Some trials in life just don’t go away once they are officially over.
On April 3, 2014, our house burned to the ground while we were on Spring Break vacation in Texas.
You can read about the whole thing here—> When the Unthinkable Happens: Lessons from a House Fire
It seems like now, our life is broken into 2 sections: before the fire and after the fire.
Did we have that movie before the fire or after?
Do I still have my wedding dress? No, I lost it in the fire.
Logically, after 4 years we should have moved on. And we have, for the most part.
But every once in a while, something will come up that reminds me of what we have lost.
However, today I want to tell you about some of the things we gained from the fire.
This is a list of the big changes we made to our new house that we built after the fire.
10 Things We Added To Our New House After The Fire:
1. Water Fountain
This water fountain was something fun that we added to this new house because we had seen it at a builders house and thought it was a great idea. With kids in the house, it is so nice to have freely available water with no dirty cups!
2. Wood Stove
In our last home, we were all electric. That made us worry that we wouldn’t have heat in an emergency. So this time, we put in this wood stove and we love it. It makes the house warm and cozy in the winter time.
I know this may sound crazy to some of you, but it is so nice to have a urinal in the boys bathroom! Yes, we have 3 teenage boys and having an extra place for them to go to the bathroom (there is a toilet in this bathroom as well) has been awesome!
4. Tile Flooring
We have wood looking tile flooring throughout the entire house except the bedrooms. This is much easier to keep clean with the boys and animals. We only had our previous house for 2 years, and the carpet in the hallway and high traffic areas was already wearing out.
5. Game Room
This section of the house used to be the garage. We made it into a game room for the kids and added another garage to the side of the house. Eventually we hope to have another pool table in here (we lost ours in the fire) but for now the fooseball table will have to do.
6. Large Kitchen Island
I love our new kitchen and the large kitchen island. We have our sink, dishwasher and storage in the island with bar stools on the other side. Our old house had a kitchen peninsula, so this is much better.
7. Covered Porch
We had plans at the other house for a covered porch, but it didn’t happen. We even had the footers already poured. So with this house, we got it done at the beginning. We love sitting outside on the porch in the summertime and looking at the view.
8. RV Garage
We had an RV when the fire happened. It was parked next to the house, but got little fire damage because of the stucco walls of the house. So when we built our new house, we decided to add an RV garage on to the house to protect it from the weather and make things look better outside.
9. Large Kids Bedroom
When we laid out the house, we decided to put two bedrooms together and make a room big enough for all three boys to be in at the same time. We added 3 closets and my husband built these queen size bunk beds. When the kids grow up, this will be a great bunk room for the grandkids!
10. Guest Bathroom
In our previous house, we had 2 bathrooms (guest bath and kids bath). But the kids bathroom was the one the guests would use and it wasn’t always clean. So with this house, we decided to add a half bath by the front door that would always stay clean for guests. This is a lifesaver for me most of the time.
When we have a big tragedy or trial in our lives, it may take awhile before we can look back and see what we have gained from it. But there is almost always something to learn or gain from hard times.
As for this fire, we have learned to appreciate what we have and take what comes in stride. It isn’t easy, but it gets easier as time goes by.
I love our new house and all the fun stuff we have in it. It is a great place to raise our family. As we fill it with new stuff and new memories, it feels like home.
If you could build your house over again, what would you add or change? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share! Thanks!