Word of the Year: Home (Hygge)

So every year, I pick a word of the year.  While it has taken me over four months to write about this word, it has been “home” (or hygge for any Norwegians out there) since the beginning of the year.

It’s a lot different from the words I chose in years past.  Usually I choose a word that describes how I want to approach things or a motivational saying to help guide my decisions.  But when I kept trying to think of the perfect word, this is the only one that fit.

I thought back to a few years ago, shortly after we moved into our house, when we went for three months without any income.  It was awesomely fun with three kids at the time.

Yea, obviously it wasn’t awesome, but honestly, there was a lot that I learned – I learned about trust and faith and peace.  But the most important thing I learned was how to feel like what I have is enough.

I’ve always had big eyes – I see things and I want them.  Concepts like minimalism never came easy to me.  But then during those months when we had no income, I realized that we really didn’t need very much at all.  As long as my kids had food in their bellies, school to nourish their hearts and their minds, a safe home to live in, and us, then they had all they rally need.  I had all I really needed.

And it’s a lesson that stuck.  It hasn’t been often since then that I have bought things I didn’t need or very seriously desire.  It’s been great!

So I guess you could say that I learned to find abundance in very little.  And one place that I found that abundance was in my home.

It’s not big.  It’s not fancy.  We have one bathroom for six people.  (Barely civilized, I know!)  But it’s ours.  And it’s safe.  And thus far there haven’t been any mass rodent invasions.

I think people think I’m silly when I talk about how much I love the place that I live.  But I really and honestly do.  I love the crown molding.  I love the floor trim that is all different sizes because it was installed and added to and replaced over the course of 137 years.  I love that the trim around the windows is different sizes and that the windows upstairs were apparently put in so that people could lay flat on the floor and see out the windows.

I love that our basement used to be a cellar and that Mae’s room is some sort of old sitting room and that there aren’t enough closets because there simply weren’t a lot of closets a century ago.

I guess you could say that I love sitting here and thinking about all the people and lifestyles and decisions that went into making this little quirky place what it is.

And so today, when I found myself with absolutely zero energy or motivation to do anything, I started to feel a bit bad.  Here I had this home that really does feel like home for my family, and I simply could not convince myself to do the laundry and the dishes and vacuum – all simple enough things that would have just made it that much more comfortable for my family.  All those little things that are important to me and that basically make up much of the day of a mom to multiple littles.

I started to get lost and a little depressed, and I decided that it was time to focus again on my word of the year — home.  Instead of trying to make it perfect, I just wanted to remind myself of the little places of loveliness.  The places that bring me delight.  The parts that wrap my girls in a warm hug.

And so I thought perhaps I would bake some fresh bread so that the scent could waft through the house.  And then I laughed because who was I kidding – burnt dough does not smell good.

And so instead I went out to a couple of thrift stores and I searched for the perfect little thing to make me smile.  And for far less than $20 I found a few.

I thought today that I would share some of these with you as well as some other parts of my home that make me happy.

And then I throw it back to you – what makes you smile in your house?  What makes you feel at home?  What parts are you proud to share with your kids?  I would love to hear or see pictures.

A few of my tangible, material loves.

I love fresh flowers

Especially fresh picked ones.

And I love anything hand knit or crocheted or handmade.  Especially if it’s in an unexpected place.  We have a serious yarn obsession.

And I love lace.  I’m hoping to make some doilies for my living room walls soon.

My kids like decorating too.  They take my hygge spaces and put stickers all over them.  Or notebook paper with words.  Go figure.

And I like just random pretty things.

And of course there can’t be home without books in every nook, cranny, and basket.

And finally, I’m a mom.  So perhaps my favorite places are those places decorated by my girls by hand.  Goosie made this for my window about a year ago.  I love how it catches the light, and I just can’t convince myself to take it down.

Well, that’s about it.  Like I said, it’s not big and fancy.  But these are some of the little parts that help me live my word of the year, and help me feel glad knowing I’m giving my family a comfortable and nurturing place to call home.

Sometimes soon, I’ll write about some of the non tangible ways I try to bring a spirit of comfort and inspiration and hygge to our home.

And this daytime post, of course, is brought to you by all sorts of naughtiness when I wasn’t looking…

About Amanda

I blog about deliberate, purposeful living and parenting. I'm a bit sappy. I mostly like to talk about ideas that inspire me to more effectively live and interact with the world around me. Sometimes I try to be funny, but there is a slight chance that I am the only one who actually gets my humor.
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