Finding Joy

As Zack and I made our way back home after nearly a week at the beach, I dreaded what I would find when I walked through the doors. There’s usually a pile of items that my little dog has decided to destroy while I was away. There’s always an inch of dust on all the furniture, even though I cleaned everything before I left. There’s often a never-ending pile of laundry to be done, and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy.

This time, after a full day of flight delays and long layovers with a 3-year old, I walked in to this:

Yes, yes, yes…my dining room is finally free from all of that garage junk. However, that’s not what I noticed. What I noticed was this:

My centerpiece – a simple and classic coastal vignette. This centerpiece has been on my table for a few months, but it wasn’t until last night that I truly recognized it’s beauty.

Made from a cheap white platter purchased at a discount home store, three wicker spheres, and a couple of starfish I picked up during my last beach trip, this centerpiece represents one of the things I love about vacationing in Destin, Florida. Growing up, my family visited Destin every chance we got, a tradition that was started when my dad was just a kid.

One Christmas morning, we woke up to find that hundreds of starfish had washed up onto the beach. It was beautiful – magical, even. And it was a sight that we had never seen before and will never see again.

Although these are not the starfish, they will always remind me of that morning. This isn’t just any cute centerpiece that I threw together with items I had on hand; it’s a subconscious representation of one particular special memory from my childhood. Now, I understand why my heart flutters when I see it on my dining room table.

Instead of walking into my home and seeing all of the chores that need to be done, I walked in and found joy. Make sure you add a lot of joy and happiness to your decor. Everyone needs to be surrounded by the things they love.

Filed Under: Real Life with Lindsay

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. Love that centerpiece!! It is Awesome! And your dining room is as well, I love your colors!!

  2. This is a beautiful post and something we should all remember. Well done Lindsay.

  3. What a beautiful dining room! I love the color and the centerpiece. Perfect for welcoming summer!! Looks great! Enjoy it.

  4. What a great post, Lindsay!

  5. I love that color in your dining room as well, and the simple centerpiece is just so lovely.


  6. I love the teal walls of your dining room. I enjoyed reading the story behind your beautiful centerpiece as well. Welcome Home!

  7. Very hard to be glum, coming home to a lovely room like this! Well done for the glass-half-full outlook!

  8. I hope Tom at least got a “good game” slap on the rear for cleaning out the dining room and leaving it pretty!!! ; )

  9. Beautiful centerpiece!!! :)

  10. Beautiful! Such pretty colors.

  11. Beautiful! I love the color on your walls!

  12. I just made some moss balls because I LOVED what you did. I had this old bucket thingy (brass) that I got at a garage sale for 50 cents. I didn’t know what to do with it, BUT then I saw your post and now I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  13. Lovely post! So true- there is joy all around- we just need to “see” it!
    Many Blessings!

  14. A beautiful centerpiece. We do need to see the little things in life. Oh what a sight to have seen–A little plate of beauty to remind you of it is just the right thing.

  15. One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives. The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach’s dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.

    Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, “What are you doing?”

    “I’m saving the starfish,” the child replied.

    “Why waste your time?… There are so many you can’t save them all so what does is matter?” argued the man.

    Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water… “It matters to this one,” the child explained.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I just happened on your blog!! SOOO FUN!! I could live w/ you! Happy Summer!


  17. I love the colors of your walls!!! Gorgeous!!! The centerpiece is very lovely too.

    I’m adding your blog to my favorites list right now. I love it.


  18. Found you through The Nester! You have such a beautiful home! I live in the Destin area! :) It’s a beautiful place isn’t it?!?

  19. I really love the color of your walls…they look wonderful.