I really like our dinner table. It is very simple. It was a purchase Andy and I made early on in our marriage. It was not a very expensive piece, but a piece that I fell in love with and I knew I would like for a long time. I saw it while I was shopping at Cost Plus World Market. This was ten plus years ago, when there were several locations around the area. (There is are still two locations in Ann Arbor and Lansing!)
It caught my eye because it looked so hardy. The African wood finish had a thick tabletop with many distressed patterns — it was a table that I felt I could not break! The excitement was building for the purchase of the table. It was going to be used for the first Thanksgiving dinner Andy and I would be hosting in our new home. Yes, we had lived in our home for a few years, and our oldest was just turning one, but we were actually going to host Thanksgiving. I was excited.
What I really was excited about was having my family all together. My parents and Andy’s parents were both coming, along with extended family. I loved the thought that we were bringing everyone together at our house to truly celebrate what we were thankful for that year. I remember making a homemade mushroom soup as a first course, and reading countless recipes on how to cook a turkey. I really did NOT want to mess up dinner. Everything turned out just fine, but it did not really matter. It was the conversations at this table that I remember the most. The laughter from my dad and father-in-law, the giggles from the kids, and the smiles from all, were present in that moment at this table.
Since that year, 2004, I cannot even count how many dinners we have served at that table, and how many memories we have made at this piece of furniture. Countless birthday candles have been blown out, manners have been learned, and stories have been shared. Yes, there may be a little nail polish on the bench, or slight stain on the chairs, but we remember those times too.
The world we live in is filled with hustle and bustle, and as spring settles in at the Dietrich home, we truly are getting busier. To me, that is why the dinner table is so important. In between lacrosse and soccer games, we will still make time for family meals. Family dinner may just be replaced by family breakfast on some days! I will not let go of our time to connect and make memories. Whether macaroni and cheese is served, or muffins and fruit, I always love the six of us sitting down for the meal.
The boys set the table with plates from our easy storage chicken feeder, and the girls get napkins and silverware. My monkeys lead us in grace, and at times, one is reaching for the ketchup bottle or the littlest is trying to take a bite, but we pause and we say it. We pause for what we are grateful for that day.
I encourage all of you to embrace your dinner table. Whether it be a card table, an antique, or a brand new piece in your home, take time to be together and remember what you are grateful for today.
Make it a great day!