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Home Makeover And Fun Getaway

Today's wish is a home renovation for a working mother of three from Binghamton, N.Y. Courtney Chapman's own mother wrote our show in hopes of doing something special for the daughter who's always done for others, often with little left for herself.

In a letter to The Early Show, Debbie Hummel wrote: "My wish is for my 26-year-old daughter, Courtney Chapman. As a young mother of three, her life has been an uphill struggle for so long."

Courtney's struggle, as her mother Debbie Hummel wrote, began when she became a mother, at age 17, to son Aasin.

Hummel says, "It was very hard for me at first to accept it. Maybe I just could have been a bit more supportive of her."

Hummel always knew her daughter to be determined. Courtney soon completed high school, went on to college and became a registered nurse.

"She did it," Hummel says. "She went through it. She works. She gets up every morning and she treats sick people and then goes home and takes care of her family."

And it's a family that's grown with husband Manny and two more children, Amira and Miai - a big family on a modest budget that inspired Hummel to write our Week of Wishes.

Hummel says, "She had big dreams and Courtney wants nice things and sometimes you never know where the road will take you."

Giving a tour of her daughter's house, she points out, "I think she had high hopes for a bright and cheery home, but when you walk in you see the walls are gray and the cupboard doors are falling off."

Local handymen hired by the Chapmans left numerous jobs incomplete.

Reading her letter, Hummel says, "My wish for Courtney would be to repair the damages, the jobs left that now are half completed. I would like to see her life made a wee bit easier for her, just once."

Enter Kaile Warren, Early Show contributor and founder of Rent-A-Husband Home handyman services.

Hummel did the introductions, "Come on out, Courtney. I have someone I want you to meet."

And Warren made sure to let her know he was going to take care of all the home repairs.

Surprised, she replied with a big hug to her mom, "Oh my God, thank you very much."

Hugs continue into the next day at Courtney's office, as the team from Rent-A-Husband arrived to start the week-long renovation.

The Chapmans needed to relocate while the repairs were being made. Grandma Hummel agreed to take the kids, while The Early Show sent Courtney and Manny to a hotel in Miami.

And not just any hotel, but the fabulous Four Seasons, from which Courtney made sure to call her mom to let her know how she and her husband were doing, ""Mom, it's Courtney. It's just beautiful. We got champagne and strawberries and all that. I can't believe this."

Meanwhile, away from the luxury of a five-star hotel, Warren was hard at work at a home that was an absolute mess.

As demolition continued, Warren and Hummel headed to Ace Hardware, which contributed all of project's building materials from lumber to paint.

Next, it was off to select home furnishings, compliments of Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Back at the house, the fish tank was emptied to make room for a new floor, while in Miami, Courtney enjoyed a swim with the dolphins.

It was a full day for the Chapmans: a spa treatment, poolside lunch, and dinner at South Beach hot spot Tantra, all while team Rent-A-Husband and local contractors worked well into the night.

The next day, Courtney and Manny enjoyed a day at the beach, while in Binghamton, it was anything but.

Looking at the wall, Warren said, "I don't like the color. Debbie, what do you think?"

Hummel replied, "I'll leave it up to you, Kaile."

Which he did not like to hear: "Oh, no, don't do that to me. Aasin, what do you think?"

Aasin: "I like the blue."

Warren: "Blue, it is."

Decisions needed to stick. A deadline was approaching and it was time for finishing touches. Courtney and Manny relocated to the Four Seasons New York for one more day of vacation before their renovated home was revealed.

And on Tuesday they showed The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler their tans while at their home Warren showed and explained all the changes and upgrades done to their home.

Starting with the living room, Warren talked about how it looked before: "It was pretty horrible. The ceiling had huge gaps in the sheetrock and the paneling was a dark gray and very dreary, and it had a very, very worn-out, beat-up carpet in there."

And after: "We did a lot. We sectioned off the ceiling with wood trim to give it a raised panel look, installed a new ceiling fan and look at this, Courtney! It even has paddles. Lightened up the walls and installed hardwood laminate flooring not only here, but throughout the hallway. Remember the old not-so-golden archway that was here? We cut it out to give it an open look as you go into the living room. Along the hallways, we painted it and lightened up."

He continued with the bathroom. Before, he said, it was, "No pun intended, Rene, but it was a dumpy place. It had a beat-up shower stall. The toilet didn't work properly and the walls were not finished - just not a real nice room to be in."

Now that the room is finished, he said, "It's very beautiful. It's very sterile. We installed a brand new ceramic shower and we painted the walls your favorite pink."

"I love it," Courtney said, while her husband was astonished. "I can't believe it," he said.

As for the kitchen, Warren explained, "Rene, the kitchen was the worst room of all. It wasn't functional and it was really, really in poor condition. It had poor carpeting in there and the cabinetry was beat up, so we had a lot of work to do in here."

And the work paid off. Warren explained, "What we did was, brightened it up what is now known around here as 'Aasin blue' wall paint. Painted the cabinetry, new countertop and ceramic style back splash and a brand new Whirlpool stove. Courtney, once you master this machine, you can serve your beautiful family over here on the brand new kitchen dinette set."

From there, Hummel and grandkids said hello to Courtney and Manny, thanks were exchanged and wish completed.

But that was not all. Grandma Hummel also got a surprise from William Talbert, president of the Greater Miami Convention And Visitors Bureau: "On behalf of Miami, you and your husband are going to be a guest of us for a wonderful Miami vacation. I know you weren't expecting this. We're going to start out with a three-night stay at the fabulous Four Seasons in Miami. We're also going to have you as guests at Bayside Marketplace and the Parrot Jungle, too," Talbert said, wearing sunglasses and a Floridian shirt.

A special thanks to:

  • The team from Rent-A-Husband
  • Ace Hardware
  • Bed, Bath, & Beyond
  • The Four Seasons hotels in Miami and New York
  • Greater Miami Convention And Visitors Bureau