With the magic of the holidays upon us all, I have found myself spending time making sure my home is perfect and inviting for everyone who enters our house. Since Thanksgiving, I have found my new hangout spot has truly been the kitchen.
The kitchen, at least in our house, has turned into the hot spot where everyone gathers (sometimes, even when I don’t want them to!) Since Thanksgiving, my kitchen has been buzzing like the Energizer Bunny. I have been cooking, and baking, and cleaning, and cooking, and baking, and cleaning some more. And truth be told, there won’t be an end in sight until after the first of the year.
As much as I bark at everyone to “stay out of the kitchen!” the truth is I absolutely love being surrounded by those most important to me. There’s nothing that warms my heart more than bustling through my kitchen, moving on to the next treat, with a full glass of wine and good conversation; nourishing not only our bodies but our souls.
It’s chaotic, it’s aromatic, and it’s full of love.
Looking back throughout the years, I feel the kitchen has symbolized where I’ve been at each stage of my life. As my family has grown, so has my kitchen. Starting out years ago on my own, my kitchen fit only me. Perfect for a single girl and a lot of microwave dinners. Just learning my way.
Move ahead to my husband and my first home; the kitchen fit the two of us and not much else. It was tiny, it was barely functional, but it was perfect. Our microwave died in that kitchen, so, we did what we had to do and we learned to cook together in that kitchen. It was home. I made my famous tater tot casserole for the first time in that kitchen. It’s where we cooked a soup that was the last and only thing my grandfather would eat before he passed away. We washed our son’s bottles in that kitchen. But, like all things, there came a time when we had to move on. With the arrival of our son, we outgrew that home and that kitchen just like the one before.
Now, after building our first home together, our kitchen is the heart of our home. It’s the first room we flock to when we get home after a long day. It’s where my son sits and watches me cook, asking how he can help. It services our entire family. It welcomes everyone who walks in through the front door and invites them to stay; to be part of our family and part of our traditions. It houses the memories of each of my son’s birthday parties. The cake, the food, the laughter. It’s where we’ve built gingerbread houses, and worked out great ideas, and where we’ve planned for the future.
With Christmas approaching, I encourage you to take a look at your surroundings. Not the material possessions but your memories. What traditions do you hold dear? Where is the heart of your home? The one place that you find your peace and comfort, even amidst the craziness of the season.
For a look at some of our favorite kitchen designs, scroll through the gallery below.