Just over a week ago, Monday, February 11, 2019, our a-frame cabin that we have been renovating for the past year burned to the ground. It’s been a hard week and I thought if I stepped away from everything for a little bit, I would be able to come back with all the answers to the questions I’m sure you have. To maybe lift some of the emotional weight that so many of you have lifted from me over the past week—thank you. But the truth is, I don’t have all the answers and I told our friends, I know it’s all going to be okay in time, but right now—I’m just sad. So we’ve been taking time to just mourn over the loss of everything we worked hard on, everything we were looking forward to, all the things that the cabin was for us. And it has been rejuvenating, in a way. I think if we jump right from tragedy to “everything happens for a reason” (which, I don’t neccessarily believe, although I do believe good can come from everything) then we lose out on a lot of grieving and learning and healing that has to take place and is still very much taking place on our end.
In this grieving the past week, a lot of tears have been shed in gratitude. If you follow me on Instagram stories, you know that the weekend leading up to the fire, we went up to our cabin as a family and Chris and I renovated the bathroom in the loft area in between dance parties and hot chocolate and morning dips in the hot tub. We left Sunday morning, and on Monday morning Chris got the text with a video our cabin on fire from a mechanic in the area. We easily could have been there as an entire family. We left 24 hours before and were headed up the morning of the fire to take photos of the bathroom we had just completed. We could have been there. Ultimately, that is what has been keeping me up at night. Multiple fire investigators are still working to determine the cause, though right now we think it started in the furnace room. I go through it all in my head over and over, what it would have been like to get our whole family out safely if we had been there. Lots of anxiety and trauma around the what-ifs, that I’m working to let go of.
Monday morning, Chris had just dropped our oldest off at school and he called me. His voice was shaking when he said “I just want to preface this by saying, “Everything is going to be okay. Our cabin is on fire.”
We both collapsed on the floor in tears when he got home and just kept repeating “how?! HOW?! I don’t understand?” The fire department was already on the scene and it was a long 70 minute drive to the cabin. We didn’t talk or listen to anything. Just cried.
And I know it sounds strange, because there was nothing living in the cabin when the fire broke out (thankfully!), but sometimes I just start crying thinking about when the fire started, how the cabin must have been feeling. I can’t help but feel like it was scared. That it was screaming. That ultimately, it coaxed us to leave Sunday morning sooner than we had planned, so we could be safe. To us, our a-frame had a pulse. We had only bought her 15 months prior, but it felt like a part of our family. I feel like I lost a member of our family that we had shared two Christmases with. One glorious summer. Girls weekends and couples weekends. Endless family overnighters. We fixed her up and made her our own and poured so much love into her and in return, we get to keep all those memories.
Don’t wait. I say it often, but it bears repeating now, don’t wait to make memories. Don’t wait until the walls are painted or the holes are patched or the shiny new appliances arrive to make happy memories in your home. It’s the reason we do what we do, and it’s what we have left now. And I’m so grateful.
We don’t have all the answers to what’s next. But we know we’re lucky. And we’re alive. And we have a big community cheering us on. And that makes me know that something good is going to come from these dark days. And whatever that looks like, we’ll always remember fondly our dear cabin, and how much we loved it.
I am so sorry. I survived a house fire and a hotel fire. So, I know the rollercoaster of emotions. The blessing is you have happy memories from the time it was in your life!!!
I read about your cabin fire on Emily Henderson’s blog and it rocked me to the core. First, I want to say, eventually, life does return to normal and you WILL be okay. I say this with certainty because my family lost our primary house to a fire nearly ten years ago. This type of event (whether by fire, flood, hurricane…etc.) shakes the foundation out from under you for awhile….it just DOES. We found ourselves reeling, aimless, devastated, exhausted – there are so many words to describe all the feelings you will feel. And I’m here to say it’s healthy to let yourself feel ALL OF IT. The grief, anger, fear, hopelessness….you have to process through it. And while I am a believer in “things happen for a reason,” I also told my two young boys that sometimes we never know the “reason.” It just happened. And it sucks. BIG TIME. But I also had my FAITH – spiritual and emotional faith – that life goes on and my family of four was safe (three of us were home when our fire started). We lost family pets which was the most tragic part of the fire. Not the contents or the house itself, but the living, furry family members we shared our lives with were taken from us. That was the hardest part. But still….we healed. We got new pets and while they are not replacements for the ones we lost, they are loved for who they are and the love they give back to us. You will find that even though you put all the hard work into making your cabin a wonderful, family retreat, that indeed, it is all just STUFF. I have such a different view of material possessions since our fire. Yes, there are things that we lost that I truly, deeply, regret not having anymore, but when I look at my husband and two sons, all of that seems so trivial to what could have happened if one or more of us had not gotten out of the house. So give all of you time to process through this massively sorrowful chapter of your lives, but remember that it is exactly that – a CHAPTER in your long, beautiful, family STORY. Keep reading…..it gets better, eventually, I promise. God bless your family!
We’ve been remodeling our ski cabin right along side of you. All the while saying….I really would love an A-frame someday. I shared a lot of your posts with my (non Instagram) husband. He especially loved when you painted the exterior black. I’ve been staying off social media lately as to try to be a role model for my teenagers. I just heard about the fire today. My heart hurts for you as we all know how much you loved it there.
I am truly sorry. Take this time to connect with your family and be thankful you are all together and safe. You can make memories in your beautiful home. Focus on the positive. Someday you may have the answers to why this happened. It’s impossible to know the answers now, so don’t dwell on it.
I read about your tragedy on another blogger’s website and it shook me to my core. I, too, feel that houses have a pulse–and that the more love you pour into it, the more alive it becomes. We just bought a small fixer upper cabin on a lake in August and your post has encouraged me to make the most of all of it, whatever stage of renovation it is in, whenever and with whoever we can. We will be thinking about you guys as you soldier forward. And rejoice with you when you find the good in it.
Bless your hearts. I was starting my Saturday morning ritual checking my favorite bloggers and read your sad news. I’ve really enjoyed your blog and gaining inspiration from all that you all have done to make your houses your own. I am so sorry for your family. I hate that life at times finds a way to change up all the plans you had in motion and puts you on a different path. I totally agree with you about the everything happens for a reason business. I do feel that there always something that can be gained even from bad situations. Treasure your memories and take time to recover and thank you for reminding us that while we do enjoy our houses it’s just a house and the home is our family and the memories we make with those we love and are most important to us.
We had a much less-scaled but what felt catastrophic none-the-less event in our last home almost three years ago. It hurts. I’m hurting for you. It took me a long time to ‘trust’ the house again, even though it was not the house’s fault (it was very much the contractor’s fault, actually). And even though we’ve moved on to a new house since, I don’t think I’ll ever let go of that little bit of dis-trust. And I’m a home lover, but it’s a good reminder that we can love our homes because they are members of our family, but at the end of the day, (and I hate myself for saying it because I barely believe it to be honest) they are just…actually I’m not even going to finish that sentence because you and I both know it’s not what you want to hear and it’s not what I want to say. Please just know that I’m so, so, so sorry. I hope you can, in due time, trust again.
What a beautiful sentiment to start living now rather than waiting until things are perfect. Praying for peace for your family. What a beautiful tribute.
Wow! I’m sorry to see and read this story but proud of you and inspired by humanity that you are spreading the message of don’t wait. Thank you through your sadness for caring about changing the mindset of others. Prayers to you for nights of sleep and continued joy and we too feel that way about our home. We all say goodbye every time we leave on a trip.
I’m so sorry to hear this news about you beloved cabin. I’m in tears for you all. I’m most thankful that no life was lost. The cabin knew to get you all out before I believe that. You will rebuild and be stronger for it . I wish you and your family nothing but happiness and blessings. Look forward to watching what you all start working on next. ????????
Oh, I feel terrible for you guys. What a loss! I’m sorry I don’t have more uplifting words. Hugs from Utah…
I sit here in shock as I read your story. I am working with a fir wood project and found you by sheer fluke and then my curiosity had me engrossed in the cabin’s new life. And then, well, no words can be spoken to soothe the pain and shock you have endured. When we create a home it is our nest, our refuge and every single minute in sprucing and decorating and making that home yours is never counted in hours, only in memories and that awesome feeling of transformation that occurs when hands work with brushes, and saws and nails.
Losing a love for what you had will never be forgotten but I can beg God to send angels to watch over you as you heal and plan the future secret place that brings you peace and harmony to your family.
May you find peace in the ashes.
This gave me chills reading and my heart aches for you and your family. We as designers and DIY’ers pour our hearts and souls into building our renovations into a home for memories. Thank you for sharing this sobering reminder to live for the moment and memories-no matter where you are in the process. Sending you all the good vibes. <3
I really admire your vulnerability in sharing this with us all. It take strength and bravery to share feelings this raw. I love your thoughts on enjoying the now.
Thank you for sharing. Take your time healing, we will be here when you are ready.
When the “what if’s” sneak up on you, let the “tears of gratitude” flow… those tears will eventually extinguish the sting of the “what if’s”.
Healing is a process.
God’s grace and mercy is forever…
a gift that just keeps on giving.
Oh how terrible. It was so lovely. Thank goodness you weren’t there
I amd so gutted for you.
I have loved following along with your beautful cabin renovation.
Sending you loving vibes from Australia xoxoxoxo
I am terribly sorry and saddened by your loss. I can´t imagine what you must be going through. Sending strength, hugs and good vibes your way.
I’m so, so sorry about this news. I am so relieved that no one was hurt, but I also deeply resonate with your reflections that a building is like a member of the family. What a huge loss. I’m so sorry.
That was beautifully written????????
I’m sorry for your loss. I’m grateful
no one was hurt.
I wish I had healing and comforting words. Through you and your beautiful family, we loved her too. There is a shared loss. I love your perspective during the sadness. I thank our loving Father you are all safe and were all spared the trauma of being there to witness. Blessings to you, Julia. Thank you for sharing.
Absolutely devastating. Thanks for sharing the picture of the cabin on fire. It really shows just how engulfing the fire was. Do you know who called 911? Was it still on fire when you guys arrived that morning? Will you be able to get compensated from insurance? Sorry for all the questions I’m just curious how it works. I am so sorry for your loss. It was the most beautiful cabin I’ve ever seen.
So true…God can bring good out of every event in our lives (I believe your view of this instead of the trite saying). All your future dreams you had waiting …..that’s worthy of mourning. So glad you’re finding comfort in one another. Blessings to you and thank you for sharing.
I can only imagine what you are feeling. We had a house fire 7 years ago. The months following the fire were the hardest I’ve lived through. I will be sending you prayers and love in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for sharing both of your beautiful homes.
I am so sorry. I don’t know your situation but ultimately, did you have the cabin insured and will you try to rebuild it? Lots of luck and hoping it will all turn out to be alright.
So sorry for your loss. There are no right words at times like this. This is hard and painful, and it’s going to be that way for a long while. I’m sorry you and your family are having to go through this tough time. Sending prayers for grace along your grief journey.
I am so so sad to hear about your cabin. And so happy you all are safe. She sure was beautiful and I believe homes have a pulse and she was watching you. I hope you rebuild her up again!!
We are all sad with you. Thank God nobody was hurt. <3
When I was younger, my aunt and uncle lived in NJ and had an a-frame cabin in the Poconos. They had a tragedy similar to yours, but the opposite. No cell phones back then; they arrived at their cabin on a Friday night after a 2-hour drive and were told there was an incident at home but no details. They turned around and 2 hours later found their primary home gutted from fire. My uncle was a very handy guy and he rebuilt the entire house beyond its original glory while living in a trailer in the driveway. I know Chris will do the same. And that will be the good that comes from this tragedy.
I can’t imagine the mix of emotions you must be feeling, but you are right, good things will come. We will be here to cheer you on as you move forward. Thank you for teaching us such a vital life lesson – to never wait to celebrate and make memories; life is too short to wait on perfect or finished.
So sorry for your loss, your journey inspired us the followers as you worked through redesigning it! I’m glad you are able to keep the right perspective especially that your family is ok, may doors to something greater open after this tragic loss…
So glad to hear you are all safe! And so sad to read it is all gone
I am so sorry for your loss! Reading this brought me to tears! I have been following along through every step of the renovation process, loving what you’ve done and using so much as inspiration and this, upon reading this, I felt shock and utter devastation. While there are absolutely things to be grateful for and this a material loss, I want to validate that this loss is still unimaginably upsetting and you have every right to grieve. If there is anything readers can do to help, I would love to know. My thoughts are with you and Chris and your family!
I am so sorry for your loss. You worked so hard and it was so beautiful. I am so sorry
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful cabin with us, it was so much fun to watch the progress! I am so sorry, but I know that whatever comes next for you all will be even more awesome to watch.
First and most important is your is family safe…I
have followed you as you put every loving touch in the renovation…know that we are feeling your pain as we have followed along watching this cabin come back to life thru your amazing renovation skills. Sending you our heartfelt thoughts and prayers
What a lovely tribute to your beloved cabin.
I’m so sad for you and your sweet family.
My prayers have been with you . ????
I’m really sorry!! I had loved your cabin and am so sad to see it go!! Praying for your rebuild!! The journey can seem more than we can build!????????❤️
Omg I just read this with a lump in my throat and knot in my stomach. I am so so sorry for your loss. I know what you mean about homes and things having feelings. Gratitude and grief can coexist.
I’m so very sorry.
That fiery image is haunting
I watched your video in tears. Following your journey has left me invested in your gorgeous home, cabin and family. I feel so sad for your loss, but also so relieved for the fact that you all weren’t physically involved or hurt. I have no wise words, just love to send your way.
Oh my I am writing this with tears! I am so very sorry to hear this! I lived through you watching you remodel that magical place! So beyond beautiful! I can’t even imagine what you are going through! But I am lifting you and your family in prayer! Sending you love and hugs as well! ????????❤️
I’m so sorry for this tragedy your family is facing. This is a sad time and you should grieve. You are amazing for focusing on the memories, the reason you were compelled to buy this cabin in the first place. I am praying for you.
I am so, so sad to hear about the loss of your beautiful cabin! ❤️ It was endlessly fun for me to watch you and Chris make over the space so that it was a fun retreat and get-away for your family. And I, like you, am so thankful you started making so many wonderful memories in the space. I hope you are able to make a place as cozy and memorable in the future for your family!
The wisest thing I’ve ever heard about grief that is that it is like a cup that is constantly being poured into. And then it overflows and spills everywhere. At first, after a loss, the grief comes in big waves, the cup overflows quickly. In time, it slows to a trickle, then to drips. But there will always be moments where it the cup overflows.
You heart will ache for the cabin for a long time. Wishing you strength and love in these moments when your cup overflows.
I just can’t even imagine the pain you have to work through. I cry every time I see a picture of your cabin.. I’m sure anyone that followed along probably did. We were all so happy and excited for you. Hang in there and grieve for as long as you need to .. it’s healing to cry. ♥️ ????????????????????????
I’ve been trying to think of the right words to say, to convey how sorry I am for your loss. How deeply grieved I am alongside you, for you, with you. Homes are sacred, and this place was your sacred space. You loved your family well in that home… not waiting to share it with your closest people. Now is now, and you lived that well in that sacred space, Julia. You restored it with care and love. A friend of mine meant well when she asked me last week, why I felt so personally affected by your loss. And I found myself with the same sentiments you vocalized a few weeks ago when you realized your dream home offer fell through: I just really love homes. And I really loved THIS home. And I adore you Marcums. Continuing to pray for you and yours as you slowly pick up the pieces, in your own timing. Praying for bravery to continue on and restored joy to come again soon. Praying for your health; that flare ups would stay at bay. Praying you’d feel so loved. You are all so loved.
My heart breaks for you and your beloved a-frame. I know for sure it was thankful for you and your family and the time you spent making it beautiful. Sending love, happy thoughts, and prayers your way!
This made me cry. ???????? I’m so, so sorry for your loss. And your explanation of the cabin having a pulse and being a member of your family and providing such wonderful family memories doesn’t sound strange at all—I believe you 100%. ❤️ So sorry for your loss. Know you have a whole community who is wrapping their arms around each of you and squeezing hard. Sending so much love. ❤️????❤️????????????❤️????????????
I lost my home and, with my family, every single one of our possessions, when I was five years old. We drove home from an evening at a church activity to see it engulfed in flames, fire fighters doing their thing. In some ways the loss never leaves you. Fire is a powerful force. I, too, don’t believe every thing happens for a reason. I, too, believe that we can make good everywhere out of what life gives us. You are so very good at that! I am genuinely sorry for your loss. May you find comfort.
Thank you for sharing this with us. I’ve been checking the blog every day hoping and praying that you guys are ok. I can’t even imagine what you must be going through with the loss of something so special to you and your family. My heart is broken for you guys. I can’t inagine all the mixed emotions you must be going through right now. For me, it seems like life throws me curve balls when I least expect it and it’s in those trials that I often find myself living in fear and doubt. I have to consciously try to live with faith and not in fear throughout and after hard times and I hope you can find a way to do it too. The mourning process is real and I hope you don’t feel any pressure to skip over or hurry through it.
So sorry for your loss. I have so enjoyed watching you transform this A frame into a beautiful home. Much sorrow and yet so much gratitude that your beautiful family members are safe. Life sometimes sends us challenges that not only test our courage but supply a subtle message that it is the people not the dwelling that make a home. Thank God you are safe.
I’ve been thinking of you often since you posted the news. This is really a beautiful tribute to your cabin filled with some real words of wisdom. Take the time you need to grieve and reflect on the beautiful memories your created. I really can’t imagine the whatifs going through your head. The night you shared the news I laid in bed going over my fire plan in my head and had trouble sleeping and I haven’t lived through what you have. Be kind to yourselves.
I am so heartbroken for y’all and this loss. We are all grieving for and with you. ❤️❤️❤️
Julia & Chris, we’re devastated for your loss. We have loved following along and could tell it was such a special place. We’re happy you’re safe and that you made the best memories there. Sending many hugs from Ohio <3
I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful cabin but am thankful you’re safe and will forever have the memories you created inside. Sending huge hugs!
I used to handle insurance claims and more than once I’ve walked through a burned up home. It’s a real sucker punch really hard right to the gut. The upside is that everyone you love is safe. There were no irreplaceable family photos lost and no family heirlooms (great grandma Sarah’s handmade quilt or grandpa’s favorite rocking chair).
You have lost the life you were going to live in that cabin, the new memories you were going to make and even all the great blog posts you were going to write.
Okay, keep track of any hours spent cleaning up after the fire, including round trip drive time. Your claims adjuster should allow you to offset part or all of your deductible.
Keep breathing and find some way to say goodbye to what was. This cannot be helping your stress related medical conditions.
We will all be holding you and your family in our thoughts.
Sending so much love your way. Thank you for
Inspiring us to make home a thing that we are Proud of. You have taught us to cherish our homes and make what’s best out of what we are given. Keep on doing what you are doing at your own pace. We are grateful to get a glimpse.
I am so sorry!
This is so heartbreaking, you guys have had terrible luck, bc you had carbon monoxide in your current home in the past right and now this :-( I’ve loved following your Instagram and the a-frame and it’s beautiful view have been my favorite posts! I’m so glad you have those wonderful memories and I’m sure you will bring it back better than ever when the time is right.
Chris and Julia, when I read this news, I had an immediate pang of ache for you–for all you’ve created, for all you’ve loved and, selfishly, for all you’ve shared. Thank you for sharing your home and family with us. It means so much to all of us who smiled as you decorated the A Frame and brought your family together there. I am wishing you peace and healing.
This is so raw. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Sending much love as your grieve. ❤️
I am so so sorry this happened. I wish you and your family strength, healing vibes and peace.
Oh Chris and Julia – I have nothing to say that probably hasn’t already been said but I am so,so sorry. Just today I read in the news of a house (in Canada) that burned last night. A family of 9 lived there- Syrian refugees who recently came and all 7 of the children died. It’s a terrible, terrible story and I don’t tell you to one-up or compare to your tragedy but you are absolutely right – as devastating as this loss is, it can all be replaced and rebuilt. You and your children cannot. I’m so glad you weren’t there and that no one was hurt. You are handling this with such grace- but I am truly sorry. It was a beautiful cabin.
Wow I just want to send you guys a big hug.
So sad! The places we create come from the heart. It’s no wonder you feel you have lost someone dear!
Truly devastating. I’ve watched your renovation journey since the beginning! Sending love to you and yours and I’m glad you all are safe
Sending a giant hug to you. ????
This resonated so deeply with me: “ I think if we jump right from tragedy to “everything happens for a reason” (which, I don’t neccessarily believe, although I do believe good can come from everything) then we lose out on a lot of grieving and learning and healing that has to take place and is still very much taking place on our end.”
Yes girl. Yes. Take all the time you need to mourn. And know that we will be here waiting for you (and that I’m internet rolling my eyes at anyone that dares to tell you that everything happens for a reason). Continuing to send your family so much love.
This post was beautiful
My home burned down January 16, 2018… we have since demo’d and completely rebuilt in the same place, almost the same home. I can tell you that fire changes you, it changes everything, your perspective, the way you look at your children, the things, the everything. I can tell you a year later it gets easier, it’s overwhelming and I still cry. I cried the day I read your home burned, I cried a week ago when I learned someone loss their life in a fire a few miles from us, I have felt all stages of grief and I am still not whole. But I’ve learned so much through this, my family is stronger and we are all alive. That is what I focused on. I still miss my old home I loved, but I didn’t have to bury a child. Feel the pain, it’s going to be hard everyday and the pain doesn’t vanish when even your home is replaced if you choose to do so. BE thoughtful, don’t rush any decisions, ask questions, get advice, be in the journey because as much as I don’t want to admit my home burned down for a purpose. It did, and It took a long time to feel that’s way. All my love to both of you and your children. They will learn so much, they are resilient, and will remind you to be strong. Xoxo Kate @graceoutofash
So glad your family is safe but so devastated for your loss. I am one of many followers that have watched the beautiful renovation process. May you feel the abundance of love from all of us.
I love your sentiment that “good can come from everything.” I’ve always struggled with “everything happens for a reason” too.
May you find more peace and comfort with every passing day. As always, thanks for sharing with your readers.
Also, from an insurance attorney standpoint, at least you had everything in that beautiful cabin documented. Hopefully the insurance company will treat you fairly and make you “whole”’for your loss.
Sending love and strength your way
I’m so sorry this happened! I know not much can make you feel better but I know that “what if” feeling you’re feeling. But try not to harp on that. Just remember the good times! My family’s home caught on fire a couple weeks before Christmas when I was in grade school. It wasn’t the worst fire ever but we lost some of our belongings and our family of 5 + a dog + a cat all had to stay in a hotel for what felt like 6 months. It honestly is my favorite childhood memory. All the things and all the changes that came from that fire were so memorable and kept us close. ❤️ Take it easy and keep being the amazing parents you are!
I don’t know if you have hear of Bob and Maria Goff, but I knew I needed to tell you about them when I read of your precious cabin and the loss of it. First- I’m so so sorry. second- please look them up, especially Maria. She wrote a book recently called “Love Lives Here” and it’s amazing. The relevant to you part- they built an AMAZING cabin in the Pacific Northwest, only accessibly by small hydroplane-ridiculously wonderful. Many many many people shared in staying there- family summers- similar to your sweet words. They also had a massive fire which completely destroyed it. Her chapter about it is so sweet and may just reach the tender places in your heart. She may also have just the words of comfort and understanding that most people won’t have. Lots of words here, but just wanted to share and let you know you are a stranger to me, but I love following your precious family and great ideas, and tell you I haven’t stopped praying for you all, and will continue. Excited to hear the awesome things on the other side….keep going.
What a lovely comment…that’s all. Just really lovely.
Oh Julia… it’s just awful. So sorry that happened to your beautiful cabin but I’m just so happy that your family is safe. Sending you love!
I’m so sorry. Praying for you guys.
I am truly devastated for you and your family on the loss of your beautiful cabin. We are so lucky to have been able to follow along with your renovation so far. You had done so much in such a short time. You had such a vision for that cabin and we mourn with you the loss of seeing your full renovation potential. Take care Marcums.
My heart goes out to your family and the cabin. I can’t image losing such a place like this that you have created for yourself, family, and friends.
I hope these messages bring warmth and comfort to your hearts at this time. We (my parents????) have a cabin just up the road from you and have been going to palisades since 1990. It’s a special place and cabin memories are the best. As you find peace I look forward to seeing how you rebuild from here. I hope you decide to stay and continue to make memories. I also feel like homes/cabins have a pulse…a soul…they want to be loved and appreciated…sweet thoughts of it protecting you.
I also feel like the fire in the winter was a blessing of sorts. In the summer it could have easily spread and is scary to think what could have happened from there. I’m terribly sorry and like all the others, have had a prayer in my heart for you and your family.
I am so so sorry for your loss. Grateful that you all are physically safe, but recognize how sad this is and the grieving that you are going through.
I can’t say it as well as so many people have already said it, but I just add my voice to the chorus as a small means of signifying how many of us there are out here whom you have touched and who just hate this for you. Thinking of you.
Julia, I’m reading through this with tears steaming down my face. I’ve been checking your IG and the blog regularly to check in on you all. I have followed Chris loves Julia for the past 2 years, and even have a Charley sofa in our bonus room! You are surrounded by a community that cares for you all, and we are mourning alongside you. Prayers for you and your family❤️
You guys have been heavy on my heart all week. Although this post brought tears to my eyes I am grateful to see a post from you. I can’t imagine the loss and sadness that comes from losing a home. I know material things can be replaced but there are still special memories made with items in that home that new things can’t replace. I hope you are able to find peace in knowing everyone is okay as you work through the “what if’s” and thoughts of how your cabin felt. It’s heartbreaking. We are rooting for your family and know that you guys will make something beautiful out of this situation as you always do. Prayers for you!
You folks have been on my mind so much this past week. And I very much agree that the cabin felt like it had a pulse and was so happy to be getting the love you were giving it. Thank you for sharing this story with us and thank you for reminding us how important it is to make memories because you never know when you won’t be able to anymore.
I only just started following you, but even so, I feel terrible, as though you’re my friends. You have such a great, honest approach to things, and it really sounds like you will come back from this stronger. Acknowledging and mourning the loss, but still looking forward to the new possibilities. I’m so glad your family is safe, that is above all in importance. Sending you love and positivity, along with your many, many fans.
Julia and Chris,
I am so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for sharing so much of your cabin inspiration and transformation with us. I definitely cried reading this; because of your openness I felt attached to the cabin in some way too. I’m praying for you. Please take lots of time for grieving and healing.
Oh my gosh…I didn’t know until I saw this post, and I honestly feel nauseous. I am so glad no one was hurt, and I honestly understand when you talk about what the house must have felt. Oh, I am so very, very sorry.
That last paragraph… yes!
I have been thinking about you all a lot. Especially your girls- they must be so heartbroken. Mine are slightly older, and I know it would be so traumatic for them.
For what it’s worth, I had only recently heard of a fire escape ladder to have on hand to clip onto a 2nd floor window (our bedrooms are all on a second floor). Days later, I saw your tragic IG post of your cabin and I went right out and bought one.
So glad you are all okay.
I remember very well, watching your stories from the day before, as you all were leaving the cabin. Chris was carrying the luggage down and you said, “good bye, cabin” as if you were telling a loved one “see you soon.” My heart was broken when you shared the news of the fire. The love, commitment and hard work you two put into everything is obvious. Nothing will ever take away the happy memories you shared in your beautiful cabin. I am so, so sorry.
I can’t stop thinking about you guys! I know you guys are strangers but I feel for you like I would for a good friend. So so thankful no one was injured! i’m so glad you guys enjoyed it while you had it and that you shared along the way so that we could all grow to love it too!
Like thousands others, I have grieved for you all week. As I sit comfortably at our mountain home in JH, you have been heavy on my heart.
She was a beautiful girl living her best life thanks to you all.
She had never been so loved and so beautiful-but we will never know just what she would become
Praying she will be a Phoenix and rise from the ashes and be a newer and more improved version of what you all had wanted and envisioned.
Your hearts will hurt for a long time just like they did with Charley-but hopefully a Willow version of your home will come along soon-as you hopefully regroup and rebuild. NOTHING like your place and those views and the memories yet to come
How you imagined the way the cabin felt while that was happening is really powerful. I had the same thought when our detached garage burned down 4 weeks ago, and I kept visualizing what it was like inside while the fire was making its way through our cars, our kids’ bikes and our decorations. It’s all just stuff, but it all has meaning. Glad everyone is safe!
It’s so nice to hear from you and know that you’re doing ok. I – and I’m sure thousands of others – have been thinking of you and your family this past week.
So sorry for your loss. sending love.
Hello friend!!! Can’t help but have tears in my eyes reading this. Oh man oh man! Life is beautiful, crazy, scary and like you said don’t wait to enjoy anything! Beautiful obituary for the A Frame. She’s a beauty, forever and ever. My hubs and I have been looking at cabins and your cabin is one I’ve been comparing it to because I mean wow. I know this is selfish but I think I’m sad I never got to see her, I was looking forward to her being able to rent and walk through. I know selfish. I didn’t even get to know her! Love you girl! We’re here, behind you, cheering for you and mourning with you.
I thought about you all week, but still couldn’t believe it until I saw the picture of the beloved cabin in flames. And ever since, I can’t stop crying. Just as you did, I thought about how the cabin must have felt scared and lonely; not that I would have wanted you to be there, but with no one around to rescue her. How she knew she would never get to see you again, never get to show how grateful she was by making more memories and keeping you warm and safe, for all the love you poured into her…
So, so sorry. My stomach sank when I saw this. If someone said to you- Julia, I am going to make you an amazing influencer and you will have a job that you will love, plus able to have the perfect work/life balance, BUT one of your houses will burn down at some point even though your whole family is safe, would you accept that life offer? .. just trying to change the perspective here to help heal your heart.
Everyone who loves DIY and home decor has been thinking about you SO much all week!! Sending more love.
I’m grateful that you are ok.
Sad that the hard work is all gone.
All my blessing to you at this hard time.
I am at a loss for words. I used to see your stories daily on IG, and last night right before bed I put my phone down to close my eyes, and you guys came to mind. I realized, I had not seen your stories in over 2 weeks! #algorithms so, while waiting for my lunch, I decided to pay your IG a visit. To say say that I am heartbroken for you guys is an understatement. I was hoping to catch up with happy inspiration, and the news of your cabin just breaks my heart. I am so so sorry. I pray you find joy again, soon. Thinking of you all, and so happy you are all safe. xx – Sabrina
I stalk IG just hoping to see something from you guys and am so happy you are healing and taking you time to do it.
It’s good to hear from you and I can’t even imagine the sense of loss you must feel. Thanks for including us on this journey.
You dear dear family. So very sorry for your loss. I loved everything about going on this journey with you through Instagram and I know that there will be future vacation homes and projects and memories to be made, but yes, the mourning needs to take place first. Just breathe, dear ones.
My heart hurts for you. I know your hearts must be broken. I am in tears as I write this. I loved following along with all of the beautiful renovations you made and always looked so forward to new posts about “the cabin.” My prayers for you as you process this loss and your grief. I am so thankful that you have all of the photographs, videos and that beautiful Christmas video with your families there and I’m so glad you were not there. You are absolutely right about making memories before everything is finished. I know good will come out of this somehow but I am sure it is hard to see how right now.
Beautifully said. Love you guys. We are definitely in your corner cheering you on.
I’m so very sorry for your loss. I hope you take as much time as needed to mourn. We are all here sending love.
We love Chris Loves Julia! (And their precious girls!)
Mourning with you, lifting you in prayer, feeling hopeful for what’s ahead for you all. Grateful that you have welcomed us into your lives.
I have been thinking about you guys all week long. I am just so heartbroken for you and I can only imagine the sinking pit-in-your-stomach feeling you all have been wearing for the last week. I am so touched by your sentiment that your home had a pulse. It so obviously did!
You are so right, some things don’t happen for any reason at all, but within ourselves, we have the power to assign purpose and bring goodness to the things that follow.
Praying for purpose and goodness for your family in the days, months, and years to come.
We are all Looking forward to watching the goodness unfold when you guys are ready…
So sorry for your loss. We flooded in Harvey and when I first saw our home under water the first thing that came to mind was gratitude. I was so glad we left when we did with our 4 kids. I cried the whole time salvaging what we could and cried the whole time we moved back in. Cry all you need.
I’m glad you’re letting the grief happen. Your family is in my heart.
how devastating, i am so sorry.
Your cabin was LOVED. She experienced over a year of intense love, care, and appreciation from your family. You were in awe of her beauty from day one and that feeling only intensified as time went on. I’m positive she felt that radiating into her bones. I could feel it just from reading your posts.
I don’t think she was scared at the end though. Sad maybe because it meant she wouldn’t be spending time with you. But I don’t think there was fear or pain. This whole situation reminds me of the end of The Giving Tree: sad, unfair, but with a bittersweet feeling of the tree feeling fufilled and grateful to have been able to make the boy happy. I think your cabin was so filled with your love that she didn’t feel a thing.
This is really beautiful Caroline.
I agree, such a lovely comment. What a lovely community of people hanging around these parts….
Oh, that just makes my heart hurt so much for all of you! I have loved following along as you worked on every detail and always looked so forward to each post about “The Cabin.” I’m in tears as I write this. You are right though about making memories right now instead of waiting until everything is perfect or finished. I am so glad for you that you have a record of so many of those memories, especially the Christmas video which was so lovely! I am praying for your hearts to heal and am thanking God that you weren’t there when it happened. Some good will come of it…don’t know how or when but it always does. God bless.
My heart goes out to you! What an incredibly sad end for your beautiful cabin. I can’t imagine how uprooting it must feel to lose such a significant place in your life. I’m so thankful you’re all safe and hope you can find time and space to heal. xoxo
Im so sorry that this has happened! Just in shock to say the least. Im so glad no one was there when the fire started.
I have watched as you have poured your heart n soul into this aframe. What you created was soooo gorgeous!
My worst fear is our home catching fire, & Im always playing in my head how Im going to get our girls & be loved dog out. So so scary. Im soooo thankful you did not have to scurry around trying to gather the kiddo’s or dog.
Chris & Julia,
Reading this makes me so sad for your family but also so very grateful for the fact that you weren’t there at the time. When I read your initial Instagram post the day the cabin burned I thought wow this could have been so tragic had your family been there. I’m so glad for the memories you have and for the great things you will do despite this loss. Hugs to you both.
I’ve thought of you and your family so often over the past week; I can’t imagine the feelings that must be rioting through you all. I hope your memories of your space give you a bit of comfort as you try to regroup. I love what you posted mid-week and what you said today about embracing your home now, instead of waiting until it’s perfect. That truly touched my heart. I have tried to embrace that within the past year as my family moved into our own new space, and plan to embrace it even more fully as time goes on.
I hope you also take comfort in how many great photos and videos you have of the A-frame. Not everyone would, and now you have so much to look back on. I hope those images bring comfort to you, Chris, and your girls in the weeks and years to come.
What a beautifully written tribute. The loss is so tragic but I think it’s been especially heartbreaking for your audience because we were invested not only in the design process, but you and your sweet family. You have the ability to connect so comfortably with your readers and brought us into your life and along for the ride in a warm, real, and relatable way. Because of that, I think this community is only going to keep cheering you on…as loyal and supportive as ever as you continue toward an unknown future. You are loved for more than putting together pretty rooms!! Wishing you all the best.
Thank you for your vulnerability in talking about a heartbreaking loss. Your willingness to grieve this gives permission and words for others to grieve their own losses. We so often bury our grief, not knowing what else to do.
Be gentle with yourselves as you heal. Know you are loved, by God, the Creator of all things beautiful. He will bring beautiful back. ????
I follow you on Instagram and am not a regular reader of the blog, but could feel the sheer JOY you felt for your a-frame. I’m so sorry this happened and really feel for you on the what-ifs. They are the worst and feel like a nightmare that you worry will somehow come true today. Hang in there.
It was such a beautiful place you guys put a lot of love into. Such a huge loss. Sending you lots of love.
Oh Marcum family, you have been on my mind all week. I came to your blog to read your post last week about renovating the cabin kitchen and noticed the comments people were making on the post, which totally confused me. When I went to your IG and saw the news about the fire I started crying…I had to keep re-checking the post because I actually couldn’t believe it. I am so tremendously sorry that this happened to your family. As readers of your blog/followers of your IG, we come to feel like we know you and are part of this journey you are on in your renovations. I looked forward to seeing what you were doing to the cabin as much as I would feel about my own projects, in many ways. To know that it is gone is just…shocking. I will continue to keep your family in my thoughts, and I know brighter skies are ahead for you all in time.
What a painful process for you all. I’m so sorry.
So sorry for the loss of your home-yes it is family. The only good in this, besides none of you being hurt, is what you’ll share and in so doing, teach others how to cope when something tragic happens. One day at a time, be patient with your feelings.
The trauma is real. Like I mentioned on your post on Instagram. I know how you feel. Our house flooded when hurricane Irma happened. I can’t tell you how many reoccurring dreams I’ve had since it happened. In my dream it’s always my husband and I going back to the house, looking at the mess and figuring out how we’re going to live there again. The house has been torned down. It’s just an empty lot now. I can’t say I’m over it. It’s something I have to work on every day. I know it’s just “stuff” but it was our home filled with things we loved and collected. Give your self time to heal and to process. Take your time. Ask God to help you move forward. To give you strength. Be self aware. Sometimes when we grieve, it can take us to place we shouldn’t be in. I don’t know what else to say. I know it’s hard to hear all the clichés. I know they’re all true but it’s not exactly what you want to hear. Just know that after this season passes, you’re going to be okay.
Oh no. I’m so sorry for your loss – thankful you all are safe. Your cabin was a beauty.
Wow. Much love to you and your family. I’ve been thinking about you a lot this last week. I’m so sad for your loss. And this is a beautiful send-off for your lovely cabin.
My prayers are with your family. Just know, Christ needs the darkness so He can shine! He will shine His light on all of yours hearts. He will be with you as you rebuild your broken hearts. The cabin was a structure but your husband and you have the best structure for your family. Both of You are the foundation. You carry the memories in your hearts that no fire can remove. I pray for your family’s inner peace. Sending love from Philadelphia, PA. ❤
I don’t know what else to say except, I’m sending you love. I’ve been thinking of your family all week since I saw the news on Instagram. I’m so sorry this happened to you and I’m glad you are taking the time you need. I’m so glad you all were safe.
My heart still just hurts for your family! I feel this loss so deeply after following along on the whole ride. Tears came to my eyes when I saw this post and the picture of it completely gone. What an amazing place you had made it, but more – what beautiful memories and pictures you have of your time there! I pray for peace in everyone’s hearts and I’m here for the long haul no matter what!!
I honestly think of you daily…. I go to the blog to see if you’ve posted… I feel the jolt of nausea every time I “think of you thinking of your cabin!”
I had a friend tell me once we have to allow ourselves to grieve loss! Any loss… it helps us move to gratitude more completely.
So grateful for your safety.
Chris and Julia! I’m heart has been sooo heavy for you all week! I couldn’t stop thinking about you and your family. I wished so bad that there was a do-over button and I could undo the fire and give you back your beautiful cabin you worked so hard on! I’m so sorry and I hope you take all the time you need to grieve. Xoxo
I’ve been thinking of and praying for you all since you shared the news. Pease find some peace knowing so many are sending love to your family ❤️
Oh my gosh, I’m in shock just reading about this. I can’t imagine how you must feel. I am so sorry to hear this — what a relief that no one was hurt.
I am sooo sad for you guys, to see a dream literally go up in flames. Thank you for your beautiful blog post and wishing you all the time and energy you need to start this path to acceptance, understanding and recovering (if such a thing is possible). Sending love. Liezel
I can’t even imagine how devastating this must be. I am so sorry that this happened (and no, it DID NOT happen for a “good reason”) and obviously is not nearly as disappointing for those of us who have been following along on this fun journey as it is for you. Heartfelt condolences for the loss of your sweet little cabin…
”I just start crying thinking about when the fire started, how the cabin must have been feeling. I can’t help but feel like it was scared”
I keep rereading this, through tears. Your beautiful cabin. I course I am beyond relieved that none of you were there!
But your beautiful cabin. You guys truly did her Justice over the past 15 months. You poured so much love into her, making and sharing the most beautiful moments and memories.
Take this time and as much as you need to heal and plan what the next steps are. We are all behind you. ❤️❤️❤️
OH I am so so so so sorry about this. I live in the South now but having a little remote northern A-frame has long been a dream of mine. I’ve followed your renovation story since the day you bought it. I can’t imagine how gutted you both must feel.
I have no platitudes for you, just a lot of warm thoughts and <3 to send your way.
Such beautiful words from a heart breaking loss. Thank you for sharing what has been written on your heart with all of us about the love and loss of a sacred space.
Sending lots of love and healing.
Thank you for taking the time to write an update even if there are no “answers.” This is tough stuff and, I can only imagine, not easy to share.
I am so glad you shared this. Know that you are not alone in mourning. All of your followers and blog readers are mourning the lost too. We were excited to see the continual transformations and renovations at the A-frame. Also to me, the one thing I thought of was your business. I know much you had planned there was also connected to your business plan for the next year and now it all has to change. Know that there are many people rooting you guys on and I am excited to still see what you guys will do and even though it may not be what we thought it was going to be I know it will be great.
I have not stopped thinking about your family, and your beautiful cabin, I too have been sad, just thinking about what you all are feeling. I’ve been hoping and praying for peace in your hearts. Your cabin definitely had a pulse, it was the life and happiness you all brought to the cabin that gave her a pulse. She may have been scared, but she did save you, she wanted nothing more than for you all to be safe. Your cabin will always hold a special place of wonderful memories in your hearts. Praying for healing, for you, and your family <3
I am so so sorry about this! I read your blog often and was very excited to see what was happening with your a frame- inspired me to look for some here in Ontario. Please take time to heal- many hugs.
I’m so sorry this happened to you. Been in my thoughts all week. I have to tell you I really missed seeing your daily posts and stories. So happy to hear from you this morning. A glimmer of hope to see you recovering and hopefully soon on the road to renewal. Take care. God Bless.
I seriously have NOT stopped thinking about you since you posted the news. I am so incredibly sad for your loss of a project so near and dear to your hearts. I relate to your thought of the cabin having feelings. I think of that when we leave our house for our cabin and vice versa. Thinking of you ❤️
It’s so good to hear from you! Im so so sorry. My heart breaks for all of you but I’m so grateful you all weren’t there when it happened! You’re in my prayers????
When I read about this when it happened all I could think was that you had all just been there . You’re allowed to mourn, you’re allowed to cry and be heartbroken but eventually you will understand and appreciate that it is just brick and wood and that all of that can and will be replaced . And you’re memories are still with you all . And you will make new memories too . Love x
When I read last week that this had happened my heart broke for you and your family! We had a house Fire more than 20 months ago and we were home . I happened to wake up at 11:30 pm to the noise of burning in our attic !
At first I thought it was water but saw a bright light coming thru the hallway and I went out into our living room and saw the flames outside the window ! Two of our three kids were home that night and at the time we had 3 cats . All I remember is screaming for my husband and the horror in his voice is one I will never forget! The smoke detectors did go off after I woke up luckily we got out before that because the smoke was growing. There were 5 fire departments and all sorts of other vehicles that night I vaguely remember it was surreal ! Long story short we did rebuild and finally moved back in this past December . It has been such a process they had to take our house down to the studs literally and working with the insurance company has not been easy but we have gotten the money needed to rebuild and change somethings around . I forgot to say how the fire started my husband used our charcoal grill that night just like we always do and there was a remaining hot coal in the chimney he uses to warm the coals anyways he thought it was cooled and put it back in the shed and we went to bed ! I am not sure why I am telling you this but I totally understand the emotion and feelings you all are going thru – things will get easier – I was very numb for a while but with the help of friends and neighbors it got easier. Since being in the house I still hear noises at night and think something is burning not sure I will ever get over that !
Your A frame was beautiful and special place for you and your family – !!!!!
You just never think it can happen to you !
Anyways not sure if I have helped but just wanted to reach out and tell you I understand your feelings ……
We live in Charlotte,NC.
You can get to a point of rebuilding – my husband was determined it took me longer but …..in the end the kid are happy with the new spaces/rooms and I got a bigger kitchen and we no longer have popcorn ceilings.
Read through tears, and devastation for your loss. Truly sorry for you guys, but very glad you’re still here to move forward and inspire others.
Oh my gosh. This is so beautiful. Of all the things I thought you were feeling right now, gratitude wasn’t one of them… And I really admire that’s what you feel. I feel gutted all again but this post has really given me food for thought, cheesy as it sounds, about what’s really important. Still sending love.
Hi Julia, I am shocked by this and just learning about it now. I somehow missed this if you shared it on IG and I had noticed that I hadn’t seen any stories from you the past few days. I am so saddened for you and appreciate your honesty with sharing the loss you are feeling. I can’t say I understand what you are feeling, but those what-if scenarios have plagued us all, and I am sure many of us can relate to that feeling and the anxiety that those thoughts can produce. There is a lot of love and gratitude from a community of people who dont know you IRL, but feel as though we know you and your family because of how open you are on your platform. Speaking for those of us who “know you” (but dont know you), I can only say that I am mourning your loss along with you and feel so saddened that this happened to you and your family. I appreciate your rallying cry for enjoying the process and the home while it is in progress and I am uplifted by the fact that you will always have the memories of the cabin with you. Thank you for this post and your deep and sincere honesty. I am grateful that no one was injured. I’m tearing up for the hard work you put into the home, but grateful to be part of the journey with you.
Have been worried about yo all this whole time. I’m so sorry. I have to tell you that I really missed seeing your daily posts and stories. Glad to see your post this morning. Maybe it will be the start of further healing and renewal.
We have been thinking about you all week. My daughter was studying for her map test of all the states, she had me tell her to draw things in each state. I told her to draw a heart in Idaho, just had to send all the love we possibly could your way. We continue to pray for you through this process of grief, and send absolutely all the love and support we can!
So sad but so beautifully written. I admire your courage to stay in the grief and not rush to quickly. The tears give honor to the memories and hard work.
Continued thoughts and prayers as all of you walk in this heavy season. You are absolutely correct about a community cheering you on!
I’m so sorry, so sad, and so, so thankful you are all physically ok. Being emotionally ok will come in time, probably different times for you all. We’re all here for you and we’re not going anywhere. Hugs and love to your family. ❤️
Omg I am so sorry to read this. I know how much you loved your beautiful A frame but so so happy you were not there. I am thinking of you all and sending healing vibes and love.
Grateful for your safety. Feeling so much sorrow for this loss. Awe-struck at your strength – I know writing this and adding those photos couldn’t have been easy. You guys have been in my thoughts ever since the news broke.
Someone told me once that experiencing a house fire is one of the most traumatizing things that can happen to a person. Take all the time you need to process and sit with this grief. Take care of you. Take care of your hearts. We are here for you.
Oh how well I know that feeling of questioning if somehow your cabin was “feeling” when the fire happened. After living in our first home for 20 years, we built our dream home. As happy as moving day should have been, I had an overwhelming sense that our home was sad we were leaving. I didn’t share that with anyone so I admire you for sharing your experience with us. Maybe the love and/or energy that we project onto things, much like people, somehow connects us to them and gives them soul.
I said the SAME thing to my fiancé after it happened… “This sounds weird but just picturing their cabin dark and empty and alone when the fire started makes me feel SO sad.” It’s hard not to feel that way with all the life and love you guys put into it. This is still weighing so heavily on my mind so I can only imagine your grief. Thank you for the update and for letting us all in. We’ll be here cheering you on whenever you’re ready!
Thanks for sharing an update. I’ve been thinking about you both and sending you love and positivity as you live through this tremendous experience. Wishing you continued healing.
You inspire us daily by allowing us into your family’s life, and into your home, and you continue to inspire us with your perspective on this loss.
Having recently moved into our own new home, I sometimes feel frustrated that things aren’t “perfect”. It doesn’t matter. What does is that we have a place to call home and make memories as a family and with our friends. Thank you for reminding me of this.
I am so sorry that this happened to you and your family, but I am happy no one was at the cabin when it did.
I can’t say it enough, but thank you for allowing us to be on this journey with you. We’re all thinking of you, and supporting you, every step of the way.
OMGosh I am so sorry for your loss. Thankfully you and your family did get to make some memories and that you are all safe.
I am so so so sorry for your family’s loss. My thoughts are with you.
Oh guys, I have no words. I am so sorry. I wish I could give you a hug. **virtual hugs**
That’s just awful. I am so sorry.
You and your family have been heavy on my mind. So many of us will also remember your cabin fondly. It will live on in your memories AND the inspiration it gives to others. Thank you for being so honest about this experience so we can all learn the valuable lesson in it.
All my love for this post. Beautiful, perfect words for a situation where it feels like there are no words. The picture of the cabin resting under that blanket of snow teared me up instantly. May she rest in peace.
Omg. This just got me like a punch in the gut. I not a cryer. But man, this made me want to. I am of course happy you and your family are safe. But the loss of this beautiful cabin is devistating, I am completely heart broken for this loss. Sending you lots of love from Ontario.
I honestly feel that we are all in mourning with you. Watching you transform the cabin was the highlight of my blog feed. I checked every day to see if there was a new post, update or progress on the cabin. I totally agree with what you said that the cabin had a pulse, its a pulse that I think could be felt through your words and photos. My husband can’t understand how your loss has affected me so strongly. I don’t know you, but I feel that I share your loss. Watching your family enjoy the cabin in whatever stage it was in is an inspiration to all of us. I am so glad you posted today, just to know that you and your family are ok. The rest can wait, you need to heal and process. We are all thinking of you and praying for you during this.
I’m so sad for you and your family. I had been excitedly following your progress at the A-frame, and was so saddened by the news. We mourn with you. Know that you inspire us all, and with time I hope you find peace with what happened, and strength for whatever comes next.
I am crying reading this, so glad your beautiful family is safe! Such loving words about what your cabin must of been feeling as it was part of your family not just a place for your family to visit!
Gutted for you and your family, grateful you shared with us all the phases of your A-frame’s life since joining your family. She/he will be missed for sure , but glad you are all safe. Mourn her, cherish her always and make her proud in your next endeavor …or can she be rebuilt?? ……..such a beautiful spot…she could be the Phoenix rising…..
Julia & Chris
I am so very sorry for your loss. I didn’t hear about it for a few days, and for that reason I “sincerely apologize” for texting you about a wallpaper hanger in our area. I have kept you in my prayers and know “this is your job” and your family’s income. I pray you’ll get guidance on how to proceed forth from here on.
I’ve been thinking and praying for you all since last Monday and feverishly checking insta and your blog to read how you all have been holding up. I feel for you and what you’re going through–shock, heartbreak, devastation, grief….etc. –as if it were my own home. Thanks for sharing with us. Hugs from Texas.
Loss is loss. Eloquently written. Prayers for the happiness ahead, and the GRACE of today.
Love you, your family, and your words.
???????????????? Just the saddest thing ever! Love you guys.
I am so very sorry!! I have really enjoyed following this project and your A frame and send my love and well wishes to you and your family at this difficult time!
Firstly, I am so relieved that nobody was hurt and please accept my sorrow for your loss. Secondly, through your dispair, I cannot express how moving your writing / post is. I’ve followed you off and on over the years and remember being both envious and thrilled for your cabin purchase. So, from the kindness of Chris “Everything is going to be okay…” to your eye opening comment “Don’t wait…. to make memories.” hit my like a ton of bricks as that’s exactly what I’ve been doing… waiting. So, Julia, I am so sorry for your loss but thank you for writing today. And yes, I think as you were taking care of the cabin, it, as it’s final act took care of you.
I know the feeling, I experienced this last year with my home. My first home. The home that took me 5 years to renovate, and redo. It’s one of the moat devastating things. Like you said it’s like mourning a family member. Every.single. Thing. I. Owned. Was. Gone. Not only was it loosing everything but all the time spent, blood, sweat and tears was all lost.
I definitely feel your pain, living in a hotel for months, carry out, cries, depression. What’s ifs
… the hardest part is life still goes on in the midst of things and work feels like home because you have no home to go home to and it’s the next closest thing you have. My 30 bday, Christmas and New Years was all spent in a hotel room. The “it will be ok and it will get betters” that are told to you a million times never help.
You guys are in my thoughts daily. When I read about your cabin my heart instantly took me back to that night watching my house from my driveway in flames. The fireman hacking into my newly finished house. Trying to remember everything you owned while going through the sadness of loosing it all.
The truth is you will heal and it will get better. I recommend to anyone, buy a nest smoke detector so it can notify you on your phone, I had this and I was able to call 911 as soon as I got the alert. Also check on your insurance coverage, make sure you have full replacement value For your items lost, you never think that this can happen to you. Then all of sudden it does and your lost.
God bless you guys, time will tell and you may feel whole again. I can already imagine the new cabin, the new decor and the laughter from your daughters, you will get there. Promise.
I’m so sorry. There aren’t words to express my shock seeing that picture. I’ll keep all of you in my thoughts.
Very happy to hear no one was at the cabin at the time. Your message of enjoying spaces now and not waiting for perfection is wonderful life advice.
Maybe one “good” that comes from this is that you review your posts and comments on your primary residence’s deck and secondary residence’s green bedroom about placement of decorative items in relation to fire exits (from both an occupant’s and firefighter’s perspective), and educate yourselves (and devoted followers) on fire safety.
~with compassion, someone who has woken up to find the house on fire
I absolutely love the wisdom in your thoughts of ‘don’t wait.’ This applies to every single part of life. Thank you for sharing your ‘don’t wait journey’ with us. Glad that your sweet family was kept safe.
I am so glad you are all safe. This has been on my mind since I saw your post last week – I am so, so sorry – I can see how much love you have been putting in your 2nd home. Hopefully, the thoughts and prayers of so many will help you heal over time. Give your girls an extra hug for all of us!
Oh my god, I’m so incredibly sorry you you and your family. I cried for you too. We built our home two years ago, and though it still an incredible work in progress, this is something my husband and I did together, all the way through. Homes like this and your cabin, truly are part of the family.
Take your time and heal.
I’m just so devastated for you and your family seeing those photos. I’ve enjoyed watching the progress on the cabin so much. I know you will be mourning your work, your memories had, your future plans, memories yet to be had and everything in between. Such a blessing that you and your family are safe. xo
This is a devastating loss for your family, but the good news is no one was hurt and things can be replaced. It’s soul crushing to lose a piece of your family memories and I hope your family can grieve and build from the ashes.
sending big hugs always. Hoping the memories bring you healing.
Wow, i’m welled up with tears! This is so devastating, and I like what you said about grief. I’ve lost a lot of friends and grief is hard, but you have to wrestle with it! Thinking of you all! So glad nobody was hurt! Praying for your family!
Love you all! I agree, good can come from anything BUT it is so necessary to take the time to process the sadness. I loved reading so many beautiful words of support coming from your follower family. The idea that your cabin was protecting you by ushering you out earlier than planned is such a sweet picture. Big hugs from us and Russell babe.
Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thoughts are with you.
My eyes welled with tears while reading this. My family has a cottage we have been going up to since I was 1 years old so I totally understand a building having a pulse. My heart is broken for your family. And I sincerely thank you for sharing your advice of never waiting to make memories. I’m a perfectionist and often want everything perfect before entertaining so this has been a huge lesson for me. Stay strong ❤️
You guys. My heart just breaks for you on so many levels. I’m grateful everyone is physically safe and I just pray time will heal your hearts and bring the perfect opportunity to move forward from this – by rebuilding or finding a new cabin to pour your love into. I’m glad you’re taking time to grieve and mourn the loss of it, because it’s been a member of the family for the last 15 months.
Sobbing. The ‘our cabin has a pulse’ comment really hit home. I was already in a state of mourning for my dad, and your cabin news just made me weak and achy as I thought of what you and your family must be going through. What a shitty, awful thing, and you have every right to scream “this just SUCKS”. You are so strong, I know it, and as I said before, we are all here for you. Don’t grieve alone. We may not have owned the cabin but so many of us feel we lost it too, lost getting to live vicariously through you, to see the glimpses of new longlasting memories. But you are strong, and we will be even stronger for you as we be the shoulder you lean on. Love you guys, I am so sorry this tragedy has become part of your life story.
I am just heart broken to read your this… I have been thinking of you guys since I saw your Instagram post and I just couldn’t imagine how hard it was for you guys to receive those news… I’m glad you are all safe and I’m sending you good energy to help you get through such a sad time.
You said this all so beautiful. I love your perspective and attitude towards such s lose. I cried reading your words and can picture the home screaming. And at the same time rejoicing that you and your family were safely away.
Thank you for this post. Beautiful thoughts on loss and grief. Even though I am a new follower and don’t know you, I have been worried about you and feeling sorrow for your loss. ????
This makes my heart SO sad. I’m so sorry.
I am devastated by this. So sorry for your loss.
I’m so sorry for your loss! I’m glad that you are taking time to sit in and process the grief you are feeling. Thank you for the reminder to not wait to live and enjoy our spaces!
So sad….Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. EGV
So sorry for your loss. You have shared your joys, triumphs, tribulations along the cabin journey, and we have appreciated, loved, envied in kindness. Sending you much love and healing. Grief is grief, and it takes a while. Try and be good to yourselves. xo
I do believe homes have a sort of soul. The living that a family does there and the care that is given to a house is like a living record in its walls and land. I’m so sorry a piece of your family record has burned, I have cried and prayed for you, it’s so sad. I know your healing will be imbued with as much love and grace as you both have put into your past work.
I just wanted to say how sad I am for your loss but also thank you for being an inspiration! I LOVED watching you enjoy your cabin while it was a work in progress. We are building our own great room addition and we decided to use the space no matter what stage it was in. We had a dance party the day we finished the subfloor, a big friends and family potluck when we had walls up and we will have my daughters graduation before all the finishing touches are in. Your example has reassured me that we are doing the right thing as No one knows what the next day will bring.
Julia and Chris and Family,
This loss is still so heavy even for those like me who get to share your lives and work via social media.
My guts ached and have continued to since the moment you shared the news last week.
Your questions were ours and we have been mourning with you.
So deeply sorry for this incredible loss.
All the emotions stirred up must continue to be so overwhelming.
Thank you for your hopeful and enduring spirit and perspective. It reminds us all of the gift of good memories.
Praying for your family again today and thanking God that He protected your lives from physical harm.
You guys have been on my mind a lot since you posted about the fire. I am so very thankful you were all back home, but the shock and grief you felt–and are still feeling–must have been so hard. Thanks for the reminder to show hospitality even when your house isn’t where you want it to be. Praying for your family.
I saw that picture and my eyes swelled with tears. This is terribly sad. The a-frame was part of your family like you say and I loved watching you create magic in this cute a-frame. I am sad along side you and your family. Also, I am grateful to have watched what you have created and inspired in me. I’m sending my love to you and your family.
I know what you mean about your cabin having a pulse; things that we treasure are always alive to us. It’s like losing someone we know. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. Sending you love. ❤️
I’ve been thinking about you guys so much over this past week. I’m so thankful y’all have so many great memories in this place. What a sweet year it’s been for your family and friends. Praying that you’ll get more answers soon and feel peace as you work to grieve and take the next step. Thanks for sharing your memories, pictures, and thoughts with all of us!
My heart is breaking for all of you! You put so much love, work, and energy into that cabin. It was beautiful and we will all miss it. Sending lots of love from Colorado!
I had a lump in my throat reading this post. The loss and sadness that you feel are palpable but the memories and joy on your family’s faces that I saw in previous posts, lets me know that the A frame will live on in your hearts forever. You and your family are in my continued thoughts and prayers.
Whenever I’m faced with the pain that comes with loss, I’m reminded that it wouldn’t hurt if I hadn’t loved. Deep hurt and pain can be a reflection of great love. And your home was that for you.
Oh my. We’ve just been thinking about you guys all week. All I can say is that I’m glad you weren’t there. Those what-ifs will haunt you, but they also won’t go away anytime soon. I think you have the right perspective right now. And that will change over time and adapt to whatever happens to be your plan for moving on. I’m grateful you have those memories and hope you find some peace.
I’m so so sorry this happened. You are amazing and I’m so glad that your family is safe. It really touched me when you wrote about how the cabin must have been feeling. Such a sense of sadness. I hope you are taking the time you need and that you can find comfort from your community. Sending hugs.
I am so sorry to hear about this. I totally understand the memories and the what ifs that the home holds is such an emotional thing. We lost our home to a flood and it was devastating. The thoughts always are you are thankful no one got hurt but the memories you had there and that you could have had is what brings you to tears. Hold on to those memories. My heart goes out to you and your family. We are all thinking about you.
I am so sorry for your loss, this is terrible. Thank you for sharing your loss and journey. We pray for healing and a fresh start for you and your family. A true lesson for all of us on what’s really important in life. So glad your family is safe.
I’ve been think of you guys so much this past week. I kept remembering the girls weekend you have at least a year ago, little to no renovating had been done…and how much that did not matter to the fun and special time you had with your friends. We all love beautiful spaces to live in but it’s the people and experiences that make a home, and you guys have taught me that over the years I’ve been following you. Sending you love in this so very difficult time.
Someone on your last post and shared a link to a news story about the cabin and there was a line in it that said everyone made it out safely and I was 1) relieved and 2) so scared that you had been there at the time. I’m so glad to see that your family was safely far away at home.
My thoughts are with your family as you navigate this loss.
Sending prayers for you and your family. As an avid fan and reader this breaks my heart, lifting you up in this time of grief and sorrow. The A-frame will never be forgotten. xoxo
I’m so glad you posted. I’ve had you and your family on my mind for the past week and can’t imagine what you’ve been going through. It is such a loss but I will be cheering you on and looking forward to how you (quite literally) rise from the ashes.
A home of any kind, is such a personal space. It is like this big hug that has held you when you were at your happiest, let you cry within it, watched you create memories, held your children and kept you safe as long as it possibly could. Your cabin was beautiful, even from the moment you first got her, she was beautiful. Not everything has a reason for happening, but I am happy you had a reason to not stay there one more night and that you and your beautiful family are safe. This will never be easy and it will always feel heavy on your heart but I pray you have the strength to move forward someday. But know, it will always be okay to cry over this and there is no time limit on how long it takes for you all to be okay. Sending so much love.
So very sorry about the cabin! Have been thinking of you all ever since I saw the Insta post. xo
Beautiful raw emotions! Beautiful amazing and irreplaceable memories. As others have said countless times- I am so very sorry and pray for you as you move through this process as only you are able to…at your own pace and time. Your distress and suffering are all your own and deserve all the attention for grieving, acceptance and closure.
Words alone cannot express my sorrow with and for you! My prayers are with you as well as my admiration for all the love, beauty, strength and emotions you wear so well.
May love, peace and comfort continue to be your guide as you navigate this season.
My heart goes out to you and your family. What a devistating loss. Truly loved homes do take on a life of their own – breathing, feeling, moving – and become a part of your family. Grieve for the loss, but in time know you can recreate that same life force, and it will embrace and hold you and your sweet brood snuggly for years to come.
This just breaks my heart. We are all greiving with you. I’m crying as I’m reading this. I can’t think of the cabin burning and suffering. It’s too devastating. Instead of suffering, i want to believe it was smiling. You know how, at the end of a long, wonderful life, it’s just time to go? The person knows this and they aren’t afraid? Everything is peaceful and good? I want to think it was like that for the cabin. Instead of completing its life abandoned and cold, it was full of love and beauty and laughter and joy. You each gave each other that. ❤️❤️❤️
I love this idea and honestly can feel this too. Like the protector that sacrifices themselves for the well being of others. Or the parent that steps in harms way for their children. In the end it was a duty and privilege to be there so others weren’t hurt. There’s honor in that. Perhaps the cabin felt a huge sigh of relief it’s family wasn’t harmed. Chris and Julia- I too wish you comfort in this unbelievable part of your journey. Take time to heal. You will be ok and you will be helping others in the process in ways you won’t even realize.
It’s difficult to find something to say that will help you heal, other than I am impressed that *you* have already done so. I am sorry you all have to experience this. You have the right to cry and hurt and even to be angry during your loss. Whatever emotion comes to the surface during this, go ahead and exercise it and get it out. It’s ok. Do what you need to do, and take the time you need to do it.
I have a sister, who in the midst of a huge party, lost her home when her car exploded in the garage- how do these things even happen!? She lost pretty much everything except their family, which was the blessing to find, but ya, they had to begin all over. The deal is, when she did, she had renewed energy and faith, and her perspective on life changed. Just 2 years ago she was faced again with ‘losing everything’ to choose an incredible opportunity to live in London – the trade was she could take nothing with her, again, except her family. We were all concerned how she would deal with having to go through this all again, but she actually sorted through her rebuilt life, sold what she could and gave away the rest without a blink. She had learned -for *her* personal experience- that her things were fine elsewhere and that she had incredible journeys and opportunities ahead of her. I am hoping that *for you*; -as you process what has happened very intimately to your family, that you are able to heal from this quickly, but also wholly. That you too can find a renewed spirit and energy, and that your journey ahead will be filled with things you cannot even imagine now because of all of it. Hugs and more hugs.
Such beautiful words. So sorry for your loss. And so happy everyone is safe.
Couldn’t believe it! But so happy you are all safe. Continue to give yourselves time to mourn such a huge loss.. miss all your posts!
So grateful you took the time during this grieving process to share. We have felt such sadness for what you are going thru. Grateful for the tender mercy that you were not there. Cherish the memories. And we will wait for you so take your time to come back to the internet world.
I’ve been checking in daily to instagram and the website to see if you were ready to post any updates yet. Your absence has been missed – I love following along on all of your adventures. So glad you are taking the time you need. You wrote a beautiful piece above. I’m so glad you guys are safe, and please know that there are so many people thinking of you!
I’m so sorry. Your whole family must be feeling that crushing feeling of grief alongside you. You worked so hard on that cabin and I hope you know that it was worth it, that it wasn’t time wasted. I hope that all your dreams for the cabin can live on in some other way, when you’re ready.
My heart goes out to you and your whole family. I cannot even read or think about the cabin without crying, so I cannot imagine what you feel. We have all followed you through your cabin journey and we’ll be here through your recovery. I hope that once your grief has subsided you are able to heal and move forward with fond memories of the cabin in your heart and mind.
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your cabin! Prayers to you and your family during this tough time.
This must be the saddest A-frame image ever and the most heartbreaking home related story. I am so sorry for your loss. I can only imaging how you must feel.. My thoughts are with you and your family
Been thinking about you guys since the news broke. Thank goodness you and your family are healthy and safe. Sending you love as you guys heal.
I sat up in bed when I saw the image of your cabin on fire. What an enormous loss. What a crazy shock. I’m so sorry. It’s a huge relief that you and your family are safe. I hope you get some satisfying answers to what happened.
I’m so sorry. A fire is a violation; it’s so personal. Thank God you all are safe.
When I first heard the news all I could think was that you all weren’t there, and how lucky that was. I am so sorry and sad for the loss of such a wonderful
Place, but I’m grateful that you all are safe and healthy.
Teared up reading this post. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers this week since you shared your news. Your words are filled with so much wisdom, Julia.
I am so thankful that your sweet family built so many beautiful memories at your cabin. She was a piece of your life and a part of your family that you will truly cherish forever. Continually praying for you and your family through these dark days of grieving. I am still in shock and disbelief that this has even happened. I’m excited to see where this leads you. I agree with you that these things don’t happen for “a reason”, but I do believe that good can come out of even the worst of things. Hang in there. ❤️
Oh how awful! I am so sorry! I can’t imagine what your family is feeling.
Sad to read about this, bu happy you are all safe. Grief is a weird friend, and will be with you a lot. I would suggest some family grief counseling as you navigate this loss. Your kids are as affected as you are, but usually they don’t
know how to express their thoughts/fears/etc.
I agree that things do NOT happen for a reason. They just happen! (I was widowed when my 42 year old husband passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. NO ONE will ever convince me there was a good reason for that!)
Maybe the “good” to come from all of this, however, is a heightened awareness of fire safety details as you design your next place? It would be good to see bloggers not only designing for our senses, but for our ultimate safety as well ( fire, flood, earthquake, tornadoes, etc.) Just a thought.
I am so sorry for your loss. My wife and I both follow you on Instagram and found a lot of inspiration and strength in what you were doing with your cabin as we are taking on a, although slightly less ambitious, similar project with our newly purchased log cabin in Quebec. We both feel so sad to hear of your news as we have been both so motivated by what you have done. My wife is an interior designer and I am an architect (both from Toronto, Canada). I’m sure you have more than enough support coming your way but if you ever needed drawing work done for possibly a new cabin I would love to donate my services to you. I realize that might not be that helpful to you due to the distance and us being in a different country, but my offer still stand a to show my support. Please if you need help I’m more than willing to.
I have been thinking of you and your family a lot this past week and the grief you’ve been going through. I totally get the feeling of those horrific what-ifs. I’ve been there. Time will help, but you have to wait for that. Meanwhile those memories you all created will help carry you through. Hopefully the powerful energy from so many of us with our positive thoughts will build you up a bit. Take your time. Sending healing thoughts.
I have missed you guys this week. Take all the time you need to mourn your loss and help your sweet family heal. We’ll be here for you when you return :-)
This is so awful! I don’t Insta so this is the first I’ve heard about it and my jaw just sagged open. I’m so sorry, you guys, and my heart is with you. I don’t know what beauty will come from these ashes but I trust in your eventual resilience and that the journey will continue. Love and blessings from California.
So true what you said about enjoying your home no matter the stage it’s in, it essentially applies to life as a whole…wherever you are in your journey, enjoy the here and now, cause tomorrow is never promised. Prayers for strength and healing for your family.
Again, I’m glad to hear everyone is safe. I agree with your sentiment that a home has a pulse and you took full advantage of enjoying her while you could! #cljpheonix
I’m so glad you are all safe and that you have wonderful memorier to hold on to. Sending light and love your way.
I am so glad you had so many great memories at your beautiful A frame! She had such beautiful energy from my view from afar! My first thought when I heard besides devastation for you is thank goodness you and your family weren’t there and thank goodness you had one last fun weekend to celebrate. Thinking of you and your family…
????????????We sure have missed you guys this past week. We miss the cabin too. So glad everyone is ok.
I live near by and though I don’t know you past your blog, YouTube, and Instagram (and your wonderful past podcast), I almost feel like we’re neighbors. I saw the cabin on the news that morning and my heart broke for you. But I knew you were safe because I knew you can gone home the night before and that is what matters. You and Chris are incredible. I’m so glad you’re taking the time to mourn, and I’m so glad that you made those memories. Best wishes. I’ll keep praying for you and your family ♥️
I can’t imagine what the last week must have been like for you. Especially since the cabin was a huge part of your job- your livelihood. I know from that perspective there must be a lot of adjustments you have to make and I just wanted to reassure you that your readers will be here however long that takes. Massive hugs to your entire family.
I cannot tell you how many times this week Ive thought of you both! I’m glad you’re taking time to truly grieve. Once again I’m so very sorry!!
Beautifully written and thoughtful. Hugs to you guys and your girls. – Kristin
I am so incredibly sad for your loss…but so incredibly happy that you were not there when it happened. I keep looking at that and thinking how hard it might have been to get everyone out. So hold your memories tight and each other tight and forge ahead with make new memories. I know I am looking forward to what ever you all want to share with us. Hugs to all of you!
Ride those waves! The hard waves of grief and the happy waves of incredible memories. You guys breathed life in that cabin; not just with the paint and new tile but with your girls’ giggles and funny stories(getting the hot tub up the hill????????). When a hard wave hits, ride it. When a good one hits, don’t let the weigh of the bad stuff let you enjoy that surf too! Your followers are here to stay and will be ready when you are for that next great chapter. For now, lick your wounds and hug your sweet family. We are so grateful that you are all safe.
It is sooo good to hear from you… I’ve been sick to my stomach, cried a few tears and felt my heart breaking. I loved your cabin too. You brought us right in, right along side of you during every fix, update, adventure and gathering… we were smitten for her — that sweet Aframe cabin. So sorry for your lose. Sorry for all the pain. This couldn’t have happened to a more beautiful family… love you guys. So thankful you are all safe. Thank you for sharing.
So so so glad you are all safe. Wishing you peace as you grieve this trauma. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and offer a glimmer of advice.
I keep thinking about this and it makes me so sad. I can’t imagine how you are feeling. Take all the time you need.
39 weeks pregnant, in the middle of living in the A frame my husband and I are renovating. Our bed and couch are in the living room. Babies room (the loft) is *relatively ready for his impending arrival, and this is too much for me! I stare around at the unpainted walls, torn out kitchen, unfinished floor, etc. and everyone asks “why are you living here with a baby on the way?” “Wouldn’t you rather be comfortable?” And the answer is, this is our home. It feels like our home. My husband and I are enjoying every moment in the trenches as we build this cabin back up by hand. I couldn’t agree more about enjoying every moment before it’s ready.
Thinking of you guys! And because of your story I have ordered 4 fire extinguishers (that I should have already had since we have been working on electrical) to keep on every floor and in every bedroom.
Everyone else is saying it all much more eloquently, but just wanted to add my voice. I’ve been thinking about you guys all week too, and I’m glad you are taking time to grieve. The Jewish concept of Shiva is a 7-day mourning period after someone passes where you just sit and mourn, and people visit and talk about memories etc, and while the cabin obviously was not human, I think the concept of letting it sink in and not trying to distract yourself right away is very important. Sending you all love!
I am so very sorry and have been thinking about you this past week a lot. A home is so precious to a family, and it was clear you loved your cabin dearly. Of course it is most important that your family is safe, but it is necessary to mourn as well. Praying that you can at some point in the near future find peace, and begin to move forward. Lean into your memories and know that it will all be okay.
Such a devastating, personal loss. I’m so sorry. We were all invested in her progress and loved seeing how you were making her into a loving home. Again, so sorry.
Thank you for sharing this in the midst of such heartbreak. Continue to take the time that you need to grieve and mourn such a wonderful piece of your lives. We’ll be here when you’re ready to come back, in whatever capacity that is. ❤️
Choked up reading this. We rent an A-frame in California and have considered buying property but the thought of natural disaster always stops us from wanting to put down roots. But it can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone. I cannot imagine what you’re going through and the loss you are feeling. I remember when you had family coming for the holidays and you were rushing around to ready the space, find a dining table, etc.. and I thought, WOW, that must be stressful, but also, how great is it that you were already making memories in the space, despite it being a work in progress. Thank you for sharing and know we are all thinking of you. Take care!
This is so heartbreaking. When I saw your news last week I told my husband that these bloggers I follow lost their beautiful cabin to a fire and that it was just so… sad. There is no other way to put it. I can’t imagine the haunting what-ifs that you mentioned. I’m sorry that you and your family are going through this. Good for you for recognizing that it is healthy to grieve, I genuinely hope you all heal soon. Thank you for checking in with all of your fans, we’re cheering you guys on from afar. <3
My first thought when this happened was that we lost a dear member of our CLJ family. I have been thinking of you guys every day since this happened. It’s not okay yet, but it will be. Mourning alongside you.
Like many others, I’ve been thinking about you guys all week. It’s so hard to find the right words to say, but I think we all feel like we’re in this with you a little bit, in our own small way. Sending so much love your way ♥️
VERY very happy your family was not there but I am grieving with you – the cabin seemed like such an amazing place even just in pictures. I really hope you can find a way to replace that loss – in the end, it’s just a thing that can be replaced although it seems hard to believe now. I know the whole community is cheering for you. And I know we would all love to see you try your hand at a new build when you are ready.
My heart hurts for your family. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I’m so very thankful no one was hurt physically. Thank you for sharing so much of your heart and life with us.
My husband’s family house burned down when he was a freshman in college. It truly is a trauma unique in experience. Praying for your family as you walk this path.
Love, tears, and gratitude for your safety, from my family to yours. ❤️
I’m so sorry for this loss! Thank you for the reminder to not wait. I keep catching myself with a mindset that our lives won’t finally start again when we finish our year long remodel, but we need to embrace the in between moments. I’m glad that you mixed in fun memories with all your hard work!
Reading this through tears, and feeling so grateful that YOU have a voice on this big space of the internet. It can be such a brutal place… and Julia, the way you share about our families and homes and memories is more than I can describe. It’s warmth, it’s hope, it’s beauty. Our homes are more than walls and you help reveal how much they add to our lives. I’m SO thankful for you and Chris, sharing your journey and your days with so many of us. My husband & I cried about your cabin, and it’s probably because she was so much more than dryall and a roof — for many of us. I too believe something good will come. In fact, I can already feel it and I happily await it. ALL our love.
My heart breaks for you and your family. Know that there are many of us supporting you, praying for you, and sending you extra strength to heal.
Big hug to you guys. <3
Sending so much love. I teared up at your beautifully written words. I believed it had a pulse too. So glad you and your loved ones are safe and sending you love and prayers for the chapters to come.
I have tears in my eyes reading this. What a beautiful post in a time of great loss. The cabin was beautiful and I loved following your journey and will be here to follow the next journey when you’re ready. ❤️
You have been so incredibly heavy on my heart this week. I usually don’t comment on things like this because I’m just another reader among the hundreds leaving their thoughts, but feel compelled to acknowledge this post and the grief you must be feeling. In a strange way that cabin felt part of ME–I can’t even imagine how it must feel for you and Chris and your girls. As you work through all the various feelings grief brings, know that you’re not alone. We are cheering you on.
So many people have already said the perfect things much more eloquently than I could but I do have your family in my thoughts and love the messages you continue to push through to the masses about home and what it means and feels. My heart aches for your loss and someday when time has healed enough, that silver lining will shine through – and in the meantime I’m so thankful you have the warm memories to take with you
I’m so sorry. I am shocked and saddened. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Glad everyone is safe.
I’m so sorry for your devastating loss. I’ve been thinking about your family a lot since you told your followers. I have been going up to Victor ID and (Palisades) my entire life. My grandparents built a cabin over there in the 70s and two years later it burned to the ground. They rebuilt and my best childhood memories are there. A few years ago my parents tore down the old (second version) of the cabin and rebuilt a new one, better fitting our expanding family and now my children love to go there and will spend their childhoods visiting. I’m sure there are so many emotions that you have and I hope you get a chance to feel and process them all. I don’t know if rebuilding is in the plans for you but I do hope you continue to go to the area. As you know, it’s one of the best places in the world.
Sending love to all of you ❤️. Cried reading your beautiful words.
I feel blessed to have been able to follow along on the journey of renovating your cabin through pictures and words. Those are your treasured memories. You are all safe…and that is what matters. You can and will build again. Thank you for sharing your story and your words of wisdom!
This is so beautifully thought and written. It resonates for all kinds of grief. I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your path.
I’m crying reading this! I’m sorry. All the “what if’s.” The side of our garage caught fire and went up the side of our sons room. We happened to be gone that weekend on a getaway. I look back at the “what if’s” and also am grateful we were spared to ever even see that fire in person, to wake up to it. I shudder. The smell still turns my stomach. Your cabin had a spirit of its own, but it was there because of your families love and hard work. You brought that to life. It will live on in your hearts, and the rainbow will come in time because it always follows the rain.
Words can often feel so inadequate in these moments, but you have done a lovely job of capturing the raw complexity. I’m grateful that your family is safe, that you didn’t wait to make those memories, and that you have the beautiful documentation of the cabin’s transformation and those memories. Sending healing thoughts your way.
Our hearts feel genuinely broken for your family. As I was praying this past week for you, I kept asking Him for comfort and peace for your family. I know it’s going to take time to mourn the loss of your beloved cabin and nobody expects you to just pick up the pieces and move on to the next project. We’re here for you as a community, loving on you any way we can, and we are excited to see what the future holds for you guys. So much love to you, Julia and Chris.
Such beautiful words and it sounded like you weren’t quite ready yet but knew there were many friends thinking of you all and wondering how you were doing. Thank you for checking in as you continue to grieve and recover from this awful event . Grateful for the safety of your family and that you’ve made and documented so many memories .
I’ve been thinking of you often during this last week. Your words above are so true. Life is not a smooth road and so much of our growth comes from navigating through rough times. Grieve and acknowledge your loss. There are so many what-ifs to ponder but the most important one is “what if we hadn’t soaked in the moments we had with our cabin”, something you mostly certainly did. You will have those memories forever, memories that include the beautiful backdrop of your cabin. Much love and many prayers to you and your family!
It did have a pulse. Everything we breathe life into breathes life back into us. Take all the time you need to process. It sounds like even though there is no road map for grief, you are doing taking the right turns. And as you said, it’s ok to not believe “everything happens for a reason”, but I will be grateful and happy to get to see your smiling face again, when the time is right. You have a lot of people willing to lift you up. Always here when you need us. You are an inspiration though all the happy times and even this sad time. Blessings to you. Hope to see your pretty face again soon.
Sending LOVE, HOPE and GRATITUDE your way. Wishing, as you are wishing, that this didn’t happen but it did. Also sending the healing vibes your way so you can take them as you need and when you want.
So much sadness for the Aframe and your family! I just can’t believe it. Thinking of you guys!
When I heard the news, I was devastated as well because in my heart, I felt like it was my home, too.
Sending love, hugs, and warm thought your way.
I think you are so right in saying you need to mourn and lament. We like to skip those uncomfortable feelings, but we can learn so much from them. I am SO glad you are all safe. And glad to have you back.
Sending so much love, friend. I lost my childhood home to a fire when I was about 4 and I still remember sitting there watching it burn. It’s a heartbreaking experience and I’m just so glad your family wasn’t there. Corey and I have been thinking of and praying for y’all all week long. ❤️❤️
I’m so sorry to hear of this horrible loss and have been thinking of you guys all week! I think what you say in this post is everything: don’t wait to enjoy something good. You guys had such a clear love and enjoyment of your cabin and it showed in every post and every picture. Those memories will be with you for so long. Good luck with your healing process and please give yourselves the time you need!
I have cried right along with you, twenty years ago I to had a house fire two weeks before christmas its devastating the feelings i feel every time I hear of a fire are the same feelings I felt as I watched my home burn I always say a little prayer for those I don’t know asking that Heavenly Father will wrap his arms around them.
I have LOVED following your family and the Cabin progress BE STRONG and CARRY ON .
So beautifully written, even in your brokenness. Thanks for being willing to share with all of us what is going on for you guys. Incredibly thankful for your safety, and hoping that you can find peace in the anxiety of the “what ifs”. Much love to you guys.
What you described as your feelings are the exact same things i thought of for you. As a mother, those what-ifs and close calls can overwhelm you. And i totally get what you say about her feelings. I just read Charlottes Web to my daughter. I think the cabin died like Charlotte, so happy to have been loved by your family. I have thought about you guys so often this week.
That comment made me cry. Wow.
This is so devastating. It’s not just the loss of stuff. It’s the loss of future memories that were to come here, hopes and dreams, your girls growing up here and making their own memories. I don’t say this to make the blow worse, but to share with you we are all feeling this with you. So maybe when you are thinking, this would be a time it would be easier to live privately and not share so much, we are right here to grieve with you. That cabin was magical.
I have followed you on Instagram for a number of years. I know how much love you put into your homes, and I know the hurt of this loss is massive. Hold on to good memories and the blessing that none of you were there. Thank you for sharing this post. I’m sure it was difficult to do. God bless you and your family.
I’ve also been thinking of your family this whole week. Thank you for checking in.
I am just so sorry. Your family has been on my mind and in my heart this entire week. Sending love and peace your way <3 Continue to take all the time you need to process this great loss.
Glad you are taking the time to lean into all the feelings attached to this. Grief is a process. You have an enormous audience and I admire your honesty with all of us who are cheering you on. I feel like you set such a great example of loving where you live and sharing where you’re at NOW. Forever grateful we got to see the #cljcabin come to life. Love you guys!
Thankful that you’re all safe. If you want, you can rebuild. But take the time you need now—there’s no rush. Again, so glad you’re all safe.
This news has made me so sad, I cannot imagine how you are feeling. Sending love your way.
Chris and Julia, I’m so sorry. I gasped aloud when I heard the news and I feel sadness for you like this house was sort of mine. I know that sounds silly, but I could feel how much you loved it, and the opportunity the girls would have growing up there was something I felt immensely jealous of. But who knows, Chris is pretty great with a hammer so he may just build you a new one.
SO many prayers for your family. Absolutely heartbreaking.
Heartbreaking. I love how you think of the hurt that the home was feeling
I have no words, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for the update we’ve all been thinking of you and your family.
What a beautiful and heart wrenching post all at once. I’m so grateful you and your family are safe and have so many wonderful memories to cherish. I hope you find comfort soon and we (your community) are most definitely cheering you on and will be here for whatever comes next. Thank you for sharing the message of “don’t wait” and for sharing the cabin’s life story with us. <3
I’ve been thinking about you all week. I’m so happy to hear that your family wasn’t there and that you’re all safe. Thank you for sharing your journey – even when the road is bumpy. Hugs.
I rarely comment on blogs or instagrams, but I was so affected by your post about the fire. I don’t know you, but I have been so sad. I have been stalking social media in hopes of word from you and how you are doing. Your post is so eloquent, even in a time of such sadness.
Your work inspires me as well as others. Know that people who you don’t even know care and are cheering you on. Hopefully it will get easier over time. I am an optimist and do believe that things happen for a reason, and hopefully that will come to light for you soon.
I am so, so glad that you and your family are safe. Even though the cabin seemed like family, at the end of the day it can be replaced, but people can’t. I know that doesn’t make the loss any less painful, though. It’s good you are letting yourself mourn – taking that time helps so much in the long run. <3
This is seriously so heartbreaking, when I saw your post last week I couldn’t believe it but I am so grateful that you guys are all safe and didn’t have to experience the horror of trying to get everyone out safely. You guys are such an inspiration and I know things are dark right now but I know in my heart that you will come back bigger, better, and brighter than ever before! Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way sweet friends.
I’m so sorry to hear this. God bless you guys for all you’re going through. Despite the loss, I am so grateful YOU and the girls are okay.
I’ve been checking and checking your account, just so desperately wanting to know what happened, but glad that you were taking the time to yourselves. I’m so sorry for your loss. Because you guys share so generously, I think we all feel a sense of loss too. I look forward to seeing what come next from you guys, because I know it will be amazing.
I am so sorry for your loss. We lost a beach house in 2008 due to Hurricane Ike. It was totally swept away..Even though we had sold it a year before the storm I was so sad because my husband and I had totally remodeled it ourselves. I was so proud of that house and the work we had done on it and I know you feel the same about your A frame. Remember the good times spent there.
Oh Julia! I’m crying right now, because I am feeling your grief through your eloquent words! we know how much love you guys poured into that beautiful soul of a cabin. And how much it gave back to your family. I feel the same way about our prized possessions..I do think they have “feelings”, or emotional energy ..Our family car has recently needed one thing after another, but miraculously a couple of times, it barely got us to the mechanic before it died ( battery) or off the road in a very busy intersection (alternator) . I felt it was taking care of us.
Love your words on taking the time to make memories NOW despite incomplete projects. So true! Sending healing wishes your way and hope you all find comfort in your memories of your precious cabin!
I can’t imagine what you and your family must be feeling. But as a community who love you and your blog, take all the time you need to grieve. We are here for you. I am so sorry for your loss.
Oh man. I am so glad you’re all safe and no one was there. But my heart is broken for you and I wish I could wrap you in a big ole hug. Be sad as long as you need to be sad. We’ll all send huge vibes of love and support your way and we’ll be there when you’re ready to pick up the pieces.
I’m thinking of you as you process this grief. <3
Chris & Julia – What a beautiful post. Please take however long you need to mourn. You’re so right that your home away from home had a pulse, a heartbeat. From every laugh and hug and dance party you had there. It felt it. And you’re right to mourn it’s loss just as you would any other part of your family. This big of a loss is life-changing. So please don’t feel pressure to rush it. We’ll be here whenever you’re ready. Xo.
Your attitude and gratitude for what the cabin meant to you is beautiful. I cried when I first saw the news. Made my stomach hurt. Felt like I had been watching your cabin “grow up”. So sad for your loss.
We’re all thinking of you and your family, and the cabin who protected you while she could and made sure you were safe when she couldn’t. Big virtual hug!
I am so sorry for your loss, this brings tears to my eyes. I am so happy you and your family were not there and that you are all safe.
Chris and Julia,
I have many times stopped in the midst of my busy life over the past week with the thought of how hard this week must be for your little family. Tonight for no real reason I thought I would jump on to your website to read over your blog posts and here I land at this post that must have taken you a great deal of strength to write.
Thank you for sharing the memories at the cabin with us all over the world. I absolutely loved seeing every step you both took in making it such an amazing space. I am now even more excited to see how you grow stronger and rebuild as I know the next cabin will be just as amazing as the last one if not better.
Marcum family, you have been on my mind since I saw your Instagram post about the fire. My heart dropped. I may not know you personally, but the internet is such a blessing in that it creates a connection between total strangers, and I felt your loss. I’m sure your memories in this cabin are bittersweet right now and your grief is completely justified, and I hate it for you so much. It was absolutely stunning. You gave that cabin a beautiful new life. I am so glad you are all safe. Your family will continue to be in my prayers.
Such beautiful sentiments. We should all learn from this. Big hugs to you all.
So thankful you are all safe. Hugs!
Oh Julia. It is so good to hear from you. I think we all have been checking in daily to see if you’ve posted any updates, while still totally respecting the fact that you need time away. It is unfathomable to think of anyone being there during the fire and especially in that room with the rug over the egress window, with a cover outside that was presumably packed with snow on top. This story could have had such a worse ending and I’m so so thankful no one was there. I hope you rebuild! I hope you take us on the journey to building a safe, new home and get to live lots and lots of seasons with that beautiful view. I don’t believe this story is over yet! Hugs to you all.
I am so deeply sorry for the loss you are all feeling right now. Just as our spirits continue on, so will the spirit of your cabin. You put so much love into the cabin, and I know she felt it!
And, thank you for reminding us to not wait to make memories in a place, just because it might not be “done”. I wish this lesson (for me) didn’t have to come as such a loss (to you), but it really opened my eyes.
So very glad you are all okay.
Oh no! I’m so very sorry.
And very grateful you and your family were not there.
You will miss it forever, and you will recover.
The future is bright for the Marcum family.
A beautiful tribute. We are all so sorry for your loss and sending lots of love from Virginia.
I’m grieving with you and not a day went by without thinking of you – and the cabin. And I think, too, your cabin had a soul and a pulse and a heart because you put it all in.
All the love
Like everyone else, I am so very sorry, it is truly a loss. I so enjoyed seeing the renovations & all of the heart & soul you both put into making it yours, putting your stamp on it. How lucky you were not there. I look forward to seeing what transpires in the wake of this tragedy. Hold on to those memories.
Sorry to hear about the loss of your beautiful cabin. I am thankful that you and your family are safe. Thinking of you all during this difficult time.
I’m so sorry for this loss. You wrote beautifully about it – both the process of renovation you’ve shared along the way and the blow of the destruction. I’m thankful you were safe! Thanks for sharing so much of your life with your audience.
Much love to you and your family! There is a big beautiful tomorrow and the AFrame will be smiling upon you all. Good Luck!
I’m in shock. Oh you guys, I am so very sorry. I am so glad you are all safe and sound..but still, the loss. I can’t imagine. The cabin didn’t only bless you & your family and friends in person, but all the rest of us who were watching you transform her into a gorgeous and peaceful lady. I am sure I’m not alone in saying that I will miss her too, and grieve that we won’t see her completed.
The week before Thanksgiving we lost our home to a fire when I was about 12. I had come home from after-school practice and my mom was sitting in the side yard and told me to go to the neighbors. I never realized in looking at the front of our house, that the back of the house was gone, and my mom had been pulling black, wet “stuff” from the side door where the firemen had gone in.
It will take a lot of time for you all to get through this and don’t rush yourselves. I’ve been a loyal reader since I think Greta was only 4 or 5, and we’ll all just hang out and wait till you’re ready to start making steps forward again. God bless you and your family and thanking God that you’re all safe.
I have thought of you and your lovely cabin every day in the past week. I am so sorry for what you lost. Take all the time you need to mourn and recuperate.
So sorry for your loss. But also, so thankful you all are safe. Thanks be to God.
Oh my gosh you guys. I was shocked and saddened to read this. I’ve been a long time reader and know how much this cabin meant to your family. I hope you eventually heal your hearts.
Thank you for being such an open book with everything you go through, it really is an honor that you allow the rest of us to follow along with your lives and losses. I’m so sorry for this loss, but also just so very glad no one was harmed. I hope you will decide to rebuild so you can keep that gorgeous view you have come to love, and turn this tragedy into more years of memories for yourself and your loved ones. Sending love.
when i saw your post on IG that the cabin had burned down, my heart sank. i know i would be completely devastated if i had lost a home i invested so much time and love into. there is a verse of a psalm that brings me comfort in dark times — “god is near to the broken-hearted. he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” so glad your family is safe. may you mourn well the loss of such a special space to you and your family.
My heart has been with your family all week though you don’t know me. Just seeing the picture of the cabin in flames has again made me cry. Prayers and peace for your family. You are loved by everyone!!
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