{october 15} happy corners of our home

this corner isn’t IN our home…it’s in the backyard.

it’s the playhouse that my dad and i built for the kids last march.

i still have some work to do out there (painting), but it has been such a happy space for the kids and their friends to play in all spring and summer!

you can read more about it here.playhouse 33

lanterns: IKEA

evolution of my happy place

This year I have been taking “daily” photos of our backyard. You can see them in my instagram feed or #dailybackyardphoto2014.

I actually take a couple a week, but it is really fun to see how the yard changes with the seasons.

I get comments each time about how people love our yard.

It hash’t always been my happy place, but has evolved into my happy place in the 6+ years that we have lived here.


When we moved in it already had “good bones”. Awesome 80-100 foot tall douglas firs, a large deck, a flat grassy area held up by a rock wall that separated a lower “dirt” area that was great for the dogs.


The dog runs fit almost perfectly into the lower corner of the yard.

It stayed this way for 3 years. That was all we needed at the time. The kids were young and we didn’t need much to keep them amused…grass and a few toys and it was just fine.


About a year after we moved in we had some landscaping plans drawn up for the front and back yard. Eventually, I talked Ryan into an idea to build a platform between the two trees in the middle of our yard so that the kids could have a play/tree house.


Later that year we had the landscaping done. It was a bigger project in the front yard. In the back yard, we added a gravel path through the lower dirt, had some stone put in, and added gravel for our fire pit area.


Since 2011, the backyard has been my happy place. We’ve hosted birthday parties, backyard movies, impromptu late night fires with the neighbors, and spent hours and hours out there as a family.


It gets a perfect mixture of sunlight and shade during the summer.


After the leaves fall, it opens up to get more light during the dark winter months.


In late spring, as the leaves fill out the trees and the grass finally fills in, we can fully enjoy our happy place.

Here are more posts about the landscaping and playhouse:

{update} play-tree-house

my husband rocks

{in our garden} the big dig…and move, and build, and fill, and plant

play outside every day

friends around the campfire

home is…evolution of a happy place.




no balloons

For the first time in the five summers of living in this house we did not make it to the Tigard Festival of Balloons.

I love to get up early beginning on Friday morning and walk down to the park to watch the balloons launch.

Unfortunately, it was rainy.



And, Sunday.

When my 5:20am alarm went off each morning, I listened for the rain, heard it on the roof, and went back to sleep.

Here are a few photos from years past…

And, you can see my posts from last year here and here.

It all worked out ok as baby girl woke up on Friday morning with a fever, so we spent the day lounging and fighting her fever.

By Saturday she was getting some energy back, so we headed out to goodwill while the boys washed Ben and took Odyssey for a swim.

We found a couple of treasures…

so, I have new projects to work on.

By Sunday afternoon, the sun began to come out…

These horses were out on my drive home from Trader Joe’s.

And, I was able to get out and enjoy my happy place a little bit.

We weren’t able to cross balloon festival off our summer list, but we’ll be working on some other items this week.

Stay tuned for a peek into our home later this week…

Oh, also…

Source: kellehampton.com via stephany @ on Pinterest

Kelle liked my yellow dress!

home is…no hot air, but lots of rain.

play outside every day

As you know we have been working on making our yard kid and family friendly this summer.

Our backyard was a clean slate as far as kids toys and activities were concerned. Up until this summer we got by with a few riding toys, a hose, some balls, and the dog water buckets.

This summer it changed.

I saw it coming last summer and had a plan in place. I knew what I wanted to do, but also knew I couldn’t get it done by myself.

You can see the progress of the plan here, here, here and here.

We have some professionals coming in a few weeks to finish the job, and I will post an update when they are done. I think it will take until next summer to really see how things turn out, but we are happy with the progress.

Our latest addition was an easy one that came from an idea I saw on Pinterest.

As I told you in this post, we don’t have a chalk friendly sidewalk or driveway at our house, so I have had to come up with other ideas.


So, along with the sandwich board chalkboard, I also made a large 4′ x 4′ chalkboard that we hung up on the fence.

I bought a precut 4′ x 4′ piece of plywood, primed it, and painted it with chalkboard paint. Ryan hung it up on the fence with screws (we also added some extra blocking with a 1′ x 4′ where he attached it to the fence).

All we had to do was add chalk.

I think I will also hang some of the buckets of chalk like I did with the sandwich board.

It adds some fun to the backyard and is definitely nicer to look at than the fence. I also think we will be able to use it for some fun photo opportunities in the backyard!

home is…family friendly backyards!

*I am linking up with Today’s Creative Blog

Todays Creative Blog

my husband rocks

This is the new view from our kitchen window…

Ryan spent all day finishing the railing so the kids are safe.

We will stain the railing, add stairs from the grass, and a rope ladder next to one of the trees on the back.

Now all we need is beautiful weather for having our friends over to play!

home is…a husband who has made his wife and kids very happy.

{update} play-tree-house

Along with some major spring cleaning, purging and organizing that has been going on inside the house we are making progress on the play-tree-house for the kids!

You can read about how we came up with the idea here and here.

We got the playhouse put together about a month ago and have been working on the platform the last couple of days here and there.

I say “we”, but it has really been my husband doing all of the manual labor and me supervising or barking orders like I know what I am doing.

The kids seem excited about it and have been pretty good helping and staying out of the way when needed.

Here are a few photos…

Ryan got the decking boards attached while I put the kids to bed to night, but it is now too dark to take anymore photos.

This weekend we will work on the step ladders and the railing.

The kids are going to love it!

home is…progress being made.

resorting to plan b

Since last summer I have wanted to build a playhouse/treehouse in the backyard for the kids.  We spend a lot of time playing outside when the weather gets nice around here and I think something like this would be awesome…

We have five huge Douglas Fir trees in our backyard.  While I wouldn’t actually build the playhouse in the trees, I do want to build it between the trees.

Aren’t the treehouse’s above incredible? I found them at the TreeHouse Workshop located in Seattle. Wouldn’t it be fun to build and design treehouse’s for a living?!

I also bought a bunch of books about how to build a playhouse and had a vision in my mind. My dad made a quick sketch based on what I told him because I thought he might be able to help us build it during one of their visits out here.

Well, it didn’t get done last summer…or fall.  My parents were only here for 1-1/2 days last fall and on one of those days we had baby girls birthday party.  Needless to say, we did not get around to building a playhouse. While my husband is handy, it is hard to find the time to spend on such a big project.

So here we sit with spring and summer approaching, and I still want the playhouse for the kids. With the only visit planned from my dad being in July (and we are going to go to the Oregon Coast), I am having to resort to plan b.

Enter Costco.

I was at Costco last week and found this:

While it is not perfect, it is close enough to what I want and we can do some extra handy work to embellish it and make it critter resistant (we have squirrels, skunks, raccoons, etc. that visit our backyard at night).

What we will need to build is the platform in between the trees which will end up being a deck around the playhouse (and maybe a bit of storage underneath).

The Costco playhouse also has these added features that would have been more $ to add to any playhouse that we build ourselves:

I made a deal with my husband that I would make (find) the money to buy it. Last week, I sold our single BOB Revolution and made enough money to buy the playhouse!

The bummer is that my husband has been out of town since Saturday, and I have not been able to get over to Costco to purchase the playhouse. I am hoping and praying that they still have it in stock this weekend when I plan to go buy it!

This little playhouse is going to add a nice dimension and some color to our backyard. I can’t wait!

Wish me luck at Costco.

home is…being happy with plan b (and hoping I don’t have to figure out a plan c)!