April 14, 2008

Lazy Deck Days

Almost 6 years ago, we moved from a small apartment into our present home. We were sooo excited. Our apartment always had this gigantic puddle before the front door and I was so happy not to hop over it anymore. And John was thrilled that we had our own washer and dryer. We were so ecstatic, that we did not even seem to notice that our backyard was just one huge dirt bowl.
But as the weeks turned into months and the months turned into years, I'm sure our neighbors took notice---they must have been less-than-thrilled about our dust blowing into their backyards. And then the weeds came. Oh my goodness. They were as tall as John's shoulders every spring. We thought long and hard what to do, but nothing really seemed feasible. No time, no money. However, John could not bear to pull weeds for much longer. As we sat in our dirt/weed concoction one evening, I thought about our lazy vacations to Hume Lake and how nice it was lounging on Grandma's deck--everyone fighting over who got to nap on the oversized cushioned chaise lounge. I felt very inspired by those lazy days spent on Grandma's deck. But, I realized it was going to take a miracle to make anything happen in my desert backyard that I lovingly refered to as "Gahena". However, my dad is very handy and came to our rescue. To him, nothing seemed impossible. "Whatever you want, Davi" he would always say.

John and dad started working on the deck in the Spring of '05. I was pregnant wtih Calvin at the time and as they worked, I happily envisioned feeding my new baby on the deck with Finn playing in the yard. It was quite the labor of love, as dad snuck away for many weekends, sometimes working in 90 and 100+ degree heat. Here are some photos of the various stages.

My original plans for the deck had more of a cottage feel, but dad decided it was going to be more barn-ish due to it's boxy nature. Whatever dad does, I always end up liking way better though! When we first got our new wood, I remember saying that I wanted it to look old & distressed--dad told me to set the wood in a field for cows to pee on:) We stained it greyish and white instead:
And the weeds still plauged us till last spring, when we finally put grass in. It was one of the most exciting days of my life. Now I could finally sit in my backyard.

And this deck has inspired great laziness indeed. Ellie and Lorie came over last week and we were supposed to take a walk. Instead, we lounged around on the deck in our pj's and polished off a whole plate of cookies instead.

It seems every time I come outside to play with the boys, I get sucked onto this couch...a cool breeze with the sun warming me up. I can't move one inch. The boys run and play and their laughter fills the air. They pick me flowers off the neighbors fence because we don't have any flowers of our own yet.
And I will never, ever, ever take grass for granted again. After having dirt for 5 years, this green stuff will always be special to me.
Gretch and I, hanging out with the babies

Ollie and Lijah playing in the grass

Mike jugging

Special thanks to dad and John for all their hard work. I LOVE playing in my backyard!!


  1. I came home that afternoon, and longing looked at my own desert yard and yearned to be back on your deck and comfy couch...maybe next year we'll do it at my house.

    Can we hire your dad and John??=)

  2. Oh my. Not only does this post make my mouth water, but it answers my question on where the background was for your Easter baskets! I meant to ask if you had wooden floors somewhere.

  3. I'm glad you showed us pictures of the whole process. I loved the deck pictures from before, but I understand even better now, having seen the big picture. It looks GREAT!!

    It's still too cold here for me to sit on my deck yet...but, I will make good use of it in the weeks to come!

  4. Your backyard looks wonderful. I do however love finn in all the huge towering weeds.

    One of our many jobs this summer is to complete our backyard as well. When we moved in we had a deck (nothing wonderful to look at) and Gabe tore it out - so we have a lot of repair work to do...

    *in response to your comment - aren't kids so funny with their misunderstanding of time. Sometimes Eli tells us "but i went potty 10 days and 100 hours ago" or "i just took a nap 3 years and 4 minutes ago". Very Strange!!!

  5. Wow! The yard looks great! It was still in progress last I was out there-- looks amazing! I love the deck- I think I would be completely worthless if I had that- I would lounge all the time.

  6. What a beautiful place to hang out! I love the barn-like look of it.

  7. It looks so wonderful! Dad is so talented. I love the yellow flowers climbing over the fence. What are they? The picture of Finny in the weeds is hysterical!

  8. That deck IS absolutely fabulous! It was worth the wait.

  9. I love your deck... and your outside furniture. I dream of having a comfy little couch on my back porch to sit on during those lazy Saturday mornings, sipping coffee while Sammy rolls around in the grass... :)

  10. I've been wanting a deck of my own and seeing this post has really gotten me planning! Thanks for the inspiration - it's beautiful!!

  11. i love the picture of finn with his backpack on. and the picture of lijah and ollie in the grass together. yours came out MUCH better than mine!
    it is a very nice deck and a wonderful family friendly yard. i hope to have one one day.

  12. your deck is so lovely. I can see why you love to be on it so much.

    We are in the midst of trying to figure out what we're doing with our backyard now that we have grass and concrete... we need somne shade back there! I think once we have a covering of some sort and I can start making it cute and homey I will love to be out there, and really feel connected with it. Your beautiful backyard post has inspired me!

  13. well, I'm inspired. After doing all the landscaping front and back and patios of our last house we are a little tired of landscaping so it was a bummer when we bought this house knowing the whole backyard needs to be re-done. That's worse than starting from scratch like last time for us...this time we have to tear it all out first! We keep working on it but I think we are on the five year plan too! =0) Thanks for encouraging me though. Your yard looks fabulous and I wish I could have my old one back! =0)

  14. Goodness, I have major backyard envy now! LOL! Your deck is absolutely gorgeous, as is your backyard. It is probably a good thing that we do not have something so magnificent right now, because it would be tempting to skip homechooling on beautiful days and just spend the time outside on the deck while the kiddos play...okay, I wouldn't really skip school, but I would want to really, really badly.

    The pictures are beautiful, and it's so wonderful and special that your dad and John did all of that! And I probably should not be looking at this while we're in the midst of house hunting, because now I have a major deck-yearning and I'm going to want a house/yard that can make that work (in addition to some other "requirements", LOL!).