We live in a 800-square-foot 2-bedroom apartment and we’ve just decided that we will continue calling our small sapce home for another year.

We’ve spent the past 3 months looking for a space similar to our apartment only with a fenced-in backyard, a driveway (I hate having to hunt for a parking space), and a wee bit of storage space for my husband’s work things.  We found a place that was perfect, but it didn’t work out.  I looked at another place yesterday and it met all of our criteria, yet we’re not moving.  I ache for that backyard for the kids, but packing and transplanting the kids only to move again in another year doesn’t seem worth it.  I went back and forth about wanting our space closer to the city (in the city, really) so a trip to an organic grocery store or to see friends and family wouldn’t have to be a well-planned all-day affair, to wanting a nice piece of land to disappear on, where we could grow and raise our own food.  We still want these things, but instead of settling for “almost,” we’ve decided to wait, plan, and save to get exactly what we want: our OWN home and land.

I must have called on at least 50 different listings for various rentals and gone through the converation many times.  “Yes, I know it’s only 2-bedrooms and I have 3 children.”  Most people didn’t understand how or why we would only want 2 bedrooms.  Honestly, I was right there with them a few years ago, but life has a funny way of teaching you what is really and truly important and having that big house full of “stuff” isn’t on our list anymore.

When we moved into this apartment a year and a half ago, I was newly pregnant with Izzy and we had just spent a year living with family.  We had been through tough times and our apartment represented a new beginning.  I think we’re still on that path and that’s where we need to be for a little bit longer.

Having a small space with young children means that you have to be picky about what is in your space.  It’s a constant de-cluttering and organizing project.  We only keep the toys that get played with, the clothes that get worn, the books that we reference frequently, etc.  Playspace is at a premium and so is a quiet space, which is why we fairly strictly enforce rules of the play-bedroom and the sleeping-bedroom.  There are no toys allowed in the master bedroom.  It is the quiet, relaxing space for reading a book, praying, sleeping, and just thinking.  The play-bedroom is the place to go to be loud and rumbunctious.  The family room is exactly what it sounds like, the place our family comes together.  We do circle time and school work in the living room.  We build forts together, read, play games, enjoy handwork and hobbies, and watch a family movie in this space.  Spaces need to be well defined for function so that everyone gets along and is happy.

I hope that by keeping our small space that we will continue to grow.


Happy 1st Birthday Izzy!

I sit here wanting to write this amazing letter to my daughter on her first birthday, but I can’t think of what to write.  I want to hold on to this first year with Izzy.  She’s brought so much love and joy into our family.

She’s got such spunk and personality.

She’s letting go more and finding balance and confidence.  When she’s tired, she stands by herself and even takes a step or two before realizing that she doesn’t walk yet and drops down to crawl.

She’s strong and doesn’t take crap from the boys.  Jack grabbed a toy from her the other day and tried to run off.  She grabbed him around the ankles and held on, tripping him and retreived her toy!

She’s communicating more, mainly “Urse!” and trying to decrease the amount of time wasted with sleep.  She wins daddy’s heart with “dada” and “papa” quite frequently.  “Mama” is, of course, my favorite.  She signs “more,” but I think it means “I want …” to her.

She has NINE teeth, a molar snuck in on us!

She’s her papa’s girl.  They light up the room together, whether they’re dancing, cuddled up sleeping (like they are right now), or just playing.

She steals Jackson’s baby doll and holds it up to shoulder while rocking and patting it.

Today, she played with the boys around the train table and “helped” build with blocks.  She spent the afternoon on the patio watching the big kids play outside and helped me to decorate her cupcakes.  It was a good day with the promise of many, many more to come.

Happy Birthday Izzy!

Making Buttermilk…

and sour cream, yogurt, and all kinds of cheese!  I’m not doing it all at once, but I just found a wonderful resource with directions for making it all!  I did start a batch of buttermilk this evening.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  It should be done in time to make some pancakes for a special little girl on her birthday.