Brownie Updates

Brownie Updates
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Backyard Remodel

After girls camp was finished I wanted to do at least one project in my home. You know one that costs a little more than you planned and takes way more time and effort. Yes one of those. I decided to do my backyard. Mainly because I knew it could be a fun little hang out place with a little work and because I have really given it very minimal attention since I moved in years ago. So this is the mess I was starting with . . . . .
 You can see the weeds were out of control. Moki also thought she owned the backyard and she just pooped wherever she felt like it. Once I decided to go for the change I watched and read a ton of Do It Yourself stuff on the internet to familiarize myself with the process for what I was trying to accomplish.
 When it is weeded it did look better but it still was not a place I would go to hang out. Or even GO!!! It was just a poop place with a shed for some stuff.
 My goal was to create a space where I could hang out outside, especially in the evenings when it was cooler. I knew for sure a porch swing needed to be part of the deal.

Day 1:
The first step was to remove all the pavers, grow boxes and weeds. It was a hot week so this was a long and tiring day. My arms were so sore from wheeling those heavy pavers!!! This part of the project took me about a half a day. 5 hours or so. Caleb came over that evening and went to Home Depot with me. We bought all the materials and built a poop box for Moki.

Day 2:
The next morning I turned over all the dirt. I also had to take out some dirt. I put some in the poop box and hauled a lot of it to the dumpster. That was dirty and tiring. Once that was done I bought gravel and sand. 20 fifty pound bags of this gravel stuff and 10 fifty pound bags of sand. I needed to create a level and somewhat softer surface. I rented a compactor from Home Depot to help with that.

The yard after I turned over all the dirt because I don't have a rototiller. Ready for the compactor. Luckily Hannah, a teacher from work that I am friends with, came and spent the ENTIRE day helping me try and figure out how to do this crazy project.
 Lots of rocks and sand in piles to add to the dirt.
 Once the dirt was compacted we added a layer of gravel and compacted that. Then we added a layer of sand and compacted that. It was finally looking good and flat.
 I decided I wanted artificial turf. it seems like less maintenance and it really is a small space. Caleb came to help me lay the turf. I worked from 9am until 12:30am with the help of Hannah and Caleb. When Caleb left for the night the turf was in place and cut. We had just ran out of lawn spikes. So I needed to make a Home Depot run and then put sand on top of the turf and rake the turf the next day.

Day 3
I woke up the next morning and went to Home Depot for what seemed like the millionth time:) I got home and started putting in the last of the 6 inch spikes/nails. Jana and Benji were nice enough to come over and spend their morning helping me put sand on top of the turf and raking the turf.
 Once that was done I got to go shop for a swing!!! I was really excited about the swing. I think because Father's Day was coming up there were not a lot of swing options. They were sold out at a few stores but I found one I really liked at Lowes. It is so comfortable.
 Then I finished off the backyard with a tiny sand box, pool for Moki, chairs and a fire pit. It is awesome. I am so in love with it.
 It took me all of day three to get everything looking like the above picture. I worked right up until my 8:15 basketball game. After the game Caleb and Anthony came and hung out while I put together the fire pit.

The next day was Friday and I wanted to use the backyard so I invited Sam and Amanda and crew down to visit. The pool was a HIT!
 So was the sandbox. Andrew stayed the night with me and the first thing he did when he woke up the next morning was go play in the sandbox.
And Andrew loved making smore's.
 I can't be held accountable for how many marshmallows Andrew ate, but look how happy he is!
 Overall this was a good project. It took three long days but it has been so fun to have a place to hang out. I have since had two other nights with fires and both were so fun. It is a great space that I am excited to enjoy. I was so grateful to those that helped me pull it off. The best thing is that I only went $27 over my budget!

This project was done the week leading up to Father's Day. I knew Father's day was going to be hard for me. I think this project helped prepare me for the sadness I would feel. I really feel a huge sense of loss when I do a project or my car breaks. I would always talk with my dad about these things and it is so hard to not be able to pick up the phone and get his opinion. I really HATE that. But I also really loved doing a project that I knew he would want to be a part of and help me do. It was a good time remembering so many great things about my Dad. And it didn't hurt that he taught me that I can work hard!

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