Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our backyard

Do you want the long version or the short? Well if you answered short, than we've been working on our backyard and here's what it looks like.
So for the long version. There are just so many funny memories that can happen when you combine me and well......lots of things for some reason. My family has nicked named all embarassing moments, 'Laura moments'........oh dear.....hope I don't pass it on to our kids:) Anyway, the backyard transformation all began when my father-in-law, Dennis, looked at our backyard for the first time and said, "A deck would be good over here on your side yard b/c this space isn't very usable right now because it sloops so much." Well he was right, it was a waste of yard, so we started planning the deck. Next thing you know I have design ready for Dennis and Kevin and they knock out the deck in few days! Here are some pics of the deck under construction.

Because I wasn't able to oversee the building of our fence, it is crooked. That was a joke by the way, I am little bit of a perfectionist for those of you who don't know me well:) So there was an uneven gap between the fence and the edge of the deck. So after much deliberation, I decided to copy my brother-in-law, Jordan, and build (ie- make Kevin and Dennis build:) planter boxes along the sides of the deck. So you will notice that the planter boxes are different widths, that was done to cover the gap! And there is a bench seat in between the planter boxes that is hard to see in the pictures.

Now on to the 'stone' patio. This was no little task people. We had to call in a professional, who luckily for us was a dear friend. Kevin's friend from birth, literally, they are one day a part in age, came up all the way from Austin to help for three days. You can check out his website here and if you live in the Austin area and want any kind of concrete or rock work done, Andy is your guy.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the patio in construction, but I do have a story. So it is day two of the patio. The design is dug out, the forms are in place, the road base is down (I sound like I know my stuff....don't be fooled...when asked to call around town and get pricing on road base, I forgot what it was called and asked for road kill...:) the guys have been waiting on the concrete truck for hours and it has finally arrived at the worst time possible for me!!! I had to take birthday treats up to Landon's school at a specific time that day and I had been told that the concrete was coming first thing in the morning and that Kevin would be available to watch the kids after lunch, well that obviously wasn't going to happen since it was 1:30 and the concrete truck had just arrived. So I had Liam, Haylee (Andy's four year old), and the girls had just gone down for a nap, and treats that had to be at Landon's school in 15 minutes.

So Kevin says, "just put on a show for Liam and Haylee and they'll be fine. We'll keep on eye on them through the window." know what went through my head, Kevin and Andy and my dad by the way, very busy with the concrete forgetting to check on the kids, and Liam and Haylee jumping on the bunk beds or deciding to take a bath. Ya right am I leaving them with a show, even for 20 minutes. But the girls, safe and sound in their cribs, yes I can handle that. So I gave them the baby monitor (even if the girls woke up 30 minutes into their nap and I was home, I wouldn't get them up!)
So I scramble to get Liam and Haylee ready and out the door, grab the treats, and decide I better tell the boys we're leaving. Well that was a bad decision. They had starting pouring the concrete and right when I opened the door, Minnie slipped out between my feet and literally ran straight for the concrete. It was like everything went in slow motion, I'm running after her yelling as she leaps off the deck and lands smack dab in a mound of fresh concrete. I can't lie, a four letter word did come out of my mouth. Okay, so now it is 5 minutes til treat time at Landon's school, so I grab her up by the back of her neck and mouth to myself the whole way back inside, "Why now? Why me?" So I decide to deal with her later and I leave her in the laundry room covered in concrete. I go to get the kids in the car and hummm....what do I notice......the concrete truck is blocking my entire driveway. So I stop and say to myself okay, you can either cry right now or laugh, which is it going to be? Laugh I decided. Thankfully my dad's truck was parked on the street and so I did have to move a carseat and booster seat of course, but who cares at this point? We finally got into Landon's school and we were ten minutes late, as I opened the door to his room one of the less polite boys in class says, "Finally. We've been waiting forever." (He may have gotten the smallest rice krispie treat..) Minnie, by the way, was nice and crusty when I got home and cutting and brushing all the concrete out of her VERY long furr was so fun.

Now on to funny story number two. It's my mom's fault for finding these ridiculously awesome chairs and table for $30 at a garage sale.
They were a blah wood color and so I decided they needed some spice. I thought I was just super lucky when I found the exact color I wanted in a spray paint can (they only give you like 20 how's a girl supposed to work with that?) Well, I wasn't lucky come to find out and here is why! I, like a good little spray painter, wore a little mask over my nose and mouth and did it in my empty garage with door open for ventilation, with drop clothes down and old clothes on. I thought I had my bases covered right? Oh no. After getting half way done, Kevin comes out and says, your face looks blue. And your arms. And your legs. What? That's not good. There must have been more wind than I thought. This is oil-based paint folks. Yeah, paint thinner gets it off, not soap and water. So I get in a panic, totally unlike me, (another joke, I panic often) and start rubbing paint thinner on my arms and legs, then I read the back of the paint thinner. It basically says, 'Don't put this directly on your skin and we are not liable for brain and nerve damage'. Well, I have had to use paint thinner before, but never had to basically bathe in it, so I hurry through what seems like a whole roll of paper towels. And yours truly did this bare foot so my feet looked like smurf feet and I had to soak my feet in paint thinner!! So I started feeling light headed and then I noticed that my pointer fingers were numb. That's it, I have had this on my skin too long. I'm an idiot and I now I have nerve damage to prove it. So I half yell, half cry for Kevin and he comes to calm me down. (My mom and sister were so glad to pass along the role of helping the basket-case! My sister loves to tell the story of when I thought my eye was going to be swollen shut for the rest of my life) He helps me realize that my fingers are numb from holding down the button on the spray can for so long:) But then lets me know that my face is still blue. I draw the line on the painter thinner right there. I AM NOT PUTTING THAT ON MY FACE. And you know what is crazy? My face was the most blue WHERE the mask WAS. Ya. I guess when I would breath in, it actually forced more spray paint in. So no more masks for me. At least not cheap ones. So I have decided to go blue until it eventually rubs off, when all of a sudden I get the greatest idea. Finger nail polish remover. And it worked!!! It burned a little, especially on my chapped lips, but hey no pain no gain right? JK. It was a horrible experience, but I learned:) I spray painted these pots a few weeks later, And I completely covered my whole body and made peep holes through an old t-shirt and wore it as a mask. Good thing none of my neighbors saw me!!!My tomato seeds are sprouting. I am going to transfer them to a hanging tomato bag and hope for juicy little tomatoes very soon. I also planted rosemary in my planter boxes and if it goes well, I would like to try more herbs and vegetables next year.

Well, here's the best part of our backyard. Enjoying it. If you are still reading this, I'm impressed, this was the longest post ever. Here are some pictures of our little angels and some close-ups of my favorite flowers.