Beauty and Pain

The first project.
You know how everyone has a checklist of “must haves” in their dream house? One of my “must haves” was a main floor laundry room. Unfortunately, this house didn’t come with one. That didn’t stop me. I had a vision. That vision was a closet disappearing and a washer and dryer appearing in its place. Piece of cake, right?
My help would disagree. In fact, every time I get a project idea, a pained groan escapes my husband’s lips. He also knows that once the idea is planted, it’s not long before he is working on it or I am starting it myself. This project happened to start the day before we officially moved into the house. In very short order, my “easy” project turned into literal blood, sweat, and tears. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I have a natural talent for getting hit in the head with flying/falling objects.
Long story short: I was viciously attacked by a falling wall. That jerk was determined if it was going it was taking somebody with it. I ended up in the emergency room with a plastic surgeon and a permanent chunk of missing eyebrow. Now I just have a scar and a need for a better story as to how I got it. You should see the other guy.
I still got my main floor laundry AND I was excused with a doctor’s note from moving anything more than 10 lbs. I didn’t have to do the heavy lifting which I did not mind. Thankfully, we are blessed with amazing family and friends who helped us tirelessly on the coldest day of the year move into our new house.

Quick Tip: Store your dryer sheets and color catchers in pretty canisters. Functional decor! They also sell collapsible laundry baskets that fit perfectly between the washer and dryer. I use that laundry basket for everything from general pickup to laundry sorting.

How to Keep Your House Clean(ish)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “How do you always keep your house so clean?”
First of all, I live with 6 men. 5 tiny ones and 1 big one. I would love to tell you pretty lies and say, “Oh, it’s so easy. All of my boys know how to use a hamper, flush a toilet, hang up wet towels, put things away…” Let’s be realistic, this house is NOT always clean. I do however have some tips to share for how I attempt to keep my house picked up. Do yourself a favor and pick up a daily/weekly planner. I found mine at Target and I love it. It’s by DAY DESIGNER and has pages for monthly and daily planning. The daily planning let’s you write to-do lists as well as your schedule each day.

  1. Get yourself a cup of coffee. Do not miss this step, it is the most important one. If you have children, it’s best to do this before they are awake or after they leave for school.
  2. Make a list while you sip your glorious cup of coffee. There are daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks that should happen. Baby steps. Start with today.
  3. Complete your tasks.

That’s it. That’s what I do.

Here’s a list of my daily tasks:
1. Unload and reload the dishwasher. I have to do this twice a day because these people expect to be fed three meals a day every single day. If you only have to do yours once a day, lucky you! You can still unload it in the morning and add to it throughout the day so all you have to do after dinner is push the start button. It’s good to have machines to do the work for you.
2. Wipe down surfaces. This means counters, tables, and whatever other surfaces you overachievers who dust clean. I personally have been living in a “Save the Dust Bunnies!” movement. Truly, I just forget that they live here.
3. Do one load of laundry start to finish. No, that doesn’t mean throw it in the dryer and forget about it. That means unload the dry clothes, fold, hang, and put away before the wrinkles set in. You can start it in the morning, and finish it before you go to bed.
4. General pick-up. If it’s on the floor or somewhere else it doesn’t belong, pick it up and put it away. Make the mess makers help. Even though mine think that my favorite thing to do is clean, I am not their maid and they have to help clean up their messes.

Weekly Tasks

  1. Menu plan for the week
  2. Grocery shop for the week (thank you Walmart Pickup)
  3. Clean toilets and sinks
  4. Wash bedding
  5. Vacuum
  6. Take garbage out
  7. Clean paper clutter

Monthly Tasks

  1. Change furnace filter
  2. Clean out fridge
  3. Clean out pantry
  4. Wash all the fingerprints off of windows, furniture, and appliances
  5. Clean microwave
  6. Mop – Don’t judge. This is a hard one for me. I know it should be more often.

There’s probably things that I have forgotten, but this is just a start to give you some ideas. Give yourself points for everything that you do get done. Don’t sweat the things you didn’t get done. Turns out, they will wait for you.


It started with a dream. A dream of living somewhere in the country but not too far out in the country. A place with more land, more bedrooms, more space. A place with room to grow and for new memories to be made. A place where all the noise makers in our house could go outside and be as loud as they needed to without disrupting every neighbor.

We looked at other houses for a 3-4 years while living in our tiny starter home. We dearly loved our little house we had made our own, but it was bursting at the seams. We had 3 little ones sharing a room. Then in 2017, 3 became 4 and we rearranged beds again. We were told the previous homeowners raised 5 children in that house. We knew it was possible to raise our boys there, but we weren’t exactly sure how. If I could bottle the energy of these little boys and sell it, I would be a very rich woman.

Then, one day it happened. A real estate post card showed up with everything we ever dreamed of and then some. It checked every box. We went to see it and made the impulsive decision to put an offer in even though we were the third offer that day! We knew the odds weren’t great for us to be able to get it, but we still hoped. When the call came that we got the house, we were dumbfounded. There are still days that we look at each other, our children, and our beautiful house and wonder how we got so lucky. I guess the saying is true, good things come to those who wait.

“The rest is history” as they say. Design plans started swirling in my head and we slowly started making changes to this amazing, well loved home.