This post is produced in collaboration with Yoplait Go Big, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. Yoplait Go Big provided me the product and stipend for this partnership.
We just celebrated Vayda’s 13th birthday; I’m still wondering where the last ten years have gone. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago she was asking me to get the moon down for her. Gosh, time goes by way too fast, and I miss her being little, but I must admit I’m enjoying watching her grow up into a young lady. She is so special; I wish she could see in herself what I see in her because she is amazing.
First, I want to give a huge thank you to my friends over at Yoplait Go Big for making this possible. Not only do they know that teens are amazing, they are making it easier than ever before to fuel our teens with their new large yogurt rip-and-grip pouch that even has cool designs teens will appreciate.
Going Big & Rescuing Horses!
Vayda having her birthday was a HUGE slap in the face! A reminder that my kids are not getting any younger and I need to make sure and enjoy these years because I’ll never get them back and I want to be a huge part of my children’s life, even during their teen years. Which is why I’m so excited about Vayda’s passion for rescuing horses, it’s something we both share and thanks to Go Big I can teach her over the next few months.
I’ve been rescuing and rehabilitating horses for a while so the kids have grown up around it for the most part. Well, over the past year Vayda has started to show interest in it. For about the past year she has been begging me to let her save a horse and teach her how to train it. I must admit, I thought it was going to be a short-lived interest, but almost a year later her father and I watched as her interest started to turn into a passion. She desperately wanted to rescue a horse that she would be responsible for training.
Vayda left us no choice, we had no reason not to let her rescue her first horse. She has been working hard in school, helping around the house, spending time with me when I work with the horses asking questions, and just stepped up her game when it comes to taking care of the horses. I truly don’t know what I would do without her. Her attitude recently has inspired my husband and me to GO BIG for her 13th birthday. With help from Go Big, we let her rescue a horse but kept things a surprise, it was awesome!
About a week before her birthday, Vayda was sitting looking at the horses in the Oklahoma lot. The next thing I knew she was coming into the kitchen in tears because there was a pregnant horse that needed rescuing. She kept telling me how perfect she was and that she and I could work with the baby together, it was perfect. My husband and I knew this was our chance. So, I asked her to show me which horse, but let her know I didn’t have any money right now and that there was no way I could go to Oklahoma the following day to pick them up.
Of course, the whole time I was planning to go, I just didn’t want her to know. While Vayda was showing me the horses, one of the girls at the lot messaged me and asked me if I could help a little 5-month-old filly that was running around calling for her mom who had been shipped the night before. Man, how do you say no? I can’t, and since we were already going to be making a trip I told her to put her and the pregnant mare in the quarantine pen until I could get down there in the next day or two.
Vayda asked me if I would please try and find her horse a good home. Of course, I promised her I would talk to a few of my friends and told her to get something to eat. I waited a few minutes, and went into the kitchen to let her know that I found her horse the best home EVER! She was going to become a 13-year-old girl’s horse and that I knew she would be cared for.
I could tell Vayda was relieved, but sad at the same time because she wanted her. It was hard, but I could keep my mouth shut because I wanted her to be surprised. Anyway, I let Vayda know that I found the horses a great home, so she didn’t have to worry about them not being rescued. Of course, she was happy, but I could tell she was a little upset because she wanted them.
The next morning after Vayda went to school I got on the phone to the vet, and he could do everything we needed that morning. So, my husband and I left for Oklahoma before the kids got out of school and had my sister watch the kids for us. Vayda had no idea we were in Oklahoma. She thought we had to go up and help grandma and grandpa last minute and honestly was just excited that her aunt Rema was going to watch her, lol. It was a long trip; we drove straight there and back. My husband took the day shift driving and I took the night.
When we got back we unloaded the horses on some land we have away from the house, so Vayda didn’t see the horses. I wanted to wait a few days to give the horses time to settle down so we could give Vayda her pregnant mare for her birthday and the little filly ended up being wild and scared to death so I figured Vayda and I could gentle her down together and eventually train her so when her horse had her baby Vayda would have a better understanding of things.
Everything worked out perfectly! She ended up saving three lives for her birthday how amazing is that? I couldn’t wait to tell her!
I talked to my parents and got them to help me by taking Vayda out to the land after I was already there so I could get things ready. I bought Vayda’s horse a new halter and tied her up at the horse trailer with a little note stuffed in her halter. I told my mom and dad I was going to leave so they could tell Vayda to grab it before it spooked the horse.
When they pulled up, my dad stopped, and Vayda jumped out of the car to grab the paper. She must be used to seeing all sorts of horses because I don’t think she even realized it was the same mare she was looking at on the computer until after my dad asked her what the piece of paper was and she read the note that said:
Happy Birthday, Kiddo! Your dad and I love you a whole lot, and we are proud of the young lady you are growing up to be. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t realize how lucky we are to have a daughter like you. You are the best daughter and sister anyone could ask for, have a heart of gold, and don’t ever let anyone change that. You have done awesome in school and stepped things up around here, and we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate you and how very proud we are of you!
Love All Of Us!
P.S. Does the horse look familiar? She should, she is pregnant, came from Oklahoma and she has been waiting to meet you and tell you Happy Birthday!
P.S.S The little filly is up in round pen, but she is kinda wild and is going to take some work, I hope you are up for the job.
She started crying; it was unbelievable. Tears of joy, and I tried so hard to get it on camera without her seeing me. I had it set up and ready to go before my mom and dad got there, but I noticed it wasn’t working and I had to restart it. By the time it came back on, and would record the moment was gone. I always have that moment in my head, but I so wanted to share it with you for this post because seeing young girl cry tears of joy is magical.
Everyone meet Tulip, Vayda’s new horse. She is due to have a baby in March, is healthy, happy, and one of the sweetest horses I have ever been around. She and Vayda are perfect for one another, and I have to tell you how awesome Vayda has been with her. She not only takes great care of her but when I told her that she wasn’t going to be able to ride her a whole lot until after she had her baby she responded in such a grown-up way. Vayda told me, “Mom, that’s okay. It’s not why we do this; I’m just glad she is safe and here with me.”
The older she gets; the more amazed I am with her! I am one proud momma; that’s for sure!
This little lady is Sophie; we have not worked with her a whole lot yet because we want to give her some time to get used to things. Not only was the experience in the lot traumatizing for her, but she also has never been handled and doesn’t trust people. She will be fine; Vayda and I are just going to have to spend a little time with her. I can’t wait!
I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to be able to share this with my daughter! It’s going to help give us something to do together, another way to keep our relationship strong even during her teen years. I can’t tell you how much Vayda deserved this, she is such a good kid, with a heart of gold. Anytime I go to her school everyone always tells me how sweet, polite and motivated she is.
Vayda inspires me to make sure I get things done, so I have extra time to spend with her after school and on the weekends. Lord knows she isn’t getting any younger. She inspires me to smile and stay positive even when life gets the best of me. She inspires me to love myself even when nobody’s looking, and even on those days I’m not too happy with myself. She encourages me to go after my dreams, keep a calm head, to go above and beyond to show those around me I love them, to take care of myself, always to remember who I am, always be willing to help others and never to forget things you are passionate about. Vayda inspires me and helps me recognize just how blessed I am to have her and my other children in my life.
My daughter makes me want to be the best version of me that I can be so I can be a positive role model for her.
I must give huge thanks to my friends at Go Big! They understand that the best times in motherhood are NOW because I finally have the chance to sit back and watch my little girl (okay, so she is totally not a kid anymore) grow up into a beautiful young lady with goals, talents, and passions. Go Big makes it easy for my teen to stay fueled even when she is on the way out the door to saddle up her horse. Vayda has been loving Go Big; she almost always grabs one on her way out the door to play with the horses.
Go Big is a new large yogurt pouch that is made for amazing teens. They have an awesome grip-and-rip pouch that is perfect for teens who are always on the go. Not to mention the designs are awesome. Vayda likes that the new pouches are big enough that she only needs to eat one (a single Go-Gurt tube wasn’t enough anymore!) , and she likes the packaging. Oh, and she appreciates that she doesn’t have to deal with cartoon characters on the pouches anymore lol. I guess I can’t blame her for that one.
OMG, it’s awesome. Vayda LOVES the stuff, and it’s no wonder, it was created alongside real teens to better fit their active lifestyle and needs. Go Big even worked with dozens of teens across the country to develop Go Big because they wanted input at all stages of the development process.
Go Big comes in two yummy variety packs with eight pouches. Go Big contains real fruit, is a good source of calcium, gluten-free, kosher dairy, and there are no artificial colors and no high fructose corn syrup. You can find Go Big at your local grocery store, Target, and Walmart and it comes in two yummy variety packs with two different flavors:
- Peach Mango/Cherry
- Strawberry/Mixed Berry