Natural Horsegirlship at the Dude Ranch

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Every year Jason and I give our girls a choice: they can have a birthday party, or get a birthday present. This year, for the first time, they decided to forgo the party for their special present request. They wanted to spend the night at a ranch, and go riding.

Luckily, the girls and I were able to ride the tails, so to speak, of my friend P’s quarterly getaways with her daughter. P takes her daughter to this lovely dude ranch in the Thompson region, where they have riding lessons, cute small cabins, and amazing vistas.

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So the girls and I spent a wonderful relaxed weekend with Pam, her daughter, and her two dogs. The girls went riding, first in the arena, and then out on a little Trailride. It was fun to see the girls practice their growing horse – girl – ship skills… The riding lessons over the years has paid off.

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I couldn’t believe that Spice (shown here) and Sugar Took their horses through obstacles and up onto ramps.

Wherever we go for a few days, I encourage the girls to journal about it. Usually there are pictures, and sometimes even poetry. I thought you might enjoy their impressions of a quiet hour with a horse in the field.

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When I asked them for their weekend highlights, they actually said that hiking in the hills looking for bear poo was the best part. There was fresh their plop everywhere, and the little scientists love investigating what animals have eaten. Seriously.

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Happy eighth birthday girls!

A huge thanks to P for letting us share their cabin. I have to say though, that I am gunning for for the birthday party next year… I do love parties!

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Tango partner: Better with you

Tonight, Jason and I left in a furor to Tango lessons. We were in a rush to get out the door – he had a dog come in at the end of the day at the clinic, and I was trying to make dent in the chaos that was our house. So the suppertime was late, neither of us was out of our uniform, and we spent the first half hour of babysitter time eating with the kids (and the babysitter.) When we finally got out the door, I was feeling very grateful that we still managed to pull off date night at all.

First, we went shopping for fall coats for the girls, and then spent a fun hour laughing at ourselves dancing at tango.

Another video of us dancing for you – you can see we have improved. (Start at 2:25)

When we got home, Jason snuck upstairs and started watching football at an obnoxious volume. He retreated into his “nothing box” and left me to clean up dishes and air conditioners and the like. Grrr… I was pretty annoyed. It was a long day for all of us, and I just wanted some peace in the house to sleep with.

But an hour later, I’ve focussed back on the positive. I’ve decided to give his late night lackadaisical behavior a hall pass.

You know, they say that grounds for marital strife are one partner teaching another to drive, and dancing lessons. The people who make these sayings should have included higher stressors, like starting a business together! But here we are, working together almost every day, and for the most part, loving it. We are so complementary, and have been able to do something together neither of us would have alone. We are taking great care of our kids, and reasonable care of each other. And we are getting to dancing lessons, one day a week, where we step on each other’s toes and laugh at our mutual awesomeness. We’ve got it pretty good.

Feeling grateful for my partner in life, business and dancing…

Tango Lessons

Tonight Jason and I started tango lessons!

tangoI was very excited… Jason was very trepidatious. It’s been literally a decade since we’ve taken dance lessons together. Back then, we did a lot of fighting over leading (I know, I know,) and although we enjoyed the results at all the weddings we went to, it wasn’t that super enjoyable at the time.

Latin dances also scare the bananas out of him. My husband doesn’t have hips, let’s just put it that way.

For me, I’ve danced less and less over the years, because my knees couldn’t take it. Especially dances with high impact and going backwards all the time (like the two step) were downright painful for me. But I love latin dances – little known fact: I actually danced Flamenco for two years in university. I loved it because you need to be as strong as you are sensual and graceful.

Tango is our perfect answer – it’s slow, gliding with low impact, very little hips, and all about the attitude.

We loved our first lesson. And we did really well… look, they taped us at the end of 55 minutes:

I have a feeling after 6 lessons, we will be even better.

In the meanwhile, we will enjoy our weekly date night – and since we are not allowed to talk while dancing, one whole hour not talking about the kids or the business!

Congratulations, Panda! Sugar gets her gold belt!

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A belated congratulations to our gorgeous, athletic and determined daughter “Sugar,” who earned her gold belt earlier this month!

She may have spent the year in gymnastics, but that only helped her flexibility when she went back to Kung Fu this spring. I can’t believe how much better her focus is… She’s always had enthusiasm! But now she has the focus to go along with it. She was so proud to pose with her instructors that she adores. Help me congratulate my little Panda!

Oh, and yes… She’ll be going back into Kung Fu this fall. She enjoyed gymnastics, but Kung Fu really is her passion!

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Spice in the swing: 6 year old golf

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Spice has taken on new hobby: golf!

She likes to dabble in different things. When figure skating and did a month ago, she actually wanted to continue on… But there were no lessons until the fall, except the week that we are at Harambee family camp.

So we looked around and found out that there were golf lessons available.

Spice came home from her first golf lesson bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm. “I played golf!”

“What did you do? Did you practice your stance?”

“No! I just play golf!”

Apparently six-year-old just get right into it and start hitting balls. Daddy told me that she was so excited she couldn’t stand still while she was swinging around with the club. So the instructor put two pieces of tape on the ground so she could blew her feet in the right spot.

She came home sweaty, dusty and absolutely stoked about golf. Daddy also came home wishing he had brought his clubs to the driving range. Maybe he’ll get a partner out of this… :-).

Then again, she is a dabbler. If golf doesn’t stick, there is always… Archery?