Photo Credit: symphony of love via Compfight cc

This chapter was a great reminder that, as house manager, wife and mom, I set the tone. By my very biology I give life, but I also give life to my home.

To be honest, this is probably not a way that I have excelled. I have settled for existing and maintaining for far too long. Keep everyone alive, fed and less than filthy has been my mantra. But maybe it’s time for that to change, in small manageable ways.

A few weeks ago we finally framed pictures of our kids. Our daughter is almost five, our son is two. We’ve had formal portraits of them taken at least once a year since our daughter was one. But we’ve never hung them up. So finally we went to a local discount store, and bought A LOT of frames. We budgeted for it, and my husband promised to have them framed and hung as a Mother’s Day present. My living room was decently well decorated before. We had hung framed wall art and artistic photos, some of our own creation. But I decided that my kids could fit into that.

On the stairs where there had been framed photos my husband and I took together, we alternated the photos with framed pictures of the kids. The empty places on the walls are filled with images of our children, our best creations, from birth to current age. Our upstairs hallways, which was previously empty is lined with first year frames, containing small pictures of our children each month for the first year. (I’ll admit we had trouble finding enough pictures of my son to make it work. Poor less photographed second baby). Our walls look a little more crowded now, but they have life.

Mary Challenge

What can you do to bring life to your home, your children, your husband, your sphere of influence?

I think the best way I can do this is with my attitude. I all too easily fall back into survival mindset. That’s OK for the sick day or an especially frustrating or hormonal week, but I can’t live there. Newborn days are one thing, but I have two children who usually sleep through the night and still have afternoon naps/quiet time. I don’t need to settle for survival mode anymore. So I’m going to continually set the tone in my home with a positive attitude. No, it isn’t easy and it doesn’t come naturally to me. But I’m going to work on it anyway.

Martha Challenge

Clean out and scrub down your fridge or freezer.

I have been on a real cleaning jag lately. I’m blaming hormones, but twice in the past week I’m had the irrepressible need to clean a particular area of my home. Last Thursday it was my kitchen. Yesterday it was the storage cabinet in my bathroom. (For the record I found no less than eight half used bottles of Bath and Body Works products from five or more years ago. Yuck and Yikes!)

I like the idea of cleaning my fridge inside and out. In my case this will also include the top of the fridge which I use for storage. However, I’m not cleaning my freezer. Nope. Not happening. Our freezer is really too small for our use and is perpetually overfull. I’m not going to empty it and clean it out, especially not during warm weather. If we buy a chest freezer this summer, maybe I’ll do it then, but definitely not before. But hey, compromise is also part o keeping a clean house and a sane mind and this is one place where I draw the line.

So give life, clean your fridge (and freezer, if you dare) and remember that you set the tone for your home. Embrace it.

31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way

31 Days to Clean: Why Clean?