It’s Cramped, Crowded and We’re going CRAZY!

Cramped, crowded and the feeling of someone else constantly in your face is exactly what I feared would happen!

The four of us would be crammed into a one bedroom suite and the end result may just be a one-way ticket to Crazy Town. We had confined ourselves to super close quarters.  Square footage, storage and private space were at a premium.

The chaos of downsizing, sorting, moving and packing.

The chaos of downsizing, sorting, moving and packing.

Thankfully, this could not have been further from the truth.  The move and transition into our new space was actually an amazingly easy one.

The remarkable weather created an outdoor living room paradise for us.  Both Mike and I have always envisioned owning a home with an open outdoor center courtyard, and much to our surprise we’ve found it in our own backyard this summer.  There it was all along, right under our own noses.

Tealights have always been a favourite of mine and they were the perfect addition for our outdoor living room.

Tealights have always been a favourite of mine and they were the perfect addition for our outdoor living room.

We incorporated our ‘outdoor dining room’ for when friends gathered for BBQ’s.  It quickly became my private haven to enjoy a morning cup of freshly brewed coffee along with my daily sudoku puzzle and  newspaper.  It was a pretty fantastic outdoor office space as well.

The kids still managed to squeeze in sleepover playdates. The kids thought sleeping in a tent in the backyard was awesome.  To top it off we added  s’mores made over a fire and a few glow in the dark light-sticks and before you know it, that sleepover was a hit!

A campout in the backyard with a couple of glow sticks turned out to be a whole lot of fun for the kids.

A campout in the backyard with a couple of glow sticks turned out to be a whole lot of fun for the kids.

Our outdoor dining room served many purposes.  This was Emma's birthday party.

Our outdoor dining room served many purposes. This was Emma’s birthday party.

The kids are at a great age where they can run free and enjoy water fights with all the kids from the block. They can run up to the park at the top of the street and play tennis, tag or a game of soccer.  Their bonding with friends, neighbours and people in our community simply because we’ve downsized and embraced the outdoors more than before.  I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased.  It feels a little like the community of friends that I grew up with….‘be home before dark’

Our french doors were pretty much open all summer long which made it feel like we were living in a much larger space.

Our french doors were pretty much open all summer long which made it feel like we were living in a much larger space.

For me, the outdoor living space soothed my soul.  Opening up the french doors in the morning and watching the birds and squirrels was such a relaxing way to start the day.  I took the time to grab a cup of tea, a book and pull out the chair to enjoy the outdoors.  It was a blissful way that allowed for mindful renewal, deeper reflection and focus for what was to lie ahead of us.

The summer spent together in a little one bedroom truly helped me prepare for our journey.

This is it! We're about to land in Beijing, China to start our journey.

This is it! We’re about to land in Beijing, China to start our journey.

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