Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 Holidays

We had the perfect Christmas, starting with the whole wonderful Christmas season (I think the majority of Christmas is preparing for it), and we couldn't have asked for a better season, especially after last year's!

I kicked the festivities off on Christmas Eve morning with a trail ride with girlfriends and horses. Here are Andrea and Sandra, on two of my school horses: (as in many years past, I was on my faithful friend Sweet P.)

It was important to celebrate Christmas at home for Nick and I this year and start our own traditions (based on past traditions) as a family. For the first time ever in our married lives, we did not rush from household to household. Instead, we had people come to us! On Christmas Eve, Nana, Paco, and Aunt Michelle came to our house. We had our traditional dinner of pizza, and then a massive gift exchange! Lilah was bouncing off the walls with excitement...

Paco & Lilah read Christmas stories:

The Tyrrell Jrs:

Growing up my neighborhood did "luminaries", which lit the whole neighborhood and in some cultures symbolizes lighting the way for the Christ Child. Lilah and I worked on assembling the luminaries (which I suddenly remembered from my childhood as "not fun") and then set them out for lighting. The result was beautiful and we had many people driving by on the road stop to check it out. It was another fun tradition:

Christmas Morning was very anti-climatic as Lilah and Nick went through their stockings:

Santa brought Lilah a kitchen and a new bike (which was mysteriously kept in the garage since summer. Lilah had noted the bike, but if she ever made the connection between that one & the one from "Santa", she's being a good sport and not saying anything....)
Then we had our dear friends Jake and Carol over for a yummy and filling breakfast of biscuits & gravy. As mentioned in our holiday newsletter, Jake and Carol can cook. Can you imagine the biscuits and gravy Carol (who in addition is from the South) made?
Jake, Carol, and Heather:

Carol later snapped this picture, which I absolutely adore:

This one is just as cute. Lilah sure loves her bike!

We left Christmas Day for the Roundhouse. We were the first of the family (from Nick's side obviously!) to arrive, and we enjoyed watching the fire in the fireplace from a mound of blankets on the floor Christmas night. We also enjoyed family walks in the woods: (Don't worry -- we had scanned the snow Lilah is eating for color as Lilah learned this trip about not eating yellow snow...)

And Mommy and Lilah enjoyed making snow angels:

Nick's sister and family, as well as Nick's parents arrived the following day. Lilah had a blast playing in the snow with her cousins Tara and Corbin:

Lilah, age 3, worked very hard playing "catch-up" with her older cousins, ages 9 and 12 . When everyone went sledding during the holiday, Lilah (who is a very determined child) insisted she was going to sled down the hillside "from the VERY, VERY top" as her athletic and fearless cousins were doing. Out of sheer speculation, Nick and I followed her up this hill, and sure enough, she made it to the top:

The other side of Lilah's hill. Believe me, it was astounding a three year-old climbed up it:

Corbin, Tara, and Lilah sledding down part of the hill with the assistance of the family dogs:

Lilah was very proud to be included in Tara and Corbin's games. A big THANK-YOU to Tara and Corbin for taking Lilah along for the ride. Literally.

Another run with Tara:

After a brief contemplation of a spur-of-the-moment road trip to more friends and family (which we ultimately decided AGAINST after hearing a weather report) Nick and I returned home. We enjoyed lots of time together during the day, and went out with different friends every night of the holiday break. On New Years Eve we once again got together with Jake and Carol for some in-home celebrating. I took this picture, and then Jack and Carol brought out more food

Our favorite party guest? The Lilah-burrito!

We loved celebrating the 2010 holidays in good health and surrounded by friends and family we love. I cannot believe 2010 has come and gone. It was the end of a decade, and yet I feel like it should still be the year 2000! Here's to 2011, and to you and yours!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Zoolights 2010

This holiday season, (I'm blessed to say), is going much better than last! I don't think I could ever describe in words what it feels like to have your spouse going through cancer one holiday season, and the next to have it be a distant worry! Last year I went to the Zoolights by myself with my girlfriend and her family because there would have been no way Nick would have made it through the lines, onto the train, -- let alone just getting into the zoo! This year, we went to the Zoolights again (with the same girlfriend Andrea too!), this time with Nick in tow! We've also been taking advantage of as many other holiday traditions as we can, and are looking forward to much celebration this year over Christmas!

The fam on the train ride:

Group shot of Nick, Mark, and me with the kids Zander, Chloe, and Lilah!

Another group shot with Andrea:

This isn't a very good picture of the Wilson family, (sorry Andrea!) but Andrea, Mark, and Zander:

Isn't Zander sucha cutie?!? Lilah has really enjoyed developing a friendship with Chloe and Zander. And the adults enjoy it too because the kids play so well together!
Now onto more holiday traditions!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday celebrated with friends and family on both sides of the Tyrrell Jrs! The week kicked off with extra-cold weather which made me cancel the last of the riding lessons that hadn't already been cancelled due to the holiday weekend. As a result, my horses and I got a much-needed week-long break from teaching. I spent my down-time catching up with family, including my sister who was visiting from out-of-state.

We spent Thanksgiving at my mom's, then journeyed across the street to a Thanksgiving party that my childhood best friend's family was holding. I got to catch up with several people from my childhood, then we traveled to the Davi pad for more family get-together time.

Cousin Miranda and Lilah get their pilgrim-groove on:

Lilah liked the turkey! Yum, yum!

The master chef and Paco!

Nick carved the turkey while Michelle looked on. Starting a new tradition perhaps?
Unfortunately my sister had to leave town a day early to beat out the arrival of a new snow storm, but as a result we got all ready for Christmas by the time Thanksgiving weekend ended. (The lights look much better in person, and it was nice to have Nick's help this year with the lights!)
We took Lilah to a Christmas tree farm, thinking perhaps we would get a real tree this year. I've been wanting a real tree ever since we bought a fake one. But our fake one looks just as great as a real tree and is low cost and easy maintenance. Once at the tree farm, Nick and I decided not to pay the high price of a real tree (it would have been over $75) so we left the farm telling Lilah that Daddy would come back later for it. Later I took Lilah grocery-shopping while Nick pulled the fake tree out of the attic and set it up in the living room. She doesn't know the difference. And neither do our house guests who usually ask if it's a real tree or not!
Sorry we lied to you Lilah. We were lying about the Santa thing too.

The beautiful tree Lilah picked out. It's probably still standing there....

The Lost Camp Tamarack Pictures!!

It is hard to believe it's been over a year since we've moved home from camp, and it's been a year and a half since camp ended. The 2009 horse staff and I all still talk -- we have an on-going email thread catching each other up in our lives. Recently one non-horse staff member sent me some pictures she had taken but never shown me before.

This pic was my birthday dinner, when everyone went out to Mexican food and the horse staff gave me this helmet (love!):

A Tattler night, the theme was Candy-land and I was the .... Lollipop Pricness! I love L's hair in this pic, plus Nick's in the background!

And another Tattler night, the theme this time was Cavemen. Jiri came very nicely dressed and told everyone to wait until he evolved! Oh, Jiri!!

Lilah peaks over my head (with sticks in my hair) during the dinner meal:

That same night with horse staff members and Carol:

At the 4th of July party in Madras:

Still no word on if Camp will be open this year again....

Little Dog (the addition??)

About two weeks ago, I walked with a girlfriend and our kids to a local elementary school where they were holding a "read and play." Along the way, I noticed a little black and white dog following us. It was very adamant about following us into the school, even after I kicked it (not literally) back outside. To make a long story short, the dog came home with Lilah and I that afternoon. Since then, I've left my information with the humane society, posted several ads on Craigslists, searched surrounding neighborhoods for missing dog flyers, scanned it twice by two different vets for microchips, even called the local Boston Terrier breeder to see if she knew of any missing Boston Terriers. To all the efforts made we have come up empty-handed. It seems impossible no one is missing this sweet little dog, but yet no one has come forward.

Meanwhile, the little dog (even with some bad behavior) has blended right into our family. We had been talking about another dog, and we're still not sure this is the right dog for us, but she definately seems to have adopted us. One of her redeeming qualities she that she is amazingly patient and tolerant of Lilah.

Her real owners have until December 19th (30 days from when I found her) to claim her, although I doubt that will happen. Nick and I would then have to make the decision on whether or not to keep her. There are some training issues to work through, but she's intelligent enough. She is now house-broken and sits on command!She doesn't bark very often, but she does snore and pass gas frequently!

The vet thinks she's about a year old and she is believed to be a purebreed Boston Terrier. Nick and I have been reading up a lot on this breed as of late....

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beautiful Fall

After Summer, Fall is my favorite season. The crisp air, the wonderful smell of leaves... We've been having a great Autumn this year with lots of beautiful weather. Our neighborhood is great for walking around in and checking out all the colorful leaves.

We recently did a family trip around the 'hood. Lilah donned her rainboots to splash in the puddles, then learned the hard way about wet feet and wet clothes. She's also really getting into gathering up the leaves!

Happy Autumn!

Kate's First Show

Last Sunday I took Kate to her first show. Kate is my project horse, and while she has many positive attributes, she IS a training challenge. She's got a bossy mare attitude you can see a mile away, PLUS with her age she's going through the rebellious teenage years. I think she's going to be an amazing horse someday, but heaven help me get through the next couple of years with her!

Nevertheless, she did do amazing for her first show. (Minus cow-kicking my assistant at one point)

She was so laid-back about being posed in photo set-up that Lilah got to sit on her:

The show had four judges for each class. I went into three western pleasure classes (hence the cowgirl outfit) and got ribbon placings in two out of the three.

I also had an amazing turn-out of people to come watch. Originally I was just going to sneak over to the show by myself, then decided to ask for an assistant's help, then told the owner of the barn, a couple students, Kate's former owner, ect... and next thing I knew I had a grouping of about 15 people cheering me on. I feel like a special girl!

(Left to Right) Mckenzie, me, Lilah, Annie, Jessica, and Blake

I showed Kate under "Kiss Me Kate." Her registered name is Oklahoma's Max Factor. I think I need a show name for her!
I'd like to get her to more shows soon!