Another mini goal update for you! This time for our 2020 goal of living a wild life outdoors. Though living into this goal most often looks like venturing out into the woods or playing in a creek, sometimes progress is closer to home — as in the case of our new front porch gate! This is a small update that has just delighted us, so I thought I’d share it with you today.
Those who have been around awhile may remember that when we finally made an offer on our current house, after a long search and several failed contracts, the biggest thing we ended up compromising on was actually one of our top criteria: a large yard. After 7 years, I am (mostly) at peace about this, but it is still sometimes hard for me to reconcile what living a “wild life” with small children looks like when we don’t have the same acres of woods, expansive lawns, big trees, rocks, and streams that surrounded both John’s and my childhood homes.
However, just because we don’t have the yard of my dreams doesn’t mean we have nothing; we certainly have much to be grateful for in our home and in our front and back yards! Aside from those green spaces, there was another space I was determined to maximize this year: our front porch. It’s decently sized and nicely shaded by a plum tree most of the day, so it had great potential as a play space for the kids. However, there was a major issue: our front steps are many and steep, so there was no way Shep could be out there without an adult in arm’s reach, let alone by himself.
Especially after a day at school, I love being able to have them outside, but at their ages, I can’t just turn them loose. So, how to balance independent play while also completing dinner prep? Our kitchen is at the front of our house, meaning it was totally possible to have them out there, playing happily while I watched them through the window — as long as we solved the issue of the steps.
Enter: our favorite handyman! Inspired by many of our neighbors who have similar gates for their own steep steps, we asked Don to build and install a gate for our porch. He did a magnificent job — considering the utility it’s already given us, it was well worth the few hundred dollars he charged us. I’ve always loved the idea of a white picket fence, and swinging our new gate open and closed gives me all those vibes even without the fence :)
The kids love being out there at all hours of the day now: it’s the perfect spot for eating snacks, digging in the sand/rock table, any kind of water play, muffin tray “cooking,” rock painting, and much more.
Later this summer, I hope to add a few big potted plants as a bit of a privacy screen, to add some softness and another play element. Our kids are currently very eager to spot our neighbors’ Frenchie through the railing, though, so they’re not concerned :)
I have another post idea brewing with pros and cons for two more major updates we’re considering for our downstairs, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear: what’s a small (or big) update you’ve made to your home that’s made you so happy?