It has been so long since I last wrote, it feels like I am starting from scratch. The entire month of December and January has flown by, well let’s be realistic, the entire year of 2019 flew by. With all the kiddos landing in Casper for the season, the 2 weeks of Christmas Vacation were busy and fun! My parents made a surprise trip home; they hadn’t been here for Christmas for a couple of years. It was a great time! Well, if I think about it, it really wasn’t a great time- Josh and two of the 4 kids were sick. Flu and Strep. I’m still not sure how all of us didn’t end up with both but I’ll gladly take just having 2 down! Spray disinfectant may have been involved as well as hand sanitizer and lots of reminders of no sharing cups and wash your hands! All in all, a good time was still had and anytime all 6 of us can be together typically turns into a great time. We just can’t help it.

Christmas Cookies

January brings the kick-off to my official first year as a Real Estate Agent in the Casper area. Just saying that still doesn’t quite feel real. As it turns out, I truly enjoy working as a team with Josh. Getting back to our school routine has been harder than usual- it only took all of January. Settling back into the normal has been welcomed after the busy-ness of the holidays. With a new much more flexible schedule, I was able to spend all of it with the kids and I’m not gonna lie….I was happy to see Christmas break end! We have even been able to add a few things to our plate. I mean, what’s another activity on a weeknight, right!? Jiu jitsu has been a great activity for the kids to learn self control, discipline and self defense. After a couple of months it seemed that both had lost interest, however, we were able to get them gi’s and I could see their attitudes change instantly. They both earned their belt and a stripe. Once they finally realized that they could work hard and earn stripes- and move up in belt color, that was the buy in they needed. The best part about a program like this is there are no trophy’s that are undeserved. Each class they have to earn their way in the line. Depending on skills they learn they may get a strip, they may not. At some point, one of them will earn more than the other. Also a great lesson and one that will be hard.

a girl and her horse
Reagan and Flame spending a little quality time together.

The most exciting part of our new year came at the end of January. And, I can tell you that I am probably more excited than the kids and Josh combined. We bought a horse! After attending the WJRA rodeo last fall and taking picture after picture I was tired. Reagan, on the other hand, started to see what she had been missing. The spark had been lit in her last year when she was able to ride a few times when the college kids were here. I could see it brewing in her. However, budgets are tight and horses are expensive- especially ones for kids. We managed to nail one down, with the help of a good friend, and tried him out on a Friday night. Open Riding at The Arena may become a thing for us. (Unfortunately for her, I am a fair weather cowboy- nothing under 40 degrees for me. No way.) She had an incident last fall when a horse took off down the arena with her and even though she has rode since then, the fear of that crept out. She was dang near petrified to move at all. We rode a little with me behind her and then took a break, allowing Owen a chance. Flame proved his weight in gold when he was on. Owen is a bit bolder than Reagan. Turning left and right and kicking like he means it. He did nothing more than a walk. It was perfect. I knew then he was the horse for us. If Owen’s craziness doesn’t get to this guy, I know we have a winner! We loaded him up and brought him to the Foy Funny Farm.

I woke up the next morning and asked Reagan if she remembered what happened the night before. She was pretty sleepy but as soon as I asked how her new horse was, she got a huge smile on her face. She ran to the window to see if she could see him. I did too. I realized that I felt the same way- my heart was all a flutter. My heart is happy to know what is coming for her. I can only hope that she makes a friend like I did in Frog. That she learns to trust and to love. That she experiences loss and can do it with grace. That she experiences a “Win” and can do it with grace. I have the fondest memories of spending time with my horses as a kid and look forward to watching her do it, too. And, if I’m honest, I can’t wait to get back on the back of a horse again. It seems that this gift is more than a Flame to start her love but also the Flame to rekindle mine. <3