So Fresh and So Clean Clean...

You're welcome for that Outkast song stuck in your head now, ha ha!  Anybody else so happy it's Friday night??  Happy to have the weekend ahead?  Happy to be watching all the basketball games?  Happy to be starting Spring Break if you live in Minnesota??  Maybe those things are only making me happy, but I hope you are relaxing with your feet up or enjoying a night out after a long week.  

Today was a soul-refreshing day.  Thank you for the sweet emails and phone calls and FB posts after my last post.  I'm so grateful for the encouragement and the prayers. It's a blessing to be reminded of the support we have and some grace given for the weeks ahead too.  You put some wind back in my sails and I appreciate it! I also got some space to breathe by way of a much, much cleaner house.  We embarked on an "all hands on deck" family cleaning effort this morning and gave every single room in our house some thorough attention.  Floors mopped, carpet vacuumed, furniture dusted, counters disinfected, toys put away, trash know, one of those mornings.  We gave it a good 3.5 hours of effort and I can't even tell you how much lighter my heart and mind feels!  I know there are only 5 love languages but if I could add one more, I'd add a "clean and organized" space to my list!  It just makes all the difference for me.  

Despite the old saying, I don't think cleanliness is next to godliness, in fact I've had to check myself a lot over the years about why I like things to be clean.  Since I've stayed home with the kids in particular, I've had to fight one persistent tendency and that is not letting my home dictate my day.  I constantly have to remind myself that I didn't stay home to be a slave to my house, but to be with my kids.  There will always be a list a mile long of things that "need" to be done but only a short window with kids who "need" their Mom.  So although I often wake up and look around, imagining what projects I could tackle that day, I have learned that I'd rather choose to let stuff go, instead of missing out on what my kiddos have to offer.  But, when the house reaches disaster status or when it's simply time to start fresh again, no one is happier about it than me!!  
 This is my perch of's where I spent most of my time resting.  I've also been sleeping out here lately, trying to improve my chances of falling asleep and staying asleep.  Lately it's been cluttered with my laptop, my Bible, journals, the ipad, phone chargers, and my camera.  I have logged many hours out here and normally my kids like to play all around me when I'm sitting with my feet up.  Makes me so happy to see a clutter free coffee table again!  
 It's embarrassing how deep the layer of dust on that entertainment center was, I am the worst about dusting!  It did feel good to see that go and smell that lemon fresh scent from my dusting spray! 
 My desk has been overcome with paperwork for what feels like forever.  Now that the taxes are over, I finally put things away or just threw away piles and piles of old paperwork.  I hate dealing with paperwork and the mail, it always feels like I'm getting buried.  It's cathartic to throw stuff away, isn't it?? 
 Even vacuum lines in the carpet made me smile today! 
 I brought this little table out in the living room so my craft-loving girl could do her "projects" under my supervision, instead of in her room.  It's so cute out here and I love to see her sitting there coloring and practicing her numbers and letters.  I also love that it's metal and it wipes clean very easily! 
 About a week ago I exchanged the winter bedding for our spring/summer bedding and I'm so glad I did.  Our room looks "happy" to me now, despite the fact that it's generally a mess and our bed is usually full of laundry that needs to be put away :) Of all the rooms in our house, ours was definitely the worst! It's always the place I tackle last or the space Trav and I just run out of steam to address.  I've been trying to do some weeding out in here too, we just have way too much stuff.  I have been in a purging mood for a while now and our room needs a lot more.  I always sleep better when our room is clean, I'm weird like that.  I love the feeling of waking up in the morning to a clean room!!
And also?  I love a clean bathroom.  Mirrors with no splattered water marks and clutter free counters....ahhhhhhh, I can breathe again!!  
 We tackled the kids room, which is something we do at least 3 times a week it seems.  Their room definitely gets the most effort from us, usually due to pure desperation and an inability to walk! 
We made beds, Ava tickled me with her pillow and animal arrangement, and we just generally made everything neat and tidy again.  
We've been trying to instill some sort of cleaning responsibility in Ava and Carter lately.  I don't want them to feel like I'm always on them about their room and I really do want them to play and enjoy their toys as kids should.  But when you have a small space, the trick is that you have to clean up periodically as you go or it goes from fun to disaster zone in the blink of an eye.  
 We've had some tears this week over some cleaning up battle of the wills, but after some hard lessons and some patient explanations, they were great helpers today.  I have to be so careful not to make the state of their room more important than them, but I think Ava is finally catching on about how much easier it is to play when the floor isn't full of toys and you have no space to move.  There are good opportunities to instill good habits when you have small spaces!  
For once their closet floor isn't full of discarded clothes, shoes and toys! 
This area will have to re-worked to make room for Walker down the road, but I do love having all this available space for a big, shared closet!  It is so handy to have right now.  
Is it weird that I love my kids' bathroom??  It's become such a kid space, but it's happy and cleaning it up only takes a few minutes.  It did feel good to steam clean the floors and wipe down everything after all this potty training too!  
Also nice to get all those toothpaste marks off the counters again!
I'm thankful for these little helpers and of course for their Daddy who did so much work this morning.  We all enjoyed a clean house this afternoon and were able to relax because of it.  I know it won't last forever, but for now I'm breathing deep and even opening the windows for some fresh air. 
It's starting to feel like Spring to me!  Can't wait for the days of park playing, bike riding, sidewalk chalk drawing, and everything else we can't do inside.  
Also preaching to myself "people are more important than clean houses" but boy does it feel good to enjoy those people in a clean house!!  

Happy Friday to all of you... 
Hope you have a blessed weekend whether you're cleaning, resting, working, or playing.  Enjoy! 

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