What I will tell our children

The boxes have been packed and dropped off at the new house. The furnishings remain and will be taken today. By the end of this day, our shack will be empty, just like the day we arrived 15 months ago.

There were many, many moments while moving into the shack that I questioned our sanity. Nothing could fit anywhere. There was no space for anything.

And yet, there is a part of me that looks at this place fondly–that can turn to these walls closing in on us, and say “We did it.”

I hear the stories our parents tell of their newlywed days, of renting a room and sharing a twin bed. Of carpooling with friends because they didn’t have enough money for gas.

And both our parents now have homes filled with furnishings not bought off Craigslist.

Will I tell our children our stories? Of how their mother used to do mystery shops for $10 a pop to save up for a honeymoon two years after we got married? Of how we limited ourselves to $20 a week for frivolous expenses? On how we lived in a shack to save money and put their father through school so he could become a firefighter?

Will these be the stories we tell?

Twenty years from now, will we drive by and point to the guesthouse in the backyard and say “We lived there…” and will they ask, “You lived there?”

They will see the dilapidated stairs, the paint chipping on the walls, the 70’s style formica, and the old gray needed-to-be-replaced-ten-years-ago carpet and they will question our sanity.

But we did it. We were broke newlyweds and these were the sacrifices we made to pay off debt and save for a better future.

This is our journey.

And that is what I will tell our children.

Image found here

33 thoughts on “What I will tell our children

  1. February 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Whatever you tell them, remember they are going to roll their eyes.

  2. February 22, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    You will tell your kids some day and you will smile the whole time remembering the sweet sacrifice that helped you succeed.

  3. February 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I love reading your blog; you remind me of me five years ago, BC (that’s BC, as “before children”). Like you, we scrimped and saved for years for our honeymoon – which we didn’t take (because of financial reasons and the birth of our children) until our fifth anniversary. It was worth it, though; we paid for the entire trip in cash – got a discount because we paid in full up front as well!

  4. February 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Looks like you’re raising your kids well. Stories are powerful, don’t forget to record them.

  5. February 20, 2012 at 6:52 am

    I love this post! It’s going to be the sweetest story ever to tell your future children!

  6. February 20, 2012 at 5:01 am

    It’s these kinds of experiences that make you appreciate what you have so much more. Great post!

  7. February 20, 2012 at 4:05 am

    I love this post. Dustin and I had this nasty old apartment in college that I wouldn’t dare set foot in now but we drive Bear by and tell her where we used to hang her baby swint on the little balcony. No matter what it gives you a foundation for the rest ofyour life. So happy for you two.

  8. February 20, 2012 at 3:51 am

    This is the best way to teach children values! Real stories! 🙂 Well Done

  9. February 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I think that goes two ways. Some people see it as if they want to live better than their parents (or parents want their children to live better than they did) but I honestly think that without some sacrifice, you’ll never be able to appreciate what you have!

    You guys are awesome for this!

  10. February 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

    That’s a great lesson to tell your kids. How hard work and sacrifice leads to great success. Wonderful post!

  11. February 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Your children will develop a connection to the past and learn from your experience. Best of luck with your move!

  12. February 19, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I think those are amazing stories to tell your kids. Hopefully they will understand your character and work ethic better.

    Great post.

  13. February 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Beautiful. If I had a wine glass near me, I would toast you right now!

  14. February 17, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    These are the stores my parents tell and hopefully some day i will too 🙂 great post

  15. February 17, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    You sacrificed, and you made it work. I think your kids will be very proud of you two one day =)

  16. February 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Awwww, I love this! I’m so excited for you two, but I totally understand that nostalgia. And I’m sure you’ll be telling these stories to your kids someday.

    It may have been tough living in your tiny shack, but there’s no better time to be in a situation like that than when you’re newlyweds! I know you and Eric learned so much about each other while you were there and your marriage will be stronger for it.

    Good luck with the rest of the move/settling into the new place!

  17. February 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    And, if your kids turn out similar to mine, they will roll their eyes and say, “I know. You’ve told us that a hundred times!” But they will listen again and they will remember the stories. And…you can reach over & hold your hubbies hand as you reminisce.

  18. February 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

    You better tell these stories. My parents had the same ones. I’m looking forward to telling them to my kids too.

  19. February 17, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I think your kids will benefit a lot from hearing your stories. I think you guys have done a lot in the past two years and have really done what you can to adjust to the newness of all of this. It’s been really fun to read about. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  20. February 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

    The journey helps you appreciate the destination! 🙂 I think it will be a great story to tell your children, and sounds like you have learned a lot from your experience. Enjoy your new home — it will feel like palace I’m sure! We moved from a tiny one bedroom apt and now doing the military thing and living in a 3 bedroom home — it feels HUUUGE!

  21. February 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

    This is a very inspirational post. Your kids will be very lucky to have awesome parents like you guys. They will hopefully take your example on what being responsible is all about. I’ve been following for a few weeks, and I must say your posts are always encouraging me to think how we (my husband and I) can do better. I am the “want it and want it now person”, and he is the “practical, but I want her to have what she wants one”. I’ve toyed with showing him your site, but feared he would be inspired to change things drastically. But when you think put it in terms of preparing for and also being an example to your kids, it makes it so much more a necessity. Keep up the great things you are doing!

  22. February 17, 2012 at 7:58 am

    aww! this post gave me chills 🙂 Good luck moving my friend!!!

  23. February 17, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Love it. Those old stories are wonderful…and as a child they seem so exotic…even though living through them wasn’t exotic at all! 🙂

  24. February 17, 2012 at 6:46 am

    awwwwww! this is majorly cute! and so so so true. everything we do now will be for our children (future children for me too haha) and i will definitely tell them about our story of living in a tiny shack/room for a long long time! we will probably be in ours for 5 years total because we are that crazy but i cannot wait for the day when we move out and look fondly at the place where we shared lots of frugal memories too haha.

    btw, about the lululemon stuff on ebay- i replied on my blog but i’ll put it here too in case u don’t see it- i usually ask the seller if it’s guaranteed authentic, and if they say yes then i’m covered by ebay. i also look at their feedback. i have been faked once and i got my money back by filing a claim through ebay. i was going to write a post about this stuff soon!

  25. February 17, 2012 at 5:21 am

    And your children will be financially savvy just like you!

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