One of the reasons my summer fun keeps getting pushed aside is house projects. As you know, we're in the middle of trying to sell our house (and wow, I'm earning a gold star in the patience column... not! That's a different post, I suppose.), so home upgrades have sort of taken priority. In fact, we spent our first weekend of summer pouring some sweat into our back yard (figuratively, not literally, as the weather was anything but summer-y. We were freezing our butts off in the rain and wind, shivering in hoodies and gloves.)
You see, when we first moved in, our back patio was... well, it was okay. Nothing amazing by any means. It was small and it was not the way we would have done it. I won't go into my rant about it, but we'll just say it was on our list of things to fix (along with finishing our basement, painting upstairs, planting and landscaping out front, adding a fence to the backyard... the list goes on and on).
Because we weren't in love with it, and because he knew we were going to change it, and because he's pretty awesome like that, my dad put up a small pen for Dex right after I brought O home from the hospital. He knew that I wasn't going to have the time/energy/patience to chase Dex in and out of the house every time he needed to go outside, so he created what lovingly became known as Dex's "shit-pen" around the bottom of our deck so it would be as convenient as opening and closing the door. Of course, you can imagine what happened... it didn't take long for Dex's little pen to become a little (a lot) unsightly.
Yep, pretty ugly. Again, in our defense, we knew this would happen, and we sort of intentionally let it happen. Who wants to mow grass under stairs?
We knew we had wanted to extend our patio so that the steps came down to concrete and so we wouldn't have to maintain a lawn under the landing and stairs, so this wasn't really a big deal until we decided to put our house on the market.
Of course, as soon as we decided we wanted to list our house, we wanted it done like, yesterday. So, we enlisted the help of (who else?) my dad, the master-planner/builder/craftsman, and my mom, Grandma and babysitter extraordinaire. In the matter of a couple of days (and hours of digging, leveling, wheeling concrete across the yard from the truck), we had this:
(Of course, in true Jessie-style, we underestimated the amount of rock we would need, so we were a little short for a while. I was too impatient to wait for more rock to get a picture after all our hard work. Don't worry, it's much better now.)
After living in our house for two and a half years, we've finally got the patio we wanted. Because we did all of the work ourselves, it only cost us around $400, by the time we purchased the rest of the rock and the plants we wanted.
Sure, it's nothing amazing, but we really do love it. I've already used the back patio more in the last month than I did all last summer. The moral of my post is that you shouldn't wait until your selling your house to make it amazing... unless you're like me and you need a fire lit under your ass :)