5 years ago, my daughter, Avery, was born and she rocked my world. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. A few years later, Violet was born. She was beautiful too, even if she did cry for the first 4 MONTHS of her life. I knew that I wanted to change the world for them, to make it as amazing as I could.
About two years ago, I saw an opportunity. I found a giant green slide at the side of the road and I had some extra framing. I thought, “Why not a playhouse? I have the wood!” So, I started. As I finished framing, I thought to myself, “I have seen other dads do amazing things for their daughters, but I’ve never really done anything special for mine. I want to do something that they will remember forever.” That’s where it maybe got a little out of hand. It got a little bigger, suddenly had electricity, crown molding, and custom wood pieces that I made out of the raw wood from a local sawmill. And, of course, a rock climbing wall, because every dream playhouse needs a rock climbing wall.
It took a year to build, working many late nights and weekends in between operating my business, ATB Building. Avery became my helper, running out to the playhouse to help her daddy in any little projects she could. She loved it and I loved it, too. It was a really special time for us.
After the playhouse was finally built, my sister, Aunt Rachel, came over to help decorate and take pictures. I think this is when Avery finally realized what it was—a house for her and Violet. She was so excited and she had a hand in everything that we put in it. A mirror was hung and she had to look into it. A picture was hung and she stared at it. The couch was put in and she had to sit on it, and invite the whole family, too. When dinner came around, the entire family HAD to eat in the playhouse at the miniature table I had built (it was a very tight fit for a 6’4 man). But the pizza was good—even the plastic pizza Avery served.
Avery, Violet, and their mom, Jenny, spent the rest of the summer in the playhouse. When Avery and Violet woke up, they ran right into the backyard and made a beeline for it. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served at the miniature table for months.