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Why we are Down-Sizing. On Purpose.

by Angie on February 26, 2014

Oh my gosh. What is wrong with my blog? Apparently the draft of this post has been live on my blog for a while in weird formatting. Ignore that. Moving on:

angie in the thick of it and her husband

In my last post I began to tell you how/why on earth our family has decided to sell our lovely Single Family Home (which we love and adore) and move into a tiny condo.

By choice.

On purpose.

With peaceful excitement.

Shall we continue?

The Manchild and I have really chewed on the idea of buying/building a tiny, well-planned house over the past year or so. I’ve never really dreamed about living in a house bigger than the one we are currently in. And it only has 1900 finished square feet (+ the unfinished basement). I’d retire in this house and never leave it that were in the cards/felt right for us. So “going bigger” isn’t on my radar. But going smaller? Yeah.

Imagine this: you’ve got a magic eyeball that can see the thoughts in my head: These are the phrases that swirl around in there underneath the gray hair-dyed brown. Sometimes these phrases square dance with each other. Sometimes these words eat chocolate together.

Come see:

“Intentional Living”

“Simplify”

“Debt-Free”

“Experiences Instead of Stuff”

“Choices”

“Liberation from STUFF”

“Cleaning the House all Day vs. Feeling Guilty for NOT Cleaning the House All Day vs. Cleaning the TINY house in 30 Minutes Flat Then Moving on With my Life”

I dunno about you, but those words excite me to no end! They really strike a chord in me and bring me great peace. But these are ideals- thoughts. They are sorta way out there as fun things to put on a motivational poster. But how would somebody go about ACTING ON THEM?

Let me tell you how we took steps forward to act on them:

1.We started looking at properties for sale and very small house plans. This was quite the job. I found a lot of tiny house plans that were “studios” or “one bedrooms” but it was tough to find plans with 2 or 3 bedrooms. See my Pinterest board (it doesn’t have a ton of pins on it, but the pins there will take you to some great resources). I began to research “house building permits” and was completely lost/out of my element. SMALL HOUSE WITH LOFT

2. We also had begun to talk about the possibility of moving overseas as a family at some point in the future. This kind of thought sort of battles against the previous one– Why would we build a custom/unique house, then leave it to move across the globe?

3. And also- We don’t really want to move out of our school zones if we are going to move semi-locally (ie. if we are staying in the DC area, let’s not have to make all new friends and change schools, right?).

4. And there’s the other thing– We have quite a lot of equity in our home and if we sold it, the equity could pay off our debts and we’d be debt free. (My definition of debt free is a bit fuzzy, but let’s not get into details today, k?)

5. In addition: I’d like to say “Yes” more often to good things. To lots of things. Like– if my husband said to me, “Ang, I want to do something different with my life and go be a garbage man. That would be my life’s passion! But the pay stinks.” I’d like to be able to say, “Yes. Fine. Let’s do what you want! Be happy!” I’d like for him to have options and not have a large home/mortgage/school loans/other debts hanging around his bread-winner neck.

I’d like to say “Yes” when my kids beg us to go get a season pass to the local amusement park. I’d like to say “Yes” to parkour summer camp. I’d like to say “Yes” to a family trip to NYC. This isn’t just a financially-driven “YES”. This would be a “Sure. We’ve got time and money and this is a good thing and since we don’t have any debts/obligations/lifestyle-necessitated time constraints that force me to say, “sorry, no”, then I will say “Yeah, let’s do it!”

p.s. I still fully enjoy saying “No” when my kids ask if we can go into the “Candy Palace” at the mall and buy some candy. That just makes me feel good and mean. Kids are better off when they hear a healthy amount of “No’s”, ya know?

So should I tell you how we found THE CONDO and how I know that this is all THE RIGHT THING to do even though most people think we are absolutely crazy and/or must be too poor to afford our house and therefore are down-sizing under duress? I should tell you. And I will! In the next post :-)

p.s. Did I mention we sold our house “by owner” for exactly the price we wanted? Girl, you know I’ll tutor you! Don’t worry. Stay tuned. piano

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I’ve got such a story to tell you. It’s a story about our family and our REAL LIFE plans to sell our lovely home and move into a tiny condo. On purpose. Next Month.

Stand back kids, this blog’s insurance policy doesn’t cover Blown Minds…

insurance policy doesn't cover blown minds

It all started with the discovery of a blog called “AssortmentBlog.com“. The author of said blog is Carmella. Carmella lives in a 665 square foot home with her husband and three boys. AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL!!!

See?

assortment blog carmella

I’m only going to show you that one photo, because you really need to go to her blog to read her story and see the full tour, ok kids? Tell her I sent you.

When I found her blog and the images of her home something was born inside me: the deep desire to live life more simply and intentionally. To have less stuff and more time. To have more time and more money and freedom to use both exactly how I’d like to. To see/clean/own only the things I absolutely love and use.

Anybody else feeling that? I don’t think we are alone in that sentiment. This is why people downsize… after their kids move out, usually. Or so I hear.

Back to Carmella’s house: I am obsessed with the photos in her home tour. I have a habit of pulling friends over to my laptop, gently pushing them into a seat, and making them look at the photos and declare that they are lovely. I have been annoying. Sorry, Mom.

Carmella is working on drafting up plans for her home that anybody could build. Plans that we could buy and give to a builder and say, “make me this little tiny house, please”. Or, as the Manchild insists, “that we could build by ourselves at night and on the weekends”. The Manchild is crazy, obvi.

The Manchild and I started chewing over the idea of buying a half acre of land and building a tiny little home on it. Somewhere in the country where our kids could ride their little dirtbikes and shoot their BB guns. Can you feel the Idaho/Wisconsin blood coming out of us here in DC? Don’t be scared.

Add to all of those ideas this contrasting one: We would really sorta like to move overseas with our family.

STOP. There is so much more to this story, I think we should stop there and discuss.

Tell me, am I making you nervous? Or jealous? Are you worried about me right now? Let’s hold hands.

Answer me this: Would it be scary or liberating for you if you were told to get rid of 70% of the things you own and keep only what you LOVE and USE.

Or, answer me this: When you look at pictures of homes or house plans or pins on Pinterest, do you drool over the homes that are bigger and fancier than what you currently live in? Are you hoping/planning for a move UP? Like most NORMAL PEOPLE? What images are you drawn to?

small house

I’ll be back soon with the next part of our story!

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Hey, Yo!

by Angie on February 18, 2014

bedrooms

It happened like this:

a) I got an email from  BlueHost telling me that something was changing with php-something-or-other on my blog and I thought to myself, “Self, I wonder if your blog is still even working/showing up n’ stuff?”

b) Then I got a facebook message from Rebecca Friggin’ Wisor (Older and Wisor) asking me how the sale of my house is going (somewhere along the line I let her be my Facebook friend and now she knows things and it’s freaky).

c) So I sneaky-sneaked over to my blog to see if it still existed

d) It does! And then I read some posts.

e) First I read the top post (dated October 21st?!!!??!!) about how I was going to keep blogging every day in October and wasn’t going to give up. So funny, I am. That made me sick to my stomach for a lil’ minute.

f) Then I read some of the back posts from October’s “Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms” series and heard myself talking to you guys about how to be a bit more successful with life. I read things like, “Get up early” and “Exercise” and “Give Yourself some Slack” and “Break Bad Habits” and I thought-

“I am soooo bad at taking my own advice! Oh you watch out now! I’m gonna wake up early tomorrow! Ha! Watch me!” These are things I say to myself sometimes on a Tuesday night.

g) Then I remembered that I just sold my house (well- it’s under contract, anyway!) and this would be a good time to start blogging again because WHOA– there’s some good story telling awaiting YOU LOVELY PEOPLE! Just you wait.

h) So I wondered how to log in to my wordpress page thingy again– luckily my computer reminded me pretty quickly AND the username and password were saved so I didn’t have to solve any mystery puzzles to get back into my blog.

i) And then I figured out how to write a new post. I honestly had forgotten.

j) And I said Hi to you and then I hit publish!

k) Suuuuuuup, guys??? See you again in 3 months? ;-)

movie theater on christmas

p.s. Merry Christmas 2013!!

 

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Still In It (with a happy face)

by Angie on October 23, 2013

Holy crappin’ Pete.

Yesterday I was very poo-pooey and forced myself to write a post even though I was in a bluey mood. I laid that out there for you guys and DANG, did you bring me right back up! I am honest-to-goodness (not even being trite) so grateful for those of you who commented on that post, emailed me, or texted me. I never knew you cared so much! I love your guts.

>>BLOWING HUGE KISSES!<<

In fact, by the dinnertime last night, I was seeing the sunshine through the clouds and was sporting a happy face again.

phone

Here is my happy face with my phone (horrible picture taken by sam’s old ipod!), because when my sister saw that I was having a hard day, she called right away, left a voicemail, left a text and just generally showed the sisterly love all the way from Alaska. Hi, Jess!

(Have I told you about my cool phone case/cover? I custom uploaded the picture to zazzle.com to make it. It’s called the “casemate vibe” and you NEED it on your iPhone, ok?)

tree

Here is my happy face trying to get in the picture with my kids in the tree. If the kids are all in the tree, it CAN’T be a bad day! It’s a fact of life.

batch

Here is my happy face showing you a sneak peek at tomorrow’s Life Hack: Batch Cook It, Gurl. Stay tuned.

holly

Here is my (real) happy face appreciating you guys for talking me out of giving up on this “Life Hack for Mediocre Moms” series. Silly me. I thought maybe I would quit the series because I was too mediocre to write it. Maybe that’s the whole point. I am so dang real up in here that we can’t even pretend I’m actually improving myself this month. (Except I am… just slowly and imperfectly. And you guys are ok with that. And I am in love with that grace you give me!) >>This love-fest is making me vomitty. I’ll stop if you will.<<

I have one more happy thing to tell you about: Logan got stung on the shoulder by a bee on the way home from school yesterday! But that’s not the happy part…

bee sting essential oils

 

(This is Mr. Logan, who is 10, making the dumbest face he can pull for this picture.)

Yesterday he burst through the door after school wailing and crying about his bee sting.  I rushed downstairs to see that he had a little welt on his shoulder, no stinger, and the surrounding area was red and blotchy. Instead of rushing to the freezer for ice (which would have been my first response had I not had any essential oils on hand… and other than that, I would have had NO idea what to do for that sting—mud? Spit? That’s about all I would have known to try!)… anyway, I grabbed my Modern Essentials book off the shelf (it’s like a “Physicians Desk Reference” for MOMS who have ESSENTIAL OILS AT HOME!) and looked up “bite/sting” as fast as I could. He was screaming and kicking the cabinet in pain and tears were running down his face. I was like, “dude. chill. drama, much?” and tried to play it cool as I lost all knowledge of alphabetical order and still managed to look up “sting” in the book. That is surprisingly hard to do when someone is kicking the cabinet and screaming. Once I found the recommended protocol for bee stings I was glad to see that I had 3 of the 4 top-recommended oils. I grabbed my basil oil, purify oil blend, and lavender and put 1 drop of each on his sting. I carefully rubbed the oils around the sting and on the red, blotchy areas. Two minutes later he was sitting quietly on the couch. I was surprised! I asked, “Logan, are you, like– feeling fine now (dude man)?” He looked at me in equal surprise, “Yeah… I guess so (best mom ever)!” I asked if it hurt anymore and he said, “Just a little… I think.” Ten minutes later he was headed out to jump on the trampoline and I suggested we put another round of oils on the sting. He asked, “But why? It’s okay now (mom of the year).” I shrugged my shoulders and just said, “Um? I don’t know? Prevention??” We laughed and put on those three oils again and off he went.

UNBELIEVABLE! But a true story. I actually feel really blessed to have experiences like that quite often now. I feel empowered and at peace as “Dr. Mom” in my own home. I trust these essential oils to cure most of our ills and my kids trust me to help them when they are hurt/itchy/stressed/whatever! I don’t panic or feel helpless anymore. I don’t run off to the doctor’s office anymore. I don’t pay co-pays or fill hardly any prescriptions anymore.  It’s a great feeling.

And that’s the happy thing I wanted you to know. Because keeping these essential oils experiences to myself feels very selfish at this point. Email me if you want to learn more about them, get some free samples, or join me for a google hangout/webinar about how to replace your medicine cabinet with essential oils. I’m meeting 14 women via webinar next week! I guess I should figure out how to do a webinar before then? p.s. I hate the word “webinar”.

my email? emailinthethickofit@gmail.com

And thanks again for loving The Poser. See you tomorrow.

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I’m a Poser

by Angie on October 22, 2013

Hi. It’s Angie here, with a post. A blog post. That’s what I do sometimes.

Except that it is 10:30 a.m. and on a Tuesday and I haven’t applied any of the “life hacks” today that we’ve been talking about this month. I’m sitting here in my (non- sweated in) workout clothes. I have yesterday’s make-up on. I did not get up early. I’m sucking at today.

So I don’t feel real good about sitting down at the computer and telling you have to be super awesome. Today I am waaay mediocre.

And have you noticed me slipping off the “every single day in October” plan? I feel a lot of “sucking” going on around this life today.

BUT. You should know… it’s been 3 days since I had any Diet Coke. whoop yeah!

I’m actually having a moment right now. Where I say, “If I just jaunt over to McD’s real quick, that will be just the pick-me-up I need to jumpstart this day and set me straight! Yeah? Yeah? Yeah?”

Say no. SAY NO!

Yesterday I go to meet a blog friend in person! You should read Kelsey’s blog. I can’t remember how we “met online”, but at some point we realized that we live in the same town! She came over with 2 of her kids (who are so so cute!) and we talked about essential oils. She had seen a FB post of mine a couple weeks ago and she PM’d me saying, “if those oils will help me not go freaking crazy by 10:00 a.m. every single day then I want them!” Kelsey has recently joined the “stay at home mom” group or the “work part time at home mom” group and she says it’s “not her cup of tea”. She has an interview for a new job today. Wish her good luck. GOOD LUCK, KELS!

I’m rambling, because I don’t want to admit that I didn’t even think to take a picture with her yesterday! What a mediocre idiot I am!! >>hanging head in shame<<

I don’t know what else to say. I’m burning out.

I think the point is that when I am in an on-going argument with someone (whom shall remain nameless), I am unable to blog. Hence the gap in posts. Hence the possible death of this blog series. Aye! The end.

p.s. Talk me out of it?

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In March of 2011 (that’s 2.5 YEARS ago) I told you guys that I was officially quitting THE COKE. I was walking away from my drug of choice. I had read enough articles about why aspartame, carbonation, and caffeine were bad for me. Really bad!

And then two weeks later I started sippin’ the good juice again.

I quit the Cokie again this past spring. For 2 weeks.

Apparently, it’s really tough to break a diet coke addiction.

Really tough.

But I know I should! And I sorta want to! (As soon as I think that to myself, the devil on my shoulder yells, “No you don’t! You love it! It’s your best friend!”).

But I am fully aware that this bad habit of mine is holding me back from progress. I kinda feel like a drug addict sometimes. That’s not a fun feeling.

So here I go. I’m going for it again. I’m gonna “Kick My Killer Habit”.

(INSTANTLY, my devil-on-the-shoulder says, “But go get another Diet Coke real quick before you start! Savor your last one!”)

Yesterday Charlie and I swung through the drive through on our way to the church building. Except that the church is closer to my house than McDonald’s. We went way out of our way to “get mommy’s drink”. He was like, “Mom. Why we going over here? Why you always get your drink? Why you always thirsty? (eye roll)”

I was all, “You want a little drink of water Charlie? Or a little snack?”

He said, with firmness, “No.” (eye roll)

He’s THREE, people!

What kind of an example am I being?

Quitting Diet Coke is “step one” on my path to eating better, cleansing my body of yucky toxins, and having more control over my “natural man.” I know this killer habit of mine is holding my back on many levels.

I plan to drink lemon essential oil in ice water instead of the my bubbly diet friend. That will be invigorating and also gently cleanse my system.

And for energy boosts/mood help? I’m stocked with three Isagenix products called, “Want More Energy”, “E+ Shot”, and “Isadelights Dark Chocolates.”

Have I ever told you guys about Isagenix before? I’ve used their shakes and cleansing systems a couple of times to gain control of my eating and release toxins and weight. I love it. There products are super smart and super effective.

For more info about Isagenix products, you should see the GoIsaFit Facebook Page. My friend Jennise is the founder of the GoIsaFit group. She’s also a super fit mom of 4, a health and fitness coach, and an incredible example of health and wellness. Check isagenix out.

But this post isn’t about Isagenix. It’s about Diet Coke. And the velcro sound that is heard when somebody tries to pull a large fountain Diet Coke from my hand.

I’m actually scared to try this.

Today’s tip from your nervous friend who is breaking up with her BFF (it’s killing me softly) drink is:

Kick Your Killer Habit

What’s your bad habit? Is it killing you softly? With it’s (sweet, bubbly) song?

Maybe I shouldn’t go cold turkey? Just treat DC as a treat? For when we are out to eat? Or as a Saturday night dessert?

Help mama. I’m weeeeeeak!

20131015-131628.jpg

 

life hacks for mediocre moms 100

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Thanks so much for your comments on yesterday’s post about the great homeschool debate. I feel like many decent, well-adjusted, fully functional members of society (whom I like and even admire) are joining the homeschool movement! Without warning me first. It’s so freaking annoying! ;-) They challenge my world view!

See Roo. And Ashley.

Whether to consider homeschooling as a real option for our family is an on-going discussion. We stayed up late last night coaching the kids through some of the reasons why they want to be pulled out of school. We found that most of the reasons were social ones and so…

The Manchild gave the kids permission to punch certain kids in the face if a situation warrants it.

I told them, “Nope.”

He said, “Well, maybe!”

I pushed him out of the room (literally) and said something powerfully inspiring. It probably went something like this:

“You need to only do two things: Radiate Confidence and be a Champion of the Weak! Everything else will fall into place if you can do those two things.”

At that point, The Manchild re-entered the room and said, “Yeah! CHAMPION OF THE WEAK!” AND SHOVED HIS FIST INTO THE AIR!!!”

We had a moment together.

This morning I took a lucky kid on a mini-shopping spree. That fell under the “radiate confidence” category.

A couple of hours ago, The Manchild got home from work and asked expectantly, “Did you get to punch anybody in the face today?”

“No, but I yelled at a kid and told him to knock it off!”

*FIST IN AIR*

We haven’t decided what to do about the non-social problems at school. Issues like, being bored out of their minds for 7 hours straight. I do feel bad about that.

My beloved college roomie posted on Facebook today:

lauren fb

Lorna May, you preach the truth.

Anywho– said late-night family pow-wow + all day shopping spree today during the hours I have normally reserved for blogging means I actually don’t have a new Life Hack for you guys today.

Wait, yes I do.

When your family needs you (and that’s WHEN, not IF) drop everything and take care of business. Family first. Spouse and kids before EVERYTHING ELSE.

No matter what your schedule is supposed to look like or what plans you thought you had under control, when STICKY LIFE hits, be prepared (and mentally  flexible enough) to change plans at the drop of a hat.

Right?

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Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms
#11) Ask Around

by Angie on October 16, 2013

Hi. It’s me.

Two of my kids are begging to be pulled out of school and be homeschooled.

gahhhhhhhh!!!!

image source: http://therapyideas.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/anxiety.jpg image source: http://therapyideas.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/anxiety.jpg

Remember this lady? She was my poster child for Anxiety.

Yeah… I’m feeling anxious.

I don’t know what the crap “homeschooling” looks like or how the heck I would do it. Or deal with it. Or manage that life. Or anything.

What are good, valid reasons for pulling a child out of the public school system? WHat are bad reasons?

What do you think? Do you homeschool? How do you do it? How do you still have time for your personal tasks? Do you even get to have personal time?

I’m admitting a bit of selfishness. I know. At least I can admit it.

Help me. I need advice from both sides of this issue– both from homeschooling families and those who can’t understand those crazy homeschoolers.

Hit me.

(Today’s Life Hack? Ask for Advice from Other Moms You Trust.)

Go.

life hacks for mediocre moms 100

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