We thought THE FIRST YEAR of living in the tiny house was amazing until we experienced the second year! You would think that a tiny house review of a 12 month period of time covering pregnancy, L&D and the experience of learning to be first time parents would have its fair share of trouble but it has been the exact reason this year was better than the last. Beyond the natural elation of starting a family comes the happiness derived from the discovery that being pregnant and bringing a baby into a tiny house is totally possible. Like not in a ‘possible with a lot of extra work and compromise’ kind of way either. We thoroughly believe that becoming first time parents who live in a tiny house was the best case scenario.
Do not underestimate the impact a happy and unstressed psyche can have on parenting, and these attributes, or their adversaries, can often times be a direct result of one’s environment [i.e. home]. The same benefits that we were seeking in our tiny house design [calm, cleanliness, simplicity, efficiency] are now proving beneficial in our parenting. To live in a home that is designed specifically for us is to live in a space centered around fulfilling our exact needs. When those personal needs are met, and excess eliminated, ones focus can be on the task at hand, which is now fully enjoying the adventure that is parenting.
The truth is, having a baby in our 204 square foot tiny house is all we know. It has been a very enjoyable experience and without anything to compare it to we have nothing but positive things to report. There is great peace of mind in knowing that we are raising our daughter in the cleanest, most healthy house we have ever lived in and the ability to always keep an eye on her is an added bonus. It has provided all the necessities for our daughter to grow and we have been able to continue to TWEAK AND ADAPT THE TINY HOUSE for our new tiny roommate.
Surprisingly the biggest perk of raising a baby in a tiny house has very little to do with the tiny house. As we mentioned in our FIRST EVER GUEST BLOG POST, it has never been about the tiny house; it has always been about the life it affords. For many of us, tiny homes are simply a means to an end. When you look behind the well manicured vale of tiny house TV shows and curated instagram accounts, you’ll begin to uncover the real driving force behind these alternative dwellings; they are tools to instigate and achieve a preferred way of life. A tool that has the ability to substantially reduce ones cost of living and in return avoid the increasing number of work hours it takes to keep our head above the financial water line. You cannot buy more time, so the next best thing is to spend it in more meaningful ways; tiny houses encourage and enable this reallocation of time.
By opting out of the cyclical grind and substantially reducing our cost of living we’ve had the ability to take extended parental leave, work less and work from home resulting in more time doing the things we enjoy with the people we love, especially sweet baby Aubrin.
THE YEAR IN REVIEW
So here we are, 24 months into this tiny experiment. The worry about scratching this or chipping that has worn off and this small assembly of raw materials has evolved from a house to a home. A beautiful rusty brown patina is slowly developing on our steel stairs and a shiny door strike streak exists on the metal trim around our entry door which is scratched and scared inside and out, a record of the thousands of times we have entered and exited our home. On one particularly life changing day we BROUGHT AUBRIN HOME through that door after experiencing birth for the first time in our lives, an experience recounted in THIS MEMORABLE POST.
We have added and altered as needed to ensure the best possible experience for us and our daughter including a new SAFETY NET BARRIER AT THE EDGE OF THE LOFT and two different BED SIDE LOFT CRIBS as she continues to grow. We recently experienced the biggest set-back of our tiny house journey when our MINI-SPLIT HAD A CATASTROPHIC AND COSTLY FAILURE ; a memory only a few weeks old and constantly triggered by the still uncovered hole in the wall next to the new interior unit. We’ve also repeated the tradition of a GIANT CHRISTMAS TREE and tried a few new things like BREWING BEER INSIDE OUR TINY HOUSE.
In our continuing interest in empowering the d.i.y. tiny house movement and giving back to the community that supported us when we were just starting out we have released our FLOOR PLANS and STAIR CONSTRUCTION DETAILS for FREE as well as updated our e-book BUILT WITH OUR HANDS: a d.i.y. tiny house memoir to include a 65 page appendix that focuses on what the experience has been like, what we have learned, what we would do differently and what it has been like transitioning into first time parents in this space.
[If you had already purchased our e-book prior to January 31, 2018 you should have received an e-mail from us on January 31 with a new download link for the 2nd edition as a thank you for supporting us! If you don’t see it just shoot us a message through HERE and we will take care of you!]
We have also begun answering a lengthy and ongoing list of FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, some of which have entire blog posts dedicated to them, including WHY DON’T YOU JUST BUY AN RV? and WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER GETS OLDER? and WHY DO TINY HOUSES COST SO MUCH?
One of the more significant changes that occurred in the last year is that Robert transitioned into a primarily work-from-[tiny]home father. Being a stay at home parent is a full time job. Being a work from home parent is even harder. And when ‘home’ is a tiny house, it all requires even more flexibility, patience and ingenuity. Robert wrote a touching post about the DIFFICULT DAY THIS TRANSITION OCCURRED and while tears were shed, we have hit our stride in the last few months and it is an amazing circumstance that we are grateful for.
In the spirit of documenting ‘the life it affords‘ we have spent an equal amount of time outside our tiny house over the last 12 months including a 2650 MILE CROSS COUNTRY EPIC with our 7 week old daughter that put us way outside of our comfort zone while building confidence and teach us a few important lessons. It is important for us to continue to do what we love and to share those experiences with Aubrin with hope that she also develops an appreciation and love for the outdoors and all the benefits that come with these voyages into the wild. To this end we spent much our first summer as a new family road-tripping and hiking around the country (as shown in the photo gallery and compiled video clips below). We even road-tripped to the solar eclipse path of totality to experience the most incredible celestial event of our lives and had a surprise visit by the NORTHERN LIGHTS WHILE VISITING THE NORTH CASCADES! We continue to document and share our travels through the wanderLOVE tab on this website.
As we begin our third year of tiny house living our sights are set beyond the four walls of our tiny house, on yet another year of extensive travel as we chase experiences and memories doing the things we enjoy with the people we love. See you out there!?
Looking for leads!
Do you have or know of a unique accommodation that we should visit!? We are connoisseurs of all things small and unique; tiny houses, skoolies, vans, huts, tree houses, cabins, camp sights, etc… and will continue our trend of traveling to these unique and sometimes remote places to spend a couple memorable nights and share the story and documentation with as much or as little detail as the host requests. Let us know HERE and maybe we can include it on this years West Coast circuit of travels.
Below are a few of the most unique places we have ever slept over the last couple of years!