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My family embarked on a complete kitchen renovation last week. We’re talking walls down, gutting everything, new appliances and new furniture. It’s the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken and I’m excited thinking about the new gleaming kitchen with it’s white cabinets, giant island with quartz countertop, and the gazillion hooks for all of the things a family with two small children needs to organize. My husband is excited about the new 48” range and the beverage cooler.

As we were in the process of packing up the kitchen and preparing to live out of our dining room for the next eight weeks, I began to reminisce about one piece of furniture: this table.  

This Kitchen Table

It’s the table Rob and I bought when we were dirt-poor living in Silicon Valley. We might have paid $200 for the table and six chairs. That was A LOT of money to us on our graduate student stipend and my entry-level job at Stanford.

While in California, this table served as the gathering place for our made-up holiday “Thanksmas”; for Bay Area Buckeyes Alumni Club board meetings; for late-nights philosophising about how we were all going to change the world. It’s where I studied for the GMAT and typed my MBA program applications.  

This table made the 2000 mile trip across the country when we moved back to Ohio. It’s where we ate our hurried dinners when Rob was a new professor and I was a full-time MBA student. It’s where we began our meal-time games of fetch with our 13-year old dog, Bella. It’s where I submitted job applications and pondered where to work after graduation.

When we moved into our first home in 2008, we said we would eventually get a new kitchen table. But we haven’t. This table has been with us as our family grew. It’s where Mary Beth and Katie blew out the candles on their first birthday cupcakes. It’s where we carved Halloween pumpkins and dyed Easter eggs.

We’ve hosted dozens of parties and get togethers and no matter how I arranged the living room or dining room, everyone gathered around THIS TABLE.

It’s not only the big things that I’ll reminisce about. I’ll remember reading a daily newspaper on this table for the past 16 years (an actual, hard copy paper – yes, we are old souls.) I’ll remember starting each day at the table with breakfast and ending each day at the table sharing the one thing we were grateful for from the day.

Play Doh at the Kitchen TableWhen I asked each of the family members their favorite memories from around this table, they said:


  • Frostening hundreds (if not thousands) of Christmas cookies during Bakesgiving – another made-up holiday (photo above is from Bakesgiving 2018).
  • Dyeing Easter eggs.

Katie's Kitchen MemoriesMary Beth

  • Sitting at the table talking during dinner.
  • Making Christmas cookies with our extended family. 

Mary Beth Kitchen MemoriesRob

  • Wondering what he was in for when he ate my favorite Swedish meatball recipe early in our marriage. You can read about that one HERE.


  • Watching the girls write their first book reports and letters to Santa.
  • Writing dreams down at the table and working to make them come true Every. Single. Day

I’m excited for the memories we will make in our new kitchen.

What’s your equivalent to THIS TABLE?

How have you made your house a home? 

I hope this post has made you reminisce on your favorite memories made around your table.

P.S. If you are wondering, the table will be relocated to the basement where the girls have plans to turn it into their “slime table.”


Small Town Leadership Founder; Natalie believes everything she needed to know to succeed in her career she learned by growing up in a town of 600 people. As a Certified Professional Coach and award-winning public speaker, she helps her clients and audiences make wherever they are feel like a small town. She lives in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, Rob, a professor at Ohio State and two little girls.

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