Monday, June 20, 2011

Our Memory Wall

In 5 years of marriage JB and I have moved 5 times.  Just call us nomads.  At some point our lives may settle down permanently but until then I pride myself on having become an expert in the arts of packing and purging.  Maybe all of our nomadic tendencies have served us some good because I have begun to develop a philosophy on home life and style that I believe goes largely against what the average American family lives by.  

My philosophy is this: 
Our home should be a place of ultimate familiarity and security, a safe-haven for our family.  I want to rid our home of all junk, decor and "stuff" that only serves the purpose of "being". Every single thing that we own should hold meaning to us as a family and should serve as a reminder of where we have come from, who we are and what we mean to one another.  

Which is where our family memory wall comes in.  When I first came across this decorating idea on Young House Love, I wasn't quite sure what to think.  I loved what I saw but wasn't sure if we could actually pull it off and make it look good.  I've never been risky in decorating.  In fact, my decorating style has been downright boring.  I generally stick to clean lines and I steer away from clutter--I like safe. But, if there's one thing this past year has taught me it is that taking risks can be a good thing.  And so, we decided to take a risk. Actually, JB decided for us when I showed up home from work one day and found a kitchen table full of new frames.  

Regardless of how we got here, this wall has only helped to further my philosophy on home.  It has become a place that I can look to when I need a reminder of our history or on a day when I am feeling extra sentimental.  Everyone needs one of these walls. On our wall are significant song lyrics, a special piece of jewelry, a love letter, newspaper article, a marathon medal and various pictures marking important moments we have shared together over the last 12 years.

Here are some of the inspirations we used to draw from:

H G T V 's Emily Gold

Young House Love

A Wall of Veterans
These men have a special place in my heart because 
they are now the 90 year old seniors that I work with every day.

So, here's what we came up with:  

To the (bottom) left is one of Mack's 3 month pictures.
 To the right, a hand written letter that JB wrote to me when we were 14 yrs old.  
Highlighted are the words, "I don't know what God has in store for us but I can't help but think that it might be something special."  

 Here is a newspaper article written about us while we were in college.

 The top frame here holds my first marathon medal and a picture of the Wilson Avenue "hill" in Chicago where my training runs first began.  To the bottom right we framed a family portrait of us visiting a Key Largo beach last year for Mack's first dip in the ocean.

And, if you've followed me this long and are still interested you can check out the story behind this frame.  It's under the post "Puzzle Pieces".  If you are a momma, I think it's worth a read.

While I would normally do the exact math and tell you how much this project cost us, the frames were a surprise from my husband so I didn't think to look at how much he spent.  I would guess that he spent $70 on all of these frames.  If you wanted to do this project cheaper you could absolutely search for frames from thrift stores and garage sales that you could re-do yourself to make this a very inexpensive project.  With that said, who doesn't love a surprise from their husband every once in a while?  I'm not complaining.

We will continue to add along the sides and we still have an empty space waiting for a picture of Belmont but for now this is our memory wall.  I think I love it.
What do you guys think?


  1. love it! wish my mom could catch onto your philosophy of "home"...I'm trying help her sort through her stuff this week...they haven't moved in 22 years and their place is full of "cheap finds she found at the thrift store" and she is ridiculous about getting rid of stuff! Tears have been shed by her this week, but seriously, this place is stressing me out, I must take over! we already filled up 4 garbage bags from closet 1!!

  2. I love this! And I really enjoy your style of writing :)

  3. Love this one! you are amazing with how you take an idea and make it your own. I am encourage to follow in your footsteps!