Completion of a Cross-Country Move

Hello, hello.  I hope you’ve had a fun and festive St. Patrick’s Day weekend (unlike me … because I’m totally boring when it comes to this particular holiday). Back in January I told you that Renaissance Man and I (and a couple of fantastic helpers!) were sprucing up the inside of this old building in preparation for a cross-country move … and I promised to show you some befores and afters.  Today’s the day.
While the rest of us tackled a few final tasks, Renaissance Man flew to California, loaded up the office, and drove the 2500 miles back to Tennessee … in two days.
Some of my “before” pics were taken the very first time I set foot in this space … before the previous tenants moved out their stuff.  Others, as you‘ll see, are when work was in-progress.

This is the reception area … 
Click any pic to enlarge.

The fabulous 12-foot ceilings allowed us to use many of the photographic panels we had made for Hope’s 20th Anniversary Celebration. Some of you will remember that as another cross-country trip I’ve shared … going the other direction!

It makes us smile every time we walk in the door and see familiar faces of children we know and love in Brazil.  Our new Office Administrator says she can’t wait until she meets these smiles in person!
As soon as I can find the right ones, a pair of chairs will flank that table.

Mission Statement: Transforming the lives of children at mortal risk, providing them and their future generations a productive future and eternal hope.

This large work room is the heart of the space
It’s where all of your wonderful Valentines are readied for taking to the girls in Brazil. Thanks again to everyone who’s helping us Celebrate Love! (There’s still time …)

The bathroom seemed like the perfect spot to hang some paintings by Brazilian artist Simone Thebes.  These are part of a series she did for us called Childhood Innocence.
And this is Renaissance Man’s “home away from home.”
It’s a small office, but the high ceilings make it feel roomy … and the space is perfect for surrounding him with the eclectic mix of interests you’d expect to find in someone I call Renaissance Man.
There’s his serious side …
… and the side that proves he knows not to take life (or himself) too seriously!
Carved by an old friend when Renaissance Man received his Ph.D.  He knew …  You’ll never take the Texas boy out of the man!

It’s a happy, peaceful space.  A place of refuge God has provided to encourage an intentionally small U.S. staff … in the midst of their huge task.  A task God blesses every day with stories like this one.
Renaissance Man had the privilege of baptizing Estefania a few years ago.  Today she is a thriving graduate of our program, ministering and sharing Hope with those around her.

So what’s next?
As soon as the weather warms up a little more, we’ll tackle the outside of the building …

If you’re ever in East Tennessee, I hope you’ll stop by. That’s what Nellie at Berries and More did a few weeks ago.  It was my very first time to meet a Blogland friend in person …  and I’m still kicking myself for not getting a picture of the two of us … but we had a nice visit!

Are you in the middle of any repair/renovation projects? Do tell!

I’ll be joining
Mosaic Monday at Little Red House
Blue Monday at Smiling Sally
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
The Scoop – special feature this week at A Stroll Thru Life


  1. What was wrong with us that day, Susan?:-) I even had my camera with me, packed away in the car! I will return, though, and there will be time for a picture.

    I must say, too, that it is a very lovely space you have created for this important work. You had a lot to do, and you have accomplished quite a lot in a short time.

    We had corned beef and cabbage for our dinner today, along with Irish soda bread. As always, ever trying to be true to that Irish ancestry of mine.:-)

    Have a great week ahead!

    xo Nellie

  2. Wow! You folks have put the pedal to the metal and the hammer down! Wow! (Oops… I already said that…) I’m so excited for you!

    And this woman forgot ALL about the Valentines… Puts a sad pit in my heart. I feel sorry to miss out on this blessing. May each precious girl be blessed by your every effort on their behalf!


  3. What an undertaking! It all looks very well-settled now.

  4. Fantastic makeover and job well done. I can see all the work you’ve done and feel the tiredness of that much work. Maybe that’s because I just had a very strenous weekend in the garden building raised beds and moving dirt. No matter how you look at it, work is hard and you have done a great job with the inside. I can hardly wait to see what you do with the outside. God bless you for all your labor.

  5. Brava to both you and Ren man ~ Wow! What energy and work ~ Beautiful photos and love the art work in the ‘head’ ~ Enjoy ^_^

  6. Whew what a job! Great job. I am your newest follower and fellow Tennessean…maybe we will meet someday! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks for sharing this interesting post. I like the blue-gowned graduate most of all!

    You sure made a happy difference with this move-in.

    Happy Blue Monday, Susan.

  8. I think the bathroom pictures would love great on the doors to washrooms!!
    You did a great job!

  9. If I didn’t feel like such a big ol’ pil o’ poop right now, I’d turn a couple of cartwheels! This is fantastic, Susan! Congratulations! I know it has been a long time coming, and you guys have to be absolutely exhausted. If nothing else would wear him out, I’m sure that 2200 miles in 2 days had to!!! (Girl, I get tired driving the 5 miles to the grocery store!) It’s great to see all the significant changes and upgrades you have made to the space, and I know everyone who crosses that threshold will feel the love the lives there. I love the funny carving (I almost wore a “house dress” under my graduation robe!)and the other personal touches that make it the “home away from home” that it is. Best wishes on your mission, and when Ramon & I are headed to Tennessee for his next med school reunion, we’ll make sure to get in touch with you well in advance so we can stop by! Congratulations!

  10. Everything looks great, Susan. Congrats on making the place very special.



  11. Looks great. You did a good job. I played too. Mine are here and here.

  12. Well, I just lost my comment and I don’t want to try to retype the whole thing. It’s too early to wrestle with this demon possessed laptop this morning.

    I love what you have already done to the place, and I can’t figure out whether I love the serious side painting or the fun side of the Renaissance man better. Let’s keep it a draw.

    What I do know is that I’m excited for you to have the headquarters moved home to Tennessee and impressed that he did it so quickly! It all looks wonderful, and without a doubt my favorite part is the inclusion of the big photos.

    The ladies in my class say THANKS for the THANKS! You didn’t have to do that.

  13. And yay… it posted this time.