Our Backyard Shenanigans: Making a Backyard

There are many Saturdays I laugh at us. We are just eating up this whole “having our own house” thing. Most of my laughing fits are brought on by how we have fallen right into the stereotype “man” and “wife” since having a house. I find myself baking up a storm many days out of the week, and each Saturday as Dayla and I spend our time in the kitchen, you can find Daniel in the backyard either hauling or building something. The other day he decided he wanted to try a wood working project so he built this amazing little picnic bench for Dayla! It is SO cute and I am so proud of my man’s handy work!

I think Daniel was proud of himself too….

But of course the best part is that Dayla was so thankful…

Having a new house means that we are getting to experience a lot of fun new things. Some of them being INCREDIBLY time consuming, but still everything has brought us such joy. Even the hard labor of hauling and building and cleaning we are both finding such joy in, proud to say that it is for “our house”. What a incredible blessing this house is to us!

As much as a blessing this house is, I will share that one of our most under-estimated tasks for our new house is making a yard.  It is hard work, expensive, tedious, and time consuming!

The yard has been a bit of a project. I love that we have a “clean slate” to do whatever we want with, being that this house was sitting here for 2 years so everything pretty much died, but it is also really daunting.  We both have so many ideas and absolutely NO experience in landscaping.  I wouldn’t even say that we are gardeners, and I will even go so far as to say that we have a brown thumb!  But, my parents are both amazing gardeners, Daniel’s mom loves to garden and Daniel’s aunt is a “Master Gardener”, so we are hoping maybe it runs in the family. And when it comes to us talking about the garden one thing that Daniel and I both agreed on was that we wanted a vegetable garden.

So we are setting out to give it a try. Several weeks ago we planted several seeds in cups and kept them sheltered in a sunny, warm place in our home.

The seeds sprouted up and gave us some hope!  One a Saturday Daniel built an amazing vegetable garden box and we filled it with top notch dirt from the Mira Mesa rock quarry (by the way, the guys who work there were amazingly nice! Even Daniel, who is not a chatter like I am, said how nice they were. If you ever want dirt…we highly recommend them!)

Just last weekend Daniel planted the seedlings in the vegetable box outside:

So who knows how this story will turn out…they are still just little greenery now…. but hopefully in a few months we will have some onions, broccoli, peppers and corn!

Stay tuned for more of our Backyard Shenanigans…and how our little veges turn out.

Halloween and Trick or Treating Fun

Trick or Treating with Dayla this year was probably one of my favorite parent moments to date.  Being in a neighborhood, watching the hundreds of kids run door to door in costume, seeing neighbors come out dressed in costumes with candy in hand for the kids, the decorations, the  “haunted house” and the fast filling candy bag….all completely DELIGHTED ME!  And of COURSE, watching Dayla completely go crazy with joy,  running at top speed to each door, shouting “come one guys” to her friends, her shy self being forgotten for the night as she shouted “trick or treat” and “mama, look what I got!” and “thank you!” all without any parent-prompting.

I hope I remember how fun this was forever!!  Just look at this group that we went out with:

You may recognize in our group Tabitha and Charlotte, but this is the debut of our NEW NEIGHBORS on our blog!

We are so overjoyed to have Adam (2 years old) and Mya (4 years old) as our neighbors just a couple houses down!  It was such a blast (and a bit chaotic) to have 6 kids all running wild for trick or treat….

(Left to right: Adam as a pirate, Charlotte as a ladybug, Mya as Cinderella, Tabitha as Belle, Dayla as a ballerina princess)

And of course we can’t have a Halloween blog post without sharing a picture from the annual Halloween party at the Fresiens.  Here is our (ever growing) group this year:

And for tradition sake, we are still trying to capture every year the group of girls growing up together.

The girls in 2008:

(Ellie, Kaitlyn, Tabitha, Dayla)

Now look like this in 2010:

(Dayla, Kaitlyn, Tabitha, Ellie)

(and the honorary Lucy is up in the corner)

Hope your Halloween was fun!

Slowing Down

The pile of unread emails became unmanageable, the phone calls un-returned became vast, and my poor little Dayla started to reflect my stress level.  So this last week, just at the height of my busiest business season, I knew it was time to do something I barely know how to do, something that I am not sure has been in my vocabulary for years, something that I treasure in my husband as he has truly taught me the meaning of it: slow down.

I love going at the speed of light. I love running on stress. I love productivity like it is a drug.  I love getting my inbox empty. But sometimes there is just not enough time in the day to email and call everyone back. And sometimes you realize that all the “enrichment activities” for your child are no longer enriching, and the helping others is at the expense of being there for your own. That speed and stress and productivity don’t hug me at the end of the day like the arms of a 3 year old or an amazing husband do. So I put it on the top of my priority list, and yep, I even got to check it off: slow down.

Last week consisted of nothing but arts and crafts, baking, fort building, play-doughing, painting, coloring, game playing, reading, and vast amounts of snuggling. And it was the best week in the world.

Because my dear husband says a post isn’t a post without pictures, I will show some of the things that look a little different around our house.

Our fridge is full of arts and crafts:
Front of Fridge

Dayla and I actually MADE our Halloween decorations, something I haven’t done since being a teenager.

Towel/sheet ghosts and pipe cleaner spiders made our holiday feel perfectly special!

And that is some of the fruits of our slow week, the visual ones anyway.

It is hard to take a picture of the things that really made it worth while to me: the additional smiles from Dayla, the hugging arms, the laughing, the joy, and the love and peace that filled our sweet home; the memories being made.

It was definitely worth not being able to check anything off my list.