...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Breaking news: it’s extremely wet and muddy here. We quickly went from excavated desert to mud hole. There’s mud in our yard. Mud in our driveway. Mud in our garage. Mud in our house. Mud in our shoes. I have mud on my pants right now. I’m so over the mud.

HH seeded, fertilized and aerated the yard last weekend. As in two weekends ago. It’s been my job to water it. Basically, I move two sprinklers all over the yard giving each area a good 15-30 minute soaking on days that we don’t get rain. I wear a pair of HH’s old tennis shoes and there’s probably three inches of mud stuck to the soles. Luckily, we’ve had some decent rainfall over the last week so I haven’t had to water daily.

Do you see that? That, my friends, is what I’m hoping is the beginning of a lush, lush lawn. One can only hope.

We’re partnering with Trex {a wood alternative decking manufacturer} and had a rep, Nate, come out to discuss plans for a low-lying deck that we’re hoping to sandwich in between two concrete patios off the back of the house. We’re still in the early planning stages so it was great to get some feedback on our overall design and ideas for DIY installation.

{Look at Mabrey. She’s totally eyeing the Trex Enhance clam shell sample on the top. Atta girl.}

I think I may have scared Nate in my muddy pants and shoes. Not to mention all the unfinished projects we have out in plain viewing sight. I can only imagine how we look to outsiders! Mabrey spit up all over herself and Everett was blowing up Lego men. Nate was a good sport. Especially when Layne burst through the door after school telling us he got picked to be the V.I.P. student in his class for the week. Nate suggested some really unique installation designs other than the typical planks-all-running-in-the-same-direction design. HH had a few questions about how to build a support system for a deck low to the ground. It was a good get-the-ball-rolling meeting.

We have several quotes coming in this week for the concrete patios. HH could totally DIY them {he’s done it before} but he’s traveling so much for work right now that he just wouldn’t have the time. Ah, time. Why must you cost so much?

Anyhow, that’s the latest and greatest and muddiest on our future yard. I envy anyone with grass to mow.

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images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



You’re going to love Trex! I worked at a hardware store in high school and we spec’d it all the time. I love the updates, even muddy ones.


Good luck with the lawn ! It will look great (and green !) once it’s grown. We have another kind of issue here with the lawn … moles … with holes and dirt bumps … just can’t handle it, so I live with it ! Take care ! PS : you have the top score at AT’s color contest !!! great !!


Here in Europe we don’t use concrete so much for patios, but flagging. Around our own house we haven’t done the patios yet, but wil use a combiantion of wooden deck and flagging around the house. The good thing is the water can drain away in it, but it is also quite expensive to have it done.
We like this: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0ZytByahE54/S5vSndTeTOI/AAAAAAAAASc/U555n8oNgZQ/s1600-h/14_terrasse-holz-stein.jpg
Jule from inside 9B


Hi Dana! My parents installed a Trex deck this summer. The deck looks amazing! Two things that I’ve noticed: 1) It gets SUPER hot in the sun. Definitely have to wear shoes on it! 2) The water tends to pool on it and it can be slippery.

Overall, my parents are very happy with their decision, but wanted to share the feedback.

Good luck and the yard is looking wonderful.


Hi Dana.
Do you know of a good source for a 6 foot indoor bench cushion?


Oooh! Thanks for the heads up on the heat and water issues. Definitely things we’ll have to ask about.


As a kid, I always liked stepping on and squishing the mole holes in the yard.

As for the AT contest, I KNOW! I try not to check the tallies too often but I’m excited about the possibility of winning. You guys are so great supporting me over there. I wish I had a prize for everyone who voted!!

I completely feel your pain with all the mud! We have had a whole lot of downpours in the past couple months…and every time it happens, no joke, there is a legit mud river running from our backyard, down the street for about a quarter of a mile. It’s embarrassing. Luckily, our seeding and aerating is starting to work back there, so we are starting to see shades of grey…errr I mean, green. :)

And good luck with the patio quotes! We were a little surprised by the quote we got for a stamped concrete patio. But we saved some money by demo’ing the old stuff ourselves. Can’t wait to see your yard come together! I know how painful of a process it is! :)

This is a great time of the year to seed. I’m sure you’ll be mud free very soon. We don’t have a deck or a patio yet either. We’ll be putting one up probably in the spring and I’m considering useing that Trex Enhance. Nice colors, looks like it will hold up well and shouldn’t be slippery when it’s wet.


One of the things I love about reading blogs is the chance to learn about other parts of the country and world. I’m curious about your method of watering a lawn that size (since you mentioned manually watering it with a sprinkler). I live in AZ, so in my mind it is unimaginable to have a yard that huge w/o an automatic sprinkler system. I suppose I was expecting to see a post on digging for that after I saw your post on the yard. Do you get sufficient rainfall during the summer to water the grass, or will you be required to move a sprinkler around every day to water it? Our grass needs water everyday during the summer, so that thought would be overwhelming to me from a time-consumption standpoint; however, that may not even be a factor where you live. Just curious.


Ah! It’ll come— you just keep picturing that lush lawn and it’ll come :) good luck- sorry about all the mud. Ahk!


We were considering Trex until a vinyl guy came out to give us a quote on fencing and we happened to ask him if he also installs Trex decks. All he said was: “Google trex and lawsuit”. Sorry to rain on your parade and I hope whatever you choose works out.


I know your feeling for wanting grass to mow. We we bought our house the previous owner did not have an inch of grass. He didn’t want to deal with it and instead he had rocks in the backyard and ivy filled with weeds in the front. Hours and hours of hard work moving rocks, pulling ivy we got grass. Last year we did the back yard and put down sod. I loved the instant gratification, this year we did the front and seeded in the spring. It is looking great but does have a lot more weeds than the back. We will deal with that next year. Overall we LOVE having grass and it only takes about 10 mins to mow. We joke it takes longer to get the lawn mower out of the garage then it does to mow. Keep watering that is a must.


No sprinkler system here. We’re just watering to get the yard established. As for summers in Ohio, they can be hot and dry but we usually only water if there’s been a severe drought and even then there are sometimes restrictions on water usage. I know HH would LOVE to DIY a sprinkler system but that’s not a high priority right now.

I have a crappy yard that is FULL of leaves so no mowing here…As soon as we rake an hour later you wouldn’t know it! So right now I wish I did have your yard because I am about ready to mow down all these trees!! So, I will be envying you and your “lush” lawn ;-)


You’re going to love the TREX decking. We’ve had ours for about 4 years now and it’s held up great. We were lucky enough to find a huge pile at my dad’s work (he sells building supplies) that was “damaged” since it had some coloring issues (slight black coloring throughout). It worked perfect with our house though and we got 20′ boards for $1 each!


Have you ever played on mud, really when you start playing on it you will gonna love that mud. In my childhood days I love to play on mud and make different utensil’s or some characters with these mud.