Friday, June 19, 2015

The Things We Value; Take a Tour

I'm really not a "stuff" person. I don't hold a lot of value in household items, clothing, or jewelry. Most of the things I had as a child I have donated, save a few of the dolls I saved up for and a collection of horses I accumulated. Really, for the most part having a lot of stuff in my house makes me feel unorganized and frustrated.

I enjoy clean spaces, uncluttered surfaces, and minimal decoration.

I go through our house every couple of months and purge items. If the kids have grown out of clothes I hand them down to friends who have children just younger than mine of the same gender. As for household items and toys I donate them, and often.

If we don't use it or love it then we don't keep it.

This phrase has given me permission in my life to feel ok with finding new homes for items that I might keep otherwise. I have learned to let go of the obligatory feelings surrounding stuff.

There are however some things that I have that I do really love. Whether it is due to where I got it, who gave it to me, or because it was made specifically for me. I went around the other day and took stock of all the things that I really do value in my house. I took some pictures and decided to share.

My mom gave us our piano. My mom is a phenomenal pianist. She plays for her church and routinely taught piano lessons throughout my childhood. Nobody is actually taking lessons yet, but it gets played regularly and as I have a foundation of knowledge learned from my mom I have been able to show them some of the very basics.

My father in law has gone on several mission trips to Honduras and each time he has brought back a piece of traditional pottery for me. I absolutely love each piece. I have them on the mantle in our family room. Each is a masterpiece unto itself.

One of my very favorite items is a blanket I purchased from a company that supports women who have been freed from slavery. Better Way is a company that purchases and sells products all handmade by women who have been trafficked and now are free. This blanket is made by one of those women. It has her name on it. It is hand stitched and comprised of previously worn saris. It is super soft and I absolutely love the bright vibrant colors. 

Below is my elephant lamp. I registered for it when my husband and I were getting married and someone actually bought it for us! I have to admit, I was surprised. It has moved from each and every house we have lived in since. It now resides in our family room. Everyone in our family loves it. My oldest loves elephants, and the rest of the kids love the tassels on it. I enjoy having fun statement pieces and this elephant lamp is nothing short of fun.

My dad began making furniture years ago. His first attempt was a birdhouse that my mom asked him to make. Now, he makes all kinds of custom furniture. From music stands, to gothic crosses, tables, bookcases, and beds. He's amazing. Pictured below is what we have always called the "telephone cabinet". When it was at my parent's house it had an old rotary phone sitting atop it. Now it has our cordless phone (not as cool, I know). We also keep books underneath it so the little one can reach a book whenever she wants to.

My husband's grandma is a quilter extraordinaire. She makes a quilt for each grandchild that gets married and each grandbaby that is born. She hand stitches each one with love. Her workmanship is exquisite. This quilt has been on our bed since we got married.

Another gift we received when we were married was a beautiful queen sized bed from my dad. He made it and drove over to our house completely surprising us with it. It is now in our guest bedroom as we have a king size to accommodate all the little people who routinely need to snuggle in the mornings or have bad dreams at night. This bed is extremely special to me and I'm glad we get to share it with our guests.

My late grandfather was an artist. He was always taking classes. He painted with water colors, acrylics, and oil. He used pastels, charcoal, and pencil. He was always taking classes and he often painted on both sides of piece of paper. After he passed away the family went through his hundreds of drawings and paintings and everyone took some. Others were displayed for a while at a local art gallery in honor of him. I found so many that I loved and have these 3 framed in our guest bedroom. He loved to surf well into his seventies and often water or tropical locations were the subject of his art.

When I walked around my house I have to admit that there weren't many things that I thought I couldn't do without. It's the conversation pieces, the heirlooms, the memories that I really love. It is the things that I attach to a person or an event that hold the most significance. I'm so thankful to know and have known such wonderful people. It is them that add meaning to my life. They're the stuff that really matters.


  1. I love this! First of all, you're a great photographer. Secondly, each item has much personal value and family memories, and finally, everything is so beautiful. It's interesting idea, but I'm not much of a keeper, so I wonder what I would find/have if I did this?

  2. I loved taking a tour through your home! And I love that the value you place on stuff is spiritual and not financial. It's about legacies, stories, history behind each piece - not the price tag. We share similar hearts in this. I cycle through and donate stuff all the time. I think my pictures in my frames are my prized possession though; I have lost a lot of pictures and photographs through moving, hurricanes, etc. I don't have any pictures of me pregnant with my first two children. So I treasure the pictures we DO have!

  3. Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Aww.. such a great collection of personalized items. You can't really even call these "stuff" b/c they are representations of people and events that matter to you and your family. This is really nice!


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