Hello awesome friends! I’m writing from the bed today. Something has hit me and it’s hit hard. I thought it might be the flu last night, but I’m feeling a little better this morning so I hobbled into the next room, seized the laptop and tried to plug out what was on my mind.
But then I remembered I’m high on Tamiflu, and my ears are ringing, and I may not be able to string many coherent thoughts together today. I may even remove this post later out of sober post flu drug embarrassment.
So read this in a slurred stuffy voice and enjoy. I’m here for your endless entertainment. Cue weird circus music. Jamin is playing Mr. Mom today. I’m not a fun patient to deal with, so hurray for Mr. Moms. Love that mancake. Did I just write that? Is mancake a word? Am I awake right now?
Update: Do not google mancake. Or what I thought I meant… beefcake. Do people still say that? Why am I picturing a large sunburned snowbird by a pool donning a hot pink speedo? Gross.
Confession: the term “dream house” irks me. I loathe scrolling through pinterest and seeing words like “dream home.” It reeks of “some day” and bad lessons we take away from Disney and princesses and perfect hair and perfect princes and castles. There’s nothing wrong with hopeful somedays… and there’s really nothing wrong with that phrase. But it reminds me of unrealistic expectations.
Because I think we all struggle with that.
I received a few comments lately about perfection in my home. That’s cool. Water. Duck’s back. But I think we walk a fine line (Jamin and I personally) between the illusion of perfection, and reality.
While photos like the above are stellar, and the posts from this week that make my home look like we’re from a land of unicorns and rainbows and pottery barn… (yes, all three are very closely related) Let me be the first to tell you, it’s all a ruse. (Why is my word selection from the fifties today?) I’m just really good at cleaning and sticking some flowers in the forefront to make you think my home looks rad. It’s a real gift.
I was thinking, I don’t know if any of you guys were like me growing up, but we had a formal living room. One that was never touched. And a dining room. We never went in there. And for the generation before that, my mom lived in a home smaller than ours with an entire bedroom that was left untouched while siblings shared beds. Just in case they had a guest. That’s what people did.
We use every square inch of our home now. In multiple ways. And it got me thinking… how far have we come? But why do we complain so much about our homes?
Do we tend to focus too much on someday, rather than embrace the now?
I once had these visions of my home and what I wanted it to be. And then my three bouncing babes came crashing into my life. I was in survival mode, and I would sit back and think “One day. In my dream house.” Like I was barbie waiting for her little plastic mansion to materialize from nowhere as a gift from the heavens. And then reality slapped me in the face and I realized that, as morbid as this might sound, I might not ever get my ‘dream house’ if I keep waiting for it. (Not to mention, I loathe prefab plastic mass produced stuff, anyway.)
If my children have taught me anything, its to embrace the here and the now. To love life for what it is… reality. That’s a hard lesson for me to learn. I’m still working on it.
In that, comes the attempt to strike a real balance in everything. Even in creating a haven for our family.
Because kids, they do the craziest things. Managing a three year old is like watching someone go absolutely batcrap crazy, pulling every toy out he’s ever owned and then screaming at you when you tell him to pick up. So you threaten him within an inch of his life, and tell him you’ll take away all the toys and send them to Africa if he doesn’t clean up. (You could also send them down the street, but Africa just sounds good in the moment.) He has no idea what Africa is, but he knows some people there don’t have much. That’s his perspective. Sorry not sorry. We’re striving to teach our children to be thankful. Then he crashes in total blissful sleep in weird places like under chairs in the playroom. And you momentarily forget the batcrap crazy part as you gaze at him and think a million thoughts about your heart being outside your body and how you want nothing but to be the very best you can be for your children. But isn’t it all about your perspective?
Oh, and they break things. Lots of things are broken in the process of a childhood.
So while my house might not be exactly like I thought I wanted it (see: white sofas and their death in my world) I want to look back and know that I created a fun environment… a real haven for my children growing up. The world is a hard place. I want them to be inspired by our home and have a blast, while learning to care for those and everything around them. I want our home to be an escape.
It’s all about perspective in finding that balance, isn’t it? What works in a home, is different for everyone.
You can’t live in a museum, but you can have fun in the process and roll with the punches. It is what it is, and I yearn to live in each moment. I have got to give up my big princessy sighs with my forlorn “somedays” while I lose my focus by looking at what others appear to have. I want to know that I had fun now with my life. I think a lot of that comes from the roots of gratefulness, and being present in our own lives. Purging is teaching me a lot about that.
Its easy to get caught up in the big ruse, isn’t it?
We didn’t build this house. It wasn’t what we ‘wanted’. But I’ve made it more of what I want, over time. And I’ve learned to be grateful for what it is.
Our home isn’t always neat. I’m definitely working on the clutter. And there are days when it just doesn’t meet my expectations.
Because my expectations are ridiculous, that is most days.
And as you can judge from this epic photo, I don’t always feed them the perfect foods, even though we’re slowly weeding it out and ‘getting there’. Last night, I may or may not have let them picnic on the ground and watch two movies on beach towels while I threw crackers and apples at them. Mama had a backache and a throbbing head and Daddy wasn’t home.
Hey, it counts.
I live in a world where my pillows are constantly pummeled and used as gigantic forts. Isn’t this what real joy is? Not a picture perfect space.
I’m thankful for the barbie shoes and legos that threaten to puncture my feet at every step. And for the super messy loft bed that all three of them pile into each night because it’s oh so fun, that I don’t really make all that often. Oh, and for the ladder that doesn’t work for them.
For our bed, that usually hosts at least four sleepers within the process of a night and our never ending game of musical beds. I sigh and think, ‘someday’. But I don’t want to miss it…
Which is also regularly vomited on.
For the laundry room that looks like this, right now.
Because this is life.
So do you guys think its possible to strike a balance with form and function in your homes? It’s kind of hard sometimes.
How to you live in your very own dream house?