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Our new family heirloom

We went shopping last week for a new dining room table. If you saw our old one, you know that it was time. Actually, with broken chairs, ironing spots, water rings and some lovely drawings with a Sharpie, it was past time.

With some luck and a nice tax refund, we found a gorgeous plank style table with six chairs at Dietsch Furniture. I was going to settle for something a little cheaper, a little smaller, and a little more "first apartment" than "first home."

But Kyle reminded me, "We could have this thing for the next 30 years. Why not spend the extra on something nice?"

So we did. And I'm eagerly anticipating all the time we'll spend around it for 30 years or more.

Since its arrival on Monday, we have implemented a few new "rules" to get the most from our purchase. Eating in the living room, in front of the TV, is now barred except for rare cases. For our meals together, the three of us will sit around the table, at the same time, to eat and enjoy each other's company. (And Rowdy sits by eagerly waiting for us to drop something.)

Kenlee takes the head of the table, in her high chair. We've decided that she should eat at the same time as us, if possible, so she gets used to the habit of eating as a family. Also? No cellphones are allowed, at least while we're still eating.

I'm so happy to finally have a place to enjoy a meal and eat as a family. We've all heard that eating together increases communication, sharing, bonds, etc, and I'm a
firm believer.

Growing up, the table was the center of my family in many ways.

My parents sat us at the table for every meal, until we got older and were off at basketball games or 4-H meetings. But the memories of sitting and eating together really are a big and wonderful part of my childhood. (Not so much the times I had to sit there until my peas were gone — I could have done without those.)

I also have a lot of memories sitting at the table to draw, do my homework, play games or just relax at the end of a long day with a glass of milk and some brownies.

I know it's just a table, but in many ways I feel like Kyle and I just created a new family heirloom. Hopefully this table lasts 30 years and beyond, so that we could possibly pass it down to the next generation.

If not, we'll at least pass down the memories and love of time spent together — as a family.

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