Life and Laundry …

I am leaving tomorrow to go to Tulsa (CK Convention) and I am sure when I get there I will have fun. I always do. I meet new people and make connections and listen to stories and return with new perspectives. The problem today is I don’t really want to leave. I’ve been home for two straight months — that’s a long time for me. I took this time off from travel because
a. we moved and
b. I thought maybe, just maybe we’d get news of our adoption in the spring and possibly meet our daughter this summer. We are still waiting to hear — the good news is, there is an empty bedroom upstairs and I could be ready in a day or two.

When I woke up this morning I thought, I’ve got to pack and my mind went blank — where’s my suitcase?
What do I bring to these things again?
I sure hope I can find everything.
I wonder where my pointer is, and my thumb drive?
I hope I can remember how to set up my computer with the projector (can’t forget that connector cord thing)
Oh, and I want to remember napkins and straws and my jogging shoes
I want to take my camera too — then I could be like Donna and Cathy and post to my blog!
So … here I sit, with a mile-long list, and all these crazy thoughts going through my mind. I really need creative energy today — I have a bunch of deadlines looming. There are things to write and projects to make and a class to work on.
Why is it I do what I do?
I like being home.
I don’t like leaving my kids.
Empty hotel rooms make me cry.

I think I’m tired — stayed up late.
I know in my heart of hearts — I feel it there, the why. Why I do this. Why I get to do this. In spite of the difficulty of it all, I am doing what I love and I know I am supposed to do it. I feel it so often and with so much assurance that I’m going to stand up and go get my suitcase and lay it open on the floor of my studio and watch myself fill it up. The rhythm of it all will come back to me — I’ll "get my game on" I’ll go to Tulsa and I’ll feel the passion of teaching and the joy of gathering with like-minded people and I’ll call home and it will all be OK.

And speaking of home, my laundry room is coming together. It’s actually smaller than my old one — so it’s been a bit of a challenge to get it all in and organized. I had to give up my three-bag sorter on wheels, but I did get a laundry chute — which next to my shoe closet is just about the coolest thing ever! Trey is showing it off here. There’s a cupboard in the boys’ bathroom upstairs that leads right down the chute to here — like magic. Open the cupboard and find more dirty clothes …

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But it’s OK,  I have Grandma’s iron to remind me that it could be a whole lot worse. I could be warming my iron in the coals of my fire!
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And the tiles turned out so cute — don’t you think?
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It’s a bright, happy place and I still have my bins — not sure how anyone does laundry without bins!
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and speaking of laundry — I’ve got to wash my skirt that I want to wear on Friday and so I guess I’d better get back to work …

I leave you with this thought that I love.

Balance isn’t ‘either/or’ it’s ‘and.’

that was said my Martin Scully and it’s why I think life is so good.

A balanced life affords me the chance to go and stay home; to work and to play; to ask and to know. And is such an empowering word — brings ideas and people and seemingly incongruous things together. Makes life challenging and interesting and that’s a good and exciting thing.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the quote, it’s what I needed to hear.
    And for all that you do: THANK YOU!
    Thank you for your passion and example, they both enrich my life, making it easier for me to be me AND a wife AND a mom.
    You’re fabulous.
    Have fun in Tulsa!
    Kirsten from Tucson, AZ

  2. You are the cutest, Stacy Julian. I love reading your blog. It does make me HAPPY. Love seeing your cute & organized laundry room. How does your bin system work? Are those American Craft letters labeling them. A-DOR-ABLE. Good luck at CKC and even more luck & prayers for your baby girl adoption happening soon and smoothly.

  3. Damon Crawley says:

    Heather (my wife sent you her resume not too long ago) and I cannot wait for class Thursday! We are going to be gathering our stuff and getting it ready tonight. Just be prepared; it is HOT. Like 104 tomorrow, 106 Thursday and 97 – 100 through the weekend. Then add the humidity on top of that. But we will have fun, fun, fun.

  4. Hi Stacy,
    I can so empathize with you. I have two young ones at home and I have to travel for business. I just found out I have to be in Denver the morning after my sons first day of Kindergarten. I will take the red eye if I have to, but no way am I missing that.
    Anyway, it is hard to leave your family, even when you do it often. And, for some reasons, some trips are harder than others. To steal a term from Ali Edwards, it is even harder when we are feeling ‘tender’, which is probably how you are feeling now.
    Hang in there. Know that your family is in good hands and you are doing what you are meant to do. It could be worse, you could be a traveling auditor like me!!
    Connie (cdw43)

  5. Kelli Kemmerer says:

    Hi Stacey,
    I think your laundry room is SO CUTE!! I have been in my house for 2 years now, and still can’t decide what to do with mine. We have a laundry chute just like yours in our house! We love ours as well. Your pictures have inspired me to go to work in that room!! Thank you for sharing!!
    Kelli K

  6. Allison Barnes says:

    You can do it my friend! You are an amzing teacher. Once you arrive, you will put your teacher hat on and you will inspire women like no one else can. Call me when you are lonely in your room! I am planning on Houston with you!
    Love ya,
    Allison

  7. You know I love you right??? I do…for a whole myriad of reasons.
    Just so you know..I’m totally feeling the need to decorate my laundry room now!
    Big hugs and happy travels. Can’t wait to catch up when you get back!
    Lisa

  8. Oh my word I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a HAPPIER laundry room in my life! It is da bomb! And how sweet of Trey to provide a demo like that. My boys stuff themselves into the package lockers at the post office – it was cute when they were 3 & 4 but at 9 & 10 I start to fear they will get stuck!
    Balance=AND. Love it, just perfect.

  9. Donna M. says:

    Watch out! when you least expect it the phone will ring and someone will be telling you that you have a flight to meet at the airport! Good luck on the packing and good luck on the adoption. I think about your newest journey often. Mine is over and I have a very precocious 9 year old to prove it! Longing for those days…

  10. Love that bin system! I “need” that–where did you find it or did you create it?
    Enjoy the trip…here’s hoping that it is interrupted by THE PHONE CALL!

  11. Sharon Diekman says:

    Stacy:
    We have never met, but I feel compelled to respond to your blog today. First, thanks for being so honest about your feelings. I have traveled throughtout my career and know what leaving your family and empty hotel rooms are like. Please know that what you do is wonderful!! You are such an inspiration to so many people – most who you don’t even know. I, for one, am a better Mom because of you! So… as you get yourself motivated for your trip – know that you are making a difference to families everywhere.
    AND it is all about balance!
    Sharon

  12. Love this post…I don’t travel much but I do know exactly how you feel when I do. Bittersweet. Thanks for sharing more pictures of your house! So cool!!! have fun…

  13. Stacy,
    Bless your heart, Oklahoma isn’t that bad, is it?????? Does it really bring out all of those thoughts to come here? : )
    I am totally kidding! You are so honest and so sincere, and I wish you the best. I hope you get that call that you have been long awaiting and that you get to meet your little girl SOON!
    Your home is beautiful (what we have seen so far) and will be 100% complete when you get to fill that extra room.
    You are wonderful! Hopefully I can meet you when you are in Tulsa…that is if the paparazzi isn’t too wild!
    ~Kim

  14. How cool that you have a LAUNDRY CHUTE!! I have always wanted one. If I win the Lottery (which I don’t play), I would design a house with a chute in it…..it just sounds so cool….. :)
    Have fun at CKC. Wish I could go to one of those. I am saving for one in 2007!

  15. Oh, Stacy, I love your blog… and I love your laundry room! How fun is that — the tiles and the old iron. What great reminders!
    I interviewed a high-ranking female exec for a national HMO, and I asked her how she balanced life and work. She said something I will never forget: “I’m not in search of balance. I’m in search of SANITY.”
    I remind myself every day of my life that even balance is something to pursue in moderation. It helps me tremendously!
    xoxoxooxoxooxox
    Lain

  16. So happy to find a new post—and like many others, would love to know more about your bin system. After reading The Big Picture so closely, I can’t believe there are still more cool things we don’t know.
    I loved reading about your tradition of taking each child for a special treat with just Mom to choose his back-to-school supplies—a tradition I plan to steal.
    Now if I could figure out the bin system, I’d steal that too…
    Good Luck this week! I know you’ll do great.

  17. ElizabethW says:

    The quote….I needed to hear that today. :)

  18. I never knew a laundry room could be such a cheery place. the tiles are truly cute.
    I am one of many thousands of women who are so grateful that you have a passion for scrapbooking and for teaching (notice the ‘and’). And love that you do what you do as long as you love it, too.
    Chin up, teach. Get that bag packed.

  19. We will have fun in Tulsa! Hang in there!!

  20. when i was a little girl, we had a laundry chute in our upstairs bathroom, that led directly to our downstairs powder room, where the washer/dryer were. at some point, my imaginary friend, Denise, lived in that laundry chute. ours had a laundry bag (canvas) hanging from the mouth of the chute down tot he washer, with a pull string.
    seems like a LO – doesn’t it??? LOL
    Hillary

  21. I’m hoping that once you get back from OK that you’ll hear something on your little girl!!
    Otherwise i ditto everyone else: love the laundry bins–that might work for my 4 monsters (well 5 if you count jeff–he’s the worst!) i love the idea of a chute (had one when i nannied in oak park), but my laundry room is upstairs and i love that convenience too! such a dilemma.
    ok, enough gab, get packing, remember that cord thingy to the projector.

  22. Your laundry room is incredible…the colors and the organization. I love every last detail. And your son is adorable!
    And after being home for 2 months, I can understand the mixed emotions. Connecting with avid scrapbookers will be refreshing and when you return home, it will feel different than how you felt before the trip.
    Good luck with your adoption. You are such a great lady!

  23. Wow….that made me look twice…ok, so now i know what we have in common….a love for labeling, bins for the family, old irons, yellow in the laundry room, oh, and great trash cans :)…now that is too weird.
    I think what you are feeling is pretty normal….since you’ve been working on your new home so hard. Yep, it’s called “nesting”…a very REAL activity that presents itself whenever you are “expecting”….and you are!!!
    ….and just another example of a true feeling that when we are really doing things about our homes that serve our families, we are the peacemakers and the more YOU like to be there, the more your family will enjoy being there too.
    BTW, Check out temple in the Bible dictionary, page 781, left column, first paragraph, last sentence in particular…THAT’S what you are feeling, Very normal for sure, it’s our divine nature to recognize that feeling!!! Have a great trip!!!

  24. Stacy,
    You, my friend (because I feel like you would be my friend, if only we actually knew each other), have found your calling in the evangelic teaching and presenting that you do as it relates to scrapbooking. It is, as you so aptly remarked a while back, a ‘way of life’ that so many of us have chosen. Perhaps a little ‘packing music’ might help get you in the mood. :) How about ‘songs from the neighborhood’ or maybe a little disco? I recently discovered a whole bunch of ‘KTel’ albums on iTunes and smiled as I downloaded song after song from my younger days. Those folks in Tulsa are SO lucky to have you coming to visit them!
    ~kendra

  25. Wendy WVG says:

    it’s funny to me how many women that may have never responded to your blog, are doing so today.
    I think you became all the more ‘normal, human, down to earth’ to all of us today. We look to you as this guru of scrapbooking, memory keeping and woman extrordinaire that has it/does it all. You really said some typical ‘everyday’ things today. I would cry to if I had to leave my kids after 2 months of ‘hanging’ with them. YOur home is so beautiful and that’s another reason I wouldn’t want to leave. The tiles are great. I”m curious what the bins are for? DOes everyone put their dirty clothes in there? That is such a cool idea and one that I somehow need to copy. HA!

  26. You lil’ brat :0) Are those labels on your shelves?????!?!? Alrighty, I moved one month ago tomorrow…maybe I’ll get brave and post some pictures…but they won’t look like yours!

  27. Hey Stacy …
    Wish I could help with the personal side of the equation — I’m right there with you. It’s always tough to leave home (especially a new home that isn’t completely settled) and so much harder the longer you’ve been out of the travel routine.
    But … here’s a little travel checklist to help you remember all your stuff you don’t want to leave home without.
    http://www.simplify101.com/travel_checklist.pdf
    Hope it helps :)
    Good luck getting ready and have safe travels!
    Aby

  28. What a wonderful quote! I LOVE your laundry room. So HAPPY! Great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Love those tiles! Very cute idea. Hope you’re enjoying your new home.

  30. Hey Stacy-Absolutely love the tiles in the laundry room!! I’m thinking of doing that at my beach house laundry room and have each person that visits us paint a tile. So where did get the tiles and how did you get them fired?? Awaiting your answer :) Thanks and congrats on your new baby girl!!
    K8

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