Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I love my kids. They are wonderful and a blessing!
BUT, I scream at them every day and get frustrated and angry with them so very often. It makes me sad.

If I know you are coming over to my house, I'll clean it up and, chances are good, it'll look pretty nice.
BUT, if you stop by unexpectedly {which is fine by me . . . but consider yourself warned} it is more likely to look like this::

which, in all honesty, is how it looks most of the time. So don't be offended if the toilet isn't flushed.

Sometimes I take pictures of my messy house for my blog while my baby cries in her crib.

For some reason people think I have it all together.
BUT, I really, really don't! I'm overwhelmed with life on a daily basis. For example, I am often overwhelmed -- many times each day -- by the sheer volume of footwear and outerwear spread all over my kitchen::

I think that all my problems would be solved and the world would be a better place if I had a mudroom.
BUT, deep down {actually not even all that deep} I know that wouldn't really solve much of anything important.

My kids seem sweet, well-mannered, kind and nice looking on the outside. You might think them to be pretty smart and put together.
BUT, at home they can be a complete disaster {although still quite cute!}. I often have not the first clue what to do with them. A couple of them are actually going in soon to be evaluated for anxiety and depression. We are at the end of our knowledge and ability to help them. And are hoping for some help, ideas and solutions {maybe even drugs, Lord willing!}

I love cloth diapers. They save us money, are better for the environment and are better for the little butts that wear them. I've used cloth diapers for almost a dozen years now.
BUT (no pun intended!), anyone who tells you that cloth diapers are just as easy as disposables is lying. True, these days they are pretty easy and not nearly the work they were even 10 or 15 years ago, but HELLO!, you have to wash them. The other kind you just throw in the garbage. Any idiot can figure that out. That is why, for the time being -- at least until the holidays are behind us and I have a working clothes dryer -- Sara's adorable little butt will be clad in disposables. {which I can order online and have delivered right to my door. Praise God!}

I give my kids an apple and a pile of goldfish crackers and call it lunch . . . not everyday, but when you make them a "real" lunch and they don't eat even one bite of it, you decide it's easier and less wasteful to just save yourself the effort.

Kirb has worked in the finance industry for years. He knows money! We have less than 10 years left to pay on our mortgage. We give away a pretty decent percentage of our income to charity. I clip coupons.
BUT, money is tight and is something I'm never NOT thinking or worrying about: How many days until payday? Can we afford ______? Sometimes we don't have enough money to pay all the bills at the end of the month. Currently there is a note reading "$225" in the Disney Fund Jar where the kids contribute money to our long-awaited Disney vacation in June {our first time there!} because I borrowed cash from there a couple weeks ago when things got a bit tight.

Also, I have fabulous babysitters. Their names are Bob, Larry, Dora, Buzz, Woody, Sid the Science Kid, Super Why and Batman . . . among others. Yup, my kids watch TV. They also play Wii.

I have wonderful, fabulous girlfriends!
BUT, sometimes, for the life of me, I can't figure out why they would want to be friends with me.

So, that's my life. It is what it is. I still think it's {mostly} wonderful and I am {mostly} thankful! Just being real.


  1. Shana, I love you SO much. This is by far the very best post you have ever written. Thank you so much. God bless you today and always, my amazing friend. Love, Karin

  2. I agree with your friend, Karin! This is the BEST POST. Honest and real. We are all right there with you. And if someone says they aren't, they are lying! : )

    For the record, you're right about a mudroom. I have one, but it doesn't help contain the mess AT ALL!

  3. Shana - Close your eyes and pretend you're trying to squeeze through a tube. That's me giving you a big hug! :o)

    I love the babysitters! (I particularly enjoy Sid the Science Kid - he's great! Just don't tell anyone, k?)

    If it makes you feel better, I'm the only one living in my house and while I can't say I've ever had an un-flushed toilet, I rarely make my bed (only when I wash the sheets) and my back door has an inappropriate number of shoes piled next to it, but my pile isn't nearly as colorful as yours and they're all the same size. But, I don't have the luxury of blaming anyone else for the problem. I keep hoping for the house fairy to come and clean up my messes, but she's never come.

    If you ever need someone to watch your kids for a few hours, just give me a call. I guarantee I'm cheaper than any teenager or college student. (Think tax deductible donation.)

    Kim W

  4. Hi, Shana--

    I was "mom" to 4 kids other than my own last week, the youngest 3 being 18 months apart. I was wiping the bottom of the little boy on the toilet while his sister stood at my feet, needing a poop change--as soon as I finished with her, the baby woke up from his nap also having messed his diaper. At lunch, it started all over, with alternating feeding, washing up, bottle feeding, dishes etc. Then again at naptime, supper, bedtime... I was exhausted by the end of those 2 days. And then I remembered...that was me not so long ago. I think I have complete amnesia of what even happened during those "little" years.

    Be courageous--things will get better. But, even if they don't, did you see the smile on Anna's face in your first "mess" picture? That's the jewel in the midst of it all.

    And guess what? Your mission in this life is very important. YOU are important. Even in the mundane, everydayishness of your life as a mom, every little thing counts. And if you feel like you're failing, HE will lift you up. You will reap the rewards of your life, even in the little things like "I love you the more the best!"

    I SO wish we lived closer together--I would love to get together with you and have a good "kid talk".

    Love you, and hope your day goes as well as can be expected--that's reality! =)

    Love, Annie

  5. Shana this was an amazing post. I love your honesty and vulnerablity. Thanks so much for sharing your reality with all of us. You are an amazing child of God. It has been such a joy to watch your family grow. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us.

  6. Shana, I found your blog a few months back from a comment you left on Simple Mom and realized that we both went to Bethel a few years apart (you might remember my husband, Brad)-anyway, I finally decided to comment because this post is AMAZING!! Thank you so much for a peek into your real life...I deal with so many of these same things on a daily basis. It's so easy to think other people have it all together and that their kiddos are "perfect", money is plentiful, and everything is always in order...thanks for being bold enough to share this-you really encouraged me tonight!

  7. Shana my darling daughter. Can I tell you once again how much I adore you and am so glad God gave you to me and dad. Your life is crazy I know (that's why most nights when I am talking to our creator, you and your family along with Luke and Jenn and the boys are the focus of our conversation together.) He will give you the strength each day because of His great love for you. I will do anything to make your life easier honey, I think you know that. You amaze me each day!! As soon as I am well again, I'll be right over to flush that toilet and clean or do whatever...I also have some $ to put in that Disney pot.
    You are my sunshine and I love how honest and real you are. I am also very thankful for all the precious children the Lord gave me through you, Kirby, Luke and Jenn. They are the best part of life and always will be.
    "My grace is enough for you. When you are weak or at the end of your rope, my power is made perfect in you." 2 Corth 12:9
    You fan club president.

  8. Glad I'm not the only one ... I'm overwhelmed with life on a daily basis too! I'm not brave enough to photograph my messes though ;) Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Just catching up on your blog Shana! Loved this post....man, I could relate to most all of it! :-) Miss you and appreciate posts and photos like this so much!! Take care and soooo glad I got to see you last month! Love ya, Melissa

  10. Are you living at my house? The photo of the toilet cracks me up...looks just like my toilet right now! The apples and goldfish is on our menu too. Give yourself a break. Motherhood is tough. God bless.

  11. This post, quite possibly is the most like me post I have EVER read! I appreciate all you are saying and I am living it...albeit with 2 less children ;). I live stressed and I live worried and I live unprepared for what I am in...but I wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING! Thank you for the reality!!!

  12. I have twin 2-year-olds {that's it!} and my house looks like yours!! It's so nice to see an honest look at what a day to day is like for a mother of a large family. It's tough, and you should be commended!




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