I had someone ask me the other day where we were living. She didn't mean location. She meant like in what where we living? A camper? A house? A basement? A cabin? She was so confused by our situation. So am I friend. So am I.
I started really thinking about this question and what prompted it. She mentioned that most of the pictures I share are either outside or close up of the kids and sometimes in what looks like a camper. I had this internal eye roll at myself kind of moment where I was annoyed with how I was presenting my life and why. It doesn't really matter to you the reader about why I need some serious therapy. Instead, if I would blog more, you could all be my therapists and life will be great.
This morning I snapped a photo from where I am currently sitting and drinking in every blessing I see in that image. I'm going to share them with you. I think that seeing what my world has been like verses what it is today not only brings greater appreciation for what we had then and have now, but what is about to come.
Bitter Cold Will Get You Movin'
I'm sitting here staring at this picture of my unfinished basement. Our goal was to be in our basement by the end of July. We had expected to have everything functioning and working correctly down there, from the oven to the air conditioning. Instead, November came and a perfect little storm started happening. James finally finished what he needed to finish to have our permanent power connected. Temporary power was a huge blessing. I literally cried the day it was put in and we turned off the generators. The permanent power would open up a whole new world for us and we were ready for it.
We signed off on the papers to have them come out and dig. We waited. Then we heard the forecast and we hustled a little more. The temperatures were going to suddenly drop into the teens and we weren't prepared for that kind of cold. The camper was winterized but the heater had gone out. The bunk house would be perfectly warm but the floor might be the one thing that gets cold. The boys had been camping in the basement and we weren't prepared there yet so they joined us in the camper the first cold night. We plugged in electric heaters which kept us cozy. We got under the blankets that kept us warm.
The next day the power company came out and disconnected the temporary power and connected the permanent power. We all had been gone all day and it was bitter cold that day. I came home and the camper was ice cold. James came in right behind me and started hooking the camper up to the permanent power. It took some time but that little thing heated up quickly.
Over the next few days we finished sealing off the basement, hooked up the heating and air, installed one more exterior door to the garage and bam! We have a nice cozy, warm, basement. It was time to start moving...
See ya (camper), I'm out!
Moving into that camper was NOT like most. It was a bit sad and exciting at the same time. From a beautiful house of 16 years to a camper. So, just dwell on that for a minute. Leaving one behind to embrace something new and different can be scary too.
Moving out didn't happen in a day, but it happened fast enough. We moved the main pieces from the camper and over the next few days I walked small arm fulls and stuffed totes down to the basement. I'm amazed at how much we had in that camper and it didn't feel stuffy ever. What really blows me away is that when we moved in it felt like we were taking very little.
I spent (and I'm still spending) time finding places for all that stuff. The thing is, just the living area we have now is bigger than the entire space we had in that camper and I still can't find enough places for this stuff. We found it necessary to get some furniture out of storage for clothing and our actual bed to sleep in too. Actual furniture was an amazing feeling...
The flip side of this situation is that we don't yet have our drywall up. We have it started in the kitchen and bathroom and that's it. We've insulated the entire basement so it stays warm. The thing that is weird is we don't really have walls. We have sticks for walls but can watch TV in another room because the drywall...is missing. The challenge will be when we finish the dry wall and have to keep the dust down and contained. Cross that bridge later, but we think we have system to put in place for that.
The camper had great storage space. That's what I'm lacking right now. So, anything extra is going to the attic. Then I have to get creative with boxes and baskets and plastic drawer thingys.
The camper needs a good wipe down and it's out of here. I may never want to step foot in another camper again, ever.
Count it all good...
Comforts of home in an unfinished home.
Looking at the picture I snapped of my view this morning there is a clear contrast between what you normally see in a home and what you don't usually see.
Missing drywall is the biggest thing right now. I think the beautiful new Christmas tree and it's pretty lights shine brighter than the wood studs that flank each side of it. The fact that I can see the back wall of our tub in the bathroom is weird but being graced this side of the wood studs by baby girls toy kitchen and book shelf make it better. Having a full functioning kitchen changes my momma game again. I can over look the partial drywall there too. My kids get to sit around a kitchen table and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies after putting up the Christmas tree.
The bathroom is 85% finished and that gives me so much hope.
I have a fully functioning washer and dryer and I didn't know how much I missed a dryer until my first load came out. I loved my line drying but in the heat of the summer it was exhausting and time consuming. That dryer has given me back hours of my life every week now.
James and I are sharing a room with Nora. Her little bed is next to ours. 3 boys are in the boys room. Cooper is still bunking in the bunk house and loving it but it's about to change. He likes having his space there, but James and I are working on building out a wall in the basement garage so that we can move into the garage for a bit while Cooper gets his actual room to himself. The bunkhouse is about to be transformed into my "Business Barn".
All is good. Progress is being made.
So, I'm not going to be so self conscious about the house from now on. If you see pictures of studs in the background, don't panic. If nothing else, it is bringing us closer together as a family. My Jake was so excited when we had our first night together down here. They'd been roughing it down here without us for awhile and Jake says it feels more like we're a family again. Kinda broke my heart a little. I knew how he felt, but hearing him say it made an impact.
Family game night is a thing.
Family movie night is a thing.
Family dinner night is a thing.
About Us: Our adventure as a family of 7, building our dream home debt free in the wilderness of Georgia.
I'm Aimee, former Early Childhood Educator and Reading Specialist turned author, speaker, blogger, and mom of 5. This website is meant to inspire & equip parents of little ones to promote early literacy & language development at home. You will also find fun crafts, devotionals, and recipes to explore..
Learn more about me here.