Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Break in Houston

So our entire family spent last week sick. Like, really sick. Gotta love daycare germs that make their way home with tiny little folks, right? But the week before last was Spring Break. And we actually took a little trip to Houston. For the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo for Taylor and Dottie's first major show.

Dottie hitched a ride with some friends and headed down Wednesday while we got Tiny situated with Nana and Boppy. Taylor, Dave, Hallie and I headed down early Thursday morning and - after a long jaunt - we finally found both our friends and our heifer. :)

After getting her officially checked in for the show, we headed back to our hotel for some R&R (which actually means pizza and Red Velvet Oreos) before Taylor had to head back to the venue and take care of her heifer for the evening. It was an early to bed kind of night and we had breakfast early the next morning. With the swans. In the lobby. Name Pa and Grammy.

Friday was a loooooong day, y'all. Lots of sitting. Tons of waiting. Many, many nerves. But the Beefmaster show eventually kicked off and our own little entry was in Class 9.

We were absolutely THRILLED that Taylor and Dottie came out of the ring with a second place ribbon. The judge was very complimentary about ol' Dottie and said he had a really hard time choosing between her and the first place heifer. In the end, he went with the larger cow. And, seeing as Dottie was the youngest in the class, it wasn't her.

Unfortunately, the heifer behind her in line was also in heat, which led to Dottie being assaulted a couple of times. That's never happened before and hopefully it won't again but the only injury was a superficial scratch on her back so it could have been worse.

It was basically impossible to take photos of them in the ring because of the way it was set up but this is a pic I snapped in the holding area where she got her papers validated and waited for Champion Drive.

They lined up a bit differently for the drive so I was able to get a couple of far away photos. I only had my phone and was sitting pretty high in the bleachers so this was the best I could do. At least she was wearing a bright turquoise shirt. ;)

When she finally finished up, she was hot, sweaty and kind of irritated about having to chase her heifer around the ring because someone else couldn't control theirs. So I don't have a photo of the girl with the actual ribbon. But I did snap some photos of Dottie and her post-show bag of hay.

Such a sweet girl. Proud of both of them. And really thankful that we're taking a few months off. It's time for a break. And for Dottie to have the opportunity to roam the pasture, eat hay, graze and act like an animal. :)

All in all, we couldn't have asked for a better first major experience. More to come next year, for sure, but it was a fantastic first year in the heifer world.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

'Twas a Big Week

Y'all. Last week was long. And soooo very busy. But it ended up being SUCH a big week for my older girl that it's almost hard to put into words.

For starters - remember when I posted pics of her and this one was included? Well, what I didn't say at the time is that I had taken them because she needed to submit a photo with her Heart o' Texas Fair & Rodeo Sweetheart application. Tryouts were last Wednesday and Taylor is now officially a Sweetheart. In fact, she has her first meeting tonight.

We really could not be more proud and I know she'll have an amazing time representing the fair throughout the year. She'll definitely be busy but seeing her sooooo excited was really amazing.

Thursday was spent preparing for the Midway Livestock Show & Sale that would be held Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Now, sweet Sprocket didn't fare all that well. The judge actually thought he was a good looking goat but told Taylor he just doesn't like big goats so he was definitely out of luck. He did weigh in at 108 pounds, after all.

Dottie was being shown against all the cattle in our school and, while we may not excel in goats, the heifers our kids have are really impressive. Like, Taylor was nervous showing against them that night. But, y'all, SHE AND DOTTIE WON GRAND CHAMPION.

Does that smile not just say it all?

And she finally won a buckle. In her first heifer season. And speaking of heifers...guess who's having a baby? :)

Yep. Baby calf will be here in late September.

Saturday afternoon was cold. And wet. But the sale must go on, right? Taylor was surrounded by sweet friends all weekend and it was so fun to watch all of them just, you know, hang out. They've built quite the bond this year and that makes me extremely happy.

And, yes, Sprocket ended up being quite a lover. Seems to be a trend with our goats.

And sometimes he behaves. So you have to take a picture to prove it.

A sweet friend of ours came out to buy for his company and bought ol' Sprocket. For which we are very grateful.

And I, of course, stupidly went back into the barn as we were leaving him for the last time to take some last photos. And I ended up bawling while taking said photos.

But at least they turned out cute, right?

So long, sweet Sprocket - we love you so!