Thursday, September 1, 2011

Learning from my mother and the kind of home I want

{Recent activity in my mother's home--making food animals with the boys (my mom is so cute) and
blackberry jam with Mom and Jessie}

Well gosh, thanks for your comments last time. It's good to know there's someone here. Like I said, it feels good just to journal here, but I have to say, it feels even better to feel like I'm connecting with people. As I anticipated, that's what I miss most about Bloom. Connecting with people and telling my story. So I'm glad I can still do that here. Thanks for your encouragement.

I've been thinking a lot about life and beauty and mothering and what matters. I told you last time I have given up a lot of design-y blogs because they make me want too much and distract me. That's not to say I don't care how my home looks or want to go shopping next weekend. It's all about balance I guess. And focus. I want my children to have a beautiful life but I don't want the materialism of it all to consume me. Does that make sense?

It's like this:
Yesterday I left the boys playing at my mom's house while I ran a couple of miles. As I was coming back up the hill to my parents' property, I smiled as I passed my mom's colorful flower mound at the front of their garden, took in the corn, the beans, the cantaloupe vines, the gourds, the pumpkins, the tomatoes, and more. My favorite curvy row in the garden is Mom's State Fair Zinnias--all sorts of huge, bold colors. I came in her house and looked around at her collection of dishes in her glass-front cabinet and the family pictures above her desk. As I gulped down a drink of water I looked at the jars of my brother's honey on the window ledge--light, dark, and darker. My favorite is the one with the honeycomb in it--pioneer honey.

My mother's home isn't extravagant, but it is beautiful. It has always been rich with color and comfort and home grown goodness. She likes to decorate, but it doesn't break the bank. Nor does it look like it was over-designed. (Nor has the teal 1988 furniture been replaced.) It looks like real people live there. There are always fresh flowers in the house--almost always from her yard. There is almost always a project going in the kitchen--mince meat pies, blackberry jam, chicken soup, oatmeal crunchies...

I love the home I grew up in. And that's what I'm trying to create for my children. A soft place to land. A place where beautiful and delicious things grow. A place that's tidy and happy and peaceful and fun. In my ideal world it would have a prettier light fixture in the dining area and hardwood floors in the living room, but I'm learning not to obsess over those things. (Hallelujah.)


p.s. Sour cream chocolate frosting recipe? You got it, next time. Also, we've been enjoying every blackberry application there is--jam, pie, milkshakes, and cobbler. Ahhh...blackberries. I love thee, Oregon. Blackberry cobbler recipe HERE.


liz said...

Oh, this made me cry! Isn't it interesting how as we get older, what we really want our lives to look like is our mother? How lucky are we that she is our model? Even the decorating -- we mock the teal, but it is a lovely home and her kitchen is one of my favorites. So now I'm feeling a little jealous and homesick...

Jeremy & Mary said...

I came over from Bloom! I am very much enjoying your blog. I too cried! Homes are such a wonderful place full of memories to be cherished! Thank you for your post and a wonderful confirmation of all the good we are doing as mothers!

Caitlin Wallace said...

I'm not yet a mother, but I hope that one day I can provide those same things for my children! It is definitely so easy to get caught up in the materialism of the world, especially in decorating (also a pitfall of the many blogs I read) and it is so much better to take the time to remember to enjoy every moment of life, regardless of what the space around you looks like. I grew up in the country, so it is nice to see other people that value nature, gardening, cooking, home and living off the land as well. :)

Matt and Melody Odell said...

I love your thoughts, I am totally there with you, in your thoughts. I want to be that kind of mom too. Thanks for sharing!

Sister Elle McCall said...

This is just about the best thing I've read on the internet in a long time.

I admire that you gave up some design blogs because pretty as they may be if you aren't focusing on the family why does it matter what the house looks like?

I think you've got me hooked and I'm so excited to start reading your blog!