Our house isn't big compared to our 2100 square foot farmhouse we used to own. It's also not small compared to the 860 square foot home we bought when we first married. Because we have the perfect chunk of yard, which happens to share our private neighborhood park and also has our very own basketball court, I am able to look past bright 70's countertops and light fixtures that still exist inside.
When it is sunny I never want to be anywhere else. We take our bikes around the private loop in our quiet neighborhood. The kids climb trees, swing, slide, and shove pea gravel into their pockets for me to find in the wash machine. S. and I use the phrase "crystalized moments" when the world seems to freeze in a particular sweetness that you wish you could bottle up for a sad day. This place has filled our lives with crystalized moments.
When it rains I wish I were anywhere else. I know that our house is huge compared to what most of the world lives in and I kick myself when I'm frustrated. I know how abundantly blessed we are. However, our kids are Taylors which means they are louder than most. I have two boys who love anything having to do with weapons, jumping from high places, and pounding on the drum set. We homeschool and we spend a LOT of time at home. I love quiet. I love privacy. Neither of those are easy to come by here. I would love a salad spinner, some crafty items, and an insulated laundry room so my detergent wouldn't freeze in the winter... but I don't have space for those things.
So as the weather is turning and fall is upon us I've realized I can't keep giving baths in the kiddie pool and we will have to resume eating meals inside. I'm getting creative. I also am recognizing the benefits of living in a smaller house. Such as...
* When vacuuming, I only have to use one outlet in the living room and can reach all the rooms.
* We never needed a baby monitor or to "check to see if the baby is awake." If someone needs us- we hear them.
* My kids rarely say "I don't want to play outside". The doors open and children pour out.
* I don't keep things I'm not using. I don't even keep things I just like.
* Only people who really, really love us stay here. They don't get a guest room, a bathroom, or privacy to themselves. I miss hosting but in this season of our lives it's been healthy for us to keep to our little selves.
* It may take mere seconds to make the house a huge mess...but it also doesn't take long to clean it!
* Using the stove or oven heats up our entire living space. That's multi-tasking.
* The kids have to work out their issues. There is nowhere to hide. Heck, S. and I have to work out our issues!
* I wash my windows regularly simply because it's not hard to do when you only have 8 windows and one level.
* I've heard about people who have dining rooms or formal sitting rooms that they don't use. Our sitting room has my "office" (small desk), a "school room" (children's table and chairs), "library" (bookcases), "living room" (couches), "mudroom" (sliding door w/shoe cubbies) and an "entertainment center" (another bookcase with TV). How's that for multi-function? (The humorous part is when S. gives a tour and he actually acts like all of these places are separate rooms to show.)
In fact, I was able to write this little blog because the rain finally let up. As soon as it did my kids were pulling on shoes and beelining for fresh air. My only interruption has been to supply them with bug jars (the rain has brought out some seriously fat worms and the excitement has now attracted the neighbor kids).
***Final count: 2 tree frogs, 9 worms, and a beetle. Oh, never mind. I was just informed that one of the 4 year olds stomped on the beetle. Apparently just guts left over.