Ringing in the New Year

Since about Christmas, I’ve been taking a brief break from the blog to recoup from the holidays and prep for what is already shaping up to be an insane first quarter in my real life. But now I’m getting back to my regular 2-3 posts a week schedule, and I’ve got a lot of things I’m excited to blog about! I’ve been up to a lot of fun stuff lately, and it will be fun to finally get caught up.

This weekend though, there was definitely some horse time, but there was also a healthy balance of real life activities and friends as well. I landed back in Austin at 10:15 am on Wednesday, but then drove right to work to put in a full day at the office. I was dying to see Val, but I didn’t make it out until Sunday, because J and I were busy prepping for our first party since moving in together at the beginning of the year. Actually, I think it’s the first time we’ve hosted anything since J turned 21. I forgot how much work prepping to have people over is, but it was so worth it. We had such a wonderful time celebrating the New Year with friends, and seeing so many people we love who were strangers to each other getting along so well just made my heart feel so full.

It’s cheesy I know, but I’m not even sorry, because I am so blessed to have had 8 years in a row to kiss this guy at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

We drank a lot of champagne, J made amazing fajitas, and I made champagne cupcakes (Gluten-free!) that came out way better than I expected. Our fridge is still full of bottles of champagne and gummy bears so maybe we need to find an excuse for another party.

The rest of my weekend and time off, however, were spent at the barn, hangover and all.

Val didn’t end up getting boot camp while I was gone, and instead he had a vacation, so our ride was pretty easy. That being said it was like 65% good and 35% me laughing at Val for forgetting he knew how to walk. No, really. He was mostly ok with standing, and he was ok with scooting off into the sunset. But walking? Nope. No can do.

Even though he’s a total weirdo, it was so nice to ride my boy again. And of course, since we had all the props from the night before and I was rocking day-after hair, I made Val wear a crown and pose for a New Year’s Day picture. He was actually pretty angry at me for putting the crown on his head, but he doesn’t hold a grudge for long.

The hay strings on his halter really make the picture. But hey! We’re crosstying now!


Of course, we wouldn’t be in Texas if a ton of rain didn’t derail everyone’s plans, and true to fashion, we got several inches of rain at the barn some time this morning. Honestly though, the weather was so beautiful (upper 70s all weekend) that it wasn’t even all that upsetting. I hopped on Val bareback for a brisk walk around the farm for which he was very polite. Even when two muddy horses ran up to their fence to say hi and I was Instagramming. He’s a little wild sometimes but I do appreciate that he’s pretty level headed about that stuff!

Funny how after 10 minutes of waking like this made my legs as sore as any good hack with a saddle. Also, did anyone else know there are apps for turning Live Photos into gifs? My life is forever changed.

After we soaked up a little vitamin D and practiced walking through puddles we could’t see the bottom of, Val got a bubble bath and then since he’s a wooly beast, we hung out in the sun to dry for what felt like hours. A little extra sun and grass never hurt anyone though. As a trade-off, I made Val stand in front of the super scary fan to get rid of the last few drips. I’m happy to report that after being forced to eat cookies off of it, we’re like 85% ok with it. Which would be great if we hadn’t already used it all summer.

He’s ready for his Dover shoot.

Now that I’ve had a long weekend to recharge, and Val got nice and clean so he could start fresh with grinding the mud in, we’re ready for 2017! I hope you all feel similarly ready to take on the new year, and I just want to thank you all for being along for our wild ride.

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