It’s ten at night and I am sitting in the living room with my hubby and big kids amid the clutter of a busy day.There’s paper and markers at the kitchen counter, where little girls spent time drawing earlier.  Shoes are scattered here and there, freshly abandoned by their owners now that the day is ending.  Ditto for the newspaper, which in the course of the day was read and shuffled and tossed around by at least half a dozen people.

The cats are roaming the room looking bored, and the dog is sprawled in the middle of the floor, looking amazingly huge for someone who was ten pounds just four short weeks ago.  There’s confetti all around her, the remains of a Costco ad that she tore to bits an hour ago when she was still full of energy.  Now she’s all worn out, and barely lifts her head when I call her name.

I’ve made bran muffins this evening in prep for our early trip to the airport tomorrow morning:  this recipe, except sprinkled with brown sugar/butter/oatmeal crumbs just before baking.  The room smells amazing, and we’re all resisting the urge to dive into them this minute.

The dishes are heaped in the sink.  I’ve also resisted the urge to dive into them. There’s half an hour of straightening to be done in this room.  Another time I’d be scurrying and straightening and sighing over it all.  But right now I’m living peaceful in the jumble, enjoying the quiet company of my loved ones, laughing at the antics of the pets, relaxing down to my toes.  Morning will be plenty soon enough to put everything back to order.

The mess is just a still-frame of the goodness that resided within our walls today.  Life, well lived. We are blessed.


More from me in other places this week:

Simple Homeschooling: What The Experts Would Do Differently

A Bushel and a Peck: How to save money at any store


  1. I follow your blog but don’t comment but I just had to chime in on this post.

    I felt the same way this morning when we left the house at 6:15am with laundry strewn unfolded on the couch, coffee mugs on the kitchen counter and toddler toys by the doorway. It shows the love in the house!

  2. “The mess is just a still-frame of the goodness that resided within our walls today.”
    Thank you. I needed to hear that. I forget that (quite often) as a stay-at-home mom.

  3. Great reminder, and certainly needed to hear that today as I glance around and see not one, clear space. “Life well lived.” So true, so true. When they’re grown and gone, and the house stays in order, I’m sure there will be days when I fall to the floor and weep, missing their messy evidence. Thank you for the encouraging reminder to enjoy and relax. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Your last line is so sweet (and true!) it brought tears to my eyes. I’ve only been an at-home mom for a few months with our first baby girl, and I already let myself get way too stressed out about messes. I’m going to work hard to remember that the mess is a sign of good goings-on in our home. 🙂

  6. Re: the 6-week bran muffins. I made them this morning with my 2 kinder as a way for all of us to be together eating breakfast when we called daddy who is deployed. If you want a slightly ‘lighter’ version, try replacing 1/2 a cup of the butter with 1/2 a cup of applesauce and we used 1/2 cup less sugar than that which was called for in the recipe. The kids gobbled them up!! And we have a huge fundraiser bazaar coming up – I’m quite sure the German vendors will love the ‘less’ sweet version. American muffins are too sweet for the European taste!! Thanks for lovely blog. Not sure how I stumbled upon you – some other blog – I’m quite sure but I enjoy your thoughts and stories…. 10 childen.. hullo… I can barely handle 2 and 2 dogs!!!