Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Front Porch Before & After and a New Cast

One project we didn't get around to last year was the front exterior of the house.  It was top on my list this summer.  My goals were to paint the shutters, clean up the landscaping, add a flag holder, and spruce up a few other areas.  I knew it wouldn't cost a lot and wouldn't take that much time either.  But then my pregnancy got kind of rough and I couldn't really do what I wanted.  Darrin does a great job around here, but some projects just aren't his thing.  This happened to be one of them.  I really, really wanted to get this project finished this year, so I called for some mom and my sister-in-law, Crystal.  Seriously the two best people for the job.  They were both so kind to donate a weekend of their time and help, even though I couldn't do much to contribute.

This is before.  It's kind of hard to see much, but it's the best before picture I have.  The main thing to notice is the dingy, forest green shutters.

Here is another before picture that shows the shutters a little closer, the old light fixtures, and the half dead evergreen trees by the front steps.


Darrin installed new light fixtures that I absolutely love. 

The old fixtures were purely functional.  I think these add so much to the entrance.  They are slightly larger, so they make more of a statement.

My mom & Crystal spray painted the shutters black. They look brand new.  I think they really help to update the look of the front of the house.

We added a flag holder.  First, we installed a chrome holder that we bought at Lowe's.  It was cheap though and bent during the first storm.  I ordered a black cast iron holder from Amazon and it is what I had in mind all along.  I love to have the American flag out most the time, but we will also feature a Titans' flag during football season and a Union flag during volleyball season.

I wanted to leave the area by the steps for flowers.  My plan is to plant begonias in the summer and pansies in the winter.  The begonias are so bright that you can actually see them from the street.  I'm anxious for them to grow a little bigger.

When my mom and Crystal spray painted the shutters, they also painted two old flower pots.  We planted Kimberly Queen ferns in them.  I really wanted planters that were taller, but settled on these b/c I already had them.  I like the way these look so much that I doubt I'll change them for several years.

I added a few other touches to spruce things up, like an outdoor pillow on the swing that says "Home"...

Hanging baskets with Million Bells.  I already had these baskets so I just had to buy the inserts and the flowers.  Million Bells are supposed to be low maintenance b/c you don't have to dead head them.  I'm liking them so far.

I also added a couple hanging pots with different color Million Bells to a shepherd's hook.  I already had the hook and baskets, so I only had to buy the flowers. 

I'm so much happier with the finished look.  Big thanks to my mom and Crystal!  They worked so hard to get this done for me.  My mom cleaned the entire front porch and Crystal climb up and down the ladder to take down shutters.  Not to mention all the painting, cleaning, and planting.  I know it wasn't a necessary project, but it was seriously hanging over my head.  I'm happy every time I pull into my driveway :)   I feel like the outside of the house matches the inside now.

In other news, Miles went swimming yesterday with his cast cover.  He had so much fun.  

The cast cover/oven mitt doesn't seem to both him at all. I went back and forth on what size to order him and settled on an adult small, which turned out to be too big.  I then ordered a XS, but it didn't come in until after he went swimming.  The adult small cast cover worked in the bath tub, but not for swimming in a pool. When Darrin took it off, his cast was all wet.  Sadly, this is the 3rd time he's gotten it wet. The other two times were in the bath tub and weren't as bad.  It is VERY hard to keep the thing dry.  

I wasn't sure if he needed a new cast so I called the doctor today. They said that getting it wet can make it lose and therefore not effective.  The last thing I wanted was for him to wear it for six weeks and it not be doing its job.  No.Thank.You.  Darrin took him back to have it checked today and they decided to put a new waterproof cast on.  We asked for it last time and they wouldn't do it.  I guess they figured the likelihood of us allowing it to get wet was pretty high, so they offered up the waterproof this time.  I was worried about Miles being terrified of getting it cut off, but the man showed him that it wouldn't hurt and Miles actually said it tickled a few times.  

Today marks two weeks down and four weeks to go with the cast.  He is not bothered by it at all, but I'm already over it.  Here's hoping the next month goes by quickly.  Hard to believe that in another month we will be very close to school starting back and meeting Carson.  I'm so excited to meet Carson, but I'm still savoring the last days as our family of three.  Our world as we know it is about to change forever.

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