Archives For Home

Small House

Earlier this year, we made an offer on a small farm and put our home on the market. The seller wasn’t willing to negotiate one bit, our home didn’t sell and we realized it just wasn’t the right timing. At the beginning of May, we decided to take the ‘for sale’ sign down again.

So, why are we staying? 

We like our home. It’s in a great location about 15 minutes from my husband’s work, our church and town. We have great neighbors, we love our shaded front yard, fenced in back yard and garden plot. And, while our home is small, it’s just right for our family.

Living in our small home comes with benefits like a very affordable mortgage and there’s less to clean!

A week after we took the sign down, our church had Joe Sangl of I Was Broke, Now I’m Not teach on personal finances. We attended his financial coaching leadership seminar and church wide financial learning experience. His teachings gave us renewed excitement about our finances!

At the end of the weekend, we set several goals for our personal finances. The big goal we set is to have our mortgage paid off in 5 years (and we’re really hoping to knock it out before then!)

We are willing to sacrifice our dream of owning a small farm temporarily so we can put ourselves in a better financial position to purchase a small farm in few years. By waiting until we are in a better financial position to purchase a farm, we will eliminate a lot of financial stress that comes with having a large mortgage.

We’re staying in our small home because it makes the most sense for our family financially. 

Now that we’re focused on this goal, I’ll probably be sharing a bit more about our personal finances and how we’re making steps towards this goal. I’ll also be writing even more about living minimally in a small space since we’re fully embracing the home we’re in.

Crib

Since Cecilia will be 1 tomorrow, I thought it was about time to share a little tour of her nursery.

Before she was born, we had the crib in the boys room. The plan was for all 3 kids to share a bedroom and have a playroom. Once she was born, we decided that separating the boys from the baby might be the best thing for everybody’s sleep. Plus, I had a daughter and could decorate with pink!! We turned the former playroom into Cecilia’s nursery.

This room actually has been a nursery 3 times now – it was Paxton’s original bedroom when we moved into this house, it was Weston’s room for a few months when we separated the boys and now is her room.

The crib was originally Weston’s, I bought hot pink with white polka dot cribs sheets, made the bunting banner (using a simple tutorial from Sewing School 101) and spray painted the ‘C’ teal.

Changing Table

We bought this dresser changing table when I was pregnant with her and sold our open shelving changing table. Our family made most of the elements of her gallery wall, the boys painted the canvas on the upper left, her daddy made her ribbon holder and I painted the other 4 canvases.

Rocking Chair

I also painted the ‘ABC’ canvas and we moved the rocking chair from the living room into her nursery. (This rocking chair was a Christmas present from John David before we had babies! When he gave it to me, I just knew I’d use it to rock babies to sleep in the future – I was right, it’s gotten a lot of rocking so far!)

ClosetHere’s a glimpse in her closet. That big tote holds hand-me-downs for the future and the drawers currently hold clothes that she’ll soon grow into. She has a few dresses hanging and a few sweaters in the basket but most of her clothes are stored in the dresser.

We currently keep very few toys in her room. We keep a small basket in her that holds her baby doll, a few teethers, soft books and a few little baby toys. Babies really don’t need much stuff! She also has some chunky puzzles and wooden blocks in our learning area. And, honestly, she prefers playing with brothers toys or a cardboard box over any of her baby toys.

So, that’s Cecilia’s sweet little nursery. Very simple and minimal with girly touches of hot pink and teal!

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Keeping it Real

Last week I gave you a tour of our home. The pictures I shared were from when we were trying to sell our home so they were beautiful – showing our home looking it’s best.

Well, this week, I’m giving you another tour of our home but this tour is keeping it real – nothing staged, just real life!

Messy Dining Room

I try my hardest to keep our table clutter free because we eat 3 meals a day there however it’s just seems to be a stuff magnet. Honestly, it’s mostly my stuff – we come home from running errands or church and I dump everything on the end of the table instead of putting it where it should go!
Finger Paint Mess

Ah, preschoolers and art. Before having kids, I dreamed of peaceful, non-messy, creative art time with my kids. Ha, ha! My boys love creating but boy are they messy. This time, I let them have a few different colors of paint and they were happily painting on their paper. Well, then the baby needed me and I left the room for 2 minutes and came back to paint everywhere – all over the table, chairs and the boys. At least they had fun, right? And, thankfully it was washable!
Dirty Dishes

This is an all too common scene around here. I guess because we eat 3 meals a day?! There’s really no getting around that. So, the kitchen is used and is pretty much never fully clean!
Laundry

Here’s photographic evidence of our mountain of laundry. I was warned before Cecilia was born that a third child seems to make laundry really explode. Well, it’s true! So much laundry. (But, who really cares if there is a little more laundry to fold – our third baby is awfully sweet and so worth it!)
Pile of Laundry

More laundry. Messy Bedroom

Noticing a trend? Laundry. Everyday. On my bed.

Confession – some days, I don’t get around to fully folding it all so I just dump what hasn’t been folded yet back into the basket for the night and the next morning dump it back on the bed to fold sometime that day!Livingroom

Living rooms are for living and we do a lot of living in ours so it’s rarely clean. This day, the boys were creating with big cardboard boxes. Art stuff all over, pieces of cardboard everywhere and a really sweet baby girl in the midst of it all!
Messy Kid Space

My boys love puzzles. I love that they love puzzles. I however, do not love puzzle pieces. So many pieces. I may break out in a sweat when I realize they’ve mixed puzzle pieces all together!Broken Blinds

One thing I find myself saying over and over is ‘we cannot have nice things.’ The reason I say this – my boys are destructive. I’m often quite impressed at the things they decide to destroy. One day, one of them spent rest time in the baby’s room and decided to bend back a piece of the blinds. (It has since snapped off…)
Unmade Beds

Right after deciding to put our house on the market, we decided to rearrange the kids rooms. When Cecilia was born, we had the boys in a full size bed and her crib in their room. We decided to separate Cecilia from the boys and then got the boys twin beds. Their beds had sheets and quilts but nothing on the box springs for months (and now they don’t even have the box springs thanks to their bunk bed!)
Messy Kid BedroomAnd, since deciding to stay in our home instead of sell it, we’ve been making some changes to make this house work better for our family. One of those things was installing some shelving in the boys closet for more efficient organization. So, everything from the closet was piled up in the corner for over 3 weeks. And, while the closet is finished and some things have been put back into the closet, there’s still a nice pile in the corner.

I shared these pictures with you so you remember that people often just share the beautiful (like the staged home tour I shared last week) on blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I didn’t want you to think that was my reality because it’s so far from reality that it felt like a lie!

We all have messes (at least those of us with young children do!)

Stop aiming for an unattainable goal of a perfectly clean home. Embrace the reality that life is just a little messy and then you can begin to view your mess as beautiful.

Brick Ranch Home Tour

In April, we decided we were going to sell our home and spent a few days thoroughly cleaning and taking pictures. I’ve been meaning to post them for a few months so you can have a glimpse into our home!

Our home is a basic little house built in the 70s, a  3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home totaling 1,343 square feet.

Here’s a glimpse inside:

Livingroom

Kitchen

Dining

Bathroom

Master

Kids Room

Play Room

After a few days of intense cleaning, decluttering (and maybe a little shoving things into closets), the house looked amazing! In fact, it was exactly how I often dream our home should look – super clean and clutter free. But, getting it show ready and ‘perfect’ really was eye opening to me.

Instead of loving the clean, clutter free look, it felt too sterile! It didn’t feel like our home – there were no signs of real life within the walls! Those (maybe) 2 days that it was ‘perfect’ really have helped me appreciate the beautiful mess of real life.

This little home tour is showing our home at it’s best – it’s never, ever this clean on a daily basis, so please don’t think this is my reality! Next week, I’m going to share a keeping it real home tour so you can see glimpses of our reality.