Planting the Garden

One of the first things I was aching to do when we moved into our first official house (or condhouse as I call it) was landscaping. With our house being a mixture of a 'real' house and a condo, we are not left with an ample amount of land to garden to my hearts content, but there was just enough space that I could do a little somethin' something.

I kept waiting for Jeff to get on board, but then one day it struck me, why do I need to wait around for Jeff to start landscaping the backyard? It's only 200-300 square feet, how hard can it be? So I hatched a plan. I would landscape the backyard myself and make it part of Jeff's birthday present. This will both take it off his 'honey do' list (which is pretty long), and help justify the expense. I got him his very own present as well, but this was a bonus for both of us.

I have to admit, I had no idea where to start so I just started to research on the Internet at lunch. Most of our backyard is a concrete patio which just left one 17" wide by 10' long and one 26" wide by 27' length area to be planted.

I woke up early and spent pretty much all day one Saturday trying to tackle the backyard. Even after a week of prepping the space after work, I still had to make a handful of trips to the store, and ended my day with dirt and sweat all over, with a big smile on my face.

This is what I learned:

1. When making a foundation flower bed you need at least 18" to work with. I also learned that I would need to slant the bottom of my flower bed, the highest point next to the foundation, so that the water would drain away from the foundation minimizing any water damage to the foundation.

2. The flower bed needs to be at the very least 8" deep.

3. Black construction tarp can be used on the bottom of the flower bed as an extra water barrier. (I really wanted to protect my neighbors house foundation)

4. Water irrigation systems are surprisingly easy to install. Especially when your brother-in-law stops by for a couple hours to set up the timer just right.

5. A 12" flower bed takes a lot longer to dig than you would think and uses way more soil than you'd naturally plan for.

6.Planting flowers is just as fun as I thought it'd be. I woke up at 5 am on "landscaping day" without an alarm. I was so excited you'd think I was going to Disney Land.

7. Finally, when I'm nervous and think I bit off more than I could chew, I just need to relax because I can do it! (And if I can't there is no shame in asking for help)

It was hard work. This is what my hands looked like after the digging, moving rocks, setting up the irrigation system and planting.

But I was so happy with my final result. This is what I was left with at the end of the day

I decided on my flowers based on our partial sun, dry climate, color story (staying with only yellows and purples- which goes well with our brown house), Internet sites recommendations, and multiple trips to Moon Valley Nursery. Oh, I also picked them based on how pretty they were. My favorite has ended up being the Mexican Sage (tall purple plant). It seems to also be holding up the best as well. The Hibiscus and Annuals I think wish they had a bit more sun than what our backyard provides, but so far they are hanging in there.

I did some touch ups and my final project was ready for Jeff's birthday party (more to come on Jeff's 28th birthday party later).


Busy Bees

These past few months have kept us really busy.

First in July we went on vacation to Cali for a quick weekend trip. It was so nice to get away from work and just relax on the beach. We were originally suppose to go to Lake Tahoe with Jeff's family but my license renewal fell perfectly enough to mess up our flight plans. I guess Vegas is now mailing you an updated license, which takes 10+ days, but in the mean time they punch a hole in your current license, making it invalid. I wasn't taking my chances with an invalid ID trying to get on plane- no way!

Instead we . . .

Slept on Venice Beach, Went to a Dodger Game,

Went La Brie Museum, even hit up a concert and saw the New Pornographers

It was lovely. I didn't want to come back to reality. This is one of the few trips Jeff and I have actually been on without family members. I believe it is the third trip to be exact. I like having just husband and wife time.

Then in early Sept. we headed out with my family to celebrate my Grandpa Jones' 90th birthday. That is right I said 90th! I was so glad to be up there celebrating with him. He is one of my most favorite people in all the world.

When Heather and I were little we spent ample amounts of time over at my Grandma and Grandpa Jones'. We read lots and lots of books together, played on the swing set in the backyard, and went for walks. It was like play land. When we moved away from Utah we were still sure to come back for Holidays and visits but I missed seeing them everyday. Then, when I went to college I was close enough to come down and visit often. Sometimes we would stay up until one or two in the morning just talking and listening to their stories. Those are my favorite memories of college. It's amazing when you finally get to know your grandparents as the amazing people they are, as friends, and not just the people you visit on Christmas.

On one of me and Heathers recent visits to the Jones' house we went out for dinner. Grandpa Jones said at dinner that he felt like we were more like his children then his grandchildren, we had spent so much time together and gotten to know one another so well. I held back my tears and thanked him for the compliment. I am so glad that these two people are in my life. I don't know what I would do with out them. It was great to celebrate such a momentous day with family and meet my Grandpa's current and past friends. It was a wonderful day.

A few weeks later we took off of work and made the 9 hour trek up to Blanding Utah to see my cousin Tyler Bailey get married in the Monticello Temple. We even met a new friend on the way pictured below.

Tyler's new wife was the cutest, chilliest girl. The ceremony was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the cabin venue was relaxed, and the food was SO GOOD. It was an idyllic day and way to get married.

After the ceremony at the temple we all headed back to the cabin. They had a great spread waiting for us with the hugest dutch oven I have ever seen.

We all just ate and hung out with family. Some people went out horse back riding and other went out on the four wheelers. I was, unfortunately, sicker than a dog. I don't remember a time when I have ever been in more pain due to such awful congestion, so I opted for naps and reading instead of horses and four wheelers. I left feeling so much better though, after all the resting and my Grandma Bailey's cooking. It was just what the doctor called for.

The next week was Jeff and I's 3rd year anniversary. It was pretty chill as well. We exchanged embarrassingly stupid and silly gifts, that topped out at $10 a piece, then we went out for dinner at a 'real' restaurant - PF Chang's. A couple nights before we went to see Band of Horses as a gift to one another.

It was a good anniversary. I am so glad I married this man.

In between all this hubub I even started to take on a few projects that I will share later when I have another moment to blog but here is a sneak peak.