I come from a family full of people who think that finding a good piece of trash is even better than winning the lottery.

And one of those people is my brother Mark.

This is the brother of the pallet wood letter and the pallet wood letter the second verse and the pallet wood clock and the pallet wood boxes that look like people.

Do you notice a trend?

If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I posted recently about a super scary health scare my brother had last week. It was overwhelming and full of super scary conversations and super scary updates and super scary things that I never ever want to talk about again.

But with all the prayer in the world and the help of an amazing team of doctors, he pulled through.

He’s smiling and feeling better and sat up in a chair today and even though there is a long road ahead of him…

…he’s on the mend.

So to celebrate him and cheer him up and send him all the love in my heart, I wanted to share the story of the best trash-to-treasure project ever.

And the brother that built it.

Have you ever walked by a trash bin with a stack of pallets?

Yep.

Pallets that look like this.

Pallets that someone tossed.

Pallets that most people see as junk.

But my brother, Mark?

He doesn’t see trash. He sees all the wonderful potential.

Look at the patina and how the pieces fit together and the wood that someone else was going to get rid of is now a piece of art.

Pallet Table

I still remember the first time he showed me this table all those years ago. He brought it in sheepishly and put it down and shrugged his shoulders and told me he made me something different than anything he’d ever made before.

And he wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

It was different.

And a little random.

And rough around the edges.

He made the table from scraps. At the time he had an Etsy shop where he made pallet wood letters. When he worked on a letter, scraps from the project would fall on the floor.

Discarded.

Neglected.

Pieces that the carpenter overlooked under his feet.

But my brother?

He saw the value in those scraps. He saw the beauty in the pieces that so many people would have just tossed away. He took the forgotten and the discarded and the neglected and created something so beautiful it looked like it belonged in a high-end furniture store.

The work of a master craftsman.

And when I saw it, I smiled.

I jumped up and down and awkwardly dolphin clapped and told him I loved it.

And then I took another look and told him it reminded me of……

….well…..me.

Truth.

If I’m keeping it real here there are so many times when I doubt myself and my projects and my decorating and my questionable workout bell bottom pant choice and I then I see someone newer and shinier with perfect teeth and perfect hair and the appearance of perfection and birds singing around their head and rose petals dropping when they walk.

And I try to tell myself I’m amazing.

I really, really try.

I remind myself of amazing things I’ve done and that really good hair day I had a week ago and the project I finished that at the time seemed worthy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But inside I shrink.

Self-doubt creeps in.

And amazing seems light years away.

Maybe that’s why I identified with the table.

It’s kind of like me without the bell-bottom workout pants.

Different.  Random.  A little rough around the edges.

But all those scraps and random bits of absolute nonsense?  Together they create joy and uniqueness and imperfection and character and a one-of-a-kind personality.

And I realized that somewhere along the way….

….a little bit of amazing just showed up.

But that’s not the end of the story.

I love a story with chapters still to be written. There’s another chapter to this table’s story.

Because that table?

It’s living its best life at Baylor in a college apartment.

The twins and I decided they needed a daily reminder that they were amazing too. 🙂

PS Thank you so much for all the messages on Facebook and Instagram about my brother. I read every one.

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Comments

  1. Image for laura laura

    Well i just read up on malaria and hoping your brother is headed in the right direction! I have read all of your brothers’s projects and Christmas gifts! Please tell him your Colorado peeps are praying for his recovery! 🙏🏻😇🌸

  2. Image for Lynne Ryan Lynne Ryan

    I grew up with my Grandparents on an Illinois farm, so I can easily see what your brother sees ... you're so lucky to have that beautiful table. Get well wishes for your brother 🙏❤️☘️

  3. Image for Diana Diana

    Blessings and prayers for your brothers speedy recovery. That table is an awesome show of love and can stay in the family forever. The girls are lucky you shared it.

  4. Image for Julie Julie

    I'm so happy to hear the good news about your brother! I love, love, love the table! It would make me cry if my brother did that for me! I love your encouraging words and reminders that we are all beautiful and a little rough around the edges! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    I read with a lump in my throat the scary story of your brother's recent health scare. I was happy to read he's on the mend. The table is so sweet. I love pieces that have a story. Your entire family is so talented. Karen B.

  6. Image for Penny Penny

    LOVE the table and the story about it. Glad to hear your brother is doing better. I think alot of us have self doubt especially when we are surrounded by social media which portrays perfection not reality, it's easy to start comparing ourselves to other seemingly perfect lives. For the record I think you ARE amazing. I love your blog and your beautiful home and you truly have a gift for not only making your home beautiful but for writing and entertaining all of us who love and follow you.

  7. Image for Cara Cara

    I am glad to hear your brother is on the mend KariAnne. I miss your dolphin clap… and I’d never let those folks make you feel less than, you are amazing, keep your chin up and keep rocking it like you always do. I think sometimes our own brains get in the way when we should quiet it down, and remind ourselves we are enough. Hugs.

  8. Image for Renae Renae

    The table is beautiful! I shared this post with my grandson, who is learning to build with scrap wood. Praying for your brother. Hugs to you.

  9. Image for Kris Kris

    I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's health. Hugs and prayers to you all. His artwork with the table is beautiful.

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I am so sorry about your brother's health scare, glad he's better! Prayers to continue that way! I love the table and I see he's like you amazing!

    1. Image for Jacqueline Jacqueline

      Dear Karianne, Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. Keeping you, Mark, and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Take care, Jacqueline

  11. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    So sorry to hear about your brother, Mark's, health scare. So happy to hear that he is on the mend. We will keep him in our thoughts and prayers as we pray for a complete recovery. KariAnne, I have always loved that "special" table your brother made for you out of scraps and all the love in his heart. You are so blessed to have him -- and such a wonderful family around you. Never forget how precious and amazing you are -- and how much you are loved and kept in our prayers!

  12. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Oh no - I am so sorry to learn about Mark's health - hope he recovers fully and quickly. Saying prayers for him. The table is just so cute and I love it's being loved in a first apartment - how neat is that? It is a perfect small place sized table! Hugs to you and yours, KA.

  13. Image for PJ PJ

    Isn't it wonderful to have pieces in your home that remind you of loved ones? I treasure most the pieces that have stories behind them. Your story reminded me of my own brothers who, following our dad's example, can make the most wonderful things out of pieces that others would have discarded. My siblings and I are spread up and down the East Coast, but after a number of recent health scares for some, we are finding ways to see each other more often. Best wishes for continued healing for your brother! I am holding you and him in my heart.

  14. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I'm not on Instagram but gathered from comments here it was malaria....will pray for your brother's complete recovery! Love this wonderful and special table and glad it is with daughter at Baylor-sweet!

  15. Image for Carol Craig Carol Craig

    Hi KariAnne - LOVE the table & so happy your brother is on the mend! Sending hugs & continued prayers for a full recovery!

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