My Childhood Wish Came True


So there’s a very good reason I haven’t been blogging. It’s a great story, but might take awhile to tell. Get yourself a nice warm drink and settle in. 🙂

Something you should know about me, I’ve pretty much loved horses since I knew what they were. For some people, I think it’s just written into their DNA, and that is definitely the case with me. When I was in second grade, I made an “I Wish” list. Here is the actual list:


Aside from wishing I was a dog and there were no boys, this list still holds pretty true. 😉

When I was 25, I was able to make the first item on the list come true. I bought my first horse, Maggie Sue. I have always boarded her and held #7 as a wish in my heart, that some day I would be able to look out my window and see my sweet mare grazing in the pasture. My husband and I have talked for years about our farm we will have someday. But until this year, I was traveling so much and so busy with weddings that it wasn’t practical to live on a farm. It’s a different lifestyle with greater day to day responsibilities, so I had it on the shelf as a 5 to 10 year plan.

Then one Sunday morning in July, I had a little time and went to Zillow on my iPad. For a long time I’d had saved searches for “barn” and “hobby” for a nearby radius and price range that would work for us. This adorable little hobby farm popped up, and when I started looking through the photos, I had this feeling that this was our place. I contacted my friend Terri Danielson to see if she knew anything about the property. By Wednesday, we were able to go see it. As we drove out of the driveway at the end, I asked my husband what he thought. He said, “I can’t find anything wrong with it!”

The trouble at this point was, we had lived in our current house for almost 12 years and it was in no way market ready. We dropped everything and for the next 10 days we paint, purged, packed, cleaned, fixed and staged and got pre-approved. The day we had all our ducks in a row and went to put in an offer, we found out someone had beat us to it.

We. Were. Devastated.

For the next week, we just felt numb. We could see ourselves living there with such clarity, that not buying this farm just didn’t feel possible.

After we recovered enough to thing straight, we talked with Terri about what to do next. We were so far into the process of selling our home that we decided, in faith, to list our home anyway and hope another cute hobby farm would come on the market. But we didn’t have to wait long — on the day our home was listed, our dream farm became available to us once again. Our home sold in just 2 days – full price offer! Even Terri, our agent said, “You guys were meant to get this place. Deals just don’t come together like this.” She’s right. I won’t get into the gory details, but there were some big, difficult wrinkles in the process where things almost fell through – even right up to the day we moved. But every step of the way, we felt God was leading this whole thing, increasing our faith in Him and love for Him.

From the day we saw the listing, to the day we moved in was a few days short of 2 months. We are still pinching ourselves that this even happened!

This was the home where we spent the last 11 years. It was a great place, but we were ready to move on. We are so grateful to Terri and her team who worked exceptionally hard to help make our dream come true.

Here are a few photos from around the farm…(most are iPhone photos – haven’t had a lot of time to take photos with my big camera!)


The barn! This is the view from my front door. I love all the big pines. They will be so pretty in the winter.


The inside was all fixed up and like new. We keep the horses out full time, but the stalls are nice for bad weather, and just bringing them in for grooming or tacking up.


The property did actually come with a house. 😉 I’ve always wanted a home with a red door. It has so many things we’ve talked about wanting in a home!


I love the weather vane! The former owners were retiring to another state, so they left some very wonderful things with the property.


The dogs like it here, especially Toby!


Every barn needs kitties, right? Meet Finnick (who was originally Katniss, until we became aware of our inexperience with determining cat gender – oops), Gale and Primrose. May the odds be ever in their favor.


Finnick is a little mischievous! Toby loves to chase the kitties. Arthur is more gentle, and likes to sniff and lick them.


I feel like I’m on vacation almost every day. Except the working part. 😉


We have great sunset views.

It took us a month to settle in enough to bring Maggie Sue home. Horses are herd animals, and we couldn’t have her living here alone, so we purchased a new horse named Fritzie. She is named after the former owner’s grandpa because she was born on his birthday!

This is me with Ava, Fritzie’s former owner. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her through the process of buying her beloved horse.
The two horses get along very well. There was never any biting or kicking between them. Here are some photos from the first day they were out together.
Fritzie is soooo beautiful and athletic! I’m taking it slow with her because she has a strong, but sweet personality. I have plans to start riding her this week! I can’t wait to see what she is good at.
My sweet Maggie Sue – 22 and still so beautiful!
So that’s it! My childhood wish came true! I know it also comes with a lot of work, and keeping horses in Minnesota in the winter can be extra difficult. But my joy is complete and my heart is full when I look out and see a scene like this – my Maggie Sue grazing at sunset.


  1. Barb Kellogg

    October 26, 2015

    This still gives me goose bumps – the good kind!

  2. miriam

    October 26, 2015

    i’m so so happy for you, your pictures are truly beautiful as always, and your story so inspirational.

  3. Kim Bade

    October 26, 2015

    … and they lived happily ever after ♥

  4. Angela K

    October 26, 2015

    It WAS meant to be! You are living my dream life – and the farm? Wow! Just perfect! I cannot wait to see your winter photographs and the horses playing in the snow <3

  5. Karen Huisinga

    October 26, 2015

    I am so happy for you two!! It looks absolutely breathtaking . I can not wait to see it in person . So glad you found your little piece of heaven on earth.

  6. Deanna Samaraka

    October 26, 2015

    Oh my goodness, what a lovely story that glorifies our Father! I’m so truly happy for you. Looks like a great place for me to visit for some mentoring!!!

  7. Alyssa

    October 26, 2015

    I want to come visit you soon!! xoxo!

  8. Bill Raab

    October 27, 2015

    That is wonderful news! So happy for you!

  9. Sandy

    October 27, 2015

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story! (Tears)

  10. Melf

    November 2, 2015

    I’ve been saving this post until I could radio fully and absorb it. I remember when you posted your list from 2nd grade on FB and I just smiled. it’s pretty amazing that you saved this list, but even more so when you realize you have accomplished so much of it!

    I have always wanted a farm too. I think I am living vicariously through you. Living in the country with your horses is heavenly (and hard work) and to have the most amazing sunrises and sunsets too!
    Enjoy every minute of it Shelley. You worked for it. You deserve it.

  11. Sandy

    December 1, 2015

    Some things in life just seem as if they were meant to be and it’s “just” a matter of recognizing the opportunity offered to us and seize it with both hands. Your story is very touching and I’m very happy for you. I hope you’ll be very happy in your new home with your loved ones around you.
    It gives me hope that I might make my farm dream come true as well one day.

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