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The greatest gift

There were rumors this house was given to the person who cared for their lawn. My imagination went wild. I thought about that every day when I pushed my daughter by in her stroller. The grass was always so green. Fresh lawnmower marks zig zagged the front yard. I knew there was a pool behind the white fence but never heard splashing or laughter. The curtains were always closed behind the dusty awnings and the only movement I ever saw was from the birds. One year after we moved in we finally went through an old box the original owners family left for us. My now 9 year old sat with me as I opened up an envelope…their wills.

So this is where we left off! Holy crap, I had no intentions of that reel I made on IG going viral, but after 5 MILLION + views…here we are! & if you’re new here, because of that reel, WELCOME! So glad you’re here! I still owe you the story of how the house became OURS, but that will have to be saved for another blog post because it’s lengthy. Not only do I like to chat, but the stars truly aligned for us to the point where I believe this house actually found US.

Real quick back story. 9 years ago I lived down the street from the home we live in now. Emrie was a baby, only about 6months old when Andy & I moved into the cutest little rental. It was a small, cottage style home, super old, tons of character & a charming backyard filled with oak trees. It was the top of our rental budget but in the neighborhood we dreamed of so we made it work. Every night I’d push Emrie in her stroller up the road and through the streets gazing at all the old, history filled homes. There were definitely homes that stood out to me, but one in particular drew me in. My eyes never left the house as I walked by. It sat higher up on a little knoll and there was ALWAYS sun shining down on it. The rest of the houses nearby were shaded at some point or another, but not this one. It always had light pouring over it. It was tinted pink unlike the other, white houses surrounding it and the lawn felt like it went forever. It stirred emotions in me unlike anything I’ve ever felt.

One night I was walking with a friend when we passed the house. “Rumor has it the house was given to the gardener”….WHAT? I couldn’t believe it. I never questioned the rumor. Just the thought of it made this house that much more magical. I thought of that every single time I walked by, and eventually after a couple years when Andy and I moved, & bought our first home, I would think of it as I drove by.

5 years pass.

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll save the story for how we bought our house for another day, but when we moved in the original owners had left us boxes of paperwork. Receipts, invention ideas, photos, more receipts 😂 we were SO thankful for the photos they chose to leave behind for us. It gave us a tiny peak into the love that used to fill these walls. Christmas parties by the fireplace, thanksgiving dinners, the flowers that used to be on the property. I treasure those. I fumbled through the receipts here and there throughout the first year. I was curious to see what they used to pay for their utilities and even appliances when they renovated many years ago, but I never dove into the paperwork.

One day while Andy was working I was bored and decided to bug him. I went into the office and started opening up the drawers. I randomly grabbed an envelope from the stack of papers and opened it up. It was a hand drawn map of our property showing where all the sprinkler heads were and a water spout next to the pool. Hmmmm I’d never noticed that before. I ran down to the pool and like on a treasure map was lead to a water spout that was meant to fill the pool super fast. WHAT IN THE FREAKING WORLD….Andy & I had just been throwing the hose over the fence when the water level was low. I decided to dig further into the box. What the heck else could I find.

Pretty soon my daughter joined me along with Andy on every break he could snag to see what else we found. Here’s where we confirmed, in a roundabout way….that our home was in fact given to the gardener.

I won’t be saying their names, and I won’t go into all the fine print detail, because it’s personal to their family and I don’t want to overstep.

REAL QUICK before I go on, CAN YOU BELIEVE that when the reel went viral, the grandchildren of the family recognized the home and reached out to me???? Blew my damn mind. I’ve been asked so many times if anyone in the family knew about my blog and Instagram where I share all our DIY and home renovating, and as far as I knew, nobody did. Until now. HI!!!!

Left behind were both the husband and wife’s wills.

Here’s what I gather in a super, straight to the point POV. When the original owner came home from war he hired a young man to help tend to the property. A groundkeeper, property care taker, gardener… I’m not sure I’ll ever know the exact details on how the owner of the home originally knew the young man he hired, but what I do know is that a father/son type relationship was built and the owner of the home adopted the young man.

In the will, they left the home to their son.

We feel BEYOND honored to get to take care of this home for the rest of our lives, and hopefully pass it down to our own children. If you’re not already following along, I document all of our designs and house updates over on my IG: @ponderosa_and_plaid ❤️ We’re just a regular ol’ family with a love for old homes, and in particular- renovating this one to reflect our crew.

Hope to see you there!

xoxo

Lacey

  1. Libi says:

    Such an awesome story! Thank you for continuing to share!!💗

  2. Barbara Bolitho says:

    Love love this story and watching you fix up your dream house! Can’t wait to see what you do next ☺️

  3. Alli says:

    Love this! Must. Hear. More! 😂😍

  4. Martha says:

    My heart explodes with joy for you, Lacey!!! Such a precious story. Thank you for including us in your journey. 🤍

  5. i loooove it!! i feel like this home is just perfect for you and your family! and you guys have just brought it back to life 💓

  6. Heather says:

    I’m so glad this home found you. I love seeing people caring for old homes, and you’re doing an amazing job of it! Thank you for including us on your journey 💗

  7. Cuisette says:

    Beautifully written Friend! Your home is such a treasure and I’m so excited to see its future unfold over the years with you guys.

  8. Beth Ramseier says:

    You did great!!👏👏

  9. Jordan Hagen says:

    I love this and I love watching your renovation. I love diving into the past and the fact you have all that paperwork and receipts is amazing. I would probably nerd out forever going through it. How special!

  10. Cortney Lynn says:

    You did great lady! Looking forward to reading more of the details of your home from your perspective, maybe if we are lucky the family will share more from the memories! Guess I’ll go drink some champagne and dream up my next project around here 🙂

  11. Bekah Kee says:

    LOOve love love you and your style and I give you all the claps and standing ovations you could stand because you’ve brought life into this house that is now a HOME! A TRUE PONDEROSA!

  12. Sierra S. says:

    Love this house and your experiences so much!! Can’t wait to hear more about this gem! 💗

  13. Sayysay says:

    Thank you for sharing! I love following along on your journey with your amazing home! You inspire me to have courage for DIY projects and take time to find what I love for my home. Can’t wait to hear more!

  14. Cortney lynn says:

    You did great lady! Looking forward to reading more stories in your home from your perspective and if we are lucky from the previous family’s memory. Gonna grab some champagne and plan out my next project around here!

  15. Nan Stolarsky says:

    Your story is a heart warming one! May the moments continue!

  16. Allison T says:

    Am I the first comment?! Lol
    Thank you so much for sharing, Lacey. That’s a wonderful story and gives me chills <3

  17. Katie says:

    What a crazy cool story. I hope one day you’ll get to chat with the grandchildren and hear more about the stories and memories this house has.

  18. Marcia Clark says:

    Wow! What a neat story!! Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to hearing more about how you came to buy the home. I’m loving everything you are doing in it!

  19. April says:

    How inspiring. Love that your making this your home now. And how much easier is it to fill that pool up? Hahahahaha

  20. Toni Richardson says:

    I am absolutely in love with your home and style, your visions and your passion for this home. I have followed you since the old house and I’ve seen you bloom!!! Keep doing what brings you passion!!

  21. Liz says:

    WOW! I can’t wait to read your next post.

  22. Vicky Gillmor says:

    Wow! Such a cool story! It feels like the Universe wanted that house to be yours all along! Love this for you! You are really making this house your beautiful-unique home! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Miranda says:

    I’ve loved hearing more and more details on your historic dream home. ❤️

  24. Samantha Robinson says:

    I absolutely believe this home was destined to be yours. The stars aligned. Love following your journey ♡

  25. M.Bucher says:

    I love that you have a blog now! 🥰

  26. @humpjackhome says:

    You are a wonderful story teller!! Love hearing all the details about the history of your forever home!!! Old homes are so fascinating 🙂

  27. Nikki says:

    Love everything about this …what a treasure ❤️ Thank you for allowing us to join you on your journey …watch your stories every single day ❤️❤️❤️

  28. Mikayla says:

    This is so amazing. I adore old documents and pictures so can’t even imagine the excitement combing through all of it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home on IG! Your content is some of my absolute favorite.

  29. Serena Fruits says:

    I live that you shared this story! You’re home is absolutely stunning and I cannot wait to see what else you guys do with the property! ☺️

  30. Sienna Beebe says:

    What an amazing story!! Can’t wait to hear the rest of it… magical and meant to be all at once!

  31. Jodi Swire says:

    Love the story of your home. I can’t wait to learn more❤️

  32. Zagluva says:

    Ahhh I loooove this so much! Makes me think of my grandparents houses. THIS HOUSE! It’s just wow. Looooove everything you’re doing to it and so grateful Shannon/@livingwithlady turned me onto you. You da best! ✨🤍✨

  33. Emily says:

    I LOVE IT. Such a fun read. I love how it takes me back in time and I feel like I can see all of the details you’ve written out. How cool to find those old maps and paperwork!! I always wonder if I’ll find something like that in our old home. We know so many people who have actually lived here!

  34. Kalee says:

    How amazing! I loved the house already, but the story behind it makes it that much better! Love seeing the transformations you are making! ❤

  35. Suzan says:

    I’m enjoying all the additional details to your story. I’ll be along for this part of your journey also. Congrats on the launch!

  36. Jen Martin says:

    Ack!!!! I just love following you and seeing all you are doing in the house. It is a DREAM!!!! Enjoy every moment ❤️

  37. Jenni says:

    Literally have chills!!! What an amazing story and stunning home. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Joanne says:

    Love the story , & now I’m 100% invested to hear the rest! SO GLAD I found you on IG last year ❤️

  39. Thank you for sharing this!! I love your home, your style, and hearing stories like this. ☺️

  40. Cindy Martin says:

    I’ve been following along and have loved every step of it! The memories made and continue to make are beautiful! Looking forward to seeing more! 🧡💛🧡

  41. Elizabeth Martinez says:

    That is such a sweet story! I love watching every step of you fixing up your dream home. Everyone who has ever had it put a lot of love into it. This post helps us all to see it.

  42. Tammy Kloke says:

    Wow!! I just love what y’all are doing to your home! Can’t wait to see what’s next and read more of your story!! Great job!!

  43. Becki says:

    This is like reading a book or watching a movie! As the story unfolds it just gets better & can’t wait for the next chapter/episode! So rad and the touches you all are putting on this home are out of this world! Making it your own while still preserving the history, character & charm, chefs kiss…muah!

  44. Carolyn McCall says:

    I love following you & your “meant to be” connections to your beautiful home. Also love how you’re making it your own

  45. Taysa Hernandez says:

    Beautiful story! I love following your journey!

  46. Carolyn Mc Call says:

    Love “meant to be” story of how your home found you! Also love how you’re making it your own. Keep your wonderful stories coming! You’re the best on Instagram! ❤️

  47. Mary says:

    This is such a sweet story!

  48. Kari says:

    I love this story so much! And I love watching you make the home your own! So beautifully done.

  49. Carolyn says:

    I loved reading your awesome story!!! It has been so fun watching you make this beautiful house a home for your sweet family. You are truly a gifted lady.

  50. Tina says:

    What a great story! I can’t wait to hear more. Love your authenticity in story telling as well as your designs. Thanks for sharing.

  51. Tiffany says:

    Knowing how much you love the color pink this all makes so much sense now! I love how quickly you and your hubby seem to get your projects done! You have motivated me to take on some of my own projects!

  52. Judy says:

    Wow! Love this story and following you. Can’t wait to hear more. ❤️

  53. Lisa says:

    It’s a great story of a family who loved this home and saw that you would love it too💗

  54. Amy says:

    Best house story ever! And I absolutely love the uniqueness of your home and your way of decorating it! (We just have a really old wheel chair in the attic and footsteps upstairs till the wheelchair was removed house story😆)
    I am excited to see what you take on next!

  55. Katy says:

    Such a cool story! Nothing better than discovering the secrets that old house has inside! You are making it into such a beautiful Home for your family! Thanks for taking us along on the tour!❤️

  56. Lori says:

    I love watching your stories, you always make me smile. Thank you for that 😀💕

  57. Kristi says:

    Love this story and can’t wait to hear more❤️❤️

  58. Janna says:

    What an awesome story! I love hearing the details of your home journey and I feel extra invested because I am local! I absolutely love the way you are making your dreams come true. Looking forward to see what you do next!

  59. Julie Groves says:

    Fellow Oregonian and favorite IG account!!
    Our styles are different but I love everything you do and find my style changing alittle because of you!!

  60. Lupita says:

    This is awesome! Thank you for sharing with us 💗

  61. Pamela Vastola says:

    Love your house, your style and your sweet family. Thank you for taking us along on your journey of making this your “Forever” home❤️

  62. Deb says:

    Love this story! I love your writing style. Awesomeness!

  63. Jera says:

    Full body chills! This home was meant for your family. It knew it would be loved and cherished like it had in the past. I’m sure the previous owners/family would be so thankful to see this home take on a whole new life! Every thing you touch turns into magic. I love following along on the journey with you!!

  64. Jenny says:

    LOVE reading about your home, and following along on your page!! This home is so dreamy!

  65. Jana says:

    Love watching and reading about your story!

  66. Ashley says:

    You totally manifested this house!! Have you ever read The Secret? How cool is this!!! 😍 absolutely love this for you and your family! I love following along on your IG too!!

  67. Lindsay says:

    What a beautiful, heartwarming story! And what’s even better is the love you are adding to the home for this story to carry on and on. I love everything you’ve done to your home💕

  68. Danielle says:

    i’ve been waiting for your blog to hear more about this story & i just love it! can’t wait to read more of your blog posts considering this first one is so damn good 😬❤️

  69. Jana Haro says:

    Love hearing about the stories from your house. Thank you for sharing with us

  70. Jana says:

    Love hearing about the stories from your house. Thank you for sharing with us

  71. Annie says:

    What an amazing story!!! History is my favorite, big broad history and small personal history 🥰 What a blessing!!

  72. Carin says:

    Your story is so sweet. I love how much love you have for your home’s history and how you’re honoring that while making it reflect your family. Such a fun journey… and I’m hooked!

  73. Shela says:

    Love this story and following you on IG. ❤

  74. Ashley says:

    I’m not crying, you’re crying. 😭🥰😍 I love the story of your home and all of the care you put into restoring it! You’ve inspired me so much to follow my heart and instincts in updating our own very old (1965) home. It’s slowly beginning to look and feel like our family rather than a standard Pinterest/IG-style home. I have you to thank for that push and inspiration! I’m so excited to continue to follow along and see how your home turns out. ❤👏

  75. Michelle Conner says:

    That house has so much character. I think the universe knew what it was doing when it picked you guys to live there. You guys bring so much love and warmth to it. It’s nice to see that dreams do come true!

  76. Mari says:

    Can’t wait for the next part… I don’t care what others say about your color choices, I enjoy the transformation you do to this house. It totally says you!

  77. Missy says:

    I just love opening Instagram and watching your stories. Thankfully they come more quickly than having to wait a week for my favorite TV shows! You are so inspirational and this story was so well written and described. So happy for your site going live!! Thank you for being so transparent and real!

  78. Julie Curtis says:

    I can’t wait to hear more Lacey! Your place is so beautiful!!!

  79. Natalie says:

    I loved reading this! What a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  80. Marianne says:

    I think it’s so cool that you have all the history of this house, especially considering its age. We are in our 3rd home (hopefully last, as we are 67 & 70 now!) and have built all three. I have always left information for the new owners, starting with a copy of the blueprints. I share quirky things we’d discovered, how to work/manuals for furnaces, appliances, etc. Neighbors names and phone numbers (approved by them) and since I loved gardening and landscaping, I always left a hand drawn overhead view (colored pencils used!) of the planting beds and what grows in them, along with care tips in case they are new to gardening. Any little thing I can leave (even extra paints labeled with where they were used) to make them feel welcomed and pass on the caretaking of the house we built, I hope gives them a newfound responsibility to think of it as not JUST a house, but a HOME! We just heard that our 1st house, which we lived in and added to and remodeled twice, has had five new owners since we sold it in 2003!!! I guess no one sees what we saw, good enough to live there for 27 years! Anyway, congrats on getting your blog up!

  81. Shelly says:

    So freaking cool. Thank you for sharing this with us!! I love that they left those things behind for you 🥰

  82. Rebecca Cartwright says:

    Such an amazing story, thank you for sharing with us! It has brought so much joy watching you on this adventure 💛

  83. Amber says:

    I don’t remember how I found your Instagram. I’ve laughed so many times! The fly on the gate was hilarious! I had no idea what whodat meant until last week! Your home is amazing with all those BIG ASS rooms! Thank you for sharing!

  84. Teresa says:

    Omg I love this! It’s so rare for people to know such a detailed backstory on their home. So special and beautiful 🤍

  85. Brianna Lyness says:

    I love how you love your home!!

  86. Jenna B says:

    When we first moved to Medford I used to love driving by that house. There was just something about it. I love watching you guys love it so well! Great little blog, too. Well done!

  87. Kaily Walund says:

    Ahhh yay! I’m so happy to hear that the grandchildren found you! That’s so incredibly cool Lacey! I love your home and all that you’ve put into it so far. I’m so happy I get to see you and your families journey 💛💛

  88. Peta says:

    Lacey, what a lovely story. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to hearing how you came to buying the house.

  89. Chrissie says:

    I LOVE your story. It seems like I’ve been following you for forever‼️ Your laugh, your style, your family and your doggies make me happy, everyday‼️🥰🤩👏🏼🎃🍁👻☠️🕷🐾🍂

  90. Cassandra says:

    What an absolutely amazing story ❤️❤️ Love following all the adventures you do with this adorable house.

  91. Saree says:

    Awesome that the story gets to live on thru your family!

  92. Rachel Cabler says:

    Oh, I love this so much, Lacey! I’ve lived in the area my whole life. Driven past that house many, MANY times, and have always loved it’s personality ❤ I’m so happy for you! So happy it’s yours! It’s so awesome to be able to watch you guys restore one of our local historic homes!

  93. Hilary says:

    I love this it’s a great companion to your IG … can’t wait to read more.

  94. Raelyn says:

    How amazing! And how, very special!!

  95. Kellye says:

    I loved reading this story and can’t wait to hear more! How exciting to have a home with such character to it. I’ve been following you already but I’m loving this journey you and your family are on ❤️❤️

  96. Rebecca Lindor says:

    What a great story! I love you house and the history behind it. I can’t wait to read more about it.

  97. Juanita Alexander says:

    Intense, yet simple and elegant story~ reminds me of simpler times, when kids played outside all summer long while our parents sat on the porch sipping tea, if your house could speak! Such character and charm. Thank you for allowing me to be part of such a personal journey into the past.

  98. Shona Tryon says:

    Love love love! Keep sharing!

  99. Kim Delaney says:

    Love this story, and how you are making these spaces yours ❤️

  100. Katie says:

    LOVE this!!! I love a home with a history!!! I can’t wait to hear more…

  101. Lori says:

    I just LOVE this story! I know y’all had quit the adventure in house hunting (with a few ghost involved)! I love to hear about all the stories and the history of this beautiful home! I feel like your living in a fantasy!

  102. Sheila says:

    That house was waiting for you and your sweet family to love her and bring her back to life.
    Wishing you many happy memories in your glamor girl .

  103. Nicole says:

    So glad I stumbled on your account a while ago… I adore your family stories and this house… and you! You’re awesome!!🥰

  104. Charlotte says:

    Love your stories! Can’t wait to see more of your reno cause I love your style!

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