Thursday, October 13, 2016


It's no secret, I'm digging Chip and Joanna's style (The stars of Fixer Upper for those who don't watch the unhealthy amount of TV that I do). I mentioned to my Father in Law that I was hunting for a cute rustic table with dark wood top and white legs. Well......when the Steele fam arrived last Thursday they brought with them a HOMEMADE TABLE! I was shocked!  It was exactly the look I was going for. AJ's dad, Mike, made it out of old barn wood from AJ's hometown. I love the history behind it and the rustic vibe. But Mike was worried that the table would look too rustic so he made a whole other table top, brought that one along too, and had AJ and I pick the one we liked the best. He thought for sure we'd choose the less rustic, smooth traditional one. Nope, we liked the barn wood. The uneven edges, the dips and grooves, the markings and character. It's real life: not perfect by any means but totally beautiful nonetheless. Here was old barn wood, probably considered a pile of rubble by some, created into something new, gorgeous, useful, and treasured.  If that isn't a metaphor for life then I don't know what is.

AJ's dad is also making us a matching bench for the open side! 

 We gave away our old table to one of AJ's coworkers and I realized that little table and I had been through a lot together. It was the first item I purchased for my very own little apartment. It was from Ikea (hi, starting teacher salary) and I fell in love with the black and white patterned fabric chairs. I had it delivered one chilly December evening and the apartment was literally empty except for the table. I ate many meals on it when I lived on my own (and by "meals" I mean popcorn, Lean Cuisines, and bowls of cold cereal). Then AJ and I moved in together and the table became home base for wedding planning, sorting out bills and mail of two lives combined. It was often filled with books and laptops open for lesson planning. Once AJ dragged the table into the middle of the room, surrounded it with rose petals and candlelight and we shared a romantic dinner there a few months after our engagement. We brought the table with us to our home we bought almost a year ago. The scenes of lesson planning and meals shared continued on. I remember placing a delicately wrapped positive pregnancy test on that table one night last December.....

But now we have a new table. And while to some it might seem like just a piece of furniture, to me it represents the gathering place of our lives. I know what that table will see:

-Thanksgiving dinners with a turkey on a platter that I had to call my mom 5 times to make sure I made it right
-Romantic meals for two. Sometimes steak, potatoes, and a fancy salad and other times burritos out of tin pie pans (Cafe Rio) because come on, #reallife
-Notebooks, grocery lists, and pens and bills....sorting out the business of life and finding ways to make it all work
-A Sharing Place: To talk about our days, the highs, the lows, the weird, and amazing. 
-Lesson Planning spot...always with the lesson planning. And grading student work. Oh the amount of elementary newsprint lined paper the table will hold! 
-Coats and scarves hung over the chairs on brisk winter days and flip flops and hair ties haphazardly on the floor in the warm months
-A high chair up against it one day. Chubby baby hands getting squash into all the nooks and crannies
-A decision spot: Important topics are discussed and sometimes debated. 
-A place of worship and prayer: a piece of the holy everyday where we give thanks for the seasons of abundance and request grace for times of trial
-Spilled coffee cups and breakfast dishes with toast crumbs left as we rush out the door on our way to greet the world and begin the day.
-A place of homework assignments, book reports, crafts and projects. I wouldn't be surprised if glitter finds its way into the crevices. Possibly some glue too.
-A place for our children to tell us about all the aspects of their days. Did you respect your teacher? Were you a kind friend? What would you like to do for your birthday this year?
-A place for opening stocking gifts on Christmas morning and the home for dozens of sweet and beautifully decorated birthday cakes to come.
-The setting for glasses of wine consumed with friends where we will laugh at the circumstances of life. Our hearts become vulnerable with friends and with them at the table we find a safe place to rest. 
-A place to share meals with family members far and near, and with friends where the friendships are etched in our hearts and those friendships just beginning to blossom. 

It is where LIFE happens and I am so thankful for what this table has yet to see. I can't wait. 

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