I love my kids more than I love a clean house

Sometimes I will sit and reflect on me, pre-kids, just after Mike and I got married and we moved into our first home and just laugh at myself. I was so obsessive and anal about cleaning that I would barely even sit down to watch a show in the evening with my new husband. I was always “SOOO BUSY.” Ha!

I didn’t even know busy.

A lot has changed since then, (four kids, careers and a move later), and I have been through a lot, especially after adding each child to our family. My expectations have definitely been adjusted, and although my house is rarely spotless, I feel like I am doing a pretty good job.

Exhibit A – Photos I just took of my home in it’s current state

Messy living room

Messy family room

Messy kitchen

Messy bedroom

I’ve started to get in the habit of listening to a chatty YouTube video when driving in my car kids-free, and one this morning, on my way home from Walmart had me nodding my head in agreement constantly.

It was a video of Anna Saccone answering some questions from viewers. As a mom of three, she had some great insight into motherhood. Here are my favourite takeaways…

She talked about how she hasn’t felt depression sink in with her second, or third kids because she doesn’t have as much time to sit and over-think.

I couldn’t agree with this more. When people ask me about having four kids, my answer is, with one kid it’s hard and you overthink all the time. Plus if there is a lull in time you think you should be singing a song, be making homemade baby food, or reading a book. When you aren’t doing those things you feel guilty for putting your feet up.

When you have more than one kid, you are busy, in fact you feel like you are on a hamster wheel, but it isn’t nearly as hard and you don’t over analyze every decision.

I can’t tell you how many times I say to myself, when moving from one child’s crisis to the next child, “well kid, you’re going to be okay because you have to be okay, there are other people waiting in line.” I swear my kids as a litter of puppies are way happier than when my son was an only child.

Anna also talked about trying to keep her house clean and everything in it’s place. She said she’s let go a bit because let’s face it, she has three kids and six dogs. You could drive yourself crazy trying to keep your house spotless with that much chaos.

So, when the mess starts to really bug her, she reminds herself that she loves her kids more than a clean house.

So simple, yet such great advice!

Watch her video for these, plus more great bits of insight into motherhood…

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Is our family really happy?

Is our family happy? The honest answer is… no. A least we weren’t for a while there.

Over the past three weeks I was really noticing this common theme in our home of just putting in the time and going through the motions. It wasn’t just me, it was our entire family. We were satisfied-ish, but not joy-filled.

mom on sofa with kids

I knew the winter had been too long and not planning a vacation was a big mistake, not to mention our house was piling up with clutter, and Mike and I just couldn’t seem to dig ourselves out.

We just felt stuck.

I had found some tricks to keep my head above water while we waited for the warmer weather, but there wasn’t a sparkle in any of our eyes.

I was starting to lose hope just as the clouds parted this past weekend. That little warm up was enough to wake everyone up.

kids playing outside

On Saturday Mike and I finally conquered our nemesis… the basement. We dug and we dug until we could breathe again. Multiple trips to the dump and dropping off donations later, we are able to see our home again.

On Sunday we practically lived outside with our kids. Bike rides, side walk chalk and backyard play filled the hours.

As our kids rode their bicycles and tricycles around our street again and again, I beamed as I kept hearing spontaneous laughter come from our twin toddlers.

It was the best, and exactly what we all needed.

I write this as Monday is coming to a close. I am exhausted, but very, very happy. I blasted through my to-do list which somehow felt a lot easier today. toddlers reading

There has been a shift, and instead of sinking back into the gloom as the rain expected tomorrow arrives, I am going to keep this momentum going.

You can catch up on our past week and our happiness journey in our recent vlogs.

This Is What Happens When You Are Surprised With Twins – Digging Us Out Of Survival Mode: A Series

twinsIt was inevitable. I had to have seen it coming. But I don’t think I was ever prepared for the magnitude of what was about to happen to our lives.

The weeks leading up to finding out we were expecting twins were marked with unusual fatigue and illness which was peaking my suspicion. At the time I was running my mural painting company and business was booming. I had two large scale murals to paint and from the moment “you are having twins” were spoken by the nurse after my seven week ultrasound, I felt sick.twins ultrasound

I pushed through. I would climb up on my ladder, paint for twenty minutes and then climb down, eat a snack and lay on the carpet (the home-owners were away, thank God) and pray I didn’t throw up. Then I would start the process all over again. This went on for days.


When I would arrive home after a long day of painting I would collapse. Forget the housework, forget cleaning, I needed to rest.

“If I could just make it to the second trimester.” I would often think to myself full of hopeful optimism.

The second trimester came and I felt a little better. My husband Mike, and I had an exciting Vegas trip coming up and I couldn’t wait to get away. As we walked through the doors of Bellagio, I was in awe of the sheer size of our hotel.

As we stood at the counter waiting for our room key, my oversized baby bump was drawing a lot of eyes. Although I was only 17 weeks pregnant, I looked almost full term. I am sure people were thinking that a very pregnant woman in a casino looked a little out of place.pregnant in vegas

After being pointed in the direction to where our room was, we started to make the trek. Now when I say trek, I seriously mean TREK. It was about a ten-minute walk (at least) from the front lobby of the Bellagio to where our room was. That’s when it happened. It felt like someone placed a vice on my belly, and I couldn’t move.

Now, I have heard of Braxton Hicks contractions before, but this was cruel. I quickly sat down in one of the many chairs peppering the long halls in the Bellagio and waited for the searing pain to subside, which, at this point had begun to start shooting down my legs and even through my lady parts.

Las Vegas is a walking city. Here I was unable to walk, or at least walk very far. We made the best of the trip walking short distances, taking cabs and sitting a lot. Mike was very patient and took very good care of me.pregnant in vegas

Upon arriving home, the cleaning, tidying and clutter-clearing continued to wait.

By the third trimester I had completely thrown the towel in. I was living on the couch with a pillow between my knees, barely able to climb the stairs without blacking out. We scraped together what money we could and graciously accepted gifts from family to hire a cleaning company.

We continued to shove, store, and cram the items that needed to be purged, the clothes our kids had grown out of and all of the extra stuff that was slowly becoming noise, occasionally spiking my anxiety.

The day our twins were born, July 24 2014, was the next phase of survival mode. We had now reached the life phase of survival mode. Add on my new business that was gaining steam and I could barely fit any time for me in, especially not time for our house which at this point was screaming “I am busting at the seams.”IMG_1146

To this day, I have felt like I have been keeping a deep, dark secret. Clutter. Most days I have been able to rationalize the noise away, pushing it to the back burner, reminding myself I have bigger fish to fry.IMG_9281

But every once in a while I would gasp, looking around at the mess, the garbage, the stuff, the junk, the crap and feel like I was drowning.

So here I am, weeks away from our twins’ second birthday, and although I know that some days are a sh*t show, I have to admit, we are out of survival mode. It is time to face the mess.

I have made the decision to purge our house. To be ruthless. To make our home a priority.

This is the beginning of a series that I will be continuing… well… on and off until the process is done.

Digging Us Out Of Survival Mode will include my real confessions of mess, of motherhood and survival mode. I will be journaling the purge, my inspiration, some fun home DIY projects and sharing my nesting story both on the blog and on my YouTube channel.

You can follow along by liking Nesting Story on Facebook and subscribing to Nesting Story on YouTube. You can also find me purging our house in real time on Snapchat: nestingstory.

Stay tuned…

The Catch-All, Clutter Organizational Solution That Will Change Your World!

Before and after - kitchen clutter organizationRecently, I confessed a dirty little secret of mine on Nesting Story’s Facebook page. I exposed a side of my family that I am not proud of, and despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t seem to make this problem go away…

I am talking about our catch-all counter. You know, that place where everyone dumps their crap when they come in from school or work? The place where remote controls, phone chargers, newsletters, flyers, pacifiers, creams, crafts, magazines, sunglasses, sippys and magazines go to die? This mini wasteland then burrows this deep dark hole of anxiety into your brain and even those you just tidied it up five minutes ago, when you turned your back for a second, your family dumped all of their crap on it again!!???!!!

Yup, the thorn in my side. I was quick to learn that I wasn’t the only one with this deep, dark secret lurking in their home. Many of you quickly confessed, showing your messy counters and tables. collage of messy countersAfter years of trying to clean it, clear it and announce that there would be no more crap dumping to the rest of my family and constantly failing, I finally realized I needed to approach this problem in a different way. Catch All CounterI knew I could never fully keep this place clear of clutter. As a busy family of six, we sometimes just need to put stuff up and out of the way. So I brainstormed and finally came up with an idea that is so genius, it has now been working for our family for a couple of months!

I decided to let the crap and clutter stay on my counters, but in a pretty and organized way. I went out and found some attractive boxes (products listed below) with lids and I labelled them. One for each of my older kids, one for our one-year-old twins to share, and one for my husband Mike and I. collage of boxesNow, when someone dumps their sunglasses, trading cards or lip gloss on the counter, I just quickly pop it into their box. When the boxes are full, I hand them out and ask the owner of the box to put the contents away. BAM! I am telling you, this actually works!

For added organization, I found an equally attractive pin board, and an office organizer to house invitations and pens etc…

But wait… I didn’t stop my organization craze there… we also have one of those cupboards that I shove all of our kids arts, crafts and Play Doh into. Oh, by the way, who made the decision to make Play Doh accessories so massive? I am pretty sure we now own every Play Doh accessory known to man, curtesy of countless birthday parties. Something had to be done.Inside a messy cupboardI made the decision to evict everything Play Doh from the cupboard and store them inside a closet, in a cart on wheels. Seeing that I have to be in a particularly good and stress-free mood to break out the Play Doh and the mess that goes with it, having it out of our kitchen made a lot of sense.

I took all of our kid’s art supplies and art projects and stored them properly. The complete art projects went into a bin under each of my kid’s beds and the craft supplies were divided up in to two organizational containers. Craft Supplies organizationI then assigned a shelf to each kid. I gave them letter trays to keep drawings and school work in. I also created an a space for colouring books and their art supplies container to go.Organized Cupboards

I just wish I had done this sooner. Now, when I go to tidy the catch-all space in my home, it takes me under a minute to put everything in it’s place. My kids also have more responsibility over their stuff and easier access. I can finally exhale!

See Items I used below. This post is NOT sponsored.raskog-utility-cart-gray__0154992_PE313176_S4

RASKOG Utility Cart, Ikea – $69.99 CAN


DOKUMENT Letter Tray, Ikea – $9.99 CAN


KVARNVIK Box with Lid, Ikea – $9.99 CAN


SALMA Box, Ikea – $1.49 CAN


SALMA Box, Ikea – $10.99 CAN

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