WHEN ONE DOOR CLOSES...
Twenty-one more will open. Well, that is how many doors we counted this morning that will have to be painted. Yikes. So I think you are all past due for some updates.
Where do I even begin? I guess I should update you on the past few months in the tiny house first. Things have been going well…just plugging along. We have been super busy these past few months- as most everyone is in the spring. The April storms sent us packing to a hotel a few times, but other than that things have been going well. Have we gotten irritated with each other? Yes. Have we wished we had another bathroom at times? Yes. But nothing has happened that made us say, “That’s it. We have had enough and are looking for a bigger house.” Matt and I have always said that when the time was right, we would know. And let's be honest, family gets irritated with each other even in the biggest of houses.
So last Friday, I was taking Callan’s friend home. She lives in the neighborhood down the street. In fact, a lot of the kids’ friends from school live in that neighborhood. I have always thought to myself- this is a nice little neighborhood. Anyway, as we were leaving the neighborhood, Cooper said, “Hey mom. I like that house and it is for sale.” I glanced over and thought to myself- well I kind of like that house too. And as that thought crossed my mind, I felt a little nudge to investigate.
Once we got home, I looked up the house online to see some more pictures and most importantly to see how much it was listed for. Then I sent the text to Matt that he hates to receive, “Call me.”
So eventually he called and I said, “Hey there is a house for sale at the end of the street in the subdivision. I think we need to go look at it.”
“Let’s talk about this when I get home,” he responded. That is always what he says. Drives me crazy. Why can’t we talk about it then? I am a now person not a later person. But I agreed that we would discuss it at home. And we did. Matt asked if I thought it was time to move and I explained that I didn’t know, but I did know that we were supposed to go see this house. It was late and so he said he would call the next day to set up a time to go see it. Matt was on board.
The next morning I had to go to a workshop, but I had a hard time focusing. First, I was thinking- is this really what we are supposed to be doing? Second, two numbers kept popping up in my head- the amount we were going to offer and the amount we were going to pay. It was very clear to me that we were going to make an offer on this house and we had not even been to see it! Matt had not even called about it at this point!
Matt finally (well it seemed like a really long time, ok) called and said we were could go see the house at 5. We took one step inside and I knew it was the right one. Matt knew that I knew. I am not good at hiding my emotions. Sometimes that gets me in lots of trouble. We finished up the tour (on the tour we saw a baby deer on the property!) and once in the car I told Matt, “I like it. Let’s buy it.”
He was like, "Ok." Easy peasy. We are the best big decision makers ever. We can't decide where to eat out for dinner, but we can decide to buy a house in a day.
This story is much longer than I intended. I told Matt what we needed to offer. Just for the sake of the story let’s say it was $100,000. He was all like- “Chamie, we would pay 105 so let’s just offer that. I don’t feel right offering 100.
Then I told him, “All day long two numbers have been in my head. I know we will pay 105, but that is not the number we need to offer. I have been trying to convince myself that 105 is the right offer as well, but God keeps telling me to offer 100.”
We had a bit of a disagreement. A few moments later Matt was daydreaming- or so it appeared. I said, “What are you doing?” I was thinking why are you staring off into space when we have important phone calls to be making?!?!?!
“Praying,” he responded. That’s a good man right there, people. I softly responded, "Ok," and felt bad for my previous thoughts.
So let me finish this up. Matt called. He offered 100. (That’s a smart man right there. Ha! Just kidding. I am sure he did it because of God and not me.) Finally, they called back with a counter. Know what it was? Yup…105. God is so cool. If only we would listen to Him more often, He has this all worked out for us. He's probably sitting up there like- why are you down there doing your own thing when I have bigger and better plans for you? LISTEN to me! I bet He feels like I do when my kids won't listen. Oops.
So there you have it. We are currently in the process of buying a house. Let me answer a few questions everyone has been asking.
When will you move?
We will move in a month or so because banks operate slowly.
What will you do with the tiny house?
Currently the plan is to rent the tiny house so I can still threaten the kids that we are moving back if they don’t clean up their rooms. It will be furnished because all of the furniture was pretty much made for the house. If you know someone interested, have them message me. If you know someone selling furniture, message me.
What will you move to the house?
Nothing. We don’t have much. Actually the kids will all have bedroom suites. Matt and I will buy a mattress and throw it on the floor. Don’t expect anything other than lawn chairs and a folding table if you come over anytime soon. It’s ok though, we will be perfectly content sitting on the floor. Its been a while since we have had a floor big enough to sit on!
Were you planning to buy a house?
Yes. At some point we knew we would move out of the tiny house we just didn’t know when. I did not expect it to be so soon. We were not house hunting. We were just driving down the street and happened upon the perfect house for us. God was planning for us to buy a house. We just didn't know it.
How big is the new house?
It is bigger than our old house and is the same size as approximately 7.5 tiny houses. I might lose a kid.
Are the kids excited?
They are SO excited! We didn't take them to see the house until after the offer was accepted. We didn't want them to get too excited about something that may not be theirs. Cooper is super excited about his walk in tub. I sort of think I might like it as well. They are all looking forward to having their own rooms with a door. Matt is excited that their rooms aren’t close to ours. (wink wink)
Are you excited?
I am excited. I think that the timing is right. I will miss things about the tiny house, but I am sure we will all find ourselves piled up on the couch watching TV just like it has always been. I am not excited about having to walk around the kitchen to get things. I like everything being at my fingertips. I am excited that my daily step count will increase! I am looking forward to being a part of a neighborhood where the kids can ride their bikes and go visit their friends. One of the things I am most excited about is the neighborhood pool! I have always wanted a pool but Matt has never wanted pool maintenance. Win win!
Do you regret going tiny?
First of all, I am not one to live with regrets. Once I make a decision, I move forward. Big decisions don’t haunt me. My mother has said that I have always been like that. I suppose it is a blessing, but I just live knowing that once a decision is made I can change what comes of it, but not that it was made in the first place. God has a plan and he had a plan for us in the tiny house. We wanted to teach our children to become less materialistic. In reality, I think I am the one who learned that lesson the most. The house we bought is old and needs lots of updates. I would have never even given that house a second glance a year ago. But when I look at that house now, I see the things it offers and not what needs to be changed. For me that is a big lesson to learn. It is easy to see what things aren’t when really what matters most is what they are. Don’t get me wrong- I am still gonna paint the entire house but you know what I mean. So we have no regrets. I have no desire to be back in our old house. I wouldn’t trade this past year for anything and I cannot wait to experience the blessings God has in store for us in the new house.
So there you have it. One adventure ends and a new one begins. In the mean time, anyone wanna go garage sale shopping?
THINGS I MISS
Don't hate me. We canceled our internet at home because it never worked, so unless I want to go blog at McDonald's I am out of luck. You can't blame me for avoiding that place. Oh...why don't I just go to Starbucks you ask? BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ONE!!! Ridic.
So here I am, finally writing, to fill you in on the things I have been missing since we moved into the tiny house almost eight months ago.
1. Internet: Yes, we do have plans to get internet again. We began this process right after Christmas. One word. Comcast. That should explain everything.
2. Buying in bulk: I am the queen of deals. When I find a good deal, I buy all of the things. Now I cannot. Our pantry consists of two cabinets and the stairs. We make trips weekly to buy toilet paper, paper towels, etc... Thank goodness for grocery pick up because I hate grocery shopping. In fact, today we went into the grocery store- with the kids. They haven't all been in a grocery store with us since we moved. OH MY WORD!!! They were acting a fool- touching everything, asking for everything, crying and making a scene because I told them to pick one kind of cereal. NEVER AGAIN!
3. Taking my time in the bathroom: While we have not experienced many emergencies regarding the bathroom, I do miss leisurely washing my face, brushing my teeth, showering, and taking care of other bathroom business. In the tiny house, you get in and get out.
4. My own toothpaste: Oh my word my family cannot squirt toothpaste without making a mess or squeeze the tube smoothly from top to bottom. I am a failure as a mother. And a wife. Who am I? What has happened to me? And where is the lid to the toothpaste?!?!?!?!?!?
5. Shopping: I love to shop (except for groceries)... mostly online. And I have to admit, I have done MUCH better! Matt would debate, but this is only because I have had a relapse over the past couple of weeks. Someone, I won't name any names, introduced me to a bag company (Nena and Co.) that I fell in love with. I love bags. Like LOVE LOVE LOVE bags. Well... I got one. And then another. And a couple more after that. (As Matt pointed out while I was taking this picture, it happened to be more than a couple.) I apologized to Matt and am back on the wagon again. But I am not selling my bags. And I will limit myself from this point forward. I hope. Update: one bag is for sale.
6. TV with Matt: Matt and I used to record a couple of shows and then watch them in the living room once the kids went to bed. We have never been in room TV watchers. In fact, for years we didn't even have a TV in the room. If I am in my bed, I am going to sleep- not watching TV. Once the kids are asleep, our only TV option is in the room so we don't watch much TV together anymore.
7. Space for projects: Cooper is in the talent show this week. I told him he could be in the talent show with his friends if I was not the one in charge. That is what I said, but that is not what happened. You win some, you lose some. His "talent" requires lots of props. I don't have anywhere to keep all of that stuff so the back of my car has become the craft/prop/project storage shed. I suppose things could be worse- I used to have a Civic. But they sure were cute!
8. Sending the kids to their room: Too many times the words, "Go to your room," have made it to the tip of my tongue before I remember they don't have rooms to go to. I don't think I used to send the kids to their rooms often, but I guess it was enough for me to notice that I don't have that option anymore. For now, I send them to my room or outside until we can discuss the situation.
9. My side of the bed: I no longer have a side of the bed. I sleep against the wall. Every time I get up I have to climb over Matt. It's quite ridiculous, but I don't want to sleep closest to the door. That's the man's job. You know... so the thieves can get to him first.
Looking back at the list, I see that there is nothing I miss that I can't deal with. Are some of the things irritating? Yes. Are they altering my quality of life? No. Well, maybe the toothpaste.
What do I not miss? A house note.
CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE
Holidays. Holidays are the one thing I have wondered how we would handle since we came up with the crazy idea to go tiny. Well, they are here! I decided to update you all on how things have been going and how we are tackling the Christmas season.
This week makes five months that we have been in the tiny house. Matt said all his people were betting on six months so he is excited we are about to prove them all wrong. All my people are betting on a year so we still have a ways to go. Honestly, we have NO plans to move at any point in the future. But we have been known to make hasty decisions in the past so I suppose only time will tell.
THE END IS NEAR
I have never been more excited to see a week end than I have this week. It is Thursday. The pumpkins have been delivered and once again all the kids made it to school dressed in the appropriate attire for their themed day of red ribbon week. It was only hat day for two kids and mismatch day for the other so I cannot pat myself on the back too much. Callan LOVES mismatch day. Seriously. This morning she told me it was her favorite day of the entire year. She told me this as she layered on five pairs of pants. I sure hope she doesn't have to go to the bathroom much today. Dressing out for PE might also present some problems.
JUST SAY NO
There are some things that you just don't think about when you are considering moving into a tiny house. Like red ribbon week. And the pumpkin decorating contest. And it's only October. Let me just tell you- a tiny house is not made for any of these awesome activities. By awesome I mean for the kids. Because going to Hobby Lobby nine times in one week is not awesome for any parent. And spending insane amounts of money to dress like a minion for one day is not awesome. It's despicable. (Go ahead. Laugh.) So let me just tell you about our week so far.
I did it. I finally made time to get pictures of the loft. Actually, I made Callan take the pictures, but she didn't quite capture what I had in mind so I made her take some more. Now I am waiting on Callan and Cooper to wake up so I can go up there and take even more.
The loft, for the most part, has worked well for the older kids. Sometimes at night after all the lights are out I can hear them chatting. Chatting. Not fighting. It is a wonderful sound to hear. There are times that I tiptoe quietly into the kitchen and glance up to see what is going on. Cooper will be lying on the floor and have his head peeking around to Callan's side. It is the sweetest thing ever.
And then there are those times that they are screaming at each other about the line. "You see that line. That is my space. Get back over to your side." Typical. But the sweet chats I hear during the late night hours make up for all of those moments.
Here is what the loft looks like on any given day.
I need a break! School this year is wearing me out. Well... school and birthdays. Callan turned 14 earlier this month, Cooper turned 11 two days ago, and Matt turned older today. But let's face it...when you get older there is no point in celebrating. If you are one of those adults who celebrate yearly and expect presents from those outside your immediate family, I don't get you (or presents for you). And I am ok with that. You probably aren't, but I am.
But all that is irrelevant because I am here to show you Carys's "room." Maybe I can get to the loft this week and finally finish up the tour. It has only taken two months. Don't judge...we have new science standards at school this year
Carys's "room" consists of bunk beds in the hallway. I almost broke my neck to photograph it for you, but sacrifice is my middle name. Unless you want me to attend your 37th birthday party, and 38th, and 39th. If we are besties, I might come to the 40th, but don't expect a present.
Here is the hallway! (aka Carys's abode)
MATT, YOU SELFISH IDIOT
I know we aren't quite finished with the tour of the house, but the big kids are still working on cleaning the loft so I can take pictures. They struggle. Maybe this week.
In the meantime, I asked Matt if he would be my guest blogger this week and write how he feels about our transition. I had to remind him a couple of times, but he got it done! So here, you go... Matt's point of view. And yes, he even penned the title.
THE LOVE SHACK
Ooooohhhhh look. It is the post that is going to answer all of those questions that have been lingering in the back of your head since I first posted about us moving into a tiny house. Only the bold have dared ask the question you all want answered. And even they have asked in code. How in the world are you and Matt going to (pay the taxes, relate, ummmm...you know, insert other awkward phrases here) in a tiny house? Well.... the answer is.... just like we have in every other house we have lived in. So let's get on with the tour. Here is is, people. The love shack.
A POT TO PEE IN
And it's a nice pot at that- especially since Matt changed the toilet lid so it doesn't slide from side to side when you sit down. I HATE that! Everyone who has gone into the bathroom has commented on how much larger it is than they expected. Now the tub is super short, but other than that it is just a normal bathroom and you could find one just like it in any normal house. Check it out.
Let's see what I need to tell you about the bathroom. It took a lot of time to figure out how to store toiletries for five in such a small space. The wire basket beside the toilet serves as a hamper. It is only big enough to hold one load of clothes. Since the laundry has to be done daily that is not a problem. The basket contents alternate between towels and clothes depending on which is in the washer.
The shelves are made from old wood from Matt's dad's farm. I love that! It is one of my favorite parts of the house. Let's take a closer look.
KITCHEN AND PANTRY
Let's continue the tour. I had planned to post this earlier in the week, but I will not lie- with school starting back this week, the kitchen has been in no state to be photographed. So after school today, I grounded the kids from technology until the kitchen was clean. About five minutes later, we were good to go. Here it is!
IT'S A BOY!!!
Yes, you read that correctly. We are adding a member to the family. For those of you that thought, "Oh I had been wondering. I noticed a little belly on her last week." SHAME ON YOU!!! You know that belly is the chips and queso at work! Besides, this factory is shut down.
Really though, we got a puppy. Just when you thought we couldn't have lost our minds any more- we did.
And it's a boy.
And the kids don't know yet. Well they will by the time I post this, but at this moment they are inside watching Disney channel, arguing over who gets to play the Switch, and complaining that they might have to bathe tonight. First world problems. They have no idea what is about to happen.
They want a dog- especially Callan. Carys wants a horse. I can't help Carys. Cooper likes the idea of a puppy as well, but Callan has been begging. For years she has begged and begged.
Callan wants a dog so badly that she is even going to get up at 5 am to exercise the puppy before school. Callan's pupils have never seen anything other than her eyelids at 5 am so I am not convinced; however, Callan's eyes spend way too much time looking at a screen of some sort. Congratulations, Callan. Meet your technological distraction. And I will be waking you up in the mornings. And in the middle of the night when he needs to potty.
We waited until we moved into a tiny house and bought a puppy. Logical. Just like everything else we do in life.
Matt just called! He will be here in an hour!!!
And the surprise was a HIT!!! You can check out the video here.
While we work on his name, here are a few pics.
As promised, here is your tour of the tiny house. I will start at the beginning and make it through the entire house over the next couple of weeks. We will save the loft for last because it will take the kids that long to get it clean. Truth.
I will try to link everything we have purchased in case you are interested in purchasing anything. Or in case you are just nosy and want to see how much everything cost. I always fall in the latter category so no judgement here.
Here is the living room, dining room, and occasionally the guest room. Who am I kidding. No one wants to come over to stay anymore. Actually, Callan did have one friend stay the night. We shall see if she accepts the next invitation. Stay tuned.
THE TINY TOUR RECAP
We had a wonderful time giving all of you a tour of the house this past weekend! Thanks to you, we raised a little over $500 for the Smiles Park! Things have actually been going better than expected since we moved into the house a little over a month ago. I think everyone actually agrees about that!
I mean we did discover while we were getting ready for church Sunday that we all brush our teeth right before we have to leave. Who knew? We are going to work on staggering our brushing, but I think we can manage that.
Here are some pics from the party! I know you all want a detailed tour of the house. I promise I am working on that. The girls and I are taking a quick trip to the beach before school starts and once we get back I will give you the grand tour- from top to bottom. I will even let you peek in all the cabinets and drawers!
THE FINISHING TOUCH
I have plants, y'all. Real live plants. Take a close look at that adjective- live. In a few weeks I hope that I can still use that word to describe them. You see, I kill plants. I bought a succulent three weeks ago and it is dying. How does one kill a succulent?!?! I don't know either, but I did. "Mist it once a week," the instructions stated. Surely, I thought, I can handle that. And I did. I have misted it exactly three times since I bought it. And it's brown. It should be green. Oh well. You never know unless you try.
So back to the landscaping... it is gorgeous!!! I thought I should post some pictures today. You know...while it's green.
Isn't it fabulous! Thanks so much to David Foster at Southern Living Landscape for putting my vision into place. Now let's all pray they live. Seriously.
The Tiny Tour is this weekend. After that I will post photo tours of the house on the blog for all of you to see. I will also try to link all the items we have purchased for the house to help with organization. Until then...
I am Chamie, wife to Matt; mom to Callan (14), Cooper (11), and