Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Classic

Last weekend marked the last of many, many Saturdays that were consumed with either football (here, there and yonder) or stock shows. This time it was the Lorena Christmas Classic, which is held in McGregor (I know, I know...) but this is a fun little show that Taylor and I like this year. Even better was that Tonto was off this time around. Which meant this mom didn't have to haul goats on her own. Woo hoo!!!!

Taylor and her bud, E, had a great time together and both looked very nice in their show duds. 

Even if they did look more like 20 than 14. Be still my heart. Seriously.

Tonto spent hours (no, that is not a misprint) feeding Forrest and Jase alfalfa. To say he's a sucker for, well, any animal would be a very honest assessment.

I didn't take many pics of her in the ring because they all sort of end up looking the same. But she was very thankful her goat did not take off and run away like one of the other participants. She's already told me that she will literally leave the ring and let someone else wrangle her goat if Forrest tries those shenanigans so I always hold my breath. That would just be awkward. For ALL of us.

And, at the end of the day, I had a VERY happen girl on my hands because...

...she placed. And got a shiny yellow ribbon. It's not first. But it's progress. And she was ecstatic, which pretty much made my week.

I, for one, had NO IDEA goat raising was so stinkin' competitive until we were already fully entrenched. And while we're certainly not giving up the hobby, we're also in talks to make some modifications to where we house our animals so they can get proper (you know, what's actually recommended) exercise on a regular basis. That won't actually happen until next season's little fella (or fellas) arrive so, for now, we're thankful she got somewhat of a 'win.'

That smile was really all we needed to know it was a good day. And, yes, we celebrated. With Golden Corral. Which was totally her idea. And an idea I can't quite explain. Though I did enjoy the triple chocolate fountain. :-)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Case Closed

I've put off this post for almost two weeks for a couple of reasons - I needed some time to digest all that happened on December 7 for one and, secondly, life has just been crazily busy. I would try to express to you exactly HOW busy but there's just no way to put it into words. So I'm basically not going to try.

December 7 is a day we'd had on our calendars for more than a year. It was the last game at Floyd Casey Stadium. Ever. The opponent was the Texas Longhorns. And big bowl ramifications were resting on the outcome. Said ramifications were increased dramatically after we learned OU had knocked off Oklahoma State at Bedlam. (Thank you and BOOMER SOONER!) 

This meant the winner of our game would be crowned the Big 12 Champions. Outright. Something that had never happened for Baylor. And, obviously, said champ would be invited to the Fiesta Bowl. A BCS bowl, friends. Also something the Bears had not before enjoyed.

Complicating matters was that Texas was enveloped in unseasonably FRIGID temps and a great deal of ice and snow. It. Was. Insane. And, quite frankly, a better movie script for an ending such as this could not have been written.

It also describes why my sweet friend, Courtney, and I bundled up as if we were attending a game in the Artic. As it turned out, we kind of were.

And I may never be more thankful to Tonto in my entire life as I was on this day. His talking me into the ol' hunting suit purchase was a gift that I truly cannot repay. And it's so comfy that I may wear it every time a cold snap comes through.

The first half was, um, a bit of a snoozer. A defensive struggle broke out, no doubt the weather was complicating matters, and the score at the half was a whopping 3-3. I was stressed but encouraged because we were moving the ball with ease. It was just difficult to catch or kick a brick. :-)

The second half opened with back-to-back touchdowns for the Bears on consecutive possessions. And life was better. Not as good as things would have been had I actually remembered my good camera but I'm choosing to believe that was a blessing since it probably would have frozen when the ice fog rolled in. Yes. Ice. Fog. Another movie element, no doubt.

As the clock ticked down and we were up 30-10, reality began to set in. This season has been so stinkin' magical that thinking about The Case closing was a distant thought most of the time. But the end of the game found us reminiscing, shaking hands, loving on the people we've been sitting with for years (the ones we celebrated the first bowl berth in, like, FOREVER a mere few years ago), and wondering what the new stadium would bring.

But there was also some very pressing business at hand. Presentation of the Big 12 trophy to our Bears. I would say it was like a dream but it really wasn't because we've had the opportunity to get to know so many of the players that we KNOW - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that they deserved this honor. And we were just blessed to share it.

We soaked in the moment, snapped a few pics with friends (hello, sweet Lindsey) and...

...took our own selfie to mark the moment...

...before sharing said moment with all the social media world.

And then it was time to say goodbye. The ceremony of turning out the lights was as awesome as I thought it would be when first hearing about it months ago. Baylor legends and leaders took turns turning out each of the light poles...and the final snap belonged to Coach Briles. There's no more fitting - or deserving - person. Trust me on this, please.

As we left, the concourse broke out in a final chant of "Baylor--Bears" and all was right with Baylor Nation's world. It was a solemn (last) trudge back to our tailgating spot (the one that had literally boasted a campfire only hours ago) where was de-iced the windshields of everyone who had parked with us (told you it was FRIGID) and headed home. This is when the full on exhaustion set in. Because saying goodbye while shivering for HOURS at a time apparently takes a toll on one's body.

The day was magical. Fitting. And including a perfect ending.

Case. Closed.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Showdown in Ft. Worth

Last weekend Tonto and I did something we swore to never experience - a football game at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Ft. Worth. It's not that we have an aversion to the city itself but we most certainly have had issues with Frog fans. A whole lot of 'em, to be frank.

So imagine my surprise when our logo was even included on their gameday pageantry. I thought we were, perhaps, starting a new chapter.

After lunch at Fuzzy's Taco Shop, which was delicious, we walked through a very pretty part of campus...

...where we both made friends with the Horned Frog...

...and enjoyed the lily pad fountain...

...before realizing they have a Christmas tree that rivals that of the White House.

After a quick jaunt through Frog Alley...

...where we actually took a picture together... was time to enter the stadium...

...but not before being mesmerized by the purple Cadillac golf cart.

We were even encouraged by the flying of all the flags of the Big 12...

...and thought the newly remodeled stadium was quite nice...

...even if it was a bit steep.

But what we quickly learned is that Frogs fans - and players - haven't changed a bit. And that the officials were INTENT on helping them in any way possible while calling PI on us if we so much as looked at an opposing player.

I. Was. Not. Amused.

And I can assure you that was quite apparent. So please know that I could not have been more thrilled when we won. A 3-point margin is just as good as a 30-point margin at the end of the day.

Oh, and if you even have to ask my opinion about Gary Patterson and his postgame rant, well, we probably don't know each other very well. :-)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Down on the Bayou

After a fast and furious trip to Grapevine with the girls (I left out the part where we had amazing food at The Cheesecake Factory and I shattered my iPhone that was a whole 33 days old), it was back to the grind for a few days. BUT, thanks to a sweet family friend, Tonto and I had another trip looming.

This time we headed to the bayou. Or, more precisely, Death Valley. Yep, our first trip to Tiger Stadium. Or, as I like to call it, HOME.

Mike and I became quick friends.

And we were adopted into an amazing tailgate (they had their own emcee, y'all!) where we hung out, watched College GameDay, ate some amazing food and even hid from the rain at times.

Gotta love a Huey P. Long reference. :-)

Our first glimpse.

We also hit the Tiger Walk but there was no tiger to be found. Mike VI is apparently quite a moody fella and, well, if he's not in the mood to socialize...he does not socialize. 

Our first glimpse at what would become the most mind blowing tailgate experience of our lives.

Another view of the promised land...

...and Tonto playing washers...

...before we headed to Victory Hill for the big show.

This sweet girl became our personal tour guide. She was so awesome, friends. Words do not do it justice.

Yep. Bomb. Sniffing. Dogs. Somewhat disconcerting...

...but all was forgotten when I got my first glimpse of ol' Les...

...and his suit-clad players. :-)

Once the players were sufficiently secured in the locker room, it was time for a little Tiger spirit...

...and Tonto's fav part of the experience...

...and the color guard girls...

...and the Golden Band from Tigerland...

...and more law enforcement.

After a downpour of rain - thanks for the shield, tailgate friends - we met up with our pals and got a first glimpse at the hallowed ground.

There were fireworks. ON. THE. FIELD.

And the game - with the Aggies as opponents - could not have played out more beautifully. In my personal opinion anyway.

After a super fun halftime performance...

...and a bit of third quarter action, we decided to head to the truck and thaw out. It was sooooo cold, y'all.

But not before catching a last glimpse...

...and being so thankful to have had the experience.

We spent that night with my grandmother and she spoiled us with homemade spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and blueberry yum yum. There is NOTHING like going home. No comparison. :-)