Derby De Mayo 2018

The perfect storm, a trifecta even. This weekend was the alignment of three of my favorite things; the Kentucky Derby, Cinco De Mayo and my birthday. This doesn’t happen all that often, so the best way we know how to celebrate is to throw a party and boy did we ever!

Derby De Mayo 2018 was a success.

If you ever want to try to do this, let me share how we pulled it off. I would highly recommend as it was truly one of the greatest days ever. I am currently suffering from Post-Party Depression. I ate cake for lunch. So I thought maybe I should blog about it to help relive the moments.

First, we turned our shop into a pseudo-event center. We  even added an area in front that was paneled off (we called this “The Paddock” to allow for extra seating. We needed to use all the shop space for food, betting and of course TV VIEWING!  The entire family spent every evening last week working on this. The little’s were incredibly helpful picking up sticks, putting away toys, cleaning their rooms etc. They were as excited as I was for the big event. By Friday evening we had a paddock, buffet area, table for hats/bow ties, a viewing section, “Watering Hole”, outdoor kids track, jockey clubhouse, outdoor games area and western “rodeo” corner.

Note:This was all fairly inexpensive; we turned the kid’s playhouse into a “jockey clubhouse” just by adding a play table and chairs and painting the chalkboard wall. We used plain stakes and orange tape to make the outdoor track. We already had outdoor Jenga as Pinterest had inspired me a year ago to make it. I had a girls craft night a month ago to make a bunch of derby style hats since Wal-Mart had hats for $3.98, everyone brought over a handful of crafting stuff and we all just went to town making hats and bow-ties, they were so simple! As far as food, we had a potluck style event. Ultimately, the cost to us was a handful of items from the dollar store, bourbon, tequila, mint, ice and small miscellaneous things. Our friends had an extra pig they let us BBQ, for that we are eternally grateful not everyday someone says, here have my pig!

Once the party got started, we let everyone mingle, get on the “board” and get some food before the big race. We started our party 2 hours before the race so that we had a lot of time to build up “hype”! Most of our friends aren’t into horse racing so this was a new adventure for them! Oddly enough, the favorite for all the sportscaster ended up our crowds favorite too, even though I truly did not think he was going to win. I was so very wrong. This happens to me often.

So the main event came around, we all gathered in the shop, and I can’t even begin to explain how loud we were!! It was incredible. Once people put some “skin” in the game, they get really invested in the outcome!IMG_9751

But the best part of the day, came after the greatest 2 minutes in sports. We had told everyone before hand that after the Derby to make their way to our backyard. I asked most of our crowd to join the “infield” of our back yard track and the 1st Annual Kid-Tucky Derby took place! This was the greatest part of our day! We broke it up into tiers, 5 and under, 6-8 and 9-18. There was only one “Rose’ Wreath for each tier (I strung thread through red crepe paper, nothing too fancy, but still exciting for kids) and each age bracket had to go through heats, where the winner from each heat was called back to the championship round (basically their road to the roses if you will J). The infield was amazing, they cheered, hooped and hollered. The kids ran fast, there were some falls and tears, but it was mostly full of laughs and smiles. It was so incredibly popular that I had to go find a bottle of wine (I happened to have Kentucky Derby 14 hands Blend Wine) and we had to add an Adult Open Class. My sides still hurt today from laughing so hard!

After Kid-Tucky, we moved on to the Cinco De Mayo part of the day. We had two pinatas, one for kids (stuffed with 7 lbs of candy) and one for adults (stuffed with mini-booze bottles, lottery tickets and 3 lbs of Candy).  You can’t imagine what some grown folks will do for a $1 scratch ticket!!

And just like that, the events were all over. However, kids and adults alike left happy and daydreaming of the next time this party will happen again. The perfect storm doesn’t align again for another 11 years, but I think we may have to make something similar happen on an annual basis.

It’s T-Ball Time….. PLAY BALL!

WOW, time flies. My last post was over a month ago. Yet, it doesn’t seem that long ago! Where has time gone? The only things keeping us busy besides kids, school, work is a couple birthday parties, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter Celebrations, a Hat-Making party, a Wedding Shower we hosted, branding cattle and getting ready for our local fair and rodeo. OH and T-Ball.

I will have to share more about all the other things we have been up too some other time, needless to say our shop has turned into an event center. But today, today I want to discuss how to properly be a t-ball mom/coaches’ wife.DSC_0683

T-Ball 101

For those of you who are new to organized sports, t-ball is the small child version of baseball. This is my son’s second year participating, but my husbands first as “Coach”.  If any of you are considering coaching, enrolling your children or just going to catch a game I want to give you a brief rundown of what to watch for.

  • Overload of Adorableness. These kids are wearing jerseys that swim on them, cute little baseball pants, the gloves are miniature. It is totes adorbs. It will melt even the coldest heart.
  • Crazy Parents. Not in the “yell at the ref” kind of way (FYI we don’t even have umpires in our t-ball league), but rather these parents (I am one) scream and yell in delight the entire game. Every hit is great, ever ball stopped and thrown is brilliant and no matter if it is your kid or not, you can’t help but hoop and holler! I think it’s the cuteness that causes us all to lose our minds, its basically a drug.
  • Extreme Inning Lengths. We play 2 innings every game, this takes roughly 45 minutes. Every batter hits, every batter runs and the time it takes for a ball to go from pitcher to first base back to home is approximately 2 minutes. Any more than 2 innings and we would need a full fledged bathroom and concession stand.

If you are going to coach, I am learning there are a couple things to know before you start

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  • Not every family is like yours. Family dynamics are so different, every married couple is different, every divorced couple is different and they all have needs. You will be asked to accommodate those needs and you will need to just have a standard operating procedure you abide by (BC not every kid can have 2 jerseys and not every child can get a ride home from you after practice)
  • Patience is a virtue, be sure you have it in spades. There will be potty breaks, tears, arguments, and confusion—– and then there are the children to think about.
  • Get the Snack Chart set up before games start. So that every mom doesn’t show up with snacks for the team at the first game.

 

Overall, it is truly an awesome experience and a great place to take 10,000 pictures if you feel like you aren’t meeting your picture quota.

 

 

Rural Housewives v. “Real Housewives”

Disclaimer: I LOVE the Real Housewives Franchises, this will not be a bash on them. Just a comparison between myself and my ladies on TV. 

Last night I was indulging in my favorite guilty pleasure. Real Housewives.  I love my break from reality to watch reality.  (thank you DVR for being invented so I can watch these shows when the entire house is tucked in bed). I snuggled down into my recliner, grabbed a glass of wine (Sutter Home, in case you wanted to know just how fancy I am) and I enjoyed an hour worth of women.  Afterwards, I started to think about the similarities and differences I have with them.

  • Clothes
    • THEM: Fashion Week. They went!  And they actually know the designers. I have literally never heard of 90% of those. Also, when they go shopping, ladies, they GO SHOPPING. They try things on that I would never touch,I get too scared of the “you break you buy” rule! They also wear white. I haven’t worn a white shirt since I had kids and NEVER in my entire life did I wear white pants. There is no way I wouldn’t get dirt, grime, or some other substance on them.
    • ME: Let’s just say it’s a stark contrast. The boots and pants I have on cost me less than $50 combined, the most expensive item of clothing I own (besides my wedding dress) is probably a dress I bought for a wedding a long time ago which cost $80. But let me tell you. I make that $80 work baby!
  • Vacations
    • THEM: They go to amazing places. They stay in amazing places. They travel first class. I am actually learning quite a bit about geography from this show. So I consider it educational.
    • ME:We go amazing places, but we RARELY  fly anywhere. We typically go to the mountains, up the river, to the lake, camping, fishing, or horseback riding. It’s not exotic, but it is amazing. I live near Hell’s Canyon, it is beyond gorgeous. And sometimes, when we get that wild travel bug, we will drive a couple of hours and go to the “city” and maybe even stay the night at a hotel.

Side story, this time last year, we actually rented a van with other couple friends of ours, drove to Spokane and went to an Eric Church concert. You haven’t lived until you have been in a 15 passenger van with your friends for several hours. 

  • Children
    • THEM: They have them. Sometimes they are so adorable I can’t hardly stand it! Sometimes they act like total S**Ts.
    • ME: I have them. Sometimes they are so adorable I can’t hardly stand it! Sometimes they act like total S***Ts.

In the area of children, basically I am the same as they are. I am sure that each one has messed up something with their kids schedules, lunches, snack days, etc. I think it a part of the natural mom-condition.

  • Drama
    • THEM: Well, they may not be very different from me in this area. However, the scope of their drama is much different. They get in dramatic flair ups over rooms, houses, glasses. That doesn’t happen here (as much), but the big things like the he-said, she-said or the allegations, accusations, back stabbing. GIIIRRRRLLL I KNOW that kind
    • ME: Rural America drama is different. Sometimes it’s local rodeo drama, sometimes it’s our local elected leaders. Sometimes it’s a super judgey frenemy who makes a mountain out of a mole hill. Sometimes it’s a jealous girlfriend or ex-wife who starts drama. Sometimes it’s the owners of a loose dog causing drama. We have in-law fighting and resentment, we have outlaws on the loose. We have High Society type feuds and we have knock down drag out fights. And bless your sweet heart, we are passive aggressive.

 

  • Quality of Life
    • THEM: They seem happy.
    • ME: I AM happy.

On this we are very much the same, regardless of the clothes, the cars, the vacations, the husbands, the money, the children, the drama, the diets, they seem happy. I know I am happy. I guess it’s true, we aren’t all so very different after all!

 

Why do this comparison? I don’t know, because sometimes it is easy to get jealous of someone else’s life. But in “reality”, the grass is just the same grass. All that matters is that you take care of you own on your side of the fence (this felt like a fitting rural analogy). I will continue to watch my RH franchised shows until Bravo stops making them, but I am never jealous of them. I have my own drama to tend to at home and my own chaos to manage. Speaking of, I just realized I need to find a shoe box lid for a school project one of the little’s has. Oh boy. When was the last time I bought shoes!!!!?????

 

Until next type 🙂

 

Even Sick Days have Silver linings.

 

Sick Days maybe aren’t all bad.
We had managed to escape the nasty flu; until last night. The night ended with a trip the ER for a crazy high fever I couldn’t get controlled. However, this trip did manage to include a strange amount of laughter.  These littles are always teaching me lessons, this was a clear lesson in finding for the silver lining.

First, it is important to know this little factoid: my daughter is OBSESSED with doctors. It is slightly bizarre, especially since our son could not be more opposite.  She wants to grow up to be a baby doctor and a dentist (her picks not mine), at her last check up she was more excited than a girl getting a new pony. She RAN into the office, was bouncing off the wall, asking tons of questions, helping the Dr. and of course telling everyone she was going to be a Dr. someday. Then at the end, she ASKED THE NURSE NOT TO FORGET HER SHOTS!!! After the shots, she looked at the nurse and says “Thank You” in the sweetest voice known to man. It is a sight to behold, this I promise you.

So fast forward to last night, she has a crazy high fever, body aches all over, and is generally miserable. I was unable to get the fever down so we had to take her to the ER. She was barely talking before we jumped in the truck, then from the backseat I heard a faint “Mom…….. are we going to see a Dr.?” I replied that we certainly were and immediately she was an entirely different person! Chatty, excited, giddy….. still with a 104+ fever, but the happiest sick girl. She bounced on into the ER and I couldn’t keep up with her questions about all the equipment, doctors, and people. She was in heaven, she was diagnosed, treated and sent on her way. When we got home, she was so excited to tell Daddy about the hospital.

She reminded me that even in the crudd-iest scenarios, there is always something to be thankful for. In her case, the Gatorade glass is half full.

However, we are in home quarantine for the next several days. I am day one in and I am already having some Lord of the Flies flashbacks. I can’t begin to explain how addicted we are to being outside, being wild and crazy and to not having to be stuck in our house! (I think any outsider could tell if they saw the state of my house cleaning) but I am looking down the tunnel at most likely 3 days inside……….. I am setting some goals

1)      Prevent other household members from getting sick

2)      Put all laundry away, perhaps get caught up on laundry for the first time….. maybe ever?

3)      Buy a pallet of Lysol Disinfectant to assist with goal number one.

4) Enjoy this unexpected time off from work and make some great memories with the littles

5) Keep finding the silver linings

This is unrelated, but I must also share, for those of you who happened to read my New Years Resolutions list, I FINALLY DID ONE!! I actually did a cute Pinterest inspired snack for the other little’s snack leader day! (link below) Rainbow Fruit Kabobs- I somehow, in all my rejoicing, did not take a picture. But trust me. I DID IT and I feel like the most powerful mother of all!!!I was slightly concerned about sending my son to school with the equivalent  of 18 wooden swords, but thankfully there was no issue!

Until next type, stay happy and healthy friends!

 

Fruit Kabobs:

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Dear Moms, You Rock.

Dear Moms,

You are crushing it. Thank you for being a mom with me. In case you don’t hear it often enough- you rock. Momming is not easy, and I thank you for being there with me. Whether it is in blogs, coffee shops, shopping cart returns, children activities, doctors’ offices, parks, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook HOWEVER we are sharing our experiences in momhood together. I appreciate you, I need you, I love you. Please continue to teach me, show me, encourage me, and share with me.

To stay at home moms and the working moms, thank you for teaching me that children require time and sacrifice.

To the rural mom and the urban mom, thank you for showing me the importance of the little things.

To the organic mom and the not so organic mom, thank you for encouraging me do the best I can.

To the single mom and the married mom, thank you for teaching me what it is important and how to prioritize.

To the mom with a whole slew of children and the mom with a single child, thank you for showing me what balance and patience looks like.

To the new mom and the experienced mom, thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities.

To the breast-feeding mom and the formula mom, thank you for showing me the beauty in feeding and nourishing.

Thank you to all moms, of all walks of like. We really aren’t that different and we all need support. Thank you for offering that to me regardless of how different on the surface we may be. Our hearts are the same.

From this one mom to all of you, thank you for being amazing. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for sharing the parts of you that are beautiful and the parts that are messy. You are making me stronger.

 

 

Love,

Just another mom

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Our guide to an Idaho President’s Day Weekend

Round these parts, we get a little country to celebrate those Presidents. Nothing screams America (‘Merica) like campfires, cabins and children.

Truly though, this long weekend was a beautiful time. We headed out Friday evening (late due to a bull sale the hubby was attending)  to a friends property about an hour from town.  We pulled our home away from home (aka the camper)  and settled in for a wonderful long weekend.  The essential elements included:

  • Cabin
  • Snow
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Food
  • 4-wheeler
  • Sled
  • Fire
  • Good Music

As a friend, in case you want to plan something similar, here are some things I discovered over the weekend:

  • Making a pot of hot cocoa in a single serve K-Cup coffee maker will take an average 83.725 years. DO NOT ATTEMPT. BUY POWDERED HOT COCOA IN MASS QUANTITIES.

 

  • Gloves do not like to stay together in pairs; they actually have an aversion to being together, like Kim Cattrall and SJP. It is difficult to manage. (Shortly after this picture was taken, one of the gloves went missing, never to be seen again-RIP Glove, your purpose was appreciated)

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  • Friends don’t let friends lose races to the boys. (Because Girls rule and Boys drool I don’t think we are actually adults yet)IMG_8304

 

  • Organizing a sled hill is actually worse than herding cats. I am saying this only because I think I can imagine herding cats, but I did attempt organizing the sledding and trust me it could not be done.

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  • Friends are the spice of life, especially if you surround yourself with spicy friends. We have no shortage of that spicy, saucy—-whatever food description you want to use to explain what you see here. Nonetheless, never a dull moment!

 

  • There is nothing in the world cuter that can compare in cuteness to a baby and a new puppy. (We had both this weekend- Cuteness overload)

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  • The winter Olympics is for talented athletes only, much better to watch than actually attempt any modified versions at home (i.e. sleds are not luges and curling is harder than you think without proper tools)

But most importantly, and I think the President’s might agree, a weekend in the woods is exactly what the soul needs, both young and old.DSC_0072

 

Annual Mimosa Tour

“God Made Mimosas because Momming is tough.”

I am sure that was said by some insightful philosopher once, I am just not sure who. If it hasn’t been credited to anyone, I will take credit!

Before I get into the details of my Saturday, I need to paint you a picture of what my town is like. We have no skyscrapers, we have maybe a two-storied building in the main part of town. We have no suburbs. We have one movie theater, one Wal-Mart, a Costco and a handful of roundabouts. We do divide the region up into 4 “sections” of the valley. I happen to live in the “Heights” (named that because we at slightly above sea level (FYI I am near Hells Canyon). The Heights is full of small hobby farms (horses, sheep, chickens, pigs etc.), baseball fields, a school and little grocery store (picture 3 aisles and some slushie machines). Up here in the Heights, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by some very like-minded moms, but unfortunately, I don’t get to spend near enough time with them. So, cue Mimosa Tour.

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The Mimosa Tour is truly a gift of mommy empowerment.

Here is how it works, 10 moms get together the Saturday before Valentine’s Day (we have had enough time to recover from the Holidays and it’s just enough time in front of the crazy spring schedules – Fair, branding, baseball, school concerts, spring break etc.). We meet at the first stop (home) and our hosts (2 of the moms) prepare for us a mimosa and brunch item. Then we spend the next hour or so in their kitchen, living room or deck (wherever we can all gather) and begin the mom-battery recharge. We talk about all things under the sun, from kid ailments to Real Housewives, from pig weigh in to pinterest crafts. We reconnect, we offer support for each other, and we remember why it is important to have quality girl time.

After we have finished our drink, food and have a good spot in conversation to move on, we take off to the next stop. Keeping in mind we span a 3 mile distance at max, so our stops are strategically planned so we are within a close distance for walking, biking or maybe someday horseback riding (we are just that rural), however we always have a husband who is available to drive us as well if the weather is nasty. Then we do it all again the next home.  The entire morning will take us a little over 5 hours for the 5 stops.

The other important piece to this, is that each stop is an empty home. The husbands and littles are all gathered at my home with my husband. They plan a morning of games (football, baseball, even the Wii) and eat, visit and enjoy each other as well, so basically they tailgate at our shop with the kids; this leaves them all as eager for Mimosa tour as us ladies are each year.

What is the “moral” to my story today? Fellow moms, you need each other, you need time together outside of sitting at dance or wrestling practice. When we became moms, we joined a sisterhood of moms, and we must remember to nurture our bond. Each year, the mimosa tour allows a chance for me to see the insides of my friendsIMG_7990‘ homes, admire their work, laugh with them (cry with them too if needed), and build us all up. I am fully recharged and ready to tackle this next year of mom-hood! If you don’t do something that brings you and mom friends together, I strongly encourage it! As a reminder, I started into this group only barely knowing some of the moms and now I consider them a sister-mom.

As women, we need each other, we need our time together, and we need champagne.

Cheers!!IMG_7955.jpg