Monday, October 27, 2014

The "In the Interest of Full Disclosure" Post

Would you be so kind as to take a few short minutes to complete this quiz:

Which of the following best describes Theresa of Ordinary Lovely?

a) She is perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  And everything she does shines like rhinestones in the Western New York sun.  

b) She doesn't really exist.  This blog is actually written by aliens who use it to  determine the extent of the the Earth's vulnerability when human beings naively believe that bloggers are who they say they are.  They use pirated pictures of food and crafts from Good Housekeeping magazine and pay the neighborhood kids in PopRocks to pose for "family" photos.  The aliens may or may not have included "attempt to infiltrate the Catholic mom blogosphere" in their 2 to 5 year plan.  

c) She labors in a kitchen with sticky floors and a dirty stove top to make very tasty soups, homemade granola, and jam.  She hardly ever leaves the house and wonders if she's developing a midlife case of agoraphobia.  She loves her family beyond what mere words can convey but she's often short tempered with her kids and husband.  She cares for her family in many wonderful ways but lets them drink fluoridated water every. single. day.  She is crafty and creative but uses crocheting as an escape from a reality that involves dirty diapers, felt ravioli stuck under the fridge, and bickering children.  (Ohhhh, the bickering...)  She once had a gift for order and cleanliness  but it was inexplicably taken out along with the placenta of her fourth child and now she cries about twice a week when forced to survey the clutter in her home.  She tries to eat healthily, exercise twice a week month, and shed baby weight from 2006,  but last week she sat on the toilet seat and it cracked... not a good sign.  She's pretty good at getting her family to enjoy healthy foods like kale, cabbage, squash, and garbanzo beans, but she overbakes brownies every. time. and she buys instant brown rice because she can not cook rice at all no matter how many times she's tried and she's thinking about breaking down and asking for a rice cooker for Christmas even though she used to poke fun at people that had rice cookers.  

d) I'm not really sure what this quiz is about.  Did someone mention brownies?

(Please submit your answers and wait for us to process the results of your quiz.)

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It has been brought to my attention that there may be some of my readers and friends laboring under the false impression that I am perfect.  

(Mwah ha ha.   My evil plan is working!)

I mean... I've got a lot of great things going for me - a fabulous-beyond-words husband who went grocery shopping for me last week even though it was on his birthday and he was sent to buy the stuff for his own birthday meal.  Not to mention the fact that he's the best looking old guy I've ever had the privilege of marrying!  (Want to guess how old he is??  Here's a recent shot...)

back to how great I've got it...  I have some incredibly attractive kiddos (they get it from the aforementioned husband who, in a crazy turn of events, also happens to be the father of my children.)  They are often polite, helpful, engaging, and awesome.  They even know Latin.  Some things are going well this year - like toilet training and homeschooling.  I love to make lots of crafty stuff and a lot of times it turns out cute.  I've found my groove in the kitchen and I mostly make tasty things.   We take nature walks.

But the absolute truth is I am so far from perfect and the imperfection runs deep and wide.  It's manifested in sin, in bad habits, in mistakes and poor judgement, and in everything that doesn't get done given the limitations of time, energy, and sanity.  

Sometimes you just want to defend yourself and ye olde blog and agree that, "yes, I tend to put only the good bits (happy, creative, successful, tasty, etc...) on here because that's what I want to recall and share."  In daily life, I struggle with complaining and discontentment and disorder and... other things... and don't feel it would be fun or productive to dwell on those here.  Just because it's not front and center on the blog doesn't mean it's not part of my life;  it doesn't mean messes and mistakes don't exist for me.  And I wanted to clear that up, because I am fully aware that catching a glimpse of someone else's reality - one in which a wonderful women admits that she has dust bunnies under her bed, overdue library books, and 19 cups worth of burned rice on the stove and a frozen pizza in the oven -  can be a blessing that clears up misconceptions and cements friendships :)  

And sometimes, it's just good to just laugh at how ridiculous it all can be.  So in the interest of full disclosure, I submit to you some recent evidence of my imperfections ...  

sometimes I bake bundt cakes and the tops get stuck in the pan.
then I eat it out of there with a fork...
this child frequently walks around in the front yard partially clothed, and what she is wearing is mismatched
and probably belongs to a sibling because I just don't have the energy to care much about propriety and match-i-ness anymore 
we have many beautiful books but 3/4 of them are missing at any given time and will probably eventually
be found mixed in with piles of dirty socks and underwear.
the books that aren't missing are usually on the floor .  quite frankly, I'm surprised there are so
many book on this shelf here
this is what the girls' room looked like last week.  then I cleaned it and now it looks like this again.  it's a combination of the bi-annual switch of sizes and seasons, James' dresser is also in this room, and Ruth is still very uncertain of  what "put your dirty clothes in the hamper" actually means (c'mon, girl!  I'm not talking in code, here!!
why,  there's the swatch of Opera House Peach we tested out two months ago thinking "wouldn't it
be fun to paint the girls room soon!"  (it's orange b/c it used to be the boys' room and orange is Aaron's 'thing")
also featured in this picture is the diaper rash cream that Clare used to decorate her dresser.
she has since wiped it off.
(2 gallons of Opera House Peach wait in the basement...)
and oh look!!  books under the girls bed, mixed in with dirty socks, just as I predicted! 
here,  have a glimpse of some of what is permanently on the ledge of the kitchen counter - does the TOOTH catch your eye? who leaves a tooth on their kitchen counter for weeks and weeks???   yuck.
the basement/play room/ big boys' room...   help!
And oh yeah...  I baked my husband's birthday cake the other day for 35 minutes at 0 degrees.  Could someone just pass me a beer.  There's too much to do around here and not enough time, so I'm just going to sit down and have a drink :)  
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If you have been scandalized in any way by this rare privilege of seeing my life beyond the beautiful baked goods, kids crafts, and crochet I usually share here, I beg you to pretend like this never happened and tune in again soon for more uplifting posts and beautiful photos of all the other pretty things that go on around here!  (hey, that's my favorite part too!)  And don't forget... no one ever found this blog by searching for laundry tips or house cleaning advice, so everything is just as it should be ;)


  1. Ha! I'm completely un-appalled at your clutter. It's like my eyes don't even register clutter any more. My thoughts as I scrolled through consisted of "oh those are cute white bunk beds, wonder where they got those?" And "oh we use those same bins for clothes too". Although I don't keep my teeth on the kitchen windowsill, GROSS, I keep them on the little shelf above the stove like civilized people. ;). And little Ro is naked right now, watching Frozen at 8:30AM, because her sister was up all night coughing and I want Ro to just BE QUIET for once. Which is a fool's errand because I just gave her lucky charms for breakfast. I think the real gift, the true blessing, is that despite all this Ordinary struggle, I feel like I'm living the dream... I feel so happy and content, and God is so good. And I'm thankful for the encouragement and commiseration you provide!

    1. I definitely feel like I'm living the dream :) Thank your for that reminder, Liz!

  2. Ha! My OCD senses are tingling all over right now ;) It's funny how knowing someone in real life, you know that obviously they're not perfect but, of course, you don't get that same full knowledge of someone over the internet and then silly assumptions are made. Let's make a deal, I'll come over and clean and you come teach my kids. Good? ;)

    1. Mary, it's so bad over here I would never have the nerve to ask a friend for help. At this point, I need to hire a stranger and greet him or her at the door with a paper bag over my head to protect my anonymity :)
      But I'll take any tips you have to offer - I think I need to be more scrupulous with what comes into the house in terms of stuff, and I know you're good at managing that :)

  3. I LOVE this! (And not only because I have also cracked a toilet seat). I love your blog because it is always inspiring and fun, and this is great as well. It kinda makes me want to walk around my house with the camera and see what I can capture. Isn't it great to have a good sense of humor and to love our families?

    1. Thanks, Ann-Marie! I DO love my family! Now I need to practice providing a neater living space for them :)

  4. Ha - sometimes it's good to be reminded that you're not the only one struggling to keep the house clean, kids alive, and everyone happy! But yes, you should totally get a rice cooker. Every time I attempt rice on the stove top, it's a horrible disaster. The rice cooker works perfectly every time.

    1. OK, that's it. The rice cooker is officially on my Christmas list.
      It seems like it should be easier to make this world-wide staple. I think I'm a little relieved to hear I'm not the only one with rice troubles :)

  5. You made me smile on a day that didn't feel very smile-y.


    1. Aw, so happy to help! Hope your day got better! Thanks for stopping by :)

  6. Theresa my friend, I would have picked C, cause I just knew it:) Oh all that reality was my reality when I had only littles, hang on its still my reality somedays!
    The cracked toilet seat had me laughing cause in my drafts post I have a Mother's Day post about cracking the toilet seat, a funny, got to laugh or cry moment. One day I'll remember to post it.

    Mary, I'm waiting for you with your OCD and love of white to come whip my house into shape and paint it all a pretty white scheme. then my photos will always look great:)

    Theresa{{}} no need to defend just keep being yourself{{}}

    1. Thanks, Erin! I always appreciate your encouragement :)
      I will keep my eyes open for the toilet seat post ;)

  7. theresa...i have a rice cooker that ben and lori gave us which i have yet to use. its yours if you want it! and holy cow the girls bedroom is awesomely huuuuuge! you can really pack them in there! and i love that color pink! when you paint the room, can you do a post? i love room makeovers! if you need any help doing fun stuff like decorate the girls room, i have a ton of ideas and girly pictures and picture frames you could use! i love that stuff. decorating is my jam. so is organizing things. dusting and vacuuming...not so much. but if i could ever help you decorate or organize, i would love it! :) have lots of ideas for boys rooms too. that for me is the fun stuff right there and i'am serious, if you ever need it, i would looooove to help, even if it is just throwing ideas to you online

    1. I'd love to borrow a rice cooker and take it for a test run! Maybe Russ, who really loves rice, will see how great they are and I'll really have my Christmas list underway :)
      I def need some help organizing in my home. These older houses have charm but no storage :(
      I'm not too interested in decorating any bedrooms, but I could use a creative eye in my living room/dining room. Maybe we can set up a consultation visit!

    2. you can seriously just have it. i find rice so easy to do on the stovetop that i really don't need it. the key to making good rice is not to open the top and peek until the cooking time is all done. then you fluff with a fork and put the lid back on for 5 minutes. and i hear you on no storage in those houses. i only had one closet in my downstairs on crosby! but i have a ton of solutions for that depending on what you need to store. let me know when you are free. i can come with or without children and help you out, with rice cooker in hand ;) oh and dawn dish soap and a wet cloth will get that rash cream off. i had a twin paint himself and the entire nursery in it last month!

  8. Thank you for sharing this Theresa. I am so guilty of seeing what others post and thinking how I can't compete and that I fail as a mom. We all have different God given talents which I need to be reminded of daily. And your kids are pretty cute!

  9. Love...Love...Love it...and you! And if I were you, I'd take up Nicole on her offer! See ya soon!!


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