1.17.2018

Keeping with the normal routine, the kids went to school. I had talked to their teachers the night previous to let them know what had occurred. We luckily have close relationships with both schools and their current teachers. Jeremy was back out at the house early to make sure it was being boarded up, to his surprise it was back smoking when he returned. Another call to the fire department was made.

Jack had many questions that morning, he wanted to see the house, which I told him I would see about that after school.

Back to the house, I went, now that it was daylight we would get a clear picture of the damages. As I drove closer, the exterior didn’t seem that bad but I knew better. The lawn was a sheet of ice as I pulled up right next to the barn. The once 3 ft of water that was in the basement the previous night and disappeared… likely because of drain tile that was installed a century prior. Our basement was river rock and trees… some of my favorite features even though it was too low to walk in.

That day was spent carrying different items out of the house so they didn’t continue to get damaged. A few pieces of furniture, a cedar chest full of childhood memories, it seemed as if the majority of the most precious possessions had survived. Clearly divine intervention, many angels were surrounding us. I could feel the calmness knowing so many were praying for us. The kid’s rooms were the saddest, their once beloved things thrown about. They would never be allowed to come back to see this I told myself.

Many times that day, I cried alone, thinking about how this could have been so much worst. The fire had started in our bedroom, only feet from where we slept. It spread to the attic and took over the entire top portion of our home. Jacks room and ours had no roof. The ceiling only 2 feet above his pillow was charred black as the night. We sorted through debris, I yelled out when I found Jacks piggy bank which he had asked about that morning. Sealed shut with water inside, this was a small win, I would be able to tell Jack I found his savings which Jack saved all his money so it was no small amount.

Messages from friends started to come in from every direction. Schools, our dance family, everyone was hearing the news and wanting to help. The constant question, what do you need? how can I help? We had lost everything, I had no idea how to respond.

Barb picked up the girls from school that day, and I picked up Jack as I had promised him. Of course, he asked to see the house, I visually explained to him what it would look like before stopping there as Jeremy was wrapping up things with getting it secured. Jack told me… it didn’t look that bad.

We answered more questions that evening, a few details here and there. Sorted through the tremendous amount of clothes received. The generosity of others around us was eye-opening, from calls to packages showing up at our door to offers to help transport the kids. As a giver myself, it was hard to receive all the items but finally had to tell myself… we have nothing and need to accept this out pouring of love and support

Day Two was exhausting.

 

1.16.2018 the day we lost our entire home

There are moments of tragedy in your life that will stay burned into your memory and will change the landscape of your family. These times can shape you if you chose to find any small amount of good in them.

4 weeks ago I received a call that runs through my mind non-stop. I will never forget the timeline of January 16…

“Hello are you the owner of non disclosed rd… (yes I am). Your house is on fire, I have your dog, is there anyone else in the house. (No) Have someone drive you the fire trucks are in route.”

Thankfully that day I was out of the house, my children were at school and I just happened to be with a dear friend who kept me calm as we drove from her beautiful home to mine. As we approached we could see the smoke in the sky. The road was lined with fire trucks … my husband in sight who had arrived only moments earlier.

For the next 7 hours, we watched the house burn. Over 20 firefighters were on site, taking turns fighting the fire and when able bringing items out that they rescued… my great grandma’s sewing machine, our wedding album, countless photos that adorned our walls. They went from fighting inside to attack mode multiple times. This fire could not be tamed.

At nearly 8 pm we were able to walk through our once beautifully restored farmhouse built in 1880 that we loved so much it makes me hurt thinking of the memories these walls held for so many decades. Our children’s bedrooms with no roof above and there once favorite things thrown about. Clothes still hanging in their closet almost untouched yet surrounded by insulation and pieces of burned lumber. Every room told a story of the event that day and no longer the laughter & smiles that once was. The majority of my thoughts were how will I tell my children, protect them, not let this hinder them.

That will become the focus going forward as we choose to see the little pieces of good on this tragic day.

As I kissed the kids goodnight that evening staying at our parents home… I asked the girls as I always do. What is your favorite thing today? They both respond “having a sleepover at nana’s” what’s your mommy? That we are safe and have much to be thankful for.

1.16.2018 the day we lost our entire home

Chronicles of the last 3 months.

I get the question a lot… Kate how do you do it. Well I usually have multiple teams of people working with me and I do have breakdowns.

The last 3 months have been well… insanity in a nutshell. It was decided in early summer that IMD was going to be moving to a new space. June passed, July passed, August hit. August a month that is usually slow but for some reason IMD decided to go gang busters and on top of that we had the office move & Great Lakes Bay Moms Block Party approaching. Daily life seemed normal, lots of meetings, projects, Country concerts OF COURSE had to go see Luke Brian VIP in Cleveland.

September hit, and the shit hit the fan, I landed myself in the hospital with a GIANT kidney stone (7mm) on Jacks birthday. I had 60 people coming to my house and of course I was at the ER. So I consulted my doctor, a client of mine who I was texting while in the ER, and he said go home, you have my number…  The party went well, all was fine and by the end everyone knew I actually had come right from the ER to the party only an hour early.

The week following was GLBM Party prep, big time, lots of work, all my time was surrounded around that event… of course the rained in the morning but the 3rd annual event was a success and we had lots of families happily attend, about 4000 people.

I decided to continue to put off the giant kidney stone that was just waiting to reappear but after another week it had to be removed… which gave me back pain for approx 4 weeks post. Awesome. In the meantime, the month was packed with tigers games, regular work, a trip to Holland, a stent removal. And BOOM. October.

October, the month I was out of the state for 20 days. I must be punishing myself for some reason to travel this much. Starting with a trip to Petoskey, than a 5 day jaunt to North Carolina for week only to fly home to see Eric Church in GR, home 24 hours and off to Southwest Michigan for a Girls Night. A week back full of mad work… Than off to Disney, we drove because WE WANTED THE FULL EXPERIENCE. hahaha. never again. 10 days gone on the road with 3 small kiddos, overall it was actually a great trip. Until we got stuck on the highway for 4 hours on the way back… not cool dump truck that hit the overpass at 4am. So we were back before Halloween and to start final prep for the IMD open house.

November started with a quick trip to TC, literally less than 24 hours there and back to drop an order at 2lads and pick up the final case of wine. Followed by prep and prep and cleaning, and final projects. The open houses were a success… from what I recall it was kinda a whirlwind. I’ll leave it at that. Of course I had to lose my voice too… no idea why probably because its been non stop for the past 3 months.

I literally can’t even recall the next weekend… nope, not a thing. I just know I ended up in bed at 7:30 exhausted and slept, and slept and slept more. Now its Nov 10th, my head is clear… finally. Guess I only needed one day of rest to decide its back to work!

Thank God I leave for Miami in 9 days.