Tuesday, March 6, 2018

My Happy List: The Last Horse Show of the Season

Shelley before the show

Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!  Today's happy List is all about Shelley.  We're so proud of her because she won her last horse show of the season!  She's been steadily placing higher at each successive show this season, and I know that she's been training very hard.

Sometimes I forget how far Shelley has come in her life.  Shelley has cerebral palsy, and I can remember how she struggled to walk.  She had therapeutic riding lessons when she was younger, and eventually she started competing first on American Saddlebreds (gaited horses), and the huntseat. 

Shelley competed in high school on a couple of IEA teams, then when she was accepted to Judson College, she tried out for Judson College's IHSA team as a freshman.  She placed last year once or twice, but her sophomore season has been much better. 

When Shelley was younger, we had the option of allowing her to compete against other students with disabilities.  But we chose not to take that route because it's a competitive world, and Shelley will have to compete against neurotypical people in the real world.  So she did.  And she does.

I can't even begin to tell you how filled my heart is.  It's full to the brim!  On Saturday, when the announcer read Shelley's number, her name, and then Judson College, I was beside myself with joy!  Her expression was cute as she left the arena.  She was also surprised!

Shelley has been blessed to have some of the very best trainers: Danielle, Jennifer, Tracey, Amy, Claire, Pam, and now her college coach, Janice.  These ladies have blessed Shelley and our family more than they'll ever know. 

Although this sport is subjective, it isn't all about her winning.  It's about Shelley's working hard each week during team practice and listening to the coach.  Its about being part of a team, and finishing assigned chores during barn hour time.  It's about consistently doing workouts and posting them online and on time.  It's also learning how to encourage teammates and cheering for them when they place and comforting them when they don't. 

But, WOW, does it ever feel good to see her win that blue ribbon! 

I admire Shelley for her hard work.  She's had to work hard her whole life to try to reach certain goals, and she's tried so hard to catch up to her peers.  Saturday she did just that! 

Shelley's favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  And He most certainly can!

Congratulations, Sweet Girl!  Keep up the good work!

Shelley competed against riders from mostly SEC schools (the show was hosted by the University of Alabama) and a few other private colleges.

Here are a few things I've read around the web I thought might interest you:

You won't find any of this decor on the DIY and home decor blogs you read, but this article from Apartment Therapy is an in-depth analysis of the home decor in the movie Napoleon Dynamite.  Read it because I'm telling you to!!!  ;P

Even if you aren't Southern (bless your heart) you really need to know what to never serve at a ladies luncheon via Southern Living Magazine.

Last Literary Friday's round-up post about books with Irish settings featured Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series.  I found this great article via The New Yorker that describes not only the series in general, but also gives a comprehensive synopsis for each book.  This month, I'm re-reading the first four books, and then reading the last two in the series.

What's making YOU happy today?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. Oh, isn't this just the best! Three cheers for Shelley -- I can see why this made it to the top of the happy list! And it's making me happy too. Congratulations to your beautiful equestrian!

  2. What a thrill for your sweet Shelley!!! Congratulations on so much hard work!

  3. This is just so heartwarming and sweet. How wonderful that Shelley has over come her disability and is accomplishing so much. I know you are so proud of her. I am so proud of her too and I do not even know her. Please relay that a peep in your blogging world is so proud of her too. Have a great new week ahead.

  4. Congrats to Shelley! I love seeing her smiling face with that blue ribbon.

  5. Congratulations, I enjoyed what you wrote. She is inspiration!! I am proud of her for keeping on, no matter what. Thank you for sharing her story with us! I am able to share it with others I know who struggle.
    xx oo

  6. Congrats sweet Shelly. RJ, I am so happy for you too, I know how proud you are of your girl. Yay Shelly!
    Hugs to all.......

  7. I am so proud of your girl and proud of YOU for the encouragement you have given her and the confidence you have instilled in her to let her compete at a high level and do the best she can do. Wow---and has she done that!

    Blessings to you and Shelley and Congratulations! I know you are bursting with pride. xo Diana

  8. Ricki Jill, this gives me chills with happiness for you & Shelley! Congratulations, how absolutely amazing. She was beaming with accomplished pride and beauty!

  9. I am so happy for Shelly, {and You!} for her amazing achievement! All those lost weekends and hours of practice have now faded in your memory as this moment will forever be the star!

  10. I am so proud of Shelley. I have always believed in her abilities to make things happen in her life. Shelly has so much going for her, especially a loving and supportive mother.
    Mrs. Davenport


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