July 31, 2013

365 ~ 2013: Day 212

Nice catch!  Someone is determined to make it to Kid Pitch next year.

July 30, 2013

July 29, 2013

365 ~ 2013: Day 210

A rainbow that filled my friends backyard...one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time!

July 28, 2013

365 ~ 2013: Day 209

Project curb appeal is complete!

Making a House a Home: Curb Appeal

It's hard to believe that it's been two years since we closed on our home, we are coming up on our third summer and it's amazing to look back and see all the changes we have made (house color, cutting down trees, moving trees, transplanting or removing perennials...etc.).  Some we have done ourselves and obviously others we had to outsource.  We were pretty ambitious and I'm happy to say that today we made a big dent in our curb appeal with the completion of the new walkway and front landscape.  It's gorgeous and even better than I could have ever imagined.  We still have some projects we had to put off (like the new mailbox post with light and walkway lighting) but I'm happy to say that our front yard is no longer an eyesore!

Below is the picture that the previous owners had used in their original MSL listing.  Unfortunately I never thought to take this picture myself before we started tearing up the hostas (the first change we made with the help of my MIL), so I only have this low res image that I downloaded from the web.

Besides the obvious paint color difference, the flowers they had were peonies, lilies and the overgrown hostas.  The walkway was made up of a blueish gray slate that was obviously original to the house being built 12 years ago.  They were all cracked and uneven.  They also had planted two huge tree like shrubs that had overgrown and it was recommended to us to cut it down since it was so close to the foundation.  We decided at that recommendation that we would not want any trees or shrubs in front of the house.  They also lined their driveway with annuals but I wasn't about to worry about planting those every spring.  We now have grass there!

This is what the house looked like about a year ago right after it was painted.  You can see that we no longer had much in the way of shrubs and flowers.  We had moved all the lilies on the side, lining the garage.  We had plans to transplant the red maple and cut down the other tree.

This was taken the day that we moved the red maple last October.  The other tree had already been cut down.

Redoing the walkway was always something we had wanted to do but because painting the house was the priority we continued to put Project Curb Appeal on the back burner.  Our original plan was going to be to do the walkway this upcoming Fall but our neighbors ended up having an irrigation system put in and so while they were working over there we called to see if they could stop by and talk to us.  He was really straight forward and easy to talk to and came by quite a few times to ask questions and take measurements.  He presented us with a quote at the beginning of July and we crossed a few things off the list but decided to go with the majority of his plan!

Because we were not in a rush he did the first part of the project here ant here.  First they had to dig up all our old perennials and shrubs (some were going to be used in the new plan and others were going elsewhere).  Then he sprayed the area that had become infested with weeds that I had gotten lazy about keeping up with.

The next step was they came in and dug up the old walkway and raked up all the weeds.  It was time to start mapping out where everything was going to eventually go.

Using an orange spray paint he came through and mapped out where each new perennial would be place and then placed my old shrubs and perennials where they would end up.

The kids were around when he was doing the spray painting so they asked him if he could write their names.  He had only been around us for a few weeks but knew that Evan needed to have "crazy" in front of his name!  Haha!

Now that it was all mapped out they could plug through and finish it all up.  They started on Friday afternoon (in the rain!) lining the walkway, grading it, digging the drip edge, fixing the drywell we had put in last spring and placing all the perennials.

Then yesterday they were here for a good part of the day (yes on Saturday!) to get the pavers down and start planting.

All that was left was the finishing touches, adding mulch and sod and moving some irrigation heads.  It looks gorgeous, and like I said it turned out better than I even imagined.  Though I'm terrible about picturing how something is going to look.  I tend to just trust the professionals!

Project Curb Appeal complete!

July 26, 2013

365 ~ 2013: Day 207

Getting ready for his swimming lesson.  He was singing some made up song!

July 25, 2013

365 ~ 2013: Day 206

We seem to have a little bit of a Gnome obsession going on here...he refused to go inside to get his brother until I took this picture.

July 24, 2013

365 ~ 2013: Day 205

Someone got his new personalized LLBean backpack in the mail today!  I can tell he's going to give me a hard time about starting preschool this year....

July 20, 2013

365 ~ 2013: Day 201

Someone is having a hard time making good choices lately.  Tonight he decided he didn't want to eat his dinner and throw an epic tantrum instead.  So he got the choice to stop throwing a tantrum and eat his dinner or continue his tantrum up in his room...

Guess which one he chose...sigh.

July 19, 2013

Happy 4th!

I know it's a little late, but Happy 4th of July!  We started out the day with the annual Old Navy t-shirt picture.  This year Shaun is actually wearing a 2012 shirt because when I never looked at the shirt when I grabbed it and ended up getting a women's xs when I thought I was grabbing a boys xs.  Oh well.  Next year I will make sure to check.

After the picture we headed to my parents camp to swim and then decided to stay in town to see the New Boston fireworks, they were celebrating their 200th anniversary.  I'm so glad we stayed because the show they put on was one of the best I have seen in a long time.  Before the fireworks we went to the fair grounds and the kids got to play some games, eat some junk and see some animals.  It was really HOT, but otherwise a really fun day!

My boys!
At the camp cooling off in the pool!
Shaun in the bounce house
Evan playing a tossing game
Face painting
Ready to see some fireworks
My sad attempt at hand holding my camera to capture some fireworks.  I can't believe I didn't think to grab my tripod!  Oh well!  There is always next year...
Then on Saturday we headed to our friends for some fun in the sun!  It was nice and hot, great weather for hanging out in the pool and of course the like always the food is always the best part!  S'mores and fireworks finished off the perfect day with our friends!  

Gotcha Mommy!
David and Cameron hanging out in the "hot tub"
Evan and Mommy
Cooling off with my BFF!
Thomas & Shaun
Baby Owen!
Life is good!
Liam and Evan checking out the lobsters!

These two goofballs make the funniest faces!
Perfect summer night treat!

Evan watching Daddy set off some fireworks!