Thursday, February 26, 2015

It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to Be Beautiful

I don't spend a lot of time surfing the internet looking for blogs to read.  I don't have a lot of time to read blogs.  Which is sad, because I LOVE to read blogs.  I love reading about other people's lives, and lifestyles, and children, and cooking and faith.  I read blogs that make me laugh, blogs that make me cry, blogs that open up my eyes to a much bigger world than my life here in Central Missouri.  I try to focus my time reading YOUR blogs . .  the blogs of the friends who read my blogs!! 

But recently, I came across a blog written by The Nester.  Click HERE to check out her blog.  If you aren't reading this blog, you really should take a little time to visit.  It isn't your typical fix-up-your-house blog.  I mean, yes, there is a lot of fixing up a house, but the blog is more about the ATTITUDE toward your house and a little LESS on the actual do it yourself stuff.

Myquillyn (yes, that is her real name) and her husband, like me and my husband, have lived in a LOT of different houses.  When we bought the farm where we live now, it was the 13th place we had lived . . . and we had been married 12 years.  YIKES!!!!  Most of the houses we had lived in were purchased as investments.  Meaning, we didn't drive around and pick out the prettiest house in our price range.  We looked for houses we could buy, fix up, live in, and then sell for a nice profit.  Some of those 13 houses have been rentals, and we've lived in a couple of apartments.  One of those 13 houses was a brand new house we built, intending to stay there for a long time.  In reality, we lived there for only 5 months before putting it on the market and the day we sold that house was the happiest day of our lives (another story for another blog post!) but I can tell you that building that house was one of THE BIGGEST MISTAKES WE EVER MADE.

If you've read my blog for very long, you know that I live in a 1968 ranch style house in the middle of a real working farm.  Some of you may think that living on a farm is "romantic."  I hate to bust your bubble, but there is NOTHING romantic about it.  I drive down our driveway every morning and night going to and from work, and cow manure slings from the tires all over my car.  It is either MUDDY or DUSTY 99% of the time.  In the summertime the FLIES ARE ATROCIOUS.  We hardly EVER have our windows open because of the overwhelming aroma of turkey manure.  I'm not complaining (well, kinda) just giving you a glimpse of what living on our farm really means.  I guess if you lived in the "country" versus living on a "real farm" it could be romantic.  But I live on a real farm surrounded by cows and turkeys.

I did not pick the house we live in.  It just happened to be the house that went with the farm, and my husband wanted the farm, so we moved into the house.  Being totally honest, it is not a house I would ever have picked.  It is very plain, ugly brick, small closets with bi-fold louvered doors.  No master bathroom.  Small kitchen, no island.  Small bathrooms.  Small bedrooms.  Flat 8' ceilings.  Just not the kind of house that really has anything at all going for it architecturally.  In the past seventeen years we have done some work to it.  Some of the work has been posted here on the blog.  Click HERE to check out our bathroom remodel.  And HERE to take a peek at our fireplace remodel.  We put in new kitchen cabinets several years ago, before I started this little blog, and THAT has made the biggest difference.  Wish I could show you the "before" and "after" on that.  Those plywood cabinets were YUCK!!!  I hate to sound ungrateful, but I'm just keepin' it real here. 

I said all of that, to say this . . . I have spent a LOT of time not liking my house.  I'm not proud of that.  But it is true.  I've spent a lot of years just "biding my time" in this house, waiting until I can build a new house.  Yes, I want to build a new house.  I want to get AWAY from the flies, and the mud and the dust and the manure and the smell of turkeys. Sorry, but I do.  Will we ever build a new house?? I don't know.  I can talk myself into it, and out of it, in the very same conversation.  I guess time will tell.  But I have really been trying lately to appreciate the house I have, and trying to make the best of it for however long we live here.  And that brings me all the way back to the title of this blog post "It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful" which is actually the title of the book written by The Nester.

I ordered the book from Ebay last week and it was in my mailbox when I got home last night.  I read it last night.  I READ THE WHOLE DANG BOOK LAST NIGHT!!  Now, don't go crazy on me, the book has a LOT of pictures.  It is a very easy read.  AND MAN IS IT INSPIRING!!!  Myquillyn, like myself, had spent a lot of years waiting for THE PERFECT HOUSE.  I used to think "if my house just had tall ceilings THEN I could fix it up."  "If my house had walk-in closets THEN I could really be organized."  "If I just had an island in my kitchen, THEN I could enjoy doing more entertaining."


This book really helps me to see that my house, like my life, is WHAT I MAKE IT RIGHT NOW!!!  I've spent years not buying new clothes, waiting to get down to that perfect size.  The result of that attitude is that my closet is pretty much BARE because I am not down to that perfect size yet (although I'm really proud to say I've lost 21 pounds since last fall . . . 10 more pounds to go!).  And I've NOT done things to my house because I kept telling myself "just wait until you build a new house and THEN you can have everything beautiful."   Really??  Is that how we're supposed to live our lives . . . waiting until everything is PERFECT?  Because truly I don't think ANYBODY's life is perfect.  Yes, I read blogs where it LOOKS like everything is perfect.  But I'm pretty sure that if I could be a little "fly on the wall" (as my mother used to say) that those folks don't have a perfect life either.  Yes, their house may be bigger than mine, or have taller ceilings than mine, or have newer furniture than mine, but it ain't perfect, no matter how many beautiful pictures they post.

This is NOT a paid advertisement.  Myquillyn, The Nester, has NEVER HEARD OF ME.  I ordered the book from Ebay ($12.04, free shipping).  I'm just sharing this with you because the book has really inspired me, and I'm hoping it inspires you.  Maybe you don't need inspiration.  Maybe you haven't spent years waiting for _________________ ("insert your excuse") to happen before you make your house the best it can be.  But I can tell you that I sure have.  And this book is NOT all about spending a fortune decorating your house.  Quite the opposite.  It encourages re-purposing things you already have, shopping flea markets and antique shops.  But it encouraged me to be BOLD about decorating and making my house a priority.  It's NOT about creating a show place.  It's about making a beautiful, comfortable, inviting home that you and your family enjoy being in, and that others enjoy being in too.  And doing it frugally.

Do yourself a favor . . . ORDER THE BOOK!!!!  

And I do want to thank each of you for your prayers for our family.  Yes, we miss Gram Nell terribly, but we are at peace knowing she is in heaven.  Thank you thank you thank you for praying! 


  1. Oh- We have lots more in common than I thought! Except I don't live on a
    We have moved 15 times and 13 of those moves (and I didn't count 3 apartment stints between houses) were in the first 15 years of our married life. We were fixing and flipping (like you) before anyone else even knew what it was.

    I am in my dream house....been here for 10 years....the longest we ever lived anywhere..ever! We are getting ready to sell and downsize. Am I ready? Not sure yet...maybe...but I know I will be going to a much smaller home and will need to "be happy" with that.

    I am going to order the book. Thanks for being so real. xo Diana

  2. Oh I just love this post it makes so much sense and rings true. I am living in my dream house and I just had hardwood put in three bedrooms from plywood we have been here 36 years.I love that we took our time. Hug B

  3. We call our place a "farm" but it's more of a feeding place for our two spoiled horses and two spoiled dogs! We have two spoiled children too, but one is married now, so we only have one left here at home. We live in my husband's grandparent's old farmhouse and though it's exactly my style, it will never be perfect.

    Even though you don't have time for blogs, I would love for you to visit me at mine and I am adding you to my blog list because I like your "realness" :)

    Oh, and thanks for sharing the book! Sounds like a good one!