Our first goal was to finish half the basement, especially Tyler's office since he works exclusively from home. After three years of living here we decided he'd earned heat, real walls, and more light than the bare bulb dangling from the ceiling. We're not done yet, but there's wires in them thar walls! We also are finishing another bedroom and we started the rough plumbing and electrical work for a bathroom. Under the drywall we added a layer of soundboard in an attempt to muffle the pitter-patter of little feet.
For Mother's Day I decided to see if Steve could add another layer of beams to an arbor we already had in the backyard. The existing beams were too far apart and the vines flopped through instead of spreading out on top, and there wasn't any shade or sense of enclosure. Voila! Next year this will be the perfect place for the hammock I'm searching for.
OK, this is definitely my favorite project. Here is the "before" shot. When we bought the house, we inherited a beautiful yard and a lousy sprinkler system. The whole neighborhood knows when we go on vacation because the lawn dies. After two vacations and two death-and-resurrection cycles this summer we'd had it. Thanks to my brother-in-law Dave, an irrigation guru who lives too far away to do forced family service projects, we tapped his friend, another wizard of water, to revamp our system. Actually, we begged, pleaded, sent photos of our dead grass. As of 8pm tonight, we have an almost entirely new system. The sprinklers are beautiful in motion. I could seriously watch them all day. They are fountains, arcing through space, cascading, dripping, dropping, welling up, raining down... I am truly inspired.
So there you have it: how we spent our summer vacation--every penny of it. I wish we'd bought stock in Lowe's and Home Depot--it would have funded an actual vacation next year!