Friday, March 30, 2012

Semi-Finals 2012

Adrenaline rushes... I've had a few.  Whenever I was younger, dancing at a competition would give me one.  In the past few years, a few that stand out are the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, zip lining in the mountains, jumping in Lake Hillbegone, and the biggest was probably skydiving...
Anyway, the point is, I don't think I've ever had one quite like last Saturday.  Remember me talking about Semi-Finals? 
The hat looks awesome with the shirt
The day started out at 8 a.m. I got there and became completely overwhelmed.  Here I was thinking that Semi Finals was just for Ohio.  I was wrong.  Schools from Texas, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and more were all there trying to make their way to Nationals.  After calming myself down over that revelation, we drew horses (I got this little cutie named Janis).  And then we waited.  Forever. And ever.  I didn't show until 4:30.  It was a long morning. 

The highlight of the morning was being surprised by my friend Lauren.  She showed up to support me.  The coaches and she worked it out, and they actually surprised me!  It was cool.
There were 14 riders in my class.  They did 2 splits, and I just so happened to be in split B.  The top four riders of each split rode in the finals.  I had an awesome ride in my split.  When the judges finally announced who would be going to finals, my coach and a few others screamed!
This is us after they announced I moved on
We had to draw new horses, and I went from the fastest horse, to the slowest, named Butter.  We went into the show pen and did fine, until Butter 'broke' (i.e. stopped trotting) right in front of a judge.  So I kept going, knowing that I pretty much just gave myself 8th place.  I did my pattern, got off the horse and stood with the other riders. 
This is Butter
We all joked around and told each other about our rides.  I saw my team behind me, they looked happy.  I'm not sure I could say the same.  They announced 8th place, and surprisingly it wasn't me.  I turned around and our captain gave me thumbs up. I just shook my head.  They kept going and I ended up with fourth place.  I smiled and took it.  After all, fourth is a pretty darn good place in Semi-Finals.  But not good enough.  Only the top two went to Nationals... or so I thought.  I turned around and walked towards my team, shrugging and saying "I'll take it."
I've decided this is my favorite
picture ever at BGSU
Then the world got a lot more exciting.  My team was screaming and jumping and being obnoxious really.  Someone mouthed "You're going, You're going" and I just stopped and my mouth dropped. They took the top four!  And then I danced... haha. Lots of screaming, lots of jumping, lots of hugging.  It was awesome.  A small town girl just managed to make her way to Nationals. 
So cool
It's funny what happens when life just kind of hits you.  And when you tell everyone, including God that you're excited to be done.  He normally has different plans.  I'm not sure what He's up to, but I'm up for it.  It should be a fun ride.

My awesome support team

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Friday, March 23, 2012

In the saddle

I'm going to take a break from Jamaica trip stuff, but rest assured, we will return!  In the meantime, I've got to share with you the awesome news that happened last weekend!  
I currently ride with our school's equestrian team.  It's a fun, odd word that just means we ride horses :)  I do Western Horsemanship, and I joined the team last year after I fell in love with the sport at Marmon. 

The riders and our coaches
This year, I qualified for Regionals.  To me, it didn't seem that big of a deal, but I was excited nonetheless.  We had 5 riders qualify and ride at regionals last Saturday.  On the way there, I told Reece that I was excited for the show to be over because then I could stop worrying about showing and just ride.  I was super stoked to just go to a lesson and not have to totally worry about position and all the details and stuff. [[I guess I had my fair share of all the little detail work with ballet...]] 

This was right after
I got my medal
As if God wanted to prove a point, I ended up eating my words later that day...  Long story short, I placed second in my class, which dubbed me with the fancy title of "Reserve Champion" in the walk-trot class.  [[p.s. I now ride walk, trot, canter... but you show the class below at regionals... fun stuff.]] With that fanciness, I received a really cool headstall with my fancy title on it.  Kinda cool, but totally unexpected!

On top of all that, it meant I moved on to the next step... Semi-Finals!  Never did I think I would make it this far.  God is so good and I'm so blessed to be able to spend time with His amazing creatures.  They teach us so much and are just beautiful.  

Two wonderful coaches.  Thanks for everything!
This week I got to ride a lot thanks to the wonderful people in my region letting me ride with their team.  I've loved my time in this sport and while I don't know what will happen tomorrow [[oh yeah, semi-finals are tomorrow]] I am going to be so sad when it's over.  My coaches are great and I will definitely miss them and the team. 

And I say to them, thanks for the awesome ride! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Swimming in the Caribbean

I get to check another item off of my Day Zero list!!

#97. Swim in the ocean

(I mean technically, I swam in the sea, not the ocean, but it's close enough for me.)

Swimming in the Caribbean was cool (I kept quoting Pirates of the Caribbean the entire trip), but snorkeling in the sea was amazing.  Not only did we have an amazing guide, Ricardo, the sea was just so clear and full of life.  I held a sea urchin, all kinds of starfish, a conch, and got to see all kinds of things.  Living where I do, I get to enjoy all the hills and trees and beauty God put on this earth, but this is really the first time I saw the beauty He placed in our waters!

So pretty
Our guide, Ricardo

Conch Shell

Starfish we let go of

So cool to hold them

Once I got over the whole breathing
under water thing, I loved it!

Bring bread, Fish will come :)

Loved the flippers!

I figured you might enjoy seeing what we saw.  So awesome! And so cool to enjoy with my mom and grandma :)


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Liquid Sunshine

I have eight weeks left of college.  Which means I have already completed 128 weeks of college (give or take a day).  That is kind of crazy.  But it also means that I just got back from JAMAICA!!!  Yep, that's right, this girl went to Jamaica and fell in love with it.

Here's my top ten list of what exactly I fell in love with [from the top down]:

10 -  The sun
I love the sunbeam here!

9 -  Salt Water

8 -  Coconuts

7 -  84 degree weather

6 - The sand

5 -  Food, whenever I wanted it

4 -  Pina Coladas

3 - The Caribbean

2 -  The sunsets!

And most of all
The amazing people I met (I really miss them)

Any who, expect like fifty bazillion posts about Jamaica because it truly was amazing.  The people really were the best part, and I so can't wait to go back there.   For this one though, I leave you with this thought.  Down there it rains, and when it does, they tell you to enjoy the liquid sunshine. Imagine if we turned all of our negatives into positives like that?  How amazing would that be?  God is good.
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