The Big Reveal

filed under: Miscellaneous on July 29, 2009

After many months of planning and preparation, we finally decided to fix our retaining wall outside.

It wasn't terribly bad before.  Just not as functional as it should have been.  And sorta ugly. 





We had to tear down the existing retaining wall.




So we could start over with the new stone.




Each one of these stones weighs around 80 pounds.  They were all moved by hand.  By Chad.  By Ryan.  By me.  Remember on my Shred review when I said I took a few days off to do some manual labor? 

This was it.


The wheelbarrow weighs roughly 270 pounds.  As you can imagine, many, many trips were made with the wheelbarrow.


We decided that instead of a plain jane retaining wall, we would build a bench, with curves…and built in cup holders and speakers that rise up like a venus. 

Well, maybe we wanted all that, but just went with the bench part.



It got dirty around here.  Boys like mud.


Weeks have passed.  We are making slow progress.


Once we got in the stone it was horribly obvious that the landscaping needed some 'touching up' as well.

After 2 months of working nights, weekends, then some more nights and weekends, we were finally able to sit back and look at our new retaining wall.

You ready???

Is this anti-climatic or is it me?







The bench has turned out to be a great addition to our lives and the way we enjoy the outdoors.













Thanks for waiting so patiently (or impatiently.  you know who you are carma) for the Big Reveal.

Maybe you can come over and enjoy a nice cool lemonade with us some time.  You bring the leonade.;)

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  • Buzzings of a Queen Bee says:

    What a huge project to undertake! I think it looks fabulous and the hydrangeas look so pretty! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amanda Rettke says:

    Thank you so much!!!  Aren’t those hydrangeas yummy???  Wish they would last all year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Laura says:

    Fancy stuff dude!! I am LOVIN the bench, very cool!
    We are so on our way over…I will stop for the lemonade! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Casey says:

    Wow! That looks wonderful! I absolutely LOVE the bench! Very clever idea. The landscaping looks beautiful as well.

  • Debi ~ says:

    Great job! I love the built in seat too!

  • Stephanie says:

    Amanda, it is gorgeous! I am envious of your patio & your beautiful hydrangeas. Someday i will have a finished backyard, but for now i will just sit on my front porch and enjoy the landscaping up there!

  • Dea says:

    wow! That looks amazing! I love it, great work! The bench is the perfect touch!

  • Janis says:

    Gorgeous!!! I’m so totally jealous!
    I’ve got the lemonade – you pick the date and we will be there!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    God Bless

  • stacy Ness says:

    Very pretty.

  • he & me + 3 says:

    I absolutely love it! I would love to enjoy a lemonade with you sometime!

  • he & me + 3 says:

    I absolutely love it! I would love to enjoy a lemonade with you sometime!

  • elena says:

    Looks wonderful! GREAT work.

  • janmary says:

    I love your new seating area, especially with the chalked instructions!
    Well done to everyone for all the hard work.
    Who needs The Shred?!!

  • Christy says:

    Amanda it’s beautiful!!! I love it and love that you built the bench in, that was a great and very unique idea!!! I’d love to come and sit outside with you, drinking lemonade! ๐Ÿ™‚ The landscaping is beautiful too!

  • Tonya says:

    Wow! That was a huge project and it turned out AMAZING! The bench is an especially nice touch. Nice job!

  • BP says:

    That is just amazing to see the before, the after, plus all the work y’all put into it! It looks wonderful!
    So did anyone get it right in their guessing!!

  • Dea says:

    Adults only laugh 12 times a day??? I need to fix that! lol. I suppose i will just have to act crazy more often ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will happily try and raise those stats!

  • Kristin says:

    Beautiful pictures. Is your grass really that green? It has been so hot around here, it is all brown. Hubby works in lawn care and the grass has really slowed down. I know it has because he has actually been home at night!

  • Bethany says:

    WOW WOW WOW!!!!! (You need to make it so we can use a bigger font size on the comments ๐Ÿ™‚
    That is seriously beautiful. I absolutely want to come play in your dirt. I love the way you landscaped and added all the detail. You are so talented in so many different ways. I love it. Love it. And did I say love it. That and I’m a teensy bit jealous. Okay, gotta run and go pray about that silly little jealousy thing. Sheesh.

  • Tammy says:

    WOW Amanda I am totally jealous,no,I mean envious,no,I meant in love with your great project. It looks amazing. How great is it to have a nice area in your yard to just relax and watch the kids play.I for sure want to come over and enjoy the view. Looks like a lot of hard labor. No wonder you look incredible. Nice work to you,your husband and whoever else helped with your wall. It looks great.

  • Jo says:

    Oh my goodness, that is BEAUTIFUL! When is your first gathering to celebrate? Invite please! *grin*

  • olivia says:

    wow. what a heck of a lot of work!! whew! i’m not jealous. it looks awesome but the WORK! great part is it will last forever now! when you are 80, you can tell your grandkids, “grandma used to be young and strong and lifted those 80# stones.” they’ll be amazed. heck, i’m already amazed. we have soooo many big outdoor projects to work on. the house is 17yrs old with little to NO upgrades or fix ups so, yeah, i want to just sell it as is! but we can’t beat this rent!

  • olivia says:

    oh, i wanted to suggest, not that you are asking for suggestions. maybe something viney or low-lying shrub along the side where there is just that wood chip stuff (not sure what that is…i live in the desert. we have dirt and rock for landscaping.) anyways, thought that would look nice. oh, and does that patio just totally fill up with snow in the winter? just curious.

  • carma says:

    I NEVER THOUGHT this day would come. I’m glad I stayed up until after midnight since I got to see the big reveal!! You guys are like professionals – but without the butt crack ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tina Fisher says:

    Love it! The bench idea is awesome!