Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Need to Level With You

A reader recently made a sweet comment asking me to do a tour of my entire house. This request came on the heels of Silas's room unveiling.

And I gotta tell you - I cracked up.

Then I read the comment to Cory and we cracked up together.

But honestly, I've had the recent urge to just come out with it all.

I am reminded over and over and over again that it just doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter that the stairway leading upstairs is a tunnel of doom, with orangey, varnished paneling and mottled, dingy, brown carpet.

I am not defined by the state of my stairwells.

We have bigger fish to fry in this world, don't we?

I believe that God created us to be creative, and for me, that outlet is my home, my meals, my garden. This is some of the stuff that stirs me and that is probably not something that is going to change.

But you know what? Most of the homes I have felt most welcomed, relaxed and cozy in are not artfully arranged. They have no specific color palette. They are hodge-podge, in the best sort of way. They are lived in and loved in. They are a small reflection of the inspiring inhabitants, whom I adore.

So while I've shown you select portions of my home that look pretty, I can promise you, if you happen to drop by without warning, you will very likely find me without make-up, standing in a messy kitchen, surrounded by laundry piles. Heck, call ahead and I probably still won't change a thing. I do enjoy making things look nice, but it is often not my priority. And beyond that, it's not reality for me.

I will not pretend that I have a fabulous Anthropologie-inspired wardrobe. I dress 90% of the time for comfort, pure and simple. I do not pick up loaves of artisanal breads from the organic baker. My bread comes pre-sliced and costs less than $2 a loaf. My life's work is not ensuring that my home is magazine-worthy. What a waste of time and money that would be.

So come on over, anytime. You'll first see my kitchen, which I love. You'll see my living room, which can hold its own. But stick around a little longer and you'll see the junk rooms, the neglected rooms, the next-on-the-list rooms, the not-even-on-the-list rooms.

We've got 'em all.

My only hope is that you feel welcome here. You are free to put your feet on the coffee table, assuming it's not covered in Legos and Polly Pockets. If you're cold, I'll toss you my favorite blue blanket. She's not too cute, but she sure is soft. If you're hungry, I'll serve you up a steaming hot bowl. But it may be spaghetti with Prego, straight from the jar.

Mostly, I hope you feel appreciated by me. I hope you feel safe with me. I hope you laugh really hard with me. I hope you tell me a secret, and know that I'll keep it.

I hope you never feel judged, looked down upon, less than. I hope you feel cherished and important, because that is precisely what you are.

And if you happen to require a trip to the loo? Well, at least you'll know what awaits.