A few years ago Elle got what she had been begging and begging for for Christmas: a new camera.
She was delighted.
And instead of going around taking pictures of her Christmas gifts or of her family, she promptly went about taking pictures of everything on our walls. A wrought iron piece of decor, each picture lining our stairway, the picture of Jesus in our entry way, the picture of Grace making a funny face in our living room...you name it, those things on the walls were the first thing on her photography agenda.
Since that day I've been extra sensitive as to what's on our walls. If my daughter thought they were important enough to be her first items of business with her new camera, they obviously meant something to her.
I think we underestimate the influence of what we put on our walls. My kids notice the second I change something. So I better make what I change it to stuff that counts.
So I'm going to post a little tour of what's on our walls right now so I can remember it:This is a little kit for a family tree my friend gave me for Christmas a couple years ago. I LOVE it. It took a little while to get all those names on there, but I really enjoyed thinking about all those people that have influenced Dave and my lives in so many ways, and I love that our kids can see that on a regular basis as they walk out the door each day. I want them to know their roots (or "branches" in this case).
This is a favorite quote from President Hinckley another friend gave us for Christmas a few years ago. I want my kids to know how much Dave and I love and respect the prophet. (We need to get updated with President Monson at some point...)
This one doesn't really need explanation...I should be super duper rich by now...
My brother gave me this collage of pictures he took in Jerusalem for Christmas last year. I'm so thankful to finally have something up on the walls to help me remember those six months I spent there on study abroad that meant so much to me and helped me decide I wanted to serve a mission.
And of course, what kid wouldn't feel a little more loved having pictures of themselves plastered on the walls?
This is our "relatives" wall so we can be reminded of all the cousins and grandparents we don't get to see on a regular basis.
And this is our map by our kitchen table. I had a guy come build a frame around this map so we could have it right there by where we eat...which often helps us talk about different things going on in the world over dinner (that is, when there isn't a food fight or crying going on about how the kids don't like what I made for dinner...or Lucy throwing a fit under the table). Dave and I want so much for our kids to be aware of the world and to instill in them a love of traveling and exploring it like we have. (We put red dots on all the places at least one of us has been to.)
I made this banner to hang over our front door because of a really neat experience my Dad had with those words. I love the thought of "loving more" (I love that it connotes action) and I hope we can really do just that in our family...love everyone around us and each other with our whole hearts.
And finally, after a ton of deliberation trying to figure out which picture to use, we settled on this one to have enlarged on canvas. This is where Dave and I got married and I hope my kids can know (from seeing it on the wall each day among many other things), how sacred and amazing we feel that our marriage, as well as that holy place is. (Yes, some day I'll actually finish this room, but for now our new temple picture is doing the trick...at least for me.)Oh and I can't forget the collage I made for Dave for his birthday last year of pictures from our big trip to Beijing for the Olympics...we don't want to be forgetting that any time soon!
Anyway, every once in a while I take my kids around and give them a "tour" of our walls so they can know how much these things mean to me and why we have them up in our house.
Now we just need to figure out a family picture to enlarge...oh, and a place to display ancestor pictures...
Not enough walls.