When my love and I were discussing the floor plans of the home we would be building almost 15 years ago, my focus was on the kitchen. No, I am not a master chef, but I am someone that realizes the importance of this room in the house. People navigate towards the kitchen – it’s where we are comfortable, it’s cozy and familiar. No matter how clean or decorated the rest of the house is on a special occasion – the majority of the crowd still ends up in the kitchen – talking, laughing and snacking. I have never regretted the extra time and planning that has gone into this space in our home. This particular rooms holds a treasure of memories for us.
Eating together as a family is important to us and a “no brainer” as a part of our daily schedule. With a husband that leaves at 6 am each work day, I envy those that have the opportunity to share breakfast together. Having dinner as our only family meal makes it that much more special and necessary for me. Now – I am not a fantastic cook. I’m amazed by people that take a bite of a meal and say “This needs …. Name an ingredient. ” If I like something, the best I can offer is “This needs – to get in my belly!” It’s all good. Now that the kids are getting older, they can make a certain meal themselves if they are craving it. Meeting around the table at the end of the day is a casual way for us to stay connected and informed. We discuss schedules, conflicts, high points and low points of the day, and we laugh – a lot. If we have to eat a meal separately, it just doesn’t feel right – and I am having to adjust our schedules quite a bit as these kids get older and their responsibilities hinder them all being home at the same time. The kitchen makes me think of family because it truly is the room that we are all together the most.
Other than eating, the kitchen represents a place of action. Calls are made, plans are confirmed, the calendar is updated. Homework is completed and projects are finished. The table is usually piled with mail, school fliers, newspapers and magazines waiting to be read. The wood is scratched on the table and if you look closely there are marks from permanent pens and nail polish spills as well. We have a wall that is specified as “command central”. There are 2 oversized cork boards and a hanging file system which we use to organize the chaos created by a family of six. Once again, the kitchen proves essential in allowing this family to succeed. It provides us room to work together – whether menu planning, preparing Christmas cards, or confirming the details of our next family trip. It is also a space that we enjoy as individuals – blogging, drawing or paying bills and finishing assignments. Win/win.
The walls are painted a soft green and are decorated with memories – pictures, quotes and items we treasure. In one corner, we have a spot to sit and view the backyard – an area coveted by our lazy kitties. Above it, we have the quote painted “A happy family is but an earlier heaven”. I believe this statement with my whole heart. Our refrigerator is covered with with magnets that say things like “My house was clean last week, sorry you missed it”, and “It’s better to have God approve than the world applaud”. Old school pictures and notes from friends and other things that I hope will make us reflect or smile are also hung up for us to see daily. There is typically a candle lit – my favorite scents are vanilla and cinnamon, but Steve hates to find out that the yummy smell is actually a candle and not a sweet treat for him to enjoy. It is one of my favorite places to be, although it is also the fastest to become a disaster. Clearing the table and counter, doing the dishes and scrubbing the sink and microwave are chores that are forever needing done, yet despised by all. The joy. Regardless- this is the room we always end up in. Together. Did I mention that together is my favorite place to be?