About

“About” pages can be a bit awkward — how much do you really need to know? Well for me sharing too much comes easily; that’s why I ♥♥love♥♥ “About” pages. Probably the first thing I look at when I find a good blog post is the “about” page.

So, in order to respect your time and level of interest, I am going to give you two options: the short and the long. Pick wisely 😉

Ryan and I pre-wed '03 * 2 1
Ryan and I pre-nuptials

The short version:

Helen here! I am married to the one and only man who makes my heart burst with all kinds of fuzzies, Ryan. We have been blessed with 3 kiddos.

In 2013, our family of five purchased a 1,140 square foot, contemporary 1953 ranch home. It’s not the house of our dreams, but we believe that with a little bit of sweat, equity and patience we can turn it into one that we love!

Small business and homeschooling is what we do best.

So this is a blog about our journey to make our 60-year-old house into a comfortable forever-home, DIY, and life in unique spaces and places.


The long version:

Helen here! Ryan was born and raised in Atlanta. My native country is Honduras, and I have been in the states since 1991. My family and I moved to Atlanta from Southern California in 1997. Actually, in chronological order I have lived in Honduras, Los Angeles, Norcross,  Johns Creek, Lawrenceville, Cumming and now Atlanta, better known as Doraville.

Ryan and I met in 2002 during the Johns Creek stint, when we were both college-aged (although not in college). I was a bartending loon bat, and still partying like it was 1999.

I am not proud of my high school years, and the few years following. Nonetheless, in 2003 Jesus called me into a relationship with him. I know, I know… if I told you that he called me it’s because He did. Like, Hello, what’s up? What are you doing with your crazy life? Kinda called me. Wake up calls aside, I became a Christian…. and as they say, the rest is history and logged for eternity. So what do you have to lose?  😉

In 2003, Ryan and I got engaged. After, a cute backyard wedding, we bought a town house in Lawrenceville, GA. Later that year we had our first baby boy. I was 20 and Ryan was 23 — talk about moving too fast! We were practically babies ourselves! Actually, we were so traumatized, we didn’t have another kid until 2008. Not because he was a bad kid, but because we were clueless. Babies cost money; homes cost money; growing up costs money.

In 2006, while Ryan was working for a national residential builder, we fell in love with our second home. We purchased not too long after we set eyes on it. 

I guess a 3bed/2bath, 1,500 square-foot town home was not enough for our family of three (eyes rolling). 

Granted, we were able to move out of our too small for us town-home and into a newly built house in an amazing community, with the amenities that any young family would go gaga for.

CummingHousefront
Our first and last “big” house. Unless we hit the jackpot, ha!

It took us awhile to figure it out, but in 2012, we decided to walk away from our big house because it was too much. We wanted something smaller and something that would not have us living house poor. With this realization, we purged… and purged some more… (with 3 kids, we had all kinds of stuff)… until we were able to pack it all up and move on.

This was a huge turning point for us. A lot was going to have to change.

About 6 months after leaving our lovely home, we found a very nice place in Tucker. Although we liked the house, and put a contract on it, truthfully we felt unsure. The price was higher than our preference, and the house would take most of our renovation savings. Downsizing? Yes. More financially stable? Probably not.

We would most likely be left in a similar situation to the one we had just walked away from. With doubts in tow, we moved forward with the contract process.

Still, Ryan kept hoping that the Northwoods home he grew up in would become available, despite the fact that it was under contract at the time. Fat chance, I thought!

But God always sheds a light where there is doubt and apprehension. When I mentioned  in one of my previous posts that we had a “stars align” kind of scenario, this is what I’m talking about: While the contract was moving forward on the questionable Tucker home, the Northwoods house came back on the market. The lady who had contracted it decided it wasn’t for her, after all. In a quick shuffle we dropped the Tucker place, and snatched up Ryan’s childhood home!

In February 2013, we purchased the Northwoods house for $107,000. The Tucker place would have been $165,000. We had enough savings to do all the renovations necessary, and I was out of the country with the kids when all this happened. How much better can it get?! No dust to deal with. No gutted spaces to maneuver in. Ryan was free to do all the work without interferences. 

We were back in the U.S. in May 2013, with 3 kiddos — T(2), Jo (4) and L (9). We moved into our 1,140 square foot tiny house in Atlanta. Okay, it wasn’t really tiny, but it sure felt that way at first!

Front of House'12
house pre-purchase

However our house is very special!

This was Ryan’s first home until he was 9 years old. It has seen many owners in its life, and we want to live here till death do us part. Shhh… Don’t tell our kids, but someone has already died in this house. Shucks, someone beat us to the punch. I am hoping one day our kids will read the blog and find out all about it. Spooky stuff.

I hope our kids will marry in this house. Our yard is awesome for it. We’ve already hosted my brother’s wedding here. What’s 200 guests?! Psh… We got this! But I am way ahead of myself.

IMG_2531
Wedding in our front/ side yard.

Here we are. We run a small shower-door business that started in this house; have been homeschooling our kids since 2008, and we enjoy updating our 1140 square foot 1953 contemporary-style ranch home.


We have a lot of hopes for this blog. We hope to…

  • Spotlight the work we do in our garden and yard. One of the things that we love most about our home is the yard and garden. We are aspiring urban homesteaders.
  • Encourage people who own an old home. It is not easy, but I hope that you will find inspiration here, on how to give some TLC to your home (big or little).
  • Help you get to know Doravillians ( yes, it is a noun) and their homes a little bit better.
  • Demonstrate our passion for purging and organizing. I am an aspiring minimalist. I like clean and tidy (though I can’t promise that it is always like that).
  • Share about financial peace. When I tell you this house has been a God send, I am not kidding. It has brought us financial peace we never imagined. Our house payment is at least $1,000 lower per month than our last home. That doesn’t include the savings from utilities and homeowners association. We could not hope to get a decent apartment for that price.

*We are no authority when it comes to any of the subjects above, we just hope to get better at it*

Most of all, we hope you will enjoy your visit here!

Be sure to stay in touch via facebooktwitterpinterest and instagram.

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Closing 4 Blog-2

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