Monday, December 29, 2008

Jerk!


This is what happens when your dog doesn't respect your 5 second exposure.

Sleeping Dylan

Thursday, December 25, 2008

San Francisco

No class, no work so I'm finally getting around to photoshopping the highlights from our trip in October:Point Bonita lighthouse.

Painted Ladies adjacent to Alamo Square.

Dan and Dave locked in an epic battle of wits, strategy, and now athleticism.
MarioKart.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Best Friends

It has been snowing for a few days now. That is pretty unusual for Seattle, and the roads have not been wonderful. I don't mind driving in snow myself, but the drivers around here are not very trustworthy in inclement winter weather. As a result, I haven't been out to see Jack since Monday. I usually go every day, so I am in horse withdrawal!

I was looking around at old pictures on my computer tonight and found some of my favorite old pictures of me and my best friends. Both Leah and Jill still live in Minnesota, but fortunately we are still pretty close. They are my oldest friends from middle school, and we used to all ride at the same barn. Little did my mom know when she got me riding lessons that she would also introduce me to some forever friends!

Leah and I both rode at the Junior/Young Rider Team Championships one year in Mason City, IA. It was so fun to have the experience of traveling to a big show together! I rode Buddy, and she rode her horse, Rhett. This is me, Leah, and our other friend, Kim on her horse Bobby.

Our team got third place, which was pretty exciting for me! Leah went on to show Rhett up to Prix St. George level, and I think schooling some I1 movements. They are superstars!

Jill and I took lessons together for years. She is actually the reason I started riding Buddy. We both had lessons with other girls who ended up quitting, so we got paired up but both rode the same school horse. She kept riding Rainmaker, an Appaloosa, and I switched to Buddy.

We did several schooling shows together, which was always exciting. Jill rode a Saddlebred named Fonzie for years and they were a great pair! This picture is probably us in eighth grade. We look like babies!

Buddy and Fonzie were pasture friends, which made us happy. We were a good group that I will never forget. We used to do these "picture days" where we'd bathe the boys and clean ourselves up too. I'd drag my sister or my dad out to be our photographer. This is probably tenth grade.

Jill and I shared stable lockers, polo wraps, saddle pads, you name it. I still miss taking lessons with Jill!

So many summer nights were spent at Jill's, Leah's, or my house so we could spend as much time at the barn as possible! Even though Jill and I didn't have our own horses, we made the most of what we had. When we went off to college, Jill and I always tried to come back and cheer on Leah and Rhett at horse shows.

Now, through weddings, new jobs, and moving, we are still best friends. I think of them as two more of my sisters. I love you both!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!

I spent Friday night and most of Saturday baking and decorating cookies for Christmas. I made three batches because we are going to give them to friends as Christmas gifts. I usually decorate with buttercream frosting, but I just bought a book called Cookie Craft in hopes of getting some tips for trying out royal icing. The book is beautiful and extremely helpful! I am beyond happy with how the cookies turned out. I would not have attempted royal icing if it hadn't been for this book.

Here's me piping some details on a tray of snowmen. Like the Iowa State Cyclone apron?

I got this awesome set of snowflake cookie cutters at a kitchen store. I had seen a similar set in a catalog, so I was excited to try them out. I love how you can combine the sizes and detail cutters to make a lot of different snowflakes!


I think the snowmen are my favorites!


Aren't these gingerbread men adorable?


I am really happy with how all the colors turned out. I got some new gel food colors from a cake supply store in Seattle, and that red is amazing! This is actually not all the cookies, but you get the idea for how they turned out.

And the best part? They taste good too!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tree Skirt Planning

My mom has always been talented at making stuff with her sewing machine such as Halloween costumes and cute little aprons. One of my favorite things she has ever made is a Christmas tree skirt. Fortunately for me, I like to sew, too. Mom recently dug out the pattern she used to make her tree skirt and gave it to me!

Dave and I went to JoAnn Fabrics last weekend to pick out fabric. It was really nice to have him help me. Some of the fabrics I would have chosen he didn't like. So between the two of us, we came up with an even better combination than what I would have decided on myself. Not to mention, between the last bit of a gift card, two coupons, and a sale, we got $45 of fabric for $15!

The holly fabric on the bottom is flannel. It was Dave's idea to get flannel for the underside fabric that will be against the floor. His reasoning was it will stick to the carpet better and not slide around. This will be a good thing, because my family's dogs have a history of snoozing under the tree on the tree skirt! Good thinking, Dave!

I am not guaranteeing that the skirt will be done by this Christmas. However, we have almost two weeks off from work starting on Christmas Eve Day, so I will have a lot of time to work on it. This way I will for sure have it ready to go for next Christmas! Hopefully my sewing skills are up to par for this project. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lights

I finally had enough of a lack of homework for us to take advantage of the unseasonably terrific weather to put up Christmas lights today on the house.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Braiding Practice

I have not been posting much lately. We've been so busy and I have not been taking pictures of anything, not even Thanksgiving! We were having so much fun eating, watching movies, playing games, and playing Wii that getting the camera out completely slipped my mind.

On the horse front, Jack has been off with a splint for the last week! I was brushing him last week for my lesson on Monday and noticed a huge bump on the inside of his right hind canon bone. He did not want me to touch it, and as soon as Anne ran her hand over it, she said it was definitely a splint. No riding for Jack! Fortunately it will get better, but it is just a waiting game.

Yesterday, while icing Jack's leg, I practiced my braiding. I actually love to braid, even though lots of people think it is boring. I had watched a video on YouTube (here)where a girl showed her method for doing button braids. I wanted to try it since it was different than the way I do regular hunter braids. It was so easy and fast! I usually do at least twenty hunter braids, but I only had to do ten button braids!

Here's me and Jack modeling the new braids. He looks annoyed here because I'm holding up his head and preventing him from eating. He's starving, can't you tell?

Here's a close up with Jack happily pigging out. I will definitely braid like this again. It didn't even matter that his mane was not thinned out very well. And I have been thinking he needs his mane shortened, but it was actually the perfect length.

I didn't bother French braiding his forelock, although I like doing that, too! Jack was happy to eat the long grass around the edges of the arena while I watched the Sunday jump lesson. Too bad we couldn't participate, but I am really glad I finally had time to try the new braids!

Fortunately I still had a horse to ride last week. My friend Stacy was in Europe with her husband, so I got to exercise her Thoroughbred, Amon. I wish I had a picture to post of me riding him. We had fun together. He is so different than Jack, always wanting to go faster, and very narrow to sit on. He really loves Stacy the best, but he warmed up to me after all the carrots and horse cookies I fed him over the last two weeks!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Buddy

Having Jack has made me nostalgic about my first horse love, Buddy. He was (okay, is... he's still alive!) an Appendix Quarter horse who I completely adored! I took lessons on him and leased him from eighth grade until freshman year of college. He liked to buck, so one of his nicknames was "Bucking Buddy." His registered name is Ima Jaguar Too.

Here are two pictures that were taken for my senior pictures. The first one is one of the few times in my life that I have ever been on a horse without a helmet! He was feeling wild on this day, so that was pretty brave of me ;-)


Oh Buddy, you are so cute! If I could keep him in my backyard, I would go get him and drive him here all the way from Minnesota. It's hard to think about how he may be doing right now, since I don't know, but I have tons of memories that will last forever!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Go Wild!

Last Saturday Megan, Aaron, Dave, and I drove up to Vancouver, B.C. to see the Minnesota Wild play the Vancouver Canucks. None of us had ever been up to Vancouver before, so it was a fun adventure. We of course had to show our passports at the border on the way in and out of Canada. The boarder patrol agents were very serious. That's a good thing, I guess. I want them to take their job seriously, but it was a little intimidating!

We were decked out in Wild gear for the game and stuck out because Vancouver's colors are royal blue and kelly green compared to our Christmasy colors of red and hunter green.

We had a good view from our seats at the end of the arena. Too bad we never got to see the Wild score any goals! They usually do pretty well, but it was a disappointing game for us. We lost 2-0.

I thought Minnesota fans were hockey crazy but the Canuck fans were intense! We got a lot of crap on the way out to our car. I wish the game had been closer, but we had a good time and got to see a new city. I was surprised how foreign Canada felt. People joke that it's just like America, but I definitely didn't think that it did! Their accents alone were worth the trip. They were so cute, eh?

I love getting to do stuff like this with my sister! It's so fun that the four of us like hanging out together and have similar interests so we can all have fun experiences like this :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuckered Out

Dylan plays really hard and sleeps really hard. I just love this dog!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Jumping Video

It finally worked! I had to reformat the video with my movie maker software. I'm not sure why, but I'm glad I tried it!

We were working on rhythm, not fence height. Jack did not rush at the fences at all like he used to! It was a great lesson.

video

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jumping Lesson

During the fall and winter, Anne has group jumping lessons for her students on Sundays. This Sunday was the first one that I was able to attend. It was a big group- eight riders of varying skill level. Jack and I have come a long way from last winter, and it is always fun to cheer everyone else on as we do the courses Anne sets up.

The day started out pouring rain, so I wasn't sure how fun it would be to jump outside. Fortunately the sun came out right before we started, but the clouds rolled in at the end of the lesson and we got SOAKED!

Here's most of the group basking in the sun. I just love everyone at Stoneybrook!


My sister, Megan, took some videos of me and Jack. It is so nice to have an audience ;-) I will have to post one of our best rounds later. Blogger is being uncooperative right now. Jack did not pull once on me like he used to. I have gotten much better about relaxing my arms and not giving him as much resistance to lean on. We had a couple jumps that were so smooth. During the lesson I said, "When everything comes together, it's like magic!" Dave took this picture of me and Jack.



Unfortunately on top of being soaked at the end of the lesson, Jack dumped me in a mud puddle on the way back up to the barn! I think it was a combination of a huge puddle in front of the gate and the really loud drumming of rain on the barn roof that spooked him. He flew off to the right, and I flew off to the left! It's funny that I didn't fall off while jumping, but fell off on the way back to the barn! Oh well, I got a good reminder for why you can't ever get lazy when you're on a horse!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Monterey Sports Car Championships at Laguna Seca

If you haven't had enough, or want higher resolution photos, click here.







San Francisco Highlights

We only spent one day of our trip in downtown San Francisco. It was a whirlwind, but we got to see the most important things on our list. We only got lost once when we drove off our map! Thankfully Dave and I are a good team and have above-average senses of direction, so we got back on track fairly easily. The weather was gorgeous and we had fun!

Here is the classic Golden Gate Bridge shot. It was impressive, and I do like the color choice! Seems like most bridges are blue, green, or gray so I like the Golden Gate's uniqueness.


We had to drive through a huge group of adorable Asian tourists to drive down windey Lombard Street. I think it's safe to assume our rental car was in every one of their pictures. They all seemed pretty excited to see someone actually drive back and forth down the insanely steep street! I didn't even try to take this shot at an angle like I do sometimes, the car was just that slanted!


We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands. We like visiting lighthouses on the coast, so we (mostly me) braved a narrow suspension bridge to walk out to the Point Bonita lighthouse. It had a great view!


My first request when I found out we were going to SF was to visit the houses from "Full House." If you watched that show back in the 90's you will know what I'm talking about! They were adorable, and seemed pretty true to how they had the house laid out on the show. But I would like to know what their backyards look like. I don't think they have as large a yard as the Tanner's did!


Can you tell that I'm excited to be there? Watch the Full House intro here.

I will have to post more pictures from our trip later. The race and Monterey were a lot of fun, too!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tired!

Oh my goodness... this has been a crazy weekend! I have to get some pictures of our trip to CA up here soon. I've spent this whole weekend cleaning, organizing, and just getting ready for Megan and Aaron to arrive. (and Dave and my dad) They are somewhere in WA right now on the last leg of their looooonnngggg drive from Minnesota. I can't wait to see everyone!

I will post pictures soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Friday!

Okay, so it's actually Thursday, but for Dave and me it is Friday! We are flying to San Francisco this afternoon after work and driving down to Monterey, CA for the American Le Mans Series championship race. Dave is really pumped to see all the race cars. I am just excited to go somewhere I have never been and do some sightseeing! We went to an ALMS race in Oregon two years ago and it was a lot of fun. I gotta find some earplugs here at work today before we go. It's going to be noisy!


Photo courtesy of DAVE! One of 350 on day one. More to follow.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Adorable Dogs!

I just love my dogs! Dave and I were playing outside with them after I got home from the barn yesterday. As usual, Dave had his camera with him, so I grabbed the dogs and had him take a few pictures. Dylan is always happy to cuddle, but Molly is the typical independent Sheltie. So I had to force her into it. Good thing she is little and easy to hold!


Dylan really got into the lovin'. He would not stop kissing me once I wrapped my arms around him!

Then Molly had enough. She went galloping off after Dylan. She looks like a rocket in this shot, absolutely flying after Dylan!

She can be sweet, and poses nicely for the camera when asked.

I love my doggies!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Aaron and Megan Visited!

My sister, Megan, and her boyfriend, Aaron were here for a few days last week and over the weekend. They both had two interviews with companies because they are MOVING here at the end of October!!! I am just a little excited ;-) They both had good interviews and I can't wait for them to come back!

We like to decorate cookies together, and they even came prepared with Halloween sprinkles. There are some cute cookies in these pictures, and you can tell which ones were decorated when we got tired... hehe!



Dylan and Molly both love Aaron and Megan. Dylan especially has fun with Aaron because he always plays fetch and scratches him just how he likes.

I took Megan and Aaron to the barn to see and ride Jack. Jack was grumpy this day because he was wet and I put the saddle on his wet back. He's pretty sensitive, he doesn't even like being brushed, so this was no fun to him. I warmed him up and then put him on a lunge line so they wouldn't have to steer. Megan did pretty good posting and even did a little cantering! Aaron trotted a little and did pretty well.

Here's Megan sticking out her tongue at the camera. She had to wear Dave's hiking boots because she didn't have any barn shoes and my shoes are too small for her!

Dave is flying one way to MN on October 24 and driving back with Aaron and Megan. They are driving a car and probably a U-Haul truck towing the other car and wanted to be able to rotate drivers. Google Maps says it is a 16 hour drive!