My Messy Beautiful Home

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I wrote this post a couple of years back, when I first started blogging about my journey to try to make our home a place of peace and joy…a SANCTUARY of sorts. I had completely forgotten about it until I recently reread it and realized that I needed to hear these words again. In the chaos of the last 12 months, I found myself fighting the inevitable messiness that comes from actually “living” in a house and I was feeling discontent and no longer at peace. I wanted a clean and neat home where the drawers were all organized and everything was in its place, but that was nothing like the reality I was living in. So I began to settle back into the messy beautiful home that I so love and that is a perfect reflection of the messy beautiful lives we are living, and the feelings of peace and joy have started to return. I wanted to share this with you again, in case you are struggling with the same thing…

Last night I woke up at 3:00 am with a question racing through my mind… “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Seriously!?  Who wakes up with that thought in their head? Then I remembered that there is a piece of driftwood with this quote burned into it, sitting on our family room table.  This was not something I was consciously focused on,  but evidently, my subconscious mind had been paying attention.  3:00 am seemed like a rather inconvenient time to try to answer this particular question (especially since my alarm was going to go off in about three hours), but it did start me thinking about the other quotes and sayings placed around our home and how they represent our family’s values and make a statement about the things that are meaningful to us.

Now 3:00 am seemed like a rather inconvenient time to try to answer this particular question (especially since my alarm was going to go off in about three hours), but it did start me thinking about the other quotes and sayings placed around our home and how they represent our family’s values and make a statement about the things that are meaningful to each of us. Which ultimately brought me to this question…

What statement does my home make?

This reminds me to focus on the positive and have gratitude everyday.   

I guess I should explain what I mean by that.  I’ve always gotten an immediate feeling when walking into someone’s home…just an overall sense of how they live. Organized or more free style?  Pets in the house or not. The smell of a beautiful candle burning or the smell of a meal cooking in the kitchen?  TV on or TV off? This awareness probably comes from my years selling residential real estate, and assessing how to best sell a client’s property.  Trying to grasp the subtle elements that attract a prospective buyer and make them want to live there.

In those years, I learned that it’s not all about the neighborhood or the “perfect” decorator furnishings or decor.  I’ve been in some of the most aesthetically beautiful homes in the world that felt cold and uninviting and were nearly impossible to sell.  By the same token I have been in homes that were not decorated by a designer and looked incredibly “lived in”, but there was an indefinable quality that made them sell in a day. Which brings me back to my original question…What statement does MY home make? 

Considering the fact that there is often dog hair on the floor, the beds are often not made and a pile of dishes is always in the sink, I initially thought…

I LOVE these book stacks…such a clever way to make a statement.

“Your house says that you are not a great housekeeper and the dogs need to go outside!

Don’t be fooled by the photos of my home on social media and this website. Those are just brief moments when I’ve vacuumed up the dog hair and cleaned the dishes in order to snap a picture of a perfectly styled room.  My home does not look like that every day! It has taken me a long time to embrace the ebb and flow of chaos and mess in my home.  To give myself permission to leave the dishes in the sink, ignore the dirty laundry, and snuggle up on the couch with a good book. This has been a big piece of creating our sanctuary.  The ability to be totally “at home” and comfortable with who we are and how we live.

When I come home, I want to feel as if I am entering into a cocoon, despite the imperfections.  I am usually greeted by three very happy, furry critters, I’m likely to find at least one of my three kids at home with a smile on their face and there’s always a soft blanket to curl up with on the couch along with a glass of whatever suits my mood.

So as I lay awake in the middle of the night considering all of the quotes, sayings, quips and questions throughout our home, it occurred to me that while they are a representation of what we value or find important, our home’s true statement is made in much more subtle but meaningful ways.  

It is in the greetings given to each other at the end of a long day, it is in the meals shared at our imperfect kitchen table on a nightly basis and it is in the loving words spoken to each other when we encounter the inevitable pain and disappointments of life.

The statement my messy beautiful home makes is that love lives here.

We often pass this box of 365 “Gathered Truths” around the dinner table.

As I drifted back to sleep, I reminded to myself embrace all of it. To enjoy the moments when my home looks like a beautifully styled show place, AND the spilled milk…dirt tracks on the carpet… backpacks everywhere… real life moments that are the heartbeat of our messy, beautiful life.


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  1. A truly beautiful and heartfelt post, brought me to tears. You have a way of showing us what is really important. Thank you.

    1. Thank yo so much for this Suzanne! I have not read this post in a while and it was also a great reminder to me!! xo

      1. I live so far from you? in another country, another continent, but your every word rsonated in my heart! Thank you!

  2. Love your heartfelt, beautiful words as much as your gorgeous, smiling dog saying hello through the dutch door.

  3. Thank you for the beautiful post. It is exactly the reminder of what I needed to hear. I am truly inspired. ♥️

  4. In this crazy time of so much change and unknown, your post was comforting and a bit of a reminder that the important things don’t change and are not unknown. Reading this was a wonderful way to start today!

  5. I think we tend to get lost in what we think our home should look like, rather than what it does look like. I have followed blogs for years and thought homes always were in order and I was severely lacking after working all week to keep it all together. I am finding as I have began to share my home with others, the side I am photographing may be in order, but you are not seeing the other side of the room where my mess is! LOL. Thank you so I know I am not alone in this journey! I enjoyed reading this post! I think we need people to keep life real for us more than we know! Life is sometimes messy… thank you!

  6. As I was reading your post this morning there is a raging snowstorm outside(Denver). And instead of thinking of all that snow that needs to be cleared, I choose to welcome the much needed moisture to our landscapes-Thank you for the gentle reminder to see what’s truly important~D

  7. I’m a respiratory therapist in a busy trauma center, my husband is retired, my last of three is a high school senior, and I have a massive German Shepard full of love and fur. I often feel frustrated at the “lived in mess” I spend my days off cleaning. Thank you for giving me a different and much needed perspective. Also, thank you for sharing your beautiful home, I feel relaxed just looking at your lovely sanctuary.

    1. Thank YOU Diana for this lovely message! How difficult it must be to do your job! Enjoy every second with that senior. OUr last is a junior this year and I am soaking up as much time as I can…even in a messy house!😂

  8. Just lovely – thank you so much for being “real” & reminding us to enjoy (& accept) the real parts of our lives. The love a pet gives always out weighs hair on the floor!! 🙂 Your home is absolutely beautiful!!

    1. Thanks for this note Patty! I completely agree about those pets…hair everywhere, but they are so wonderful to have in our homes!

  9. Your post made me feel so much better because I see all these perfectly clean and neat houses and think how do they live like that!! It’s just my husband and I plus 4pets and I can’t keep it perfectly straight all the time so you made me feel better!!!!!!!!

    1. I’m so happy it made you feel better! Bellieve me when I tell you, those homes do NOT look like that all the time…unless no one is living in the house!😂

  10. Great post! My home is always messy and I feel bad about it especially when people drop by. It feels good to have permission to just be myself the way I am. I guess I didn’t need permission, but it’s still nice to realize not everyone has a perfectly neat house.

  11. Just catching up on my emails, and so happy I did. What a beautiful and well written post, especially after the year we have all been through. I once drove myself to total craziness making sure everything was in it’s place, especially before company arrived. Then one day I realized who are they coming to see, us or our home. Don’t get me wrong I love keeping order in my home, but to make a home it must be lived in, and welcoming. I want all who enter to feel comfort and warmth, and most of all love. Thank you for this lovely post, it truly brought me to a place in time that I hope we can all feel again.

  12. I needed your post today. This has been such an isolated year with Covid and all the unrest in our country. I live in the middle of a wonderful vineyard and no neighbors for a distance so that makes a perfect recipe for loneliness. After a year of stress and wondering if our lives will ever get back to normal, it is necessary for someone to remind us to not waste precious time and enjoy and use every glorious minute (even if it is loving on our pups or doing laundry.) Thank you for the thoughts and enegry of your post.

    1. Thank you for such a sweet note Linda. I know exactly what you mean about feeling lonely and isolated. I have felt the same in many respects. Focusing on small joys has helped me…and there are happier days ahead!

  13. This is a great post and one I needed!
    I always made excuses when friends or neighbors dropped by.
    I would entertain them on the porch because I hadn’t swept
    The kitchen after working in the gardens or the hand towels
    Were crumpled on the counter instead of neatly folded on the
    Towel racks! But, when I go to someone’s home I never pay
    Attention to dog hair or laundry waiting to be folded! After reading
    Your thoughts and many reply’s I know I’m normal …we’re all normal!
    Thank you sweet girl for putting our clutter and everyday occurrence’s
    In Order!
    Many Blessings.

  14. I just loved your post! You have a way of saying what is in my heart, and on my mind. Thank you! I would love to know where you got the “365 Gathered Truths”. Have a beautiful day!

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