Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Homemade Wedding Homestead-Style: All The Little Details

Yes, I'm finally getting back to the wedding posts. I was hoping to finish before our anniversary, but Hawaii commandeered my brain in the weeks before (and after) the trip.

Also, the yard project will soon be hitting stands, as the pictures have finally been processed and uploaded.

You all still with me?? Anyone black out for a minute there??

Goodness knows I almost did when I typed those words.


Now, onto the good stuff!

When planning weddings, brides/planners seem to OBSESS over the details. Details are a double-edged sword (in my opinion). They can make or break the event, but they can also make or break the bride/planner. Like every other aspect of our wedding, there were some details that were very important to me and others I couldn't have cared less about.

I'll start with the flowers. A family friend designed/arranged all the flower pieces for me. She did a flippin AMAZING job. The flowers came out EXACTLY like I wanted them to, but hadn't been able to clearly articulate. I had a very specific vision for the flowers; I wanted a very particular feel. However, I didn't care at all what actual flowers were used. Here's what she came up with:

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My bouquet, which you've all seen before.

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Maid of Honor's bouquet, same as mine only smaller, also tied with raffia.

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Cowboy H's bout, with a bit of raffia to tie in with my bouquet.

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Reception table centerpieces, again raffia.

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This metal "basket" already hung on this gate at the reception location. The gate marks the way to the barn. My florists filled it with this killer arrangement.

This old butter churn was found in my mother's kitchen; we didn't know exactly what we were going to do with it, but knew it needed to be part of an arrangement!
Photo by my cousin, Joelle.

I was very fortunate that my venue came with tons of cool details that completely added to the feel of our wedding. Here are a few of them:

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Wagon wheel chandeliers.

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An old door turned into a mirror hanging behind the bar displaying our names on playing cards.

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Non-alchoholic drinks in glass servers stationed on an old dresser with white string lights hanging behind.

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A handmade sign nailed to a piece of old farm equipment pointing the way.

There were also a few other details that I had my mind set on.

The baby photo boards:

Photo by my friend, Katie.

The handmade (by me!) signs:

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My beloved Menu board (also made by me). This is going in our backyard once we get our BBQ pit made.

Photo by my friend, Lauren.

My "Mr & Mrs" chair signs:

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And last but not least, my FAVORITE detail of all:

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Our horseshoe wedding favors. Did you read the tag? Yes, they all really were from Smoke Tree Stables, and yes, they all really were used. We had to hammer the nails out of and straighten every single one.

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So worth it. People loved them. I loved them. Cowboy H loved them… because they were free!

Up Next: One last photo shoot! (The end is finally here!)

If you missed anything, catch up here.

Unless otherwise noted, all photography credit goes to the always rockin' Applemoon Photography!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tears In My Eyes

Tonight, as a parent I experienced one of the proudest moments of my life. Seriously, my heart swelled in my chest and something became lodged in my throat.

You may or may not remember, but a little over a year ago, when we rescued The Hankster, he required a major orthopedic surgery.

Poor little guy was only 12 weeks old and he came home like this:



In the months (heck, the whole year) that followed, Cowboy H and I often questioned whether the surgery did any good. Occasionally, we considered having the entire leg amputated. For the longest time it seemed, Hank didn't even use the leg. It was just there, even in the way sometimes.

Eventually we realized that the leg was shorter than the other one. In the few weeks between his injury and the surgery, the blood supply to his femur had been compromised. For that period of time, Hank's right femur did not grow at the same rate as the other, making the leg a little stumpy. We're still not sure if he'll ever use the leg normally, despite the fact that he gets quite a bit of use out of it now.

In addition to having leg surgery, Hank was also neutered the same day. The combination of not using the leg and not having the male hormones made us wonder if he would ever stop squatting to pee.

Until tonight. Tonight, while running around at the park, Hank stood on his bad leg and lifted his good leg to pee on a pole.

I have never been prouder.

Never, ever in my life.

In other news, the winner of the "Name That Photo" contest has been decided.

The Desert Rose: "Redneck woman vacuums up two dogs..."

I seriously laughed out loud, because well, I wouldn't be surprised if I actually did vacuum up a dog someday.

Congrats Desert Rose! Take your pick of one of the following:

Bird and Flower


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Redneck Woman


Although, I suppose the fact that I am vacuuming disqualifies me from the redneck category.

What do you think?

Or better yet, what would you title this photo?

Most creative (i.e. the one that makes ME laugh the hardest) gets an original black and white 8x10!

Monday, May 17, 2010

ALOHA!!!! (Or My, Oh My, How I've Missed Y'all!)

I'm back! I'm back!

Of course, no one knew I was gone since I never bother to tell anyone anything anymore.

But, I'm back. I'm back online. I'm back to blogging (I promise). And I'm back from a whole entire week in Hawaii (with Cowboy H of course)!

I've written post after post in my head over the last several weeks and am finally going to get them published. I've got the yard project to update you on, I've got more pictures of Crow, I've got a plethora of prints from my photography class to share (and give away!), I've got the wedding recaps to wrap up, and most importantly, I've got our overdue Honeymoon to share now!

For now, enjoy this sneak-peek of the vacation and stay tuned for anything and everything else!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tag, I'm It!

Okay, so about three weeks ago now, I was "tagged" by both 'City Girl Turned Country Girl' at A&MD Ranch and 'Growing up a Country Girl' at Livin' It Up Country. The deal is this:

Post your tenth photo that you downloaded into photo folder or picaso and blog about it. Then tag 5 others to do the same.

Well, since I don't use picaso, and I have oh, about 50 photo folders, I had to improvise a little bit. So, I selected the very first photo folder on my desktop and picked the 10th photo out of it. Here ya go:


My handsome cowboy and his equally handsome new horse. This is the first trail ride Cowboy H took Crow out on since having him at our boarding ranch. You may remember that Cowboy H had ridden Crow several times elsewhere before we actually owned him. The evening was just beautiful. The blue of the sky and green of the grass were amazingly vibrant. The photo is completely untouched; the colors really were that bright. It ended up being a pretty nice "first" ride.

And so, I have to tag a few of you now, most of you whom have probably already been tagged by others I'm sure. I pick:

Choleesa at Choleesa's World
The Desert Rose at JessesDesertRose
Stephanie at Momma's Soapbox
Cousin B at She Who Rides Many Ponies

I'm only tagging four, because I really want to tag Pony Girl, who apparently QUIT this blogging thing. So, in mourning, I'm leaving an empty spot for her and Pony Girl Rides Again.

P.S. Maria decidedly approves of Crow, if judged by her, ahem, forward behavior towards him on our ride. Seriously, she was rubbing herself all over the poor guy. Yes, I have a hussy of a horse.

P.P.S. Sorry for not linking to all the blogs I mentioned, but its midnight, I have to get up at 6 am and I think you all know who each other is. If not, all the blogs can be found on my side bar.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

MIA No More

HOLY MOLY! How long have I been MIA? Long enough for a few of you to actually worry about me! (BTW, thanks, that makes me feel so special and loved!)

Right now, I'm sitting in the treatment area of my vet clinic, having FINALLY logged onto my computer (and the internet) for the first time in over a week. Yes, over a week! I had 150 new messages in my email box. That, I swear, is not an exaggeration.

(Of course, I'm on my lunch break. No time for internet during work hours here!)

Phewy, things have been busy. First of all, I started my "new" full-time job last Monday. Secondly, we completed the yard project. Third, I have been hitting the gym four or five times a week instead of the usual three. Fourth, I'm still in my photography class, which takes up my Tuesday and Thursday nights. Lastly, I caught a major case of Spring Fever (its going around you know, have you caught it yet?) and was spending every free minute (yes, there are a few!) cleaning out closets and drawers, washing all the bedding and blankets and scrubbing showers and tubs. It just might be an understatement to say we're a little busy at The Homestead.

But, we're still alive!

My appearance in blog-land will most likely continue to be sporadic for the next week or so; I'm still trying to find a new weekly routine. But I assure you I'm still here. Obviously, I've got a lot to share!

Oh yeah, those of you who tagged me regarding some photos, can you please send me an email with the details? Yes! I want to participate, but I've been out of the loop for so long now I missed your original posts that you tagged me in! And, I'm so flattered to have been tagged. Thanks!

Monday, March 29, 2010


At approximately 8:03 this morning, this is what my driveway looked like:


I promise I'll connect the dots soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Week To Go...

I have so much blogging material floating around in my head, I can't keep it all straight. Things have been busy, busy, busy around The Homestead.

First, and foremost, and most importantly, I am quitting my job. Or rather, I already have, but my last day is next Friday. That's right, folks, one week to go.

It's very difficult for me to write about this, because, well, I really do love my job. In theory. But in reality, in execution, I hate it. My boss has worn my thin and I am about to my breaking point. And I don't want a job to break me, so I'm moving on.

I was offered a full-time position at the animal hospital I work (as a vet tech) and have decided to pursue that route. I've have been "teching" for 5 years, on and off, and the more time I spend away from it, or the less time I spend actually doing it, the more I miss it. The more I realize how much I LOVE it. That's it, I love teching.

I also recently learned that I can apply to take my Registered Veterinary Technicians licensing test, without having to go back to school. Since I have a bachelor's degree in Animal Science, Pre-Vet (my original plan was to go to Vet School) and I have loads of hours experience actually teching, all I have to do is turn in my application, get approved, and pass the test. IF all that pans out, and I do pass, I will be a RVT, basically a registered nurse for animals. I never, ever considered going the tech route because they don't make a whole lot for how hard they work, but if you love it, that's all that matters. This I have figured out.

So, starting April 5, I will have a different full-time job, and will be taking a significant pay cut. Which sucks, but its not the end of the world. We may not be able to put as much money into savings each month, and we may not be able to work on the house anymore, but the bills will still get paid. The upside is, if I do get licensed, I will get a significant pay increase, which will put me almost back to where I am now, and I will actually be enjoying my job!

The impending pay cut brings me to our in-progress yard project. Before our extra money runs out, Cowboy H wants to overhaul the yard. So, last weekend we started. We haven't finished yet, but hey, its a work in progress. I have taken lots of photos, I have fallen on my butt, and I have killed my lawn. You will be updated as soon as possible.

Another thing buzzing around in my head is my Photography Class. Our assignment for this week (given out last week) was to take Self-Portraits. But not any old self-portraits; these were self-portraits of WHAT WE ARE NOT. My fabulous friend Choleesa who has her own crazy world, upon hearing the assignment, turned to me and said, "Well, if there's one thing I'm NOT, its a cowgirl". So, last weekend we made her a cowgirl. And My Maria modeled along with her.

Since we are still in the film half of this class, I don't have immediate images of our little "photo shoot" but we did develop our film last night and ohmygoshtheyrockoutofthisworld!!!! Since they are Choleesa's photos (I just directed the shoot and took them) you will have to go to her world to check them out, once we get them developed, but DON'T MISS THEM. The butt shots are exceptional. And Maria looks pretty good, too. My self-portraits were not as exciting, but fun anyways. I was a "professional career woman", you know, pant suit, black pumps and briefcase. When we get them printed, I'll give you a peek.

Okay, I think that's enough words and not enough photos, but I haven't had time. I've taken them, just not processed and uploaded them yet. I promise they will be coming. Please don't stop loving me over this one long-winded post.

Oh, and lastly, the dogs dug their way out of their run last night. These two, I swear. The funny thing is once they got out, they couldn't get back in, so they were without food and water for who knows how long. Serves the little suckers right. All I can say is at least we're tearing out the backyard right now anyway! I guess they were just doing their fair share of the manual labor.

Yeah, that's it. They're such good little doggies they were just trying to help!

See ya on the other side (if you're still around)!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Text Message I Sent Cowboy H

Let me give you a little back-story first. As y'all probably know by now Hank loves Cowboy H. I mean loves him. When I let the dogs back in the house after their morning potty-break, if Cowboy H is not awake and walking around, Hank runs around the bed, looking to see if he's still there. Then, if he sees or hears him still in bed, he runs around the bed even more, trying his hardest with his three little good legs to get in bed with Cowboy H.

This morning, Cowboy H left early this morning right after putting the dogs out. When I let them in later in the morning, I had pulled the covers up on the bed, so it really looked like someone was still in bed. Hank came running in and started jumping up on the bed, crying and well, looking for his dad. It killed me!

So I sent Cowboy H this text message:

Hank misses his dad
"Dad please come home. i miss you. i looked for you in bed and you weren't there"

Ahahaha, I crack myself up. Seriously, who does this crap?

Please, if you are guilty of sending text messages on behalf of your pet, 'fess up. We may need to seek help together.

Welcome To My Life, Ed. 3 Vol III

Last night, Huey swiped an ENTIRE piece of pizza off Cowboy H's plate AND snarfed the WHOLE thing before either of us even knew it was gone.

Seriously. Nobody even saw it happen.

It was hilarious. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe.

The funniest part was, Cowboy H trying to blame me for stealing his pizza because I had no idea what he was talking about.

HEY! Where'd my? Did you? I had four pieces!

For probably the first time ever, Hank was sitting innocently at my feet.

And Huey? He was hiding behind the couch, licking his chops, all evidence properly destroyed by the time we figured out what happened.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Second Shooter

During our big ride with the Desert Rose a few weeks ago, I did hand off the camera for a little while. In case you didn't know, Cowboy H is a budding photographer himself, and if I were to ever start a wedding photography business (I won't) he would be my second shooter.

Seriously. There is just something about his images. He has an instinctual ability to capture the true essence of his subjects, to really bring out their best.

That day, he managed to capture a side of me rarely seen:


My grace.


My beauty.


My class.


My elegance.

*Sigh* They're all so beautiful, I just can't decide which one to blow up and put on the wall.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh My.

This is what my front yard looked like at approximately 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon:


And this is what my backyard looked like at approximately 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon:


All I can say is, no tornadoes were involved in the making of this post.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Homemade Wedding Homestead-Style: Dance! Dance! Dance!

There were three (or four) very important factors to Cowboy H and I in regards to our wedding. One was that the food be amazing. Check. Another was that everything have meaning to us, i.e. not doing something just because its "tradition". Check. Third, we really wanted that down-home, casual, relaxed, spontaneous atmosphere. Check.

And, lastly, we wanted a rockin' dance party!

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Our swing dance pretty much set the tone, and pretty soon the dance floor was hopping.

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Cowboy H and I danced and danced. I actually was able to two-step around the entire dance floor without screwing up. It was amazing. The two-step is not my strong suit.

Pretty soon my dad sidled up to me and stated, "Everyone says we need to dance together."

So, you're all thinking, Wha?! No father-daughter dance?! Well, I actually had a song all picked out, and I asked my dad, "Do you want to do a father-daughter dance?" And he replied, "No, I don't think we need to. I mean, you're already married, its not like this is the real thing." So, father-daughter dance was scratched. Or so we thought.

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I don't even remember what song the band played, but I know it was a good one. For your information, I had picked out "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" sung by Judy Garland since Wizard of Oz is my dad's favorite movie.

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No matter, I'm really glad we danced together after all, even if my dad is a horrible dancer.

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Photo by my Nina

It was a pretty sweet moment. And pretty soon a bunch of sets of 'father-daughers' joined us. I loved it.

At some point, Cowboy H was caught dancing with his mom, even though we didn't do an "official" mother-son dance.

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Photo by my Nina

Even though they weren't planned, I'm glad we got all these special moments captured.

Because, pretty soon, we were back to tearing up the dance floor.

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Up Next: All The Details

(I swear, I'm almost done, but if you missed anything, check it all out here.)

All images by Applemoon Photography unless otherwise noted!

Friday, March 19, 2010

And We Said Goodbye


Its been two weeks since we said goodbye to Bella, and well, I kinda miss her.


I'll be honest with y'all, I never really bonded with her, but by the time she left us I had really come to appreciate what a nice little horse she was.


She became probably one of the best trail horses I've ever come across. Nothing, and I mean nothing fazed her. You could always depend on her to cross the water, or the bridge, or the ravine, or the whatever when no other horse wanted to.


Saying goodbye to her was bittersweet, to say the least. I know without a doubt, without the slightest bit of doubt, that she has an even better home than Cowboy H and I were giving her.


But still, I can't say that there weren't a few choked up throats when we loaded her into the trailer.


I mean, its not like we were crying or anything. Geez, cum'on guys.


I swear! I didn't shed a single tear.


Okay, okay. I may have sniffled a little bit.


Especially when Cowboy H gave his final goodbye.