Friday, February 11, 2011

For those looking for a Poodle fix

Just a quick shot of Tiko on our mini-honeymoon in Victoria last weekend...


So, now that I am post-wedding and things are beginning to settle down (well, that's the goal, anyway), I am starting to think more about my horsey ambitions. The Supermodel is now officially mine, and I'm so happy!

I've known this horse for a year now, and I have to tell you, when I met her I HATED her. She was ditzy and spooky and just seemed freaked out all the time. She would throw herself over backward in the cross-ties and broke several halters. She would run over you or in circles around you if you led her to or from her turnout. She was incredibly herd-bound, screaming her guts out if you took her away from her pasture mates. She paced in her stall and made a huge mess.

I was a bit apprehensive about bringing her here to The World's Smallest Equestrian Center (TM), but she's been here almost four months now and the turn-around has been HUGE. Seriously unbelievable.

A formerly stand-offish and ill-mannered mare has become the little princess I always suspected was inside her. She loves attention and is curious about everything we do. She's really blossomed, and even the herd-bound-ness has gone, in fact she is currently living alone and seems to be doing just fine.

Over the last couple of months I have managed to start her under saddle, a pretty incredible feat considering what little spare time I have had because of the wedding. But, she took to work like a duck to water.

These pictures were taken of her sixth ride ever. I'd already ridden her down the road at that point, very successfully. I am SO excited about what this year will bring... the idea of getting back into showing again makes me squeal with joy.

I have met up with a large Arab barn up the street that I can take lessons at and show with. They compete at major Arab shows in the area, which I don't necessarily believe we are ready for this year, except perhaps the in-hand classes. There are also several A-rated open shows, and TONS of schooling shows... Langley really is the promised land for those obsessed with horse showing, such as myself :)

I am setting up my goals for the year, and trying to keep them small, for two reasons: time and money. I am lacking in both. So I want to make the most of them and still feel fulfilled at the end of the season. I think the best way to do that is to compete in some bigger shows in in-hand classes and MAYBE some walk-trots, and do some smaller schooling shows in walk-trots initially, moving up to canter classes and/or Training level dressage.

Here are the major open and Arab shows in the area to choose from. I want to have my schedule firmed up by the beginning of the show season (April-ish):

BC Half Arabian Spring Show, Cloverdale: April 15-17

All-Arabian Horse Association Classic Show, Thunderbird: May 12-15

BC Sport Horse Summer Show, Cloverdale: June 18-19

All-Arabian Horse Association Jr/Amateur Show, Thunderbird: July 28-30

All-Arabian Horse Association Fall Frolic, Thunderbird: September 1-4

BC Sport Horse Fall Show, Cloverdale: September 23-25

My goal is to do 2 big shows (even if only in-hand) and 1 schooling show, preferably dressage. More, if possible. Even without a trailer, both Semiahmoo Stables and Sunnyside Saddle Club are within riding distance, and both places have jumping AND dressage series' through the summer.

Wow... even just thinking about it kind of blows my mind. I've never been in a place like this before!

I can't wait until the weather gets better and I can start taking lessons and start on the path toward showing. I am dying to see how far we can go! :)

Wish us luck... I will keep you all updated!

Elizabeth and Gia

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'm a Mrs!!

Yep, it's true. After almost 32 long years of single life, after a handful of long-term relationships, one broken heart and two babies, I'm a wife. Derek and I got married yesterday... and what a day it was!

First off, the pictures I have are from various friends and relatives. I haven't gotten the pictures from the professional photographer yet, but I will share them once I do.

Anyway! Yesterday was by far the most intense day of my life, and not just because I was finally getting married! It went kind of like this:

7:30am: Wake up exhausted, having gone to bed appx. 2am, after frantically finishing my wedding cake (pops) and packing everything up on my own. (Plus I couldn't sleep to save my life.) Throw on the same clothes from the day before, pack up the car.

8am: Receive text from bridesman (my bridesmaid was a guy, Matt) that he won't be able to meet me before I go to get my hair and makeup done. This brings mixed feelings, because a) I didn't really expect him to get up so early, but b) this means I am left alone at the salon with the photographer... and I was already nervous.

8:15 am: Head for salon. Get there early enough that I can run and get Starbucks first, thank god. Still feeling nervous but things are still okay at this point.

9am: Hairstylist arrives. Hair begins. Hair goes incredibly well.

Appx. 9:15am: Photographer arrives, takes various photos, leaves to catch the 11am ferry.

10:30am: Thrilled with my hair, head over to the makeup artist. This is where things start to go downhill. Makeup artist is very nice but pushy and chatty. She comments several times on how nice it was to have so much time to work on me, all the while I am trying to explain to her that I have a ferry to catch. Nonetheless, she takes an eternity to dump an entire bottle of glitter on my arms, chest and shoulders, even though I told her (more than once) that I had brought a glitter bar and would apply it AFTER I put my dress on.

Appx. 11am: FINALLY get to the makeup. Makeup artist takes FOREVER, makes me check her work appx. every 45 seconds. Comments on how calm I am, while inside I am FREAKING OUT. Begin to feel that my internal organs are melting.

11:30am: Look at clock and almost die on the spot. I have to go NOW. Actually, I had to go half an hour ago. Go to pay, nearly faint at the price, drive home as fast as humanly possible. Notice I don't say "legally possible".

11:50am: Run up the steps to the house, shouting directions as I go. (Picture a woman with perfect makeup, a tiara and sweatpants sprinting up the walkway.) Carmen and Matt frantically grab the leftover items and the dog, jam them in the car and away we go.

11:55am: Carmen realizes she left her suitcase in the car. I inform her confidently that this was no issue considering that Matt left HIS suitcase in Calgary, and HE survived. Of course I had to buy his clothing for the wedding day but I didn't care at that point.

12pm: Race frantically to the ferry, occasionally driving at twice the speed limit, topping out at 150 km/hr. The horn in Derek's car is broken, which doesn't stop me from beating it mercilessly. Carmen shouts obscenities at the other drivers from the backseat which helps greatly. In between shouting, our conversation covers such topics as cats that make you horny, pimps, suicide, and Matt's problems with his ex-girlfriend. Matt texts obsessively the entire trip, getting gloomier as we go along.

12:36pm: Scream into the ferry terminal, grateful to have made it (and not been pulled over nor caused an enormous accident). Ask the lady at the ticket booth if my reservation is still good... the teller says no, but the ferry isn't full so we're okay. She asks if any of my guests were behind me, as they were closing boarding soon. Throw money at her and shout "No, I'm the last, I'm retarded" out the window as we drive into line.

1pm: Board ferry and nearly pass out from relief.

Appx 1:30pm to 2:30pm: Take plastic wrappers off of 100 candy flowers that make up my bouquet and Derek's bridesmaid's. Answer several texts that all say either "where are you?" or "did you make the ferry?" Manage to eat some food, and try not to fall asleep (again). Matt still texting, still gloomy.

2:45pm: Depart the ferry (or as Carmen explained it, "abort" the ferry) 10 minutes behind schedule. Attempt another exhilarating race into Victoria but am thwarted by bumper-to-bumper traffic.

3pm: Officially late for my own wedding. Groom and friends waiting patiently... apparently looking like the Mafia?

3:15pm: Carmen decides we will blame Matt for being late. Her excuse involved his... digestive functions. Laugh like morons.

3:25pm: Pull up the front entrance of the Empress and explain to the porter that I was supposed to be getting married half an hour ago and I didn't know where to go. See Derek's brother Brad and shout for joy. Grab dress and let Brad take the car to the parking garage.

3:27pm: Realize that Brad had just taken my wedding shoes with him. Dispatch Carmen to the parking garage.

3:30pm: Undress from the inside out in a room full of women because Matt (the only guy) has confiscated the bathroom. Too stressed to care. Trying to put dress on but the photographer keeps draping it over various things to take pictures of it. Karen wrestles it away from her and we manage to get it on and laced.

3:50pm: Dressed, makeup touchups done, and impatiently waiting for the photographer to get enough pictures when Matt comes out of the bathroom... he doesn't know how to tie a tie. I told him to Google it... didn't work. Photographer tries to help him, no luck. I shout "DON'T CARE!" and race out of the room.

4pm: Get down the hall only to be stopped by Kerry (Derek's bridesmaid) with the news that our marriage commissioner has LEFT. Oh god. But she'll be back at 5. Quick powwow, and we decide to take advantage of the extra hour of daylight and take our pictures. It is arranged that Derek and I will meet on the spiral staircase-- he'll come up from the bottom and I'll come down from the top, and we'll meet on the landing. Very sweet. I am VERY nervous.

4:10pm: See my daddy. Squeal. Try to give him a hug but apparently he doesn't feel like being covered in glitter.

4:15: Get set up at the staircase. Super, super nervous (shaking). Get the signal to go.

4:16: :)

4:20-5:00: Race around the Empress hotel taking pictures in the most amazing places. Get a chance to do our first dance (to QUEEN?) in the Palm Court, an amazing ballroom.

5pm: Marriage commissioner is back, hastily assemble for the ceremony.

5pm-5:30pm: Ceremony. Ignore the fact that the groomsman (and woman) walk too fast and there are long pauses in the processional while the rest of us wait for our musical cues :) Ignore my almost-3-year-old son's incessant commentary. Burst into tears at the end of my vows.

5:30pm: MARRIED!! Am informed by Jimmy (groomsman) of the candy bars he placed on the windowsill. Well, I guess the Library needed some decoration to go with our "sweet" theme.

5:30pm-6pm: More pictures. Many more. EXHAUSTED.

6pm: Walk to restaurant. In wedding dress and heels. It's appx. 40 miles away. WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS???

6-whateverpm: Restaurant looks GORGEOUS, I am thrilled. Karen and Krystal did an amazing job setting it all up. Take off horrible (but freaking cute!) wedding shoes and put on slippers. Sigh in relief.

15 after 6-whateverpm: Chat, eat tons of candy, try not to fall asleep. My brother orders us shots... my only comment: "phew, that's warm!"

Wheneverpm: Dinner comes. Start to eat. Toddler son having a fit because he's over tired. Grandmother decides to leave with toddler son. Start to get upset until father and new husband tell me to calm down and let her.

A bit after whenever: Bring out wedding cake (pops). Go to do our "cutting", wonder why the photographer is not taking pictures. Jimmy begins to take pictures on his iPhone which luckily gets the photographer's attention. Derek and I feed each other cake (pops) and try not to die of a diabetic coma because of how sweet they are.

9ishpm: Pack away dinner and face the thought of that 40 mile walk back to the hotel and our car. Kerry to the rescue, calls a taxi. Fantastic restaurant staff hands us a bottle of champagne as a gift.

Way, way too late: Finally get back to our hotel... and you don't need to know the rest :)

All in all it was by far one of the most intense days of my life. Derek keeps saying it was fun... I don't think "fun" is how I'd describe it. Perhaps in a few months it'll be "funny"... but until then... boy, I'm just glad it's over. On to the great blue yonder... married life!

Now that all the planning and stress is over... maybe I'll actually have time to blog! :)

More pics coming soon, I promise...