7.08.2013

I Choose Family

If you're a recovering perfectionist and want a crazy way to test your growth, invite three toddler boys to descend upon your clean and quiet house for a week. You'll find out real fast what remnants of perfectionism remain. {I'm under no illusions here. I know there will always be remnants. The key is not to let the desire for perfection become a demand. When you can give up the demand and let imperfection invade your space, you're recovering well!}


My sister and her husband were here last week with their three baby boys, ages 3, 2 and 1. Let your imagination run wild, and you still might not come up with how chaotic three toddler boys feels to my peace and quiet loving spirit. The noise, the mess, the fits, the unexpected surprises of poop on linen curtains and scribbles on my antique wine tasting table...it would've pushed the old me over the edge.


This is the mischievous one. A gentle spirit with no boundaries.
{Responsible for the surprise additions to the curtains and wine tasting table.}
I've always had a strong bond with this little guy.



This is the "easy one." But he sure knows how to throw a fit
when he's not in the arms of his parents.
{My sister and her husband have the patience of Job!}


This is the observant, independent one.
Doesn't like Auntie telling him no...or brothers messing with his things.
{But boy is he cute!}

And as if three toddlers at once weren't enough, God sent the rain. After a dry summer, it rained for three days straight while those little boys where here. So much for my plan to keep them outside on the farm all day! We took full advantage of the dry patches.






Buddy and Bella were amazingly patient and gentle.

Uncle JD's tractor was the highlight for sure.



As I wipe the handprints off walls and windows, wash the white linen slip covers, sweep up all the food crumbs, rehang clean curtains, and try to recreate some sense of order and peace in my home today, I am thankful. Thankful that I have family who loves us so much that they would make the long drive to see us. {14 hours with 3 babies in the car. What a labor of love!}




My sister and I are only 13 months apart, so we grew up thinking we'd have kids at the same time. But you know how our best-laid plans go! After this last week, I'm wondering if these three little nephews are part of my healing after a lifetime of wanting everything to be just right and according to plan.


I prayed for an extra measure of grace before their arrival. And judging by my unusually calm reaction to the poop on the curtains and the scribble on the antique table, I'd say my prayers were answered. It's all just stuff. {And most everything in my house is washable stuff. Very intentional.}


Leave it to Aunt Linsey to introduce them to the dust buster.
They loved it!

My sister and I are as different as can be. Truly night and day. And the way we raise our children is no exception. She's all about freedom to explore, freedom to choose and freedom to be a mess. I'm all about routine, order and keeping the peace...with an increasing measure of grace, thank goodness!

Here's what has always leaves me in awe of my sister: the way she loves. So abundantly! Sometimes I think she loves my girls better than I do. {Though there's nothing as fierce as a mama's love. My girls know my true heart...even in my control freak moments. They give me lots of grace.}


Thankful for this sister of mine.

She's the one who really made my week. Nothing like a sister.
She knows things about me...things I don't have to explain.

I'll be honest: I'm exhausted from the overstimulation of a crowded, busy, noisy house...and worn out from the clean up. But at the end of the day, if I had to choose between a quiet, peaceful house and time with my family, I'd choose FAMILY. You can always take a long nap and clean the mess when they leave.

With a grateful heart,

24 comments:

  1. What a precious testimony to the love of family.

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  2. Looks like a fun week was had by all...sweet memories were made :)

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  3. There is nothing sweeter than a sister. Nothing.

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  4. What beautiful children, and I love the picture of them with the dustbuster! How sweet that you and yous sister can appreciate your different approaches to life, and recognize that the love of family trumps all else.

    Looks like you had a wonderful visit!

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  5. your sister- not yous... sorry! It is still early here:-)

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  6. Love this! I too have embraced the chaos of family and letting go of perfection. So hard to do, but so worth the effort :) Glad you had a lovely visit with your adorable nephews!

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  7. Love this post. It seems I remember your sister is an artist with a beautiful ,arty ,contemporary home. I saw it featured somewhere. Was it on your blog or a magazine? Please refresh my memory as I would like to revisit it. Your blog is a favorite, thanks for doing it!

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    1. You are right. She's an incredible artist, and her house reflects her artistry beautifully. You'll find the link to her house at the bottom of this post:
      http://www.llhdesignsblog.com/2013/04/a-sister-visit-bathroom-upgrade.html

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  8. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story of the love of family..

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  9. You darling thang!!! I laughed out loud reading this! I also deeply identified! My sister {seventeen months younger} came this week . . . With her darling daughter, hubs and two dogs. She laughed at me when on Day 3 I just had to have about thirty minutes to get the dog hair off the sectional, do a quick sweep of the crumbs, and vacuum to clear, well, my head! There wasn't any poop, but there was vomit!!!! And, here I am today, in the quiet of my office, while a kind man repairs the giant HOLE IN MY CEILING, from when the plumber fell through while installing the water heater. Peace in the midst of the storm of life. Calling on His grace, daily {actually multiple times a day}, and finding that my flesh slips through over and over. But loving the comraderie {sp?} I find here, Sweet Friend, with each new post. Love you! THANK YOU!!!!

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    1. Glad we can laugh with each other. I'm getting a good laugh out of the hole in the ceiling and envisioning a plumber falling though. You can't make this stuff up!

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  10. Lindsey, I just adore your blog. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it. I've been a blogger for years and just found you a few weeks ago. I'm a Houstonion and like you we have a dream to pack it all up and move to a farm in Indiana.... we just haven't had the call or peace to do so yet. I have been inspired and encouraged through your posts and just wanted to let you know.
    blessings, Shelly

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    1. When the time right, you'll know it. But you'll have to fight for it. That was the part I didn't expect. Hard but worth it! Blessings to you!

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  11. You have such a beautiful family, Linsey. My youngest two boys are 2 and 5 and sometimes I drive myself crazy trying to keep a neat and tidy household! I've resolved to buy nothing that cannot be thrown into the wash or not give a thought to when the boys attempt to authentically distress the living room furniture. After buying our home, I spent too many hours looking at coffee tables and in the end bought a butler's tray table in pristine condition at an estate sale for $40. So happy I did. It looks like it has been around for 100 years from their daily activity!
    Do I spy the galvanized metal clock from Target? I bought that, too!

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    1. Yep, that's the clock! Haven't hung it yet, but at least it's out of the box and has a battery now. I'm on the slow train when it comes to getting things done. ;)

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  12. Lovely post, Linsey. Calling my night-and-day brother right now.

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    1. Glad to inspire a phone call. Way to turn a connection on the internet into real life outreach!

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  13. Oh, but these boys are cuties! I get them next and I've stocked up on Magic Erasers, wet Swiffer and window cleaner.

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  14. Hi Linds, I've been away too long. Sorry. I think of you so often and love catching glimpses of your farm life and reading bits and pieces of your posts but it's usually on my phone and I just can't comment from an iphone! Until tonight. I have my laptop open and your site was my first stop. Your photos are so breathtaking. And that photo book!! No words! Amazing!! I was laughing about your visit with your sister and her family. I can only imagine 3 toddler boys! I'm pretty used to the energy, noise, and mess level of boys, but 3 toddlers is a whole different story. Bless you! It looks like sweet memories were made though! I miss you!! I hope to make it back to Franklin one day. I promise my boys would leave your curtains poop free. Ha! Not this summer though. Are you guys going to Maine soon? We'll be in MA for a couple weeks, it would be fun if we were both on the east coast at the same time!! Much love to you my friend, Tess

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    1. I love hearing from you no matter when you're able. Can't wait to have you visit. I'll be ready! After 3 toddlers, I'm convinced nothing much could shock me. Xo!

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  15. Those boys are adorable!!! I love the pic of the "Easy One" with your dog. Just the way the dog is looking at him...two gentle souls. Of course I have to break the chain and ask a house question because your rug is gorgeous... yes I love the dust buster picture and the rug they are "working" on. Would you consider sharing where I might find that?

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    1. Happy to share. Ballard Designs. It's an indoor/outdoor rug that was in my studio back in Houston. They still make this leopard rug, but it's changed a bit since the time I bought it (years ago). A little lighter maybe? And slightly different texture? Here's the link:

      http://www.ballarddesigns.com/leopard-belgique-indoor-2foutdoor-rug/14286

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  16. Those boys are adorable!!
    I had to laugh, because I tend to be more like you, but my boys were STILL as rambunctious and loud as it sounds like your nephews are. :)

    Prime example:: I caught my boys peeing off our deck when they were 6 and 4. They wanted to see who could pee farther. (I just literally had to take a long breath thinking back on it.)

    I think it's safe to say that boys are just REALLY different from girls. I feel like I can say this now that I have a daughter.

    I'm so glad you had a great visit with your sister and her family....they're beautiful.

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    1. At least your boys peed OUTSIDE! Yes, boys and girls are SO different! I can see that now with these little nephews.

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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