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Our Childhood Houses And the Moms That Made Them Home

By: colleen clark

May 6, 2016

You know that cozy corner of the family room in your childhood house? Or maybe it’s the island in the kitchen. Or that shiny long dining room table. We all have a place that draws us back, where you once smeared yogurt on the wall, made blanket forts, fought, made up, took prom pictures, had movie nights. And the person who was there through it all?  Mom.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we’ve asked our mamas to take over the blog and tell us about their favorite rooms and all of the special things that have happened there. Because whether you live in a mansion or a highrise, an RV or a bungalow, moms are the ones that turn houses into homes.

ColleenUSEWhere There Were Food Fights and Mariah Carey Sing-Alongs

“I always love to think about the times we spent together in our kitchen, everyone baking Christmas cookies, you girls having flour fights, making Thanksgiving morning waffles and Christmas eggs benedict. I love the way we’d all work together, singing along to music and cracking jokes. I love the Thanksgivings when we’re washing dishes and you girls would ring in the holiday season by singing Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You and sing into the leftover turkey legs. We had such a small kitchen for so many years, and I was so proud when we could finally redo it and add a big island so there was room for everyone, especially now our grandson, to be in there together.” –Colleen Clark’s mom, Eileen


Where Jumping On the Bed Was Encouraged

“My favorite room is definitely the bedroom. Nothing beats my memories of when my girls would jump into our bed in their PJs in the early morning and wake us up!” –Maya Slomovich’s mom, Orith


Where Two Became Three

“My favorite room in the house is the living room. I have memories of Lori playing with our miniature white poodle, Gidget, on the living room floor when she was 8 or 9 years old.

I was a single parent, and we moved from an apartment into a house when Lori was 8.  In the apartment, we couldn’t have a dog, and Lori always had to be quiet because we were in an upstairs unit.  When we moved to our house, Lori fell in love with our neighbors’ white poodle, Gidget, and when they saw how much Gidget missed her when she was away, they gave her to us. It gave me so much peace to see Lori happy and playing with her doggie.  I had to work hard to provide a home for us, so it always made me happy to see Gidget as part of our little family in the safety of a home.” –Lori Dreischmeier’s mom, Joyce

Where Art Was Made and Leaves Were Hung


“In our modest 1926 South Minneapolis bungalow, we did most of our living in the living/dining room. There were two incarnations to this room and I’m hard pressed to say which was my favorite as they both had their own kind of beauty.

The first was when my children were young and we had not yet figured out how to keep the paint from peeling off the walls. In order to hide the ragged wall, it became one big collage piece with every kid drawing, magazine photo and a fair amount of just plain weird things going up on that wall. It was a testament to our creative lives and much the instigator of conversations at our numerous musical, Sunday brunches.

But lives change and kids grow out of their toddler drawings and eventually we did figure out how to keep a coat of paint on the wall. That discovery came when a group of very kind, very creative friends decided to help me out with a ‘mini-makeover’ of our living room. In addition to scraping all of the offending paint from the wall and putting on new primer before repainting, they found me new, old furniture and light fixtures to replace the worst of mine.

The best part of the makeover was the morning of the last day when we were told to set out our favorite things to be placed and hung and not to come back until late afternoon. I will never forget standing outside on our walk in the crisp November dusk with my daughter, looking at our house, and both of us exclaiming, ‘We have curtains!’

Our ‘new’ home was warm, inviting and peaceful. With it’s warm grey-green walls, soft lamps and eclectic collection of furniture and decor, we had a wonderful space to continue on living our creative lives.”—Sarah Beaumont’s mom, Carole


Where a Baby Brother Became a Baby Doll

“I’ll never forget the day I walked into the living room to find that my always-in-charge daughter had pulled some of my old dolls out of storage and lined them up on the couch. But imagine my surprise when I realized the one closest to her, was actually her baby brother!”—Lindsey McMahon’s mom, Kathy

Where a Construction Site Became a Home

“When I look at this room through the eyes of a stranger, I see a room in desperate need of a make-over.  This room is surely not a showpiece.  The furniture is old and very, very dated.  The wall color is out of fashion and gaudy, begging to be replaced with a warm neutral.  I see bedroom slippers tossed under the table, a dog on the couch.  This room is kind of a mess.

But looking at the room through my eyes tells a different story.  The furniture, though dated, is comfy, familiar, functional and paid for.  I remember purchasing that table when my husband and I were first married, 30 years ago.  The wall color brings the outdoors in, and though it’s time for a change, it has served this dark room well through the years.  My children helped me pick out that wall color, choosing paint swatches like they were opening a brand new “big box” of crayons.

My slippers are tossed where I kicked them off when I curled up on the couch to look at a favorite photo album, full of candids from the many Christmas mornings when my kids would rush down to see what Santa had left for them under the tree.  There is a dog on the couch…that dog is a faithful, loving, companion who is indeed a family member and deserves his place on the furniture.  There are pictures of friends and family…the same people who have, through the years, flooded this room with memories too plentiful to count.  Pictures of my Mom, and my Dad, now long gone, but who stood in this very room while it was nothing more than a construction site, newly framed in with no walls to paint a gaudy color.

This room certainly is nothing to brag about, but it’s relaxed, casual, welcoming, and I hope that is a direct reflection of the person I strive to be, the years of love and laughter and even tears shared here, and the many, many memories still to be made within it’s four walls.” –Jenna Wolfsohn’s mom, Sharon


Where There Was an Impressive Stream of Cake

“My absolute favorite room past and present is the kitchen. Not only do I remember Casey working hard on her homework at the kitchen table, I also remember many birthday candles being blown out.  There was always something happening in the kitchen. My favorite time was and is when our whole family is together sharing a meal.”—Casey Gerber’s mom, Debbie


Where the Way to the Heart Was Through the Stomach

“While Tim was growing up we lived in 8 houses, moving from the west coast to the midwest and to the east coast.  Every place presented new adventures and of course, new challenges. Every house looked different than the last, but each house had something very important in common. The heart of each house was the kitchen.  It was the one room of the house that Tim and I spent hours and hours talking. We talked about happy things, sad things, funny things, challenging things, and dreams for the future. It was the place that Tim and his friends gathered when they were ravenously hungry and when they were so sleep deprived they hardly knew what they were eating for breakfast. The kitchen will always hold a special place in my heart because no matter where we lived, our kitchen transformed each new house into our home.” –Tim Deasy’s mom, Laurie

Where Cleopatra Came to Visit

“My favorite memory of our living room is Megan playing dress up. When she stepped into the room, you never knew what she was going to be next! Whether she was Cleopatra, an actress, a witch or a waitress, she always had a routine prepared for each outfit complete with accents to match each character. Boy could she put on a show for me!” –Meg Klaassen’s mom, Penny


Where a Movie Theater Could Be a Dance Club

“My favorite room in the house with Greg is the family room.  The name itself is why it’s so meaningful.  As a family we hung out, watched videos, danced and played in the family room.  We had extended family over for celebrations and we always gathered there.  It’s cozy and comfortable.  I think Greg feels the say way! It warms my heart to this day.” –Greg Friedman’s mom, Nancy


Where a Couch Became a Photo Studio

“My favorite room on Oakridge Road where you spent the formative years of your life, was the living room.  It’s the first space you encounter when arriving and the largest room upstairs.  We spent a lot of time hanging out there”

My favorite memories are of celebrating holidays and birthdays in that room and sitting on the couch with everyone.  As you can see from the picture, you and I were reading on the couch while I was holding Brice (1988). As I looked through boxes of photos, there were so many pictures of family and friends sitting on the couch in front of those windows.  I was manning the camera most of the time, so I’m not in them.  But we were all there together.”—Andrew Cagan’s mom, Marcy

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