"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidays! :)

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend on this end. Historically it's always been one of us working one or both days/nights of the holiday (the bane of working in veterinary and human 24-hour hospitals), or we were spending it with family. 

This was the first time that we can remember that Carlos and I got to spend both Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day together, alone, in...12 years.

That's pretty epic!

So we did whatever the hell we wanted. Which was absolutely nothing. It was glorious. 

Christmas Eve dawned ugly and cold. I was in the middle of my yearly bout of bronchitis and on my third dose of antibiotics and I just wanted to stay in bed. Carlos had a training session with Tony in the morning while I got my hair did, an appointment that I had been trying to make for 3 months and absolutely could not miss!

It was worth it. My hair is like four colors at once at the moment. 

You can kind of get an idea here. Cat tail accessory not included... ;)
I made brunch afterwards. 

Vegetarian hash with squash, baby potatoes, broccoli, chopped  peppers & onions + eggs
And then we watched a movie marathon at home. I started dinner early: chicken breasts stuffed with ricotta and cranberries (it's a modified version of this. I marinate the chicken prior, skip the spinach, and also the quinoa because I'm already making a side in this case), homemade cranberry sauce with apples and ginger, and mashed sweet potatoes with coconut milk and cardamon, sprinkled with chopped pecans. Believe it or not, all of those were "clean" recipes: low in sugar and fat. Dessert was a mini fruit tart sampler that I got from Wegmans. Their bakery is incredible. 

On Christmas morning, I made breakfast: andouille sausage and egg white scramble with asparagus, mushrooms and sundried tomato; and whole wheat French toast stuffed with blueberry cheesecake. These were both new recipes and they came out AMAZING. 

After stuffing our faces and opening gifts (I got a hematite bracelet, "The Cursed Child" by J.K. Rowling, which I have not been able to put down! And a GoPro Hero!!!!!!!), I asked Carlos about going to the barn to remove sheets on the horses: I had left them on the previous day to keep the girls dry from the rain, since it was so chilly.

I asked Carlos about riding Gracie for 15 minutes bareback...and it turned into a 40-minute thing! I was having WAY too much fun on G-Mare. Carlos got a kick out of watching me and obliged with a million pics and video.

I finally buckled down and got a bareback pad for Black Friday and I'm so glad I did. It offers a little extra padding and security in the form of a lightly sueded seat. I was already doing pretty good without a saddle, so this now feels so much more secure. This was my third ride in it. 

Dressagin' it up bareback on the gaited creature. Who said gaited horses can't do medium gaits? ;)
Hand gallop.
And more hand gallop.
And more.
I will remind you guys that just last year I was cantering bareback for the first time.
Carlos's mom called while I was playing in the arena. They were hanging out with the nieces in South FL and had sent a video of their toys. I told Carlos to fill me galloping around the arena...as I came up next to hi, I waved at the camera mid-flight and wished the girls Merry Christmas!

The final video we chose for them was a HUGE hit! Now the girls want us to bring the horses next time we visit South FL. Haha

The videos were too cool to not do something with, so I edited the part where I wave at the camera and linked them up into one thing. This is the final product:

The song is Lush Life by Zara Larsson. It was the song I was listening to while riding. :)
The last part at the end, where I ride the canter one-handed is kind of a big deal. I've never done that before!

We did some reinless work, where I dropped the reins and directed Gracie with my legs. She would circle in the direction I wanted her to but she would eventually end up back at the gate. -_- We also did quite a bit of work at the gait. She had broken a light sweat by the end of the ride. And I was grinning from ear to ear. 

Best Christmas ride ever, so far!

I pulled Lily out of the field afterwards to give her a good grooming and an electrolyte mash. She was wiggling her lip in pleasure when I curried her neck and chest. Happy mare. :)

After the barn, we swung by downtown to see if anything was open...our favorite Irish bar was! So we sat down for a Blue Moon (Carlos) and a smoothie (for me. A smoothie is half hard cider, half Guinness) and then we drove home. 

We saw this guy in a motorcycle with a sidecar and initially thought the passenger was a kid. We were talking about Inspector Gadget and how little you see motorcycles with sidecars, when Carlos looked in the rearview mirror and exclaimed, "It's not a child! It's a DOG!" 

He slowed way, way, WAAAAY down so the motorcycle and dog could pass us so I would be able to snag a photo. It was originally meant to be a Snap for Jess, who was travelling with her Golden Finley on this day and of course this made me think of her...but the photo came out so terrific that I saved it on my phone as well. 

And I'm so glad I did. Because now I can share it with you guys.

These two won at Christmas traveling!
The light and the Lab's ears flying back in the wind are so perfect. <3
Carlos and I were still grinning when we parked at home. We watched Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and had dinner, which was leftovers from the night before. 

This is a good summary of what our weekend was like. :)

Not the most exciting Christmas, but definitely one of our better ones!

I hope everyone had a beautiful, magical holiday!


  1. Sounds like a very fun and relaxing weekend. Y'all deserve it.

  2. It sounds like a perfect weekend!

  3. Fun holiday, hope you have a good rest of the year end (:

  4. I want your hair. And skin tone. Your gaited horse is pretty nice too....*lol* Glad you had a great break with your loved ones.

    1. Lytha, you made me laugh! :D Thank you! I'm glad you had a good Christmas too! <3

  5. Sounds like the perfect holiday <3

  6. Sounds laid back! I am glad you had a Happy Holiday!