[Summer 2011, present day]
As a homeowner, I don't think this kind of stuff ever gets old. When Andy and I bought this house in 2009, we had a fresh little baby and an eyesore of a backyard with no privacy. Of course I didn't have the energy to do anything that year but stare at it. The year following I would get up at 5am, before the baby would wake and go out to dig a ditch. I would already have a full day of work in by the time my neighbors would venture out of their houses to chit-chat with their dirty, dirty neighbor and politely ask if I was digging a hole for a pool. I wasn't, but I get where they were coming from. The hole was much too deep for a patio because I uncovered a pile of buried bricks in the yard that had to be removed to level the area. I ended up digging a massive hole. Then my mom would come and watch the baby while I moved sand and leveled, put down traffic bond and packed it down, and then move bricks. Lots and lots of bricks from The Brickyard to my dad's truck to my yard and then place them. And I lost every once of baby weight I still had. The fence builder came and drove over my patio with his two ton truck, wrecking it, and then I tore out and re-placed every brick. Then I built a retaining wall to house the dirt I removed from the hole - to make a garden. This year, I tackled the grass. Our back driveway is gravel, so to keep it from migrating I put in a little barrier, pushed back the gravel with a rake, laid down some topsoil and sowed some seed. I built a rather large raised bed for my veggie patch. I threw in a few plants, bought an umbrella and boom: Backyard.
Of course it isn't done. I have big plans for next year. But it is on its way.