Category Archives: marriage

Let’s play catch-up!

May rivals December in our house for busiest month of the year. There haven’t been any blog posts for about a month because we have been so busy, not because nothing was happening. So, here’s what we have been up to since our last update.

Amanda had her 6th grade band concert. She has been playing trumpet for 2 years now, but this is the first concert due to all the COVID issues.

We attended the Connecticut Dairy Goat Association show with our herd. Quinn and Amanda both had a good time, but it was a LONG day. We left home at 5:30am and didn’t get back until 7:30pm. They both agreed that fairs are better (but I think it’s because of the fair food). Amanda was 2 of 10 and Quinn was 9 of 12 in showmanship. I even got in the ring with Cinnamon. The kids did a great job getting the animals ready and managing them for the day.

Amanda turned 12 and wanted to go on a bike ride on her birthday. Specifically, she wanted to ride on the Kingston bike path where there is a convenient ice cream shop about 5.5 miles into the ride. We ended up doing 12 miles on her 12th birthday.

Quinn had junior prom. They chose to make a variant of a jacket/skirt combo. This was an original design, completely sewn by Quinn (including the buttons and button holes). This will go into their portfolio for fashion design school, which is the leading choice post-high school pursuits.

Anna and Amanda have been spending a lot of time in the garden. Amanda has her own sections of the garden for planting what she wants. They work together to map out which veggies go where.

For Memorial Day weekend, we decided not to attend the New York Adventure endurance ride. We had a few tack issues at VERDA and with the cost of fuel, we just decided it was too much. Instead, we stayed local and camped with West Greenwich Horsemen’s Association in Exeter, RI (about 9 miles from home). The weather was stormy on Friday night, so Amanda and I set up camp and Anna, Alex, and Quinn brought the horses over on Saturday morning. Only 1 mile in to the first ride on Saturday, Quinn determined Missy was lame and came back to camp. We loaded her up on the trailer and went home to get Eli instead. Eli got some hock injections earlier this season and has been slowly making a return to heavier work. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, Amira, Mojo, and Huey got around 27 miles each and Eli got 15. Quinn and Alex elected to stay at home Saturday night and take care of the rest of the animals.

Quinn was inducted into the National Honor Society and also won an Excellence in Mathematics award at school to wrap up their junior year. Oh yeah, and they have a driver’s license now.

Today was our 23rd Anniversary! We celebrated with a ride on the horses. Amanda (on Huey) joined Anna (on Amira) and I (on Missy) for 11 miles this morning. After lunch, Alex (on Mojo) and Quinn (on Eli) went out for a ride as well. They got a little turned around and ended up doing 14 miles.

Now we are ending the week with some Princess Cake that Amanda and Anna made. Apparently we also ate it 23 years ago today.

Crazy May/June 2019

May and early June is always a wee bit crazy…and this year was no exception. After our trip to New Hampshire for Mother’s Day weekend, there has been no shortage of events on our calendar. Here’s a quick catch up post or highlight reel if you wish.

Amanda turned 9 on May 18. We had a skating birthday with her school friends that weekend and she had a blast.

At the end of May Alex was awarded an academic excellence award for his work in AP/ECE Environmental Science this past school year. Alex took two college level classes with ECE (Early College Education) credit, two honors classes, and still stayed on the high honors list all year. In addition, he participated all year in the 4H group “Teen Ambassadors” that focuses on citizenship, community service and leadership. The group went on a week long trip to Washington DC last week, and Alex had a blast.

Our new project pony Gem has a knack for getting hurt. With no horse sense to speak of, she had to learn what being in a herd is all about. She has so far been kicked by Mojo, stepped on a nail, and been bit by one of the mares, with all injuries requiring some level pf vet care. She has had her teeth done and her feet are improving, but she is definitely still a work in progress. Gem is very defensive of her food and requires us to be careful around feeding time. Unfortunately, I was not cautious enough and got kicked by her on June 1, causing me to be unable to ride for a week. She did go on her first short trail walk under saddle this week. No pics because I was leading Amanda, who was riding Amira.

June 2, most of the family rode in the first WGHA cross country pace (no jumps). I (Anna) did not as I was hurting too much from being kicked the day before. Rob recruited a client of his to ride Amira because she needed to be worked for the upcoming endurance ride. The kids placed second in the junior division, and Rob placed third in the open division. Good day.

Vicki promoted from 8th grade and is headed to the Marine Science Magnet High School in the fall. At the Griswold Middle School awards night, she received four awards: the VFW  award for dependability, a creative writing award, a departmental math award for highest average in math (3 way tie), and an award for her expo project “Horses in Therapy”. We are very proud of her. She has also remained on the high honors list all year and was a member of the National Junior Honor Society.
She attended the 8th grade dance and then there was promotion night. Her individuality is starting to show for sure.

Amanda is headed to fourth grade in the fall and doing just fine. She makes friends easily and does well at school. I went to field day for half the day and here are some pics.

Rob raced the Patriot Half Ironman on June 15. I went with him to the race to cheer him on and take pics. We camped in the travel trailer the night before. He finished in 6 hours and 38 minutes. I had a relaxing day of reading while waiting for Rob to return to transition between the different events.

Last but not least, Alex had a birthday. HE TURNED 16!!! Five guys for dinner and late night cupcakes for dessert because we were packing for an endurance ride. But we squeezed it in. He will go to get his driver’s permit on July 11 and his license when he is ready and has completed all the requirements (you can not actually get your license at 16 in CT it’s more like 16 and a half, if you are lucky).

Phew, I think that was all. Maybe. Until next time.

Christmas Lights

Last night we drove up to Amarante’s Winter Wonderland in Dayville.  We are new to this local attraction and just learned about it this year.  In its 11th year, Amarante’s is a local house that has 160,000 lights, 43 inflatable holiday characters and 36 Christmas trees.  They were nominated for “The Great Christmas Light Fight” show on ABC and won the competition.  For our local friends, it’s a nice family outing (I recommend Sirius XM channel 70 as your tunes to/from the display).

Happy 40th Birthday to Anna!

In April 1996, 20 years ago, I met a very attractive blonde from Sweden at the Naval Academy’s International Ball.  I had duties to attend to escorting women to the ball, so our introduction was brief.  However, a couple of hours later, I was able to find her again and asked her to dance. 20 years later, we are still together and she is just as attractive at 40 as she was at 20.

There will be no big surprises, just some gardening time and saddle time as Anna requested.  However, I wanted to share a few of the pictures from our early years that stand out in my mind. Click on the photos to see the details.

Happy Birthday Anna!

With love,


Assateague 2014

The last week of September, we took our travel trailer for a family vacation to Assateague National Park, an island in Maryland.  Anna and I had been before in the late 90s, and we thought the kids would enjoy the wild ponies, bird watching, and beaches.  We were right.  As part of the home school curriculum, the kids did some bird watching lessons in preparation for the trip.  My parents rented a Class C motor home and joined us and my brother and his family also came.  We had 3 camping spots in a row for the week.  The mosquitoes were brutal the first couple of days, but it got better through the week.

The kids LOVED playing on the beach.  The water was definitely cool, and an hour was about the maximum they could handle.  Through the week, the waves on the ocean side got stronger and only Alex was big enough to handle them.  However, the bay side of the island was much more protected and the cousins were able to play there daily.

We had a campfire most evenings.  The kids made some camp bread (that didn’t turn out too well – but they had fun) and smores.  Mostly, they enjoyed hanging out and telling ghost stories.

We did a couple of walks to look at birds.  And of course, the ponies who would walk right into camp.

I couldn’t pass an opportunity to take a look at the hooves of the wild ponies.

There were sleepovers in our trailer, and in Grandma and Grandpa’s camper.  And there was just hanging out and playing together.

The move is over!

After a month of overlap, the move was finally finished with the final load last night at 8pm. Today we did our check out of the old house. There are still a few things to unpack, but at least the stress of moving is over. And we are still married! And we are both alive!
Too bad life doesn’t slow down and allow us to relax and enjoy the new place.

Couples therapy

For the past few months, Anna and I have missed the opportunity to take the horses on a trail ride without the kids. This is because we have been without two horses for us to ride. While the lower feed bill has been nice, we really missed our time to ride as a couple and as a whole family.
On Monday, Calli (Calliope) came to join us. We have her on a free lease for now as we evaluate if she is right for us. Calli is a 5 year old, 16.1hh, thoroughbred mare. She has some arena experience, but is definitely more green than horses I have worked with in the past. So far, after 2 rides, we are getting along well.
Since it was raining this morning, we rearranged some plans and Anna and I went trail riding this afternoon. To my knowledge, this was only Calli’s second trail ride. We got her to do a small water crossing and did some canter work in a nice open field. She did very well and Anna and I were able to enjoy the afternoon out.



The road not taken…

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…

While I am not known for being a particularly sentimental person, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost has always been my favorite poem.  To me, it is (and has been) a mantra to live by: make a decision and move on; don’t fret over the decisions in the past.

This week, I have been on travel in Washington DC for meetings.  When I travel alone, I find myself contemplating all the other what could have been’s in life (contrary to the mantra).  In the end, I arrive at the same conclusion: I probably could have taken many different turns along the way, but nothing tells me where I am is better or worse than where I could have been.

While I know there are many roads ahead, as I get to each divergence, I will hold the hand of my wife, look down each, and weigh the pros and cons.  Eventually, we will choose together and move on.  Maybe eventually, we will come back and see what was on the other path, but I doubt it.

How do you choose your road?