The Stuff that Connects Us

The Stuff |

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve tried to pull together this post.  I’ve written it about a thousand times in my head and slightly fewer than that in Word.  Of course I’m exaggerating, but it’s just because this has been a hard one for me.  Awkward humor makes it easier, right?

If sentimentality isn’t your thing… I’ll be back later in the week with something more upbeat and design-y.  Promise.

When I started this blog, my vision was to share stories about life and home.  To tell about things that have more of a story than the average Target find.  I knew I would include the average Target find plus our own DIY and crafts, but I like hearing the history of something and I wanted to dig into that too.

Vintage Jewelry |

I had no idea what lay ahead.  But God always does and I think He was giving me a creative outlet to process what was ahead… what continues to be ahead.

Over the last six months, Tyson and I have begun to help our moms go through some family stuff.  With the passing of my step-dad and the deteriorating health of my father-in-law, our moms are having to deal with the kind of stuff that no one wants to deal with….processing the emotional stuff and the physical household stuff.

When you get married everything is so fun and shiny and new.  There are endless possibilities.  Think of all the dinner parties you are going to have with that amazing china?!

Place Cards |

No new bride thinks about that day when someone is discussing what is going to become of her china.  It’s just too depressing and sucky.

And there have been days that I haven’t felt like writing because it’s all been too depressing and sucky.  Not because of the actually stuff, but because of the actual having to say good-bye to that person and season of life.  In all honesty, we haven’t even begun to help The Moms deal with The Dads stuff.  We are just helping them deal with The Grandparents stuff.  This road is going to be a long one.

Vintage Christmas Card |

I pour all this out to you so that you have an idea of where I’m coming from.  I love home décor and design and I’m choosing to write in a niche that values things that look polished and pretty.  Perfect.  But life isn’t perfect.  It’s messy and emotional… and ultimately that’s what makes it beautiful.  It’s not really about the stuff at all.

So know that as I share the latest Target find, I’ll be sharing more of the life stuff too.  I promise to keep it more sweet and funny than sad and depressing.  And as I share about our family, I hope to do it in a way that honors those that are gone and those that are left handling the bittersweet stuff.

Vintage Letters |

The saying is abundantly true: You can’t take it with you.  But in the meantime, what do you do with all the stuff?  Have you had to help family deal with stuff? Did you spot the little dog in the Christmas card?  Did you spot that cute little pup in the Christmas card?  Seriously, how cute is that?!


  1. Gilit says:

    I’m so sorry for the hard times your family is going through right now. My cousin recently passed away and it rocked my family. As with all other hard things in life we became closer in our grief and try to remember the good, happy and very many funny times. As for dealing with the physical “stuff” it’s hard to let go but keeping things for memory’s sake can often be a burden physically and emotionally. Taking pictures and writing and recording stories and videis is my favorite way to deal with “stuff”. I wish you all the best in the world and will keep you in my prayers. Xoxo

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks Gilit. It was been a really rich season of spending time with family… lots of laughter and sharing memories. Some of that I hope to share here too.

      I’m sorry to hear about your cousin. It’s a mind blowing thing to have someone you shared life with suddenly gone.

  2. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian says:

    Sentimentality is definitely good to write about, even though it’s hard… the other thing that would be good to write about would be those mirrored place card holders? IS that what they are?

    It’s hard for you on both sides– needing to be supportive of The Moms, but also dealing with your own feelings about The Dads…

    When my mom lost her mom, the hardest part for me was watching her and realizing that someday, I was going to have to do the exact same thing. Obviously I was sad about my grandmother, but it was even sadder to get a glimpse of the future like that.

    • Danielle says:

      YES!! Those are mirrored place cards… stunning, right?! Tyson’s grandmother loved to properly entertain.

      Thanks for the encouragement. You are so right… It’s hard on many levels. Watching The Moms figure things out without their spouses, that person they would have leaned on in trying to figure things out… It’s sad and frustrating, but it’s given us special time together too.

  3. Alex @ northstory says:

    I lost both of my grandfathers last year within a 2 month span of each other. One of them had his funeral on my birthday no less (the one that always called me his favourite grandchild) and my mom went down to Poland to do all of this that you are doing right now. Process the family belongings in an apartment she grew up in but had no remaining immediate family there to live in it anymore. So she asked what I wanted brought back and I said just my grandma’s silver plated tea set (it’s worth nothing money wise) and my Grandpa’s suitcase & his army belt that I wear every week I already had so I just said anything she felt was right.

    But the thing I wanted the most was for them to “do” was not sell my Grandparents apt b/c I wanted one day to be able to take my husband and the Great Grandchildren that they never met in person to see where their family – my family’s side – came from. And how far we have come from that broken down old building with concrete floors and 5 flights of stairs with no elevator that most modern households wouldn’t even consider a livable space let alone one where a family was raised. By sheer luck my cousin wanted to buy it so it has stayed in the family. And that means more to me than any material item that she could have brought home.

    I really appreciate posts like this and LOVE all the wonderful “retro” items in your photos that are genuine keepsakes. Because I feel like sometimes at the end of the day, you can have the prettiest damn home on the planet with a laundry room that can make some people’s entire kitchens look dated and it doesn’t mean a damn thing if you don’t have a family that loves you to come home to.

    • Danielle says:

      Amen, sister! I adore you for sharing your heart here.

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandfathers. That sounds like such a crazy season. I’m so glad that you all were able to keep the family place and it will be so cool for you to go back with your girls. We had to sell my grandparents place and I still dream about it. It’s not that it was anything fancy, I just have so many memories there. It’s somewhere I wish I could take my kiddos now. Even if the new owners allowed us to drop in, they’ve completely gutted the place and it’s not the same.

      That is so cool that you have your grandfather’s belt and that you wear it! I seriously love that. If you ever want to do a guest post about it, the tea set or the suitcase I would love to feature you.

  4. Stacey says:

    Love that you’ll be doing the sentimental posts. Those always give us a glimpse into the heart and soul of the writer. (YOU) For me, that is wonderful!

    I’m not a sentimental person AT ALL! I was only close to my mom’s mom because my other grandparents passed when I was young. She was a rockin’ granny! Loved to play poker, drink beer, and talk about men. She had the prettiest skin and hands (loved watching her hands when she pulled in her poker winnings. HA!) She always wore this big chunky black and gold ring and it wasn’t anything fancy… just costume jewelry. When she passed away (lived well into her 90’s) the ring was in a box that was being set aside for an estate sale and I grabbed it quick! And for a person who isn’t sentimental I LOVE that ring and wear it probably once a week. The fake gold is faded but the memories are clear.

    Looking forward to the sap. (giggle) I love your stories of home and family!!!
    As for losing loved ones. I cannot bear the thought of it. It’s inevitable and we’ll all be faced with the sadness. Thankfully we all have each other to get through it. It’s so hard to watch your parents lose their parents or spouses. But thank goodness we all get a chance to love and be loved. It’s all worth it.
    xo 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman! Seriously… don’t you wish you could grab a beer with her now? I bet she would have some even crazier stories to share with you now that you are older. 😉 And can you imagine that her ring almost went to an estate sale?! That has been the weirdest part of going through stuff… some things we have no idea why they were saved and other things (items that we thought were meaningful) are no where to be found.

      While we were visiting my mom, she gave Tessa one of my grandmother’s rings and she just treasures it. It makes me smile every time I see her wear it. Like I told Alex, if you ever want to do a guest post and share it, I would love to feature you, friend.

  5. ScrapAndSalvage says:

    these sound like hard times, danielle, and definitely a new era for both you and your hubby. it’s nice that you have each other to navigate this new territory together. i look forward to hearing more about your stories. hopefully you can find encouragement, wisdom and comfort within your blogging community, too. how great is that?!

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks. It’s almost surreal that we are dealing with things from both sets of parents… lots of similarities. And it’s nice that The Mom’s (who have always gotten along) are encouraging one another. If only they lived in the same state.

      We feel incredibly blessed by a great community… online and off. Thank you for being a part of that. 🙂

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