Mike recently refurbished our old dining room table. We’ve had this table as long as we’ve been married. His parents gave it to us shortly before our wedding when they bought themselves something new. We spent the weeks leading up to our wedding sanding, priming and painting all of the hand-me-down furniture we had either thrifted or been gifted.
Those early years of our marriage are special memories to me. I can still perfectly imagine our first apartment. Our combined living room and dining room was so small and the table so large, that literally almost every photo taken in that room also shows the back of a dining chair.
Everything inside was either bought used or given to us. But our lack of cash and new possessions didn’t matter to us, it only made the beginning all that more meaningful. There is a certain freedom that comes with not having money as a newlywed. You can’t fight about what to spend it on if you don’t have it in the first place.
Those first few years were incredibly simple, but incredibly sweet to me. We walked to the library to borrow movies, cds and books for entertainment. We cooked basic meals. We spent our evenings at home playing games or going on walks. I remember the occasional pizza dinner we would splurge on tasting unbelievable good. And I remember the Chipotle lunches we would have on Sunday’s after church and grocery shopping tasting almost like our own private joke. Like no one could have guessed how little we had because to us, we were living the dream.
Almost 10 years later, life has certainly changed. We aren’t exactly living the high life, but we certainly have come a long way from those early days. And while we replaced our original gifted table with a new, “thrifted” table, I can’t help but wonder at how far those 10 years have brought us. We now have a home of our own that we are filling with little ones that call us “mommy” and “daddy.” We have careers and professional plans that we never could have dreamt of all those years ago. And more often than not, we look around, slightly shocked, to discover that this is our life. Our dreams were so simple back then, it’s hard to believe just how drastically they’ve been exceeded.
Our little table has had it’s share of knocks and dings, but it’s also hosted some wonderful dinners with warm people and meaningful conversation. Many an argument haven been started at this table, but it was also where I broke the news to Mike, five years ago, that he was going to become a father. Like us, our little table has gone through a lot in the past 10 years, and we all can’t help but come out a little changed. Perhaps more importantly, though, our little table is a good reminder of the things we will always carry with us from those early years. The love and wonder that grows from simple beginnings.