I'm very excited about it. I grew up in a family where food = love = family. Dinner time was highly stressed, and we never ate until everyone was there (unless you knew theyweren't coming). This tradition continues for us today. For example, every Friday, my family eats dinner together. On Friday nights, this family includes my adopted grandma, my grandpa, my step-grandma, my dad's 3 sisters, their husbands, their kids, and our family (including Sean). That's a total of 23 people, all gathered together, all eating together (though admittedly, we're spread across three tables now). Needless to say, my childhood memories nearly all surround kitchen tables - not only my parents', but my grandparents' tables as well. Now that my family is older, I generally only get back to Friday night dinners once or twice a month, but I still enjoy them immensely. It makes me realize how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful, close-knit family.
Between the two of us, Sean and I have almost everything we could ever need. However, until last month, one thing we didn't have was a table. We had no intentions of buying a table until after we moved. We didn't want to have to deal with the hassle of moving it, because we knew that we wanted a nice table. And trust me, Gram (Sean's grandma) wanted to buy us one desperately. Then...we stumbled on a table. Not just any table...a free table. Our best man's parents had bought it for their daughter, who ended up not taking it. Needless to say, they were looking to get rid of it (and a china cabinet, which we also took). While it's not exactly our style, it was free, and who were we to argue? We needed a table, and they were giving one away. Match made in heaven ;)
What do I love about this table? First of all - it's HUGE. It easily seats six, though with smaller chairs, it would sit eight. Plus, there are two more leaves - each adding 8-12 inches. Second, it's heavy. It's a great quality table and will easily last us many, many years. Finally...it comes with a bench! Who can tell me that they never dreamed of having a bench seat at their kitchen table growing up? I know I sure did. I love it.
It does have some drawbacks though. First of all, it's HUGE. We plan on moving into an apartment...this table could easily take up a disproportionate amount of room. It's also heavy...Sean and his brother Pat struggled to move it, even when they took the table top off of the pedestal legs. Sean and I will never be able to move it by ourselves. It's also beaten up and worn. It's been in a garage for several years, and who knows where before that. The wood doesn't match at all either (as in, the maid part doesn't match the ends, and the leaves are a third color!) Thankfully, neither of us are crazy about the color (we like dark wood), so Sean is going to sand down the table and we'll re-stain it when it gets warmer. I'm not overly crazy about the chairs, but Sean seems to love them...maybe we'll replace them somewhere down the line...
Speaking of refinishing...Sean's already started! He has a lot of time on his hands now that he's done with school for a while, so he's already getting down to business (though he hasn't gotten very far).
(Yes, his lamp is on an old music stand - we're band nerds)
Sean loves me enough to feed my blogging habit...since he's sanding back in StP (which is 100 miles away), he took pictures and e-mailed them to me. He hasn't gotten far, like I said, but the wood looks so gorgeous! It looks like it has a really great quality, which gives me a huge sense of optimism for the finished product. We're not overly attached to the grooves, so it's not a big deal if they're not as pronounced in the final product either.
Oh, and as promised, pictures of our china cabinet (which will also go through a major transformation one day):
The hutch will get sanded and refinished as well, we're going to change out the old, eighties style handles, and figure out something to do with the tin plate in the middle. We're thinking about punching a new design into a new piece of tin...maybe a fleur de lis or part of our wedding scroll. I'd also like to paint the tin black or a brighter silver, but we'll see what happens. Maybe we'll do something completely different there.
But they're works in progress!