I follow this gal on Instagram who has the most gorgeous house.
Every room is so lovely and so simple.
She does not hang ANYTHING on her walls.
When our house got hit with mold damage this summer and we had to repaint some of the main interior rooms, I decided that I wanted to be just like her.
As we took down a bunch of hanging plates and various canvas art that I had been collecting over the years to prep the walls for painting, I told the hubs that he could put away his hammer for good because I was going minimalist.
And when the room had a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore’s Gray Horse I looked around and felt really good about my new… nothing.
For about 48 hours.
After that every time I walked into the living room the walls basically begged me for nail holes.
Not to mention that it was weird hearing our voices echo all the time.
Who was I kidding? I was never meant to be a minimalist. Just look in our garage and it will tell you everything you need to know about the truth in that statement.
Besides, some of my favorite homes to visit are the ones where the walls aren’t filled with perfectly coordinated artwork, but rather pictures of family and loved ones. Of fun times and memories.
There is something so attractive and inspiring about a home that gives you a little window into their story.
Because God is in that. He is the author, after all.
So I decided to make the walls of our mold-free home tell the story of our own family.
I started in the center with a photo of our little family on the day we brought Happy Baby home from the hospital. We were all gathered on the hospital sofa bed waiting for the nurse to discharge us. After almost 100 days in that place we were so excited at the chance to get home and start our life together as a family of 4.
To the far left I included the first photo I ever got of our entire family SMILING. I couldn’t believe it. Everyone is looking at the camera and appears to be really… happy. Because usually when it comes to family photos someone is having a nervous breakdown about something (as evidenced HERE and HERE).
Next I printed a photo of Happy Baby when he was about 1 month old and still on oxygen. It’s a tough picture to look at sometimes because it brings back so many painful memories, but it is a part of our story. And I can honestly say that his birth and struggles awakened me to a deeper way of living and loving than I ever experienced before.
Then there’s that photo of Happy Baby looking awesome and adorable right before the Lord surprised us with the joy of getting to have his feeding tube removed.The top photo here is my favorite out of all our wedding photos. I remember wondering if my cheeks were going to explode from all the smiling that was happening that day. We were so young, so carefree — so skinny. :-) We had no idea the trials we would face in the years ahead, but we knew we had Jesus and we had each other. That is all that mattered.
And that bottom photo accurately depicts Happy Baby’s budding sense of humor and that way he daily helps me not take life so seriously.
The far right is a family picture a dear photographer friend captured for us. She gifted us a free photo shoot because she, herself, had been through a NICU experience with one of her babies and felt it was God’s call on her life to serve other NICU families with her gifts. Thank you, Bobbilee.
The bottom chevron frame is a picture of the Happy Buddy on his first trip to Disney World when he was 6 months old. We still question why we decided to spend the 14 trillion dollars it took to go there when all he did was look cute for that one photo and then sleep the rest of the time. And throw up on my favorite shirt while we waited in line at the merry go round.
And of course I had to include a photo of Happy Buddy eating a cookie because that child asks me 1400 times a day if he can have a treat. I’m so scared he’s going to go off to college and eat nothing but donuts and cake for 4 years.
That top photo was the one I taped in the Happy Baby’s NICU incubator for him to look at all those many hours we all weren’t able to be there with him.
I love the middle photo of father and son. We affectionately remember this Easter photo shoot as that time the hubs cut Happy Buddy’s hair and accidentally used a number 2 guard on the hair clippers instead of a number 3.
Finally that bottom photo was one I took on a date night with the hubs a few years ago. We were in a rough patch in our marriage, but this photo reminds me that we were committed to each other no matter what. For better or worse. And we came out of that season with a much better understanding of how to love each other well.
I look at these walls and I see God’s faithful hand graciously woven through each photo – each captured moment from the journey He is writing for us.
And that is way more interesting to me than looking at a whole bunch of nothing.
How do you share your family’s story in your home?
– Julie :-)
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
*You can find most of the picture frames I used for our gallery wall at Hobby Lobby.