So this weekend we drove up to Asheville for a weekend of R&R, camping, and s'more eating. Ha! Two kids under three...no R&R to be had. But we did manage to have some fun!
And we we did manage to Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com ourselves into dreamland once again. So there's this house...
It's in a great school district, on 2.6 acres, within a reasonable commute for us both, so gorgeous. What's the problem? It's already under contract! Whomp whomp. I think I shed one glistening tear.
Reigning in my daydreaming a little bit I try to tell myself "it's already at the top of the budget, no room for improvements" or "it needs a lot of work and what if the electrical/plumbing/structure need major improvements"...but then the dreamer in me says "but that porch!", "but we're handy", "but it IS actually within budget, just at the tippy top", "but but but..."
But, oh yeah, someone else is going to be living this dream, not us just yet
Or more appropriately titled "Things I think I MIGHT be suddenly and surprisingly good at once I'm a pseudo-homesteader" I like that better...
1) Growing things. So I've discovered I'm pretty damn good at growing babies. I can grow them, nurture them, culture them into being semi-polite little beings. Plants, on the other hand, don't typically fare as well. Maybe because the kids yell at you if you don't feed them. Our yearly attempt at gardening doesn't usually go well. We can get a few cherry tomatoes, maybe 1-2 tomatoes of regular size, a crap ton of basil, and that's about it. Last year...or was it two years ago...I had a zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and a whole variety of herbs. The above mentioned harvest was all that came from that. I'm blaming it on the blazing full sun the garden got...yeah that was it.
2) Cooking. I think I'm going to have massive amounts of time to cook, for some odd reason. Let me do the math. Longer commute + extra animals to take care of = more time to cook? Well, I'm gonna! Baking hearty loaves of bread, making my own cheeses, whipping up our own butter - all things on the list. I've tried each of these only once before. Everything was edible but it wasn't great.
3) Decorating the house. I anticipate channeling my inner Joanna Gaines for this project. This involves much time spent at flea markets, understanding spaces and functionality, and implementation. All things I'm not terribly good at. I can spend some time at a flea market, love a few items, but never buy them because I don't know what the heck to do with them/where to put them.
4) Bees. I want to have a little hive of bees. Honey and beeswax sound so amazing. I can make candles and soaps and drizzle honey over the above mentioned hot buttery slice of bread. I have NO CLUE where to start on this one but it's on my list.
5) Chickens. Again, no clue where to start but I have some pretty nifty resources. I'm handy in the garage so I don't doubt I can fashion a pretty cool and functional coop for these beauties. But what do they eat? Don't know. Veterinarians know this stuff, right?
6) Goats. Jessica wants a goat. Or two. Let me say that again. Jessica wants goats. I had a friend who had massive amounts of poison ivy in her yard. She hired a herd of goats to come out and munch away all the poison ivy. Worked like a charm. Jessica wants to use the goats for "landscape management". And milk. I personally don't like goat cheese so I have no investment in the procurement of goats.
7) Relaxing. I'm the type of person that always needs a project. I enjoy shutting off my mind from the daily run around and doing a puzzle or making something out of wood or sewing. This is relaxing to me. New house = lots of new projects.
8) Stopping. Breathing. Being Grateful. And living in the moment. I'm learning these every day. I try to practice these every day. If I'm good at this and only this, I will consider myself successful.
So here we are. Married. A couple of kids. A couple of dogs. Living in suburbia. But something is missing. I want privacy and to be surrounded by green and room to breathe. I want to grow my own vegetables, learn how to can things, nurture a few little hens and enjoy their eggs daily, learn how to bake bread, and just enjoy living in the moment and getting dirty. I want my kids to grow up in that environment. I want them to have memories of pulling weeds, running around for hours, and learning about the world in which they live. I want to not dread the kids getting to school age and playing the lottery for a charter school or settling on the crappy public school (don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are some amazing public schools in our county - we just don't happen to live near one).
Now all of this sounds pretty frickin' fantastic, right? Of course! The question is how. How are we going to make this happen. Lots of googling is how! Lots of looking at lots of land for sale - how much is too much? How much is too little? Hills? A stream? Septic? Well? Which school district? Commute to work? Lots of looking at floor plans for a home - do we want a downstairs master because we'll get old in this house? How many bedrooms? Will we have a third child? What happens when they're crazy teenagers and want to get away - some kind of loft space? What is dysfunctional in our current house and what actually works. The laundry room, let me tell ya! I HATE that space. And with 2 adults, 1 almost 3 year old, and 1 7 month old, I'm in and out of there on the reg. What improvements should we do now vs what can wait a few years? Lots of late night conversation has been mostly about this.
So where are we now? We've been chatting with a few builders and getting information on floor plans and pricing. We put together what we think will be an amazing home for our family to grow, laugh, and love in. Now we wait to find out how much it'll cost. We've been waiting for a little while for the quote and each day feels like an eternity. It feels like we'll be able to say "ok, we're really doing this" or the dream could die right here. We've also been looking at a few lots and have it narrowed down to what we think would work.
Let me tell you a little bit about us. I'm Kim - soon to be 35 years old, nurse working in a doctor's office full time, proud minivan owner, and happy wife and mommy. Jessica is my wife - a veterinarian, raised in rural North Carolina (complete with the Southern twang), ashamed minivan owner, and hopefully happy wife and mom. The kiddos - Ben & Olive - are almost 3 years old and newly 7 months old. It's been an adjustment to having two kids but the love they have for each other is so amazing to watch.
Now here's a secret. I can't keep a plant alive to save my life. Ok maybe that's not a big secret - and maybe that's not completely accurate. I can grow (aka forget about) a mean basil bush. And that's all. So, the fact that I dream of having this massive garden in which my veggies are so abundant I need to can them, is comical. That's what this blog is about. Trial and error. Learning and succeeding. Learning and falling flat on my face. Building the house of our dreams, or getting as close as we can. At least I have a veterinarian in my corner so no wildlife will be harmed in the making of this dream.
I'm so glad you've found us and I hope you laugh right along side us