Wednesday, September 25, 2013

// love where you live

A few weeks ago I posted this picture on Instagram.

The caption said: I firmly believe you should love where you live. 
I'm currently loving how this little area at the top of our stairs is coming together.

I’ve been thinking about that first part about “loving where you live.” 
Why? Why do I think it’s so important?

I came up with two reasons and I wanted to share, it being my blog and all. 

:: One :: I’m a stay-at-home mom. I spend the majority of my day within these walls and it can be draining, mentally and physically. When I look around my house I want to love what I see. 
When things get ugly throughout the day, I want to see pretty things hanging on the walls. 
I really think that your physical environment affects so much of what you feel.

For the record, I’m certainly not saying that my house is clean. By no means! 
If you walked in right now it’s the cleanest that it has been in a v e r y long time and that’s due to the fact that I’m a bit overenthusiastic about having a brand new vacuum (we’ve never had a new-new vacuum). 
It’s a little bit sad, to tell you the truth. The novelty of it all will wear off, I promise.
After seeing a relatively clean rug, you’d see the couch cushions on the floor 
and, later, a grimy bathroom that I haven’t cleaned after having 30+ people over last Saturday. 
Every day every single room of my house is peppered with toys of all sizes, shoes that my three-year-old kicks off as soon as he walks in the door, and the kitchen counters are littered with remnants of breakfast and lunch prep until well after dinner time.

BUT! While picking up toys for the umpteenth time, I glance towards the door and see a few cute and tiny gourd pumpkins on top of the record player. There’s a pretty fall wreath hanging on the bright red front door. 
Upstairs, I’m still infatuated with the stripes we painted 
and I still love the black and white picture collage of our family.
Those things bring extra happiness to my day.
I feel a little bit of joy when I catch sight of the stairs with walnut-colored stained landings, 
bright white risers, and batten board walls on each side. 
My husband refinished them last spring 
and they are everything I wanted after talking about the project for four years.

When I see these things, I feel like I’m home. I feel like I’m in MY home. The home my husband and I have almost literally built together and made our own. It is sprinkled with things all around that mean something to us that have our stories behind them. 

It’s good for my soul to remember that this is the house the Lord has given Phil and I. 
It’s the house that we’ve been making a home for our entire marriage. 
It’s so good to remember that this is the house that my kids will call their first home. 
It’s where we’re making their first memories. 
All that makes it easier to go back to wiping tushies and feeding babies and making dinner.

:: Two :: I think my home should feel a little bit like a haven for my husband, my kids, and anyone who comes in here.

I hope our home is where my husband looks forward to coming back to after a day in the big, mean world. I want him to walk into a house filled with pictures of us and his kids and quotes about things that we value as a couple and as a family. 
I want him to feel like we’re building something --a home, a family-- worth building. 

I want my house to edify my family. I want my son to feel proud when he sees his schoolwork up on the shelf in the family room. I want my kids to both to see their tiny footprints on the wall in the room where they play and their initials hanging up in their room.

When the world outside my home is ugly and competitive and overwhelming, I want so badly to have a place for people to come in to feel safe and a sense of belonging. Somewhere where family and friends can sit on the couch, put their feet up, and have a cup of coffee. Don’t worry about the coasters.

I want to my house to be filled with things that scream:  
“Hi, we’re the Tomasellos’— Phil, Esther, Jake, and Siena.” 
Why are there two maps hanging up? Phil is American, Esther is from Costa Rica. Why is there a statue of Mary in your kitchen next to an embroidery hoop that says “Choose Joy”? We’re Catholic and we believe that Mary is our greatest example of joy. What’s that photo album of? Take a look: it’s of all of our Christmas cards, invitations, 
and birth announcements from over the years.

I really love my house but this blog is called Lovingly Thrown Together for a very good reason. A lot of the things that you’ll find here are just that, thrown together but with a ton of love. We don’t have crazy amounts of money to do projects but we make-do. 
We use what the Lord has given us to beautify our space and make it great for us to live in.

I encourage you to do the same. Maybe don’t paint stripes on your walls but try framing your wedding invitation or just a favorite quote printed from the interwebs. Throw some extra pillows on the couch or a pretty table cloth over the dining room table. 
Make your space yours. 
Let it represent you and bring you joy.

Do you have something you love in your house? 
Even if it's a pumpkin on top of an herb jar or the color of your bathroom. I'd really love to hear about it. 
Let me know in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Instagram with hashtag #lovelivehome and tag me @esther_tomo.


Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl said...

I think its so important to love where you live. I love to decorate and make our house feel like a "home"...our home. I am a sucker for pillows, candles, shabby chic lanterns and inspirational artwork.

abby said...

I completely understand being over-the-moon about a new vacuum!


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