Thursday, January 24, 2013

We built a deck

So I've been hinting at a big project for probably 6 months now and then I never actually talked about it. It's the biggest project we've done on the house to date and took place at the start of last summer - completing just before our trip to San Diego.

We built a deck on the house. This is a huge deal because previously the only way to get to our really nice yard was by going through the garage and climbing over my car. Now, we have a slider door off the dining room and a nice big deck space about 6 feet off the ground with stairs down to the original patio... nothing major :)

After lots of back and forth with the contractor - for several months - on what we wanted and then waiting for him to have an open slot in the schedule when it wasn't raining to come do it they got the bulk of it built in 4 days and then had to do another day of adjustments after the inspection. After that we had to paint and stain everything ourselves. And when I say we, I mean 95% me. I probably spent about 40 hours over the course of several days painting the railing and staining the deck and handrail. Brian helped stain the pillars and crossbeams underneath, and just as temperatures were hitting the triple digits we finished!

That was just a few weeks before the big Comic Con trip, we were hoping to enjoy the deck, but we had a ton to do to get ready and it was also turning into the hottest summer on record. At 10pm it was still nearly too hot to be outside.

Two nights before we left we had our first big party, it was mostly indoors but at night we enjoyed the new space to the fullest. Even after one of our idiot friends jumped off it and broke his foot... After that the space only got sporadic use for the rest of the year. The temperatures stayed pretty high and then before we knew it we were both back in school just trying to keep afloat. Hopefully this summer will be different - both not as hot, and without homework!

And now - pictures! We love how it turned out, and it's incredibly comfortable. Our yard is really starting to come together.

In progress - this used to be a window!

Day 2 - getting exciting!

The painting/staining was the worst part, this was my  view for days...

 We added a string of lights on a timer around the railing - it makes for great ambiance!

Now we have a great dining set up there (you can see it in the 'lights' picture above) with the grill, and the patio is reserved for the fire pit and lounge chairs. Looking at these pictures, I can't wait for spring!

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's a new year and I'm back!

So yeah, wow... it's been a while huh?

That last semester took a lot more out of me than I expected. I took 3 classes, and from August 30th - December 12 I don't think I even surfaced for air. All's well that ends well though, I have officially finished grad school! I knew it would be rough, but it's probably for the best that I didn't know quite how true that would be.

In the crazed rush to the finish line I missed out on a lot. I missed football season, reunions with friends, our 2nd anniversary was a blur, Christmas shopping with my mother in law and basically Christmas too - I'm just now starting to feel normal again. I get excited about things again. I want to go on walks and make my crafts again. Brian and I even took off to Chicago last weekend on a whim! It's been wonderful really...

Title: Proof it Actually Happened

All that said, it's safe to say that I didn't really get anywhere with the new costumes over the last few months. I'm just now getting back into it, so I'll post a progress update soon. I don't have much time to accomplish these!

Oh, one more thing has happened.... meet Odin.

Goji is less than pleased.