Monday, April 30, 2007

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Our family moved into this home four years ago in mid May. We used to live in a home that was just around the corner, but as our four kids got bigger the house seemed to get smaller. We really love our friends in the neighborhood and our great schools, so we bought this house before it actually went on the market. The previous owners were not only our neighbors, but also our friends. We loved Roger and Sandy and watched their children grow from outstanding teenagers into amazing adults. We visited Sandy in her home (but not often enough) as she slowly died of colon cancer. While Roger tenderly cared for Sandy, the home and yard became less of a priority as her health steadily declined.

I wish I had a picture handy to show you what the house looked like before we moved in, but since I don't you just have imagine the faded yellow siding and weeds up to your knees. Before moving in we completely replaced all of the flooring and painted every room. I distinctly remember our son bringing his prom date over so that we could see them before they went off to the dance. His tuxedo and her flowing blue gown were quite a contrast to the particle wood subfloors and demolished stone fireplace.
This past year we replaced all of the single pane windows and completely remodeled the kitchen and three bathrooms. We also got a new front door that is still waiting for the temperatures to warm up enough for us to paint. When we removed the old kitchen cabinets we found a recipe card for brownies that was handwritten by Sandy. You can probably imagine the delight of her only daughter when we returned the recipe card, along with a few other treasures.
This is a picture of the backyard that was taken a couple of summers ago.

Over the past three years we've slowly, but surely, replaced the overgrown garden weeds with actual plants.


Bleeding Hearts

Coral Bells

Lots of hostas and a few ferns, which are still underground.

Although the house and yard look very different than they did before we moved in, I like to think that the love that was planted here while Roger and Sandy were raising their children continues to grow in our home here in Happy Valley.


  1. A lot of work to get it to this point, Kairle, as you well know but I think your friends would be pleased. Is the family still in the nearby area that they can come visit?

  2. Your post made me cry. Seriously. Your friend Sandy "planted" a quilt love. How wonderful that Sandy lives on through your care-taking and love, and how wonderful for her children to see their mom living in your garden. What a great friend and kind person you are... no doubt you enrich the lives of all those around you.

  3. Beautiful home, I love your flowers.

  4. I don't think I have heard that story before Kairle. Very touching. Your kitchen sure looks better than when I saw it!lol

  5. I'm sure Sandy is looking down on your home and smiling.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your friends...and a beautiful remodel!!!

  7. Beautiful post! Love your kitchen and your plants are gorgeous. What a great tribute to family, home and friends!

  8. What a beautiful post. Your home and garden are lovely. What a tribute to your friend! If she knew what you have done I am sure she would be so happy for you.

  9. Thanks for visiting. What city was your daughter in when she was in Japan? I bet she didn't put butter on her rice while she was here! I read some of your earlier posts. You were in my (past) part of the woods. I used to live not to far from Disneyland and sometimes visited Laguna beach. "Oh, it rained last week in Anaheim!" Thanks for the tour.