Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January - A Whirlwind of Legends

Well, as promised, here is my first of the "monthly" blog posts. We'll see how they feel, right? This one seems enormous! And if the start of the year is any indication of the next eleven months, then time will be very sparse. January was a serious whirlwind from start to finish! We ended December with Britt breaking his wrist, although we didn't know that he did (more on that later). Above is a picture of Britt and Brailey on New Year's Eve - one kid went out on the town (with her dad to the Hoof N Holler) and the other kid stayed home with his mother.
The weather was actually nice for a day or two in the beginning of January. Brailey and Brady had a big time riding around in our arena. The sun felt so good! I was trying to be creative with my camera. Alvin has the cutest face in all the land, doesn't he?
And while those two B's were riding, Britt was trying to shoot with his left hand. He got a new hoop for Christmas, but sadly he hasn't been able to use it much. He broke his wrist on December 30th, in the evening. He was playing so dang good with his club team and finally getting the opportunity to figure things out. He has an amazing coach, and we are so thrilled Britt landed on his team. He knows just what Britt needs - experience and confidence. Britt had just made a foul shot, and they were winning a close game, when a teammate accidentally tripped him and he fell backwards onto his wrist. I knew the second he fell that he had hurt himself badly. I saw the look of pain on his face and somehow I just knew. He tried to continue playing, but he had to come out before long. This moment changed the momentum of the game, and they ended up losing, which was good and bad - bad to lose, of course, but good to see that Britt's presence in the game made a difference. Anyway, long story short, we took him to the doctor on New Year's Eve first thing in the morning for x-rays. The doctor didn't see anything, so we were feeling very relieved. He gave him a brace to wear until the "sprain" healed.
In the meantime, Brady and I prepared for our travels to Denver for Market. For me, this meant cleaning the entire house from top to bottom (not really, but it felt like it), doing loads upon loads of laundry, packing and making sure the kids and their babysitter had food, a schedule and a list of chores. Suffice to say this was a very busy time for me. Because my birthday fell on the Wednesday of Market, we celebrated with lunch at Texas Roadhouse over the weekend prior, which is where you see Britt and I above. And below is a fun picture of Brailey and Rosin from later that same day. For a blind, deaf pug, she is still happy and well-loved.
Brailey has been riding every second she can. She made sure to ride every day before Brady and I left for Denver. We don't let her ride unless someone is home. She thinks we are overprotective.
And that brings us to Denver and my birthday, which was spent in sales meetings for both of us. It was not a great birthday, that is for sure, but it was still a good day. It was my first birthday away from my babies since they were born, so that was a bit different. But at least I had my honey with me, and I did receive a lot of wonderful texts and two very special Instagram posts. But overall, it was a day to sort of find my groove as a "real" sales rep.
Below is Day One of Market in the morning at the Tony Lama/Nocona booth - I dropped these guys off on my way to my own booth. The guy in the red tie is a living legend, Bob Logue (been to the national finals a pile of times!). He is a wonderful, special man, and a lot of fun to be around. He used to work for Montana Silversmiths and he is one heck of a good salesman, let me tell you! He took great care of Brady and I at Market, giving us Vitamin C and Emergen C and Epson Salt for my aching feet. Brady and I are Bob's biggest fans!
And in the Montana Silversmiths booth, who appeared but none other than World Champion Tuf Cooper, another living legend. He was picking up his gorgeous World Champion buckle (fun fact for some of you who don't know - Montana Silversmiths makes all the buckles for the NFR, including the world champion buckles). I made sure to get a picture for Brailey, who would love to meet Mr. Cooper. He was super sweet! I actually saw him a couple of days later and talked "jeans" with him. He is a class act, no doubt about it.
And who to my adoring eyes should appear but another legend, my own husband, also in the Montana booth! It was fun for both of us to be there with our different lines. He is pictured with one of our Texas reps, David Stevens. Everyone from Montana Silversmiths was so happy to see Brady. He is well loved!
And by the way, we are now on Day 2 of Market. Are you with me?
I was so lucky to get to help some of the state Miss Rodeo queens and other queens and princesses, as well, pick out their jewelry. I love helping them!
If you don't know who Dale Brisby is (ol' son!), then you should look him up, because he is the biggest talent going right now. He is a social media super star, a comedian and an entrepreneur. Brady met him a few times at the NFR, and so Brady introduced our marketing director, Judy Wagner (who is ANOTHER living legend, let me tell you!) and I to him while he was in the Panhandle Slim booth. He is such a gentleman! Judy got to see him speak at the Western Summit at Market, and she was  very impressed. Look him up - he has an amazing line of clothes and he is funnier than funny. I am so happy I got to meet him, "yeah boy cowboy!"
I was also really happy to meet my northwest queens, Miss Alaska and Miss Oregon! My time with them was so much fun! Standing to my right is last year's Miss Rodeo Oregon, Kayla Vincent. What a doll she is! And to her right is another queen from 2017, but I can't remember from which state. This was a really fun moment in time. But then again, all the rodeo royalty is fun! I love their positive attitudes and energy.
Day 3 of Market - notice the change of clothes. Ha! The only flies in the ointment of my market fun were my feet. I wore my most comfortable shoes, but I was on my feet so much, they swelled and hurt like crazy. I have never had my feet hurt so badly as they did! But I survived, so what can we say? I wasn't the only one with sore feet, so at least I was in good company. And Bob's Epson salts did wonders for me near the end!
The plan for my birthday gift was for me to go shopping at Market. I was so busy, I didn't have time to do this, sadly. But I did take a few minutes to check on my friends in the Tony Lama/Nocona booth. They have some seriously handsome cowboys, don't they?
And back to more queens and princesses and below, one of my favorite people, Montana Silversmith's Callie Adams. She is a new mom and so beautiful, inside and out. I said, "We'll call this a picture of an old mom and a new mom!"
Brady came up to our booth at the end of this day, and I wasn't sure why. I was ready to go, but he was visiting and so I just went with the flow. Below, he is with Brad Tucker, his first friend from Montana Silversmiths. I soon discovered why Brady was there - my sweet boss had his beautiful wife bring a birthday cake and flowers. All of a sudden, everyone started singing Happy Birthday to Brad and I, and they brought out a cake with candles and the flowers. It was so sweet! The candles didn't blow out - my first experience with trick candles. So Brad and I are birthday buddies, as his birthday is every year at Market, also. My boss may be an army veteran who is tougher than nails and looks like a bull dogger or a WWE wrestler, but he has a heart of gold!
Below you see my boss, Jade Opfer, and his wife Stacey. They are the cutest couple and actually live in Denver.
And then I got to come home - hooray! Brady had to stay until the end, but I was lucky and got to come home on Sunday.
I was so happy to see my B's, even though I knew they were in good hands. They helped me get groceries and then we went out to lunch. It was so great to be with them!
The next day after I got home, I was finally able to take Britt to the doctor. Let's go back in time.... On the Thursday before Brady and I had to leave for Market, Britt came home from practice and told me his wrist had a clicking in it when he moved it to shoot the ball. An alarm went off in my head, and I realized the radiologist had never called me with the results of his x-ray. The doctor didn't think it was broken, but he said the radiologist would read the x-rays and call us with the results. So I called the doctor's office and was informed that yes, Britt's wrist did appear to be broken. Because Brady and I were leaving, we had to get an appointment for the Monday I got back. Britt was anticipating that he would be released to play with this middle school team at this visit. To give you a bit more background, Britt is on two teams, his club team and his middle school team. The middle school team has a very short season. And Britt's first game was the Wednesday after I got back from Denver. So to say he was disappointed the doctor didn't release him is a huge understatement. We had more x-rays done, and it was discovered to be a pretty bad break. This was not the news Britt wanted to hear.
And so we were referred to sports doctor. He also did not give Britt the news he wanted to hear, and put him in a fancy cast for two more weeks. He explained to Britt that it was a bad break, and normally he would treat it with an elbow cast. He wished we had seen him right away. It turns out Britt actually permanently damaged his wrist, but should be able to use it normally. This cast was locked into place, and although he still went to practice and did what he could, Britt's basketball was pretty limited. I will admit to you there were quite a few tears shed after this doctor visit (not by me, although my heart was broken for my boy). Britt had felt sure that a sports doctor would understand his situation and that he would be released to play.
In the meantime, during the two weeks he was in his cast, he got his braces off! He looks so much older and more handsome than ever. For a sweet mama's boy, he sure is easy on the eyes, isn't he?
And in other news, Brailey went to her first dance at Harrisburg! It was a Winter Formal, and this is the "after" picture. She had an amazing time! Although it was a leap of faith for Brady and I, we let her get ready at another girl's house with a few of her friends, and then they went to dinner in Eugene and came back out to the dance. It is difficult not to know any of the kids or parents, but we have faith in Brailey's judgment, so we let her go and said some prayers that she would be smart and safe. The other problem with this is that I didn't get any good pictures. But we are so happy she had fun and loves her new school. Harrisburg has been the biggest blessing!
And that brings us to last week! More cleaning like a mad woman and preparations for the kiddos.  Brady and I spent the week in the Seattle area. The main reason for the trip was to set up the new Coastal store in Marysville. We drove by the truck above with their new store sign on I-5 - is that funny?! We sent this to our Coastal buyers, and this photo was sent to everyone at Coastal. So fun! When we arrived at Coastal the next day, the regional manager said, "Was that you guys who took that picture?" Everyone loved it!
There were two cases to be set up. Unfortunately, one of them had broken glass. But luckily, our assistant sales manager had new glass sent right away, so we rearranged our schedules and finished the second case on our way home at the end of the week.
And this is a glimpse into the life of a an amazing boot salesman. He is so fun to watch! These buyers have become his friends, and he truly loves them all, and they love him, too. Friends for life!
Another legend, let me tell you! Lance Brewer (on the left) owns Beth West Western Store, and he is a bareback rider from Brady's era and knows a thing or two about boots and hats and buckles and anything he sells in this store. He and Brady have a big time selling to customers, and they sold both Noconas and Tony Lamas while Brady was there. We didn't leave this store until after eleven at night. It was a very long day, but a fun one.
On our second to last day, we found ourselves two miles from the Canadian border. See those beautiful mountains in the background? Those are the Canadian Cascades. 
On Tuesday night, I came down with a cold. It was a nasty, nasty cold. Brady had been sick the weekend before this trip with the flu. I didn't catch his flu, but it has been the worst cold I've had in years, and frankly, I prefer the flu to a cold - better to be sick and get it over with than have a cold drag on for days. By the end of our trip, I was feeling pretty ragged.
The table the Montana Silversmiths samples are sitting on is also a Montana Silversmiths item. They used to sell these many years ago. It looks great in this store! And it worked perfectly for showing the samples.
And wah-lah! The Coastal cases, finally done! They turned out really well, and I am so happy we were able to finish them. Below I am with the merchandiser, Marika - she is the sweetest lady and so good at what she does.
Finally, on Friday, we made it home! Home-sweet-home-sweet-home! After Britt's basketball practice, we grabbed a couple movies, which we haven't done for years. It was the perfect weekend to watch movies. Not only did we enjoy the two we got, but on Sunday, The Blind Side came on TV, which was the best one of all! I have always wanted to see that one, and we all enjoyed it immensely. We rarely sit and watch movies, so it was a real treat for us. Maybe it was because I was sick, or maybe it was because life has been a little busy, but I cried through almost the entire movie. I can't wait to see it again! What an amazing story, and to know that it is true just really hits my heartstrings.
On Sunday, we had some amazing weather. Of course Brailey was riding, and I wanted a little fresh air. It was tee shirt weather - so nice! And check out the discovery I made on my way up to the arena - daffodils growing through the hard gravel. How do they do it? They are amazing and hearty flowers.
And that brings us to the end of our whirlwind, all the way to Tuesday the 30th. Britt had his two week check up on his wrist, and this time he got the news he wanted. Although his wrist is only 75% healed, after persuading his doctor, he was released to play basketball with a taped wrist. If it was just his club season, Brady and I would make him wait another two weeks. But that isn't the case. This team is so important to him, and he only has one month left with them, and not very many games. So we are praying for the best, hoping he will continue to heal and get strong and not fall on it. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, right? And our gut is telling us to let him play.
And so on the last day of the month, he had his first game with his middle school team, which will be his future high school team. He got his uniform when Brady and I were in Denver, and he was so excited to be number 33, the same as one of his favorite NBA players, Zach Collins of the Blazers, who played for Gonzaga last year. There is even an American flag on the back of these jerseys - they are really nice! The first thing he did when I got home from Market was get out his uniform and show it to me - this included a modeling session of the uniform. He loves it! 
 And he did great in his game! His knees actually bothered him more than his wrist, he said. He was so happy to be playing again! He was also a bit nervous and a little rusty, but it all started coming back to him, and he ended up making the most points on the team in this game. He will be back in shape in no time at all, and one thing is for sure, he is ready to do the work.
 This is the first time he has jumped for the ball since he was in sixth grade - he did great!
The cheerleaders were so darling! It was fun to see them do their thing. I could only imagine how much Brailey would have enjoyed this as a middle schooler. We love this small school atmosphere!
Brailey was so proud of her little brother. And it was great to see him so happy! Number 33 did us proud! And so did Brailey Shaye-Shaye - she won three awards in an assembly at school. What a superstar! She got a "Purple Heart" award from her science teacher for being an excellent student, had perfect attendance, and received recognition for her 4.0 GPA. Proud doesn't begin to cover it!
So the whirlwind month has come to a close, and we are ready to see what February has in store for us. It has one thing we know for sure - Britt's 14th birthday. Stay tuned for next month's adventures!

No comments:

Post a Comment

April - Here and Gone in the Blink of an Eye

It seems crazy to think Easter Sunday was on April Fool's Day this year, but it totally was. We started our Easter at mass with our fa...