Dana and I were recently talking and we realized it has been five and a half years since we started the renovations on our house. It is hard to believe it has been that long already. Whenever I think back to that time, I can’t help but think about what lead up to us deciding to renovate. We had been pretty restless, still working on “finding home”. Dana was traveling so much, his job was really stressful and we just weren’t sure that this is where we really wanted to stay. We loved our house, but if we were going to stay, we were ready to make some changes and upgrades. We knew we had a small window to move before the girls got much older and we had to decide. Were we going to stay and renovate? Were we going to stay in the area but buy another house? Were we going to leave the area completely and move to a new state? If we moved to a new state, where would we go? Lots and lots of questions. Hours of conversations and considerations. It all came to head one Saturday at our local deli / convenience store. My family had all come in to watch our daughters’ soccer games. We had a couple of hours in between games and no food in the house. While everyone else headed home, I headed to the deli to pick up sandwiches, drinks and snacks. By the time I finished gathering up everyone’s lunch order, there were so many things piled up. To help me out, hey loaded everything up in a box so I could carry it out. As I headed out the door and towards my car with my arms full, one person opened the door for me. Then, a man from a nearby neighborhood saw me and rushed over, took the box out of my hands and carried it to my car for me. A simple act of kindness. I knew his name, Joe. I knew where he lived and that he went to our church, but it really was just a casual acquaintance. It was that simple act of kindness that changed everything for me. By the time I completed the ten minute drive home to bring lunch to my family, I knew I didn’t want to move out of this community. I realized that I had fallen in love with our quirky little community. I realized that although, like all communities, it has flaws, it was the perfect place to raise our family surrounded by kind and generous people. You already know how this story ends. We decided to make this house work better for us and started planning our renovations. And now, coming up on 15 years after we moved in, not only does this home house our family, but our family business as well. What a beautiful journey we have been on. And it all stayed on track with a simple act of kindness. I have never told Joe that story. Hopefully I run into him at the deli soon so I can tell him. P.S. This post is brought to you by the beautiful colors of summer because currently everything here is the color of mud and I am tired of it! P.P.S. Something bigger is at play here. I was just finishing this post when I saw this come through. Another beautiful simple act of kindness and words of encouragement that mean so much and have me all choked up here!