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Reality Check: Life is Still Good

by | Jul 8, 2009 | Authentic Living, Decorating Inspiration | 68 comments

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

Keeping it real here, friends. It has been awhile since I shared anything around my house. Why? Because, um, well, um {covering head and ducking} … I’m not working on my house? {faints}. Yeah.  I know! I moved in six months ago. I should be all done, right? And I should be showing off all my fancy projects by now, right?

Well, reality is sometimes turns out a wee bit differently than what we imagined! I was so excited about all of the ideas I had for my house, that is, until my “other house” sale fell through. Kind of put a damper on my plans!

But, I am trying to readjust to my new reality. Which is, in a nutshell, being in limbo with no money and no permission to make any permanent changes to this house until I purchase it (including hanging stuff on the walls, just in case we have to move out at the end of the summer!).

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

I do a few little things here and there to keep myself feeling sane. I brought my great grandma’s quilt down from my bedroom and threw it over the back of my white chair. I found that basket jug thing half price at Michaels’ Craft, it made me happy because I was dying for some more texture with “non-permanent” accessories.

I painted those chairs spring green, but I haven’t yet painted my table black. That I could do. I need to go buy some primer and get back to that job (maybe when we do our Procrastinator’s Party later this month?).

I have two beautiful stained glass windows from an old church that I dreamed of putting in those dining room windows (seen in the back of the above photo). But, they may forever sit right here, against the wall where my art and mirrors sit, waiting and hoping for the day they can be hung.

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

I did a little painting project this week. Yes, I did! I had this fruity wall hanging that was perfect in my old kitchen. But since I am wanting to pare down my style and stick with a more casual beachy look, I decided to say good bye to as much fruit around the house as I can and hello to my friend the chalkboard paint.

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

Hate me, I painted over the fruit. Someone’s masterpiece. I’ll probably really regret it someday. Maybe it was valuable. But now, instead of just looking at fruit, we can actually use it for restaurant nights! What are restaurant nights? One of the many ideas on our summer list!

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

We made a list (no, we didn’t even bother to make it all fancy for the camera) of things my son might want to do all summer and one of the things he picked was having “restaurant night.”

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

So last night my girls helped him pick a menu, shop for food and set up a table with menus and a centerpiece. We treated dinner just like we were out at a restaurant. It was fun and cured the boredom all day!

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

While I am in a bit of a decorating lull and things around my house are in limbo (OK, my whole world is in limbo), life is still good. The measure of a good life isn’t how perfect our home LOOKS or how many projects we accomplish — it easy to forget that sometimes. Especially in blogland. It is good to have a reality check on what really matters to us, isn’t it?

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time, you might remember this guy (below).

He is a silly reminder to me of what is important — the fun, crazy, messy, imperfectly beautiful life behind the scenes.

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

Meet Giraffe.

Yes, he is still alive and kicking.

Reality Check: Life is Still Good

Well, he was.

Until the kid who used to wear undies on his head tackled him and a lion in one fatal blow.

Yep. Life is still good.

photos from my house
this post shared with Chatting at The Sky
and our Restaurant Night idea is my Works for Me Wednesday


  1. Irene

    I love reading about the little imperfections of your stylish life. It makes me feel a little less inadequate about my performance around my own house! (Is there a Bare Truth Wednesday anywhere or did I just started it?)

  2. abeachcottage

    love the real stuff, great post and enjoyed seeing some of your home rather than other pics, not that I mind that of course, just think it’s good to link you up with where you live, perfect, decorated or not…that’s why I love blogland


    abeachcottages inspiring blog post..Vintage Prints, Flowers & Do It Yourself

  3. Becky K.

    I love the Restaurant Night idea. Isn’t it amazing how one simple plan can change the tone of a day? I love this.

    It was good to see the giraffe again. Some things stay the same in the sea of change.

    I do hope life gets sorted out for you soon.

    Thanks for making the best of what must be a very hard situation…you are in my prayers.

    Becky K.s inspiring blog post..Outdoor Wednesday…In Mr. McGregor’s Garden – Imagine with Me.

  4. steadymom

    Sometimes it’s good to have a reminder to enjoy life in the midst of the mess of it all.

    I love the restaurant night idea!


    steadymoms inspiring blog post..Just Relax

  5. Kristen

    Lingering in limbo can be one of the hardest things. I’ll continue to pray that things will fall into place soon!

    Kristen @ Beautifully Imperfects inspiring blog post..Stopping for the Experience

  6. Kathy

    You are so right with this Melissa! I was just looking around at all the projects I am in the middle of yesterday, wondering if my home will ever be “finished”. It can be disheartening and trying to get it all done and perfect can mean missing out on fun times right now. This morning I plan to go to the movies with my daughter and just have a fun day. I’m in the middle of a project, but it can wait (with all the others!) Life is good no matter what stage you find yourself in:>)

    Kathys inspiring blog post..Happy Birthday America!

  7. SJN

    a lot of the blogs show these perfectly posed magazine photos for us to drool over. It’s good to get a dose of reality!
    My house is a work in progress… wish I has some more $ too!

    SJNs inspiring blog post..the graduate moves home…

  8. Candace

    Good Morning! What a great reminder to admire the little things in our lives. I also remember making menus and helping to prepare dinner as a child to help pass the long, hot summer days. We do not have children yet, but I went ahead and made a list of things to do this summer to keep our lives simple and childlike in the midst of all of our grown-up projects. Thanks for always being so real and genuine and not making everyone aspire to be a superwoman. I want to be like that when I grow up (and I might even opt for the giraffe too).

  9. Shilo

    What a great post, Melissa. Thanks.
    I pray your house sells soon and that you stay encouraged in the midst of your limbo.

    Shilos inspiring blog post..We’ve Got Wheels

  10. Abbie

    Limbo is tough, great perspective on what really matters though. And for showing us the free things that can brighten our surroundings and moods.

    Abbies inspiring blog post..Helping others

  11. Amy at The Red Chair Blog

    Thank you for sharing this great post. For someone who “isn’t working on her house”, you’ve done a ton of house projects! More importantly, you’re making memories with your kids. “Restaurant night” sounds fun :)


    Amy at The Red Chair Blogs inspiring blog post..A Handful of Vintage Finds

  12. Cheryl

    Life is good…all the time! If we have the Lord, our health, and our family.
    I too have a list full of lots of projects I would like to do for our home, but the reality is money is tight. I love your sons creative idea and just might have to use it on Friday nights for the rest of the summer.
    No worries about painting over the fruit. LOL, I am going to do the same thing to an old laundry clutter sign I have. Use what you have I say….and you did. : )
    Have a blessed day.

    Cheryls inspiring blog post..Drop Cloth love…

  13. Emily-Sarah

    Thank you for sharing what’s going on with you. It IS tough to be in limbo — and hard to treat that phase with the respect it craves. It’s nearly impossible for me, anyway; I want to rush through it, on to the REAL destination … but maybe if we could embrace the not-knowing, we could honor it and yield more from it. Sigh. I need to do that right now in my own limbo life.

    I adore the practical applications you’ve included here — the menu, the list especially. Coincidentally, my preschooler and I made a summer fun to-do list just last night!

    Hugs and prayers and good wishes for a wonderful day. To quote one of my son’s current favorites books (The Hello Goodbye Window): “Hello, world! What do you have for us today?!”

  14. Amber

    THis makes me happy. Thanks for sharing the imperfections. They are very, very beautiful

    Amber@theRunaMucks inspiring blog post..on listening and the hard-core

  15. Laurel

    I love the reality checks from rock star bloggers, like you! Thanks.

  16. laney

    …as a mom who had a son who also loved to wear his underwear on his head (who is no wover 30 with his own little boy)…i can relate…as a home lover a bit older than you…let me say that i have learned that the very best design element in our home is the little boy with his underwear on his head…in the end of things…all the rest will just be decoration…

  17. Astrid

    Hang in there!

    I do love what you have done…I especially love the white chair draped with the beautiful quilt. Very serene. The chalkboard looks like fun!

    Restaurant night…how clever! I bet my girlies would get a kick out of that!

    Astrids inspiring blog post..What’s stained red with sand all over?

  18. Emily

    Melissa, you are such an inspiration. It isn’t how beautiful our homes are, it’s what we do in them that matters. It does help if the home is a little bit pretty, which yours is still overly wonderful and pretty, so it’s all good :)

    Emily@remodelingthislifes inspiring blog post..Making Do: Nightstand

  19. Marsha

    Hi – I’m so new to this cool bloggy thing – like a new friend…I guess I’m lost at sea still and can’t find my way back. Love seeing how others live and deal with stuff – I’m trying to keep on going. Like inspiration I get from you I’m wondering if you can give me a tow –

  20. Misti of Studio M Designs

    Hi Melissa-It looks like you guys are still having fun and making the most of life while in limbo! That’s all we can really do, right? It’s nice to see pictures of your home again. The quilt is very bright and cheery, and I cannot wait to see your table painted black. Although I have to say…I painted my table black 4 years ago, and it looks really cool, but I can see every crumb and speck of dust on it, and it drives me NUTS. Now I am dying to stain the top or maybe paint it a nice “crumb” color.

    Have a great week!

    Misti of Studio M Designss inspiring blog post..Drive Bys in Louisville

  21. Shannan

    Restaurant night! I love it! And I also love the white/blue pillow on the white chair. In all truth, I thought that photo was borrowed from a magazine – your digs, temporary as they may feel, are still a beautiful reflection of you! Hang in there. :)

    Shannans inspiring blog post..Breaking Up

  22. I'm Julia

    Making the most of a situation that’s less than you want or need… that’s art. Having a little boy who wears undies on his head… that’s just plain fun :-)

    I’m Julias inspiring blog post..Blame it on the rum

  23. Deserae

    Like you I have learned lately that things never work out the way you think and life is messy! You have a great attitude and outlook on life….I could definitely use a few pointers in this department ;o) The house is looking great even if it isn’t quite what you envisioned yet! Love the chalkboard too!

    Deseraes inspiring blog post..

  24. Lisa Porter

    Whew….i was beginning to think that i was really a slacker for not showing off my latest & greatest design project. Great to know I am in really good company. I think it was 3 summers ago when my son wore his undies on his head & making an outside fort was tops on his summer list. Now his list is on facebook, we have a guitar leaning up agaist the wall in every room, along with unframed art & he has grown out of the gorgeous antique $50 bed that I found when he was 10.
    Life changes & you deserve a star for being a good mom & keeping it real. You have inspired me today. Thanks so much!

    Lisa Porters inspiring blog post..The Scented Room

  25. Kathy

    I’m sorry you are in limbo right now. I’m in the midst of fixing up the house so we can down-size (packing things up on days when I can’t do a task by myself or it’s raining outside).

    I like your sofa’s slipcover. I have a sofa with a similar shape that I want to bring with us (it is so comfortable), but I will want to slipcover it as it is a bold blue with a floral pattern. What material is yours made of? I want white but something I can throw in the wash if needed.

    On a cool note – I have that same table in my kitchen!!! Don’t you love it! Mine has the drawer in the base (where I keep our placemats). Did you get the chairs that go with it? I didn’t because, if I remember right, they cost more than the table! I found a great match locally, though, and recovered the plain fabric seats. I’ll have to post a picture.

  26. songbirdtiff

    I’m so glad you posted this. Hubby and I are moving and I hate this feeling of being uprooted and ABSOLUTELY hate the inability to do anything creative because…

    #1. I’m too busy cleaning and packing
    #2. Who can be creative with the space surrounds them is…well…ugly.

    It’s all temporary, even if it lasts a while and I must remember to find satisfaction where I am today. Thanks!

    songbirdtiffs inspiring blog post..And the Chex Mix Bars winners are….

  27. lylah ledner

    Sweet. So tender and sweet. And, would we not follow our husbands anywhere and even live in a box :-)

    BTW – the white sofa? Slip covers? HOW? where? What? would love some scoop…..

    you’re of God’s best, ya know?!?!!

    lylah ledners inspiring blog post..Notebook on French Fig and Cherry Torte

  28. New Every Morning

    What a wonderful punch of color your quilt added! The green chairs are going to look great with a black table.

    LOVE, love, love the chalkboard. I recently posted about using it on a spare cabinet door. Fun stuff!

    New Every Mornings inspiring blog post..Just Crabby

  29. pam rosenberg

    I am a newer reader but I think a lot of us have had to deal with the limbo thing at some point and for us that love to decorate it is not fun. I loved the painted out fruit. Such a fun idea. I’m going to look around my house and see what I can paint over. :)

    pam rosenbergs inspiring blog post..Studio Walls

  30. Debbie

    Melissa, you spoke right to my heart this morning with this post. You’re so right. We may not be in the place we’d hoped to be but life is still good. I needed that reminder. I love how your son wanted restaurant night so you improvised in such a unique way. I have so many ideas swirling in my head after reading your words. The Lord is using you in ways you may not even realize to impact other’s lives, including mine. Thank you for that. Your limbo is not being wasted. A big hug and thank you.

    Debbies inspiring blog post..I’m Hosting In Other Words Tuesday

  31. Vee

    Glad that you are still singing “It’s Well With My Soul.” This is becoming the Summer of My Discontent. ;> I am praying that you and yours are not in limbo for much longer. Isn’t that about the same as hell?

  32. Vee

    Oh and I meant my discontent not yours…

  33. Chele

    Melissa, I think that you are very “normal” for feeling the way you do. Our plans are not always God’s plans. There is a reason for everything. I know how you feel not being able to do things permanent to the home, we are in that same position! Procrastination Party?! I’m in!! Can’t wait. Thank you for sharing the real you! :) Have a great Wednesday!

    Cheles inspiring blog post..Mid-Week Shout Outs

  34. teresa

    Melissa- love your attitude- I hope things happen soon with your home. I know how frustrating that can be- Hugs-
    But with that said I think what you have shown looks fabulous- what a great idea painting over the fruit and making a chalkboard- fun!
    You would be a great person to hang out with- Thanks for your inspiration.

    teresas inspiring blog post..Flooring

  35. Julia

    Heck, I’ve been living in my house for nearly 5 years and I still don’t have everything together! No way would it have been “blog ready” after 6 months. Do you know I just now ordered blinds for the back of my house?! That’s right, it took me all these years to get around to that. We have a wooded lot, so privacy wasn’t too much of an issue, but we’ve done a lot of squinting during certain times of the day when the sun is beaming through. Ha.

    Limbo can be so stressful. I think we’ve all been through similar situations and can relate to that. Hang in there. Love your positive attitude! :-)

    Julia @ Hooked on Housess inspiring blog post..What 5 Changes Would You Make to This Sears Bungalow?

  36. anne

    HiMelissa…I would love a house where I didn’t have to do anything, just right now, I have no money, well not much, and have to spend £4000 on a new water boiler, all our guttering needs changing which is about £1500..and I go on, new bath room, living room ripped is dulls ville, my husband is working his socks off, i am working ok not full time,

    If I was you, I would enjoy this time, I love the ideas you have, and it seems so bright and airy..pleased that you painted the fruit out, I don’t think it is quite you, and it is a great idea for a menu board! :-)

    annes inspiring blog post..A Fun day out in Oxford…..

  37. Bonnie

    Those are great pics! I love the giraffe! Thanks for sharing! Life can definitely be crazy but wonderful and beautiful at the same time!

  38. Myrnie

    Everything looks beautiful. My MIL told me once: “We’re all juggling lots of balls- some are rubber and some are glass. The trick is knowing which ones you can drop and come back to later, and which ones you have to keep hold of.”

    Good luck with your Portland house! It took 9 months to sell our last house, and too many of those had double mortgages…you learn to get really creative. I hope this adventure ends soon for you guys!

    Myrnies inspiring blog post..Cheap, Easy, Edible Fingerpaints

  39. Sarah

    I love your restaurant night idea! That is superb!!! Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah @ Prayerfuldrivenlifes inspiring blog post..Almost Done!

  40. AnNicole

    Reality checks are ALWAYS good. My son has been out of town most of the summer, so I’ve been coping by completely loosing myself in project after project. Once he comes back…it’s back to focusing on what’s important again.

    I love your attitude. You’re right…life is good, no matter what our present circumstances are. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder.

    Oh…and I have a selfish question here. What program do you use to “beautify” your photos. Just curious…

    AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottages inspiring blog post..Oops, I Did it Again…

  41. momentum

    I see you have what looks like a Pottery Barn PB Basic sofa in WHITE! I have been wanting this sofa, and in the white slipcover….but I am so nervous about getting white. Do you love it? Please tell me!

  42. Lisa Porter

    I left you a little inspirational note over at my place.
    Stop by when you get a chance.

    Lisa Porters inspiring blog post..The Scented Room

  43. Lorrie

    Hi Melissa,

    I always enjoy your posts – you come up with beautiful photos from magazines that are inspiring. But the best posts are the personal ones, where you show glimpses of the imperfect life we all lead.

    And it’s so true, life is good – because God is good. May his goodness surround and fill and overflow in your life today.


  44. Gina

    I love the idea of restaurant night, and I so appreciate the reminder to really focus on what matters. And learning to be content with the situation you find yourself in, even if it’s not your first choice.

    Thanks for keeping it real!

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Picking my Projects

  45. Michelle

    Can I be your limbo sister? I am grateful the closing on our house was without mishap but we’ve still been unable to find anything permanent here. So….we rent. Without wall hangings on the white walls.

    I’ll be praying for you and that your other home sells quickly and at a good price.

    Michelles inspiring blog post..Prayers for a friend and her family

  46. Cynthia

    I understand where you are! I’ve been in limbo for quite sometime now. My husband wants to put our house on the market and I’m torn about whether to continue my decorating projects. I want to be able to enjoy the fruits for my labor for a long time to come!

  47. a-m

    Melissa, you have everything!… because you have an appreciation for all that life throws at you! Limbo is hard… as my hubby is always saying, “life can turn on a dime, at any time”. It has for us many times… and in the tough times, I remind myself that “life can turn on a dime at any time”! Thank you for showing us the “real”. I’m all for it!… Life is good, I so agree. A-M xx

    a-ms inspiring blog post..Scheming

  48. Veronica

    I wanted to ask you if you painted directly over the painted canvas with chalkboard paint, or did you cover the fruit painting with something first? Such a cool idea.

    Veronicas inspiring blog post..Never Apologize for Being Happy

  49. meg duerksen

    loving this.
    so much.
    right now my house is a disaster! even my pretty new porch. and my kids are home all day and i don’t have any time to do things for me. and you know what?! that’s O-K.
    restaurant night?! that is so cool.
    i want to do that too.
    my kids would love it!
    i like your chalkboard. :)

    meg duerksens inspiring blog post..messy FUN

  50. Marla

    Oh, Melissa, we live in a parallel universe! I too feel ‘in limbo’ tween a house to sell so as to finance a complete remodel on the folks ole homestead to get the larger home in a better neighborhood. ….So we pack extras into storage, then wait…patiently…okay not so patiently…for the ‘plans’ to be completed. Whose plans and timing are these anyway???(this is a reminder to self here) Let’s get on with it already! Then the still small voice…”Be still and know that I am God…” Okay, learning to be content in the state in which I am in (some days seems limbo will never end), and look for ways to fulfill my purpose in this present place. Melissa, we are praying for His timing and purpose to be made clear in your housing situation, knowing that He only wants the best for you/your family…(I keep singing our toddler’s song, “Be patient…don’t be in such a hurry…and you won’t have to worry…”)

  51. PamperingBeki

    Melissa, it may feel a bit scattered to you still but from here it looks like a HOME! You’ve done a wonderful job with what you’ve been given.

    I make “summer resolutions” every year and it works really well.

    PamperingBekis inspiring blog post..Christmas!

  52. Joy

    Melissa – Will you move to NH and be my new friend LOL. Thank you for this post. I am in constant turmoil trying to arrange our home that we out grew after child number 1!! Like I always tell you, your posts put a smile on my face. Love the chalkboard, but I especially love the list you made with your son. I am going to go home and make one with my 3 little ones. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!!!

  53. Gwen

    I had paintings leaning against the wall in our old rental for more than 2 years! Hang in there and relish the undone:)

    Gwen@MurphyGraceHomes inspiring blog post..And the Award goes to……

  54. DebbieW

    Hello there, dear heart!

    I am soooo glad that Giraffe is still alive and kicking and that he survived your move! I totally understand that “limbo” feeling and I totally understand why you aren’t feeling quite motivated into doing anything to your new home yet. It’s hard when you don’t know whether the stay will be long-term or whether you will have to move everything all over again.(yuck…moan)

    I am glad to hear that you are happy and that life is good. That’s what is ultimately important, as we both know. As long as the family is healthy, happy and together as much as possible, there isn’t too much more that we really need. There are some things that we might “want” and that is for sure, but the needs, those are very few when we really think about it.

    Big hugs and lots of love to my BFF,

    DebbieWs inspiring blog post..Solitude/Loneliness

  55. hill upon hill

    I thought your home looked lovely. I loved the suitcase in the background.

    hill upon hills inspiring blog post..Passing By.

  56. Brandie Kajino

    Love your post…. glad things are still good, even in Limbo. :)
    Also love your green chairs! We are changing our floors in a couple weeks, and that gave me an idea! Perhaps I will paint my RED.

    Brandie Kajinos inspiring blog post..Start at the Beginning

  57. Puna

    This is wonderful! Sometimes I get stressed and impatient when projects aren’t done or I don’t have enough money to change something – like my bedroom, but this puts it all in perspective. Thank you!

    Punas inspiring blog post..July 8, The Blue Lagoon

  58. Amy

    Your post made me happy. I’m going to have to give that restaurant idea a try.

  59. Elisabeth

    Restaurant night? Sounds like fun. What is chalkboard paint anyway?

    I really enjoyed your post. It’s nice to read posts by people who are just themselves and not worrying themselves into needing a creative post every time they write – although it would be great for getting all those undone projects completed. :)


  60. Twice Remembered

    I love this entry! Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in projects and re-dos and all things house related. We live on a construction site, it seems {ongoing remodeling. Very. ongoing.} and it does drive me bonkers at times- I understand about having to add the little special touches so as to not completely go insane!

    I love the chalkboard transformation! Very nice! A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a huge, framed, UGLY, bullfighting painting that I bought and turned into a chalkboard – I couldn’t believe the difference ! So I’m always on the lookout for ugly art now:)

  61. Twice Remembered

    Ugh, I apologize for the wrong link in my username above, It’s corrected now. {embarrassed}


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