Sunday, July 12, 2009

What a FUN Weekend!

Well, this weekend was packed with so much goodness that I really don't want it to end. And let me just warn, my hands hurt so bad from the work I did today (explained later) that it really hurts to type, so please excuse any typos in this post. :)

Friday was Byron's birthday. For the first time since we have been together (how awful, right) I actually made him a cake. I don't know why I haven't before, maybe because I am not big on cake, I just forget other people may be? Who knows. Well, he wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. We all know that I am FAR from Betty Crocker. I can cook, and I love to do so...but I don't do well straying from the stove top or the grill. So, since you have to bake in the oven, this is not a strong-point of mine. I have always blamed it on the ovens before, and honestly still think that is my problem. Maybe one day if I have a nice, fancy new oven I will be able to bake. Hehe. Anyway, box cake mix plus icing in the can is how I went. Nothing from scratch here, but it was still yummy! I put Louisa on the countertop with me (sorry for all of you reading about to have a nervous breakdown looking at my child sitting on the counter, but trust me...she wasn't unsupervised) so that she could help me. It was just about the cutest thing EVER. She wanted to pour the eggs, water and oil in and she did such a good job. I explained to her that she had to be careful and make sure not to spill. So, she would count to three (perfect for me because it gave me time to get the picture) and then pour OH SO carefully, all the while saying, "otay mommy. we mus be bary careful. dis can get bary messy, and dat wood be bad." She is just edible sometimes. When I turned the mixer on, you would have thought I had performed a miracle to see the look on Lou's face! The only mistake was making the cake in the morning, and then painfully waiting for Byron to get home so that we could "celbrate and brow out the cannals." So, thankfully Byron let her blow out the candles (I don't think we would've survived if not) and she got to sing Happy Birthday like she had been practicing all day. Too cute, that little one. Here are some pictures from the celebration.

Saturday night we went to dinner with friends. That sounds super normal, right? NO it wasn't. We went to dinner with 3 other couples (well, one of the couples was just the bride since the groom was in NOLA) WITHOUT any children. We have not all gotten together since we met (when we all moved to MS) without children, EVER. It was the most fun. We all had a chance to relax, not worry about anyone choking on food, what food was being thrown on the floor, who was screaming and having a meltdown, who needed to go potty, etc. It was so nice. I mean, I can't wait to do that again!

Today we decided to have a family work in the jungle, I mean backyard day. I have blogged about the yard before, and it really is getting better, but I am just SO over it by now and want it done. I am not a patient person, and my mother in law told me that with children comes patience, but...not yet. And, right now more patience just isn't worth having another JUST yet. Byron has done so much work on the playhouse, the yard itself (tilling and seeding not once, but twice), transplanting all sorts of plants that I would have just wacked down and thrown away, etc. Well, today we planned to get done 3 brick pathways. In order to do so, we had to finish knocking down the last of one of Mrs. Mara's (the previous owner)brick walls. Mrs. Mara apparantly was an artist and a traveler. Supposedly, wherever she went, she would always bring a shovel and dig up exotic plants and transplant them in her backyard. I am told the place was gorgeous with all of the plants, formal gardens and brickwork. However, she became ill with Alzheimer's and later on dementia and was not able to keep up with the yard for like the last 5 or so years. So, it grew out of control. However, we are hoping to make it awesome again, just in a family friendly way. So, we knocked down the last of the brick walls, and I painstakingly (with a hammer) got all of the mortar off the bricks so that we could reuse them on the walkway. Byron helped me out too, or else we wouldn't have gotten it all done. However, my hand is now in a perma-hammer grip, and I have the most humongo blister on the palm of my hand that keeps hitting the space bar and making me wish I had some percocet. Well, maybe not percocet, hmmm... Then we dug out the trenches to set the bricks on the pathways. We got it all done, which was great, but I was so over it and tired in the end that I didn't get a picture of the finished product. We are hoping to lay some sod next weekend (since seeding the yard twice hasn't worked) if things go as planned. That should make for a fun water bill and fun time since the dogs can't go in the backyard for 2 weeks after we sod. Ugghh. For those who may have just started following my blog (yay for you, I can be fun sometimes) and you may be interested in the rest of the stories of the backyard, click here and scroll on down and you will see the beginning of the backyard stories. Here are just a few pics of the day. Honestly, I think I could write about different stories of the day today, but my blister is throbbing, and I think I might have a date with some Advil in the near future.

Story of our lives. I mean, WHO has roots this size that are in the way of their projects. Byron started to pull this one up, and this was just part of it. Now, who wants to place bets on whether or not the tree survives. Hmmm.

This is how Mallard helped. He found Louisa's shovel and kept running around the backyard with it. Well, at least until Lula figured out it was hers and then the war started. So, we had to remove the shovel before, well...meltdowns.

How cute is this little bug helping out with the bricks?

Byron digging one of the trenches for the pathways. Notice in the background the "mansion playhouse." He built a "romeo and juiet" porch on the front and it even has window boxes! Just needs a little paint. Uggh, another project.

Here is a picture of the brick wall in the middle of demo. I had to take a break before my hand cramped more, so I decided to take pics.

This was my leg. However, for some reason, the camera did NO justice to the actual amount of dirt, mortar, sweat and crap that was all over me. At the end of the day, I had mortar in my bra, socks and underwear. When I took off my clothes to shower, you could hear things hitting the hardwood floors. Seriously. Oh, and I am pretty sure I crunched on some mortar at lunch. Yummy.


kerisullivan said...

Amy, will you and your team come to my house next? I'd especially like my help to wear cute, green rain boots. My backyard needs the Norris family!!

Ashley said...

girl, your backyard project is insane! it is looking great, though! you won't regret it!

Sara said...

Did Byron have a written plan for that shed/playhouse. I love that idea and Chuck wants to build a shed soon. I'm just nervous about making it all level on this stupid Yazoo clay. Maybe Byron could share his experience with Chuck?