In its place

I am not an organized person.  I used to be.  I WANT to be.  Oh, I have such a strong desire to be Martha Stewart organized with shelves and cute little jars labeled and guest towels and sheets wrapped in sets with crafty little tags to identify which bed they belong to.  I want to have a desk with my computer sitting on top, barely surrounded by the most adorable pen holder, a pretty lamp and some other decorative know, like the magazine layouts?  Instead, my desk is constantly cluttered with piles.  Piles that need my attention, piles that need to hit the garbage can, piles that I'm just not quite sure what to do with.  When I do clean off my desk, the piles just get relocated for my attention at some other time. 

It seems I'm always on a quest to create order in my home.  Somehow, it seems that when my home is in order, so is my demeanor, my outlook on EVERYTHING.  All is just that much more pleasant.  Just the idea of organizing something gets that swarm of butterflies going in my stomach.  It's exciting!  And when some sort of organization is accomplished??  I just sit and admire it with a smile and a sense of accomplishment, and a feeling that all is right again--for a brief period at least. 

The latest laundry solution.  Tim built these cabinets for our laundry room...there is a total of 18 baskets...nine for dirty and 9 for clean.  (And a bonus cabinet for others things like delicates and lonely socks and "needs-to-be-donated".  They occupy a wall in the laundry room.

The idea is that there won't be dirty laundry on the floor or clean laundry on the couch anymore. 

I'm sure there is someone out there who has a big family and a very organized home.  I don't quite know how to maintain it.  Short of eliminating everything else on my plate (and those of the rest of our family), disorder inevitably creeps in.  In all reality, I'd really love to see the linen closet and coat rack and shoe cubbies in the everyday environment of someone else with a household of nine.  It really is a lot of shoes and coats and towels and sheets, even if there was only one per person!  While it may sound like I'm fretting, I think I continue to grow and mature in this arena.  I simply can't get it all done.

My days are full of running here and there, changing diapers, doing laundry, making meals, coloring, building puzzles and reading books, making meals, fixing ouchies, refereeing arguements, solving math problems, teaching prayers, loving my family and learning life.  My home is going to have some disorder, and knowing that helps me keep our intangible things in better order.  If I'm freaking out all the time because of clutter and chaos, it just seems to trickle down.  It makes it much easier to attempt maintainence with a joyful heart rather than a resentful one.  Relishing in the chaos rather than resenting it is key.  I heard the definition of love referenced as  The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth.  Doesn't that hit you in between the eyes and make you really reevaluate what kinds of things are priorities?  It does me!

The current mudroom coat rack.  This 10 ft one replaces the 4 ft one that didn't have a shelf.

I love this!  It is reclaimed barnwood...the same as what our dining table is being made from. Pottery Barn has nothing on me!

The best part is that the total cost of the shelf was $2.97 for the oil-rubbed bronze spray paint and $40 for the reclaimed hooks!  Did I mention I love this shelf?  I know...not for everyone, but I love it when something wreaks of character!  (And doubles as functional)

The hand-stenciled-and-painted walls of the former nursery are giving way for the little boys.  They made a deal with me to keep their room clean for one month and I would give their room a little facelift. 

$6 Oops paint sealed the deal...they tried really hard to keep their room picked up.  (in all reality, it was probably more like one week)  Painting is alwaya an easy redo, even though it is often a long and drawn out one!  I say that it'll be painted in 2 weeks...and then the outlet covers will finally be replaced in 2 months and the mishaps will be clean up before we sell our house!  ;)
I'm sure that there will be a day once again where everything has its proper place (and actually makes it there)...Tim said it's called an "empty nest".  Well, I'm not wishing for that anytime soon, so for now, I will continue to rearrange furniture, paint walls, reorganize cupboards, implement new "systems", and recognize the disorder as a sign of life...happy, joyful, full life. 

Homemade Creamy Tomato Basil Soup...5 star recipe...oven roasted tomatoes from the garden, fresh basil...exploded all over my kitchen during the puree process...and then??  It didn't even taste very good!  :(

The kids relayed a compliment to me the other day...even though it came in the form of a random comment from peers at school:  "Your lunches are always so organized and with such weird food!  Not like normal boring lunches."  It made me smile.  We're trying cold lunches this year--cold being a relative term, because most of what I've sent has been hot, in a thermos.  We made a little up-front investment of good thermoses and "tiffins" to get started.  I wanted to do what I could to avoid the rut of PB&J in a plastic baggie every day.  Three weeks in, and we're doing pretty well I think. I've enjoyed sending chicken pot pie and spinach wraps and tacos and blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese and ham, and lunch box jokes stashed in with their brownies.  Each layer of the tiffin holds something fun and hopefully nutritous.  I worried a little about other kids making fun of the food and the containers, but then I remembered that these are my kids we're talking about.  They have broad palates, and quite honestly, they would likely be fueled by an "oh, gross...what IS that?" question to show their ABC (already-been-chewed) food to be even more repulsive.  I was right about them not really being phased by the minimal teasing--thankfully wrong about showing their food in their mouths! 

I quietly just gave myself a little pat on the back for sending organized lunches.  :)