My visiting teachers came today.

I *almost* called and cancelled the visit because I was embarrassed about the way my house looked. I had a really, really hard Sunday.
Then I had a really hard Monday, followed by a hard Monday night.
By the time bedtime rolled around on Tuesday, I was all right again.

When I’m having really hard days, I don’t clean my house. Instead, I turn my thoughts away from what’s going on in the world and toward what’s going on in my heart. I throw myself down in the trenches and I don’t come up until I’ve got a game plan.
I never make a game plan without talking to Heavenly Father first.
While I was busy studying, pondering, praying, writing, thinking… I wasn’t cleaning. I didn’t completely give up on cleaning -I did the basic upkeep.
But my house was in no wise prepared for visitors.
I decided I would cancel. They couldn’t see my house like THIS! It was mort-iii-fying!
And then, right in the middle of my hating my lack of housekeeping skills, a wonderfully small voice spoke to my soul.

“Yes, they can. They can see you and your house like this. The last few days have been hard. You took care of yourself the best way you knew how. You have nothing to be ashamed of.”

I knew it was true.

What’s the worst thing they would think? That I wasn’t PERFECT? *sarcastic GASP*
I woke up early this morning, made pancake batter, woke up my kids, and we all went pajama-clad to my folk’s house where we had a family breakfast on account of my brother and his wife being in town, just for this morning.
I had a great morning with my family.
We laughed and joked and laughed and ate, and eventually I packed my griddle up and reluctantly left.
The girl had a play date (the one she missed yesterday) and I dropped her off in my PJ’s, grease stains all over the white shirt covering my protruding belly.
I pulled into my driveway the same time my visiting teachers did.

It was time to face the music.
As we walked into my house together, I admitted that the last few days had been hard for me and that my house had suffered because of it.
And guess what? They didn’t judge me. Not even a little. They offered to help me clean if I needed it, which I didn’t… because I have nothing going on at all. I’m not sick or busy or bawling.
I’m okay now.
I can clean now.

I took a long afternoon nap (conveniently still in my PJs) and when I woke up, my darling daughter took my face in her hands.
“Mom,” she said, “You don’t hafta just LOOK like this. You CAN wear lipstick.”
Oh, darling girl.

I feel so inferior in the blogging world. I can’t give you a tour of my house because it’s a real, lived in house. It’s not picture ready, and to get it to that point would take roughly $6,000 and a miracle.
I can’t take pictures of my fashion and style and list where I bought all my awesome garb because everything I consider awesomest was probably picked up at a used clothing store or a free clothing exchange. Or I made it.
I’m not going to take time to style any pictures.
I’m not going to dress my kids up and pose them perfectly.
I’m not going to NOT take a picture if the area behind the subject is less-than-public-worthy.

The quality of my life isn’t up to impossible blogging standards if for no other reason than my camera is a lowly point and shoot and I’d rather use picmonkey (a free online “cheater” photo shopping site) than try and figure out (and pay for) photoshop any day.

And though I feel inferior, I’m not going to apologize -or change, really.
I guess I don’t know how else to be but completely, honestly Alicia.
I COULD have sacrificed time with my family to clean my house and put on a front… but why? What would the point be? I opted instead to spend time with my family and not lie to my friends’ faces.
“My house is messy because the last few days have been hard ones. But I’m okay now.”

I don’t need people thinking I can keep up with domestic competition.
I can’t.
I do other stuff though. It’s important too.
I know it is because Heavenly Father tells me it’s my special job to do the things I do. No one could do them quite like I do because no one else is made quite like me.
He did that on purpose.
Don’t mistake me: I’m not BETTER than others. I’m just different.
And my wallpaper is outdated.
But my kids get home spun (straight outta my noggin!) bedtime stories.
And my clothing isn’t fashion worthy.
But I’m researching family history because it is absolutely FASCINATING to me.
And my hair hasn’t been professionally touched in a year.
But I’m making a blanket for the baby growing inside of my body, and as I run my hook through the yarn I can imagine just what it will feel like to wrap MY BABY, my VERY OWN BABY in the blanket. I put what I have finished up to my nose and inhale deeply… and if I concentrate really hard, I can ALMOST smell my new baby.

My life, daughter, is simply lipstickless.
Sometimes I have moments of Lipsticky triumph when my hair is professionally done

(once a year, apparently) or my home decor just WORKS or my outfit, Goodwill though it might be, rocks my socks.

But I’m not all lipstick.
To put it in the words of a not-well-known country song that I just adore:
I’m not perfect, but I’m perfectly me.


  1. there is a childrens band called the Laurie Berkner Band and they sing a song called I’m not Perfect. I tried to find a good video on youtube to share with you but the only one is an unplugged version and its hard to hear. But the lyrics are great.
    I’m not perfect either :)

    • storylady says:

      I’ll definitely check it out! I watched a video on perfectionism yesterday and I just loved it. It talked about the harm of raising our children in a “perfectionistic” society (like America) and how we teach them, “IF you mess up, here’s what you do… But just try not to mess up at all. I try not to.” They man in the video said we should be teaching more with the attitude of, “You’re human, so WHEN you mess up, here’s what you can do… I know this because I mess up all of the time because I’m human just like you.”
      I love that mentality.

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