4th of July Sunset

A Reminder to Live

I believe that everything that happens has meaning and purpose. I believe God set this universe into motion and continues to work through every detail of it. I believe he is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives in an effort to bring each and every one of us into a relationship with Him.

A Day in the Life of a Ranch Babe

Have you ever wondered what goes on at a North Idaho guest ranch during the unpredictable month of March? Through rain, snow, hail or sunshine, the ranch-hands continue their work on the ranch. Follow Emily through her day and learn just what a ranch babe does to help the ranch prepare for spring.

Emily starts the day out by helping Grandma to make beds in the guest rooms.  She makes sure the quilts are  on exactly the way she wants.
The ladies who come for quilting retreats need some help too.  Emily loves to help them sew.

Next, its time to head to the barn to ride horses.  This time of year, everyone is riding horses to prepare them for the summer guest ranch season and the young horses are getting a refresher course.  All the action takes place in the indoor arena because everywhere else is covered in snow, ice or mud.  Emily likes to supervise the riders, dogs, and cats from the hay stack.
The horses stand in the alley, waiting patiently to be ridden.  This is Chance sporting Emily’s saddle. Yes, that’s a big horse (16.2+ hh) and yes that’s a tiny saddle (8″ seat).

When she is not supervising or riding, Emily is just outside the barn checking the mud levels.  
All that work tuckers a girl out! After a quick lunch break, Emily is ready for a nap.  Anywhere will do, even the kitchen counter is a good spot to catch some z’s.

After lunch, the sun is out so its back to the haystack to supervise the cat and soak up some much needed vitamin D.
Now its Emily’s turn to ride! She loves to ride with grandma and tell the horse exactly what to do.  “Walk, trot, whoooooooaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, walk, whoooooooaaaaaaaahhhhh, trot”,  she tells Blue.

Blue is nice, but Chance is warm and comfy.  There is no better place to rest your head.

By the end of the day, this ranch babe is worn out.  A bag full of horse blankets in the tack room makes a nice place to rest.

Isaac and Libby’s Wedding

On September 10, 2011, Isaac and Libby tied the knot! For those of you who don’t know, Isaac is my little brother. Their beautiful, country wedding (complete with a tractor) even made it into the Spokesman Review. Rather than spend several pages describing the beauty and uniquness of the wedding, below I have shared several of my favorite pictures to tell the story.

I just had to share this picture of my little girl, Emily. She was the flower girl.


Emily Joy Otis is here!

For all of you who have been waiting to hear the update on Emily and I, here it is.

On November 30, Landon and I headed to the Labor and Delivery wing at the Bonner General Hospital to begin my scheduled induction one week past my due date. Since Emily wasn’t showing any signs of entering the world on her own, we were having her evicted. We spent all of Monday at the hospital with me on a drug to help get things rolling. I had just enough contractions to make me very uncomfortable for our overnight stay at the hospital but not enough to encourage Emily to come meet us.
Tuesday at 11:00am they decided to start the pitocin. By 1:30pm the contractions were bad enough that I decided

to plan ahead and ask for my epidural knowing it would take about an hour before the anesthesiologist could get to me. Two hours later I was more than a little frustrated that I had not gotten the epidural yet, however by 4:00 I was resting comfortably and unable to feel the increasingly strong contractions. You know the feeling of being under a bunch of really

heavy, warm blankets? Well that’s what it felt like. I have decided people should get epidurals just as a relaxation tool. Epidurals are pretty much amazing. At 6:30 pm the doctor came in and announced that I was ready to have this baby. The doctor exited the room to take a phone call and I tried to pull myself from my two hour long relaxation period and come to the realization that I was about to meet my little girl. To say that I pushed for 5 minutes would be an exaggeration. At 6:43pm Emily came into the world. She weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 21 inches long.
Emily is beautiful! Landon and I spent the next two nights in the hospital recovering and getting to know our little girl. Landon is absolutely loving being a Dad. While

we were in the hospital he commented that having Emily made him feel like he either wanted to have five more, or only Emily so she could be extra special. He couldn’t decide. He was like super dad while we were there. I did not change one diaper! Even my grandpa was impressed with the way Landon cared for Emily. The first night, he stayed up most of the night just to watch over her and make sure she was okay. He is amazing!
She is now 6 days old and is still doing great. Landon and I are suffering from a little lack of sleep but still going strong.
Thank you to everyone who has visited us and given Emily gifts. Your support is wonderful!

Grounded

I have been grounded!

It has been 70 days since I last rode a horse. One thousand, six hundred and eighty hours since I have sat astride the most magnificent beast ever to walk the earth. One hundred thousand, eight hundred minutes since I have been grounded.

For many people, this period of time off a horse’s back is of no consequence. For me, it is becoming torturous. During the third week of September, the ranch put on an adult horsemanship clinic. For the duration of the week, I found myself in either the office answering phones or in the kitchen cooking meals for our guests. All the other employees at the ranch were outside on horseback. As the week drug on (for me), I became more bitter by the day. By the end of the week I was not the most pleasant person to be around. I wanted to be outside riding my horses. But, no. I was almost 8 months pregnant and no one was letting me get anywhere near the back of a horse, especially my father.

I am now 38 weeks pregnant; just 2 weeks away from giving birth to Landon and my first wonderful little girl. I have recently begun planning for my first ride. Hopefully I will be horseback no more than three weeks after our little one is born.

To those of you who are getting in the last rides of the season before winter hits, please take advantage of these beautiful Fall days and take a ride for me.