*checks calendar* Apparently, yes.
Things have been a mixture of crazy busy and extremely not busy around here.
After New Year’s, the biggest thing was gearing up for the youth conference at the end of February. Said conference went really, really well. We had quite a few familiar faces and some new ones, and just about everyone got completely and thoroughly blasted. 😀
Things ended on a bit of a bittersweet note, though: during the last meeting, we got a phone call saying that my grandmother had passed away. That in itself wasn’t really a surprise; she hadn’t been doing well for the last several months and we knew it probably wouldn’t be much longer. Still, the timing could hardly have been worse. My mom had to go up to the nursing home and meet with her brothers to start the funeral arrangements, and the rest of us had to pack up and clean up by ourselves. This was when everyone proved how much of a family we’ve become: nearly everyone stayed and helped, and we finished in record time. They also prayed over us and loved on us, which was exactly what we needed. Breon (Sandrine’s boyfriend) was especially wonderful. He helped me stay awake and keep it together on the drive home: I’d been up and running around like mad since 6:00 that morning and I was wrecked. If I hadn’t already adopted him, I would have then. Breon, if you’re reading this, I love you, bro. 🙂
The funeral was March 1st, exactly three years after my grandfather passed away, appropriately enough. It was just a short graveside service and then we all gathered at my cousin’s house for some much-needed family time.
In horse-related news, I did a few more shows. Some went better than others (Naika can be a bit temperamental and some days I was not quite all there). I did manage to place fifth in one show, and I always took a boatload of pictures, with quite a few gems each time. I’ll post some of my favorites next time.
Also, if all goes well, at some point this summer I’ll get to take my Level 6 horsemanship test. I moved up to the Level 6-7 class a few months ago, and so far it’s been going pretty well.
May was probably the busiest month of all for me. We had a conference from the 4th to the 8th, and I missed the last day because I was flying out to the States for BJ’s wedding, which was on the 9th. Good thing said wedding was in the evening, because I’m not sure I would have been completely awake otherwise. Anyway, I made it, the wedding went well despite being moved indoors at the last minute because of rain, BJ and her new hubby Mike are very happy… all is well. 🙂
I spent 2 weeks in the States, and they went by insanely fast. I got to spend some time with Sandrine, which we both needed and thoroughly enjoyed. I got to help out at the barn she works at, which, while tiring, was a lot of fun. Like I told her, you know you’re a horse freak when you get excited about getting to clean stalls. 😉 We also went to see The Avengers (great movie) and I got to meet the family she’s staying with – and their pets. My mom flew in the week after I did, and we put together a belated birthday party for Sandrine. I have to say it was a little weird to be buying the cake this time instead of making it. At least I was able to find one that was not eligible for Cake Wrecks.
I also got to spend a good chunk of time with BJ’s family (they all adopted me years ago so really they’re my family now too), which was a lot of fun. I got to meet up with a few other friends as well, and just before I left I got to spend a day at the ranch. Even better, I got to ride in the Parade of Breeds that night, which I hadn’t gotten to do in years. Thanks, Marilyn! 😀
When I got back, I basically hit the ground running. Just a few days after I flew back in, I got drafted to help a friend of mine move up here from Nice (about a 600-mile round trip). I drove the U-Haul, which actually wasn’t nearly as tricky as I’d feared. Driving through a torrential rainstorm on the way down was a tad nerve-wracking, though, I will admit. But I managed, and she’s all nicely settled in now, just 10 minutes from here, which is nice. 🙂
The weekend after that, a group of us (mostly from the last youth conference) got together for some fun and fellowship, which was great.
Since then, it’s been fairly quiet around here, especially since Audrey’s in London now, working at the Olympics. Yes, you read that right, and yes, I am just a tad jealous. But just a tad. 😉
We’ve got another conference coming up this weekend, and despite being incredibly short-staffed this time around, I think it’s going to be great. 🙂
That’s what’s been going on, in a nutshell. Pictures coming soon. And I won’t leave you all hanging so long next time, I promise!