Heres a bunch of pent up complaining I've (mostly) kept to myself.
We have been looking every day for land since moving here in August. Actually, I recruited some friends to search with me before we even left Ak. We had heard the market here had crashed and were hopeful we'd score a deal! After speaking to a lender we learned we would not be able to get any financing on bare land to park our tiny house. So the boys and I literally drove around every day hoping to find a FSBO with owner carry. Our original plan was to rent a place to park, save money and find our dream property to start our own small homestead. It is definitely not working out like we had planned, not at all!
We've had to move already, due to a neighbor complaining to the county about 'homeless people living in an eyesore of a trailer'. That first spot was on a 3 acre farm with fruit trees and gardens but we were literally parked in the middle of a horse pasture. This was before the kitchen was finished so we did not have the ability to hook up. Hauling water was a daily job in the seriously hot weather. I made the most of it, focused on the kids, made fruit jam and tried not to complain.
We were blessed to become friends with a colleague of Matt's who then let us park on his property. Here we are SO incredibly close to the neighbors. Their adult son is living in an RV about 15 feet away. He's complained to his parents who've asked how long we plan to be here. We do have a small fenced yard for the kids, dog and chickens but with all the rain it's pretty much just mud. We have had water leaks, moisture and mildew issues that continue to be a problem even after caulking, gutters, disinfecting and dehumidifiers.
The neighbor to our right.
Our chickens in the yard and the neighbor behind us. There's another house to the right side as well. We had to add the rock walkway after I slipped and fell on the mud.
Another worry of mine is the boys not having outdoor space. This is a must when living tiny! They are great at home. It's when we go to someone's house or grocery shopping they forget how to behave. You know, freestyle furniture leaping and racing down isles at the market. I halfway allow a little crazy because I know they have been not able to burn energy here. I don't allow them to play outside when the neighbor is home in fear they too will complain to the county and we will have to move again.
We've tried RV parks. The ones that don't mind the pets and kids are not okay for children to be around. Homeless camps nearby and people intoxicated stumbling, arguing and displaying other offensive behaviors that don't make for a good environment for kids. The nicer parks with more regulations don't allow children long term.
The past month has been super hard on me. I cried for the first time about missing Alaska. I'm not sure if it was being away from family and frends for the holidays or that I'm losing patience being stuck in someone else's driveway, but I'm officially stressed out. Also, having to keep Michael in the the house during this recovery has made me feel smothered in my tiny house for the first time. We are used to leaving the house daily and did not leave for 5 long days. Our pipes have also been freezing and going without water is something I'm not okay with on top of everything else.. I know this is a bunch of whining. But...THIS STINKS!
Family recently talked us down from making an offer on a cabin on 17 acres. I liked it but its not what we truly want. We had to use our downpayment on medical bills, thankfully or I think I would have regretted it. So, we came to the conclusion we will rent a cottage.
Some rentals don't allow children so obviously we cant live in those. Most don't allow pets and that's also something we aren't willing to sacrifice. Then we noticed there would be at least a 12 month lease. We don't want to be stuck in a contract in case something perfect does pop up.
The conclusion, for today anyway, is to buy a small (around 700sq ft) house instead of renting. Mortgage would be less than rent and we could move out whenever we decide. We still have our house in Alaska which we do plan to sell. We're praying there's enough equity there that we will have a substantial downpayment or will give us enough in the bank to finance land. So we save, save, save...AND wait for our dream land, A LITTLE longer. We would keep the tiny house for when we are able to purchase land to park it on.
We spent the weekend looking at a bunch of small houses. We have narrowed down the search to three choices. I think we are all sad that the tiny house might not work out right now but are thankful for the time we've had. Knowing when to move on (before breaking down)and being able to be okay when things don't go my way are things that I've recently been able to do! Maybe this was all an exercise from God to help with my stubbornness and inability to be patient.
Again, if you're reading this PLEASE send us your thoughts or prayers on this issue! You all know how hard we worked to build and live in our tiny house!
Hunty was a great friend today!
Today is a day we've been waiting on for a while. Micheal got a tonsillectomy and had his umbilical hernia repaired. These issues don't seem like a big deal but have started causing some problems for little dude.
Michael is really such a happy kid. Over the past couple of years he had become increasingly cranky and had the hardest time waking up, even after sleeping all night. When we moved into the tiny house we started noticing why. He snored...like, LOUD and a lot! He wasn't getting restful sleep and it began to show in his behavior. We are praying that this will help with his speech a little. Also, no more continuous strep throat!
His hernia was really only a problem when he was running hard or if he got hit in the tummy. Whenever his belly button was painful we've just been laying down and pushing it back in. However, as Michael gets more involved with sports he would definitely see complications.
Bye bye button!
Daddy got to come say hi after dropping Javis off at a friends house, before started rounds and doing surgery himself. Michael never acted nervous, even being told it would hurt. The sweet nurse gave him a ton of stickers but he wanted to save them for Javis. I almost cried when Matt rubbed my back as they wheeled Michael away, so I made him stop. I was a little disappointed that Matt didn't have the day off, but he's literally across the hall working and knowing that he is near if I need him feels good.
We spent last night making the tiny house into a cozy recovery area for Michael. He isn't going to be able to climb up the ladder to his loft so I made a bed on the couch. I moved the bench from the table next to the couch so he won't roll off. The only concern lil man had was that he won't be able to tell me what's wrong if his throat hurts. I made him a chart so he can point and not have to talk if he doesn't want to. I'm sure I'll be regretting also giving him a bell!
After about an hour the ENT Dr. Came out and said all went well with the tonsils and adenoids. He found the cause of the crazy bloody noses and fixed that as well. Michael will be happy to not have to deal with that anymore! About 10 minutes later a nurse came in and said the hernia repair was finished too. Thankfully this all went by quickly.
Just when I started feeling relieved everything went well the general surgeon came to get me because Michael was upset. Luckily, a coworker went and found Matt so he was back there before me. M was screaming and trying to jump and mountain climb off the bed. The nurses and Matt held him down while we tried to calm him. I kissed him and rubbed his hair until he came to. It was awful to see but they usually don't let parents back there so I am glad we got VIP care. He got some IV meds to help him relax.
We were in recovery for a few hours. Once M woke up he was happy to have so many yummy snacks. Ice chips, apple sauce, Jello, juice and 2 popsicles later he was ready to head home! Daddy showed up in time to help us to the car.
There was a delay at the pharmacy on the way home so M started having some pain. Once he got home and drugged up he was happier. We've been home for a couple hours. I've been writing this all day as it helped me feel okay. Today went well, but was way more emotional than I'd imagined.
Michael was super tough today and did amazing. He's napping and recovering while playing Angry Birds. I'll be giving him more treats and lots of love while we wait for Daddy to get off work and bring Javis home tonight.
Keep the thoughts an prayers coming for a quick recovery!
I've been working on a post about living in our tiny house with kids. I felt I needed to first explain HOW we became parents as this might give a better understanding of WHY we chose to do what we do.
I have witnessed that special moment when a mother gives birth to her baby and sees that precious face for the first time. There is an instant bond and a love that is just beautiful. I hope one day I'll experience that too, but what I've got in my children is something so special I'm not sure if it can be beat.
2009- Javis, 2 and Michael, 3. Around the time they came to our house.
We got a call to go meet two little boys in a shelter. They were there alone, without parents, because one was incarcerated while the other was somewhere on the streets. The kids had been in and out of the shelter for months going on failed trial visits and placements with families all over the state. They had behavioral problems that were just too much to deal with. Also, their diagnosis of irreversible brain damage gave them a poor prognosis for ever living a normal life.
We brought them stuffed puppies. They held onto them the whole visit. Michael played and laughed. Javis was shy but kept his eye on us. He had just learned to walk. Neither could speak real words. When we left they gave us hugs. The social worker told us stories you cannot imagine. These tiny little people were truly survivors.
We got to bring them home on a Friday for a trial visit. The worker asked that we tough it out until Monday because there wouldn't be anyone in the office over the weekend if we needed to send them back. The weekend went well.
We discovered Javis was emotionally an infant. He would cry like a newborn and I would give him kisses and rock him to sleep. Matt kept telling me not to get attached, but I couldn't ignore his need for soothing. Michael was so strong, but so full of anger for just being three years old. Occasionally his tough shell would crack and we would see how sensitive he really was.
The next few months were tough as we all adjusted. Slowly, the tantrums and uncontrollable sobbing began to occur less frequently. (I'm talking us AND the kids!) The boys began to settle in and became less violent. We began to fall in love. Luckily, we were able to adopt them within nine months. The things that should have prevented us from adopting them played no weight our keeping them. God's plans were larger than the obstacles of our skin color, our age and even our financial status.
March 31, 2010- Adoption day.
Anyone that has been around these boys knows what I am talking about when I say you can't help but like them. They are so charming that I don't even know how begin to explain it. Don't get me wrong, it isn't always wonderful but the moments that leave me smiling make up for all the struggles.
Javis and Michael have grown so much!
Some say adoptive moms get to skip the hard part, NOPE! I went through my share of laboring, thanks! It is hard to be calm when there is a strange child using their teeth and your arm as an avenue to release anger. It takes a lot to suck it up and give kisses to a kid that you just caught eating out of the garbage can. It's so tough make your exhausted self hug a child that has been screaming for an hour for what seems to be no reason. Becoming their mommy took a lot of work.
The progress they have made has already surpassed what all the professionals said they would. They can run, talk, read and show love like no other person I've met before. Both Michael and Javis are full of a passion for life like I've never seen in another child. Individually they are both so special in ways that enrich our lives and help us grow. We learn from them.
This is why I say that the bond we have with our kids is something special. Love didn't just miraculously happen when someone handed over two adorable swaddled newborns. All four of us have put so much into making this work.
Recent family picture at a holiday parade of lights.
The house we stayed in.
Everyone should plan a trip to this place! We were only able to stay one night but I can say that this was the most fun we have had together as a family. We stayed in the Suite, which was significantly bigger than our house. It also had a bathtub. Our water heater was out of propane and since the maintenance man knew how excited I was he found me the biggest replacement tank he could! I took three baths :)
Javis enjoyed the bath too!
The website said no pets but I called ahead and asked to bring Hank since we didn't have a local petsitter. They charged $10 but were totally cool with it.
Matt and the boys wanted to zip line. They were able to get in with the last group the night we got there. The guides were so great! They were very accommodating, even when our kid freaked out! Javis wanted to do it so badly, but became very scared once he was on the 70 foot high platform! The guy did tandem zips with him so he was still able to experience it.
There was a BBQ on our deck so I planned ahead and brought steaks. We had a kitchenette so I cooked the baked potatoes in the toaster oven and the corn on the cob in a plastic bag in the microwave. It worked out just fine. We had snacks and stayed up late playing Lego's Creationary.
This game is like Pictionary, but you build with Legos!
I scheduled a massage in the morning before check out. The therapist said she can fit her table in a few of the houses. Since we were in the biggest one Matt and the kids were able go into the bedroom and I got an hour of much needed relaxing mommy time. Javis snuck out to potty and peeked up the head hole in the table. Other than that it was fabulous!
There were many other activities to do such as tie dye classes, horse rides, Tarzan swings and many more. The Treehouse Institute puts on classes for all ages that range from silly 'treeminology' to more educational courses on the actual building process covering design, engineering and construction. I didn't do this but after seeing all the beautiful details in the houses I'd say anyone building a house should think about attending this.
We are lucky to only live about an hour and a half away and will be going back for sure! The treesort was amazing and beyond our expectations.
See the face in the stump? Matt and the kids are way up on the bridge above it!!!
The following questions have been asked more than once. I began making a list a while back but lost it so these are more recent ones. I may add a part 2 as time goes on.
How much did it cost?
Around $14,500. Looking back the cost could have been much higher or lower! We would have spent less if we did all the work ourselves. If we went with higher quality material it would have been way more expensive. I feel we finished in a good balance.
What do you use for power/water?
In the future we hope to have solar and wind. For now we are dependent on being plugged in for electricity. Our stove is propane and our toilet is composting so in summer we really don't need to be plugged in. We also have a generator. We still do not have a freshwater holding tank so we also need to haul water or be hooked up.
Where do you poop?
We have a composting toilet. It was made by my friend and I. We hope to one day have an incinerating toilet when our budget allows. Basically our setup is a toilet seat on a box over a bucket. We keep a layer of dry clean sawdust or peat moss over the top and it generally does not smell.
Toilet made by my friend and I over the 4th of July.
How do you dry your laundry?
I was drying it outside before the winter rain started. We do have a washer/dryer in one though. I haven't used the dryer setting as it takes a long time and wastes electricity. I still use the laundromat when we get behind. I don't mind it as we get out of the house and it usually provides entertainment!
Washer/dryer and kitchen.
Where do you keep shoes?
We each have a pair of boots, a pair of every day shoes and a pair of flip flops. The pair we are wearing that day stays on a mat near the door and the others are stored under a bench.
What does your dinnertime routine look like?
Pretty much like a regular house. The kids play with toys while I cook, usually. We all fit at our table. We sit, pray and eat together each night. The only chaotic part is when I'm trying to pick up and Matt and the boys want to play or go to the bathroom.
Who gets what color stuff in the house?
When the boys were first placed in our home I got orange and green of everything for them. This carried on and into our tiny house too. Javis is orange, Michael green, Matt chose blue and I picked yellow. We have color coded towels and dishes. It is nice to have your 'own' stuff even if it is just the necessaries.
Do you ever have to buy items that you wish you had not gotten rid of?
Not really! I think the only thing was a corkscrew and a can opener. We go through clothes faster only having about 5 pairs. But this way we get to change out our wardrobes more frequently. There may be a few other things we bought mini sized such as a vacuum and coffee maker. I really don't miss 'stuff'.
How is living in there with kids?
It is going like I had hoped. My kids are great as long as they are being entertained and now I have more time for that. We adventure more out of the house. They do say they wish we had a bigger house but it is usually when we tell them they can't have something because we do not have the space. Don't let me mislead you into thinking it's all wonderful... Just like in a regular sized house, I get overwhelmed and sometime wonder 'What the heck am I thinking trapping myself in here with them!?' Overall, it is positive. (This is just a quick answer. This subject deserves its own post with much more detail!)
How did you decide to homeschool?
The original plan was to homeschool as we traveled. Matt got a job so we came straight here. I decided to keep homeschooling because I feel that I can give them more one on one time than public school. Both of them started off delayed and I think with a little extra attention they may be able to catch up a bit more. Right now I am focusing on making sure my boys are confident in themselves just the way they are. They both LOVE learning so right now I have no regrets.
Does your family have a sort of life mission or goal?
We hope to become less dependent on an outside food source. We have a better ability to grow more food here, compared to Alaska. In the future we hope to travel more and work in missions. If God chooses to bless us with biological children that would be great too. However, right now we are focused on our boys, each other and becoming happy and content with what we have in each other.
Does the house feel too full?
I've found myself shouting that I need to be left alone more than once. It usually means I want to not be touched and just need a few minutes up in the loft or outside. In my moments like this it feels full but generally it doesn't. I have noticed that when things are not clean or put away I feel very agitated. The other time is when everyone is up and trying to walk around each other. This is why I still go through things and donate items frequently to create more space. We have developed a good 'one comes in, one goes out' rotation.
One of the frustrating moments when little people decided to run around while I delivered breakfast...
Are all of your needs met in the tiny house?
All of our needs, yes. Wants, no! Living with just the basics takes more time for sure. Everything has its own space and needs to be planned out. I miss a dishwasher. Since we all only have one set I do dishes at least 2-3 times a day. I also miss taking baths. I used to relax and have my alone time. Our 5 inch foam mattress is uncomfortable, but it's a great excuse for regular massages! The negatives are nothing compared to all of the wonderful things about living minimally. I can honestly say that I'm glad we are not doing this in Alaska because we value the time we get to spend outside each day and that would not be doable in 9 degrees!
If given the opportunity to do this again, would you?
Totally. Even in my moments of frustration I've never thought or said I wish we hadn't done this. Just in the past few months our marriage has strengthened tremendously. We are actually happier and have more patience with each other. The boys are getting the attention they deserve and we have more time to enjoy them form their little personalities.
Our lil men <3
What would you change?
I would have gotten a longer trailer so I could have room for a bathtub. If we would have had more space our room could be on the lower level and then I wouldn't have to climb down a ladder to pee at night. We also should have looked into making our house not so heavy. The only thing that I am honestly struggling with is where we live, meaning the town. I think that I will enjoy it more after we have our own space! So I suppose I would have changed how quickly we had to move, given more time to looking into zoning and possibly visited the area before moving here.
What's it like traveling?
Refer to my Alcan post! Traveling long distance was an experience we will never forget! The shorter trips have been relatively uneventful. Our tiny house was built too heavy and was a tough load to haul. We could have benefited from sway bars as the trailer would swerve over 50 mph which was pretty terrifying. Even though I was sad we weren't going to get to travel before moving here I am glad we didn't. Our design isn't the best for frequent relocation.
Last day of the 2,800 mile trip.
If I've left anything out or you'd like me to explain something further please leave a comment!
I am only able to copy the text from the story I shared with Tiny House Listings. I'm sure there's a way, but it's 3:30 am! Matt got called into surgery and I'm left awake with a ton of things on my mind. One of which, "I'd better archive (so to speak) that article on my page!" When I just went back and found the site I noticed this post has had over 4,400 views! Totally cool to share my crazy with so many people.
(below is the actual site- which I can't get to link either...)
I went ahead and added one photo from the post just because Javis and Michael are so adorable :)
For me to thoroughly explain the drastic lifestyle and financial changes we made in order to build and live tiny I will start by introducing you to my family. My name is Letty and I was born and raised in Alaska. Matt is a Georgia boy but was transplanted into Alaska with the US Army. We met in 2005 and were married forty-five days later. We have two precious boys we adopted after being placed in our home as foster children. Michael is now 7 and Javis is 5. They have been bringing joy to our lives for over three years now. We also have a dog named Hank and Boris the cat.
In August of 2012 we made a nearly 2,800 mile journey with our tiny house from our home in Alaska to our current city of Medford, Oregon. We left the day after Matt graduated from the Medex physician assistant program. He received a job offer that just couldn’t be turned down and I was very ready for a change in climate!
A few years ago we had a conversation about buying a little house on a trailer but we did not have the finances and were in the middle of our adoption. I’m not sure what sparked Matt’s interest in it this time, but in November 2011 he brought it up again and I ran with the idea! We have been living in our tiny house since June and absolutely adore this lifestyle.
Prior to our tiny house adventure we were living in an averaged sized home. Our monthly bills were $3,395. This amount was just a few dollars below our income. We were getting by but had absolutely nothing in savings to begin building. I won a $5,000 scholarship through our local newspaper so we decided to use this as a down payment on our tiny house. My brother is a builder and also owned the perfect trailer for us.
The first phase was going to cost us $8,500. To make up the rest from the scholarship I was going to sell everything! Like seriously, everything. For some reason Matt went along with this! I started with furniture, then went through clothes, kitchen items, appliances, jewelry, toys, garden and craft supplies. We kept 5 complete pairs of clothing, a set of dinnerware and a towel each. We kept a few books and the boys each filled a small box with toys they wished to keep. Things that were special to us we gave to friends and family as gifts. Items that were left over we donated. Luckily, we had just enough money to finish this phase.
We were then out of money. The largest bill we had is our home mortgage. So we rented out our house. We were blessed with the opportunity to house sit for friends for over three months. When they returned we stayed in my mom’s RV. We were in a friends yard until we found a campground host position. About a month before we moved we parked in another friends yard and we finished the rest of the house, except for plumbing.
Without having the bills associated with living in our regular home we had the ability to have about $2000 extra each month to work on our tiny house. We were able to save more money by doing a lot of work ourselves, with the help of friends. People donated time and even supplies to make our crazy dream become a reality. The interior cedar siding was from our fence that fell over at our house. My friend had extra flooring he was willing to give us at no charge. I traded Matt’s handgun for exterior siding, cabinets, a ladder and the counter top. Another dear friend helped me build the lower kitchen cabinets, toilet and a pocket door. The plumbing and electric were hired out to family friends as well.
Here is a breakdown of our costs for building our tiny house:
Floor, Framing and Roof $5000
TOTAL COST $14,400 (including labor and supplies)
Our the main level is 7×16,our loft 7×9 and the kid loft is 7×6 for a grand total 217 sq ft. We used a ton of used/reclaimed items however I still feel that a tiny house can be built for a relatively low cost, like we did. Keep in mind we built in Alaska where things are way more expensive than the lower 48. We did not use as many high end or green materials as some people do but I still think our home is wonderful! I wanted to share our story to show that if a family of four on a tight budget can make it happen for a reasonable price, so can you! Even if you do not plan on building, a change in lifestyle will certainly help you save.
UPDATE: The kids and I are thawing out from our recent visit back to Alaska. We spent about three weeks there. I already miss friends and family, however, must say that the fall season here is BEAUTIFUL! We are parked in the Jacksonville area near Medford, Oregon. Matt is loving his new job and the kids and I have had a great time adventuring to new places over the past couple of months. It is hard making friends with new people but I am hoping to meet some families at homeschool activities. Homeschool people should be weird like us, right?! It is nice to have familiar faces (Grandparents, Aunt & Uncle and Cousins) somewhat close to us in California.
I haven't really shared a lot about our August drive from Alaska to Oregon. Probably because I am still emotionally recovering from it. Seriously, an adventure of a lifetime!
Here is a some of a journal entry from the day we left Alaska "August 18. We'd been counting down to this day. Until it came, excitement outweighed any other emotions I had about leaving. We continued to pack and I tried to avoid my Mom because she would cry whenever she looked at me. At that point the only thing I could think of was how much moving away from home sucked. As we said goodbye to the rest of our family I held in the breakdown as best as I could. I asked Matt to let me drive the first part just to keep my mind busy. I drove about 30 miles before we had to stop due to a SECOND flat tire. The first was in the driveway before we even left! After weighing our options and realizing how painful it would be to go back and have to say bye again we decided to press on without a spare tire. The kids asked about 42 times if we were almost there yet. We stopped at dinner time to eat, we made coffee and drove on trying to make up time we lost from leaving late. We talked about adventures that we looked forward to. We talked about how great having this time together would help our marriage. Moving IS good for us, even if it hurts so badly right now."
The next day the dash lights were acting funky but we didn't think anything of it. Maybe we should have...because a day or two later the alternator failed. Luckily, my Dad and brother were driving behind us in my car. They jumped the truck until we could safely pull off. We charged the battery at a very, umm...interesting establishment and drove on even though we shouldn't have. (We weren't about to spend the night there!) We barely made it into Watson Lake. By barely I mean we drove into town with no headlights, in the dark, trying to follow my dad by the light of a headlamp I held out the window! It was pretty smokey too from a wildfire. The fire wasn't as close as I thought it was at the time but it was still pretty terrifying!
The auto shop didn't have the part we needed so we would have to wait a few days for it to be bussed in. My dad decided to drive back a few hundred miles and retrieve the part himself. The next morning we were back in action. Driving, driving, driving. We hadn't made it very far but that drive makes you feel slightly insane! I tried to make a routine for the kids so they know what to expect each day. They did extremely well considering everything.
I don't remember where we were but Matt shouted out, " Buffalo! Not beefalo or zoofalo Real buffalo!!!" We stopped every time we saw some to take pictures. It was one of my favorite parts of this trip. I'm excited my brother was taking pictures of us too. Things went smoothly for a day. That was about it.
There were some water leakage issues that we should have addressed before leaving but in the time crunch we were in they were ignored. So when we encountered rain the floor and walls inside got a good rinsing. I was super stressed at this point and literally took all my clothes and dumped them onto the floor to soak up the water. My Dad found us a place to stop that had laundry facilities. At this point I think we had thoroughly freaked him and my brother out. They were great sports though :) I tried my best to not yell or cry even though most everything about this trip had gone wrong.
Aside from literally running out of money, the last few days went a little better. I am so thankful my Dad was able to get us all the way to Oregon. I didn't keep exact mileage but the trip was about 2,800 miles, took us 10 days and cost more money than I ever thought possible.
Right now I have no desire to drive down the Alcan again, but deep down I know that I'm probably crazy enough that it'll happen.
We have already been living in our tiny house for a month now! We still do not have water but thankfully we’ve got friends who let us use theirs. We work a little bit each day and are nearing the best part of construction, THE END! Also, we have almost paid off the truck we will use to move our house. We have adjusted fairly well to living together in a small space and I am excited to see what the future holds.
We are NOT builders. I don’t do numbers. I’m horrified of chopping my fingers off. As if that were bad enough, now I have a pretty awful relationship with insulation. I realized sitting in the loft during installation was a horrible plan after I got rashes in awkward places. Matt also tries, but would most likely succeed at unassisted brain surgery over cutting a right angle. However, we are learning and having to do so quickly. We are blessed by friends who are willing to help and teach us.
Matt did get the job in Oregon and today our countdown calendar reads that we have 33 days until we leave. That’s about how long we have been in our new home. Yikes! Time goes by so quickly and leaving the place I’ve always thought of as a home I’d never leave is starting to hit me. I went out to my Mom’s house the other night and got teary while driving back to town. I warned Matt to be prepared for me to bawl my eyes out when we leave and assured him it will not mean I have any regrets.
A lot of people have given their two cents about what we should and shouldn’t do. If you know me well you know I am STUBBORN so what is the point in even trying!? I’ve been asked many times before to pick one word to describe myself and I struggle picking one. I’m just me. I like doing crafts, gardening, baking treats and other things that make me smile. I’ve been told there is an elderly woman trapped inside my soul. We’ve been so busy over the course of our marriage I’ve become a little crazier than I’d like to be. Soon I’ll be able to settle into our new life and my inner granny should be able to do a little knitting and relax a bit.
I can hardly wait!
Being sure of my choices is very diffucult. When friends want to go eat lunch I always say that I don’t care where. I’ve bought an outfit, went to return the pants one day, the shirt the next, bought them both again, later to exchange both for another size. It is not limited to clothing as I did this three times with a very large bathroom vanity over the course of a year. I’m not sure what this says about my personality but I am certain that this annoys the people closest to me.
Today was the first time I’ve really sat back and thought about the things we have changed in our lives over the past year or so. Last summer I started suffocating in my 1800 sq ft house and decided to have a garage sale. I got boxes and walked around for weeks collecting brand new items that I couldn’t even recall buying. Why did I own only one pair of jeans but have a heap of unopened craft kits shoved in the back of my closet. I’ve had the same underwear for at least 7 years yet I seasonally change the wreath on my front door.
Maybe it is some sort of attention issue or possibly because it was raining all day and I was trying to get my mind somewhere other than trapped in a motorhome with two kids. I really got to thinking about how much time I spent doing things that really didn’t matter or make me happy. Why would we fight so hard to have a family and then pile on so many unnecessary responsibilities that would keep us from being together? I’ve heard that acknowledging there is a problem is the first step but I cannot remember what comes next. Is step number two changing everything and pray that it works out better!? These are BIG CHANGES, not just subtle ones.
Matt has been applying for jobs around Oregon. He has an offer for airfare, hotel and a rental car to go check out a vascular surgical group in Medford. For the past 2 years I’ve googled different towns trying to find if I could really make another place other than Alaska home. I’m not even checking population, schools or paralegal jobs for me. Just seeing pictures to see if it looks cute and green. Honestly, I’m beginning to see that this is really happening and I’m sort of feeling that same anxiety about shopping for pants! How do I know for sure this will work out?
I’m going over and retracing everything we have changed, making sure it fits and reassuring myself everything will be ok. I shared these thoughts with my darling husband. I am pretty sure he has finally dialed in on my diagnosis as his
advice to me just became the title to today’s madness.
That term was given to us by a great friend I met while in college and it fits just perfectly. We just spent our first night as Hosts. The power wasn’t yet hooked up and there were troubles with the water. We wore extra clothes and had to snuggle a little so obviously Matt didn’t mind. The boys are always sweaty and didn’t notice so it worked out just fine.
We had been housesitting my friends parents’ house since January. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t necessary for us to be there but we’ve got some awesome friends that worked it out for us. Our house rented out in April so the timing was pretty meant to be. When the travelers made it home the other day we parked in my friends’ driveway for a couple of nights. These people have become family to us. So kind, unbelievably helpful and also willing to put up with our body odor as we have been adjusting to not taking a shower every day. It’s hard to find friends that still hang out when you’re stinky and have ugly hair.
We are staying in my Mom’s motorhome here at the campground until we finish the tiny house. I have had several friends helping me since we have taken construction over after my brother injured himself while roofing. We’ve got some pretty awesome people in our life, that is for sure.
Today we went exploring around the park. We ran into a few people we knew. After that incident I’ve decided to keep my mouth shut when people ask “What have you guys been up to?” What!? THIS isn’t normal? I mean, if you’ve met me, shouldn’t that be enough to make you understand?
I’ve also been asked about how the kids are going to handle this. Michael and Javis are having a blast. There is a playground, rocks and dirt. They haven’t asked to play with their electronics or watched a movie at bedtime in a couple of days. They are too tired from just being kids. When you take time for them to learn and explore the world they are the happiest. Prior to now we reserved time for this behavior only a few hours a weekend, if it fit into our schedule. Our four legged kid is enjoying himself too.