Around Our Table - Traditions in the Kitchen

We finally finished the space in our kitchen where I hope many memories will be made. In our kitchen tour a couple of months ago, I didn't show much of our table, or the large blank wall above it because we still had a few projects left to do before that area of the room would be complete. Now that it's finished, I'm excited to continue with my goal of eating together at the table whenever possible (we've been slacking lately) and creating family traditions that will bring our family together at meal times each week for years to come.

Traditions in the kitchen that help build strong family relationships.

Weekly Family Dinner

I realize that trying to have a meal together daily is a big commitment and sometimes an unrealistic expectation. The goal is to eat together for as many meals as possible during the week, do so at the kitchen table and make that time together intentional. Joe and I will be working fairly opposite schedules when I go back to work, but there are three or four days every week that we'll both be home at a decent time to enjoy dinner together. As our family grows and the kids get older, I want family meal time to be a priority. When they are old enough to have a bunch of activities that take up a lot of their time or after they've moved away from home, my goal is to have a weekly dinner like my parents have.

Saturday Morning Breakfast

Growing up, I loved waking up on Saturday mornings to the smell of pancakes, waffles or French toast. We weren't always eating together because people woke up at all different times, but it meant a lot to have that warm breakfast made by mom. I love the idea of having something for my family to look forward to every weekend and if I'm up making breakfast, I can get in some quality time with each family member as they wake up and eat.

Family Game Nights

Every game night my family has takes place at the kitchen table. Lots of memories and inside jokes are made during those few hours and we laugh a lot as well. Having a game night is one of my favorite ways to bond as a family.

This post highlights a few of my favorite board games and card games to play when we're with our family and friends. Our little family game nights might consist of Candy Land and Go Fish for a while, but one day we'll introduce our kids to our favorites.

Cookie Decorating

Every Christmas, my mom would make sugar cookies and we'd spend a night frosting and decorating them as a family. There were cookies, frosting and sprinkles spread out all across the kitchen table and we'd listen to Christmas music while we frosted. There are cookie cutters out there for every single holiday and I want to have a family cookie decorating party every couple of months with my kids. It sounds like a lot of fun to me and something that I hope my family will remember for years to come.

The Kitchen Table Makeover

Before:

kitchen makeover

In March, we started our biggest project for this area of the house, staining the kitchen table and chairs. It didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped, I realized that the top coat was really strong and didn't come off with the deglosser that I'd loved so much when we stained the banisters and mantle last summer. We ended up having to sand the entire table before we were able to stain it. After that experience, we didn't want to do the same with all six chairs, so we bought spray paint and went that route instead. It took us a month to finish the chairs because we were so busy, Joe put the last coat of paint on them before we went to the hospital to have Bensen. Because I haven't had time to put a top coat on them since then, my mother-in-law took the chairs to her house last week and finished the project for us. It feels so great to have them done!

The decorations above the table are simple. I had vinyl made (L.A. Vinyl) with our last name and the year we got married. My fancy clock doesn't work, I need to replace the battery box in the back, so for now I've stopped it at the time that we got married. We added the final touch this week and hung up pictures of each of us. I'm really happy with how the wall turned out!

After:

Family traditions in the kitchen.
Family time spent in the kitchen
Kitchen Decor

Below are some of my favorite posts and resources for family meal time:
How to Protect Dinner Time from Hello Neverland
4 Ways Family Dinner Time Can Improve Your Family's Health from Family Share
Family Dinner Conversation Starters from Somewhat Simple
Being Intentional at the Dinner Table from Together with Family
Food Lessons Learned From a Mother by A Prioritized Marriage on The Collaboreat

You can see the before and after process of our entire kitchen in my Create a Home - The Kitchen post.

How do you fit family meal time into your schedule? In what ways have you seen meal time together benefit your marriage?