Those of you who have been around here a while have seen lots of this little corner, but when Porch.com asked me share a few stories about my favorite corner of my home, it took me about two seconds to reply, “YES!” By the way, have you heard of Porch.com? It’s a really cool home network that allows you to find the right professionals, get inspired, and manage your home….for free, so make sure you head over and check it out!! You’ll be glad you did!
I’m the sentimental, story-telling type, so any chance I get to share some of my favorite memories, I’m all over it. One of my favorite corners in my home is completely devoted to all of our memories of vacations and experiences that we’ve shared as a family, from my travels with my family when I was young, to when my husband and I first got married, and now our travels, and even just Sunday hikes with our daughter. Almost every piece of this corner has a story, and I love walking by and thinking about all of the fun memories we’ve shared. Rather than just hanging another vacation picture (and I have plenty of those too), it’s a way to make my home uniquely us and tell the story of our family.
It all kind of started with a sand collection. My mom started it when I was young, and would bring home a bottle of sand from all of the beaches we went to. I started collecting my own sand in Jr. High, and now I have some of her sand, as well as what I’ve added to my own collection. Rather than just having pictures or some cheesy, expensive souvenir, I love bringing home a little piece of our vacation with us–and now even my five year old has started her own collection and loves to tell people the stories of her travels and adventures. This year, she was over the moon to be able to bring home sand from her first “warm” beach, when we traveled to the Dominican Republic. This vacation was truly the stuff dreams are made of, full of so many firsts for her: swimming with sharks and sting-rays, seeing a crystal blue ocean and white sand, watching her grandparents parasail (yes, they are the brave ones), I could go on…and for her to be able to bring home a piece of that memory is truly priceless.
Beaches aren’t the only places where we collect sand though. Our summers usually consist of road trips to National Parks. My husband grew up spending his summers road-tripping and camping and has visited every National Park west of the Mississippi–how amazing is that?!! So we also have sand from some of our favorite National parks like Zion, Arches, and Crater Lake in Oregon. We are blessed to live in a State (Utah) with LOTS of National parks, so we visit fairly frequently. For the record, favorite Utah National Park: Zion. Hands down. If you can visit one, make it Zion. It’s out of this world!
Oregon is one of our very favorite destinations and has become a yearly trip for us. We travel from Salt Lake City, where we live, all the way to the coast. By car. With a four-year old. It’s an adventure. Along the way we always stop at Lava Butte–an awesome National Monument outside of Bend Oregon, with hikes through lava tubes, beautiful forest, and a viewpoint where you can look out over lava fields and beautiful Oregon pines for miles. We always pick up a few lava rocks while we’re there to add to our little corner. One of my very favorite moments on our last trip to Oregon was when Adelie & Chandler decided to do their best “dead-pine tree pose”–they’re mimicking that one in the right side of the picture. Uncanny, right?
We leave Lava Butte and head to Crater Lake. This is somewhere I probably never would have visited, had it not been on our way to somewhere else, but it is truly BREATHTAKING. Pictures don’t do it justice. The sheer size of Crater Lake is beyond words, and blue water like you’ve never seen.
After leaving Crater Lake, it’s onto the beautiful Oregon Coast, one of our favorite places on earth!!
We have photos, sand, rocks, pine cones, drift wood (just about anything we could pick up along the way) in this corner.
Our travels are also a great opportunity to collect unique “art.” The National Parks all have vintage style post cards, so I always pick up a few when I visit, and then just use flower frogs to display them. One of my favorite things in my home is this map of Canyonlands National Park, that was hand-drawn by a local shop owner in Moab, UT. I actually have another one of these maps, which hangs in my office (a project in process–coming soon).
This quirky little shop is one of my favorite stops on our trips to Arches and Canyonlands, it’s full of little treasures that I can always take home and add to our collection. In fact, a few of our other, smaller treasures hang in my entry way.
Since we’re always grabbing new stuff, this corner is always in a bit of transition, but that’s the way we like it! We rotate through things, add to it, move things around (my favorite map has now moved to my gallery wall), but it always tells the story of the places we’ve been, the things we like to do, and the time we spend together as a family. You can see more about what’s in this little corner of mine and the stories behind it, here.
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