Two Days of Progress: Stairs and Kitchen Cabinets

We have stairs!!! And kitchen cabinets!!!!! With this newfound motivation to get the house finished and ready for the big move on March 15th, we have been spending long hours at the house on our “build days”  and these past two have been especially exciting. I started building the stairs yesterday and managed to get them built and painted. We still need to put on another coat of paint, attach them to the walls and build/install the doors for the storage space – but I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out so far! Today, we decided to switch gears and tackle the kitchen cabinetry.  Continue reading “Two Days of Progress: Stairs and Kitchen Cabinets”

Bathroom walls are in!

Our walls are painted and most of the trim is on! We hired that part out, so not much to say about it except that we love the way it looks so far! The past two days have been spent on the bathroom walls. I was able to put together the Ikea vanity back in December, giving me something to work off of when deciding how big the wall needed to be. Originally we weren’t going to put in a bathroom sink/vanity to save space in the bathroom. Afterall, we could just walk 2 steps out into the kitchen and use the sink there. However, after some back and forth, we decided to include a sink in the bathroom. So, I needed to figure out where to put it! Continue reading “Bathroom walls are in!”

Some Self Care in Costa Rica

Self care is not just an important part of a tiny house build, I have learned (the hard way…as always) that it is a necessity. After a really difficult Fall term, re-learning how to balance school with the build and this time adding a teaching assistantship into the mix, Tish and I knew we had to have a really productive winter break if we were going to get this house done by our March 1 deadline. And let me tell you, we.kicked.ass.

When I become immersed in a project, the first thing to go out the window for me is self care. I am stubborn, refuse to quit and really really good at ignoring my body when it tells me to slow down and take a break. Fortunately, Tish wanted to go to Costa Rica for her birthday and was able to convince me to join her. I was incredibly stressed and anxious about leaving the build for a week, but Tish and I sat down to make a plan and it seemed like missing one week wasn’t going to make or break the build. I settled into the idea of letting go of my fears and worries and began to relax mentally and physically…… naturally, I got sick.

It was like my body was teaching me a lesson. I came down with a bad cold the day before we left which had me hopped up on Dayquil so that I’d survive the long travel day without feeling too miserable. As my immune system strengthened and kicked the cold, my body began to deteriorate. I have a recurring shoulder injury that came back in full force and had me down for the count for three days. In misery, I laid on a beach chair staring out into the beautiful ocean and realized I could no longer afford to ignore my body. I promised myself (and Tish) that I would do a better job of balancing progress on the build and school with self care: making time to stretch, eat better, get enough sleep, and relax mentally.

As I recovered and healed in Costa, I had planned to catch up on blogging our build, but the fact is, both my body and mind desperately needed a break from the tiny house . I didn’t realize that just taking time off physically (i.e. not going down to the house to build) would not provide a enough of a break. As I started writing about the build my body began tensing up again, and I felt the familiar inner panic I have learned to live with over the past 16 months. I decided to save as draft, close my laptop and enjoy where I was in the moment.

There’s something comforting about traveling back to the same place time and again. Witches Rock (well…Tamarindo), Costa Rica holds a special place in our hearts — it’s where Tish proposed to me — but it has also become a place we find ourselves traveling to often. Usually when we travel it is to have a new adventure, see a new country, experience a new culture but there is a lot of value in the familiar, especially when you’re trying to escape from a stressful project. I spent the final days of my trip basking in the sun on the beach and by the pool and watching Tish surf. Tish and I tried freediving on her birthday and shared a delicious meal while we  watched the sun set. I left the next morning feeling rejuvenated and ready to be productive once I got back to Portland.

Of course, that isn’t how life works out sometimes. The day I got back I received a text letting us know our dream spot to park the house wasn’t going to happen. This sent me into a “there’s no way we are going to finish the house in time and now we don’t even have anywhere to put it” funk which removed any inkling of motivation I came home with. Turns out my motivation feeds on momentum, without it procrastination sets in. So, instead of working on the house I waited for Tish to return from Costa Rica (she stayed an extra week to surf), tried to catch up on school work and hung out with our pup who followed me around the apartment, very concerned that I might leave her again at any moment.

As a true testament to our incredible partnership, Tish came home and immediately made me feel like we would get through this, find a place to put the house and find a way to finish the build on time. We now have several potential places to put the house and are going to view a few today. Fingers crossed we find our spot really soon so that we can put in our 30 day notice at our apartment… for the build, we’ll be jumping back in this week and going full steam ahead until its done, finding time to take breaks for self care of course.



Yes, we ARE still building the tiny house

I’d be lying if I said I was excited to write this post….my expectation of where we’d be in our build a week before Thanksgiving was, as you can imagine, FAR ahead of our current reality. That being said, I am somehow still hopeful that we will make our mid-February deadline when our current lease ends. However, that will only happen if we get outside help. If this build has taught me anything it is to recognize that I have limits and need to be more aware of them. Continue reading “Yes, we ARE still building the tiny house”

Timberline Trail with Tonya!

To prep for our upcoming hike in Iceland, we decided to do the Timberline Trail in early August and invited our friend and all-time favorite adventure buddy, Tonya, to by a plane ticket out to do it with us.

The Timberline Trail is a ~40 mile thru-hike around the base of Mt. Hood, and it is amazing! The area had a heavier-than-usual snowfall this year, so much of the trail was still buried until late summer. We really lucked, by early August the wildflowers were in full bloom which made the already epic trail that much more incredible. Continue reading “Timberline Trail with Tonya!”

REAL TALK: How seeing our house survive the drive to Portland completely changed our outlook on life

As I sat waiting for the house to (finally) arrive in Portland, I found myself reflecting over the past crazy year. Next week will mark one year since Tish and I sold her house and left Richmond. Driving west, we were filled with optimism and excitement to start the next chapter of our lives; we were enthusiastic about the work we would have to put in to make it all happen. We were committed to living a healthy life with a good balance of work and play.

Continue reading “REAL TALK: How seeing our house survive the drive to Portland completely changed our outlook on life”