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Our Equestrian

Not long before moving from the suburbs to the country, our wee little Apple started talking about horseback riding. We held her off for a while as we didn’t even know where to begin with it, let alone the fact that I am (was) deathly allergic to horses. But since then, our equestrian has been born.

Once we made the move it was pretty hard to keep her away. Not only do our neighbours own a horse barn and we can see the horses out in the paddock from our front porch, but we are less than a kilometre from some amazing stables, Stratford-Fox Run. We first heard of them from a couple of teachers at our old school who board their horses there. So, we got in touch with them and started Apple off with a summer camp, to see if she even was able to ride. From the first day she has wanted to live at the stables.

From camp we went to lessons and now only a year and a half later, she is doing some in-house equestrian shows. We feel/fear her love of riding and jumping will take us to some shows out of house, but we are hoping to hold off on that for at least another year.

Anna_Epp_Equestrian-17In school she has to do a project on fitness and when she first told her teacher she was going to be showcasing horseback riding, there was some question as to how much fitness was involved. Apple was quite convincing and explained to her teacher how there is stretching and posture and muscles used to stay on the horse involved. She was giving the go ahead and I was asked to capture her riding for her project.

As I don’t often shoot in horse arena’s there is a learning curve for sure. In the winter they aren’t as bright, adding to that it was quite a cloudy day. So, I think, not so bad for a first try and now I know what to do for next time, as I am sure there will be a next time.

And needless to say watching her ride so closely, I can see how much work it takes for both horse (this is actually a pony that Apple is riding) and rider to accomplish. We are definitely proud parents and on the good side, the more time I spend at the barns, the less my allergies act up.

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And because we can’t ignore this handsome fella, meet Chubbs. He came sauntering over to see us after lessons were done. Nothing like a frolic in the snow for this guy.Anna_Epp_Equestrian-21

Categories: Exercise, Farmhouse, Uncategorized
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Postcard from The Farmhouse

TheFarmhouse

Anna_Epp_Dec22-27A Postcard from the Farmhouse

As winter finally arrives and the temperatures, ironically, warm up, we were blessed with a rather large and beautiful snowfall. As much as I am not a lover of winter, I figured it out a few years ago. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em. I embraced winter as best as I knew how. I dress warm, wear my hat and scarves, snow pants, boots, whatever it takes to make being outside bearable. I also fell in love with our Farmhouse during the winter months. You would think that living in a 130+ year old home that winter would be cold and drafty. Well, some parts are, but mostly it is just beautiful. Every morning we have gorgeous sunrises over the fields and every night the sun sets over the forest across the road. Some days, with enough snow, we can’t even get out our driveway. But when a gorgeous dumping of snow arrives like this morning and coats the trees and house with snow, it is just gorgeous. And the silence of it all is magical, reminds us of why we decided to move our family out of suburbia to the country, even if it is only ten minutes away. Forget the winter blues, put on your best gear and take it outside. Fall in love with winter again. Find a magical place, like the farmhouse, to go and hang out.

Categories: Farmhouse
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You are the Parent

Raising children is hard enough on the best of days. As they grow up and start to get a mind of their own (what they can think for themselves now??) the arguing starts. Although I don’t remember arguing with my parents as much as my children argue with me, it seems it is the sign of the times. I am sure I did, but I also knew that when my parents said ‘no’ or ‘go clean your room’ we seemed to just do it. Because they were the parents.

When asked ‘why’ when the answer is no, I often have used the good old fashioned, ‘because I said so’. This was old when I was a kid, so I am feeling like it is old now too. Or I was until I attended the Dad2.0 conference in Washington D.C in February. I was there as wing woman with Julia Rosien and Restonic Mattress ,who was one of the sponsors. On the second full day of the conference Michael Strahan was there doing a Q&A that mostly talked about healthy living and waking up happy. One of the questions asked by the audience was, “How to you get your kids to stop eating junk food?” Michael’s response has stayed with me since February and has changed the way I answer my own kids when they don’t want to do something or I just say ‘no’.

Michael’s response was “Just say no.” and then, very animatedly “Because you are the Parent”!!  Brilliant! Why should we even be questioning this? Have we come so far into a different world that we have grown up with that our own kids feel they have a choice in each and every thing?

I will be the first to admit that sometimes just letting them do whatever, eat whatever, wear whatever for the sake of not arguing seems like the easier way out. But since I have tacked on, “Because I am the Parent!” when my children as ‘why’ or ‘why not’ my life has become increasingly easier. They have nothing to say to that because it is true. It ends the argument right there. They may still ask for clarification on why I said no, but I don’t always give them more than that. I shouldn’t have to because…. wait for it…. I am the Parent!

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Categories: Family
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