bits of home

FAMILY, MOTHERHOOD

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I unpacked the last of the kitchen this week, ignoring the handful of small details around the space we’re still waiting to complete, grateful to be making food here again. Even the kids have welcomed this part of our home again, joining me in meal-making and dish washing. Although the dishwashing still solicits grumbling, they’re content to walk away without soaked shirts or stains where the old rusty sink used to leak on them. There’s space for them to cook alongside me or separately work on another part of a meal. It’s not a huge kitchen, but it’s enough for us. Huge has never been our style anyway. We’re postponing our marble countertops and dishwasher for a bit to leave room in our budget for other family expenses on the horizon, like graduate school classes, business taxes, and a new fridge to replace our dying Craigslist find. “If we buy a fridge, it will prolong the countertops. Do you want to buy a new fridge?” Mark asks me, his body gently leaned against the kitchen wall he had only weeks before textured and painted. After 13 years of marriage, he’s learned I more often choose beauty over practicality, warranting a question that might seem otherwise obvious to anyone else. “Well, I want the countertops. We need a fridge. This one is barely cooling.” I respond, tossing more kale around the pan. Liam grabs a jar from the shelf to fill with water, “I understand that, mom.” He’s referring to those words. Need. Want. We have them regularly with our children, as we help them learn about money, about things, about life. As parents I often think of the one-on-one conversations as being the primary teaching tool, connection point, while the rest of life fills in the gaps. Perhaps it’s the reverse: the everyday conversations, the transparent ways we as parents struggle through our own decisions and emotions that speak the clearest messages, that help our children arrive at the words I understand. 

I think of the word home and a million colloquial phrases swirl it. Somehow in this space, full of rote and practicality, our family pieces the word together, bit by bit. 

plant life / computer time / light after the dinner dishes / a simple mantle / an art journal / a game of hand strength / a dying fridge / a conversation

 

 

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  1. your home is so beautiful. it should be in a magazine! it just exudes peace and quiet and “breathe”. though my style is more in the mid-century modern vein {and we live in a mid-century 1960 ranch}, i think your home is so lovely, and i could so see myself living in a space just like it. the kitchen is looking so good. love the ample white around your place.

    as to teaching our kids. i find it so difficult as a parent… the most difficult thing of parenting… to teach my son the things that i can’t even seem to get down or get right in life. it’s sobering, but also a great reminder and motivation for me to work on the things i sometimes am blind to.

    anyway, you are doing great with your home. even though i don’t have instagram, i regularly follow yours. when i saw that large scale black and white photo in the living room, i gasped. it’s so awesome, and so the type of thing i would love to have in my space. where, may i ask, did you get such an awesome wall covering?

    1. Author

      Thank you, Georgia. I find many times when I’m sharing lessons with my children, I’m learning them in the same moment. Perhaps they learn something by our transparency, our own learning in teachable moments: the teacher never ceases being a student. We used to live in mid-century ranch, and I still have a soft-spot in my heart for that time period. I bought the screenprint of Steve McQueen about a decade ago for my husband. I saw it hanging on the wall in a small clothing store and asked if I could buy it from them. It’s one of our favorite pieces.

  2. these are lovely photos. and, we got our fridge super cheap from sears outlet! it has a tiny scratch so it was returned and marked half-off! just in case you haven’t found one yet :)

    1. Author

      Thank you, Bri. We checked the scratch and dent in other stores but not sears. We need to. Thanks!

  3. Beautiful photos and post, Bethany. I love how you find so much hope in the everyday and are thoughtful about this process of working through transitions, and life in general.

    1. Author

      I recently remarked to Mark, “will we ever be out of transition?” I still don’t know. Thank you for the encouragement, Kaylan.

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