The next home has probably taught me some of the most meaningful lessons about home in the shortest span of time.
O and I'm guest posting on her blog today (here). Please head on over and tell her hey from Fab Island, wouldya?
Sherry and I instantly clicked (we are craft twins) and, when my after-school sitter could no longer watch Munch, I made arrangements with Sherry for after-school care - (THANK GOD FOR HER)! Her home serves as my inspiration in more ways than one. Here we go...
Home - Where Fun Begins
I've mentioned how Sherry and I met through our little girls' involvement in Pop Warner cheer. After one of the games a number of kids were heading back to her place for fun and Munch was invited. I
totally broke my own rule and let her go. When I arrived 2-3 hours later to pick her up, I walked in and almost choked on the smell of popcorn. Sherry set-up a movie night by spreading a bed sheet on the floor and placing large bowls of popcorn in the center. The kids crammed on that sheet and watched a movie that I'm sure they'd all seen 50 times. It didn't matter how many times they'd watched it, they were having an official movie night and no one could tell them otherwise. With indoor fun like movie nights, family dance parties, family cook-offs and more it's easy to see why my kid never wants to leave!
During my initial visit, Sherry informed me her house caters to her children. She's arranged her family room furniture in such a way that there is always a stage for the kids. They dance, they sing, they flip, they cheer, they play... and Sherry never misses a moment! The children have center stage in the family room... the couch and armchair are for guests, their audience.
Organization - A Place For Everything
Sherry has a healthy case of OCD. She's designed her home so everything has a place. Her pictures are stored neatly in photo boxes on the book case, kid-friendly snacks are readily available in the kitchen wire organizer, lunch snacks are individually bagged/labeled in the fridge, etc.
Sure, Sherry is a stay-at-home mom and takes her responsibilities to her home seriously. I get that but it's still mind-blowing for me because, at any given moment, she will have 4 kids (only two are her own) and her home stays so clean.
Home - An Open Door Policy
Sherry told me, for as long as she's been married, she and her hubby have never lived alone. They've always had a family member living with them. While I'm sure that has its moments, Sherry's home is a reflection of her (and her hubby's) heart: if they can help, they will help.
Right now, in her four bedroom town house, there are 6 people living there (4 people in her immediate family and two additional family members).
Her home is a blessing to those around her. She always has enough food to share - big pots of spaghetti, steak fajitas, crock pot stews... there is always enough for everyone. It reminds me of the big pots of soup my parents made when I was younger. We lived on the food for days or we had enough to share with those who stopped by. It also convicts me in my own life. I have become so regimented in my cooking that, many times, I don't have enough to share. I've gotten away from cooking a little extra (for lunch or pop-up visitors) and, despite the space in my new place, I don't know that I could accommodate permanent house guests.
Home - Scents & Sounds
When I arrive to pick-up Zion, I can smell Sherry's home from the streets - the bleach from family clean days, the crock pot meal of the day, popcorn from movie nights. It feels like home as soon as I walk in the door.
From the moment you enter you can hear the sounds of home - giggles from the kids upstairs, sounds of sneakers running up and down the stairs, something sizzling on the stove... it's all therapeutic for me.
My parents' home has always been lovingly called the House of Hope, lol. When I feel sick (and I do have some health issues), I can go there and feel better. The closest to the House of Hope in my area is Sherry's house. I've felt awful during one of our recent shopping trips - blood sugar dropped, serious migraine, cold sweats, I was too BAD off to drive home - and I went to her house and sat on her sofa. The sounds and smells of home drifted me off to sleep and I woke feeling well.
Sherry inspires me to adjust my home so I always have enough - love, fun, food, space - to share because that's what HOME should be about.