“Use what you have.”
These are words we live by at our home.
Let me introduce myself: I’m Kristin. I’m one of five members of a family we affectionately call “TheKBand”. Some days, our family is just that: a wonderful band playing together a beautiful tune. On most days, we all have different sheet music in front of us and at least one of us has left a reed or our music altogether behind us.
I have am the one and only female as the mom. My husband, Nate works for the county and on the side, he has taken up tree trimming and removal. We have three sons: Isaiah, Phinehas and Simeon. Isaiah has life-threatening allergies and therefore, we live in town, one Epi-Pen away from a hospital (roughly a mile…).
Because of our situation, we live in a home smack-dab in the middle of the city. We do not live a life afraid of going hungry, nor do we live a life with a lot of excess.
We use what we have and work at having the mindset of being grateful along the way.
Our yard is small. As in, borderline ridiculous small. What we do have in way of yard, we have decided to fill with two chickens, two apple trees, a small garden, a little patio and grill and an herb garden.
Yet, we wanted to have a space for neighbors to come and join us for a morning coffee and maybe a nightcap in the evening. We love our neighborhood. The kids play with friends down the street most days of the week. I go on walks with neighbors. We just love the people that surround us.
We wanted a little space by our front door that invited those in our neighborhood and beyond to want to come and spend time with us and a place to sit while doing it. With such a tight-knit neighborhood, we wanted some space for spontaneous gabbing that was right out in front where the kids played with each other.
We wanted to have a patio-type space in the front yard, but we did not have the budget for big pavers or concrete.
Now, remember that part about my husband doing some tree-trimming and removal on the side?
We did what we try to do: we used what we had. Nate sometimes sells firewood from some of his jobs. He tries to salvage some of the tree pieces he has cut down to use them for heating us and others throughout the winter.
He came up with this idea. Instead of splitting some of those bigger pieces, he used his saw and made his own pavers, if you will. He then added paver leveling sand from our local Menards and spread it between the discs of wood he’d sliced. Our sons helped him. Our neighbor Sarah helped organize them in a beautiful pattern–she’s 9-years-old and she knows her stuff. It became our family project, yes, but also a neighborhood project.
We now have this little space for sipping coffee with friends and and watching our kids bike up and down the street in front of us. We bought the chairs on sale a couple years ago and then bought the little table at a garage sale for a dollar. We like the rustic look and we were able to use what we had on hand and tie in a love of trees into our home decor.
I love this little space. I love that we are sitting on beautiful pieces of wood beneath us.I love that we used what we had: we didn’t pay much for space that still looks inviting.
I spent Mother’s Day afternoon with my two friends beside me on this little patio of ours. Nate and I sip coffee here. And we’re hoping this summer it is frequented by lots of friends. It’s not huge. It’s not fancy. It’s laid-back and informal.
Kind of like our times with friends.
If you’re in our neighborhood, stop on by.