Our giant map wall mural

giant wall map mural

I have been dreaming about doing this for a really really long time. Like 3 moves ago–long time. But I’ve never had a house with the right sized wall, or the right space, or a house that was special enough to take on such a nostalgic, dear-to-my heart project. 

This is a picture of what we called the “pantry” in my grandparent’s house. You’ve probably heard me talk about this special place many times here before. There were 15 kids and this pantry was a long narrow room with a wall of cupboards on one side and a giant map on the other. Down the middle were two long farm tables with benches on either side. It was where we’d gather for meals. Some days every spot at the benches would be full with extra bodies overflowing into the kitchen. Other days there would be a quiet 3 or 4 gathered at one end for a cup of soup or a glass of iced tea. 

The giant map covered the wall from floor to ceiling. Every so often it would get replaced with an updated version. It was great for conversations when talked about someone’s trip or things happening in the news. And served as the backdrop to many meals, craft projects, coloring sessions or games of cards.

large wall map mural

One of the things I love about our home is including things  that remind me of my family. 

And hanging a map wall has been on that list for a really long time. 

I purchased our map from Amazon* several years ago (but it’s still available). It stayed tucked away in its shipping carton in a corner of Woodlawn. I knew I wasn’t going to hang it there. 

But when we moved to Waffle Hill Farm, getting the map hung was high on my to do list. (aka Dan’s to do list.) This winter when we had a big gathering for a Christmas party, Dan decided to take on the map hanging project and we had the perfect place. 

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children and nature / IN THE GARDEN

Planting a terrarium garden

I feel like I could easily become a crazy plant lady. Maybe it was the doldrums of winter but I’m going through a new obsession where I want all.the.plants. So when I saw a friend’s terrarium garden several weeks ago, it immediately got bumped to the very top of my to-do list. 

I have definite memories of some type of terrarium-ish garden I had as a child. Planted in an oversized goldfish bowl it was also home to a collection of woolly bears and their subsequent chrysalis. 

Birdy was my sidekick in terrarium planting (surprise, I know.) and we decided if we were going to do it, we were going big. So we started with a 2-gallon Anchor Hocking glass canister. I was able to purchase all my supplies on Amazon and the whole process was simple + fun. A perfect kid project or a relaxing crazy plant lady project. You decide.  Read More


At home with a new mama

copyright mollybalint.com I always kind of thought I’d have five kids. I’m not exactly sure where that number came from but it was always sort of settled in my mind. I grew up as the baby of four. My dad is the oldest of fifteen. I love big families. Four seemed do-able but five seemed wildly fun. 

But here I am happily settled in with my little pack of four. 

I never had that “I am so done having kids” moment. Neither did Dan. We are both baby crazy. But I did have a really hard recovery after Birdy was born. I’ve written about my postpartum depression a little bit and I think that is probably one of the biggest factors in my feeling settled where we are right now. Those out of whack hormones are a beast. And they still like to bubble up every now and again. (Which is another conversation I really want to have here.)

I was at a one-day photography workshop this winter that focused primarily on wedding photography. In case you didn’t know, wedding photography is not my thing, but it was an opportunity to hear from a photographer I admire in a really intimate setting, small workshop-style class, so I knew I could still learn a lot by being there. 

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