Hello and welcome to our blog – BigFamTinyLife.

Image: Nathan

Image: Nathan

My name is Darren. My wife Melody & I are the main contributors for the site. We have 4 children (ages 13, 5, 4, and 2) who will also contribute to the site, and a dog.

You’re probably wondering why we are writing a blog and what exactly this “BigFamTinyLife” stuff is all about. Well, first of all, it’s is short for Big Family Tiny Life.

Every time I see that, I am tempted to read it as “Big Family… Tiny Life” like the genie from Aladdin — “PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS! Itty-bitty living space!” But reading it that way indicates that the Tiny Life part is a negative which is exactly opposite of what we are aiming for. By living smaller our lives have the potential to be so much bigger. So when you look at the title of our blog, you should read it more as “The Big Family Tiny Life.”

The Big Family Tiny Life consists of two major components – the big family, and the tiny life.

Mike Family Christmas Pic

This is our Christmas ’15 picture

The Big Family part is easy. That’s us. Darren, Melody, Carter, McKenzie, Trinity & Josephine (Joey). And not pictured is Piper, our 5 month-old Viszla puppy.

The Tiny Life part needs a bit of explanation. Essentially, we are on a mission to cut down on our consumption and live a more intentional, cost-efficient and sustainable life. I like to break that statement down into four major components. They are:

For the next few weeks, I want to give a brief look into each of these components.

First up – Tiny House.

Melody & I stumbled upon a show on the FYI Network a while back. The first few times we watched, it was pure entertainment. Watching all these couples and small families getting rid of all their stuff while John Weisbarth watched over their shoulder telling them they still have too much. Meanwhile, Zack Giffin was busy building these tiny, multi-functional dwellings for the folks to move into.

Immediately, I began dreaming. I knew it would never be possible for us with a family our size to move into a tiny house. At least I knew it would never be possible to convince my wife to move a family our size into a tiny house. I was just captivated by all of the ingenuity that went into every aspect of each house they built. I loved the simplicity and the beauty of each house. I loved seeing the couples and the families light up with joy as they got their first look at their new houses. I loved watching these people give up their mortgages along with the big house.

But it was just dreaming for me. I knew it wasn’t possible.

There are tons and tons of sites out there dedicated to Tiny Houses and the Tiny House Movement, so me being the expert googler that I am, I began to search for evidence that anyone had ever attempted to go tiny with a large family. Over & over I was coming up short in my search. Plenty of people had two kids in tiny houses. A few people had 3. I couldn’t find any trace of anyone who had ever attempted it with four kids.

To me, this was the nail in the coffin for my dream.

One night, as Melody & I were watching we nervously, playfully joked about the possibility. I couldn’t take her seriously because I thought she was toying with my emotions. I thought she was dangling a dream in front of me that I could never have. In reality, she was testing the waters to gauge my interest.

As I continued to search, I stumbled across this Ted Talk by a guy named Andrew Morrison:

I resonated with all of the points he made so much that I felt I needed to share it with Melody. To my astonishment after sharing it, she did too. Perhaps my dream wasn’t dead yet.

After much deliberation and careful consideration, we discovered that my dream wasn’t just my dream, but our dream and we began trying to figure out how to make it a reality.

And here we are. We are resolute in our decision to build a tiny house for our big family. We are dedicated to all four principles of our mission. We invite you to join us on our journey to live the BigFamTinyLife.

The next time I write about the Tiny House topic, we will unveil the plans for the house as well as link you to a video tour of a couple who have already built theirs.

Make sure you subscribe to our email list to make sure you don’t miss out on any part of the adventure!

Also, we get a lot of questions and would like to include the most common ones on a FAQ page. If you would like to ask us a question, feel free to do so here.




In addition to working a full-time job as a project manager, Darren is a researcher, an experimenter, a builder, a general jack of all trades. He loves his wife and his children immensely and could not be more excited for this adventure for SO MANY reasons, but chiefly how it will bring our family closer together.

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