Moving forward in 2017

So here it is, five days into the new year, and I’m just getting around to writing a “New Years” post. Okay that’s a lie, I’ve had the time and the words I just couldn’t make myself physically type them out. I guess it’s one of those “if I say it, it won’t come true”, or more honestly, “if I say it someone might see me fail”. I’m choosing right now to see it as a “if I say it and someone sees me struggling they will keep me accountable”. So now you know your job for the year! 😬

As I was thinking about the new year, and all the NEW that is implied, I read something about not making resolutions, but rather, make intentions. I think of resolutions as goals, and while I believe that having goals are important (I am from the school of FEMA, Homeland Security, and state government so goals should always be SMART) what happens when you don’t attain them? Am I a failure because I didn’t achieve that one statement I put on myself 365 days ago? Some of you would say yes, and you are a jerk! Don’t get me wrong, I still have goals, but at this point in my life, I mean I’ve achieved so much, it’s getting hard to set realistic goals. (Did you puke a little? I puked a little! 🤢🤥🤥🤥🤣) That was totally a joke if my humor doesn’t translate too print. 

 This year I choose to focus on intentions. Intentions are what we do in the present to achieve our goals. Call me hippie dippie, and those of you who knew the me from 5 years ago are going to be baffled by this but, I choose to live my life in the present. Not the mistakes of the past, not what could be in the future, but the right now. (Parenthood really changes a person man!) 

So I came up with one overarching intention for 2017. 🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁(that’s a drumroll by the way) 

I intend to love more in 2017, myself, my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my work, my school, and my tiny house project. 

I have sub intentions for all of those as well but I think you get the picture. 

As I look back on 2016, at first I want to say wow that was a bad year, but when I go through month by month, every down had a corresponding up. When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, we were here, when Mark’s job furloughed, the very next day these jobs at DMS opened up and we got them. You know, that’s pretty much been my life, every time I’ve been knocked down, somehow I’ve gotten back up. (There have been and still are a lot of prayers interceded on my behalf.) I know, I’m starting to sound like one of those glass half full people. Am I sick? Did something invade my body, is there something wearing a Megan suit? (See what I did there? Snuck in the best part of Men in Black! “It wasn’t Eggar, it was like an Eggar suit.”) I realize that my RBF gives people the wrong impression (that’s just how my face is) but I actually am a pretty positive person…

So tiny house wise, because we spent almost the entire Christmas break out of state, not much work got done… However, I wanted our family to wake up in the new year in our own home so my husband worked his booty off and made the Monteith Tiny House New Years Campout Party happen! 👏👨‍👩‍👧‍👦⛺️🎉

The kids teepee Dad set up with house wrap tubes!
A boy,obsessed with the lights, and his dog.
A girl and her dog.
Helping daddy install a real door knob we could lock. Not gonna lie, I got freaked out a couple times because of the wind and the unfinished slide out area!

Jeff did come down a day and they got some interior walls in. Again, if Jeff wasn’t there we’d still probably have a blank trailer! We are doing the poor mans shiplap, but to make things easier, behind the counters and appliances are whole pieces. 

I really can’t wrap up 2016 without thanking my parents. We’ve been in their house for about a year now, 6 months longer than planned and a couple more to go. It hasn’t been ideal, but my mother hasn’t killed my husband yet! (I think the fear of being stuck with the kids and I forever is the only thing keeping her from it!) They have provided more food, clothing, and shelter than we deserve or could ever repay, although apparently I’m trying with vacuums… I also can’t write a moving forward in 2017 without thanking those who have supported us. (Jeff, Autumn, Chandra I’m looking at you!) Some think it’s a good idea, some support it, very few are both. Your physical, mental, and emotional support has meant the world to us, so thank you!

In 2017 the Monteiths WILL modus vivendi to mini, come follow along!

Let’s Talk About “Those Shows” 

and a little self-appreciation. 

When Mark and I started this journey, way back in May, I put applications to a couple of the popular “tiny house” television shows. The first one did not work out because they wanted us to hire “professionals” so that it could be finished for filming within 9 days. That went against the very reasons  we decided to embark on this adventure. It wasn’t worth paying thousands of extra dollars to someone else, to do things we could do ourselves, just to be on tv.  So we moved on. 

The second show seemed to be a better fit. It was geared more toward the DIYer. We eventually got a skype interview. They wanted to meet all of us, see how we interacted as a family, and hear us discuss our project. Of course Maelyn had a total breakdown right before so Mark, Mars,and I sat in front of the computer trying to convince someone in Colorado that we were tv worthy. Well apparently we were not. We were eventually told that our build did not contain enough “unique” features. This isn’t a summer project for us to travel the world before mommy and daddy cut us off and we have to get real jobs, this is our family of four choosing a lifestyle to better our relationships, pocketbook, and environment. (Can you tell I’m a little bitter?)

Anyhow, this leads to something I’m struggling with right now, if I had been able to better”sell” myself, would it have made a difference? I was raised to believe that your actions are what matters, you shouldn’t have to tell someone how great you are, they should know because of the works you do. 

I teach one class of Career Explorations. My class has decided to participate in an “Entrepreneur Expo” by creating a business, making a business plan, and working through all that entails. The only feedback I’ve gotten on all this, take pictures so it can go on Facebook. In this society of “if it didn’t get x amount of likes on social media, it didn’t really happen” I am struggling. 

This week I needed to write a bio for the winter sports program for being the assistant swim coach. Immediately I was thinking about how I could fit my father and brothers accomplishments into it because writing about how great they were was a lot easier than writing about myself. It was always frowned upon to brag, wow that’s a word I haven’t heard in a while!

Now in saying all this you are probably thinking, she’s just writing this to get likes or someone to disagree and make her feel good. Nope. This is mostly a personal journal for us to look back on, half the time Mark doesn’t even read my ramblings so I’m not expecting many followers and I don’t take compliments well, probably a side effect of my self worth issues! Autumn has tried to crack me for 5 years now, I think that’s why we’ve stayed friends, the therapist in her likes the challenge!

I am genuinely struggling with the idea of self promotion. I envy my husband most times because he has no problem with self appreciation. He knows what he’s good at and takes pride in himself. I tell him he has a big head and an inflated ego (because I’m such a good wife 😔) but also wish I could be that confident. Somehow, somewhere, my brain was wired to believe if you aren’t the best, there is room for improvement, and therefore nothing good to talk about. 

Clearly my spirit animal is an 83 year old man cursing technology and kids these days. I should have been born about 50 years ago, when you worked hard, you’re boss actually observed your work directly not your social media footprint, and only people you physically interacted with knew you died!

That’s enough for dear diary, let’s talk tiny house! It’s still really, really slow going. The metal was put on, boards have been stained and put on, and we are dangerously close to actually being done with the exterior. It finally decided to become fall, and with that came some rain, so the painting that still has to be done may have to wait a while. At least it’s nice and cool for inside work! 

Oh yeah and this happened. Mark didn’t want to take the big trailer so he just cut these down in the parking lot. You can see our son in the background trying to act like he doesn’t know this man!

Today it’s cold! So I’m posted up by the space heater, watching. I don’t know why he wants me here, I do hold the ladder every once in a while if his safety looks questionable!

You Get Out What You Put In

So this isn’t exactly tiny house related, but it’s life related, and tiny housing is part of life, so it’s all relative! 

I think I am the only person who remembers their younger self as being not that great. As most people get older, they seem to remember themselves as being a much better student, athlete, performer, etc, than they actually were. I have decided to be more realistic with my memories. 

At dinner with my parents a couple nights ago we were discussing my high school swimming days. My dad had pretty much been my swim coach my entire career (10 years.) I was saying how I was really not that good, that his influence in the sport was really the reason I was All-State. Of course being my father, he didn’t just outright agree with me but he did make this statement, “You really put it all out there during meets, but you didn’t do much during practice.” The next night Katie Ledecky won gold in the 400 and in her interview she said something like, I put so much into practice, it’s nice to see it pay off (I don’t remember her exact quote so that’s a Megan paraphrase.) Putting those two things together, I started thinking about what else I’ve cheated myself on. What else have I not put my all in during practice, to not reach my full potential when the big event comes? 

Can I just say, there are a whole lot!!!! Music competitions in high school, my Intro to Micro class that I didn’t attend for 9 weeks straight, MIPS exercises, potty training my daughter. I thought I was smart because I always did average without putting in any effort. I cheated myself. I prevented myself from becoming the great legend most people are in their own minds. 

Maybe at 32 I can make a change. I need to put in effort everyday like I’m at the state meet. I don’t feel like I have any “legendary” stories to tell my children, but there is still time to achieve some for my grandchildren! 

Who will you be in your “back in my day” stories?

Sacrifice

As we were planning out the bedroom to frame the walls Mark asked me a poignant question, “What are you willing to sacrifice?” I realized immediately, sacrifice is a huge part of this, our journey.

It was meant as a pretty simple question, he was asking me how much of the living space was I willing to give up for the bedroom.  The answer was easy, the bedroom is just for sleeping, so we don’t want to spend a whole lot of precious square footage on that!

This “simple” question let my brain on a Megan thinking path.  When playing the game of tiny house, there will be much sacrifice!!!

But not just square footage, space, thing, and stuff are being sacrificed; and we are not the only ones doing the sacrificing.

I was reminded today that during this process, I’ve had to sacrifice some of my feelings.  This may come as a surprise, but not everyone thinks what we are doing is cool!  As one family member asked my child, “Are you ready to be trailer trash?”  That stings.  That really just hurts my feelings.  It makes me feel like I am less, why, because I desire less? We desire less mortgage, less junk, less time having to work to pay for things we don’t have time to enjoy.  I know what we are doing is the complete opposite of the “American Dream”, and don’t expect everyone to understand, but this is the sacrifice Mark and I are making for our children to reimagine the “American Dream.”

Don’t misinterpret me, the majority of our family and friends have been very supportive, most of them would never do something like this and think we are beyond weird, but supportive none the less!  And many of these family members and friends have sacrificed for out journey.  Our parents have made huge sacrifices for us, letting us live with them for going on 6 months.  Letting us use their land to build, and most likely park, our tiny house.  Our family and friends who have put in hours upon hours helping us build(I’m talking about you Jeff!), in the sweltering heat, or the random downpours of summer storms.

This has not been easy.  Getting rid of most of our possessions was not fun.  We don’t have this insane idea that living in less than 400 square feet with two children is going to be 100% pleasant.  What we do believe is that he sacrifices we are making now will better our family, and you know what, that’s all that matters!

 

Progress, or lack there of…

Warning: Negativity ahead. 

I have been in a bad mood lately and I’m taking it out on this post! With Mark being out of town Sunday – Thursday, that leaves only Friday and Saturday to work on the house. I feel like we are never going to get it done.  😫 

Plus, one kid never shuts her mouth (most annoying person on the planet right now) and the other kid is teething so he cries and screams and gripes at me ALL DAY LONG. These are the times I question my sanity, especially about moving in to a tiny house!

But then something kicks in, I think it’s a mother thing, you know when you are constantly trying to make your kids negative feelings positive and you finally apply it to yourself. I think, well, when we are in the tiny house there won’t be a need for the kids to follow me everywhere, we will all just be right there. There won’t be a need to scream for me, I’ll never be that far away. And when we’re in our own space I can ignore them more and not worry about being judged by my mother! 😜

This is where we are on the house right now, and will probably be stuck here for the next three weeks! Every time I see a dark cloud in the sky I have a mini panic attack! As long as the tarps hold we will be okay, please for the love of all that is good, let the tarps hold!

What, Why, How, Where…

We are building a tiny house on wheels.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The Monteith Family of 4, plus three dogs, are designing, building, and living in a tiny house on wheels.  It’s weird, yes, but it’s something we have to try!

That’s the main purpose of this blog, chronicling the build of the tiny house.  How we got to this point, why we decided that this is the journey our family would take, is just as important to record, at least in our opinion!

Follow along as we meander through the what, why, how, and where the Monteiths go tiny!