A new table and thoughts on death (interesting combo, no?)

I wanted to show you our awesome table that my grandpa made for us. It's definitely going to be something we keep forever and will be such an amazing heirloom to have, made with love by my 80-something Pepaw:)

I have always wanted a piece of furniture made by him, but never really knew what to request. I was worried about transporting a nice wooden piece all the way up to Wisconsin from southern Missouri, so I just didn't ask for anything at all. Then my younger cousin got married and asked Pepaw to make them a dining room table as a wedding gift. Genius! It turned out SO well and I figured that if he could make her one, then he'd probably make us one, too.

I already had the six wooden chairs I scored on Craigslist for a mere $100, and I wanted a table that would be big enough to seat at least 10 people. I sent Pepaw a few pictures of the chairs asking if he could model the table around their style, and also found a cool table on Crate and Barrel that was similar to what I wanted. And then he took off, working away on this beautiful one-of-a-kind table for us. He was in Wisconsin for a visit this summer and took a look at the chairs in person, and had the idea of taking a chair into a local paint store, asking them to match the chair with a stain for the table. He took that custom stain back to Missouri and stained the bad boy, topping it with many coats of polyurethane.

The end result is awesome, if I do say so myself. I am in love with it. I've always been a table cloth girl, and although Memaw sewed two gorgeous table cloths for us, we are just using runners she made to dress the table. Can't hide the prettiness of it under cloth!

Our new dining room table:








And also, my mom brought up the window treatment she made for our stairway window. It's a 'faux' Roman shade this time since we never actually lower the blind in that window. Love how it finishes off the stairway for us.



And on a completely unrelated subject, I feel the need to mention this on my blog today: a coworker of mine died suddenly in her sleep last weekend. She was probably no more than 55 years old, completely healthy and was such a kind, thoughtful person in our small therapy department. When I got the urgent message Monday morning I was in complete shock and my mind immediately started spinning.

When was the last time I talked to her on the phone? Friday, it was Friday and she was helping me with scheduling some new patients. Was I kind to her? Was I stressed and hurried, not taking the time to thank her for her assistance?

And then the deeper questions rose to the surface: Would she have done anything differently last week, if she had known it was her last? Did she get to see her beloved grandkids recently enough? Is her family going to be okay without their anchor? I can't believe she is gone. She just didn't wake up one day and they are going to do an autopsy to figure out why. She was so young and healthy. How can this be?

Death is an intense thing. It makes people push aside the insignificant details of life while grasping onto priorities. Sure, I'm tired and busy and there are never enough hours in the day to knock out my ever-important To Do list. But who cares? Life is amazing and good and such a gift. Nothing is guaranteed. Something could happen to me, or Nate, or our parents at ANY time. I absolutely hate thinking about it that way but when someone dies, it automatically makes me refocus. It makes me pray to God, thanking him for this precious day. It makes me pray for protection over my friends and family. And it makes me want to hold my babies and never let them go, kiss Nate goodbye like it could be our last, and call my parents just to say 'I love you.'

In addition to my co-worker passing away, my Dad's oldest sister also died a week ago. This death was not quite as shocking and sudden, as my aunt had dementia and was no longer eating. But it was still a sad loss for our family as she was like a second mother to my Dad, 15 years his elder. My heart hurts for my uncle and their family. It's just so sad.

I know this new-found focus about life will fade and I will be stressed in no time. It's impossible to ALWAYS be in the moment and grateful and looking at the bigger picture. But if nothing else, I was able to snap out of the mundane day-to-day routine, the feeling like we are just barely getting through each day and not really living life. We are living it, no matter how crazy it is. And we are so blessed.

New favorite pictures alert:




and my teenager who is too busy on his iPod to look at the camera


  1. Love the table!

    But I'm so sorry for the loss of your coworker and your Dad's sister. How awful. Yes, death does make us appreciate life more. But as the memory fades and we get back to life it is hard to stay in the moment.

  2. I'm so glad I could inspire you to get a Pepaw table. :) And I can't help but notice that Cecelia's headband incorporates your wedding colors. I'm sure you planned that. haha

  3. Hilarious picture of Truman!

    Love love love the table! Beautiful!!!

    I know what you mean about your coworker. Just 2 years ago at the age of 26, a boy I did my BSc with died in his sleep. Just didn't wake up. Changed my life. I was doing my masters and we were thinking of putting off starting a family so I could do my PhD. When he died I thought "If I die in my sleep tonight, am I happy with my life?" No. I wanted to be a mom. Cue new life plan. Momma to almost 2 and no PhD in sight.

  4. The table is beautiful, what an amazing piece of furniture for you to have and pass on for years to come.

    I am sorry about the deaths in your life right now! It is especially hard to understand when it's sudden and unexpected.

    Little girl is so cute! I'm in love with that headband.

  5. The table is an amazing gift. How beautiful.

    Very sad about your coworker and your aunt, I'm sorry about both. Agree that death helps put things into perspective in a really big way.

  6. Wow. I'm so sorry to hear about those deaths! So sad. You are totally right though- those moments really help us to focus on what's important.

    The table is amazing and how cool that you get to pass it down through the future generations :)

  7. That table is amazing - love it. My grandpa did a lot of woodwork, and we have a few of his pieces and I love them!

    Cecelia is so adorable! Love little baby girls :)

    Deaths in our lives certainly do bring things into perspective. If only I could hold onto that at 5am...

  8. Sometimes when things like that happen it put you and your thoughts in check and at least you have the foresight enough to use it to your advantage and remind yourself to appreciate the little things. Sure you'll get stressed and hurried again and forget but it's good that you can see it now and appreciate the wake up call.

  9. How special to have such keepsakes made by the ones you love!

    So sorry for the losses in your life recently.

  10. Just popped over after seeing Meredith mention you! Love your blog and the table is gorgeous - so sorry to hear about the losses lately.

  11. That table! Uh! Gorgeous! I can't believe it's man made!

  12. That table is absolutely amazing and beautiful. I love that he has his custom stamp.

    Reading about your co-worker made me cry, especially in light of what I just wrote. I would not be happy to be living this life, spending my time as I am and not loving my people enough.

  13. Death is really funny like that - I know that my hubby doesn't think like this, which makes it harder for me - but, it makes you really figure out what is important.

    Baby Girl is so cute and that table is beautiful! :)

  14. Good morning! I am a relatively new reader of your blog, but I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy it, both the writing and the photos. I'm sorry to hear about the recent losses in your life.

  15. Oh my word, that table. I'm dying over here. It's gorgeous and suh a treasure.


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