Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blue Ribbon

Living cross-country from my family means I've missed a lot of milestones, adventures and thrills with them, especially my ten nieces and nephews. (Ages 12 - 28) But I fly home to Ohio as often as I can, usually 4 or 5 times a year, and try to cram as much time together as I possibly can in my always too short visits.

Over the years I somehow managed to time trips around the birth of several of the kids, and as they grew, checked schedules for special events and activities they'd be participating in so I could cheer them on in person from the sidelines.

One of those events was a horse show my baby sister's oldest daughter, Cee, participated in when she was 8 years old. She'd taken English and Western riding lessons for a while when the instructor arranged for a show competition complete with ribbons and judges so the kids could get the experience for future 4-H riding programs.

Yes, I'm a bragging Auntie, so you won't be surprised when I tell you Niece Cee won her very first blue ribbon-- 1st place in her 1st horse show! That was in 1998 and I have still this picture on my office bulletin board because it was such a special day that I was thrilled to have witnessed.

Fast forward to last week when Cee was in town for Spring Break from college and for the collegiate Semi-Final riding competition with her Midwestern university's equestrian team-- which just happened to be held in Los Angeles over the weekend. (Lucky me!)

We spent five great days together taking in all the usual tourist attractions and girl-talking before I dropped her off with the team to buckled down and prepare for their big competition on Saturday and Sunday.

I'm at the age when I regularly feel "the changing of the guard" so to speak, as the younger generation matures into adulthood and I step back and watch them spread their independent wings taking them to college, into marriages and even parenthood.

It seems like just yesterday I was knitting baby blankets for them. Now we're discussing career plans, life goals and baby names while I'm in awe of their many accomplishments.

And speaking of accomplishments-- Cee's team won 1st place in the Semi Finals competition which qualified them for the National Championship competition next month in Kentucky! Not bad for a little girl who's first horse show was in a small pasture wearing a pair of too big riding boots and a very proud smile.

Watching Cee ride, seeing her success and her team's victory was a blue ribbon moment for me.

Have you had a blue ribbon moment lately?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins
PS I'm back from Spring Break vacation (and resting up from vacation!) and will be making the rounds to catch up with you all this weekend. xo jj
Photo Credit: Joanna Jenkins

37 comments:

Jeanie said...

The guard does change and it so good when you see things moving into capable hands. What a cool week for both of you and she was lucky to have you there to cheer her on.

Kristina P. said...

That's awesome! Congrats to her.

jill said...

It is amazing that they can grow up and change so much, but we just stay the same! ;-)

Mari said...

Glad you are back! I love seeing the two pictures of Cee. She looks so professional in that second one. Congrats to her!

Alix said...

A proud Auntie with good reason!! What a lovely niece Cee is.

And this takes me back...

When Adrian had her horse, Remmy. Gosh, how I loved that horse. And how I loved going to Adrian's lessons {English dressage}. But she {and I} were happiest when she was at 4H Horse Camp doing the Western Games and Dressage and we were at our little river condo just down the road.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane... for both of us.

Fabulous post - as usual.

Brian Miller said...

smiles. some nice blue ribbons there...well worht some praise. hope you have a wonderful weekend jj!

Ami said...

It's wonderful that you have been able to travel often enough that you've been there for so many important things.


There is just nothing more important than the love of family.

And you've inspired me this evening to sit down and write a letter to my aunt. She has just been wonderful to me my whole life.

Eva Gallant said...

Wonderful that Cee has an Aunt like you. I had an Aunt that I loved very much, too. It's a special relationship!
And I don't blame you for bragging!

Nezzy said...

I'm so happy you and Cee got to spend some quality chick time together. She is very blessed to have you. From the champion girl in the big boots to a National class rider, Cee is a shinning star! Congratulations to her and Auntie....go pop some buttons and go ahead...be proud! :o)

God bless and have a fabulous Friday!!!

Alison said...

I think that your nieces and nephews are darned lucky to have you as an aunt! I recently caught up with an elderly uncle and 3!! elderly aunts, who all live in Dunedin, quite a distance from here. (In New Zealand terms!)It was quite sobering to realise that it was possibly the last time I might see one or more of them.

Fireblossom said...

That's fantastic! Go ahead and brag, Auntie!

slommler said...

Congrats to Cee...she is gorgeous. What a great Auntie you are...!!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Jayne said...

I think aunties have bragging rights! Sounds like you've had a fun week culminating in a very proud moment. Congrats to Cee and her team!

Have a good weekend. :)

My name is PJ. said...

Hi JJ! I've been missing you! I'm glad you're back from Spring Break.

I love the photos of Cee from then and now. Charming! And I'm an auntie myself, so I get the bragging thing. Aunties who don't should be stripped of their title.

Is it wrong that the horse in the last picture caught my eye and has left a lasting impression of beauty? Wow!

Happy Easter! Have a glorious weekend!!

Betty said...

Wow! Congratulations to your niece. I think you´re allowed to brag a little. :)
I´m glad you got to enjoy your family for a few weeks. I know how special it is.
Have a Happy Easter!

CatLadyLarew said...

I feel like I'm entering that "changing of the guard" time as my son approaches graduation from college. How wonderful that you got to spend that time with Cee. Congratulations to her on her accomplishments!

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

That is awesome!! It is amazing to see the people who make us so proud to take parts in their lives,.. intresting isn't it when the ones we love do well in thier lives we reap the benifits as well,.. happiness be a key part in that!

Idk, I think it is wonderful,.. and as far as blue ribbion momment, I made a tractor cake out of fondant for a friends son,..

<3 ya have a beautiful weekend!

Cheers!

TechnoBabe said...

Cee has such poise in both pictures. You are a dear aunt to participate at the level you do in their lives. I admire that about you very much.

Willoughby said...

Congratulations to Cee (and her very proud aunt)! My niece is an equestrian, too, but I've never been to any of her competitions.

Tammy said...

What a great time it sounds like. So awesome the event was in your neck of the woods so you could cheer her on again. What a pretty young lady and a pretty horse too. Isn't it amazing how in a blink of an eye they're adults and just yesterday you were changing their diapers. And I swear when this realization hits that I haven't aged a bit, haha.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Wow - how proud you must feel. What a wonderful family you must have to fly across the country for them so often. And when you say the horse stuff was L.A., do you mean that Equestrian place in Glendale?

Kathy said...

Congratulations! That is so awesome and it's so nice that you get to visit often enough to be part of special events.

Spencer L Casey said...

Wonderful! Congratulations to her and to you as well. It's so amazing to watch these little creatures become full-fledged people!

Cheers,

SLC

Beatnheart said...

Thank you Joanna for your kind comment...Hope you have a beautiful Easter..

Chris H said...

Congrats to your niece!
I flew to Australia a couple of years ago to attend my niece's Graduation from Police college. I was INCREDIBLY proud of her. I cried. Soppy tart I am.

cinner said...

Cee looks awesome. Love that you enjoy being a proud Auntie. Glad you had fun together. take care and have a great weekend.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I'm having a horse kind of day and this post was quite serendipitous.

ladyfi said...

Ah, well done Cee! Each day is a blur ribbon moment in waiting...

Shrinky said...

She is turning out beautifully, but it sounds as though she has had a head start, coming as she does from such a supportive and loving family! My son gave me a blue-ribbon moment at what will be his last parents day at school. His mock exam results were astounding (the real exams take place in a couple of weeks). Based on his projected grades, he's been accepted at all five universities he applied to - I am insufferable as the proud mum (blush)!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

What an accomplished young woman! That is so cool of you to be there for your nieces and nephews during their "big events."

gayle said...

How lucky you were to be able to have this special time with your niece!! Congrats to her on her win!!

Brenda's Arizona said...

Will you get to go to Kentucky for the finals? We all await a winning report!

RNSANE said...

They grow up all too fast don't they. You must be so proud of your beautiful niece. How wonderful tht you could be there to witness her victorious horse show, right in your own locale!

Life with Kaishon said...

I just ADORED seeing her as a little girl and now as a grown woman. She is beautiful! I am so glad you have such a rich relationship with your nieces and nephews. That is very special!

Rowe said...

Takes me back to when I loved riding horses at the local riding school or leading the pony rides at the local shopping centre during school holidays. Horse mad that I was. Lovely you were able to attend all your nieces and nephews important events and give your support as they were growing up. There'd have been much excitement brewing each time they knew Auntie Joanna is coming!!

Margo said...

funny coincident: two weeks ago my 13 yo daughter won her first blue ribbon and it was her first show and first time in the ring! We're so happy for her! I'll have to show her this post. We're not a family of horse people and she's thrilled to have found something that's "her thing." YOU are a great aunt and you and Cee both are very lucky!

msprimadonna67 said...

I just had a changing-of-the-guard moment this week, when my oldest niece got married. One day she's losing her first tooth and starting kindergarten, the next she's somebody's bride. Makes me realize how quickly these things are coming up with my own children...