Last year, we bought our first house, and excitedly moved in on the Ides of March. The inside of the house was absolutely beautiful, with a brand new kitchen that we were the first to use, beautiful hardwood floors, new carpets. The backyard, however, was another story. Holly trees on the side of the house had grown up so much that a fugitive car thief ran through them and smack into the house that hadn't noticed. The Weber grill that conveyed with the house had a tree growing up through the middle. But we had a vision of a backyard retreat, and slowly, it came to pass. While still in progress, this year's birthday brought with it a beautiful brick patio, finished just in time for my birthday dinner.