Yesterday Ricardo came with a truck full of plants and mulch, and helped in his quest to nurse our yard back to health. He put in grass seed a few weeks ago, and with all of the rain we had, they managed to hang on and sprout! There are still a few little patches that are working on improving, but they will hopefully come back to life, and we can reseed in the fall.
In the meanwhile, he planted a row of succulents along our back wall, leaving some spaces for the crepe myrtle trees we want to have planted. In the front, succulents under the windows, fresh mulch, and some existing plants moved and replanted for better coverage.
This morning Ellie went to the beach with Gigi, and so after Adam napped, Tim and I went to look at patio furniture. The time has come! On Mimi's recommendation we went to a little family owned place in Yorba Linda (where the owners talked about their 13 kids and 8 grand kids. So the place is small and family owned, but not a small family. YIPES.) It was a good, quick shopping trip. The chairs we liked best were a style that was being moved out, so we got a good deal and ended up getting eight chairs total (four rockers, four regular) and a large, non-glass topped table. I think it's really going to look nice, and they'll be able to deliver this week. I'm hoping with the later sunsets, we can have Adam's birthday dinner outside next week (NEXT WEEK. Excuse me while I go and ugly cry.)
I don't mean to belabor the point about the neighbor's trees, but I do very much miss them. I am excited about the trees we're going to put in - I know they'll be little and need years to grow, and it's only four trees, not a forest, but I think it's going to look really nice, and make me happy to see them from the kitchen window. I was looking through pictures to try to find a good one of what our yard looked like when we moved in, and while the great green back yard makes my heart pitter patter with a bit of sadness, it's funny to see how the rest of the house has changed.
We bought our house because it had good bones and was a place we could see starting and raising a family. We knew we'd redo the kitchen at some point, but didn't buy the house as something that we were immediately going to gut and repair and renovate in each room, but yet, when I look at the photos from our listing, every room in this house has changed in some way. Little things like paint and carpet and ceiling fans and lighting make a big difference, even if I don't automatically think of them when I think of "projects we've undertaken." And of course, I do love the kitchen. Almost every day when I walk in there and see the pretty wood cabinets, or use my new appliances, or wipe down the iridescent blue counter tops that are so ME, I feel glad about the make over. Even though we're not done, I feel the same way about the back yard. The patio cover is a life saver on so many levels - our living room is now livable, and we can sit outside and play with the kids. I have been loving sitting out there while Ellie pedals her trike back and forth, or gasses up her cozy coupe. She can let herself out of the sliding doors now, and I feel safe letting her play back there since the new side gates are too high for her to open. I can't wait to see how it's going to be this summer with our new furniture out back and Adam toddling around and both of them splashing in the water table and the wading pool. Though it's taken more money and work than I like to add up and contemplate, it has been wonderful watching this house become our home. And of course, more than the physical renovations, there's the family remodel as we've grown from a couple of DINKS to parents of a couple of wonderful, spirited, funny, sweethearted kids. We are so, so lucky.