What Progress Really Looks Like


I’m putting this picture of two of our kittens in this post, in case you need to quickly scroll up and look at something cute after seeing all this mess…


Once again, my office is the hardest working room. Can you imagine trying to store this mess inside our house? I’m so happy to have an office space that can hold all of our beautiful mess while we renovate that barn. We are storing barn stuff that we don’t want to sit outside, right along with other stuff I’ve thrown in here and not dealt with because it’s turned into a temporary holding room. It won’t be like this forever. But for now, realistically, this office is serving us so well in this season and fulfilling it’s officey purpose.

I have to remind myself of that last sentence daily. This is why I have to document and celebrate my One Microscopic Step Forward.

So for your enjoyment, here’s my current office situation.










And because you’ve seen my mess. We are all officially best friends. That’s what sharing imperfections does to us, it bonds.


I’ve been easing people since 1973.


  1. The best, the best, the BEST! Thank you for not staging a “mess” that’s even neater than my normal day-to-day. I love seeing a real mess and knowing it comes from a real person with a real heart and a real family and a real dream! :)

  2. Ha! You crack me up! Thanks for making me laugh! I am there with you as I have several closets that look very similar to that right now!

  3. This post makes me so happy! :) LOL. Some parts of my house have looked like that, sometimes for a long time. (er, basement!! guest room!! office!) Now I don’t feel so bad about it. We’ve been getting rid and cleaning up so it’s not like that forever. But we shouldn’t have to be ashamed and hide our messes.

  4. Thanks for this and many related posts. We just moved to a new house that needs more work than expected, and I’m often feeling overwhelmed as I try to do anything and not neglect my three kids five and under. I am also missing the old townhouse SO much more than I ever expected. All of your posts about the challenges you have even when you are in your dream house are very helpful. :)

  5. Oh Hon, There are so MANY adorable things in that room. Won’t it be fun to play in them when the time is right? And those kittens, I die. I need one or two. I bought your book on Tuesday, and read it all in one day. I love you all the more for the beautiful things you wrote, and I believe I love myself a little more too. My takeaway is to LIVE in my house. Enjoy my kids right now in our mess. There’s some needed healing taking place in my house. Just wanted you to know you made a difference in my life.

  6. I love that you share your mess! Makes me like you even more!! :)

  7. You truly are my best friend now. I have the pictures (not posted) to prove it! This state of your office makes me feel so much better about all the storage crates in a holding pattern in my kitchen. Why are they there? I’ll tell you why. Because we switched my work room and my husbands piano room, so he could have a bigger space for teaching students. And all those crates? They were populating my work room waiting patiently for me to organize stuff. My new little office (notice I no longer call it work room) is way too small for all that treasure. The whole experience has been like working a puzzle, one piece shifts and everything is chaos. Maybe, I’ll get brave and do a show and tell. In the mean time, if I get tired of looking at all those crates in my kitchen, I can just remind the man that I sacrificed for him, so maybe we should just do dinner out. Might as well spend the profits from that one new student he now has. :) Here’s hoping he has lots of future students lining up at the door (just not the kitchen door)!.

  8. ok, i would LOVE to be lost in that mess… it’s what inside my brain looks like i swear!!! The seeds of ideas everywhere!!! LOVE it!!! Also next to the couch cushions that are plaid… is that pillow covers from ikea, or did they make fabric or curtains in the same fabric as those fab pillow covers!? if it’s fabric i’m going to ikea tomorrow!!!!!!!

  9. Love this. Lately I moved my office to the dining room that was rarely moved. I love the space but hate that my mess is now easily viewable from the front door. I probably going to move it back to my original office and then vow to use the dining room more for eating and homework. Encouraging post for all of us who try to be perfectionists.

  10. Love this! This is exactly what my house looks like right now after just recently moving in. I find it soooo hard to get started organizing. Where do you begin?

  11. I don’t even know you but I love you so much for making me feel at ease. I have these moments when the green monster takes over and Im so mad that Im not where I want to be, after not quite two years in my home. After a job loss and out of state move we became renters for 5 years! There were times when I thought I would never own my own home again. Well guess what, I do and even after all that, sometimes Im not even grateful for what I have. Shame on me. I had a moment like this yesterday when I let someone else’s joy steal my own. Thank you, so, so, much for the much needed clarity your post has brought to me this evening! I could just kiss you….MUAH!!

  12. I LOVE IT!! Thank you for being real and letting us inside your real world! It made my day and put a smile on my face!! Have a great day! :-)

  13. Paula Bearchell says

    You just made me smile and laugh out loud. I’m now officially at ease, thank you – and best friends! How cool is that? Love your blog, and the heart behind it :)

  14. Bless you, dear! This is exactly what my dining room looks like – has looked like for much longer than I would like to admit. It was a holding place, then a catch all, now an indoor landfill. I know I need to tackle it, but honestly? I. Cannot. Even. So good to know others live like this, even if their mess is occasional and temporary and mine is ongoing.

  15. Thank you for lowering my blood pressure. We just moved into a new home. Right this minute I’m looking at five zillion Home Depot book boxes, and a tab open to the Container Store shelving sale. So your post is some sort of sign. ;)

  16. I’m sure you’ve already seen this, but I remember you were the one that introduced us to this sweet girl and her family many years ago. Perhaps you can post this information and ask people to pray for them.

  17. Yes. :) Thanks again for the encouragment. Soul soothing.

  18. Lindsay James says

    We are in the middle of painting our living room, so all the furniture is in the middle of the room. It makes me realise that the way we had the furniture arranged previously just wasn’t cosy enough,for me and when the walls are finished (if ever!) we need to have the furniture in a much cosier configuration. What I’m trying badly to say here is that sometimes having a room disarranged (!) makes you see it differently and helps you use it better in the future. Hope that this helps.

  19. This is why I read your blog. A solid does of reality. I do get tired of Pintrest worthy pictures…honestly..they makes me have nervous sweats sometimes.

    Keep up the good work! Can’t wait to see how the barn is turning out!

  20. “I’ve been easing people since 1973.”
    And we love you for it Myquillyn!:)
    Keep at it…others might catch on and join us imperfectionists LOL

  21. Kathy Terrell says

    You are my new BFF. Thank you for sharing. I kept scrolling and scrolling and loved every perfectly imperfect photo. You are my heroine. Thank you for keep in’ it real!

  22. Hello! Just want to tell you how much better I feel since this post!!! You crack me up!! I have parts of this in every room right now–struggling with too much stuff and no real money for design that I want. So you made me feel not so bad and definitely not alone!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  23. Thank you for being real! My basement looks like this! I’m getting on it….really I am…..soon…..

  24. I definitely feel infinitely better about my office space right now. It’s pretty much the twin of your office, except I’m not storing stuff from a barn reno. :\ HA! Mine is just the catchall of my life. Some day, my office space will be restored to it’s original purpose. Thanks, Bestie!

  25. Oh, you must learn to do better. You really can, you know! De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter. Rinse and repeat!

  26. amy keifer says

    This was so helpful… sometimes I feel like I am getting know where. thank you, thank you, thank you, this was like a big hug for me and my house!

  27. amy keifer says

    This was so helpful… sometimes I feel like I am getting nowhere. thank you, thank you, thank you, this was like a big hug for me and my house!

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