Raising an Old Soul 

This weekend we celebrated my son Colton’s 6th birthday. Whoa, where did the time go? I cannot believe he is six and going to be in 1st grade next year. When Colton was two my grandfather passed away – Alzheimers had taken him from us years before he passed away. Colton’s middle name is in honor of him, and every time I say my son’s full name I think of my grandfather.

My grandpa grew up in Mukwonago, which is where his family ran Heaven City restaurant. Later, they moved to Milwaukee and ran Turner Halls restaurant. At this phase of his life, he was probably 7 or 8 years old, and the life of the party. Being raised in an atmosphere of hospitality and entertainment, he learned how to imitate the behaviors of the highly inebriated and would re-enact what he saw on stage to make people laugh. This is also where he eventually met my grandma, and they have been together ever since. (I will share that love story another time…)

So much of my son reminds me of my grandfather… Their concern the comfort levels of others; Their goofiness (when I hear stories about my grandpa, I can swear the teller is talking about my son). My grandpa was an engineer, which is definitely a path I could see Colton heading down as he is constantly taking things apart and building oddball creations. They both save(d) everything; My grandma and I are still finding random things my grandfather saved, and Colton will scold me for throwing something out because there might be a use for it somewhere at sometime.

One of the reasons I decided to write about this is because my son just loves all things old. Even at the age of 6, he has such an appreciation for the stories behind antique and vintage items. He is fascinated with typewriters and old furniture. For his birthday he received a piggy bank, but not just any piggy bank; It was a post office box, with a code to get into it. Of course he mastered the combination already. Last year he wanted a desk in his room so bad! We let him pick it out; he chose an old sewing machine cabinet and he couldn’t be happier about it. Colton will choose old clothes when given the choice. I got him a Gene Autry cowboy shirt I thought he could wear for dress up, but instead he wears it all the time like anything else! With junk being one of my passions, it is so rewarding to have this connection with my son.

Even though I have lost my grandfather, he lives on in my son in so many ways. He also lives on in me and many of my other family members, almost as if we each got a special part of him that we get to carry with us. Do your kids or family members have surprising traits that remind you of someone you lost?

Raising my old junking soul,


Upcycling is a unique craft that when practiced correctly, can really make a difference.  Enter: Tara and Becca – Two Midwestern girls with a passion for flea markets and dusty gold.  Tara has over 15 years experience in woodworking and antique restoration, and Becca has a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and over 10 years experience in the field of design.  Together, they are the dynamic duo known as The UpCycle Girls!  They thoroughly enjoy all things old and rusty, and are always in search of their next great find in America’s beautiful dairyland.  Their mission focuses on bringing new life to old household items by flipping them into decorating staples or statement pieces. Additionally, they work to recognize sustainability by keeping unwanted furniture and decor out of landfills through the practice of repurposing and upcycling.  Between the two of them, Tara and Becca have six kids, 4 dogs, 7 chickens and a fish (and are hoping to add more!)!  They are busy wives and mamas who love doing almost anything outdoors, drinking strong coffee, traveling to new places, listening good country music, and junking until their nail polish chips off! // WebsiteFacebookInstagramPinterest



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