Brick-Ranch

When we purchased our home in early 2011, we were a family of 3 and the 1343 square feet was more than enough house for our small family.

There were a few things about the house that we weren’t crazy about. It is a 1.5 bathroom (we preferred 2), the kitchen is small and the laundry is in the carport. We compromised on those factors because the house is a charming 70s brick ranch on an acre in the area where we wanted to be. Plus, the price was well below the budget we had set when we began searching for a home.

We knew we were going to be able to comfortably grow our family in this home.

Living Room

With the announcement of our third pregnancy, we started to get questions and comments like “where will you put the baby?” and “you’re going to need a bigger house.”

Our answers were “we’ll put the baby in the room with his/her brothers” and “we have plenty of room.”

As the months passed, we started thinking that maybe our house wasn’t big enough.

Simple math says it’s small. Our 1343 square foot house divided by 5 people is 268.6 square feet per person. (We realized that per person, our house was smaller than our 576 square foot first apartment! We had 288 square feet per person there.)

A few weeks after Cecilia was born, John David was browsing real estate listings and an 1,800 square foot home on 7 acres with a barn and shop caught his attention. We went and looked at it and fell in love with the farm. Within a few days, we decided we were going to sell our home so we could buy a farm.

Throughout the month of May, we had several inquiries and a few showings and were hopeful that our home would sell quickly so we could buy the larger home and farm.

Towards the end of May, we started really questioning whether this was the right move for our family and began praying for direction. Sure, the 1,800 square foot house (with a bonus room, attached garage and fireplace) on 7 acres was exactly what we wanted. But, was it what was right for our family now?

We started evaluating the work of keeping up a farm. John David’s job is not only a job, it’s his calling. With his job he’s not home every single night of the week at the same time. With 3 small children, I don’t want the responsibility of having to care for a farm on his long nights. Plus, the honest truth is we have a hard time caring for our acre (and nearly half of it is wooded). The care of 7 acres seems quite daunting.

We also looked long and hard at finances. Yes, we can afford the larger home. The asking price was a figure we can afford, at least on paper. Figuring the mortgage payment on the larger home into our budget worked but it left very little money and our budget would be very tight. To us, it’s not really worth having a larger home if we can’t live life because all of our money is going to the house!

But, we need more space, right? Well, 500 more square feet would definitely be nice but isn’t a necessity, at least at this point in our life. We’re comfortable in our current home. Our boys share a large bedroom, Cecilia now has her own room and there’s plenty of space for the things we own, especially since we choose to live minimally.
Dining Room

We’ve decided that living small in this house means we can really live large.

An affordable mortgage means our finances are not super tight.

Since our finances are not super tight, we can spend more on healthy food, eating out and experiences. Plus, we’re able to be more generous since we’re not simply scraping by every month.

Living in 1343 square feet means we have to be intentional about our possessions as a family of 5. We evaluate purchases not only based on whether we can afford the item but also based on if we have space for it and if it is a necessity. We choose to live minimally but our home also forces us to live minimally since we don’t want to be overrun with stuff!

We’re content living small. But, we really think we’re living large.

(And, the lovely pictures in this post were taken for our house listing. My house is never, ever this tidy!!)

 

 

 

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Boreing Kiddos
Here are the highlights of May, June and July for our family:

May

  • We traveled to West Tennessee for my sister’s college graduation, to visit family and introduce everyone to Cecilia.
  • We traveled to East Tennessee the next weekend to visit family and introduce Cecilia to family.
  • We got our house ready to sell and showed it a few times.
  • We started watching This Old House (it’s now a family favorite!)
  • We celebrated 8 years of marriage on the 27th.
  • John David turned 28 on the 31st.
Birthday

The boys and I prepared daddy a mini birthday party. We made yellow cake and homemade whipped cream and they were so excited for their daddy!

Sleeping Little Folks

And, this is what our bed looked like during the month of May. Weston was cutting his 2 year molars and some nights we’d have all 3 in bed (and John David would bring them back to their beds or just go get in one of their beds!)

Two Months

Cecilia was 2 months on May 20.

Milestones:

  • Weighs about 11 pounds.
  • Wearing 3 month clothes.
  • Exclusively cloth diapered – bumGenius One Size on smallest setting with regular insert
  • Nursing every 3 hours during the day. Waking once at night.
  • Started smiling and cooing

June

  • Boys started participating in the summer reading program at our local library.
  • We started praying hard about whether or not to sell our home.
  • John David traveled to Ethiopia for 10 days with our church.
  • The little ones and I went to West Tennessee and stayed with my parents while John David was gone.
  • Daddy came home on the 28th!
Zoo

We went to the Memphis Zoo with my mom, sister and nieces.

Sponsored Kids

John David saw our two sponsored children while in Ethiopia!

Three Months

Cecilia was 3 months on June 20.

Milestones :

  • 11 pounds 12 ounces.
  • Wearing 3-6 month clothes.
  • Exclusively cloth diapered – bumGenius One Size on smallest setting with regular insert.
  • Nursing every 3 hours during the day, waking once at night.
  • Working on complete head control.
  • Loves watching big brothers.

July

  • Decided that staying in our home was the best decision for our family.
  • Began working on some home improvement projects since we’re staying in our current home (plus, the boys are into home improvement thanks to This Old House so they’re having a blast!)
  • Weston went to visit Mimi and Papaw for a few days while Paxton stayed behind with us. We enjoyed our time with Paxton and Cecilia.
  • Our family participated in Chick-fil-a’s cow appreciation day for the 5th year in a row!
  • My sister and her family visited. We enjoyed their visit!
  • We visited family in East Tennessee.
  • Paxton stayed in East Tennessee with Mimi and Papaw for a few days. We enjoyed our days with our two littlest ones.
  • We sold our Ford Escape (my first vehicle, it took me to college, us on our honeymoon and brought our 2 boys home from the hospital!)
  • John David bought a new (to us, of course!) truck.
Flowers

The flowers Paxton and Mimi planted in my garden when Cecilia was born are blooming and are beautiful. I’ve enjoyed bringing the cut flowers into our home.

Mobile Baby

This little lady decided the day after turning 4 months that she was ready to be mobile. She started off on the towel and ended up here!

Cecilia

This baby girl is such a JOY to our family!

Four MonthsCecilia was 4 months on July 20

Milestones:

  • Rolling over.
  • Complete head control.
  • Wearing 3-6 month clothes.
  • Exclusively cloth diapered – bumGenius One Size on medium setting with regular insert and doubler.
  • Nursing every 3 hours during the day.
  • Starts the night in her crib and when she wakes to nurse, I bring her to our bed.
  • Starting to ‘talk’ to us.

Those are the highlights of May, June and July. Written mostly so I can look back and remember!

Dear Intentionally Simple Readers,

It’s been awhile since I last wrote.  I intended to take the rest of the month of May off. Well, that time off turned into all of May, June and now most of July! Every week, I tell myself I’m going to write a post but I never make the time to and so another week passes.

I do want to catch you up with some of the things that have been going on these past few months.

Mama and Cecilia

In early April, on a whim, we were browsing real estate listings and came across a 7 acre farm which we fell in love with. Within a week, we decided we were going to sell our house (for sale by owner) and worked to get it ready. And, Cecilia was less than a month old (crazy)! During the rest of April, May and some of June, we were pretty set on this plan.

After much prayer, talking and words from people around us, we feel that staying in our little home is the right move for our family. We don’t feel having 7 acres of land to maintain is the right thing for our family during this season of life. And, quite honestly, our house which is somewhat small, especially for a family of 5, really is enough house for us now. Our mortgage is quite comfortable, allowing us the freedom of not having a ton of our monthly income tied up.

We still haven’t removed the for sale sign in our front yard and if a buyer came along and we felt we were supposed to sell, we would but more than likely we’ll be in this home for a few more years.

Family May 2014

Mothers Day 2014

The main reason I haven’t had time to write is because I’m a mama of 3! Our Weston is an early riser and Cecilia cluster feeds from 7 until 10:30 or 11:00 nearly every night which makes the days full of caring for my children, which is exactly what I want to do! The boys don’t take naps anymore, although we do rest time for an hour each afternoon but most of their rest time is spent nursing and resting myself. And, when John David is home, we’re still outnumbered!

Another reason is we cut out home internet. Our internet bill went up considerably so we decided to cancel and try living without home internet! It’s been quite liberating. We still have internet access on our phones but we’ve been much more intentional about internet usage and time spent on social media/web surfing. We feel like it’s made us more aware of the time wasted online and made us more present with our kids and each other. With that said, we’re probably going to be reconnecting our home Internet because we do still use it to communicate, blog, shop and such so it’s not all bad!

Little Ones June 2014

June 2014

John David went to Ethiopia mid-June and I spent over a week with my parents. The little ones and I had a really wonderful time with my parents, sister and nieces. We went to several parks, had picnics, went to the zoo, swimming in my parents pool, watched movies (we finally watched Frozen!) and just enjoyed being with family. John David had a great trip. This was his third trip and he really feels like he’s deepening relationships with church leaders as well as our two Compassion children.

At this point, I’m not making any promises about this blog. I enjoy writing, it is definitely a passion and I’m not going to stop all together, I just may be posting quite sporadically over the next few months. I’m still settling into a new normal as a mother of 3 (and after having 2 babies before, I really think it takes about a year to fully adjust to a new little one). I also know how fast time flies during the first year of a baby’s life and I am trying to live slow and savor the babyhood of this sweet daughter of mine.

I have all kinds of post ideas and things I want to write about but for now they’re swirling around in my head as I wash dishes, fold endless loads of laundry, nurse my baby and savor the quietness of a short, hot shower.

I am on Instagram fairly regularly. If you want glimpses into our life and my thoughts on simple living and motherhood, follow me – @rachelboreing.

 

* Do you cloth diaper or are you interested in cloth diapering? If so, I’d love to send you a copy of my eBook, Cloth Diapers: A How-To Handbook on the Basics of Cloth Diapering in exchange for a review (either on your blog or Amazon). Contact me for more information.

The month of April absolutely flew by! Something about having a newborn really makes time seem to pass so quickly. April was a very laid back month, with very little on the calendar which makes me happy. I love keeping things simple when I have a new baby. 

Snuggling

Naturally, I’ve spent a lot of time nursing my sweet little one and just holding her, savoring her tininess. 

Silly Boys

These two are such wonderful big brothers. They’ve both adapted quite well to their new roles and have not shown any jealousy! 

Sleeping

This is what most mornings look like around here. Cecilia co-sleeps most of the night with us and quite frequently we have another little one climb in during the night. 

Laundry

And, I feel like when I’m not nursing, I’m doing laundry. My midwife, who has 3 children, warned me that the third makes laundry explode. This is so true. Somehow our laundry seems to have tripled! I am constantly doing laundry.

Church

I’ve ventured to church twice on Sunday mornings. Since my husband works at church, Sunday mornings I’m solo which makes getting ready and to church on time quite the task! When Cecilia was 3 weeks old, I managed to get all 3 up, fed, dressed and to church only 5 minutes late.

Painted Toenails

I painted Cecilia’s toenails at 3 weeks old! They are beyond precious and I’ve been surprised at how many people have noticed them. Painting the toenails of a newborn is not easy but possible thanks to small bottles of Piggy Paint.

4 Years Old

My biggest boy was 4 years old on the 16th! What a blessing he is. It’s hard to believe he is 4 already – they’ve been 4 wonderful years being his mama. He celebrated with Papaw David (who shares his birthday), they went out to breakfast, Mimi made his birthday cake and we took him to Chick-fil-A for lunch and then to the toy store where he picked out two trains as his present from us. 

One Month

Baby Cecilia was 1 month on the 22nd. 

Milestones:

  • Weighs about 10 pounds
  • Outgrew newborn clothes
  • Size 1 disposable diaper
  • Fits in a bumGenius 4.0 with the regular insert
  • Nursing every 2 hours during the day, cluster feeding from 8-12 pm and waking once, sometimes twice at night

Cloth Diapers eBook

An exciting thing for me in April was the release of my eBook, Cloth Diapers: A How-To Handbook on the Basics of Cloth Diapering. I worked on this book for 14 months and it was exciting to finally have it released as part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Sale! (Thanks to those of you who purchased the bundle!) If you did purchase the bundle and have read my book – I’d love for you to leave a review of the book on Amazon

We’re still keeping things fairly simple around here in May but working towards getting back into our new normal!