We officially broke ground on our home build this past week, and it is w-i-l-d. It’s taken about three years to get this point, and can I just say that building our own house (mostly ourselves) is anything but glamorous. Ken and I considered starting our own YouTube channel but I’m not yet sure how to navigate all the mini breakdowns, conflict sessions, budgeting conversations + half-naked children tromping through mounds of dirt near very expensive and very dangerous equipment. Am I ready for the world to see our family/tiny house in all its craziness? Yeah, let’s see if I can make it through Phase #1 of all this as a starting point, stay tuned.
For some background, Ken and I bought a large lot with a sweet little 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 500-square-foot cottage included, which the five of us all pile into at night (and sometimes during the day.) We’ve been dreaming of building our main house, saving for it, and working toward it the past three+ years. After much back and forth, our house plans were finalized + sent into the county for review. Fast forward about six months and we got our approval to start building. Hallelujah!
Last weekend, Ken dug a very large trench to bring power and internet to our future house. Using a small mini excavator with retractable tracks, he was able to weave his way between our cottage and the rock wall behind it extending the trench along two sides of our cottage and across to the new house. It took him about nine hours in the excavator to get to that point. Unfortunately, our laundry area is located outside and behind our cottage (very common to have outdoor washer/dryer in Hawaii) and there are quite a few obstacles (mostly mounds of thick dirt) now blocking my pathway. It’s been interesting doing laundry this week. Maybe strenuous is a better description. Climbing over dirt piles and sliding down little gullies. Balancing baskets of dirty clothes that then become clean that then hopefully stay clean on my trek back to our house.
Here’s a photo of our trench.
In addition to the trench, Ken started excavating for the foundation of our new house. He needed to remove the dirt along the edge of our driveway where a new retaining wall will go, to step from the downstairs studio units to the future garage. It’s produced a surprising amount of dirt – 10 or 15 cubic yards which we now need to find a home for somewhere in/around our yard. Ya know, no big deal…We rented a skidsteer for the dirt work and it runs about $450/day so we have felt lots of pressure to maximize Ken’s time operating it. I’ve been taking the kids to the park a lot and out for errands, trying my best to keep them away from the heavy machinery.
Here’s a photo of Cyrus playing in the awesome dirt piles.
Just living his best life.
And throwing Shaka.
It’s an adventure over here. I’m praying that we will be able to backfill all the dirt from the trench soon (maybe later this week? or later next week? or later this month?!) so that I don’t have to ninja-parkor my way to the laundry.
Seriously, thank you guys for praying for us in this journey. I need God’s grace and it’s so evident each day.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
P.S. I forgot to mention that I’ve been stress-baking like crazy. It’s been a real treat (no pun intended, ok maybe) to bake for my neighbors and friends lately. This weekend, I spent five hours in the kitchen perfecting my cheesecake recipe, and I really wanted to share how well it turned out! I was so proud! Can I please make you guys a slice of cheesecake sometime? Or a whole cheesecake? There’s something magical about this homemade lemon cheesecake (with lots of fresh lemon zest), lemon curd that you make on the stove with a double-boiler (or a metal bowl over slightly-bubbling hot water), fresh whipped cream and just-picked mojito mint from our garden alongside lemon slices. I hope to someday post the recipe when things settle down with building. Until then, enjoy these pics.
Hope your week is starting out well! As a dear friend told me over the phone a couple days ago, “There are so many people who wish they had your challenges.” I’ve been mulling over those words, letting them sink down deep, because it’s true. I’m so grateful for my family, for my amazing husband who I get to do life with every day, for our healthy children, and for this house that we get the opportunity to build. It’s challenging, it’s hard, it breaks me down a whole lot sometimes – and yet, I recognize it’s such a profound gift. This life I have, the challenges I have.