i had taken a long blog break b/c life got busy. the three year old became even, ahem, busier. my husband and i had to go through some nasty business. not with each other, thank heavens, but with this other person who was just a greedy, selfish, misguided individual who consumed a month of our lives. but it all worked out in the end, god is good. and that's enough about all that.
lately, i feel like i've been going on a journey. a journey on how much is enough. i've always been one to try and avoid debt, to not desire too much, to be content, satisfied with all the wonderful blessings god has given me which i do not deserve.
when we bought our home 4 years ago, we had every intention of fixing up our older home. it had a facelift in the 80's to bring it out of the 70s and that's kinda where it stayed for 30 years. but shortly after buying our home, we found ourselves unexpectantly pregnant with our third kid. fixing up the home the way we wanted was put on the back burner while we welcomed the new baby. with that new baby, our small home began to feel really tight. yes, kids sharing a room is wonderful but when the boys are almost 8 years apart it becomes....difficult to say the least. i mean there's a big difference between a 16 year and an 8 year old (thinking in the future, folks). while the boys started our sharing a room, after a year or so we put the the youngest boy and my daughter together which is just fine, for now. but eventually, she's going to need her privacy from her brothers. he's almost 4 and she's 8, so i figure i have a good year before it begins to be inappropriate for this family and the little one will have to get back to his brother.
all that's said to say we were itching to expand our home awhile back. we contacted an architect and told him what we wanted: a master bedroom suite, a bigger kitchen, a bigger living room, an office and a playroom utilizing the attic upstairs. he came back to us with an amazing plan! it gave us everything we wanted, i even had an expanded laundry room that could house my sewing! it was a dream. and then we realized it would more than double the size of our home. that's when i got a little sick feeling in my stomach.
while having a big home is not wrong, it is wrong for me. i don't want a really big home for my family to get lost in. i don't want to put a lot of money into a big home, when it could be used for other things, i.e. family vacations, charitable giving, experiences instead of stuff. over the next couple of weeks, my husband and i both began to feel uneasy about the expansion plans. it was just too much. we got back in touch with the architect with our concerns and new smaller plans.
we never heard back from the guy.
so for many reasons we felt good about not going forward with him. ;) a couple of months ago, i came to my husband with an idea. while, yes one extra bedroom would be fantastic we also have a host of other things that need repairing since it's an older home. i proposed wewrite down everything we want to fix up about our home in the priority we feel is important and it was to be done in secret. when we revealed our lists to each other i was SHOCKED at how similar they were. and we both had "extra bedroom" really far on our list and doubling the size of our home wasn't on the list at all. bless the man, he put "take the grandkids on vacation" on his last line because that's how long he thought it'll take us to work through our list. love it and love him.
we tweaked our two lists to make one master list of what's needed to be around here, some for the physical integrity of our home and some purely for aesthetic reason. we created a sub-account in our bank account that we'll set money aside to save up for the next thing on the list and we'll be able to pay cash for the project. my hope is that will stay focused on the project until it is completed and not get wrapped up in the next thing and the next thing and have a string of unfinished projects. unlike, what we've done in the past.
here's to embracing our small home and making it work for us. here's to learning how to do these home improvement projects on our own so we can have pride in our hard work, and to save money. here's to working with current foot print of our home and bucking the way society believes that bigger is better.