We spend pretty much every night (and day for that matter) at home. Spring – fall, most of our meals happen around our picnic table. Chris and I will often linger a little longer at the table while kids run around. We look around and talk about all the things we would love to do to our home and yard. We have about 2 acres in the middle of town. When we were beginning the process of buying our home, we would sneak over and sit on the back porch (no one lived in the house!). Sitting on the porch we dreamed of what it would be like to raise a family here – kids and friends filling the field.
I know it often looks like we are out in the country, but we are actually in a really wonderful location to make the most of our town and still feel like we are away from the crowds too. It is a perfect location for an introvert girl that married a highly extroverted boy.
Our yard is one of my favorite places. While I am grateful for all that it is, I still dream about all it could be one day. When it comes to our yard, all my ideas center around hospitality and creating a home that makes others feel like they can take a deep breath and just be themselves. No expectations. No pretending. Just come on in, be you, share your story, and be here with us.
My “Outdoors” pinterest board is full of ideas. Things I want to do in my backyard. Huge tables to fit all our guests. Twinkle lights. A swimming pool. Flowers. Lots of flowers. Comfy seats and hanging plants…
Top Row: Carlaaston.com || Buzzfeed || via BestPicker
Second Row: Jenny Darling || A Bryan Photo || norskeinteriorblogger
Third Row: (Looking for original source) || (Looking for original source) || Keltainen talo rannalla
Fourth Row: 79 ideas || Better Homes and Gardens || Simply Seleta
Right now our yard looks more like this – a picnic table and a small inflatable pool…but there is always a steady flow of people and lots of room for running around.
Every now and then I sit at our picnic table and think about what I can’t see (all those pinterest board pictures) instead of what I can see. Sometimes I am tempted to think that to host people well in my home I need some of that stuff – the big tables and twinkly lights and cute potted flowers everywhere. Sometimes I read articles or blog posts on how to be a better hostess and I walk away thinking about all the things I don’t do and all the stuff I don’t have.
But deep down, I know it isn’t the stuff that makes others feel comfortable around my table.
Honestly, I’m not even sure what it is that makes others feel comfortable…but there are always extra people in our home so that tells me it can’t be about having all the right stuff.
I decided last week to keep track of how many people came through my front door starting Monday and ending Saturday. 39 people (and 2 bearded dragons and one rat). We didn’t have any parties or big events. A couple of those were planned visits, most were spur of the moment stops by. Friends that see my laundry and don’t look twice. Family that deals with a dog that we are still training not to jump (she loves people). Guests that eat eggs and biscuits for dinner with us because I didn’t plan dinner and a game of Ticket to Ride distracted us all.
39 people that simply by coming through my front door told me it isn’t about a pinterest-worthy backyard. It isn’t about how well I cook. It isn’t even about having a clean house. As much as I still want those things (and I think they are perfectly fine to have), while I am waiting for the yard of my dreams I’m going to keep making sure my front door and back door are always open.
My boys heard me talking a little while back about some of the things I wanted to do in our backyard and how it can be hard to wait for things when they aren’t in the budget. They asked me how much I would need to begin some of the projects. I gave them a number. They immediately gave eachother that look that I knew they were about to go empty their banks to make their mom’s backyard dream come true.
I smiled at them, encouraged their generous hearts, but told them we’ll just wait together. We’ll wait for my dream backyard with an open front door and chocolate chips cookies for their friends.