Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mom Cave

I know. I'm weird. Always have been and am quite comfortable with it. Why else would I do a post about the fact that my walk-in closet is my favorite place in the house; my Mom Cave. I've included many close-ups of the treasures not obvious to the naked eye, especially as we move further through the pictures.
Below, that's my side.

That's his side. Well, kinda. Does any part of a closet ever really belong to a man?

That is a nook we created around the laundry chute.

That's my version of a jewelry armoire. (Close-up pics to follow.)

That chest is one of the reasons this is my favorite spot in the house. That beat-up old hope chest holds all my (material) treasures in life. Mementos from my wedding day, the outfits my babies wore home from the hospital, all the sweetest notes and pictures made by little hands, school-days albums, baby books, teeny tiny little booties. Well, you get it. The same things you have in your hope chest.

Let's move back to the nook for now though.

As we approach the nook we see a couple things that don't look like much, but mean the world to me. The framed picture on top is my son's first finger paint at about 16months. Hanging on it are the little shoes he wore before he actually needed shoes. Beneath it is a card I got from a best friend when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. It said all those things that seemed sweet at the time, but until one actually holds a baby and watches him or her grow, can't truly have meaning. Hanging on it are the little shoes my girls wore. And next to them are a couple pictures from my girls conveying the depth of their love for their mama, and, like most things precious to me in this closet, they aren't exactly prime time (you know, professionally framed and hanging over the fireplace), but mean more than the most expensive artwork on the block at Christie's.

The next two pictures contain more items one wouldn't display with the family photos on the buffet, but again, were lovingly constructed by tiny sweet hands for their mama. The pictures across the top of the mirror were made at Bible School and say God Loves Me and are so full of their individual personalities. There's a small card made by my daughter with a smiley face constructed from beads. This is kind of my "writing desk" area where I keep stationery and cards. The times when I have to leave for work so early that the kids aren't awake yet, I write them a note from my monogrammed writing tablet (a gift from a dear friend) and leave for them to find when they awake. Or, I occasionally put notes in their lunch boxes and here is where I sit, late at night after they've gone to bed, writing the notes they'll read when I'm not with them.
Nevermind the blond wig. That's a post for another day.This is a G-rated post.

This picture seems like nothing, but in that short stack of blankets are some tattered used quilts that I saved and saved for to put on my girls twin beds when we moved them out of their cribs. They were kind of expensive and my husband was really opposed, but by the time they were ready to make the transition, I had saved the money AND they went on sale. I loved those quilts and kept them on the beds until my nine-year old girls finally convinced me they were big girls and wanted to pick out their own bedspreads. So, here they sit in my closet providing a window that looks back to the time when I moved my babies out of their cribs into their beds and I thought time was moving too fast. Also in that stack is a beautiful quilt hand-made by the dearest aunt a person could ever have. She made it for my first baby to come home from the hospital in. She stitched the entire thing by hand and I've never seen anything so meticulously and marvelously made. Many told me not to use it, but I'm one of those that uses all the beautiful things around me. I wrapped him in that more times than I can count and each time thought of her. Now, that I've lost her, it's not only a link to my son's history, it's my link to her and I love having it near me every day.

One last thing about the picture above. For this picture I opened the door to the laundry chute from the other side which opens into the hallway. Another reason I like my cave is that while it may seem like I'm secluded, all I have to do is open the laundry chute and I can talk to two of the kids in their bedrooms and keep an eye on them when they are stacked three deep in the bathroom brushing their teeth before bed. It rarely goes well - - "he's touching me," "that's my toothbrush," "I was here first." So a little extra monitoring thru the chute never hurts.

The next series of pictures is where I keep my jewelry. I'm good with showing these pictures because I have very little of great economic value. Though if something happened to the items, it would be like losing precious gems. Sitting on top, of course, is the picture from my wedding day. It IS one of those that should be hanging over a fireplace, but once the children come along, you need a place for their pictures. Plus, I always felt funny having such a big picture of myself on display. On the top shelf are flowers I'm sure many of you have too that children love to make out of tissue paper. I saved enough to create this little bouquet. And the mermaid is one my daughter painted at a "paint your own pottery" birthday party she attended and she thought I should have it for my closet because they all know how much I love this room.

On this shelf is my "jewelry box." Yes, it is a silverware chest. Not exactly perfect, but it does the job. And yes, here are more pictures that need to be on display somewhere because they are all charming in their own way. The other thing you should know is that tucked in tiny little boxes inside the silverware chest jewelry box is where the tooth fairy hid all the teeth my children ever lost. Again, circle back to the first comment I made. "I'm weird." Yes I know one or two teeth for the baby book should do it. I just couldn't ever bring myself to physically drop one of their teeth in the trash. So, they are tucked away here and will be until some day when they go through my stuff and chuckle (or roll their eyes) at me for having kept such strange stuff.

You will see an actual jewelry box on the next two shelves. But the other items are of more interest and significance. On the small jewelry box is a picture I found years ago of a gown that I imagined would be the most beautiful "mother of the bride" gown I might wear one day. I clipped the picture and tucked it in here and hope that when I get to be the mother of the bride some day, the bride will also agree it is beautiful, but not too beautiful, and agree that I should find someone to make it and wear it.

The cup has special meaning to me for a variety of reasons. The aunt that made my son's quilt, also had a stunning collection of Allerton's Blue Willow. She served traditional Thanksgiving on it to my extended family every year since I can remember. She created wonderful traditions for my family and when she passed away, I bought the collection and have tried to continue the traditions she started (see my Thanksgiving post). I could do an entire post on the history of the Blue Willow in her family and what it means to me to be able to hold those same dishes in my hands that she and my uncle were the grateful custodians of for decades. I keep three pieces of jewelry in that cup; my wedding ring, a ring from my mother, and a shell necklace my husband made for me on vacation one year.

The last two shelves hold more jewelry, dying flowers from my daughter - just like the teeth, it's hard to throw them away - - and more boxes of pictures.

Keeping watch in my closet are three stuffed animals I must keep. Are you seeing a pattern here. I have issues with separation. First of all, Raggedy Ann belonged to my girls. (I have twins if I haven't made that clear) Funny thing is, they never played with her. It drove me crazy. They each had one and I put it next to them when they slept, I'd grab her and do voice overs to make them laugh. I played with Raggedy, as I called her, in front of them. Nothing. It never took. She sat on a shelf in their closet while everything else got played with so I finally put one in storage in the basement and one in here. Why? I don't know. She's charming to me. Maybe it has a little to do with the story of my own Raggedy. Mom tells me that she couldn't get me to stop dunking my own Raggedy Ann doll's head in the toilet. She said she caught me doing that all the time and finally, out of exasperation, she took the doll away from me because she was tired of washing her and monitoring her hair for toilet water. She said I didn't do it with any other toy, except Raggedy. Maybe it's subconscious guilt I feel. Maybe I just thought every girl should have a Raggedy Ann. No matter, they both have one now and though they didn't dunk her head in the toilet, they had no interest in her. So, she'll sit here until I send it to their house when they get baby girls. The scruffy little brown teddy bear was a favorite to all my kids and he plays a lullaby. Peter Rabbit was a gift from my sister-in-law to my son when he was born. He plays "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" and moves his little head. Peter sat in my son's nursery until he, like the girls, had to tell me he was too old to have a musical stuffed animal on his dresser. Likewise, he'll stay here until my son has his own son.

And swinging around to this side of the closet . . . (I'll speed it up now. If you're still with me, I know you've been here for a while) . . . are mostly normal things people keep in closets. The basket is full of Christmas cards I've received over the past several years. When it became trendy to send Christmas cards with pictures of one's children or family, I started keeping them and it's so much fun to pull that basket out each year and see how the kids and families have grown and changed, especially since we moved in the past handful of years and don't see all the same families we used to. You also see a binder that is a memento from my husband's surprise 40th birthday party. I asked everyone who couldn't make it to send a letter or email that I could put in a binder and give him. So, it's nice to see that each day and be reminded of that party and re-read all the nice things people said about him. Finally, there is a stack of childrens' books, yes, you guessed it, that have special meaning in one way or another and I'm keeping for the sake of keeping. I hope I'll read them to my grandchildren some day and be able to say, "these are the books I read to your mom or dad."

Okay, last two pictures. No memories here. This is just a picture of a chandelier I recently found at a garage sale. As I was checking out I noticed it and asked how much and the lady just gave it to me. I thought it would look great in here. You can see I got quite a bargain. Well, "free" is always a bargain.

So, thank you for sticking with me if you're still reading. Whew! I certainly made up for the fact that I haven't posted since June!

Wonder why I dunked Raggedy Ann in the toilet?


  1. OK I stuck with you and would agree, yep, you need a chair in there but the rest if it looks great! I'm now you latest follower:)

  2. maybe some gorgeous new baskets from Home Goods? and more pictures frames for your "custom art"...I believe that my kids art is the best kind and select pieces should always be displayed...thanks for sharing :)....I popped over from BNOTP.

  3. I love your closet oasis. I had a really nice one, very similar to yours, in one of our previous houses. I especially like the fact that you painted the walls such a deep color - why not, it's a room just like any other, right?


  4. Love your "nook" over the laundry shoot. Very dramatic walk-in closet and I so hear you on cherising closet space...because we have none and I'm hoping to covert my attic some day ;) Best of luck in the giveaway, fondly, Roberta

  5. angela, thank you so much for the book suggestion you left on my blog. i'm definitely going to check it out!

    i love, love, love that you have a laundry chute. and maybe slightly jealous ;)

  6. I adore that you have a laundry chute --- and your closet is great!!
    Thanks for your visit -- xo

  7. Thanks for commenting on my blog so I could come over and find this post. I love it and everything about it. It's exactly what I was trying to say in mine. (love the red in there too!). Thanks so much for sharing this.


I enjoy all fussy comments.