Happy Trails!

Sometime back we set a goal for Maddy and her grades.

We promised if she would reach her goal, we would spend the weekend at her favorite horse ranch.

She met her goal and we kept our promise.
(even though the forecast predicted very gloomy weather)

A promise is a promise.

We have never had a problem with telling our kids no.

It's healthy. It's required to be a good parent.

But to tell her no just to stay comfy and dry... we didn't.

We cowboy'ed it up and packed our tent.

Our girl worked very hard to get her grades up and a little rain was not gonna stop us...

we thought..

We pulled up to the ranch and I could just feel the weight of stress drift quietly away~

Because we were bunking in a tent, I made sure to make friends with the bathhouse. ;)

We were greeted by the locals right off.

Maddy found her happy place resting on the fence watching quietly.

We watched them for hours.

Although our ride was not till the next morn, I studied them intensely.

The fruits of the spirit kept coming to mind as I searched for my perfect horse.

You know..love, kindness, joy, peace, gentleness, self control..just to name a few LOL

Maddy spotted her horse right off.

The largest of the bunch. If his name T-Rex tells you anything ...yeah.

While Marc fished the local pond, Maddy and I walked the trails.

Then it began to sprinkle...

Harder and harder it came.

To be honest, I had started to chicken out at this point.

But that sweet face and the disappointment that rushed over her..


We called a small family meeting and we voted.

The rain was here to stay but were we?

After a few minor adjustments, like moving into a cabin and packing the tent...

We took in the moment..

as is..

Not perfect. Not planned.

just "us"

We sang karaoke in the pavilion.

Maddy sang about 4 songs.

Marc and I were coaxed to sing at least one.

Our song "islands in the stream" LOL


We played about 4 rounds of BINGO.

All the while it poured..

She waited.

Never complained.

So we took a walk.

A long walk.

And right in the midst of the pouring rain she stopped and asked to hold my hand.

"Momma" she said.

"lets always be like sea otters, ok?"

I replied   "ok sure, they are cute"

Then she said,

"do you know why they hold hands when they sleep?"

(me) ummm no?

"Because when they fall asleep, they hold hands as to not lose one another when the water gets rough"

I about lost it.

I think I did.

Right there in the middle of the "sweet water" ranch.

I didn't care.

We left the ranch bright and early the next morning.

Although the rains had passed, the trails were flooded.

We didn't ride this weekend and that's ok.

I don't think we would have changed a thing.

I'm already planning our next trip

xo Susie Sea Otter


  1. That's just about the sweetest thing I ever read!

  2. Okay, thanks for making me cry at work! Maddy rocks. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

  3. What a sweet daughter! :) I have been following your instagram pics over the weekend. It looks like ya'll had a great time despite the rain. :)

  4. That is the sweetest thing! As a daughter, but not yet a momma, I know I miss my momma all the time since we're so far apart (miles wise). Such a sweet post <3

  5. That totally made me cry. So sweet!

  6. Ach! Don't make me cry!! lol
    You have a very sweet daughter! What a blessing!

  7. Awww, that is just so sweet!! Made me tear up!

  8. Sweet and endearing indeed.. thank goodness it was raining and thus no 'dudes or cowboys' were lurking around to oggle at..(heehee).. nothing is more sexier than an man in full dress with chaps.. yums.

    huggers and I miss my mom dearly and her voice.

    Cotton Peony

  9. Well, we know who she gets her sweetness from! What a wonderful daughter you have, Susie! And how blessed is she to have you for her loving mother!

    Love your pictures! I think that place deserves another week-end!

  10. Treasure those special moments! You're a very lucky momma!!

  11. Thanks for sharing, such a sweet story!...Mamma and daughter are both darling!

  12. Susie - What a moving post! How precious are the memories of your daughter telling about the otters. And how precious are the memories for her in having a weekend with her parents as promised - even if she didn't get to ride. Just to have that special time.


  13. I couldn't finish reading. I had a young patient that I have been taking care of for over a month in the ICU, die today with a pair of knitted sea otters in his lap. They were a gift from his girlfriend.

  14. Waaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! I needed a good cry! That was sooo sweet! My girl is like that too. Even though we of course have our moments. I pray that she will always want to be close to her mama...

  15. Wow - you are one lucky Mama - and Maddy is one lucky girl.

  16. So sweet. Tell Maddy that she just gave me the perfect caption to go with a picture of a mommy and baby otter that I have been saving to give to my daughter.
    Chris =]

  17. What a great Momma you are! Made me tear up as well, I hope my daughter is as sweet when she grows up!

  18. thanks for sharing this beautiful memory!

  19. such a sweet memory filled time.. I about lost it too just reading it. Where is this place at? Can you share information about it? Looks like something my son/daughters would love to do.

  20. Debilou, the ranch is just north of Hammond Louisiana. It's called Sweet Water and its lovely. If you should happen to visit, tell Mrs. Rita we said HI!

  21. That brought me to tears! What wonderful memories y'all created, Susie. I love all the pictures.

  22. Wow! Heart stopper! A big one to tuck in a mama's heart!

  23. Thanks Susie,, Im gonna check it out.

  24. *I* lost it reading what she said! You have such a sweet hearted daughter. Good job, momma!

  25. Just burst into tears reading this post Susie. You have a wonderful daughter, thank you for sharing your creativity AND your family with us. It is what makes your blog so special. I have to go tell my 4 year old about sea otters now so he can say that to me when he gets older ;)

  26. Oh my goodness...what a sweet story. I am such a fan of your blog because it is so "real". Thanks for sharing your life and your family.

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