A Home

What makes home feel like home? Recently Roy and I bought our first house, and we've been thinking about this question. While we got what we wanted in terms of square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. it's the feel of the house that's important to us. We think it should be a place where we really enjoy spending time. A place where friends and family feel welcomed and comfortable. A place for Miles to play and invite his friends over.

When I think about the word home, I think about Meghan's house. Meghan has been my friend since 6th grade. Her house was one block from ours, and it felt like a second home growing up. Her mom, Mrs. D, would take me to and from school each day (along with Mrs. J another awesome mother in our neighborhood whose daughter was Kim - a fellow partner in crime with Meghan and me).

When I walked up to Meghan's house, as I did almost daily, I would see the white picket fence, green grass and colorful flowers that Mrs. D had chosen for the home. Next to the front door there was always a seasonal quilt.  Mrs. D is an amazing quilter and creates beautiful quilts for every season and holiday. At this time of year I'm sure she has just put up her Halloween or Fall quilt.

The inside of their house is just as warm and welcoming as the outside. Mrs. D decorates her home with great taste and has several items with blue and white patterns to reflect their Dutch heritage. I have many memories of posing for photos before school dances on their spiral staircase, stretching out on comfy couches in their bonus room, and unrolling my sleeping bag on Meghan's bedroom floor. Mrs. D always let me and other girlfriends come over, and rather than simply letting us hang out in her house, she made us feel like we were part of the family. I spent the night there more times than I can count. Meghan and I and other friends who had joined would stay up late scrap booking, snacking and talking. Mrs. D. would always make us something yummy for dinner, have homemade cookies or hot chocolate ready for us in the evening, and serve us a big breakfast in the morning. I'm forever grateful for the time I spent there and how welcomed I always felt.

I've been thinking about the days spent at Meghan's house as I prepare to raise my own kids in this home. That's the way I want our home to feel. A place with freshly baked cookies, flowers in the garden, kids' sleepovers. Hopefully I can be the type of welcoming mother that Mrs. D was and still is. Now, if only I knew how to quilt.

So, here I am in my new house. It's cold and rainy today. The perfect weather for hot chocolate! I'm now sipping this hot chocolate as I finish this post. Maybe this house will start to feel like home sooner than I thought.

Hot Chocolate

2 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for serving
1/2 cup whipped cream (optional)

Combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk mixture until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat and pour into mugs. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Serves 2.