Ellen’s birthday party was yesterday, and it was great!
We kept the guest list minimal – just family and one friend(‘s family) that feels like family – to keep all of us from feeling too overwhelmed. I’m so, so glad we did, because Ellen was totally overwhelmed anyway! Her normal clingy tendencies were magnified by a million, and she clung to me the entire time.
So, I threw a party one-handed. But other than that small glitch, it was perfect. Exactly what I had envisioned. Just family drinking wine, kids running around playing, Kyle BBQ-ing, people enjoying our new deck… it was wonderful. Mayhem, absolutely. But wonderful.
Oh, did I mention Kyle finished our deck in time for the party? I wish I could squeal in writing, because that’s all I can think to do to express how giddy having this deck makes me.
I can’t remember how much of this process was documented here. So I’ll do a brief summary – We hired Kyle’s employer to convert the window in our kitchen-dining space into a slider door with access to the backyard. Previously, access to the backyard was through the backdoor, down the stairs and then through the fence. And once you were there, it was just weeds/grass. It was a weird setup, and we can’t figure out why they didn’t put in direct access + a deck from the start!
After the construction team was done with their part (about 4-5 full days of work), Kyle took over. He did some of the finish work inside (paint, patching nail holes, etc), and then he got to work on building the deck from the materials his company had had delivered. It took him several weeks, but Kyle worked away diligently and built us a beautiful deck, literally all on his own, with the exception of two screws that Lewis helped drive.
The direct access to our backyard + the deck/table/BBQ setup has improved the function of our home 10 times over. Best $5k we’ve ever spent. Kyle worked so hard on it, and it paid off! I want to use it every single day!
All-in-all, Kyle and I are completely exhausted, but totally happy. The house is still a mess, but it was worth it because it felt so good to celebrate our sweet girl with our wonderful families. And the exhaustion and the mess are temporary – we’ll get to enjoy the deck and the memories from the party forever.