When we tell people we bought a horse barn, the questions are always...what made you do that? do you have horse experience? How did you find this place? So, I thought I'd tell the story of how we landed here.
I grew up with SOME horse experience. My extended family members had horses and, like any little girl, I begged my parents for one. The best I could get them to agree to was summer horse camps in Pennsylvania. It was awesome! We lived for a week in cabins and had our very own horse to take care of. Clearly, that level of experience qualified me to own a barn. The end.
Ok, so I actually had no business buying a farm, but "having no business" usually doesn't stop me. As my oldest, Ella, pointed out to me recently...I'm a dreamer. I LOVE that she knows that about me. And it's true. At least once a week, I call David and say, "I was thinking..." This usually causes him to jump with excitement. And by jump with excitement, I mean cringe. I've had people suggest to me that Dave does anything I want. That makes me laugh because it's not even close to being true. He probably agrees to about 50% of my ideas. It's just that the things he agrees to are so crazy, that people just assume I have him wrapped around my little finger. I can't even imagine a life where he said yes to all of my ideas. It's exciting and scary all at the same time. One thing I know for sure is that I would have a pet pig that lived in the house and that I dressed up in cute outfits.
I've always been drawn to the idea of farm living and, after my experience working at a hippotherapy practice, I made the goal of owning my own farm based practice some day. For those that don't know...I am an Occupational Therapist and hippotherapy is the use of horses in OT, PT or SLP treatment. This was really a pipe dream and nothing I was even working towards - something I would do "some day" when the kids were older. Well, one day, I drove by this boarding facility that was for sale. I called David and said, "I was thinking..." Much to my surprise, he didn't say no! We drove out to look at the place and he loved it. He loved feeling some seclusion from the chaos of his work day. He loved the peaceful atmosphere. For him, I think it was more about the land than the animals. I, on the other hand, had dreams of snuggling farm animals day and night.
After A LOT of discussion, we decided to take the risk and jump at the opportunity. Our plan was to buy the facility, learn the ropes and eventually build on the property in a couple of years. But, one day, we received a call from a realtor friend of ours, who said she had someone she thought would be interested in purchasing our house (which was not on the market). I told her that for the right price, I'm sure Dave would sell the kids and me, so I'm guessing he'd sell the house. The buyer ended up wanting it and we had to start thinking about where to live. With 4 kids and 3 dogs, landlords were not jumping at the chance to rent to us while we built our house. Dave came up with the genius idea to build out an unused barn on our property and turn it into temporary living for us while we designed and built our house. In 45 days time, we converted the hay loft of the barn into a 3 bedroom home. After moving in, we found that we loved living in the barn and have ditched the idea of building a house. We've had various animals live in the stalls below us - horses, chickens, goats. While it was very cool to walk downstairs and see my horse standing there, the smell was not so cool. So, now all of the animals are in the big barn and we are back here with only our mud covered dogs to stink up the house. And Owen. He also stinks it up. There's something wrong with that child's feet.