Hippie.. That’s the nickname my family has affectionately given me. I have changed every aspect of our life about 5 years ago. We switched to homemade baby formula for our daughters, cloth diapers that were always so soft and warm for the babies after drying in the sun, and anything else natural that I could find to change.
I’ve spent hour upon hour researching every part of our life, from our homemade laundry detergent, and dishwasher soap, to our fluoride free toothpaste, and antiperspirant free deodorants. I’m starting to make natural soaps to use for our body, and have made homemade shampoo and conditioner. I love knowing that I’m doing something healthy and amazing for my whole entire family, and I can contribute just a little bit to making the world a better place.
My husband, Ted, was always very on board with everything I did. He’s very supportive, even through some of the out there ideas I wanted to try. He is super patient and listened to every reason I had behind the changes we would make.
We started to dream of a simple life together, one where we could have a little homestead with an off grid home. We wanted to have some chickens, a cow maybe, and a large garden where we could grow our own organic food. We want to know exactly where our food is coming from. We also dream of solar powered lights, and to know that all of the energy we are using is coming from the Sun alone. A composting toilet was the newest edition to our dream, so that we are not using water that could be precious to our garden, or our bodies. Instead we could compost, and grow a better garden. We have started to teach our girls the process of knowing where your food comes from, composting, eating, and then composting again. They love to learn about the chain of life.
In May, everything changed. Ted was playing with the dog, and grabbed his face in extreme pain. We rushed him to the hospital, and found out that he had a stroke that broke off into 5 separate places. He was hospitalized for a week. He seemed to be recovering well, but then had another stroke 10 days later. We spent weeks, and thousands of dollars, at specialists, getting testing done to find out what was causing all of these strokes at only 38 years old. We found out that he has a condition where he is missing an artery in his brain. You are supposed to have 4, and Ted only has 3. The three that are there, are very narrow and do not give quite adequate blood flow to his brain. They have said that if he has another stroke, that was any larger than what he has already had, he wouldn’t be able to survive it.
He is now on blood thinners and a fistful of other meds permanently. I’ve gone from being a homeschooling, stay at home momma, to a working full-time, not having much time with my kiddo’s kind of mom. I’m now working 50-60 hours a week, and a lot of those hours include 12 hour days, where I don’t get to see our children. They are sleeping when I leave in the morning, and then sleeping when I get home from work. With a 12 hour shift, and a 2 hour round trip commute, it doesn’t leave much time at home. If I’m at work, and I call and don’t get an answer, I immediately panic that he’s had another stroke and is incapable of answering the phone. I’ve had to call people to rush to the house to check on him. Our life has taken a radical turn.
Ted is now the stay at home parent, which has helped part of his dream come true of woodworking. He now makes beautiful hand crafted tobacco pipes, but it’s hard for him to not be at the job that he loved so much. He was previously doing plastic injection molding, making parts for airplanes, cars and simple things like hair dryers. It gave him a sense of pride to do that job. He was great at it, and everyone noticed. To go from that, to being the stay at home Father, has been a huge hurtle for him. He misses working, and feels like he isn’t doing enough, even though I know that his job is the most important.
We have been watching a show about the Tiny House Movement. I decided to write into the show, and tell them about our story, and what living tiny would do for our family. They loved our story, and gave us the opportunity to be on the show. They would build us a $70,000, house full of every amenity that we could hope for, in a beautiful, small space. One that is easily taken care of, and doesn’t waste a bunch of energy. We could have our solar panels, and composting toilet. Best of all, we would be completely mortgage free! I would be able to start spending more time with our girls, and have the time needed to home school them. Ted and I could spend more time just enjoying life together. My children could learn all there is about living natural, and being free to define what they want their lives to be. We have a few months to raise the $25,000 we would need to contribute to be on the show. We have started a fundraiser in hopes that we can raise that money and start to live our tiny house dream. We will be posting progress pictures, and updates through the process of downsizing, and selling and giving away everything. A link to our fundraiser is below as well.