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Keeping Up With The SmartPakers: December 2nd 2013

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 revealed! Read about what SmartPakers did this past week and see if any of our adventures sound similar to yours…


I love the holidays! Time with family, parades, yummy food, an excuse to embarrass your horse – what’s not to love?! This year, my boyfriend and I woke up at 4:30 am (aka “horse show early”) to drive to my mom’s house in NY for Thanksgiving Day. When we arrived, we had snacks and lounged around on the floor with all five dogs (one is ours, four are hers!) and laughed and watched the parade, the dog show, and then a bunch of bad movies. Thursday night, my mom and I went into NYC to see La Soiree, which was fabulous and silly and fun! Friday morning, we drove back to Massachusetts, worked in the afternoon (yes, he’s a SmartPaker, too!), then had dinner at my boyfriend’s mom’s house for Thanksgiving Round 2! The weekend was filled with shopping and walking and movies and relaxing and laughing and all the stuff holidays are made of. Hope you and yours have the best holiday season ever! – Sarah P., Marketing


After a long (and filling!) weekend at home in Connecticut, I started to pack up my car with the holiday cheer for both my apartment and the decorations in the SmartPak office. After I had squished 3 trees into the back seat of my car, the 4th fake tree just wouldn’t budge! My mom was howling away and snapped a quick-pic of me attempting to stuff the last tree into my car, saying I looked like the grinch trying to steal all of her christmas decorations. Don’t worry, she was relieved for me to take some of the DOZENS of fake trees off her hands! I can’t wait to get started on the decorating now that everything has made it back to Massachusetts in one piece! – Mollie B., Creative


I joined SmartPaker Sara F. in her annual Thanksgiving tradition up at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA for Myopia Hunt Cub’s Thanksgiving hunt—it’s now my tradition, too! We could not have asked for a better morning, with a beautiful blue sky and loads of pretty horses rarin’ to go. It was my first time seeing a hunt off, and now I want to take part—though the rock walls were a bit intimidating! I can’t think of a better way to start Thanksgiving morning, and I’m so grateful I joined her this year! – Kristin P., Creative


In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to share a family tradition. I think it was 2nd grade, maybe 3rd grade, that I made a lil craft at Tootin’ Hills Elementary School (Art class I’m sure) and brought it home hoping my Mom would find a place for it amongst other Thanksgiving decorations. Not only did she make a centerpiece out of Mr. Turkey Head on our Thanksgiving table that year, but she has done so every year after that. Here is a photo of my awesome Mom and Mr. Turkey Head sitting proudly on this year’s pineapple. He looks a bit beat up but remember it’s the very same turkey head that has survived the years… and dozens of pineapples. (my sister and I joke every year ”where the heck does she keep that thing and how does she remember to pull it out each year?”)

Hope you all enjoyed a great Thanksgiving holiday weekend. – Susan T., Barn Sales


This weekend I continued a Thanksgiving tradition by running the Feaster 5k in Andover, MA. Over 10,000 runners gathered in the streets of downtown Andover on the brisk Thanksgiving morning. It was the first time I ran a road race with my father and if it weren’t for him being nice and running alongside me, I’m sure he would have kicked my butt! The long weekend also allowed me to visit my parents new lakeside property in New Hampshire and have a great ride on noble steed Dream! – Erica H., Finance


The holiday weekend kind of kicked my butt. I got food poisoning from something I ate on Thanksgiving, then I worked Friday, and ended up in the ER on Sunday with a corneal abrasion thanks to a ripped contact lens! Thanksgiving weekend wasn’t all bad though…I spent the holiday with my boyfriend, his family, and my mom, which was very fun (pre-vomit). Then on Saturday night, we hosted our first annual Friendsgiving, and I somehow cooked and served Thanksgiving dinner for 16 people (quite successfully in fact!). There was a lot of science behind the wine selection for the festivities, as you may have noticed. Unfortunately I didn’t get to ride this weekend, but my horse is still recovering from a mystery tooth/sinus infection, so I’m sure she didn’t mind the extra time off! – Emily D., Accounting


I had a great Thanksgiving weekend spending time with my family, who I don’t often get to see since we live all across the country. On Thanksgiving morning, SmartPaker Kaitlyn and I ran a 5K together to try to burn a few calories. It was freezing, but we had a great time! Later I feasted on the traditional turkey and sides, plus these delicious cannoli chips. Doesn’t get much better than that! – Kerri V., Marketing


We tested some serious culinary waters with a gluten-free Thanksgiving this year, but everything went off without a hitch! Next day it was time to heft our tiny Christmas Tree onto the sideboard and get the lights up. The final transition into the next season came at the annual Christmas Parade. Having always missed this one, I was determined to deck out Sam as much as possible. He sported antlers, a “breastplate”, bells (everywhere), and a quarter sheet made out of the most sparkly red fabric I could find. (Oh, and bedazzled gold hooves.) – Elizabeth R., Customer Care

Gumby Running the Manchester Road Race

Veronica Hay and I ran the 77th Manchester Road Race in Manchester, CT. I was dressed as Gumby. The Manchester Road Race is the second most popular road race in New England behind the Boston Marathon, with over 15,000 runners. This picture was featured on the Hartford Currant’s website as the cover photo for all of the race photos. – Keith Q., IT


This Thanksgiving was another success! Because not everyone can go home for Thanksgiving, we have a little tradition here at SmartPak to get together and host dinner with friends. It has been dubbed Orphan Thanksgiving (ok, maybe not the best name, but it stuck). It’s always a good time filled with friends and way too much food. Just look at the size of that bird!! – Cathlin B., Finance


To kick Thanksgiving off right, my Barn Manager hosted breakfast at her house followed by our traditional trail ride! The food was amazing and the conversation was wonderful, especially because I’m in a co-op barn where we don’t always get to see one another regularly J Only a few of us had time for the ride since we spent so much time gabbing and there were Thanksgiving dinners to prepare! Four of us made the ride, with one extra horse being ponied for exercise. The horses were a bit naughty since they were inside for the stormy weather the day before and it was still quite windy on Thursday, but like the saying goes “A ‘bad’ day riding is still better than a good day of anything else” 😉 I’ve included some photos of my trail buddies right before we headed out-Audrey on Finnegan (purple saddle pad); Donna on Echo, ponying Holly; Joan on Dallas – Sara R., Customer Care


I headed home to PA for a family filled Thanksgiving and to pick up my dog, Anna (she has been spending some quality time at “grandma’s” while I traveled for SmartPak). Here she is modeling some new bling which I picked up while at Equine Affaire MA. She’ll be proudly sporting this when she gets back to the office! – Emily J., Marketing


I had fun shopping for the big meal at a local market where you could “harvest” cranberries and marvel at the size difference between conventional and organic apples. On Thanksgiving morning, I joined my boyfriend and fellow SmartPaker Kristin for the opening of the Myopia Thanksgiving hunt – my favorite Turkey Day tradition! – Sara F., Creative

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