Friday, September 19, 2014

Uncle Pat! and our Tiny House Prayer

My Uncle Pat is the guy who built our Tiny House.  He did an amazing job!
Here he is, rocking out his first Tiny House, like a BOSS.

Uncle Pat is one of the best blessings of this whole project. 
Uncle Pat (who has always just been Pat up until the network people showed up.  Now he's forever Uncle Pat) really went all in and dedicated himself to our build.

Uncle Pat is a skilled builder who really cared about this project and showed how much he cares for us!  He put dormers across the whole roof when we were told we could only have one a dormer in the kids' loft!  He thought up the catwalk idea so Sully and Story would be safe in the middle of the night!  He advocated for our comfort and safety.  He dedicated so many hours on top of his already busy building schedule!  And he led an amazing group of men to build us a beautiful, sound home under a lot of pressure and in a really short amount of time.

We are so thankful for Uncle Pat.    THANK YOU UNCLE PAT!!!

And ya know what else is awesome?  He enjoyed it!
Yea!  I'm so glad this was a positive experience for everyone!
So if you're thinking about having a tiny house built contact Uncle Pat!  He's so psyched to build another he already ordered some trailers.  Oh, yes. 

Before the reality show opportunity showed up Ryan and I expected to be building the Tiny House ourselves.  I can tell you *with confidence* that it would not have been so awesome. 

But one part about that plan that I loved was that I was going to write Bible verses throughout the framing of the house!  I wanted to put God's Word in the walls, as part of the structure of our home! 

Early on, when I found out we would not be involved with the build, I realized that I wouldn't have the opportunity to work that in.  Which was okay, I was fine with finding another unique way to get some Bible verses in.

So when Uncle Pat was chosen as our builder (yea!), my Mom, knowing what I wanted, offered to write the Bible verses in for me!  YES!  I was so excited!

Mom, who always goes above and beyond, brought Bibles, Bible verse books, prayer books, and sharpie markers to the Tiny House and completely covered the frame!  Aunts JeanAnn, Gini, and Joni, cousins Allyssa, Marquee, Sarah, and Kayla, and Ryan's Mom, Gail, all wrote Bible verses within our Tiny House for us! 

Thank you Ladies! 
I love it SO MUCH! 

Mom took pictures of all the verses before they were hidden away by insulation and sheetrock.  I'll snag them soon and share a few more.
For now I have only one picture.

Here is the prayer my Mom wrote outside by the front door.

Isn't that just right? Amen! 
You can scroll back up to the picture of Uncle Pat to see where the prayer is. ^^^

I honestly feel that the Bible verses and prayers, along with the hands of all of the family and friends who helped build our home, greatly contributes to the sense of peace and joy we feel surrounded by in our Tiny House. 
It has an amazing energy.
It's completely lovely.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Are you just crazy?

I shared how nervous I was.  I even told you my most embarrassing moment! 
Preparing myself -and you- for the worst. 
All for nothing!

I'm so relieved and happy with how the episode turned out! 
Everyone who watched, knowing the drama we anticipated, must think I'm totally crazy.  What was Kim so afraid of!

I'll just tell you they got pretty nosy concerning the master loft, I was really drilled on all of unconventional stuff we do, and we even had a villain.  (A totally made up one but the viewers wouldn't have known the reality.)

So much filming was focused on crazy stuff!  That didn't even get a nod in the episode.  And, MAN, I am so relieved!  PHEW!

Well, I suppose I'm not exactly thrilled with this:

WHY!?  !!!
We did this scene like 5 times!  There had to be a better clip!
I envision a room full of drunk-with-power editors, deviously laughing as they choose this shot of my distorted face.

...maybe that's a little overly dramatic. 

Okay, I'm glad.  This is the worst of it!  And I can laugh at it. 

And swear never to ever make this face again. 

I can live with that!

Oh, yes.  I told you they made me cry -- they did!  I was so stressed out I don't even recall what question they asked me when I started tearing up!  And they didn't use it.  Thank God!  It probably looked like it made no sense. 

At the end of the episode, the tears you saw were genuine ones. 
Not dramatic, crazy, what-in-the-world-is-happening? ones. 
Just grateful ones. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Say Cheese! Goodbye Stuff!

I miss my (tiny) house! 

We are all in Shakopee at the Big House (haha, that was fun) getting it ready to sell and the Tiny House is waiting for us and a new heater.  We’re praying that it turns out amazing!  There were some kinks with the heater originally purchased (it just won’t be able to keep up with the cold of a Minnesota winter) and we’re hoping, hoping, hoping! for a tiny wood burning stove!  I’m praying we’ll get it and I’ll tell you all about it!

So we’re back at the Big House until we can hitch up and move the Tiny one. 
And it is a MESS! 

During the little bit of time spent in the Tiny House, it became incredibly evident that the BEST PART of tiny living is clean up time and ease.  I love it! 

It doesn’t even compare.  In this big house I.Am.Swamped.  We don’t even have that much stuff anymore!  And yet, somehow, stuff is everywhere!  
As we pack/give/toss what remains, the last little decisions are getting a bit challenging.  It’s not your normal move where you can say, “Eh, just box it up and we’ll figure it out later.”  NOPE.  I have to figure it out now.

For some reason, letting go of a box of a thousand pencils is more challenging than giving up my wedding dress.  Actually, I think I’ve had that box of worthless pencils for longer than I’ve had the wedding dress!  Lol! 

My goal is to just say goodbye! 
And sometimes take picture.  I can fit thousands of pictures easier than I can fit thousands of pencils!

Goodbye pencils!
Goodbye bin of mismatched socks! 
Goodbye stack of magazines that I was planning on reading later!
Goodbye weird, old art!

Goodbye sweet vintage martini set that I won! Someone else can keep you on the shelf and hope you don't break! It's been fun!

Goodbye huge mess! 
Goodbye sweeping and mopping 1900 square feet! 
Goodbye boxes of stored stuff we'll never use!
Goodbye "just in case" junk! Like nylons!  Ha!  Adios!
Goodbye clutter! 
Goodbye mortgage! 
Goodbye property tax! 
Goodbye huge utility bills! 


Tiny House, we’ll reunite supersoon! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tiny House for a Family of Four. Yes!


Isn't it the prettiest little house you've ever seeeeeen! 
ILOVEIT!  Tell me you love it!  ;)

It's my fairytale.
It's the kids' treehouse.
Ryan says, "It's Freedom! ...from stuff, new opportunities, haven't we been over this?"
Lol, yes we have.

I love sharing this with you!  Wanna see some more? 

Spacious, right?
That cozy spot is across from this lovely reading nook:

Look at that!  So many books!  Storage, extra space, art, photos, creativity and learning! 
Oh, don't just walk by that closet space!  Haha.  Well, that could use a little work. :)  About 100 more hooks, organization for shoes, probably a shelf on top.

Just wait.  Before and After pics will *hopefully* be amazing.


Don't be fooled.  This corner is MULTIFUNCTIONAL!
Nook, dresser, bulletin board, DINNER TABLE! :) 
*Ach! I'm pictureless! I'll throw one in soon! For now, can you guess where that dinner table might be?  ;)*

Welcome!  To my prettypretty bathroom. 
The sink is teeny-tiny.
The toilet is a throne.


Look at that prettypretty tile!  Never knew I could love tile.  Well, there ya go.  Love.
What's that! A bathtub in a tiny house.  And it's a wine barrel.  Perfection!

It even smells like wine!  Soak.  Yes.

That nice juicy outlet is for my future washerdryer.  Yes washerdryer.  That's on purpose.  Put your clothes in, take them out!  They're washed and dried.   Washerdryer.  :)  

Look at that prettypretty SINK!  (and thanks to my Momma for the not-dorm-sized fridge!)

Isn't it strangely magical?  This kitchen sink brings me so much delight!
It is enormous, so functional, and it glows.
Thank you, Tiny House Nation, for not giving me a bowl-sized, one-basin sink! 
*The first day in the Tiny House the water in the bathtub didn't work (it was quickly fixed) so the kids took baths in the sink. ...I did too.  :)

Let's go upstairs. 

The Master Loft.

Cozy and pretty!  What a comfy bedroom.  Making a bed in a loft is a challenge that this goal driven woman is not going to achieve anymore!  A casual, fluffy, tousle of pillows and quilts is beautiful anyway. :) 

We're starting a little loft railing garden.  :)

The Cat-Walk!  Or Kitty-Cat-Walk, since it's in a Tiny House.  Pretty sweet!    

The kids' loft.  It's pretty complete up there!  Bed, toys, clothes, delivery basket, they have it all. 

Pretty cute, right?  The shelf/cubby dealios are from ikea.  Kinda modified/partially built.  The space is working out pretty great.  And when little friends are visiting the loft is a big hit.

 Proof.  Our house has wheels.  Rolling.

If you can read this, you're in my backyard!
There's the bumper sticker!  I wrote that slogan.
Thus, I won the blueprints to the Tumbleweed Cypress 20.  That's not this house plan, but it played an important part in our being selected for the show.  (The blueprints and the truck were evidence that we weren't kidding around with this Tiny House thing.)

Now, seriously, the world is our backyard.  We'll be at the campground we hoped for during our first year (great news, right!?) while Ryan does his student/educator/career thing and we pray for guidance on where we'll head to next! 

We don't have a clue as to where that will be but God seems to have some Master Plan or something going on so we'll just trust Him and roll with it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Our Tiny House Nation Commercial!

So fun! So fun! So fun! 
We're the Season Finale!  Didn't know that until we saw the commercial.  Cool news!

Concerning the Tiny House I am 100% happy, content, excited, and giddy that it's ours and we live in it!

When concerning the show?  I'm really excited.  98% of the time.  I laugh every time I watch the commercial!  To me - it's hysterical.  Geez, do our kids run the house?  Lol, the majority of the toys in that room already had a destination, and it was not the Tiny House. 

The other 2%.  Man, I'm nervous.  What will they use?  How will they edit?  What will be spliced together and taken out of context?  Honestly, there was so much interviewing and talking that I can't even recall what I said.  They have some weird strategy that ultimately causes you to walk away from an interview thinking, "What did I just say?"  And you truly can't recall.  Total blur. 

They must have one of those "Men in Black" memory eraser things or something. 

I'm sure it's just a feeling of not being in control.  And I remind myself that I asked God to take control of all of this, editing included.  And to use us for His purpose and glory. 

So no matter what happens!  No matter how embarrassed I am after this!  I'm just trusting that whatever it is, it somehow serves, helps, inspires, assures, affirms, someone (maybe thousands of someones?) in a way that was truly needed.  That's the prayer. 

I can handle being embarrassed.  I'm really not someone who gets easily embarrassed anyway. 

In a facebook post about my deteriorating lap swimsuits and the decision to either spend $$ to keep buying new ones or just layer them I was expressing concern about looking crazy-bizarro wearing a bunch of knotted up swimsuits at the Y.  My friend, Kathy Dehn, said, "Since when do you care about what people think?"  SHE'S RIGHT!  I never, ever have cared what people think.  When I feel that judgy feeling creeping in, Kathy's voice kicks in.  Thank you, Kathy, for knowing me and reminding me!

Thus far, my most embarrassing moment involves me laughing so hard that I threw up, only to find out many minutes later that I also peed my pants while laughing and puking.  Very gross.  Very embarrassing. (That is the epitome of "long story short.")

So what do you think?  If this show trumps that Most Embarrassing Moment... then geez.  I can live the rest of my life peacefully knowing that any embarrassing thing that could happen will just rolllll off my shoulder. :)

So watch and laugh.  I'm sure there will be a pretty good amount of reality in it; we are real people, speaking our real hearts, really living in a tiny house. 
Just also... look at it as a comedy. :) 

That's my plan anyway! 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Are you having more kids?"

Thank you, Amy, for getting right down to it! ;)

I know that's a yes or no question...  and well, I just don't know.  Maybe?

Ryan and I have not made a firm decision on that.  I suppose we have firmly decided that if God thinks He can fit another baby in our lives then... Okay!  

*I know that sounds crazy or really naive but once we started completely, fully, actively trusting God and letting Him truly lead us we realized how exciting and adventurous -and easy- that turns out...  We want to live every aspect of our lives that way. 

A third little person would definitely not push us out of the Tiny House at first.  Probably just make the inevitable need for change as we grow a bit more imminent. 

Baby would co-sleep with us for at least three years (our 6 and 4 year old basically still do, so I think that's a fair assessment).   Baby would surely kick the big kids out of our bed!  Hey!  That actually gives us more space!  I'm starting to like this idea...  :) 

Another baby or not, in a handful of years we will outgrow the Tiny House. 
I know we will always own and use the Tiny House is some way or another.

We plan to own land, possibly(likey?) in another climate.  Room to grow!
We could build a pole barn!  Manageable financial decision (we'd like to pull off the next dwelling without a loan).  Pull in vehicles (maybe even the Tiny House if needed), store outdoor tools and equipment, bikes, a big deep freezer, and include a nice spacious loft!  That loft could be a master bedroom, family room, homeschool room, or library.  I think we could get creative with space like that.  Who knows what, exactly.  Just... so many options.

Also, check this pin out:
I would love to build a much more extravagant porch and another Tiny House!  One for the kids and one for me and Ry.  You looked at the picture, right?  Don't judge until you look at the pic!  Awesome, right?  It needs an outdoor kitchen for sure.

We have the blueprint to Tumbleweed's Cypress 20.  When the kids are highschoolers, part of our homeschooling endeavor will be to build with the kids their own Tiny Houses.  We'll all learn together how to build a house!  Relying on yourself and your family to come together on a huge project, designing according to your needs, sourcing all the materials, researching options, and having the pride of building your own home.  PLUS mortgage freedom from the start.
That's shop class, baby. 

...Back to the baby thing.  Little changes would have to be made to make the space function in a new way.  More handrails near the stairs for certain.  I don't like the idea of coming down from the loft uber pregnant or carrying an infant.  Temporary sleeping quarters downstairs for a few months, maybe?  I think we could make it work.

One thing I LOVE about the Tiny House is that it is just so easy to clean.  Any busy mom can appreciate this!  I can whip this place into shape in 30 minutes.  In the big house I clean all day, every day and I rarely have the satisfaction of a completely clean home.  If more responsibility was headed our way I would take solace in the simplified lifestyle we've chosen. 

AND since the budget is not in a pressure cooker the additional strain on our finances wouldn't send us strategizing for a second income!  SAHM Forever!  We accumulated wayyyy too much stuff for our kids when they were little.  I actually like the idea of going through all the baby stages in this minimalist lifestyle.  

Look at that.  Now I've got baby fever. 
Thanks Amy.  ;)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shedding the Stuff

The word stuff comes out of my mouth with a bad taste.  It get's snarled up like a bad word.  Stuff.  Gross. 

A friend just posted this on my facebook wall,

"Hey Kim. I'm having a serious house problem.  I keep thinking my house is too small, but the real problem is I have too much stuff. It's all over my house in piles. I have to step over room to put stuff away. How did the show teach you to get rid of stuff?"

Two things. 
I can completely relate.
The show didn't teach us anything.

:) That would have been nice, though!  If they came along with quick tricks or something! 

It took 2 years and a lot of planning and a slow change in mindset.

I think we've all been trained somehow to want.  That's the first thing that gets us in trouble.  Changing want into contentment, that's the trick. 

I stopped buying stuff. 
I realized one day when I went to Target to get a necessity that I hadn't been there in months!  Crazy!  After not being there in so long I realized how bombarded I was with colors, ads, lights, cuuute stuff, and, oh man, ish. There is was.  Want.  I had to get out of there quickly!  I did not want want.  I had walked into Target completely content with what I had.  And I left feeling like I had less!  Like I'd be happier if I had walked in with a full wallet.  And I DIDN'T LIKE that a stop at Target could TAKE AWAY some of my happiness!!!

That was a first step for us.  To stop the incoming flow of stuff.  (Not that I'd been shopping a ton prior to that, just that we had to be mindful of what we were allowing to take up space in our home.)

Then I put an empty box at the top of each closet and tossed stuff up there that I didn't need. 
Clothes that were too small or I couldn't get the kids to wear.
Toys that weren't played with.
Doubles of anything.
Things that didn't line up with our value system. (like Barbies -how did they make their way into our house in the first place!?)
Things that fall into the "what if" catagory.
Things we haven't used in years.
Things that we thought would make someone else happier than they made us.

I kept filling boxes!  And replaced them with empties to fill up again!
Slow progress. 

Then I read The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving and began to understand that this wasn't our stuff we were dealing with but that we were rather managers of what was essentially God's.

And to put it into perspective...  Here's a (random item).  How can we part with it!?  We've had it for so long, I remember when blah, blah, blah.  BUT God gave us this direction and opportunity to live in a tiny house.  What is His desire for this (random item)?  Does He want us to keep it (and have more excess)?  Does He want us to sell it (it is His, right? Not ours to profit from -especially when we're being given this mega blessing)?  Does He want us to give it away?  Yes.  Yes!  Jesus repeatedly tells us to serve, share, help, and give generously!

So from that point on the giving got easier.  Every truckload of excess donated to Church and Goodwill left us with the amazing feeling of freedom!  Every piece of furniture put out on the curb felt like the opportunity to give a gift!  And the slow process of shedding the stuff snowballed and got quicker!  Closets, cupboards, shelves, and drawers emptied and filled us with joy!

I learned once that organization experts say to start with the garage.  Because when you come home from work and step out of your car to see projects, unfinished work, messes, and a mental to-do list you pack on the stress before you even enter your home.  You home should be a retreat from stress!  Welcome and peaceful. 

The clutter in our house had been transposing into clutter in my mind.  Clearing it out physically has allowed me to clear my head mentally.  I find myself way more fresh, ready, and flexible now that the majority of the clutter has cleared. 

So this is what I'm left with.
I don't want want or stuff. 
What I want is to be clear of clutter, to bless others the way I've been blessed, to manage God's things by following His command to give, and to experience the freedom that comes with choosing contentment. 

Living out these values with the kids while they are this young is a blessing in itself.  Our hope is that they grow up to value the experiences we have together over the items they have in their closets.  Because I know if we don't have to pay for the square footage to store it we can be free'd up to follow God's plan for our lives and all the experiences that go along with it.