Little Cabin in the Woods: Making our Big Dream a Reality


Tackling cabin fever like a pro, Katie makes her family’s dreams come true. 


My husband and I aren’t big dreamers. We don’t put a lot of the line to try and accomplish something, but we do always have a plan. We know vacations we want to take and home improvement projects we want to accomplish. We have talked about moving to another state and how we would make that happen. We aren’t “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” kind of people, but we are “sit down, make a plan and let’s make it happen” kind of people. 


One plan we always thought we would see come to fruition is having a family getaway. We have always wanted an escape to call our own, where the kids would grow up with sweet memories. We spend time with friends and family at their places. We have spent many weekends camping at our friend’s property in Central Missouri, and we have always thought, “Maybe someday, someday we can make that happen for ourselves.” We kept dreaming. We kept hoping. We kept waiting for the time that it could come true with careful planning. 


four Adirondack chairs lined up between two trees at a lakeside


Then, one morning in May, during the stay-at-home order, as I scrolled our local swap page on Facebook, I came upon a post for a little camping property. I immediately thought WE. NEED. THAT. The next thing I know, I was talking to my husband about it and inviting my mother-in-law to drive just 45 minutes away to visit this little place. We walked around the property, and on the drive back, I decided we would put in an offer. My husband had not seen it but with his approval, we offered to buy this little dry cabin on a lake. We found out that night we didn’t get the cabin, and I was crushed. I was crushed and shocked. I was mostly shocked because not only had I not planned for this cabin, but buying a cabin, in general, was not even a glimmer in my eye before this morning. 


Call it COVID stay-at-home order induced, but all of a sudden, I was on a mission. I started googling and Zillow hunting every cabin and camping property in the area. For the next three weeks, we spent all our extra time getting in our car and checking out all these properties. We wanted to be within an hour and a half of our house for quick getaways.


After three weeks of hunting and disappointment, I got on Zillow one day and set my filter to places loaded within the last 24 hours as I had seen everything else on the market. A small A-Frame cabin popped up. I sent it to my husband and friend and said, “This is the one!” By that evening, I had an agent walking through to video the property, and by the next morning, we were driving down to walk through in person. When we got there, we fell in love with the cabin and the lake community, and we were so excited our vision had come to this. We put in an offer, and it was accepted! We closed on our little cabin property in July just three weeks after deciding to make this dream become our reality. 


an A-frame cabin in the snowy woods


While not everybody can, or wants to, buy a cabin on a whim, we learned a lot of things in this process. 


*We learned that sometimes our bigger dreams aren’t that far from reality if we sit down and move forward with a plan. 

*We learned that taking big steps can have a big reward. 

*We learned about what we value and have come to appreciate a modest living with a second little escape. 


I challenge you: do you have a dream you have put on hold? Something not so far out there that you are putting a lot on the line in hopes that it will work out? Maybe something you have always hoped to do, but you haven’t quite fully seen if you can bring to fruition? When I woke up on that May day I hadn’t thought about looking for a cabin, but seeing that little cabin for sale was just the motivation I needed to fulfill one of our dreams as a couple. What seemed like a spur-of-the-moment decision for a large purchase was actually always a background dream that we were finally brave and bold enough to go ahead and make happen.


What hopes and dreams do you have for yourself or your family? Have you ever tried to make them happen? Perhaps your dreams aren’t that far from reality, either!

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Katie is a Des Peres mom of two young boys, Trace (2014) and Henry (2016). Katie stays home with her boys most of the time but also spends a bit of time away as a high school lacrosse coach. Katie enjoys connecting with other moms to run, meet at parks, explore new restaurants, listen to live music and discuss books. Katie and her boys can be found enjoying many activities around St. Louis including the Science Center, Zoo, Magic House, Museum of Transportation, Urban Fort and Frisco Train Store, but what they enjoy most is just being outdoors. They have tried many of the parks around St. Louis City and county and also love hiking trails at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Powder Valley and Shaw Nature Reserve. Katie and her family love all that St. Louis has to offer for families of young children and can most often be found taking advantage of all of the many opportunities.