Saturday, July 9, 2016

The End of the Blog

As the title suggests, this will be my last post on this blog. But before you panic, it's not because I'm giving up on my tiny dreams or because I don't feel like talking about them online anymore.

Here's what's going on: as part of my journey toward a tiny life, I have made friends with several other tiny house people in my area. One of those friends is Bryan, and he suggested that we team up on a new website! Isn't that exciting?

It's still a bit of a work in progress, but you can see the home page here:

Bryan and I (and hopefully another contributor) will be updating this site on a regular basis, and this is where I'll post about moving into my house and my new tiny life.

I will also continue to update my personal blog:, so you can definitely find me there too.

I know this all probably seems a little confusing, but honestly I was having a hard time figuring out why I had two blogs and where to draw the line between them. Though this might seem like it's only adding to the confusion, I actually think that it's a good step forward in simplifying my online life (which has become a bit of a burden lately).

In case you're interested in reading more from me today, I posted my first article on that site this morning. It's about money, so if you've been wondering how much my house is going to cost and where I came up with that cash, you can find out here:

In other news, I found out earlier this week that my house won't be done until the end of August, rather than the middle of August, like I'd thought. I'll admit, I was a little bit sad about revising my countdown, but to be honest, the news came as a relief. I'd been feeling panicky about all the things I still need to get done before I can move in, and having two extra weeks now seems like a major blessing.

I want to enjoy the move-in process and have time to make sure my house is exactly right. Now I can do both of those things!

Anyway, thanks for being interested in my tiny house journey and for reading this blog! I'm not planning to take it down, so you can still come back and read the entries that are on here if you want to. But I hope you'll also stick with me in this new website adventure. I'm really excited about the possibilities it opens up and I love the idea of collaborating with other tiny house people.

See you there!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thoughts on Home and Homelessness

In case you missed my social media posts, I've been traveling a lot lately. In March, I went to California for a weekend and then Portland for a week. In April I went on a mini road trip with my Dad down to Moab. Then we traveled to Europe as a family, and that trip was bookended by a weekend in California before we left, and another night there after the trip. May was pretty quiet until I drove home to California for another week around Memorial Day. And now we're heading to Park City for a family reunion staycation, which for me will be followed by another week in California, this time in Southern California.

I don't mention this to brag or to complain or whatever. Traveling is definitely a privilege and I feel really grateful for all of the opportunities I've had to see more of the world lately. I mention it so you'll get an idea of the percentage of time I haven't been sleeping in my normal bed. It's actually caused me to reflect a lot on the idea of home and how flexible that can be. Even when I have a tiny house, I don't plan to think of it as my one and only home. I think it'll be more like a base camp from which to adventure. And hopefully in a few years, I'll be able to take it with me so that I can explore all over the country. I have big plans for that.

In the meantime, I like that I'm becoming more fluid in my concept of home. Sometimes home isn't a house with walls and a bed in it. Sometimes home is a backpack, a car, or the people you love, even when you've spent hours in together in an airport.

Of course, this is all coming from my perspective as someone who has never been forced to spend a night without proper shelter. I know that my fluid notion of home is a bit artificial and influenced a lot by the money it takes to travel in comfort. I don't take that for granted. I'm grateful that I've never experienced real homelessness. And I hope I never have to. Part of what a tiny house represents to me is the security of knowing I'll always have a roof over my head.

But there is a bit of uncertainty that comes with tiny living. When you purchase a tiny house on a trailer, you have the walls and roof and bed, but you don't always have a guarantee about the spot of earth on which to park said walls and roof. I experienced a little of this uncertainty this week. I went to check out the potential parking spot I mentioned in my last post—the one that's only a couple of blocks from work.

I really wanted that place to be right. The location was perfect and on paper it seemed like a great fit for me and my house. But once I was actually there, I knew it was wrong. The hard part is that I can't pinpoint any one thing that was the problem. It was just a gut feeling. I really wanted to love the place, and yet, something about it unsettled me. If you know me well, you know that's not something I ever take lightly. I didn't want to move in there with something like that hanging over my head. I knew I'd keep second-guessing myself and never really feel at peace if I went ahead anyway. And so I reluctantly decided to follow my instincts and turn it down.

That was a tough day for me. I'd had this whole plan in my head about what the next year or so of my life would look like and it suddenly felt as if I was back to the drawing board with no real plans. I even wondered if this whole tiny house thing was a mistake and if I should just try to get out of it now before I got in any deeper over my head. But after lots of quiet reflection and prayer, I know that this is still the right path for me. In fact, I almost feel like in a weird way this experience has strengthened my resolve to push through the difficult parts of my tiny house journey and really make this work for me.

All that being said, I now find myself in the odd position of nearly owning a house but having no place to put it. I'm sort of homeless, but with a house. Before you get too worried, though, I should tell you that I do have a plan. There's an RV park near Salt Lake City that accepts tiny houses. In fact, there's already a tiny house on site there, and I've talked a little bit to the people living in it. The park is not as close to work (obviously), but it's actually a really nice location in some ways. And there are other benefits too, like the fact that I won't need to outfit my house for off-grid living, which is a cool idea in theory, but really expensive in reality, and also not something I was really excited about doing.

I'm not going to go through my entire pro/con list about why I've chosen this route, but if you're really interested in the logistics of finding parking for a tiny house, reach out to me and we can chat more. The point is that this option just makes more sense financially and in terms of my overall life goals.

Anyway, thinking about this has given me a really tiny glimpse into the uncertainty of what it's like to actually experience homeless, and I can tell you that it wreaks havoc on your mental and emotional wellbeing. And mine was only a theoretical half homeless future. I can't even imagine what it's like to not know where you'll be sleeping that night or if you'll have enough to eat the following day.

Housing options in a residential area outside Frankfurt

In America we frequently picture the American dream of a nice house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a two-car garage. Tiny houses fly in the face of that dream by challenging the notion of how much space a person really needs to live comfortably. But what about the people who really don't have any space to call their own? Wouldn't a tiny house be better for them than no house at all?

That's the idea behind several tiny house villages for people experiencing homelessness that are popping up all around the country. Right now I know of ones in Washington, Oregon, New York, Wisconsin, and Texas, but there are probably more that I don't know about, either in the planning stages or already up and running. However, I also know that efforts to build similar projects have often been stopped by red tape, insufficient funding, or both. Like this man's efforts in LA. I know that government regulations are there for a reason, but I'll admit that I don't understand the complexity that exists in our current zoning laws.

And I don't think it's right to tell people they're not allowed to live in a small space, especially when humans have been living in small spaces for centuries. I think the size of an individual's living space should be dictated by that individual's personal preferences and budget. Just because I want to live in a house of my own doesn't mean I should be forced into purchasing 1000 unnecessary square feet when 100 will suit me just fine and will, in my opinion, actually provide a better life for me than 1000 square feet of space would.

Tiny houses (barges) in Amsterdam

Okay, I'll get down off my soap box. This is obviously a complex issue, and I don't really want to get into an argument with anyone. I just hope that as tiny houses continue to gain popularity, it will stir some thought-provoking discussions about what home is and what it can be. I hope to see more tiny house villages in the future because I believe that these spaces help alleviate suffering for those who are experiencing homelessness and because I believe that there should be more options for those like me who choose to live in tiny spaces for other reasons.

I'm optimistic. I've seen so many tiny house communities spring up in the past few years and I know that growth will continue. I just hope that eventually we'll be able to see tiny houses not as a novelty but as a practical solution. I hope we can help more people consider their version of the American dream. Does it have to include that 1000 to 3000 square foot house? Or could our concept of home become more fluid? Personally, I would much rather have a tiny house that allows me travel often and spend more time with the people I love and doing the things that I love. That's my American dream.

This garden shed in Nuremberg reminded me of a tiny house.

And if making my American dream happen means moving into an RV park for now, I'm fine with that. In fact, I'm really looking forward to it! Which reminds me, only 63 days left in my countdown. Just thought you might want an update.

Till next time,
Keep dreaming,


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Changes of Plans

Well, we are officially 77 days away from my new tiny life, and I figure it’s about time I gave you all an update.

Several things have changed since the last time I blogged here, and most of them are AWESOME! I want to tell you all about them, but I also want to tell you that things could still change again. I've been hesitant to blog about this stuff because some of it isn't completely finalized yet. But I guess if/when things do change, I can always update you again later. Anyway, here's what's going on:

1. I found a new place to park.
2. I changed my mind about my floor plan.
3. I talked to my builder and worked out a few things.
4. I started to realize that this is all really going to happen!

It started with the new parking spot. A few months ago I found out that another tiny house enthusiast in the area was looking for someone to park a tiny house on her property. At first I was only curious. But as we talked, we both quickly realized that this was completely meant to be. Her spot happens to be only a ten minute walk from my office in a beautiful, private location. If I had made a checklist of everything I was looking for in a place for my new home, this would've ticked off all the boxes and even added a few more I didn't know I wanted or couldn't have come up with to even know that I should be dreaming of having them. It's honestly perfect for a tiny house, and especially perfect for mine.

There will still be a few challenges presented by this spot, but all in all, I feel beyond blessed. In talking about this change with a few friends and writing about it in my journal, I've come to realize that it feels like more than an answer to prayers. It's almost like a heavenly endorsement that not only am I on the right path with this tiny house thing, but because I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and wants me to be happy with whatever path I choose in life, He will magnify my wishes and plans into a way cooler life than I could've imagined or executed by myself. And I am so grateful that He does.

After I found out about this parking spot and things started to look more and more promising, I went back to my house plans and started to reconsider things. Because of the way my house will be situated in this new spot, I realized it might be beneficial to make a few changes to my floor plan. For instance, in my original plan, my front door would now be at the back of my house, facing a fence. This seemed like a pretty annoying problem. I could've stuck to my guns and gone with the house I wanted, but it would've looked kind of silly from the outside, and frankly, I know I would've gotten frustrated by it. Sometimes it's just better to adapt. 

The funny thing about tiny houses is that because your space is so limited, changing one little thing in the plan usually means you end up changing everything. And that's what happened to me. As soon as I put the door along the side of the house, I realized that I could put a long bench/couch along what had been the front and would now be the side. And because the door was in the middle, I'd need to extend my sleeping loft and that meant losing the storage loft on the other side of the house. Then I started playing around with my bathroom and kitchen placement. And once I did all that, I decided that I might as well reduce the entire floorplan by a foot or two in all directions because now that things are more open, I really don't know what to do with that extra space. 

So that's what I did. Instead of being 8x16 feet and around 115 square feet, my new plan calls for a 7x14 foot house that's around 98 square feet.

I can't tell you how happy it makes me to think that I'll soon be living in less than 100 square feet. I know it will sound extreme and absurd to most people reading this, but I was honestly starting to feel like moving into a tiny house would be a little too easy. I had figured out where I was going to put all of my things and it wasn't even a challenge to imagine myself there. But I wanted that challenge. Part of the reason to go tiny is to force myself to consider each object I own and whether it truly adds to my life or whether it's time for it to move on and help someone else. My old house would've helped me do that, but not nearly as much as this new one will. 

I know it will be hard letting go of things, like that table I bought a few years ago specifically because I'd seen it in a tiny house and to me the table represented the dream of owning a tiny house someday. I had always planned to include that table in my house. But as it turns out, I don't need that specific table in my house. I just need a table space. And I'll still have that.

This process would be a lot harder if I didn't find so much joy in giving things away, but I do. I think I get the same level of thrill from dropping stuff off at the second hand store as a shopaholic gets walking out of the mall with her new purchases. It's a release and a rush. I feel lighter and like my life is better when I get rid of something. That wasn't always the case, but it definitely is now.

Anyway, in case you are wondering, my new plan is somewhat loosely based off of another Four Lights Tiny Houses design called The Zinn.

This is kind of sort of what it might look like. Except the colors will change and a lot of the materials will be different. And it will be on wheels.

In some ways, it will actually look more like this one. . .

Except that my house will be closer in size to this one

These last two are houses that my builder just finished for other clients. Mine won't look exactly like either of these. And it won't have that rock section at the bottom. But if you click on either of the links above, you can see more of what the interior finishes will sort of look like. Although, like I said, some of the materials and colors I choose will be different. So far I'm really pleased with Upper Valley Tiny Homes. They've been really good about working with me and letting me design my own unique house.

Which brings me to my third point: I met with my builder (Mike at Upper Valley) and told him about my changing floor plan. As we talked about my needs and budget. It turns out that with the smaller size and a slight increase in budget, he will be able to finish out the whole house instead of building a shell that I then finish myself. This is great news for a couple of reasons.

While I liked the idea of finishing my house myself to save some money, as it got closer and closer I realized that I was dreading the process instead of looking forward to it. I didn't want to dread my move-in date. Going tiny is something I've been eagerly anticipating for years, and I didn't want to feel like I might fail my house or my life plans through my own ineptitude or lack of foresight. I also didn't want to have any immediate stress that I couldn't handle on my own.

I could go on and on about my reasoning, but ultimately what it comes down to is that building a shell wasn't right for me. And I'm just glad I found that out now instead of a few months after attempting it and being miserable about the whole thing.

Anyway, the reality of all this is finally settling in for me, and I am really enjoying this part of the process. I can see it. I'm almost there. And while I haven't figured out absolutely everything, I now have the tools I need to get there. I have a plan and I can actually make it happen. And that's a really, really good feeling.

Till next time,
Keep dreaming,


Friday, March 4, 2016

It's Official

I was reading my journal on my lunch break today and it made me realize how far I've already come on this tiny house journey.

A few weeks ago all I had was a dream and a savings account. I knew where I wanted to go, but I had no idea what the route would be like or how long it would take me to get there.

Now I know stuff. And I'm super excited to tell you guys about it. Over the past few weeks, I've resolved several things that have made this all more real.

For one, I signed an agreement with a builder. I've decided to go with Upper Valley Tiny Homes. They're based out of Pleasant Grove, Utah, and they're a reputable builder and able to offer some financing. I'll be honest, that last part is a big reason I decided to go with them. The money involved with all this has been one of the trickier things to resolve, and Upper Valley gave me what I think is a really reasonable price for the amount of work they're going to do. Plus they're willing to let me make payments on part of it if I need to, which is great because it means I can move in when I wanted to.

This is not what my house will look like.
But it's an example of a house that was built by Upper Valley.

Speaking of moving in, as part of that agreement, we set a date. Sometime around August 15th is when I'll be picking up my new home; or rather, the shell of my new home. I know that probably sounds like ages and ages from now, but the exciting part is that having a date means I can start a countdown!

I love countdowns! I generally have two or three of them going on an app on my phone at all times. I just love looking forward to things. Sometimes I even like the anticipation more than the actual event. But in this case, I'm pretty sure I'll like them both!

Anyway, in case you were wondering, August 15th is exactly 163 days from now. Pretty crazy. It sounds like a lot, but it's gonna fly. Seriously. I have counted down for way longer than this before. I'm so excited.

What exactly will my house look like on August 15th? Well, on the outside it will be almost completely done. The only thing missing will be a coat of paint. I asked the builder to leave that off so that I could do it myself. I like painting and this way I'll get to be sure about the colors I want. Plus it saves me some money, and with a house as small as mine, it shouldn't take long to get it all painted.

On the inside, the walls will be done along with the loft and all of the plumbing and electrical work. I'm expecting it to look pretty bare at first, but the fact that the exterior will be complete and the whole thing will be insulated means that I can theoretically sleep in it my very first night! I keep picturing that moment of lying in my loft, looking up through the skylight at the stars.

And that brings us to another piece of news. I'm 98 percent sure I've found a place to park my house. I met with a friend of mine this week and she and her husband have generously agreed to let me park in their yard in Eagle Mountain. We're both excited about it, and I'm so relieved about how well this has worked out. Definitely an answer to prayers. I was really worried about not being able to find a place and having to put my house in an RV storage lot or something until I did find something.

Also, in case you didn't know this, Eagle Mountain is GORGEOUS.
On the day I visited, the sunset was even better than this one.

The last piece of news is that I was able to secure a loan to help pay for my house. This is really good because it means I can move forward on the schedule I was hoping for. I was hoping for a little bit bigger loan, but at the same time, I'm glad that my payments will be reasonable and that I'm not going to be borrowing more than I really should.

I'll do another post sometime with all the numbers and the specifics of this financing stuff, but basically I've used the loan to put in a down payment. I'll pay another chunk when I pick up the house. And then I'll pay off the rest of it over the next few years. Ideally I'd be able to pay for my house in cash, but even though tiny houses are much less expensive than regular houses, they're still pretty pricey, and I don't happen to have that many extra thousands of dollars sitting in my bank account.

For now, I'm just glad I was able to get this loan because while I have excellent credit, it's also very thin. And I really didn't want to have a cosigner, which is probably what I would've needed if I'd had to borrow more than the small amount I'm borrowing on this loan.

The really exciting part is that instead of a 30-year mortgage, it's looking like closer to 3 years if not sooner and then I'll have all of this paid off, my house will be finished, and I'll only have to pay a few hundred dollars each month for parking. I'm definitely looking forward to that day.

So yeah. I'm glad to have a good job with a steady source of income. I'm glad to have some savings. And I'm glad that I can pay for my house all by myself like a real adult. Yay for tiny houses making home ownership possible, even on my shoestring budget!

Also, big yay to my grandparents for letting me stay with them so I could save money. The only downside to this parking spot I'm planning on is that it's fairly far from my office, which means that at least at first I'm planning to split my time between the tiny house and spending a few nights a week at my grandparents' house, so that I don't have to commute so far on a daily basis.

I think that will be a nice way to ease into tiny living and give me some time to finish up the interior of my house before I totally move in full-time. Plus, I'm glad I'll still get to check in on my grandparents regularly. It's been so fun living with them and getting to know them better. They're great! (And I'm not just saying that because they took me out to Chinese food tonight. Though the sweet and sour pork was quite tasty.)

Thanks for reading my update.

I'll keep you posted as I figure out more and more things.

Till then,


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Shells, Floor Plans, and Meetings with Builders

There was a time when I wanted to build a tiny house all by myself from the trailer up, but with my job and writing and all of the other things I have going on in my life, eventually I realized that I'm much too busy and much too inexperienced to do it all on my own.

So then I started looking at finished houses. But with each one I kept thinking about things I would want to change to make it my own. Though there were many, many houses out there, I couldn't find one that was exactly what I wanted with all of the exact details I would choose.

Luckily, there's a middle ground. It's called a tiny house shell. You have a builder get the project started and then you finish it. Most builders will do as much or as little of the work as you want them to, but the typical shell comes with the exterior finished (including siding and windows installed); the plumbing and electrical work done; and the trailer, of course, unless you're planning to build your tiny house on a foundation.

This is also a great way to save money on your tiny house, since a shell costs a lot less than a finished house. Though, of course, you still have to pay for the materials to finish it.

Here's what the interior of a shell looks like.
(Photo cred: Tiny Home Builders)

After much thought and number crunching and pro/con listing and praying, I settled on having a shell built for me that I will then finish myself. It seems like a great compromise between wanting to do it all myself and realizing that my time is limited and that there are certain parts of a build that would require more of me than I'm willing to give.

Once I was set on a shell, it was time to come up with a floor plan. I know it seems like there wouldn't be much to figure out in a tiny house floor plan since the space is so small, but there are still lots of little decisions to make. These range from how big you want the overall space to be to where to locate the bathroom, kitchen, bed, and storage space.

If you're planning to live in a tiny house at any point, one of the best exercises you can do is to make a list of all the activities you do in your house on a regular basis and figure out what kinds of spaces you need in order to do them.

For example, my list looks something like this:
work on my laptop
use the bathroom
get dressed 
put on make up
do laundry
have random dance parties
write in my journal
store clothes
store books
store food
maybe have a friend or two over and have a place for them to sit

Now just because I happen to have sixteen items on that list does not mean that I need sixteen separate rooms in my house for all of those things to happen in. That would just be crazy. 

In fact, by combining items on my list, I can get down to about five or six spaces in which I can do all of those things:

1. sitting area 
2. desk space (can be used for working or eating)
3. sleeping loft
4. bathroom
5. kitchen
6. storage

So that's one set of things you have to think about. Then there's stuff like passive solar design, where you want your utilities to be, how much the house will weigh, and what you can use to haul it. Not to mention road height and width restrictions and standard window and door sizes and what the house will look like from the outside. All sorts of things.

But luckily I've had years to consider all of this and in those years, I've found out what kinds of spaces I really need and what really matters to me in terms of design and aesthetics. For example, many tiny houses these days are built with a shed roof like this . . .

or with dormers like this . . .

(Photo cred: Tumbleweed)

As nice as those things are for giving you more head room inside or additional space for storage or sleeping, I just can't stand the way they look from the outside. For me, one of the things I'm not willing to compromise on is that classic, steeply pitched roofline. It just screams home to me.

That's one of the reasons I've always been drawn to Jay Shafer's designs. In case you're new to tiny houses, Jay Shafer is like the original tiny houser of our era. He founded Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and now owns Four Lights Tiny House Company. And he's been designing and living in tiny spaces for nearly twenty years now. I love his designs because they're simple and efficient, but they take their inspiration from classic architecture, which means you get a house that is small and functional, but still homey and endearing from the outside and the inside. 

Sorry this post is taking so long. I keep waxing tangential.

The point was to show you the house floor plan and exterior that I'm planning to use as my model. I'll be making a few changes to it in order to get it exactly as I want it, but in essence it will look like a Four Lights Tiny House plan called The Weller.

(Photo cred: Four Lights Tiny House Company)

This house is small. Really small. The floor plan looks like this:

As you can see, there's a sleeping loft and some storage above and the downstairs area isn't much bigger. Since I don't need an extra bed downstairs, I'll be converting that area into my office with a desk on one side and storage on the other. There are a number of things I like about this house. I like that it's small (obviously). I like that there are more windows on one side than there are on the other. That's good for a passive solar design. I like that the kitchen doesn't take up too much room because I'm not planning to do much cooking in my house (more on that in a future post). And I love the window seat in the front room.

If you're interested, you can see another example of a finished Weller on the Four Lights blog here.

Once I knew what I wanted, it was time to talk to builders about how much it was all going to cost to make sure I could actually do this in my budget. In the past few weeks, I've met with a couple of different tiny house builders in Utah about my plans. And the good news is that I think I can make this happen! I've been saving a lot of money while I've been living with my grandparents, and between that and possibly financing or taking out a loan for a portion of the amount I'll need, things are looking really good. I'll write a more detailed post in the future about the costs of tiny housing and how people make it work without a mortgage or typical financing.

But for now I just wanted to let you all know that this is definitely still happening and that progress is being made, even if you can't see it. As always, if you have questions, feel free to comment here or contact me directly. 

Thank you so, so much to those who responded to my last post about needing a place to park my house. I am looking into a couple options for parking, but I keep hearing about more and more people who are interested in renting land to park on in Utah, so if you're interested in tiny houses, have space for me or someone else, and would like to earn a little extra money, please let me know and I'd be happy to tell you more about that process.

Till next time,
Keep dreaming,


Friday, January 15, 2016


Welcome to the new blog! So nice to see you here! This is where I'll be posting photos and updates about my tiny house progress, and someday soon I'll write about what it's like to actually live in one.

I'll keep my other blog, The Girl with All the Answers, going too, but since tiny houses have pretty much taken over my life, I didn't want them to also take over my blog. I probably won't mention my books much here or all the personal stuff I tend to overshare in other places. This spot will be exclusively about my new house and the life I plan to live in it.

If you're currently thinking, "That's great and all, but I don't even know what a tiny house is." Start here with some tiny house FAQs. Or read this old post from my other blog.

If you have more questions after that, please comment here or ask me on Facebook. I am more than happy to talk about all this. And after spending nearly five years researching and planning, I know quite a bit about tiny houses. I've kept mum on them for awhile, which I explained in this post. But now that I've admitted to the world that I'm doing this, I'm having a blast talking to people in real life and online about tiny housing. (Seriously, my eyes light up and everything.)

Anyway, for my first post here and in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I wanted to share with you a little fairytale I wrote myself about dreams I have had. I don't know if my dreams will ever change the world the way that Dr. King's did, but I think it's important to have dreams and to know that there are things worth fighting for.

Once upon a time there was a girl who had some crazy dreams. She dreamed about working in publishing, even though she knew that lots of people want to work in publishing and that it would be really hard to find a job reading books all day and trying to make them better. But she kept on dreaming and learning and becoming a better reader and writer and editor. She made good friends who helped her along the way. And as fate would have it, she found a publishing job. It wasn't in the big, bright city of New York like she had thought it would be, but it was a good job and she was happy doing it.

Then the girl dreamed another dream. She dreamed of owning a house of her own. She wanted an old house to fix up and make beautiful again. And she wanted to fill it with good people and fun and at least one cat. The girl knew she was awfully young to own a place like that. She didn't have much money, but she had her dreams. This time the girl's parents decided to help. Together the girl and her parents found a perfect house. It was just the right size for some friends to live in together. They bought it! The girl got to work right away, making the old house more beautiful. She painted the walls bright colors. She planted pumpkins. And she found friends to live in the house with her. She even got a cat! The girl was happy. Then she started dreaming again.

This time she dreamed about writing a book herself. She wasn't sure if she could do it, but she was sure she had to try. So (almost) every morning she woke up very early and wrote and wrote and wrote before she went to work. Her first book wasn't all that good and it was hard for her to keep going, but she told herself it was only for fun and that maybe she could fix it all later. She worked really hard on her books, and then a funny thing happened. They started to get better. So she kept going. She used all the things she'd learned in publishing to create a book she felt great about. And when it was ready, she gave it to some friends to read. They thought it was a good book too. So the girl asked if it could be published. She was scared that her book still wasn't right. But the publisher said it was! When her book came out in print, the girl was so happy! She couldn't believe that other people were reading and enjoying her book. And she knew she would keep writing. 

She also knew she would keep dreaming. By this time, her old house had been sold. And the girl knew it was time to tackle her craziest dream yet. For years and years, the girl had been dreaming of a teeny tiny house all her own, so small she could take it with her anywhere. But a real house with a door and windows and a place to write and another place to look up at the stars before she fell asleep. Her tiny little house would teach her to live a simple life, full of happy memories instead of lots of stuff. And hers would be a kind house, one that only took up a small amount of space and other resources. She also knew that her tiny house would mean security and freedom. Instead of having to always worry about the future, her little house would let the girl dream fearlessly for the rest of her long life.

The girl knew this dream would be a hard one to make come true. It would take a lot of money, and lots of people would think she was crazy. They would tell her it was wrong to dream this way—that she should want something else, something more normal. They would tell her that having a tiny house would get in the way of having a family or that she was making a mistake and wasting all her time and money. They would tell her that because she wasn't pretty enough or thin enough or because she wasn't married that she wasn't allowed to be really happy, not yet anyway. They would tell her that her dream was too hard and that it would never come true. And sometimes, which was even worse, the girl would tell herself all those things too.

But mostly she tried to tell herself that she could do it. And she looked at all of her other dreams that had come true and knew that she was right. Deep down she knew that this dream of hers about a tiny little house was no more crazy than all the other dreams that had already come true for her. And so she would know that no matter how long it took or how crazy it seemed, someday soon this dream would come true too.

to be continued . . .

I actually wrote all that up in October and have been saving it ever since, reading over it now and again to remind myself that I can do this. It sort of blows my mind that this is so close to really happening, but I hope you'll join me for this new adventure. I also want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me in my past dreams of writing, owning a home, and working in publishing. Not to get all gushy, but I love you guys.

And speaking of supporting me, if you're as excited about this tiny house thing as I am or even if you're just happy for me and want to help, there is something you can do. I'm currently looking for a place to park my tiny house in or around Salt Lake City or Utah County. I'm hoping to move in this summer or fall but I'd be willing to pay a deposit to hold the spot until then. I don't need much space, just enough for a small RV. It could be in a backyard in the city or on land out in the country. My house will be mostly self-sufficient/off-grid, but it would be great if there were electricity close by in case I need it. If not, I'm also looking into solar options. As far as legalities go, as long as it's legal to park an RV there and you don't think the neighbors will mind, I can work it out. Also, I'm definitely planning to pay rent for the spot, around $250-$400, depending on the location and available utilities.

Please comment here or contact me directly if you have any questions or leads. This could be a great way for someone to earn a little extra income each month (up to $4,800 a year). Think about your family members and friends around Utah. My guess is that there are a lot of people who would be interested in doing this, but they've never known about tiny houses before.

Thanks again for stopping by the new blog! I will definitely keep you all posted as my tiny house dreams unfold!

Till then,
keep dreaming,