7.12.2011

.A little work goes a long way.

This post is about:

Work, Yard Work to be exact.

But before I get into all of the details about that, let me take a little step back and tell you about our new house. We moved in as renters to our future home on June 1st while lawyers worked overtime to clear up a $35,000 lien on the title. I would love to explain everything that happened but seeing how I only understood about 3% of it all, I will simply skip this step and tell you we are official HOMEOWNERS with a clean and clear title. Adam and I closed on our first house over our second anniversary weekend, talk about a great anniversary gift ;) The Lord has blessed us with this house we now call our home. You can read about the journey here and here.
Since our closing day, Adam and I have been busy. Not on house projects or work, but with life. We have been living life together to the fullest taking advantage of precious quality time with our friends and family. Weekend trips have been taken, hugs and kisses have been spread, fellowship dinners and cookouts have been shared, babies have been loved on, and it has left us: 

HAPPY.

Adam and I have been feeling the joy God is placing in our lives at this time. In life, God gives us different seasons and Adam and I are rejoicing in the season He is blessing us with. We are trying to think on the positive side, seeing that glass (you know which one) half full. We are figuring out our budget for our house and working as one to accomplish our goals..our goals to make this house a home, our home..goals to continue getting our bodies strong and healthy for our Lord..goals to have savings for children in the future..goals to allow us to give more to our church..goals to be young, happy, and living for Christ.

The past 3 days have been spent working hard and working together to complete: Yard work. Because we have been away and busy for the three weeks we have been homeowners, our house began to act out for not receiving the attention it deserved. Let me show you in pictures after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Did you notice:
- the weeds
- the old and pitiful mulch
- the dead azaleas
- the dirty walk way
- the tall grass
- the random flowers
- the barrel (?)

For those of you who do not know me or the lovely parents that raised me..let me tell you one thing:

1. We are "particular"..especially when it comes to our property.

My parents taught me about curb appeal at a very young age and had me weeding and planting for years. I remember shrugging my shoulders at my father when he would wake me early on a Saturday morning and rolling my eyes at my mother when she asked me to help her de-head the petunias. Even though I acted as a punk kid when these small tasks were asked of me, I always had a secret deep down inside..I liked it! That's right, I actually enjoyed getting sweaty, sunburned, and bitten by bugs because yard work left me with one thing:

1. Instant Gratification

Yes, I am all about this. There are so many forms of work in our lives and only a few leave you with instant gratification. Yard work is a big one friends! I highly suggest you take pictures before, during, and after working in your yard. It may seem silly taking off your gardening gloves to snap a pic, but it is so worth it!

This past Saturday was a hot one here in Virginia but the hubs and I were up early. We had our tools ready, more waiting in garage:
We had our yard work outfits on! Consisting of: Old but comfy sneakers, old jeans, high socks, and a large (very old) neon camp shirt (great color to see if creepy crawlers are on ya!) and lots of bug spray and sunscreen:
 And gloves:
I'll admit, I was a bit dorky and 90's looking, but I am happy to report not one bug bite, sunburn, or ticks! Thank you very much ;) Adam looked a bit cooler than I did:
While he edged around our driveway, front curb, and walk way as well as cutting the grass, I dug..and dug..and dug.
Any guesses why? Let me bring you back to a picture from early Spring when we visited the house, pay close attention to the front bed:
Daffodils. 

Lots of them.

As pretty as they were, only a few short weeks later they were so big that it was hard to see and walk on our walk way. They had to go..therefore, I dug..and dug..and dug.
I was about to "bulb" my mind! Thankfully, my sweet mother-in-law was excited when I offered her some bulbs and she took all of them..ALL OF THEM!!! :) I filled up two large buckets of these white guys:
When I finally finished digging these out, I began raking. I have a plan when it comes to fixing up a flower bed.

I like to..
1. Rake out old mulch
2. Weed, weed, and weed
3. Rake again and level out bed
4. Spray weed killer
5. Sprinkle bug killer
6. Lay out weed paper
7. Add fresh mulch
8. Spray everything with a drink from the hose

I stuck to this routine with the front of our house and added a few tasks, like digging up those darn daffodil bulbs, and removing dead shrubs and replanting the living shrubs to form some sort of  pattern. Our main goal was to spend as little money as possible, even if that means our front beds are rather bare. Next Spring we have big plans for landscape design, this Summer was simply clean up mode! After completing steps 1-5:
Step 6 (yes, those are my sneakers..guess my feet needed a break!):
And my favorite, Step 7:
Adam and I are thrilled with the results. A little work goes a long way! We are thankful some of the shrubs are still alive and plan on giving them extra loving through the year. Our total cost can be broken down like so:

Bug Killer = FREE (Purchased last year)
Weed Paper = $20.00 + some Purchased last year
Mulch = $100.00
Total: $120.00
We know there is plenty more we could have done but our goal was to clean it up, use what we were given, and work hard! I think our work paid off, what do you think?
Before:
 After:
Adam's edging made a huge difference! Now to keep this up :) We had so much fun working on the front of our house because IT IS OUR HOUSE, amazing! And I must say, I am so thankful for my husband..his muscles did the majority of heavy lifting aka MULCH! I love when we can work as team and accomplish things together.

To view photos of the interior click here and the exterior click here.

Thank you for reading and

HAPPY YARD-WORKING ;)

P.S. Our shutters are a deep navy but they continue to look black in photos, oh well!

24 comments:

  1. The yard is looking all kinds of fabulous and so are you!

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  2. I knew they were navy the moment we saw them. :) Looks great, Katie!

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  3. Hi Katie! Very very cute house!!! Thanks for your comment on my blog about our hotel stay, hehe.

    I love your blog and just added it to my list of favorites!

    I have 2 questions for you- first, I'm starting a link party on fridays, called Once Upon A Weekend. I was wondering if you would mind adding it to your list of parties? Thanks in advance if you do!

    Next question- do you have any idea how you got your blog to be so wide and have 3 columns? I have been trying so hard to figure it out. Mine is 3 columns but is so squished and I can't post my pictures as large as I'd like.
    Anyway, if you have time to get back to me, that would be awesome! If not, no worries! Have a great day!
    Rachel

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  4. Best mulch ever! I use it every year and it hasn't faded yet :) It looks beautiful!

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  5. Looks so great so far!! This is so motivational, I need to get moving on the same thing too!

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  6. Feels so good to step back and look at all your hard work. The bushes will grow and it looks very neat. Looks great!

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  7. Love it!! I am so happy for you guys!!

    P.S. is that my camp shirt?! :0)

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  8. Hillary--It's actually from my church's old soccer camp from years ago..it's funny how camps always choose tie dye or neon colors! I do remember you have one just like it! I miss being able to share clothes with you, it's boring with just one closet to look in these days! Miss you old roomie :)

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  9. congratulations, official homeowners! your landscaping already looks great, and that seems like a great price for all the mulch. happy gardening!

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  10. WOW WOW WOW! a big CONGRATS on the house! You guys have made it look BEAUTIFUL and I know that it probably feels very much like home. :) Wishing you lots of happiness & love in your new abode. :D xo

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  11. Congratulations! Wishing you the very best!
    Blessings,
    ~*~Wendy~*~

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  12. You did it the right way. It looks really great.
    Congrats on your new home.

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  13. What a lot of work but it sure paid off! It looks GREAT! Thank you for linking to Handy Man, Crafty Woman Wicked Awesome Wednesday!

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  14. It really looks great! So inviting :)

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  15. Congratulations! Your home looks so much like ours!! The yard looks great- we are really trying to work on ours this summer too but I have been known to kill green things so I'm a little apprehensive to plant anything.

    This is just the beginning of a long lifetime of hard work- remember, home ownership is a marathon not a sprint! Best Wishes!

    I'm your newest follower! Tracy @ www.the2010shousewife.blogspot.com

    ps: I love your blog design!

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  16. Such a sweet couple and warm home! Happy beginning! Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog - xoxo PC

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  17. You did a great job on the front yard. Your home looks lovely. It's always nicer to do the (hard) work if it is your own home other than a rental.
    I love gardening. It is kind of a meditation exercise to me.

    Thank you so much for the nice comment on my blog.

    XX
    Chrissy

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  18. YaY! I cant wait to see you!! I love that it fell on your anniversary weekend :)

    www.kirstenjoywilson.com

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  19. sweet house, congrats!
    we don't have a yard-downtown apartment- and i love seeing people's yard designs:)

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  20. Aaawww, CONGRATS on your first home! Your gardens look fabulous!

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  21. Your front yard looks great!! It is so much cleaner, and I can totally relate with how good it feels to get some of these things done :)

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