Confessions of an Organizationally Challenged Blogger

I’m BACK!  Vacation was filled with lazy days and adventurous days.  I look forward to sharing more about that with you soon.

Where to begin…

I’ve spent the morning playing catch up to emails and trying to organize my posts for the week.

I printed this beautiful blog planner page via the talented Three Little Monkeys Studio.

Source: threelittlemonkeysstudio.com via Shan@ on Pinterest

Here’s what mine looks like:

Yep, nothing written on it yet.

I decided I needed to write down post ideas on a blank sheet of paper first before adding them to this pretty paper.

Done.  Now I have a huge list of post content ideas based on what we’ve been doing and photos I’ve taken.  So why haven’t I transferred them to the planner page?  Why does it make my brain hurt to choose.  It’s not a difficult task, yet I feel like it is.

You see, normally I decide what I’m going to write about either the day before or the same day I publish a post.  It’s not always productive, but it’s how I roll {there are RARE occasions I plan ahead, not many.}  This is why you didn’t see any posts last week while we were on vacation.  This is why my posts have decreased since my kids have been home from school for summer vacation.

Maybe it’s just difficult transitioning from vacation mode?  Maybe it’s because of my ADD {most definitely!}  Maybe it’s because my left heel is hurting again and I’m icing it off and on {this makes me feel like an old hag}?  Maybe it’s because every where I look there is clutter and I can’t think.  I don’t know…sigh.

ENOUGH Shan! {sorry!}

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE…yes, I do have positive karma happening here on this little blog that could {You know like The Little Engine That Could, hope you get that one ;)}  Anyway, a certain post {AKA Family Laundry Room} has been receiving a lot of attention lately thanks to Pinterest.  I’m as pleased as punch!  {Ok, who came up with that saying?}  In other words, I’m tickled pink! {that one too? lol}  Thank you my fellow Pinterest lovers for sharing this space. HUGS!

It’s funny…I published the Family Laundry Room post back in October and had 4 comments about it.  Remember, comments can be like money for a blogger.  I don’t know about every blogger, but for me, I sometimes take the amount of comments I receive as a reflection of what people think of the post or in this case the space.  Not sure I should have typed that.  I have a funny feeling I might receive some strong feedback from people about it.  Let me say this…no matter how many {encouraging & uplifting} comments I receive, what matters is 1. I documented a special room in my house 2. I completed a project 3. I like the space 4. It Might help inspire others.

 BACK TO THE GOOD NEWS

a well known blog I absolutely ADORE and frequent is featuring Family Brings Joy’s Family Laundry Room

tomorrow, June 19, 2012 on her site!

{squeal!}

I spent time answering questions for her this morning.

I am speaking of the organization extraordinaire Jennifer at I Heart Organizing!

IHeart Organizing

Welcome to my new readers who found me via Pinterest.  Welcome to all new readers via whatever way you happened upon this site.  Make sure you join us on Family Brings Joy’s Facebook page.  More importantly, THANK YOU to my tried and true readers/friends who visit me on a regular basis.  Thank you for your support no matter how I go about blogging and who don’t stop visiting when I go on vacation. 😉  YOU’RE THE BEST!

Blogging Brings Me Joy,

Confessions Of A Frazzled Housewife & Cleaning Tips

Gulp…

I don’t know about you, but it’s this time of year when I want to throw in the towel.

It’s crazy.  It’s madness.

Last week we had 2 band concerts and 1 band banquet.  This week I have been preparing for Mother’s Day, summer baseball meeting, preparing for my youngest Daughter’s Birthday party and there’s a field trip tomorrow.  Next week is the last week of school for our kids.  I begin to be anxious about my days of uninterrupted time being numbered {4 days now.}

My youngest just called & requested I bring her some more lunch money. {I lost some time…read on to understand}

Sigh…I was about to share how I need to focus my time today on cleaning my house.  Honestly, I don’t mind CLEANING, it’s the clutter pick up I can’t stand.  As I have mentioned before, this is my hang up, my snag, my difficulty.  The house is worse than it has been in a while because we have all been so busy.  Anyway, if you are reading this and are a prayer person, please pray I can focus on cleaning today.  I can easily get distracted and want to end up organizing {because it needs to be done too} or doing other stuff.  Please pray I can CLEAN my house before I go pick up my kids from school at 3pm.  Tomorrow my Daughter is having her birthday party here and since I will be chaperoning her field trip, I won’t be able to clean tomorrow.  It will be a MIRACLE for this to be done.  Seriously.  The only time this ever happens is when a housekeeper comes…and again I still haven’t hired a new one.  I guess it will take a day like this one to motivate me to set up some interviews.  Oh, and while your praying, can you ask God to please help my family KEEP it clean?  Yes…I know…I’m asking for a miracle, but I know the power of prayer.

Anyway, in celebration {HA!} of my massive house cleaning overhaul, I am sharing some cool cleaning pins/tips with you today:

Source: picklee.com via Shan@ on Pinterest

Vanilla Extract 101 – Clean the microwave and leave it smelling sweet with this household trick! Mix 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a microwave-safe container, and zap it on high for five minutes. When it’s done, remove the container and wipe down the interior of the oven. Any gunk should slide right off.

Source: ideas.thenest.com via Shan@ on Pinterest

This is also on my to do list…so genius…Tension rod to hang spray bottles…thank you, hallelujah!

Source: smg.photobucket.com via Shan@ on Pinterest

Great TIP…How to Remove Scratch Marks from Dishes.

Source: momoutnumbered.blogspot.com via Shan@ on Pinterest

THIS WORKS…Baking Soda and Peroxide Cleaning Solution.  I’ve done this on a pan that was over 10 years old and it looks almost new again!

Source: onegoodthingbyjillee.com via Shan@ on Pinterest

I need to check this out: {another day, not today ;)}

Keep your house clean (yes, deep cleaned, even!) with one chore per day, includes a printable list.

Source: funcheaporfree.com via Shan@ on Pinterest

Please don’t hate me for not crediting back to the blog instead of the pin, but I’m short on time…I got to get cleaning!  I appreciate all prayers today.

Keeping it REAL,

The Beauty in Weakness

It’s been a LONG time since I wrote on my blog as sort of a journal entry.  I say sort of because I would never write on here exactly everything I would write in my personal journal {or would I?}  However, an online friend of mine has reminded me of the value of doing so.

A voice in the back of my mind is always telling me, “people don’t want to hear about you.  They don’t want to hear about your struggles, your imperfectness.”  “I don’t blame them,” I say/think back to the voice in my mind.  I guess part of the problem is the way I use other blogs.  I use/read blogs as motivation or inspiration…to make me better.

Unless I truly know a blogger, whether by meeting them in person at a conference or by getting to know them on their blog/online, I tend not to read personal posts about a blogger.  Mainly it’s a time thing.  I limit the amount of time I’m online {because I’m trying to keep a balance.}  I’m pretty sure I spend way too much time on my blog posts as it is…trying to make them just right.  {For some reason I haven’t learned that the posts I spend the least amount of time on are the ones that receive the most traffic.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  It’s just me & my personality, I guess.}  Anyway, after doing this I don’t have a lot of patience to stay at the computer.  Besides, I have a household and family to manage.

Leftover's from Playroom Closet Organizing sitting on the stairs

Speaking of managing a household…mine is a mess.  Ever since my housekeeper quit, it’s been difficult to keep up.  Even so, I can’t seem to pick up the phone and call some recommendations from others I have received.  I need to.  You see, it is my weekly visit from the housekeeper that motivates me to get my rear in gear.  It’s an ADD thing.  I hate to feel as though I’m making an excuse but, it is what it is.

THE book

It was my very first housekeeper years ago after having my second child {once a month back then} who helped me realize I had ADD.  This is the deal.  The housekeeper is supposed to be helpful to a Mom; doing household chores to help alleviate some tasks needed to be done.  For me, I dreaded her coming.  Why?  Because I had to clear the clutter, before she came over, so she could clean.  I would run around the house like a chicken with my head cut off not only before she arrived, but also while she was there.  I wasn’t sitting on the sofa relaxing and reading a magazine.  I was always just as winded as her when she left the house.  After a few months of her observing me, she recommended a housekeeping/organizing book for me to read.  The book had a whole chapter on ADD.  After reading the book and talking about it with a professional, I received the diagnosis of Inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder.  It has been liberating to realize why I do the things I do.  Medicine has been a lifesaver, but it doesn’t always make the frustration any better of my incapability to finish projects, say things out loud that I shouldn’t,  being oversensitive and the list continues.

This mess has been here for months

More leftovers from Playroom Organizing in the kitchen

I still have to clear the clutter before a housekeeper comes over.  Nothing is new there.  However, it is a motivator to do it.  And since that motivator has not been here…well, I should be very well aware my house is going to be a little cluttered.  Problem is,  if I let it go too long, let the clutter pile up, which is what I have done, the monster I hate comes.  The monster I’m referring to is called Overwhelmed.  When he comes it’s hard to know where to begin.  Do you know this monster?  I can’t stand him.  However, it’s my own fault.  I pretty much invited him in.  Thus begins the shame cycle I inflict on myself.  This only snowballs into depression and boy am I realizing I need to make some phone calls!

I am struggling right now NOT to push the delete key and erase this whole post as the voice in my head says, “No one is going to read your blog now.  They know you’re a failure.  They know your weaknesses.  They probably stopped reading this post when you said how you don’t like to read other blogger’s personal posts. {reminder: bloggers I don’t know}  That was rude, you know.”  So if you have read thus far, please know I was not trying to be rude.  I was only trying to explain myself.

Honestly, I would love to read other blogs all day and leave a comment of encouragement for each one.  I hardly ever read a post and not comment because that is who I am.  Reason is…YOU are a person.  You have value.  You aren’t just words.  I don’t comment in the hopes you come visit my blog and comment…even though I completely welcome that.  I comment because I know the power of how uplifting it is for me, personally when someone takes the time to say something, however small.  It is a conversation between 2 people.  Connecting is important to me.

Past time to file...ugh.

Have you noticed how random I’ve been in this?  How I go from one topic to another?  Yep, another sign of my weakness.  Just yet another reason NOT to do this very often.

Back to my online friend I spoke of earlier.  Yesterday, I visited Angela’s blog, Button Bird Designs, in hopes of finding a craft I could work on.  I was in need of some crafting therapy.  She is crazy talented and always inspires me with her artistry, creativity & thinking outside the box.  Angela authentically shared her thoughts about how she sees herself.  I was caught off guard at how similar thinking I have engaged in.  Then I read the comments and instantly thought, “I’m not alone.”  Comfort.

Top of my dresser...can't believe I'm showing you this.

There is beauty in sharing with others our weaknesses, in being authentic, open and honest.  To me it is like a breath of fresh air.  None of us are perfect.  We all have trials, struggles, weaknesses.  To me, it’s way better to know up front if a person is trying to be real and not cover up their faults.  I feel way more comfortable with someone who is this way, then with someone who is trying to cover up or hide what they aren’t good at.  A friend once told me, “With you, it’s what you see is what you get.”  I took that as a compliment and still do.

All photos were taken today. 🙁

This is me,

Our Kitchen Beginnings & Candid Reflections on Roomspiration

Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link PartyI can’t believe this is the last hosting day for Roomspiration Blog Hop & Link Party.  Before you freak out, it’s not the last day to link up for all of the rooms.  The party will continue for another week.  This means you are welcome to link your room post to the appropriate hosts blog until October 14, 2011.  For example, if you have a closet or nook you want to share, you will link your post to The Blooming Hydrangea.

We are finishing Roomspiration with a bang by featuring Kitchens!  One of the most used rooms in the home {depending on your family.}  Roeshel at The DIY Showoff is the perfect host to to “end” our successful Roomspiration Party.  Roeshel is a master at juggling many things in her life.  She has to be because her blog is wonderfully successful, but yet she still stays connected with her readers.  She is a very genuine & friendly person.  I respect her very much.  On top of that, she is extremely talented in design and do-it-yourself projects; so her blog name suits her well.  Roeshel is sharing her amazing kitchen remodel today.  It is something you HAVE to see { after you read the rest of my post, of course 😉  .}
The DIY Show Off

I wasn’t going to share my kitchen today, but I changed my mind.  It was like yesterday.  I didn’t plan on posting anything yesterday until I happened upon that book and was inspired to share the brilliant just say no check list.  I am sure there are some of you who are thinking, “yeah right, you wanted to sell the book.”  But that is not true.  It is complete coincidence and I only share with my readers the things I am passionate about.  Being compensated for my passion is only a bonus for me.

One of my best friends is coming to visit me for the weekend and I was looking for a map to send her and came across the following photos of our kitchen while we were building our home.  So instead of sharing the way my kitchen looks today, I’m going to share a few of the beginnings.  I haven’t had time to work on prepping my kitchen this week for a photo shoot.  I’ve been spending the last 2 weeks trying to get my laundry room done.  I’ll be posting my laundry room tomorrow or Monday.  {Finally! It’s a little difficult trying to keep it clean for me to take photos of while 5 of us are doing laundry at the same time}

Reflections

But before I post the photos of the kitchen, {please don’t scroll down :D} I wanted to do some thought reflecting over the past few weeks of being involved with Roomspiration.  Warning: this is me being transparent and vulnerable.  I realized when I went to the Blissdom blog conference last year that I didn’t really have a niche.  In other words, a genre or particular category that I blogged about.  I basically talked about my interests and family.  I still do this; however, I realized I wanted to focus more on teaching others how to create a strong family.  As a child of divorced parents it has been my goal to do whatever I can to create a strong marriage and family.  I am completely aware there are circumstances beyond our control that sometimes don’t give us a choice.  I’m also aware that it takes both the Father and the Mother who have the same goal.  Anyway, since I redesigned my blog and switched over to wordpress I have strived to share traditions and ideas of what has worked for our family.

As you know, I like to share about other aspects I enjoy in life.  When it came to sharing photos about my home, well… it is awkward for me.  I’m sure my parents taught me it is impolite to brag.  On the other hand, I think it is more my personality and nature that has never wanted to make people feel uncomfortable.  I’m super sensitive.  I know this.  As a little girl, it only took one time to hear someone bragging about what they had, {that I did not} to know I didn’t like the way it made me feel.  I am super conscientious of others feelings.  In one way this is a good quality…to be considerate.  Nonetheless, just like everything, if to the extreme, it can’t be healthy.  The whole time we were building our house I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the house to anyone.  I was worried people would think I was bragging.  But do you know how sad that is?  Do you know how lonely that feels, to not be able to share your excitement of building your dream home?  My husband and I worked very hard to get to the point in our life where we could do this.

We left our home state, {our family & friends} moved to another state {to a small remote city} so we could get our occupational loans paid off and get out of credit card debt.  We set a goal.  If we got out of debt, we could build our dream home.  We did it!  Yet, right after we began building the economy collapsed.  We built our home at the worst time, but for us, it was our time.  It took us a whole year to build our home.  It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  Yet every day I am able to see the fruits of that labor and I am utterly humbled and grateful beyond measure.

Are you beginning to see my dilemma?  Let me tell you something.  If it weren’t for hundreds of blogs with photos, I don’t know how I would have built our home.  I am a visual person.  If I see something I like then I like to copy it or tweak it to meet my needs or tastes.  I realized while building that there are many other people sharing their homes.  They didn’t seem to be ashamed or worried about being considered a bragger at all.  As a matter of fact, these blogs have their own niche.  It’s called by many names: home design, home decor, basically anything about the home.  The funny thing is, they are very successful and popular in the blogging world!

I was shocked when Ange from The Blooming Hydrangea invited me to be a part of Roomspiration.  Look at the names of all the blogs who I have collaborated with in this endeavor.  I stick out like a sore thumb!  I kind of felt like the odd man out amongst such talent in the home blogging sphere.  Fortunately, they welcomed me and have been extremely gracious.  I have to say though, it felt uncomfortable talking about my house and showing photos.  Not because I don’t like my house…but because of who I am.  And because I like to be more balanced.  Roomspiration definitely motivated me to DO things in my home I had planned on doing when we moved in, but never have.  I didn’t have anymore excuses.  About half way through Roomspiration I worried I might begin losing my faithful readers.  The ones who came here to read about family.  I worried they might think I was bragging.  I hate worrying about that because I think if people truly care about me or are my friend, they will be happy for me, not jealous or think I’m bragging.  Right?  Well, yes in a perfect world, maybe.

This week one of my “friends” on Facebook wrote me this, “Why do you have to brag about how organized you are?”  Do you know how painful it was to read that?  He could have just punched me in the stomach and it would have been the same kind of pain.  The very ironic thing is if you opened almost every single drawer or cabinet in my home you would see how unorganized I am.  Why do you think I have so many cabinets?  It is ironic because this person doesn’t know how I have read hundreds of books on organizing and still struggle.  He doesn’t know that having Attention Deficit Disorder makes it increasingly more difficult for me to remain organized.  He hasn’t seen the days where I am so overwhelmed I gave up and cried on the couch with mounds of clutter around me.

I just want you to know…it doesn’t matter where you live, what type of house you live in…as long as you have your family, that’s all that matters.  Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt to make your house beautiful, clean & orderly for your family to thrive in.  Please know that I share my home with you in hopes it will inspire and help families.  I sincerely apologize if it invokes the opposite in any way.

To my new followers I have gained from Roomspiration: I hope you will continue to follow Family Brings Joy after Roomspiration is over.  I am grateful for you new friends and hope together we can share the highs and lows of family life.

Kitchen

Kitchen Inspiration Photo

My Inspiration Photo for my Kitchen {scanned}

 

 
I spent too long reflecting that I don’t have time to edit my photos.  There were too many to post so I did a slide show.  Next week some time I will post what it looks like present day.  Gotta get ready for company. 😉  Don’t forget to check out the other Kitchens linked up or link yours up!  See you there!

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting,