You MUST Chase Your Dreams, For Your Dreams Will Not Chase You

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Outdoor Sectional

Well it arrived!  To be more exact it arrived on Father's Day and my awesome hubby said "sure let's go pick it up and put it together until 9:30 at night after we've been on the go all day long on Father's Day no less".   Of course that's not exactly what he said but that's pretty much how it went down.  I want to say though I totally gave him the option to just sit and relax but he really did say we should just go get it.

So on Father's Day he put together our new grill and the sectional.  It was pretty straight forward on how to put it together but it was definitely easier with 2 people.  The good news is we are DONE.  Done as in sit back and relax because there is no more projects on the horizon (well at least for the remainder of the summer...or at least the remainder of June :).  I'm sure Scott has some more outdoor things he wants to get done but they just might be moved until next year.  The grass is coming in really well, our garden is blooming, the pool is up to 84 degrees and the deck & sectional are the perfect place in my mind to relax and soak it all in.

We still might pick up a couple more pillows for pops of color & another side table (totally just remembered I saw this bright green one at TJ Maxx...I swear I have a sickness) but I'm not in any hurry (I know my husband will roll his eyes when he reads that).

I've even thought of spray painting the plastic Adirondack chair in the corner a fun color but I'm a little afraid of how it will hold up...apparently I have finally found something I'm afraid to paint.  Maybe I'll just throw a bright pillow on it or something.

I love this fun pillow.  We snagged it at Kohl's for $12.

Don't mind my nasty least my toenails are painted :).  I love the view we have into the woods here.  It really is one of the most beautiful spots on in our yard (although you may get eaten alive by the mosquitoes once dusk hits).

No we don't have a large grey snake in the pool - that's the vacuum.  I tell you what, cleaning/upkeep on the pool is a daily thing but since I can do it while being in the pool it's a chore I'm happy to undertake.

Oh and under strict guidance from Lilly we pushed the ottomans into the center of the sectional last night and found out all 4 of us can fit comfortably laying down - which of course led to pleas from 2 little girls that we sleep out there all night long - guess it's a hit :).  

So far I am very impressed with the sectional - especially seeing how it was a Walmart special.  I figure we will probably try to take the pillows in when it rains to prolong their life (although they do dry very quickly after the girls sit on them in their wet suits - like 10 minutes quick) and obviously it will be stored inside for the winter months.  I'm crossing my fingers that it holds up as well as our dining table (which was a Meijer special).  It's definitely not a fancy schmancy sectional, but that's okay because we aren't fancy schmancy people.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dance On!

This weekend we attended Scott's cousin's wedding up north.  This is the first wedding that the girls have been to that they have actually been old enough to stay up late enough for some dancing music and oh my did they dance.

They danced while they were doing the speeches and also made a new friend :).

They danced to after dinner music (or if you are Nolee this means you ran around all the other girls over and over in your own private game of ring around the rosie).

They had solos.

And they danced in big groups.

They slow danced with each other (okay these pictures are just too cute).

They danced circles around our me - literally.

They even tried their hand (or hiney) at a little break dancing)...which is not the easiest task in a dress.

And they ended the night crawling through tables out on the deck.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Outdoor Seating Challenge

So as I said yesterday none of our current outdoor furniture was working in our new pool deck space.  Currently the plastic Adirondacks chairs we have are working but they won't be there for long...

While scouring pinterest, blogs and the internet in general I came upon a few ideas.  Some were crazy expensive.  This is one of my ultimate favorites...and it could totally be ours for the mere price of $4,113 which is SO not in our budget (and pretty much never will be until the kids are grown, through college and married...and remember I'm impatient).

Kokomo Sectional

There were some cool DIY options like this crazy cool one from Thrifty Inspirations which cost a total of $313 with the pillows.  I liked this idea but after all the hard work Scott went through with the deck I didn't want to lay another project in his lap right away and figured he deserved some time off.

So when I happened upon this sectional on Walmart's website I thought we could have a winner.

Sandhill Outdoor 7-Piece Sofa Sectional Set

It's a little less "pop of color" that I was looking for but the price was right at $399 (originally $499 but it was on roll back that week).  I did a little more searching and found some actual pictures from real people who bought it (and loved it by the way) and pretty much was sold when I saw this one from Anything Pretty.  I love how just a few throw pillows and accessories totally make this thing pop.

Outdoor space 8/10

Now the tough part...selling Scott on the idea.  I totally went into my salesman mode and presented all my hard work/research and the pros and cons of all of them.  He actually really liked the idea and the fact that the most effort he would have to exert would be to help me put the thing together.  BUT he figured we had spent enough money putting the pool and deck in (true) and that (and I quote) "Unless you can make money appear out of thin air" we should wait until next year to make this purchase.  

Well those words were just like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  I immediately thought in my head (and may have said it out loud) "Challenge Accepted!" in my best Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother impersonation (love that show!).

I racked my brain for how I could make $400 appear out of no where and realized there were items in our house that we completely overlooked when putting on our garage sale.  Some of them we had even agreed should be ear marked for our next garage sale - so I figured I would just move up the timeline of when we sold them :).  

Within a week I sold our double bike trailer that we don't use anymore (this was great for in town, but in the good ol country with dirt roads it just threw dirt up in the girls faces and since then we have gotten a tag along bike for Lilly and a bike seat for Nolee) our water softener (we upgraded to a culligan because our water is SO nasty), the wicker love seat from our front porch (there was just too much furniture on it) and Lilly/Nolee's old crib and dresser.

The crib and dresser were really really nice, but just not our taste anymore.  The crib was actually one of those that converts from a crib, to a toddler bed to a full size bed.  The crib and toddler bed were awesome, but we tried to convert it to a full size bed and weren't impressed at all...surprisingly it was kind of unsturdy and it just looked weird.  Plus we sold the set to this really nice guy who drove an hour to our house after working until 6:30 in the morning to pick it up for his gal who saw it on craigslist...with no complaints what so ever.  He was such a sweetheart and you could just see how excited he was about his first baby (they were having a boy).  It always makes me feel so good when you can sell stuff to people like that.

I ended up making well over the $400 that I needed to make appear out of thin air :).  When I told Scott I had made the money in less than a week he just shook his head at me and told me he would never doubt me again (actually he may have said he would never challenge me like that again because it kind of scared him what I could do when I put my mind to it...but we all hear what we want to hear right?).

I ordered the sectional last week (and thank goodness I ordered it when I did because it is back up to $499 now) and got an email update yesterday that it is in MI (yaaaa!).  I opted for the free ship to store option and am patiently waiting (checking my phone every 5 minutes) for the text letting me know it's at the store awaiting pick up.  I can't wait to see it all set up and on our deck :)!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Finished Pool Deck

So it has taken me forever but I finally remembered to snap some pictures of the pool deck that Scott completed (all by himself I might add...I'm just a tad bit impressed with his building skills...hmmm wonder what else he can do :).  

So here it is in mid building process.  Scott hand dug all those post holes - I believe the total was something like 8 or 10 - so NOT an easy task.

He adjoined it to our current deck, just a few steps down to be at pool level.

Here's the big picture so to speak.

And one to give you an idea of how big it truly is.

He did all of this in roughly 2 days.  I know - impressive right!  Then it started raining and he couldn't finish getting on the deck boards for a few days.  But from start to finish I think it took him a week and that was because he worked on it after work so truthfully I think he could have finished it in 3 days...he is quite amazing!

And here it is all finished.  We have been enjoying it these past few weeks and it makes the pool 10 times better.  The girls can get in and out on their own (bonus!) and Scott and I can sit on the edge to watch - well within reach if they get in trouble, but we don't actually have to be in the pool...cuz you know adults sometimes think 72 degrees is just too dang cold!

We just went with simple steps.  Scott insisted we actually buy the tread boards...and he was right (yeah I know he's totally happy this is going in writing) as they really do make them non-slip which is pretty important since they will be wet pretty much 90% of the time.  Oh and notice the gate.  We have the exact same thing on the steps on the other side of our deck (down to the yard) - it came with the house.  This is the best idea ever when you have kids (or friendly neighbor dogs who think they can walk on your solar cover).  I could (and still can as there is a lock on both gates) let the kids play right out on the deck while I make dinner and have now worries about them falling down the steps.  Of course Lilly did just that last night while I was standing 2 ft away.  The pool girl looks like Rudolph with her skinned up and red nose :(.

As you can see there is plenty of room to RUN and jump in the pool - which Lilly is getting quite well at...Nolee on the other hand is a bit cautious still.

And the view from the lower deck to the upper deck...kind of feel like I'm talking about a boat.

So far I haven't been able to make any of our current outdoor furniture quite work down here so these chairs are just temporary and ultimately headed for the fire pit area that Scott is working on.  And believe me I tried to make something work as my husband will attest to all the different stuff I made him help me drag out there .

We can't stain it until next year as we have to let the wood "dry out", but that's fine with me because now we can just sit back and enjoy it.  I can't express enough how amazed I am by Scott's building skills with this deck.  I mean I knew he could build stuff, but never thought he could do this all by himself in less than a week and have it turn out professional looking.  Even my dad was completely blown away - it's always so nice to get the dad approval :).  Of course I'm sure my Dad was thinking too of how handy Scott's skills will be this summer as Scott is working on the farm and helping build a MASSIVE new barn.  I have to get out there to take pictures - seriously this thing is HUGE and I think it's pretty darn cool that Scott will be part of building it.  Of course they just started laying the tin roof this week so he may disagree :).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Where Did All The Toys Go

The girls have gotten better about playing downstairs by themselves lately.  I still have to go down and turn on all the lights first, but they will stay down there and play for at least a 1/2 hour and it is AMAZING what I can get done in that uninterrupted 1/2 hour!

Last weekend they were playing down there and I noticed that it had been pretty quiet.  As in I hadn't heard the random scream/yell at each other or the "Mom, she's not sharing." comment.  So I snuck downstairs to see what they were up to and this is what I saw.

Weird...because that bookshelf is usually full of books...and I don't see their bean bag chairs...

Odd...there is usually a ton of toys on the floor right there...and a rug...  Oh and I checked the toy box too - completely empty.  So where could 2 little girls put all that stuff in about oh 20 min flat...

In there trampoline!  Where else?!?  Seriously they even put the rug in there - I think that's what blew my mind the most.

Oh and of course they were in there too :).

Of course it took much longer than 20 min to put it all away...because it is always heavier, harder and their legs and arms are just so much tireder when its pick up time.  I don't know what it is about getting everything  (and I do mean EVERYTHING) out and putting it in a small confined space, but my girls think it's the best game ever!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Schools Out For Summer!

Lilly & Scott's last day was last Thursday and I was lucky enough to take off Thursday afternoon and Friday so we could kick summer vacation off right.  It was beautiful all weekend and we enjoyed every minute.  I even woke up Sunday around 5 am (with a kid on each does that always happen!) thinking it was Monday (ugh) and then realizing it wasn't (yaa!).  I totally love when that happens.

We were able to make it up to our friends new cottage and holy cow is it awesome.  Like as in I actually had to kneel down and feel the floor because it was this really cool laminate made to look like driftwood and is super easy to clean awesome.  Everything was so neat and had such character (there was barn wood in the sun room!).  Anyway it is always such fun getting together with them.  Not only do we get along so well but our kids play together so well.

Nolee just had to try out the big man rockers.

We even went on a pontoon ride around the whole lake!

Scott snapped this pic - I'm in love.

We tried to get all the kids settled down with a movie at the end of the night.  This didn't quite work out as well as planned as our girls were just too dang excited to sleep and we ended up leaving around 11:00.

Of course that was a completely different story once we got in the car.  This was oh about 1 mile down the road from the cottage...seriously.

This one even slept in until 10:00 the next morning.  That is a record by far.

So glad summer is here!