Home Sweet Home

Happy February everyone!

It’s been a while and my little family has been busy! After what seemed like FOREVER, we sold our home and moved to a horse ranch.The whole thing was not without drama/bank shenanigans (seriously, it seemed like everything that could go wrong did go wrong), but we finally had our moving day on the weekend of the 21st.

I’m beyond excited and can’t believe that I get to wake up there every day! In fact, my horse was out in one of the pastures for a few days, and he ran alongside my car when I left for work… it was the most surreal experience! I can’t believe this is my life now!

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Now that the drama of the move is over, we’re getting settled in.

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We absolutely love the home and the property! I can’t wait to make so many memories here and to spend every extra minute I can riding! The pups have a huge back yard and are loving running around and barking at the horses. Life is so dang good!

 

5th Anniversary “Road Trip”

Yes, I know it’s been forever. Life has been busy, and blogging has been at the bottom of the list.

Each year, in lieu of gifts for each other, Mike and I go on an adventure to celebrate our anniversary. We like the idea of having an experience together as a reminder of why we got married and why we stay married. We still kinda like each other.

This year was no different – we drove down to Springville where our good friends Chris and Kassie live. We spent the night at Kassie’s family’s ranch – a working roping ranch. It was so much fun to watch the cowboys (and girls!) practice their team roping – so different than the cow work we do! The adventure this year was to spend a few days at their cabin in the woods… like REALLY in the woods. In fact, there are three ways to get there: horseback, hiking, or helicopter. The boys chose to hike in (10 miles!) and since that long of a hike and riding are out of the question, I got to take my first ever helicopter ride with Kassie.

The chopper landed at the ranch and before I even had time to get nervous, we were in the air!img_1624

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Our pilot was amazing and talked me through everything. The cool thing about helicopters is that you don’t feel a lot of the pressure that you do on planes (you know, that roller coaster feeling in your belly). Instead, it’s just kind of like floating.

About 20 minutes later, we landed at 9,000 feet at the cabin and got to work setting everything up. The boys showed up a few hours later. The cabin has running water (plumbed from a nearby stream) and a generator to provide electricity. We used the various fireplaces to keep warm. It was so much fun to literally be out in the middle of nowhere!

The first full day there we went on a hike as a group. I was a little nervous about my knee, but it held out really well. I used trekking poles and took it nice and slow. We ended up at these beautiful lakes where we hung out, ate lunch, and watched a storm roll in.

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Almost every day we would do some sort of outdoors activity in the morning, come home for lunch, and nap in the afternoon. It was so relaxing!

On one of the last days there, Kassie and I decided to go stream fishing – something I’d never done! My daddy would be proud – I baited my own hook (worms), handled the fish I caught (four golden trout), and even cleaned one I couldn’t save when Kassie decided to eat it! It was so peaceful and beautiful out on the stream! We were proud of ourselves on our girls fishing trip!

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This was such a wonderful trip! There was so much time to just hang out and it was amazing to be where there was no phone, no cell service, no internet!

In Memorium: Father George Thomas

Yesterday the world lost a really cool guy – Father George Thomas. He’s been a friend of the Blankenheim family for years and a regular at our family barbecues, holidays, and events. Mike and I were blessed to have him marry us back in 2011.

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He was a wonderful man who gave his life to the church, serving as a priest for over 60 years. His little whistle always caught your attention. He had a great sense of humor and loved to just hang out.

Father George, you will be missed – thank you for everything! Requiem aeternam.

Merry Christmas!

We spent Christmas Eve with Mike’s side of the family. The normal tradition is Mass, followed by presents at Grandma’s, then presents at his parents. This year was a little bit different – we had some snow and a county-wide power outage, so Mass ended up being cancelled. We headed over to Grandma’s for the traditional hors d’oeuvres and presents. Here’s Grandma’s beautiful tree:

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And of course, some of my favorite Blankenheims:

Then we headed over to Mike’s parents house for more presents and one of my favorite traditions, wrapping paper wars. Everyone opens, balls up their wrapping paper, and then it’s all out war!

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Christmas morning is always fun for me… Shadow has always known what’s up and absolutely loves opening his presents. This year was no different, however, now we’ve added Brady to the mix. He’s not as enthusiastic about opening presents the way Shadow is, but he sure did love playing with his tennis balls once we helped him get them open!

We spent Christmas Day with my side of the family.

Our gift to the kids (along with Mama and Daddy) was a playhouse… the kids loved it!

Kati and Nate hosted this year and made some delicious prime rib (and even better au jus Nate!). Chloe even got to have some quality story time with Oma and Grandpa:

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And, of course, no Christmas is complete without a visit with your horse. He’s already torn two holes in his blanket (which was his Christmas present), so I’d say it’s a hit.

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Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Behind The Cellar Door

This past weekend Mike and I attended the Amador Vintners “Behind the Cellar Door” event. As we do every year, we rented one of those big white vans and had someone as the designated driver… they ONLY way to go in my humble opinion!

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Mike & I at Young’s Vineyard

We ended up at nine different vineyards: Sierra Ridge, Drytown Cellars, Young’s Vineyard, Terra d’Oro, Cooper Vineyards, Karmère Vineyards, Shenandoah Vineyards, Dobra Zemlja, and Borjon. I will say that after NINE stops, I had to go home and lay down… there is only so much wine a girl can drink! It was a blast!

A Most Excellent Day

Today is my 34th birthday… I can’t believe how quickly time goes by! Wow, how old does that make me sound?!

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how important spending time with the people I love is… and that’s what my whole day was about. I spent the morning with my awesome hubby getting our old truck sold, then headed out to go riding with my niece Katie. Her birthday was a while back and we’ve been waiting for good weather to go riding (that was our gift). Today was the big day… and it was a blast!

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Katie & I Riding
Katie & I Riding

Finally, I ended the night with my CERT friends… the coordinator team met up for an end of year dinner at Chevy’s. They surprised me with the whole sombrero/singing thing (honestly surprised… the waiter slapped it on my head from behind and scared the crap out of me!) and it was great to just share a meal together.

Tomorrow the festivities continue (I always seem to have more of a birthday week!) with a pizza oven extravaganza, after I ride with my sister (because it’s not a good day if I don’t get to ride!). Life is pretty darned good… here’s to enjoying every minute between now and 35!