Dark Corners

Thursday, July 31, 2008

So. Let's talk about REALITY. Seriously. Isn't is so easy to prepare a blog post, tell your stories, add your photos, and in the end, never give the WHOLE picture? The REAL picture? Don't we all do some self-editing before putting our life into cyberspace? I know I do. I mean, I will often get down to real TRUTH and discuss things that are hard or frustrating and such... And I have sometimes posted photos of myself with morning hair and yesterday's makeup... And who can forget this post, where I worked on a photo-checklist of my messes and updated them with clean photos? Or even older, THIS post, that REALLY showed the scary side of my home?

But more often than not, we keep those corners of our life safely hidden, and try to put on the happiest, cleanest face for our viewing public. I definitely omit some of the darker days from my blog posts. Like this week-- I've had at least two emotional breakdowns. One related to breastfeeding and one related to Noah's sleep-deprivation... But I never planned to come here and let it all out. I guess most of the time, I deal with it privately, among a small group of people who can lift me back up, and then leave it at that. No offense, Blog World... some of it is just too much to get into here.
But I do appreciate the glimpse that blogs give into a person's life, which is why I try to keep a lot of it real. No fakey-fake cheerful chirping, "I'm fine! Everything's fine! We're fine! Life is FINE!" if it really isn't. And no pretending I am skinny and beautiful and rich, either. I'm me, and I like me, even with the flaws and blemishes, so I promise you I will keep as much reality here as I can.

Which brings me to Jodie's blog and her recent challenge. She talks about how we all too often only post the good stuff, and one day will not have any evidence of the bad stuff to remind us or our children that life IS hard and houses ARE dirty sometimes. And having evidence of the "UGLY REALITY" is a valuable thing... something we all can benefit from and learn from. So she challenged anyone daring enough to photograph the "not so appealing" parts of life.... Include the "bad" and the "ugly".
She even went so far as to post a photos of her stretch marks. Wow. Since mine are on my upper, inner thighs, we'll probably NOT do that here. Sorry, Jodie. You're still alone on that dare.
So without further ado, and with no excuses (okay, I'm lying. I will TOTALLY be making excuses as I show these), here are my current SCARY corners:

Let's start with me, in the morning. No makeup, frizzed hair pulled back, dressed to work out, old, tired-looking face:

And move on to my BIGGEST yuck. The HALLWAY. This is right outside my apartment, and sadly, the first thing you see as you come to my place to visit. Sad. That doorway in the background is NOT our front door, though. Luckily, our main door DOES have a clear path to it. But still...YUCK. This happened when we rearranged our apartment to make room for Noah. All the extra stuff got "temporarily" put here, and now, one year later, here it still is. I've actually made plans to start chipping away at it tomorrow, with the help of my mom. Wish me luck. Because I HATE this hallway:

The Storage Room-- the catch-all room, slowly growing beyond its borders, so this will also be tackled a bit tomorrow, **fingers crossed**:

The Scrapbook Cabinet-- not because it is a mess. No, this is a Place of Shame because I have invested so much money into collecting the supplies I love and buying the doodads and all... and I haven't touched any of it in a year. What a WASTE. Of money, mostly:

See the message I wrote to all of you here? Yeah. Gotta work on that.

The "Project Room", a.k.a. the other half of Noah's room. This is another result of moving our apartment around. This was going to be an "office" and craft workspace... But silly me, the only time I have to DO projects is when Noah is SLEEPING, and since this is in HIS ROOM.... Needless to say, instead of being a productive corner of the house, it is another catch-all:

My dressertop-- I will get this all sorted and lovely... and two weeks later it is back to THIS:

The "Hidden Side" of our bedroom-- our bedroom is visible from the rest of the apartment because of the open floor plan and the fact that we are using the living room space for our bedroom... so we usually keep the visible part of our bedroom pretty presentable-- made bed and everything. But around the corner, here is what you find:

(the futon gets covered first, then the pile grows out from there....Often this is stuff that needs to be sorted and filed in Noah's' room, but again-- when we have time to DO that, Noah is IN there, ASLEEP. Duh. So this pile grows. It's another goal of mine. Maybe this weekend??)

Anyhoodle... I definitely have other "dark corners", but they are the ones you can't photograph... My Mom Anxieties, my self-image, my ever-growing-Type-A-ness, my jealous and competitive alter-ego...
but for now, let's work on what we can see. Maybe the rest will follow once a bit of outward order is achieved.

And I should call that a post and hit "publish". But I have two more things. First, I blogged about my amazing baby on his blog today, and I'm mentioning it here because 1.) It is pretty much an account of my life this very minute, so it could, in fact fit nicely on THIS blog, and 2.) I have makeup on and look cute, and I really can't leave you with that first, saggy makeup-less photo seared in your brain. It's that ego thing. So click HERE.


And lastly... I just wanted to say that I have a circle of love and support in my life that is my LIFELINE to sanity. Jodie-- thank you for the six-hour girltalk and caffeine binge the other night. It was as good for MY soul as it was for yours. Stefanie-- thanks for being RIGHT THERE to talk me back into hope. Melanie-- same... thanks for texting back right away, and letting me be sad and dejected. You both helped (and continue to help) me so much. Genny-- you are irreplaceable and I am so lucky to have you. Joe-- thank you for the LOOONG hugs, the text-message check ins, and just being my BEST FRIEND always. Beth and Heather-- your emails both talked me down from some DEADLY emotions in such wise, loving words. I cherish you both. Sarah and Kate, you are always so reassuring and calming.
And everyone else... BBC mamas, my Utah Girls, my family....
I am so grateful to have all of you.

Thank you.


  1. I am SO glad I'm not the only one with multiple places like that in my house! I literally just had a breakdown last night about this very thing. WHEN am I supposed to work on this stuff?!

    If I get brave enough, I may follow your lead. It's such a great idea to be a little bit REAL sometimes.

  2. I second Mel's comment. house has been in SUCH a state of disarray over the past few months....and I've definitely been too ashamed to show that side on my blog.

    Here's to being BRAVE and having lots of COURAGE!! You're my new hero!!

    And, seriously, call anytime you need to talk. I really enjoyed our phone conversation -- Max is still waiting for his burrito :)

  3. Just wanted to let you know you were not the only one with dark corners in your house. I can't seem to keep the clutter at bay and my kitchen sink has a horrible smell coming from it, probably the dishes that haven't been done in who knows how long. I finally broke down and am serious about getting all of the laundry done. Sad, sad. Patrick said the house has gone to "shambles" since I started blogging. He's a little bitter. I think it's because I choose not to stay at home, it's more fun to play with the kids!

  4. that is EXACTLY how our house looked when Bailey was Noah's age! You gather SO MUCH STUFF when you have a baby and then have no room for the OLD stuff. I was about 6 months pregnant with Parker when I totally freaked out and went through every single room in our house sorting/cleaning/purging/etc. We had one hell of a yard sale and made over $1000! It was awesome! And since then it's been amazing b/c although I still gather STUFF, it's more manageable! I LOVE purging so if you ever want help let me know!

    Also, I laughed out loud at the "hi" on the shelf and I think your hair looked really cute curly and pulled back! Equally as cute as on the Noah blog! :)

    AND, I just loved how honest you were here! So glad you took the challenge!

  5. Yeah, those "reality bites" dirty corners are looming large in my life right now. And my scrapbooking supplies are resembling yours right now - a room full of untouched goodies that represent badly needed dollar signs right now. We've got a birthday party coming this next Monday - I need to get to some of my messes. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Dawn(orngpikkle)12:46 AM

    Hooray for showing messes!

  7. I love you girly, and all your messes too.
    The only thing that kept coming to mind when I looked at your pictures and read your words was, "All this means that she is living, actually LIVING her life." How wonderful is that?
    Perhaps you could throw a blanket over a couple of those messes and call it good. Tackle it later when you've gotten more sleep.

  8. I absolutely love your little space in this world. I'd trade you apartments in a heartbeat. Although you do a much better job at organizing than me, truly! I housesat for a family in our ward last week with much too much room for their family. I kept thinking 'Well, yeah, if I had 30 cupboards and a huge pantry, my kitchen counters would be spotless too!'

    And as for the scarier, darker, inside corners. They suck. And we all have them. And I spent two and a half hours on the phone yesterday with my mom trying to figure out how to get rid of one, ugly one. Sigh. I guess we have a lifetime to fix those ones.

  9. Em--Wow! Another very powerful post. I know what you mean about your blog only being for happy things (check out Allie's blog--you think out life it really like that). Some IRL friends and I actually started a subsequent blog to talk about the stuff we can't talk about on the blog our in-laws and such read. Isn't it funny that everyone talks about the great anonymity on the internet? I am struck often as I post things on BBC or elsewhere that someone might track me down and be offended by them.

  10. You are such a QT! And I must say that although this post was about messes you've got some chic stuff in that hallway.

    We had to come here with about 2 and a half suitcases so all of our treasures and treasures of trash are in storage. We've definitely acquired lots while we've been here but I'm always getting rid of stuff left and right (maybe cuz we'll be her for such a short time and have to leave stuff behind).

    One of Soren's favorite things to do is take all of the cushions of the couch and make houses adding blankets . . .houses with kids equal houses with messes.

    The fact that creativity is going with our messes keeps me sane.

    Hurray for your post.

  11. I was wondering where you'd been and starting to get a little...nervous :) I think you look beautiful in that picture. So many people cover themselves up with makeup and then hate the way they look without, but I think too many people look fake with makeup and I love seeing their real beauty. Also, I've been wondering where you (and all those other clever bloggers) hide all their STUFF...or if I was the only one with STUFF EVERYWHERE. I'm so glad I'm not the only one!

  12. Your post made me feel so good. I really needed that today. Thank you.

  13. Yeah. Where on Earth does that stuff come from anyway? It found my house too.

    And it's so true that we only share the good stuff. I can't tell you the number of times I stop myself in the midst of taking a picture to shove 17 toys out of the way. My living room looks like a toy store exploded daily. It's been that way for nearly 3 1/2 years now. It will probably remain that way until my children are old enough to want to actually play in the playroom or their bedrooms rather than at my heels. At this point, I don't know that will ever happen.

  14. Emaily, I LOVE your blogs! They are truly inspiring, I think you jsut have to re- check in with life every now and then, because we lose focus.

    I LOVE this post, about the dark corners, I totally know what you mean, about everyone pretending to be pretty when that's not their real life. Some times things are hard, and that's okay. I would think people would be "weird" if they didn't have struggles in their life.

    By the way, cheer up on the BFing, and napping thing. It's tough. Those are tough things, I struggled really bad emotionally with not being able to BF my first two, and I had to give it up for #3, but it was better for ME, and that's what mattered most.

    Okay, LOVE this, LOVE, everything!

  15. do all our houses look the same? too funny. a nd so true. i may get brave enough to share my dark corners too. :)

  16. Since you have now had about 15 people tell you that they have messes in their house too, the next time my house gets super messy, maybe I will post a similar blog. You are so great with words, and I still think you look great without makeup on, and dressed in your exercise clothes.


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