Okay, time to spill the beans!

I’ve hinted at big changes coming for me and the boys, probably to an annoying degree, but I didn’t want to “spill the beans” until I was sure that everything would actually come together. It’s been a few months in the making, but now that we’re officially starting to execute the plan I think I can finally tell the story without jinxing anything! Hopefully.

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A few months ago the couple that I barnsit for on the regular (and have for… gosh… 6 or so years maybe? oh and hi Rejan – she reads this!) approached me with a proposal. Last year they bought a gorgeous second farm near Wellington, where they now spend their winters doing fancy dressage things. That means that they spend about half their year here, and half in Florida. Last year, the first winter away at the new farm, they buttoned up the farm here and took all of their horses with them, which, considering they have a range of horses from yearling to retired broodmare, was a bit much. Not all of them needed to go, and some would have been happier staying behind. So after a lot of thought, they asked if I’d be interested in putting a tiny house out on their property, living there full time (with the boys of course) and taking care of the farm and the couple horses they leave behind when they go to Florida in the winter.

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As you can imagine, this is a pretty great opportunity for a lot of reasons. 1) I get to live with my boys and take care of them myself. This has been my ultimate goal and dream for a long time. 2) The farm is awesome, lots of pasture on nice sandy footing, and has everything I could possibly need from space to ride out to an actual dressage arena. 3) Big financial savings, which in turn equals 4) more opportunity. I would not have to change jobs, but does increase my commute to work big time, from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. BUT right now I’m driving 45 minutes to the barn 5-6 days a week anyway, so… it actually equals out or even ends up being a bit less. Obviously it also increases my responsibilities quite a bit, mostly during the winter when I’m sole caretaker, but having barnsat for them so much by now (with more horses to care for) I know it’s definitely manageable.

Before I could say yes to this, I had to convince the SO. He’s been wanting to live somewhere more rural for a while, so that part was easy, although he wasn’t enthused about the longer commute part or the tiny house part. ESPECIALLY the tiny house part. While living small has always appealed to me in a big way (I hate wasted space, we don’t even live in half of the 1500sq ft we have now – ask me the last time we actually used the dining room or the front bedroom), the SO has a lot of crap, and he loves having a lot of crap. I think when I first said tiny home he was imagining one of those really tiny truck-towable homes or a shipping container or something, but I really wanted a park model RV (for so many reasons I won’t even list them all here), which is a lot different. So I dragged him up to a big dealership up near Dallas and we spent the day looking at various models, which changed his mind about the idea completely. Being able to walk into them and see the space and see the possibilities was a total game changer. We settled on a 399 square foot model with an extra large porch, a loft space, and every dream option you could imagine (like for real, he’s getting a tv and fireplace on the porch and dual rain showerheads, plus all the regular appliances. There’s no hardship involved in this tiny house.), and it still came in under my pre-determined budget.

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Ours will be similar to the above (same model), with a few different options. I was super impressed with all the stuff you could change or add or tweak in these. We won’t officially put the order in for ours until closer to spring so that we have more time to save up down payment money, but he totally fell in love with the small-living concept that day. The massive financial savings was the final push he needed… as soon as we looked at the numbers, and what it could mean for us a few years down the line, he was 100% on board. Plus we found out that one of our friends’ parents lives in that exact model, and his feedback was awesome.

After we got a good look at the tiny houses, we had to decide what we’d do with the current house and figure out a realistic timeline. We don’t want to sell the house quite yet so we’re going to rent it out for a while and see how the market does. Our neighborhood has BOOMED in the past several years and with Amazon and Apple campuses adding tons of new jobs nearby, this bodes well for our property value. The neighborhood is already in high demand for rentals. The amount we can rent it out for would cover the mortgage plus the payment for the tiny home, with some left over, but we’re going to take whatever “profit” the house makes beyond the mortgage and put it into savings to cover the updates or repairs that would make the most sense if/when we do decide to sell. Let the house support itself, so to speak.

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Now the SO is so excited about it that he bought me this doorknocker for my birthday. Which I insist looks like a horse crossed with Batman, but also I can’t wait to put this on our new house.

Rejan is leaving for Florida in November, and we looked at trying to get everything set up and ready to go by then, but there was just no way. We have a lot of stuff to move, throw away, or otherwise figure out what to do with, we gotta actually order the tiny house, it has to be built, the site (a lovely shady corner of the property) needs some prep work, etc. Shrinking 2 lives from 1500 sqft into 400 sqft (ok in fairness the loft adds another 200) is no small task. Plus the house needs a few things done to it before it will be ready to rent. Trying to get all that done within a couple months wasn’t realistic.

So Rejan and her husband talked about it and offered, for this winter, for me to stay in their house on the property. That gives SO and I a lot more time to get things going with moving/packing/consolidating, plus having my horses out there instead of boarded will help save more money towards the down payment of the tiny home, and they’ll still be able to get to leave a couple of their horses behind on the farm for me to take care of. Win-win for everyone. SO can spend his weekday evenings at home working his way through his massive collection of stuff and fixing up his old ’56 Mercury (which he wants to do before we move and he loses the garage space) and getting the house rentable, and come out to the farm on weekends. He can kind of ease his way into farm life and we can ease our way from one place to the other. We also have A LOT of shit to sort through and sell (the only furniture we’re keeping is our bed) and we won’t have room to keep crap just for the sake of it. Everything from couches to tables to kitchen appliances to, yes, even some of my ridiculous collection of horse crap – it’s all gotta go.

The interior options we picked out – cabinets, backsplash, floor, countertop, wall color

The only decision left after getting all that straightened out was deciding when to move the boys and how we wanted to arrange everyone to fit 2 new horses. Presto will have a yearling friend, which is exciting, and there’s plenty of room to accommodate both him and Henry. We talked it through yesterday and figured out a plan for turnout/barn and who to put with who, so… I think we’re ready. I have to figure out an exact moving date, but everything is lined up. The boys will go first so they can settle in (which will also give us time for Rejan to show me things like how to work the tractor, drag the arena, etc), and then I’ll move myself out there full time when they leave in November.

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Obviously this is a lot of change in a lot of ways. Neither of us have to change jobs, so it’s not as jarring as packing up and moving far away, but it’s a little scary to leave something comfortable and “known” for something that will definitely offer some challenges and be a lot different. But I’m a big believer in seizing opportunities, especially the rare ones that have the potential to have a huge influence on your life and your future. This is one of those. It feels momentous, it feels important, and mostly… it just feels right. We have a lot to learn about living tiny, but I have no doubt that it will be a grand adventure and that’s what life is all about. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and I can’t freakin’ wait to look out my window and see my boys grazing outside. ❤

90 thoughts on “Okay, time to spill the beans!

  1. Wow! So much change, but it sounds like it is the right move for you all. At least for the near-ish future. I have to ask, will the doors be Navy and the house have yellow accents? Asking for a friend 😉

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    1. ha! No… no yellow anyway. We still haven’t quite decided on the exterior colors. I’m a very gray person when it comes to houses (obviously, from my interior choices). I’m like.. how about a gray house with a darker gray door and a gray roof? And Rob’s like… orrrr we could be less boring? Rude.

      There will probably be a post at some point asking for input on the roof and exterior color, because we’ve made ZERO progress on deciding those things.

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      1. I had my barn done in blue with a grey roof and white trim without consulting the husband, because it was MY barn. Matches nothing on the property. Then I convinced him that all the buildings on the property should match, so we’re going to redo the siding/paint the house and garage to match the barn. I win. 😀

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              1. There’s a house near me that’s blue with white or cream trim and a gray roof, and it has a dark red door. Surprisingly to me, the red door looks really good with that color scheme. I’ve also seen a similar shaded house with a green door. I think the blue/gray combo is neutral enough that you can do a single accent item in almost any color and it looks ok.

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      2. Everything I have painted in our house is gray and I am counting down until we repaint the outside to gray so…I am all in on gray with darker gray and for a change maybe a little white trim? Ha!

        Anyway – such a cool opportunity! So exciting!

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  2. I have been thinking about a “tiny” house for quite a while but my roadblock is the pet situation. I have a large dog and a large cat and wonder if it’s enough room for them to wander in while I’m at work/at the barn. How did you overcome this?

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    1. My two dogs are old and smaller, so they don’t really move around much when we’re not home. The cat will have a freaking wonderland, with the added loft space and easy access to the ledge that goes over the top of the cabinets. She’ll be able to stare out lots of windows!

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  3. i may need to know about this tiny house thing (Dad is moving to TENN to live with us and I work from home this may make me decide to move out myself) HA either dad can have tiny house or I can work in tiny house 🙂 HA HAHA

    Congrats. I think the purple colors need to stay HAHAHAH.

    I hope Rob doesn’t mind being in the boonies but plenty of bike riding out there for him!!

    You have Grem and the two dogs right? And will they leave her dogs for you to housesit or do they go to FL. Fun times ahead for you.

    I look forward to reading all about your tiny house adventures! And Presto and Henry adventures too. Don’t let Presto near the trim on your tiny house HA

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    1. Their dog goes with them to Florida.

      You should totally look into the park model RV’s for your dad. They’re super affordable but nice little spaces, and they’re most popular as vacation cabins or in retirement communities. It’s basically like a 1bd/1bath apartment but in a freestanding structure, and you can customize it with literally ANY options you want. It would be nice privacy and economical.

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  4. That’s very exciting! I have had the rare privilege of having my horses on property for years, both when I lived outside of Houston and then when I moved out here. I actually moved to the Hill Country (does San Marcos/New Braunfels really count tho?) specifically to buy more land for the horses. So I forget some times how amazing that is, and just kind of take it for granted. There have been times when I though boarding would have been the better option, but then I walk out to the barn in my pj’s just to pet my mare, give her a cookie and a hug, and inhale horse – and all is right in my world.

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  5. How exciting! Cheers to a grand new adventure!! I recently moved Niko to a private facility and after always boarding at big places, it’s been really, really nice to have control over EVERYTHING. But since I’m not on my property or by myself, it’s been a bit of “easing into it” kind of like you’re doing with your SO — I don’t HAVE to have every answer and do it all myself, which has been a blessing, but I also get to learn a ton. I’m so excited for this next chapter for you!!

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  6. Ahh! This is SO EXCITING!! I am in love with that tiny house. Not going to lie. I live in a 700 square ft one bedroom and sometimes it’s too much space. The only time it feels crowded is when there’s more than 3 people and 5 huskies in there. 😂

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    1. Yeah I’m like that too.. so much of the space in our house isn’t living space, it’s just space for JUNK. Junk we don’t need and don’t use but we have to pay to own and heat and cool. Doesn’t make sense and just seems wasteful. BF does enjoy having his own little man cave room, but i think we’re going to end up buying him a shed so he can have his art studio and all his instruments out there, and his own private space to retreat to.

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      1. I am the same way! Downsizing from 1100 to 650 sq feet in Austin too. I can’t waaaaait. I don’t need 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, I’ve learned that much at least.

        Good luck to you and the boys! Sounds like an amazing opportunity. A friend built a tiny house south of San Antonio and keeps her horses at home. She loves it!

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  7. This is just too exciting, I’m so happy for you! What a fantastic arrangement. Since you’re already used to taking care of that farm it sounds perfect.

    I had no idea that type of tiny house even existed, I honestly didn’t. It’s super-cute and sounds practical, too! I hope you will share some photos of the interior when it’s done (love your choices). I vote for grey and blue tones on the exterior. Not navy – you’re right about that being too hot – but some type of blue.

    Another plus to all this is you will have a TON of blogging material – can’t wait to hear all about life on the farm!

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  8. That is awesome news! I’m so excited for you to be able to do this! Such a cool opportunity for you. When I lived with my parents I loved just being able to look outside and see my horse whenever I wanted to. That’s awesome that Presto will have a fellow young friend to cavort around with! I’m sure he’s equally excited tho doesn’t know it yet LOL.
    I have always loved the idea of tiny houses! I don’t need much space, and as much horse stuff as I have, I have always liked the idea of living smaller. Living here in Vegas there is soooo much track housing, and I really don’t like it. Cramming as many houses as they can on a set amount of land is not what I call nice. I like having a small space for me, lots of space for my animals. My parent’s house isn’t really rural, but it is so peaceful to just be there, away from the noise, sit at the barn and hear the horses munch on hay, watch the sun set.
    Again, I’m so excited for you, and what amazing people to not only offer this but to also give you and your SO the best shot at consolidating all of your things. Such a wonderful development in your life, and I absolutely can’t wait to follow along with it 😀 ❤

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    1. Yeah I’m the same way too – love the idea of a smaller space for me and more space for the boys. I’m not in the house much anyway, what do I need extra space for besides more junk (that I don’t need). It’s a nice quiet life, which I’m really looking forward to after living in the city for years now. Just a couple days ago I left my car unlocked for TWENTY MINUTES while I was in the house doing something and when I came back out someone had gone through my car and stolen my phone charger. I mean what the fuck, people. I’ll be happy to leave that kind of shit behind.

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        1. Yeah I was like honestly, why even? They pulled all the shit out of my drivers side and threw it on the ground. SO was like you shouldn’t have left your car unlocked and I launched into a rampage about how humanity should be less shitty and that I shouldn’t have to lock my car every damn second of the day when it’s parked in my own driveway during daylight hours. I hate people. I can’t wait until there are way fewer of them nearby.

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          1. Oh yeah totally there with you! How about humans just be less shitty to each other?! There’s a reason there’s a phrase “human decency.” Yeesh. It’s just as bad here in Vegas, so I feel you. Any chance I have to get away from people, I take it.

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  9. It’s scary and exciting for us too — but it just feels right. Through this arrangement we can lift each other up to achieve our goals. And I look forward to reading more about the farm on the blog. 🙂

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  10. How exciting! Sounds like an incredible opportunity. From personal experience, I will say there is nothing better than having complete and total access to every part of your horses’ care. Hands down the best thing I’ve ever been able to do!

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  11. Congratulations!! There’s nothing like looking out of the window and seeing your horse – and life on the farm is the best. Another vote for grey. Just finished building a small (not quite tiny) house last fall. Did tons of research – around here at least, grey paint holds up the best as it ages – fading isn’t nearly as noticeable.

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      1. Hard no on white (or even super light grey) because eventually mildew will grow on the north facing sides in humid climates. Then you have an exterior house cleaning issue. I have trouble coping with the interior cleaning, although my barns are immaculate lol…

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  12. This is so exciting!! I also have a grey house (with a teal door haha), so I definitely vote for grey with a navy door! I am in total agreement that when amazing opportunities come your way, as scary as they may seem, you’ve got to take them!! (And I, too, wondered about the cat shit robot hahahaha! Glad to know it will stay!)

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  13. I’ve done trailer on a ranch, but not nearly as stylish lol. I thinks its brilliant and renting is smart as I’ve heard next year will be questionable for sales with elections. Many coworkers do the rental thing and always have them renting at a self- maintaining amount, which double bonus you can pay tiny house rent too. Now that I have a good stack of podcasts, 35-45 min commute is alright because I can finish most episodes. 😉

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    1. Yeah I’m used to the long daily commute to the barn anyway so I don’t think I’ll have a problem with that part. It’s more of an adjustment for the SO, who thinks 20 minutes is far. He’ll have a few things to get used to.

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  14. I always thought I’d end up moving into a tiny house out in the country. Meeting a city boy definitely caused a change in plans 🙂 I am happy that both of us value appropriate sized spaces though and the house that we’re buying is under 1000 sq feet 🙂

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  15. This is one of those… I’m excited for you and sad for me moments lol. I will miss getting to ride with you on the weekends 😭 but it’s gonna rock for you and the boys and I can’t wait to see the tiny house.

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  16. Love the colour scheme you used for the inside of the house, I love a quieter colour scheme in smaller spaces. You can always spruce it up with a colourful rug or some pillows.
    For the outside: i think navy with a gray roof, white accents and a blood red door sounds awesome! But I am into the nautical theme so…

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  17. Oh man, how exciting!! I live out in the country in my grandmother’s art studio (a 14’x14′ detached room connected to the doublewide by a screened in cat porch) and my mom and I have looked into the park RV or small mobile homes a LOT. They’re really so nice nowadays and such a great option and it’s going to be amazing to live out on a farm like that!

    (The only downside, I find, is lack of delivery pizza or having to drive 20 minutes to get McD’s or do a grocery store run. But all in all: totally worth it.)

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  18. This is so exciting!!! Being practically roommates with your horses is the best (98% of the time). That little house is SO CUTE! I can’t wait for the photo tour!
    But the real question is, has the SO decided where he’ll rent his storage unit? (From one keeper of stuff to another.)

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  19. Ahhh just want to say that I totally called this in a comment on the first post where you mentioned moving! Even that it would be at the barn sitting place. Very pleased with myself 😆 and congrats!

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  20. Okay, please help – I’m fascinated by the tiny home so I went to the RRC website. Having a great time looking at the floor plans and watching videos. But I can’t figure out which model it is you’re buying – is it the Platinum Premier, but with a loft? It has a mobile island in the kitchen? (If so there’s no video of the loft version, alas) I did get to see a porch fireplace w/ the TV area. DEFINITELY the thing to do!

    All these cottages all are SO COOL, and so nicely-finished on the inside. I’m really impressed! I can certainly see why your SO got on board with the plan. 🙂

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  21. I am SO EXCITED for you!!! What a fantastic opportunity. Also, I totally thought it was a Batman door knocker at first, until I finished scrolling and saw it was a horse. So you’re not wrong – it definitely looks like a Batman/horse combination.

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  22. Amazing!! So happy for you 😀
    The darling, our two dogs and I just moved into a 210 sq ft housie on a farm after both having grown up in really big houses (seriously, our whole home could probably fit into my old bedroom). And we both LOVE it. Getting rid of all our unnecessary stuff was strangely cathartic and it is such a dream to keep it clean and tidy. It also uses practically no electricity. 10/10 absolutely recommend.

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  23. What a great opportunity!!

    Having complete access to your boys and living with them is a game changer! I absolutely love it and I’m sure you will too!

    The house is so cute!!

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  24. Congratulations! I love love love that house. So much I wish I could raze ours, getting rid of all the crap we don’t need and put one of those in.

    Can’t wait to read all about the transition and see all the media. Do not forget the media, please. 🙂

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  25. Wow best idea and fantastic all the way round! Count me as another one who may give this tiny house thing a look !!! 🙂

    If you haven’t done so already, please please please get a contract in place between all the parties. One that has fair and do-able cancellation options on both sides. An attorney will have a good starting template.

    A contract is likely to be the best money all of the parties ever spend. To protect everyone in evolving situations, and unexpected urgent situations. A contract can save a friendship, and everyone’s finances as well. Hopefully you’ve already completed this step, or it is well underway.

    All the best for this wonderful next step! 👍😊

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  26. Congrats on another great opportunity! You really do get to know your horses on a whole new level when you live with them, I have loved that. I will say, the biggest thing I learned when building something — DON’T TRUST ANYONE & GET EVERYTHING ON PAPER ALWAYS. Enjoy the new adventure!

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  27. I kept reading down the column on this, and thinking, “what about the SO, what about the SO”–and so relieved to find that there was no huge breakup on the horizon! Very cute tiny house, by the way! Good luck with all you have to get accomplished–I know from reading your blog for years now that it won’t be an issue for you, but the SO will have to get his side of things going into overdrive I would think.

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