Backyard Improvements and Brief 2016 Review


Where did the last half of 2016 go?  I’ve missed you, friends!

Here’s a quick run-down of what happened in 2016 at the Upcycled Ugly house:

  • We hosted our last AirBnb guests- what a wonderful experience!
  • We worked… a lot…
    • I (Erin) started teaching music lessons again and playing with a local symphony in addition to flying, which is my heart’s work (but dips heavily into my project/blogging time!)
    • Aaron played gigs until he was blue in the face in addition to his already heavy teaching load
    • Because of that…
  • We met our goal of “debt free” except the mortgage (No Secret: Dave Ramsey+ YNAB+Work)!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • We scraped together a 6 month emergency fund
  • We got the backyard to the point of not being a mud-pit

So, in 2017, we plan on being less productive.  We plan on spending more time with those we love.  We plan on making time for “us” and cherishing the time we have together.

Perhaps we are the only people that are aiming to accomplish less?

It’ll be hard to slow us down, but we’re “tapping the breaks” for an excellent 2017.

Since I teased you about the backyard improvements, here they are in order of progress:







Like any garden, it will be a constant work in progress, but we have enjoyed this peaceful space so much already.

As always, we owe so many people a big thanks for supporting us and for understanding when we couldn’t spend time with them the last two years while we got our finances where we felt they needed to be.  It is by God’s grace only that we succeeded and with health and relationships intact.

“In a heart filled with gratitude, there is no room for discontentment.”

-Rachel Cruze

Blessings to you and yours in 2017!


Big Bertha’s Weight Loss

Happy 2016!!!!!

We’re back and blogging after a delightful holiday season. Hope yours was full of joy, laughter and love!

We’re super optimistic about 2016 already. Here are some of the bigger goals we have set for ourselves (God willing):

  • Debt free except the mortgage by January 1, 2017 (Wow!)
  • Big Bertha up and running by May 2016
  • 100% Fenced-in yard by January 1, 2017 (and maybe a deck if we can “swing it”)

So, while we you (*cough*) were all gaining weight over the holidays, Big Bertha was, well, becoming less “big”.

When you met Bertha, she was ghetto a marsupial.  Let me refresh your memory:


Since then, this happened:


Man, wouldn’t it be super sweet if we could just drop off our extra holiday weight somewhere?!?

So, without more adieu, I’d like to introduce to you “Slightly-less-big Bertha”!


Now, I need to call in some backup because I have no idea how to re-wire what is in that trash bag!