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Reflecting on 2018 – Our First Year at Fletcher Creek Cottage

Hi Friends! I really hope that you had a wonderful Christmas! What year, guys! This year was our year of REST…or that is what we decided it would be after finishing building our whole house at the end of 2017! When you DIY a house, you need a season of rest just to feel normal again!!! We were so tired that we needed at least a year without any major projects! SO we decided NOT to start on our main house build (like we were planning) and wait another year.

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However, 2018 started off with a bang, when my husbands boss announced that their company was going to be doing a 30 million dollar project and completely build a whole new plant! My husband is the plant manager so he spent the entire year overseeing that project.  SO after a year of building our “DIY” cottage (and the previous year, he had overseen a new plant build at his former job in WI), he was/is pretty tired! Let’s just say, he’s rested as much as he was able to this year.

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We made a list early on into the year of all the ideas we had for our new place and all our plans. We listed off things like putting in a lawn and a veggie garden with a fence around it (to keep out all the deer). We use to have chickens when we lived on a farm and we wanted to build a chicken coop. We also wanted to put in a pool or at least an above ground pool for our kiddos and build them bunk beds! The list was long and we knew if we were going to rest at all, we had to be very choosy about how we used our time. We crossed off a few things from that long list and made a plan.

We are both people that have to be very intentional about not over-committing and not overworking. We both LOVE projects and we both LOVE to work…so resting is HARD for us. We, of course, realize the importance of rest…so we scaled back that list as best we could! In the spring we decided that two things we definitely wanted to tackle were the attic/loft area and we wanted to put in a lawn.IMG_2558IMG_2570IMG_3019IMG_3043 2IMG_3071IMG_3044 2

I know, I know. this probably doesn’t sound like rest, but to us, a few smaller projects here and there are fun. Our idea of “rest” was NOT jumping right back into building an entire house DIY and waiting a while to start building our dream home. After living in the cottage for a few months we knew that we really wanted some extra space and the loft would be perfect for that so it was worth finishing! That was the BEST decision!!!

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After a month or so we decided to put up an above ground pool for the kiddos…okay, who am I kidding…I totally wanted it as much as they did! And boy oh boy did we enjoy having a lawn! When you build a new home there is more dirt than you can imagine getting tracked into your house! I am SO glad we made the time to put the lawn in. We also put landscape rock all the way around the porch and cottage to help with keeping the dirt from splashing back up onto the side of the building! It worked like a charm.

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We were also on the lookout for an affordable hot tub. We live on a hill that overlooks 65 acres and a creek so the evening sky is just beautiful here. We LOVE being outside and we knew we’d be able to rest and relax more outdoors if we had a hot tub. We poured the slab and went shopping! The same day we were out shopping for our big purchase, we ran into a relative of mine that had a hot tub that was fairly new and in great shape, they were going to get rid of it because it had a small leak. They said it was ours “no charge” if we wanted to hassle with fixing it! We brought it home and my husband found the leak and he fixed it! He sure doesn’t shy away from a challenge that’s for sure!  Having the hot tub has been a huge blessing!!!

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One of the other fun things that we did this year was our kiddos bedroom project! I did a whole blog post HERE if you want to read about how we spent the later part of fall building storage bunk beds for our kids! So far they are loving their new spaces and the storage drawers are working out well! YAY!

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We accomplished a lot of goals this past year! We stuck to our list and ONLY did the small projects we agreed on and didn’t overdo it! We held ourselves and each other accountable. We made more time for family fun and we were much more intentional about how we spent our time! I even learned to say “NO” to a lot of wonderful things, simply because they were not good for me to take on at that time. I think we all know how hard that can be to do!!!

In between our little projects my husband and I  decided to carve out some “one on one” time!  One of the highlights of this summer was my husband took me on a vintage picking road trip and I got to meet the one and only Ms. Liz Marie…if you don’t know Liz, please check out her blog HERE … You can thank me later!!! This is the year I started my Fletcher Creek Cottage IG account and started this blog! I am amazed at how many wonderful people I have met online from all over the world through that account! It has been such a fun journey!IMG_6699IMG_6769-2-1.jpg

All in all, when I look back in 2018 I realize that this was a year of growth. My word that I had picked out at the beginning of the year was perseverance.  As I walked through the year I kept facing challenges that required me to persevere…even though it was supposed to be a year of rest. Every time I was faced with a roadblock I leaned on my Lord and Savior for strength. Making the choice to lean on Him and choosing to persevere brought an amazing amount of growth.

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Growth for us as a family, for us as a couple and even more so for myself individually. This past year brought a lot of challenges into my life. Challenges that were heartbreaking and some that I would go as far to say that they were devastating. As I leaned on Christ’s strength through the struggles, I grew. As I grew, the Lord brought rejoicing and overwhelming joy into a place where only pain had been! God knew we needed a year of “rest”. He knew we needed to focus more time on our family this year and NOT be bogged down with a huge house build. Gods timing is so perfect!  I am ending the year so grateful for the growth that happened in my life and in my families life.  I am eagerly approaching the new year with of a sense of hope for what God has planned of me and with a heart full of gratitude!!!

XOXO

~Dena

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12

 

 

 

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