but so are kids. I haven't read too many articles complaining about parents who choose to have a large family - and they shouldn't. What people choose to invest their time, energy, and money into is their own business. Years ago my husband asked a horse show dad why he spent these large amounts of money on horses, tack, and show clothes for his daughter, and he responded that he would take out a second mortgage to keep her in love with horses and not with boys. As parents of an almost teenaged daughter, we are beginning to appreciate that sentiment! So, I am thankful for our convenient location that allowed me the opportunity to meet a great family and another sweet, happy horse who reminded me why I love these animals and this sport so much.
Our next blessing came in the form of another visitor to Sally Run. We had the complete honor of hosting our guest artist/instructor from SCAD for Wythe County's first Art Intensive program. I think it is safe to say that Meagan Averill is now considered part of our family! Not only did she exceed every expectation in designing, organizing, and executing an amazing art program for 45 children in our community, but she also truly embraced our little town and our family - it was one of those divine experiences where you just know this person was meant to become a part of your life. We are already missing her beautiful presence, but I feel certain our paths will cross again in the near future! It is a great blessing to have a vision fulfilled beyond expectation and to have found a true friend in the process. We hope Meagan won't be a stranger to Wytheville or Sally Run.
This is getting long - but there is a lot for which to be thankful . . .
After I don't know how many years, Bruce finally came in first in the Big Walker Century Ride this past Saturday. Although not technically a race, this hometown charity ride he helped get started has been a little bit of an Achilles heel, and with a stomach bug going into it, 2012 wasn't looking any better. Thankfully, he was riding with a great group of guys, and he was able to hang in there until he started feeling better and finished strong. Now he is shifting into full Ironman training mode again, so the kids and I would greatly appreciate your prayers for patience and understanding until September :)
Saving the best for last, the kids are off to the best summer ever! Not only did we get out of school May 24th - a record for us- but the kids have already enjoyed lake time, pool time, and an awesome week of art! We were extremely proud as they showed their work at the grand finale art show Friday night. Rowdy is participating in Camp Invention this week - which fits him to a tee, and Sydney is preparing for her first trip to Dressage at Lexington as a competitor. I am super excited to go as the horse show mom, but I know I will likely be more nervous for her than I would be if I were showing myself. It certainly helps to have a super pony to pack her around - another of our many blessings.
So that is the long and short of it - everyone is healthy and happy, and we live in the most beautiful place on earth. I'll say it again - 2012 rocks!