not all sunshine and roses

Can I be downright raw here? Because right now I don’t feel like dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s. Who the heck has time for that? I mean look at that pantry! A few months ago Himself and I decided to move to our Manderley Cottage in Williamsburg. Eureka, and high fives all around we were on the road to making our Life Vision come true! As we move forward, Himself has found and started a new job, and now we are tackling the ENORMOUS task of downsizing from a 4100 square foot home to a 1100 square foot home. We have three kids, two of which are hitting puberty in three… two… one…, yeah it’s that crazy.


As I go through our home, everything I touch is a decision. Does it stay or does it go, as in forever gone. And it’s pretty much everything must go. Everything. I am exhausted and my mind never shuts off.  Teaching kids how to let things go, all the while figuring out and justifying ways to keep my own crap doesn’t line up. So I let go too. And cry. Not over stuff, just over the enormity of the task of getting rid of all the stuff. We did choose this. I keep reminding myself over and over of that choice, and why we did it- to live a Simple, Generous, Active, and Relaxed Lifestyle. 


Yesterday the family imploded.


The oldest angrily left the house to find someone at church to talk to- at least he knew where to go. The littlest did a little something that displayed regression (like 8 years worth.)


And the middle guy, well, he’s the middle guy who is quiet. Very quiet.

On top of selling, giving away, and packing our stuff, we are parenting, working, feeding kids, cleaning house, the oldest is getting his drivers license and doing his Eagle Project, and we are getting BRK ready to sell. Don’t even get me started on all that has to be done for that. Our home is tense!


Although we are living out our dreams, there is much work to be done. Real, hard, dirty work. We are all snapping at each other, but then trying to smooth it over by saying, “it will all be ok when we settle in Manderley.”

There, I needed to get that off my chest.  Even though we are living the dream, it has not come without blood, sweat, and tears.  That could be the  reason why so many people never realize their dreams, because it’s just so damn hard.

will it be easy?
worth it?


  1. Posted June 26, 2014 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Can’t imagine doing what you guys are.

  2. Posted June 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    We just had this discussion at book club last night (our book was a memoir about someone loving out there dream but it was very hard & dangerous at times.)
    I think what you guys are going through is inspiring and I love your rawness. It’s human.
    Thinking of you!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Kristen. We have good days and bad but hoping for an amazing outcome!

  3. Posted June 26, 2014 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Robin, we have down-sized several times and doing it once again. I know the tears and the sweat and the overwhelming that totally takes over the body and mind. Only difference is, we did it without involving our kids. They were already out of the house. You will reach a point where you say, “throw it all out. Not worth keeping or the hassle.” Hugs to you, and good luck. Thinking positive thoughts for you.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Susan!!

  4. ginger
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    Oh my gosh we doing the same thing and I am now dealing with emptying 4 storage units and like you its our dream to be here but getting rid and parting with years of memories and STUFF is so hard and stressful. Hoping all goes well and you keep seeing your dream at the end as I hope for us. Glad I’m not the only one feeling like you.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      4 storage units! oof this is what we are hoping to avoid. Fingers crossed;)

  5. jenn in GA
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    girl, life is HARD, especially when we think that detaching from stuff means we’re detaching from life. life does not equal stuff, and i know you know that, but that doesn’t make it easy.

    i’m thinking you might need to bring in someone who can be more objective than you, or who can help you be more objective. perhaps you’re objective; i don’t know. i just know that hard things are made easier with friends around to help.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

      We are doing pretty well so far with letting go of most things. Really no choice, it has to go:) But it is still HARD!

  6. Posted June 26, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Congrats on the Eagle project work. 2 of my boys are Eagles, and 3 of my nephews are! Change is just hard on everyone, all ’round. Keep loving on each other, listening, talking, and relax a little. Our collections of stuff are hard to get rid of ~ whether we have used them recently or even remembered we had them. Can’t wait to see pictures of everything moved! d

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

      It will feel so good to get rid of all this junk!

  7. Dawn
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    I’m in the middle of this process over a period of 2 years- a luxury of time, but it is still overwhelming. I play mind games with my possessions daily- this will go…this will be kept. And where Will I store what I keep? Arghhh! Crazy as it sounds, it’s comforting to know others are going through similar experiences. Can’t wait to hear how it was worth it at the other end of your task.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

      Dawn, this is how we get through it by knowing others have done it with success. We watch Tiny home videos, TED talks, and read other blogs of others who forged ahead of us. No we are not alone!

  8. Posted June 26, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    If you didn’t share this part, we would be disillusioned that you did this lickety-split and no one minded. So glad you came clean- I feel better knowing getting rid of stuff is hard for others, too.
    I recently listened to a podcast- The Art of Simple- by Tsh Oxenrider and she was interviewing Joshua Becker, who writes Becoming Minimalist. I’m sure you’ve heard of both of these people but if not, maybe a listen would be encouraging to you. It certainly was to me. Joshua said something along the lines of the fact we can usually replace something we’ve gotten rid of for $10 or less if we need it again. While that number may or may not be true, the idea did help me adjust my thinking and gave me some fire to get after it again.
    In any case, the idea of our family even packing and moving to a different house makes me want to puke, so I have great admiration that you and your family are actually doing this.
    (One more thought?) You are actually doing this!! Right now! Not when you move into the cute cottage, but right now. This is the work. This is the mowing, bundling, loading, hauling, and putting up of the proverbial hay in the barn. Good for you!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for the podcast name, I will have to listen to that. It is neat how people I bump into leave me with wise words. I was talking to a friend and he said, “So what if you get rid of the wrong thing, you can buy it again.” And it was if someone was giving me permission to mess up! So things we were going to hold onto, to either launch kids or keep as a back up just in case this downsize fails, we have let go of and will not keep. Failure is not an option! It feels good, not easy, just feels good:)

  9. Posted June 26, 2014 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

    Breathe and find a quiet corner to scream into pillow if you need to. If it’s the family dream, it will be worth it.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

      Wine works too;)

  10. Michele
    Posted June 27, 2014 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    Your honesty is so refreshing! I spent years of my life trying to avoid anything that made me uncomfortable. I didn’t really start to grow until I made myself work through the discomfort. Stay the course—you’ll all make it through. But of course, you already know that, don’t you?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

      And this is uncomfortable. We WILL make it! We have to;)

  11. Sharon
    Posted June 27, 2014 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    We moved a little over a year ago. So. Many. Decisions! All of the mental energy spent trying to decide what to save, what to toss, who to give what to, etc… is exhausting. We have 2 kids– one was 12 yrs old, and the other 2.5 yrs old. It was challenging trying to pack up, especially when the girls insisted on “helping.” We were all tired and not at our bests. But, we used the opportunity to talk about how to deal with people when tired, irritable, sad, etc… Real life… it’s messy, but those are times of great learning, they aren’t wasted moments. FYI, we did have several weeks of grieving and emotional meltdowns after moving as we all tried to learn where things were in our new house. They are things we are able to laugh about now. I’m smiling about it as I type and think about some of the silliness that has evolved over the months. The first couple of weeks in our new house, emptying the dishwasher usually resulted in tears as our daughter struggled to figure out where everything went. She did her best, our kitchen is pretty organized, but we did find dishes and other items in random places for several weeks. We called it Kitchen Hide & Seek. Look for oddball ways to generate comic relief…laughter is such good medicine. Blessings, Sharon

    • Robin Sue
      Posted June 28, 2014 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

      I am exhausted all the time. I am so tired of decisions that when my kids ask me if they can go play I stare at them and say “I don’t know.” I think setting a date for my estate sale will help me move faster and more efficiently. So much to do! I can’t even enjoy the summer:(

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