Tursday night we drove down to Salinas for the big Salinas Rodeo to see my little buddy Joe Wallace debut in his first Mutton Busting competition! It was SO CUTE. Joe's mom and his aunts (the Mariani girls) are all good friends of mine from growing up and we love every opportunity we get to spend with their families. They have eight grandkids between the three oldest sisters and a fourth sister, Julie, has one on the way due on Francie's due date. Joe used to hang out with me some days when his Mom Nancy was working in Menlo when he was 5-10 month old... he is a special guy and always has a place in my heart :) He did SO well and was by far the youngest Mutton Buster out there! We all bundled up in the stands, enjoyed some rodeo hot dogs and beers and had a great time with the whole Mariani clan.

And he's off! Joe's 8 (almost!) Seconds

The announcer said "How old are you kid?" He looked so little out there!

Joe didn't really want to leave the spotlight after they told the crowd to "Give it up for Joe Wallace!"

Joe on the Jumbo-screen getting his blue ribbon

Francie says "GO JOE!"

Mariani sisters Julie and Nancy watch the replay in slow motion :)

Dea had hats made up for the big event... HANG ON JOE!

It was a little chilly in the stands so Dave Mariani (grandpa to 8.5!) went to get the youngest baby Maddie something warmer

The celebrity back in the stands

Showing off the pretty blue ribbon

Francie and Maddie

Whitney there to cheer on her big brother

Emelia and Nancy

Dad Jon and Baby Maddie

Sofia watching the Buckin Broncs

Francie hanging out with Dave

The girls

Emilia snuggled up under the seats in her fancy new plush leopard print blanket her dad bought to keep the girls warm :)

Blue eyed Baby Maddie

Dave, Joe, Nancy and Whitney

And heading home with Mom

Don't mess with a Mutton Buster! Good job Joe-Joe!!