We Signed a 5 Month Lease: Enter Happy Dance and Anxiety

We just signed a 5-month lease in Austin. This would normally be considered a short lease for most, but we haven’t signed a lease more than 1 month long in over a year and ½. This is a BIG F-IN deal!

As my shocked friends said, “You’re putting down some serious roots!”

I could say that we got bored of the adventure or tired of not having a home to call a home. But I’d be lying.

In fact, we had been planning leaving Austin for about 2 months during the summer. You know, when it gets to be 100 degrees every day, and it’s unbearable. There’s honestly no reason we wanted to be in Austin during the summer.

But, I can’t always have my cake and eat it too. Or in this case, have an entrepreneur man and travel like we hoped this summer. Trust me, I’m not actually complaining on this one!!

For work reasons, Man simply couldn’t leave like we had thought. If we wanted to be planning for our future, we had to hang back for a while.

So, we’re pressing PAUSE. To be continued soon… 

I have mixed emotions. They range from complete excitement to complete anxiety: What if I get comfortable again? What if I like having a home, home again? What if we don’t go back to the adventure? It’s terrifying to me because I had been in a big rut before we started and I want nothing to do with that rut again.

To keep the momentum going of not getting myself in old patterns, I’ve started a 30 day challenge: do 1 things I’ve never done before each day. This is way harder than I expected.

So the good news! Yes, there is good news!

I love my house. I mean, I really, really love my house.

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  • It’s in the BEST location – My favorite ‘hood in Austin: Clarksville. We actually stayed in the garage apartment behind this house before, so we are already very familiar with how much we both love the area.
  • It feels like a home: I have a dining room table! A real one. AND a kitchen nook. AND French doors. AND a living room with a couch and 2 chairs. Woah, woah, I know. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, it’s still a small home, but it feels huge in comparison to many homes the past year and 1/2 .

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  • I’m digging the décor. It came furnished and it’s cozy and well done. This makes me a very happy camper because all of my furnishings are either in a storage unit or tossed from the flood in our storage unit. That was fun.
  • Kitty! I GET TO HAVE FLUFFBALL! She’s the sweetest cat ever and I miss her SO much when she’s at my mom’s (when we can’t keep her). She’s so happy at her new house and likes to chase her toys and then slide across the hard wood floor. Hilarious. I just want to snuggle her all day everyday. She does not feel the same.


  • I don’t have to move for 5 months. That’s pretty exciting in itself. We don’t want to quit the LifeVenture outside of Austin, but we’re exhausting a lot of our options for Austin. And moving just to move is NOT fun.
  • I can play catch up. I spent the past 7 months starting a new company (Reset Retreat), maintained my current company (Pigtail Media), traveled like crazy and became a bit of a crazy person because of it. I’m able to actually spring clean, go to doctors, get my car fixed, organize the office, etc. It’s bringing some calm to my life I didn’t realize I needed.

kitchen 2

If you are in the Clarksville area, let’s grab a drink at Clark’s Oyster Bar or Winflow – my neighbors – or come visit! I actually have a place for you to sit now.

This property is managed by Diane Dopson, who we really have enjoyed working with! They have great rental properties – both short and longterm.  

1 Year Anniversary: Barton Springs – Our Home # 15

Over a year ago, Cary and I decided to live on vacation rentals for 3 months (see why). A fun and adventurous idea turned into a way of living that was monumentally changing the way I saw life and how we lived each day: What was important to us. What was not important to us. When 3 months came and went, it became harder and harder to imagine going back to that life before because of the endless opportunities we were creating.

Austin Barton Springs House

Here’s our experience at home # 15.

Barton Hills (2 blocks from Barton Springs)
1 month

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It started off terribly. After a very long travel day from our Croatia/Germany trip, we ended up at our new house as it neared midnight, only to find the lock box not working to let us in. I hadn’t been that tired in a really long time. Exhausted to the bone, and it was going to be an early morning back at work. We ended up booking a hotel room that night. It was either that or sleeping in our car. It was August. That was certainty not going to happen. Actually, let’s be honest, it wasn’t going to happen anyways. The management company reimbursed us for the trouble and all was well  by about 10 in the morning. There could be worse things than waking up in a hotel room.

Top Trip Rental


Roomies! We had roommates for the first time in 4 years. They were friends from New Zealand who had just moved to Austin. They were also on the boat with us in Croatia, so we already knew we could get along well. It was actually really fun having people around. It didn’t hurt they were amazing cooks. ☺ We were also getting to see Austin through the eyes of newbies, and it reminded me of how special our “little” town is.

Barton Springs Austin

Barton Springs – night swims: If you’ve never done a night swim at Barton Springs before, you’re missing a truly Austin-like experience. Let’s just put this out here: I am a HUGE weeny when it comes to cold water. Actually water in general. I much prefer sitting above the water and not being in it. But, getting in that 68’ degree water after the August heat was nothing short of awakening. It became our every-other-night routine. Cary and I have never really had a routine together, and that time was so special to me. Minus when I learned there actually are snakes in Barton Spring.


Unexpected routines I liked: Normally routines are not something that I love (in case you didn’t get that from my previous posts – ha), but I found another routine I really loved: being kind to my body in the morning. Typically, my mornings consist of rush, rush rush. Partially because I can’t make myself get up earlier enough to not be rushed. Because we were going to bed so early during this time, I was not very tired when I woke up super early. I did yoga on the patio, ate a healthy breakfast and watched people going to work in traffic from afar, and then brought out my computer and was still ahead by 9 am. As I write this, I realize it’s a routine I should try again. 

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Another treehouse: We tend to keep finding houses that feel like treehouses. I absolutely love it. This one was nestled by a big fat tree that provided glorious shade on the porch.

The house, overall, was not my most favorite, but perfect for the time: It was a bit older than than most others and a few things went wrong while we were there, but the location and the “treehouse balcony” totally made it a great place for a month! The rental company really stepped up to make it a great experience as well. It was not by accident that we ended up so close to the coolest spring in Austin during the hottest time of the year. It made August bearable!

barton springs

When people ask why we are doing this, one word now comes to mind: Opportunity. For this summer, it was the opportunity to get the hell out of Austin’s 100 degree weather as much as possible. I made it 21 days being gone. I’ll take it! I always hear people say, “I would be totally fine skipping Austin in the summer.” Having the opportunity to actually do that – or some of that – is really special to me.

To find more information about this home, visit this link with Top Trip Rental.  You couldn’t get much closer to Austin City Limits Festival. 


3 1/2 months and 7 homes in…

A few weeks ago, I was at a conference in California and had been moving at such a fast pace for 5 days that, as I was packing to go catch my flight, I realized I didn’t know where home was. Our temporary 3-week lease was about to end while I was traveling, and Cary and I had both been so busy before that we hadn’t found a new rental. I knew he had found a place while I was in LA (he’s good at working last minute magic), but we hadn’t had a chance to talk about it.

If you would have asked me 4 months ago how I would expect to feel about this realization I was having in my hotel room, I would have been filled with anxiety even thinking about. Low and behold, I actually laughed out loud from the absurdity: I was okay not knowing…and was actually excited to arrive back in Austin to a new adventure. The excitement caught me off guard.

Since the last time I wrote, we have lived in 6 homes, some for only a few days because multiple week leases didn’t always line up exactly. Having two ACL weekends and F1 filing up rentals in Austin actually made it quite difficult to find non-inflated prices that were for more than 4 days. Here’s our play-by-play.

Kitty and man

Kitty and man

Home 1: Here’s the blog about our 1st experience.
Home 2
Location: Clarksville
Length: A few days
We were on a vacation and had to find a place with only a night’s notice, but only for a few days. Our friend, who has rental properties, was able to rent us one of his properties for a few days while we made plans. They had chickens!

Home 3:
Location: My mom’s house near Lake Travis
Length: 3 weeks

Mom went away for 3 weeks, and since she has been kitty-sitting, we kitty-sat at her house. After moving out of our 2 year property in Aug, planning my 30th birthday, moving into our 1st short term house, going on a trip to Washington & then Wyoming / Montana (& having a break down or two), having a space of comfort & normalcy was SO what the doctor would have ordered!!!!

I had kitty to snuggle with every night! I miss her so much! I even got “kitty biscuits” each morning.

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Me and kitty

Home 4:
Location: Cuernavaca – about 20 minutes from downtown
Length: 3 weeks

Now we’re cookin’ – it feels like this is when our home-adventure started with some consistency (except we really weren’t cooking because there was no stove or oven.) I should have written an entire blog about this place, but I didn’t get a chance. It was so peaceful and we loved coming home every night.

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The good and the bad:

    • It was beautifully decorated and one entire wall had windows facing the creek. At night, it sounded like a million frogs singing. When the lights were turned off, it was complete darkness. No city lights at all!
    • I had a great corner office with views of big trees and usually no less than one deer sighting every hour.
    • There was no washer or dryer: luckily, I could go to my mom’s and work remotely during the day doing laundry. It wasn’t easy, but it ended up not being too bad.
    • We didn’t have a full kitchen: I love cooking, so I thought this would be terrible. It turns out, there was a Snap Kitchen on the way home: pop healthy food in the microwave and bam! We had healthy dinner with no clean up. We were both so busy during this time, the convenience was nice.  It actually was  unexpectedly relaxing to not wash dishes or laundry at home: it made this feel like a vacation!
    • Even though we were “far out of town,” there was a local bar/restaurant called The 263. It great little hidden spot – highly recommend if you’re out and about in the area.
    • We stumbled upon an amazing park on the riverbanks with gorgeous trees. For us to find a park we hadn’t been to was simply amazing.

Common Ford Ranch Park – Along the banks of Lake Austin

Home 5:
Location: West Campus / Lamar on Shoal Creek 
Length: 7 days (?)
This was the house I came home to after the trip to LA….when I didn’t know where I was headed until I was at the airport. I have always driven past the condos along Shoal Creek and wondered what they would be like. This condo was an older building, but was completely re-done inside. It was cozy, comfortable, and close to everything. But, it was also a corporate apartment, so it felt a little dry. Cary and I were still very busy; it got the job done and was nice enough. It just wasn’t filled with character.

Home 6:
Location: Hyde Park – Duval and 45th area 

Length: About 2 weeks

The good and the bad:

  • This home was a little on the older side (you know, windows shake when the wind blows and a marble would roll if you put it on the floor), but it had very nice furnishings, bedding, etc and was comfortable.
  • It’s funny the quirky things we are starting to like/dislike about these places: We LOVED having a keypad for entry (this was at home #6 as well). I always, always have trouble finding my keys in my purse – I swear, my purse temporarily eats my keys every day – it was so nice to not have to search for keys and fumble around with them in the dark.


    Elisabet Ney Museum

  • The home owner really made a point to add in extra touches. Most of these homes include basic needs and maybe some nice add-ons like shampoos and coffee. This particular one went beyond that with lots of yummy tea, a massive spice rack,  condiments, and other small items that I missed having. Because we’ve only been at a house (with a full kitchen) for a few days in a row, we really hadn’t purchased those basics, so we didn’t have them!
  • We took a really nice long walk one night around the neighborhood, just exploring the area. We were taking a short cut and came across a historical building, the Elisabet Ney Museum. It’s right off of 45th and Duval and I had never noticed it before!

Home 7:
Location: Allendale – 45th street (a 2 minute drive from our old home before we started this Lifeventure)
Length: 12 days

Cary was traveling during this time, so our friends were kind enough to let me stay at their house during the very expensive F1 weekend timeframe (living this way can be very difficult during big event weeks!!!!). Our friends were out of town traveling for work, so I got to get cozy in their sweet house. Thanks Karen and Ben! I wish I took a picture of their incredible room that had a barn door, and cool branches hanging from  the ceiling – so cool! 🙂 Karen’s creativity amazes me.

Onward we go!

Today we moved into our new house, and guess what? …pause for drama…We are staying here ONE MONTH! The longest so far. 😉 You’d think I might be sick of this moving around by now, but was filled with SO much excitement when we walked into our new home. Over dinner, we chatted about what unique things we wanted to experience while here. More on that later, and I promise I won’t take so long to write next time!

I have a lot of thoughts to share about this experience and the awareness it is bringing to me! As Thanksgiving rolls around tomorrow, I am filled with so much joy for having someone to explore this world with.

Much love,