The Lay Of The Land

I’m not gonna lie. Things have been just been a little hectic around our house lately. In fact, last Wednesday I decided I was going to drop all pretense of being able to handle everything that’s going on right now, and after the little man was asleep my poor husband listened patiently why I rattled off all the reasons why I can’t juggle everything that I’m currently juggling because, well, I AM NOT A VERY STRONG JUGGLER.

Don’t get me wrong: I love to be productive, and I’m so grateful for my work / writing / other commitments, but every once in awhile I start to dream of days upon days upon days of sitting on the couch in my pajamas, not to mention that there’s a whole new season of The Real Housewives of Orange County starting in a few days and I would really like to be free to dedicate more time to that because I understand that Gretchen and Tamra are friends now. And yes, even though that runaway train is no doubt going to jump the tracks before the season is over, I would sort of like to climb on board and pretend for just a few weeks that watching reality television is my job and at the very least maybe take a nice nap or two along the way.


You know.

There’s that.

I have to admit, though, that there’s been a whole lot of happy weaving in and through all the busy. Last Thursday I discovered that The Fray’s new CD was streaming on iTunes (the album comes out tomorrow, at which point the streaming, it will cease), and I’m completely obsessed with it. It’s so great, in fact, that I looked into getting tickets for their show that’s coming up in Atlanta, but when I saw that the only tickets available were general admission, I backed off that idea, mainly because Mamaw here needs a reserved seat. If I had to stand in the middle of a teeming mass of 20-somethings jostling for the best view of the stage, odds are that I’d probably pop my hip out of its socket, not to mention that I’d run the risk of spilling my Ensure all over my fellow concert-goers. So I’m thinking that it’s probably better to just stay at home.

I’ve also had a whole bunch of fun with my people – they are so great about rolling with everything and making me laugh when work stuff and writing stuff start to err on the side of crazy. There’s an eight year-old in this house who’s so over the moon crazy about his daddy right now that I occasionally feel the need to put a twist on the Star Wars tradition and wake him up by saying, “Good morning, my son. I don’t know if you remember or not, but I AM YOUR MOTHER.” On one hand seeing the little guy with his daddy completely melts my heart and tickles me to absolute pieces, but on the other hand I kind of want to gather him up in my arms and stick my nose in his hair and sway him from side to side like I used to do when he was a baby.

But that wouldn’t really work because 1) I would throw my back out and 2) have you smelled an eight year-old little boy’s hair lately? It is not always so pleasant. Regardless, I love my boy. And I love how he loves his daddy.

Now. Let us talk of carefree things and have some show and tell. I think you’ll find that these pictures will make you feel really good about your organizational and housekeeping skills. At least compared to mine.

This is my suitcase from the trip to Houston. I unpacked it last week. Approximately 10 days after I returned from said trip to Houston. Sometimes I tend to move at a leisurely pace where pesky bits of follow-through are concerned.

This is a pile of clean towels on the bed in our guest room. I did fold them eventually. But now there’s another big pile of clean towels on the bed in our guest room. If you know of a laundry fairy, I would very much appreciate it if you would pass along her number. She could really fulfill her calling here.

This is a map that my Sister spotted in HomeGoods over Thanksgiving. She pointed it out to me because she thought I’d like it, and I liked it so much that I bought it. Isn’t it whimsical and kicky and fun? The problem, however, is that I can’t decide where to put it, and that is why it has been propped up next to the wall in our hallway for the last two and a half months.


If you know of a map hanging fairy, I would very much appreciate it if you would pass along her number.

This picture represents what I feel is the dominant organizational structure in our home right now: set out a bowl, then put some stuff in it.

As you might imagine, our current organizational structure is somewhat lacking. However, it is nice to know that there’s a purple marker, a tube of ChapStick, and two different varieties of gum in the same bowl. IT ALL MAKES SO MUCH SENSE.

A sweet friend sent me these flowers about two and a half weeks ago. They are still so beautiful. And as you will notice, they are flanked on the right by A Bowl With Some Stuff In It. We are consistent with our preferred methods of inefficiency.

So that’s what’s going on around here. It’s not the strongest housekeeping season of my life. It’s one of the busiest work seasons of my life. But thanks to the people who are in my life – and thanks to the very good God who put them there – it’s one of the richest and sweetest seasons I can remember.

Funny how that works.

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

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  1. I am a huge fan of the bowl method of organization, but I have been know to substitute a tray. My husband favors the put-it-all-in-a-manila-envelope method, which has the added bonus of hiding things for just about forever. The items in the bowl/tray/envelope do NOT have to be related in any way.

  2. We are BIG FANS of organization by bowl around here. Seeing it featured here makes me so happy.

  3. You know, I have a giant bowl filled with various odd items too! I thought it would be cute to put the mail in…but it now holds, to capacity, quite an assortment:) Where did we come up with this bowl idea?! It obviously doesn’t work for people like us ;) I’m also guily of dumping clean towels instead of folding asap. As for the need for a laundry fairy & handing fairy: yes & yes! Except my thing in need of hanging is not a map, but a portrait of my children. Shame on me. And like you, no matter how full that bowl (literal & figurative) is, my people are my everything=) I’m assuming we must be soul sisters lol!

  4. Thanks for opening up your home and sharing. Most of us have either been there or live it everyday. You are not alone. We feel your organizational method with you!

  5. love the map!!!

  6. A friend gave me a huge beautiful bowl for Christmas. I knew what would happen. I just knew. My bowl looks exactly like yours. So sad about that because I can’t see it’s loveliness. I think I’ll have to find a stand to put it on my kitchen counter instead of the table. Maybe that will help? When you find organizational fairies, please send them my way.

  7. BooMama, I have been waiting on a cleaning fairy for about 10 years now. She must be really backed up because my place on the waiting list is not getting any shorter.

  8. We also subscribe to the bowl organization method. For special occasions, when folks are coming over, we also have used the temporary (sort of) fill-a-box method and hope that we remember to later empty the box since it usually holds the mail and therefore, the bills. :) Thanks for all the laughs.

  9. Can’t stop laughing. I’m trying to be quiet since I’m at work, but this is too funny.

  10. Another Fray option, with reserved seating, just down the I-20.

  11. If you need another bright moment in the midst of all the crazy, you must watch the intro scene to last week’s The Office. Andy does the Footloose angry dance. I only wish it had lasted longer.

  12. Ok, I just laughed outloud and blew coffee all over my computer in Panera! That mamaw with a reserved seat thing was HILARIOUS. And I am SO RELIEVED to know that I’m not the only one with bowls of crap scattered throughout my house. Whew…it’s like a support group.

  13. There is nothing better than a good ” catch all” – Sadly, my house is one big “catch all”

  14. You have made my day. I bought a new Mr. Coffee right after Thanksgiving….it is still in the box!! I just cannot unpack that box! Is it an illness?

  15. I’m more of a basket person, they’re usually bigger and can hold more junk! You had me laughing out loud and then in tears at the 8 year old boy hair smell. My baby is 8 too, and how I long to just pick him up and nuzzle his ears like I used to.

  16. I am there too. I have roped myself (quite willingly) into weekly historical articles for the newspaper in my small town. The crazy is alive and well. But so fun too.
    Piles abound everywhere, and the floor needs a moppin’. Thanks for a funny post that I quite identify with.

  17. You had me at THAT MAP.

  18. I LERVE to put stuff in baskets, bowls, boxes, etc. It just tidies everything up all at once! Problem solved, right!?!?

  19. always love when you post…and i can SO relate to this one!

    i have 9, almost-7, and 4-year-old boys in this house, and honestly, i don’t think their hair ever smells good anymore, even fresh out of the shower. it’s sad.

  20. Your bowl is my canvas bag……..and I can then loop the handles over a hanger and hang’em up in the closet. You would not believe what I have discovered in those bags over the years…..I may have to give the nod to the bowl method, because at least the stuff is out and visible, and I might one day, in theory at least, put it in its rightful place. Once it disappears into the closet….not likely. Thanks for the chuckle!

  21. I have similar problems, and have, in fact, written of them on my blog. The first issue I call Flat Surface Syndrome (FSS) (a distant cousin to the Bowl With Some Stuff In It organizational method). There is nary a flat surface in our home that is not covered, nay, heavily fortified with a precarious pile of all manner of items. I also have a Putting Away Clean Laundry Problem. I can get it washed, dried, and often folded, but then it sits around for a Very Long Time (often on a flat surface, see above). If you feel like stopping by, here is a good example of what I am talking about…
    I’m sorry, you’ll have to cut and paste, and I know you have a bajillion other things that read random folks blog posts, so no pressure. :) Promise!
    I think you are the bomb. (Maybe that explains some of the mess…stop being so awesome.) (I don’t think you are a mess, really. I know I am, though.) (Hello, foot in mouth.)

  22. I see that you don’t have to cut and paste! That is exciting! Maybe I need to get out more?

  23. i really love the map – is there any clue on it that would help me track one down via cyberspace? two of my kids were born in russia, and the paint colors totally match their bedroom. let me know!

  24. I love this post. And you :-)
    Because I currently have 6 loads of laundry that are clean, not folded, and very wrinkly. And also like 4 more loads that need to be done. Sigh.

  25. Love the laundry pictures! Our towels are piled on my oldest son’s bed because he is away at college. Some things get piled on top of the dryer, too, like my younger son’s khaki pants which he needed to wear to school last week. So he got them off the dryer and put them on! Luckily I caught that before he went out the door. :)

  26. You don’t need to worry until, as in my case, The Bowl becomes A Whole Room. But, hey – you’ll always be able to find your way anywhere, because you have a map in the hall. And chapstick. And a marker.
    Off to climb Mt. Laundry.

  27. Oh my GOSH! After a hectic morning with getting the kids to school, and me getting MYSELF to school, what an awesome blessing, to read your entry…..I laughed OUT LOUD at the spilling ensure part, and am still laughing as I type this! I NEEDED THAT!!!!! Also, laughing at the housekeeping issues! I totally understand that!!!!! Come on over to my house….LOLOLOL!! Love ya tonz!!!

  28. Becky in 'Bama says:

    Just returned from a visit with my daughter (out of state)…four children – ages 5, 3, 2 and 9 months. OMGosh… is about all I can say. AND she is homeschooling the 5 year old. OMGosh. Just doing her laundry would keep someone busy 24-7. Came home to get some rest. :)

  29. WOW! I needed a reminder to try to roll with it….with a full time job, 3 year old, a baby on the way, a busy etsy shop…I sometimes forget to appreciate the little things like my sweet sweet husband who makes all my crazy running around like my hair is on fire possible. It is just hard sometimes…like this morning when I told my son that I loved him and he said…I don’t love you, I love daddy. SO I get it my friend… i get the feeling left out thing, but it sure is sweet to know he loves his daddy. I am hoping that his heart will grow soon and he can love me and his daddy at the same time:) Hang in there!!!

  30. I have to tell you – I am having a pretty tense and stressful day. Nothing serious or whatever – just … you know. So I’m hiding in my email inbox and when I read this line

    “Sometimes I tend to move at a leisurely pace where pesky bits of follow-through are concerned.”

    I just laughed so much. I need that in cross-stitch or to put it on my business cards or something. Thank you for saying everything in such an enjoyable way. You made my day. Really.