Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To the Kitchen Renovation

familydinner_2

We knew when we bought the new house that the kitchen needed to be redone STAT. It's pretty awful: inefficient layout, closed off from the rest of the house, old appliances, a serious lack of storage (I mean; no upper at all...WTH???) and horrendous cabinets that are probably hanging by a thread. If that.

Case in point. Here's the kitchen this morning (note the small person in the corner). Big, dark and useless.

my kitchen

Ugh.

But we decided before we moved in that we'd live in the space for a year before taking on the renovation; being able to figure out how a space is actually used before making changes is such a great opportunity to ensure the best result. The plan in my head has already been tweaked pretty significantly in the last month and will no doubt continue to change until the day we finalize the cabinet order (much to my husband's chagrin). Regardless, rest assured that this sucker's days are numbered.

While we're figuring things out, we're making do with what we have and not investing anything into the existing kitchen. Which means that we're not buying a temporary island. Which means that we're doing all our eating at the dining room table.

I grew up eating that way nightly (complete with fine china, silver and candlelight; my mother did NOT mess around with dinner) and have such fond memories of long dinners with lots of lively conversation (and arguments of every possible kind). I always expected to do something similar with my family ... and then life happened. With a husband who travels often and kids who generally become "hangry" long before he does get home, I started feeding my littles at our old kitchen island and then eating in front of the TV after the kids went to bed. It became our routine and I kind of expected it to continue after the move. But for the past few weeks my husband has been in town and has been able to get home at a decent hour and we've been sitting down together at the table.

It's been incredible. My son just started at a new school and we've been able to learn so much more about his day: the activities they do, the songs they sing, the friends he's made. My daughter has loved having so much more face time with her Dad and her table manners have improved SO MUCH since she loves to mimic everything that adults do. And my husband and I? We're both just enjoying the mid-week sense of family cohesion.

I'm not sure if we're going to be able to continue doing dinner like this -- life does tend to get in the way -- but I'm going to relish the nights that we do get together.

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