His vs. Hers: A Marriage – and a farm -- of Compromise

by Cedar & Sage Farm | Aug 06, 2017 | Farmhouse

So, I had some pretty big plans for what was going to take place with our reno over the month of July. Picture more walls coming down, framing our new master walk-in closet and main floor laundry and maybe even having the electricians in to start on the electrical…. But, then reality kicked in and none, yes none of that was even looked at.


I may tend to over plan, and in turn, I am often left with a complete half feeling when things don’t all work out. But, I am pleased to say that I am growing in this regard.


Where once I would have had a pit in my stomach walking across our plywood floors and making my way down our hallways (which are sporting some lovely half scraped ceilings currently), I have now found peace in its incomplete state. I will go as far as to say that I have even found some positives to living in a torn apart shell.



I have found that the great room that once housed our furniture and hosted our friends and family is now making a great storage place for all of the new inventory for the online market. I no longer care if my kids take their shoes off as they are running through the house “just getting some carrots for the horses” trailing whatever barn debris they have happened to walked through first.


But, the reason that these things have not been touched has less to do with me, and more to do with my husband. It is the age-old lesson in sharing that has put us at a standstill for the indoor house renovation. Marriage, as we all know, is about sharing and compromise and at times, that is just plain hard. But, sometimes if we suck up our pride and see value in others’ perspectives, great things can happen.


Andrew’s passion is the barn. There really is no other way to put it. He arrives home from work every night and more often than not beelines it to his retreat. All he generally needs is a few short minutes in there, and the fix has been granted. He always claims that he “just had to check the furnace” or “put something away” but the truth is, it’s just a space that makes him happy. He, like the rest of us, loves our barnyard zoo, and he can often be found cradling a mini pig or a baby goat.


When we looked at the house two years ago before purchasing it, the barn too had a list of many ‘to do’ items to bring it up to par with what our vision for it would be. It was built in 1980 and is a little run down and not quite what Andrew would consider a finished project.


So, instead of taking a sledgehammer to the walls inside, over the past month I have humored him, and have used the time to make some much-needed improvements to the barn. In essence, it will serve as a greater, more functional and less high-maintenance retreat for all of us as we do our chores, feed and play with the animals that reside there and even just sit and have a fire as summer turns to fall. Yes, we have a wood-burning stove in there. And yes, it was the first thing that was done to this property once moving in. Andrew and I both have a love for wood burning fireplaces, and this is how he suckered me into thinking that this was a necessity right off the hop.


So, as much as I may have had some inside grumbles about why we were starting yet another project while the house was in shambles, I am glad that we did. The stall doors are all opening smoothly, and the feed and hay have all been moved and stored, as they should be. And the best part is each stall now has its own automatic waterer. For those of you that don’t haul water to an assortment of thirsty creatures each day, this is a BIG deal!



So, there we have it. The animals have been rotated to new paddocks, new fences have been put up and old ones fixed, the organization has been achieved, and each and every member of our menagerie has access to water to which I don’t have to huff five-gallon pails of water to fill and clean each day. Life in the barn is good, and I know that the house will get its turn.



My only dilemma now is if I can relinquish control and let him have his forever yearning to have a red barn. He’s not so secretly been bringing home variations of red paint and testing it on the outside of the barn. I love a red barn as much as the next guy, but I am not so sure that our barn color would work…. For starters, it already has an old faded red tin roof. That’s a lot of red, my friends. And, my OCD does not love that the red won’t match what’s in store for the exterior of the farmhouse.



I guess we will just have to see how it all turns out and whose turn it will be to compromise next.

Meet Ashleigh

I have somehow been blessed beyond measure; I am married to a wonderful guy who shares in the great joy of raising our three amazing children. We recently picked up and left the city to follow our hearts, with the intention for a more simple and natural lifestyle. Both my husband and I are native Calgarians who have always been awed with the wonder of looking out at the Rocky Mountains. For us, transplanting into the foothills just made sense and we couldn’t wait to get here. It wasn’t until I was removed from the hurry of the city; that I was able to settle into my purpose and accept and celebrate the things that make me happy. Combining my love for bringing life into a neglected space, and filling it with a marriage of old and new, has enabled me to take on the challenge of rebirthing this 1980’s farmhouse. Being able to do this from home, while tackling the daily chores of caring for our farm animals is pure bliss and sits comfortably in my heart. I am chomping at the bit (along with our horses…) to continue to watch the evolution of our space take shape… And I can’t wait to fill this home with love, memories and the smell of Sunday dinners for years to come. I believe that the greatest gift in life is family, and I have been placed amongst a beautiful tribe (my late grandfather’s endearing term for our extended family). I yearn to give my children and their friends a place to melt away from the hustle; in a comfortable and pretty space, which I hope can be a refuge from a complicated and sometimes messy world. Although this move and new direction was not written down in my master plan (and I am a list and plan girl through and through), I am thrilled that the happenings which brought us here have unraveled just the way they did. I have dedicated this year to being grateful for our many gifts while also accepting my limitations with grace and courage. In addition to my home and family, I love camping, iced tea, Volkswagens and a good book… in no particular order. I hope you can find inspiration, relatability or even just a good laugh by following my blog posts as I figure out just what will unfold next.