Experiences come in all shapes and sizes. Our individuality defines our desired experiences and what we take from those experiences should enhance our life and make our personal world a better place. While some may want to trot the glob finding themselves, others (like me) are ready to find themselves in their shared family space. As a mother of two young, imaginative and inquisitive children, I consider the time inside our nest a golden time to bond. Our home is an experience hub where we inspire our kids to garden, create art, learn about bugs, preserve the planet by recycling and composting, eat three healthy meals a day, bake sweets for those we love, become avid readers, use their imagination, talk about feelings, absorb stories of our past, and honor the ritualistic family dinner.

We are an active family and our kids get to have so many amazing experiences; music festivals, museums, art shows, live concerts, dance classes, swimming, hiking and even snow skiing. Sometimes the most satisfying aspect of our lives… is settling back into the comfort of our private space and reflecting on how to love and live with one another. All four of us together, playing games, watching movies, cooking and cuddling with our dogs is pure nirvana. These experiences that we have on a day-to-day basis in our home are creating a canvas of camaraderie, love, respect and fond memories we will all cherish for eternity.

Rewind 10 years, my boyfriend and I purchased our home with a different set of priorities and a foggy vision of the future. We wanted to be close to the action, the center of the city, the easy route to fun and freedom. We compromised space for location—who needed it, we were always on the go! We were (and still are) the perfect example of “let’s see where life takes us.” Life has taken us a lot of places since then! Five years ago we welcomed a daughter. It was easy enough to convert the guest room into a nursery, but when we were blessed with a baby boy a couple of years later we panicked a bit about space. We had been saving money, pretty much since we bought the house, to gut and remodel our 1970’s dysfunctional kitchen. We initiated plan B and instead converted our garage into a parental master suite. Even though we were back to square one on the lack luster kitchen, that game-time transformation has enhanced has our life so much.

I know it’s cliché, but everything does happen for a reason. If we would have remodeled the kitchen in the pre-baby era, who knows what our kitchen would have turned out like. Now we know exactly what kind of space we need for our new life’s experiences. We need a space were we can tell stories, treat our friends, hand down family recipes, share secrets, do homework, mend broken hearts, laugh until we cry, teach the importance of eating (and preparing) healthy food, and most importantly giving our family a comfortable and inviting place to naturally bond. Our life has always worked in mysterious ways. Last year on my 41st birthday, and after 12 years together, my life-partner (and babies’ daddy) popped the big question. For the first time in their lives, the kids got to see their mama speechless—but of course I said yes. We may have worked backwards in most people’s minds, but it could not be more perfect for us. Our kids will complete the circle during our upcoming, and untraditional wedding. We are so happy they will experience that—our love is deeper because of them.

Doing things differently has always worked for us. We won’t be your average newlyweds, stocking our first home, or taking a luxurious honeymoon. We don’t need pots and pans, monogrammed towels and matching robes, bone china and real silver, silverware. We won’t be spending hours registering for stuff. We don’t need stuff. What we really need is a re-defined place to incubate humble, every-day experiences for our family. Unlike our carefree days of expensive dinners at the latest restaurants, we look forward to teaching our children how to grill a steak, bake a pie, toss together a salad from our garden bounty and engage in meaningful kitchen conversation that will foster the people they become. We want to be able to entertain our friends and open our home to our family. We are ready to create our own experiences from the comfort of our home in our long-overdue, remodeled kitchen.

We will continue celebrating this late-in-life marriage milestone, by enhancing our living space. We are registering for a lifetime of experiences, not things, with My World Registry. For all of our friends and family who want to help gift us this dream, they will always have a seat at our (new) kitchen table!

Guest Blogger: Christy B., Austin, TX