Monday (the beginning of October) we jumped back into normal life in Texas. Just like going to Maui, coming home is (aside from the reality of not being in Maui anymore and the difficult adjustment to the time difference) a relatively seamless transition. We pick up where we left off and keep on keeping on.
Because I could hear pretty much nothing and wasn't feeling so well on my actual birthday we postponed my birthday breakfast with Mom and Dad until Monday morning. For the first time in 5 years I got to pick somewhere to eat for my birthday in Texas. Naturally I chose Seven Mile Cafe.
We had a lovely breakfast and enjoyed visiting and making plans for the following several weeks.
In the afternoon I ran some errands for Dad. On my way out the door I stopped dead in my tracks to take a few seconds and be shocked over the size of this bush! It grew overnight it seemed!
That night Gramma and Grandpa came out for dinner to catch up with us and celebrate my birthday. Chloe and Gramma put together a beautiful photo-book for my gift that used pictures Chloe had taken and poetry I had written. I love it!!
Tuesday was pretty quiet as far as I can remember. We were still not getting up until close to 8:30 or 9:00, but we were pretty close to over our jet-lag for the most part. Gabe's gym schedule changed and he now has practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the afternoon/evenings.
Wednesday it was still 80 degrees outside and hot enough that I wore summer clothes.
Mia and Ava had their gymnastics class that morning.
In the afternoon I drew a logo for
the baking business Chloe and I have started.
Island Time Baking.
We had our engagement group that night and it was soooooooo good to gather with everyone again. For me it had been over two months since I'd met with our group. Needless to say, it was a special time.
Thursday morning we got to have breakfast and visit with one of the young moms in our group and her little girls. They had stayed the night next door with Nana and Grandfather instead of driving home so late after dark. We greatly enjoyed playing with the babies. *wink*
I went to spend time with a friend in the afternoon and Gabe had gym.
Friday I got to get up at 5:00 am (yes, that pushed me into fully adjusting to the time difference) to be at Kate and Blaire's house by 6:00. It was my first time to go to their house for the day and being there was actually much easier on all three of us.
They both slept until close to 7:30 so I got to eat and have coffee and spend time reading my Bible before they got up. After that I didn't really get a break, because caring for a two year old and a 3 month old is a full-time occupation.
Kate being so big, feeding herself breakfast.
She is seriously the happiest little girl ever!!
She found my Bible and wanted to read it.
Blaire is SO peaceful!
The day went really, really well. The thing I was most nervous about was caring for the two indoor dogs they have, one of which is VERY large. It went just fine, though.
I only almost got knocked over once, I think.
Blaire was on a super easy two hour schedule and Kate took a really good afternoon nap. I was pretty worn out by the time I got home at 6:00 pm, though.
That night the littles watched "Planes" and the rest of us watches "Courageous." I only cried 7 times... It was really good.
Saturday was a pretty normal day for everyone as far as I can remember. And church that night was good.
Sunday we had a normal morning together and made brunch and all that. A little after noon, one of my friends from Summit, Micah, came to take me to way out into the country to spend the afternoon with Jake and Rebecca (also friends from Summit). Rebecca and I had both had birthdays within the past two weeks so we were celebrating together!
We met up at a Mexican restaurant for lunch because none of the other three had eaten yet.
I politely stared at them while they ate.
From there we went to Jake's house to ride horses!
The last time I had ridden a horse was last August and that horse was super stubborn and hardly moved at all. It also tried to buck me a little and drug me under a tree. So of course I wanted to ride again!
Rebecca taught me how to saddle the horse I was going to ride.
She had to put the saddle on the horse, though, because, you know, saddles weigh like 50 lbs and horses are tall....
I spent a lot of time petting my horse and talking to it and brushing it down and being really sweet to it because I really wanted this horse to like me.
And not buck me.
Jake and Rebecca are pretty much pro-horse-riders and Micah had not ridden in a long time.
We rode on a trail for a little ways and then entered a pasture area and rode around in that for a while and then went back to the trail and back to the barn.
The first five minutes were great! My horse walked very nicely and I wasn't too nervous at all.
Because Jake is a pro (and his horse is the most wild and crazy of the four), once we got to a good spot, he took off. That meant Micah's horse followed Jake's (because those two horses like to race a lot). And because Rebecca is also a pro, she took off after the guys. And that meant my horse also started trotting and then cantering and then running because it didn't want to get left behind.
I called out "Umm guys...!" enough times that the others slowed down and the horses started walking again, but not until after my horse dragged me under a tree while running, which caused me to lose both stirrups and the reins.
So after ten minutes I'd almost fallen off once, but I thought going fast was kind of fun as long as I was with the others.
Posting is going up and down in rhythm with the motion of the horse. I kind of got it and kind of didn't based on how fast the horse was going. Micah kind of didn't get it at all. Well, I mean, he got the up and down part down perfectly!! Just...not in rhythm with his horse... Jake and Rebecca were very helpful, though, they are great encouragers. "Up and down, guys, go up and down." "With the horse, Micah, with the horse." "I'm going up and down, but not the way you're telling me to!"
Once we got into that pasture area all the horses started all out racing. (At least that's what it felt like to me...maybe they were just cantering...I'm not a very good horse-woman. Obviously. *wink*) Micah's horse turned around, though, and raced back to the trail and disappeared. I was saying "Umm guys..!" and "Whoa!!" and trying not to fall off or laugh too hard. Finally I pulled so hard on the reins that my horse stopped, but by that time I had made her mad.
So she bucked me once.
She bucked again, a little harder.
She bucked a third time, even harder.
*A very loud scream that Micah heard clearly all the way across the pasture where he was just reappearing*
Jake finally got over to me, grabbed my horse's reins, and made her stop. I asked about three times if I could get down before he realized I was serious. Rebecca was laughing and Micah was finally getting back over to the rest of us. I got down and held Jake's horse while he jumped on mine and whipped her into shape again. She even tried to buck him! But he wouldn't have any of that behavior from her.
Rebecca and I ended up trading horses.
That was after 20 minutes of riding.
This was just after I got off
my horse and was holding Jake's for him.
After that I was a lot more nervous and horses are extremely smart so my new horse could tell and that made her act weird too, but she at least didn't buck me.
We rode around in the pasture more and got the horses water before heading back.
Cowboy Jake. I'm serious,
he is the true definition of a Texan Cowboy.
Jake and Rebecca.
Me and Micah.
(His horse was HUGE!!)
I don't really remember this part of the ride, but apparently towards the end Jake and Micah's horses ran off and mine and Rebecca's started to run as well. I screamed and our two horses stopped running. When we caught up to the guys a neighbor was asking them if we were okay because he had heard me scream all the way up the trail and inside his house.
Jake has a bucking barrel to practice on for bull riding at the Rodeo (see, told you, real cowboy), so after we unsaddled all the horses and got them brushed down (I was able to get the saddle off the horse by myself..!), Micah and Jake suggested I ride the bucking barrel.
I just glared at them.
And by "glared" I mean I tried really hard to look stubborn and serious, but really I was trying to not smile because I am horrible at acting mad at people. Rebecca is much braver than I am so she did ride it. After she fell off twice and neither Micah, nor Jake caught her even though they were standing right there, I was really positive I did NOT want to pretend to be bucked. Especially since I had already been bucked for real. And was still shaking from it over an hour later...
All in all, it was a successful ride! Nobody actually fell off a horse and we all laughed plenty and now have fun memories to treasure always.
And remind us - er - me, why I am kind of, sort of, scared of riding horses...*wink*
After that adventure Micah and I went to his house to see his family and get cleaned up to go to dinner with Jake and Rebecca. We were all pretty tired
(and some of us were already sore...) but we had a good time and were sad when it was time for us to all head back home.