curb appeal

So I know this is a baby blog and all, and you are expecting adorable pictures of little miss Natifuss (Mikey’s new nickname for our babydoll), but I just have to share news about our other “baby,” our house. Check out our latest adventure in home ownership, won’t you:

My most perfect first-Mother’s-Day present? A deck, courtesy of the poppola and my hubby! To fully appreciate just how much work really went into this project, here are some photos from the 10 months of steps toward making our would-be patio usable:

The photos above and immediately below were taken the day we purchased our house, last July. We were sooo excited to sign those papers and become homeowners… and then we unlocked the door and started looking around at what we had taken on. The previous occupants had pretty much destroyed any part of the house they had access to, including the patio–they apparently thought it was a good idea to use the area as their own personal garbage dump. Full litter boxes, empty beer cans, moldy coolers, waterlogged cardboard.. the place was full of trash. In the picture below, Mikey is having a definite Michael Bluth moment (“We’ve made a huge mistake…”).

Mike tackled the clean-up job as his own personal project, throwing away garbage, raking up leaves, removing weeds, and cleaning the gutters. The picture below shows the patio area all cleaned up at last, revealing the uneven concrete slabs that we hoped to transform into a pleasant outdoor space.

Next step? Level the area by putting down gravel so we could at least make use of the space last summer:

This spring we tackled the project with renewed energy, knowing that at long last the deck would be built. Here’s a picture taken after we painted the foundation, painted the window & door trim, attached window boxes and set up various planters to spruce the place up a bit, and gave the siding a good pressure wash to remove years of built-up grime:

The final product, our finished deck, is a simple platform structure that sits in between the concrete stairs leading to both sides of our duplex. Uncle Sam bought the building materials, my dad mapped out the plans, and Mikey and my dad worked together to put the whole thing together. Mike is working on filling the area between the deck and the foundation with crushed rock, and I have stained the wood and started setting up our patio furniture and decorations. Still on the patio to-do list is lots of flower planting, but at last–an outdoor space we can use! All that HGTV has finally paid off! I think we would have been great contenders for Yard Crashers or Curb Appeal… but I guess it’s too late now! I can’t wait to spend the summer in the sunshine with Mikey and Natalie admiring our handiwork… and continuing to work on the rest of our yard.

I’ve been getting lots of questions about how breastfeeding is going and how Natalie is sleeping–when I am next not sleeping or breastfeeding I promise to give all the details, complete with pictures of our growing bundle.


One thought on “curb appeal

  1. Ill be right over to enjoy a nice glass of wine and watch the sun set on that looks like its straight out of a better homes and garden magazine! 😉

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