Monday, January 13, 2014

Keeping it real

- a revealing list of my shortcomings in case you mistakenly thought I was perfect -
This is my living room on any given day. Yes. You will find basket upon basket full of clothes that need to be folded and a pile of shirts that need to be hung on one of the chairs. You will also most-likely hear me complaining multiple times about the fact that the kids haven't hung up the shirts on the chair, even though that has been their chore for roughly a million years and they should know without being asked that when there are shirts on the chair, it is their job to hang them up and put them away. I will also likely complain that the sheer amount of laundry I have to fold is absolutely ridiculous and that I'm SURE there are people in this household who put laundry in the hamper simply because it is easier than putting it away and that I'm probably doing twice as much laundry as I should be because of that. That said, doing laundry is actually one of my favorite household chores, so all my grousing about it is actually more bark than bite. I love the satisfaction of creating neat little piles of folded clothes (all folded the right way, of course.) Don't tell me to teach my children to do their own laundry... they'll learn it someday and there's something that feels good to me about still caring for them in this way.
 This is my back yard in it's current state. Look along the back fence. No wait. Let's talk about the back fence. When we bought this house, Asia told me (because I really hated the back fence) that we would replace it soon. That was 14 years ago. We still have the ugly back fence. Okay - now look at the boxes strewn about my yard. Those would be there because they were in my recycling bin three days ago when we had a large windstorm which blew them about. They are still there because I'm waiting to see if someone else will take the initiative and go get them and put them back in the recycling. I do this waiting with the full knowledge that no one will - and that I will eventually have to trod through the frozen landscape dotted with dog poop to retrieve them. Please take note of my glorious flower pots and the paint peeling off our crumbling garage. Asia is hoping someday we'll have a windstorm strong enough to blow said garage apart so the insurance will replace it. I remind him occasionally that we do not live in Kansas and that the garage is an eyesore, much like the back fence.
This is my adorable dog, Gracie. She is very, very cute. But you should know that her toenails are perpetually WAY too long because I loathe to take her to the groomer to get them trimmed. She is too old and has an injury that prevents her getting in and out of the car, which means I have to pick her up, which is an outrageously awkward activity, given her big barrel chest and her spindly legs. It is  household chore I wish someone else would do, but of course, it always comes down to me biting the bullet WAY too infrequently and so she tip-taps noisily around our house on her WAY too long toenails. She also is the slobberiest creature ever created and if you come to my house and look closely you will find dog slobber that has been slung across the room during one of her frequent head-shakings. I try to keep up, but it is impossible. It is horrifically gross. Do not be fooled by her cuteness. She is a Mess.
 Let's start with the blurry picture. I know. I should have taken another one. Don't judge.
This is the top three shelves of my kitchen pantry. About once every six months I attempt to clean it out and organize it. And it always ends up looking like this again. If you are at my house and I need to retrieve something from these shelves, I will open and close the doors as quickly as possible in the hopes that you will not see the disaster held within their constraints. Let's look a little closer...
 Let's see. Sunglasses. An old dog collar. Two water bottles my kids got when we went to the university bookstore to buy their books last fall. Several wallets. Screen protectors for my phone. A serving tray. Dog treats. A can of chalkboard paint. A can of shoe deodorizer. A tin can with some random cash sticking out. A half used bottle of lotion. Pens. A half filled Weight Watchers three month tracker. A purse sized tissue packet. A Bloggie camera. Light bulbs. A business card for a photographer who took our family pictures in 2008. Oh brother. Help me.
Here you have entry into the master-not-suite of our home. Bed - unmade. As always. I'm a napper, so I just never see the point. I DO make my bed on Tuesdays, because that's when my housekeeper comes and I don't want her to think I'm a slob who never makes her bed. I will also generally make it the day my parents arrive from out of town but then ultimately, I realize my mom knows I don't make my bed and I let it slide for the duration of their visit. Also - notice the lovely unfinished nightstand. My parents gave us two of these that they bought from Costco years ago. Asia put one of them together... it was put together wrong (bless his heart) so the drawers do not slide correctly. And of course, I've never taken the time to finish the wood. How silly. It is (sort of) functional and so I've never wanted to spend the money on a real night stand. You should also notice the yellow flannel blanket on top of the bed... this blanket was made for me by a dear friend shortly after we moved to Spokane from Eugene. It is faded and worn but it is sentimental and warm and snuggly and I cannot seem to let it go or replace it. It's always on my bed. And on top of that, you'll see some combination of sweats and a sweater or zip-up sweatshirt... I always leave these there because almost EVERY morning I'm out of bed before dark and want to be able to pull something on without waking Asia up. The little blue thing on the floor by the nightstand is my 'warmy-uppy-in-the-microwave-thing'... it's the only thing that gets my feet warm at night and I simply will not go to bed without it. Everyone in the family complains that it smells... and it does... it's got some sort of herbal combination in it that's supposed to be soothing but after too many uses ends up smelling like a stale bag of loose leaf tea... but I cannot live without it in the winter and so I tell everyone to stop complaining and snuggle up to it every.single.night. (I might love it more than Asia, but don't tell him...)
 These last two are a sort of confession, I suppose. I have a ridiculous collection of costume jewelry. I LOVE shopping the jewelry clearance racks at Macy's and Nordstrom Rack... and I buy new jewelry a LOT. It's a bit of an obsession. But I LOVE wearing funky jewelry.
(See my iron? It's the best iron on the planet. It was probably made in 1940... I got it from my grandparent's house when my grandpa passed away. I will be terribly sad if it ever stops working. I LOVE it.)
So now you know. Put any thought about me having myself all-put-together out of your head. I'm far from put-together. The older I get, the less that matters though. And if you don't mind a little dog slobber and an unmade bed, you're welcome in my home and in my life anytime. We're all just a little bit messy, I think, and I've learned the more we expose our shortcomings, the more we feel just a little bit safer together. Guess what else? I yell at my kids from time to time and I struggle with emotional eating and some days I don't like my husband at all because I choose to wallow in negativity instead of counting my blessings. If you'll still love me, I promise to do the same for you. Because that's real. And that's life. And that's grace.
Bless you and your shortcomings today. Smooches, friends.


  1. I think this is my favorite list so far. Our homes are very similar through these photos and I am so thankful for that. Ps- I would LOVE a housekeeper.

  2. Favorite post ever. I laughed out loud at the pantry photos. You're awesome.

  3. What Lorraine up there said : ) Wendy and I call this #projectreallife and we enjoy texting photos back and forth to each other to illustrate. Hahaha.

  4. are you sure you didn't take these pictures at my house?! LOL. we have that same bedspread! I think this is my favorite list so far. I currently have 2 baskets of clothes-in-various-stages-of folding in my living room. who makes bed anymore! Yes the classic clean before the cleaning lady comes. I grew up cleaning houses in the summer with my mom - who will occasionally drop in and act like my cleaning lady. confession: I never make my bed and have at least 2 or 3 sweatshirts and yoga pants on my bed at all times. thank you for keeping it real! And reminding me I should clip my dogs nails tonight. I am the only one in our house that can clip her nails and she is over due for a pedicure :)

  5. Anonymous11:27 AM

    the honesty of your soul comes thru so very loud and clear in your blogs and your sense of humor makes for an enjoyable read and makes you more approachable .... you always present so "put together" at our meetings and yet i know you're not perfect (none of us are!) so i really loved this blog in particular!!!!!! *Dawn

  6. Love this. I was contemplating a "things I am terribly behind on right now" list myself. You are not alone. :)

  7. love your honesty.

  8. I love this. So very familiar.

  9. Hahhahah. I'm pretty sure you're at my house. Except the dog, but not the poop. Lots of poop, not very much slobber. But he head butts, so there's that. I have to just tell you that I love you even more because of this post. Thank you for being authentic an

  10. Anonymous9:21 AM

    This is great. I have decided I am a shame-based housekeeper, because I keep the public areas clean (not always), but the closets and drawers are disasters (almost always). I hope this isn't some kind of metaphor for my life. Ha. So happy to catch up with you. :)


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