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}


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 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,


  1. Ended up in your beautiful house again from your thumbnail at The DIY Showoff. I find that bloggers are much more supportive than competitive and that my “real” face to face friendships have a lot of competitive baggage. Your blog is great! Nesting is an important part of family and it’s nice to see how others do it.

  2. Great post! Way to be vulnerable, open and honest and best of all, YOU! I know your heart, to inspire others and it’s sad that your “friend” on fb couldn’t see your heart as well. I would never see any of your blog posts/pics and think you were bragging. Keep on being you and being real. You never know who is being inspired, even if they never post on your blog or tell you. I am sure others have walked away and have a new perspective on something or have implemented something from your blog for their family. Thank you for posting this post and sharing the pics of your home Looking forward to seeing your kitchen next week. From the photos above I can only guess how gorgeous it is!
    ange recently posted..Roomspiration Kitchens

  3. Shan, I’m so glad you open up and post your thoughts and I’m so glad we’re friends. I do feel like the girls above mentioned, that the blogging community is so supportive and encouraging and sometimes more so than real life friends. I’ve never felt that bloggers brag, just that they share their experiences in the hopes of inspiring or helping others – but we all do share common passions that brought us together unlike those closest to us in real life, maybe that’s the difference?

    I also have to thank you for your kind words relating to me personally. I can’t express how good it felt to read something so positive. I love that you know how understand that showing off isn’t all about just me or us or our projects. It’s named for a place where others can share what they’ve done as well, receive a little praise and recognition for a job well done – because just as you mention, family and friends don’t always realize the amount of work and heart and soul that go into accomplishments. But our blog friends understand and are more than willing to be supportive, encouraging and inspired by all of our attempts and successes at productivity and creativity. They’re there understanding when we fail too. When you fall into a specific niche, it’s those friends we meet along the way who appreciate the hard work. Thank you so much for blogging, for sharing your thoughts, your life and experiences and even if you do brag once in a while – I’ll be thrilled for you! I love when good things happen to good people and love getting caught up in the excitement!

    Keep sharing your family, your traditions and your interests because you are inspiring people all over the world, me included. 🙂
    Roeshel recently posted..Roomspiration – Kitchen Edition

    • Really good point, Roeshel: “we all do share common passions that brought us together.” True!

      Double Amen to: “family and friends don’t always realize {or recognize} the amount of work and heart and soul that go into accomplishments…”

      Teary eyed reading the last sentence. It means a lot coming from you. 🙂 I can say the same for you 😉

  4. It was great reading your post. I felt like I got to know you better. I’m new to your blog. I read lots of home design blogs and never feel that anyone is bragging. However, I see your dilemma – if your blog has other purposes as well (I’ve had youth ministry inspired blogs in the past), it can feel that way when you slip in home posts. It feels a little odd shifting gears and if people come for just the deeper family stuff, it can feel odd to them as well. However, it’s as several of these wonderfully talented ladies have said… home blogging is a supportive little world. Mainly because we share the same passion and appreciate what others have done; the work that has gone into a project, even if it’s better than something we have… I think prior to me loving decorating, back when I saw it as pretentious, I would have viewed it more as bragging… it probably said more about me and my passions than about the other person, though. Now, I see it as an art and as something that evolves as we grow. Anyway, I’m rambling a bit… but I wanted to let you know that your kitchen photos were awesome to see and I cannot wait to see the finished product! I can tell a lot of thought and effort went into it and no doubt it’s gorgeous! I’m glad you shared!
    Kristy Swain recently posted..3D Printing

    • Excellent viewpoints Kristy! I am honored you are reading my blog. I read yours as well and adore your design eye. You are ALWAYS welcome to ramble here. 😉 Thank you so much for your support and words of encouragement. Comments always mean so much to me {especially on such revealing posts like this one.}

  5. Props to you girl. It amazes me in our techno crazed world how a “friend” can throw darts like these on a screen without any true thought of the impact simple words have. I guarantee they would not say this to your face, let alone in your home (which is your FB page and this blog essentially). Speaks volumes about how we interact these days via screen names and emoticons…anywho. I appreciate your honesty as well as your desire to tie your home posts back towards family. Keep up the good blogging for I know the positive impact for you personally and others far outweighs the negative.

    • You are right, Monica. I believe positives definitely outweigh negatives! I’m grateful for all the positive feedback, support and encouragement regarding this sensitive subject. Missing you much! Wish you were here so we could go to book club and movies together. They opened the Cherry Berry frozen yogurt shop…would have been a great place for book club!

  6. I found your blog through Roomspiration and I have had so much fun! I understand your feelings about finding your niche in blogging – I’ve had that difficulty as well. But I love your spirit and think it is great that you are so careful about not wanting to brag. Think of it as sharing how God has blessed you! I’m all about family myself, but I do realize how important it is to the family to have a clean, well-organized PRETTY home to have as a haven. Thanks for inspiring us all to do just that.

    Ok, I’m going right now to become a follower!
    Jerri recently posted..Friday’s Fave Five 161

    • Jerri, how wonderful to meet you. You don’t know how much I need to hear these words today. Thank you so much! That’s the part I love about blogging; the interaction between others who are passionate about the same things in life. For me, I want to promote the family. It is being attacked at every turn it seems. So, yes, if I can help inspire others with what God has blessed me with, that is exactly what I want. I recognize that everything I have has been given from Him and I am grateful beyond measure.

      Can’t wait to head over to your place and learn more about you. Thanks again!! 😀


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