What if we just did it? The story of our Outdoor Fire Pit

Last fall, I decided I wanted an outdoor fire pit to help burn up the yard waste and give us a place to gather in the evenings and rest.  I pinned pictures of fire pits.

I scanned craigslist for building materials, studied the yard to find the best spot, and researched how to make a level seating area.  To do it right was a little more work than I could invest and required me doing some other projects first, like cleaning up the storage area under the deck, jack-hammering out some excess concrete, digging out some established bushes, hauling in gravel and redoing part of the deck supports.   So the season came and went and we still didn’t have a fire pit.

Then this weekend, I looked at our yard and all the fallen sticks from the spring storms and the passion for a DIY fire pit hit me again.  What if it wasn’t perfect?  What if it wasn’t in the right spot?  What if it didn’t have a pebble sitting area?  We’d still have fires. We could still make s’mores and sing songs and be together.

So last Saturday, after our 4th soccer game and a wedding shower, we went to Aldi and bought marshmallows, chocolate bars and hot dogs.  Then we went to Menards and bought 30 of these stones.

It took me 15 minutes to unload the stones from the car and stack them into a fire ring.  We chose a spot at the corner of our driveway where we have been splitting wood for the last 3 years.  It has a nice base of wood chips that really should be cleaned up, but we sat our lawn chairs on it instead.   The beauty of this is the stones can be moved at any time.  There’s no mortar or concrete involved.  It doesn’t matter that nothing about the project was “right” because it can be as permanent or as temporary as we want it to be.

It didn’t even matter that we made our fire wrong.  We eventually got it to light, though the wind made that a challenge.

The s’mores on our imperfect fire tasted just as good.

This one was made from an orange marshmallow from Aldi’s Easter line. It tasted just like a wack an orange.

The kids rode their bikes on the driveway, played a game of basketball, and jumped on the trampoline.  It was so much fun that we did it again the next night.

It made me stop and think.  What if I didn’t worry about perfect and just did more things?

 

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10 thoughts on “What if we just did it? The story of our Outdoor Fire Pit

  1. Jessica says:

    Very inspiring! I have a ton of “wish list” items for my house that should just get done, especially since the kiddos are growing up so fast. Hope you enjoy many spring evenings with that fire pit this year!

  2. Donna says:

    Congratulations on just getting it done before the kids are grown and gone and you think about all the memories you missed making. It looks fantastic!

  3. Amanda Gauthier-Parker says:

    “What if we didn’t worry about perfect and just did more things?” YES! Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

  4. Gayle says:

    I love this post. I can relate to you Angela in so many ways. We also need a fire pit right now, have a forest off of our back yard to clean up. But my favorite is “what if I didn’t worry about perfect and just did more things?” Love it! I need that. I have 3 kids 18, 16, and 13, I was sick and lost out in our newly built moldy house. That was almost a year ago that we left that place, just itemized all the stuff we threw out. We have moved on and still struggle sometimes, also we have had lyme disease which needs a clean environment to be kept at bay, probably most diseases.

    Now you gave me good free ideas how we can spend time together, enjoying ourselves for free and clean our yard. Bonus, our previous owner left a bunch of bricks like that in the shed!

  5. Shanna says:

    Your timing is perfect – we have the same issue every year — a yard that is mostly damp/wet spring and summer. We always mention tearing out a large section of grass and making a fire pit area so we can sit outside. Well $ and timing never work out. Maybe I’ll just add free woodchips from the village and go for it!. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Angela says:

    Yay Shanna! Free wood chips are a perfect idea. I’d love to see pictures when you get it done.

  7. Angela says:

    Gayle, I can really relate to illness interrupting your life. Lyme disease and mold issues is a double whammy. Joel 2:25 “I will restore to you the years the locusts have eaten” is a scripture we can take to heart. Enjoy those precious teenagers and your new fire pit. How nice of the previous owners to leave those bricks for you!

  8. Angela says:

    Donna, I was thinking about that. How can Heidi be a senior next year? We are soaking in the children for sure.

  9. Katie says:

    Yes! Love this! I have several projects like this–wanting to know and have it planned perfectly beforehand… So that they never happen! Fire pit, paving stone patio, garden… Just do it!

  10. Debbie says:

    This is so wonderful, Angela! We struggle with not doing things because they can’t be done “the right way”. One of us is more likely to just do it, even if it’s not perfect, and the other just can’t, and sees the layers of work that MUST be done first. But how much do our kids miss out on? I love your fire pit!

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