The King, The Castle, The Magic.

Gratitude Challenge- Day 5- Something that Makes a Home a Home.

Brainstorming… So I started off today’s challenge thinking about the not-so-original…a “family” is what makes a home; “home is where your heart is” etc. Even though I do believe that, I really wanted to find a place, a space, an item or something that has made a huge difference in my home life.

I started to think of the living room, and a couch. I was like, yeah…. a couch. You have to have a couch to feel at home. I thought of cuddling, and blankets and movie watching and being sick on the couch… but then I remembered my college apartment. Where we spread out pillows before we had any furniture and ate Applebee’s appetizer palette on the floor. That was homey. And I felt happy. So maybe it wasn’t the couch. I kept going, I kept searching… and then it hit me.

In some sort of chronological order…

It’s where our family set for dinner, when the rule still stood that we turn off the TV.

It’s where my mom placed all of those meals from the Baldwin family cook book.

It’s where I felt the pant, pant, pant on my legs of a large black animal’s breath. A drip and an ooze of slobber slurping across my pants.

It’s where I blew out almost every birthday candle, and where I watched my family blow out theirs.

It’s where I carved jack o’ lanterns and dyed Easter eggs.

It’s where I ate home-made ice cream on Christmas Eve, it’s where we had Thanksgiving Dinner.

It’s where we shared toast early on Christmas morning with our beloved neighbor family.

It’s where I watched my Aunt Luanne carefully paint each fingernail, as a young girl with admiration in her heart; hoping to grow up one day also looking this beautiful. ❤

It’s where I’ve been “talked to”… it’s where I heard advice.

Its where my Mom laid out mats, put us in crafting bibs and tarped the kitchen down like we were about to create a massive explosion and then carefully handed us a jar of play dough.

It’s where Kristen and I accidentally killed a bunch of aquarium fish. Where all of the aquarium parts laid out while we were diligently scrubbing.

It’s where artistic juices have been encouraged and developed- so many sketches, paintings and crafts.

It’s where I found my academic self while preparing a high school psychological study, and where I finalized some of my best English papers.

It’s where I filled out my college applications. It’s where I read my acceptance letter. It’s where I read the names of my first college roommates: Miranda Kellogg, McKenzie Brunori, and Allison Demski.

It’s where we’ve played board games, specifically QUELF, drank Caribou Lou and watched as my brother was motivated to write a rap regarding his ginger-noggin.

It’s a place where someone may have put a tooth through a bottom lip, with an empty bud light box on their head. You might be surprised to learn who.

It’s where I’ve sipped hot coffee, groggy and happy with people I love to chatter with.

It’s where I threw my first ever baby shower for a best friend.

It’s where I gazed into the eyes of my father and brother and said, LOOK … DON’T BE WEIRD OR MEAN THIS TIME, I’m asking you PLEASE, I actually really like this one; and then Mike walked in the front door.

It’s where I told my Dad I was pregnant. (Yikes!)

It’s where we set the wedding budget and started the great design. Searching pin by pin.

Holy smokes, this is it. This ALL took place on one piece of furniture. All at the kitchen table.

BUT let’s not forget, MOST IMPORTANTLY, most MONUMENTAL, the reason someone, I can’t even remember who, deemed this place and those memories…. “The Nights at the Round Table”. It’s because this space, this family realm… is where the Sherwood’s have invited all we know, a place we have handed them a beverage and drawn them in to some of the deepest, most ridiculous, most heart-warming and sometimes controversial conversations. Debating, reminiscing, imagining and diving into the minds of one another.

It can be overwhelming! To be honest, I know some people who have avoided it. They’ve seen the magnetic pull on the others and say “ugh” and walk away for the night. They’re not up for a NIGHT AT THE ROUND TABLE. They need a day off. They need a mental break. They can’t be bothered with the ideas for that evening. Some nights, that has even been me. But I’m telling you, it’s been an epic space. It’s been an energy and a connection. It has been so much more than just a table.

For real, this cracks me up, because now thinking about it, there are so many little things that make the idea of “Knights” and “Nights” of the round table so fitting. For so long now my Dad has joked about being “King Sherwood”….aka King Arthur for our purposes…and this particular table has just one chair with large arm rests on it….hence the “King’s” chair. This has always has been my father’s chair.

So now I’m laughing, and I’m picturing us: King Sherwood, Sir Kameron, Lady Brooke and the various Knights that proved themselves to be worthy at the Round Table. Bahaha! Oh what nobility! Just know, if you’re reading this and you’ve been at our table… you are included in this clan. In this LEGEND. Thank you, and you’re welcome.

In conclusion, I feel Mike and I are now left with such a QUEST, for our forever family home… find this perfect family space. The perfect dining arena. The place to bring the magic.

The gratefulness I have in my heart for the round table, inspires me to discover the next generation of nights (and Knights) for the Martin Castle. ❤