In this house

My wife has a simple wall hanging that she picked up on sale from Target or TJ Maxx or some home goods store. I’m not good at guessing prices, but I can’t imagine that she paid much for it, maybe $20 to $40. It’s about 10 x 20 long and hangs above our television set in our living room. 

There’s not much to the decoration — just a frame and a few words — but I find that when I sit down in the evening, it’s become a habit of mine to look closely at the sign and reflect on the good and bad that happened in my day.

The words are simple: 

In this house, we do mistakes. 

We do fun.

We do I’m sorry. 

We do hugs. 

We do second chances. 

I think automatically on how I spent my day. Was I authentic with others, did I let my guard down, and have any fun? Did I admit when I was wrong? We race through our day. We rarely say we’re sorry and, when we do, our apologies can come across as half-hearted and less than heart-warming to others.

Did I give anyone else a second chance? As strange as it may sound to me, where do I need to offer myself grace and a second chance? I think too about who I’ve hugged that day. Did I give and get a hug from my wife? They are the hugs that refuel me and give me the energy to fight another day.

The wall hanging continues: 

We do family. 

We do happy. 

We do real. 

I think about our three grown kids, how they are doing, and when I’ve heard from them last? My family means everything to me. I get an image of each of my children in my head and say a prayer of thanks for putting them in my life. I’m lucky to have a family that loves me and thinks about me. They might get mad at me for being annoying sometimes and for checking up on them, but they still love me.

We do really loud. 

We do forgiveness. 

We do love. 

When I reflect on the wall hanging in the evening, my wife is usually sitting next to me and I’ll grab her hand and tell her that I love her. Finally, I’ll think gratefully on my extended family, friends and everyone in my life. I’ll think on who needs a call or text.

When I go back to the rest of my night, I feel happy and blessed. I usually feel a peace and calm too that had been missing.

Oh yes, it’s a simple wall hanging, not all that special or unique, but whatever we paid for it, we didn’t pay enough. In my eyes, it’s priceless.


Thank you for reading. Please follow the HoTM site and join in on the discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts. In addition, please visit my personal blog at or follow me on Instagram at @writingfromtheheartwithbrian.

All the best, Brian.

Image by Jessica Lewis Creative via Pexels

35 thoughts on “In this house

    1. Years ago, I worked down the hallway from a lab that had a huge poster at its entrance that said “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.” It was a great daily reminder, and it’s so wonderful that you have a message that reflects who you are, as a person, a husband, and as a family!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I never thought of it like that, but yea, it is a family mission statement! This is who we are, this is how we’ll treat each other, make decisions, etc!!!! It makes us look like we’re more organized than we are, but I’ll take it!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I love the sign…the messages, reminders…but just as much? I appreciate how you pause to have a moment or two of gratitude. Lovely. Just lovely. Thanks, Brian! I agree with Ab — priceless! 😘

    Liked by 4 people

    1. C’mon Vicki, you know me. The sign works as a punch to my face each night to remind me to behave, straighten up, and thank my lucky stars for everything I’ve been given!!!! Ha, ha, maybe that’s what my wife had in mind when she bought it . . . a way to help keep the kids and her fourth kid (me) in line. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You crack me up! So much! You are the least likely person I know who deserves a wake up call or a punch…give your naturally grateful self more credit, I say! Still…thanks for the giggle! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like maybe that wall hanging chose your wife and your home, not the other way around Brian! A lovely visual reminder to review your day and the importance of the people who surround you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. For the longest time, we never didn’t have much hanging on our walls. On one wall now, we have a wall full of family pictures, on the other the In this House sign. It really does help connect the two. And yes Deb, I do wonder if the sign chose us. Ha, ha. Thanks for commenting. Love your perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this, Brian! The wall hanging sounds lovely and, even more than that, it’s great that you take the time to contemplate it every evening. And it makes me happy that you can walk away from that exercise feeling calm and renewed, knowing you gave the day your best.

    I had a similar poster in my childhood kitchen with small reminders of how to be kind and thoughtful, and I always found myself re-reading and thinking about it. I may need to reintroduce something similar back into my life. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Funny how these hangings/posters can worm their way into our hearts. Our kids used to make fun of us for having it, now I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t have it hanging up in the house. And yes, I probably need it the most of anyone, a great reminder for me to keep things in perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. WordPress needs a “love” button. I LOVE this blog! It is so heartfelt, profound, and delicious. By the way, I hear tell that we need 12 hugs a day to keep us healthy. Geez—I’ve gotta get out more and gather me up a few more of those! 🥰

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You made my day Julia! I just got out of a dry, boring meeting and saw your note. What a lift and day brightener!!!!! I’m glad that you liked it. I’m with you too. I need to work on my hug count! I need a lot more to catch up to 12 a day. Do online hugs count? Ha, ha! Thank you, have a wonderful day!!!😆😆😆

      Liked by 3 people

  5. This is such a great post. Incredible message, beautifully written, deep message – it gave me chills all over. And I laughed out loud at “we do really loud.” That is great!

    Miss O has made a similar sign for us in our house about kindness, respect and love. I’m thinking I need to put it in a more prominent place!

    And as always, I’m so touched by your ability to REALLY take-in messages! Amazing and inspiring!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that Miss O made her own sign. You run regular posts of your fathers wit and wisdom. Here’s an idea for another series: wit and wisdom from Miss O. I think we need to be listening more to her! Ha, ha!!! Thanks for the nice comments Wynne. The In Our House hanging is right next to an entire wall (mixtiles) full of family pictures. When I look at the family shots, the words really hit home!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, ha – wit and wisdom from Miss O. Love it!

        What nice placement next to the wall of family – so lovely to have both things to fill your cup and heart! ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this Brian. You’ve taken what could be a simple wall hanging that gets ignored by many and really made it your own. Thank you for sharing your insight and reflections with us. I’m with Vicki, you really under-estimate yourself. You shouldn’t dismiss yourself so easily

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such a delightful post, Brian. It’s also a delightful hanging with such simple but meaningful words. The love you have for your family is almost palpable in this piece of writing. I really like your sentiments. It’s great to have a reminder on the wall encouraging us to remember and think about what’s important to us. Better still, you act on your feelings and make your family around you feel special and loved. And hugs are so important. As a couple of your other readers have said, one can never have too many hugs. I, too, have read that we need a minimum of twelve hugs to be emotionally and physically well and content. Living alone as I do makes that a little difficult. However, I agree that virtual {{hugs}} count, too. The more, the merrier. This is a really heartwarming post, Brian. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ellie. The funny thing is that the post is really a lesson on writing blocks. I was trying to think of something to write for the site and I was stumbling. I had a bunch of stops and starts. I sat down on our sofa and looked up and saw the sign. Writing problem solved. It still took a few approaches, but eventually I had my blog. Funny how that works sometimes. Thanks for the comments, they mean a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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