Friday, October 30, 2009

Perfect.

I've been toying around with this post for quite some time now. I have held off because it shows a side of me I'm not so proud of. I decided to write it today because especially lately, more than usual, I've seen comments and posts here and there from bloggers about their home not measuring up...not being as beautiful as the next...not as perfect.

This big bloggy world is one that has brought much joy to my life. Much creativity. I have loved "meeting" all of you because of blogging.

But there are times when I click through some blogs and am not proud of my reaction. First, it's awe and glee from a great reveal or project.

Then, maybe a bit of wishing.

Then, do I dare say it...

Resentment? Jealousy?

I'm not proud of that. Not one bit, but it's the truth.

Let me be clear here -- I big fat LOVE our home. I would not trade it for any other. Because it is truly where our heart is. I have put my blood, sweat and tears into this house. We have raised out kids here and have created so many wonderful traditions and memories.

I cannot stress enough how much I adore it.

So maybe it's not the homes I see that give me the tinges of jealousy. Maybe it's the time some have to dedicate to their homes. Maybe it's the money some can spend on their homes. Maybe it's the way they describe their lives that seem so...perfect?

Maybe you have felt that way about this blog at times? I know it's possible and probably true, but I hope it's a fleeting feeling.

Our home is not perfect. Our life is not perfect. And a couple weeks ago, I got a big (soft) slap upside the head from God when I found out something about a blogger I visit every so often. It's a little known fact about this person, and let's just say I felt like a big fat ARSE after finding out the information. ;)

It was a message in flashing red lights that no one's life is "perfect." It may appear to be, but it never is.

And really, who wants perfect? Seriously, perfect is BOR-RING. Just like a house, it's so much more interesting with imperfections...the squeak on the floor that drives you crazy every time you step on that spot. The crack in the wall no one sees but you (but it still drives you mad). The dings in the drywall and baseboards from kids living in a home. All of us have squeaks and cracks and dings in our lives that make them not perfect.

I will spare you the details of my life, but because of my experiences, HOME means so much more to me than a building or a place for stuff. Most of my childhood was filled with wonderful memories and traditions. I never noticed the dings in the drywall, the creaks in the floors. (And your kids won't either.)

Then in high school, a series of events occurred that changed my outlook on life. I didn't have a home for quite some time. I lived with my best friend and her family for a summer. When it was time to go back to college, my dorm room was my only home. And that Thanksgiving was spent in an old, gross motel room, just my Mom and me.

It was one of the lowest days of my life.

At that time, Sarah McLachlan's song "Elsewhere" brought me comfort. I listened to it constantly. Part of the chorus from that song that still sticks with me:

I believe this is heaven to no one else but me.
And I'll defend it as long as I can be...

That song still makes me cry. ;) I am thankful for every moment of my life, because it's brought me where I am today.

It's not about the stuff or the house being perfect. It's about it being a home, in the emotional sense. Because of my past, a place to put down roots and to create memories for our kids means so much to me. So if you ever take anything away from this blog, it's that your home should be YOUR haven. I don't care what it looks like. I don't care if it's your dream home. Make it your dream home with what you have.

Even if that is just baking cookies, carving a pumpkin and playing with your kids on this Halloween weekend. Remember even those that feel they have very little are envied by someone. Be proud and love what you have and make it what you love and are proud of, in whatever way you can.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend with your family. Thanks for listening to my deep thoughts today. :)

179 comments:

  1. Well said!! I had my revelation last year when a seemingly perfect woman ended up being not so perfect (in a perfectly nice way of course). And then someone commented on how my life seemed so fabulous. I was completely thrown by that comment and then realised that just like everyone else, I only let the positives of my life be known.

    So now when I get a twinge of envy I remember all the things that I am able to do and usually figure that I'll get to do everything I want to do, just not all this year! :)

    I love your blog. I never comment, but appreciate all the time you put into it. And I love the new design!

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  2. I read every post but rarely comment (bad me!) but I love your blog and you are a beautiful and wonderful person! This was such a good post and a great reminder!! Happy Halloween!

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  3. WOW! That's so important to remember but so easy to forget as I browse so many of the lovely blogs (and homes) out there.

    Thanks for encouraging me to remember what's really important :)

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  4. I think this is my favorite blog I have ever read of yours (and I have read just about every one). Is my house the biggest of all my friends? No. Is my kitchen or bathroom remodeled and spanking new like some of my neighbors? Definitely not. Do I love my home and everything (and everyone) in it? You bet I do. Thank you. I am your faithful reader beacuse you always come across as someone who I wish was my neighbor.

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  5. Your post today really spoke to me. Last year we left our beautiful home on the other side of the country and moved into an old, rundown rental in our home town so my husband could take a new job based in our own country and end a three year international commute.

    I have always been very house proud and spent many days whining about this old house and worrying that it was not as perfect as our last...until one day my teenage children told me that they love this house and that what they love most about it is that I have made it a cozy, comfortable place to return to at the end of their day. They really don't care about the awful 1960s kitchen or yukky curtains in the family room....they are just happy to have a safe place to come home to and, most of all, to have their Dad here with us and not thousands of miles away. Now I choose to be proud of the fact that I have made a home for our family out of this old house.

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  6. I just have to say that you are one of the few bloggers who actually seems "real" to me! I know I don't know ya in person but you just seem like the kind of person I'd prefer to be around...not someone who tries to be something for the sake of someone else. I enjoyed your deep thoughts! Everyone who is human wishes for more or better at some point so it's good to hear a reminder that we are perfect the way we are! :)

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  7. That is the beautiful/ugly/awful/wonderful truth! It's a nice revelation to get every now and then to keep you on track and snap you back into reality. I'm glad you reminded us all and like the people who posted above me, I am thankful for your beautiful blog and personally LOVE that you share your ideas on the cheap with all of us! (Coming from your fellow non-loaded wife and mommy with champagne taste and a beer budget!)

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  8. So well said. I know exactly what you mean. I was hesitant to start my own blog a few months ago, because I didn't always have projects to show, and I wasn't sure if my decor could hold up to others. My logical self tells me that is ridiculous, but you get what I mean. Thank you for showing us we are all the same - no matter where we live! Our homes our OURS, for us and loved by us.
    Happy Halloween!

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  9. Hi Sarah,
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart! I thank God because this is just what I needed right now, at this moment exactly.
    Sincerely,
    Liz Hernandez

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  10. Oh, I applaud you with this wonderful post! I agree with you. I've had that envy bug a few times and then I sit down and feel ashamed of myself. God has blessed me with family who loves me, a home that I feel is truly from God - so what if I don't have pretty granite counter tops and have bathrooms with avocado green and harvest gold fixtures - I just won't show those. I still love my home.
    I think your post today is what blogging really is about - we can speak our hearts and find so many will agree or lift each other up! So I say AMEN to your post today. We are all different, our homes are different, we all have different talents but we can all join together in Blogland and be a family.
    Blessings to you, Dear One.
    Be a swee
    tie,
    Shelia :)

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  11. Thanks so much for your post. I've been visiting your blog for a few weeks now, and I love it. It brings me comfort and a little "me time" in the evenings when the kiddos are asleep. You've even inspired me to start crafting a bit again. Today I actually cleaned out my craft box, and my little guy painted. I appreciate all that you said in your post. I am sure it was pretty hard to share those intimate thoughts and feelings, but I am glad you did. I feel like you wrote the line, "Remember even those that feel they have very little are envied by someone" just for me. I am feeling pretty blue lately - especially today - and your words brought a couple of tears to my eyes. Thank you, and thanks for your awesome blog.

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  12. Your words, thoughts and expressions touched me with memories of my past. We had just moved into our dream home about 8 years ago. We waited for nearly 8 months for it to be built and labored over every little detail.
    Just a few days after moving in,
    our 20 year old son was diagnosed with cancer.

    The house that I couldn't wait to get into and decorate was suddently placed on the back burner. My son's life was my priority. We somehow got through it all and by Thanksgiving of that year he was cancer free. As we gathered around the table to give thanks I could only think about how our home wouldn't be a home at all without him. Today he is a healthy young man with a bright future. We have so much to be thankful for and I'm glad my son can still come "home."

    Thank you for sharing with us.
    God Bless you and your family.

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  13. You have never claimed perfection and that is why people love this blog.
    You make me want to make my home a haven, to work on this temporary home the military gives us.
    Sarah you had me at:

    You think I can sew a cushion? Whateva:
    Hot glue baby. Who's gonna know? Uh...don't answer that.

    LOVE IT!

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  14. Great post! I find myself (OFTEN!) being envious of what others have...especially some lovely people who I am close to IRL. I am learning contentment with what I've been given everyday. Thanks for the reminder. Have fun with your family!

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  15. @cheapchichome. Thoughtful post...it's a part of growing up that we're never quite done with, hopefully we get better at.

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  16. I often tell my children not to wish to be someone else. Their life may look perfect but until you walk in their shoes you don't know. Good post. And well done on making your house your home. Hopefully you will never have to live without family and a loved home again.

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  17. I completely agree with you, Sarah! Your home should be YOUR haven...made with with YOU have. That is definitely something to be proud of.

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  18. Amen.

    I think many of us have had those envious moments...but just remember the saying - don't remember it exactly, but about not envying someone until you've walked 100 miles in their shoes?

    Yes, things may appear perfect for others, but nothing in life is perfect. We must be thankful for what we have!!

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  19. I know I feel unworthy when I look at so many blogs where the blogger has such a perfect life. And then I look at my own blog and think maybe I'm making someone else feel that way too and I feel terrible(let me clarify, my life is SO not even close to perfect. I am typing on a desk filled with clutter!). It makes me question blogging and what myself and others are doing. I'm just like everyone else and like to present my best self online and post only the 'best' pics. It makes me feel like I have 2 lifes. Anyways, sorry, thanks for the post. feel like I just ended a therapy session! :)

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  20. Thanks! You have no idea the hearts you have touched today. My husband and I just returned from a day of looking at houses to buy and deciding that it would be "better" for us to rent right now...but we so wanted to have "our" house to decorate and fix up and make "our house". So it was a disappointing day. I just sat down to read blogs to think of something else and came across your post. It really put the whole day in a new perspective...whereever we end up will be home because our hearts will be there. Thank you, Sarah!!

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  21. I LOVE that you keep it so real.. It's awesome to know that there are people out there who aren't afraid of who they are. I know that is why so many people love your blog because you aren't afraid to put your self out there as being human with real human emotions.Thanks for putting things into perspective and reminding us all what is really important.

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  22. Nicely said. After all, home is where you hang your heart. I've been following you for some time and I love your new blog look.

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  23. Thanks for the reminder. I love your blog and designs. It has been such an inspiration to me.

    Hope you have a great holiday as well !!!

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  24. Very well written. Thanks for the good reminder. And I love your new blog look! I FINALLY (5 months later) finished the project you inspired me to do and I will send you photos soon...

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  25. Awww that brought tears to my eyes. This was something brought to my realization a few weeks ago too. I was always so embarrassed to have people over, I thought they would make fun of my 10 dollar couch I got at a garage sale. Then I was like you know, I love entertaining, so what if my house isn't perfect? Right?

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  26. Awww that brought tears to my eyes. This was something brought to my realization a few weeks ago too. I was always so embarrassed to have people over, I thought they would make fun of my 10 dollar couch I got at a garage sale. Then I was like you know, I love entertaining, so what if my house isn't perfect? Right?

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  27. Wonderful post! I agree Home is where it is at!

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  28. Very heartfelt! Thank you. My mom used to say something like "if trials were laundry out on a line you would take yours and I would take mine." I have jealousy issues, but I also know to count my blessings! And what I go through I have been perfectly equipped to handle it and no one can do it better than me! Best post ever!

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  29. Beautifully said, thank you for sharing your story, it made me cry.

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  30. Loved this post! so important for us all to remember none of us are perfect. I even think that when I blog. I'm building a beautiful new home, and I don't even like posting about it. I know it will cause someone to be jealous and I don't like that. So, in balance, I try to post many imperfections as well.

    Thanks for posting this.

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  31. What a wonderful perspective.
    With the advent of the WWW, we no longer feel that we have to keep up with the Jones' down the street, but people from all over the world! A task too gargantuan for me, so I post my silly little finds, and my not so perfect updates and if anyone likes them, that's cool, if they don't...guess what...I don't give a **IT :) After being dumped by my husband,I built a home filled with laughter and love, for myself and my children . Some days are tough and I get down when I don't have someone around to help during a reno or a crisis, but I wouldn't change it for a second.
    Cherish every day and those you love.

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  32. Thanks for your honesty. I've often wished that I could do all the things that I see done on these blogs. Sometimes I can, and sometimes mine don't turn out the way I want them, too. My house is old. It has some parts that desparately need to be remodeled, especially after my husband started a project 2 years ago and left it that way because he became frustrated. It was better for him (and me) to just stop it right there, than to get so mad and angry about it not working out right. So, I work around it, but it DRIVES ME CRAZY! It's good to hear that others face the same struggles with their homes. But, in the end, this is where we raise and love our families. And, that's what REALLY matters.

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  33. I had one of those awful nights in an ugly old motel on christmas eve with my mom and me. As you said, one of the lowest nights of my life. Trying to count my blessings with every new day....and not dwell on the nasties :) Thanks for the post

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  34. Well said. I've struggled a bit over feeling like I can't give as much to my children as others. That maybe my home doesn't match up, afterall we're stuck in a townhome instead of a huge house. But I've realized that none of that matters. It's the traditions and roots that we build for our children that make them happy. Years from now they won't look back and say "gosh our house wasn't as large or as pretty as..." but they will look back and fondly remember the traditions of putting up holiday decorations or the comfort that their home provided them. Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  35. Wow! What an important and profound message. It's so important to remember that no one's life is perfect. Bless you for sharing this.

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  36. Wow! What an important and profound message. It's so important to remember that no one's life is perfect. Bless you for sharing this.

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  37. Thank you for this post! I really enjoyed reading it, and I needed it. I feel inferior to others way too often, and am trying not to do so. I always love reading your blog because even though you are extremely talented I think you always do a great job of being humble and never trying to out-do others. I must say that I too, LOVE MY HOME!! It is my husband and I's first home, and the one we will start our family in (how cool is that?). :) Thanks Sarah, you know I appreciate your blog!

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  38. Wonderful post! I love my "home" but not always the house I live in. I am thankful for the comfort of its' walls and the shielding of its' roof, but I LOVE what is inside it greatly!

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  39. What a great post. Thanks a bunch...I think I needed to read this today.

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  40. I can't agree with you more. I teach Family and Consumer Science in our High School. This is the message a try to portray in our Parenting and Family Living classes. And these high school students are the parents of our near future! Happy Halloween ~Natalie

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  41. Ok, you sweet girlie. I just fell in friendship love with you.... I think most of us feel the same way a lot of the time. I love you for your honesty and your truth.
    Rock on, sista.

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  42. Thank you for expressing your heartfelt emotions and sharing them with us! I have the same feelings about home. I had an idyllic childhood in the perfect big family until my Mom passed away from cancer when I was 15. My youngest brother was only 9. My Dad re-married the polar opposite of my angel mother 5 months later and we moved. "Going home" has never been the same for me. My husband and I are young newlyweds and I feel that I am in a rush to get a home of our own so that I can re-create what I felt as a child and finally feel AT HOME somewhere again with my new family, the one my hubby and I will have together. Good for you for loving your home for what it is and the memories and love that have been created there.

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  43. I usually don't comment on blogs, but I wanted to thank you for your post. I had one of those "smack to the head moments" this last week too. It just made me appreciate everything this person does even more and be more in awe of their skill/dedication/outlook.

    Again, wonderful post. Thanks for the good vibes for the weekend.

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  44. Thanks for the reminder that my home is what is best for me and those I love.

    Btw, I love the new look for the blog!!!

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  45. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I must admit, I'm a little prone to blogging envy....I see all those fabulous ideas and wish I had the time/money to take them all on.
    But then I take a step back and realize that I have what's truly important...my family. And like you said, no one's perfect.....when hubby and I first got married, we didn't fight. Why? Because he thought that perfect couples didn't fight....we'd go to church and he'd see all the happy smiling faces of everyone, and he'd feel horrible that he'd even thought about wanting to argue with me. (Yes, I love my incredibly sweet hubby. :) ) But, there came a point in time when both of us realized that everyone puts on their happy face in public. For some reason, we all want to seem competent, happy, complete for others. It's such a huge thing when people realize this. I think it can bring us all a little bit closer to loving and caring for the people around us. Maybe that's why God gave us weaknesses. :) If you want to know how truly crazy my life can be, check out my two blogs. At http://www.shanasmusic.blogspot.com, I seem pretty normal. Happy even. But then contrast it with my other blog about OCD. http://www.momswithocd.blogspot.com. I created this one because some part of me wants others to know I'm flawed....just like we all are. There, now you can't have the illusion that I'm perfect anymore. lol!

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  46. What a beautiful post - thanks for reminding us what truly is important.

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  47. Excellant post and glad you wrote it! No one is perfect and yes, wouldn't that be a bore anyway!

    I sometimes draft a similar post in my head, my version. I occasionally read a comment here and there on a blog and realize some people may visit my blog and think I have it all. I don't, no one does...we all have our histories and stories and struggles. Indeed, I think it's all of those things that makes having a special home that means something to us so important.

    Thanks for this post and keep them coming!! Janell

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  48. LURVE it! It's so true, and sometimes I find myself in that same place - yuck. I must say that you have really encouraged me to make our new house a HOME :hug:

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  49. I am in the later years of my life and I have learned so much of being content with who I am and what I have as far as material things. My connection with my Lord is so much more important than any material stuff we might want. It is just "stuff". Thanks for your post - it was well said.

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  50. Man, do I love you for posting this from your heart!! I ride a fine line between being really jealous of the beauty I see in other bloggers' homes and lives, and being inspired to do a better job with what I have.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the "make it your dream home with what you have." We don't have a lot of extra money for fancy new furniture or remodeling our bathrooms, but I can certainly try to make a comfortable life for US.

    I appreciate your blog (and a few others) for being honest and showing the rest of us that it's okay to be real and show us a flaw or two every now and then.

    My worst Thanksgiving was when I was 16...my dad died a few days earlier after a short battle with cancer and we ended up having a silent and sad dinner at a local cheap-o buffet--the only place that was open. Not a pleasant memory.

    I'm so glad you have a warm and happy home with your husband and kids. :)

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  51. What a great post Sarah! I grew up in a house where things were rough...lots of heated arguments. I was VERY fortunate to have wonderful grandparents to take us away from it all from time to time. I truly believe that each home is very individual. I have met people who own very small homes with great big hearts and wonderful families, and those with gi-normous homes who are miserable! Home is what you make of it...it is NOT the "things" but the love and emotions that you feel while being there. I have seen documentaries with those who in our terms, "have nothing", but are the happiest people on earth! They are content with what they have or have been given. We could all stand to learn from them. After my daughter befriended a young lady who played the same sport she loved (volleyball) only to learn she had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (Shayla passed away just before Christmas of last year)...we truly realized what was important, what REALLY mattered...LIFE, spending time with those you love (however long or short that may be). Things are just that, THINGS! Something I tend to live by is that homes are as individual as those who live in them!! Make them your own.

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  52. Hi Sara. I don't think anyone could have put it any better. Just look how many have responded to this post. I'm always shocked when other people who have met me say something about me and I think your kidding. That's the way you preceive me? Wow, you don't see all the insecurities, the shakiness, the self doubt?

    We have been remodeling our home forever and alot of things have happened that got in the way and a lot of things got put on the back burner. So yes, I'm ashamed to say I do get envious and a little, okay maybe a little be more than that jealous, but it's only in a happy for you and wish I was there sorta way.

    Thanks for sharing such an honest post.

    Hope you have a fun, fun weekend full of Halloween goodies...Tracy

    PS. I'm hosting a giveaway - stop by and throw your name in the witches hat.

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  53. Thanks Sarah... as a new homeowner I am torn between the home that I lived in my whole life and the house that I am making into a home. What I have realized though through all of this is that home is not a physical place, it is my husband and me and both of our parents who are sharing their strengths and qualities to help us get "out on our own".
    Blessings to you!

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  54. You're just too cute, sweet, genuine and talented! I found you months ago (does that sound crazy, stalkerish...?)
    Anyway, I completely feel what you're saying in this post, hence the reason for my response.
    Thank you for your truthfullness and you're talent. You've inspired me to try things I would have never, ever tried. Thanks again!! xxx

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  55. Thanks so much for this post. I find myself becoming dissatisfied all too often with my home. Especially when I see the lovely homes and talents of others. Sometimes it seems that nothing I try works out like I want it to. I know I have too much furniture and "stuff" everywhere, but it all means so much to me, what would I get rid of? I've finally reached the point where if I love it and my husband loves it, that's all that matters.

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  56. Kudos for putting it all out there and saying how you really feel! It is so EASY to get that twinge of resentment and jealously. Especially if things haven't been going your way and it looks like it is all peaches and cream for someone else. But it isn't and I have come to learn that the hard way this year. My husband and I are both working which is something we can't say for all of our friends who got laid off with us. We don't have a house right now, but we still have a home - because it is where we are together that counts!

    Hugs! And thanks again for putting it out there!

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  57. Sarah, I just found your blog this week, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I told my daughter (who is Sarah as well) about it and she is planning to take a look. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful posts and all the creative ways you make your house so beautiful so enexpensively. It is such an inspiration! Just last night after I had been looking at your blog, I opened my Bible to read some before I went to bed, and I came across this passage: Ps. 127:1 "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:" I thought that was interesting since I had just been looking at blogs on houses. Maybe the Lord allowed me to read that to share with you; it sounds so much like what you were saying in your post. I love decorating and trying to "make my house a haven", but I have to keep my priorites and motives right as well. Thank you for your post. Looking forward to more from your beautiful home....Gail

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  58. Sarah,
    I first want to say...love the new blog look, just beautiful!!

    This post was "perfectly" said. Thank you for opening up and sharing a deeper part of yourself. I know this can be a hard thing to do...I for one don't like feeling vulnerable and I always do when I open deeper. It just goes to show why so many bloggers love you...you keep it real and that is better than anything. We all are imperfect striving to do our best whatever that might be...that is all that really matters.

    I too could go on about why a home means so much to me...you know we are military and have to move so much, but the one thing I have found is true...home really is where your heart is.

    I actually have to confess that when I saw your dining room reveal I was so happy for you and yes...*gulp* that little green monster was there. We have just moved into our home and are at the scratch of making it ours. You definetly are talented and creative...which I love. I think we wouldn't be human if we didn't feel these things sometimes. I really am happy for you and love seeing what you have to share.

    Thank you for just being you...perfect in every way!! ;)

    Hugs and love friend,
    ~Victoria~

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  59. Thank you so much for reminding us all that imperfect is OK and, dare I say, NORMAL! Too often we get caught up in keeping up or surpassing the next girl and lose track of what is really important. God Bless You!

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  60. Wow! This is my first time commenting and I am "newer" to your blog...which I <3! Your imagination & creativity is inspiring & motivating to me!
    Love your evening post...very introspective & relatable to me! Thanks for keeping it real! Well said!!

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  61. So well put my dear.

    Have a fabulous weekend!

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  62. Thanks for the reminder that STUFF isn't what makes life important. Some blogging just feels like a "one-upping session". Never here, just good inexpensive ideas!

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  63. Excellent message. It's not all about stuff .... it is the relationships and value you add to those around you.
    As with a previous poster (Rhonda) ... I also hesitated to start blogging, thinking I wouldn't be able to have projects to post about all the time ... or a lot of money to put towards them. But I've learned from my fellow bloggers that it is reaching out, touching a life of someone you don't know, making connections, and learning from others more than the price tag on anything.

    Sarah ...Thanks for making us all remember that. I love your blog.

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  64. I have been following you for a while and have even started using some of your ideas. we have lived in our house for 6 years and I think I was just living here and not making it a home because I was "waiting" for my perfect house. I now know that will not happen for a while time due to the housing market here and other bad choices we have made the past few years. I read another blog the other day saying basicly the same thing you are saying and I have been thinking about that a lot. I have two kids and I should be making memories with them! I have been inspired!!! So I just wanted to say THANK YOU for inspiring me to make my house a home for my family!!!

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  65. I'm teary eyed reading this, what a fabulous post! I love your blog and am always checking for new posts and drooling over all the pics of the lovely home you have created for you and your family. The pics and tips you post are always such an inspirtaion in making my house a home. This post was truly touching and I can't even express in words how awesome I think it is...makes me want to just give you a big hug! You go girl, you rock! What a beautiful heart you have, your mother raised a wonderful daughter! Oh gosh, hope this isn't too lame! =)

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  66. I appreciate this post. It's easy to believe someone is "perfect" when you only know them through their blog. I really enjoy reading about real life situations.

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  67. crying. yes, i am.

    live the life you want and love the life you have.

    that's my motto- and i'm sticking to it- because life is too short to waste time on anything else!

    a perfect post for heading in to a family holiday weekend that kicks off a family holiday season- thanks!

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  68. What a beautiful post! I think we can all relate to what you're talking about. I know I can!

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  69. YAY! Love this post- and I have felt bad before when I walked away from someone else's blog. I'm not gonna -- I do love my house 'cause it's OURS. Thanks girl!

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  70. this post hit home! i have down the same thing you have, but to your blog! i am envious of your home and how beautiful it is and how it seems like you have so much time to do these wonderful things to your home. i lovemy home to, but i have 9 month old twins and a 3 year old. there is no time for anything and i get sad. but after reading your post i know i shouldn't feel that way. i need to live in the moment and be with my kids right now. my inspirations for my house can wait a little while. thank you!

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  71. Thanks so much for sharing Sarah♥
    I love blog posts that help us (the readers) really get to know the authors. It makes everything else you write about all the more special, especially for those of us who don't know you all that well. Thank you again.

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  72. I enjoy reading the blogs. But I don't get why some have to share every little detail like their babies first carrots etc. and they get 150 comments on just that one subject. And someone shares their heart and get NO comments?? Like...do these people have a life??? I started a blog so family can keep up with my family. I am not that interested in total strangers thinking I'm wonderful. And if anyone is jealous or has envy...get real...these are people you don't even know..why waste your time and energy?? Give aways?? too time consuming for me and it's just a way to get hits on your blog...what kind of contest is that?? But ..Thrifty Decor Chick I do enjoy your blog and you are sooo talented and I love your ideas! Some people will probably not like waht I have said. Does anybody agree?

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  73. This is the first time I visited your blog, wow what a wonderful post! You sound like someone I would love to have coffee with in the morning! Keep keeping it real!
    All the best!

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  74. Well said!! Lovley meaningful post. Something we all should/need to remember :~)
    *hugs*Deb

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  75. Sarah, you an dI must be soul sisters, this is exactly what I posted about on Thursday. ... Our homes are what we have and who we are.. not what's in a magazine!

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  76. I appreciate your honesty!!
    I have felt many of the same things before.
    Enjoy your blog immensely!! I always look forward to your posts and I love this great new look.

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  77. Very true. I think we all know what you're talking about.

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  78. I love this post. I have tears streaming down my face. Because lately I have felt this way....and I now realize I shouldn't give in to jealousy or the I wants...

    I am grateful that I have my family, a home that we bought, and food to feed my family.

    Thank you so much for putting it all in perspective. Sometimes I need a good wake up call that shows me all of the wonderful that I am blessed with.

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  79. I love you lady! I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! And thank you for inspiring me like always!

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  80. Oh Sarah, I so heart you ;-) You always hit the nail right on the head from painting a piece of found furniture to the words to you written today. That is exactly what it boils down to for me. It's the memory making part of crafts, and cooking and decorating...that's WHY I do it! I want my home to be a home to everyone that walks through the door, my family, my friends everyone. Thank you for putting it into the perfect words.

    Dawn

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  81. Thanks for keeping it real. Those are my favorite kinds of posts. Well said. :)

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  82. What's great about your blog is that it's REAL! It's what others can afford to copy! It's what we can actually manage, it's all because you are real and you don't spend lots of money or time. Your new site looks beautiful! It was about time you did an update! So, keep all the goody ideas coming and enjoy what you have! No more jealousy, wishing, resentment, etc. No more you hear me girly!

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  83. You already have a slough of really, super long comments. So I normally wouldn't leave one. Except that this is so dear to my heart: us showing our normalcy. We're real women with real lives and real "stuff" and real things clamoring for our attention. The reason we started this blogging thing wasn't to show others how perfect we are, but to help them see that the perfection is actually found amidst the imperfection! You are doing this. Wonderfully. By being ourselves, we inspire others to be themselves. Whether it's decorating a home or fashion or everyday life... it's the (un)balancing act of being a woman. Wish we could sit down and have coffee...

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  84. Amen sistah! I love your blog and all your wonderful ideas. My husband and I bought our first house a year ago. Right after, I had buyers regret-our house is not very big and every time I drove by nicer, bigger houses, I wished we had bought something different or could afford a bigger house. However, after time I realized how blessed I was to even own a house. My single friend commented one day how I had it all-a house, a great husband, a baby (3 months at the time we bought our house). That made me realize how "perfect" my life may have appeared to others, but I didn't feel that way at the time. I was too busy wishing I had a different house!

    I have since changed my attitude and put so much time and effort into making our house a home (on a dime) and I'm loving it! Decorating and DIY projects are so much fun. You're right, a home is about making memories, not making sure your house is perfect for others to judge. There will always be someone more beautiful, thinner, talented, richer or smarter around for us to compare ourselves to. It's important to remember what really matters in life. Thanks again. :)

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  85. Amen girl! Best post yet! I so agree with you. I have had to take a step back and say to myself, it is okay I don't have the house I want. I have the HOME I want and that my kids and hubby happy here. It's not the house that makes the home, it's the love inside. I always have to remember that I am truly blessed regardless of each situation that happens in my life. Thank you for this post. Enjoy your weekend with your family!

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  86. *tears* Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  87. I just need to really say thank you.. i have just started my blog this month and ive had a lot of things going on in my life that have taken me for a whirlwind.. I want to thank you so much for what you have said i really needed to here it from another blogger, amazing mom and woman. Thank you!

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  88. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and private feelings!! I think you have shared some thoughts we all have had at different times! I know I like a clean and organized house, but I also want it to look like someone lives there -because they do. It is a promise I made to myself not to major to much on the minor stuff when it comes to house keeping -so I will not drive my family crazy!!!

    Thank you for keeping it real. I always look forward to reading your blog!!!

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  89. Your post was very eliqentlly stated.
    I feel like decorating should be a process that helps a house become a home and a process that helps it stay a home during those times when families needs are changing.

    And this is what we should trive for: Good home but one that changes and always changing but very rary perfect. Just a place for a family to grown

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  90. Thanks for opening up like that and keeping it real!! Very well-said. I liked the comment about the laundry on the line. . .isn't that the truth??? We are all perfectly imperfect!!! I actually find browsing blogs to be very inspiring. . .you have prompted me to do/try things around my house that I would never have attempted in the past. In fact, I refer to you as "black door lady" b/c everyone *loves* my new black door in the garage and I point the credit to you -- where it is due!! I have a wreath hanging (on a mirror, no less) and when it's commented on I say "oh yea, the black door lady showed me how to do that too!". Thanks for your inspiration and helping me to make my house cozier for my family :)

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  91. Thanks for not being afraid to be a REAL HUMAN BEING on your blog. So many people use the internet to hide their real selves and it's refreshing to read a blog that "lets it all hang out"!

    I actually rarely read decor blogs because I'm not THAT into crafts and redecorating, but I really enjoy yours because of YOU!

    Thanks!!

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  92. I love what you wrote..our life was the perfect years ago and then my husband became disabled...I struggled as people didn't understand that maybe on the outside the house looked beautiful but inside we were hurting! So many look at the outside of our lives but do not know what is really inside! Everything can look awesome from the outside but to reach inside and touch a life is what we are all here for! I love your blog and you have so much to be Thankful for! hugs and prayers, cheryl brown

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  93. I'm going to return to read all these comments. When the comments are every bit as interesting as the topic, you know you've hit the heart of many.

    Thanks Sarah. I too feel the envy bug creep up. And yes, it's a good reminder that we ALL have very real stories that are not known to many.

    It's also another good reminder that we are where we are because of what we have done for ourselves. Those that have much have worked VERY hard for it. Good for them!

    When I had to leave my 5 acre wrap around veranda dream home after my divorce and move into what we refer to as BC Boxes, I wasn't a happy camper for a very long time. The house needed SO much repair and I was sinking. After a wonderful church came forth and helped me renovate, hope and God came back into my life in a very big way. That step allowed me to further persue this incredible world of decorating and all that it's brought to my life to date.

    Every day I can now sit down and enjoy the blogging world with this wonderful bunch is a good one. For without my past story, none of this could be possible. We need that chain of events from the past to have us right where we are. And that IS a very good place.

    And here's a small tip I told myself just today. When we watch the successes of others, allow that to be a guide to yourself. You now have a roadmap of already chartered territory! Don't look at it as a means of envy, but take that lesson and apply it to you if applicable. Do what it takes.

    I love this quote...

    'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.'

    So well said.

    Thanks for being a wise voice for many today, Sarah.

    Donna

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  94. Sarah, well said!!! I echo your thoughts and say "Amen, sister!" Linda

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  95. Wow. Well said, Sarah. I have felt some of those very same feelings you mentioned. As much as I love and enjoy and learn from your blog, I have felt that way about yours (and others) - that little jealousy/envy thing . . . wishing I had the time, vision, money, stamina as you (and others) to make my house/home look as beautiful and perfect. It some ways, that's what kind of what keeps us going, though, right? To improve, to do better. Or, maybe for some, makes it harder to go on.

    Thanks for sharing your feelings. We all need reminders that a "home" is what you make of it, not just what it's made of, right?

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  96. wonderfuly said. Very very true, and real. I love your blog and ideas. You inspire me so much for my house. I love the idea I don't have to spend big bucks to get the look that I want. Thank you!

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  97. Thank you Sarah. My family and I have just moved to a new home. It's larger than we've ever had before and it needs lots of "love". Moving from an NYC, teeny-tiny pad to a large home in the South has been a bit of a shocker for me. I admit I have been feeling on overwhelming sense to "get it done" and make every room a "perfect"one. Silly really, as we moved here so I could enjoy time with my son and be a Mom for a while without feeling pressured to do it all, and here I am trying to do it all :) You're post put me at such ease. I, too, LOVE our home (sorry, LUUUURVE-just learning!). It's a dream come true. Thank you for reminding me to smell the roses, and savor each project (no matter how daunting).

    You've been such an inspiration, in many ways.

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  98. Oh, how this was meant for me you will never know! After owning a 4 bdr. house with a huge yard I was faced with the decision of selling it. Now we live in a rental place and I see myself constanly dreaming of a home again, jealous of what I see other people around me have. A Dear friend just bought a brand new home and I was so glad for her but at the same time sad because is going to be a LONG time before we can do the same. Thank you for sharing I'm not the only one who feels that way; and I promise to focus more on whats really important: the people in it!

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  99. I know I am guilty of looking at people's houses or crafts and thinking that they do amazing things. I also get a little envious of people who have homes -- last year I lost my job one week before we were to close on our first house. I had so many thoughts and dreams for it (no, it wasn't my dream house, but we're just starting out). So now we're in a dingy apartment, that yes, other people think is nice, but they don't see the roaches that crawl out of the kitchen almost every day (thanks, upstairs neighbors), and I wish, so wish we had a home. But ... and here's the important part, I now know the reason we didn't get the house. The money we were going to put down (all 20%) is going to help my husband finish school. If we had moved into a house, he would have felt obligated to continue working with a feeling that he couldn't go back to school due to financial restraints. But ... I still try to make our "home" a home. And we do get compliments that there is a nice feeling, and really, that's all that really matters. ^_^ (Thanks for your inexpensive inspiring home decor ideas. Even though your home is very nice, we all have to know ... it took you awhile to get there, and it will take us a while too. ^_^)

    -- Gabby (aka "Mantel" girl)

    nonchalantgirl.blogspot.com

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  100. I've seen several of these kinds of posts lately, so I know you're not alone in your thoughts. I even wrote one a few weeks ago about being a size 14 house in a size 2 house blogworld. :o) I think it's a woman's curse to compare then feel lousy afterwards...the andecdote is choosing to nurture and be gracious in the face of jealousy. We're all just high school girls at heart, wanting to be the popular, pretty one...even the popular,pretty ones want to be popular and pretty!
    Great post.

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  101. Thank you so much for this posting. I recently started a journal/blog in the hopes it might help someone else and give some purpose to my life since I am living with lung cancer. But when I read the upscale blogger sites, I know I do not have their credentials. I have a degree in education and have been gutting and decorating my many homes over the yrs. and have helped friends but nothing of their caliber, including you. So thank you for giving me the encouragement to continue my blogsite even if it isn't a cut above. Love you,
    Nancy
    www.rivieraboardwalk.blogspot.com

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  102. That was a beautiful post and it really hit home. My blog focuses more on my boys but I tend to read more of the blogs on crafts and home decorating and it has REALLY inspired me. I've been taking pictures of my projects to post someday. But I can't help but have similar feelsings at times too. I wonder where some of these awesome ladies find the time for all of these projects when somedays it's all I can do to keep my head about water with 3 boys. I tend to look at my house with more of a critical eye instead of looking and noticing the things that I love about it. I know I'm a perfectionist and my husband and boys don't see the 'little' things that I see. I can only hope that the house is a warm comfort to them and that they will have fond memories of it when they grow up.

    Great post. I've always loved your blog because you seem so fun and seem like someone I could really hang out with and I LOVE your sense of style!

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  103. Amen! This was so what I needed to hear this morning. I'm rather new to the blog world and I see a lot of these blogs that seem bigger than life. I too have had those twinges of envy peering into those so called "perfect lives". Thank you so much...You are so correct. We make our homes a haven and it doesn't matter how much or how little we have just that we create a loving, caring place. Love your blog!!!
    xoxo

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  104. Okay seriously it cracks me up that you wrote this because I basically wrote about the same thing yesterday (http://punkerdoos-rebecca.blogspot.com/2009/10/slap-on-tin-roof-and-call-me-love-shack.html)

    Trust me when I say I have coveted your house on more than one occasion but it's so true what you said...

    Thanks for keepin it reeelzz!
    xoxoxo

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  105. I love your post, your honesty, your insight. Thanks for sharing this. I will be real and honest, I have been dreading cutting pumpkins today because I just finished a craft show and not "everything is put back in it's place." Well, I am going to get off the ol puter, clear the craft stuff as much as I can (you know UFO's for the next show), and carve those pumpkins, and if a UFO or 2 is in the pic, that is okay. God's blessings to you and you family. Thanks!

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  106. Beautiful post, Sarah, and very well said.

    I hope you and the fam have a great Halloween!!!

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  107. What an absolutely wonderful post!! This is exactly what has been on my mind this week. Thank you!

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  108. Wow Sarah ~ what a powerful post. Sad but true I have had those feelings but then I look around at what I have here and it is home to me. My home will never be in a magazine ~ but I will always have my door open for friends and family who will not and do not judge the surroundings ~ they are here for the company and conversation and most times a cocktail or two. Thank you for your words ~ they really hit home.

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  109. Your comments today are so true...When you lose everything, then you realize just what are the important things in life. I learned this lesson going through hurricane katrina. When you come home and have to pile just about everything you own on the curb, but you have your life, and health, and your family is safe, you realize those are the things that really matter in life.

    I love your blog and the new format....you really do inspire me


    thanks
    Betsy

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  110. Hello Sarah,

    Thank you for addressing an issue that is rarely spoken of. Like you, I had a childhood that was loving, but far from ideal. Consequently,home (and the idea of an "ideal" home)became very precious to me.

    As time went on, I realized that this ideal, perfect home/life did not exist(except, perhaps, in the minds of advertisers and the like).

    It was at this time that I made the decision to embrace my life... warts and all... as it was.

    I don't mean highlight faults or focus on the negative (because that's against my strong belief that "what we focus on grows").

    Instead, I chose to abandon the idea of perfection as defined by other people's standards (much too stressful!). I decided to embrace what I call the "Charming Imperfections" of life (even trademarked the phrase!). Consequently, I embarked upon the happiest phase of my life thus far (and I'm glad to say I'm still experiencing it :).

    "What is perfection?" If we gave it any hard thought... I believe we'd all find that we're trying to live-up to some unrealistic ideal... put upon us by outside pressure that is not necessarily positive.

    I truly admire the way you have broken through and addressed the underlying reaction to that pressure (i.e., the green of envy and always striving for some imaginary perfection). While envy is an all too human reaction whenever it hits me I try to convert it to appreciation.

    (Once I understood that we are all made with our own special gifts it became much easier!)

    I once read that we can/should learn something valuable from each person we meet--no matter their intellect, education, or profession. It's taken me decades...but I now try to look for this lesson in each encounter I have with another. (My logic is such that, if I let envy take over, then I might miss something valuable!)

    Thanks again for opening up this subject.

    Warmly,
    Tracey

    P.S. I'd like to link to this post, if you don't mind!

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  111. Yay girlfriend! I'm so glad you had the courage to speak the truth and share your heart. I spoke a similar truth on my own blog a few days ago; however, it was more about coveting affirmation from blogging than coveting others' homes. But I think they can be easily interconnected. Obviously with over 100 comments we can all relate. We're all a mess in one way or another and we all need to keep the priorities of home to mean FAMILY and not materialism. Wonderful reminder. Thank you.

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  112. Thanks for being so honest! The blog world is a LIE! Everyone seems perfect, but no one is. But we all have perfect ideas and that is what I love about it.
    I have 3 little ones (a 3 yr old and 1 yr old TWIN BOYS) that literally tear apart my house every 5 seconds (I just got back from seeing them get into my buffet and take everything out). I can't decorate like I want to right now, and it KILLS ME! But then again, when the kids are gone I will miss them.
    Love your blog, keep up the good ideas.

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  113. Wow Sarah, you know how to generate a comment.. good for you! Your post caused me to change my blog for today to expand on what it means to me. I want to thank you for what you said (I gave you credit but don't know how to link your blog :S) .. you inspired me and I finished my post at 2:30 this morning. Thank you so much, enjoy reading your blog. Come on over to mine when you get a chance.. it's new and not as pretty but it will be :D. Hayley

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  114. That you for the courage to post this... So many of us needed to hear this!!

    Even with this post Sarah, you still inspire.

    Thank you!

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  115. Your post was so beautifully written. We have something in common: my parents went through a war of the roses type of divorice when I was in high school and I too had NO HOME for some years after (I don't consider my first apartments 'homes' I hated them. Even my first condo was awful.) I loved my next purchase, the townhome, and now of course, my house. I thank God everyday for it, and even though I have a long commute to the office, I love it like a child. I knew I loved you and your blog when I first started reading! I see your love of your home and I feel the same way. You are a beautiful soul and Perfect in everyway that you should be! Hugs
    Shari

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  116. I cried when I read your post today because I feel the EXACT same way sometimes, and I don't like it, either. I go in a friend's house and I start feeling like mine doesn't measure up, and I have to remind myself that those things are just not THAT important. Thanks for reminding us and letting me know I'm not the only one that does that!! Also, I've never commented, but I read your blog ALL THE TIME!! and I LOVE IT!! I have done the molding thing over my couch, and it looks GREAT!! I have told all my friends that come in my house to check it out, and then go to your blog and see all of your great ideas!! Thank you for unselfishly sharing your creativity!! It has meant a lot to me.

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  117. You're absolutely right. I will admit that many times I read your blog and I do feel jealous. I've never fallen in love with my home because most of the time all I see are the things that aren't there. The new nice furniture and decorations that we don't have because paying the bills and putting food on the table take up all the money. But it's not about the furnishings, it's about the family. I'll work on making it my dream home with what I have, and quit being envious of other people. No one has a perfect life, not really!

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  118. That was one of your best posts, and didn't even have pictures! Thank you for sharing from your heart. This is why I enjoy your blog so much. You help us "real" mothers and try to be decorators make our homes beautiful and from the heart.

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  119. Thank you for this post... I needed it today!

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  120. such a heartfelt and meaningful post! thank you for sharing and such wonderful words you used to remind us all about life! Happy Halloween!

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  121. Wow, I read your post and it made me cry, you and I are cut from the same cloth. I am proud of who I am and that I love everything about my life. No regrets, just simple gifts that the Lord gives to us to make us happy in our lives. You get it, that is what makes you special. I thank God you are in my life, Happy Halloween my friend, give your babies a big hug and LOUD smooches!!!

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  122. Thanks for the perspective. I am so antsy to get to the point where we can buy our own home, but then I have to admit that I'll just be antsy for the NEXT/BETTER home. I guess I really just need to make it a goal to enjoy what I have and where I'm at right now. After all, it's not the home itself, it's the people that are inside of it. Thanks!

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  123. Sarah, it is hard for me to view other blogs then yours, because they feel so fake. Just like a maganize or something. The few times I have looked at other blogs I found some nice ideas, but it wasn't warm or real.
    I appreciate your words spoken on this post. I think I love your blog so much because you show the true mess - sometimes - and type as a REAL human being. You don't act like you have one meellliiooonn dollars and you help people to made the wood structure they live in feel like home.
    I have to say honestly I look to you for inspiration because I was never rasied in a house that had any taste for decor. But I have none once come onto your blog feeling as though you were the Jones I was trying to keep up with.
    I hope you have a lovely time treat-or-tricking with the Bud. Your boys are lucky to have such a grounded woman, even though you aren't perfect. No one wants perfection anyways - where is the fun in that?!

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  124. Thank you so much for posting this. Really, your honesty and candidness are amazing. I too feel that way about some blogs (jealous, etc.) For instance, there is one that I read where the woman talks about how she and husband do everything together-- talk about their goals for the home, work on projects together, help each other pick out paint colors. I find myself envying that. I love my husband and we're happy, but the day he helps me with a DIY headboard is the day I get his head checked, 'cause that's not him! And I try to let my home/relationship be just that- MINE. But it is hard. I look at my house with such disappointment sometimes and forget how joyful my heart felt when we stumbled onto this house just a year ago! Thanks so much for this reality check. It helps me remember that no matter what my style is, how much money I have, of time in the day to devote to the home, my home is where my heart is.

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  125. I really, really like your blog. Thanks for being honest. I am very greatful that we were able to buy a home. As a child, I lived in apartments (otherwise known as low income housing). If you were to see my house, you would just laught! We have been working on laying bamboo floors for over 3 years, but you know what, it's home and someday we will own it. I still invite my friends over, I warn them first, and it's OK. It's whats in your heart that counts. You seem like a very nice person and you would be welcome at my home anytime. I also have 4 cats and 2 dogs.

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  126. Thank you for being so real and human. It how we make our family and visitors feel in our home that counts, not the glam or the bling of a house.

    On my blog, one may read how I'm fussing over getting a project done right....but may never know that I'm putting in all that time and energy in that project to keep my mind off my recent diagnosis of cancer and a rare autoimmune disease. My blog focuses on making things pretty because I don't have a perfect, pretty life.

    And I'm pretty sure that happens with a lot of creative bloggers...it looks like we have time and money to spend... but it may just be that we're deflecting another one of life's worries.

    Just thought I'd add my thoughts on your wonderful post. -shirl

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  127. Dear Thristy, sometimes we all need a slap upside the head to remember to be grateful. Thanks for delivering it, in the nicest way possible, of course.

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  128. I think we all feel that way sometimes. I have a small (1250 sqft) house and sometimes I forget how nice it really is. Ok so a lot I forget how nice it really is. I see other people with their bigger houses and nice kitchens (mine is horribly laid out and not very efficient.. and I LOVE to cook..) and I get envious. It's hard not to. But what makes me realize how much I really do LOVE this house is when I think about moving into a "bigger and better" house... I get upset. I don't want to leave here. I would, yes, like for my kitchen to be better... but this is something I can fix someday. It really isn't about the size of the house.. It's about the love that is inside of it - that makes it a home. Thanks for the reminder.. It's good to remember these things.

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  129. I love your blog. You inspired me to start my own. I have struggled to not try to compare myself with everyone else and have always thought that certain people were perfect. Then they got divorced or something like that and shattered my bubble. I'm truly happy with my life and all I have and don't have. thanks. check me out and give me your opinion and suggestions at www.pretendingtobedomesticdotcom

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  130. Ok...It's time I speak up! I've stalked your blog for quite some time now and I love, love, love, your ideas and creativity. I am envious of your beautiful home and your talent to make it that way. To be honest, I think I haven't posted a comment because you might visit my blog and I don't feel like my house "measures up"...as you mentioned other bloggers saying. My blog is mainly a family blog, with some home/craft stuff thrown in. I invite you to check it out! I do love my home and I'm proud of all the things we've done to make it our own. Your right! It is by no means "perfect", but it's home and it's where we are raising our kids and making wonderful memories. Thanks for all your inspiration...and I won't be so shy to post a comment anymore!
    ~Kelly

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  131. I have a saying (and I did not come up with it!) - "Compare and despair." I used to work in a day center with homeless women and kids. Our motto was "Hearts Find A Home." We created a place where all the women could come and feel respected and loved and even make friends! Reading your blog today, I was reminded of how some of these women felt when, at the end of the day, we counselors headed home to our cozy apartments, houses in the burbs, or country farmhouses, while they headed to a shelter where 20 people shared a bathroom, or, worse, back out onto the streets. As you say, our homes are our havens. Those of us who have them in these tough times are very fortunate. Thank you for writing about this today. You helped a lot of people to remember things that are important!

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  132. I read your blog quite often and love all thenew ideas that you come up with. I dont usually comment on any blog that I read but today I had to coment on this post. It was so real and truly from the heart. God bless you and your family.

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  133. Sarah I just knew I admired your kind spirit from the very first time I visited your blog almost a year ago. You are speaking to my heart in so many ways here. Thank you so much. We all needed to read this special post today. You rock!

    ~Love ya girl. ~Melissa :)

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  134. Such refreshing words to hear... Thank you for sharing! It's so easy to get caught up with the "stuff" in life (especially in the home-laundry,projects,dishes,etc) but it's not always as easy to appreciate where we're at!

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  135. Sarah, that was a wonderful post..I think we all have envy of others homes, things, possessions..and we forget how much WE have ourselves..sometimes we are always wanting more instead of being happy with what we do have. I have a cute little plaque up by my fireplace that simply says 'Cherish Your Home'. I bought it this time last year when we wer living in a 800 sq foot mobile home, hubby, me and 3 dogs, our earthly belongings were in storage 1200 miles away except for what we could fit in our little place. We are now in our permanent home and many of my holiday decorations are still in storage (not for long) but I have that little plaque up here staring at me as I type, puts it all in perspective I believe. God Bless ya!

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  136. Wonderful post. It is easy to get depressed reading blogs and seeing only the perfect pictures that everyone posts. I love people to keep it real and show the not so perfect side of their lives too.

    Thanks for being so honest.

    XOOX
    Jen

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  137. Well put we all need that reality check from time to time! Your blog is one of my favs thanks for all of the posts chuck full o' decorating goodness you rock!

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  138. Loved this post, Sarah! Thanks for letting us have a little window into your heart~makes me love you and your home even more because you truly understand what home means...

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  139. I LOVE this post! Thank you so much for sharing such honesty. I have just started my blog and I hope to "keep it real" as you have. We are all no where near perfect and should all stick together. :)

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  140. This was a wonderful post. Over the course of 34 years in the same home, my feelings went from pride, to feeling cramped, to happy again when we did a complete remodel.

    When my heart was breaking over loss of loved ones, it didn't matter what the structure looked like. This house is our home. It was (and is)synonymous with love and comfort.

    When we traveled by bus to visit a Mayan ruin in Mexico and saw what passed for homes there, my small home became a mansion.

    I'm at an age now where I can look at beautiful, seemingly spacious homes in magazines and in blogs and admire their decor without a bit of jealousy.

    I bet most of us have been in amazing houses that didn't feel like homes and in comparatively ramshackle abodes where love and "home" were palpable.

    I've enjoyed your blog for some time now. This post bumped my feelings up to a new level.

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  141. Hi! I just started a blog an in all honesty it is because I wanted to combat all those ugly inferior feelings I was feeling as I browsed through all these blogs created by awesome blogging women! The more I read and saw photos of "perfect" homes the more inadequate I felt. Thank you for addressing this issue that I am sure you and I are not alone it! I am a thrifty girl right down to my bones and am going to really enjoy spending some time browsing your wealth of ideas!
    Thanks a bunch for reminding me what really matters in life.
    Enjoy your Sunday!
    Warmly,
    Monica

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  142. I get that feeling. I used to get it a lot. I had to remind myself that I started my blog as a journal of what I'm doing--and not for anyone else. Your post made me tear up a little bit when you described spending a holiday at a motel. It reminds me of the 1st Thanksgiving after my Dad died. The anniversary of his death is November 17th-so on Thanksgiving we just spent the day boxing his stuff away...I was 10...it took a long time for holidays to feel "real" again.

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  143. What a sweet post. I just recently found your blog (and actually just discovered the plethora of home decor blogs in blogland). It is very easy to see all of these beautiful pictures posted by creative geniuses such as yourself and become frustrated that my house 'just doesn't measure up.' But home isn't what your house looks like, it's the feeling of security that it gives your family and the sense of welcome that it provides to your guests. Perfect is insignificant if your children are afraid to mess up their own home by playing in it! Thanks for keeping it real, and for providing fabulous ideas to help us make our homes beautiful!

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  144. Thank you for your honesty. And you said it best when you said " Remember even those that feel they have very little are envied by someone. Be proud and love what you have and make it what you love and are proud of, in whatever way you can." I think everyone can relate to your feelings and I think it is wonderful you opened up with this topic. I think so many find pleasure in reading your blog as they can relate to you". Keep up the great sharing and blogging!

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  145. A most excellent post. I know we are meant to be neighbors and BFF's forever and wallow in our imperfectness and love it. We could even share our caulk and spackle. Thanks for the time you put into your post and perhaps I will take a lesson from that.

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  146. Thank you for posting! To share with you, I started reading your blog about 2 months ago, loved all the home-y cozy reveals and decor... just recently we had a flood and caused over $25,000 in damage to our rental unit. To say I was sad, down and out is an understatement. Since we have just moved back in, we have made it our goal to make this place "our home". To give it our all. Your blog has inspired me, so much that for the first time ever, we now own a kitchen table. We decided not to wait until we had the $1000's to buy one. Instead I spent $55 for a table that can be re-finished, and am still on the search for chairs. And in this bloggy world, you have no idea how you affect others, but your recent dining room re-do inspired me to spend as little as possible to make something grand. Thank you.

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  147. Thank you so much for this post. I have though the same things on many occasions, but never admitted it. I have felt that "envy" bug many times. Seeing young couples with kids and homes. It makes me sad. My husbnad and I have been trying to have a baby for over a year now. It hasn't worked...the hardest part is that I have had a baby before, when I was a stupid kid, and ended up placing the baby for adoption. But now having the tables turned, I feel envy SO much. We also live in my parents basement apartment, mostly so we can afford to put my husband through school. I see young couples moving into homes, and starting families...and wonder what happened to us, My husband is almost 30 and I am not far behind, yet I feel like a young newly wed trying to get on their feet...

    Anyway, I vented too much, I am sorry. But your words are SO true, I am sure there are people out there that have that "envy" bug towards me, but they don't know the behind the scenes stuff.

    Thank you.
    Carly

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  148. Great post! I feel jealousy when I go to blogs of people with big, beautiful old homes. I would LOVE to have an old farmhouse in the Midwest or the East Coast, but we live in a brand new rancher in the desert in Oregon. It's hard for me to be happy in my home sometimes, but I try to remind myself that it doesn't matter where we live, just as long as we're together. And sometimes you have to remind yourself that there are people out there without a home, and they would give anything to have what you do. Some people would want to slap me if they heard me complain about how my home isn't old enough, or big enough, or beautiful enough. Not to mention, when I complain about where I live, it makes my husband feel like he hasn't done enough to provide for his family. I don't want that at all! Anyways, thank you so much for this post, and for the reminder to be happy with our homes, wherever we are in live! Have a great day!! Beth.

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  149. I for one really appreciate honesty, and I love hearing your deep thoughts.

    God does sometimes give us a little smack upside the head, doesn't he? You are good and faithful to share the fact that you received a reminder from him, because you're not the only one who needs that reminder. We all do. Thank you very much for sharing it with us. God bless you.

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  150. That was like a 2x4 in the head for me! I can so relate to everything you said. I too went throught the blogs and became very jealous of some of the beautiful homes, impeccably decorated, and the gifted crafters out there. Then I had to step back and really define what beautiful meant to me. I agree with you so much. I love my beautiful imperfect home because that is where LOVE is!

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  151. OH MY' are you really reading all of these? BLESS YOUR HEART! I love this post, and will admit I have felt envy when SEEING some of your beautiful touches, decor, DIY'S but envy allthough a sin... is just apart of HUMANS.. we can't help it.

    I will say this.... MY FATHER IN LAW, YES' my father in law said this once... "ITS ALL just FLUFF, and you can't take any of it with you when you die!" Your family, and degree... THAT YOU CAN TAKE. However, even if its fluff, A home is what you make of it. I will add my fluff for now and make my home a beautiful haven. I am sure glad that I have my family though and that they will be with me in heaven one day. ;)

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  152. You are have wonderful blog that inspires creativity it your readers. So glad I found it!

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  153. I don't know you and just found your blog but I already like you. I loved this blog and it described how I feel when I "blog stalk". I am adding you to my stalking list...ha.

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  154. Love your blog. Just because certain bloggers aren't negative doesn't mean their life is perfect, but I have come to learn that there are readers out there that think this is true. I love how your posts really seam homey to me. I think it's you shining through. Bravo.

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  155. Thanks for being open and honest. It's very refreshing. I actually had a sepll of that myself last week because to me my blog is a place for me to be real and if other people want to read it great and if not well that's fine too. Thanks for the inspiration you have on your blog. Don't have funds for a lot of things now, but I've stashed some ideas away for when I do. I especially LOVE your new dining room centerpiece.

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  156. Preach it!

    I have personally felt the same transition lately--I don't have a home :( and I don't get to purchase one any time soon. :( I'm still RENTING an apartment at the age of 31 :( and it's EXPENSIVE.

    BUT, I get to and have to make it the best I can. We've been here for two years and I was so badly hoping to find something better that I never really decorated or made it nice. But now I have and I absolutely love my space! We purchased new decorations, put up our favorite photos, rearranged furniture to make 800 sq. ft. work for us. And it does. And I'm so much happier to be LIVING in my own space.

    For the record, you've never come across to me as being "I'm so perfect." I've always found you down-to-earth and very helpful. You make me feel like I can do it too. :)

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  157. Wow! That sure hit home today! I just found your blog last Friday, so this came at the perfect time! I spent the weekend having fun with my kids of course, but with a nagging, unsatisfied feeling in the back of my head about our home. So many things are dinged and "hurt", we are bursting at the seams, and I just wanted a newer, bigger, place to call home. Your post totally brought things back into perspective. I HAVE a HOME, I have a roof over my head, and a place to keep my kids safe. Thanks for the reminder! I sure needed it!

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  158. This was a great post...so honest and true! We have to remember that bloggers can make their homes and their lives seem so perfect when there could be so many underlying issues we never see and yet are jealous of their lives (sad to say)...thank you for reminding us that we need to be greatful for what we have ALWAYS~

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  159. Thank you for this post! I always thought I would have more at this stage in my life, but the past two years have made me grateful for what I do have. I once again own a home, it may be small and old, but it is MINE and I am proud of it! And most importantly we can AFFORD it! We could have bought bigger and better, but we played it smart and chose a very comfortable payment instead. We have been working hard to make it what we want and your blog has helped. Thanks for all that you do!!!

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  160. This is stated so well - and you are so right. And you're not alone in your feelings. I tend to be the same when I read wedding blogs because deep down I am that girl that's dying to be engaged but not willing to "FORCE" the ring on her finger. I am patient and hope it will all work out. The reason I love your blog so much is that it gives me a realistic way to make my home look so pretty! I can afford to do all the fun projects you do that would otherwise cost me SO. MUCH. MONEY! Money I don't have available to "keep up with the joneses"

    :)

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  161. Thank you. I really needed to read this entry. Due to economic hardships, we have needed to rent for the last few years and it has been really hard not being able to decorate like I could if we owned. It is so important to have a home not just a house, and even though this place makes us really depressed a lot, we do have memories here that I will always cherish. Thanks for sharing! I love your blog and will definitely be using lots of your ideas once we buy!

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  162. You don't really need another comment on this post, but sometimes you just have to say what's in your head and get it out! Not only was your post exactly what I needed to hear, but the fact that it pushed ALL these other women to say the same thing proves to me that my focus doesn't need to be on what I'll never have that my friends have for their homes. I can do zero decorating right now so we can save money (for a new little one!- I already have a 1 and 2 year old- trouble is headed my way!) and I need to focus on providing a cozy, happy, non envious, peaceful home for my family. Thank you for instigating this direction of thought which is a much better path than the path more often taken. (I'm no poet you can tell). Thanks again.

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  163. Well said. Home isn't about the stuff, and striving for perfection never brought anyone happiness.

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  164. You are so right! Good friends of ours bought a brand new home two years ago and everything is so new and perfect. I get envious everytime I'm there. Her home is so modern. But occurred to me a month ago, her home is not "MY HOME". Her design style is not MY STYLE. I'm now on a mission to fill my home with things that I love and that makes me smile. I would say the best art piece was painted by my daughter when she was 10. Your home should be the best you want it to be and it should reflect every bit of you and your family. Thanks for your post!

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  165. What a great reminder for New Years! The best to you and your family in 2010, imperfections and all!

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  166. You have made my New Year's Day 2011 with this post centering gratitude on the "where" of life. It is near to my heart - to create for my children a warm place, decorated with thrift and ingenuity and love!
    Keep up the great work, and you are now one of my faves!

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  167. This kinda made me cry a bit when you wrote about the song and the hotel and your Mom and you staying there- and I admire you for this post, I do. I am so with you on the whole making your blog seem positive ( more positive than your life really is ) and not sharing everything- and then .. not realising other pople do the same.. and not everything is as perfect as it seems.I love the way you " talk" to people on your blog , and though I actually very seldom comment on your blog - I admit I am also.. a bit .. envious ..of you..because you seem so.. PERFECT ( hahaha) which I promise I won't be now .. but I think you are a fun, and great and creative and LOVELY .
    Hugs
    Bea

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!