6 Things Stories: Our Den

Someone I follow on Instagram recently shared the stories behind some of the items in her photo and I thought it was a really fun idea. I mean, when you think about it… basically every single thing in your house has a story behind it. So, I thought I’d put together a little “6 Things” series, starting with my Den.

Thing 1: Birds of Love

On the left side of our fireplace is a glass vase with sticks in it and little paper birds attached to them. If you take a closer look, you can see that each paper bird has a handwritten wish written on it. This is from my baby shower when I was pregnant with Jack and each guest wrote their wishes for us as a family. This is one of the most special gifts I’ve ever received and I love reading all the sweet words written on each bird!

Thing 2: The Home Sign

While my husband has many wonderful attributes, he typically is not a great gift giver. It’s okay, he knows this. And frankly, I’m pretty darn hard to buy for. A couple years ago, he decided that he really wanted to make me something special for Christmas. Something all by himself with his two hands… and NO help. He would sneak off to the garage time and time again, working hard in secret. And then on Christmas Day, I unwrapped this 100% homemade by my sweetie HOME sign. The “O” perfectly fits Jack’s old school picture and the sign sits in a place of honor.

Thing 3: Our Family Tree

I actually wrote a whole post about our Family Tree back in 2016 (you can read it here) and this is an actual tree illustration that traces my paternal family ancestry from 1699. I was able to get my hands on a digital version and update it before gifting a copy to each of my siblings for Christmas that year. Of course, now that there are more babies it will be time to do another update soon!

Thing 4: Great Bear Spring Company Crates

We use these crates to hold firewood, but they were originally used to hold 5-gallon glass bottles of water. Apparently, the Great Bear Spring company has been in business since 1888, and my best guess on dating these is that they came from around 1900.

So, how did I come to own them? Well, when my paternal grandfather passed away his house was FILLED with stuff. So. Much. Stuff. My grandfather was a huge collector of antiques and just generally cool old stuff. We were literally pulling antique soda crates out from underneath stair cubbies.

Anyways, cleaning the house out so that it could be listed for sale* was quite the undertaking and my dad asked everyone in the family to come over and take what they wanted.

Before I was able to get out there, my dad ran into an antiques appraiser lady. He told her to go on through the house and put anything she was interested in into a pile. So, she did. She made a big pile of stuff and left with the intention of soon coming back.

And then I got there… and my dad told me that was the pile that the antique lady collected. Some lady who isn’t even part of the family. Can you guess what I did? Yeah, I shopped that pile! She had a good eye… and I yoinked those crates (along with other stuff) right off of there into the back of our truck.

Oh, and if I remember correctly, she never even came back anyways. So, I appreciate that she did some of the ‘picking’ for me. And both Travis and I LOVE our firewood crates!

*Fun fact, my brother ended up buying the house so it’s still in the family!

Thing 5: My Old Bay Container

Here in Maryland we are known for putting Old Bay on basically everything – crabs, French fries, macaroni and cheese… everything! My brother and I did a 5k a few years ago (the Old Bay 5k) which was run by the McCormick Spice Company. While the race was nothing special – it was basically through an office park – the goodie bag was amazing. It was this giant Old Bay tin filled with a ton of different McCormick spices. While the spices are long gone, the tin is perfect for holding our fire starters with a bit of Maryland pride.

Thing 6: Jack’s Octopus

I love kid crafts. Like, SO MUCH. One of the things that I was so looking forward to when I had a kiddo was all those fantastic kid art projects that he would bring home from school. This one was from 2nd grade (I think) and it’s so cool and I love it so much!  

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5 thoughts on “6 Things Stories: Our Den”

  1. I LOVED reading this post! Thanks for sharing what makes your fireplace special. I loved all the details about the Birds of Love and the crates. We are in the process of cleaning out my grandparents house + three barns and I have been collecting special things that were handmade (like quilts), collected (like cookbooks) and treasured (like letters).

    1. Thank you so much! I love hearing the little stories behind things too. I hope you have a wonderful treasure hunt of your own and able to relive all the little memories that come with the discoveries!

  2. I am always telling people that everything in my house has a story. I really enjoyed you showing us your wonderful treasures! I don’t understand people who have no treasures. I bought a painting, which has a beautiful woman from the 1800’s on it. I was very sad, my mother had passed away, around that time. After we bought this painting, I kept calling this woman in the painting, Ellie, like, ” good morning Ellie! ” She really reminded me of my mother when she was young. Ellie, was what my dad always called mom.
    The painting was not signed. Later on, I see another painting, the same one, in an online store. It was signed. I looked up the artist, and there written in a small area, it says”the artist loved to paint his wife, Eleanor, ( my mom’s real name) who he called, Ellie. ” He also painted their three daughters, We had three daughters in our family! I couldn’t believe it! Maybe my mom was behind this!
    I definitely believe in finding these treasures. You never know what you will find out.

  3. It’s true! I couldn’t believe it. I was online looking for a new puppy, but didn’t see one that fit us, so thought going to this store online, would cheer me up. That is where I found the picture, originally. Then, found the other one, later. From the beginning, I thought she looked like my mother. I still have the picture over our fireplace. Crazy. I told my husband this story, and he thought I was crazy! Highly coincidental! My mother always had things like this happen to her. We called them Ellenisms. Thanks for sharing your stories. It made me think of my mom, again, and all of her strange happenings.

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