The State of our House

“You should see my house” has been my compliment comeback of choice for some time now because first, it’s true–some area of my house is, at any given moment, likely to be in shambles–and secondly, I’ve wrongly assumed you’re always supposed to shoot back compliments with some stupid self-deprecating statement. Just because someone tells you they like your dress doesn’t mean you have to cancel it out with how disgusting your kitchen counter looks. It’s okay to own a compliment and not everyone needs to be spoonfed the fact that if a woman is pulling it off in one area, there’s another area falling apart. I’m now assuming this is a given, and from this day forth, any success in my life comes with the disclaimer that somewhere, something looks like hell. And if, by chance, it doesn’t, don’t say anything ‘cuz, God forbid, you’ll jinx a miracle.

The thing is, I’m not a good housekeeper, and snapping back with a forced laugh and a “you should see my house” is getting old. I’m tired of using heaps of wrinkled laundry for toss pillows and tripping over doctor kit pieces scattered like shrapnel across my living room floor. And I’m ready, when complimented on my red dress, to smile and reply simply, “Why, thank you. Red’s my favorite color.”

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But the house thing has gotta change. Over Christmas break, our neighbors came over and, while I tried the old company stand-by of room spray, candles and a lot of closed doors, their kid ran into our bedroom. I’m pretty cool with being up front that I’m not the Type A Cleaner, but we’re still in the first impression stage with these neighbors and I wasn’t ready for full disclosure or the explanation that our room is where we dump every pile that doesn’t have a place two hours before company comes. You have to desensitize cool neighbors first–with my buffalo chicken dip and free beer and our whole hey-we’re-really-cool-friends act, and we hadn’t quite yet sold them for the second stage of here’s-who-we-really-are. …pigs.

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So, I run to close the door and shoo kids before anyone sees, but it was too late. Cool Neighbor Friend Dad walks in and, swear to God, couldn’t hide the horror. If I recall, it went something like “Holy S@#t, what happened?” And I honestly considered two lies. One: We’re moving. Two: We were robbed. Instead, I bailed. Ran out of the room in embarrassment without any explanation and, from another room, called my friend Laura laughing so hard, I couldn’t spit out the punchline…the “Holy S@#t, what happened?” part.

And I say this all for two reasons. It might look from the blog like we get a lot done and I craft and I bake and take pictures of spring cupcakes, and yes that might be good and inspiring, but there’s always not-so-fun stuff that gets left out here. Cleaning house is one of many. But also, sometimes writing about something helps me overcome it, and it feels good in that proclaiming-New-Year’s-resolution way to publicly sign a declaration of Hey, I have a problem and Hey, I wanna fix it.

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I will never regret letting the house go to spend important time with my kids and that will never change. I couldn’t care about fingerprints on windows if I tried (in fact, I kinda like them). But, there has to be a happy medium, and a love seat slip cover made of wrinkled t-shirts is not it. I’m confident in the fact my kids will grow up in a relaxed environment knowing we chose Candyland over dishes, but I also want them to feel the security and comfort that comes from order and the beauty of aesthetics. Besides, clutter in the home inevitably interprets to clutter in the mind, and I’m a better mama when I make efforts to avoid chaos and attempt simplicity.

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So, I’m going to try really hard to change this problem. This week, I’m weeding out, tidying up, and reorganizing some priorities. For my family, for my kids, but mostly for me. Because I’m really good with new challenges.

But oh, you should see my house.

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* And the best part about cleaning house is rewarding yourself afterward. Try an antiqued mirror, a vintage inspired soap for your guest bathroom, or some pretty glass milk bottles for displaying spring blooms from sponsor, Timeless Settings.

And the gift certificate winner for Tahnie’s Stella and Dot shop is Comment #54, Jen Green:

1. Silly easter hats that I loved…they were hideous
2. The one year I got an easter basket
3. The first sunburn from a spring soccer tournament and going to church with crazy burn lines.
4. Smell of lilacs
5. Washington states spring rain showers…nothing compares to the smell.

Love your blog and I laughed out loud when you said you had to break your CD’s…so close to home.

Jen, e-mail your info please to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net. Thanks!

Happy Monday.

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Comments

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  1. Kelle – You should see MY house….I hire the housecleaning out!! xo

  2. I’m the same way! “You should see my house.” :)
    It’s all piles of folded laundry not yet put away and half washed dishes and toy bins scattered and random lonely little girls’ socks galore. I hate cleaning.

  3. I asked my husband if everyone has clutter and piles of papers in their house or were all our friends houses clutter-free, like I WISH ours to be. He laughed and said, you don’t see their clutter because it’s new to you. Your clutter is your arch-enemy and he haunts you every day.

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  5. one more funny thought….does Nella’s PT ever want to pull the couch cushions off to use them for various therapy fun stuff….? I used to alway cringe…I mean CRINGE when Chri’s PT would suggest this at my house! Oh the horror of not knowing what’s under there!

  6. Funny πŸ˜‰ Love those milk bottles from the Timeless Settings sponsor!

  7. Just posted a very similar post to my blog! http://www.akersoflove.blogspot.com

    Good luck with your early spring cleaning!

  8. I think you wrote the words I was thinking today. We keep busy with art and adventures. The house is chaos. Today I was thinking would be the day to start trying harder. But then we set up our cardboard castle and played Rapunzel…that is so much more fun then cleaning the counter! So maybe this afternoon??

    Thanks for your post – it reflects our home perfectly!!

  9. LOL – you’ve just made a whole lot of us feel a whole lot better! Thanks for that! :-)

  10. Thank you for this Kelle. You were seriously starting to give me a “Substandard Mommy” complex. What a relief! πŸ˜‰

  11. You know, I think your post is great! It’s good to see that hey, ‘You CAN’T do it all’ sometimes!
    But I don’t think your house looks that bad! I’ve seen worse! Hoarders anyone?…The show, not anybody I know.

  12. Thank you for taking exactly how I feel and putting it into words….again. :)

  13. You are right that you will never regret spending time with your girls. I love a freshly cleaned house and things in their places but after my daughter was born it didn’t seem as important. That said I think every woman can relate to this post. Thanks for keeping it real :)

  14. I love this!! It makes me feel so much happier about my home!

    That last photo of Nella is adorable! Definitely one for a frame :)

  15. you should’ve seen our house growing up, with 7 kids. let’s just say my mom made us all “thelma’s” by the time we were all 6. and to think, no allowance was given. oh, the horrors.

  16. Ha! I sooo know how that goes. My go-to excuse is “We’re in the middle of ORGANIZING.”

  17. Thank you – and you should see MY house. We *are* moving, and I have an autistic toddler who is a sifter/ dumper. So all unsealed boxes get unpacked swiftly.

  18. I am domestically challenged. I try so hard. I bathe my girls. I pick up the toys each night, I wash the dishes and put them away. That is where it ends. Laundry is our problem. My husband is in charge of washing the clothes, I am in charge of folding/putting away. Currently, there are 6 loads of laundry waiting to be folded (sitting in my dining room for 4 days now) and 3 baskets full of folded clothes waiting to be put away(it’s been 3 weeks – we have been living out of these). It’s a struggle for me to get it done. Laundry is just not my priority, but I try.

  19. It feels so good to know that I’m not the only one with a pile of laundry and a desire to do better. Sometimes I feel like all my friends have it together and I somehow or another just missed out on that “How to be Perfect” lesson. Thank you for keeping it real.

  20. Oh, and that picture of Nella is AMAZING. Kisses right back at you, kiddo.

  21. : )
    Wishing you all the best in your cleaning endeavors.

  22. It always pleases me when you post picture of laundry heaps. Because I have the same heaps but I really struggle to… shall we say embrace them? My solution- buy more laundry baskets. :)

  23. See, I wish I could leave some of that stuff and just deal with it later. I am a bit OCD I have decided and need to let it go. It’s all about balance…. Good luck & happy organizing!

  24. Thanks for this. You should see My house! Just this weekend my husband and I were looking around at all the clutter, piles of toys, dust bunnies and he said “Normal people don’t live like this!”
    Glad to know there are other “abnormal” people out there.
    Off to play Buzz Lightyear – forget the laundry…..

  25. My house was always the same way. The only clean room was the living room, because we never used it, having a family room. The family room was always totally trashed, and I didn’t care. It was the one place where the kids knew it didn’t matter if there was stuff everywhere, they could have fun.

    Even the other day, I wanted to wear a blouse but it needed ironing. I dragged out the iron, set it up on the dining room table with a towel and the blouse… and there the towel and iron sit. Three/four days later.

  26. Kelle, at least one area in my house is ALWAYS a complete mess! One side of my kitchen table is always covered in folded laundry (hate wrinkles) and the other side is always cluttered with dirty breakfast dishes, markers, and crayons. It’s always refreshing to see a post like this. I think our priorities are in the right place, babies always come first! I laughed so hard when I seen you attempting to fold that badly wrinkled pink t-shirt!

    Your post was beautiful and encouraging as always! Happy Monday to you, too!!!

  27. Same boat here. My husband can’t handle it, but I am going with what a wise friend once told me: “Cleaning house while your children are small is like shoveling snow in a snowstorm.” I will never, ever, get ahead of this mess as long as there are two little people making more messes while I clean. There is only so much one mommy can do!

  28. I have seen how you can prep a home for company in 30 minutes. It is like a fast-forwarding movie. Everything is put in place with the frenzy of time-lapse photography. But sometimes you just need to ask Why? and possibly be comfortable with sharing the couch with clean laundry enjoying a layover on their way to the dresser or breakfast dishes still chatting on the counter before their morning shower. Waiting on those tasks is far better than waiting on your tinies who need you. In the end, you will not remember a house in disorder, but you will regret a child who felt shelved while you made pristeen a pretty house. And what would Dot and I do when we visit if we had no dishes to finish or countertops to wipe down? You are rescuing us from knocking off a bottle of Cabernet and ending up living in a box under a Naples overpass…which actually sounds appealing on another cold Michigan morning!

  29. I have a room that every 2 hours before a party.. I dump all my things..too… don’t feel alone there..

  30. I too…have an endless battle with the laundry! Our babies won’t be babies forever…slowly we will start having time on our hands that we never asked for, and we will inevitably fill it with a few cleaning sessions(this is how I make myself feel better). I am certain no child grows up remembering fond memories of their clean house. I will trade that for paper maiche solar systems, cardboard houses, collage materials from one end of the table to the other, and a soccer ball in the upstairs hall waiting for someone to come by and start a match! Enjoy, revel and continue to inspire!

  31. I am a horrible housekeeper too and hate laundry. And each week vow to get better. Thanks for the great post!!!

  32. I don’t think you can be a blogger and have a clean house…just doesn’t happen :)

    I took a picture of my apartment last week, I’d say I’m 80% done organizing and cleaning one week later. I’m not sure if I’ll post the before picture until the after one is ready! :)

    Do what you can, when you can. That’s all we can do!

  33. My house was a total “Holy S@#t, what happened?” monster last night. Which is why I spent my morning and will be spending more hours during naptime cleaning the beast. But first, a picnic in the backyard with my two precious boys I’ve been neglecting………because I need it as much as them. And, you are right, clearing the clutter does lead us to sweet simplicity :)

    (I NEVER clean the fingerprints, drives my husband crazy, but I LOVE them!!)

  34. HEY! This web site is pretty neat when it comes to helping you stay organized and cleaning your house!

    http://www.flylady.net/

  35. I just want to say that Nella is the cutest laundry I’ve seen in a really LONG time. :)

  36. Haha, I just blogged about “balance” and how none of us will EVER have it. I’m so glad there are mamas out there willing to admit it! I L.O.V.E your blog Kelle, and I drive my husband nuts with “Kelle does this” and “Kelle does that.” :)

    Oh, and I conquered my fear of laundry one day when I decided that I was no longer going to separate clothes into piles. We literally use our washing machine as a clothes hamper. When it’s full I put in the soap and let ‘er whirl. This pretty much means I do one full load of laundry a day, but I never get overwhelmed anymore! (I don’t even use those “color catcher” thingamabobs and I’ve never had issues. Ever ever.)

  37. that last pic of Nella is my absolute favorite ever!!!!

    I’m probably more like your neighbor in the “holy s*** what happened?!”… I’m type A and proud of it! haha!!

    xoxo
    -s

  38. Thanks for this post. I’ve been married a year and a half and don’t have any kids yet and yet I still somehow struggle to keep things clean — and even worse, struggle to be okay with myself when I don’t have a sparkly house. I’ve been shooting for a happier medium. Thank you for your honesty. :o)

  39. I’m right there with you! I need to organize and de-clutter. Spring cleaning in everyway! Good luck!!

  40. You know, I’m thinking that if you’ve got to pick an area of life to slack in, this has to be the one, hands-down.

    Every now and then I’m apt to yammer on about my quest for a lower grocery bill and people are always asking me, “But what about cleaning supplies??”

    To which I say, “What cleaning supplies?” I’m sorry to say that a bottle of 409 will last me a year. Maybe longer. I’m good with that.

  41. That last picture of Nella is just precious.

  42. Your post has made me feel human…

    I was beating myself up because I was excited about cleaning my bathroom and washing the kitchen floor on consecutive days but even more shocked that I couldn’t remember the last time anything like that had happened.

    I will work on keeping up with the cleaning but more importantly I will work on letting go of the guilt when the time is otherwise spent enjoying my girls!!!

  43. OK, I thought this was only ME! I deal with this ALL the time. Not being able to accept a nice compliment and move on. Why do I have to say “oh, you should see them when they’re naughty!” when someone tells me my kids are cute, or why must I blab about my mess bathroom when someone says “your home always looks so clean!” – why do we feel the need to shoot down a compliment and shoot ourselves in the foot all the time?! I’m just glad to see its not just me :)

  44. AS I aproached my computer to check blogs this afternoon, I used my foot to push the plastic farm animals out of the way and accidentially stepped on a tambourine in the process. You are in good company! Housecleaning shouldn’t be your priority when your job is to spend time with your kids. If your house were too clean, we would all be worried!!! Either that, or we would know you have a service :)
    Happy Cleaning.

  45. Hi! I’m a new follower and now I love your blog even more. You really should see my house! ha! I’ve always strugged with house cleaning, while the rest of my family constantly keeps a neat home. I too have promised myself that things will change this year. Good luck!!

    p.s. your girls are ADORABLE!!

  46. once again, a breath of fresh air and a reminder for me to come back to reality. My house looks HORRIBLE right now… but yesterday was Sunday… and Sundays are busy with church and instead of cleaning up our messes yesterday afternoon I lounged. I played with our son, I took a nap on the couch with my man, and when our son woke up from his… we played with him and lounged some more. This morning I found myself regretting ‘being lazy’ yesterday… until I remembered that I had sweet moments with my guys. A while ago I found myself trying to keep everything perfect and when it wasn’t it stressed me out so bad… but I had to teach myself not to freak out over it… with kids, there will always be a mess somewhere… so… I remember balance is the key!! Now, off to clean up our messes from yesterday!!

  47. I totally feel you are in my home. We live in the boonies and get maybe one guest per month. We clean when we get company and if company comes unexpectedly, we sometimes hide! It’s THAT bad! We do the whole swear thing that THIS time we’ll keep the house clean. The longest it has lasted is a week. We both come home tired after work but even when I was home 24/7 it was the same way. Spending time with your girls is what’s most important and I know you already know that. For us, I think if hubby and I were both disciplined after making a meal, at clean-up, we’d have the main kitchen clean all the time. It’s just hard, but I think we were that way before 2 chitlins so we just go with the flow. Great post though. Of course blog about it if you figure out how to help yourself and the rest of us organize our days, cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry. Happy Monday, Kelle!

  48. Kelle, You may think your house is bad, but it isn’t….You have kids and people in and out and I think it looks darn good and so close to my own home. Puzzle pieces, a clean(at least it’s clean) pile of laundry on the couch and kiddos that are happy. My mom always says a home where mamas stay home are always messier because you “live” in them. If you were gone all day at work, day care and school it wouldn’t be messy. Feel blessed that you are *living* at home with your kiddos. And I think your house looks perfect and on another note….good for you in owning that compliment.
    Blessings!
    Abby

  49. Oh THANK YOU. You are a kindred spirit. I feel so much better now.
    =)

  50. From a different perspective…I am SO GLAD my mother made keeping the house fairly clean a priority because she taught me how to clean. We had fun doing it and there was always the reward of playing after we were done.

    I’m not a great housekeeper- but man oh man, I’ve had some roommates who have shown me just how lucky I am to have the “how to” on cleaning under my belt!

  51. “We labor to make a house a home, then every time we’re expecting visitors, we rush to turn it back into a house.” ~Robert Brault

    That is so me. When people come over, they get the “don’t open that closet” warning. I love your neighbors response, too funny. He would probably call a HazMat team to my house :)

  52. Love love love!! You should see my bedroom!! I am a type a clean person at work and in the common areas of home… but my bedroom is a WHOLE different story! I call it my ‘Monica closet’ (from friends). It’s the part I can just let myself not care about and let it fall to shambles before putting it back together…

    Besides – it’s one of those things- you wouldn’t appreciate a clean house if you never saw it messy!!! Judging by the smiles on Lainey & Nella’s faces they think you’re doing just fine!

    Happy Monday!

    And I absolutely love this line: “It’s okay to own a compliment and not everyone needs to be spoonfed the fact that if a woman is pulling it off in one area, there’s another area falling apart.” <-perfection :)

  53. I get it! I used to have the opposite problem, I was the fastidiously neat, following the kids around cleaning mama. Then I decided to get over it because it was all about being a people-pleasing perfectionist. Now I fear I’ve swung too far in the other direction!
    Here’s something we do in our house: Blitzkreig Cleaning. I set the timer for ten minutes and the kids and I each pick a room or mess to clean. When the timer goes off we stop and have a little reward, like a board game or bowling game on the Wii.
    Good luck!

  54. Just dance, the laundry can wait! Who cares, we can’t all be June Cleaver, such is life. I just want to be ME.

  55. I’m type A….my house is ALWAYS spotless. However, I agree that balance is key and sometimes after reading your blog, I’m jealous that you have the ability to not let it bother you so much! :)

  56. I love the honesty! You seem like such an incredibly genuine person, and it is fabulous that you find humour in those awkward moments to make them a little less mortifying :)!!

    OK, I have two pieces of advice, if I may? One, we bought big collapsible laundry cloth buckets (you can get super cute ones, and decorate them with felt flowers too) or functional ones, and chuck all the toys and randomness into them. Very easy, Lainey will love to help with the daily clean-up, and they are perfect for us clutterbugs who don’t want things away and out of site but somehow organized and piled. The other is…. there is no shame in hiring someone to clean your house :) Think of all the great things it would leave you time for….your littles, your crafts, and photographing oodles of cupcakes :) !!!

    p.s. You really didn’t need to feel embarrassed, I’m sure your neighbour was less intimidated by the ‘realness of it’. I’m sure everyone will laugh over it some day.

  57. Kelle,

    I felt like you were talking to me! Honestly, this is one of the things I struggle with! I want our home to always be “company ready” but I don’t usually take the steps every day to keep it that way. I’ve just now started convincing myself that whatever it is I’d prefer to do instead of cleaning (magazine/blog post/Real Housewives) can wait fifteen minutes while I choose one area of the house to clean. It’s gotten a LOT better…but still a ways to go!

    Just know we’re all out here fighting the same battle! And we can totally win!

    -Veralynn

    Joie de Veralynn

  58. This is so true! All of it! I don’t consider myself the best or the worst housekeeper, but I sure know I feel a lot better, more relaxed and inspired when my house is somewhat clean! Love the pictures… that one of Lainey sitting on the pile on the couch seriously made me smile! And Nella… oh she is cute!

  59. Sigh, my house looks like yours ALL THE TIME! It’s worse actually, because my house is a lot smaller and the messes seem eve more out of control.

  60. Kelle! Kelle! KELLE! Oh how you just turned my frown upside down! I feel so much more confident as a mother, especially when my baby bug is having therapy and I have to “excuse the house” to her therapists time and time again… but I do know that we live in a lived-in house… and for that I am forever thankful!

  61. Ahhhh…how I love to see a pile of laundry piled on the corner of a couch! I wish I could post a little photo of the laundry piled on the corner of my couch,and the Nerf darts strewn across my living room floor. =) Thanks-I feel normal!

  62. i just told my husband, “no wonder i relate! she’s a slob too!” LOVE the honesty!!

  63. i love you-please lets be friends. we have a rule when friends come over (if a door is shut don’t open it) =)

  64. Cutest picture of Nella ever! Love it!

  65. It is so nice to have someone like you that so many of us look up to (because of your incredibly refreshing view of life, etc) to admit that you aren’t perfect. I know that you have done it before about other things, but sharing about your messy house hits close to home for a lot of people.

    I CRAVE organization. I didn’t say that I was good at it, but that I desire it so much. I also have fun when I do get something organized and clean. However, I miss out on things because I carry that guilt of “I should be cleaning/organizing” and it is such a tough thing for me to let go of.

    I will use this post as encouragement. That not everything has to be perfect and that it can wait while I enjoy my family.

    LOVE the last pic of Nella!

  66. Oh Kelle, I laughed out loud when I read your neighbors response to your room! Wonder how their house looks!
    Two short stories… The other week my son was sick and I HAD to go to work. So, I had to have my oh-so-neat-and-organized mother-in-law come over to our house to babysit. I vacuumed and dusted (quickly) the downstairs never thinking she would have to go upstairs for any reason. I came home that night and asked my five year old if “grandma went upstairs” never thinking he’s say yes! And my immediate reaction was, “WHY?!” and he told me he wanted to show her his new entertainment center in his bedroom! I can only imagine her reaction!
    And on one other occasion,we were taking a walk and our new neighbor happened to be pulling out of her driveway as we were approaching her house and asked if we wanted to come in quick and see their new house. We’re like, “sure” (cause I was secretly dying to see the inside oftheir house)! She took us through every room of that house, including the basement and not one single thing was out of place. It was beautiful. When we left my husband said, “I don’t know that there has ever been a time where we could pull anyone off the street and say, “Hey, wanna see our house?” I’m glad I’m not alone. I figure my house won’t be nice and clean for “tours” like that until my son is grown and out of the house! Which, really, is fine with me!

  67. One of my favorite parts of spring is the crazy turn-everything-upside-down-for-a-good-scrubbing craze I get into. It’s like nesting without the baby!

    Oh, and I loved the spray painted mirror in your last post, by the way. I’m on a hunt for paintable things in my house right now. Ha!

  68. So good to know that I’m not the only one. Laundry is my nemisis, I constantly struggle with it, I continue to wait for the laundry fairy to visit our house, but she just never shows up! I keep telling myself that I’m going to get better at it, but who knows. I would much rather play with the babies that put away clothes, so we live out of our laundry baskets, o well. We also have an area where all the piles get thrown a few minutes before company comes over, hope no one ever sees those! Happy Monday to you all!

  69. oops, I meant to say I would much rather play with the babies than put away the clothes, not play with kids that put away clothes, haha!

  70. LOL!! I just finished vacuuming our house and straightening up quickly as we have someone coming over! I, honestly, can not believe how similar we are sometimes and that we tend to go through phases at the same time. :) my husband would tell you I’m not the best organizer or cleaner-upper. Vomit is not cool with me. BUT, he constantly reminds me when I’m all amiss with the current mess, that he is glad I’m focused on the right things (loving him and our kids) and that always makes me smile and take things one at a time again! OF course, I still get the,”What the hell happened here?” comment from him sometimes!! Your post made me laugh soo hard and that last photo of Nella could stand alone. Amazing.

  71. Thank you so much for sharing. I tend to be like you. It helps to know I’m not the only one who struggles with housework. I blame in on my creativity. :)

  72. I haven’t achieved a “clean house all the time” yet….and I no longer have littles..just a teen who is home on weekends who could care less if it’s neat..however, if you are interested in great ideas for putting some housecleaning/laundry items on “autopilot” with a routine, check out http://www.flylady.com That was the best move I ever made when my son was young. If some of it becomes part of your routine, it makes everything else so much more bearable!

  73. Okay Kelle…loved this post! I love what you said about finding a happy medium. I am a neat freak, obsessed with order and cleanliness and I very often make my kids suffer for it. I seem to always be searching for a happy medium too, but in the opposite direction of you. I’m always reading your blog and thinking…”I need to be more relaxed like Kelle, quit cleaning and play with my kids more, make more cupcakes…play more Candyland!”

    I love how we are all different and can learn from each other.

    p.s. I think we need your chicken buffalo dip recipe. Pretty please!

  74. Oh, girl … I WISH my Type A-ness would let me leave the clutter but it can’t. I get twitchy. So, every single day (and even more than once a day), I’m picking up, cleaning up, wiping up … only to have my child make a mess again. I actually need to cool it when it comes to trying to keep my house clean … so, maybe you and I can meet in the middle? :)

  75. So you are human afterall huh? πŸ˜‰
    Kidding–I don’t think anyone, ANYONE can always have everything in perfect order. In fact, if the outside seems perfect, guaranteed the inside (THEIR inside–emotionally usually) is way out of whack! So just be glad your junk is on the outside. πŸ˜‰
    Mine is too thankfully!
    I love Nella’s face in the pic of her sitting in the laundry basket–she looks surprised. Too cute.

  76. Thanks for this post. Sometimes it is nice to know that you are a real person :)

  77. Oh no! What’s wrong with using t-shirts as slip covers?
    My house is always a mess too. Whether it’s lego pieces, far more Star Wars figures than I care to count or Cheerios, the floor is never free of stuff. Looking around, neither is the furniture or accent tables.

  78. Thanks for sharing…I feel the same way about housecleaning. I just think to myself, “We LIVE in our house…our house isn’t dirty..just “Lived in”!

  79. I could have written you entire post. I am the queen of throwing everything in our bedroom or the laundry room at the last second and shutting doors. There is pretty much always a basket or 2 of wrinkly laundry just witing to be folded. And sometimes my living room floor is a minefield of legos and matchbox cars.

    I have made it my resolution this year to make a better effort of staying on top of the clutter (thank you IKEA), & I knew I was doing good when last week my BFF walks into my home and says “wow, this is the cleanest Ive seen your house in a long time!”

  80. I love the cute pic of Nella at the end!!! So adorable!

    I too hate cleaning the house. Our problem is that we are trying to get ready to move. So the house is chaos because everything needs to be packed up to make it look cleaner… Ugh!

  81. Thanks for reminding us that you’re human, too. My house and yours would be good friends–they want to be clean and neat and tidy and straightened, but it’s so hard when other more important things await….

    Something we’ve found that helps when the laundry gets overwhelming: we put a DVD on (we don’t have a TV, so this is a treat), and my husband and I tackle the laundry together. It’s a race, since we watch a 25 minute show, and it is amazing how quickly the laundry gets done when two of us fold (and while the kids aren’t around to bounce in it and turn me into the yelling laundry monster).

  82. Two tips that helped me tremendously: Got rid of toys with small parts, got rid of excess clothes. I had 4 kids and always tried to simplify. Believe me, it gets better with age. Get tired of the crap :)

  83. I love this post.It is sooo true..I find woman are way too hard on themselves sometimes. Yes it may look like a tornado hit your house today but your kids are happy and that is all that matters. Be proud that you chose Candyland over dishes. I know you kids will be:) But your right,there does need to be a happy medium and I I know you can find it. xoxo

  84. Girl, you should see MY house. It is well lived in just like yours :-) Except we don’t have kids yet, so I really don’t have an excuse.

    I am the same way about compliments. Can’t take one. My famous trait is to point out all of my ridiculous flaws.

  85. Kelle, I don’t have any children, and I still have a messy home. My husband’s parents came over for an inpromptu pizza night, and as my husband stared blankly at our messy kitchen, I said “just dim the lights, it will hide the mess.” I’m full of tricks like that! Sometimes, we’ll do the whole “act like company will be here in 30 minutes! Go!” cleaning, and it’s great! Thanks for making me feel better about being a “messy.”

  86. I love you for this post!

  87. No, you should see MY house!
    Actually I think mine is much better after I return from friend’s places but my husband came from a house where mom was home and had nothing to do but clean…you couldn’t even take a brush or comb into the kitchen! I grew up with something in-between and mine is something below that. I’m not really dirty, just messy!

    And, I have just learned to go with it – knowing that a happy middle is fine, when it comes to a clean house.

  88. I am opposite of you…I am OCD about my house being clean and everything having a place but I feel I have no creativity at all…I wish my decor was like yours! Wanna Trade? Your girls are stunning BTW…Happy Monday!

  89. Please know that it is OK to be messy! Take it from me, the girl who would sometimes rather clean her kitchen than go out for a day of shopping with her girlfriends. I’m too much the other way…the clean freak way, and while I don’t yet have kids, I worry that my proclivity for everything to be neat and clean will majorly impact either myself or my kids. I get anxious when things are in disarray or dirty. But, I’m slowly working on it with my pets so that by the time kids come, hopefully piles of laundry won’t send me into a tailspin.

    On the other hand, a good tip is to fit a tidying-up routine into your schedule so that the mess doesn’t become completely overwhelming. You wouldn’t believe what a difference 5/10 minutes here or there makes. Some people do a quick 15 minute pick-up before bed or before they get their shower in the morning. It really helps to keep it manageable. Good luck in your new quest to keep your house company presentable at any moment!

  90. k, i laughed out loud. So funny :)
    i just wanted to encourage you – my husband is that type A personality & i’m the passionate creative type… we got married as teenagers & early on in our (almost 15 year) marriage, one day i just decided, “i’ve gotta be done with the mess”… i had 2 little girls just like you & every day, my sweet patient husband would get home from work to find boxes & bags ready to be purged at the door. It honestly took me about a month… i purged & organized & changed my life & my perspective. “Get rid of stuff to make room for people” became my new mantra. Don’t get me wrong… i now have seven little ones & we homeschool & make a crap load of messes – but chaos doesn’t win… our belongings have homes… and there is room for all the sweet little people in this tiny house.
    (but you should how crappy the pictures are that i take… *wink*) You can do this – & you’ll thank yourself…
    i love your blog – i think you’re changing the world. xo.

  91. Completely laughed out loud with the neighbor story…I do the same thing with our room..

    And, I also do the , “you should see my house” bit.

    Thanks for posting this & helping me to realize that I’m def. not the only mom that does this.

    Hang in there with your cleaning..I’m still working on my mess over here.

  92. I love your honesty. I think life is too short to be uptight about everything.

  93. Was just musing over this myself during a harried weekend of vacuuming and mopping.

    My solution…

    I’m hiring a housekeeper…we’ve gone through a couple (I’ll be blogging the horror stories soon), but this time I think I’ve found the perfect person. Because I’m sick and tired of telling my three year old, sorry I can’t reinact Toy Story 3 because I need to clean a toilet…bad mommy!

    And thank you for showing us the ugly underbelly, sometimes it’s nice to see reality in all it’s glory.

  94. Ha ha! I understand. We have an apartment, and there isn’t much place to ‘hide’ things when people come over. So I stew over what to do next and what should be cleaned and what honestly doesn’t matter. lol. I agree – I will never regret spending time with my kids over the chores…any day. Ever. But there are days to where I am like, “Gonna spring clean. NOW.” Ha ha. By the way – I love love love the milk bottles! So cute! I sort of have a think for those right now. πŸ˜‰

  95. kelle, i have been following your blog since reading nella’s birth story. you have been such a source of strength and inspiration. i am now expecting my first child after a long struggle with infertility and have the same laid back approach to house cleaning. except for now i have gone into crazy nesting mode and have my poor husband helping my clean the whole house top to bottom. i know that i will always choose time with my son over doing a load of laundry or cleaning the kitchen. thanks for letting me know that i am not the only one!

  96. Oh reading this post had me laughing and looking around behind me as if you had just stepped into my house and was referring to what you were seeing here. But one of the best comments you posted was this one: and a love seat slip cover made of wrinkled t-shirts is not it.

    From time to time I think we all go thru this.

  97. I love your honesty. My trick is that I am “rude” to the neighbors, no one visits and it is lonely. That response to your reality is what keeps me from being warm and inviting. With age I am starting to think, “Holy s–t, what is your issue with judgement?” to folks who want to make such comments. Another blogger posted something to the effect of visit anytime if you want to see me, but if you want to see my house you better give me a weeks notice.

    I hope, if having a tidy house makes YOU happy then that is what you achieve, but can I tell you that a whole LOT of HAPPY exudes from your home through your blog and for that I am thankful.

    The answer by the way is “Life is happening, dude, 24-7 life is happening”

  98. You have no idea how “normal” this post makes me feel. I thought I was the only one who couldn’t keep it all together! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

  99. Piles of clean clothes make fine throw pillows. And the cedar chest at the end of my bed and the chairs under my bedroom window double as a closet. They’re perfectly acceptable lifestyle choices. I do clarify it with the occasional “hey, at least they’re clean” comment.

  100. I always read but rarely comment….but this time the finger prints on glass got me! My house may be clean but there are ALWAYS finger prints on the glass doors and always kiss marks on the mirror above my bed and my full length mirror…I will NOT wash the kisses off because I love them, they are kisses from my babies to my babies so they stay!

    Happy Monday!

    http://eachdayisanewjourney.blogspot.com/

  101. Good God, I am so happy to see this. My husband and I actually spent 2 1/2 hours “having it out” about my lack there of cleaning. Or how I don’t care if the dishes are piled right along with the laundry :) My defense, I’m not nasty, I consider myself to be a clean person…now messy, well you got me there! Guess he could have realized it 9 years ago, ha! But like you I pick time with my little princess over scrubbing dishes. And who am I kidding, let’s face it I hate that $#&%! Really I do. I am however trying to work on it as well!
    xoxo

  102. One sentence: Fingerprints on the underside of the glass dining table, from when the two three-year-old GRANDS were still little enough to walk under it.

  103. im glad im not alone! the laundry is the one thing i cannot for the life of me keep up with. I LOATH it. But have also promised myself to get better with it. I also had to say that after a week at stay away Christian camp I came home and very dramatically broke my Weezer CD. Still wish I had that CD!

  104. That’s so funny! Oh, I still remember a very similar thing happening to me many years ago: horrific.
    I just started what you’re attempting and it works out quite OK actually. The house looks better more often which gives more balance, I think. Somehow I feel it gives more time to socialize also, since I’m not always cleaning…
    Of course you should accept the compliments!! Easy for me to say now: I’ve had 9 more years to practice.
    But you look fab – stop mentioning your house when they tell you, please!!! πŸ˜€

  105. I feel your pain and I did the best thing I have ever done: housekeeper:) She comes every two weeks so not too bad and it forces me to at least tidy! It changed my life and my marriage!!!! Good luck we have all been there. (btw I am a stay at home mom too!)

  106. When my house is perfect, there is usually something else in my life lacking (bad). When my kids are getting the just perfect Mommy – my friends are getting a not so great friend, when my husband is getting an awesome wife my…well, that one always seems to pay me back without anything else lacking..perhaps I should think more on this, hmmm…
    Love this post, and all the great pics!
    Congratulations to your winner!

  107. This literally made me laugh out LOUD, so hilarious! I had a moment a few months ago, like this. I made myself a really nerdy google doc and have my cleaning on a schedule now. Don’t always stick to it, because, ya know, a game of Memory might have gone too long one day or whatever..but at least I can go back to it and get back on track pretty easily.

    So, so, so, funny to read your stories!!

    Here’s a link to my post with the nerdy, color-coded google doc in it, hahaha! Seriously, love your blog, thanks for sharing!

    http://ifthesewallsspoke.blogspot.com/2010/09/getting-it-together-aka-boring-post.html

  108. An hour before reading your blog I was sitting home with two girls, neither of whom have any special daily requirements other than to be loved and entertained, wondering how the hell you do it!?! Thanks for this post.

    The ONLY way I can manage laundry is to make sure all kids clothes are in the right way before washing, and to fold and put away one load at a time as it’s done. The minute there is a second load added to the pile it ends up as five loads and just an unbearable task.

    Speaking of which…. Off to the dryer. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….

  109. Oh, geez. Something I can totally 100 percent relate too. It may not be my house that gets that way, but my ROOM in my house? That would be my compliment slap-away if I ever saw one. No matter how much I could look rockin, my room being a complete and utter disaster is still sitting at home waiting to be judged….or better yet, CLEANED.

    I’m a totally throw-it girl. I don’t neatly put away, I move onto something else and the last thing I was doing (clothes, books, games, nail polish, anything…) gets set where it was and forgotten. This makes it an issue when I try to get into my room, or worse, get up in the middle of the night. Sure, it’s funny to see my mother play the “try not to step on something valuable game” ’cause she can’t see the carpet…but I’ve broken way too many things I didn’t want broken because of this habit of mine.

    So last week I rearranged my room, something I haven’t done in years, and my room feels new and inspiring. All I need to do is clean up the mess on the floor and we’re ready for spring to come upon us! And I don’t have to worry about my poor mother tripping and falling into a messy abyss or breaking her neck.

    Lainey seems pretty comfortable in the clutter, chilling out on a pile of tshirts. I find that hilarious and adorable, and so cool that she’s down with mama leaving it go for a while. Sometimes you need a bit of clutter in one area so you can have fun in another, but you always gotta go back and clean up. That’s not the fun part, sadly.

  110. It’s so refreshing to know you live a real life, too! You seem like an amazing woman, and though you show little tidbits of your house in photos every now and then, and we know you aren’t “proud” of it, it’s good to know it’s something you want to be better about. I hope you post a follow up post (maybe one in a week or so, and another in a month or so) letting us know how you’re doing with your ‘resolution’ of sorts! It’s not easy to keep things tidy when you’re a busy momma. Maybe you could call the follow up posts “The State of our House – NOW” or “Look at My House, Now!”

    And, you SHOULD own every compliment! You’re beautiful and have a gorgeous family! I’m envious :)

  111. Gurl- I hate cleaning but something about it makes me feel better. I hate cleaning over playing w/ my kids so twice a day I set the microwave timer for 15 min and do as much as I can in that time. I run and the kids chase me and I clean and sort and they grab crap and throw it in bins too. My other fav thing I did with toys recently was to sort them into bins. So I took all the toys in the house and dumped them out. I took 6 bins and in each bin I put an assortment of dolls, sensory toys, dress up, sport, sorting, puzzles, cars/trucks, etc. so each bin has one of each category and I rotate them each week. Then there is less toy clutter and my kids think the bins came from heaven each week when they see their old toys become new again. : )

  112. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing. Just the other day I was a bit down b/c it seems like all the bloggers (you included) I read are so perfect while I struggle to keep things together.

  113. I used to feel the same way. Until I found another awesome website. I think you might like it. Totally helped me get my life together lol

    http://www.flylady.net

  114. I always joke about how we clean before people come over because we don’t want them to see the way we *really* live! My “stash” place when company is coming over is the master bedroom closet. (Usually the kids don’t open it when guests are here.)

    Still, my life feels SO much more orderly when I have my kitchen all tidied up at the beginning of the day. It’s a constant process, this trying to keep things tidier in the midst of our busy life.

    Amy :)

  115. I’m glad to see other people’s houses aren’t always pristine!

    My secret weapon against the mess is to set a timer a couple of times a day–maybe right at the beginning of naptime, even though I feel like collapsing myself, or maybe when I see the kids are playing nicely together and I know it will spoil it if I get involved. I set a timer for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 15 minutes, and then I race myself to get as much done as possible during that time. It is amazing how much better things can look after just a few minutes, and if I do this a few times a day, it helps a TON.

  116. I feel the same way, you are not alone. My house is a wreck. I try to keep it neat, but with 4 boys, its a never ending cycle. I’m not a “neat” person by any stretch of the imagination either. My older boys room looks like legoland threw up in it, and part of me wants to care, but i don’t. I always have clean clothes on my couch too. I really am trying to do better though. I know you will also!

  117. I had to smile when I read this because I too am a crafting, baking, photographing, MESSY housed momma.

  118. I could have written this post! I actually just got off the phone with my Mom crying about how horrible my house is right now! I am a terrible housekeeper, but feel very out of sorts if my house is a mess. Not a great way to be, that’s for sure! Plus, I am raising a bunch of little piglets! Your blog made me laugh and feel better about myself.

    “Holy S$#@, what happened here?!” STill laughing aloud about this LOLOLOL

  119. I do a bit of cleaning everyday to try and keep this place under control…but I’m in an apartment so I don’t have as much space to clean. Good lucK!

  120. I’m a newbie to your blog. Stumbled across it courtesy Libby Ryder’s blog. I follow a handful of blogs, yours the latest. I’m way beyond where you are in life – kids are 25,21 & 19. But, I read your blog and reminisce and think. . .”man, I want a do-over with this whole motherhood thing.” Not saying I didn’t do a good job myself, but you’ve really got your priorities straight. The time you spend with your kids is by far the most valuable thing you’ll ever do, certainly the most rewarding! You got it going on. Never doubt that!

  121. I LOVE that you put these pictures up! I have a neighbor that is a clean fanatic. I mean she’s really, really clean. Even when I think my house is clean, it seems dirty the minute she walks in the door. It’s hard for me to not feel like a pig when I see her.

    Good luck with all your efforts to tidy-up!
    -FringeGirl

  122. That story was so funny! I live in a small apartment and I can barely keep it clean with just one baby! I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just getting rid of “things” but I feel like our home really needs some inspiration on the decor end of things!

  123. haha Our room is also the dumping ground for everything that does not have a place. It’s the room that holds folded baskets of laundry that has been waiting for days (ok, sometimes weeks) to be put away. If you were to walk into my house you would see a clean house, but please no peeking in my room.

  124. It’s a curse that I also have-that “cancelling out a compliment thing” and I too know when I do it and in my head do the “slap forehead and say idiot, idiot” because we should just own those compliments.
    Good for you for recognizing your need to change. You seem to pull off anything you set your mind to. I have faith!! Good luck :)

  125. Oh my gosh I totally laughed out loud reading this, thank you!

  126. Oh baby, you should see MY house! Ha ha

    I may have missed it here, but I remember your Dad posting a comment some time back about how one day, your house will stay clean, items will always be right where you left them, and he might have even said the vacuum lines will stay in the carpet for days – and he said you will miss the days of endless laundry piles and dishes on counters and toys scattered underfoot.

    Some women really can keep it together better than I, but I sure appreciate your honesty, your stating “I have a problem and I’d like to change it” – because so do I. And judging by all the posts here, you and I are not alone.

    Love and spring cleany thoughts to you, my friend!

    And if your readers are looking for more honest writing about mess and children and love and a baby with Down Syndrome who rivals Nella for cutest baby in the world, drop in on us at:

    little feet in my house
    lauraluyt.blogspot.com

  127. I am the total opposite when it comes to my house. But I need people like you in my life who remind me to stop and enjoy the little finger prints on the glass and that the dishes can wait because Candyland is not always going to be there. Thanks for this post, I needed it today.
    Ps. That last picture of Nella is awesome!!

  128. Really love this post. I feel much the same way. Inside there is clean/neat/orgnizing freak who just has never really been able to bust out. I just find that time filled with babies is so much happier. But, at the end of the day when those babies are asleep and I have to try and relax for once it’s hard when nothing is in, or has a, place. There must be a happy medium.

    And that last picture? Be still my heart, so sweet!

  129. SO with you on the house cleaning and LOVING all of these comments of everyone else who understands:) There’s a reason that the FlyLady has so many followers, that’s for sure! It’s recently knocked me in the side of the head that if I really do just spend 15 minutes most days and a half hour to an hour a few days picking up and cleaning that it’s all it would take to get us to a more decent place. We’re working on it:)

  130. Loved today’s post…hilarious!

    I sooooo have that goin’ on in our master bedroom when friends/neighbors/family comes to visit! I get so mad at myself for trashing our bedroom everytime company comes over, but seriously…where else do you put it?!!! LOL

    Have a great day!

  131. You should get housekeeper, problem solved! :)

  132. kids are more important then clean dishes !!
    love and blessings
    the doughtys

  133. Oh, yea, I know where you’re coming from. Here are my 3 suggestions: (1) take 15 minutes every morning to clean up your room. Make it part of your morning routine. At least that’s one room that will stay clearn. (2) take 15 minutes every night to throw everything around your house back in it’s place. You’d be surprised what that 15 minutes can do for clutter. (3) leave the laundry in the laundry room. Nuf said :)!

  134. This is by far my most favourite post of yours EVER! LOL

  135. See? I already knew that about you and I love you still. XO

  136. Hey, I have the same problem! Do I want to fix it? Yeah… but obviously not enough! LOL

    Great post!!

  137. My house seems to constantly be in a state of disaster lately. For a couple of reasons: No one else cares if it’s tidy and I have almost given up on it being tidy. I am a neat freak and it drives me nuts to see clutter but one can only pick up the same toys or a pair of dirty socks so many times before they no longer care. But if I am honest with myself. My house really isn’t all that bad in the grand scheme of things!

  138. I have the opposite problem. Sometimes, I allow my task-orientation to take the place of spending quality time with my son. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been hit hard with illness, so the house has been left mostly untended (comparably, anyway). And yet, my world hasn’t fallen apart . . . I wish I could take that free spirit bit of you, and exchange it for some of my Type A neat freak. Then we could both reach a happy medium. Thank you for inspiring this Type A to seize a few more moments.

  139. I love you. Seriously…I love you! You have made this catastrophe addled woman very VERY happy. My hubby swears I am the only woman on earth who does the 2 hour shove. I now have proof to show him that it’s not just me!! There is at least ONE OTHER HUMAN BEING on earth that does it too. That officially makes it NOT weird!!! *insert happy dance here*

  140. You know what always works for me? A nice full episode of the hoarding show. I’m telling you, one episode of that show and you’ll be scrubbing your floor with a tooth brush!

  141. Well I have to admit that I am type A cleaner! Good luck and the peace that you will find after removing the clutter will be so worth it!!!

  142. Kelle~

    You are making me LAUGH! I LOVE that feeling!

    We are too hard on ourselves, though I DO understand there needing to be a balance. Did you happen to read my comment on a previous post of yours? About how clutter in my home leads to clutter in my brain??? I sooo get that!

    But I always tell people, “If you’re coming to see me, come right on over. If you’re coming to see my house, give me 2 weeks notice.”

    PLEASE….let me come right over. I’d be coming to see you, because it’s the person I adore…not the house!

    With no judgment here,
    Kelly :)

  143. i didn’t bother to read any of the other comments, so i’m sure its been said…
    i read your blog and i’m silently annoyed at how beautiful you make everything seem.. i can hear my child hood jewelry box music playing in my head when i read your posts.. so this post was a wonderful dose of “but you should see my house” perfect. and i get it. i’m fantastic at keeping a clear mind and spending hours playing with my kids, but my house is a never ending disaster of clutter and chaos and ‘where the heck am i to put this?’.. my bedroom is the dumping ground for everything and my laundry lives on top of dressers and floors and sofas.. with bare drawers.
    ive considered a cleaner but im too embarrassed for that.. i would have to clean first. and really when she says “where do i put this?” i wouldn’t have an answer.

    i wont reach the point of being called a hoarder, but the cost of being called a slob is okay if the kids had fun today.

  144. Kelle,
    I love your blog. I love the music, the inspiration, the way you lay it all out there, the beatiful photographs, just everything. Thank you for making life more beautiful.

    I have never been the extremely clean type but after children my cleaning drive went out the window! I do a couple of 15 minute clean ups each day but rarely get to the deep cleanings that make a house shine. We go for a lived in feel around here!
    Blessings,
    Olivia

  145. WOW the comfort I feel here!
    I mean look at us all: Declaring we are not June Cleavers!
    I always tell my mom: “You are not getting first in line in heaven because you cleaned your house every week with a toothbrush!”
    In my head I’m a neat freak, but for whatever reason the hands just did nOT get the memo!
    Slobs UNITE! Can we get t-shirts or something?

  146. oh man… i’ve so often thought about calling Merry Maids… and then realize that they would probably just start throwing stuff away… or walk away from the shear massive coronary of the job… the thing is… if i have someone here with me to talk to… i can clean all day… like a machine… just go go go… it’s when i’m alone… confronted with the reality that i need to organize that i find oh so many other things that i could be doing… like painting… or reading… baking cupcakes… one day… one day i’m taking this monster on…

  147. ,,,i’m happy to admit i am a “type-A” personality and a believer that everything has it’s own resting place in my home,,,though i’m mindful not everyone thinks and does the way i do and that’s good too (smile) i love weeding out and purging and organizing belongings,,,my mantra: “less is more”,,,love the final photo of nella, she’s such a doll!,,,

  148. This is one of many of my favorite posts. Gosh, I love you and your blog!! I am constantly checking to see if you have another post! Thank you for this. You have inspired me to do some spring cleaning. <3

  149. I had a crazy dream that you hired me to be Nella’s nanny/therapist, and I moved into your bathroom and you were really sad about it but I convinced you that it would be okay. Apparently my subconscious isn’t satisfied with being just an internet fly on your wall!

  150. I had a similar moment last week. After our next door neighbor’s 6 year old asked to come over, I said, “well the house is a wreck, but you can play in the backyard.” Inevitably, she ended up inside with my son and she exclaimed: “you were right, Ms. Teresa, your house is really messy!” I spent the rest of the afternoon straightening up as she and my son were busy in the backyard.

  151. Hilarious! The hubby and I would go back and forth about the cleaning until we came up with a solution that works great for us. Every Thursday we have “Date night clean night” As soon as we put the kids to sleep (8:00ish) we get started. He sweeps and mops all tile and vacuums all carpet downstairs. I clean all the bathrooms and dust the furniture. It takes us 1 hour for what would normally take me FOREVER to do. Of course, I still have to do laundry every other day and upstairs cleaning but it is no way as tiring as when I had to do it all myself. We chose Thursday nights because we like to enjoy our weekends and just in case we have those “cool neighbor friends” over πŸ˜‰ I feel for ya! I am all for pretending the dishes aren’t there to do a craft with my kiddos.

  152. I LOVE this post! I have a hard time being “real” in the online world. I want to cover up all my messes. You’re so cool :) Usually I like to do my projects in an all or nothing kind of a way, but the one thing that has (sort of) worked for me is finding 10 things everyday that go in the donate bag or the trash. I figure that adds up quick…and each one of those is something I’m never going to have to pick up and put away again :) Happy Monday.

  153. thanks for this post. glad to know i am not the only one.

  154. Oh my goodness! This was hilarious…. I can’t keep up with my house and wonder how other people do it. It’s hard to balance everything… I love how you find joy in everything you do!!

  155. Love your blog..and this post…at least I know I am not alone:o)

  156. One of the things that I have always enjoyed about you is how honest you are. I know I’m not alone. So many bloggers use their blog as a place to hide the places of their lives where they fall short and instead give off a vibe of how perfect their life, their home and THEY are.
    You are real and honest and I love that so much-it’s refreshing. Good for you for making more of an effort! I have started this lately too and I find I feel much happier and presentable knowing I have mostly-tidy/clean house. I hope you’ll feel the same!

  157. I’m not the first to say it here, but check out flylady.net… the best step there = 15 minute declutter. Set the timer, and don’t go a minute over. I end up doing it twice a day because my house really is THAT bad.

  158. I feel ya on that one. I have had my mom walk in my house numerous times only to tell me that ” no one lives like this!” I promptly replied… “I do!” That statement did not mean by any means that I like living in clutter but while taking care of 4 kids one of which has many special needs, picking up is not my highest priority most days.

    However, we are now getting ready to put our house on the market so I took a couple of weeks and had a massive purge of a ton of “clutter in my home. I will say that it was one of the most liberating things I have done in the last 10 years. Keeping the house clean is SO much easier and way less time consuming! Also I haven’t missed a single thing I got rid of!

    Go get em girl!

  159. You should see my house…lol! I love the picture of Lainey sitting on top of the laundry pile and that last picture of Nella is AMAZING! She is such a beautiful little girl!

  160. Thank God you are human! I was starting to question myself **laughing! My special girl has sent us into a whirlwind and I can’t seem to reclaim my home! I feel so much better about me now that I know I am not alone!

    You still freakin’ rock even with the “laundry Pillows”!

    Big Hugs from PA!
    Valerie and Madigan

  161. I was laughing through this entire post but especially at the part about the neighbor and his glimpse of your bedroom. Still laughing about it! I feel like this every Monday. It’s amazing what we can do to a house in a weekend. Maybe amazing isn’t the right word, disturbing? I tend to be more type A with clutter and order and spend way too much time cleaning instead of playing. I once had a friend who said, “Your kids won’t remember having a clean house but they will remember having a mom who played with them.” So true. But that logic isn’t gonna work today. My kitchen floor is one big cupcake (covered in cupcake crumbs) and it honestly can’t wait one more day.

    xo

    P.S. Sweetest pic of Nella blowing me a kiss! Right back at ya, Nella bean!

  162. Yeah… I was going to clean today… but it would have cost too much to rent the necessary bulldozer.

  163. Ahhhh, I totally get where you are coming from, but in this very moment I wish I could leave toys and clean laundry sprawled…we are trying to sell our house and you wouldn’t believe the effort it takes to keep this place spotless for any given moment when someone might want to take a look see. I can’t shove anything- even my cupboards and closets need to be clean and tidy. Lets hope this place sells before our new baby arrives next month because I don’t know how clean I can keep this house with a 14 month old and a newborn!

  164. Your house is loved, and so is your family!

    It’s too bad I don’ live in Naples – I love to clean, and would volunteer my services for free… Or in exchange for a spring-decorated cupcake!

  165. Kelle,

    So, so good to hear. Seriously, I’m staring at breafast AND lunch dishes as I sit here and type. Plus, I’m pretty sure my elbow is stuck to the table via peanut butter. From one pig to another, oink.

    Happy Cleaning!

    XOXO,
    Angie from Ohio

    Oh, and I wanted to mention a few of my favorite things you’ve ever, ever, ever written on here:

    I absolutely loved what you said about fingerprints on windows. I love ’em and I always will!

    I love what you said in a post a couple weeks ago about the Meet the Fockers movie. I forget the exact quote but I love, love, love the ‘fockerizing’ method of lovin’ it out as opposed to cryin’ it out :)

    And my favorite Kelle quote is written in the front of my son’s journal….”My ‘this is it’ moments…they are witnessed by none and felt in the dark when I’m holding you tight and our souls are one.”

    You have written so many things on here but that last one really sums up what I think it means to be a mama. It’s what I couldn’t wait my whole life to experience. It’s what I’m living this second and I can’t get enough. Glad to know you’re with me :)

  166. Hahaha!!! I am literally laughing hysterical at this post and the “holy sh@t” comment from your neighbor…it is a “misery loves compnay” laugh…like my room looks the same exact way…and i wouls DIE if someone I didnt know that well saw it..lol…so funny! Youve inspired me to go fold some laundry that ive been postponing all week!!!

  167. You mean, I’m not the only one who does the “shove & shut” routine! This entry was therapeutic for me. Now I know I’m not alone. I always try to prevent myself from feeling guilty that my house with 2 small children feels lived in. My friend’s house is always so clean and put together when I visit (even if I drop-in for a last minute playdate with no shut doors; maybe she has a magic door that I don’t know about!?!) and I wonder how she gets the time to make it look that way. Which makes me even more self-conscious when they come over to our house. Here’s to little steps towards less clutter…..
    Cheers,
    Patricia

  168. Lol! I say that when I get a negative comment. Like, “Don’t you ever brush his hair?” Then I laugh and say they should see the house.
    I do brush his hair, it’s that the brush does not help.

    Someone actually told me I should hire someone to watch the kids so I “can actually get something done around here”.
    Excuse me?! O.O

    If I were to hire anyone, it would be to clean the house, not watch my kids while I clean it!

  169. I laughed out loud when you revealed who you really were… pigs. Because of course you aren’t. My kids used to always ask “who’s coming over?” when we would clean. I’d like to say I’m so much better now that they’re grown and gone but not so much. I think the spit spot cleaning gene skips every generation because you could eat off my mom’s floor (which she had me wash by the way). As always, you make me smile and your girls are beautiful. Have a good day.

  170. Oh, and one more thing. I heard this somewhere…

    “A clean house is the sign of an unlived life.”

    …and we all know how you LOVE livin’ life!

    XOXO,
    Angie from Ohio

  171. LMBO with the neighbor’s comment! That’s how our house looks all the time and I so envy my friend’s whose is always clutterfree. But then again, she has no life, no hobbies. I’d rather be creative and a slob!

  172. Bahhhhahah hahah your new neighbours comment cringeingly (not sure thats a word but it suits) hilarious ! thanks for sharing I am with you on everything cause living out of laundry baskets does get boring and very wrinkled after a few days

  173. My house is a mess because we just moved in, and we have built the house so its not enterly finished…

  174. Every time we have a party/company, my husband says we should have a party/company more often if the house is going to look this good!!

  175. i am the polar opposite of you in this area (and it’s NOT a good thing!)… i catch myself wasting so much precious time repeatedly cleaning up toys throughout the day (and i mean i will spend like 8 minutes looking for one missing piece to my daughter’s purse set) or repeatedly wiping crumbs off the floor… stuff that i know is pointless because it just gets messy again 5 minutes later. i think i’m a little OCD! so i’m trying to work on cleaning LESS and spending my time on the more important things like you do! i agree, that being organized and somewhat clean is a good thing, but as with anything, there has to be moderation right?!
    you do a great job of balancing the two. you’ll feel so refreshed after this bout of cleaning up, but like you said, you will never regret all the times you chose the kids over the house.
    and btw, i am so jealous of your spring. it was sleety and cold here in KC all wkend, now the sun is finally shining but it’s 42!!! brrrrr.

  176. You have no idea how happy it makes me that you have piles of laundry and STUFF all over your house, just like we do! What a relief, LOL! I will never be someone who sweats the small stuff or is crazy about making sure the house gets cleaned all of the time, but there does come a time when it starts to get to you…..which is why we’ve hired a cleaning lady. Best. Thing. Ever. Now we are forced to at least tidy every two weeks and she takes care of the rest. Heavenly!

  177. I’m sure many of your other commenters are saying the same thing, but you’re so not alone! The state of our house gets me stressed out sometime, but I know I’ll never look back and think, “Oh, if only our laundry wasn’t always wrinkled because I didn’t fold it as soon as the dryer buzzed…” And with my little baby boy coming on Sunday night/Monday, I have a TON of cleaning to do right now, because I know it’ll be months until I feel like I can get anything done again. But in the meantime? I sure will love playing with my toddler and kissing her baby brother!

    Unbelievably, I always thought I WANTED to be a ’50’s housewife. I always thought Lucy Ricardo’s clean apartment, cooked dinner, puffy dress, and pearls were the life for me- minus the bonbons down her dress and the mule in her living room when she turned the place into Cuba for Ricky. Turns out, that’s so not me. I can’t do that even if I try.

    Good thing my hubby didn’t marry me for my cleaning skills!

  178. Haha, this is so true! It’s totally MY house. Makes me feel better. :)

  179. Oh, I love the throwing-your-crap in the bedroom (or for us, it’s the walk in closit) before company comes. We do that all the time!! I used to be horrified by my behavior, but now i’m totally fine with it. I can relate to you on so many levels, Kelle. You are my little invisible friend – I feel like you’re in my head all the time. Thank you for that1

  180. My house is the same way. I am trying to develop a home cleaning system where I do a little each day, but I’ve had little success so far!

  181. Oh, I was so thinking of a messy house post for my blog today. You’ve given me a good nudge. Be brave, put your reality out there, I tell myself.

    I like you even more now Kelle!

  182. That last picture of Nella is exquisite! Oh, I want to kiss her…

  183. I’m not the only one. Thank you.
    BUT it is so timely that I am reading this today because I just told myself somethings gotta change. There has to be a better way than this ‘let it pile-up till it becomes so overwhelming that it gets even worse before I do anything’ thing. And I would like it be a daily thing that the kitchen is in order not an occasion to say, ‘Hey, honey, come look at the kitchen!’
    haha

  184. Ha! Come on, it feels good to confess. It’s all so much better that you’re not perfect:)None of us are. Good luck with the spring clean I need to do it myself.

  185. We have that same dollhouse (in pic #1). I got it for my now 5 yr when she was 3 or 4 but have found my 2 yr old likes playing with it much more than she ever did! House looks great to me! At least you have lots of pictures and matching furniture!

  186. Oh, I like you even more now!

  187. Thank you for this post. Today I was thinking about how I felt like I was lacking. I work full-time in an intensive job with 2 babies at home and a hubby that travels. I try to be everything to everyone and pretty much I can stay on top of my game. But just this morning I posted on my blog about feeling like I was lacking. Glad to know I’m not alone and all us Mom’s are the hardest workers I know. Sometimes the housecleaning has to take a backseat. I called my cleaning lady just this morning asking her to come Clorox my entire house and charge me double because we’ve all been sick for months passing it back and forth back and forth. And I bribe my mom to come over to do my laundry :) So….I feel more normal today :) I’m not fabulous at everything! Enjoy your day!

  188. Ok. I have been reading your blog for over a year and have never commented. I’m just not the commenter type. I guess I’m more of a stalker type. Ha. Before I begin, I must say thank you. I have been putting it off for years, but I have put in about 200 hours this winter and finished 2 years worth of books for all three of my kids. Yep. That is 6 total books of over 200 pages each. I’m slowly working my way back in time. Thank you for inspiring me to do more.

    I think I can help you.

    Up until three years ago, I was just like you. Outside playing with kids. Overnight campouts in the living room. Laundry piled so high in the spare room that I couldn’t open the door. Dishes in the sink.

    Then, our house caught on fire. I didn’t have time to clean up quickly. We just ran out. I found myself explaining to firefighters why the living room floor was covered in melted plastic sleeping bags or why the drawers were all open in the bathroom causing the makeup cases to melt together. That room filled with laundry? They couldn’t get the door open to make sure it was safe and had to beat it down. As I sat in my car covered in soot watching smoke pour out of the windows of my home, I stared at my three kids and everything went through my head. All the what ifs. I made a promise to myself that everything would be different. We were thankfully all alive and well, but it so easily could’ve been different.

    Since that day, I have forced myself to be organized. The day of my fire helped me to see that it really has more to do with safety than with embarrassment. The bonus is that my house is always clean and it is easy to do because my kids help me.

    This is how I keep my toys organized. I have different colored bins for each child. One of the closets in my house is nothing, but shelves. The higher shelves are for the older children while the younger ones take the lower shelves. I take pictures of the items that belong in the bin and label it. For instance, I have a picture of Darth Vader and Batman with Action Figures written underneath it. I have pictures of Barbies with Barbies underneath it, etc. Doll Clothes. Legos. Cars. Remote Control Items. The works. Everything has a bin and place to be stored. The kids can easily pick up and enjoy taking 10 minutes before bed to put away all their items. My daughter was 2 when I started this, so I know Lainey will be a huge help. We spend just 10 minutes before we read books at night and grab all the toys from around the house and put them back in their bins. I have similar bins set up in my craft room with labels on them, too. This lets my kids play with paint, glitter, stickers, but they can also put them away easily when they are done.

    Laundry. Hate it. I am proud to say that for the last 3 years I have NEVER fallen behind on laundry since implementing this method.

    I have a three bin laundry sorter in my laundry room. At night, I put one load in the washer and take one load out of the dryer. I do the same in the morning. My daughter likes to help me. She calls herself “the pusher” since she pushes the clothes in the dryer. HERE IS THE KEY! I fold the load as soon as I pull it from the dryer. It isn’t a big deal to fold the 12 items. It is when it is 8 loads worth (96 clothing items) that folding seems horrible. In my laundry room, I have 5 wire shelves. One for each family member. As I fold, I put the folded laundry on the appropriate family member’s shelf. I put all my son’s shirts together, pants, socks, etc. The kids have learned that when they are out of clothes or when their shelf is full, they simply take their clothes and put them away. For some reason, my husband can’t ever take his clothes up to his room, so I have to do it for him. Oh well. It is so easy and doesn’t take, but maybe 15 minutes a day.

    I hope this wasn’t too much. I was just so excited that I could possibly inspire you as you have inspired me in so many ways.

    Happy Monday!

  189. Our house is the same way! I have made an organizational list that breaks up tasks so I don’t feel so overwhelmed. It’s working…slightly :)

  190. I laughed and laughed and laughed when I saw your first picture. I hadn’t even really read that far and when I saw the picture my first reaction was, “I feel ya girlfriend!” Glad to see I’m not the only one that can get carried away with letting the house go!

  191. I love your blog and this post is absolutely awesome! I have been a ghost reader for well over a year. I have enjoyed every bit of it! I can totally understand where you are coming from and I like you even more now. I am a momma to 3 school age kids with a full time job and a travelling husband, plus I volunteer at the kids school. I totally feel your pain, I never seem to have enough time for everyone and everything! Have a great day!

  192. Oh Kelle, I could not stop laughing. Everything you said is exactly how my house is and I always wonder how other moms do it. I totally get you on the laundry thing, I use it as pillows too, and toys are everywhere in our living room. Our dining table always has stuff on it, from papers to tissues to toys, you name it. Our bedroom is always where we throw things in a hurry and nothing ever has it’s place I swear. I am so glad you are normal, I was beginning to wonder how you did it all, LOL. I love this post, and I totally love your neighbors reaction. How I wish I was your neighbor, at least you have visitors. I tend to not really invite anyone because that would require at least a month of me really cleaning and organizing to get all the shit where it belongs, and really I just rather sit on the floor and play with the kids.

  193. Maybe not meant to be, but this post is so damn funny! “here’s- who-we-really-are…pigs”. I really did LOL.
    There’s something really comforting about a mess to me. I think it’s that lived in, no pretense, off with the heels kind of comfort. My house is usually really neat but…you should see my bedroom. In fact, two nights ago there was a do-it-yourself plumbing accident (courtesy of friend, not me)& both bathroom & bedroom suffered the fallout. I vowed that today I would tackle both rooms but as of right now…I just woke from a nap & I’m watching Oprah & have to do some bills but I promise, I will get to it later (& I mean LATER today)!!
    Hey..it happens. Don’t sweat it.

  194. I hear ya. Though cleaning up in my house is not that bad only because we live in a 700 sq. foot apartment. It gets messy fast with little munchkins but also cleans up pretty fast.

    The thing is, cleaning is boring and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about perspective. Dishes and laundry are acts of love and service to bless our families. I mean playing is fun but it gets to the point where it’s so dirty and disgusting that there’s nowhere to play and it’s not fun. And fun is good but I am learning that fun is not life’s chief end…to me, it’s about being a grown-up in a good way.

    Of course there’s got to be a balance of priorities. And really, teaching kids to clean is a good investment, from what wise experienced moms tell me. My oldest is 2 but I let him “wash dishes” while he makes a mess in the sink so that one day he’ll be a good helper since he’s used to it, and associates it with something fun now.

  195. all I’m gonna say is… AMEN sista!

  196. Kelle – the reality is that everyone has their “dirty little secrets”. Mine is that I have a cleaner (actually a team of cleaners) come once a fortnight. So chances are… if I invite you over… I strategically have you come on the afternoon or the next day after their visit. You will NEVER be invited the day before.

    It actually give me incentive to have the house”picked up”, laundry all away, dirty dishes done… so when she arrives, she has a “clean slate” to do her work (she does my bathrooms, kitchen, windows, all dusting and all floors.

    Give yourself a break babe… You are not the only one with piles of washing and dishes in the sink. Anyone who says they don’t… are lying!

  197. kelle – you’re an amazing momma. I think there are far more of us ‘you should see my house’ mamas than there are those who live in show homes. I don’t have the pick-up-as-you-go gene, however hard I try, I just can’t do it. Organising is great, if you can do it, and if it makes life better for you, then go for it. But don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t get there because really … you should see MY house πŸ˜‰ xxx

  198. I am an awful housekeeper but I’ve appreciated that you’re willing to post pictures of your home in real time b/c I often don’t take pics or post them on my blog b/c the house is messy.

    These blogs really helped me with housekeeping:

    The Reasonably Clean, Fairly Neat, and Comfortably Tidy House. This year.

    http://ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com/2010/01/reasonably-clean-fairly-neat-and.html

    Which I found on the nester’s 31 Days to a less messy nest:

    http://www.thenester.com/2010/10/31-days-a-beautiful-mess.html

  199. I have the same problem. I try, really I try, but I can never seem to get it all together.

    Maybe we should have an accountability group.

  200. Can I join the ‘I’m not such a good housekeeper’ club too??!! Ah, your place looks like home!! :)
    I have been thinking the same, that I really should try a little harder at keeping things cleaner. Playing games and reading books always seems to seduce me!!!

    PS – Lainey is looking all grown up!! And Nella is just getting too cute!!! πŸ˜€

  201. oh, sweetie, it is SO hard to balance this! I’ve been a mom 8 years and still struggle to keep a tidy house and happy entertained kids at the same time. Just remember “baby steps”. I clean a little bit every day. My house is never always completely clean, but that’s okay. Its how I stay on top of everything.

  202. Well crap, I signed in as my husband again. I hate that blogger does that!

    Oliver=Lauren

  203. I made this resolution myself. For me it is a change of attitude. I used to wear my messiness as a badge of honor, kind of like “I am too cool and laid back to care about the mountain of laundry and strange smell in my house” . But in fact, I felt overwhelmed. I was not born with the cleaning gene and this is behavior I have to learn.

  204. This post really resonates with me, so I’m commenting twice, hope that is not against the rules!

    Since reading this earlier, the thing whirling around in my head is your red dress comment, I must get a red dress. I wear blue jeans ALL THE TIME, because as a momma that is the only durable fabric and it hides a day’s worth (or a week’s worth) of dirt. Red dress is on my list! Can’t remember the last time I got a compliment.

    Tip, a friend (with 3 young sons)told me about the laundry basket method for rushed cleaning, she had about 6. If company came with short notice or none, everyone in her family was handed an empty laundry basket to fill with the piles of clutter/toys all around the living space. Those laundry baskets can usually then be stacked in a bedroom and prying eyes at least see an orderly mess rather than an exploded one. Hope I was able to get that across so you get the concept. I know you are trying not to need it, but it is a great method. She kept one in her car in case of needing to clear clutter to free up seating space in a pinch.

    Bless you for your willingness to share your life’s journey.

  205. I LOVE to know that we aren’t the only ones out there! When people come over I usually say, sorry about the mess – (even though I scrambled to clean as much as I could and its as clean as our place EVER gets) I just assume everyone else is cleaner. I also throw EVERYTHING into our bedroom and try to make the kids’ look clean and then I lock our bedroom door from the inside so the kids can’t run in and leave the door wide open for everyone to see! Thanks SO much for making me feel better!

  206. I had to laugh out loud. I can relate to everything you wrote! Yup, I’m a total, “hide everything in the completely chaotic mess of a master bedroom!”

    I decided, like you, to make a change too. Guess what happened? My chaotic mess moved from the master bedroom to the master closet. Oh well, I am trying….and really, some days, that’s all we can do.

  207. OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!!

    I needed this post so bad! I have been feeling like the shittiest mom lately. My house is in shambles! I look at old photos (before kids, and before #2) and dream of having my house clean again.

    Okay- I will try to make it alright and when I AM READY, I will organize.

    Also, my friends and I can stop talking smack about you at our play dates now. we knew it!!!! HA HA!

    XOOXO

  208. I would so gladly come clean and organize your home in exchange for a half hour of your photographic talent! Anyone can clean. But what you do with a camera is supernatural.

  209. (First comment didn’t go through.. Oh well!)
    Here’s abridged version, echoing what so many of us kindred souls have already said:
    1) LOL re the “Holy $hit!” neighbor dad. I just wish I could’ve seen his face πŸ˜€
    2) I, too, love & dream of clutter-free house.. Was just calling on the Declutter Fairy last night (& this morning, in case she didnt hear me last night)…
    3) I’ve always been a big fan of postponing the cleaning in favor of good family time. As our boys have grown older, we compromise and all pitch in to clean up the common areas before watching a movie together, or going out for a “family date.@
    4) I’m grateful for immediate & extended family help w laundry, dishes, etc. & accept it with open arms. We had a housecleaner every other Fri for about 18 mos (before economy & incomes went way south). It was a little piece of heaven on earth to walk in from work on a Cleaning Friday.. To sparkly, shiny, “model-home” clean.. And luxuriate in it for the few hours it lasted. :-)
    5) Pics are priceless as usual xoxo

  210. Kelle, I visit your blog daily. it is always a joy :).

    I wanted to tell you that I have also struggled as a housekeeper. I homeschool and have young kids. We are always home and of all the issues homeschooling brings, keeping our house pleasant and livable has been the biggest challenge!

    A few years ago I found the website Motivated Moms. They break household chores into daily bites that are SO helpful for me. Check it out! I don’t stick to it slavishly, but it helps me break things down on a daily and weekly basis. I just keep a printout of the current week on my fridge and use it as it is helpful.

    Amy

  211. I was laughing so hard reading about your bedroom because mine is the same way and I actually lock it so no kid-friends walk in there and have to be fetched out!
    And really, you should see my house! Homeschooing five children ages 1-10 means that if I ever happen to get one room nice and tidy, the kids are in all the other rooms messing things up! Such is this life that I love though! I’m like you, while I try to attain tidyness, it won’t be at the expense of enjoying the small things with my kids. And besides, I have to be true to myself, right? A type A cleaing style mom, I am not. :oP

  212. just one thing to say…I have the EXACT laundry basket sitting in my living room and the dog just jumped on top of the warm towels that it contains to take a nap so there is my excuse for it remaining there for the next day or so…that is all. ♥

    ps..the dog just got a bath. :)

  213. I literatlly LAUGHED OUT LOUD!! We loving refer to our bedroom as the “drop zone” if it doesnt have a home it ends up there, and if company is coming or it’s party day we literatlly fill our bed and floor space with everything that usually lingers all over the house. It’s so refreshing to know that you and I have this in common. I pray that Peter Walsh will show up at my house to organize and declutter!!! Thanks for reminding us just how real you are. :)

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  215. A slipcover made of wrinkled tee shirts! OMG, I am loving that visual! Currently I am carpeting with brightly colored toys in the family room. Ha!

    I totally understand not always having to point out the bad. I try daily not to do that and just let things flow. I am a much happier person for it.

  216. Thank you so much for this post! I was seriously telling my friend last night that I need to make a change! I am tired of always apologizing for my messy house and I know I can do better…even with 2 little boys following and “uncleaning” behind me!
    But it’s so nice to know that there are others out there with good intentions that don’t always work out! Especially an amazing Mama like you!

    Now I just need some of your FL sunshine to help motivate me! :)

  217. And for the record, I totally use my bedroom as the arm pit the house. God forbid if anyone walked in there!!!

  218. LOVE this post!! I so struggle with finding a balance between quality time with my girls and keeping things tidy and visibly appealling. I love to buy new things for our house and decorate, but I am terrible at cleaning/laundry/upkeep.
    Our master bedroom is also one of the dumping spots for a quick 10-second tidy. My office/scrapbook/Scentsy room is also one of those rooms and I so desperately needed this kick in the pants to get it cleaned!

  219. that made me laugh outloud! xx

  220. I think Household chores are actually a curse. As soon as one room gets done the mess multiples in the next room over! Never fails. As hard as I try the mess keeps accumulating. And if I take a day off from picking up…. “Hold S@#t, what happened?” I actually made it home for lunch today and stopped short when I walked in and saw the diaper and the pjs and the basket of toys and the laundry. Almost ran away and then decided to heck with it. I plopped unto the couch and chilled, staring at my mess for a good 30 minutes. I’m gonna pay when I get home of course! But then it’ll just multiply anyway…Like I said, its a curse!

  221. Or maybe its a sign of good times. We were having too much fun to stop and care!

  222. i can’t find my gym clothes… my clean clothes are mingling with my worn for 2 hours clothes…
    i’m trying to figure out a way to send a picture to you…

    btw… that red looks good on you πŸ˜‰

  223. Of all the pictures on your blog today, the only one my 2 1/2 year old commented on was the last one, of Nella and what did she say? “That’s a beautiful baby”.

    :)

  224. Soooo many comments! I hope someone has mentioned flylady! http://Www.flylady.net. I promise I have nothing to gain from promoting her! I don’t do everything by the book, but it’s still helped so much.

  225. It’s so hard to find that balance between having a halfway presentable house and spending that precious time with the kids….it’s a daily struggle for me to block out the clutter and just play. My grandma always tell me that these are the BEST days of my life and I need to just ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY! She’s a smart lady so I am listening to her!

  226. I am your neighbor who would come over and try to hide the horror, but would be dancing a jig to get out fast.

    I have issues of being OCD clean it’s bad either way.

    Is it warm enough to swim in the ocean right now where you are?

  227. Wow, Kelle, I so needed to read this post. Thank you for sharing! I had just gotten on the computer to quickly find a replacement for sour cream in a casserole dish I am making for supper after realizing that I forgot to get it at the grocery store and feeling like crap because I forgot something so simple. I am supposed to be cleaning but needed to get supper in the oven… cleaning a house that is way past due for a cleaning. And guess what? I’m having my sister-in-law watch my daughter so I can actually get the cleaning done instead of getting part of it done like usual and putting the rest off until another day. Your post just really hit home and I needed to know I’m not the only one that can’t do it all. I’m 9 months pregnant with our second child and just totally feeling at a loss. All these things that used to only take me a couple hours a week to do and I could easily get done, now take me days to get done and by then the whole process starts over again. Laundry, dishes, sweeping, dusting (ok, so maybe I don’t really dust but twice a year), vacuuming, etc…. I am a SAHM and while I love it, I just wonder how other mom’s do it. How do they get it all done and have clean and tidy houses, baked goods on the counter, supper in the oven and happy children that listen and pick up their toys? Your post made it real for me – they are either lying or their is a closed door somewhere in their house that hides the truth. I’ll quit rambling, but I can’t thank you enough for this post. I’ve been following religiously since I read your birth story about Nella and you have been such an inspiration, but let me tell you – knowing the truth of what lies behind closed doors is even more of an inspiration to me. Because it’s the truth, and it’s real. We’re all human and we can’t do it all. Not all the time, anyway. Thank you!

  228. YOU ROCK! thanks for the little peek into your day/life.
    the Nella clothes basket pics are AWESOME.

    hugs from Indy,
    LY

  229. You could..say..complement MY shoes and I’d say: You should see my room. It is always a mess, and believe it or not people will admire your honesty more then say..if you somehow had everything together including your house, because that’s what being a mom is about. Not necasarily being perfect, but doing what you can with what you’ve been given. Or at least, that’s what my mom tells me:)

  230. My latest answer to this problem was to move (temporarily due to my husband’s job) and leave all of the stuff that I didn’t need at my old house (which we still own). My new apartment is so orderly because there is nothing to clutter it up (yet) and I have now convinced myself that I am just a clean person;-)

  231. so glad to see this post! I’ve never been a good house cleaner, but after our little boy with T21 was born, I had to really trade cleaning time with therapy time… whichever I was doing, I would feel guilty about neglecting the other. And with an older sibling to pay attention to as well? Oh geez. There’s no winning for me – just relaxing, taking it in stride, and doing whatever is possible that day! Your kids are so much more important than your clean house!!

  232. You’re my hero. And possibly my house clutter soul mate. πŸ˜‰ Love the last pic of Nella, she’s such a doll!

  233. Girl –

    I think you hit an Achilles’ heel for many of us. So good to see the human side. I am fairly neat – I learned it from my mom – you make the surfaces look great, but please don’t open my closet or my drawers. They are crammed full of crap! My blessing is having a total neat freak of a husband. He doesn’t even like the way that I fold his t-shirts. And he dusts. And he vacuums. However, neither of us like to clean bathrooms, so that falls to me. (boo!)

    I live in a small house, so I”m forced to keep stuff away. Many times, the picking up happens during naps, before everyone wakes up in the morning, or after the girl is down. But I need to have certain things put in place – a wallet, the car keys, and the cell phone. Good Lord, I freak when I can’t find those items! But ask me to clean a toilet or clean up the kitchen after cooking…god, it’s like pulling my hair out one strand at a time.

    Here’s wishing you lots of luck and energy in your new challenge. May you find the silver lining even in the process of cleaning up.

    P.S. Go get a bag of Eater Candy. Fuel, my dear!

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  234. Oh my. You have made me feel so much better and maybe we are making you feel better by telling you– “us too! us too!”

    Your family is beautiful!

    I really should of taken a picture of our family room last night, exactly the way I left it to go to a birthday party … and have fun!!

  235. Oh, I can so, so, so relate. I want to cringe/cry/curse at the thought of seeing my house at the moment! Although, I blame it on the kids and husband. haha!

    And seriously, could Nella get any cuter! I’m just dying over that photo!

  236. A breath of fresh air, honesty, vulnerability…thank you. It’s so true that we tend to only see what is perceived as perfect homes, perfect lives, and perfect perfectionism. I think most of us aren’t so naive to think that that’s the whole truth but it’s easy to see others with their beautifully decorated homes, well-dressed children, and the amazing crafts, photos, activities, etc and think “what am I doing wrong?!” “how come my life isn’t like theirs?!” or “why can’t I be wonder woman/mom/wife?!” It’s nice to get a glimpse of the “real” behind the scenes. And I have to admit that I too find it hard to accept a genuine compliment about me, my home, or my talents without responding with a negative comment to negate it…even if it’s not true. Why do we do that?! Here’s to being real and to owning up to our strengths when others notice! Happy Monday!

    Hana
    the MomTog Diaries

  237. I always ask people before they start entering my house ….

    Have you had a recent tetanus shot???.. seriously!!!

    Good house wife I am not – there is not a countertop or wall that has not been touched by paint, muddy fingers or smudges…..it is wall art all with a story to tell. eventually I will get there but possibly not until my mother springs her annual trip, but in the mean time I will enjoy life..
    goodluck with the cleaning Kelle I am cheering for ya!

    naomi xx

  238. this was the perfect post to read at this very moment in my life! We ditched our mess and headed to Michaels to get some paint and paintbrushes to go with our new easel :) I came home to pull dinner out of, who knows where, and as I’m taking a breath before eating I check to see if you have anything new for me to read and look at…and I think, “man, this house is a MESS! It’s only monday and it looks like a whole week of neglect has happened” and I read this post. Love it. Maybe I’ll fold some laundry tonight, after we paint :)

  239. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and I have to say, this is one of my all time faves! I’m not the only one! My house is not totally gross, but I do tend to have clean laundry piles on my couches. :) LOVE the pic of Nella with her hand on her mouth! Precious.

  240. I love your words, I love your kids, but Kelle, the whole “I rather like the fingerprints” is a cop-out for a lazy person….Which I know you’re not. Get t’cleanin’ girlfriend.

  241. Did you sneak into my house & take a pic of Lainey on my couch?
    I too stuff everything in my bedroom not only when company is coming but everytime I clean….always with good intentions to put it away later. Then it is me that walks in there & says Holy $#!t what happened in here! HA!! When my house is a mess which is OFTEN, we just don’t answer the door when someone knocks. Its all hide in the hallway until they are gone!

  242. Wow, how much does Lainey look like you in that second photo? And she looks so grown up too.
    And that last picture of Nella is just gorgeous!

  243. Right now my hosue is rather clean. My husband took charge and asked one of his friends if she would help me out once in a while. I’m so glad he did and I feel so much better than I’m not the only one with a messy house. The adult bedroom is littered with things to! We have this nice multicolored tshirt, pants, shorts toys rug on our floor. :) This made me really happy, Im sorry to say. I’m doign the same thing you are, Im sick of it, I will miss the warm ‘carpet’ but Im tired of my hosue being messy.

  244. Eh, I’m the same way. I kinda like the fingerprints. I keep saying I’ll be organized one day.

    That last picture is gorgeous. She is gorgeous.

  245. I too, with two littles under 3–have a house that is frequently not tidy! But I love spending time with my kids, and I don’t love cleaning! Thanks for the inspiration to de- clutter!

  246. Just came home from the worst day at work in a very long time. Nella’s picture made me smile and cry. Lovin you Nella!

  247. Thank you so much for this post! I am a horrible housekeeper and have been trying for months to get organized around here. Much like you said, I will choose to play a game with the kids over doing a chore any day of the week; in fact my motto is ‘We have a lot of fun in this house – fun and dust bunnies!’…but enough is enough and our house is in dire need of some TLC. So I’ll be joining you in your new quest for a neater home!

  248. Thank you for this! I see all your pictures and think, wow her house is always so tidy. WHen I post pictures of my kids I always look at the background because I don’t want people to know what a mess my house can be. LOL

    Lately I have been buying Scentsy products and they keep my house smelling so awesome. When my house smells this good I feel compelled to keep it clean(er).

  249. Kelle, I am not a super housekeeper either. I have to work REALLY hard to keep our house clean and your description could be my house any day. Loved the neighbor’s comment, made me laugh outloud. We will often lock our bedroom door if we have company. I did develop a cleaning schedule for my house, when I follow it, magical things happen and my house is clean AND I have time to spend on what matters most, my family. When I don’t follow it… total chaos.
    http://prettynpinkngreen.blogspot.com/2010/03/cleaning-schedule.html

  250. Oh my gosh I can so relate. I sometimes attempt to keep the kitchen/living room clean, but our bedroom is a lost cause and I think I’m okay with that. But I still apologize like crazy when anyone peeks in there. UGH.

  251. Like I’ve always said, Kelle – you have your priorities in order. My mom raised 8 kids – 6 boys & 2 girls – and the great things we remember from childhood are her taking the time to lay on the floor and play a board game with us – not what the house looked like. Give yourself a break – as the girls get older and get in school you’ll have more time to get organized – – you’ll NEVER get this time back with them – EVER! So just do your best at being a mama, and just don’t invite that neighbor guy back!! ha ha

  252. Oh, boy. You don’t even know. I always use the “we sometimes use this room for storage” excuse. Even worse, my bedroom is right next to the guest bath, so I keep an eye out every time someone asks to use the loo, praying that they notice that the open (not tightly closed) door with the bright lights on is the bathroom. I hear ya, sister!

  253. “A variation on I Corinthians 13

    If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in it’s place, but have not love I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

    If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love, my children learn of cleanliness- not godliness.

    Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.

    Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.

    Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.

    Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

    Love is present through the trials.

    Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.

    Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

    Love is the key that opens salvation’s message to a child’s heart.

    Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.

    As a mother there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of these is love.”

    An assistant pastor at my church recently shared this with a group of parents. I thought you might like it! Feel free to share it with your readers!

  254. OMG that last picture of Nella is SOOOOO cute!!! She’s beautiful!
    Don’t worry, my “house” (and by that I mean my tiny appartment) is so cluttered your house would look crystal clean besides it!! Happy monday!

  255. No matter how many bins, organizing systems, labeled cubes and cubbies, I, too, am always tripping over Polly Pockets, stepping on the latest McDonald’s toy and trying to keep the X@## word inside, and piles of books everywhere but our library!

    But, our home is lived in. Our house is a home, not a showplace. We live, we love, and we laugh.

    It is what it is. Now, on to finding a bigger shoe rack for the laundry room:)!!!!

  256. Oh Kelle, you should see my house girl!! It’s so funny that you write this post today! I was so stressin last night because my house is a cluttered mess!! Toys, blankets, play kitchen dishes, shoes, etc.! I was so tired of my boys CRAZY toy cluttered room, that I FINALLY did something about it last night. I spent hours in their room gooing through each toy box thoroughly! I had a donate pile,and a trash pile! I must say I am proud of myself. Now, I just need to do that to the whole damn house……lol!
    Have you ever watched that show “Clean House”? Oh, now that show makes me want to move my butt, and clean my house top to bottom. Then, the show ends, and I’m like “I’ll take care of the house another day”!!…..lol!
    I LOVE reading all of your blog posts, they really do inspire me!! And my most favorite part about them is seeing pics of your beautiful girls!
    Happy Cleaning!
    Heather

  257. I love having a clean house, complete with candles burning and dreaded laundry folded and put away. Alas, with a 4 year old and 18 month old it *never* seems to be that way. I feel your pain!

  258. It’s taken me 37 years of life, 13 years living with a man, 10 years of marriage, and almost 8 years of stay-at-home-motherhood to say, “I’m finally getting a little better at housekeeping.” I truly suck at it. Now I have a dog who eats anything left on the floor. That’s the only reason I’m getting a *little* better. Laundry is my absolute worst vice. I have three kids under 8.

  259. I only wish that I had let the house go more when my kids were young!! My youngest w/ DS (28 now!) did slow down my obsessive cleaning but I still believe I made it too much of a priority. Your house is as beautiful as you and your family!

  260. LMAO Kelle! I think it is a girl thing to not be able to accept a compliment sometimes. I’ll be adopting my own version of your “thanks for complimenting my red dress” monologue.

    My Mom was a Type A cleaner, like we “couldn’t stay too late at a sleepover the next day b/c we had to be back to clean” kind of Type A. Anyway, I always used to ask her, “Mom do people live in this house?”-“Yeah”. “Then it’s ok for it to look like it”. That’s my cleaning motto.

  261. My mom’s rule of thumb is…”A messy house is a LOVED house!”

  262. I kinda like fingerprints on windows too. In fact, I actually considered not cleaning one of our windows where there was a tiny, complete handprint. I thought I would really appreciate it when my little guy is all grown up. :)

  263. My family and I were in your neck of the woods this past week. And by neck of the woods I mean sunny warm Florida as opposed to cold dreary Ontario Canada. I was just up the coast from you in Ruskin. We flew back home today and as soon as I saw the snow from up in the air I immediately closed my eyes and pretended it was Tuesday and we were just landing in Tampa, excited for a 6 day vacation in the sun, away from the cold. I am jealous that you get to enjoy every day what I just left. But no worries, I got my tan on while I was there and when I return to normalcy tomorrow and I hear “Hey nice tan” I’ll remember not to come back with “you should see my house”. But it’s the day we arrived home from vacation and man, you should see my house!

  264. All I could focus on is that beautiful big window with all that great natural light you have coming in!! So jealous you live in a nice climate.

  265. Oh Kelle, my house looks exactly the same, and I only have one child! Not even a valid excuse for the state that it’s in! I know I need to make a change, but.. oh, how I lack the motivation for the mundane!

  266. This is too funny!! Ever since our son was born, I’ve avoided cleaning like the plague. It’s just when he’s napping, there’s a million things I’d rather do. Like nap myself, shower or catch up on all of my DVR’d shows (like Toddlers and Tiaras, just cracks me up!). Whenever someone comes over, my line is “Sorry my house is a mess.” As if I’ve even tried to clean or make an effort. In fact my laundry basket right now is full of clean, wrinkled clothes. Mainly because I use the closet in my son’s room. I can’t hang up clothes when he’s sleeping… seriously..

    Happy cleaning!! I’m hoping once our spring is here, I’ll get inspired to clean too!

  267. Kelle~ We just met some of our neighbors and I feel the same way. I try to stand in the way of the mess rooms so they don’t judge. Its better to hang with the kids then the dirty clothes.

    Cheryl in MI

  268. I just love that picture of Nella in the laundry basket. My little girl Stella (9 months), is always sitting in a basket, It’s her favorite place!

  269. THANK YOU! I, too, bury the bedroom when having company over. It is SO wonderful to have someone share that WE ARE NOT ALONE!

    Keep up the beautiful entries – my daily moment of zen!

  270. Don’t feel bad! Your children will grow up knowing they come first – NOT the dishes! That’s the most important. Besides, in the words of my husband, “You know those will still be there waiting for you tomorrow, right?” So, have fun with your littles while they’re still little! It’s been a difficult lesson for me to learn!

  271. Our bedroom is the same way! I just toss everything in there if somebody’s coming over and then demand that noone open the door! haha. Oh well. I feel like I wasn’t a pig until I had kids. I just can’t keep up, and I’m convinced that those clean house moms of toddlers and babies don’t exist. They’re just lying. <3

  272. I am SO happy to see that you are, in fact, HUMAN! I was beginning to think I was missing something.:) We love to do crafts, splash in puddles, build snowmen and play Candyland while the laundry mounds and the dishes sit! Yes, I try not to fret over the “State of my Home,” but also like hearing my 5 year old say, “Oh Mommy you did some nice work, the kitchen looks beautiful!”

  273. Oh I completely know what you mean by cleaning. My room is a DISASTER!!!! Have a great week :)

  274. I am there also. I do hate dust and clutter but with working full time and having 2 kids, I can’t seem to get it all done. With the whole neighbors coming over, I am there with you. The funny thing is it is the same ones that happen to come over at the worst time and I have finally run out of excuses and just say sorry for the tornado that came through. We have our son’s first birthday so it will be clean for that and it will last for not even a week.

  275. Oh…I am so happy to see that you are, in fact, HUMAN! I was beginning to think I was lacking something as a mother because you SHOULD see my house! I am feeling much better knowing we are giving our children memories! We are busy splashing in puddles, building snowmen, taking nature walks, baking cookies, playing Chutes n Ladders that the house does get neglected, but it is always nice when my 5 year old comes in and says, “Wow Mommy, the kitchen looks beautiful!” Those statements certainly help me know that they like our undivided attention, but that they also like the order.
    Congratulations and good luck with the new challenge!

  276. Thank you for this post…it brought tears to my eyes. I work full time and have 4 children. I do the best I can but I am never caught up…my house looks like your pics on a good day. Thanks for your honesty!

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  278. My husband sees my lack of desire and accomplishment in cleaning as me not caring. The reality is that it’s overwhelming in a way I can’t explain to him verbally.

    Being a teacher, I sometimes carry home the problems my students are carrying/causing and am completely exhausted. Other days, I want nothing more than to give my girls my undivided attention. What both boil down to is an extremely messy house with an OCD husband. We are are very subjective as to whom can see our house in disarray. Basically, he calls the shots because I lack the motivation to conquer my fear of my half of the closet, the dishes that have become a mountain once the weekend ends, and the girls clothes piled on the couch, making what my five year old says is a cool mound where she can hide from her little sister.

    As said by many others, I hear and understand you completely! You rock and are inspirational because you’re so relatable to so many of us! My girls and I honestly feel as if we know Lainey, Nella, and you. I wished y’all lived closer because I could so see our girls having fun together!

    Again, thanks for your honesty. You say the things I think but tend not to voice.

  279. Best post ever! I read it out loud to my husband and we were laughing so hard we were crying! Thank you. :)

  280. Oh my gosh, no joke– buffalo chicken dip is my secret weapon! I get yelled at if I show up to an event with a different appetizer. It’s the best!

  281. You are speaking my language…you need some yummy baked goods or crafts for you kiddos call me…you need your laundry or a clean house call the maid!!

  282. Ha – lovely post..now I’m off to my H8@y S*@t room to sort that washing….Thanks for the inspiration lol.

  283. LOVE this post!! And I’m so on your page. Here’s a little tip I’ve started incorporating and that I actually enjoy. I never spend more than 5 minutes of day-to-day cleaning per room per day. If it doesn’t get done in my allotted 5 minutes, it has to wait until tomorrow. The kitchen is exempt cuz it always takes longer; laundry too. But all the other rooms get 5 minutes of hurried, race-to-the-finish rushing to clean up. It turns into a game. And counting up all the rooms in the house that factor in, I’m done in less than an hour. Deep cleaning (e.g. scrubbing tubs, hard core cleaning hard wood) happens on the weekends or when necessary ;o) Good luck!!

  284. If I see you on “Hoarders” I’ll stage an intervention….

    If I could send you a picture of my bedroom right this minute, you wouldn’t feel so bad.

    We all have our quirks and our embarrassments!

  285. And with this post… I fell a little more in love with you. 3 weeks ago I started working 2 days a week outside of the home. I hired an in-home sitter..and I was terrified of someone seeing how messy my house is! I must have cleaned for HOURS the night before she started. And when she walked into our bedroom…I died! Thanks for keeping it real as always!

  286. As always, love you honesty. Showed my husband this post to show him that messy homes with littles is normal :) I absolutely love the last picture of Nella. She is too precious for words

  287. Omg… I am laughing so hard about the bedroom incident that I have tears running down my face. My house has been making me crazy too. I’m tempted to just walk around each room with a garbage bag and start throwing in an attempt to de-clutter.
    Love the picture of Nella – is she blowing kisses?

  288. oh kelle.
    i know. you should see my house on any given day and then i’m scrambling to pick up before the husband finally comes home from his weekly trip and then i feel like crap. like maybe i’m setting my kids up for disaster because i can’t keep up with the house stuff.
    but then i realize that THEY are why i can’t keep up and that maybe (just maybe) that’s ok. in the long run, anyways.
    love your pictures.
    and your comment? means so much. thank you. from the bottom of my heart. thank you.

  289. Ah, you are the coolest! I feel so much better now that I know it’s not just me! I have finally, after 5 years of being a mom, got our master bedroom presentable and not the dumping ground for random items. I feel soooo guilty for caring so much about my surroundings and not being able to relax and spend more time with my kids…but sadly, if everything is a disaster, it actually affects my mood. I’m working on finding middle ground. Way to go for being a cool mom first a foremost!

  290. My wise mother has told me numerous times…you have years to keep your house clean and tidy…you only have a precious few with your babies :) My motto to family and friends is ” if you come to see my house, call first. if you come to see me and my children stop in anytime :)” happy monday!

  291. Thanks for the honesty! I recently tried FLY LADY.com and I am loving it.

  292. My fav quote: “Our home is filled with toys, has fingerprints on everything & is never quiet. My hair is usually a mess & I’m always tired, but there is always love & laughter here. In 20 years my kids won’t remember the house or my hair, but they will remember the time we spent together & the love we felt. – Annonymous”

  293. One of my favorite sayings is that if your house is spotless then the kids are neglected. I truly believe that clutter, not dirt is a norm in most working and non working families households. To me a trail of toys means a hard days worked not a spotless floor with no toys. Life is messy, sometimes tv does not reflect that however your photos show true beauty. I did not notice the laundry or toys I noticed the beauty of a child with imagination. Great job making me feel “the norm”
    :O)

  294. I loved this post. Dust bunnies don’t hug like our kids do so leave them lay. And when someone compliments you on your red dress at least you don’t have to say; as I once did “thanks, it used to be white but hubby washed it with a new red sweater of mine.” At least it didn’t look tie-died.

  295. Kelle,
    I can so relate to what you’re saying… thanks for making me smile today!
    xo

  296. This has got to be one of my FAVORITE posts of yours (and there are several already). I LOLOLOLOL at everything. Thank you so much for sharing your ‘other’ side and in doing so, reminding the rest of us that we are not alone in our “holy shpt what happened?” areas of our homes, our lives.

  297. this post was exactly my thoughts today!!! A co-worker just asked me how I do it all (mom, nurse, etsy shop) and I laughed out loud and said “you should see my house”! Seriously…piles of clean laundry, half finished sewing projects, toys toys toys, Oh and to add the black cat fur on the tan carpet…ha so glad to see im not alone and here’s to Spring Cleaning!!!
    Love the last photo of Nella :)

  298. Kelle, I thought I was the only one who did it. I can’t think of the last time I received a compliment and did not reply with some sort of self depricating comment. “You look great today!” “Thanks, it’s the dress. It’s a miracle dress. When I don’t suck my stomach in, I still look pregnant.” A friend recently complimented photos of a birthday party I had for my daughter; and I replied that if I spent the same amount of time in the gym as I do on birthday parties, my body would look a lot more like hers. I love your blog for many reasons. Perhaps my favorite is that you give voice to ‘real woman’ idiocyncrocies like this. And it’s freeing and inspiring and affirming to see myself in someone I adore, from afar, a much as I adore you! And BTW, I don’t know a single mom who believes she has a clean home. When I obsess over it, I just think how fortunate I am if, on any given day, the state of cleanliness in my home is my biggest concern!

  299. Listen, after 11 years of child-rearing and 17 years of marriage to a perfectionist, I’ve learned how to keep the “eyeshot” areas pretty tidy. My desk looks like a bomb went off on most days and I have the uncanny ability to ignore the most grievous pile of [fill in the blank}.

    Having said that, my daughter is 11 and has picked up some of my untidy habits – and that doesn’t feel okay. No one really taught me how to keep a house – and I’ve somehow carried that down the chain. We’re working on being tidier with daily things via a list and bribery (otherwise known as an allowance).

    And you know what? It’s helped. I was seriously SO happy to walk by her bathroom for an entire week and see a small glow of clean vs a counter overflowing with every imaginable thing and week’s worth of her clothes.

    As she is learning to pick up after herself…so am I. Something as small as plucking my eyebrows and setting the tweezers on the counter instead of the makeup bag. Why do I do things like that? I’m not sure – but I’m trying to pick those things to begin with.

    I’ll tackle the big stuff later. She’ll be 18 and I’ll still be hollering upstairs “go check the dryer. your underwear is probably in there.”

    **sigh**

  300. I wish I could let me house get messy sometimes and stay messy. I get really stressed when I see a mess starting. I need to find a balance. My house is clean and my kids r always clean and dressed nicely while I look like crap. U motivate me to change so I am working on it.

  301. Outta my head! Seriously, I have come to the same place over here…this week I vow to make some progress and restore order to this sty. Although I really wish I could just proudly wear a “Pigs Unite” tshirt and mail you one, too! Fact is, I will feel better when it’s done and it will be interesting to see how long it lasts.

  302. If I didn’t love your blog before now, this post would cinch it for me… I can clean a room, and 30 minutes later you can’t tell I did anything. 3 kids under 10 can have sooo much fun! And make such a mess!

    Laundry is the big elephant in the living room (and bedroom, and bathroom…) @ our house too.

  303. Thank you. I found your blog tonight and I’m in love. In love with your words, passions, and inspirations. Thank you for writing, and for taking beautiful pictures!

  304. Love, Love, Love the last “oops” picture of Nella today. And….I was (am) a “type A” mom even way back when my college age kids were babies. Stayed up til 4:00 a.m. every (and I mean every!) night to make it happen and I now have the three messiest almost-adult children one could have. A little rebellion, perhaps???? Hopefully, one day they’ll find a happy “middle-ground” like you’ve obviously done. Just hopin’….

  305. This post literally made me laugh out loud, something I haven’t done in a long, long time. Our fifth child was born in November, a little boy who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. I’ve been reading your blog for the last three months, and every time I read it I say the same thing….”Her life looks like something out of a magazine shoot. I have nothing in common with her.” Today was different. Today’s post made me feel like a kindred spirit, and it was just what I needed to hear—that playing with my children and making memories are most important; that order and cleanliness really do make me feel happier; and that there absolutely, positively can be a balance between the two. Well done, Kelle.

  306. i started reading your blog because a friend told me that you, reminded her of me. so you sounded alright. haha. but literally, with every blog i read of yours i see it more and more! this one especially! except i would never be brave enough to post pictures of my messy house, though i blame it on the chaos of having young children. lol. regardless, i wish you were my neighbor! i would celebrate your piles, with you! lol

  307. Wow, Ladies! I am loving all the comments. I posted a very similar blog last fall. Chaos, disorder, in short it’s a ghastly mess! Sorry, I love Mary Poppins, I want to be her when I grow up.
    Anyway – you’ve just described my house, and it’s good to be in such good company. We are a different generation than our grandmothers and mothers. Did our grandmothers ever get to play with their kids? I know my mom and her brothers were locked out of the house every Wednesday while my grandmother cleaned the floors. Sheesh! That has never happened here, but I prefer the play now, clean later approach. They are only little for a short time. Do what you can do, keep it clean under the rubble!

  308. although your house in no where near hoarder-esque (what I would define as REALLY messy, a “holy $*!%, what happened” kind of messy), it really is my “go-to” negative to balance out a compliment, Therefore, I thought of this quote:

    life is like photography. you can use the negatives to develop.

  309. bahahaha!!! Not only am I laughing out loud that he actually said out loud “holy shit what happened” but I am laughing at the two lies you considered telling him!!

    It must have been bad! LOL Good for you. Kelle, I have to tell you… one day my husband came out like 6 mos ago and said (and I quote) “Honey, while I am glad you are trying to make spending more quality time with the kids your priority thanks to this Kelle Hampton lady, the house really does need to be cleaned at some point!”

    I just cracked up laughing, and was like “you’re right honey, I’ll get on that… as soon as you take them to the park for some quality time with Daddy!” ha ha ha

    xoxo
    Jill C.
    http://www.jillcarilli.blogspot.com

  310. I once was told or read somewhere to never apologize for a messy house. If you do you bring attention to it. : )
    I have the laundry disease too. The other day my 5 yr. old son wrote is own sticky note to put on his favorite pj pants. He wrote his name and “dnnot” (do not) and then he asked me to write the word wash. Why??? Well he’s so use to me saying “sorry hun, but that shirt is in the wash. sorry hun, those pants are in the wash.” He knows that when things are in the wash they don’t come out for at least a week. So sad. When I saw the pile of laundry in the master bedroom yesterday it looked like a pile of Gremlins that were multiplying out of control. Needless to say the washer/dryer have been running all day and this post of yours came at the perfect time. LOL!
    I do much prefer the snow beneath my skis, a pile of warm bodies on the floor covered with blankets, or the ache in my fingers since I’ve picked up crochet as a hobby.
    One more thing…It’s so darn cute. My 15 month little girl runs like crazy to my computer when she hears the music from your site and when she see’s Nella she yells BABY and gives her sweet face kisses on the computer. : )

    Cheers,
    Lisa

  311. Kelle – this post made me laugh out loud. And then I read it to my husband, who also laughed out loud (at the Holy… what happened!?!? part). But I think he laughed because he knows that is something that could happen to us. We live in a two story, two bedroom condo, but for all our friends know, we live in a one-story place with an upstairs that is filled with… who KNOWS what!! I rarely let anyone up there… they might never come down. :-) Happy week – you’re the best!

  312. You should see my house! Love it. I stopped caring about how my house looked once my son was born. I am crazy about keeping my kitchen clean though. Laundry piles up until my hubby comes to me to report that he has no clean undies left! haha

    Glad you are striving to have a neater home though. :)

  313. Oh, my! you think THAT’S dirty? you haven’t seen anything until you see MY house! lol

    Anyway, I just thought I’d let you know your blog has inspired me to get in touch with my creative side once again and today I listed my very first Etsy item :) My house is a mess, but I am happy.

    Check it out: http://www.etsy.com/listing/69097828/childs-reversible-apron?ref=pr_shop

    XOXO

  314. Oh my…I’m crying I’m laughing so hard! I laughed out loud and I’m the only one awake in the house…and btw…you should see MY HOUSE…kinda looks like a bomb went off! I could have written your post…it is SO ME!!! My default that I tell my hubby is well…if someone breaks in and heads to our bedroom…they will think we have already been hit! lol! So it’s my anti-theft thing…well that’s what I tell myself! lol. I too have been feeling the need to get order out of the chaos. My hubby thinks I have everyone snowed…but when your 7 year old wonders who’s coming over when I mop the kitchen floor…well NOT SO GOOD. I’ll get off the dime with you and join you! You inspire us all Kelle…even in the crazy…you should see my house…you are real! Love it! Love you!
    Hugs!
    Now…to go pick up this house!

  315. While reading this I couldn’t help but laugh and stare at the laundry mountain that’s sitting on my love seat across the room and at the bazillion toys scattered all over the living room floor. Between playing with my 3 year old twins, studying for the classes I’m taking and my husband being deployed; cleaning it all up at the end of an exhausting day just doesn’t make it to the top of my priority list. Glad to know I’m not alone… But, I too wish that I was better at the house stuff. I used to be, but priorities certainly do change after having kids.

  316. Enjoyed this post (like all of them) – this is exactly what we (women in general) do – we struggle to accept and embrace compliments.
    “Own your compliments” …as my mom used to say!
    And regarding the house… my benchmark for this is: keep it clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be comfortable!

  317. Oh Kellie babe, it is such a relief to know that you aren’t perfect :) Your pics always capture such a lovely lovely life and your priorities are right where they should be. “You should see my house” having moved a month ago to Melbourne from Geneva and downsized to a house a third smaller after moving six years ago from Canada to Geneva and downsizing to a smaller house. Can you spell clutter???? Still my son is happy, I look around and am surrounded by the chapters of our life, and I move my piles from this table to that.
    If it helps, maybe hire a cleaning lady to come every other week, $80 bucks or so twice a month will do wonders for the ‘clutter in your mind’. x

  318. Oh Kelle. You are so not alone. (It’s obvious by the number of comments.) I was so much like you (and still am) when my kids were a bit younger. They are now 6 and 4 and it is only now, with one at school and the other at Kindergarten 3 days a week, that I get the time to tidy, clean and organise. I was a very, very tidy person before the kids came and when they arrived, I tried to have it both. A clean house and a family but it didn’t work. After a bit of counselling, I let the house go. Well, not exactly. It was still relatively clean and we had food on the table, a roof over our head and clean clothes to wear. That’s the most important thing. I can’t believe where the last 6 years has gone so I was so lucky to treasure all those spilt drinks on the floor and sofa, dirty finger marks on the wall, toys galore on the floor and a basket of washing always needing folding.

    Hold on to those precious years. Your time will come. xx

  319. Oh you made me feel so better this morning!!! My house is in shambles and I’m always feeling like I can’t live up to the standards that I set for myself when I see gorgeous pictures from someone’s home. I freak out every time I hear the doorbell because I realize my front room is a wreck with toys, underwear that my youngest feels the need to change 10 times a day, and dog toys. Thank you for your dose of reality that I’m not the only one! :) Good luck with the organizing and de-junking!!

  320. lol

    I love this post, and the picture of a living room where people actually live. :-)

    Maybe you should try flylady? (Only if you want to change things.) http://www.flylady.net/ Then you are supposed to divide your house into zones, and do a little housework every day.
    I’ve been meaning to try this out for a long time, but… (excuses, excuses, excuses…)

    One rule I like, is to never leave a room empty handed. (There’s always stuff you can take to it’s place when you are on your way to something else.

    Wow… This was supposed to be a short comment.

    (Can’t sign with name / website, so here it goes:
    -Jill-
    http://jill-h.blogspot.com )

  321. I think this is one of the best posts you have ever done. It clearly shows that no one is perfect and your honesty on something so public as a blog is very refreshing and wonderful. That makes your blog my favorite blog :)

  322. I literally laughed with happiness when I saw your pic. I recently found your blog and was in awe of everything that you accomplish ! Our condo is usually always a mess except for the hours after the kids go to bed and I pack everything away. I keep telling myself when the kids and grown are moved out, my house will be perfectly packed away but for now it’s perfectly loved :) That and I hired someone to come clean for me. Life’s too short to spend on frantic cleaning spells. That and our bedroom is the catch all when we have friends over. I thought that was coded secret among friends, the bedroom is where all the ‘stuff” goes.

  323. The girls in our house reward ourselves with nailpolish! Downside is that instead of tidying her room, my girl spent half hour arranging the bottles in colour order, oh dear!

    Dont even venture in 17 year old boys room, funky and cave-y.

  324. I’ve been trying to sell my hubs on the kids before cleaning thing, but he’s not buying…I have gotten better, only bc my house is SO SMALL I have to!!

  325. Cleaning is constant at my house. Well Kinda! I usually rush to get things clean before dinner, but that never works! When we have company my bedroom door is always the one that is shut! I hope and pray no one goes in there to see the tornado that ripped through! The best was when we had the cable guy come out to fix some things and he had to get to the breaker that was in the master closet! OMG…I was terrified! At least I will never have to see him again, right?

  326. Thank you for keeping it real! This reminds me that life is all about choices, being able to let go, and drawing a line somewhere – even if it is a curvy, dashed line : )

  327. You’re rich – hire a maid to come in and get control over that disaster area. Your home is beautiful – why don’t you take care of it? Maybe you can TIDY instead of spray-painting.

  328. love your honesty! who has a house that DOESN’T look like that if they have kids??? ha! the grass is always greener…because i wish i was more like you and could drop and run and have fun when you need it the most..without worrying about the house! you are a great mama…and THAT is what your sweet kids will remember!!!!!

  329. ick, nasty comments always make me feel awful, I can only imagine how they make you feel! You ARE rich, in love – and your home IS beautiful – as is your soul and your honesty. And I think the world could use more COLOR and less tidy from time to time.
    Good luck with your new challenge, it does feel good to conquer! And we all know you are capable…
    Oh, and I bet those neighbors already thought you were way cool – disaterous hidden rooms not to scare them away!

  330. *LOL* Thanx for a great post! :)

  331. OK, I don’t usually comment because you always have so many comments that I fear that you can’t possible read one more, but I have to say something about this post. I am a horrible housekeeper- the hum drum gets set aside for more fun, creative things (and doctors and therapy appointments, but who’s counting). I’ve been feeling so guilty thinking that I am the only one, and I loved that you ‘fessed all on this post. Thank you for allowing yourself to appear so human to help the rest of us that struggle with the same issues!

  332. Kelle,

    Thank you for making me feel better. I always feel so guilty about my house being a mess because between babies, school, and fun things, the honest truth is that house keeping is at the bottom of my priority list. I’m just not one of those type A moms that has my time and energy planned out. lol So it’s good to know that you’re like me, and it’s ok!!

    ~Kelly

  333. oh my..some people (like we don’t know who they are) are so tasteless. Kelle never be ashamed of what you have because God’s blessings are to be celebrated! The more you celebrate your blessings the more He will give you. I am happy you live well and have much love in your life…I pray for my friends to have good health,wealth and much love.
    Last year I dealt with a couple of jealous people in my life..almost made me change who I was and how I felt about my life. Then I realized it wasn’t me it was them. A friend of mine sent me a quote that I just love and thing is so true.

    “There is never jealousy where there is not strong regard”

    Every attack makes you stronger and your attacker weaker my friend. Love ya..love your lovely life and I love how you share it with us.♥

  334. I need to do the same thing, we are moving and my goalis to keep up with the new place like I haven’t done here

  335. You know it is funny, my mom and I have had this discussion before. The hardest thing for me as a mom, is spending quality time with the kids and keeping up on the house work. I think back to my childhood and remember playing games with my mom, not how clean our house was. I remember it always being clean, mom on the other hand remembers something different. So, good luck with your new goal, I believe it is an ongoing challenge for parents everywhere! You are not alone!

  336. Somethings gotta give, no matter how much we want to be supermoms or rock stars! πŸ˜‰

    Bottom line: those sweet, precious beings come first…

    (The only reason my house is clean is because it’s for sale!!!)

  337. My Grandma would say “it looks well-lived in” and she would also add, “as long as there is no dirt, it’s okay.”
    I use my Grandma’s words to comfort me when our house is in disarray-ahem-well-lived in.

  338. First off, could Nella get any freakin’ cuter? My lil’ girl has Down Syndrome as well. Madison is 8. Could we be any more blessed?

    Second, i thought I was the only one who threw everything in my room 2 hrs before company arrived! Seems that’s the last room to ever get cleaned…if ever.

    Thanks for being candid with your readers. It sure let’s us momma’s know we all go thru pretty much the same thing.

    You’ve inspired me to drop doing the dishes when Madison wants to play a game instead of telling her I can’t right now.

  339. Good. For. You. It does feel good to “admit” it sometimes, and I bet 99.9% of your readers on here have the same thing to admit. I know I do… my mom-in-law always gently reminds me that “a load a day keeps the laundry monster away” and I try so hard to stick to it, but it is a chore! Somehow even if the load is done, dried, sitting in the dryer if “feels” done. I’m getting ready to go fluff the load that dried last night in my dryer that is now wrinkled… sweet. The never ending cycle… oh if only that joy that comes from an empty laundry hamper could stay for more than a few minutes. :) You’re inspiration still… your laundry and all. :)

  340. Kelle – I love your red dress! πŸ˜‰ And I’m jamming to Ace of Base in your honor this morning. Kisses right back at ya, Nella!

  341. I have the other problem. I obsessively clean. I’ve actually walked away from reading your posts and thought, I need to relax, who cares if there are dishes to be done and laundry to put away – those things will always be there. This child in front of you will not. You clean a tiny bit more, I’ll clean a bit less, and we’ll both walk away happier. Balance. Moderation. Harmony. :)

  342. The Truth! The Whole Truth! Nothing but the Truth!
    THANK YOU KELLE!!! This is how the “Real” people live.

    Family 1st! And you do it Clean & Beautiful! πŸ˜‰ I think perfect, personally. You inspire me.

  343. So much love in that house.

  344. Okay so I think this blog has helped me figure out how you and and your blog inspire me. i’m totally type-a and as a working mom of 2, wife, daughter, friend, etc – i’ve decided it’s a lose lose. I’m setting myself up to fail! I read your blog and it makes me want to be less “a” and more “b” – just so i don’t miss out on the small things. this may have been very obvious but the light just shined for me. i’m going to try really hard to be in the middle. but no matter what – fingerprints on the window would drive me crazy! thanks for the inspiration!

  345. Sometimes I think it would be easier to move…. Pack up the funitures and some clothes, and leave the disaster. Seriously!! There are so many things that I’d rather do! And I do! :-) But like you, sometimes I just have to…. To keep the kids still respecting their mother. I’m affraid it’s a hopeless project, but I’m trying. πŸ˜‰ When I find the mojo, and realy get it together, it’s like victory! And I love my house those moments. Just wish I knew how to keep it togehther every day…. Sorry to say this, but I find no comfort in knowing there are somebody worse then me….. πŸ˜€

  346. Is it bad that I dont think your house is that messy in these pictures? That’s how my house looks but I dont consider it messy…just lived in. I think you’re house is the same and why it’s so inviting. :)

  347. kelle – thanks for being so real and honest. i always feel like i am behind in cleaning my house. Laundry is ALWAYS somewhere it shouldn’t be, dishes are ALWAYS in the sink and the list goes on. However, my mother-in-law was/is a clean freak. my husband says she rarely spent time with them. she was always cleaning something or yelling at them for making a little mess. She never let them cook anything because it was too messy (even when they were 17!!) dirty dishes in the sink are nothing compared to time with your children. I hope you find that balance. Good luck on your new challege :0)

    – jen

  348. This comment has been removed by the author.

  349. Ah keeping house. I have to admit your “you should see my house” comments did make me feel better when you visited and found myself apologizing for little piles, the broken shower head and unpainted baseboard. I like it because I like what you DO notice. It surely isn’t dust on a picture frame. It certainly is the spirit of a room, the way the light hits a handmade coffee mug.

    And, yeah, wtf with the self-deprecating rebuttal to a compliment?! I do that too.

  350. there is time for everything…we all have our inner clocks…when we feel is the right time to address something…we do whatever we need to do…the best way we can…whenever I find anything overwhelming or that bothers me…I relate to it in a friendly way…just seeing it for what it is…knowing that whatever the challenge…I can work with it :))). xox

    ps: right now I’m working things out with a terrible cold…

    “You see everyone through your fog of opinions and conclusions -your viewpoint. So you can’t see them clearly. Thus your reactions to others are simply statements of your viewpoint and may have little to do with what is. The same is true of the way others view you, so don’t take any compliments or criticisms too seriously.” ~Dick Sutphen

  351. I totally get your feelings, Kelle, but please know that what is important in life is always done at your house, regardless. I’m now widowed and living alone, and I see the horror in the eyes of my daughter and daughter-in-law when they come to pick up the grandkids and begin busily collecting all the fun the grandkids have had while visiting their Grammy. When I was raising my children, my dear friend (godmother to my youngest) whose house was always “a mess” said to me “You don’t want ‘Her house was always well kept’ on your headstone.” How I love that woman!

  352. LOVED this!!!

  353. Love your blog! I love how “real” it is and I am right there with ya! I too am trying to find a balance…..but I still think family time is much more fun….thanks for sharing!

  354. Oh, I can totally relate to this! Wooooo! Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. And I say this in every comment I post to you, but Nella is so freakin’ adorable. I just can’t contain myself when I see pics of her — she truly puts a big smile on my face and brightens my day! =)

  355. Kelle, thank you for this post. It truly could not have come at a better time. I have a “little” who is almost exactly Nella’s age and a Granny-Nanny who cares for her while I’m at work in the mornings. Gramma recently broke her ankle, and holy hell, I did NOT realize how much she was helping me maintain my house and my sanity. I walked in yesterday afternoon to such utter and total chaos that my up-til-then-good day was suddenly a defeated one. I even had that flash of “how do they do it?” jealousy come over me thinking about other moms in my real life and definitely about some moms in the cyber world that I count as friends in my head – including you :-) Seeing the behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in your home as I sat at my kitchen table taking a few moments for mommy after dinner actually gave me a sense of calm. And even though the dishes were waiting, I went to play with my lil’ one, because really, who cares if we don’t tackle the “chores” until morning? Thank you!

  356. You are not alone, Kelle!
    I am notorious for a good stash-n-dash before people come over. Then it takes me a good 3 days to go through the piles that I hastily move around.

    The housework never ends, but the baby years end too quickly. I’ve learned that Good Enough is good enough and that this my-house-is-a-disaster phase is just that: a phase.

    Here’s to simplicity!

  357. I just jumped on the flylady.net bandwagon and my house already looks better for it! Example: (I got a call at 8am and it was scheduled for 10am) I hosted a very last minute playdate for moms and tots 1 and under and all I had to do before they arrived was sweep! I was amazed! Hope you can find a little inspiration there!

  358. Kelle- seriously, do you want to see mine? We have 7 little ones running around, well an 18, 17, 15, 12, 10, 6, and 2 year old running around. The 18 year old is the only one who will help, lol. So girl you should see my house! We home school, and now with the new business, I have tulle and ribbons, and all things crafts all over the dining room/craft room and sometimes I dream of the clean that once was. We are in the ministry and our church service are held in our garage we remodeled into the sanctuary, but the only bathroom is in my home, so needless to say everyone sees the mess I can no longer hide. With baby number 8 coming, I know it will only get worse…but you know what? SO WHAT! Days go on, and every time I clean the mess returns, I freak out and yell for everyone to get busy, and yet we all find ourselves distracted with conversations and laughs around the coffee pot and coffee table. So I say, enjoy it, enjoy the foot injuries due to plastic toys (mine are dinosaurs) and just breathe, if company does not like it, offer them another beer, and a shovel! It is all good!

  359. Nicnok – Thanks for sharing that version of Cor 1 13. It’s beautiful. Definitely something to save and to savor.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  360. You aren’t alone. Mine was clean on Friday… and by yesterday it looked like a bomb went off again…

  361. Love your blog and I think your daughters are beautiful. I’ve got two girls that are somewhat similar in age (just turned 5 and 16 months). I had a similar problem with my house (just too busy and I HATE cleaning) and I am not nearly as busy as you are. Here is what I did – broke the whole house cleaning chore down into more manageable tasks. Here is my schedule – Monday – Laundry. Tuesday – Bathrooms. Wednesday – Kitchen. Thursday – Dusting and Windows. Friday – Floors. The house isn’t completely clean all at once, but it does all get cleaned at some point. You have to decide what is manageable for you – but this really helped me! Good Luck!

  362. I would love to be able to let go a little more. I have issues with that so we have made cleaning a game. My two year old thinks doing dishes is the funniest game ever. And he thinks that his toys “go night night” when they are put in their toys boxes. Yet I still have days when I am totally freaking out about my house on those once a month days when I can actually stop being so OCD and spend more time with puzzle pieces and letters and train tracks. So good luck and I wish you the best!

  363. Kelle as a new Mom I’m going through the same thing, not b/c of doing creative things either, just simply trying to cope & adjust! Also probably doesn’t help that I can’t stop staring at my tiny miracle. Recently started following advice on http://www.flylady.net, hopefully it will help me!

  364. Loved this post! I will never be the sort of person who COULD look at a messy-to-the-rafters bedroom and say, “Holy ****, what happened?” That is almost the funniest thing about this post to me. But I’m sure they’re cool people. I’d like to be more like them. I’m going to start by cleaning off my work area and getting down to studying. Thank you for the sunshine and laughter and stuff I can relate to, as always. I also think the cops will come after me for random “Are we allowed to do this?” stuff. xo

  365. Flylady.com helps me with the challenge of getting housework done regularly. It’s been a problem for me too!

  366. Ahh-how refreshing…Our house always has an area in some state of chaos-not to mention the flurry of activity that precedes company coming. Laundry is the worst and dare I say SOCKS-thank goodness Little Miss Match made unmatched socks cool. I love your blog and love that you too struggle with these little mundane tasks that we all attend to. Thanks for sharing;-)

  367. Can we form a support group? I hate cleaning with a fiery passion. There are so many things I would rather be good at… and snuggling with my girls (4 and 2) is definitely one of them.

  368. I love that your house is a mess. I used to be such a freak about trying to keep it all together all the time. It was exhausting. The whole place is never all clean at the same time anymore and I don’t care. I think that you place being messy makes you more relateable, since you have such an amazing talent for photography, fashion and mama-hood :o) Keep on letting it go. It makes me feel better when I do too.

  369. You are so WELCOME at my house anytime. We can each say “Holy Sh*t. What happened?!?” at each other as our formal greeting. Oh, by the way, I only have 1 baby…and he’s almost 10!

  370. Oh Kellie, you genuinelyl make me laugh out loud!

    By the way, you and I have the same couches! How about a high five for that!!! Lol.

    And I used to be a clean freak! Before I had kids. And now after two little girls, I don’t worry too much about having the home be spotless.

    I just do a little bit at a time each day. In other words, I’ve taught myself to simply put things away after Im done using them and teaching my girls to do the same.

    That way things don’t accumulate.

    And I am so in love with Nella. Her smile gets me everytime!

    http://www.diaryofmamadrama.com

  371. One of the best things about your blog is that you’re real. I always worry that the state of my house says too much about me, that I really don’t have anything together (let alone everything) or that I’m not capable of managing my life or my family. When really, all it says about me is that sometimes our house gets messy.

    One of the gifts I give myself is that, when our life gets particularly busy or hectic, I hire a cleaning crew. It’s only a few times a year, but dang, it’s one of my favorite things:)

  372. Want to share with you the quote that I’ll be painting on some wood to put at my front entrance by an unknown author. I think you’ll like it, as you seem a lot like me when it comes to sending time with the kids/ignoring the house.

    “Our house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.”

    Nuff said, right?

  373. BTW, had I know he would be my only one…I would have held him a bit longer & more often instead of doing laundry & straightening up…

  374. Kelle, I am not going to lie the pictures of your house gave me a little anxiety and I got all sweaty thinking about your mess. I have a massive clean freak problem that sounds nice on the surface but it makes enjoying life i.e. baking and playing with two kids really hard. I am wishing I lived near you so that:
    1. I could help you clean and organize (I help numerous friends often)
    2. you could help me learn to chill out and work on my wardrobe as your gift is obvious, YOU LOOK FABULOUS (even while folding clothes in a really messy house!)

    Thanks for the great post!

    Carissa Person

  375. My New Years resolution was not to leave clean laundry on the couch anymore…over night. It was hard to develop a routine with three kids, but I’m still struggling to find a balance. Good luck…a good balance is always fun to find.

  376. Oh my gosh I LOVE you for this post. I feel the same way. My husband cleans by relocating things that don’t belong to a spare bedroom, and it is just unsaveable. We had a great resolution to remedy all of our clutter issues and well…. you know how that goes. But I also have the conscious choice of preferring child-centered chaos over a pristine home that only comes with stress and hurry and fighting. Perfect isn’t any fun!

  377. In vet school, I offered to babysit for neighbors. I SO admired them-both professors, attractive, intelligent, charming, and great parents to a precocious 2.5-year old. Sophie took me on a narrated tour of the upstairs: “That’s the bathroom, where I brush my teeth. That’s my bedroom. Daddy painted it pink, but he DIDN’T paint the ceiling pink That’s the room where my fairy godmother stays when she visits. That’s Mommy and Daddy’s room. You’re not supposed to go in there. It’s messy.” And you know what? I loved them all the more for it.

    Find whatever “medium” is happy in any given week, and let the rest go. The right people will love you all the more for being real. Don’t make me come over and read you The Velveteen Rabbit!

  378. Paying a housekeeper is the BEST INVESTMENT EVER. I am not ashamed.

  379. I laughed and laughed at this one. Because it was funny, but also because I truly understand!

  380. I don’t know too many (any?) people who have toddlers & pets & have perfectly neat homes. I swore when I had my son that MY house would NEVER be cluttered with kids’ stuff. Yeah, well….you should see my family room :) LOL

  381. Oh I am with you! Doors are closed all over the place each Wednesday when my mother-in-law comes to watch my son while I work. But I can’t agree more with: “I’m confident in the fact my kids will grow up in a relaxed environment knowing we chose Candyland over dishes.” I work full time, so the 3 hours each evening I get to spend with my 2 year old just shouldn’t be spent doing dishes. And I try not to apologize for that! You shouldn’t either!

  382. sounds like a good dose of spring cleaning is in order!

  383. Oh I love your blog! I’m so glad I found it. I so feel you….my house feels like a disaster area most of the time…it’s so hard to juggle so many things sometimes and keep a tidy home.

  384. I totally understand where you are coming from. I started using Flylady’s system for cleaning and she has totally transformed my life in the cleaning/houskeeping/being organized department.
    I read her book, sink reflections and then i found her site, flylady.net and my life literally hasn’t been the same afterward.

    I found her after i had my first son, and now i recently gave birth to our daughter 2 weeks ago and my house is still in order, not spotless, but not a big mess as it would have been before i found flylady. She says you can do it in baby steps, 15 minutes at a time for decluttering, cleaning, etc. Also, her morning and evening routines really help me as well as her timer strategy.

    She has routines and a strategy for keeping your home and your life clean and peaceful. I signed up for her daily emails and they also help keep me on track. You should check her out :) Sorry this comment is sooo long. :) Best wishes

  385. To add to my last comment, it doesn’t even take that long with Flylady’s system. Before, i would worry about housecleaning all day and never get it done. Now i worry a lot less and i have a lot more time for other stuff besides cleaning because i have a system and routines for it. Hope this helps :)

  386. Dear Red Dress Girl,
    This was a perfect Monday post, my friend!

    I love rockin’ a new project/challenge… when all else fails? I make a list. Sometimes I add things I’ve already done just to get that little high of crossing somethign off.

    Oh, yes, I am all about playing instead of washing, laughing instead of laundry, wiggles and giggles instead of skulduggery.

    Maybe it’s time to turn the cleaning into a game, telling jokes while we fold, and making the best of a mess!

    You can do it… I will too.

    Love,
    Up and at em in NE

    P.S. I have been “just moved in”, “recovering from illness”, and so forth for over a year… and you should deff. see my house… stop by ANYTIME. My piles have piles.

  387. oh girlfriend, thank you for this. you should see my house. bahahaha.

  388. I have not visited your blog in a really long time and I am SO glad I stopped by this afternoon! Your blog is wonderfully real. Your daughters are beautiful. And your photography/pp is gorgeous! Have a happy Spring!

  389. This makes me feel so much better! It’s not just me! :)

  390. Good work for admitting it and WANTING to change. I am a fan of having a housekeeper once a week or so to help me with the deep cleaning (allows me to make those spring cupcakes, too!) but there’s just something about cleaning and organizing my own house that I NEED. For my mind, my heart and my pride. πŸ˜› So good work….your mind, heart and pride will also thank you! πŸ˜› Marissa

  391. House cleaning is over-rated! I’m constantly trying to tame the mess. Spring is a great time to declutter though, isn’t it? and make things feel fresh. I loved the light blue and red combo you have going in your dining room!! Love you, Kelle-girl!

  392. We should be friends our houses look the same & I always overshadow compliments by talking about something that is NOT so good about me! hah
    I totally related to all of this, the good, bad, & ugly

  393. The picture of Lainey on the mound-o-laundry she totally looks like you. That expression is a dead ringer.

  394. LOL looks like my house!

  395. Awesome post.

    My uncle was famous in the family for a certain comment he made to a neighbor who was criticizing him for letting his kids play on a slip-n-slide in his front yard. He was saying how bad it was for the grass. My uncle looked at him and told him he was raising kids, not grass.

    I overlook dust bunnies to play and bake and paint and create, too. But I also know about getting to the point where you can’t stand it anymore. This week we do a major overhaul followed by picking up clutter and putting away the last of the Christmas ornaments. Yes, Christmas ornaments. :)

  396. Awesome post.

    My uncle was famous in the family for a certain comment he made to a neighbor who was criticizing him for letting his kids play on a slip-n-slide in his front yard. He was saying how bad it was for the grass. My uncle looked at him and told him he was raising kids, not grass.

    I overlook dust bunnies to play and bake and paint and create, too. But I also know about getting to the point where you can’t stand it anymore. This week we do a major overhaul followed by picking up clutter and putting away the last of the Christmas ornaments. Yes, Christmas ornaments. :)

  397. Ha, I love this post. I was thinking the exact same thing all day long. I was starting to think I was the only one left with an out of control house! And to be honest, sometimes it just doesn’t bother me like it should…which is at times concerning and at others, not at all :) But I’m totally with you on the cluttered room/cluttered mind thing–it’s so much more refreshing when a room is clean. Good luck with the New Year’s resolution!

  398. Just gotta say how refreshing to see a messy house on your blog! Sometimes things seem almost too perfect for the Hampton’s – and it’s good to see that you’re a normal mom too – just like the rest of us! :)

  399. I loved what you said about deciding to accept compliments and not put yourself down in exchange. I need to make that my new resolution. Good advice.
    Ah yes housekeeping and motherhood… I feel like the mess never ends. When I want to get in the mood to clean I go to my mom’s house b/c she has piiiiillles and piles of stuff including Victoria’s Secret magazines from 1993. We lived with her while we were house-hunting and I was 8 months pregnant (fun fun), and my other two kids thought it was fun to jump through her piles like they were imaginary mountains or whatever they dreamed up. She would chase them with a leather spanking hand and they thought it was the best game ever. Scary huh? Anyway, my husband loves it when I stop by there because I come home and make the house spic and span lickety split!

  400. Kelle, I love this post… It made me feel good to think thwt there are people out there that think like me. My babies always come first, we played and then 1 hour before my husband came home from work it was there time to relax and my time to clean up before my husband came home from work. My daughter has 3 beautiful daughters and on her blog she has the poem Cause Babies Don’t Keep….. I love that poem and it is so true to every real mom who wants to have their children first in their life. ANYONE OUT THERE SHOULD LOOK UP THAT POEM AND READ IT.

  401. Lainey & Nella will never remember if the house was clean or dirty… What they will remember is all the beautiful amazing fun memories you created with them. And all of your attention and time you gave them.
    Priceless!

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  404. When I read comments from your readers it is amazing how many can identify with you and your life. I sometimes feel like an outsider and other days I feel so deeply connected that it is frankly so close and personal that it is scary. You’re like the best girlfriend and sister that I never had in many ways. I have connected to your thoughts and ideas before, but NONE so deeply as THIS post. I am a free spirit. I am a creative. I make pictures, paint, write, weave, sew and knit. My time at home with my kids needs balance of course, but frankly I would just RATHER be doing something fun, creative, funny, energizing or fulfilling. My corners are fuzzy and my sinks gunky, and I love it like that because I get to sink my hands into play doh instead. It’s so odd that I would let things pile up, since like you I care deeply about style and aesthetic value. I consciously arrange wall hanging, curtains, photos etc. I scour pottery barn or West Elm for inspirations and arrange shelves just so…Then readily let everything around and under said arrangements go right to hell in a hand basket! I think my eyes are like my camera, with a focus and blur function that work to make my reality like a well constructed photograph. I focus on the good things like the kids, their smiles, our pajama breakfasts, the walks outside in the melting snow, or their sleepy breath while artfully blurring out the cheese smeared into the upholstered dining room chairs, the mud on the rug, the heap of dishes in the sink or the wad of hair in the corner of the bathroom. Some moms keep their home together more willingly, happily, or easily and in many ways I wish it were me. Then again, i think those moms are closet drinkers. I have friends and relatives who clean on a schedule, they can get it in control before it is even out of control. Imagine. Because I could never do something so structured (since designating a cleaning day would KILL the idea of that day for me) I envy them in many ways. The “ounce of prevention” thinking is really valuable. But inside, I am of another breed. I am of the “I clean when it is so obviously needed last week that when I finally break down it takes twice as long as it should”. But there is something fun about the spontaneous nature of it. “LOOK! My bay window is fuzzy…I guess it’s time to dust folks!” My barometer of hygiene is either having chunks stick to my bare feet from the hardwoods or the lack of baby bottles makes it an absolute necessity. Some days, like you mention in this post, i get it in my head that I will change, the house will become more organized, less Applebees walls/Yard sale/Foreclosure looking…and it goes well for a bit, but never lasts. It isn’t me. I will give myself a lil props for staying right on top of the cloth diapers though, you can’t let diapers go. I often feel compelled to announce that cleaning is a choice I make (or don’t make rather) in order to concentrate more on the things that fulfill or that matter. In the end I believe we all choose to prioritize the way we do, and a different hierarchy doesn’t mean right or wrong. Mine is a love hate relationship. As in, LOVE having my creative, free flowing life with my kids but also HATE having the chaos surrounding my home, my sanctuary. One day my kids will be gone and my house will look less Applebees and more Pottery Barn, and just imagining it that way makes me sad. Anyway, i am glad you put it out there mama. Having the strength to say: “This is my weakness and I want to address it”, even to yourself let alone on a public blog, is huge. Good luck!

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  406. Kelle,

    I’ve been enjoying your outlook on life and things for about 9 months now. Thank you so much for being so candidly honest about the messier side of life. It is very refreshing and never fails to brighten my day and make me think about my own life and it’s trappings. My husband always says I have “Martha Stewart” standards when it comes to housework. That is the dream as I envision perfectly organized cupboards and closets, spotless floors and clean bathrooms. It is still a dream though as I’ve never been able to accomplish it. When I’m old and grey I hope to remember the wonderful times I spent with my children instead of lamenting the fact that my baseboards were never dusted!

  407. Thank you for posting this. I have had little hand prints on all of my mirrors for days. I had a hard time cleaning them knowing those hands won’t be little for long….just trying to cherish all that I can right now.

  408. I LOVE your house… it reminds me of my own! Always cluttered, always cereal puffs on the floor, always something better to be doing than cleaning. We never get to use the love seat because it is always hiding under laundry. Thank you for fearlessly posting pictures of your beautiful “lived in” HOME….

  409. I actually got my best tip from YOU! The kids and I do a shakedown of every room right before my husband gets home (most days). It doesn’t take long and they get a kick out of our “crazy fast” cleaning. We’re not the cleanest hosue on the block–oh well.

  410. My nana always said that no house is complete without a “chuckery,” that spare room with (in a perfect world) a lock on it. Company coming over and you have a collection of old fabric scraps and mail to sort through and a half set of dishes–all without a rightful home? No problem. Toss them in the chuckery. And LOCK THAT DOOR! :o)

  411. Forget about the house, that last picture of Nella took my breathe away. You are perfect just the way you are!

  412. Totally stalkerish but I’m telling you anyway. I wanted to cry tonight. My baby is asleep and I’m tired so tired of being anxious about marriage and I felt overwhelmed. Instead of letting it get to me, I went through some old posts of yours. I’m taking my daughter to make some ceramic mugs tomorrow. I know she’ll love it. Thank you for posting.

  413. I feel you on the house situation, and since I live alone I have no one to blame but myself (oh and that I work 32 hours a week and I am a full time student).

    Sometimes I feel terrible about this, especially in light of the fact that my mother keeps her house immaculate. Then I remember that I prefer to be friends with my friends and get my homework done and the pile of clothes can sit in the corner for weeks ’cause they aren’t hurting anyone.

  414. I feel like I should be able to do it all…you know? Why can’t I make cupcakes with my daughter from scratch… and be a sexy wife to my husband… and do the laundry while getting every stain out… and go to the dentist every 6 months… and go to the gym 3 days a week with an occasional trainer session thrown in… and sew cute dresses for my daughters… and do photo shoots in LA for work while looking like the consummate pro that of course I am…and make a healthy super-delicious dinner every night that the whole family eats and loves… and of course have an immaculate house.

    The house, sewing, dinner, gym and dentist lost out…that’s sad. somehow I’m still a sexy wife to my husband though…so I’ll take it.

  415. Kelle, you are a beautiful soul. I’m the proud Mama of two girls 22 months and 8 months. I find myself laughing and crying with you, and anxiously awaiting your next post.

    You have encouraged me to be more “artsy fartsy” and worry far less about vacuuming!

    Thank you for being so real and so beautiful. You inspire me!

  416. We sound SO similar… exactly what we are working on over here to!

  417. LOL – dying laughing right now at the cool neighbor facade and your “lies” that you wanted to tell! Thank you for your candidness about your house! Your still an inspiration to me and I know so many others! :)

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  419. I have been quietly reading your blog for the last few months and am amazed at how wonderful a mom you are to your beautiful girls. Reading your post Monday morning was such a blessing for me. I had been beating myself up over the ridiculous pressure I put on myself, my children, and my husband to maintain a well kept house. As a mom to four boys under the age of 7 you can imagine the heaps of never-ending laundry, Sippy cups, Thomas trains, Hot Wheels, Legos…need I say more? I too love to get lost in my “Martha Stewart” mind while getting creative and crafty. My youngest is turning one year-old next week and well, much like you last month, I have oodles of plates that are juggling in the air at the moment. Inevitably one may come crashing down but will most likely land atop a warm fluffy load of white delicates. I could so relate to the “high” that you get from these projects we moms create for ourselves and ultimately for our children. So I want to say thank-you…for putting to words, on so many occasions, so much of what all of us moms truly feel and for helping me to keep everything into perspective…I now will look twice at the fingerprints on our windows and not jump too quickly to grab the Windex. I would also like to share a wonderful idea from a friend of mine who too made me realize that sometimes we just need to be messy…so I have challenged myself to let my mommy “Don’t” guard down and have a “Messy Party” to kick off the spring weather with my boys. Where, “In a world of no’s, the Messy Party is a place to say ‘yes’.” (Refer to this articlehttp://mothering.com/parenting/sams-messy-afternoon). Perhaps you and the girls could do the same…and maybe invite the infamous “Cool Neighbor Friend Dad”! :) Happy Wednesday!

  420. Ha! Glad to know I’m not the only one who uses the master bedroom as a dumping ground for anything and everything that doesn’t have a place of it’s own! I once read a book that suggested keeping the master bedroom clean and tidy so it can serve as a romantic retreat. Um, well 11 years into our marriage and I’m still working on that! Thanks for reminding us that we’re not alone in our less than stellar housekeeping disciplines! =)

  421. oh seriously, SNAP.

    My kids were skating on board books across the floor today.

    And COULD that sweet baby of yours get any cuter?

  422. Your little sweet girl melted my heart with the last photo! Precious!

  423. You should have answered, “Life … that’s what happened!” Don’t worry … your new neighbors will realize that your family is cool, clutter and all! Also, thanks for the glimpse of spring!

  424. I hate housecleaning but love a clean house and am never on top of it. It is really fun right now because we have to sell our house but that is a whole other story.

    I find that I have to set little goals for myself like every time I walk into a room I have to put 5 or 10 things away and then I can leave again. It doesn’t get the job done to perfection but I find that I usually put a few more away then my goal and it makes enough of a dent I don’t feel like a complete failure and it doesn’t take my whole day. We also do commercial spot cleans if we are watching TV and it seems to get everyone involved and some things done, it’s kinda fun that way.

  425. I have three wonderful children so I have laundry everywhere LOL.
    I’m happy to read I’m not the only one LOL.

    Big hug from the Netherlands

  426. I am laughing so hard right now. I love this post, mainly because my master bedroom sounds exactly like yours. A neighbor should walk in and say the same thing and scare me straight! I keep our main rooms neat & tidy, but all the extra gets piled up in mine. Thanks for keeping it real. You have such a beautiful perspective on life and your love of family should come before the house. Thanks!

  427. Hi Kelle, My doctor after I gave birth to my son told me something I hold onto everyday. She told me to remember to sleep and take time for myself. That will give me the energy to make me a great mother. I’ve followed that ever since and I’ll leave my dishes, laundry and chores in a heartbeat to spend any moment with my two kids. Even to take a few for myself or my husband. My husband is great and tells me to go ahead and relax. He agrees with that philosohy and constantly reminds me when I do get to involved to take a break and relax. So go ahead and seize that day with your kids. Thanks for your blog.

  428. I am so glad that I ran across your blog because it is so real and ADORABLE! I am so excited that I will be following you now! Have a great week!
    Heather
    http://www.hdstokesphotography.com

  429. OMG– your words are perfect for exactley how I feel— at the end of the day reading that 1 book seems so much MORE then the dishes or the laundry!! When you get it all figured out PLEASE let me know!!

  430. Oh man, I feel you. I need to get my house under control. There is a problem when your kids will be able to say things like “but YOU don’t pick up after yourself, why should I?”

  431. you totally inspired me to ‘clean house’ the other day. love your blog and this line ‘clutter in the home inevitably interprets to clutter in the mind’

  432. Okay… but don’t clean up too much. My favorite thing about your blog is that you celebrate all the beauty amidst “the mess”. Better yet, sometimes the “mess” is the beauty! I am trying to take a page from your book – learning to celebrate the beauty, because it’s always there :)

    Meghan in St. Louis

  433. I think you would love the book ” Be happy without being perfect’ Every woman should read it! It is be a psychologist who cares about the ridiculous expectations put on women!
    When I read this post – I thought – good for you! I knew there was no way you could do all the creative stuff you do AND keep the house clean ( because I am the same way- intensely creative but lacking in order) and that is ok. I am at peace with that. Sounds like you have balance too
    You would love the book. I remember you or a commentator recommending ‘ cold tangerines’ so I bought it. It was a great read. This one is too:) So much so that I think I will do a giveaway in the next few posts for a copy or two:)
    Have fun organizing! I am doing the same thing here:)

  434. Holy shit, you should see my family room. Thank the Lord it’s in my basement and I don’t have to see it until I choose to. Is is ok to use shit and Lord in the same paragraph?!??! Love your blog!

  435. This post really speaks to my heart. I’ve been in a similar place, giving myself a similar challenge for the last few months. Our marriage is so much better when I’m on top of things, I’m so much more relaxed with the kids when I can see the floor. I actually enjoy cooking when I’m not plugging my nose or running from the stench in the kitchen.

    Thanks again for your beautiful pictures and being so real.

  436. As my brother complimented me on on something I was wearing, I quickly replied, “Oh, it’s from Target.” His response was, “You don’t have to ghetto it down-you could just say thanks.”
    I hate laundry. I don’t mind washing and drying, but the folding and putting away is a NIGHTMARE. It’s so nice to see that I am not alone in this area:) We are human and as you’ve said before if one area looks perfect, there is another area that looks like hell:) Isn’t that what you said???!!

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  438. Thank you for this post. I love you for it! I have a 4-year-old climbing on me so I’m not able to type a more eloquent comment, but just know there are others like you, and I think that it goes hand it hand with being a creative, artistic person, somehow. Anyway, I just love, love, love you for this post! Thank you for being REAL, once again!

  439. Try Flylady…not kidding, she has saved my sanity!!!!!

  440. Completely off topic, but I had to share. I’m in Miami visiting the in-laws. My husband is Cuban and his mother (who we are staying with) speaks very broken english. I’m not a fan of Miami. I come from a small agriculture town just outside Tampa. So I was taking a break from this visit by reading your blog. I was so engrossed in it I suddenly realized someone was standing behind me. It was my MIL wanting to know what I was doing. LOL She doesn’t understand blogs.
    Anyways, thanks for the break. ;o)

  441. Phew…and I thought I was the only one who had a house that looks like it was hit by a tornado! Thank goodness we have a cleaning lady that comes once a month – but we are spoiled by her. The house is beautiful for about a week…and then a dump for the rest of the month until she comes!

  442. have fun tidying :) you need to neglect it a bit for all the good stuff tho. love it!

  443. awesome kelle~ thanks for keeping it real & encouraging the rest of us to do the same!!

  444. I can soo relate. I had a mom who looked in my bedroom for her sons shoes and I think I had 3 weeks of laundry in there. So humiliating. Here is my favorite cleaning quote, “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~Phyllis Diller. Love it. I also tell my hubs that one day our house will be clean and stay clean, but then that will mean we wont have any little ones running around anymore. :(

    With that said, I am trying to get my house clean & organized this year too, because a clean house takes less time to keep clean and then more time for guilt free and worry free fun. Even though I have to keep telling myself that. : )

  445. we all love to see other messy homes b/c we all have them!!!! i choose to surf blogs instead of clean mine!

  446. i remember years ago when my oldest was maybe 4 and my middle daughter was 2….my husbands aunt and uncle came by.

    i considered not answering the door….you see i had left all that stuff that needed to be done to sew and pull an all nighter doing it. imagine laundry piled and pieces of thread and scrap fabric scattered…..toys not put away. everyone still in jammies. yesterday’s snack dishes still on the coffee table…..lol….i let them in, confessed to sewing all night and apologized for the horrid mess.

    lucky his aunt raised four kids and just laughed.

    don’t sweat your mess…embrace what it allows you time to do!!!

  447. Hire it out sister, you will be amazed at the serenity it brings…..AND it’s worth every dollar, I promise!!!!!!

  448. Thank you for bringing reality to it all. My house looks a bit like that, well, more than a bit. I have double the kids + 1 (5) running around full time so I totally understand the “spend time with the kids doing the important stuff vs cleaning” argument. Personally, I’d rather have the t.v. off and know what my kids are doing and into rather than have it on so they can veg and I can clean. Sounds good to me.

  449. I do the same exact thing! Hide it all in our room! Once we had guests over and little did I know my kids were giving them a tour of the upstairs bedrooms. Oops!

  450. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this. I struggle with this constantly. I have always related to this quote… “Cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing.” – Erma Bombeck

  451. Thanks for keeping it real! I really really really need this today as I sit here in near tears at the state of my home:( The guilt of not keeping it perfect is enought to make a person crazy!!

  452. Oh dude..I just laughed out loud reading this blog entry. This is absolutely my life. My room is that room..I can get to my bed, my nightstand where my books and other required items are (secret stash of dark chocolate)..but that is the door that has to remained closed for company! So glad I am not alone. I am trying hard too this year, to improve at least a little bit..let a little order in…

  453. Was glad to read your post today! This is exactly what I am doing today-cleaning and purging! “you should see my house” rings true over here. I have this corner in my living room where I throw all my kids clothes to be folded. At one time it sat there and collected for a couple of months sad to say. It’s just good to hear about other women who go thru the same thing.

  454. I always tell people I’m coming to visit them, not their house =0)

    I haven’t met anyone whose house is clean all the time, unless they are 1) retired 2) everything is covered in plastic or 3) have a live-in maid. A house is meant to be lived in, not on permanent display. Frankly, I hire a housekeeper, two wonderful folks who come to my house every other week for two hours and scrub the hell out of it. Because, in reality, I have a ton of crumbs, dried up crusted whatever and who-knows-what-else on my floor, and that’s not changing any time soon. And I sweep and mop on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. As a full time working mom, in OCD recovery, that’s about as good as it’s going to get.

    I agree with what you said – I’d rather my daughter remembered that I spent time with her, rather than how spotless my house was.

    That being said, I imagine your neighbor is hoping your daughter doesn’t accidentally open up their (fill in the blank) door =0)

    Cheers,
    Caryl

  455. Using my husband’s google id because I’m far to lazy to get one but God I love you and your messy house and your awesome blog, I could sit here and prattle for ages but I really should go and clean my house :) You should see it!!!

  456. Oh, I’m a long time reader, don’t comment much though. Anyway, your house looks grand. Kids are happy. You made me laugh and laugh with this one. Love it!

  457. You had me Laughing out loud with this one!! You are your childrens role model. They will do as you do! So it is wonderful to model the behavior of picking up after oneself and taking pride in our homes. Do it with love! This is what I have learned. From a recovering messy person!

  458. Hallelujah, you’re human…just like the rest of us. I love writing on my blog and doing cool things with Sam but I also wish I could twitch my nose and all the laundry,clutter and cleaning would magically disappear.

  459. Girl, you’ll be more than thankful for all the memories you’ve made while the laundry was in the baskets. My house is clean…now, but my babies are all grown. You’re a great mama, and that’s what those girls will remember. How I wish someone had someone would admitted that their dishes were undone like mine were. :o) Hang in there!

  460. i LOVE this post. Our room has been the pile room for the longest time… I am always ashamed when someone happens to pop in.

    But I left this comment because I HAVE to ask…how the hell are you able to keep nice things on your coffee table? I have a 15 month old and a 2.5 year old, and we could never get away with nice books and picture frames within their arm’s reach. I am so jealous!

  461. Thanks for stepping off the pedestal and for always being real. You do look great in red (from the pics I’ve seen on your blog) and YOU should see MY house. I am with you and it may or may not change — the condition of my house that is. But what won’t change is the everything else I do with my children — my boys, identical twins with Down syndrome and my daughter, my beautiful Old Soul. Laundry be damned, my loved ones will always come first (way before the might-be-cool-but-I-don’t-know-yet neighbors). xo maggie

  462. loved it
    makes me happy to see other mom’s mess
    loved your hunest photos and beautifull light

  463. Your daughters are just the cutest. That picture of Nella with her precious little hand to her face is the best. I love all the pictures you take. You truly are a great photographer. But I especially love all the pics of your girls. You capture their innocence and purity so well. Thank you for sharing!

  464. Thanks for sharing-I don’t know if you are still checking these comments but simplemom.net is doing an organizing challenge this month that might be fun and helpful.

  465. Thanks for sharing-I don’t know if you are still checking these comments but simplemom.net is doing an organizing challenge this month that might be fun and helpful.

  466. Just found your blog and you are not alone. I often try to maintain my house as pretty darn clean, but it often isn’t and I am constantly fighting my concern over this. I think at this point in my life, it’s going to be messy…often and I’d probably be happier if I just let it go.

  467. Anyone who has kids has a messy house and if they say otherwise they are lying lol. Mine is clean at times but more than not it is “kid messy” and I too am ok with that. Spending time with my kids is much more important to me as well. I am glad that you can be so honest. I am sometimes embarrassed when I blog my pics of the mess in the back ground but hey it is life! Also, HURRAY Nella on how great she is doing!!!!!

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  470. I was married for 8years with out any child,because of this my husband start acting very strange at home,coming home late and not spending time with me any more.So i became very sad and lost in life because my doctor told me there is no way for me to get pregnant this really make life so hard for me and my family.my sister in law told me about Prophet Osaze from the Internet,how he has helped people with this similar problem that i am going through so i contacted him and explain to him.he cast a spell and it was a miracle three days later my husband can back to apologize for all he has done and told me he is fully ready to support me in any thing i want,few month later i got pregnant and gave birth to twins (girls) we are happy with ourselves. Thanks to Prophet Osaze for saving my relationship and for also saving others too. continue your good work, If you are interested to contact him and testify this blessings like me, the great spell caster email address:spirituallove@hotmail. com

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