We spent last weekend at Aaron’s mom and dad’s home, and on Memorial Day, we went out to Heritage Hills. It was the first time both Shepherd and I had been out to the course, which is kind of a miracle if you know the Nixes and golf! It was a chilly, overcast day, but still fun… I finally got to drive Chris’ golf cart with Karen and Shepherd while we rode along with the guys. There were no holes-in-one, but it was fun to take Shepherd out and let him run around on the green for a bit. Thanks for taking us out, Chris!
Since moving in a month ago, we’ve had a few bumps in the road that have slowed down our progress on our short-term goals for our new home. Of all the items, the only one I’ve spent significant time on has been working in the backyard.
Here’s what we are starting with: The backyard has patches of good lawn and full sunlight. There’s a raised 5×5 garden bed, a garden shed, and huge flowerbeds that have, unfortunately, been filled with rock. The edge of the patio once had lava rock, but at some point the owners removed it. There’s about a two-foot path where the rock was that is now dirt.
Here’s what we’ve done so far. I’ll call this phase one:
- Planted four taller planters (two of geraniums, two of grass and perennial mouse ear coreopsis); one planter of salvia; two smaller pots of geraniums; and several annuals that I ran out of potting soil for that have yet to find homes.
- Planted basil.
- Re-seeded patchy spots in our front yard. I wanted to test Scott’s PatchMaster on a few spots in our front yard before I committed to trying it on our backyard, and I’m really happy with the results.
My goal was to get some flowers in pots immediately so we could enjoy the patio, and largely, I am happy with what I have. I would like to add some more color, but that will be after the next few phases.
In phase two, here’s what I’d like to do:
- Add string lights to the patio. Aaron and I just need to find a few free hours to do this! My mom sent me this idea, and it is what we will use as a guide to our patio, since their layout is very similar to ours.
- Buy sand for Shepherd’s sand box. Thank you, Hammond boys, for letting Shep have your old sandbox!
- Buy a bow rake and whip the garden into shape. I have seeds that need to go in the ground very soon.
- Plant the zinnia seeds I have.
- Maybe put fountain grass around the perimeter of the patio? I feel like the area needs some edging to separate it from the lawn.
In phase three, which is really less of a phase and more of a budget commitment, I’d like to:
- Get a fire pit or fire bowl.
- Either add more seating, like these Adirondack chairs from Home Depot, or get a patio table. I don’t love the plastic chairs, but at $20 a piece, I can’t complain.
- Re-seed and patch the back yard.
- Create a compost bin. My friend Chelsea has a great post on this; I just need to do it!
It makes me so happy to be able to open our french doors and enjoy finally having a back yard! I love that it’s fenced, so Shepherd can play while I keep an eye on him from the kitchen, and I am eager to continue adding to this area to make it an outdoor living space we can use. We’re focusing on perennials and potted plants since we rent, but I’m happy that I feel like we can invest time here and not have it be wasteful.
Yesterday, I was able to celebrate Mother’s Day alongside both my mom and her mom at my grandparents’ home. It was incredibly special to spend our time together. It’s a blessing to be close to healthy parents and grandparents, and something I realize is more precious with each passing day. It makes my heart happy to see my grandma with her first great grandson, and I can’t imagine how it must feel to her to see a new generation of our family be born.
To my mom, I appreciate you more every day. I am thankful for your wisdom, your patience, your grace and your strength. Thank you for the sacrifices you made and continue to make. I’m thankful for the love you give to me, Jillian, Dad, Aaron and Shepherd.
I feel like, through daily life with Shepherd, I’m learning the magnitude of your love for Jillian and me. Thank you for letting us be who we are and celebrating us as such. For your hard work in protecting our childhoods and adolescence from a world that wanted to take that innocence away too quickly. Thanks for making us wake up for early service each Sunday and for making us eat breakfast every morning. I am still not a morning person, but you’re right, I do feel better when I have the whole day to enjoy.
There’s so much to say, and I’ll never be able to remember it all or thank you adequately. But I’ll try anyway. I love you, Mom!
The picture above is from a family ski trip maybe 16 years ago. My parents provided many great experiences for my sister and me, like fun vacations, but many of my most treasured childhood memories are of the small, thoughtful things she said and did that made every day a special day. I am thankful for you and your example, Mom!
Have a great weekend, and be sure to celebrate all of the wonderful mamas and encouraging women in your life!
While Aaron was in New York City, Shep and I drove down to Texas for the weekend so we could celebrate my sister receiving her Aggie Ring. For those unfamiliar with Aggie traditions, it’s a big deal at Texas A&M, and I was happy we could be there for the ceremony. One of my sister’s roommates received her ring the same day, so we got to celebrate both Jillian and MB’s ring day. It was a perfect day followed by a delicious steak dinner and a few photos back on campus.
There were literally thousands of students waiting outside in the Haynes Ring Plaza for their numbers to be called. It was pretty cool to see.