Hacienda Filthy

I do not think I have really ever shared the story of “hacienda filthy” with you all.   Hacienda Filthy is our home sweet home.  No, not because we are filthy people … but because when we bought this home 5 and a half years ago it was a MAJOR fixer upper.

fools!  selfies before selfies were "in" (ha ha)

fools! selfies before selfies were “in” (ha ha)

Just about 8 weeks pregnant with our Wylder James, when we found ourselves embarking on our first major purchase together, as a family, as husband and wife.  Have you ever heard that statement, if I only knew back then what I know now?  WOW, understatement of the century!

I must first start by saying we love our home, we really do.  It is a little bungalow in the middle of the desert surrounded by a great piece of property and wonderful neighbors.  It is peaceful and quiet.

After a slew of negotiations and Steven’s uncle navigating the real estate rig-a-meran, there was no doubt the home was destined to be ours.

photo 1 (2) photo 2 (1) photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

That being said, when we signed on the dotted line for her in the fall of 2008 she was nearly uninhabitable, no kidding! The pictures do not do her justice, they just make her look older, but not to dirty.  The pictures below do not do he  So we got to work right away.  We did not move in for about 6 weeks … we hit the decks running and started renovating.  Knocking down walls, repainting throughout, refinished the brick, new tile to replace the indoor outdoor carpeting and original laminate flooring and bug bombs, yes, I said bug bombs.  Well you get the picture.  When “round one of renovation” was complete we moved in to our new house, that now claimed the nickname hacienda filthy, that housed only a single small sofa in the great room and our master bedroom furniture.  We hosted our first thanksgiving at the house just 4 days after moving in on cardboard boxes.  It sounds re-donkulous … but it was dreamy.  As my belly continued to grow with Wylder James we just kept whistling while we worked.  Re-stuccoing and painting the outside, and tacking the ever so green and non functioning pool with dreams of our future little one learning to swim in it.


Empty house

Our Single Sofa in the House :)



Wylders Trip 026

our bungalow today

our bungalow today

photo 2 (24)

Within a year of purchase, we realized we had quite frankly bit off more than we could chew, but we were all in it together, plugging away.

Then came that fateful January day when we got Wylder’s diagnosis.  Everything for hacienda filthy was officially on hold.  It didn’t matter anymore.  Those dreams of renovated kitchens and baths were a thing of the past and all of a sudden our laminate and cultured marble counter tops and old stain glass windows, didn’t matter to us.  Our priorities shifted.


Now if someone only could have told the house that.  A 1981 fixer upper is bound to come with her fair share of issues, but broken dishwashers, electrical issues, and AC units on their last limb had us not only maxing out at our personal tipping points, we were also maxed out financially with medical bills and in what sometime felt like a sinking ship.  We prayed.  Oh did we pray.  And He answered.  We made it through with help from people brought into our lives, perseverance, and a very hard working husband.  We stayed afloat, and even better, we made the most incredible memories in our home that we will hold in our hearts forever.  We love you Hacienda Filthy.

When we realized as a family that beach living was not in our near future as Wylder Nation Foundation became a top priority in our lives we decided to stay in our home after Wylder passed.  This was not a decision that came to lightly, but for now we feel it is the right decision.  So starting this spring (2013) we started doing some more renovations … this time on our own.  This time instead of helping along subcontractors we tacked projects completely on our own, and on a budget.  It has been very fulfilling to do together.  We have refinished our bath, laundry and kitchen cabinets, replaced out interior doors and put new counter tops and sinks in the baths.  They may not be perfect , but they were done on a budget and are certainly a labor of love.  Our perspectives are so different now; we love our sweet and quaint little kitchen and have no dreams of blasting the whole thing out 6 feet.  We love and long for simplicity.  True simplicity.  We simply want our house to feel like a home, and to be full of love with now bump #2  growing so quickly.

Before cabinets

Before cabinets


ta da

ta da


We are also tackling our all dirt desert yard.  Just this weekend we were laughing because we think we are the only family crazy enough to start a big projects just as baby is about to arrive, but it is a flashback to bringing home Wylder James, so it makes us smile.

Wylder monitoring the pool reno (3 days old)

Wylder monitoring the pool reno (3 days old)

The work in progress Bruiser will come home too

The work in progress Bruiser will come home too

But our yard is now beginning to feel like a mini sanctuary, thanks in large part to some assistance from my momma.  We are currently thinking of a tribute to Wylder to put in this new little corner of the yard, right by the grass.  I always wanted grass in our yard so I could lay in it with Wylder, and now we will have some.  We can’t wait to use and enjoy our yard for the first time really, after 5 years in this house.  I will lay in that grass with Bruiser and look up at the clouds changing shape and tell him all about his big brother.  It will certainly continue to be a work in progress, and a long list of honey do’s, but we are grateful and at peace.  This is our family’s home.

photo 5 (11) photo 4 (13) photo 3 (19)

We had dream back in 2008 of raising all our children in this home …. Now what is means to me is so different.  If you said I had to move tomorrow I would, and I would take every memory with us in our heart.  If you said we were going to live here another 5 years, I will cherish how Bruiser will take his first step in a place where is brother laughed for the first time … and something tells me I won’t look back at my cabinet colors for one minute.  As we prepare to bring baby #2 home to the same home Wylder came home to , my cup simply runith over.  When we pull down our cul-de-sac for the first time with Bruiser snuggled in his car seat, just like his big brother was, I will certainly cry.  And I will certainly be so thankful that the Lord made it all possible.

Hacienda Filthy, thank you for the memories.

Wylder, thank you for making our house our home.  Thank you for every memory.  Thank you for blessing us with your little Brother who will soon share your rooms with you.  You are so loved and so missed.  See you in our dreams and all around hacienda filthy forever and always.


  1. I am so happy reading this, Shannon…..I agree that Wylder has been a very busy, heavenly Warrior guiding his mommy and daddy’s decisions and steps…..I can’t wait to see the Warrior Garden! xoxoxox Happy Birthday Sweet Lady!!!

  2. Jamie Reiner says:

    What a great story of how that old house became your home! It is certainly beautiful now and I too am looking forward to the Warrior Garden! :)

    • Thanks Jamie. It is a great story, and one that should be shared with any couple thinking of tacking a fixer upper, ha!! We are so grateful for our home. I am going to have to recruit you and Leslie for the warrior garden so it can succeed!!

  3. We took a similiar path. Purchased a house just before we found out I was pregnant with Dan in spring 2006. It too needed some work. So we had grand plans. Then Dan was born. Some of the plans took a back burner but some continued. It’s been many years since we did any sort of work on the house. We still have some spots that are compound over holes that have never been painted. We couldn’t leave our house either. Sending happy thoughts to you. You know that Wylder is watching and guiding your decisions.

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      So you are admitting you are a little slice of crazy too Jill (tee hee). Our houses become our homes because of our family, but that doesn’t mean they are not a lot of work. Hope you are doing well, we love the picts of your sweet baby girl you post xoxo S

  4. Cathy Johnson says:

    What a wonderful story of a house becoming a home. I am anxious, too, to see the Warrior Garden, Shannon. What a terrific idea! We have a huge (15′ by 33′) overgrown garden that we are going to completely grass over and install raised beds, container gardens, paths, bird feeders and baths, etc. My plan is to have a corner dedicated to our NPD warriors. Can’t wait to share that with all of you! :) xoxoxo

    • Mommy and Daddy says:

      I am going to recruit each and every one of you for help on our garden, if you only knew how bad of a gardner i truly am, although at heart I wish I was a good one. I am sure yours will be so beautiful and I cannot wait to see what you do. Thank you for always keeping Wylder so close to you heart xoxo

  5. awww, I LOVED this post!!! I love Hacienda Filthy too now!!! But I think it could use a name upgrade now that its fresh and pretty and full of love:) I loved your frilly dining room chairs-that made me smile-you have to keep some girliness when you are surrounded by all those cute boys! I can’t wait to see the same pictures of Bruiser in there just like Wylders-so many amazing memories. xoxo ,Chelsea

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