Weekend Report– May 2-3rd We Now Live Outdoors Edition

Friday night we had an impromptu dinner party at a local park.  Ashley and I picked up Little Ceasers on the way to the park and met the Dads and daughters.  The two monkeys had a total blast running around and the grownups took shifts between eating and supervising.  I can see this becoming a new Friday tradition for the summer!

Taking a break from all the park action

Taking a break from all the park action

Making a racket

Making a racket

Driving

Driving

Push me Daddy!

Push me Daddy!

G goes along for the ride

G goes along for the ride

We had never been to this park before and it is definitely a step up from the one near our house.  Until recently Zoë was not a fan of slides or swings, but I think watching Maddie  enjoy herself  had her throw caution into the wind.  It was really neat to see her trying new things and having so much fun.

Saturday we were up pretty early and spent a lot of time outside.  Garret helped Elliott get his boat out of storage and Z and I patrolled the backyard, blowing bubbles, bagging leaves and collecting sticks.  We had quite a wind storm a few weeks ago and back yard is covered in debris at the moment.  Zo kept saying “help mama” and she would pick up a leaf and throw it in the bag. She kept wanting to rake, and shovel and do everything we were doing…I think we need to invest in some child sized gardening tools.  They are doing gardening at daycare in a few weeks.  Planting a veggie garden and will be tending to it over the summer.  Hopefully she didn’t inherit my super power of killing everything with a single touch.

Early morning Youtube singalong

Early morning Youtube singalong

Cute and covered in pink

Cute and covered in pink

Misplaced Bunny Friday night, thankfully found her Sat morning, enjoying some early morning rays

Misplaced Bunny Friday night, thankfully found her Sat morning, enjoying some early morning rays

Beep Beep

Beep Beep

It felt good to really attack the yard and garden.  We have a LOT we want to do this year and I feel like we are finally really getting to it. I just really loved Saturday. Z was napping and G and I were in the back yard and had a great chat about life and our home and just where we are right now.  It is so funny, but I think with a small house, we are just on top of each other all winter and by the time spring comes we just are climbing the walls…WE NEED TO MOVE NOW!  Then spring arrives and gives us the use of our giant back yard, and we start to back pedal….this place isn’t so bad, we can make some changes and make it better…learn to live with less…..We have started getting real estate listings sent to us so we can see what we can get for our money when we are ready to move.  For all the things we hate about our house, we also have some great privacy, a large lot and amazing neighbours.  I’m sure our tune will change again come November, but for now I am going to enjoy our yard and live it up with the upgrades we are making

#walshfamselfies

#walshfamselfies

Sunday I slept in (heaven) and by the time we all managed to get rolling into our errands we realized we overshot naptime.  Z fell asleep on the way back to the house, so we ate lunch in the truck and hung out til she woke up.

woke up from her nap and wanted to come hang out with G up front

woke up from her nap and wanted to come hang out with G up front

Covered in Chalk

Covered in Chalk

Pointing at the plane in the sky

Pointing at the plane in the sky

We spent Sunday doing much the same as Saturday, digging out an old garden at the side of the house, Garret aerated the lawn, Zo blew bubbles, chatted up a storm and coloured our whole walkway in chalk.  I am sensing a lot of our summer will be spent this way AND I CANT WAIT

Final to do of 2011

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We made a little to do list the other day. Aaand have been working hard the past two days to get things done. The satisfaction in crossing things off that list is nearly audible…and I’m using a Sharpie so you know it’s really done! A few of the other tasks are in progress but I’m pumped that by the time we go out tonight they will be all done. It will feel amazing to welcome 2012 into a clean and organized house. Oh lm getting old

Party people

If there is one thing G and I have learned about ourselves it is that we don’t want our friends to know how messy/unorganized we can sometimes be! So whenever we have company coming we somehow pull it together and get our space in order. When we lived in the apartment this was easy—we would throw random stuff into our bedroom, shut the door, and there you go…clean as a whistle! Having the house now it isn’t so easy…way more surfaces to clean! We had a Halloween party on Saturday night and cleaned our place like crazy people all day Sat. G built all the ikea furniture my mum and I had brought home earlier in the week.(direct quote “while I appreciate you surprising me with ikea stuff it would be an even better surprise if you built it yourself”) I don’t have the brute force strength or the patience for it…although I blamed him by saying that his tools were in the truck so I couldn’t do it anyway (ha!) He assembled and I tidied and we finally got around to tackling the piles of paper that had been building for ages and dishes and laundry were sorted and cleaned. For an added bonus G’s mom Char had
come for a visit on Thursday and hung up our decorations! We were party ready way before guests even showed up…we’ve since discussed that we should have a party every weekend…think of all we’d get done. I hope everyone had a fun as safe Halloween.

Before and after (or: yes I love shoes)

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I have complained before about a lack of closet space and this is the area that bothers me the most–no front hall cupboard. Until such a time when we can make the back room our mud room, (likely1-2 years from now) our front door remains the main entrance. As much as we tried to make neat piles of shoes (and G even banished a few pairs of mine to the basement!!!!) this always looked like a cluttered area and it made me nuts. One quick trip to Costco and problem solved:

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Granted a shoe rack in the dining room isn’t exactly a high point for design, but at least it’s cute and tidy.

My mother is always right

I somewhat hate to admit this…but my mother is ALWAYS right. I used to try to fight it but over the years I have come to just accept it. She would tell me to bring a jacket, and I would say I’m not cold. Inevitably 30minutes later I would be freezing…I could go on and on citing examples but I’ll get to the point of this post (but trust me the list of examples is endless)
Those of you who know me, or I should say knew what my bedroom looked like when I was growing up, could comment on my untidiness. In fact those who know my mum’s obsessive tidy gene might question how I am her daughter. We would have countless “discussions” over the years about the need to have a clean bedroom. My argument was always that it took too long and that it would just get dirty again (excellent argument young Julia!!!) Over and over Mum would repeat her mantra “maintenance!!!!” if you do a little each day then it’s never a big job. To which I would scoff as I put away my laundry by throwing it on the floor…..
Fast forward a few years to now. SHE WAS RIGHT!!! (And side note it is way more difficult keeping a house and yard clean than it was just my bedroom, or Garret and my teensy apartment!)
We have been away the past few weekends and going to the gym a few evenings a week which leaves minimal time for a big cleanup. So we had a chat last night about how to best keep stuff organized and you will never guess what we decided….new mantra for the ShWalsh family “maintenance”!
We are going to make a list each week with jobs on it so that we can make sure we are tackling more than just the kitchen and laundry. (and those two things sure pile up quickly too) I wonder how everyone else makes time?! Any pointers? (aside from “always listen to your mother”)

With a sigh of utter delight

…I can happily tell you that our back room is no longer the depository for all that has no home/belongs outside! As I said the other day G has now loaded up the shed and the back room lay empty. Thanks to an amazing visionary in the family, (no I’m not tooting my own horn here!!!!) it has been transformed into gorgeous living space! I need to get off my butt and post pics from our good camera but in the meantime please accept some iPhone visual stylings:

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We are referring to it as the Back room lounge…. It will be where we retire for our after dinner cocktails! We’ve discussed putting the hammock in there once the snow falls too! It’s amazing to have more living space. Note the doors I have yet to finish sanding (gulp) as decor. We LOVE IT! Next step is painting the floors to complete the cottagey feel.