Sunday, July 29, 2018

Saddle Up WOW

What seems like forever ago, the girls applied for several horseback riding camps. Girl Scouts has a program called Destinations, which has some of the most amazing travel opportunities. The brunette twin wanted to go away to horseback riding camp. We found three options with different horseback riding programs. The girls applied to all three.

We waited impatiently for the emails letting us know if the girls were accepted to any of the camps. Their third choice came back with an acceptance at the deadline. We waited to hear from the other two. Finally their first choice asked if they wanted to attend. We immediately accepted and sent a deposit check.

Six months later, we were dropping the girls at camp. It was set on a beautiful Tennessee property that seemed endless. The camp director gave us a tour as we were the first ones to arrive. I'm not sure they were quite ready when we showed up.

A generous donor provided the money needed to create the director's dream camp. She was able to work with the donors, architects, builders, etc. from the very beginning. Her vision was amazing.

The bunkhouse had rooms for the girls, camp counselors and camp director. The bathroom was large, new and right across the hall from the girls' bunk room. There was a kitchen, meeting room/dining room and cubbies for the girls' riding helmets/boots. There was also a large room with riding boots and helmets, just in case anyone needed to borrow something.

The barn held 40 horses. We learned during our tour that country superstar Amy Grant donated some horses. The arena was larger than any we had ever seen. It was really an amazing arena. 

We headed to the bunkhouse to set-up the girls' beds. We learned that there were only seven girls who were attending camp. The director said they wanted to do some advance horsemanship so they needed girls who could ride at a high level. 

After we set-up their beds, we toured the barn. A woman whose camp nickname was Blueberry walked us through the barn, explaining each horse along the way. Blueberry told funny stories about each horse. She was so animated that her excitement spread to everyone else around her.

We said good bye without any tears. I almost cried when the blond twin told me she was going to miss us. I managed to remind her that she could call or text any time while I blinked back tears. She didn't see me blinking away the tears, which kept us both from just crying.

As we drove away from camp, we were so excited for the girls. When you apply for camp, all you really know is what you read in the description and see in the pictures. There were some videos showing the camp facilities and horses. It all looked like something they girls would like. It was so much more than we had hoped. Now we just waited to hear their stories. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

A Megapass to Fun

Our annual Friendship Festival marks summer's social high point. The girls make plans for days with friends. They plan outfits, back-up outfits and back-up, back-up outfits. They make arrangements to meet friends, gossip about boys who might attend and plot their ride priorities. 

Four nights of fun whiz by in a split second. This year they went by themselves. We dropped them at a designated location and picked-up everyone at the same spot. There was a rotating group that ended up in the car. The girls were always asking if we could take a friend home. Of course we said yes. 

As the planning and driving and changed plans started to wear on us, I reminded Daddy that we only had one more year of driving. They wouldn't need us soon, so we needed to enjoy this time while we had it. I liked picking up the  girls and their friends. They were always so chatty, filled with stories and teen angst. I hope when they think of these days, they remember the laughter and stories and know that these moments are how childhood memories become family stories.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Ready, set, GO

Our lives have been a whirlwind of basketball camp, golf lessons, horseback riding, graduation parties, summer concerts and sleep. Yes, somehow the girls have managed to sleep until Noon many, many days. 

When the girls were little, people would tell us that someday they would sleep all day if we'd let them. We always just smiled that tired smile people give when they really don't believe you. Yet, this past year, it really happened.

Some days they only get out of bed because we force them to do it. Some days they get out of bed, go to an activity and then take a nap. It's really funny to watch them talk about how tired they are after sleeping for twelve hours. It's how summer should be for teenagers. 

We recently saw a friend whose daughter is headed to UCLA this fall. She said that she wasn't doing anything this summer. She was sleeping late, hanging out with friends and sleeping some more. As she rightly pointed out, the summer between high school graduation and freshman year of college was her last opportunity to be an irresponsible teenager. Once she started college, she'd be competing for internships, research projects and other "adult things." 

The girls are just starting high school, but we see those things in their future as well. This summer is their opportunity to have fun before the rush starts in a few weeks.