Backyard Update & Gratitude

The Great, Ugly Backyard Cleanup of 2015 is continuing.

We tore down the last remaining old shed!  Click Here if you’d like to watch the video (thanks to my dad and mom for the mad construction, junk hauling, and videography skills- we seriously could not have done it without you).  Here’s a small preview photo in case you can’t watch the video:


Very exciting! 

Because of the shed’s removal, I was able to plant grass seed last week, which was also very exciting (if it sprouts)!

The wood used for the framing of that old shed was super cool, so we kept it and are in the midst of using it for another project.  Headboard brainstorming is in progress and we just inherited a ton of great wood from our awesome neighbors which makes our possibilities nearly endless (Thanks, J&A!).   DSC_0669 We scored the rug on a 75% off sale and are really enjoying it so far (like, the last 3 hours of today).   As an added bonus, our kitty supervisor Splat [the Cat] is camouflaged to the rug.  Excellent.  DSC_0671 We’re kicking our debt in the booty and are really proud of the progress we’re making.  Our blog posts have slowed as we find a balance between increasing our income for faster debt payoff and budgeting for the improvements we need/want on the property. 

AKA More Work=Less Time for Projects and Blogging About Projects

Every day we feel enormous gratitude.  We feel the most gratitude toward God for providing us with employment opportunities in order to pay down the debt and “cash flow” a few fun projects.  We feel an insane amount of gratitude toward the people in our lives holding us up and saying, “Keep going!” while understanding why we’re not as present as we’d like to be right now.  We also feel so much gratitude toward the programs/teachings of those who have enabled us to “see the light” at the end of the debt tunnel (Dave Ramsey + YNAB). 

We’re making each month a productive month, and it is solely because of God and the wonderful people we share this space with (you!)!  Thank you for your love, support, and accountability.

Sweet Summertime Honesty & AirBnb

Well, it has been a non-stop, action-packed Summer for Aaron and I.  Self-induced, of course.

Something wonderful happened to us at the end of April.  I don’t think either Aaron or I would realize the event’s importance until… well, now.

We were sitting on the front porch looking at our garden while drinking a cool beverage.  Neighbors were walking by and waving.  The birds were tweeting.  Sizzle-dog was on my lap.  It was a cool, Texas-style 89 degrees.  😉  We were talking about our the budget…

Wait, hold the phone.

Yeah, nothing kills a “mood” like talking about your cash.  Or lack thereof.  Hah!

Anyway, a lady walked by and made a nice comment about our house.  We engaged in conversation and found out that she lived about half a mile away.  I remembered her house specifically because I found it on earlier in the year when searching for a place for Jeff and Tommy to stay during construction.

In typical “Erin” fashion, I asked her if she’d had any “creepers” stay with her.

She had nothing but good words about the guests that had stayed in her home.  We talked to her about her setup (a shared bathroom!!), the use of the kitchen, the great airbnb policies, etc.  We said our goodbyes and she headed home.

Again, in typical “Erin” fashion, I looked at Aaron with a twinkle in my eye and said, “We’re so doing this…”  And, in typical “Aaron” fashion, he said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Long story short, I buttered him up and here we are two months later with ten good reviews from guests (and counting).  Our mortgage has been paid (plus some) both months by the generosity of our guests and we’ve spent time with some really fantastic people with some truly amazing stories.  Not to mention, our house is in a constant state of “clean”, which is just short of a miracle.

As I was writing this post, Suze Orman posted a quote on Facebook that sort of sums up how I’ve felt for a while:

“Debt can feel like the heaviest burden in life.  It can weigh down your spirits, occupy your mind, and make you feel bound- because you are bound.”

Aaron and I recently joined our neighbors for the matinee of Jurassic World (the new Jurassic Park movie).  One of the more memorable scenes was the hatching of the baby Indominous Rex.  The dinosaur has been encapsulated in this egg for its whole existence.  You first see the egg begin to move.  Then you see a small crack begin to appear in the shell.  Next, you see tiny claws break through and, finally, the face of this dinosaur.

That egg is our debt.  Our entire adult lives, we have had debt of some sort.  In many ways, it has been good debt- we are educated and have a beautiful modestly-priced custom home.  However, it is still the ball-and-chain to many goals we have for the future.

We are a slightly more attractive Indominous Rex. And we are “blowing this [debt] popstand”!

We have hope.  We have a plan.  And, thanks to AirBnb, we are ahead of schedule.