Family Update… and Some Rants…

June 30, 2014 § 71 Comments

This is a ‘me, me, me’ post, just warning… and the point is… it’s important to talk about all those things living in a tiny house gives you (rather than takes away).  That might help stop the consumerist thoughts in some people’s live’s.  We are led to believe ‘more things equals better’, so let’s talk about why that isn’t totally true…

The back story… (this is a bit of a [perhaps judgemental] rant, I’m sorry if it offends you) I was on a forum that a gal from the Tiny House People facebook page showed me about baby wearing (because I do that).  In that forum a different lady posed the question ‘how big is your house’ because her husband wanted to downsize from a 650 s.f. house to a 28′x12′ tiny house and she blamed the upcoming Tiny House Nation TV show.  Within an hour nearly 200 people replied, each one seemingly trying to outdo the others for the biggest house/newest house/coolest house and further making this woman feel like a weirdo unnecessarily, not only for having a husband who wanted to downsize but flat out telling her she already lived in too tiny of a house at 650 s.f. [there were a couple posts that said theirs was way too big and some that were thinking of going tiny too, but mostly it was this other type of reply].  The one comment that stuck with me was a younger gal who was bragging that her, her husband, her kid and a dog were building their second house ‘from the dirt up’ 3 years after building their first home from the dirt up and it will be 4,200 s.f. because their 3,700 s.f. house ‘wasn’t laid out well’.  She specifically pointed out that ‘as far as she’s concerned’ you already live in a tiny house and that her ‘hubs’ needed to be reeled in.  (I was offended)

I by no means think that everyone should live in a tiny house, that would be silly.  These comments infuriated me though… since when did wasting resources become a status symbol, the tone in these posts literally sickened me.  I know that I get into this stuff way too much but really?  Your layout didn’t work well so you’re ‘scrapping’ the first house you built to try out some things you learned in even a bigger footprint, for two people, a baby and a dog?!  My guess is that there is no designer involved either and if the layout is the cause of the ‘upgrade’ then I would think you would at least get a professional in to help make a better layout, not just add 500 s.f. and hope that that fixes it (I admit I probably read way too much into the comment, because I’ve been contacted by this type of client through my day job, but…).  That mentality combined with the fact that MOST new homeowners now want to build ‘from the ground up’ makes their ‘old’ house nearly obsolete.   How many people want to make a 3,700 s.f. investment without having that customized to them, the people that shop that market largely shop for their own custom house rather than making due in someone elses failed dream..  In my opinion it’s a selfish stance, it’s a wasteful stance and it should NOT be a status symbol to have a ridiculously large house yet the others surely saw it as something to be jealous of.  Beyond that they used that to make others feel bad about living within their means…  In my opinion there was a lot of shaming happening for those thinking about a more resourceful, sustainable and practical way of living.

I am not jealous in the least! I don’t for a second miss having a large home.  It makes me cringe to just think of cleaning that… to think of paying for that… to think of maintaining that… I want to know of a way to change that ‘bigger is better’ paradigm… but I digress…

Sorry for the rant… it sounded like the original poster was looking for that sort of feedback to rebuttal her husband anyway, if she was looking for actual advice she would have specifically asked for feedback from individuals living in smaller spaces rather than larger so maybe what she got was what she needed.  What I don’t like though is that I’m not the only one looking at this lifestyle as a pro rather than a con and any people in that group that were considering living smaller were alienated as well and flat out called weird.  I sat down and tried to think of the pros of living in a big house vs the pros of a small one, having lived in both I can very easily say I will never be in a large house again, my max will be well under 900 s.f. and will include a home office to earn a living from.

So, do I like living in my tiny house?

No, I LOVE it!  It’s amazing.  I’m sitting here in the middle of the afternoon writing on my computer while my daughter sleeps, not working on someone elses projects so I can pay a mortgage.   And man, she makes the cutest noises when she sleeps, I would be missing that without my tiny house!  I get to work on my own projects! Because I have no debt (yes, it is possible), I can stay home.  I have no mortgage so my bills are very limited and I should be able to make enough from side jobs and my book (soon to be books) to pay for health insurance (my biggest expense BY FAR) and other ‘necessities’.

  • The biggest benefit by far is time.  Time to spend with my daughter, time to see all the ridiculously mundane things she does that just amaze mothers… seriously, I think it’s cute when she blinks…
  • Lack of stress.  That stress that piles up on you before you even know it for that next deadline at work, wondering if you’ll be able to afford all the things you need to be able to this month, the stress from a lack of sleep and too many things to do (though I do kind of miss mowing the lawn…).
  • Being able to focus in on your own passions.  The saying is something like ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’  Well if you can’t even quit the rat race for a week how are you going to be able to find out what you love and figure out a way to make money at it?  
  • Pride of ownership.  It still works with a tiny house :).  There is a whole different kind of pride that comes in building it yourself too!

While thinking of reasons a large house was more beneficial the only one I could think of that I can’t meet as well with a tiny house is that you can have large numbers of people over for a dinner party, which I enjoy every now and again… I can still have BBQs in the summer though!

I know this is the wrong crowd maybe to ask but there are plenty of people who read my blog who are still just considering tiny, I’d like to ask, what are the things you think you’ll miss if you take the leap and live in a tiny/small house instead of taking the ‘traditional route’ and buying a large house? Leave your comments below!

With that, here are some images of why I love my tiny house! (aka me living my life!):

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Family Update!

May 30, 2014 § 8 Comments

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update on just the happenings of my life… so here you are family and friends! :)

Miss Mini is doing absolutely amazing and we are loving life.  It is getting pretty close to that time that I should be going back to work and I just don’t know how people do that, its hard to even think about at this point!  I imagine if Mini were to be colicy or othrwise unhappy I may be a little more excited at the idea of getting a break for work but as it is I am having a hard time thinking of leaving her, I have a tough time just going to the store for groceries without her!  Separation anxiety much?!  So… I am strongly considering trying to make a living via this blog… Since I live in a tiny house, on her dads property AND I was able to pay off ALL debts prior to her being born, the amount I need to actually live is fairly minimal… If I could sell a set of plans or two a month I should be able to make it by (health insurance is the killer)… That being said I am going to try out a few things that the ‘internet advisors’ recommend for monetizing things more than just an ad at the bottom.   I will really try not to be too gimmicky with things though, I promise.  I certainly do not feel like going back to a site when it feels they are trying to sell me something.  My goal is to make money via the same little ads/sponsors/affiliates, just doing a better job of it.  I am hoping no one really notices that chang…  I am new to this concept of online income though so I will try my best, if it gets annoying do me a favor, please and tell me!   I want this site to keep being helpful to people and the last thing I want to do is turn people away.  It would be super cool if I could make this work, if not no biggie and I will make other plans and keep MiniMotives going as normal!  (also, if you know of some magical way to make money from a website without compromising the content of the website let me know)

Miss M is in the 95 percentile for her height at 23 3/4 inches, and 88 percentile of weight at 13 pounds 3 ounces.  She’s a healthy, cute little chunk of kid and we love her so much.  For not knowing how I would do at this whole parent thing I think it’s going great so far… we also won the baby lottery so far though, she mostly sleeps through the night and barely ever cries and smiles and coos a bunch.  Except when getting her vaccinations, she cried then and it sucked for me, probably more than her.  I wish I could get them for her!  She also took her first digger off the couch the same day TIME Magazine came, I thought she would have broken limbs and black eyes and the whole world would see how terrible of a parent I am… instead she seemed to bounce just like they say, it scared her but after two minutes of scared tears she was fine (I still cringe about it though).  She’s at the stage where she randomly flinches her limbs without knowing how or why… I set her on the couch, turned around to get a diaper and she had launched herself onto the floor, head first before I knew it.  If she turns out kind of slow it’s totally my fault for not protecting her noggin better.   Thankfully she blamed the couch and not me but I know the truth, for three days she would scream every time we sat on the couch…  then her dad bumped her head on the lamp a little and the lamp became enemy number one and couch was forgiven.

I have always been a ‘pets are people too’ kind of person and I love my dog SO much, which I think most people who read this can tell (I hope), the best way for me to describe the difference though is to say:  If I thought there was even a chanceD would possibly harm her for a second, he would be in a world of hurt instantly.  Thankfully Denver gets this and knows his order in the family… James joked on our road trip and related our little family to the government, he is the house (because there is more of him), I am the senate (smaller but equal voting power as him), Denver is the American people (he just has to go along with what we say), and Mini is the president (she has complete veto power on what we decide and has exercised that when we sit down at a restaurant and she doesn’t approve).  Cracked me up with its accuracy… last little story, Mini and I went to our first baby and me class on Tuesday and she got to interact with other babies. She likes the older kids it turns out and might have a new boyfriend, Owen, he’s five and a half months. They just sat and stared at each other from two feet apart and laughed and smiled at each other!  It was adorable!

My other baby, Denver, has continued meeting new friends at the dog park and great dane meetups as well, I took both him and Mini for the first time (and other times since) by myself and it was uber successful.  Denver seems to know when he needs to be on his best behavior and not pull on the leash when I’m holding the baby too.  He generally gets pretty excited to go to the park and can pull but he doesn’t when she’s in my arms too, he’s a good boy.  AND he gets to start school, finally, next week.  I’ve wanted to get him in obedience for a while but I was either pregnant and SUPER tired, across the country or managing a newborn, we finally got to a point to get him signed up though!  I want to get him to a point where he is good off the leash and not so barky.  He just got animal control called on him for ‘barking too much in the afternoon’ but in his defense it was my fault.  The neighbor kids play war after school with fake guns and he barks at them (they kind of include him in the play but he always gives away their location), I’ve never corrected him because I want him to bark if a guy comes at us with a gun… Now I have to learn how to teach him good barking and bad.  I think he is going to really like dog school though and I am excited to learn how to work better together too.  I think we have a great instructor and shes coming to the house for it!

Last bit, TIME and Dwell Magazines came and did their shoots as well as interviews, I’m excited for both issues, I was told Time will come out the third week in June and Dwell will be September’s Small Space issue.  Both of these have given me new goals to pursue, who ever thought I would be marking off things on my bucket list so fast?!

In no particular order here are some pictures:

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