Just building stuff, outside AND in

You guys, life is so great. And crazy busy! I'm usually pretty good at finishing a project before I move onto the next thing, but lately that tendency has gone out the window. We're in the middle of three pretty major projects at our home right now, two of which are on Red Alert to finish before the freezing temps of winter hit.
Which, where I live, could really be tomorrow. Or in two months. I never know for sure.
Know what else I don't know? Why I can (and do) consume half a loaf of zucchini bread in about 10 minutes flat. It's a mystery...except, not really, because that stuff is money. Homemade and warm, for heaven's sake! Who can resist?
Other than that, though, here's an update on what's been going down at the Smart household:
First up, backyard shed. I posted some updates here and here, and we've since painted and are doing final exterior touches. The thing about projects like this is...for us, at least, they take foreeeeever and progress isn't too exciting to anyone but ourselves. Kind of like hearing extended play-by-plays of a kid's bowel movements. Not that exciting unless it's your own.
Wall color is BM's Revere Pewter, trim is BM's Templeton Gray (3/4).
It's a bit too gingerbready pastellish for me, so I'm in the process of painting the door a really pretty warm grey, Behr's Evening Hush.

I hope that grounds the thing a bit.
Okay, so that's about 20 hours' worth of work right there, summed up in two fairly boring photos. But it makes Paul and me so happy to be at this point, because it means we can start...
* imagine an anticipatory drumroll as you click through... *

...building the kids' clubhouse!!! I can't tell you how many club/treehouse photos we've looked at over the past couple of weeks, but I'm sure it's in the millions. At least we now have a mental idea of what we're after. (Always a plus before building something.)
Our backyard is on the smaller side, and with the shed in the corner, we don't have a ton of extra space floating around. We could've built a clubhouse into a tree itself, but our kids were adamant that we didn't do that (it's a long story). So we decided to compromise and use the cherry tree as one of the four "posts." 
The clubhouse (the name we're giving a glorified slab with railing) will be elevated about 6 feet. Hanging a weighted chain down from the 6' mark on the tree, we found our starting point on the ground (blue-handled screwdriver marks this spot in the photo below), from which we measured the other three post sites.
Measured 8' and 90-degree angles from here to get the other spots and commenced digging post holes. We dug. And dug. And dug. Our goal was 25 inches deep, which doesn't sound that deep, but for some reason in real life, it's practically to China. My 5-year-old hid for the last few minutes, being seriously convinced we were on the brink of hitting lava and inducing a backyard volcanic eruption.
After dumping a few inches of pea gravel into the bottom of the hole, we measured then situated a pretreated 4x4 post (12' tall, some of which will be trimmed off the top) to be level. Poured in a bag of quickset cement and added some water from the hose. Checked all sides for level a bunch more times.
In not that long, the three posts were up and the quick-settingness of the cement was in effect.
Focusing on the cherry tree, we measured up to the height we wanted and, using two 6" lag bolts (or maybe 8"... I can't remember now), created a support spot on the tree itself. (Predrilled both the tree and wood pieces.) We screwed two pretreated 2x6 scrap pieces together for this support.
We were hesitant to harm the tree, but our research showed that if we bolted into a tree vertically, it would decrease the harmful effects felt by the tree. Something about how only one vein would be affected, so the tree could recover more easily than if the bolts were horizontally placed. I dunno if it's actually true, but it made sense to us, so we went with it.
 Tacked on some of the floor frame boards, just for kicks. Oh yeah. This is exactly what we were envisioning!
They're just screwed in for now; we'll add support brackets when we're certain everything's level all the way around.
The boards butt up next to the tree, but there's still a little breathing room, which is perfect.
So. That's where we're at on the kids' clubhouse. They are beyond anxious to get this thing moving, I'm sure this project will get done quickly. (I'm also sure we're going to win $millions$ any day now. So. Make whatever expectational adjustments necessary.)
Moving on.
I'm so.very.tired. of our 5- and 7-year-old girls' bedroom looking like a disaster zone. No matter how often it's cleaned/picked up/organized/whatever, every horizontal surface quickly becomes covered with the stuff of their lives.
Which is why Operation: Girls Bedroom Makeover has unofficially (and, let's be honest, prematurely) commenced. Got a MYDAL bunk bed from Ikea and am in the process of painting it before assembly.
The girls love color and were begging for blue, but I couldn't quite stomach the thought of another pastel color in their room. Needs some depth. I wanted black, but we compromised with this lovely moody navy bluey-grey (could I add a few more "y"s onto some words? sheesh) shade of Martha Stewart's Wrought Iron.
I love the color. It's what I used for this upholstered bench, and I love it even years later. That's when you know you've got yourself a great color.
So. That's where we are in life. Plus some molars being cut on our 18-month-old, reward star stickers being received by our kindergartener, hair being self-fixed by our 2nd grader, books being consumed by the dozens by our 4th grader, and 35th birthdays being had by my awesome husband. It's enough to make a girl blissfully exhausted.
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