Memories Around and Under the Table

If there’s any holiday that is best represented by the kitchen table, it’s definitely Thanksgiving. I’ve been thinking about my own kitchen table lately and the memories that it holds for me and my family. It was passed down from my grandparents, as my first “real furniture table” after graduating from college.

A few months ago while cleaning, I discovered this treasure under my son’s chair.

Grandmas Table and notes

Bob home from Service April 5, 1969. Got set for Easter.

This was my grandma’s writing, and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed it in the ten plus years since I’ve had this table! I’ve found similar notes from her in other special pieces of china that I have of hers, and I love seeing these notes.  I like to think back to what life was like back in 1969 for my grandparents and dad, their only child, and what a special Easter it must have been as my dad finished his Army service.

Over the past 45 years this table has seen, heard, and experienced a lot! Just a few memories that come to mind:

As kids we always ate pizza on Christmas Eve after church before sleeping over at Grandma and Grandpa’s. There are some Christmas Eves where I serve my family pizza after church too.

I can’t even count the number of times that we ate cookies at Grandma’s house around this table!

Overall, I have fond memories of their cozy kitchen and dining area. I remember being in the kitchen area and listening to my Grandpa tell stories or joke around, making Grandma chuckle and shake her head, as she always did.

Fast forward to when the kitchen table became mine: Daddy O. (at the time just Boyfriend O.) proposed to me in front of this kitchen table ten years ago when we were living several states away.

Fiance O. and I enjoyed meals for two at this table.

Kitchen table Christmas 2005

Kitchen Table with Grandma’s tablecloth – Christmas 2005

Mrs. O and Kitchen table Dec. 2006

Mrs. O. (now married to Mr. O.) – Christmas 2005

This table moved from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin with us to host more family gatherings. Our cat Sumo really liked hiding on the chairs with the tablecloth on.

Kitchen Table with cat 2007

Sumo Kitty likes sitting at the kitchen table – 2007.

Six years ago I hosted Thanksgiving with my two-week old daughter! That was a crazy holiday!! I don’t have a picture of us eating at the table (did I even eat?!), but here was our little family:

Thanksgiving 2009

Mama O., our cute little turkey, and Daddy O.

In a few months and two years later our kitchen table chairs would change to accommodate multiple high chairs.

kitchen table 2010 with a high chair

At the kitchen table, introducing rice cereal to our baby girl in 2010.

Kitchen Table with two kids

Little brother eating rice cereal in his high chair. And then there were two high chairs at our kitchen table!

And then the years flew by with our kitchen table witnessing many messy meals, fewer fancy table settings in favor of kid-friendly items, countless art projects, game nights, birthday parties, gatherings of friends & family, and thousand of family meals.

kitchen table through the years

Little Brother playing with his food, celebrating Big Sister’s 3rd and 5th birthdays, and Little Brother’s 2nd birthday.

Kitchen table, you have been a trusty companion for several generations of our family. I cherish the many memories I have of those who have sat around you and shared in so many celebrations and the simple everyday meals- so many blessings to count as we celebrate your BIG holiday tomorrow.

Fly on the Wall: Big Dreams and Lots of Love

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 12 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Fly on the Wall Post

If you’re new here, this is who is featured in Fly on the Wall:

  • Me, Mama O.
  • Daddy O.
  • Big Sister, age 6
  • Little Brother, age 4

Big Dreams

Daddy O. subscribes to some car enthusiast magazines.

Reading Car & Driver Magazine together

A few years ago – Daddy O. and Little Brother reading Car & Driver magazine.

He was reading it with the kids around, and I overheard:

Little Brother: Can we buy that (a Lotus Evora)? We have a lot of money.

Big Sister: I have a lot of money.

Little Brother: We could tape it together.

Big Sister: Wait, how many seats does it have?

Daddy O: Only two seats

I think that ended the conversation! We often tease them that two-seaters don’t have room for car seats, so they are a mom and dad ONLY car.  Daddy O. is definitely DREAMING of the day he may get a fancy sports car.

Random Things we Hear in the Morning

While “helping” Daddy O. pick out clothes, my son was jumping on the bed, and asked, “Did it (the bed) shiver?”  I understood what he meant!

Big sister, “I have a busy morning. Actually everyday I have a busy morning. I have to wake up, eat breakfast, make my bed, brush teeth, brush hair, pack my backpack…” She is too cute. We made her a chart for getting ready each day to check off her “jobs” to give me a break from saying, “Hurry up!” It’s been working well, but has apparently felt like a lot to her. Ah, the innocence of youth!

I gave my daughter hot chocolate, saying that it might be hot. She replied, “Burning hot!” (a big exaggerated) My son, agreeing said, “So hot you could boil an egg.”

 Things We Thought We’d Never Say

At library craft time, I said to my kids, “You two are very good at crafts.” My daughter, ever so modest, replies, “Yeah, I’m really good,” and my son chimes in, “Better than the rest.”

I explained, “Well, everyone just has fun making their project.” To another mom I said, “My kids are so competitive!” She agreed, saying, “Yeah, mine are the same way. I never thought I’d have to say arts and crafts is not a competition!”

My kids at craft time

At the craft session when the above conversation was had! I should have taken pictures of each project, so you could have voted on the best one!

Fast forward a bit to my birthday, and Daddy O. found himself saying to our children, “You have to eat your food without being annoying if you want birthday cake.”

Best for Last

On my birthday big sister gave me a hug and said

I love you all around the universe.

She is the best! I wrote this post to her, asking her to stay little and sweet. Here’s a recent family picture:

family picture Nov 15

Mama O. and family at Big Sister’s birthday. At least three of us are smiling nicely.

Thanks for stopping by! Now click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

To My Oldest Child: Stay Little, Stay Sweet

I can hardly believe that my firstborn, my daughter will soon be six years old.

Six years ago I remember celebrating my own birthday, thankful that I’d still have my own birthday to myself. Yet as my due date passed, I remember crying, thinking that my baby would never come! (Dramatic, I know, but hey, I was very hormonal).  Two days later, we met our firstborn, surprised and excited to meet our baby girl. Today I can’t imagine my life without her.

My baby girl

Sweet first pictures of my firstborn. As parents, we had a lot to learn together!

Lately I’ve been looking at her, thinking what a beautiful, sweet little girl she is becoming. I cannot even call her little anymore, as she responds, “Mom, I’m medium!” She has been spontaneously giving me hugs and saying, “I love you Mom.” So precious. And she’s thriving in kindergarten, just blossoming in her new setting with new classmates and learning new things. I’m so incredibly proud that my heart feels as if it will burst. It’s so wonderful to sit back and reflect with Daddy O., thinking, “Wow, we have done something right as parents, and to think that six years ago, we didn’t have a clue.” We’ve grown as parents right along with our daughter and younger son.

This fall - My medium girl is full of hugs - even if her brother doesn't want them.

This fall – My medium girl is full of hugs – even if her brother doesn’t want them.

There were some long days way back in the birth – two year old stage, when I thought we’d never get past blow-out diapers, then potty training, crazy tantrums of our strong willed girl, or whatever the drama of the day. But lo and behold, we did, learning a lot together as a family and enjoying many milestones (including these) and many million dollar moments. You probably wouldn’t believe that she once growled at people as a three year old!!

Today it is so much fun to spend time with her and watch her grow up. In the rough times, I wanted to hit fast forward, but in the good times, I find myself searching for pause.

As she continues to grow, and as we celebrate our birthdays in the next few days, my wish for her is to stay little, to stay sweet. Keep up the spontaneous hugs and “I love you’s.” Keep wanting to spend time with your parents and brother. Keep willingly posing for pictures. Keep talking to us and sharing the highs and lows of your days at school. Stay close to us as you continue to grow up because I know there isn’t a way to pause this precious gift of time. Love you, my medium girl!!

I see a pattern in writing “growing up” posts like this one on my blog, so here are some additional posts for your reading enjoyment:

Halloween Now and Then

It really is fun looking back at pictures to see how we’ve celebrated through the years! My kids sure are growing up!