Friday, September 20, 2013

Feels Like Home

Amelia is one of my favorite bloggers. I love how real and honest she is and how she never fails to paint an accurate picture of what her life is really like. She has two adorable and energetic boys, works full time like a boss and kicks ass daily. And, she's a sweetheart. She sent me such a thoughtful care package while I was pregnant, and we're still reaping the benefits of the bath toys she included (the shortbread is long, long gone though. sadly.). She was a sorority sister back in the day, and now she's a dear internet friend (who I'd love to catch in real life one of these days/months/years).

ANYWAY. She wrote this post about her real life home, not the one she fantasizes about creating or the one she wishes she had. I love her honestly and so, in return, I give you MY real home.

My house is a mess 95% of the time. When it's clean and decluttered, it's my favorite place on earth. When it isn't, I want to run away and escape from the endless stacks of paper, dog hair scattered around the carpet regardless of when I vacuumed last, dishes inevitably piled up in the sink, piles of clothing EVERYWHERE, toddler toys littered throughout, miniature baby strollers with a random stuffed animal strapped in, snacks left out, stickers stuck, diaper strewn somewhere. You're in luck today, because after a week of two sick children, my house is impeccable (note sarcasm!) and in perfect condition to share with the internet. :)

My kitchen is beautiful. We remodeled it last year. I love how it turned out, and I love cooking in it. I'm a good cook, and I don't mind the mess I make because that's the price we pay for a great meal. Most of the time, the counters house all sorts of papers, trinkets, cups, plates, to-do lists, crumbs, etc. It's cleared off once every three weeks when our cleaners come, and it's spotless for three minutes after we walk in the door. It's the center of our home, and I love living there.

Our living room is a reminder that young children live here. There is always, at the very least, something out of place, but usually it looks like a tornado came through.

Our tornado's name is Eleanor and this is what she looked like last night:
discovered the joys of markers!
This is our china cabinet. It's also where everything accumulates during the day, and where I get ready (makeup, etc.) You can see nothing is out of place. :) Also, you can see what I looked like this morning when I took this picture having not showered in three days. Like I said, two sick babies, so I get a free pass, right?!

Peter built this awesome booth, and refinished our table. We aim for one family meal here per day, and even if the meal is spent trying to convince a toddler to eat something, or staring off into space having exhausted all mental capacity keeping up with the day, it's a good way to connect. I hope so, at least. He also recently re-finished the secretary to the left of the table. He's a regular Renaissance Man, my husband!

Our entry way houses several diaper bags, work bags, lots of pairs of shoes and many random pieces of clothing. We don't have a mud room, so this is it.

Our bathrooms range from horrifically dated to fairly new and cute. They're functional most of the time, and I'm grateful we have three working toilets and two tubs/showers. Our two year old adores "spa time" so despite the grime, this is a place we often hang out as a family.
new-ish and cute-ish
In between
horrifically dated. she's taking the photo opportunity to hop into the tub for a little "spa time" :)
Here's our laundry area. Try as I might, keeping up with laundry will never happen. It's an easy trade off for having a family of four!

Our Master Bedroom pretty much always looks like this. Hourly speaking, it's the room I spend the most time in, but since I'm asleep, or at least wishing I was asleep, it gets the least attention.

Where Dash "sleeps." Needless to say, he hasn't actually slept there in many nights. 
Peter's corner. He built the bookshelves and reupholstered the chair. Handyman!
This is my favorite room. When it's clean and tidy, it's just how I want it to be. I love the red bed and bedspread, the eclectic furniture, the personal significance of all the framed pieces of art. Most of all, I love that this is the room that makes me feel the most like a mother, because despite everything else that mother's do, making sure her babies have a nice, cozy place to sleep and feel safe is a priority. It's often in shambles, but that's because it's a very lived in and much loved space.

Lastly, my other two favorite parts of our home. Our mantle, made by Peter, and our family picture wall, which is, by definition, a work in progress.

I don't show you these to paint myself as a slovenly, filthy person. In reality, our place is pretty clean (housecleaners do the deep cleaning and I keep up with the smaller stuff in between visits), but cluttered. It's lived in and loved in. I don't believe that my kids should be tidied up after constantly, or kept to certain areas of the house - they live here too, and the mobile one plays pretty hard here, and that's just the way I want it. I try to pick up after she goes to sleep, but some days it just doesn't happen, and that's perfectly okay. My dishes pile up because when there is finally time to do them, it means the kids are asleep and I've earned a bit of a break. Like now - the kids are napping (or is she? who knows!) and I'm blogging. They get done eventually, and the counters get wiped down, and we start all over again. I show you these because it's important to keep our lives in perspective. It's important for mothers especially to see other women struggle to keep up an image of perfection, and pulling back the drapes to expose reality. This is really my home, and it's really my favorite home I've ever lived in.

Funny note about this home: the first time Peter asked me to come to over, we watched a movie together on the couch. We watched Once and held hands and kissed for the first time. And I had this distinct moment where I was sitting there, looking around, and for the first time in my life really, I felt home. The place had a distinct feeling of bachelor-hood, but I imagined that someday I, and our two kids, would call this house home. That's when I knew that we were likely in it for the long haul, for forever. That's how you know you've found your home.


  1. Your home is beautiful! I especially love the booth seating and the kitchen is beautiful! Toddler + markers is a pretty awesome photo, too :-) Thanks for sharing!

  2. LOVE this post! LOVE that you are so "happily situated". LOVE that you are getting so much satisfaction out of making a real home for your family. You're a woman after my own heart and it warms my heart to witness it. Love you!

  3. Love this post!! Love it so much Julia!! Thank you so very very very very much for giving me exactly what I need to feel like OK I KNEW IT, THOSE MAGAZINE PICTURES AREN'T REAL!!