Making a house a home

By Rachel Ballin


There's a big difference between a house and a home. A house is a structure that provides your basic shelter from natures elements. Yes, this is important for your family, but a home is so much more. A home is a special place created by your family, specifically for all of you, filled with love and warmth. The memories you make in your home together tend to last a lifetime.

When you walk into our home you will see, it definitely has a country style. But if you look past the décor, you can see what is important to us. Framed pictures of our family and friends hanging on most of the walls. Calendars hang up to keep this Momma on track. Plus our children’s accomplishments adorn our fridge door with funky magnets collected over the years holding them up.

But making a home doesn't happen overnight. My husband and I have lived a few different places in the seven years, we have been married. A place before our children were born and a place with just our son, before our daughters were born. Each of these places represents a different time in our life. A milestone was met at each location and our family grew, changed, in different ways. The home we live in now is what I consider to be our true family home. We have lived in South Plymouth for four years now. Liam was three when we first moved in. Fynlee and Bryn came to our home as babies from the hospital. We've created special spaces for each of our children and ourselves, within these walls. Plus we have spaces for each of our animals outside and in. We have made our house a home.

But building our home is so much more then new paint on the walls and furniture in the rooms. I can show you where Fynlee took her first step in our living room. The spot in the driveway where Liam fell, learning to ride his bike without training wheels and scraped his knee. The corner of Bryn’s bedroom, which holds her crib, where she now happily lays her head each night. Or Bill's 'bar' that gets filled with our friends, family and laughter every fall and winter enveloped by the warmth of the coal stove. No two rooms alike, but each space filled with the same warmth and love that our family brings to the space with each memory we make.

My favorite place and the heart of our home has to be our dining room. It's the room our family tends to gravitate too. Our dining room table also used to be the center feature of my grandparents dining room. Even though it is old and a few chairs have a little wobble, I love the sentimental feeling behind our table. It's a special feeling knowing that where their family celebrated and shared special moments, my family is now sharing family dinners, birthdays and meals with friends. Our dining room is a multipurpose room at times too. Our children’s artwork is clothes pinned on a twine line above crate shelves. These crates hold baskets of workbooks, encyclopedias and project materials. Around our table is where Mom school happens, during the day or in the evening after dinner. When it came time to pick a spot in our house for my new desk and much needed work area, the opposing wall was the place for my desk to be! Sure it would be quieter in the guest room. I most likely would have fewer interruptions down there. But the truth is sometimes their little interruptions are a welcomed surprise. Sure I have a ‘to do’ list to accomplish, but I don't want to miss out on their questions and laughter either.

Our house is a home, because our family lives in it together. We laugh, play, eat, learn, grow and sometimes cry inside its walls. It protects us from the elements and shields us from danger, but it is truly special because of what we have created and continue to experience together each day.

If you’d like to hear more from me throughout the week please check out my Facebook page – ‘Baby Talk – with Rachel’. You’ll be sure to find great tips, ideas and answers to your questions each day. Plus read updates and see pictures of what my family is up to and how our projects are going. I look forward to hearing from you!

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