They Call It Home Part 2

June 08, 2015
Well, Amanda and Preston continue to plan, prepare and work on their home's interior and

exterior with little Wyatt by their side.

It is a daunting task filled with love, hope and all of the possibilities of what the future might bring.

Here is part 2 of their story...

If you missed last week They Call It Home Part 1 here it is.

A huge red dump truck pulled up in our driveway early one March morning.

Wyatt was thrilled, I was nervous.

The largest amount of pea gravel and river rock was just dumped into two mini mountains on our

driveway for our backyard project.

There were many times throughout this project that I wondered about my sanity.

In an attempt to save money Preston was going to get rid of the muddy mess in our backyard.

Rather than sod the yard he was extending our covered backyard patio into a pea gravel patio.

It was my job to obtain the supplies we needed.

Wyatt and I went to a gravel and rock supplier and I picked out the pea gravel,

and the amount that we would need for the project.

But now, I feel as though I measured wrong this was SO, SO much gravel.

We really are NOT handy people, we have never owned a home before and goodness we

don't even own a lawnmower!

My fears were correct, I did measure wrong on the amount of pea gravel!

But good news we were able to use that gravel in other parts of our muddy yard.

Every single project we embarked upon was so much more work than any of the online DIY

instructions made them out to be, and we made at least one mistake ( probably more) along the way.

But somehow, one scoop at a time, we fixed our muddy backyard and slowly made it beautiful.

By now you may be asking why, why, why this house ( I know I have too, many times!)

Our neighborhood is River Park, a beautiful and established neighborhood located in East

Sacramento, tucked up next to the American River with a beautiful paved bike trail extending 30

miles up the way to Folsom.

River Park also has the very best elementary school in Sacramento and within walking distance

from our home.

One hundred year old trees, which line the streets, create a variegated forest of greens and a cool

natural canopy over the winding sidewalks.

We love the charm of the neighborhood and 1950's homes which are decked out in brick and wood.

Stained glass windows enhanced with plantation shutters, and inside these cozy homes you will

find abundant wainscoting and original hardwood floors.

Each home is a unique and charming mid-century treasure.

Our home is a fixer - upper, way below market price, in fact nearly 100,000.

The only way we are going to get her up to speed is through hard work.

Street lanterns cast a warm and cozy glow nestled along the winding paths and over sized

purple Hydrangeas, colorful Azaleas and Japanese maples are in nearly every yard.

We are within minutes of biking to coffee shops, yoga studios, and some of the yummiest food

we have ever tasted.

How could we not love this place...

We started our renovations with the exterior of the home, first up was to get rid of weathered and

worn reddish paint and chipped lime green doors.

Throughout the process of refurbishing our home we were always subtly reminded of Joey.

The first day the painter was out to repaint our home, he mentioned that the entire exterior of the

home had been hand painted just about twenty years ago.

At first I felt as though I was erasing Joey's work, but then I realized we were doing exactly what he

had so lovingly done to his home, made it his own.

Next we had to deal with the front side of the yard.

When we purchased the home there was an old rotting fence propped up against the unfinished

stucco wall of our neighbor.  A completely exposed, DIY sprinkler system was poking out from the

dirt, a raised garden bed, which had seen much better days, was awkwardly placed in the middle of it

all, and to top it off there was absolutely not one blade of grass.

In every way we could, we attempted to save money by doing things ourselves.

Preston and our neighbor tore down the old fence along the wall and taught themselves how

to stucco the wall-a very long process-but when it was completed it changed the entire exterior

of the house.

Preston cut down an overgrown and unsightly Holly tree, planted a Japanese Maple and installed

a new sprinkler system

Wyatt, Preston and I installed lush blue grass/fescue sod ourselves and the change was

amazing and dramatic!

On each side of our door are two beautiful raised brick flowerbeds.

Left unattended to for so long they were overgrown with weeds and vines.

We cleaned them out and planted foxtail ferns, maiden hair ferns, Impatients and vines.

Each night I practically collapsed into bed, it was exhausting work.

But we could see the work was paying off and other people noticed too.

Neighbors would walk by and remark on the transformation and how wonderful the home looked.

Our next door neighbor, who had known Joey so well brought us fresh apples, baked bread and

sparkling water for snacks while we labored away.

We would wake up early on weekend mornings to find fresh brewed hot coffee and muffins

waiting for us on our doorstep.

The community was thankful we were bringing the house back to life.

The people who knew Joey were happy that his home had finally found a family to love it.

But the work was not complete.

Next we moved inside.

Please join me next week to see exactly what the Patton's did to the inside of their 1950's home!


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  1. What a neat house to make a home with! Love that you can have asparagus fern outside. Up here in Oregon, it's a houseplant only. Have fun with the decorating! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. Gosh, they are such hard workers! The pea gravel patio is wonderful. I am sure their neighbors are so grateful that they are giving a new life to this house. I can hardly wait for each installment!

  3. Oh my gosh!! This is quite a fascinating tale of complete renovation!! I love that your daughter & her husband have been doing the work on their own, even though she says they are not that handy. I disagree with her, and think they have done a spectacular job. I love their decorating style, and they've made such a beautiful, snug home. Wow! And what a special welcome to the neighbourhood from their neighbours ... I wouldn't ever want to move away from there! Thanks for sharing this Jemma ... loved it!

  4. Hello Jemma, I am enjoying this series on your daughter's home. It is great they are able to do a lot of the work themselves. The neighbors sound wonderful too. Have a happy week ahead!

  5. Jemma, the home is coming along nicely. Your daughter and her husband have done so much work, and soon it will pay off. I can't believe how nice the neighbors have been bringing fresh brewed coffee and muffins in the morning. I look forward to seeing more of the home process. She is a beauty here, and her smile is radiant. What a nice looking couple they are. Her house is starting to look so charming......inside and out.

    love, ~Sheri

  6. Those kids sure are working hard to make this house into a beautiful home. I love the raised flower beds on each side of the front door. Your daughter looks just like her beautiful mama!

  7. Oh my gosh would you send them here - we need help! I am so proud of them - what a great job they did on everything - although with you as the mom i am not surprised. My I say your daughter is GORGEOUS - like her mother.

  8. Jemma,
    Your daughter's home is transforming beautifully! I know exactly that feeling of planning a project only to realize it is much bigger than originally planned. Everything we ever did and still do takes longer than expected or we run into snags somewhere along the way. I think the their home is coming along nicely....and btw, what a lovely couple!

  9. Building their dream, pebble by pebble. How exciting, just look at those smiles. Many blessings.
    Thank you for sharing with us, Jemma.

  10. This is the sweetest saga ever! They are doing an awesome job, and making a real home together!
    Can't wait to see the inside.

  11. Aww, what a labor of love! The best is that it is a partnership project that they both will cherish! Great post, Jemma!

  12. Aww, what a labor of love! The best is that it is a partnership project that they both will cherish! Great post, Jemma!

  13. Oh wow, Jemma... they're doing such a beautiful job! I know how exhausting it is and I feel for them. In the end it will pay off and I'm here rooting for them :)


  14. Hi Jemma, Oh I love this story and the team work going into making this such a beautiful home. Great post and the pics are special.
    Really enjoyed this Jemma and thanks for sharing.
    Hugs and Blessings, CM

  15. How exciting to transform something old to something so special!

  16. What a wonderful home and so fun to watch in transform. They will have such fond memories of doing it together - truly a labor of love!

  17. Well, you KNOW I know exactly how they feel ;).

    Amanda says they are not handy?? I think not! They're doing a fabulous job, and all their hard work will pay off.

    The neighborhood, as well as the neighbors, sounds divine. No wonder they moved there. This is the beginning of an exciting journey for them, and one which they will keep with them for many, many years.

  18. I am truly captivated by this love story for this home. And it is indeed a labor of love for sure. Nothing worthwhile is easy for sure and hard work does indeed pay off. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this journey. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  19. Hell, I'm stopping by from Nancy's blog and I know exactly where you live. We raised our boys in Gold River a lush, green community off of the 50 highway where our kids went to St. Mels and Jesuit. We loved being by the river and Lake Natoma but I love your area too. Good luck with the home renovations I'm right with you. We moved to Huntington Beach last year and we're in a fixer upper again after all these years. In fact we're about to put in a pea gravel patio too. Can you believe? Gulp. We took out an old pool and our backyard is in the middle of a major renovation...
    nice to meet you.

  20. Labor of love! Super cute couple!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  21. Jemma,
    I adore what I'm seeing in your photos, dear one!!!
    Enjoy the fruits of your labors!!!

  22. What wonderful encouraging, supporting and loving neighbors they have!! : )

  23. You sure did a lot of renovations in that house already. I'm glad that you were able to fix that problem with your muddy backyard. Putting gravel on it is really a good idea, and it looks great right now. I hope that the other renovations are going well too, Jemma. Good luck!

    Gregg Hogan @ American Basement Solutions


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