Last summer, we painted our house black, which felt like this huge decision at the time, but now I can’t imagine it being any other color.  (For those who wondered if it would cost more to heat/cool the house, our power bills were on average, the same as last year.  We already had a very dark brown wood stain so that may be why there was no change, but just an FYI for anyone considering black on a house.  And in the back yard, we also painted our deck black, and while the heat is fine (it’s shaded much of the day) dirt really shows up on the black, which is something we didn’t anticipate…  With three boys and the constant digging in the yard and plopping of dirt on the deck – because why not?- it’s definitely a pain.  Though I doubt I’d be happy with a brown that would hide the dirt so it’s sort of lose-lose…  And sadly, our original plan, to strip and actually clear stain the deck instead of using semi-opaque just wasn’t cost-effective.)

Anyway, in the process of painting the house, we had to cut back the clematis growing up the trellis in our bedroom garden, which I hated to do…  and the hostas and ferns got totally beaten and bashed by the power washer… and worst of all, our little maple tree got a case of the bag worms and pretty much died.  (If you don’t know what bag worms are, be happy.  They’re the WORST. This Spring, we watched as all of the trees around us budded except our beloved maple tree, which was brittle and bare except for a few branches.)  Yesterday, we cut down all of the dead branches and were left with a sad sad sight so we said goodbye cut it down.  


{yesterday…  goodbye my love!!}

 

So after that,  swept away the winter out there and pruned and cleaned up for Spring and I figured I’d share a little update of how it’s looking now.  This is the view from our bedroom door:

 

 

{It’s so different without the tree…  it feels so much bigger but of course we miss it.  I’m excited about the possibility of adding more comfortable seating…  It may fit a chaise now which would be amazing.  We’re considering another tree but are too busy to go there right now and want to see what it feels like for a bit without it.  We always like a little bit of change.}

 

Here’s what it looked like with the tree and with the old brown stain on the house:

{I’ll miss the tree most when it snows… we loved waking up to an iced “fairyland.”}

The ferns, hosta, and clematis finally look to be happy, but time will tell on the shade plants, because now that our tree is gone, they might get too much sun.

 

{We strung up our kitschy lights in the clematis…  I really do love them at night.}

 

{The ferns popped last week and are growing quickly!!  I love how the black paint makes them almost glow in contrast.}

 

The weather is finally nice enough that we’re enjoying showers out there.  For anyone with kids, if you have anywhere you can make an outdoor shower work at your place, I’d say go for it.  It’s so easy to turn on the shower and send them all out there at the end of the day.  And they love it.  It’s truly our favorite part of the house.  


 

We generally keep towels outside most days once the weather’s nice.  


 

I found our rabbit hooks at Design Legacy but I think Anthropologie might carry them too:


 

We’ve had a tough time getting things to grow on our metal wall because it gets really hot.  We did grapes a couple of years ago and they were beautiful – and pretty good- but got kind of fried.  We tried Virginia Creeper too and it did start creeping up the wall but someone accidentally cut it down in our house painting and we’re back to square one with it this year.   We put in wisteria on the right and it’s really happy so I’m going to pop another one in on the left.  I KNOW that wisteria by the house is a no-no, but seriously, when your thumb is as black as mine you pray that you will one day have to cut something back to keep it from going wild.  


{The wisteria on the right is looking good…  the sad left side side is begging for some.  Hoping it will take over the whole wall!!}

Christian (7) woke up early this morning so we had a little breakfast “date” in the garden.  Most of the conversation revolved around “mine craft” (or “mind craft”??? not sure) a video game that kids seemed to be obsessed with right now.  (About a month or so ago, he decided he wanted to “return” all of the video game apps he bought so he could save up for something special, and so we deleted them all and “returned” the money to him he had spent on them…  but he might be regretting it about now.)  


{breakfast date complete with the most amazing bed head }

Christian is growing up so quickly!!  

 


{my mini me, yesterday}

 

Somehow, these little boys are just so sweet to me that I can’t even handle it sometimes.  Christian will come inside from playing and just kiss my belly and say hi to the baby and ask if I’m feeling okay.  All of them are into picking flowers and bringing them in for me with hugs.  I’m seriously spoiled.

 


{Christian celebrated his First Communion yesterday!}

And on the baby front, #4 is still hanging tough.  He/she was due last week but seems to be staying put!   I’m feeling SO good- like weirdly much better than I was feeling a month ago- and we’re just enjoying our final days of life as we know it.  I’m SO excited to meet this new sweet thing though!!!!!  To warn you now, our baby names this time around are all a bit different/ odd but we’re over caring about what anyone thinks about our baby’s names at this point 😉  (Our family’s responses to our new batch of names – which includes some of the names we’ve considered every time but didn’t get great responses to- have ranged from “yeuck!” (my Grandmother) to “really?” to feigned polite “ohhs” to “I like that” so it’ll be what it’ll be.  Can’t please everyone. 😉  I’ll keep you posted and can’t thank you enough for all of the well wishes you’ve sent our way!!!  

Hope you enjoyed the little peek into our garden!!