The nature of my job surrounds me with the prettiest things, and I hate to admit that this constant effort of making things look perfect has long crossed over to my personal life as well. I love to style our home, or, as we would say in the world of weddings, keep it “guest-ready”….you know, with a throw on the couch positioned perfectly for those chilly days, candles lit with a lovely scent to fill the rooms, and fresh flowers in a modern mix of vases on the dining table.

It makes me happy to live in a clean, styled home. Alan has a hard time understanding my obsessiveness in this arena, but has learned to keep quiet and to enjoy the fruits of my labor. He still doesn’t understand though, why I find his blue and black motorcycle helmet displayed amongst our green and white cabinet annoying.

All this, ofcourse, gets tossed out the window when there is a young child in your home. Ever since Bridgette was born, I have had to learn to deal with messes and chaos in a whole new way. A positive way. I remind myself that a messy home only proves that there are people living there. Mismatched table settings could be appreciated as eclectic. Backed up laundry indicates that we had more fun things on our agenda.

Bridgette has taught me all about the beauty of imperfection. She is able to find the sunshines and rainbows in almost anything. I use to be adamant about teaching her to do things the ‘right’ way. A painting of a house should have windows and doors, I say. A painting of a house should have hearts and bows, Bridgette refutes. I now realize that what I have grown accustom to, or what I have considered as the ‘norm’ may not necessary be the ‘right’ way. We should encourage our children of the next generation to seek new inspirations and creativity in viewing this world, to be unpredictable and unconventional in appropriate situations. Seth Godin recently blogged about this subject, and I really agree with his perspective!

Clouds can be pink, boys can wear purple, and pizzas can have jelly beans. I am no longer bothered when Bridgette braids her own hair to look like a really bad haircut, or when she paints a purple bow on a yellow dress. I don’t cringe when I see the outfits that she proudly assembles for herself each morning, or when she asks me to paint red hearts over her blue nail polish. Allowing her to be expressive on her own terms, and accepting her for who she chooses to be are some of the best gifts that I can give her.

We followed a strawberry shortcake recipe the other night to satisfy our sweet tooth. At the last minute, Bridgette asked if we could swap the strawberries out for white peaches, because she likes peaches more. “Why not?” I replied, and together, we changed the recipe to fit our own liking.

Strawberries don’t always have to be paired with shortcakes. They look great on our shoes too….

Dirty car, or work of art?

This year, I have decided to let Bridgette take the rein in preparing our house for Halloween. I am letting go all of my big, sophisticated ideas to create an uber scary, yet “perfect” house to attract trick or treaters. Yesterday, Bridgette and I spent hours at Michael’s and Target robbing the clearance bins. I smiled proudly as Bridgette explained her plans to hang purple bats with princess beads as Halloween decor at our house. We definitely had some good laughs as we used our wildest imaginations to come up with the craziest ideas to utilize the treasures we found inside those clearance bins. I already know we’ll have a very peculiar looking house for Halloween, but I am lovin’ the imperfection of it all….

Here’s one of my favorite illustrations from Bridgette, which, according to her, is a picture that shows how much Bridgette and Mommy loves each other….

This may look like scribbles on a very dirty restaurant paper, but if you heard the loving story behind it, told by Bridgette, you would accept such imperfection as perfection. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way…

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