{not so} perfect life

Not so long ago Jilly was at lunch with her high school girlfriends.  They chatted about kids, jobs, homes, and the conversation of "our blog" came up. One of them asked Jilly if our lives are really as perfect as they seem.....

Jilly came home and told me all about it and I was as confused as the first time I saw Gangnam Style.

Knowing the struggles I've had in my life and being close enough to Jilly to know some of hers, I couldn't believe anyone could possibly think our lives were perfect.

Then I began thinking.

It's true, sometimes I read {Jones Design Company} and see Emily's beautifully organized blog, her talent for creating beauty, her four adorable kids and handsome husband, and I'm left wondering why no one is paying me hundreds of dollars to design their blog or dying to make my handwriting into a font.  I'll head over to {Velvet and Linen} to check on designer Brooke Giannetti and her (architect) husband's dream home at Patina Farm, just to find myself wondering if there is any possible way I can come back in the next life as her chicken.

But then I re-remember the quote I saw in vinyl, hanging in my cousins kitchen.  I take a deep breath, grab a square of Ghirardelli Chocolate, and MOVE ON.

I made this quote into a printable 5 x 7 just in case you need a gentle reminder like I do.

-click on the image to print-

Jilly and I humbly realize we have been blessed with talents, we've thrown some pretty awesome parties, we have a LOT of fun together, we have an amazing circle of friends, we've gone on some fantastic trips together, completed many fabulous projects with {CP}, we have great families, we love to laugh, and we never tire of each other.  But we don't intend to give the illusion that any of it is perfect.

We want you to know we're two simple moms who want to infuse the blogging world with creativity and humor.  Just hoping to make a difference for good.    

And here's the truth about my life.  I've been going through something really hard over the past 18 months.  Remember the {Nino}?  We've had a cute, smart, funny, special little foster boy in our family for a year and a half and the things we've gone through to make him part of our forever family has been the biggest and most difficult challenge I've ever faced.

The unexpected twists and turns we've encountered as a family have been emotionally and mentally exhausting  in every way imaginable.  Some days I've hardly been able to get out of bed.  Sometimes I've cried so hard there were no tears left.  I've prayed more in the last 18 months than I have my whole life.  At times I've been rude to my husband and short with my teenage son, and sometimes when it's my turn to make a blog post, I want to take my computer and shove it up....*&!

I wish I could give you more details about the Nino, but for legal purposes, I can't.  Hopefully someday I can tell you his name, stop having to blur out his face on our blog, and share our story with you.  For now, we're in the trenches with our family, fighting for our family. 

I've learned a lot about myself during this trial and I've realized that even though I'm struggling with something really, really, hard, I can make a conscious effort to be happy by focusing on others needs, and finding joy in simple things.

Here are a few simple things that have made me happy through the Holidays.

Each night in December "Pepe" the elf surprised Nino with random acts of magic.  Sometimes it was a treat from Mrs. Clause at the North Pole and sometimes it was waking up to a toilet papered bathroom or nose as red as Rudolphs.  Coming up with a new idea 24 days in a row was completely exhausting, but seeing the big smile on his face every morning was completely worth it.

A few days before Christmas, we had the opportunity to prepare and take a meal to 30 homeless people.  We had taco salad with the works and sugar cookies for dessert.  Jilly snapped this picture of me and Marion.  Marion works for the traveling carnival and has been to every state in the US.  She'll be sleeping on the cold, hard, floor of this church with 30 other strangers until employment takes her elsewhere. 

This holiday season we were able to play "Secret Santa" for two families that belong to an amazing organization called Singleton Moms.  Both of these mothers are single moms, both of them battling cancer.  They have jobs, kids, responsibilities, and juggle it all while fitting in chemo therapy appointments and doctors visits.  Truly amazing women.

This awesome group of people along with many others made it possible for us to make Christmas a little brighter for two families.  Our kids even worked for months before hand making and selling misc items so they could participate in the happy feeling that comes from helping others.   

One of the things that made me smile this Christmas was thinking about how much these two boys need each other and how different both of their lives have been for the past year and a half.

Together they made cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Nino drew Tatum's name for the cousins gift exchange and we  had a great time making her a matching game.  It was so rewarding to hear her squeal with delight as she saw her cousin's faces on the cards, and asked if we could play it again and again. 

I found lots of joy carrying out holiday traditions, which of course includes the "Polar Bear Plunge" in the neighbors FREEZING COLD swimming pool.  This year the prize was a crisp 50 dollar bill for the one who could swim the most lengths.  Tatum's dad (my brother, Trevin) was pulled out of the pool on completion of his 50th just as his speech started to slur and his organs began to shut down.   I love our rediculously competitive family. 

I know that life is about growing and progressing and the best learning experiences come from personal trials and struggles. 

And I know for sure that there is always something beautiful waiting on the other side. 


  1. What a beautiful post... your strength and grace amidst trial is even more beautiful than your famously awesome booty.

    We women are so quick to compare ourselves, I am reminded of a quote by someone, somewhere, who said that in comparing, we often compare our worst traits against that of someone else's best traits and wonder why we come up so short. It isn't about rejoicing in other's imperfections, it is about doing the best we can, in the moment we are able. You and Jilly are lovely examples of the power of purposeful living and smiling through whatever trial comes your way. It is just one of the countless reasons you both have such a powerful influence over others. Thank you for blessing my life with this post today!

  2. I do find myself making comparisons to my friends and others. - I might visit a friend and then come home to feel less than happy with my perfect house. I remind myself now that "what I am is good enough!"

  3. Such a wonderful post. I'm lost for words. Thank you for sharing. I hope the future is a grand one for you and yours. Hugs.

  4. Just keep fighting and believing! He's worth every prayer and every tear.
    Lots of hugs.

  5. I needed this post! THANK YOU!!!! Your Chicken comment KILLED ME!!! I fell outta my chair busting up and today is a day....I seriously needed a good laugh. THANK YOU!!! I love your blog!!!! Big hugs to you both! :)

  6. Great post as always!! Everyone has private trials or challenges that is no ones business. Some are an every minute every day ordeal, some may be during a certain stage of life, so of course no one has a perfect life. I have seen this addressed on many different blogs in the past, and happy you posted your touching, perfect and hilarious thoughts on this ;) You and Jill are amazing! Sincerely your not so much anymore imaginary friend -J in mesa
    p.s. are you coming to the funeral on Saturday :(

  7. I just printed me up my gentle reminder, Thanks! I loved the chicken comment, too funny. You ARE practically perfect at dishing out the laughs. One of my favorite things about you in fact. All the other stuff just makes me feel inferior, thus the reason I printed up that little 5x7. How truly kind of you to provide the rest of us women out here with a way to cope!

  8. I loved each and every word of this post. You ladies always know how to keep it real, and that is what I think makes your blog both perfect and beautiful. Much love and blessings to you both..


  9. Hang in there Mia! Things that are hard fought are usually worth the effort. We know the nino certainly is. Text me if we need to have a pow wow at Flancer's :-)

  10. Blessings to you as you continue with your bittersweet challenges. Your wisdom and willingness to share your story makes a difference to so many. Thank you for lending some perspective and for reminding us of what really matters.

  11. I hope everything works out for you, your family and nino

  12. I have been a fan of your blog for a long time and have never felt like you and Jill present a facade or falseness in your posts. It's beautiful, your inspiring creative mommas who brighten my day when I get the chance to sit down and take a peek at what your up to! Keep em coming- we love it! Xo- Amie

  13. You are just wonderful. i can't remember the last time i read such a sincere post. If i were next to you after reading this i would have given you a really long hug. thank you


We LOVE comments and we read every single one. Go ahead, make our day!
Mia & Jilly

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