In the last three months we have made some major changes and had some huge adventures. We sold our beautiful dream home, sold our RV, paid off tons of debt, put a bunch of money into our savings account, took a family vacation to Disneyland, took sailing lessons, and took a romantic vacation. It’s like we checked off half of our family goals in the last quarter of the year and it’s been amazing!
Why the big changes? Well, Auston and I sat down together and wrote out our family charter, our goals and dreams and future plans and reminded each other of what we valued most in life, which just so happens to be each other and our kids. When we got it all on paper we realized that the path we were on was not one that would allow us to live out our real dreams together.
We want time together every day, time to be with and teach our children and to strengthen their confidence in themselves and in our family. But our schedules have been so busy, me commuting so far to two different schools, Auston gone 10-16 hours most days and traveling for work and sometimes working weekends, that we were constantly in survival mode just to get by with everyone barely getting to where they needed to be and not often getting the time as a family that we love and crave and that our children need.
We did some soul-searching, talked through different ideas of ways to downsize our financial needs, our travel times, and ways to create better boundaries about time commitments that take us away from family. We agreed that the dream home we had purchased just 18 months ago had become a burden rather than a blessing. While we loved so much about the house and how big and old and beautiful it was, it was hindering us from focusing on what was important. There was always another bill to pay for upkeep, a huge mortgage payment, astronomical utility bills, another room to clean, and a 30 minute drive to and from the school. So, we sold her and we are so thankful to have been able to use the profit to pay off other debt and put money away.
The same thought process went into selling the RV. When we bought Minnie (our 2001 Minnie Winnebago) we had visions of spending every weekend and holiday cruising the states in our little home away from home. And while she did get some great use the first year, she just wasn’t getting the use and upkeep she needed, so we sold her as well and paid off more debt!
We donated truck loads of toys, clothes, blankets, tools, trinkets and books. We are changing our mentality about “stuff we think we need” because so much of that stuff becomes a burden rather than a blessing.
Right now we are living happily in a small rental house- and I mean small! All four girls are sharing one large room, and it is surprisingly so nice! We have come to realize that bedrooms are for sleeping and for getting dressed in. Each girl doesn’t need her own big room to store her belongings. Sharing has been fun and brought them closer together. It is also much more convenient to clean, since there is just the one room to deal with. We also are doing way better about buying useless junk for them as there is literally no where to put it so it stays at the store and the money stays in our bank. Win Win!
This is just the first major step in our plans for the future, but it has been a wild ride of a Summer and it has brought Auston and I closer than ever. Change is good, and fun and challenging. It is thrilling to be working together with purpose again and taking control of our futures. I am so thankful that we took the time to stop and look around and to remember why we got married, why we have children, and what we hope for our futures together.