Our Story

Our story is fairly cliche' with an added twist.

We both grew up in tiny towns with wonderful support systems. Our childhoods were filled with family outings, sports, church activities. After graduating from different colleges, we found ourselves in the same small town for the summer. Halfway through the summer, we met through mutual friends at a random Thursday night cookout and flirted over a game of Mafia. We started dating shortly after that fateful evening and just never stopped. After a really fun 3 years together, we got married the summer of 2013 with a private family ceremony which included BBQ, corn fields, and perfect weather.

A few months into our marriage, we bought a property and ended up turning the unattached garage into a tiny home. After moving in, we affectionately named our little place “Bunker”. We continued to renovate the property with plans to eventually restore the main house, Longshot. Bunker was a huge source of joy and pride for both of us. Our weekends were often filled with house projects and then having friends over to check out the newest design.

On the early morning of June 15th, everything changed. Around 6am, Derek got on his motorcycle to head downtown to tackle another day at the office. Although he had been driving a bike for years, I always made him text me when he got to work safely. Unfortunately, a text never came. At 7:13am, I received a call from a man named David who explained that Derek had been in a terrible accident and I needed to get downtown as soon as possible.

As I hustled around Bunker, I remember stopping at our bathroom mirror and specifically telling myself to calm down. I will never forget the moment I was told of his injuries and I was given the chance to see him before they wheeled him back for emergency surgery. I remember the neurosurgeon handing me Derek's helmet and a tooth fell out of the head mask.  Although Derek had on a full faced helmet and all the gear, he still managed to break 7 bones, his spine, and collapse his lung. As a complete T6 spinal cord patient, the raw fact of him never walking again sunk into all of us during our month ICU stay.

After being released from the ICU, I followed Derek’s ambulance to Chicago where he spent another 4 months as an inpatient at the Rehab Institute of Chicago. Derek's injury level means he is paralyzed and cannot feel anything from the armpits down. The accident is still a mystery but we are so thankful God spared his mind. Throughout this whole journey, we have been so thankful for the amazing support system God has given us.

We moved back to our city in October and ended up renting an accessible apartment close to Derek's work. Due to Bunker being the opposite of accessible, we started the house hunt and purchased the perfect little place (The Quarry) this spring. 

Our goal for this blog is to continue the old things we loved by adjusting them to fit our new lifestyle. So, that's what you will find here! The renovation of The Quarry (house), using our garden to create simple recipes (harvest), all types of plant tips (harvest), and continuing to heal from injuries (health).

With Love,

The Lavenders