Mar 18, 2017

Deck Renovation Part 2

I did the deck renovation part 1 a few months back, which you can read about here, and am just getting around to finally posting about the upper two levels!  As you can see from this first picture the old deck did not have a lot of depth.  We had our adirondack chairs up there and that was about all we could fit!
 From this picture during demo you can see how much room our old stairs took up!  Also the dead area of yard around the bottom of stairs was a bunch of overgrown bushes.  Our yard seemed so small before.  I can't believe we expanded the patio below and deck above and gained so much extra yard in the process.

 We extended the deck to 14 feet deep and 40 feet long.
We ended up having to rip up the third level to add the roof above the middle level and weather proof it.
The third level has double french doors off Ellie's room and the master, but we left the porch part the same size.  It was neat to see all the different layers put in up there to weather proof the middle level below.
Back to the middle level....
 The contractor told us this would be done beginning of September so I had all the furniture delivered you can see here we were only half way done at this point.
 A lot of time was spent wiring all of the lights, fans, heaters, speakers and electronics!  The TV wall was my favorite part!  I tried to get creative knowing it would be permanent and something we would use often.  There is wood storage on either side, plenty of electrical outlets for tv, dvd player and cable box and cabinet space to store outdoor needs like blankets, controls and games.  I picked a gray granite to go on top so it could weather the sun and rain longterm.
 Ceiling up!
 Paint done!
After months of planning and construction it was finally done!  We had all the furniture and decor sitting in our formal dining room so when we got the green light that the paint was dry we immediately set it all up!
A friend let me borrow her laminating machine to laminate some pictures.  I really wanted the screened in porch to feel like an extension of our living area inside.  The pictures and decor really make it feel more homey and since they are laminated, it doesn't matter if it rains or is humid.
We have two wood burning fireplaces inside that we use often so having the wood storage close by and dry helps a lot.
 It is so peaceful out here.

 One of our best decisions was adding the heaters.  We have them above the main two areas up here.  They are easy to use and really warm the space up on cold nights.  There is nothing like curling up at night under a blanket with the heaters going to watch a movie!

The screened in porch is divided up into three areas.  The TV couch area, Dining area and then the middle which we aren't really doing much with yet.  Originally I bought two chaise lounge chairs.  I envisioned us reading a book or having coffee looking out at the water on them.  One arrived and we found out the other one was backordered for so long that we got our money back.  So for now we have a kids table and are leaving it empty.  
The dining area is used the most I would say.  We constantly eat outside.  I have had several girls nights, book clubs, cookouts and most recently the kids birthday party here.  We have a large table leaf and 4 extra chairs so we can easily seat 10 here.  

 Another big part of the design was it being part of our living area inside.  There is an entire wall of windows and two sets of double doors that we love to leave open during parties or nice days!
Although all the bathrooms and kitchen (and several other important things) need updating, I am so glad we decided to do the deck, patio and outside first.  We love being outside and enjoying our pond and view and this new three story deck renovation was well worth the time and effort!

Mar 14, 2017


We have been wanting to take the twins to Disney for a while now.  What better timing than their Birthday!  
 Once again they did great on the plane.
 First stop when we got their was Hollywood Studios for the Disney Jr Live show.

 After the show we stopped by to meet some of their favorite characters.

 High on Ryans list was the classic mickey ice cream.

 We rode a bunch of rides and the favorite was the Toy Story one.

 After Hollywood Studios we headed back to the hotel to play in the pool.
 There were 4 different pools and we swam in them all!
The kids had so much fun at the pool we ended up canceling our dinner reservations and grabbing food by the pool.
People alway use the word magic when describing Disney.  I have to admit seeing the fireworks from our hotel balcony was the most magical thing each day!
 Day 2 we went to Magic Kingdom.  Since we were staying at a Disney resort we got in an hour before everyone else.  We grabbed breakfast at Be our Guest and rode a bunch of rides with no lines.

 It was kind of cold in the morning so I bought these cheap hoodies to kept them warm!

 And high on this little girls list was meeting her favorite princess....Tiana.
 Bobo was so excited to show Tiana the frog on his shirt.  And Ellie didn't want to stop hugging her.

Ellie was a little disappointed our horses didn't take off the merry go round like they do in Mary Poppins haha!

 These two love Buzz too!

 Ill be honest the food wasn't great, but we had to eat so we did the best we could!
 We weren't sure how the kids were going to do with no naps (they are still great sleepers and take naps daily) so I am glad we built in down town in the middle of the day because they napped hard in the stroller for 1.5 hours until we woke them up!

 I loved the treehouse at Magic Kingdom.  Kids now keep asking to have hammock bunk beds!

For Dinner we set up a special birthday celebration at Chef Mickeys.  This was worth it!  Every few minutes a character comes to your table and takes pictures.  The kids had the biggest smiles the entire dinner!

 Then they bring you cupcakes and sing and dance around!

 Earlier bedtime after a long fun day!
 Day 3 we went to Animal Kingdom in the morning.

 The safari ride was so neat.  So many beautiful animals!

 We got good seats to the Lion King show and this was definitely one of our favorite things all weekend.
 Both kids got invited to help and dance around during the show!

We rode a few rides at Animal Kingdom and then went back to our hotel pool.

 After lunch we went to Epcot and once again these two crashed in the stroller.  I love watching them sleep and kept smiling at the similar sleeping positions.
 We woke them at 4 as we were waiting in line for Ellie to meet Belle!  What a fun surprise to wake up to!

 Epcot has lots of amazing food and drinks!  Ryan and I ate and had drinks while kids snoozed and then we fed them when they woke up.
 Our favorite food at Epcot was the ice cream macaroons!

 We rode a few Nemo rides and then the best part was the Crush interaction.  Ellie got called on to ask a questions and she talked about her and her Bobo and how they were twins.  His reaction was so cute.  We also learned from him that turtles can never have boy/girl twins.  They either have all boys or all girls!

 Epcot got a little rowdy once the sun went down so we ended up watching the Lion King on a jumbo screen outside our hotel and watching the magical firework show from our balcony.

 Day 4 we went to Magic Kingdom again.

 This wild child is like me on a roller coaster....hands up the entire ride!

 Bobo loves heights.  He kept yelling "higher mommy, lets go higher".

 We met Jasmin and Aladin and rode the magic carpet ride.
 We danced with some of our favorite characters.

 And ate one more mickey shaped special treat before heading home.
 Sweet thing passed out on the plane ride.  Someone said there is tired and then there is Disney tired and that is sooooo true!
When we got home Ellie told us she wanted to move to Florida so she could be near the characters all the time.  I made them Snapfish photo books from the trip and they have probably "read" it 100 times already.  Disney can be expensive and tiring, but it is so worth it to see their sweet faces react to all the magic!  We made lifelong memories for sure!