Monday, January 25, 2010

Done with Chemo

We have made it through the last nine weeks! Now we have appointments on 2/9 and 2/10 for follow-up. It goes without saying that we are hoping for good news.

Meanwhile, I'm off to the Roundhouse to enjoy some R & R with my very dear girlfriend and some friends from camp. I even plan on checking in on the camp horses, and can't wait to see The Dude!

Speaking of my girlfriend, I wanted to share some pictures she sent Nick for encouragement. She is super-talented, and made the following snow sculpture in several hours in her front yard. She dedicated it Nick, and the lion went on to be featured on the front page of her hometown's newspaper!

This is her snow sculpture from last winter, entitled, "Winter".

Love you Michelle!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Princess Diaries

I thought I better make an official blog annoucement (although we ALL know this) -- Lilah IS GROWING UP!!

She is now officially potty-trained, and only wears diapers at night just on the off-chance she has an accident. I can also pull all her hair into pony-tails now, and she's officially ridden a horse ALL BY HERSELF (with me in arm reach though!)

I cannot believe how fast she is growing. This September she'll turn 3, which seems impossible. Parenting just becomes more and more fun each day I think.

Thank you to our family who have helped us take care of her in the last few weeks. We're happy that Lilah has been able to spend special time with her other family members, and we've certainly appreciated the help!

Redneck Games

I try not to get too cowgirly -- I hate it when people think I automatically LOVE country music and cowboys just 'cause I'm a horse person --- but sometimes the , uhhh.... agriculturally-inclined people have it right. It's a little embrassing to admit, but I've been having lots of fun this winter COW-SORTING!!

You work in pairs, one partner blocks the gate while the other partner cuts the cow from the herd. Each cow wears a number unless it's the "dirty" cow, meaning that you don't want that cow to go to the other side of the pen. You get the number of the cow as you enter the arena, then you work your way up the numbers until you run out of time. Each time you get a cow to the correct side of the pen, you trade places with your partner so that your horse has to cut cows but also block the gate from cows drifting back and forth. People do keep your score, but I've just been going to have fun that I've never paid attention to how I've been ranking.

Sweet P. LOVES to cow-sort. This last time she actually pushed the cows for me -- I just had to show her which cow we were "chasing", and she moved it to the other end by herself. I put my reins down and just hung on. She even reached out and bit two cows on the rears if they didn't move fast enough for her. Finally -- a sport where her pushy, dominant-mare attitude is a benefit! We have found her true calling! :)

The first video is with a fellow boarder at the barn I'm at, and the second video is taken with one of my students and her horse Bill.

Who's going with me next??

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Car Trading

Over the summer, I shocked the entire horse staff by a little horse trade I did. Horse Buyer came to buy Horse A from me. She brought along her horse, Horse B, to trail ride with Horse A and Horse B on the way home. While she was there, I showed her Horse C. She asked me if I would trade Horse B for Horse C. And I said, "Sure." So Horse Buyer went home with Horse A and Horse C, and Camp got a great new lesson horse.

When people prepare to buy their first horse with me, I always warn them about horse people. "They're worse than used car salemen," I tell them. Really -- horse people will tell you just about anything. Horse people talk, too, so I've been involved in or heard about lots of horse buying and selling, whether or not it was personally my horse. (I do try not to be like the horse sellers I warn clients about, by the way) :)

Thanks to my experience buying, selling, trading, ect, I wasn't too unfazed about going to a car shopping by myself. I picked out the car I wanted, had my brother-in-law the mechanic look at it (thank you Bryan!!), and made an offer.

The car salesmen obviously thought he would have an easy time with me. I was female and alone. He wouldn't take my offer and when that didn't work he brought out the sales manager so they could both gang up on me while they tried convincing me not to barter on the sticker price. To make a long story short, they both were running after me as I was leaving, and they ended up coming down on the price after all. (That's sarcasm) I got a hellava deal on a 2004 Honda Accord. My brother-in-law should be happy 'cause its a Honda, and I'm happy 'cause it's got heated seats. Lilah's happy 'cause she got "a new car ride??" , and Nick's happy 'cause it seems like a good car that should hopefully last us the next several years.

We also hope to take better care of it than we did the Avalon. Nick tried telling me not to drive it to the barn, which lasted about three days. With his blessing, I do drive it to the barn occasionally, but I will try really hard not to transport grain, hay, tack, or even the dog in it for a little while yet!!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

This past December, Mom and Dad Heidinger marked their 40th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, my little sister carefully planned a surprise party at the church we attended growing up. It was a cool to be at the church again -- a place that I have early, early memories -- this time with my daughter in tow, and surrounded by people that have been friends with my parents from all different periods of their marriage. People that knew them when they kept alchohol in the oven, before they had kids, throughout raising their family, and in the recent years. It was definately a blast from the past. In fact, at one point I introduced myself to an old church member. She immediately told me, "Oh, I know who you are, sweetie. I recognized you the minute I walked in." Even though she hadn't seen me since I was a teeny-bopper, and I had no idea who she was!!

Anyway, good party Michelle. Thanks for your carefully planning. You pulled it off!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Every year, I have a list of things "to-do" in order to call Christmas complete. One of them is to exchange small gifts and/or cookie plates with our neighbors. Year-round we are very luckily to have great neighbors -- we got two baby-sitters on the same street, people who have recently brought us meals and mowed our lawn to help out with Nick, and even those who watched our house for us and repaired it while we were gone over the summer. Nick and I secretly have names for the different families; such as "Mrs. Robinson" 'cause she's an older lady that will ONLY talk to Nick, (never me) or "the Contenders" who make no secret of competing with us for best christmas lights, shortest grass in the summer, best flowering shrubs, ect. All in all though, we couldn't ask for better neighbors. :)

This year, I had some help making my cookie plates. I did our family favorite of butterscotch/resers pieces cookies. Yum-yum!

Congratulations Willis Family!

Congratulations to the Willis family who welcomed their second daughter (surprise!) into the world on Dec. 9th. Mirabella Rose weighed 5 lbs, 13 ounces, and follows her big sister Addie (Lilah's good friend).

Lilah has been entirely fascinated with this whole venture, from "she has a baby in her tummy" to (gasp!) "she came out!!" She loves to hold Mira's hand, and calls her dolls "Mira." She has started telling, um, heavier people (sometimes complete strangers, sometimes even men) that they have babies in their tummies, but luckily no one has noticed enough to take offense. :)

Congrats Tiff and Chris! Isn't she sweet?

Our Holiday Season 2009

For good and bad, 2009 was an extraordinary year with memories that will last a life-time. I love the holiday season, but this holiday season was definately challenging. I'm glad that it is now over so that our live can resume some normalacy. Although I will admit, I'm already looking forward to Christmas 2010! Nonetheless, we had a wonderful holiday surrounded by people we love.

We kicked Christmas off by traveling to Parkdale the night of the 23rd. When we woke up the next morning, we pretended it was Christmas Day and opened gifts and stocking stuffers. Afterwards we went to Nick's sister Karen's house (also in Parkdale), where we met up with the rest of the Tyrrell family (minus Allen), for fellowship, gift exchanging, and even a Christmas sing-along!

Christmas Eve night we drove to my parents' house in Beaverton, where Nick promptly fell asleep and stayed asleep for the next three days, despite gift wrap flying and the frenzied actions of a 2 year-old.

We had a great holiday, with only a small mistake of buying one Polly Pocket for Lilah. Now we are inudated with Polly Pockets -- Lilah can't get enough of them!

Here are some holiday pictures:

What did Santa bring me??

Simon says, "Someone put me out of my misery..."
Merry Christmas!

The Tyrrell Siblings

Christmas sing-along!

The Tyrrell cousins:
After Christmas Lilah and I celebrated my parents' 40th wedding aniversary (with pics coming soon!), and a surprise snow-storm! For New Years' Eve, Nick, Lilah and I went to a party at our friends' house. It was a great party for both the kiddies AND the adults:
Lilah plays with the other kids:
Li and Addie "sharing" the recorder. In hind-sight, I probably should've taken the recorder away sooner rather than taking a picture. You can imagine what a toddler sounds like playing one. :)
Happy New Years everyone! May 2010 be all that you dream!