Welcome to PARO HOME. I'm Sarah, and this is where I document our renovation projects, our flip houses, our decorating finds, our madhouse family, and everything in between. Click the "Properties" tab to see our most recent projects.

We live in the sunny desert city of Phoenix, AZ, and my secret goal is to make everyone else love Phoenix as much as we do! Feel free to reach out and ask anything. I'm glad you're here!



I haven't decided yet if I'm going to password protect this thing but if I do, my friends will be kept updated. :) Just needed a place where I could actually spill my guts and share with my real friends without the constraints of wondering what random strangers would think of me or how they would interpret some of my thoughts. You know?

So I haven't been sleeping all that great, but it's my own fault. Mostly because I've been drinking coffee too late. Bleh. But it's so good! And let's be honest, it's hard to get through that inevitable pre-bedtime meltdown without some kind of caffeine keeping me alive.

So in the past week, in the hours when the lights are out but my brain isn't, I finally have felt closer to inspiration than I have in a long time. Business ideas start hitting me like lightning bolts. Yeah! I could just start up a whole new business in an entirely new field that I have literally no experience in, with $0 to start with. HOW HARD COULD IT BE.

I don't know, maybe conceptualizing is fun. I like imagining a whole new approach to branding with a different biz. I like the thought process. I like thinking of myself as something other than a photographer, and something other than a mom. I picture myself going to a cabin for a weekend with no phone, computer or TV, and just painting. But in reality, I'm not a painter, and I can't afford that cabin even to rent, and I really like TV.  So what direction am I headed? Will I always be just a mom that watches TV at night and imagines herself painting someday? Is it so bad? Of course, that's not the very worst thing that I could be. But then I know myself, I know my ambitions start off as these grand, ultra-unrealistic ideas that eventually get defeated by reality. But if that's who I am, is that all that I am? Just someone with ideas that will never work out? Do I give up or do I keep chasing each idea that is bound to fail until one doesn't?

Last night, I had another idea that was actually feasible for us at this moment. It's actually been an idea for a long time - buying a small home, fixing it up, and making an Airbnb. But for some reason, yesterday I had rested my entire goals upon this ONE HOUSE that I loved. It was cute - Spanish style, central Phoenix. 70k (!!!!!). Needed work. Had a workshop in the back (for Josh!) The whole thing seemed perfect. And there was a moment where I thought - I actually think this idea might be the one that works. I had hope in myself. I decided that would be it and it was actually doable, and something we could get started on really soon. It was exciting. I could hardly sleep for dreaming.

This morning the perfect little house went off the market.

I don't know why I feel crushed today. Phoenix is the 6th largest city in America. Houses go on the market and off the market every day.

But I don't think it was the house, I think it was the first time in a long time I thought this was an idea of something that would pan out... and then it didn't. And that moment that I realized the house was gone, an evil voice suggested something - maybe I'll always fail at everything. Maybe nothing will ever work out for me.

I know I'm not the only person out there who's a dreamer, who is constantly told to be more realistic. This is the downside of being a dreamer is facing disappointment all too often. And it wasn't even a true failure because I didn't even take the first step yet, and it doesn't mean we won't get to do our big plan on another house! Right? But what's the line between being negative and being realistic? It's so blurred for me.

I don't have answers but I don't need them right now. :) For now I'll work through the disappointment and thank God for what we do have and trust He helps us work towards our goals when the timing is right!

Anyway if you want to pray with me, I've started praying for what I'm calling the Joy House in my prayers. A little abode to share joy with others, whether it be Airbnb guests, or our family visiting from out of town. I can't wait to have a small place to share hospitality, and in some ways, to have a job I love. It's kind of hard for me just existing day to day without setting a personal goal to work towards and this is mine. I'm not saying having raising kids isn't working towards a goal, but I just mean one that is my very own project. Here are the things I am praying for specifically.

  • A small house in Central Phoenix. Historic is a bonus, something that needs work but has great character and light. Under 1000 sq ft.
  • Budget: under 100k (this seems IMPOSSIBLE FYI)
  • a big garage / workshop on site for Josh as we renovate it, and he could continue to use it after we begin renting it out! He needs a bigger space to work.
  • We also need another VA loan to work out, which also seems impossible as we are self-employed.
  • Timing to be perfect, as I know it will be.

The hope is that once we can get this little home up and running, and once our buyer of our house in Missouri secures his own financing, we'll be able to have enough extra income to begin the house hunt for a home for ourselves. We'd like to finish out our lease in this home and have more saved up before we start that process, but for now, we're really happy in this little rental home. It's so bright and cheerful, and I'm so so grateful for it!

That's a lot of info I guess, but it really does help me to type it out and put it out there - it feels like accountability in a way! Thanks for reading my friends.