A new adventure is on the horizon and I have been dying to share the details with you. So let’s start at the beginning….we have these friends named Brook & Kent….
I’ve known Kent since high school and met Brook in college. We actually cheered together (me and Brook…not Kent….although I’m pretty sure he would have done a mighty fine toe-touch) and then later she met Kent and the rest is history.
When Jeremy moved to Georgia, we searched for a church that would be a good fit for us as a dating couple and we ended up deciding to attend the same church I went to in high school….the same one where Kent was just hired as the youth pastor. Soon, we were their youth group ‘assistants’ and we spent lots of time together having a blast with those kids!
In 2006, we all visited Florida for Brook’s sister’s wedding…and Jeremy ended up proposing and we all celebrated our happy news with dancing, dessert and late night shenanigans.
They both played parts in our wedding.
And then later when we started having kids, I threw Brook’s baby shower. She threw me one for Will.
Brook and Kent only lived about five minutes from our old house and we definitely missed them and their family when we moved further out to the country but we still kept in contact.
They actually have three kids – Lilley (6), Maggie (3), and they added Jack to their clan a little over a year ago. AND…Brook is pregnant with #4!
So am I painting a good picture here?
Good people? Long time friends? Weird in front of a camera? All that…
Well, in mid-December I texted them to let them know the details of Jeremy’s birthday dinner. Over our italian dinner, they told us all about their dream of downsizing to a smaller older house in Old Town Lilburn. It’s similar to our own beloved Monroe but much more developed and closer to the city. It’s a really popular little place right now and nothing was on the market. But they decided to put their own house on the market even though Christmas is traditionally the slowest time of the real estate year. I think they wanted to get a feel for what improvements/changes that needed to be made for when the market picked back up in the spring. That way they would be ready to sell! Well….low and behold….a couple weeks later, they called us and told us they got an offer….and eventually that offer turned into a UNDER CONTRACT sign.
Now comes the tricky part….where does a family of five live till something in Lilburn goes up for sale and gets renovated for them to move in? (don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out an answer)
Well, we have the basement. This giant basement that was basically a dumping ground for our junk and old toys and random christmas decorations. A basement that we really want to use for more than just the random birthday parties and storage. We always said that it would be a great place for serving missionaries but that hasn’t panned out yet. We even contacted a bigger branch of our church to offer it and we got put on a list and nada. So it has been sitting….not empty…but stale.
We decided that even though this would be much more long term than visiting missionaries, it would be serving a family that serves the community and that is full-time in the ministry and plus…they are our good friends….so that was definitely enough reason to offer it up. They accepted and that’s where our adventure begins.
You know how they say you shouldn’t pray for patience because then God will give you opportunity upon opportunity to be patient?
Don’t pray for organization.
Trust me on this one.
Because what happens is that you get smacked in the face with a huge basement of box after box of personal memorabilia, past financial information, decor items and random crap that needs sorted, sold, donated, stored and trashed. And a hard deadline.
We have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out how to outfit the space for a washer and a dryer (they are bringing their own), how to get a functional kitchen down here, and how to clean out 80% of our junk so that they have enough space for their life.
Their move in date is officially the end of this month….which is a huge relief considering the first move-in date was the 21st! But we need to have all our stuff OUT by this Saturday….yeah….like tomorrow….because that is when they are moving their stuff IN. Thankfully, we talked with them about storage areas and they are renting a storage unit for a lot of their stuff. That means we can still use the workroom (labeled STORAGE in the floor plan) and half of the long back hallway for our stuff (enter huge sigh of relief here because my holiday bins eat up storage like CRAZY).
Overall, I am pretty darn excited about this new adventure. I don’t really know what to expect but I know that for at least a few months that we will be hosting them in this space and trying to make it as comfortable as possible. And I am really thrilled that we get to build out a kitchen for this space. What could be better than adding value to our home while using it to serve some of the best people I know?! So if you could….say a little prayer for them….they have a whole house to pack up and moving is super stressful….as is house hunting…house tweaking…and being pregnant to boot….plus the fact they want to live with us? yeah….you know they would have to be saints 🙂 And I will let you know when we start the basement projects…it should be really fun to see some cleared out before & afters! Now I gotta run…I have seven more bins of old office supplies to sort before bed 🙂
Emily, Our house now a home says
That is so wonderful of you to offer your home to them. I am one who loves a full house. I would enjoy having more people, noise and fun in my home if any family or friends ever had to use our basement. We lived in my homes basement for almost a year. It was my in laws house originally and we were set to buy it from them. Things got held up and we were roughing it in a basement with no bathroom and me at the end of ly first pregnancy with many trips upstairs in the night. Your basement would have been a dream. I am always planning for our basement because we did live in it. It is part of our home. Good luck with everything this weekend!
That looks amazing. How nice of you…and they do like a fantastic family. Can I come live there once they move out? 😉
Just curious, but will their 6 year old have to change schools mid year? Seems like going from a Lilburn school to a Loganville school, then back to Lilburn is a lot of moving around for a Kindergarten/first grader.
She is homeschooled so it won’t be a huge deal.
God’s Blessings on your new adventure!!
Yes, Y.O.U. are a SAINT!!!
Stephanie Luff says
I know it’s going to be stressful for them, but this just all sounds so exciting to me! I hope you can chronicle as much as they’ll allow.
Not really! I imagine anybody with good friends would do the same!
I have often wondered what happened to Brook since she was a familiar face back in the early Will days 🙂 So glad to see that you two have a special friendship and I think that is awesome that your families will be together more often! This house is turning into such a special place – I love how it seems to fit your growing family perfectly and it so generously opened to hosting your sister’s wedding, birthday parties, Halloween/fall parties, girls’ nights, Thanksgiving dinners, and now a special family. How awesome of you and Jeremy to use the gifts that God has given you to bless others – you are such an example. Thanks for sharing!
What a blessing you are to them! I type this from the basement of a dear couple who has allowed my husband and I to stay with them while we look for a home. After 5 months of searching while living in their basement, we have found one perfect for us and will be moving in next month! Oh and I’m currently 7 months pregnant! So this story especially warms my heart as it reminds me so much of our generous, hospitable friends! Prayers for ALL of y’all during this adventure!
Aww you guys have the biggest hearts! This will be so much fun!
Megan CC says
We lived in a spare bedroom at my brother and sister-in-laws house for 3 months while transitioning to a new state/jobs/home. Thankfully we adults all got along fine, but it was a bit of a struggle when our toddlers were not getting along and seven people were living on top of each other. While we were (are) so grateful that they let us stay for so long, it would have been way easier if we had the space that your guests will have. Good luck with the quick remodeling jobs/clean up!
Heidrun Finnbogadottir says
Life is empty without family and good friends ( like you guys). Have fun with the kitchen and good luck to you all.
What nice friends you are to offer your home, they are lucky to have you! I have to say, I love the humour in your posts. I laughed pretty hard at “don’t pray for organization… trust me on this one”.
I was just wondering, where did you get that Minnie Mouse costume? I have been searching FOREVER for one. 🙂
We lived with friends for a month while we were between houses. It was fun! The kids had a blast, and I loved seeing my bestie everyday. Total win.
I made it! I got the pattern and made it longer bc it was super short!
Hospitality is one of God’s gifts. Good for you that you possess that gift. It doesn’t come easily for me. I like to entertain and have people over, but when it comes to them staying for days, I’d rather have my privacy. I love when my own family comes for a visit, but I am selfish extending that welcome to others, especially strangers. So may the Lord bless all of you during this adventure. God calls us to do this. ” Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. ” Hebrews 13:2
It doesn’t come to me naturally…I am definitely more like you. But being married to Jeremy helps…he is beyond generous and that is a good reminder to give!
Wow, what an undertaking, Katie, in such a short amount of time! But, if anyone can do it, you and Jeremy can! They are so blessed to have you as friends, and am sure you are blessed with them also. Such a great thing you are doing!! Good luck in this new venture!
Katie this is so great! My husband and I have had 3 roommates in our 5 year marriage and I love it. (Now we have two permanent small roommates, but if we had more space, we’d definitely still invite more people to live with us.) I have always loved this communal feel.
AND. You know this is going to help you get some of those rooms done, right??? Selling stuff = cash for projects! Getting some breathing room downstairs is going to get some space to organize upstairs. And going up and down, back and forth from the basement to the street, that counts as miles toward your goal, right?!?!?!
Good luck. It’s going to be awesome. Congrats on your new adventure!
P.S. – I definitely thought that when you said “And she is expecting #4… guess where I am going with this…” I thought you were announcing #4. #pleaseohplease
Oh boy! Your instagram photos are going to be crazy!
It’s nice they’ll have their own floor. It makes it easier for each family to have some privacy.
And it really does give you a kick in the seat of the pants to sort and purge. After all, you have so much free time with three little boys, a husband and a blog as well as all your other commitments. Just squeeze that right in.
This is so great! I often pray for God to use our home for more than just us. We have a spacious home with rooms we keep shut to save on heating since they’re not used. We too have tossed around the idea of opening it up to others should we ever be in that position. Our friends with a much smaller house and many more kids have had family and friends living with them on and off for almost 3 years, and they really taught me it’s not about “mine”, it’s about His.
Emily @ Life on Food says
What a great opportunity for everyone. I hope you share all of the end photos before they move in.
Jenn C says
What a dear friend you are to Brook! I can’t wait to see what you come up with in the basement! On another note, if you’re looking to sell the chair with caning and white upholstered cushions, PLEASE EMAIL ME! I saw that chair in one of your posts years ago and I covet that chair. I love caning! 🙂
I have this same dream of someday having a space to bless other families or missionaries. We just need a house with space. 🙂 Thanks for making your home a space that allows you to bless others.
This sounds like it’s going to be so much fun! Who wouldn’t want friends in their basement?? My best friend lived with me for a month once and it was the best time. Good luck to all, and have a blast!
This sounds fun! I have had long-term guests and did get tired of having to keep a bra on for so long but I did enjoy the friendship! LOL
Can’t wait to see what you do with the space!
YOU are amazing!
Our friends did this for us for 4 months and it was a huge blessing and one of the most fun times (even in the midst of renovating). We hope we can pay it forward at some point. So glad you are able to do this for your friends!
It is so kind of you to open your house like this. One of my BFFs lived with my husband and I (pre-marriage) and we loved everything about it. She actually helped my husband with my engagement ring. Then, just recently, we lived with my brother-in-law and his family for a few months while in between houses. It really builds such strong relationships with those you share this time with. Enjoy!
I just want to say that it is such a blessing to hear your heart in wanting to serve missionaries. My husband and I (and two kids) are missionaries in Venezuela and have had to stay in homes of others on many occasions while Stateside and there are not many people willing to open their homes to missionaries. It is hard to come back to the States from your “home” on the field to your “home” country, but without a home to stay in. But when you have a loving family (like yours) who is willing to open their home and bless you in such a way, it really makes the time here easier for us and especially for our kids, who get shifted around so much already! So, I am rambling, but I do want to say thank you for sharing that part of your heart. And thanks for your blog! I love reading and finding so many ways I can make my house, in another part of the world, our home with so many DIY things that you share.
& now you are BOTH pregnant with #4!!! How exciting!!!! When is she due?
She is due in July.
xo – kb