Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Lot Can Happen In A Year

Harley and I have been a partnership for more than nine years now and he turned eighteen years young in March!  Our relationship is much more relaxed than it used to be.  There are no training goals, just enjoyment in each others company.  I still trim his feet.  He does not look like a hardkeeper any more (even though his diet does not include grain).  We ride in the arena and on the trails.  This pressure-free lifestyle is suiting us both very well.  Although, I like to think that Harley wishes he saw more of me.

My current favorite picture of Harley

My life is dominated and defined by motherhood these days and I am very happy with this life choice.  Do I miss riding four times a week, spending hours with my horse, and having the luxury of planning my free time around Harley?  Yes.  Apparently, it is possible to be happy where you are but still long for a previous happiness.  However, I often remind myself that Harley is not a spring chicken any more and a heavy workload is not the best thing for him.  He doesn't feel any older when I ride him, and if you saw him jumping around the other day, you would probably guess that he is a much younger horse.  I would like to keep it that way, if I get to have any say in the matter.  I am a very lucky person and I hope my horse care and training choices are also partly to thank.  I am also very fortunate to have a boarding situation with excellent care and 24/7 turnout with a buddy.

A Mommy is a very busy person (especially a working Mommy), and life changes very quickly.  For example, Sweet Pea turned into a toddler and beautiful little girl.

Sweet Pea

She also became a big sister, hence the title of this post!

Sweet G-our second little girl
We decided not to find out the sex of our second child ahead of time, so we got to make all those classic phone calls and say, "It's a girl!!!!".  It was awesome, plus she was born just days before a massive snow storm (thank you Sweet G), with us arriving home just hours before the snow fell, and fell, and fell all weekend long.  This was after a winter of almost no snow at all.  Good work, Sweet G!

Yeah, so if things seemed busy before they are VERY busy now.  I am on maternity leave and somehow caring for one almost three-year-old and one three-month-old is more work and more exhausting (physically and emotionally) that working full-time as a middle school teacher.  Not sure how, but it's true.  I am extremely fortunate to have employment that allows me to take significant time off to care for my babies.  It is wonderful and I didn't take advantage of it last time (I went back to work when Sweet Pea was three-months old, which overlapped the summer vacation.  That time is a blur in my memory.  Very, very difficult.)  Being a Mommy of two is HARD, and anyone in the same boat understands, but also wonderful BEYOND wonderful.  Your own baby smiling at you is the best thing ever.  I also love nursing my babies, and it is a lot easier to nurse when you are actually with you baby all day, not pumping at work (although I will be back to that in September).  I am so glad that hubby and I decided to become parents.  Seriously, being a parent is a life-changing experience, but if you are on the fence deciding, go for it.

Sweet G is enamored with her big sister.  She loves everything that she does especially patting the squeaky bunny on her bib.

Sweet Pea loves dinosaurs.  She likes horses and acknowledges Harley as THE all-important horse, but right now she is a dino girl.  This is cool.  I get to visit the boy's department for clothing, because there are not many dino clothes for girls. 

So that's my life these days.  I am unapologetically a Mommy.  I am and always will be a horse girl.  I LOVE my horse and still wish to see him each and every day, but I have no misconceptions anymore about how much of my life is dedicated to my little humans.  I am not trying to get back to my old life; that was that hardest part about our first child.  When will I get back to XYZ?  Um, never.  My life is different now, but it is very good.  It still includes Harley and highly coordinated barntime, and you better believe that I love every second of it.

Always smiling!

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for the update. I was wondering how you were doing! Your babies are beautiful. It must be very hard to go back to work when they are little. In Canada you can have a year and can share it with your partner. Harley looks good and very happy. There will lots of time for horses in your future.

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    1. Canada has fantatic maternity leave legislation. The United States needs to get with the program, too. My husband would love to able to take time off with me. He took two weeks but it was deducted from his sick leave.

      I have been enjoying reading about your adventures with Carmen. Maybe there is a horse life like yours in my future. That would be awesome!

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  2. This post seriously spoke to me. Carter is 9 months now and I wouldn't trade being his mommy for anything! I was just in the garage organizing my horse stuff and feeling this intense longing to be an all-in horse girl again. Happy where I am, longing for previous happiness. And you're right, being a mom is way hard, but incredible! Loved this post!

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    1. Thank you! I started this post in February, but it sat on the back burner until yesterday when both children decided to sync up their naps. Wow! Now if they could just send me a memo and let me know that THAT was going to happen ahead of time, I could get some serious barn time in. :)

      It is tough loving both worlds and having to choose, but the love you feel for your little one makes the choice surprisingly clear. I just don't want to miss anything with them, although I do cherish the little time that I get to myself, which is always spent with Harley. I am sure that you will have that again, too. But now I must add that since you have bought the membership to be a parent, watching your oldest interact with your new baby is so absolutely joyous. No pressure though. Your guy is still very young. Enjoy him and that magical first year.

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  3. It's so good to hear from you Val!
    Congratulations on bundle of joy number two! Harley looks great, and the girls are adorable. :D

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    1. Thank you!
      I did not want to stop blogging completely and I love reading others posts, but the time just wasn't there anymore. Hopefully,I will be able to squeeze in a word or two here and there. Do horse people like reading about kids?

      I know that you are very busy, too, but I always like seeing a post from you on my blog roll.

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    2. Having kids and horses, I LOVE reading about how others manage it, or even just seeing cute pics of kids, horses, and best of all, both together :)

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  4. The girls kare absolutely beautiful! Love their smiles. Being a mommy is hard work but worth it. I have three and now four grandkids so I still have little ones in my life. It's just the best.

    I'm sure Harley misses you but I'm also sure he enjoys the quality time you spend with him. He is getting older and probably appreciates his leisure time with his pasture buddy. My Blue turned 19 in March and he would like nothing better than not having to do anything that even felt like work.

    Enjoy the time with your beautiful girls they get big fast.

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    1. I actually got to ride Harley today. He was feeling spicy! I had to remind him to slow down multiple times. It is great have a horse that loves riding as much as I do, even if it is less frequently than in the past.

      They do grow up fast and it is still shocking even when you know the mantra. It is a tremendous responsibility to do right by my children and there is no time to waste.

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  5. Life does change and being a mommy is a very fulfilling thing. My kids are adults now, but I look at them and there is no doubt in my mind that being their mom is the most important role of my life. It's all good. I'm glad Harley is doing so well; I remember when you were having so much trouble keeping him in good weight. You have been the best horse mom he could ever hope for.

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    1. Thanks for the sentiments, Annette. Less work and more roughage in the form of hay pellets and longstem hay seem to be working. My vet regularly gives him the thumbs up for body condition. What a relief!

      I agree that being a Mommy is now my most important role in life. I think that it makes me a better teacher, too.

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  6. Congrats on little G, she's beautiful!!! Two is definitely a game changer, you get the first to toddlerhood, kinda have a routine, then totally bust it to pieces with the second ;) Its amazing to watch them interact though. You boy looks great for 18, and I bet he's loving a low-key life.

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    1. Thank you!

      Oh yes. It was "easy" taking care of Sweet Pea right up until Sweet G was born and then all of the sudden I found myself low on patience, hypervigilant of the newborn, and trying to soothe a very emotional toddler. Almost four months later, we have many more good days than bad, but things change so fast with a baby that it is difficult to figure out if the current routine is still working.

      One good thing about the change is that Sweet G is finally old enough for me to leave for long enough to get a decent barn visit in. Nothing kills a horsey natural high like a crying baby who missed you.

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  7. So glad to year you and everyone are doing so well! What beautiful girls you have!

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    1. Thank you! Love living vicariously through your adventures with Taran.

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  8. Congrats on the new baby! I won't be long until you're like me out there riding with your kids! That's the best! Enjoy this time though it's so fun!

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    1. Thank you! That would be amazing.

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  9. You commented on a post of mine the other week and I thought "I wonder how life is going for Val and Harley!" - and now you've updated! Yay!

    Congratulations on your second beautiful little girl. I know what you mean about living nursing. My 1 year old is still milk monster but is slowly dropping feeds and I know our time will be up soon and it makes me sad. So glad Harley is doing well too - sounds like you've got a very very full and happy heart. :)

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    1. Thanks! It is great to see your posts too, although I am sorry about the coughing with Allie. I can empathize!

      Um, you might not be done with nursing for a while even if Evie is a year. Ask me how I know! 😉

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