As early as last spring, I began pricing out swing sets for Noah. Each time we took him to the park, Noah had more and more fun, which made the temptation to buy him his own swing set even stronger. The days of summer flew by, and once fall was upon us, we still hadn't bought Noah a swing set. They are very expensive, and the ones I saw did not seem to have many things to do. I really didn't want to spend over $500, so the search for the perfect swing set continued. I even checked Craigslist on a weekly basis, and I thought we hit the jackpot when someone was giving away their wooden swing set for FREE. I like free! So Ryan borrowed our friends' truck, picked up our good friend, Devin, and away they went to tear down the swing set. An hour later, they realized that the swing set was a lost cause. The wood was rotting, and there was no sense in tearing apart something that wouldn't work out in the long run.
It was a huge bummer.
As spring approached this year, I began seeing ads for swing sets yet again. And once again, I wasn't seeing anything that that felt like the one. I know, I know - the one is supposed to be reserved for the finding the love of your life, but after you do meet the man/woman of your dreams, the one can be used for the right crib, swing set, bike, car, etc. - right? Anyway, after scanning the ads week after week, I made an announcement.
We were not going to buy Noah a swing set. I wasn't happy with the products I was seeing, and I didn't want to spend $500 on something when we live down the road from a great park. Then, as things often go, I saw it - the one. It was the perfect swing set - something I hadn't seen before, and SURPRISE! It was in our price range $499 instead of its regular price of $699. That is my kind of sale! Thankfully, we had gone to church the night before, so as soon as Toys R Us opened, we rushed out to buy Noah's first swing set. Again to our surprise, they had the entire swing set displayed outside in front of the store. Noah's eyes lit up as soon as he saw it, and to be honest, I think ours did, too. After finding a toddler swing and paying for our goodies, we drove around to the back of the store to load up our new backyard adventure.
Or maybe not...the boxes were HUGE and weren't even close to fitting in the Jeep with Noah and me in the car. After dropping us off at home, Ryan drove back to Toys R Us to pick up the swing set. As soon as Noah went down for his nap, we started unloading the boxes. Let's just say, I'm glad that we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, or else I'm not sure we would've bought the swing set.
Ryan determined that it would be best if I was the foreman, and he was the muscle of the operation. I began organizing all of the hardware, labeling every screw, lock nut, washer, tee nut, and bolt, on our kitchen table.
Ryan, on the other hand, began his work separatingand labeling the two boxes of lumber, which were in no particular order, in the garage. I finished my job first (and granted, it was the easier of the two tasks), so I decided to help Ryan with labeling the wood.
Two hours later, we were finished - not with the swing set - but with just separating and labeling the wood and hardware. I was shocked, but we agreed that it was going to make the rest of the process a whole lot easier. Next, it was time to build.
Even Noah woke up and joined in the fun!
By the end of Day 1, this is what our final product looked like (please note the dark skies in the background). Boy did we have a LONGGG way to go!
Stay tuned for the rest of our journey building Noah's swing set...