For Memorial Day weekend, we had a birthday family reunion of sorts at Drew’s brother’s house in Minnesota. Or a more accurate description might be, we descended upon their house like a frothing pack of HGTV laborers. Basically, they had a list of projects they needed help with, and most of us had never made it up to see their house, so this was a good excuse to get everyone together and get some work done.ย  In two days, we deep cleaned the whole house, planted four garden beds, tore out bushes, built a retaining wall, emptied and organized the garage, power washed the deck, mulched, and repaired tile. It was a serious weekend.

That open bed was formerly the home of some seriously out of control bushes. They lasted about 15 minutes with all our menfolk hacking away at them. Ivy, geraniums, and impatiens went in the the built-in planter.


The Zeke-meister clomped about while we planted the front circle beds.




The retaining wall went up in just a few hours, and level to boot! Zeke continued to try to help.



An attempt at American Gothic…


And then we all got our obsessive on. Me: cutting and mounting tile to replace the missing counter-edge pieces, Hutch and Lindsay: trying to clean the bird poo on the very, very top of the window, and Beth: getting high on Lysol and conquering the kitchen floor.




Me: “I think Ashley has a mop.” Beth: “I know, but this is more therapeutic.” Yeah, she did the whole floor like that.

Add to that a grill, some beers, a birthday cake, two more children, a healthy sense of humor, and the sweet thrill ofย  an empty to-do list. It was one of those soul-satisfying weekends.