That Time When She Got a Horse for Christmas

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When I was a little girl, I dreamed about having a horse to call my very own. I had no idea what I would name it, but I knew exactly what I would do with it. I would keep the horse up in my room. It would have its own bed next to mine. Whenever I felt bad or sad, I would hop on it and ride it around the house and neighborhood. I would have the horse go fast, faster and faster, until we were running together, feeling the wind lift us up. It would be like flying, but better somehow.

As I got older, my dreams got less grandiose. I became more grounded in reality. I still dreamed about having a horse of my own. But I wouldn’t keep it in my bedroom. That would be silly. The horse wouldn’t fit, for one. For another, it would make such a mess, and my mother hated messes.

I would dream about riding a horse across a huge open pasture. I would ride it off to the sunset, feeling the wind in my stubbornly straight hair. It would be just like the movies. I would feel the lifeblood of the horse rushing underneath me. And I would clutch the mane of the horse for dear life.

Now, I never ended up getting a horse. That was just a dream. Some dreams are destined to come true, and some aren’t. That’s just life. But it’s okay, because we wouldn’t have had the room for a horse. And horses are a lot of work. The fantasy was still amazing, breathtaking, and beautiful though.

Still, even though my own dream of having a real life horse never came true, I was still determined to make it a reality for my daughter. So, the Christmas before last, I ordered a special horse to be delivered to the house. After a few hours of labor and care, everything was prepared on Christmas Eve morning. I was ready to surprise her with this special gift.

When she first saw the horse, she was excited and exuberant. But she was also intimidated and scared, because it was a little bit too tall for her petite frame. With help however, she was able to straddle the horse, wrapping her legs around the horse’s middle very tightly and placing her feet securely in the stir-ups.

She grinned broadly as she led her horse forward. The horse said neigh, neigh, and she said wow. I said wow too, as I watched her go back and forth, back and forth, in a repetitive motion.

Nearly two years later, we still have the horse. It has a special home in one corner of our house. When she remembers, which isn’t that often, she feeds it carrots and brushes its long, black mane. She loves to give her horse a hug. She loves to go fast on her horse. She even begs for her baby brother to ride with her, but he just isn’t old enough to go riding yet.

Click to learn more about the Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse!

So, even though I never got a horse for Christmas, I wanted to get one for my daughter. That is one of the best things about having kids. You get to relive your childhood.

What was the best Christmas gift that you’ve ever received?

When inspiration hits in the most unusual of places…

Today as I laid down in the bed, my daughter handed me this toy (picture above). I remember buying this for my daughter about two years ago at JC Penny. At the time I thought it was cute. I still think that it’s cute. What’s not to like? It’s a tiny lamb with giant spectacles and vivid sparkling green eyes. It’s wearing a blue blazer over a gray dress. At the time, I thought that it looked like a teacher. I even thought it would be an excellent prop for my online teaching.

But today, I glanced at it and I saw another use for it. I’m talking about the children’s book that’s still in my head. No, it hasn’t been written down yet. I made an attempt to write a few paragraphs. But then I deleted those paragraphs the next day. I wasn’t happy with that attempt.

But I think this stuffed animal — this toy — could be a character in my children’s book. I spent the next hour or so just imagining and thinking about it. It’s a writer. It has been stuck in this house for a long time when it encounters —-

I see it as a writer. As an old, spinster lady who loves cats. Okay, maybe that’s too much of a stereotype.

But the point is, I think I got my second main character! I was originally going to write about a group of mouse-sized people who functions as a family. But this will work much better. Less people for one. For another, I can develop this character better.

I will try to write again tonight while my baby boy is sleeping.

I just love ideas that come to you randomly from the most unexpected places and people.

I think I know what I want to do…

Photo by Designecologist on

Like most kids, I’ve had dreams and hopes of what I wanted to be. The first thing I ever wanted to be was a teacher because I had some really great teachers. Later, I decided that I wanted to be a doctor, a surgeon, a veterinarian, an astronaut, a paleontologist, you name it.

I remember when I turned x-year-old, I knew that whatever I chose to do, whatever I ended up doing, I wanted to help people. My dad was a nurse and that’s what he did for a living. My mom was a homemaker and she did so much for my dad and I. I knew that I wouldn’t feel fulfilled and satisfied unless I was helping people too.

Fast forward some years, I go to college, get a degree in Communications, and start teaching online.

What I’ve discovered about myself is that I love being in the education field. I love being in school. If I had it my way, I would love to just stay in school and learn. If school wasn’t so darn expensive, then I would just opt to be a perpetual student. The thrill that I get from being in a classroom — rather online or in-classroom — is like no other.

I want to stay in the classroom setting, but would love to get paid for doing it of course. I could be a classroom teacher but I’d rather work one-on-one with students. I’d love to help high school students talk about college and their future. I’d love to help students who are having trouble with bullying or a bad grade. I’d love to just be there, a comforting presence for kids who are just trying to discover life.

I think I want to be a school counselor. I think that is the hard part. Deciding what you want to be, I mean.

The next part is deciding what graduate school to do. If you have any ideas, then please feel free to comment below.

I Am Average

NXWR1651E3 When I was five years old, I dreamed about marrying Prince Charming and becoming a princess. When I was seven, I dreamed about being in a beauty pageant. I continued to go through life thinking that I was special, that the entire world revolved around me.

And then, I turned fifteen and my dreams changed. They became more grounded in reality. Suddenly, I was faced with the prospect of college just a few years away. Suddenly, I realized that I had to be more grounded, more career-oriented, more realistic.

I dreamed about going to medical school and becoming a surgeon (driven no doubt by endless hours of watching surgical shows & Grey’s Anatomy). I then became a vegetarian and then dreamed about becoming a veterinarian so I could help animals. In the middle of all that, I also dreamed about becoming a famous, best-selling writer. This all happened in high school.

And then, after high school, after college, as someone in their mid-twenties, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not so special after all. As someone who went through life with an over inflated self-esteem, I always believed that I could accomplish anything, no matter how impossible it seemed. I believed that I could fly (I never wanted to because of my fear of heights).

Coming off of this mindset, I realize now that I’m not so special after all. I am average. I’m not the smartest, though I work hard, I’ve always worked hard, at my studies. I’m not an athlete (I’m really clumsy). I don’t really have a special talent, such as the ability to roll my tongue or a photographic memory.  This realization is slightly depressing because it means that I am just like everybody else in this world. I am no different from my neighbors and friends.

So, what does this mean? What can an average person do to become even just a little bit extraordinary? The only thing I can do is to keep trying new things, hoping that maybe, just maybe, I will find something that will make me just a little less “average.”

But, at the same time, maybe it is a blessing in disguise to be average?  Because, if I wasn’t, then I would probably let the extraordinary-ness get the best of me. So, what can I do? Just accept the fact that I am average and work hard, hoping that maybe, one day, I will make myself even greater.

I will rise above the average-ness.


Dreams at 26

I’m 26 years old. I am a twenty-something. I can no longer say that I am a young adult or that I’m in my early twenties. I have my feet solidly in my twenties. I look back to those angsty teenage years and those rocky early twenties, and I am filled with awe and wonder. Where has all the time gone? Have I changed? Who have I become?

I’m at the point in my life when I can still remember those early years and still be able to look forward to what is coming next. I remember the day that I turned 10 and how super excited I was to finally be in the double digits. I remember turning 13, excited about changes and middle school.

And then I remember turning eighteen, excited about high school graduation and the college years. Eighteen signified adulthood, independence, voting rights, and college. Eighteen was the magic number, sandwiched between the awkward teen years and impending adulthood.

Turning twenty was another momentous event. It marks the end of adolescence and the official beginning of adulthood. I could finally say that I was in my twenties. I was no longer a child. I could finally start to make my mark on the world. Even at twenty, I was still filled with dreams. I wanted to join the Peace Corps and help people. I wanted to help people better themselves.

Even now, at 26, that desire hasn’t changed. I’d like to go forward with my degree and work for a non-profit organization. If I can make a positive impact on even one person’s life, then I would be immensely satisfied. I want work that is meaningful and life changing. I realize that I am just a small piece in the puzzle of the world. But even that small piece can do something big and wonderful. That small piece can change the world.

I’m older and I’d like to think that I am wiser now. But I am still filled with the same idealizations and dreams that I had when I was twenty. And I’m okay with that. I am a dreamer, but I am also a fixer.