“Firsts”–My Story

May 18, 2016

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

More About Me



Tackling “firsts” after a tragedy is tough. Life has to return to “normal” again at some point—but the heart naturally wants to fight against it. It’s so painful. And after going through so much pain already, you try to avoid pain at all costs. Almost becoming numb to things at times. Avoiding painful situations, if at all possible. But you can’t stay away from normal forever. Eventually you have to face the “firsts”….first time I returned home following the accident, first time I saw Corey’s clothes hanging in the closet, first time sleeping in our bed alone, first time I drove Corey’s car. Everything comes crashing in on you…the smells, the memories, the tears.

Not only was I dealing with all of this, but my kids were too. My heart broke for them. I just wanted to take it all away from them and put it on me. Pain was inevitable. Unfortunately, it was the season we were in. Fortunately, it doesn’t last forever.

July 23, 2011:

I drove your car today for the first time. That was hard! All of these firsts are so hard…and then they get a little easier. Tomorrow morning another first will be tackled..getting the kids ready for church and then going to church without you.

Chase is sleeping with me tonight. Lauryn and Auston stayed at mom and dad’s. Chase wanted to stay home to help me get the boys ready in the morning. So, as I was writing in here, he started talking about the accident. He asked if I ever told Jim thank you for saving your life. I said, yes. And told him he could too if he wants. Then we just started talking about everything… how he’s doing with it all. Especially since he was on the boat and saw the whole thing. He said he still sees it in his mind. I told him, me too. I gave him my verse that I say practically all day long, Philippians 4:6, and encouraged him to say it when the visions creep in.

He said his friends tell him they’re surprised at how well he is handling this. He said he tells them, he knows God is going to heal his dad and has him in his hands. I assured him that’s all good, but it’s ok to get sad sometimes too. He said he does. My heart breaks for him—I wish I could take away the memory and the sadness. He has such a big heart.

Read more posts like this one…

9 Things I’m Loving Right Now

9 Things I’m Loving Right Now

Going a little off script today. Thought I would have some fun and share 9 things I'm loving lately! I get a little more personal like this in my email. I would love to have you join the community over there. If you like the content and want more interior design/DIY...

Common Home Renovation Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Common Home Renovation Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

With so many potential remodeling pitfalls, it's wise to learn from the mistakes of projects past. Knowing what not to do when you take on a remodel will help you make the most of your time and money. Before you start your next home renovation project, check out these...