13 June 2014

our Tiny Cottage: little windows :)

We've got windooooooowwws!! The sleeping loft is fully open, and our two little windows have been installed :) They let in so much LIGHT. I seriously love them. During daylight hours, we really won't even need our lights on. Everything is really coming together!

The window on the west side of the cottage, above the kitchen area, is a bit smaller and doesn't open. On the east side, where our bed will be, we have a slightly larger window that opens to let in the fresh air. This will be especially nice when it gets hot, all the heat will rise upstairs and now we'll be able to let it out! Waking up with the sunrise streaming in and the birds chirping.... heaven!

Again, we will have to insulate and cover all this beautiful exposed wood (wish we didn't have to), but it's still going to be gorgeous!

Next up, electrical upstairs and framing in the downstairs closet! Coming REAL soon.

08 June 2014

where in the attic is my pride?

We live in my parent's attic. I like to say that tongue-in-cheek because it sounds better somehow than just straight out saying we live with my parents...

Usually it comes up because we're trying to make dinner plans with new friends or something and it feels awkward that I'm not offering up our place as an option. But then I hurriedly explain about how it's JUST while we're working on this remodel project (see posts about our Tiny Cottage), and we DO own a home in port orchard but the commute was a waste of finite resources (time, fuel, money) so this just works better. PLEASE think of us as quirky and time/space-conscientious, but not as losers! Not as people who aren't responsible, independent adults!

But, oh wait, we have been living here in this attic for a year and a half now. AND this is not our first stint living with my parents since we've been married. What does this mean?? Are we losers? I don't think so, but we definitely don't measure up against the typical independence + wealth = success American ideal.

Part of me really does want the typical good income, good benefits, nice house, two good cars, and vacations once or twice per year kinda life. It sounds nice, and even more than that... people would look at me and think, "she is successful." No one would doubt my having 'arrived,' so then I would feel that way too, right? Right?

This is when the other part of me rears her snarky head and starts making sarcastic, stick-it-to-the-man comments. Let me translate for her, so it's not as offensive as when she says it :)

Real security and the feeling of having arrived are not to be found on this earth, except fleetingly. None of those things I listed will really make me 'successful,' but they probably will put me deeper in debt. And the chasing and then maintaining them will cost me precious time and energy. This rebellious half of me wants to be the face of the resistance. The ultimate anti-consumer. Buy as little as possible, make/create/grow as much as possible, recycle and reuse!! If I'm dedicated to my cause, then I can feel superior to those poor chumps stuck in the consumerist cycle of Keeping Up with the Joneses. I am successful BECAUSE I live in an attic, because we grocery-share, and because I choose not to engage in the machine of production and consumption.

Still though, this rings false. I don't really have enough energy for it, and ultimately... it still comes down to my obsessive concern for how others perceive me. Which doesn't really sound all that successful to me, or even pleasant. So what is true? What am I learning while living in this attic on top of my parent's house? (Notice, I'm getting closer to just saying it.)

Mother Teresa is quoted, "God hasn't called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful." I love this, and I'm so glad it's true for me too. Part of being faithful is being a good steward. My husband and I want to be great stewards of our lives, which we've realized isn't just about financial and material security, but about our time, our relationships, our skills and abilities.

Rather than structuring our lives around earning more money and thinking that it will result in the freedom we crave, we've decided to structure our lives around earning more time. Time together, time with family and friends, time to travel, time to rest, time to have fun, time to learn.

This life is a gift. And gifts should be cherished, not leveraged. If a dear friend gave me something beautiful and rare, would I use it as collateral in a bet? Neither should I leverage this life that God has given me.

Sure, finances play a role here... we have to pay our bills (so we don't end up serving time, haha) and we want to pay off lingering school debt (so we have more freedom to take time off work)... but it's all built around our goals for more time! This season of living with my parents (said it) has been such a time-blessing - I get to spend most days at home with my daughter, we get to make memories with family every day, I have time to prioritize my health and fitness like never before, we get to take long walks as a couple in the afternoons, I get to volunteer! We are rich in time right now.

So while my pride may suffer because we live in an attic and it doesn't fit the mold, I don't really care because my soul is thriving and we're making memories I'll hold dear all my life.

06 June 2014

five years and counting...

A tribute to you, on our anniversary.

Five years of love! And not the dreamy, hazy, soft lit, pretty love we all tend to envision when we picture married bliss (thanks entertainment industry), but a gritty, straining, focused, sweaty, and adventurous love. A love full of gentle hand-holding, mean and spiteful yelling, laughing fun, bitter tears and cold shoulders, sweet forgiveness, dry determination, dull endurance, inside jokes, just-when-I-needed-them hugs, painful confrontation, and overall, a powerful and purposeful companionship. A never-ending choice.

30 May 2014

our Tiny Cottage: video update 06

Yes! It is still happening. I've just been about the second-worst blogger in the world these last few months... So I haven't posted much about much, or ANYTHING about the cottage. Basically, my dad and husband have re-finished the entire inside and outside. All new electrical, plumbing, sheetrock, windows, trim... all of it. Even a lot of the framing needed to be replaced. Part of the roof was newer, so we kept that. And the nice oak hardwood floors inside are part of the original house.

21 March 2014

Emery Rain's two month shoot!!

Can't believe this girl is almost three months old. She's still SUCH a good baby - only cries when she's hungry, sleepy, or sick and usually she's pretty easy to appease.

About one week post-partum, I started working for GO on the Mission again. Most of the work I can do from home and throughout the day so it fit right in with our schedule (aka, non-schedule). Emery was very still very sleepy most of the time, so it wasn't too hard to squeeze in a few to-do's each day.

When she was about a month old, she started smiling!! Best. Moment. Ever.

At about 6 weeks old, she started sleeping from 10pm to 5am most nights! Which changed my life. That's probably about the time I started feeling human again. She wakes up hunting for her pacifier, which she LOVES, about every hour or so... but all I need to do is pop it back in her cute little mouth and she goes right back to sleep.

Here we go... only a few weeks late, her two month photoshoot with By Jen Waldron!

Emery Rain's one day shoot!

Again, I'm waaaay late in posting these but I want them on the blog so that some day Emery can go back and look through everything and see her photos! Plus, let's be real... I'm not tired of looking at these at all :) Love this baby girl!

20 March 2014

a birth story.

Our beautiful Emery Rain is now just over two months old and I'm finally starting to feel like I have space in my brain and my heart to be a little bit of my own person again... first post as a mommy and, of course, it's a long and detailed birth story :)

Emery Rain - 2 months old

Monday, Dec 30th of 2013
7am. Nick had just left for work and I was sitting in bed, wired wide awake (even though everyone tells you to rest while you can, you just can't during those last couple weeks of pregnancy) and facing a long day of maternity leave. Even though my due date wasn't until January 7th, I had assumed I'd be behind on baby laundry and organizing supplies and packing my bag so I wanted that last week off of work to focus on getting ready for parenthood. Turns out, I was all done with all that stuff. Which left me no other options, I just had to spend the entire day trying to kickstart my labor. Hah! Now I laugh at how impatient I was, but I SO wanted to meet Emery!!