Notifications On...

Today was one of those days. The kind where the kids won’t nap and your internet is slow. I was running around trying to get my house cleaned up, cook dinner, and hold my crying baby, when my phone beeped with an alert… I looked down to see a very simple question,

“Have you spent time with God today?”

I stopped what i was doing and thought about how much time I had spent on everything else. If I’m honest, I also thought about how i was 99% sure that I kept all notifications from apps TURNED OFF (I guess I’ll have to check that one)… anyway the answer was ‘no.’ I hadn’t spent time with God and what’s worse is that the answer has been ‘no’ for awhile.

Lately, my relationship with Jesus has felt like the kind I have with many of my really dear friends… they know I love them and would do anything for them… even if we don’t always spend time together. When we do get together, we can always pick up right where we left off. As reassuring as that feeling is, it often points the way to a lack of growth, companionship, and devotion. And man do I need those things right now. My intent wasn’t to become a preachy sap about how I need to be a better follower of Jesus, it’s just that I feel the need to explain that God was reaching out to me (by means of a phone because he gets me) to be with HIM.

So I stopped everything I was doing and dropped to my knees in prayer. Just kidding, I wish I would have done that!!!  At that moment, I was doing a pretty good job making a yummy recipe from my Traeger Girl with ONE hand while also getting Levi to stop crying by twirling him around (pure talent). But it came to me that I could very simply ask God to be with me in that moment. I could ask Him to calm my heart or thank Him for the blessing of food for my family. So I did. And my day changed. I was happier, Levi stopped crying, and Isla helped me with dishes. We had friends over and I felt God’s presence in all of it.

You see, I have been going about this home build all wrong. I have made my list of things to get done and plugged away at them because that is how these things work. You hustle and hustle and hustle and hope that by the end of it you and your family are intact enough to thank God for it all. But I have been missing the point… God has had His hand in all this from the beginning and what He asks in return is to trust and to follow Him. That means in every decision, conversation, email, and work. We are blessed with the opportunity to build a home, no matter what bumps in the road have occurred, and we are going to make sure that glory is given to God. So maybe I’ll turn my notifications on this time... and start listening.

“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6: 17-19

February is for lovers... and builders

This last week we had the meeting we have been waiting for... budget! Of course it was nothing short of chaos getting there between a field trip and a one-year-old who is teething... BUT it was so worth it. Boss man Branco laid it all out for us. Keep in mind that custom builds are not cheap or easy. There are so many factors that influence cost-from the economy, to the taste we have, to the relationship the contractor has with subs, to the connections we have with people in businesses. It makes the task of organization and preparing daunting... and exciting. Aaron and I got home and looked at each other like, “This is really happening?! We’re really doing this!” Cue the intense music... 

This is the part where the word “risk” stares us in the face yet again. I think that’s the thing about taking chances, there is always risk, but if you’re passionate enough you jump in no matter what. When we sold our house in 2017, we were taking a risk then. When we chose a newer architect to handle our design, we were taking another risk there, and when we decided to delay the build a few months after having our son, we took yet another risk. And guess what, it’s all worked out! So we are now heading further down the path of cost and we are all in. I believe now more than ever that God has equipped every single one of us with the ability to brave our fears and take a chance if we just put our trust in Him. We asked God to guide us to the path we needed to be on after some craziness in 2018 and ever since then we are trusting Him to BUILD. Build our family, our faith, and build our dream home. So is February for lovers...? Yes, but more so it’s for BUILDERS. Xo

I’m in love with this idea of writing verses on the framing of your house to dedicate it. Thank you! 

I’m in love with this idea of writing verses on the framing of your house to dedicate it. Thank you! 


Aaron and George going over details. As CEO of this family, I was of course making all decisions (jk jk). Thankfully Aaron and I pretty much have the exact same taste and opinions on everything which makes it fun!

What is going on?!

This seems to be the question as of late… Jacquie, how is the house build coming? So what’s going on with the house? Etc… etc… well, in short, nothing is going on with the house build. Ok, that’s a lie, physically we haven’t started, but the behind the scenes process is STILL going. I promise.

Just in case you ever decide that you ever want to do your own build from the ground up, there are things that take time. And every change, mistake, question, and answer takes weeks at times. That being said, we are currently at a standstill because we made the decision to move the house from a raised foundation to a slab and from 2x6 framing to 2x4. This means that we have to wait for our architect and engineer to make the updates to the plan so the GC can get an accurate bid for the wood. In the mean time, our checklist is long with logistics. I am still trying to find a farmer who wants to plant an orchard on our property. I recently was in contact with UC Davis, but apparently working with the UC is complex and not that simple. They need to collaborate with farmers, who do all the work, while they implement the research. Which means my best bet is to keep the land listed on FarmLink and hope for a devoted farmer who wants to tackle this project! I am still just as excited because it took a long time to even be at the place we are now and I rolling with it!

I will try to do more updates more often because this six month window of a “break” isn’t really cutting it.

Property name... hmmm...

The thing with starting something new is that it is all so exciting because, well, everything is just that, new. New ideas, new discussions, new people to work with, new decisions to make, etc. But what is hard to think about is how it will feel when the newness has all worn off. This has been especially complicated in naming this ranch/farm/house-to-be. Aaron's mom's mom inherited the land a very long time ago, which warrants a name that represents it's age in a sense... Given that the land came from his mother's side, it doesn't quite make sense for us to name it after our last name, Gandy. So we decided to keep it simple and name it something that bears no particular attachment to any of our last names, but could represent our entire family. So, without further ado, I present to you:

Legacy Acres

For some reason, when you name something it personifies it and adds to the realness of it all. Now we can refer to her by something other than "dirt" or "Herald" and actually feel like she's real! For more information regarding details related to the architect, builder, land and soil uses, historical questions, or anything else, you can email us at  

Custom Plans!

We have FINALLY finalized our house plans (check it out under the gallery section). This was a labor of love mostly because we kept changing our minds about quite a few things. It was recommended to us by a friend that we shouldn’t just buy plans online because we would probably want or need to change many things. We were also working within certain perameters because the land was put under the Williamson Act back in the 70s (I spent way too much of my life reading up on this, lol). This act gives property tax relief in exchange for limited development. This is awesome for tax purposes, but does limit the square footage of the house we can build. This wasn’t a problem except for when we wanted to increase room sizes or hallway sizes. We had to give and take from other parts of the house. In the end, we were so thankful to have found AMS Drafting, who designed the house for us. Aaron Salazar specializes in Modern Farmhouses in the area. This was like finding a diamond in the rough because most Modern Farmhouse styles are being built in Utah, Texas, Colorado, etc. There aren’t a ton out here in Cali! Anyway, given that the land has been in the family for 100 years, but hasn’t been farmed or developed, we knew that what we were building had to be well thought out in order to properly represent the historical component as well as the modern vision Aaron and I have for it. AMS Drafting did just that and his fees included site visits to help with layout and any other questions we had. 

Every dream started somewhere...

As my husband, Aaron, was driving along the freeway, he smiled as he began to tell me the story of the first time this dream began as an idea... In short, he explained to me that he had a notebook that he carried with him around the school playground. The teacher in me grinned as I pictured a particular student who I could envision doing a similar thing. "What did you write in this notebook?" I asked. Aaron smiled as he said, "House ideas. My house ideas, other friends' house ideas, teachers' house ideas. Any dream house idea went in there." Oh, what I wouldn't give to get my hands on that notebook now! As silly as it sounds, all dreams must start as a simple idea and they begin to build momentum when attention is given to them. Flash forward 25 years, and here we are, about to make it happen. A home build. Our home build. 

As I write this, it is evident to me that a sense of "home," was always living in Aaron and somewhere down the line in me, too. But as with all worthwhile things, it takes time. It takes patience, mistakes, money, a partner, advice, help, tenacity, and most importantly, faith. So I invite you to follow along as we take this 100 year-old plot of land and make this dream a reality.