I was chatting with one of my 4 sisters via text after Thursday’s bunk post… she said it made her want to throw all her kids toys away and start from scratch. I can totally relate, because I get really overwhelmed by not only sorting through gifts and hand me downs, but also all of the crafts and rocks and bottle caps…. and other things my boys deem as treasure. It’s important for kids to have collections, but, there is a practical side to needing to store said items, and letting some things go! We can only use so much. I may be completely guilty of throwing things away.

I assured my sister that their room is full of toys and things that don’t have a place, and it got me thinking.

In the land of blogs and instagram pictures, I have often wondered “where are the signs of life?” Or “are your shelves really that neat and tidy?” and “do you actually have 14 pillows on your child’s bed?”

The more I blog, and the more photos I take… I have started to realize that photos aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes we do things because they look pretty. Some families really do have all white furniture with kids- Amanda of the blog Natural Mommie wrote a great post about life with 2 boys, a dog and white couches, after their home was featured in Country Living. {let’s just say I need a steam cleaner}

I think there can be a cry to see “real life” to make us feel a bit better about the fact that our home is not out of a magazine. The thing is, I also understand the desire to put our best foot forward. It is the great anomaly of life- we can’t focus on all the crap and the hard stuff all the time- because we would all be really sad. Our tendency is to lean toward being positive and hopeful… Who feels inspired by a debby downer? Yet at the same time, it is important to show {and talk about} the hard as well. Or as I like to call it “the messy, raw, unedited” parts of life.

At least I think it’s important. I learned from a very young age not to hide the hard. Nobody wins, and it is by sharing how we get through the hard that Hope is fostered.

This is all getting a little bit deep and a lot tangent… so I will go back to my original point and the text from my sister. In honor of moms everywhere {who want to throw everything away} this is what the boys room looked like in the photos I shared…diy bunk bedsAnd here is what the other side of their room looked like that very same day… with a bunch of games and another bean bag and lego all over the floor that you can’t see:messy kids roomIf you were to come over right now, this is what you would see at the top of the stairs:

sad christmas treeYep, that’s a Christmas tree my brother-in-law gave to our boys, and yes… it is mid-March. The foamy was set up for guests over the weekend, and we haven’t cleaned it up yet.

Just in case you missed the day I shared our gallery wall

gallery1This is what the other side of that room looked like while I snapped the photos…life

Sometimes we have a clean house, and sometimes we really don’t. It usually tends to be the latter. I prefer to share the clean, pretty pictures, but I really don’t mind sharing the unfinished messy ones once in a while, just to keep it real. I am trying to get better at cleaning up each day, but to be honest, I am home with 3 kids… you do the math 😉

Sometimes we can pass judgements without understanding the whole picture. Over the years I have learned that criticism is rooted in insecurity… we may criticize the ones who seem to succeed in the areas we aren’t. When we feel insecure about our bodies, we may criticize women who look amazing and spend time at the gym. Or moms who are fashionable and trendy, when we are still rockin’ our maternity jeans from 2 kids ago, and wish we had the budget to look cute too. Moms with white couches and clean floors… The list could go on and on.

It’s okay to be different, and to have varied priorities and strengths… thats what creates a unique collective.

I have experienced insecurity at different times in my life {don’t we all?} In fact it threatens to meet me every time I hit publish, or share a post on social media. I do not think my life is the centre of the universe, I am not a designer, and I am not an authority on how to work through the problems and the pains of life. {phew!} All I can do is share my story.

I think confidence is something that comes with practice. By challenging our insecurities, we move closer to the person we were created to be. So, somehow, sharing the pretty and the messy is a simple act of me being confident in who I am, and who we are as a family. It definitely doesn’t mean I feel certainty in every step I take as a mom, a home maker or a wife… I am learning as I go.

I’d like to share with you a new project from the Nester, that might be just the thing you need in relation to your home. She has launched a new venture called The Cozy Minimalist.

“Create the space you’ve always wanted with the stuff you have right now.”

It’s a 4 week coaching webinar, and it might be the push you need to get started and on your way to finding contentment in your home. It’s $89. She is also offering a limited number of Scholarships. {I am simply sharing because I love the concept, and know it can be hard to figure out where to start}

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Thanks for sticking with me on this all over the place post…

Love and Blessings, today and everyday. Here is to finding confidence in our homes and in ourselves.

-Miss Ash

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