I’m Now A Professional Yard Crasher

YC Collage

So last September I get a text from my Ansley in Nashville to let me know that she has just been chosen to be on DIY’s Yard Crashers…. WHAT?!?! And can I come up ASAP to help? Well of course I said YES! (ROAD TRIP!!) Seriously, I know if I can just get a break, I am meant to be a TV star. (Why me you ask? Well, first I can talk about anything anytime to anyone and second, they are really good with hair & make-up so they can make anyone beautiful.) But I digress… back to Yard Crashers.

For those of you that don’t know, the show is basically this: TV host (who is a real contractor) scopes out a local hardware store to find someone there who needs a new back yard. He goes to their house, assess the yard, tells them to call some friends to help, then comes back with a local construction team and incredible plans to make the yard AMAZING!! Then the yard is transformed in two days. Yep, I said TWO DAYS!! You cannot even imagine what can be done in a back yard with 6 TV people, 5 contractors, 3 stone guys, 2 home owners, about 9 friends and two days. Truly crazy!!

They took my friend’s completely useless back yard that they NEVER, EVER used and made it the most used room in the house. But it was not easy! I may be permanently scarred from this but it was so worth it. After all I can now put ALL THIS on my resume: deck sander, railing/fence/gate painter, street scraper, mulch hauler/spreader, pebble layer, champion shovel user, water passer-outer, trash picker-upper, mud boot buyer, sod roller, not to mention antique wood waxer. (Oh yeah, you are wanting to hire me right now aren’t you???)

I will confess I worked harder than I’ve ever worked in my life and had no idea that this many muscles could all be sore at one time. There is nothing like a little manual labor to put things in perspective. The professionals that worked with us (shout out to Brandon Nutt Construction, Franklin, TN… whoop! whoop!) were not only amazing at their craft but unbelievably patient people. Imagine having to do quality work quickly and with a bunch of untrained, unskilled, unruly friends while TV cameras rolled. Yep, those guys deserve a HUGE reward for putting up with all of us.

So, in the end how’d it turn out? Well you won’t see me with my own TV show anytime soon (I know, I worked my razor sharp wit while muddy and sweaty but they must have missed it…their loss) but that back yard? It looks like a dream. Once the plans were laid out, I thought nice but when it was actually completed, it was like something you only see on TV… oh, wait, that’s exactly what it is!!

Before: (You really can’t tell how sloped the yard is from this pic so trust me!!)

YC Before

During:

YC During

After:

YC After

Yes, I’m a pretty skilled worker at this point… but you’d have to pay me a ton to do it all again!!

My Ansley is going to be on TV y’all!

You have all heard me talk about my Ansley (I blogged about her here.) Well way back in September of 2013, Ansley and her husband Adam were chosen to be on the DIY network show “Yard Crashers”. I KNOW!! Can you believe they got picked to be on TV?!? And get a free yard in the process!

Naturally being the phenomenal good friend that I am, I drove up to Nashville and worked harder than I have ever worked in my life for this:

Yard Crashers

So y’all tune in cause you might just see the back of my head or a close up of my gloves. I’ll be the one sweating…

My Hobby Lobby Obsession

Once again I was late to the party! I am certain I am the last person on the entire earth to discover…Hobby Lobby. This past weekend in Nashville, my Ansley was telling me about all the great fabric Hobby Lobby carries when I told her that I had never been… even though I have one two minutes from my house. I though she was going to pass out… she was appalled! You see I knew that I was not into building model airplanes or those ship-in-a-bottle thingies, so I though why go to a store full of that kind of stuff, right??? WRONG!! They are WAY more than that. WHO KNEW?!?! (everyone but me apparently.)

I have to admit I went a bit grudgingly, after all Ans insisted that I go and she even wanted live texting so that she could enjoy it with me… I’m thinking to myself, “Ans, you really need to get a life.” So I put it off as long as I could and yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and just get it over with… an hour and a half later I finally left hoping to go back again today!!! I mean seriously people, I could have stayed all day.

You all know that after being a retail buyer for years, I am not a shopper. My thoughts are get in, get what you came for and get out. So I set aside fifteen minutes to go in to look at the fabric and possibly find a birthday gift for a friend… well, I spent fifteen minutes looking at the candle aisle alone. If you can think of it, they have it! From candles to fabric to home goods to knick knacks to wall décor. Y’all I found myself trying to figure out which room I could redecorate with a nautical theme so that I could buy this adorable life boat bookcase (cause I need another bookcase, right?!?!) It was then that I realized I needed to WALK AWAY. Hobby Lobby you are my new favorite obsession store but I realized that I need to restrain myself and only purchase what I can actually use…unfortunately, the adorable life boat bookcase may not be making the cut.

Toddlers, Ice Storms, and Sewing… OH MY!!

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So I headed up to see my Ansley this past weekend for what can only be called a sewing marathon. She wanted to learn to sew, I’ve been sewing for years and I’m always up for a trip to Nashville. We accomplished a lot- one set of curtains, one smocked top dress and one adorable polka dot jumper. What? You don’t think that’s a lot? Well did I mention that her three year old daughter and eighteen month old son were there but her hubby was not? So we were also tending to the needs of two toddlers one of whom had a stomach bug and the other who was teething. Yeah, now we’re looking like rock stars aren’t we?!?!

Our biggest problem was not the kids, in spite of how the felt, they were great! No the biggest problem we faced is the fact that I am absolutely the WORST teacher in the world. I sometimes had to train people back when I worked and they can attest that my mind does not go step by step. I see where we are, where we want to go and my mind just gets there… I can’t explain for the life of me how I got there… I just did. Yes, my math teachers loved this; the answer was always right but they wanted to know how I got it. For some reason, it always took them a while to realize that my mind truly went from the problem to the solution without needing the in between steps. Ooops! Anyway, that is how my mind works and it’s not great when trying to teach anyone anything. Poor Ans!!

Somehow we stumbled along just fine and by Monday when the ice storm tried to trap me in Nashville FOREVER we realized not only had we accomplished a ton but Ans learned to sew! I’d like to think it was my ability to transfer knowledge effortlessly but to be honest, it’s not really hard to sew when you have a pattern and can follow directions. Luckily Ans, being a first born, is an ace at following directions. Now don’t tell her but for the next few days I’m going to just sit in my house, enjoy the peace, relish the quiet and bask in the fact that my baby is nineteen.