The first step is admitting

The first step to resolving an addiction is recognizing you have a problem.  So I’m at least step one in the right direction. I am addicted to changing, building, and dreaming about what I am going to create/change/build next…

We purchased our current home in 2012.  It is an extremely “unique” 1912 built house backing directly up to the San Gabriel Mountains.  I discovered this house while out for a jog and immediately had a vision for what it could be (a “vision” most of our friends and family are still trying to understand – lucky for me, Dana bought into my grand plans). The biggest problem with my constant dreaming/planning/creating is that most of my plans require a LOT OF WORK and a substantial amount of money (two things we don’t have a surplus of).  Long story short, its a slow work in progress.

I could go on for pages describing all the crazy ideas I have for this house, but instead I’ll just take you along the journey as it happens.

Major Step #1: Give the kids a place to play:

Our backyard is a young boys dream.  We back directly up to the mountains, so eventually the kids can just take off from our yard and make adventures all over the mountains.  Unfortunately, it’s not the best yard for the preschool crowd who can’t tell the difference between a Rattle and a King Snake and aren’t old enough to navigate their way through the mountains.  Since we are at the top of a hill, our front yard isn’t really kid friendly either, as all balls/bikes/toys tend to roll directly down the lawn and into the street (with about a half mile run before anything stops them).  It’s hard to prioritize all the projects we have planned, but we felt like giving the kids a place to play should be priority #1 since they’ll be grown before we know it (Dana is second guessing this decision as the weather heats up and she’s 9 months pregnant with no central A/C – but we’ve already started this yard project).

Our goal is to enclose part of our front yard into a “courtyard” of sorts large enough for the kids and the dog to play.  This step required us to add a small retaining wall in the front of our property so we could level out the yard. Once the yard is leveled, I’m going to build a fence and re-landscape the entire area.  Part of my addiction is using a free application called “Google Sketch Up” to make renderings.   It is an amazing way to get my thoughts out of my head and somewhere that people (i.e. Dana) can grasp my most inner design ideas.

Stay tuned for thee next step!






  1. Kudos on the progress! We are just starting the ideas/brainstorming phase of what needs to be a transformation of our backyard hill. We have no retaining wall/fence — the hill just sort of drops off! The dog loves it, but we’ll have a walking toddler before we know it so we definitely need to get a good hedge growing in or something. Looking forward to seeing your vision come to fruition.

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