Keeping up with the SmartPakers: Weekend Update – September 4, 2012

During the week, you know our life is no mystery: we are here working hard to make you happier and your horse healthier. But what do we do on the weekend, you ask? The mystery is finally revealed! Read about what SmartPakers did this past weekend and see if any of our adventures sound similar to yours…

“I spend most of the weekend working at the store, but did spend the day on Saturday with my adorable niece while her parents packed up their house in preparation for a move. In the morning we went to a great park near their old house where we got to pet sheep, goats and a donkey, spent time swinging in the playground and visited the fish in the pond. After a nap and a delicious lunch we explored the playground near their new house where we made some new friends and spent more time on the swings. There’s nothing like a day with a 2 year old to put a smile on your face – and wear you out!” – Jen, Store


“This weekend my husband and I decided to stay local since we’ve been traveling so much lately. We wanted to enjoy some of the things we love about living in our area, like our favorite breakfast place, farmstand, and hiking spot- Blue Hills Reservation. On Labor Day I caught up on weeding my vegetable garden (I still have acorn squash, eggplant, garlic and carrots), and then did something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time – pick the grapes on our grape arbor and make grape jelly. It wasn’t a quick process by any means, but well worth it!”
- Cathleen, Web Marketing


“This weekend, my 5 year old TB Rex and I ventured to Beland Stables in Lakeville to cheer on fellow SmartPaker Kerri and her horse Luna compete in a recognized Dressage show! It was Rex’s first time away from home since I bought him last September, so he was pretty nervous at first. After a while, he settled down and I had a blast riding out in Beland’s HUGE grass field. Now I am even more excited for the hunter paces we are planning on attending this fall!” – Kaitlyn, Marketing


“I had a fabulous weekend with my little guy Simon. We went to World’s End hiking on all three days, lots of dining out: Tosca and Alma Nove in Hingham and Simon was beyond thrilled to finally be able to be allowed back on Nantasket Beach!!” – Leslie, Customer Care


“This weekend we went up to New Hampshire to go hiking and do some apple picking! Saturday, we hiked up Boulder Loop Trail, located off the Kangamangus Highway. It was such a fantastic view. On Sunday, we went to Applecrest farm where we stocked up on lots of apples! The farm wasn’t too busy since it was late in the day so we let the dogs tag along…they were very full when we were done!” – Cara, Merchandising


“Labor Day weekend. Horse show season drawing to a close? I don’t think so! Diem and I traveled to the Town Hill Farm Horse Trials in Connecticut. It was an absolutely gorgeous venue nestled in the Berkshire Mountains with acres of rolling green pastures, willow trees blowing in the wind and a quaint little yellow and green barn decorated to the nines. It was so heavenly that when we walked the cross-country course on Saturday evening, I was literally running through the fields like I was in “The Sound of Music.” On Sunday, I repeated the same frolic through the fields with Diem galloping flat out between fences—so much fun!!” – Sara, Creative


“As an indoctrinated Wolvervines fan (by marriage :)), my husband and I traveled to Texas this weekend with 25 of our closest U of M alums to watch the highly anticipated Cowboys Classic where the Michigan Wolverines took on defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Although the game didn’t turn out as we’d hoped, it was a great opportunity to see just how awesome Cowboys Stadium is and connect with old friends. Go Blue! – Becki, Western Marketing


“This weekend my boyfriend and I spent a couple of days in the Berkshires relaxing. We had amazing food at several local restaurants and bakeries, and visited the Hancock Shaker Village. It was really interesting to see how the Shakers lived, and find out that there are only 4 people still practicing the Shaker religion today. We got to see where they lived, how they worked, and a beautiful round barn that was designed so hay wagons did not have to back out or make sharp turns in the barn. On Monday, we went dry land dog sledding with Hilltown Wilderness Adventures. I had given this trip to my boyfriend as a gift so long ago that we forgot whether it was a birthday, Christmas, or Valentine’s gift! We met Marla and her dogs at the Cummington Fairgrounds, and got to take part in every step of preparing a sled dog to run. We set up the lines, took dogs off the truck, put on their harnesses and booties, made sure they had water, cleaned up after them, hooked them up to the dry land racing rig, ran a lap around the track, and then took everything off and cared for them while the other people that were there took their turns. I ran a really fast dog named Spunk, who I had to keep saying “easy” to as he just wanted to fly around the track! My boyfriend, Dylan, ran a dog named Sigh Guy who was a bit distracted and mostly trotted around the track. We had a ton of fun, and highly recommend checking them out if you are in the area!” – Jessica, Customer Care


“The Ladies at the Store made a Mannequin from semi-scratch. Then we decided it was a good idea to make her do YOGA/ join her doing it.” – Rachel, Store


“My husband and I went to see Zac Brown Band at Mohegan Sun with some of our friends on Friday night. On Saturday we went to my nephew’s fourth birthday party and enjoyed time with family. On Sunday, my husband worked on some remodeling at my parent’s house while my dog Sasha and I played ball in the backyard and relaxed in the nice weather. We spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the nice weather and went to a cookout at our friend’s house!” – Katrina, Customer Care


“On Saturday, I took a drive to meet my good friend’s first child. She is six weeks old and already a “genius” by all accounts. She’s certainly a pro on the webcam. On Labor Day, fellow SmartPaker Michelle and I went for a morning ride in Borderland State Park which was gorgeous and aside from a few attack dragonflies, a lovely time. I wrapped up my weekend at home catching up on chores before the big catalog drop this week! The cats were exhausted from trying to follow me around the house.” – Elizabeth, Customer Care


“This weekend I spent my time traveling between Wareham and Bridgewater, which was a little tiring, but very fun. Saturday night Matt and I spent the night at his family’s cottage in Wareham where computers and TV are not allowed. Instead we re-learned Spanish with a Spanish dictionary game and made a fire in the fireplace as nights on the water are starting to get very cool. Sunday morning I was here at SmartPak and got the chance to talk to some of our amazing customers from all over the country. After work I headed back down to Wareham to join Matt and his family at the driving range, and then for mini golf. Monday I wrapped up the weekend with an amazing trail ride with Elizabeth R (above) at Borderland State Park in Easton. Overall, fantastic weekend!”
- Michelle, Customer Care


“This weekend was my son’s 3rd birthday! We celebrated with pizza and bouncy houses – a perfect day. He can be seen here with his two favorite gifts – a train table and a real working drill!” – Kristen, Finance


“This weekend I decided, I don’t want to vacuum everyday anymore! I decided to bring my Siberian Husky Dakota to the backyard for some “Defurminating.” Within about 20 minutes, “Poof” Werewolf to a Princess! She wasn’t entirely thrilled with the whole thing but I’d like to think that she felt better afterwards. Not exactly great for the landscaping but the birds love it!” – Lauren, Customer Care


“This weekend, my husband and I traveled to Long Island, NY to visit with our friends and family. We had a great time seeing both of our families, while spending time at the beach, sailing on my dad’s boat and hosting a BBQ. Our dog, Clipper, especially loved the trip, he played with both my parent’s Newfoundland, Luther, and on the ferry back to Mass with his new friend Serenbe. The weather was perfect all weekend long, a perfect way to send a final cheers to summer.” – Kate, Marketing


“This weekend my husband and I carried out our annual tradition of traveling up to Lake Winnipesaukee, NH with seven of our closest friends. We had a great time at the cabin, and spent a the days by the lake enjoying the sun, swimming and kayaking. It is the best time all summer every year because we are all so busy, it is difficult to get the whole group together. We had a ton of fun and as usual, the time went by too fast. The way home took 5+ hours in traffic, but at least the scenery was pretty!” – Bekky, Marketing


“SACO weekend!! This weekend my JRT Parker Pie and my Mother kayaked the Saco river! This is our third trip of the summer and Parker has adopted the nick name of “Wishbone” while helping me paddle and navigate the river. We started our journey at Swans Falls in Fryeburg, ME and paddled about 7 miles before setting up camp on a quiet beach along the river. We had beautiful weather most of the day but did have a passing rain shower which my little dog did not enjoy! Despite the rain shower we had a fabulous camp fire, and stayed warm and dry. The next morning we paddled about 4 more miles before reaching our takeout point in Lovell, ME. It was a lovely way to end my spectacular summer, spending quality time with my Mom and dog paddling on this beautiful river!” – Jenifer, Customer Care


“This weekend my mare Luna and I competed at our first recognized dressage show (we usually stick to schooling shows). She was great, and the weather was beautiful! We competed in First Level Test 2 and First Level Test 3 and finished 1st and 4th respectively. I was very proud of my horse and all the hard work we’ve put in this year and also came away with lots of things to work on over the long New England winter!”
- Kerri, Marketing


“This weekend I drove down to Virginia to see my horse compete in the Virginia Horse Trials at Beginner Novice. I sent him down to Virginia with a close friend/amazing rider a year ago to learn the ins and outs of eventing. He had been a dressage horse until that point and had never jumped. He’s shown a lot of talent, but our whole goal for the day was to just make it a positive experience and to come home with a happy pony. It poured during his dressage test (it seriously started just as he went in the ring and stopped as he came out) but it was beautiful for stadium and cross country. He went clear both rounds and ended up winning his division! It was the biggest shock in the world to go pick up that blue ribbon. I couldn’t be more proud of him and more thankful to his rider, Anna. He’s a Chincoteague pony and I love proving what an awesome breed they are!” – Amanda, Store


“Sunday was the highlight of my weekend because it was my brother, Erik’s 30th birthday. A bunch of our family and friends came over for a cookout. There was a lot of food, bocce, and possibly some late night dancing that I may or may not have on video. All of my siblings stayed at my parents house for the night; I can’t remember the last time we have ALL stayed under the same roof together, it felt like we were little kids again. The best part was that I got to spend a lot of time with my nephew, Jakob. I especially enjoyed relaxing and watching Cartoons with him on Monday morning. I love my crazy family.” – Autumn, Merchandising


“I actually had last week off, so the long Labor Day weekend was a nice extension of my vacation! I spent two days in Burlington, Vermont and two days in Woodstock, New Hampshire enjoying the fresh air and beautiful mountain views. In addition to that, I also spent some quality time with my horse, went sailing, went for some long walks with my dog and fellow SmartPaker Jill’s dog, visited Boston twice, went to a bonfire, and went target shooting. On Sunday, my mare, Ax, was so kind as to give a pony ride to a 5 year old girl who had never met a horse before, which is the context for the photo (Ax is on the left, Maddy the appaloosa is on the right, and I think the child in question may have been officially bitten by the horse bug). As you can see, I was extremely busy, so I’m happy to be back to my usual routine now!” – Emily, Accounting


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Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

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