Sunday, December 29, 2013

Dreams Do Come True


I've been writing this post in my head for close to two months. You may want to grab a cup of coffee and sit a spell...

Long story short: all of our dreams are coming true. Hooray! Thanks for stopping by. 

Oh, OK, long story long:

Several years ago (5... 6?) Darran and I decided that we wanted to take to the woods. At that time we were thinking it would be out of state. Wyoming or Montana perhaps. Our life dream was to move to land, build our own off-grid house, and raise a passel of kids and animals. We wanted to grow our own food and just get back to a simpler way of living. "Wanted" seems not descriptive enough; it called to us from deep down to our toes. I craved it from my soul.

However, all of this seemed quite impossible from that starting point, from where we were at the time. We were deep in debt and living paycheck to paycheck, usually coming up short. How on Earth would we ever get financially free enough while at the same time freeing up enough of our time to do this crazy thing?

Doing the "impossible" soon became our norm.

It was a long road, but looking back it was just as it needed to be. We learned a lot; especially to believe in ourselves and each other.

First, we needed to kill a whole lot of debt. A whole lot. On what we were making at the time it looked completely impossible. So, I did what I do best and set to researching. I devoured a lot of books on finances (Dave Ramsey was a favorite) and made a plan. I locked on to the fact that no debt would equal freedom.

We lived lean, and I mean LEAN. I remember getting holes in the knees of my last pair of jeans and deciding I'd simply rock that look. We shut off our land line phone and our dish cable. We cut every single expense we could. I sold some stuff on ebay and Darran hauled some scrap iron. We scrounged every extra penny we could to kill the debt (I was laser focused).

It was rough, but it was absolutely worth it. From 2007 to late 2009/ early 2010 we paid off about $80,000 in debt. We paid off all of our debt except the mortgage. Looking back and crunching numbers I have no idea how we did it. On what we were making it should have been impossible. 

The next step was to free up Darran's time. I was already staying home with the kids and blogging by this point, but he was working a full time job with long hours and a long commute. No way we could do this thing with him never here! This again looked impossible. We needed him to have a job for the security, right?

In November or December of 2011 we took a leap of faith and Darran left that job. Many thought we were crazy, but it was one of the best choices we've ever made. Now he does his own thing. Odd jobs. Fixing someone's tractor, building fence, welding, whatever, but his time is his own.

I like to joke that we're jobless hippies, but we worked (and still work) hard for the freedom we have. 

2012 was sort of a test year to see how the income stream would work out. We still lived cheap, but not as lean as we had to in the debt-killing phase. Things went amazingly well and the beginning of 2013 we decided it was time to take this show on the road! 

Many a road block presented itself throughout 2013 and it looked like we would never be able to move to more land. Disappointment after disappointment was the theme, but we kept believing. We knew it was what we were meant to do.

Then, out of nowhere, the perfect spot appeared, everything lined up and...

All of our dreams are coming true.

The other day I was sitting and making a goals list and master to-do list for 2014. I had a vivid picture appear in my mind of a vision board I had plastered all over my office wall several years ago. When I say all of my dreams are coming true, that is what I mean quite literally. Every thing on that vision board will be a solid, in-person thing by this time next year.

Goosebumps.


So, what's the plan?

Basically, a lot of hard work for 2014! Darran has begun building a sawmill. We will then be sawing lumber to build our home, sheds, and barns. Our goal is to grow virtually all of our own food and live completely off-grid as far as utilities are concerned. 

There's a lot to learn about solar and wind energy, growing our own food, and about a million other things. 

We have zero budget (some of those 2013 set-backs included completely depleting our savings) and the whole endeavor looks entirely impossible.

Can't. Wait.

I hope you'll come along on our little adventure through this blog. We'd love your support! You can help out by subscribing to our You Tube channel and sharing this post on your social media.


22 comments:

  1. I am not brave enough to live off the grid (nor do I think I want to, so there's that, too). I like cable t.v.

    BUT, it is so awesomely huge to see someone actually making real progress toward their dreams, and I'm immensely excited to live vicariously through you as you do this!

    Also, I'm supremely impressed at your debt-paying off skills. Tina and I owe a lot more than we are comfortable with, and I so desperately look forward to the day that I can start building up a savings instead of just putting money toward existing debt.

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    1. Thanks Jeremy! You guys will get there :)

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  2. I am so excited to watch you live this grand adventure!

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  3. This post was so incredibly inspiring. My husband and I are at the very beginning of this same journey: looking for land and building our own home. We've been paying down debt too. I literally can"t wait to see and read about your adventure!

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  4. I am right there with you in terms of dreams. I am so happy for you!!!!!

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  5. This is so exciting Kerri! You are going to have such a wonderful life and experience doing it all :) Congrats!!!

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  6. Im so so SO EXCITED FOR THIS.
    please let me know any way I can help.

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  7. I am so very excited for you. We changed and simplified our lifestyle completely when we moved onto the sailboat. Managing resources is such a fun and complex game. You have already done the hard part... the commitment... wish you all the best and some amazing adventures! Can't wait to read more about it as you go. :)

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  8. I am filled with laser focus this year. I've been contemplating it. but some switch flipped. and I'm ready. thank you for the inspiration. i was excited to see you starting this blog. such a country bunkin. ;)

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  9. Can you add a follow by email button?

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  10. SO So happy for you! You're living the dream!! Can't wait to read along and live it vicariously :)

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  11. Wahooo!! Sounds like you guys have a fun and adventurous year ahead of you! Can't wait to follow along!

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