Monday, February 25, 2008

what a difference a year makes.

It's hard to believe that it's been a year since Kreg & I started a journey of living life simpler. It's been a year since we decided to take the plunge and make the daring move to La Grange.

It was scary and nerve-racking but all in all, I couldn't be happier.

I was scared of losing my beloved Target and 2 1/2 bathroom house and my walk-in closet. I was scared of moving into a smaller house. But now I look at that person and wonder why and who was I?

Living in the austin area, for the most part, was always having to live in "the house" or drive "the car" or be in "the neighborhood" or sending your kids to "the school." Kreg and I fell victim to that. The lifestyle of convenience and ease wasn't what we valued. And I look at that now and I'm embarrassed. That's not the life I ever wanted. That's not the person I wanted to be.

Things in life are suppose to be simple. We were so lucky to find the rent house that we did with a wonderful landlord. When we were first asked how long we would be here, we didn't know. All we thought was that we had to have more bathrooms and just plain more room. We seem to have had so much stuff.

As the year went on, and we started getting rid off all the excess in our lives (who really needs 4 sets of plates, one for each season), we have a new outlook.

I reflect back and realize that having 1 bathroom has NEVER EVER been a problem. In reality, more bathrooms would really just be more for me to clean. When we had 2 1/2 bathrooms, we only used 1 most of the time. But I got stuck cleaning all of them. Having one is SO easy.

As I now work in real estate and see houses on the market, I realize, even though we rent at the moment, we have a gem of a house. Granted, it needs some updating, but you aren't going to find another kitchen around here with 18 floor to ceiling cabinets. And for a cook like me, that's important. We lived in 2100 sq ft and we now live in 1700. Not that much difference. And really, it's a good difference. It's caused to see what we really value in life and what we don't. We've been able to shed ourselves of so much extra 'stuff.'

In a time of lead paint recalls, beef recalls, buying items that fund terrorists, the organic movement, it's nice to be somewhere that you can "Buy Local" and support small mom and pop shops.

The boys get a kick out of going to the meat market.

As spring rolls around, I'm looking forward to them help my dad with his garden. Or going to the farmer's market.

One thing I do terribly miss is our wonderful church we had. One of my biggest shortcomings is providing my kids with religion. Growing up Catholic and still being a practicing Catholic, religion did play a part in my up bringing and I want the same for my kids. It's one of the many reasons they, or right now, Hunter, goes to a Catholic school. He's getting some religion in his life and they can answer his 1 million quesions correctly. This year has been hard with both boys at different 'schools.' Today, Jayden got accepted at Sacred Heart and I can breathe a sigh of relief. No more running between schools and dividing my time. Next year there will only be 1 stop and I can spend time with them both on all occasions. One wonderful thing about being in a small town, is that you don't end up with big town private school costs. Let's just say that having both boys at Scared Heart next year will cost me less per month than my car payment. And it's actually the cheapest place in town to send Jayden if I'm going to work. And both boys at one school will be an ease. For Kreg and I, our kids education is something we value highly. Right now, it's one of the most important things to us. I can't even begin to list all the wondeful things about Hunter being at SHS this year. It's been a life changing experience for all of us. And we know it's only going to get better.

This move really made us look at what's important in life and how we want our kids growing up. We value so much more than what 'city' life could give them.

The way we live in our small house in a smaller town really does make a difference in the quality of life to us. We aren't looking to buy anything yet and it's nice. We are taking our time to do what's important to us. Taking time to get back to the basics of life where what you drive, where you live, the bigger is better attitude really doesn't matter.

Granted, we aren't where we wanted to be yet, but we are still working at it. We've had our fair share of ups and downs. The downs are getting fewer and the ups are getting so much better.

I have a new link on the right for my cousin Amber. Her blog is inspiring for me to read. (I know Amy would love to be her!) Amber is currently 'abroad' and I'm excited to read about her journies. It puts a simple life in so much more prespective. I think what she's doing is amazing!

And finaly, I'll share some lovely pictures since most blog readers haven't ever been to visit in the year we've lived here. (and don't tell me you are waiting for an inviation because you sure as hell didn't get one when we lived in Leander and that didn't keep you away! and I'm just picking on you guys!)

When we first found the house:


And one year later:




shalonda said...

wow you really fixed up that yard it looks awesome in the after pics!!!!!!