After much anticipation, Nate Berkus’ The Things that Matter is available today (you can grab your copy here!) and after reading an excerpt via Reader’s Digest, now with heart a little more constricted, I have every intention of picking up a copy for myself.

It’s amazing, the story our home can tell. I’ve been arranging and rearranging furniture and nick knacks for years – actually, since I was just old enough to walk and barely strong enough to drag my doll houses and stuffed animals across the room. I would create my child-size story by arranging and rearranging my dolls, by heaving my little kitchenette around until I found the perfect corner to set it in, and when I was finished with my room, I’d move on to my little sister’s room and start all over again.

Regardless of your age, or the size of your home, or the money you have (or don’t have) to fill it, your home becomes a fragment of you: who you were, who you are now, who you love and have loved, and the places you’ve been along the way. Your home is your own little corner of the world for you to make your mark on and your safe-haven in which you can surround yourself with all the little things that matter. When I was a wee one, the things that mattered were my two favorite Popples, my Strawberry Shortcake collection (particularly Strawberry Shortcake, Raspberry Tart, and Lemon Meringue), and my brother’s He-Man collection, which I would consistently steal for my own and arrange quite nicely around my room.

Now that I’m a little older and wiser….I’d like to think the things that matter have become a little more thoughtful. Here are just a few things that matter to me:

The Little Things - Books

A vintage poetry book collection given to me by a dear friend many years ago.

The Little Things - Wine Corks

Perhaps a little silly, but my collection of wine corks from bottles of wine that I drank with family and friends.

The Little Things - Griffin Drawing

The first drawing my nephew ever made for me (love the photo next to it as well, taken in Croatia).

The Little Things - Boston T

This little Boston Terrier statue, purchased at a flea market for my husband, because he desperately wants a Boston T as our second dog. I surprised him with this guy instead – it makes me giggle.

The Little Things - Trunk

This trunk was first owned by my grandfather to hold his military uniforms, then passed on to my own father to hold his own military uniforms – it has travelled throughout the US, to Japan, to Germany, and back again. It was painted this orange color by my dad when he was much younger, to give it a bit of personality, which makes me laugh because it’s hideous! For some reason, I’ve wanted this trunk since I was little, and it was finally given to me a couple of years ago. My husband and I have converted it into a filing cabinet, we now just need to find or build a base for it!

The Little Things - Chalkboard

This chalkboard was the first thing my husband and I built together, built out of old, weathered wood found behind the shed of our very first home. (Ha- and you can see paint samples on the back wall of our kitchen. Obviously we will be repainting soon.)

These – and a dozen more pieces that I don’t want to bore you with – hold so much meaning and so many memories and these are exactly the things I choose to build my story with. It isn’t the things that count, but the memories behind them. They are a reflection of who I am, who I love, and where I come from; they impart a feeling of love, laughter, and happiness. They are me and this is my story.

So tell me, what’s your story?