Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Adventures Outdoors with Baby: Handy Dandy Items to Make It Easy

As the summer is winding down and we're heading in the the lovely, crisp fall season, I thought it'd be nice to look back share with you a few things have made our lives easier while having our little one outdoors. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Richland Horse Trials

Saturday morning, 5:15AM, my alarm went off. Normally, Adalynn would be waking me up for a little snack, then I'd be hitting the hay again for a few more hours. Instead, I rolled out of bed and got in the shower, then headed down to Richland for a day spent with horses. The only reason I'll get out of bed at five in the morning. 

The Richland Park Horse Trials takes place once a year. It's from Thursday through Sunday and is a triathlon for horse & rider teams, who complete in dressage, show jumping and, my favorite, cross-country. 

When I arrived, I found my post and my 'people', where they explained what I'd be doing for the day. I was on the stadium jumping crew, which meant that I, along with some other lovely people, sat at the edge of the course and waited until a horse & rider team knocked a pole down - then I ran myself out and put the pole back up. 

We did this for ten hours. You would think it felt like forever, but it actually went pretty fast. Besides that it poured for about five hours...yea. 

And this jump made me giggle because I knew Kelly would love it when he saw it, which he did. 

The whole event takes place in the middle of a giant corn field. The owners set up this property for the sole purpose of the horse trials once a year. It's pretty amazing. All the proceeds this year benefited the Cheff Center, a therapeutic riding center that's just a short while down the road (and the first center I ever volunteered at!).

The friend who got me to volunteer, her name is Mary. We decided that next year, we'd each pick something we both wanted to do so that we'd be able to switch back & forth a couple times throughout the day, that way we'd get to see more of what was going on.  

When we arrived on Sunday, we decided to walk the cross country course first. They have two different divisions, the advanced division in which the Olympians were riding, then the novice/training divisions. 

This cross country course is amazing. I tell you, even if you aren't a horse person, if you get the chance to watch a cross-country even, take it. It's unreal. It goes over fields, through wooded areas and across water holes. 

These riders are seriously the bravest. They take their horses rip-roaring around the countryside, jumping bushes and trees, down hills and over jumps in water - and it's all a race to see who gets the fastest time. The trust between these horse & rider teams is amazing. This is definitely one thing that's on my bucket list!

We took a little lunch break in which us adults partook in some delicious hot dogs and miss Adalynn had some sweet potatoes. From there we went over to the show jumping area where, as soon as we arrived, an announcement came over the loudspeaker to say that the show jumping had been completed for the day. Boo. Boo-hoo. We were super bummed because it was the advanced division jumping that we missed.

Apparently, the show usually runs all day on that Sunday. The rumor is that the Olympics being hosted this year caused the participation to be down compared to other years. Reason being, the Olympian riders use the Richland course as practice in the years between the Olympics, hence the reason the Advanced Division was done so early. 

So instead, we watched as people spoiled their horses a little, letting them roll, graze and get lots of back scratches for all of the hard work this weekend. 

It was a great weekend. When you're surrounded by 400 + horses, how could it not be, right? Also, there was a horse named Sirius Black - obviously he was my favorite :)  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy Monday!

Hello, Lovelies.

How was your weekend? 

Have you heard of the Richland Park Horse Trials? That's where I spent my weekend! One of my friends (and a dedicated Renew volunteer!) told me that she has worked the trials for the past several years, that all of the workers are volunteers. Seeing all of the amazing horse & rider teams for free and up close and personal? Nothing better. Saturday I worked the stadium jumping crew, then Sunday we went up to watch the cross country. Tomorrow I'll be back with lots of pictures of these amazing teams...did I mention there were Olympic riders there? biggie, right? :)

In bigger news - Adalynn is crawling. Crawling

She's gone rogue people, and it's a scary thing. We have an 8-month old, crawling daughter. Pinch me, I love her. 

Enjoy your day! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sweet Corn Picking

Saturday was quite a day.

Why you ask? 

It was a day of corn. And I do mean a day of corn.

Up at the farm, Kelly's grandpa has always had a sweet corn patch. A giant sweet corn patch. They never sell the corn, it's just for friends and family to eat, eat, eat and eat some more. 

Saturday we decided it was time for our own little harvest to stock up for winter. We picked corn. We shucked corn. We cut corn. We froze corn. 

Then, you know what we did?

We grilled corn. And ate corn. 

Here are a few pictures from the day! 

Our handsome chauffer.

Baby carriers are the most awesome thing. She loves being in her carrier, walking around and looking at everything. Although you have to be careful because I definitely whacked her in the face with a corn stalk (!)

Kelly asked, "Why's her face all wet?" I hit her with a dewy cork stalk, alright?!

He loves nothing more than eating an ear of corn straight off the stalk. Weird, right?

A girl after her daddy's heart right there. 

Here was our haul.

And a close up, in case you didn't see clearly. Yes, we will be set on sweet corn for the winter - woohoo! 

Then we had to go up and show great-grandpa how she loved to mow down. Of course he got a kick out of it (that smile!). 

She went from no hands...

to both hands...

to all by herself! 

When we got home, I started shucking while Adalynn played on the floor. I've never liked corn (that is, until I started eating it fresh - what a difference!) so I wasn't the most adept at shucking. I'm kind of a gentle person by nature but about a quarter way through I was getting so frustrated. I finally learned you just have to rip those puppies down and off. Nothing gentle about it. Grab and rip.

All of a sudden, the weather alarm on Kelly's phone went off with a tornado warning. So we booked it to the basement. Then pops in my sister and I asked if she was aware there was a tornado or what in the world she was doing driving around. The sirens in town were going off, it was pretty erie. 

As soon as it was over, we went back outside and I forced her to help me cut, bag and freeze all of the corn from the day. All but 8, which we threw on the grill to go with our steak. It was a yummy dinner and well worth the work! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Zoo Adventures

Last Friday, Adalynn got to spend the day at the zoo with her sweet older cousin!

Kelly and I are zoo freaks. We love zoos. Any vacation we go on, we always try to make it to a zoo nearby. Our favorite so far has been the Omaha zoo.

We decided that Adalynn couldn't go her first year of life without visiting the zoo. I was a little bit bummed imagining hat she might not be able to actually see the animals or know what she was looking at, but was I pleasantly surprised!

We chose to go to John Ball Zoo, which is on the small side as far as zoos go, but it was the perfect zoo for her age. All of the animals were so close that there was no mistaking, she knew exactly what she was looking at. It was so neat to watch her watching them.

Close to the entrance is the aquarium, so the first exhibit we saw were the penguins. We rolled her stroller right up to the glass and the penguins were swimming just a couple feet in front of her face.

She did not like it. And it was hilarious. She looked at them...looked at me...looked back at them with a look of terror, then started crying.

No, I didn't just keep laughing (okay, maybe for a second), instead just grabbed her out of the stroller and she was much more content to watch them from my lap. Now her cousin on the other hand, he was loving them!

And tigers have the biggest heads I've ever seen. I would like to cuddle a tiger. You know, like a toothless one that's been declawed.

Here are a few pictures from the day...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fishing Tournament & A Lean-To

We had another pretty big weekend. Friday evening, Kelly & a few of his buddies started putting up the lean-to on the back of the pole barn. 

We have one too many vehicles and lawn mowers (three lawns mowers anyone?!) So this extra storage should cover at least a vehicle plus a bit. When it's finished, we'll finally be able to paint the back to match the rest of the pole barn, which should make our neighbors happy not to look at a mis-matched, puke green & white building anymore. 

Saturday and Sunday were spent in Saugatuck helping with a fishing tournament. It was a beautiful weekend spent with friends & family!

Here are a few pictures, if you're interested...

Monday, August 1, 2016

A Day at Mackinac

Last week, we decided on a whim to head up north. Kelly's brother lives about an hour away from Mackinac, so we stayed at his house in a cute little tourist town. 
Here are some pictures from our weekend, if you'd like to see...
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