For those of you who have followed the renovation of my childhood home that James and I bought when we got married, we reached another milestone this weekend!

James has always wanted a deck ever since his mom's house had one, but, none of his previous houses were suited for a deck.  When we bought my Mom's house last year and started the renovation, we always had a deck in the plans, but then COVID struck, and the price of lumber just sky rocketed!  We continued to save, and with the help of some stimulus money, we were able to start our back yard deck project.

We have spent lots of time in the yard over the last year, as many of you have.  We have a pool, and Sunday Fundays are super popular at our house.  Earlier this year, we built a fire pit and that's been pretty popular too.  But, there was still the pining for a deck off our back door to make our outdoor living area complete. I printed off a set of plans, James read them, talked to a guy he works with, and we started buying materials.

It took us two weekends to complete, but we cannot be more thrilled!  We put our tables on the deck last night and even had dinner on the deck!  I'm thinking this will happen more and more often this summer.  We still have to get some flagstones to go from the deck to the pool, and from the deck to the back gate, but as soon as our grass comes in and our flowers start blooming, this deck will be our happy place!

My Happy Place

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.