Back in October i came across contest on facebook from Kid's Creations LLC for the Ugliest Swing set contest. i had already been dreaming and drooling over their beautiful redwood swing sets for quite a while. Their swing sets are made with the high quality redwood which is naturally resistant to decay and insects, and has not been treated chemically. All of the redwood they use has been harvested in a sustainable way. Kid's Creations wooden playset structures are also hand-crafted in the U.S.A.
They first posted about the contest sometime in October, and i just thought 'Wow! Wouldn't that be amazing to win?!?! i should really enter.' but...i didn't. i actually forgot about the contest. Around the middle of November i happened to catch a reminder post, and this time i decided to enter. All you had to do was post a picture of your 'ugly swing set' and they would chose a winner on Dec. 1st to receive a Two ring Adventure swing set.
So i went outside and took a picture of our rusted, broken, 'piece of crap' swingset. However, when i brought up the picture on my computer it just didn't really look like much. So i went back outside and took pictures from all angles, took a close up of the broken/rusted support bar, the swing seats that literally deteriorated in about 2 years..the bent metal. If i was going to enter this contest, i wanted the judges to see just how 'ugly' my swing set really was.
Horrible, isn't it? The worst part is that this swing set was purchased new (by my folks), and is only about 5 years old. My boy never really played on it so it just sat in the yard and deteriorated. It's never been abused, or even played on much at all, it just literally fell apart. By the time my girl was really old enough to play on it, it was already a hazardous mess. This should be a pretty good warning to stay away from Chinese made crap, because that is exactly what you will get...total crap.
So i entered my picture with fingers crossed, and put it out of my mind for a little while.
The rules to the contest were rather vague. It didn't really say whether the winner would be chosen by picture alone, or if 'likes' would be a contributing factor. In the last few days of the contest, i noticed that several of the other contestants were getting 'likes' on their photos. So i shared my entry on my wall, asking friends and family to 'like' my photo to show support. About 10 of them did. :) Then, sometime later Kid's Creation posted that they 'may be swayed by public opinion'. So i took that to heart, and really encourage my friends/family to vote. i had no idea if it would really make a difference, but i figured it couldn't hurt.
i was completely blown away by the response! i've entered other contests on FB before, and asked my friends to vote...and i usually get about a dozen people that do. lol. However this time, when i posted that it was the last day of the contest and asked folks to vote, my FB feed completely blew up with my friends/family sharing the post and asking their friends to vote. i even had several 'friends of friends' people i didn't even know share the post!! i'm still overwhelmed by the unbelievable response, and can not even begin to express my gratitude in just seeing so many folks rooting for us, and posting such positive comments and kind words.
The night before the winner was chosen, my stomach was in knots. My friends & family had done an amazing job of rallying together and making sure my picture had the most votes, however i really didn't know if that would matter. The final vote was up to the judges, and all of the swing sets entered were just as 'ugly' as mine. i was really, really hoping the judges would take the 'likes' into consideration, but really didn't know if they would.
On Dec. 1st Kid's creation posted that "the judges will confer today, and will announce our winner tomorrow morning at 9am!" It's amazing i slept at all that night. In the morning i was glued to computer, while trying to get ready to leave to volunteer at the school. Then it occurred to me, that they are in a different time zone and i won't even be home when the winner is chosen!! Ack!
and just as i was about to walk out the door, Kid's Creation posted the winner...
Wohoo!!! i seriously can not even begin to tell you how overwhelmed/excited/shocked/grateful i felt. What an absolutely amazing surprise i will have for the kids this year!!!!
i have to shout out a huge THANK YOU to Kid's Creation and a huge THANK YOU to all my friends and family that helped make this happen. My heart is overflowing with gratitude.
Our swing set arrived on Dec. 23 (unassembled) and so we managed to keep it hidden from the kids, so that it was a total surprise!
That will be my next post. :)