Backyard Improvements and Brief 2016 Review


Where did the last half of 2016 go?  I’ve missed you, friends!

Here’s a quick run-down of what happened in 2016 at the Upcycled Ugly house:

  • We hosted our last AirBnb guests- what a wonderful experience!
  • We worked… a lot…
    • I (Erin) started teaching music lessons again and playing with a local symphony in addition to flying, which is my heart’s work (but dips heavily into my project/blogging time!)
    • Aaron played gigs until he was blue in the face in addition to his already heavy teaching load
    • Because of that…
  • We met our goal of “debt free” except the mortgage (No Secret: Dave Ramsey+ YNAB+Work)!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • We scraped together a 6 month emergency fund
  • We got the backyard to the point of not being a mud-pit

So, in 2017, we plan on being less productive.  We plan on spending more time with those we love.  We plan on making time for “us” and cherishing the time we have together.

Perhaps we are the only people that are aiming to accomplish less?

It’ll be hard to slow us down, but we’re “tapping the breaks” for an excellent 2017.

Since I teased you about the backyard improvements, here they are in order of progress:







Like any garden, it will be a constant work in progress, but we have enjoyed this peaceful space so much already.

As always, we owe so many people a big thanks for supporting us and for understanding when we couldn’t spend time with them the last two years while we got our finances where we felt they needed to be.  It is by God’s grace only that we succeeded and with health and relationships intact.

“In a heart filled with gratitude, there is no room for discontentment.”

-Rachel Cruze

Blessings to you and yours in 2017!


Bertha’s Big Adventure

Bertha had the biggest most frustrating week she’s had in months!

She first had some major league touch-up paint and staining/sealing of her wood “parts”:



Looking good!

We then tried to plug her in and realized something electrical was wrong (my re-wire job *cough*), so we called Trailer Place #1 who told me TWO times that they do electrical work.

So, we decided to take Bertha on a little adventure…… Which turned out to be a big adventure. #everythingisbiggerinTexas


After going through all of the motions to get a new tire, find a truck to use, and getting Bertha “travel ready”, we show up to Trailer Place #1 and they say, “No, we don’t do electrical work.” So… this is what we got out of Trailer Place #1:


A new jack. Yay. (sarcasm)

You can imagine the looks we were getting when we were driving through the neighborhood!  Plus, our friend’s truck literally is so loud it sets off car alarms driving by… just sayin’.

Saturday rolled around. Open hours on websites for Trailer Place #1 and Trailer Place #2 overlap by two hours. Yay!

I decide to delegate duties to my sweet husband and go to the Magnolia Market with my girlfriend which was amazing #priorities only to hear that he arrived at Trailer Place #2, and it isn’t actually open on Saturday at all like the website says.  Oh, and no, it is not safe to leave the trailer in that part of town either.  So, Aaron and our friend with a truck wasted their time. 😡

So, rain check until Monday when, shocker, I’m out of town again.

On Monday, Bertha had a date with Jesus (literally) on Monday and he got her wires uncrossed (literally, again).  Hallelujah!  Oh, and apparently they had a little fun, too, because she is covered in mud… HAHA. #muddingwithJesus

Concurrently, we were on our third attempt at having glass cut to fit her “unique” window so we decided to swing by the glass place and just have them install it.  Much success!


Oh, and by the way, that’s the accent color “Emotional” that I mentioned as a teaser last week. Super fun!


After this week, we’re trailer-poor and Bertha is ecstatic!