Before the interwebs are pumping out all Christmas all the time (wait, we're already there, aren't we?), I wanted to throw it back to Thanksgiving for one last shoutout to fall.
I recently gave up the idea of using our dining room as a playroom, and switched it back over to a dedicated dining space. The playroom/homework room made sense, in theory. We have four young kids (read: toys, and books, and backpacks oh my), but we found that they rarely used this room.
We opened up most of the first floor when we moved in so it feels like one large living space. With the exception of this room. It's on the other side of the main level and sort of closed off. Perfect for corralling toys out of the way, right? Turns out our kitchen must have a large magnet because that's where everyone congregates. The older kids use the breakfast table or bar for homework and Liv would never play with her toys in the dining room..because she must be in the mix at all times. #notoddlerleftbehind
Since moving her play kitchen into the family room, she plays with it daily. I moved the computer desk into the living and the craft supplies up to the guest room. Which meant.....time to hunt for a table!!
Except I wanted a big long table to seat lots of people, and holy moly when did they get so expensive?? I was pretty discouraged until a friend texted me a picture of some farm tables at the PB outlet informing me that they were not only 50% off but on sale for an extra 20%.
When you're shopping an outlet you really don't get to be picky. There's often only one of a particular item (especially if it's a larger piece of furniture) and could have minor to major defects. And there one table that was perfect. The farmhouse style I love, long enough to seat 8, had two additional leaves to seat 10 or squish in 12, solid wood that would last forever, under budget.....perfect.
Except somehow I managed to talk myself out of it (because it had grooves and imperfections [that I love] but would make it difficult if you tried to write or do homework there). The whole way home I regretted passing it by. I mean the whole point was for this to be a space for gathering to share a meal and play some board games. There were a million other surfaces to do homework.
I called as soon as the store opened the next day to confirm the sale was still on and drove the 40 minutes back out there to get it. Let's not dwell on the extra gas money.
It was delivered the day before Thanksgiving, just in time for us to host our first holiday in our new place. We had a small gathering with one of our dearest family friends who also have 4 kids, and by bringing in Liv's play table all 12 of us were able to eat together.
The table was loud and rowdy, and while I normally would have been worried about my children's table manners, I was just so grateful for the life that was happening in our home.
Really, it wasn't the size or style of the table that made it wonderful. We could have pushed a bunch of folding tables together for the same result. But investing in a table gave me the nudge to reopen our doors and do community again.
It's always hard to open your home after moving when there are still boxes to unpack and pictures to hang, but let's be honest. If I waited for the house to be perfect (or even "done") before we invited people in, the months would turn into years and we would miss out on so much.
I hope our kids see that it doesn't matter how the house looks, it matters how we use it. We are just as much stewards of that gift as we are finances, talents, and little souls. And it's always the season for opening our doors.