Tuesday, October 25, 2016

And The Flurry Began

October. I do love me some October. But it is ALWAYS a crazy busy time. And this year has certainly been no exception. We have some extreme highs and extreme lows. But, for today, let's focus on the first part of the month which featured the Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo.

On October 1, my girl kicked off fair activities with the Ag Speaking Contest. She did a fabulous job and came in second in her category. Unfortunately, only the top one advances to finals and the one in Taylor's group won the whole dang thing. Now, I sort of find this annoying because it means she could have been the second best speaker in the whole contest (and I've heard on pretty good authority that was the case) but such are the rules. :)

The next day I pulled off something I've never even attempted before - a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY!

That's what happens when you don't let us throw you a party for many years in a row. We scheme behind your back for weeks, get family to help pull off the big event, and swear your friends to secrecy for weeks at a time. She was absolutely shocked and may have even been annoyed with me for a bit but I do believe she loved it in the end!

Shortly thereafter, we loaded Cooper up and headed for our first weekend of showing at HOT. Soph got into the bathing action. It happens to be one of her favorite things to do with Cooper.

Ol' Coop competed in the Shorthorn division for the first time and, because of the timing, was alongside a bunch of steers who had just come back from the State Fair. That basically means they're older and farther along than he is BUT he came in second in his class, which was a huge accomplishment!

Soph also likes to groom. She just sort of always brushes his hair the wrong way.

Hanging out in the ring.

He looked good out there, in my opinion!

With her winnings, Taylor bought a new show stick. And we learned there's an "extra large" size that's taller than my girl.

We spent a lot of hours together on these days and, honestly, some of my favorite memories are the ones I catch from behind. Sometimes you capture your entire world in one little photo.

After wrapping up steer shows, my girl kicked it into high gear and spent 30 hours working as a Sweetheart. We didn't see her much AT ALL for almost a week but we were able to catch glimpses via her social media posts.

The following week we headed back with Cherry and Kate in tow. While Kate behaved like a perfect lady, our sweet Cherry reverted to her "spirited" and "flighty" ways and may have acted a bit of a fool in the show ring. Now, that may sound like a completely horrible thing BUT it turned out ok because Taylor realized she can handle her when this happens. And Cherry realized that Taylor will not put up with this mess. 

We believe it was a good thing all around and Cherry has, in fact, behaved much better at the barn since. Now for that to translate into the show ring. :)

The evening of the heifer show, my girl was the spotter for T-Bone (after portraying the mascot herself earlier in the week) and we caught up with her while having some fair fun with Soph. (More on that in its own separate post.) While my intent was for the little to be part of this pic, she was not having anything to do with a stuffed bull. Whether her sister was around or not.

We stuck around late enough that evening to see Taylor accompany Miss HOT and T-Bone in the back of the truck in the rodeo arena as well. It's hard to tell from the pic but my Taylor was throwing t-shirts, smiling and waving. And I will never forget her first throw being a bit errant and a nice arena worker who was standing on the ground next to the truck catching a t-shirt. Her aim got much better after that!

 This was a super fun and packed 10 days for our entire family. We were exhausted, happy and delirious by the time it was all over. And, in the middle of it all, we also celebrated our little Clyde turning a year old. My, oh my, how he has grown!

The HOT Fair & Rodeo was so good to us this year. Memories to last a lifetime.