Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bottled Memories

After more than a year of writing posts, I find my blog evolving. No, it's not because I have run out of projects. I doubt that will ever happen. It's because of your comments and emails (Thank you so much!). I've decided that I want my blog to be a place where you come to get inspiration not just for your home, but also for your life. I'm excited to announce that I will be including two more labels to my posts. Tomorrow's label will be "Featured Inspiration." I've asked an artist to tell us a bit about herself. I'm hoping that these occasional features will help inspire you and give you courage to follow your dreams and passions.
Today's label is "Embracing a Lifestyle." These posts will include those little things in life that we need to take time to stop and appreciate. I find myself some days spending a lot of energy wanting the magazine cover home and lifestyle. But when I stop to think about my life, it's really the messy, noisy, simple, far-from-magazine-cover things that are the most meaningful. Here's a wonderful example:
I have this little bottle tucked away in a drawer in my bathroom. Every time I open the drawer and see it there, it warms my heart and makes me smile. I know it may not look like much to you, just a dollar store bottle containing some faded, folded construction paper pieces. But to me this little bottle is a cherished possession. Years ago my only daughter organized her three oldest brothers, and each of them wrote me a little note. They folded those love notes, stuffed them into this bottle and presented it to me. It's one of the sweetest gifts I've ever been given. Each time I see it I think of my beautiful children and of how time has passed so swiftly. I wish I knew then how quickly the years would fly. I think I would have treasured the days and the moments with my children a little more. I am thrilled that I have this bottle of memories.
Isn't is wonderful how something so inexpensive can be so priceless. I think that it's a good reminder that the best gifts really can come in small packages. Maybe one of the blessings of living in a time when we're all needing to watch our finances carefully, is that we can get back to giving simple gifts that are heartfelt and meaningful.
Have you given or received a gift that cost little but meant a lot?

24 comments:

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

What a sweet post! Yes, I have received several "treasures": saved love letters from my husband (then boyfriend) and I to each other; Cards handmade by my daughters; a foam and pom-pom flower pin my daughter made for me at school; a bottle from my late grandfather's collection. These are what is special to me! :)

KJ said...

Love the post!

I love any card or drawing my kids give me. I always tell them they don't have to give my any gift from a store just make me some thing and it would mean sooo much more. :o)

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

Love this post. You're so right about appreciating the little things and the little moments.

My son started high school this year (9th grade) and it had never occurred to me before this year that he's REALLY going to leave someday..soon! It hit me that I only have 4 years left with him before he's off to college. I spent so many years feeling like the future was soooo far away, and here it is. So I'm being extra careful now to appreciate all the little moments together.

Sorry for the long comment :).Have a great day!

Songbirdtiff said...

This is the best kind of decorating! Our decor should be about life, not the other way around. I often feel the same way you do, wanting the magazine cover. I have to be reminded all the time that my home will always be evolving. Sometimes we can't have the prettiest thing because of our animals (i.e. a white couch!) but I would gladly trade a beautiful couch for all the snuggles and kisses I get from them. Thanks for taking the time to remember the little things!

Ruby Red Slippers said...

That is the sweetest thing. I would treasure that too-

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

I gave a note to my mother that I folded up into a one inch square and tucked it in a tiny brass box with a four leaf clover embossed on the lid. She was leaving on a trip to Germany because her brother had passed away and she was feeling a bit fearful. I told her to tuck this tiny box into her pocket and feel my love whenever she felt afraid. My mother passed away two years ago this coming May and that little box of love now belongs to me. It has come full circle. I know my mother treasured that little box like you treasure your bottle of love.

Susan said...

What a great idea for mothers day. I will be using that one.

bj said...

Take it out of that drawer and display it where it will bring joy to you all day long!! It is a precious treasure of the love your sweeties have for you!
xo bj

Simply Susan said...

I really loved your post today. I find that the little things really are the ones that matter.

Joy said...

BJ,
I USED TO HAVE THE BOTTLE OUT, THAT'S WHY THE PAPER GOT FADED. INSIDE THE DRAWER THE PAPERS WILL BE PRESERVED A LITTLE LONGER AND IT'S LIKE A LITTLE SURPRISE EACH TIME I SEE IT INSTEAD OF LOOKING PAST IT BECAUSE IT'S OUT EVERY DAY.

Amy said...

I have a butterfly picture made from my youngest's feet. It took many years and lots of therapies and prayers and such to get him where he is so it means so much.

ginny said...

That is the sweetest gift ever! I may just do that on my own, since my little grands are always cutting out little papers with pictures and writing on it. I still have some special cards that my two kids made me. It is so true, I think that when my kids were little, I did not spend enough time with them, either. HOWEVER, THAT IS WHAT GRANDS KIDS ARE FOR! We spend a LOT of time with them. Great Post!
ginny

Mom in High Heels said...

I have one of these that Indy made more me. He was getting ready to go stay with my mom for 2 weeks, and he went to his room with a piece of paper, pencil and a little velvet bag that a Christmas ornament came in. He was in his room for almost an hour with the door closed. I had no idea what he was doing. He came out with the little bag and handed it to me. He told me to pull a piece of paper out. He had ripped the sheet of paper into at least 35 bits and wrote "I love you" on every single one. He told me that I could keep it with me and every time I felt sad I could pull one out and know that he loved me. He was 5 when he made this. So sweet.

Small House said...

I did this for my husband years ago. He wasn't as excited as I thought he would be. I - on the other hand would have loved it!

Have a great day.
Sandra

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Great post! It is true it's the little things that matter most.

Sandy Toes said...

That is just the sweetest post...I love it. You are so very creative and memories are wonderful to save b/c my mind can't seem to remember much.
sandy toe

KayC. said...

I have six children...all grown up now...but when they were little I would find a little note here or there that one of them had written to me. I have everyone of them and have them hanging up in my home. I have collage them with other items from my children(I call them wallables). I love them all & stop to read them almost everyday. My children on the other hand call it "The Wall of Shame". My husband looked at it one day and said, "It is all about you!" Which I said "yes" and if he wanted me to do the same with his little notes, ect. I would do it. He said, "that would be nice." Won't our children be thrilled with that! And now we have grandbabies...lot more wallables to come! :-D

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

about ten years ago my siblings and I filled a jar with memories for my mom....from our childhood...things she'd long forgotten about. It was the best gift ever for her. She cried everytime she'd pull one or two out to read. My mom sadly has alzheimers now and the memory jar is packed away but I will never forget how she cherrished that gift.

Cherry's Jubilee said...

I have old cards my great grandfather wrote to my grandmother..that mean a lot. I am very sentimental. Anything my son has made me tugs at my heart. Great post. cherry

Kelli said...

Sniff, Sniff...So sweet. I think the gifts I remeber the most either cost nothing or not much. The bracelet my 7 year old made me for Mother's Day is my favorite thing!!

Together We Save said...

That is so sweet. My girls have made me a few special gifts over the years.

Mimi Sue said...

The years do fly by too fast. I wish I'd known then what I know now. Mimi

The American Homemaker said...

What a sweet bottle from your kids!

Kelley said...

This post, "Bottled Memories," inspired me to do a post on my own blog, Kelley Highway, about the Father's Day jar my children and I prepared for my husband in 2004. We lived in Manila at the time and the girls and I prepared the jar before they left to spend the summer in Missouri with their grandmother. My husband and children were apart for Father's Day, and when I gave him the jar, he took it to his office and read each and every tiny slip of bright paper on which we had expressed our love and gratitude to him. Later I received the sweetest note from him which I found and reread just the other day. (He had cried...)

There is power in acknowledgment of even the littlest things.

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