Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Real Me

Y'all have no idea the guts it took to post the following pictures, but I'm trying to be honest here. Anyone else participating in Simple Mom's Spring Cleaning Party? I'm a day or two (or three) off her schedule, but I don't think that's important. What is important is that I'm doing SOMETHING.

Monday, I had my first real photo shoot (and spent quite a bit of time editing images). The photos below were taken on Tuesday morning. As real (if you want to put it that way) as I get. I worked as hard as I could on things the rest of that day as I got a chance (you know how it is trying to accomplish anything while parenting 3 small children, don't you? Don't you?!). Yesterday (Wednesday) we got a few things done in the morning. Late afternoon and evening were filled with piano lessons, dinner out, and family night at the swimming pool. We came home, got the kids to bed, watched (luckily we have a DVR) Lie to Me (my favorite new show) and American Idol, and then promptly went to bed. Priorities, people, priorities. So I'm back to the grindstone this afternoon.

So, I figure a few of you will love me for these photos, a few of you will be amused (or not), and some of you will be appalled and never return to Mt. Hope. Sigh.

BEFORE:

The kitchen:



Laundry:
Recycling mess:


AFTER:
I finished up the laundry and got it all put away, cleaned/straightened the laundry nook, cleaned and organized the mess on the kitchen counter (left) a little. (I put a fresh quote on the chalkboard after I took this picture.) I emptied the dishwasher, did the dishes, and cleaned off the counter around the sink.
More kitchen counter cleaning, put the recycling in the bin outside, etc.
Took all the photos off the side of the fridge and cleaned it. Removed more things from counter.
Put the month of May up on the dry-erase board, cleaned off the corkboard, cleaned up the school basket and math bin, put the math balance scale away since we aren't using it right now...

But.... I still have a few piles of paperwork that I need to work on this weekend. I desperately need a new system for bills, to-do stuff, and filing!!
On to the living room...
BEFORE:
(Don't you like my dead pots of grass? Nice.)
This cabinet by the front door is always the catch-all. It drives me crazy!!
Shoes and coats multiply by the front door. I had the boys bring in their mess from the back seat of the Suburban. And this is where it ended up.
AFTER:
Ahhhhh. Piano books and school books organized and many put on the little book shelf next to the desk and behind the couch so they are still handy.
Bad photo, but I took down the dried wreath that was driving me crazy, removed the pots of dead grass, and cleaned off the remotes and DVDs on top of the TV cabinet. (I LOVE being able to close the doors on the TV and all the DVDs. (I also removed some dead branches and the bunnies off of another bookscase, and replaced them with a couple birds. Sometimes it doesn't take much to freshen a display.)
Purged coats and shoes by the front door, and cleaned off the top of the drawer cabinet. Removed a basket of toys that were no longer being played with.
And that's it, so far. Whew!
More cleaning and organizing coming up in the next few days.

Oh, yesterday afternoon my neighbor lady stopped by unexpectedly to borrow some eggs. I'm strangely intimidated by her, but I was able to give her a big smile and invite her in while I got her eggs. (Luke, being helpful, managed to drop 5 on the floor before we got to the kitchen. Sigh.) At least I'm glad she didn't come by Tuesday morning...

28 comments:

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Heidi, I *really* don't think anyone is going to leave Mt. Hope just because you're offering a real piece of your life out here! Nope.

It looks fantastic!

I'm not doing Tsh's spring cleaning right now, though I've done part of it with her book in the past. Things around here probably need some deep cleaning, but I don't think I have the energy for that right now. (I'm almost 31 weeks pregnant.)

Anyway, I say bring on the realness! :)

I know you've read a few of my blog posts and so probably already know that I am a recovering slobaholic. Definitely no judgment here. :P

Kelly said...

Well, I fall in the camp that loves you for posting these pictures!

You have a beautiful home- in fact- it was one of your old posts on your school room that inspired me to get our room set up.

Kelly

Heasleye said...

I love you and your blog even more now!!! :) Way to go with your cleaning! It looks wonderful. And what a brave soul you are to share it. I'm so glad for you that your neighbor stopped by at the "right" time. :) My house is currently in a state of "before." And I hear ya on needing a new system for filing, to-dos, etc... That's the thing that most bogs me down right now. Off to do some bookshelf sorting! :)

Abbie said...

Wow, Your home is beautiful. Wonderful before and after shots. It is nice to know that others out there actually "live" in their homes and have busy lives! I came over from Simple Mom. Great work!
Abbie

Stacey said...

Response from a long-time lurker: LOVE!

I'm an procrastinating perfectionist (I always want to find the time to do things perfectly so they get put off until I just can't stand it any longer). I planned to join the spring cleaning party but wasn't on my game coming out of the weekend so I'm intimidated trying to get started when I'm already behind. *sigh* Am I full of excuses or what??

Way to go with doing SOMETHING in the time that you have! Looks great!

Jen Rouse said...

I'm one who loves the "before" photos. SO comforting to see other people are messy too! I especially liked your recycling mess. I thought I was the only one who had piles of cardboard and empty milk jugs lurking around my house because I couldn't manage the two minutes it would take to put them in the outside bin.

Mominin said...

Great job! Your before pictures just look lived in!! Your after pictures look great. Love the drawer cabinet.

carole said...

Ahh - you know I love having "company" in this motherhood/raising three boys journey. :)
I *really* wanted to do the spring clean with Simple Mom, but it just isn't to be this year. I need a week for each day that she allots! I look forward to hearing how the deeper cleaning goes as far as following her methods. I think she's so clutter free already that her timetables may be a little ... less than the average American needs?

Anyhow. I love your black many drawered piece of furniture. It's very cool.

Renee said...

It all looks so great! Isn't it so much easier to get out of bed in the morning with a neat house? My boys have begged to keep their pillow/chair fort up in the family room all week. It spans every empty inch of the room. I had to bite the bullet and put it all away tonight. Ahhhh. Good for you! Thanks for "airing your dirty laundry"- literally! :)

Mama Bird said...

Great work. I don't even apologize for the mess in my house anymore. Come on over, see it in all it's glory! Of course, it is getting better lately with the clean-up, though sadly I'm sure it won't last long.

I love the above comment about the forts. Our house is always full of them. But I remember building forts with my sis out of couch cushions so who am I to say no. :)

Rana said...

Your pics are great. I love your home. I checked out your blog too. Your boys are beautiful.

Can't wait to see more!

Mrs. E. said...

Oh, thank you for the before pictures. . . I feel so much better.

Susan said...

Phew! I was beginning to think you were perfect. Now I know you are just like the rest of us! ;-)

Kiley said...

Thanks for sharing so much of your home with us...both organized and decorated and other "normal" days. There's no shame in being real and being proud of what you've accomplished! Keep it up! I'm kind of a house junkie anyhow, organized or otherwise...I love seeing other people's homes, I go to open houses for fun, I love decorating magazines, etc. It often serves as great inspiration! Your home is that to me!

Andrea P. said...

Your chalk board says, "His mercies are new every morning." Allow yourself to receive that. Give yourself mercy every morning. It may not be perfect all of the time, but neither are you. Way to accomplish what you did do!! Beautiful!!

chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

i love your black cabinet by the door. great job!

Tsh said...

Heidi, it looks awesome! I love that I know what your place looks like in person. :)

K-Sue said...

Great job! Isn't that "strangely intimidating" thing strange? She would probably be surprised.

I kinda looked at the Spring Cleaning Challenge, but sighed and turned my face away - we are in the middle of a couple of projects that have my closet emptied out and piled in 2 rooms while all the sewing gear is busy, too, and there is NO WAY.

Heather said...

Before and after pictures are so much fun. Thanks for taking us on a tour of your beautiful house. You have very nice things and make it look very comfortable.
I try to keep my house clean and organized but it's not furnished or decorated really to my liking yet. Some day, perhaps...
:)

Anonymous said...

i think your house looks PERFECT (before)! i will always be knocking on the door of mt. hope chronicles! i adore coming to visit you throughout the day! thank you for, well, YOU!

Lisa said...

You did a lot of work! Now, do you want to travel to Alabama to help with mine? ;) Really, I need to do the same thing but things have been sooo hectic!

You know what's funny? I was thinking how desperately I needed to clean yesterday. All the sudden I pictured your home (the pics from the decorating post I commented on the other day) and thought how does her home stay so clean? Isn't it funny that we always think other people have everything together and never have a messy house? Thanks a bunch for posting! I will probably not be so brave and post pics of my house in its state of chaos.

Heidi said...

You all know how to make a person's day, don't you?! Thanks for all the kinds words and encouragement. They will help keep me going today!

*~Dani~* said...

I love your pictures! I am such a voyeur when it comes to other people's homes and I love before and after pictures, no matter if they are just about cleaning.

This may be on your blog somewhere, however, even as a regular reader I am not sure of the answer...what do you keep in the drawers in that gorgeous black cabinet by the door?

Anonymous said...

Whew! Doesn't it feel like you can breath again after that spring cleaning? You did an incredible job in a short amount of time. If I had to guess, I'd say Dr. Pepper and m&m's helped you with a boost of extra energy ;)

We're almost done with the "bulk" of regular school and are almost ready to move into some summer school projects. Let's try to plan 2 get togethers- one in May and one in June...? We could meet at my house and then go to AC Gilbert museum....but since YOUR house looks cleaner than mine now, perhaps our first meeting should be out at your place! (actually, it doesn't matter to me, but you might be banned from certain areas of my home), sigh.

I hope you have a "LOVELY" Mother's Day. I know you'll post photos :)

~Tera

Heidi said...

Tera~ I won't tell you how much Dr. Pepper I consumed along with those M&Ms. :-D Yes, it feels great, but I have a looooong way to go still. And the outside of the house needs at least as much work!! Yes, let's schedule those get togethers. I'll send you a FB message. We have a lovely Mother's Day planned. Pictures, of course, will be coming. :) Happy Mother's Day to you, too, my fellow mom-of-three-boys!

Christi said...

Heidi, it really wasn't *that* bad. Although I know it always feels worse when it's your home.

I love your home, and loved this glimpse into it. Thanks for sharing!

Angela said...

We love that you are real like the rest of us! My house looks like the before every single Monday. I then managed to get it picked up to fall apart again!

Aja Jenise said...

READ THIS PLEASE ON PLEASE...Oh, I LOVE the real you. Personally, I am relieved to see when you bring out the realities of life.... I was beginning to feel a little saddened by your hoards of talent... oh yes, pity me... good grief I sound like a sap!

Anyhow it is refreshing to know your human and not some Greek Goddess hiding out in Oregon.

Here's to the real Heidi... CHEERS! Now onto some more fancy pictures...