Just an update!
I had my first Pumpkin Latte, it’s official and I am SO excited for the changing season! Fall is here and we had our first real night of rain, you don’t need a metal roof to have the relaxing sound of rain, TPO works too! It was awesome, now it’s all wet out and Denver refuses to go outside for fear of getting his delicate self dirty! I have been working on little miss Hazel’s Halloween costume, she’s going to be a witch, not the cutesy baby one, a scary one, because it’s halloween, that’s what you do! :)
There is so much to look forward to this fall but my top five favorite parts are:
- Movie nights with my family around the bonfire!
- Getting the house all spooked out for Halloween!
- Brisk days, red leaves and hot cider walks with Denver!
- Welcoming Hazel into the wondrous thing that is pumpkin pie!
- All of the unknowns! (I’m still working all that ‘saying no’ stuff out but I’m on my way!)
Updating on all that… There are a lot of very cool opportunities in front of me right now, I can’t do them all but I get to do some! I’ve said no to the first big one, traveling the country talking about tiny houses! And getting paid for it! Two years ago that would have been AWESOME. Now, I just can’t make it make sense… it’s hard for me to leave Hazel for a couple hours, I can’t imagine a few days at a time. I know people do it and it would all be fine but part of this tiny house deal is having the time for ME, to focus on what I want and MY priorities. Hazel is at the top of that list and I would kick myself for missing out on her big firsts if I could avoid it. Fact is I don’t need much to live on, it wasn’t even about the money, I am passionate about teaching and inspiring and empowering others, the pay was just the cherry on top. BUT, as passionate as I am about those things I am more passionate about my family. Family won this time :). I am hoping other opportunities like that line up in the future when they make more sense but right now I feel good about my decision to not jump on that one at this point (AND the company was very kind, understanding and supportive about my decision).
I have also been chatting with three different TV stations about my house and various stories on it. Those are great opportunities but again, they eat into my family/work times. It is very cool to get to check things like that off an imaginary list BUT… they eat up a couple days at a time in prep and actual shooting so I am learning to be much more selective about which of those opportunities I take. It is always a balance between my passion to empower, inspire and teach and my family.
Right now I’m working on a separate tiny house design tool as well, along with Ryan’s and my podcast a couple times a week, being a stay at home mom, maintaining Tiny House People and writing my 4 ebooks I have been keeping pretty busy! I am so happy to see so much interest in going a bit smaller, I feel like this is WHY I got into designing. How people think of housing has a huge impact on our environment, I like to feel like I am helping to make it easier to start decreasing footprint sizes and I think that is a very positive thing!
Little miss update… She had her 6 month appointment. Hazel is in great health, she’s in the 97th percentile on height still and 87 on weight. She took her shots like a trooper and was easier to distract than the last couple times. We took it easy but she still had a fever for four days and I think she is teething again (she’s already got her two front bottom ones for a month+ now) because she’s been running warm and biting a lot again. She is eating real food and digging it, we haven’t found anything she doesn’t like yet but she’s still primarily on the boob (which I am proud to say I met my goal of breastfeeding for 6 months!). THAT though has taken it’s toll on me, I am now 15 pounds under my pre pregnancy weight (50 pound swing from peak pregnancy weight 6 months ago)… I have switched over to ‘eat everything in sight’ mode and a little more exercising so that I can try to get back to my healthy weight and hopefully not get sickly, I can already feel the creaking in my joints, I need to get better nutrients! Even so, we play and we giggle, she sits up and loves to stand all the time, she doesn’t crawl or anything yet but she manages to get scoot along just fine getting across the bed etc. We now sleep with the baby gate closed, just in case. She knows her name now ans smiles/turns to look when its said. We won a photo shoot where she gets to dress up as one of the girls from Frozen, that should be fun[ny]. She’s getting quite the personality, we can’t wait to see how it keeps developing! I think she’s going to be opinionated but kind and brave!
Here are some random pictures in no particular order of our grand adventures! (There are two baby videos at the bottom if you want to see her in action!)
I hope you are all well!
Happy Fall All!
Just an update! I had my first Pumpkin Latte, it’s official and I am SO excited for the changing season!
I get so infuriated when I see people telling others in absolute terms what you can and cannot do to accomplish your tiny house dream. That is complete BS. Sure, there are suggested ways, and there are ways that are better than others maybe, and there are valid reasons to have opinions any which way but there is nothing absolute about a tiny house. It is a fairly complicated equation, anyone that says there is one solution has no idea what they are talking about. Everything is a give and take and there is definitely more than one way to build one! So, I want to talk about the ‘rules’ that I broke all along my build, let just say for example. These are just a few, there are plenty others!
#1 – I built on a used trailer! Oh Noes! ;-). When I was building there were no ‘tiny house trailers’, now there are. Is it a good way to go to get a trailer specifically designed FOR a tiny house, sure! Is it the only way? NO! Sometimes ‘deals’ don’t always work out to be deals when looking at a used trailer but sometimes they do! It could be a good way to save a buck if you are comfortable inspecting the trailer for structural integrity (check welds, check outriggers, check tires ad axe strength). Parts may need to be upgraded, assess your costs before making a purchase to verify it’s still a good deal in the end, you may be surprised to find some specialty TH trailers don’t seem as expensive after doing the cost comparison but then again you may find a heck of a deal! It happens! Do what is right for you.
#2 – I have a very heavy tile floor – that didn’t pop or shift at all! Sure I had to make design considerations to make that happen, so I did! I added a third axle to carry the weight and made sure I hired a truck large enough to pull it. I added extra bracing to make the frame nice and rigid so if it did flex in transport it did so more uniformly. You can use flexible grout, decide what your decisions will affect and how to make what you want to work, work. I did it. I moved it. I have not had a single issue with the tile on my floor OR in my shower. Do what is right for you.
#3 – My walls are drywall – and not even the thick stuff! OH no! Ok, I want to consider a worst case scenario here. You move and you have places in your house where the drywall cracked. ANY home improvement stores carry patch kids for drywall. If you can build a house you can patch drywall. Sure, may not be the best to use if you plan on moving often, may not be the best to use if you’re a builder who has to guarantee work for others, for me, drywall was the solution. I also wanted to save on weight and labor so I used 3/8″ thick drywall instead of the standard 5/8″. If you like drywall, use it. If you like bubble wrap you can find a way to use it! Do what is right for you.
#4 – I live with a great dane AND a baby – and it’s officially been 6 months and everyone still smiles every single day (dog included, it’s a good trick!)
Denver does this when he first sees his family, I have yet to get a picture so you’re just going to have to imagine this on a goofy grey dane!
Yeah, I heard CONSTANTLY that it will never work, I won’t make it to 7 months pregnant, then I won’t make it through the summer, then the winter… its all horse crap. I’m here and not a single thing has even been a tough adjustment. This is just my house. We play, we wrestle, we sleep, we cook, we eat and we pee here and it all works. Just. like. other. houses. Only cheaper! And easier to keep clean! Do what is right for you and find your helpers to support you and keep the naysayers at bay!
Furthermore, I have been both criticized for being ‘ripped off’ for paying ‘that much’ for my house as well as called a liar and been told that ‘there is no way I bought this for that cheap’. There is no pleasing some people. What I want to express with this post is that there will always be naysayers, information hoarders, information spouters and pessimists to distract and overcomplicate your path. Be a doer! Follow your dreams. Take those people and their comments as ‘concerned parties’. If you can hear their ‘concern”, think about it and can provide a logical rebuttal that maintains your path then you’re good, if not adjust your path until you are comfortable with the ramifications. There is no need to actually express that rebuttal, just be confident and move forward knowing that not everyone has the tenacity to explore what you are looking at exploring. Not all of the naysayers deserve any of your attention either. Find your supporters and please do know that there are lots of us out here who are good helpers!
There is a great video shared by my friend Sheliah over on the Tiny House People Facebook page, it is worth linking here.
All the ‘Rules’ I Broke
I get so infuriated when I see people telling others in absolute terms what you can and cannot do to accomplish your tiny house dream.
In the words of my friend, Sean David Burke ‘Learning to say no is really, really difficult.’
I have been presented SO many AMAZING life opportunities this year. I mean amazing, never in a million years would I have thought that they would happen. Cool S#!t. It is so easy for me to get completely jazzed and psyched over even the littlest of things, imagine TV shows, magazines, dream jobs, passion project #1, passion project #2, passion project #3 and a want to keep a simple life all coming at you at once, OH! and the most rad baby and relationship… Every day I somewhat fear everyone getting over this whole ‘tiny house’ thing because it’s become such an unexpected but huge part of my life (ironic, huh!). I did not get into this to turn into a blogger, to be in magazines and movies but those things and more are and have presented themselves, how can I NOT take part!? right? Well, this weekend it has all come to a head, I think. There is too much and I feel like it’s getting in the way of my real priority, which is my family.
It’s funny, I am attracted to the tiny lifestyle because I am a simple person with simple needs and believe it or not I am hugely introverted! All of this attention IS draining. I have realized yet another thing about myself though through all of this, I am PASSIONATE about teaching. That part of this has re-energized me continually. I love inspiring, I like seeing/hearing/reading ‘that moment’ when a major life development is made in strangers and minds are shifted to an understanding that gives a person much peace and confidence about their own life and how they want to live it, I love hearing things go from ‘that’s cool’ to ‘I’m going to do that!’ I LOVE helping to empower people to do that for themselves.
So I am attracted to this lifestyle for it’s simplicity yet it has deeply complicated my own life (in all the best ways! not complaining, just stating the fact!). At this point literally every single day brings a new opportunity, business or personal. It seems that I have an idea and before I can even look into it further I am approached by someone with a similar idea. Sometimes this is annoying (when people just want to piggy-back on my site for their own personal gain) but sometimes it’s amazing and there is a real opportunity to combine synergistic energies to truly help people. That is my only one and remaining goal with this site by the way, to help people. I will do this as long as I get questions, as long as people are gaining from my information and as long as I can pay for my bills (this is not really as lucrative as some think… but then again I don’t have a lot of bills! ahhhem… buy my book if you like! ;)).
Well, my point to all of this is that I have hit it, I hit the wall, the end of the road, there are too many options, too many ‘things’ pulling at my attention and none of them are getting enough attention to be successful. At this point I HAVE to master the art of saying no. I HAVE to pick my priorities and focus or nothing will be done well or at all, and THAT is just not an option. THIS, right now, is the point that I have too many balls in the air.
Back to the drawing board:
Several years ago I had a very good friend, her and I started blogging together simply because we wanted to. We wanted to stay happy and positive, that was our only real ‘rule’ about our blog posts and we used the whole thing as a means of self exploration. I owe much of my present life to these conversations, that process and quite frankly that girl (thank you Mari), she picked me up and shook me off when my life got hard, she asked me questions, she engaged my mind and made me think of what I wanted for my future. THAT process got me here.
THIS was my very first post of that process! I wanted to really clarify what I am all about and so I went through the process of making my very own ‘personal mission statement’. It was:
“To love life completely, live honestly and humbly, while actively creating a better environment for my family and community with optimism and passion that all things are possible.”
This was over four years ago and about a year+ before I started my tiny house build. At this point and I have referenced THAT mission statement hundreds of times. I generally live my life and when a situation comes up and I need a little direction, I reference my personal mission statement and let it be the guiding entity. This has done very well for me. In four years though life has changed. I think its time to reevaluate and go a little bit deeper. At this point I have so many opportunities coming up and they ALL fit into my personal mission VERY well. I can honestly say that my wildest dreams have come true time and time again. I need to tighten things up though so that my mission statement can guide me better from here on forward. That is what I will be focusing on because without that guidance I have no impulse control I would be saying yes to a good many of the things coming my way. If I did that I would fail at them all. It’s time to focus in and clarify my goals and the direction for my future. That is what I will spend this weekend doing, so stay tuned! ;-)
PS. Going through my old blog reminded me too of something I used to love doing! My weekly 5’s, 5 things I am grateful for and 5 things I am excited about, for old times sake here are some current 5’s:
I am grateful:
- To have my whole family AND Hazel’s whole family (both sides) in town and near enough to visit often!
- To have my life, my health and to be happy!
- I am so grateful for the time I get to spend with Hazelnut, I am VERY fortunate.
- To have my friend Becca to be a fairly normal adult with and have our weekly outings and baby dates!
- That Hazel has been the absolute perfect vision of health from day 0.
I am excited:
In the words of my friend, Sean David Burke ‘Learning to say no is really, really difficult.’
- That Sagey will be here in a week and a half!
- To decorate my tiny house for Halloween!
- To dress the munchkin up for the spooky occasion (ideas on what??? I’m thinking a tiny little witch or a fairy (she likes tinkerbell))
- For fall to be here! My most favorite season seems to always be the one looming on the horizon but I am particularly stoked for red leaves and apple cider, I LOVE fall.
- For movie and bonfire night at Nater’s (brother) this weekend!
Jay Shafer is Doing a Workshop! Oct. 4
I got a pleasant email the other day and just wanted to pass on the info for anyone that may be in the bay area. Jay Shafer from Four Lights (He comments on MY blog one time, it was a highlight of this whole adventure!) is doing a reasonably priced workshop at his house! You get info, a tour of his house and a tour of BA’s house(and maybe you get to meet her dog too!?) I haven’t seen Jay…
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Where Do I Even Start With a Tiny House!?
So you think ‘tiny’ is for you? Now where to begin!?!
I get the question very often ‘where do I possibly begin with this tiny house dream?’ or ‘I have no experienced builders in my life, can I still go tiny?’ or other variations of the same thing. Here is my suggested order of operations and some links to important resources.
Step 1– Decide if you could do it, actually LIVE in that small of a…
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