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Sierra Moe
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From all in to simplified bliss
From all in to simplified bliss

3 followers
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Reflection of our visit
Wine Please!
Wine Please!
shannonmoe.com
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Our introduction to HAAS
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Visit with Dad
Visit with Dad
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Local Indulgence
Local Indulgence
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Post #2
Research begins
Research begins
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My first blog post
The vision
The vision
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I once had a dear friend and very talented song writer tell me "if you have a story to tell, you can write a song". Well, I do have a story, but I think I will steer clear of the songwriting, for fear of extreme public humiliation, and just attempt to tell my story through this blog.

My journey for a more simplified life began approximately one year ago. Like many others, I became intrigued with the tiny house movement and many of the DIY network shows. I was envious of the many people who took the leap and left the crazy rat race of what I thought was normal and simplified their lives. Laying in bed watching these amazing shows after a days work, I dreamed of following in those footsteps. Little did I know my husband, Al, was just as intrigued.

We had each been in the gaming industry for more than 25 years and together almost 20 of them. Between us, we had owned 9 homes and the last one being close to 3,000 sf. We had 2 daughters living at home, ages 14 and 6. Both in schools that they were thriving in and seemed to really like. Both girls were also involved in cheer at one of the top gyms in the area. I was and still am a very proud Mama.

On the outside we were the "all American family". On the inside however, it was a different story. We had debt up to our ears. I was working 3 or 4 days a week at the casino on day shift, and Al was working 4 or 5 days a week on swing/graveyard. Needless to say our communication became less and less and I feared our marriage was heading to a very dark place. The life we were living seemed to be spiraling out of control. It seemed the harder we worked the worse it got.

My days seemed to be filled with going to a job where I inhaled smoke all day and listened to people tell me how tough their lives were while I watched them gamble away thousands of dollars, some on a daily basis. Then I would come home and muster up whatever energy I had left to spend with my daughters. After getting them to bed, I would pour me a glass of wine and sit and dream of a different life

I did a lot of soul searching during this time. I prayed for answers and for guidance. I knew this was not the life I was put here to lead, there had to be more. Was my only purpose to be a mother of two wonderful daughters? And if it was, why did I feel I wasn't even doing that to the best of my ability. I felt I was slipping away and didn't even know me anymore. It had been years since I had done any art work of my own, danced, or even enjoyed my animals. These were all such a big part of my youth and somewhere along the way I had lost them all.

I began reading whatever I could get my hands on about downsizing, organizing and simplifying. I figured this was a good place to start gaining control over my life. Thank goodness there is a wealth of information available on just about anything these days. I began organizing my home. My goal was to clean or organize one drawer or closet a day. If it took me more than a day, that was going to be okay. The important thing was just to begin.

The process of organizing my life was overwhelming at the start. In our 16 years of marriage, Al and I had accumulated so much stuff. The sad thing was, we had been moving all of this stuff from home to home and so much of it never came out of the containers or boxes it was stored in. I used to think I was bad about getting rid of clothes. The truth is, I was bad at getting rid of anything.

Al and I began talking more. We talked about our life and how we had gotten where we did. We discussed downsizing and the possibility of living in a "tiny home". We talked of where we would build this new life we were both dreaming of. Our imaginations were running wild.

We had always loved Lake Tahoe and Hawaii, however the cost of building a home and living in either place seemed to be way out of our reach. Al's father had lived on the island of Kauai for the better part of 30 years. We were married in Maui and our annual summer vacation was always to Lake Tahoe. We loved our visits to the islands and to Lake Tahoe and always came back feeling refreshed.

Al's father had built a beautiful home in Kauai. He had told us when he passed away, he wanted the home to be ours. For several years we had debated how we could possibly afford to move to Kauai with the increased cost of living and two daughters to raise. We knew it probably wasn't possible but the dream still remained.

After being stricken with Alzheimer's Disease, Al's father was moved to The Big Island of Hawaii where he could receive 24- hour care. With no family or friends on the island, we began discussing the possibility of moving to Hawaii to be near Dad for this time in his life. It seemed overnight, our life took on a whole new meaning. We knew where we needed to be and our vision was becoming clearer and clearer.

Our biggest fear was for our daughter's. We knew the 6 year old was young enough to adapt, but how would our 14 year old daughter take the news? Where would they go to school? What kind of education would they get on the Island? Would they make friends? These and a million other questions terrified me.

After many talks, and several glasses of wine, we decided to talk to the girls about our decision to uproot our lives and move to Hawaii. Knowing that our fate depended on their reaction, this family talk would required at least 1 more glass of wine. This was the last piece of the puzzle and it had to go well.

We wanted to be completely honest with them about how different life would be on the island. They would most likely be minorities. School may be difficult as far as fitting in. Our home would be smaller, much smaller. Life would be simpler with less electronics and more playing outside. We discussed our goals of simplifying our life so we could spend more time together doing what we wanted instead of doing what we had to do. After laying it all out on the table I held my breath for their reaction.

Not to too much surprise, our 6 year old thought it was a brilliant idea and loved everything about it. To my extreme surprise, so did our older daughter. We discussed online schools and other options if we didn't find a school she liked and her response shocked me to my core. She said "Mom, if I do online school how will I ever fit in, make friends, or learn the culture of Hawaii."

And there we had it. The last piece of the puzzle. The girls were both on board and the wheels were set in motion. We still had to break the news to family and friends but our decision was made. We were going to sell or donate nearly everything we had accumulated over our lifetimes and move to Hawaii.








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