We spent most of last week in Louisville, Kentucky at the North American International Livestock Expo.
We were planning to take 5 cows to Louisville, but the night before we left, we made the decision to keep two of the younger calves at home.
We knew it was going to be hard to repeat the success of last year, but we were determined to have fun no matter what. After the near fitter catastrophe of last year, we were concerned that Daniel and Nick getting 5 cows into the ring by themselves would make them lose out on the fun.
And....we all know when daddy ain't happy...nobody is happy.
It was the right decision.
It didn't take long after we arrived at the show before we knew that this year was going to be different.
Not only were there more participants this year, but the quality of cattle was phenomenal. There were very few cows that we wouldn't have gladly loaded in our trailer to bring home.
It just made us more determined to have the time of our lives. Louisville isn't usually one of our favorite shows, but we also know fun is determined by us...not by the circumstances or people around us.
We are really proud of our cows and they did well...but we didn't come home with any awards this year.
But...we had a great time together as a family (plus Nick).
Daniel commented over and over how nice it is that the boys are growing up and doing so much of the hard work.
All those years of instruction and following behind them to make sure things are done right is finally paying off.
The work was spread around and everyone had some down time.
The first two days were pretty relaxed with a few preparations mixed in with shopping, relaxing and fun.
And an attempt at a nap here and there.
For the cows too.
Show day finally arrived.
It was much less stressful than last year.
Everyone looked great.
I am especially fond of Isaac in that bright orange shirt...but maybe that is just mamma pride.
It was finally time for the boys to do what they love most.
I love watching them do their thing.
We couldn't have asked for better behavior from the cows. They did what they have been trained to do.
Each moment counts and Isaac is using the last few minutes to make some final adjustments to Ribbon.
This was her first show, but she did great and she has a bright future ahead of her.
This was a bitter-sweet show for him.
It was the last time for Isaac and Amber to be in the show ring together.
She is now out to pasture to become a great mamma cow.
Amber is Isaac's first calf and the very first calf that he got to help pull. She has always had a special place in his heart. He adores her and has a really hard time when anyone has anything bad to say about her. She isn't perfect (has anyone found that perfect cow yet?), but she is perfect in his eyes.
They have a special bond.
It was also Walker and Charity's last rodeo.
Nothing bothers Walker...and as you can see...he has no regrets.
They ended the year on a great note, and for once, he didn't come out of the ring mad at her.
Discussing strategies and giving last minute pointers.
I can honestly say we had a blast!
It doesn't matter that we didn't bring home any banners or buckles, because we came home with smiles and great memories.
I can't imagine this ride without my favorite guys.
These are the moments and memories that we will carry with us long after the boys are grown and away from home.
This year we learned that we create our own happiness. We cannot control what happens to us or what others do around us, but we can control the smiles on our faces.
I am so proud of Isaac, Walker and Daniel. They have all worked so hard to get to show on these green shavings. They have learned a lot of hard lessons, but these are the lessons that create great character. None of us are perfect, but I look at this picture and I see such growth and change in each one of them.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.