Last weekend my dad was in town for a business trip in another part of North Carolina. When he comes all this way, he tries to stay a little longer to hang out with me. This time, Jason happened to be leaving for a 5 day band road trip to a musical festival called Cornerstone, right outside of Chicago. It was nice to have my dad here to keep me company while Jason was gone. I do believe its the longest Jason has been gone on a band trip. Last July when Dad came to visit he held us do some landscaping. We only let him talk us into doing that once because North Carolina in July is not being outside time. Maybe in the evenings for a BBQ (you know, the event) but not in the middle of the day doing hard labor. So this time I told him we had plenty of things on the inside of the house we could work on. Somehow we still worked outside, but waited mostly till it was cooler or shaded.

Biggest transformation is our back deck. Ive wanted to work on this for a very long time since its where our friends enter our house (all those door-to-door sales men go to the front door. Which door bell doesnt work – which kinda works out) and it never made a very good first impression. That is no longer the case – I love it! White mostly with a grey flooring (Dad and I discovered thats all the rage for porches when getting paint):

side of porch

front of porch

BEFORE/AFTER (This bottom step had been bothering us for a while and I told Dad we should just nail it down. He replaced all four steps. Its so great not having a warped step!)

main back door
BEFORE/AFTER (The door got a fresh coat of white. The window frame is plastic and had turned an ugly yellow. I painted it grey to go with the flooring and it turned out so great. Dad also replaced the ugly gold light to a fancy black one weve had in the shed forever. Its fancy cause it has lots of features I didnt even know about.)

Since Dad works for a company that works for Lowes, all the plants on the porch where free! I hope I dont kill them. I really wish I was a better plant person. Remember my garden? Yeah it died. Because I stopped watering it. My dad helped me have a second chance and brought me some herbs, tomato, squash and a pepper. Plants make it much more encouraging to keep going. Maybe I shouldnt do seeds next year. Well see. Im just excited to have a garden again. But asĀ  you can see, it could not go on my new porch! So it frames the steps which I quite like. We also painted the other back doors:

back door
BEFORE/AFTER downstairs backdoor (the painted the frame green. I really wish I could have conversations with the past owners of this house sometimes. I just dont understand their choices.)

shed door
BEFORE/AFTER shed door (well really the before shot is a during. It had a coat of paint on it, because the same green that was on the trim of the backdoor, was the color on this shed door – but had been coming off for a while. You can sorta see it here when my Dad is sanding it:

Dad sanding the shed door.

So theres the outside. On the inside we did a lot of little non-phone worthy jobs: added weather stripping to the backdoor downstairs (no more towel to keep air from escaping), painted the steps with a fresh coat of white, Dad changed two gold light fixtures to pretty silver ones, hanged art that Dawn and James got us, rearranged some new to us furniture (only to discover we really needed a rug), stabilized an giant ottoman we found on the side of the road and stained a hand me down table (Dad did I miss anything?).

Oh wait, I did take a couple of the stairs and the table:
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Took a hand me down table and made it better. Stain is amazing

And something Ive been wanting to do for way more than a year, paint the downstairs bathroom! We that and more:

bathroom: mirror
BEFORE/AFTER (New light fixture! Very submarine like… its a theme)

bathroom: sink/door biew
BEFORE/AFTER door view (whoops, the handled wasnt back yet)

bathroom: shower
BEFORE/AFTER We have yellow title, so thats why we did grey for the color. I know it looks more blue in these photos. And honestly it did when we were painting too. It doesnt so much now that its dry. The theme is the yellow submarine!

bathroom: light switch view

bathroom toilet view

That light fixture was the hardest part. The new fixture had extra wires that kept getting in the way. I was just holding the flash light up and I knew I was done with the thing. Dad was very patient and wanted to make it right, I am so thankful. But I told Jason its never coming down! Dad also put in quarter-round down which makes the bathroom look so much better – clean lines are amazing.

Thank you Dad for all the hard work! Dont worry, we didnt work the whole time. We rewarded ourselves most nights with a dinner out and good beer. Loved how much we got done in a solid three days.
sweaty smiles
(Us at the end of the last day. Super sweaty but happy. You can see many more photos from our weekend adventures if you wish. I do apologize for them all being iPhone photos. Jason took the nice camera with him.)

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