The boys I baby-sit know to ask before they draw on the chalkboard. Usually I let them, but every now and then I say no and give them some paper instead. When I draw a new design, I usually like it to stay that way for a few days before the wall is covered in stick figures and little scribbles declaring their love for rocks and other weird boy things.
But apparently not all of the boys in my life got the message. My brother came to stay with us not too long ago and left his mark. Ha!
So in this holiday season, may your walls know joy. May your house be filled with happiness and hope. Not full of stress about decorating the perfect tree or stringing up enough twinkle lights or even finding the perfect present. May your house be filled with God’s Spirit and not full of whines and fusses and stresses. May we delight in the season’s cheer and sparkle and festivities while knowing in our heart that this is all in celebration of Him. He came so we may have life and joy and peace.
May your walls know joy.
Or, table and banquette progress. Or table and bench and wall treatment progress. Or the most exciting thing I’ve ever done progress. Ha!
First things first – the star of the show. The table. I feel like my whole life has been a journey toward the perfect table. In our first home, we didn’t have a table for about a year. We borrowed my Grandma’s card table. It was a good look:
If that’s not enough feasting for the eyes, just know that the table was padded. So drinks wobbled and our plates squished. It was fun.
Then for Christmas our second year of marriage, my parents bought us a table. I was stoked, as you can tell.
It was the very thing we needed for our first home, but didn’t really fit the space in our new one. (Check out this post for more info on that!)
I was dreaming of a long farmhouse table. Well, less farmy and more sleek. But still worn and imperfect looking. So when
the boys I babysit Timothy breaks things and scratches the table, it will be all good.
I made a Pinterest board and pinned 3876.4 tables. I made it a secret board so I wouldn’t look like a weirdo. I pinned plans from Ana White’s blog, tables from World Market, tables from Anthro (dreamer much?), and any table-related thing that caught my eye. Then my Dad came over and analyzed the pictures to help me pick out exactly what I wanted.
You may be asking, where is Timothy in all this? Well, he told me I could do whatever I wanted. Design it however I wanted. Have whatever I wanted. (Within reason – side eye Anthropologie table.) Yeah, best husband of the year award goes to that boy.
So, we quickly narrowed it down to these tables:
This amazing, gigantic outdoor table by Decor and the Dog. I loved the modern lines and the legs!
This is a bench by Sawdust Girl, and I really liked these legs. I thought they would be great adapted into table legs.
This table by Shanty 2 Chic made my jaw drop. It’s inspired by a table I even pinned from Restoration Hardware!
And finally, I really liked the top of this table by Ana White.
The banquette seating and wall treatment was a little harder to find inspiration pictures for. Most of the ideas I saw online featured the banquette seating in a corner. So I started looking at restaurants to see if I could get any ideas. One cute little coffee shop in our area kind of had what I was going for:
This is more like it! Sadly, the pin is no good and leads no where. But I adore the trim work on the banquette wall.
So much goodness, right? I spent forever thinking about these tables and what I wanted in our space. I thought that the fancy table from Shanty 2 Chic was what I would end up going with, but the more I looked at it, it just didn’t feel like our home. It was a little too complicated and busy looking. And while Timothy may think I’m complicated sometimes (hello, emotions!), I don’t want our house to feel complicated. The first table by Decor and the Dog seemed more our style. But I wanted to change the top of the table to look like the one by Ana White. And then my Dad had a genius idea for the table legs to jazz them up a bit. So with big plans, we got started.
Of course we would start on the day that it was 18 degrees outside. Literally. I came to my Dad’s garage all bundled up, but he said I was missing something.
A trip inside for one of his old belts, some new holes cut, and a snap on tool thing later, I had my own tool belt. He’s a good dad, isn’t he?!
So, looking awesome and official, we got to work. I had to wear my warmest clothes that could get ruined, so that’s my excuse for my appearance. And the day I wore these fake Ugg boots I saw that horrible clip that’s going around Facebook about how sheep are brutally killed to make these things. Have you guys seen that? My eyes!! I felt like a horrible human being in my ugly shoes all day long. But moving on … believe it or not, I actually helped! My Dad was the brains of the operation and I was the sander. And the clamper. And the holder. And the brusher of the sawdust away-er.
A few days later, we had a table and a banquette!!! Want to see a little peek?
Oh mylanta, I’m in love. I’m currently spackling and painting and caulking, but hopefully soon I’ll be able to share the finished product! Eeeeeeeeek!!!!
Most of my life, my dad has been a pastor. When I was younger he pastored a church that had two outdoor staircases that led to the front door. To a nine-year-old, these stairs were huge. And they were covered in that green carpet stuff that is maybe supposed to look like grass? All I know is that they were a pain to keep clean. And every now and then my mom would ask me to sweep them off.
Worst. job. ever.
I would much rather play on the steps with my friend. We had this great system where one staircase was her house, the other was mine, and we would … play? Yeah, what a great system. Ha!
One day before church I was sweeping the stairs off and a sweet older lady in the church saw me. She smiled and told me she would pray that God would someday bless me with a nice house with lots of floors to sweep. I smiled and thanked her, but in the inside I was all what?
That sounded like the worst prayer ever. Yeah, sure, a nice house would be great. But if you’re going to get all specific on God about the whole “lots of floors to sweep,” you might as well get specific and include a maid in there to do the sweeping. To this nine-year-old, that prayer was not very appealing.
But something about that prayer lingered in the back of my mind. Was there a connection between how I treated the house of God and my own house? If I reverenced His house and helped keep it clean, would I be blessed in that area of my life? The Bible says to be faithful in the small things. Was this part of that? It was way too much for my nine-year-old brain to process.
A couple weeks ago Timothy decided to invite a whole bunch of guys over to do some fantasy basketball
nonsense business. I cleaned some on our main floor, but I spent the majority of my time getting the basement ready for them. We’ve tiled the whole basement, so it takes forever to sweep. Plus, the basement is our “man cave” and I always find scary things down there. Lingering pizza and chip crumbs, cans upon cans of Mountain Dew, and those jumpy spiders. I hate those jumpy spiders. So I was sweeping, but I wasn’t too happy about it. I was sweeping and sweeping and mopping and mopping when that prayer came back to me.
And it completely changed my entire outlook.
God has given Timothy and I such a nice house that we couldn’t love more if we tried. Two whole levels of floors to sweep.
I am so thankful that sweet lady prayed that prayer. Now, I (clearly) don’t know the whole ins and outs of how God does what He does. But I do know that prayers are powerful things. And they never die. Did her prayer have something to do with us being able to live in this house? I don’t know.
But it was a wake-up call to me. Since then I’ve been so thankful to clean our house. (Hopefully this sentiment lasts. Because there’s nothing beautiful in cleaning a toilet when you babysit two little boys. Amiright?) I want to show God that I’m thankful for my blessings. And I want to take care of them and sweep those dirty floors with a song of praise in my heart.
And maybe I need to go sweep the church steps, too.
Our dining area. That poor area has struggled. It was struggling when we bought the house.
Wall of mirrors? Thanks, but no thanks.
We ripped all the mirrors out, filled in twenty billion holes in the drywall, and plopped our dining table in the space. We centered the table under the light because I think that’s what you’re supposed to do? It’s just too bad that the light isn’t centered on anything.
I adore this long room, especially since we opened it up to the kitchen. But our round table is just not working in the space. It looks like we have a super long living room and decided to plop a table in it.
But I had visions. And dreams. And plans. And guys, they’re coming true!
I’ve mentioned before that I think this dining area needs more focus. More oomph. Something that makes the narrow shape seem more intentional. Something like banquette seating. And a long, showstopper of a table.
Enter: my dad. He is one of the most crafty men I know. As in saws and nails and sanders crafty. Not as in pom pom trim and hot glue crafty. But I’m sure you knew that.
Last week he came over and this happened:
Plans for our new dining area! WE’RE BUILDING IT! Aaaah, I just couldn’t take it. I mean, how exciting?! Building my own table and built-in banquette seating is the stuff that dreams are made of for this DIY-lovin’ girl. Not only can we customize it to fit our space, but we could never buy ready made furniture at the price it will take for us to build everything.
Ha! “Us.” You like how I insert myself as if I actually have a clue about this whole process?
One of my favorite moments so far was after my Dad and I loaded up the supplies in his truck and he told me that he had to run back inside Menard’s to pick up something. He came out with these and said I would need them:
My very own work gloves. I’m so official I don’t know what to do with myself.
Working with my dad has been the absolute best. I’ve been saving pictures and table plans for months. I showed him all my ideas and in five minutes he was able to narrow everything down to get to the core of what I wanted. Plus add some features that will be just amazing. He’s gooooood.
What about you guys? Have any of you built anything? Or even built your own table? Does anyone else have an irrational fear that the saw is going to come flying off and whack you in your eye? Does anyone else have a super sweet pair of work gloves as awesome and official as mine? I’m doubtful. Ha!
Four years ago, we said I do. Two simple words that made us two of the world’s happiest humans.
We both have the day off, and I couldn’t be more excited to spend an entire day with this handsome boy. We have big plans that we have yet to plan. Ha!
We thought it would be fun to have an adventure and only plan the day one step at a time. So far our plans are to sleep in. Then when we wake up? We’ll make the next plan. When we finish that? We make the next plan. The only “rule” we have is that once we leave the house to find a delicious lunch, we won’t come back home until after dinner.
Timothy came up with the idea and when I found myself super pumped and excited about it, I knew that marriage had made its mark on me. I’m usually an over-prepared planner who likes to know how everything is going to go down. Timothy, on the other hand, loves spontaneity.
And so this is one of my favorite things about marriage. He stretches me. I stretch him. We push each other to grow in our strengths and encourage each other in our weaknesses.
Thank you, oh sweet husband of mine, for four of the happiest, most exciting, love-filled, favorite years of my life.
I'm honored that you took time to stop by my blog! My name is Whitney, and I'm a diy loving, piano playing, sewing obsessed, thrifty, non-house cleaning, crafty newlywed. I love God, my husband, and life as a wife. If you'd like to know more, just check out my About Me page. Much love!
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