Quick summary: We had a small house and lots of kids. My mother-in-law moved in with us. We bought a big house. Our three oldest moved out and mom passed away. We had more house than we really needed.

To continue –

Remember how Darren was in nursing school? That was brutal for him, trying to be a good husband, son, and father as well as employee and student. He cut back on working to be able to make it all happen. (He did graduate and he is the very best nurse!) But at the time, we made so little money and had a very large mortgage that mom helped with while she was living with us. With student debt to pay back we felt like we were in way over our heads just trying to keep up. 

It took us a while to come to the conclusion to downsize. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you we were more than a little prideful with that house. And ultimately, that was one of the things that helped us make the decision to sell it. We didn’t want to keep up with anyone. We didn’t want to hear the world telling us that having this big house would make us happy. We didn’t want to live on such a shaky foundation as pride. 

Let me just say, this is OUR story. This is what felt right for us. We have no problem with big houses. We loved ours and the extra space was truly a luxury. But it didn’t make sense for us to stay there struggling to stay afloat and trying not to let it show. We really had to confront what was valuable to us, and cleaning all those toilets and paying for lost heat was not on our list, neither was a mortgage that was just too big.

(This may be your story, too. Or not. We can totally still be friends. And hopefully the things we share will be fun, interesting, and helpful, and you will want to come back for visits all the time.)

So we sold it. 

And we bought a cute little 1100 sq ft mid-century ranch. In fact, as timing would have it, we actually bought the cute little 1100 sq ft mid-century ranch that Darren was born in.

Yep. My in-laws were the first owners of this house. They moved into it from an apartment with four children. They went on to have two more children in this small house and realized that it was just a little too small for eight. I would agree. It has seen a few owners since then and now it is back in the family again.

To give you an idea of how this house compares to the big house, the size of all three of the bedrooms and bathroom in our small house is just a little bigger than the master suite in the big house. We definitely had moments of, “What the heck have we done? This place is SMALL!”  But we slowly made it our own, got used to being a little more cozy, and have embraced the small house life once again.

We have learned so much! We have some perspective and have lived with voices of the world telling us we were foolish to give up the big house. We recognized when we were feeling jealous of those who had big, beautiful homes and remembered the many blessings we now enjoyed because of the decision we made. And we are living true to ourselves, not trying to live a life that doesn’t really fit us.

This life fits us.

Along the way, we renovated this small house, using experience we have gained from previous renovations and YouTube, and we added some really great features to our home that make it so ours. We have made a hobby out of projects and we’ve done some pretty cool things. I can’t wait to share them all with you.

Well. that is how we got to here. We are thrilled you are here, too. 


Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash


  1. We went thru a rough time and we downsized…but theres such a joy to it! We have time to play and not always taking care of a house and getting rid of stuff, just stuff to fill space, I’ve surrounded my self with only my favorite things that give me such joy…Happy your experiencing the same joy!!

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