Buried beneath hundreds of photos I’ve uploaded, are pictures that have yet to be seen. Some I knew of and simply chose others to edit or share, and some I don’t remember taking. As time goes on, and I learn more about the art of taking pictures and the craft behind editing them, I feel like I have even more to bring to the table. Something that sticks out in my mind, it has been said by many amazing photographers, is that you should leave your photos for a period of time before doing anything with them. Whether that’s waiting to develop them, or in my case, waiting several months before I edit them. It brings new perspective. My approach to the end result is no longer controlled by the emotion I felt when I took the picture. More often than not I have an agenda, a look I’m trying to achieve, for a blog post or a print I want. My lighting is bad, the kids make a funny face, parts that I need focused are blurry, etc… and a really great shot can be put aside because it doesn’t meet my standard at that time.
But now going back through, I’m finding there are gems and uncovered beauties. So this will become a recurring edition in the Scrapbook Sunday series. A home to all these unclaimed pieces.
Writing this is bittersweet. For the simple reason that our yard looks nothing like this right now. It’s frost covered and only small patches of green are left. The flowers are long gone and the kids aren’t quite as eager to head out and play. Unlike summer time when it takes some serious convincing to get them to come inside.
I had to do some digging to round up my before pictures. The first ones you’ll see are from a couple summers ago. At this point we had planted grass and put in several flower beds. The playhouse was up but we didn’t have any plans of what we would do around it. We just knew that keeping grass around it was going to be a difficult task with all the little feet that continually stomped around. Also, as you can see, we had quite bit of crazy brush.
We wanted a bigger grassy area for the kids and the dog to run around in, and wanted to cut back on what always became really overgrown. We cut down SO MANY TREES. For a couple reasons. To make more space. To replace them with evergreens (less leaves and more green in the yard during the winter). The biggest reason being that we get some pretty gnarly windstorms and we’ve cleared out all potential trees that could fall on our house. We also had to locate some pipes in our backyard last spring and had a few large holes to fill and level out.
We cut down trees. Pulled stumps and brush. Dug up more roots than I ever care to deal with again. Raked piles and piles of top soil. Dug up more roots. Planted grass and spent many days and nights watering and yelling at kids and dogs to stay off it. Transplanted trees. Built a sandbox around the entire playhouse and brought in sand. I spent many glorious days planting flowers and making new beds. All so that our yard can look like this:
Sharky now has more room to roam and play with his friends. The kids ride their bikes from front to back and all over. All the neighborhood kids come and spend afternoons building sandcastles and jumping from tire to tire. We spent the summer hosting BBQ’s and enjoying every bit of the hard work we put in. Just writing this excites me and I’m ready to count down the days until that grass greens up again and we can spend all our days outside. When we have a lot more of this.
Last month we started our kitchen renovation. While majority of it is finished, we have just a couple minor cosmetic details left. We spent so much time on it that those small things took a back seat so we could take a break and enjoy some family time. From the kitchen, I also moved on to the front of the house and painted the living room, entry way and hallway, and also changed the color of the front bathroom (that room didn’t get photographed because it has horrible lighting, and who cares, it’s just a bathroom). All those areas got a fresh coat of paint and some changes to decor. Going back and looking at pictures of our house from years past, I love to see how our taste and style has changed. I’ve learned to slow down and not rush to fill a space. Find pieces and projects that I really love and want to look at for a long time. And to worry a whole lot less about how it looks to other people. It’s easy to fall into trends and stray away from what pleases you and instead you become focused on what you think others will like. Homes that are Insta perfect and always current or trendy. Perhaps I’m becoming wiser with age, or realized that it’s expensive to constantly be changing things. A combo of both I imagine. As a stay at home mom, what I surround myself with should make me happy. Seeing pictures of our memories and drawings by my children is more important to me than fancy pieces of art. Feeling comfort and content in my living room out weighs the pleasure of uber modern furniture and pieces that inevitably will be broken by my children. All of the shelving we have has been built by Andy, making it all one of a kind and unique. I’ve come to find that I can take all the inspiration and use it in my home for our lifestyle and what fits our family. That right now means tiny hands all over everything and floors that are ALWAYS dirty with crumbs, clothes that don’t make it to the hamper and all of the tiny toys that I didn’t even know we owned. Our home isn’t the biggest. It’s not the fanciest one on the block. It might not always been roomiest or the cleanest. But it is ours, and we are incredibly thankful for what we have. Which makes it perfect and filled with so much love.
Enough of all the babble. Take a peek at the place we call home.
While finishing pictures for this blog post I made this for brunch with a friend that day. Bomb diggity and one I bookmarked to make again. Hope you enjoyed the small home tour and up next I’ll FINALLY show you what we did with the yard this summer!