Making it Work

While on the treadmill yesterday, I watched an episode of “House Hunters Renovation”. A nice family from Texas, was house hunting in California but had a small budget (by CA standards) and could only afford a fixer upper. Upon seeing a small master bathroom, the wife says, “We just can’t live like that.” I actually scoffed, out loud. I’m wearing ear buds, so I’m sure everyone just thought I must be watching election coverage. I’m sure we’ve all audibly scoffed at that a time or two, or hundred.

Seriously though, her comment about that “unlivable” bathroom got me thinking…When we first decided we would move forward with this build, there were a lot of ducks to get in a row: When will we sell? What school should we start Carolynn in? How will we manage in between the two?…Brian is the one that mentioned the idea of fixing up the ranch house a bit over the summer and moving in there for the months between school starting and the house being finished. I immediately said no. Love that house, love your adventurous spirit about this, love you. no. no. “we don’t have to live like that. It’s not like we’re poor or something. Life is too short. Why are we making this hard?”

His response was perfect. “You are the one this will affect the most. So I can’t fault you if you don’t want to do it.” Or something brilliant like that. Ugh. the high road…well done, Mr. Smith. My decision to agree was reluctant, all the way up to the day we moved in (he wasn’t exactly excited about it either), BUT, his logic and guidance was right on. This is our self-proclaimed, “adventure year”. We have signed on for adventure. Here are the things we are currently living without- please read on, this isn’t just about complaining…

No cable/Very little internet. I am currently at a Starbucks with my “antique” laptop because our “internet usage” at the house is “nearing the end of it’s allowance”. We have 25 hoozimawhatzits per month, and let me tell you, its not that much. We use our phones to check e-mails, some social media, and we watched an hour and a half of netflix so far this month.
But, you know what we have? The LIBRARY. We have watched three seasons of great shows for FREE. Also, PBS is so, so good. We watched a documentary last night that we would have never stopped on if we had netflix or cable going. That happens all the time.

A washing machine. This was one of the big hang ups. In Cedar Park, I did laundry everyday. really. I liked to have an empty, or almost empty hamper at all times.
Now, it’s like I’ve been given the gift of time. I can’t do laundry. Throw it in the hamper and wait until the weekend. We go to one of our parent’s houses, bum the use of their machines, share meals and laugh, and spend time together.

Dishwasher. Do you know, it actually doesn’t take that much longer to wash the dishes by hand? I really don’t think it does. By the time you rinse, and scrape and get them in the washer I bet it’s about the same.

A normal, American sized fridge. Last night I had to carefully rearrange  shove a full cooked casserole into the cheese drawer. And by cheese drawer I mean the drawer with cheese, a bag of grapes, dressing and pickles. I am an organized person y’all. It does not sit well with me when my pickle jar is in the drawer with the cheese. And now a casserole. This morning Brian had to remove said casserole to get into the drawer, and then couldn’t get the drawer closed. With all the morning chaos, we just had to leave the door mostly open and squeeze past to get our coffee and plates. Don’t worry folks, I shoved it back into it’s “place”.
That fridge is the perfect size for that house though. No one was, or has, ever planned on living in this house for an extended period of time (until now!). It’s meant for a weekend stay.
Fridge, you’re not, “stupid, and small”, sorry I muttered that, and maybe some other things at you. You are fulfilling your destiny. It’s cool. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

LESS. Of everything. My kids have maybe 1/3 of their toys at this house.
You know what Landon plays with all. day. long? His stick collection. His stick collection has been accumulated over these last several months, and in it, are: “spears”, “bow and arrows”, “swords”, “oars for his rowboat”, “telescopes”….
Carolynn jumps rope, and draws/colors. They are living. Do we still watch TV? Of course, yes. I’m not going to act like we’re TV free now or anything…let’s not get crazy. But most afternoons and evenings, they are both just being kids. It is a beautiful, and refreshing thing to witness.

Had I stuck to my original, immediate, and emphatic  “no”, I would have honestly robbed myself, and all of us, of our potential to MAKE IT WORK. I’m impressed with all of us. (Of course, the biggest thank you goes out to both our families who help us make it work big time. Seriously, could not do it without y’all.) We HAVE our health (Thank you, Lord) and a coffee pot (Thank you, Lord).
And, it’s true, life IS short. In this life-Smith life, in adventure year, I have found that, “we can’t live like that” can become, “I’m really proud of us, and we can make it work.”

XO,

Steph

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all.”
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

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