Makeup Organization

Organization makes me giddy. Color coordinated closets, bins and baskets with labels, gift wrapping stations, labels, pegboards, ridiculously awesome pantries…all of these things make me feel good. Junk drawers?  Haphazard hodgepodge of crap in all of our closets? Stuff crammed angrily into a garage? Those do not make me feel good. Unfortunately, we have a lot of those going on in this house…

For example, starting each morning with this makeup drawer disaster was a bit of a bummer:

A long while ago, my MIL had given us a few drawer dividers and shelves that didn’t fit in her new place. Just this week, I decided to plop one in my bathroom vanity to organize my makeup. It took me 30 seconds.

Does it fit everything perfect? Nah. Does it fit everything pretty darn good? YES! How in the world it took me this long to do this, I will never understand. It’s the little things that can color a morning for better, you know?

I’m sorry that this post was a little on the lame side but that’s what I’m working with these days. But, here is a great blog to keep you inspired!

 

Friday Tidbits

I’m still working hard on the “foundation” of this house. You know the stuff like wall paint, flooring, caulking and trim work. It’s all very bare. You wouldn’t know a beautiful little girl lives here because we have no pictures of her hanging up. You wouldn’t know anything about us, frankly because we have nothing on the walls to tell our story. Here is my tidbit for today and a tiny one at that. I actually hung something on the wall!

Remember when I redid the “french doors” out to the deck? Here is a dark photo to jog your memory:

And Ta Da, something on the left hand side of the wall. Art, if you will!

I had three goals when filling this spot:

  • Put something up there (anything at all!). I’m trying not to think too hard, otherwise I wimp out.
  • Instead of buying new, I wanted to dig through what I had on hand. I had been meaning to hang these pretties somewhere for forever. The wall filer was a clearance score from Target earlier this spring. The “G” and the calendar were gifts from the awesome Emily Griffith. Originally, the wall filer was collecting dust on my dresser in the master bedroom, the “G” was stashed in a box in the garage and the calendar was hanging haphazardly off a peg on my hutch. Now they have official homes!
  • Embrace a little organization – hence the wall filer. I was hoping to tame the mail monster and keep crap from collecting on the fridge and kitchen table. It’s not working even close to perfectly but I’m hoping that as I figure out my needs better it will come in handy.

I still have to patch that tiny hole by the trim leftover from the hideous drapes that once flanked the door but I think this adds a bit of cute, color and personalization to my gray-everything that I’ve got going on.

Doing any tiny projects that you regret not taking 5 minutes out of your life to do 6 months earlier? Are you surprised I posted today?

Me too.

 

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby (again).  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: Oh my goodness, I’ve been so bad at keeping up with these updates! I guess the main scoop is that I’m tired. I’m always tired. It could be because I’m chasing Amelie all day. Hoisting her in and out of the car and going anywhere takes serious effort. I’m also coaching each afternoon, so that might be it. But mostly I think I’m tired because I go to bed later than I should doing stupid stuff like checking Instagram which I sincerely regret come morning. When will I ever learn? I’m trying to make it through most days without a nap but it’s tough going.

The Science: Baby Center recap – 26weeks. I’m having a hard time remembering what week I’m at since my days blur together. Baby boy is always moving and grooving which comforts me. It forces me to remember him too, which I feel ashamed to admit. Truthfully, I haven’t taken the time like I did with Amelie to daydream about him; what he’ll look like, if he’ll be like Daddy, etc. I think it’s because it’s all very scary right now – the prospect of taking care of two littles with completely different needs, the idea of breastfeeding again, the thought of birth (a yucky c-section vs. a mysterious and undoubtably painful VBAC), the thought of getting no sleep again. I’m sorry Baby Boy, I’m nervous for it all.

Body morphing: I think it’s just the way my body does pregnancy but I’m on the small side again, like I was with Amelie. I forgot to mention my weight gain last time but I had gained about 10lbs by 22 weeks. I haven’t weighed myself recently to note what I’ve gained since then. My belly/boobs feel tight and itchier each week but overall I’m not that uncomfortable. I’m looking forward to cooler weather though…

Sexy stuff! I mentioned sciatica in the last update and that’s still a bother but not inhibiting me. Towards the end of the day, I hobble around more but that’s about it. I did give up running because my pelvic area felt too strained each time (plus I am ridiculously slow). Walking is a way better option!

Food drama: I had one night where I was sick. I’m not convinced if it was because I just stuffed myself stupid with a delicious meal and too much water way too late in the evening and my body revolted or if it was a flu bug going around since Amelie and I both got sick this week. Regardless, I vomited all over the floor beside the bed so that was royally disgusting. Thank goodness for those faux hardwood floors though, they clean up nicely! Other than that, seriously no drama. I do not take the no drama for granted!

Exercising? No more running for me. Carrying my 25 lbs. toddler around is enough. :)

To Dos: I’ve indulged and bought a few more boy clothes in the last few weeks – some consignment, some new. Baby Boy still doesn’t have much of anything but he has very doting Grandmas that I’m sure will come through…wink wink nudge nudge.

And randomly: I picked up two extra maternity tanks during a big Gap sale this summer to beef up my small maternity wardrobe but I’m still rocking the one pair of maternity jeans from last time around. I can fit into yoga pants and tights to give me variety but even so, my wardrobe is pretty limited. I can’t justify buying another pair of pants since I’m well over half way done and I don’t plan to have a third baby. Let’s see if these jeans can take me until December *fingers crossed*!

Also, I got my glucose test done today. This time around was totally different – I didn’t have to fast beforehand, the nurse watched me drink it and I had to sit in the waiting room for an hour before getting my labs. Last time, I got to drink it at home and then go in so this was peculiar. We did it much earlier this time around too. I don’t know what the results are yet but I’m hoping for good news.

Just for comparison sake, I thought it would be fun to include my 26 week pregnancy pic with Amelie. Apparently we were getting our new floors installed! That tree behind me is gone too – a lot has changed…

 

Home Sweat Home: Outside updates

I did spend three minutes trying to think of a more clever title but I just couldn’t come up with one. I’m open to suggestions. Also, long post ahead.

Remember when I took you on a bushy tour of our front yard and then a similar tour of our backyard? Well this is so unlike me but I told you I was going to get a few trees removed this summer and I actually followed through on that promise.

We had a tree guy come out and as one would hope, he knew a lot about trees. Erik can wield a chainsaw AND he’s a certified arborist so he taught me a quite a bit on his journey through our jungles.

We’ll start with the front yard. Let me post a Before picture to jog your memory:

He agreed the mammoth pine tree (more specifically, a blue spruce) had to go since it was sitting on top of the roof. Plus it was fairly ugly because it had been carved into over the years to keep it manageable, making it lopsided and goofy looking (which reminds me of how I looked after my breast feeding Amelie started to go awry but that is for another day and another post). A closer look made me realize it was also seriously encroaching our neighbor’s yard as well.

Erik’s guys had at it *claps excitedly*  What a difference, eh?! Unfortunately, removing this tree exposed our neighbor’s secret: they had painters come last summer but they only got the front of the house painted…

I am so excited that this huge tree is gone! Amelie was too; she thought the big trucks and loud chainsaws were fascinating. And so are big rocks!

How about a closeup?

It’s actually quite sunny back there just as I had hoped (although cloud cover had moved in when I went to take these pictures). Removing this dude uncovers ugly side yards for both us and our neighbor but maybe this the encouragement we will need to pretty it up. I’d like to plant flowers and hide our trash/recycle/compost bins back there and eventually Hubs would like a nice paver path leading to the back yard. At least this is a small step towards getting there.

If you scroll back up, you’ll also noticed another tree was taken down in the front. Erik suggested I remove the very tall but still young silver maple on the other side of the driveway. He had some favorites in the front (including an aspen and a linden) so he felt this fast growing maple would clobber those eventually.

Here’s another angle:

Moving right along, remember this beautiful picture of my “grand plans”?

Well, Erik had other suggestions. He recommended keeping the pine tree and only trim it slightly on the side near the house. He said it’s in perfect condition – growing nice and straight. I dislike the mess it produces with its needles and pine cones but I decided to take his advice and leave her be! As you can see, I also wanted to remove the smaller tree (noted on the left above) but Erik said that was a desirable tree – a linden. I’m glad we called in an expert because I seriously don’t know anything.

Instead, he recommended trimming the Big Tree (the one noted with a heart in the above picture) or officially known as a honey locust. I thought it was gorgeous with its fancy lime green leaves but it really isn’t the greatest tree to have since grows so fast and can die early.  There were a few dead branches overhanging the smaller crab apple tree so Erik’s guys fixed it right up.

 Should we move on to the back yard?

A couple big changes happened here as well. Do you remember the right side (next to the wasteland)? Here’s a picture to help you recall.

Erik told me that center tree was an ornamental pear tree, which he likes mucho mucho because it’s beautiful and drought resistant. He told me to keep it and I do what Erik says. He did, however, suggest we remove the silver maple (shown on the left side in the above picture) since it was crowding the pear tree. Here’s a Before picture:

This tree was big! Look at how high!

And, all gone:

Another view:

With that tree removed, the pear tree can breathe easy and enjoy more sun. It also uncovered a few tattered shrubs that might enjoy the extra sunshine as well.

Remember the funny strip of yard that led to our wonky hot tub? And remember that awful dead tree stump?

That came down!

Weeee!

The tree guys found it quite silly because they could literally push it over, it was so rotten. Glad to see it go!

Last but not least, we round the corner to the other side. We had two trees removed here – a river birch that was hounding a pretty red maple (Erik seemed to like this maple variety) and a dead Lombardy poplar.

Let me refresh you on where we started:

And our new plans:

Apparently, according to Erik, the shrub thingy living next to the not-living Lombardy poplar is used for cancer research. How cool is that?

And here are the trees removed:

And another angle:

Removing this trees made me notice a few other problems. I’m not in love with the pine tree that’s still there nor am I a fan of the neighbor’s grape vines overtaking that area.

Our plan is to leave them for the summer and after their harvest is over – I’ll try to do my best to return the grape plants to their side and trim back anything that won’t budge.

All of this tree talk got me understanding our back yard better. Our other neighbors to the back have two huge apple trees that hang over to our side. They drop a ton of fruit into our yard. The squirrels and the birds have a hay day over the apples. Seeing how we spent a few hundred dollars to encourage squirrels NOT to come over to our house to play, I periodically go and gather them up (half eaten and rotten) for the compost bin. Amelie has been helping me and yes, she tried to eat an especially gross one. Yuck! Also, the apple branches are so big and sun hungry that they reach across our yard and can almost touch our deck! I do love the foliage but next summer it might be nice to trim them back. They provide so much shade that the shrubs that line our side of the fence are doing terribly so that’s another reason to tame them. But that is for next summer and when we can get the neighbor’s permission. For now, I’m enjoying this huge step towards some flora sanity.

So how much did all of this tree work cost? We haven’t gotten the official invoice but it’ll be around $1300. It was certainly not a small project. Luckily we’ve been planning this so even though it was costly, I am glad we put a little money into the outside of the house this year. I’d still like to fertilize and get our deck fixed up with new railings, remove the walkway to the hot tub and get some boards re-secured. I imagine that will be spendy undertaking but we’ll see.

You know what else was a spendy undertaking that we didn’t plan for? Our new washer and dryer fiasco…more on that someday.

You made it to the end! Go get yourself an iced coffee as a reward.

 

My Amelie

AGE: 16 months

It’s been waaay too long since my last My Amelie post. Littles change so quickly that it’s hard to know what to catch you up on. I’ll do my best!

She *finally* has more teeth coming! After a few nights where Amelie was acting out of character, we realized that new teeth are on their way. We are excited – it’ll expand her food options considerably! Other than her new teeth, I want to mention sleep. Generally speaking, she has been a great sleeper. We put Dinasaur in the crib and she wraps her arm around his (her?) neck and lays right down to sleep. After many months of hard fought bedtimes, she is easy right now. I know that could change so I’m not taking it for granted! She sleeps from about 7.15pm to 7.15am, sometimes with a few wakes in between but she usually puts herself back to bed.

In the last few months, she’s had some flare ups with diaper rash but we have that under control. I suspected the first round, which was especially bad, was due to eating citrus fruits and this latest much milder bought was due to teething. Who knows though, poor girl!

She can woof like a puppy, moo like a cow, snort like a pig, hiss like a snake and say a few words: Dada, Mama, bear, and bubbles (she’s only said that once). She doesn’t talk much at all but she knows a lot of words. Although I’ll get sentimental sorting through her baby clothes prepping for BabyBoy, I really like this stage so much better than BabyVillle. I love that I can communicate with her and she understands. She helps me pick the apples that drop into our yard from the neighbor’s tree for the compost bin. If she spills, she’ll help us wipe it up. She puts her “bed time” nuk back in her crib when we ask. She grabs her shoes for us to put on. She “helps” us with putting on sunscreen – although she usually misses and smears it into her shorts or rubs it into her eyes…

She can also “jump”. Her feet don’t leave the ground but it’s about the cutest thing ever see her hop around the house.

Friends: She’s not overly social but she is big into sharing – especially with Daddy, other kids and her stuffies. She shares everything, including food that she may or may not have already put into her own mouth. She enjoys watching other kids and has been especially entertained when we’ve had visitors stay at our house. Her other friends include a growing posse of stuffies: Dinosaur*, Baby Bear*, Fox*, Lamb and Bunny. (*her favorites)

Activities: She demands engagement. I totally get how people’s houses get overrun with toys. I’m far from a collector but I’m willing to fill corners of the house with play things just to buy a few minutes of time! A neighbor down the street has an entire den dedicated to the kiddies. It’s a play place heaven! Thank goodness for folks like that; we’ll be making a play date soon. Amelie also loves books. She prefers being read to but I’ll catch her flipping through books on her own in her car seat or in the living room. I have always loved books so this thrills me.

Filling our mornings is still difficult but I’m slowly figuring out a list of options to spend time: the library story time (we never miss it), play places in town and at the mall, the local children’s museum, and sometimes I take her somewhere to run around like Target or Home Depot. I can’t do any real shopping but at least she enjoys exploring! It’s kind of weird to hang out in an aisle of Target at 9am following her all around but on especially hot days, it’s something to do.

I signed her up for gymnastics (starts next week!) and hope to get her into a swimming and music class as well. Everything costs lots of money but it’s worth the new experiences for her. I figure any money I make coaching (which is very little) will go directly to Amelie experiences: camp, classes, anything to get her out with other kids and learning new things.

She is a kind and inquisitive little lady. I think she’s awesome.

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby (again).  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: The biggest news since we last chatted is that we found out the gender…and it’s a boy! It took a little while to get used to the idea but I’m excited. Most importantly, the big 20 week ultrasound went super smoothly. I was terribly nervous but the ultrasound tech whizzed through everything and the doctor called us on our way home to say that BabyBoy looked “awesome”. I’m so thankful! Hubs and Amelie joined the fun and although Amelie was very busy during the appointment, it was nice to have us all together.

Here’s a pic and yes, I’m wearing the same pants as I was last time. They do not fit comfortably anymore and will be stashed away for the rest of the year!

 The Science: Baby Center recap – 22weeks. I have been feeling BabyBoy moving for a few weeks now. It’s such a weird/awesome feeling and it never gets old! Never, ever.

Body morphing: My bump really popped this week – I think it’s cute. :)

Sexy stuff! In the last month of so, I’ve been bothered by sciatica. I have this pain only on my right side by my tailbone and it’ll make me yelp or stumble if I catch it just so. It makes taking care of Amelie complicated. In general, I’m having trouble picking her up (especially from her deep crib), playing with her and doing diaper changes on the floor. Yesterday it flared up and I was hobbling around but today it’s better. I didn’t have this with my first pregnancy. I’m also still very tired but it’s nothing like the fatigue from the first trimester. It must be because I’m chasing after a toddler all day and high schoolers all afternoon?

Food drama: None. You guys, NONE. I am so relieved!

Exercising? Actually, I’ve gotten myself a little exercise. I’ve been running 1-2/week and I hope to continue as long as I can. Running feels very heavy “down there” and I’m always sore but it’s good to get out and move. I started coaching cross country this week so that will help/force me to be more active than I have been. I’ve been sleeping so soundly because of the exercise too – yay!

To Dos: Hubs bought a pack and play off of Craigslist today so that’s done! We’ll keep BabyBoy in that initially until we get the rooms figured out. Although it pains me a little, I want to consign Amelie’s outgrown clothes and start picking out boy stuff. Other than getting general house To Dos checked off like finishing all of my half started painting projects, I think our next big item is a new carseat for Amelie so the baby can use her old one. And just because I tend to be neurotic, I’ve picked out a few Christmas gifts already. Go ahead, judge me! I know I’m insane.

And randomly: It was MIL’s idea to make a reveal cake because we had family visiting when I had my 20 week ultrasound. My MIL baked it and I added the colored frosting and assembled it myself to keep everything secret. I must be honest, having them here made me even more fearful of the appointment. If we were to find out something didn’t look right, I didn’t want to come home to a house full of guests awaiting the news of the gender. I would have needed some alone time. Thankfully, there were only reasons to celebrate and having them in town made the day very joyful for me.

You can’t tell from this angle but there is blue frosting in the middle! :)

Just for comparison sake, I thought it would be fun to include my 22 week pregnancy pic with Amelie:

Until next time! Hopefully I can get my act together and post more regularly. I’ve been bad about posting mostly because I don’t want to get my picture taken. I never feel presentable. Rightfully so because I rarely shower.

The baby is a…

We found out the gender a few weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to tell you but I’ve been meaning to do a lot of things and not doing much of anything. Forgive me!

It took a while to wrap my brain around having a boy because:

  • Boy parts! Those are very mysterious.
  • We don’t get to reuse any of Amelie’s baby clothes and that makes me sad.
  • We are having trouble coming up with boy names that I like.
  • Girl clothes are ridiculously adorable to buy and think about. Boys clothes aren’t for me. (This is a stupid reason and I shouldn’t even mention it).

Basically having a boy is outside of my comfort zone. Anyone else feel this way?

Silly as it may seem, I bought an outfit for him at Target last week and that made me feel excited to meet him and smooch him. We’re having a boy. Whoa!

 

Raves & Faves: MAY

More (mostly irrelevant) Raves and Faves today. Sorry.

Here is my list of May loves. In other words, another chance to List thing-ys. *slow claps*

1. We had a handful of visitors come in May, but this little family stayed the longest.

A Mama, Papa and their baby birds made a home on our deck!

2. It took me a few listens but I really fell in love with this song. It’s oh so pretty.

3. This is a kind of weird product; it’s a lip exfoliator in lipstick form.

I threw one of these into my shopping cart during a recent ELF haul and have been enjoying it. I’ve been battling dry lips this summer…probably because I’m having such difficulty staying hydrated this pregnancy.

4. Tomato soup!

It was basically the only thing I could eat for a few months. Thank you, Campbell’s!

5. I know it’s not good form to wish away days. Life is a precious gift. But I’m being real when I tell you that I’m thankful that May is over. I was sick, crabby, tired and sad. Once May ended, little by little, the days started to feel better.

Only June and July to catch you up on! Fun stuff, eh?

Raves and Faves from long ago: May 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Baby Bump2 Update

Now that it’s finally official – I’m growing another human – I’m sure you can’t wait to be inundated with all things baby.  Should we let the nonsense and self-indulgence begin?

Main scoop: Where do I even start? Maybe it would be wise to start at the beginning…

We decided to start trying around Amelie’s first birthday. I must admit, I wasn’t ready for another baby but there were a few factors that swayed our decision to try: 1. I’m older; I turned 35 this year. That biological clock is a tricky/scary thing. I felt like I was running out of time and fast. 2. We wanted two kids, eventually, if possible. 3. I suspected it would take us a while to get pregnant, which turned out to be not the case. 4. Lastly, even though I didn’t feel ready for another baby, do you ever feel ready or do you have to just decide?

Since I’ve done more than my fair share of whining about this pregnancy in my non blog life – let me do you a favor by summing up the first 14 weeks as an incredibly miserable experience for me and everyone around me (including Amelie). I was SO TIRED. Like falling asleep in the middle of the day at a track meet in a tent full of high schoolers (one strumming wildly on his guitar) with the starting gun firing every few minutes kind of tired. I was sick, all day, all night, which prevented me from eating and drinking. I was dehydrated. I had an all day headache every day. Worst of all, I was SAD.

How about we take a break from all of the whining and see a bump pic?

The Science: Baby Center recap – 16weeks. I’m now 18 weeks but behind on blogging. Because, of course. I’m so annoyed with myself but I have a hard time even remembering how far along I am! As far as a due date, it’s mid-December. I’d better get my Christmas Everything done way early this year!

Body morphing: Since I’m a little behind, the details are fuzzy. I think I had gained about 6 lbs. at my 16 week appointment. I’ve gained more weight than last time around and I’m certainly showing earlier than I did with Amelie. I’m at that weird stage where maternity pants don’t fit well (all they do is work their way down and bunch up my underwear) but regular jeans feel uncomfortable, especially because I’m always bending over/sitting with Amelie. My boobs took a while to change – which was also unlike my first pregnancy.

Sexy stuff! Before all of the food and drink drama (noted below) came other sexy drama. The first week of my pregnancy, I had terrible cramping. At Amelie’s birthday party, I secretly wished I could lay down while everyone celebrated because I was in pain. I thought it was a nasty impeding period but it was actually implantation. That cramping lasted a few days and was replaced with what I self diagnosed as impacted diarrhea. It’s exactly what you think, diarrhea that can’t come out. It was disgusting and painful. That lasted almost a week! Not cool!

You know what else wasn’t cool? At my first ultrasound (I think I was 9 weeks along), they had a little trouble finding the baby. In fact, they had to bring in a totally different machine and another doctor to find that little sweetie! What they had no trouble finding? A ridiculous amount of poop. I’m always a little confused reading ultrasounds but even I had no trouble identifying all of the poop trapped inside of me on that screen. Finally, scientific validation for literally feeling like crap!

Food drama: You don’t need to care but I had so much food drama. I was sincerely starving all of the time but eating made me so sick and “urpy” that it wasn’t worth it. Drinking anything, but especially water, made me feel even worse. Literally, I had dreams of being hooked up to an IV to get fluids in me. I felt like I was dying of thirst . Not drinking leads to dehydration headaches and more fatigue so it was a blackhole of ugly for a long time. I feel so much better now – just an upset tummy and urpy in the evenings.

Exercising? Is this even worth having in here anymore? I’ve run only a handful of times the entire pregnancy. First, it was due to sickness. But since I’ve felt better? Just LAZY.

To Dos: Our To Dos are fewer as far as prepping for the new baby but I figure I should list them out to help me organize my mind. We borrowed a large amount of baby gear from our neighbor but we had to return it because they needed it back. Bad news is: we have to purchase quite a few things. Good news is: borrowing helped us figure out what we really needed. Every baby is different so we can accumulate as we go along. What we do need: fix the burned out motor of our baby swing and acquire a few more cloth diapers, a second carseat/base, a double stroller, another crib/mattress/sheets…and probably a bigger car.

We are also trying to figure out where to situate the new baby. Do we keep him/her in our bedroom for the early days and then make the two kids share rooms? Do we have a second nursery by moving Hub’s home office downstairs and give up the guest bedroom? Speaking of home related To Dos, there is still so much I’d like to tackle before the baby’s arrival. There is painting, organizing, de-cluttering, decorating. I’m not expecting a miracle boost in energy but I’m hoping for continued progress until December.

And randomly: Even though I’m not nearly as obsessed with being pregnant as I was the first time around, I’m still nervous. The appointments make me fret. I find out the sex in two weeks. I’m excited for that day but scared, just like last time.

Home Sweat Home: The Back Yard

A few posts back, I took you on a jungly tour of our front yard. Since that experience was so riveting that I’m showing you the back yard today!

Let’s walk out of these doors:

to the back deck:

MamaP helped me pretty it up with herbs and flowers! Plus, these lovelies came back again:

As well as Columbines:

If you look to the right, you’ll see:

As you can tell, our deck is big. Steroid big. Even though the pergola was shoddily built, I am so thankful for it otherwise the hot Colorado sun would be too harsh to enjoy being out here and that would be such a shame!

If you stay left, you meet (duh) the left side of our yard:

It’s not too bad but there is a lot I want to do here:

Our lawn is doing poorly. It’s rough, knotty and dry. We need to update our sprinkler system and bring some life back to this decrepit thing (same goes for all of our grass)! Although I love the shade, I want to remove the tree because it won’t always be small and as you’ll notice soon enough, we’ve got a lot of trees in this backyard.

Are you wondering about the aforementioned wasteland?

Here.

This has so much potential! Right now, I’m just confused by it. It doesn’t get any light so it’s not a great place for a garden. It might be a decent space for a storage shed instead of the lean-to we are working with on the other side of the yard (we’ll get to that in a minute). But, I’ve also daydreamed an addition of some sort: a guest house/office suite for the Hubs. Since he works from home, it’d be nice for him to have some distance from the rest of us. Now, I don’t know the first thing about additions. I do know it would be loads of money. We don’t have loads of money so we’ll have to do general cleanup until we can plan and save and brainstorm. Shall we move on?

Next to the wasteland is our gate.

It’s difficult to tell from the picture but our yard is seriously sloped down to the gate. It’s also surrounded by an expanse of mulch as well as years worth of dead leaves that you can’t rake out of the mulch. Because of that, it’s not easy to use the gate if you needed to. I’m dreaming of a terraced set of steps leading down to it… May one day it swing open like it’s designed!

Let’s keep moving around the yard. Yeah, a lot of the yard is mulch and edging. Oh, and those scalloped edgers again, sigh. From a Colorado native standpoint, it’s probably wise to have so much mulch. Colorado is dry and it’s hard to keep grass alive. But, it’s so deep (probably 10-15 feet by the time you get to the corner) that I think it looks awkward. I’d prefer more grass and beautiful perennials that don’t mind shade because the neighbor’s trees tower over the fence and block a lot of sun back here.

More like this (if you can imagine):

Are you bored yet? We’re starting to make our way back…

Same story for here, I’d like to reduce the edging so there isn’t such a small strip of grass between the deck and the fence. See?

And there she is. The hot tub. Blech!

Do you know how much it costs to run a hot tub? Many, many dollar bills. It’s not something you turn off and on – it’s ALWAYS running. I want it gone as well as the composite walkway (although beautifully done) that leads up to it and around it.

I’d like to see continuous yard. It’s hard to get the lawnmower over that walkway. Also, that lifeless tree needs to go bye-bye. I’m hoping to do that this summer. This corner might be a perfect spot for a vegetable garden…

Past the hot tub is a small patch of yard. This is the right side of the deck, if you can remember back that far. (This post is long, isn’t it?)

There’s not much to say here except there is a need to revamp those bushes and trees that line the fence and revitalize the sad grass.

Finally, we’ve come to the end. This is the last bit of yard before you get to the garage.

There is a sweet garden bed that I dreamed of growing flowers, herbs and tomatoes. Instead, to my dismay, there is about an inch of top soil and who-knows-how-much cement sludge underneath in the bed. Something needs to be done (eventually)!

At least it has been weeded, thanks to MamaP! I’ve done a ton of weeding out here myself, along with my MIL. The more helping hands, the better!

That wraps up our back yard. You made it to the end! I think a good goal for this summer/fall would be to:

  1. remove the dead tree by the hot tub
  2. put hand railings on our deck (this might be $$)
  3. fertilize our sad grass in the fall

The rest will be a will have to wait and evolve. I’m excited to get started!