Dinner tables hold a special place in family life. I looked for months to find the perfect one for our growing family. After much searching, I finally found it at Crate and Barrel in Saint Louis, while visiting Audra. In the summer of 2010, this became our family dining table. It is very simple, classic rectangle with five chairs and a bench seat next to the windows. It is almost too big for the space, but we want to fit as many people and as many stories around it as possible.
I love this space.
It gets used every day for meals, art, conversation, coloring, creativity, and learning through homework or home school, talks together, reading, experiments, sewing, molding with clay or play dough, painting, watercolor pencils, scanning maps, reading and making cards, or trying something we’ve never done before. We sit together almost every evening sharing the stories of our day, the good, the bad, and the different. We taste new flavors and tell so many jokes. We laugh, parent, scold, love, and teach.
This is where Maggie practices her French with me and Grandma. This is where I do my December Daily many years, gathering the story of our Christmases. This is where Brendan’s Spanish lessons happen. This is where Everett climbs all over us. This is where Brendan and Uncle Zach built a motor together and where Brent did dry ice magic for Maggie’s 5th birthday party. This is where my sister, mom, Tracie, Chrissie, Kari, and I chat for hours about everything while kids play nearby. This is where we paint together, build so, so many LEGO creations together, and play board games and card games together. This is where we celebrate as a family and gather with friends.
We have pictures of this table at most of our celebrations - birthdays, brunch or dinner with friends and family, baptisms, baby and bridal showers, book club, preparations for adventures, and the Christmas Tea. We gather here to share our stories, celebrate our lives, and listen to each other. Many times we are still sitting here hours later, even though there are more comfortable seats in our house.
The table has born witness to a baby’s first bites of food, the first tastes of the the spices shop’s wares, and 100s of different cooking attempts. It is the scene of date night for Brent and I and play dates for the kids. Some days, there are flowers, often there are LEGOs, and some days there are fancier decorations. Most days, it is a plain table, slightly stained with use, scared from projects, scattered with crumbs, well-loved and home for us.
If this table could talk it would tell of snacks, simple meals and elaborate ones, having heard us ask for kids to try their food and sit on their bottoms, prayers, dreams, tears, laughter at knock-knock jokes created by our kids, stories of love, sadness, joy, and worries, birthday songs, crafting adventures, working together, helping each other, loving each other --- you know all the basics that make us a family. This is where we gather to eat, but it is home to so much more. I am so very thankful.________________________________________________________________________
I subscribe to Ali Edwards' Story Kit. In some ways, it is a normal kit club and I receive product each month. However, unlike more traditional clubs each month is geared to a story telling them. That theme is supported by classroom content including prompts, examples, story sparks, videos and guest presenters all helping you tell your stories using the month's theme and product. I am LOVING it. I like that it is pushing me to tell stories I might not otherwise have thought of. I like that it is a challenge, that I get to puzzle things out, and of course get my stories told using lovely products. The above post is based on a layout and prompt from the February kit and a blog post Ali did on the same topic a while ago. I will print the journaling and collage and add a few embellishments to turn this from blog post to scrapbook page, but I wanted to share the base here as well.