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Building Smalltopia: We’ve Got a Roof!

{Every Tuesday, I’m posting a short essay about the little house we’re building. Enjoy!}

Last night, we were standing in the kitchen and I broke my evening no-email rule because I had a feeling I might find something good in my inbox. And I was right. I let out a squeal of joy and Logan remarked, “Dude, you sound like a chipmunk. Did Katy send us another photo of the house?”

I smiled and yelled, “YES!”

Logan smirked and replied, “Well don’t just stand there, let me see the pictures.”

I showed Logan the latest photos and he was in total awe, just like me. We both laughed again when we noticed the title of Katy’s email. She said, “Look who’s got a roof!”

Every time I see photos of our little house I want to jump up and down with joy. I know. I sound like a total cheese-ball, but I’m super excited about moving into the house and I’m grateful that we are making this dream a reality. And I’m thankful we have a roof, even though it’s tiny.

Living simply has infused my life with a sense of gratitude that wasn’t present before. It’s funny how getting small can result in very big life changes.

Have you had a similar experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.


More questions? Check out my past video updates and essays:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tyler Smith September 6, 2011, 9:10 pm

    Yay! It’s getting so close! I hope it will be done by November 5th so I can stay in it πŸ˜€

    • Tammy Strobel September 6, 2011, 9:14 pm

      @Tyler – I hope so too! πŸ™‚ I’m anxious to move in. Can’t wait to see you. I miss you, Tina and the kids. Give them a hug for me.

  • Diana September 6, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Oh, Tammy, it’s beautiful. So lovely! The best of wishes. It will make a wonderful home for you. xo

  • Lynn Fang September 6, 2011, 9:38 pm

    Yay! It looks beautiful! I’m so excited for you!

  • Hibernia September 7, 2011, 12:24 am

    Tammy, you don’t sound like a cheese-ball! I would feel the same way — actually, I do! I’m so happy for you and totally excited! Greetings from Germany! πŸ™‚

  • Yan | Towards simplicity September 7, 2011, 1:39 am

    Your excitement is contagious! Thanks for keeping us updated!

  • Alicia September 7, 2011, 3:15 am

    I have been in the process of downsizing and getting out of debt since late 2009. Small results feel…great. My goal is either a tiny house or small cob house for me and my two cats.

  • Sheila September 7, 2011, 6:36 am

    It’s SO CUTE! Big feelings of happiness for you two right now.

    • Logan September 7, 2011, 10:35 am

      Thanks Sheila! That means a lot from aficionados like you and Kai! πŸ™‚ We can’t take credit for the design, that was all Dee and Katy. πŸ˜€

  • Cheryl September 7, 2011, 6:40 am

    Hi, Tammy! Congrats on the new roof …. this little house is really coming along! Can’t wait to see it when it is all finished. Also, HookedonHouses.net had a review of Design Star where 3 of the contestants “decorated” a tiny house…

  • Carisa Authier September 7, 2011, 6:58 am

    Congratulations!!! You’re almost there. πŸ™‚ My husband and I downsized earlier this year. Our house is 120 sq feet with an attached greenhouse to give us an additional 120 sq ft. My husband built the house from scratch with some friends and we just love it. It’s not totally finished; we ended up moving in when it was ‘good enough’. We’ll have weekend projects to come for some time. But it is GREAT to be living in a cute, small space. It does change your perspective about life. Yay for the small house movement!

  • edica September 7, 2011, 7:57 am

    I am really happy for you, i can feel the joy, we have to up-size cause of a growing family but we are now near getting a roof, so congrats and enjoy

  • Natalie September 7, 2011, 8:11 am

    It’s really coming together. Congrats! πŸ™‚

  • Sophia September 7, 2011, 8:37 am

    When I see photos of the progress of your tiny house I get a smile. It’s so stinkin’ cute. Can’t wait to see the finished project once you are “moved in”. Thank you for taking us readers along on the construction of your tiny house.

  • amybee September 7, 2011, 8:38 am

    Beautiful! Between this and a recent episode of Design Star on HGTV (in case you’re interested — the contestants designed the interiors of tiny houses), I’m ready to take the plunge.

  • Rossana September 7, 2011, 8:41 am

    I’m wondering if you have children? I am a new subscriber to your blog so don’t know too much about you.

  • Tanja Hoagland September 7, 2011, 10:29 am

    Tammy how special, the roof! I feel your cheese-ball excitement all the way down here in Florida. Answering the question you asked, I have had a similar experience. Downsizing so intensely has caused me to feel more and more gratitude for everything I have too. I used to complain bitterly that 750 square feet wasn’t even half big enough and now 200 square feet feels divinely perfect.

    p.s. If your project is anything like ours, now that the roof’s done you’ll be moving into all the interior finish work. That’s where it starts to get crazy exciting. I can’t wait to hear (and see) more about it as it unfolds.

    Smiles and tiny house cheers,

  • Alex September 7, 2011, 10:59 am

    It’s really coming together nicely. How exciting!

  • Elizabeth aka Lacquered Lizard September 7, 2011, 12:51 pm

    My husband and I moved into a tiny home in 2006. Our home was a 2006 Fleetwood Pioneer travel trailer and I was VERY anxious at first. I had to let go of so much STUFF and deal with attachments to all that STUFF as well. It was hard for a month or two and then I got into the groove. In June of this year, a power line fell on it and blew it up…so we’re in transition, but definitely going to repeat living in a small space.
    I will definitely have a room with a closing door this time around though. I LOVE my husband too, but when you can’t find time alone in your own home it gets a little crazy making. Sometimes you want to stay home and have some time alone, rainy days perhaps?
    I love the design you’re having built, I’d encourage a wall with a pocket door to the loft. It’s what I’m going to do! πŸ™‚

  • Jay September 7, 2011, 2:54 pm

    It looks great! I am always intrigued by the solutions people come up with for laying-out such a small space. Your design is unusual but clever. I see that you’ve changed the location of the french doors from your original plan. I hope that next time you post you’ll include a sketch of the new plan.
    @Elizabeth above: I don’t quite understand what you have in mind when you talk about a pocket door to the loft. Are you trying to describe having a sliding door that closes off the loft area? I’m not sure how that would work in a steeply pitched gabled roof situation (where does the door go when it isn’t closed?), but I agree that with two people living in such a small space finding your own away space would be important.

    • Anonymous September 7, 2011, 7:37 pm

      I’m not sure how it would work either, but I’d insist on some way to close off the loft area from the rest of the house when needed.

  • Gina September 7, 2011, 4:22 pm

    Your tiny house looks awesome!! I’m really excited for you guys! All the best as it nears completion. :0)

  • Kimberly Sea September 7, 2011, 6:46 pm

    That’s so incredibly exciting, I’m so happy for you and Logan! I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and you really are a great inspiration and example of how simple and purposeful living can be such a wonderful way of life. I can’t wait to read more updates!

    • Tammy Strobel September 8, 2011, 6:24 am

      Sweet! Thank you for reading Kimberly. πŸ™‚ I’ll be posting tiny house updates every Tuesday. Can’t wait to move in!

  • Brittany September 7, 2011, 8:04 pm

    Ohhh, I squealed out loud when I saw your house! IT’S SO CUTE AND WEE!! Totally love it! I’m super excited for you! (Also, hi from a fellow Portlander! :o)

    I am grateful right now for something that happened just about half an hour ago that I am still caught up in the glee of. I posted on Facebook asking if anyone could teach me how to can the frozen salmon I caught this year here in Alaska before I head back to Portland next month and I was shortly messaged about being on our local Celebrity Chefs show to learn how to can salmon on tv! I’m still giggling about “becoming famous” but I am super thankful to be learning how to can, as it’s something that I’ve been wanting to learn how to do for quite awhile now! Yay for going to be learning new skills!

    • Tammy Strobel September 8, 2011, 6:22 am

      @Brittany – Thanks for the kind words! I’m so excited for you. Let me know when you get back into town. Maybe we can meet up for coffee or tea?

      • Brittany September 8, 2011, 7:55 am

        Oh, that would be lovely! Would love to go out for coffee or tea! It will be weird going back to a place where it doesn’t rain constantly. Our weather has been much wetter than usual this year. Looking forward to getting on my bike!

  • Becca Truly September 8, 2011, 3:28 am

    How exciting! Not much longer now!:) Love reading your updates- very inspiring to read and gently nudges me towards a simpler life-thanks!

    • Tammy Strobel September 8, 2011, 6:21 am

      Thanks Becca! Best of luck to you. πŸ™‚

  • Mark September 8, 2011, 5:52 am

    I just read your post from September 1st on digital decluttering and realignment. You state that Rowdy Kittens is now a “better representation of who I am now.” Maybe it’s even time to change the name to better reflect your new digital identity, especially as the inner you begins to reveal itself?

    • Tammy Strobel September 8, 2011, 6:16 am

      @Mark – Thanks for reading! I actually sat with that idea for a while, but decided against it. The name itself still represents who I am and where I see the sit going in the future. This week I’m working on a mission statement and doing a few exercises. Once everything is in order, I’ll post the new content to the blog. πŸ™‚

  • Tess The Bold Life September 8, 2011, 3:05 pm

    Hi my cheese ball friend!
    I love it and am so excited for you. I hope you’re still getting those doors;) Now I’m going to go back and read what I’ve missed.

  • Lauren September 8, 2011, 6:33 pm

    I am a fresh follower to your blog, which I have enjoyed. I thought I would say that HGTV has a show called HGTV Design Star and they JUST had an episode of decorating a small house- just- like- this- one… You may be inspired by the episode if you have a chance to watch it! I loved one of the designer’s suggestion of duel purposes and how he played that out (ex. cutting board doubling as place mats, foot rest tripling as seat and/or coffee table, etc.) It was really interesting and fun to see! Maybe it could help? Enjoy!

    • Tammy Strobel September 8, 2011, 8:36 pm

      Thanks Lauren! I watched the episode last night. πŸ™‚ It was fun!

  • Alllison September 10, 2011, 5:00 am

    I’d have squealed too, to have a roof on a tiny house of my very own.

    Your comment about sudden gratitude for simple things reminds me of switching to eating locally and seasonally, suddenly without constant availability of everything I was incredibly excited about and grateful for, each new thing that came into season: the first greens in the spring, sweet corn in summer, right now I’m looking forward to crisp apple cider…. Stopping by the market became a treat, every single week.

  • Leisa September 15, 2011, 7:42 am

    Love the house:-). I do know what you mean about sleeping in smaller area as I can’t sleep in the master bedroom of my place as its too big! I love sleeping in my smaller bedroom and using the bigger one as my workroom instead.

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