When Challenges Lead to New Chapters

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Devon and I and our kids, four at the time, spent almost a year traveling the world.  We visited Nanning and Hong Kong, in China…

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Manila and Bagiuo in the Philippines and Hawaii.

marvin's jeepney

Then I visited South Africa

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and our family took a trip to Ireland.

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Before our year excursion, we had sold our coffee shop, our house and all of our belongings.  We were open to whatever adventure lay ahead!

We weren’t sure where we’d land after we were done…but, when our travel time was up, we found ourselves in a fixer upper in Baltimore City. The house was old and had tons of personality, but work needed to be done from roof to basement.
We have spent the past 5 years replacing the roof, laying a driveway, re-doing the kitchen and three bathrooms, water proofing the entire basement and refinishing it and the list goes on.
Now, before our travels, my husband was in the restaurant industry…not the home renovation business. But, after working on our home, he switched careers.
About three years ago, he decided to take the leap from restaurant management to home remodeling. He now guts complete houses and renovates them.
As I look back at the journey we’ve been on, it amazes me how the choices we make can prepare us for the future. It prepared us for a major career change.
But…it didn’t prepare us for this.

water level in basement

About a week ago, I woke up to the dog barking. I got up to take her out. I opened my bedroom door to walk into a sauna with a hissing sound coming from my kitchen. As I glanced in the kitchen, I saw water…major water.
I called my husband’s name, in that tone of voice that signals an emergency, he bounded out of bed and I proceeded to put the leash on the dog and go for a walk. I knew it was bad.

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This bad.
buckling ceiling This is our basement…our already remodeled, french drained basement. We didn’t think to “french drain” the ceiling.
This is what came in when we called water abatement.
kitchen floor

clean up equipment

Our home will go through another major remodel.   It will end up being a blessing and an even greater improvement…but a bit stressful. My kitchen is getting gutted (the sub floors are ruined), my basement redone and while we are at it…we will finish what renovations we were already working on…laying hardwood on my entire first floor, taking down a ceiling and removing a gas fireplace.
Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted. I’m ready for a new chapter.  I’m ready for my lemon to be turned to lemonade.  Just understand if my excitement is tempered with a bit of angst.  It’s gonna be a long couple of months.


  1. […] just finished reading a blog written by my friend, Kristin, at LoveFeast Table. It is titled, When Challenges Lead to New Chapters. She describes how certain circumstances in […]

  2. […] husband and I have been working for 30 days straight on our crazy remodel (more on that later).  We needed an excuse to take a break from the work wheel.  An invite to […]

  3. […] course, you start a remodeling project and it’s inevitable you open up Pandora’s Box!  Our flood happened!  All of a sudden we were faced with (almost) an entire house remodel!  We ended up having to […]

  4. […] cabinets, and accessories.  I can’t complain much though.  Because this is by choice not by flood.   So, Kristin and I are going to have depend on you all for creative inspiration today.  We […]

  5. […] the midst of our renovations….when floors were coming up, beams were exposed, insulation was being […]

  6. […] back to Minnesota where we grew up.  Kristin and Devon sold their coffee shop and took their brood around the globe.  Most of their belongings they sold or gave away.  But some treasures like family Christmas […]

  7. […] isn’t very beautiful, but the memory is Beauty Full. On Christmas Eve this year, we had another flood. This time in our storage unit. Directly under the busted pipe was my childhood scrapbook. It was […]