Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Embrace the Clutter

Last summer I was running low on photography inspiration when I came across an idea online called "Embrace the Clutter."  It had something to do with mommy comparisons which I definitely struggle with from time to time, or a lot of the time.  You know all mommies look at one another and think, "Gosh, she has it all together."  Or when you're invited to another mom's home and her home is spotless and well decorated.  Then you think, "She'll never be invited over to my house!"

Well, the truth is.  We all have messy houses.  I'm pretty sure we all do, at least.  Mine is messy ALL the time.  You've heard me say it before that you drop by unexpected, I will meet you outside and not offer for you to come in.  And if I know you are coming, then I will speed clean to make sure at least the rooms you will be in are clean.

So it's time to stop showing only the perfect sides of life and embrace the clutter.  Embrace the messy part of life.  Most likely it's messy because the little people had a blast playing and have moved on to something else fun.  The clutter that I have to claim though is the dirty dishes.  That pile comes from a lazy momma without a dishwasher (although everyone helped add to the pile at some point during the day).

These were taken last summer on June 20th, but I assure you that my house still looks the same today eight months later.

Coffee table always covered in toys.

I think I see canned vegetables back there.
Stuff can't seem to make it into the bucket which is only a few inches away.

Collections of fabric from a fabric buying addiction.

Laundry makes a big clutter.

Landscaping rocks that little ones decided to remove from the landscape.

Party decor still up in garage 3 months after the party.

Recycling makes HUGE clutter!

More party stuff still in garage on daddy's table saw.

Garage sale items that still haven't found a spot in their new home.

Sand should be in sandbox.  Not on the bench.

Even nature makes clutter with dead trees falling over.

More landscaping rocks removed.

Dead plants with way too many decorations stuck in them.

Overcrowded bookshelves.

Rubber ducks found their way out of the bathroom.

Dishes.  Seems like I wash 100 cups a day.
You see. You are not alone with the dirty houses.  You've seen my mess.  Let's just conquer a little clutter at a time.  We're all fighting the same battle.

Monday, February 17, 2014


I haven't blogged as much as I thought I would this year, but I haven't missed it too much.  But when I go back and read past blogs, I'm glad I wrote it down to remember fun times with Brazos and Sandy.

Earlier this year I blogged about my New Year's resolutions.  Here's a recap.

  • I would call or visit my grandmother's at least one a week.  I've done pretty good with this.
  • I would clean one room a day to try to keep the house neat.  Failed.
  • I would have teachable moments on the days that Brazos and Sandy were not at school. Although I haven't done these teachable moments every day, I will give myself some credit for accomplishing this task a few days.
Which brings me to geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing).  Geocaching is like a real life treasure hunt.  Small containers are hidden in public places {over 2 million in the world} just waiting for you to find them.

To begin I created an account on  Then I searched the map for the nearest cache and I couldn't believe there was one hidden on our little country road!  So we made that our first destination.

We started our geocaching adventures on Valentine's day.  Before we started hunting, we had a Valentine's lunch with daddy at work and he showed the kids around the machine shop.  When we were leaving Brazos said, "This was fun. I think we should come back here another day!"  Which made daddy smile when I told him later that evening.

Now it was time to go find our first cache!

It was hidden at Pleasant Grove Cemetery.  Each person that hides a cache, writes a little description of why they choose that place.  The geocacher who hid this one is a history buff and choose this cemetery because of the historical names of some of the tombstones.  Although these particular tombstones do not belong to anyone you've heard of in history class, they do have the same last name as some of the earliest colonists in Texas - Lipscomb, McNeil, Moore, and Roberts.

I downloaded the Geocaching Live app on my phone which tells you most of the same info as the webpage does.  The only difference is that you can only see all the info on 3 caches per day, unless you buy the Premium membership for $30 per year or $10 for 3 months.  We just have the free app.

It comes with a GPS on the app which is what we used to find the cache.  The blue dot showed where we were and the white circle with the box showed where the cache was hidden.

And after searching for a few minutes we found it!  Now I can't disclose the actual location to you muggles (those who don't geocache are called muggles) but I will show you what we found.  That way if you decide to start geocaching you know what you're looking for. ;)

This particular cache was categorized as a micro cache, which means it is the smallest size that you can hide.  It was an old pill bottle spray painted dark green, and it was in a plastic bag to protect it from the weather.

Inside the tube was a log and a pencil.  Once you find a geocache you are supposed to sign the log and date it.  We all left our mark on the tiny log book.

Score!  We found our first geocache and had fun doing it!  We were going to look for one more, but we had a mishap with a drink in the car and had to go home.  Later that evening we took Matt with us to look for a second cache, but it was too dark and we couldn't find it - a tad bit disappointing after such an easy first find.

Just to leave you with a few more pictures of our first hunt - many of the tombstones were hand etched or hand stamped.  We even found a lady with the first name Easter!

Once you get home, you log on to the website to write a log of the cache you found.  You leave any details of your hunt or just simply say you found it.  You can also leave notes for the hider so they know if they need to do any maintenance on the cache.

We had a great first experience and look forward to searching for more!