Tuesday, June 19, 2012

112 A "Perfect" Post

If it seems I have been a little MIA lately, it is because I have been.  The hubs and I took a quick and sneaky vacation....


To the beautiful beaches of Florida....




The vacation was intended to be 100% relaxation, I didn't even bring my laptop {although I did occasionally check in on comments with my phone}.  But I couldn't help but think about this little blog baby of mine, while relaxing with my feet in the sand.  I thought about the projects I want to accomplish, updates I want to make and mainly, the questions and comments that I have been receiving {since my connection with you fine friends is why I keep on writing}.

And in that moment of reflection, I got to thinking about a common theme.  Perfection.

Because I have and share daily my love for all things organized, I sometimes feel there is this stigma that...
  • Our house is perfect
  • Our kids are perfect
  • Our life is perfect
  • I am perfect 

That makes me cringe...

And although I may frequently share photos of freshly organized spaces and neglect to blog about the messes and craziness, and toss around the term "perfect" haphazardly without much thought... life is not perfect, and I am incredibly OK with that.

What is the definition of perfect anyway?  I think it differs for everyone, but at moments in my lifetime I have found myself striving to achieve it.  I felt at times that we should be living some sort of perfect magazine worthy life.  I have tried to reach the impossible high standards I set for myself; gleaming kitchen floors, fresh home cooked meals every night, set in stone schedules, showroom perfect furniture, freshly cut grass and weeded gardens, bins and baskets all neatly lined in a row, kids with permagrins and a husband that I never bicker with....

Talk about exhausting.

Why was it so important to strive for such an impossible set of expectations?
 



I have been wanting to write about my feelings on "perfection" for awhile, since organizing can quickly become associated with the word, and it is a term that is abused around here from time to time.  I read other blogs and listen to friends who feel as though they are "failing" when their home is messy, their kids are having a meltdown or they haven't cooked a four course dinner in three nights.  It makes my heart hurt that we allow ourselves to feel that way and we try and compare ourselves to others.

As my Mr. and I have continued to grow our family, it quickly became apparent to me how time consuming it was for me to try to be this vision of perfect I had created for myself.  Over the years I have been forced to question, "What am I gaining?" and have also realized what I am missing...


Thanks to living and learning and reflection, I have allowed myself to create a new definition of my perfect which is the moment that we are all home to gather for breakfast on the deck, puppy prints on the patio door and toothpaste splatters on the mirror, impromptu dinner dates, sleeping in a Saturday, LEGO cities and wooden train tracks, a day without power, picnics at the park, furniture the entire family can fit on, thirty minutes to catch a show and play a board game with my love, clothing with ice cream stains and grass stains, a husband who challenges me, baskets all lined in a row {hey, it is a sickness}...

Those moments signify a lived in, happy home and mean I was able to spend moments of my busy day with people I love and cherish.


Do I sometimes have heart palpitations when our schedule shifts at the last minute.  Yep.  Do I still do a quick clean sweep of the home most evenings?  Sure.  But each day we are given the chance to make choices to either work to achieve that impossible perfection status or just live the fabulous life we already have right in front of us.

Of course I will continue to spend hours lost in my favorite shelter magazines or browsing beautiful images on Pinterest.  It is still important to me to make our lives easier by creating simple organizing solutions and I will continue strive to have a lovely home that our family smiles for when they enter through the door.  It is just important to remember....


As a blog writer, a reader of blogs and one obsessed with Pinterest, it is easy to quickly feel inadequate and like I should always be doing more, that someone is always better at something than I am and that I should be the jack of all trades super mom.  If you have ever felt that way, let's vow that we will be proud of who we are and use all of those avenues to inspire us, learn, grow and try something new, but let's also promise that we will set our own realistic definitions of "perfect".



112 comments:

  1. I love this post; I often am pretty jealous of the amazing homes I see other bloggers posting about, but then I realize that if you just looked at the pictures on my blog you definitely aren't seeing the whole picture (or how much "mess" I just shoved to the end of the table, just out of the shot!) It's great to be reminded that the perfect home for you does not have to be perfect by the standards of anyone else. :-)

    You're timing is perfect because I'm doing the June photo a day challenge and today's prompt is "imperfect". And my plan was to take a picture of my kitchen, which has all three counters FULL of dirty dishes! Neither my husband nor I has actually done any dishes in about two weeks, save for running the dishwasher and washing the one or two pans by hand that we are actually using to cook that night. It's not perfect, but it's okay!

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  2. amen.amen.amen...to all of the above :) thank you for your transparency...we ♥ you even more than we already did :) much love!

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  3. I was wondering why the silence... but let me tell you, you came back with a bang! Beautifully said and so relevant. Thank you for that!

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  4. Thank you for this post! Really needed to hear every work of this and loved the quotes!

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    1. Meant to say every "word" of this. Lol

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  5. What a wonderful post, and beautifully said. We all get caught up in this visually media-rich society we live in and it's hard to not have "perfection envy!" Thank you for eloquently stating what most of us probably feel. After all, we can't all be Martha! ;)

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  6. Totally needed to hear that today! I love your blog and the way it inspires me to be better! Thanks so much for your post today!

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  7. I think people do associate organizing for perfection sometimes. Organizing to me is a way to make your life simpler so that you have more time for the things that really matter- like spending time with your family. The more organized you are, the more time you will have because you won't waste time searching for things. I want my home a comfortable place for my family to relax and unwind, not a place of perfection. I just started a blog and I actually touched on this exact thing in my introduction. Great post!!

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  8. What a brilliant post Jen. Comparison is so detrimental to our wellbeing. We can look to each other for ideas (and you sure give me a lot of those!), but it's important to use it for inspiration and encouragement rather than comparison.

    You have a lovely family, and I'm sure they are perfect in your eyes :)

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  9. Also, I live in Florida! What beach did you visit?

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    1. Hi Teresa!

      We flew into Tampa and checked out all sorts of beaches from Anna Maria Island down to Siesta Key {we stayed in Bradenton}. I loved every moment we were there!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. Oh Anna Maria is our second home! My family loves that place! We live very close to there!

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  10. Oh Jen, you are such a breath of fresh air! xo

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  11. what a beautifully written post... and it's so refreshing to read. thank you for sharing your heart.

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  12. This is a perfect post, Jen. It reminds me that sometimes "good enough" is ok!

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  13. Thank you for this post. I recently posted something where I said I didn't feel like I measured up. I am capable at many things, but not very good at any one thing. We are our own worst critics. I don't expect perfection of others, but do of myself.

    I love the little quotes you included. They are so helpful.

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  14. Love this and I feel exactly the same way. The blogosphere certainly (and not without reason) focuses on the successes and triumphs, not the failures and the crazies. So it is hard as a "normal" mama not to place undue and unncessary expectations on myself. Thanks for a breath of realism!

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  15. Organization is definitely a process and is never perfect. Something that works today may not work in 6 months. So, it is always changing! I take pictures of projects I am working on and I have thought about how clean my house looks... in the pictures. But, my house is always in the middle of renovations and is by no means perfect. Maybe a should post some pictures of that. LOL!!! But, I am ok with that. Thank you for sharing this post!!! It is definitely a nice reminder. ;) I hope you had a wonderful vacation.

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  16. I do not use the word "perfect." I will strive for excellence and will give thanks for the gift of today. Love your blog Jen. You are gifted and amazing!

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  17. Love this post. I always say my blog is such a sham :) If my readers could only drop in unannounced . . . Glad you were able to get away. Those beach pictures are calling my name!

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    1. Thanks Emily! Hope those new little sweeties of yours are treating you well! :) And ditto! It's hard to have a sparkling home with kiddos and endless blog projects. :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  18. Really enjoyed this post! You are right, we so often compare ourselves to our PERCEPTIONS of people. Because as I've heard, blogs (facebook, twitter, etc.) show everyone the highlight reel, NOT the bloopers! :)

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    1. Love that saying - so true. More bloopers needed :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  19. Great post! Yes, perfection is over-rated! The moments that are perfect, are those when the family is together sharing a wonderful experience. The rest of it can wait.. Glad you had a nice vacation!

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  20. Oh Jen! This post is exactly what I needed to hear! Love your quotes and just love this post. We need to be inspired and I feel that is what your blog does. I am NOT an organized person and so that is where I "fail" to be the "perfect" Mom,(and a whole lot of other things, but thats the biggest) housewife, ect. BUT with your help and my Label maker maybe I can fake it and be that "perfect" organized mom. lol.

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  21. OH!! and SOO glad you got to get away and vacation!! Its sooo important to remember to STOP and enjoy the life we get to live!! The pictures look so dreamy and so glad you got to have that!! =)

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    1. Thanks Cat! It was absolutely amazing and needed and I came home feeling more refreshed than ever.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  22. Love this, Jen! You're so right and it's always nice to have a reminder to stop comparing and just embrace life as it is : )

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  23. So well said. I think I am going to print and frame the quote about showing the child the rainbow!

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  24. you're such an inspiration jen..

    as a blogger i often try very very hard to make my home perfect like others, i have a panic attack when door bell rings and I think that my house is not perfect...i clean 3-4 days prior to a house party or gathering...

    but like you've said "a beautiful home does not have to be a picture perfect home"...

    hugs!!
    smart momma

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  25. You are so inspirational! Thanks for the reminder of the things that are truly important. You said it perfectly!!! Just what I needed!

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  26. You're going to go far girl, mark my words, this is just the beginning for you.

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  27. Jen-- I am a recently-turned stay at home mom. After the birth of our son, the hubby and I decided that we would rather our son stay at home with me, rather than go off to daycare each day.

    I graduated college two years ago and have really enjoyed working as an educator these past two years. I have prided myself by my profession; therefore when I decided I wanted to stay home, I had lots of trouble getting used to the idea that I would still have worth.

    School ended last month and I have been struggling these past few weeks trying to settle into my "new" job. I stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest.... and let me just explain to you what an inspiration you have been! Seeing how serious you take your job as a mother and homemaker has really inspired me to take pride in my own job. Thank you so much for showing me that what I am doing has worth also-- even though my bank account might not show it all the time!!

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    1. Oh, it absolutely has worth! :) Congrats on being able to stay home!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  28. Wow! You are so sweet! I LOVE the rainbow quote... Might have to go on a canvas or written on a ginormous chalkboard somewhere in my house where I can see it everyday! The hubby and I talk about going for a long weekend to Florida sans kiddies... Definitely looks like a good idea. Did you guys by any chance go to Siesta Key? That's our face place (well, back when we took a vaca) and one of your pics reminded me of that beach. Just curious. And, perhaps, slightly jealous :)

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    1. Thank you! We flew into Tampa and checked out all sorts of beaches from Anna Maria Island down to Siesta Key {we stayed in Bradenton}. All equally as lovely as the next.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  29. Since discovering this blog, I am hooked on it and today's post seems like one of those inspirational messages that come whilst you have a little time to breathe, like on your hols. I really hope you have more time like this in order to give you the inspiration you need too. You do an amazing job - thank you

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  30. Great post, Jen!!! It's so great to read the real stuff about our favorite 'perfect' bloggers. It's easy to believe just the glossy photos, and not see the real life behind them. Thank you for sharing this...and I hope you guys had a great trip!! I've been feeling the same things lately, and wrote a similar post recently...
    http://hisugarplum.blogspot.com/2012/06/doing-it-all-who-does.html

    xoxoxox. C

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  31. Thanks Jen for reminding all of the mommies out there that life is about balance. Pre-kiddos it was easier to spend days on end organizing every scrap of paper and labeling every bin to perfection. Now, I have to be okay with occastionally bribing my kiddos with a sucker if we make it out of a last-minute grocery trip without a major meltdown. Yes, even passing the elderly lady that comments, "Suckers right before dinner?" with a smile on my face. We have all been there! Thank you for all you do each day - it's my ten minutes of indulgence after the two are down for naps.

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    1. So true! I used to do so many other things before kids, now I would rather spend my time with them than doing anything else. :) And I totally understand the sucker at the grocery store, in fact, one of my boys was having a meltdown at the checkout lane and an older lady bought him some gum to make him smile, lol. Totally made me giggle.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  32. Thank you so much for this reminder. I find myself getting downright obsessive with having the house perfect and everything in my life in perfect order. Sometimes, we just have to let go and enjoy life.

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  33. Beautiful post, Jen. It means so much coming from you, a person I (and I'm sure many others) look to as a standard and a teacher.

    It's these exact thoughts on "Perfection" that caused me to start my blog A Farewell To Can't. This post in particular sums up my thoughts: Good vs. Perfect: Why Worse Is Better.

    Hope you had a great vacation!

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  34. Thank you for this post. Just what I needed today.

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  35. Oh my goodness Jen, we are similar in many ways. I have written about this very topic myself on my blog. Also, we both returned from beach vacations recently! From the look of your photos I almost thought we went to the same place! lol We went a little further South to Puerto Rico. Wonderful thoughts! I appreciate you sharing your best with us to help motivate and inspire. So excited about tomorrow! :D

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  36. Beautifully written Jen! I struggle with "perfection" as well and find myself trying to lower my expectations as I see one of my daughters getting easily frustrated when things aren't "perfect." It is a constant struggle each day to maintain balance in all things! But I think as time goes on I am getting better at learning to "let go."

    You and your blog are so special to so many people. Thank you for sharing this with us today!

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    1. It's funny how our kids open our eyes to things. Today my seven year old son was organizing his oil crayons by color... sometimes I wonder if I am creating little mini-me monsters, lol.

      Thanks for the kind comment my friend!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  37. Jen that was so well said. You are right. We all think our homes are supposed to look like the magazines and we want that and when we don't have that then we feel like we don't have what others have. But really, I would think that a lot of people don't live in perfect homes, whether you have children or not. Right now my home is completely turn upside down because we are getting ready for a garage sale this week and it is driving me nuts how messy it is. BUT I will have purged so much, so that is good. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It feels good to know that others feel the same way about these sorts of things. Have a nice day! :)

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    1. YAY for a garage sale! It always feels so amazing when they are over and the extra clutter is gone for good!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  38. Jen, I just want you to know how much I appreciated your post about perfection. I am obsessed with your blog - its the first one in my google reader that I check, even if there are updates from blogs where I actually know the writer in real life! I often look through your photos and am just in awe, and your honest post here just makes me admire you that much more! I often try to hit that "perfect" mark, probably spending too much time cleaning, obsessing over unimportant details of my home, etc. It is refreshing to hear from someone like you that perfection really isn't anything to worry about - life is so much more than a perfect home! Thanks again for sharing!

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  39. How nice that you and your husband had a little sneak-away-vacation!

    Great post on perfection. While browsing the internet all day it is easy to get caught up in perfect-images and feel badly about the choices I've made. It is a good reminder that everyone's view of perfection is different.

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  40. I know what you mean about striving for perfection. I think we all do it, knowingly or unknowingly. Especially Moms. And for lots of people including myself, it is hard to admit that we will never be "perfect". But like you said, just be yourself, be the best person you can be.

    Great post, and very well written. Thank you for the confirmation that it is OK, to be imperfect, I think we all need that time to time.

    Sandra from www.simpleispretty.com

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  41. I really loved your post and I can see I am not alone. When I wrote my marriage blog about being happily married I got the same kinds of comments. Don't you ever fight? Don't bad things happen? Doesn't your husband get on your nerves? Is your husband always so nice? I pointed out the same thing: I blog about the happy but that doesn't mean it's always happy.

    I love your blog. I'm glad you had a nice vacation!

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  42. Beautiful Pics!!! What beaches did you all hit, if you don't mind me asking? Would love to visit them ourselves!

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    1. Thank you! We flew into Tampa and checked out all sorts of beaches from Anna Maria Island down to Siesta Key {we stayed in Bradenton}. All equally as lovely as the next.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. Wonderful! Thank you so much!! :)

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  43. Great reminder and freeing to read that life, our homes, and reality isn't always perfect! You do a great job organizing your adorable home and I'm glad to have found your inspiring blog. IHeart it :)

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  44. Love your blog, love your honesty. :)

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  45. "Perfection" is something I'm redefining in my life too. Your post was real and I appreciated your honesty!

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  46. Thank you for this post. It is overwhelming trying to balance everything and my house does suffer. It's nice to be reminded to enjoy life as it comes and not to sweat the dirt/disorganization.

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    1. Oooh, you should see our house on project days... sometimes I can't even find my kids amongst the mess we create. It's all worth it in the end...

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  47. Great post Jen. There is no such thing as perfection. It simply does not exist. I love that you can still embrace life, but also make life beautiful - a "perfect" balance ;)

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  48. You are a sweetheart! Can you imagine how disgusting we would all be if we weren't striving for perfection (in our homes, our walk with God, our bodies, our marriages)? If you didn't have organizing "problems" you wouldn't be able to come up with such great organizing solutions, now would you? We can't make the attempt at perfection drive us crazy; it should just serve to inspire us! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  49. Thanks for such an honest post. I think it is my favorite of all time! It's such a personality trait that I find myself quickly spiraling from wanting to keep things organized to wanting things to be "perfect". But life happens & I'm much more concerned with living that life than worrying what someone else might think of my cluttered counters & dirty floors. Your post is a great reminder for me that even though in my head, I imagine other people (like you & other "geniuses" on Pinterest, etc) living in these perfect homes, & it's really such a gift that you would let us in on the truth that while you strive for organization & neatness....you're not perfect either. And you know what? It makes me love you even more! As if I thought that was even possible. :) thanks Jen!

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  50. Thanks for this post. So relevant for me as I just had my third boy (yay 3boys club) last week and have been feeling very inadequate and imperfect. I definitely needed to read these encouraging words. :)

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    1. Congrats on the third boy! I remember coming home with our third and wondering what we got ourselves into and how we were going to survive. It's amazing how quickly you will adjust and crazy just becomes normalcy and bliss. :) Hang in there mama!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  51. Thank you so much for this post! It was perfect timing and your words were exactly what I needed to hear!!! BLESS YOU!

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  52. PERFECT timing for me. I often whine to myself or any friend that will listen (as we exchange whines) that life is too crazy, other moms seem to do it all better, that everyone on Facebook is taking fabulous vacations, everyone else has bettert jobs, whine, whine, whine. This post reminds me that we really are all in this together and none of us are really the full persona we put forth. And that's okay! Bless you and your family!!

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  53. Thanks for this post, it's perfect timing! My 15 year old son is in the process of being listed for a heart tranpslant and this has taught me that striving for a perfect home is no longer important. It's who you spend your days with that is.

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    1. Hugs to you! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

      xo,
      Jen

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  54. Awesome post! Thank you for the continued inspiration....I appreciate all the work you do.

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  55. This post made me smile! Truly a "perfect" post.

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  56. I feel like the thoughts you shared here always come through in your blog, it's part of what attracted me to keep reading once I found you. However, I think it is such a blessing that you wrote it out...what an encouragement you are to others. thank you!

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    1. That is so great to know and hear! Thanks for being such a sweet long time reader! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  57. I'm also dying to know where that beach is!!!

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    1. We flew in to Tampa and checked out all sorts of beaches from Anna Maria Island down to Siesta Key {we stayed in Bradenton}. All equally as lovely as the next.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  58. Jen - your post brought me to tears today...fortunately tears of gratitude! The week has been murderously hectic and everything planned has been undone, moved, pushed, scheduled and rescheduled, and on and on leaving me feeling ineffectual and unorganized. This feeling always makes me feel even worse, so a post about relaxing those standards a bit was spot on with what I needed. THANKS SO MUCH MY DEAR!

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    1. Ooooh, I have had those weeks, and for someone who loves to plan and organize, I have also stressed. But crazy as it always is, we always make it through just fine, sometimes with major smiles because what we didn't have planned was better than what was.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  59. Hi Jen, what a great post! When you are visually oriented, you are "fed" by beauty. But reality is often not beautiful! So, we live in the middle and do what we can, but forgive ourselves for not reaching perfection. There's only one place that's perfect and we're not there yet!

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  60. Out of all the blogs I read, there is not one single post from yours that I don't love!!

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    1. That makes me all giddy inside! Thank you! <3

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  61. Jen, after meeting you and your Hubs at the beach, Ashleigh (my wife) and I looked up your blog and we are very impressed! What a creative and informative way to express your ideas and energy. Ash already has a blog about her life as a 3rd grade teacher and I have had a blog address for almost a year now but have never used it.

    I truly believe things like that (meeting on the beach by chance) happen for a reason. I was already thinking about starting my blog upon returning home, when I learned (on the way home) that a very good friend of mine from HS had passed away a day earlier. He was only 38 years old. Life is too short and we are not guaranteed anything past today.

    Yesterday I went onto Blogger and set up my layout and designed my blog. I kept looking at yours for inspiration and for layout ideas and was inspired by the clean lines and professionalism. (Don't worry, I didn't rip you off or copy anything!)

    I'm not here to clip readers from your blog to mine or anything like that. I really don't want many people seeing it yet because there is very little content, just a pretty decent layout but if you want to check it out, it is travelgadgetguru.blogspot.com.

    I would love to hear your input on how I could make it better! Anyway, thanks for taking our picture!

    David and Ashleigh

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    1. Hi David!

      It was so lovely meeting you and your family! I just popped over an email to Ashleigh! Hope we can stay in touch!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  62. This was a fantastic post. Everything hit home like you wouldn't believe. Thanks for your honesty and beautiful writing.

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  63. I needed you to write this post! It is easy to feel like you have the "perfect" life - a beautiful home and a beautiful family and a successful blog. I admit to a little jealousy! I am always reminding myself that everyone has struggles. Just because one area of a persons life looks "perfect" doesn't mean all the areas of their life are going the way they want them to. I appreciate your honesty, and I wanted to tell you that you handle the negative commenters so gracefully. It must be hard to get the criticisms, but most of the time they are probably coming from a place of jealousy. Enjoy your trip! We were just in Florida (at Siesta Beach - looks like that's where you're at) and came home so relaxed.

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    1. Thanks so much Jen! I see you comment frequently and it means boatloads to always have your support!

      We absolutely all have our struggles, I just select to focus on the positives as often as I can.

      Florida was BEAUTIFUL! I had never been to the Gulf before and I was one happy gal. We checked out all sorts of beaches from Anna Maria Island down to Siesta Key. All equally as lovely as the next.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  64. Thank you for what you wroye... Its crazy how easy it is to get caught up in "things" Its alwasy so nice to be reminded that we are just who we are and thats ok... My name is Kate and I read your blog often.. Thank you for all of the wonderful Ideas..

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    1. Thanks Kate! Agree that it's always good to step back and reflect once in awhile! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  65. This post was 'perfect'. It couldn't have come at a better time for me. Thanks for sharing and being transparent. I feel like I take too much time away from my kids to try and achieve perfection in my home/life. And it's just not worth it! :) Thank you for the reminder of how precious our days are and how blessed we are to live this life God has given us!

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  66. Words to live by - As I was reading them I felt a weight lifing and realised it's OK

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  67. Thank you for this...it was in fact a perfect post! One I needed and will remember.

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  68. Exactly! I feel so much joy when I can be free to open my home on days when it wasn't planned, and friends see it as hospitable,...rather than a judging contest. Such joy would be forfeited if I had to wait till all my baskets were in a row.
    (Yes, I like that, too; but grace is what we all need. Your current post just made me respect you all the more!)
    Only God is perfect- why we attempt to attain such greatness is unfathomable!
    Appreciate your thought processes!

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  69. Truthfully, I get tired of seeing "perfect" homes with all the perfect decor items and perfect families living in them. It all reminds me of billboards and magazine photos of "perfect" women all photoshopped and airbrushed to look perfect.

    Just one more way (comparing) us women "beat ourselves up" over all that we aren't instead of celebrating all that we are!

    Thanks for being authentic. Don't be afraid to share the good, bad and the ugly!
    C

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  70. I like to substitute the word "ideal" in place of the rather intimidating "perfect". Meanwhile, whatever is perfect for you and your family is, well, just perfect!

    Keep writing...

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  71. Oh my gosh, what a lovely, honest post AND how great are your readers?! They have covered everything I was going to say. Your blog is my MOST favourite and the MOST inspiring but it is so good to hear from you that it's not always such a picture of perfection. Well done. Big squeezes, Nikki x

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    1. I agree, my readers are pretty gosh darn amazing! :) I am a lucky lady!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  72. Now that we have a housekeeper, everything in the house is squeaky clean all the time. To be honest, I kinda miss the mess that my husband and I create... And of course, the silence and solitude of having the house to myself... just me and our cat whenever the husband is at work.

    I guess imperfect can still be beautiful...

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  73. I could spend hours just looking at the beautiful ideas on your blog, the inspiring thoughts, everything - I rave to my friends all the time about the many ways that your blog has inspired me to make some great changes to my tiny little apartment.

    That being said, this has been my favorite blog post that you have made yet. Thank you for reminding me (and all the rest of your amazing readers) to be thankful for what we have and not sacrifice what is important in pursuit of having everything exactly how you want it. Thank you Jen, so much!

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  74. Great post Jen, needed to hear this. It's easy to get caught up with trying to be perfect, especially when you have OCD, like me!!

    Love the quote...What I love most about my home is who I share it with. Recently pinned that.

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  75. I heart you! That was a perfect post. ;)

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  76. What a nice post! Glad you and your husband had a nice getaway. Florida beaches are the best!
    I love reading and re-reading your posts for inspiration. I just wanted to let you know that I've never struggled with you being "perfect." And I would also never be upset for you to post a messy picture :)
    With three little boys (like my sister) life is FUN! My one little guy keeps me busy adn on my toes. When he goes to bed there are toys on the floor and play doh stuck to his table but I know that he LOVES being home. He is making memories. When he's older (he just turned two Saturday) he'll help clean up more and have responsibilities. But for now I try to let him have fun during the day and I take the 30 minutes or so at night to clean up his toys and then do the dinner dishes and start the dishwasher. By decluttering and organizing better I can put the house back to almost picture perfect and I sleep better and wake up happy.
    Thanks for all your inspiration and you were definitely missed!

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  77. Great post! I was just in Florida last week too. :)

    xo
    cristin

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  78. Thank you so much for including this post on your blog, Jen! The women in my moms group were just talking about this unattainable bar of perfection that seems to exist...blogs, magazines, pinterest, etc. can make us feel like we should be living in mess-free beautiful homes, crafting with our children around the clock, wearing fabulous outfits, and communicating perfectly in our relationships. I'm exhausted just writing that! Thanks for the beautiful reminder that life is about being with the people we love and that our projects aren't to impress but to make home a happy place. Love these kind of posts from you!

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  79. Thank you for posting this. It is so easy to become envious of other's blogs, homes, and lives. And you can get so wrapped up in striving to be like someone else that you forget to be yourself. I love your blog, and I will admit there are times that I will read your posts and think, "how can she get it all done, have this gorgeous house and have everything look so 'perfect'". I have to remind myself we are all human. Most of what we see on blogs is staged to look pretty and more than likely doesn't look that pristine all the time. I am a type A, OCD-ish perfectionist myself and it can be really hard to not get caught up in the idea of 'perfect'! Again, thank you for your honesty in this post. :)

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  80. I was just telling my husband that I've been so inspired by your blog and have tried to organize our new house based on tips from you, but how my organizing and decorating is so minimal because I'm not a decorator or organizer by nature, and how I would probably be embarrassed to blog about it because I read other women's blogs and see their decorating and organizing and it's so much better than mine. This post of yours was so timely for me. It's inspired me to go ahead with those posts and not worry about how awesome it is(n't). Because I honestly love the way our house is looking due to my organizing and decorating. It's a work in progress and I should be proud of the little improvements I've made. Thanks so much for this!

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    1. Oh, you should totally post! Don't ever get discouraged, just follow your heart. If I stopped posting just because of a few negative comments or because things I heart aren't adored by the rest of blog nation, I wouldn't be loving my job and writing a daily blog. I just post about what is working for us, and projects we are taking on, and hit publish without over thinking. A blog is meant to be your space and if you are happy with your home because of projects you are completing, that is what matters most.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  81. Jen, I found your blog a few weeks ago and I've been reading it from the first post forward. I just read this post, it is wonderfully written. I think perfectionism can be a corroding influence in a person's life and you have beautifully summed up the reasons I think so. You have also offered some very insightful tips to overcome perfectionism. It's very interesting reading a blog the way I have been reading yours, seeing the growth is fun. Sincerely, Jennifer

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