Lauren+Ben_Engagement-270Welcome to my new little home on the web! Thanks for stopping by. Our family’s journey is just beginning, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

Today is an exciting day for me. I’ve been working on getting this blog started for the past couple of months, and launch day has finally arrived. Blogging for nearly 7 years and then taking a year-and-a-half long break has felt strange.

I’ve missed being able to share my thoughts and photographs the way I’d become accustomed to. Falling in love, planning a wedding, getting married, and being a new wife in the midst of chronic illness and a cross-country move are completely legitimate reasons to be “too busy” for blogging, but I’ve missed it all the same.

As far as introductions go, I’m Lauren, the deliriously happy wife to my best friend, Benj. We currently live in a little apartment in the beautiful Vancouver, Washington area. I’m a photographer, writer, foodie, sunset chaser, and homemaker.

Most importantly, though, I am a thankful Christian who desires to glorify the Lord in everything I do. Without Him, life wouldn’t be worth living, but with Him, life is beautiful.

Lauren+Ben_Engagement-389Why Penny for Your Dreams

When Benj and I started talking about this blog, I knew I wanted it to have more of a theme than my previous blog had. One of my reasons for blogging has always been to keep faraway family and friends up-to-date with the goings on of family life. I want to continue that theme to some degree with this blog, but there is more I want to share.

I also want to share my photography, what I’m learning, and food related endeavors, so those will show up regularly, too. On top of those themes, Benj and I thought it would be a lot of fun to publicly share and chronicle a personal goal we have.

You see, we have a dream. Some days it feels like a crazy big dream, and other days it feels like a more achievable one. One of the things we’ve talked about since before we were married is owning our own home, and not simply owning it with a mortgage, but owning it outright. Having no house payment whatsoever!

Can you imagine?

Our Little Cottage

Right now, our dream home isn’t a grand manor. It isn’t large or new or even all that impressive, but it is a home we could call our own, one we could fix up and pour ourselves into. In fact, we’ve been fondly referring to this hoped-for home as our “little cottage” for the past several months.

Specifically, our goal is to own our first home outright by Benj’s 30th birthday, October 27th, 2019. That’s just under 4 years away!

Achieving this goal is going to require a lot of sacrifice, perseverance, and sticktoitiveness on our part. But we know that someday it’s going to be worth every foregone pleasure and every ounce of effort we put in.

We hope to turn this dream into a reality, and, with the Lord’s help, we will do our best to make it happen. Plus, sharing your goals with the world is a great way to stay accountable! 😉

This plan certainly wasn’t enacted without due preparation. Benj and I have spent a number of hours learning, researching, brainstorming, running numbers, and creating spreadsheets. We ceremoniously cut up the only credit card we had to our name (it was just used for car rentals anyway).

We’ve talked about the future and which things we’ve decided to do without for now. Most importantly, though, we’ve prayed about our dream and committed our plans to the Lord (Psalm 37:5) and will continue to do so on a regular basis.

Our Family’s Journey Begins

We’re very much looking forward to bringing you along on this journey and sharing what we learn along the way. We want to share the good, the bad, and everything in between! Economical recipes, DIY projects, and thrifty ideas we pick up on our adventures will also weave their way into the tapestry of this blog.

We have lots to learn and a long way to go, so I hope you’ll join us on this wild ride! It’s going to be a blast.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.

–Psalm 37:3-7