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.
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.
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.
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.
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.