May 31, 2012

Life on the Homefront

You feel so grown up when you buy your first house.

But the truth is, I don't think you really know what you're getting into until you have to actually start taking care of it.

When we bought our house three years ago, it was a new construction that sat on a big pile of dirt and had an unfinished basement.

We were so excited. We were even excited at the thought of putting in the yard and finishing the basement ourselves! I suppose you could label us do-it-your-self-ers.

Pish... amateurs.

Now, my husband and I have this thing where we never buy anything unless we can pay for it all up front. The exception being of course the house and the car. But we paid off both vehicles ages ago.

Anyway, that first summer we lived here, we used the 1% back we got from our realtor to pay for a sprinkler system, which we installed ourselves.

It was Pure. Torture. We spent weeks scraping out weeds and raking, digging, and hauling out rocks. We may have also had the kids help. I should get a shirt that says, "I have my own child labor force", just so I can show off when someone snubs me for having five kids. I have a swell sense of humor like that.

And after all that time and effort, we thought we were good! That we were done with those horrible rocks. So we started to dig trenches.

Pish... amateurs.

We couldn't even get the stinking shovel to penetrate the rock saturated ground. So one day Hubby and his brother rented a trencher. Now, the boys in that family are farm boys, big ole' farm boys. But you should have seen the way that trencher kicked their trash. It looked like they were wrestling a bull the way that thing bounced and pinged off the rocks.

But finally, the trenches were dug, we installed the pipes and heads and all that jazz for the sprinklers. Well, okay fine. So maaayyyybbbeeee Hubby did most of that part. But still....

After one... ahem... minor flooding of all trenches and filling the gutters with water incident, we finally got the blasted sprinklers in. Then we had to haul in truckloads of dirt to grade and level the yard. After that hubby borrowed a bug ol'e tractor and smoothed it all out himself.

At the end of the summer, we bought some discounted sod and put grass down in the back yard. Hubby was even able to con one of his brothers into helping. Those dang sod rolls are heavy!!

But we were so proud.

That winter to finished the storage room in the basement ourselves. And yes, I do claim equal glory on that one. I put in my fair share of hanging the sheet rock, mudding, taping and texturing. I thought when we first started it would be so easy.

Pish... amateurs.

And yet we somehow survived and we took to saving our pennies again so the next spring, we bought more discounted sod and finished the front yard.

That summer/fall we tackled the family room in the basement. That's a story I don't want to touch with a ten foot pole! But despite being gigantically pregnant with Claira, I did the best I could to help Hubby in the basement, even if  I was just a little wimpy and whinny about it.

I'm woman enough to admit that I have no weaknesses, so it must have been justified. (I can just imagine Hubby's eye roll when he reads that, but deep down, he knows it's true too)

Now, as we have finally hit summer again, we have turned our attention back to the yard.

The project this summer? Flower beds!

We decided to outline the beds with the metal sheets. We actually thought they would be fairly easy to put in.

Pish... amateurs.

Remember the rock problem I mentioned earlier? Yea, hours with a pick ax and a shovel later, we finally got the front done.

Just thinking about doing the side and back of the house makes my muscles twitch in protest.

We also made the mistake of laying the sheets down on the grass not realizing how hot they were getting sitting out in the sun.

Yea... we have some nice dead grass lines in the front yard. Awesome.

Ah well, what can you do. I'm excited though. It will be nice to finally have some flowers in our yard!

I also take comfort in knowing that our kids were working just as hard as we were the whole time.


And, wow. That was a really long post just to show you boring pictures of our empty flowerbeds.

You guys deserve a medal for reading.

7 super cool people speak:

The Bagley Family said...

Bahahah...I 100% understand you pain...try this; Hubby and I found the DEAL of a century, 160 year old house, next door to my parents, in the best neighbourhood for only $20,000!!! Needed a 'little' work but awesome deal!!!
1. The house had NO insulation...we live in Canada, nuff said. We nearly froze listerally...we slept in our living next to the fire to keep warm. So ALL the walls had to be torn down...the walls were plaster, lime and horse hair...and it was gross...then we realized a thing called 'dry rot'...everything holding the house up was rotten and had to be replaced...we are now going on 6 years in this house...STILL renovating...still pouring every spare penny into it...
I have the best house renovating horror stories:) if it could go wrong, it happened here;)
Happy renovating:)

Sue said...

Ready this was funny and entertaining, but all the humor aside, I am totally impressed with you guys!



balloongal said...

You rock! And it sounds like your yard does, too. Ha Ha Ha.
Really, you guys are amazing. Way to go.

Amy said...

Oooh, a medal? Thanks, I'll take it.

And I'll think twice about DIY jobs. Maybe three times.

Garvin Smith said...

Keep going! We are on our fourth house: put in one complete yard (our first house too) and renovated three other yards.

Valerie said...

Taking care of the yard and home is such hard work, especially for someone like me who knows absolutely nothing about any of it. Not having a husband makes it even harder for single ladies who are clueless like me.

Mama Smith said...

I LOVE IT! I can hardly wait to see what you put into your beds! I love redoing...(cause we never had a NEW HOUSE)...Creating something of your very EXCITING! Your dad built me another box...since you were here...and now...all the boxes have either flowers or EATABLES in them! I have been taking day I will post them...(smile)

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