Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Randomness

I have multiple things on my mind & I couldn't get excited about writing on one specific topic today.  And, so I thought I'd share some ramblings with you.

1.  My house.  I'm struggling folks.  I'm struggling with finding the balance between trying to keep my house orderly (a losing battle) and relaxing & enjoying my children.  I've come to the conclusion that with 4 young boys & one husband, the house is not going to be perfect...or even close to perfect.  At best, it will be less chaotic at times.
    I would love to have a clean house...really.  But for now I have to settle for an OK house.

2.  Envy.  I see pictures of other people's houses on their blogs.  And, I'll say it, I'm really jealous...and a bit embarrassed.  We live in an old house...verging on dilapidated.  It's less dilapidated than it was when my husband bought it 10 years ago.  But, it has glaring imperfections.  Too many to list...but here are a few.

  • 50+ year old, cracked nasty linoleum on our kitchen/ dining room floors (project on hold, because to replace the flooring, we need to even out the floors.  They are warped & definitely not level).
  • unfinished ductwork (for an upstairs heating system my husband hoped to install) going through old, broken drywall
  • a collapsed ceiling in the sunroom & rotting wood in the corners of the room
  • 80 year old windows in the downstairs that desperately need to be replaced
  • 2 different sets of kitchen cabinetry...one original to the house, one from the 70's.
   As I said, the list goes on.  And, I hate to admit it, but when I see pics people post from their new, sparkling, large homes discontent takes root.  This is something I've battled for a long time.  And, I remind myself that even my less than perfect house would be considered luxurious by so much of the world's population.  Does it really matter what kind of house we live in as long as we are warm, dry, & happy?

    But is it OK to wish for something better?  To work toward something better?  Or should my attention be focused on advancing God's kingdom and being the best wife & mother I can be?  Should I just try to make my house now as homey as possible?  Even so, when do I find the time to do things like paint kitchen cabinets?

3.  Strong-willed children.  What do you do when your child is making you crazy?  I have one son who is high-spirited, precocious, very intelligent, and , at times, belligerent.  I've tried just about every parenting technique I can think of.  But sometimes he just pushes my buttons.  And, I don't know how to remain calm & control my own anger.

4.  Keeping perspective in blogging.  I lost a follower of my blog.  I get so excited when I see each time I have a new follower.  And, I was so disappointed when one day I noticed I had one less.  Then, I start to question - Did I say something to offend?  Am I just boring?
    I am hoping that she just deleted me by accident, but insecurity has a way of rearing it's ugly head.  And, I have to remind myself the reason I started a blog.  It wasn't to see how much readership I could gain (although I'm seeing how easy it is to get sucked into caring about that too).  It was to do something I could call my own, a way to keep my brain sharp, and to have some creative outlet.
   So why do I care?  I guess I've found something else through blogging that I didn't expect.  And, that is community.  It's fun to meet other women through their blogs - to encourage & to be encouraged.  Even though I haven't met them face to face I feel like they are new friends.

5.  Summer projects.  I have decided that I need to make a list of projects I want to complete & just do them.  I'm not sure how or when I'll find the time...but here goes...

  • paint my kitchen bench black.  I have the paint & paintbrushes bought already.  I just need to get started.
  • strip the nasty fabric off my kitchen table benches, sand them down & paint the whole thing.
  • Replace the old venetian blinds in our bedrooms with curtains.
I've got a ton of other projects I could add, but lets start with these & see how it goes.
Baby steps.  Baby steps.


  1. Karen,
    I confess that I am coveting your beautiful wood work! The photo you took of the bench (a great piece by the way) reveals the gorgeous wood work around your doors and the doors themselves. How I wish for real wood work in my home! See, we all have some thing that someone else wants. (wink, wink)

    You are not alone Karen - every mom struggles with balancing home, children, and hubby. It's a daily struggle sometimes for me. Take heart - you care about it, which means you're doing a beautiful job whether you realize it or not.

    Be encouraged :)

  2. Oh Karen, can you see me nodding throughout that post? Oh, I struggle with the same things! I have a daily battle trying to keep my house clean with four little people constantly undoing what I've done.

    And I've just come to terms that my house isn't going to look like it's out of Better Homes and Gardens. With our adoption expenses, updating our home is way down on the list. (I should have named our first adopted child Stainless Steel Appliances and the next one Granite Countertops.) But your choice to live on one income and invest in your family is worth so much more.

    And I LOVE your blog. Shame on that other follower for leaving. I'm thinking it was accidental.

    I can't wait to see how your bench turns out. I've got some black furniture, too, and love how it hides little fingerprints. By the way, I agree with Susan, I am envious of the real woodwork in your home. So much character in older homes.

    And hang in there with your strong-willed child. I have one, too. She's my greatest teacher of patience and motivator to pray.

    Much Love,

  3. If I could find the energy or desire to write my blog post today - it would read very, very much like yours. Minus the the strong willed children.

    I wish that I had something uplifting and encouraging to write but I'm kinda low too. I do have a piece of music that always helps me to get the tears out so I can move on. The music make my spirit rise and rise and lifts me higher. The lyric reminds me of all that I have to be grateful for. I can share mine, if you'd like, or maybe you have one of your own.

    You're in my prayers to day.

  4. Oh goodness...where do I begin!
    I think this comment might turn into a lengthy "post" if I'm not careful!!!:)

    I could have written most of what your just posted, and I think a lot of us can certainly relate!
    It is so hard not to compare ourselves to others, in any area. I fight that battle daily sometimes hourly it seems. Praying about it and trying to find things, even small things to be grateful for in that moment, seems to help me the most.

    Blogging perspective....you are really getting me there!! Weekly/daily I go through the same feelings...I even think of bagging the whole thing at least once a week too!!:) Keep focusing on why you are doing it and know you are not alone in your feelings.

    House...love your moldings and bench BTW too!!!:) Goodness I struggle with this too. Looking through blogs, magazines or catalogs can get me down quick, or wanting to do and buy things I know we can't afford! Nesting and fluffing the things I already have really helps me in this area. Light some candles (careful with those boys!!:0 )and put on some great music. Do exactly what you are already doing, make a list of projects you want to do and tackle them one at a time.

    Finding time alone with my girls always helps me. It can be really hard sometimes, but just a quick trip to the store can be a great way to bond and reconnect. Or involve your little guy in some of those projects around the house???Would that work?

    Thanks so much for putting all of this out there...see you ARE a WONDERFUL blogger!!!:)
    Enjoy the day

    {sorry so lengthy!!!}

  5. Karen, I am with you on 1, 2 and 4. I've had to majorly relax my standards as we've added each child to our family- there is just more stuff and more little people to spread that stuff around. One day, our homes will be quiet and everything will stay where we put it and we will long for the mess again- right?

    I have issues with those home photos. They suck me in, too, thinking that this or that around my house isn't as nice as it should be. And then I get a bit upset. The bloggers that post those photos don't mean to, but those photos breed jealousy and discontentment. So, do we not read those blogs, do we suck it up and be thankful? It's a balance I suppose. You are not alone.

    I get a little sad when I lose a follower, too! We are social creatures and we love to be liked. I'm sure it is nothing personal. Occasionally, I have updated my blog list because I just don't have time to read everything- so I keep what is most relevant to me right now.

    Chin up, friend. I need to get myself over here more often. Sorry for writing a book in your comments:-).


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