Our Blog

A New Way To Help!

Well, it’s been a crazy week…and it’s only Wednesday! We are gearing up big time for The House That Love Built. Every day is filled with long to-do lists of work, questions to be answered, supplies to be given, contractors and volunteers asking what can they do, how can they help… This is going to be the most amazing Believe With Me project to date!
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Believe With Me’s Biggest Day Yet!

Yesterday was the biggest “pinch me I can’t believe this is happening” day ever. Seriously. Not only was it Judson’s 10th birthday (which meant our special date day was spent doing some pretty amazing things) but it was the day we closed on Karen and Billy Vaughn’s new home. It was the day YOU helped give this family their piece of the American Dream. It was the day that all of your prayers, shares, and donations culminated in one of America’s Gold Star families being able to purchase a home after the loss of their son. You did that. I helped. Together, we did something pretty *&^%$#@!! amazing and I just wanted to share the day with you so that YOU could see what YOU helped do.
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The Hardest Part

It’s coming down to the wire now. We will be closing on the new house for Karen and Billy Vaughn in just a few short days. I’ve been pounding the pavement with all my kids in tow, dragging them from furniture shop to mattress store, Home Depot and local businesses — basically anywhere or anyone who I think may be interested in donating time, money, or product to this home for one of America’s Gold Star families. So many people have responded overwhelmingly, and I WANT to share with you every single miraculous occurrence as it happens, but I know the Vaughn’s read this blog and I don’t want to ruin some of the FANTASTIC surprises they have coming from some very #gratefulamericans! I got a phone call from one retailer I had visited with ten kids still wet from swim practice. When we entered the store on Tuesday, the woman behind the desk looked at me as though I was crazy. When I told her why I was there, she teared up. “My dad was Navy. Don’t say another word.” She phoned me yesterday seriously just as I had sat down to write an email to her CEO.
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Making America Gold Star Strong

IMG_9131This is our youngest baby. He was born during one of the toughest personal trials our family has ever faced. There were plenty of times that during that pregnancy, our family faced disintegration. On any number of levels. And yes I prayed. I prayed a lot. We all did. We fought some damn hard battles and together we made it through. But there were so many times that truthfully, the only thing that brought me out of despair was this photo. Image-1 3
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The House That Love Built

Last night’s meeting in Stuart to discuss The House That Love Built was an incredible success! We had more than two dozen people attend, eager to know how they could tell their friends, families, and co-workers about the new home Believe With Me will be purchasing for Karen and Billy Vaughn. What a joy and an honor it is to find other #gratefulamericans who want to give back to such an incredible family. Bolay provided the yummy food, and little Ransom was my sidekick as he gathered everyone’s communication information and passed out my business cards and information about our non-profit.
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THANK YOU!

IMG_9431Next week, a young friend of ours is going to Coronado to pursue a career in the Navy SEALs. We met this gentleman as we worked together on the first The House That Love Built project this past summer for Clay and Linda Schumann, proud parents of Jordan Schumann, KIA July 5,2011. This young man was a hard working, sweet soul who went about his daily life with a gentility that is rare. It is almost comical to me that he would volunteer to be an elite warfighter. But his quiet strength is something highly valued in the SEAL community so I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised.
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Believe With Me Goes to DC!

We drove two days for nearly 18 hours total to get to Washington, DC. Friends of ours, Dave and Kristina Collins, hosted our entire family for the four days we stayed in the city. Now those are some real friends…housing our brood! It was the week of the inauguration, and Believe With me had our first fundraising event held in the Trump International Hotel. Truthfully, the entire thing was a gift from God wrapped in the generosity of one Nancy Pickard. Nancy heard of our mission to purchase Karen and Billy Vaughn a new home and she jumped on board with the idea of bringing as many people together as she could muster to hear about what we’ve been doing. My most sincere gratitude to Nancy.
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Believe With Me is Going to DC!!

IMG_8117I’m always amazed at how God can use the passions of our heart and give us opportunities to share those passions with others in a way that we KNOW it couldn’t possibly be of our own doing. Like this past year when in the span of one month, He opened doors for Believe With Me to be on The Today Show and Fox and Friends. Through these two powerful mediums I learned that our country is FILLED with #gratefulamericans who #believewithme and are hungry for a way to give back to our Gold Star families. I knew that our desire to bring Hope and Help to America’s Gold Star families was a powerful and moving drive that easily brought people into the cause.
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The Reality

image148I went to Karen and Billy Vaughn’s house yesterday for an interview with a news station about our project, The House That Love Built. I listened to her recount the day she learned of Aaron’s death. I sat, tears rolling down my face as Billy was next to me listening to her answer questions about their son, about how difficult the holidays can be, and about Believe With Me’s mission to purchase them a new home. Billy’s eyes continually flowing with pain and memories– I realized something. We have moved from “if” to “when.”
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