Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Turning a mountain into a backyard

This is our house.

To say we live on a hill would insinuate that it is a casual walk up to our front door. That would be a lie. I firmly believe that the contractor that built this house 20 years ago looked for a mountain, excavated a piece out in the middle and built our house. I am honestly shocked we dont have to follow the baking instructions for living in higher elevations sometimes. It is a cardio workout just to get the mail. Dont even get me started on mowing the front lawn.

When we moved into this house, there was a family of 5 living there. They even had a swingset in the backyard (they took it with them when they moved). Mark insisted on only buying a house that had a garage basement, which limited us in our selections. We loved the inside of the house and we were just married. Kids were not even in our discussions. Kids lived here already. It must be a kid friendly house.

I know now that we have a driveway of death if our children ever try to ride their bikes, big wheels or rollerblade down it. It will result in an instant trip to the ER, guaranteed. Didnt think that one completely through either.

Now, onto that backyard with the swingset that was "kid friendly". I have no idea how in the world the family before us anchored that swingset down. Remember how I said we were built into a side of a mountain? Well, the mountain continues upwards to the heavens in our backyard. Exhibit B, ladies and gentlemen.

and Exhibit C.
The dead grass and erosion is due in part to the 2 boxers that have run havoc back there for the past 5 years. Needless to say, no place for a swingset or even a viable place for my toddlers to go in the backyard without tumbling to their certain deaths.

So, what was our solution?


1 Bobcat, 2 workers that didnt speak a lick of English, pallet upon pallet of retaining wall block and a month later.....


Because the grade from one side of our yard to the other was so different they had to terrace the backyard into 2 levels. It worked out well for us since we have the "upper lawn" for the kids and then the "lower lawn" for the dogs to run around. That also means there is no dog poop up where the kids play, which is a huge bonus. Blow is a picture of the "lower lawn" for the dogs. We are still in grass growing mode on that section.

This backyard has changed my life. I am a new woman! The girls and I are out there all the time as long as it isnt raining. I can not even imagine what my summer would have been like without being able to let them go out there and run around.

Now building the playset...that is another post in itself!


Jenn Hendrickson said...

Wow! What a transformation! The new yard looks great! Congrats :)

May you and the girls have many fun sun-filled days in the yard and on the playset!

Lauren S said...

Wow - what a project! I bet you're so glad it's finished, but it looks great!

Kerry said...

It looks so beautiful...like a different house! Love the pics of the girls on the swing set...they must be loving it!

Beth said...

That looks amazing!

Sarah said...

Awesome - I bet the girls love it!

Elizabeth said...

Wow, looks great! I didn't know you could do that.... I'm sure you will enjoy it!

The Thomans said...

I am fairly certain we have the exact same swingset, except we put the slide on a different side.

Looks good!