We've Moved!

For those that have followed our story, it has been quite dynamic. One year ago, we figured we'd be living in our tiny house parked on some nice & private Pacific Northwest land (either rented or owned).  Most of you know, we've had a lot of trouble and roadblocks in our chosen and preferred lifestyle.  We've looked at every possible angle trying to find a way to live happily in our tiny house, legally and in a safe area.  Of course, we also wouldn't compromise good schools and proximity to work as well.  This combination has proved impossible (I never thought I'd admit).

Moving to Denver has been life-altering.  I really do love Colorado, and the city of Denver.  However, it is impossible to live legally in a tiny house here.  It's also impossible to find a reasonably priced house with our criteria.  Sooo, for the last couple months I found myself resigned to the idea of looking for a house a little farther out that sat on some land that we could plop our tiny house and rent out the "big house".  I'm not going to put life on hold, and rent for the next 10 more years until legislators get with the times and change the laws to incorporate legal tiny house living on private property.  

Well, we DID find a house.  An awesome little 100 year old cottage/cabin up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  It has a little parking area that will fit our tiny house perfectly.  The house sits on top a dirt drive, 5 minutes up a steep hill from a lake.  There are neighbors all around, and it is unincorporated land, however, it is still not legal to live in our tiny house full time in Jefferson County, Colorado. 

We bought the house anyway, and moved in last week.  We can park our tiny house up on our hill or down by the creek for now, and use it for guests or as an AirBnB.  We plan to live in the "big house" (1400 sq ft), but only in the 1000 sq ft on the first floor.  We plan on making the upstairs Master Suite (400 sq ft) an AirBnB rental.  The lot is just over half an acre (but all on a slope with giant pine trees).  

I never thought I'd be so excited about a property, but while walking down the irregular stone steps I was 100% sure about this place.  It is only a 37 minute drive to central downtown Denver, in a great school district, and in an awesome and safe community.  

I wanted to make the most of the time we had in our tiny house... and I feel like we did.  Our kids continue to ask when we'll move back into the tiny.  That will probably never happen, and I'm okay with that.  The young years where they are excited about the concept of tiny living may be slowly slipping away, and by the time it becomes legal, it may be too late.  But after finding this unique property, I am very excited to make the most of what we've found.  We have been given so many opportunities in life, and I didn't want this one to pass us by.  

We plan to continue our minimalist lifestyle, and not let physical processions own or role us.  We plan on taking advantage of the opportunity we have been afforded.  We plan to host lots of friends and family so they can enjoy this amazing place as well!  And since we have become so comfortable towing the tiny house, we envision taking her for family trips to National Parks throughout the years.  

Anyway, I know I don't owe anyone an explanation, but I wanted to be as real as possible.

October 27, 2016

Tiny House Jamboree

A few weeks ago, was the Tiny House Jamboree!  It's the largest tiny house event that brings together tiny home owners, dreamers, experts, builders, and venders.  Last year was the first Jamboree, with 40,000 people attending, which Aaron and I did not attend (since we were living tiny in far-away Indiana at the time).  This year, I think they had 60,000 attendees over the 3 day weekend event.  The Jamboree takes place in the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado... so it was only an hour South of us in Denver this year!

So much has been going on, that I actually forgot about it, and scheduled my son's 5th B-day party on the opening day, as well as invited my parents to visit us that weekend.  Then, in comes the email from Greg, my tiny house builder, 1 WEEK before the Jamboree... His previous plans fell through and is looking for a back-up tiny house to show at the Jamboree.  We had been in communication, so he knew we were storing our tiny house in Denver while renting an apartment until we found a solution to our housing situation.  So fortunately, we were able to help Greg out, and he drove up from his home/work base in Durango, CO to pick up The Pequod.  He drove her down to Colorado Springs and cleaned her up for thousands of people to tour that weekend.

Aaron and I actually got to go down to check out the Jamboree on Saturday for a few hours, while my sweet parents took the kids to a movie.  It was a LOT of fun to see so many different tiny houses, meet some famous-to-me people who have been an encouragement for many in the tiny house movement.

Me with Jewel from "My Gypsy Soul"
Me with Alexis from "Tiny House Expedition"  
It felt really good to have The Pequod get some much needed use!  Having thousands of people tour our home was crazy, but satisfying, because I'm sure some enthusiasts walked away with new ideas and inspirations.  It was invigorating to be amongst so many like minded people.  There was just a general excitement in the air, and it was nice to breathe it in!

Aaron decided to hold the camera, because he wanted to capture me enjoying the event.  So I didn't take any interior photos of some of these awesome houses, but not holding the camera allowed me to thoroughly enjoy the limited time we had to see everything on display. :)

Here I am checking out "the tiniest of tiny houses"

This one had "pop-outs" like an RV!  So neat!
Here you can see I literally had my head in the clouds.
This one popped up from the top!

After spending the majority of the time checking out all the awesome tiny homes on display, I hung out in the Pequod and answered lots of questions!  My favorite comment was from an older lady who truly appreciated the functional layout of the design.  A ton of thought went into the design, so it's nice to have others appreciate that. :)

I'm so glad Greg emailed me a week before and reminded me of this awesome event.  Next year, I will definitely go for the full weekend so I can spend more time listening to some of the great speakers!

August 20, 2016

Good News & Bad News

I have good news and I have bad news.

Bad News First: Our tiny house adventure across the country has come to an end.  We wish we could go on adventuring for a few more months, exploring more national parks and forests, but life is dynamic and it has stopped us in our tracks... in Denver, Colorado.

Now the Good News: Aaron was offered a job in Denver that he couldn't turn down.  There's something to be said about job security (with all the benefits) when you have 2 small children.

I'm really sad about our trip being cut short, because I was most excited about visiting Sequoia National Park and The Redwoods in California, and exploring all of the Pacific North West.  Plus, Aaron's sister, Anna, lives in Portland, and we were hoping to find work there.  Unfortunately, nobody is hiring in the PNW, and if they are, they're not offering a living wage. :(

So anyway, the other bad news is we are no longer living in our tiny house at this moment.  It is currently in storage, while we are temporarily renting an apartment in Denver.  Now let me back up a bit...

For the past month, Aaron and I have been searching high and low for a place to park and live in our tiny house legally, in or around Denver, either in an RV park or on private property like we did back in Indiana.  Let me start with saying that Denver is not very friendly to the tiny house movement.  It is the only city on our entire trip where we've found this to be the case.  All the RV parks or lots within an hours drive commute to Aaron's new job either don't accept custom tiny houses, don't accept long term residents, are 55+ communities, or are completely full for the foreseeable future.

In the beginning while trying to convince Aaron (a bike commuting, public transport, and convenience lover) that moving into a tiny house was a good idea, I promised him that we would figure things out (like parking) as we go.  I also specifically promised him that I would never ask him to commute more than 30 minutes (something that's totally doable in Indiana), because he hates driving/commuting.  Despite this, Aaron sweetly offered to commute more than an hour for a while until we figured things out.  However, the only places we could find were about 1.5 hours commute, with zero cell service.  We tried living at an RV park in Loveland (1.5 hour commute) for 10 days, but realized his work wouldn't even be able to contact him while out there.

I even made a flyer for Craigslist trying to convince complete strangers that letting us park on their private land for some extra income every month was a good idea.  Aaron however, decided he didn't feel comfortable living on a strangers lot, and I agree that might be pretty awkward after all.

So what's our new plan?!  While our precious Pequod sits sadly in storage for now, we just moved into a centrally located Denver apartment a few days ago so we can get to know the area better.  In the meantime, we will be networking and trying to find some land to buy for our tiny house to sit on.

We don't consider this situation change a failure at all, because we know that life is dynamic and we're still happy... although moving into the apartment was a heart-wrenching decision.  We've been in the Pequod full-time for almost a full year (which was the original goal), and we have LOVED the tiny life!  So much so that when we reluctantly started looking for apartments we just wanted to find a small studio.  However, the laws in Denver require a family of 4 to live in at least a 2 bedroom apartment.  So, that's what we did, found a small (HUGE to us) 900 sq ft. 2 bedroom apartment.

The night before we moved out of the tiny house (the 20th), Selah cried because she was sad to be leaving our tiny home.  When we moved into the apartment, she said, "I don't feel the same in this house.  It feels weird."  We agree with our daughter.

We know this is only temporary, and we'll be back in the Pequod, so we move forward with smiles on our faces knowing that life is good and the future is what we make it.  Thanks for following along on our journey, I've had a lot of fun sharing our experiences with you all. <3

April 24, 2016

Behind The Scenes

Behind the Scenes from JANUARY...
Selah and I cuddle on the couch/bench after a long day at the Rocket & Space Museum 
Yes, we spread "chicken poop" on our lips when they're chapped... big hit with the littles 
The kids play legos in the dark after arriving at Foscue Creek in Alabama, because of electrical issues at the new RV spot.
Aaron working with Selah with homeschooling.
Selah working on her math outside on a nice Alabama winter day. 
My first dinner in Florida after a long day on the road.
The kids playing their games in their loft 
Behind the scenes from FEBRURY...
So.  Hungry.
The kid's favorite attractions are ALWAYS the playgrounds.
Simon disappeared for a minute before I found his bike parked outside our neighbor's cool teardrop trailer in Mississippi...
He invited himself in...
And they took over this poor doggie's bed.
Blood splatter from Simon's bike accident
The kids pretending to make fire
Aaron making walking sticks from driftwood he found down by the lake in Texas
Simon enjoying my jams by the campfire

Behind the scenes from MARCH...

My morning view while Aaron was fixing something on the eyebrow window 
Loki's favorite spot, the garden window.
The sign I added to the back of the house so people can satisfy their curiosity
One of Loki's favorite spots in the tiny house 
One day Selah brought home these mini bananas for me after grocery shopping with her daddy because she knows I love all things miniature.  :) 
Loki cuddling up in my bed. :)
For those that remember how Aaron and I met...  
I don't think I ever shared how we solved the eyebrow window privacy issue... with this neat window film we found at Meijer.
The kids learning about the center of mass with their Goldiblox toys 

Cuddle time happens often in the tiny house.
Behind the scenes in APRIL...
Food poisoning... fun times.
Dinner Breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  Thanks for the gift card Sinsabaughs! :) 
Simon throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of Canyon Road in Santa Fe
He's such a Momma's Boy (wearing my hat and sweatshirt)...
And she's such a Daddy's Girl. 
Aaron told the kids he wanted to take their picture, so this is what they did.
Same here.
Riding up to Pike's Peak we heard a "POP" from the backseat.  One of our chip bags popped from the air pressure change... my head felt similar.  
Aaron's always trying to snap a pic of me taking photos.

This is a photo after Selah threw a fit on top of Pike's Peak because we forgot to pack snow boots for her to play in the snow.  Her loyal brother promptly joined her in solidarity as they refused to explore the summit with us.
Some pretty light beams shooting through the portholes one morning
Selah playing superhero and pretending to shoot light beams from her hands
The day before this it was 70 degrees F.  Colorado.
Sometimes the kiddies sneak into our bed in the middle of the night.  
Just a normal morning eating cereal
One thing I do when I don't have cell service/internet... trim my split ends, one hair at a time.  Yep.
So there you have it, all the outtakes since January. :)

April 24, 2016