The Messy Kitchen Week
I’m never sure how much to indulge here on this ol’ blog of mine. Do you want all the nitty gritty details of my life, from where I do my shopping to how I did my hair on Thursday afternoon? King Soopers and a ponytail, guys. That’s the way it works around here.
I often look at my life–the real one I’m living behind the scenes of this slickly designed website–and think that it’s not really all that reportable or remarkable. I mean, there are dirty socks on the coffee table in the living room. I can’t for the life of me find a decent place to store that lofty wonder of a blender, the Vitamix. And I’ve been living through a faith crisis for a year. How much of this do you want to know?
And anyway. It’s not a faith crisis. More of an honest transition to a place of more authentic faith. So quit sighing and thinking I need help. I’m quite grateful for it all, actually. Because, when I really simmer into the real stuff happening behind the blog, it’s gloriously beautiful. All of it. The pain. The plain. It’s life and it’s happening.
I’m pretty danged sure you don’t want to see my kitchen, but it’s high time I come clean. I’m a messy cook. I boil water over the edges of pots. I fill my sink to the gills until dishes spill onto the countertops and washcloths are buried alive. I get whims midway through stirring batters and pull sprinkles and spices from the cupboard. I wipe my hands on my pants. Aprons are too fussy when you’re getting kitchen inspiration.
There’s always something to clean in my house. But, for one and a half weeks of every month, it gets particularly nasty. Because the first of the month is dedicated to freelance assignments, so the kitchen becomes a workshop, an office, a photo studio, and a harried heap while I concoct, create, and bake about two dozen recipes for Betty Crocker and Tablespoon each month.
I should detest it. No one likes scraping bits of Crescent dough from tile grout.
But, I don’t. I freaking adore everything about it.
Yesterday, I spent the day hunting through an antique shop for jadeite plates. Unsuccessful. But I lingered over some turquoise mason jars and nearly purchased a muffin tin with the most riveting metallic texture. I visited a hardware store, bought eight colors of paint, and created some new backgrounds for my food photography set. Family pet, Yoda, offered to show off the new background and, simultaneously, his cheery disposition. He’s generous like that.
Today witnessed the making of gourmet pizza and vegetarian tacos and a savory party mix. There was playing around with plates and utensils and little sheets of burlap until everything looked just.so. Then, picture snapping of 7 additional recipes, all while listening to this Ted talk and making a goal to hug 8 people everyday.
Sometimes, in the middle of all of this, I get caught up on deadlines and check-lists and just getting it all done. Sometimes, when we share our Morning Grateful’s and my little Alyssa says, “I’m grateful because even though sometimes mom is just taking pictures instead of playing with us, I know she is making us money to pay our bills and stuff,” I want to throw all this extra blogging stuff out the all out the window, stop time, and pretend like the only thing one ever has to do is rock little girls and kiss that spot just below their chin a thousand-million times.
But then I remember that this is real life. And in real life, there’s bills. And deadlines. And fingers that itch for creativity. And a soul that ignites when I fulfill all that this woman was made to do. Which, for today, includes scrubbing crescent dough from the grout between our kitchen tile. And putting the final commas in place on six overdue articles. And picking up socks from the coffee table. And emptying the sink for the four thousandteenth time.
And not doing it all too fast. Because these plain old, everyday moments are what give meaning to my everydays.
But of course, doing it fast enough to leave ample time for cheek kissing.
Because I can’t have a certain, grateful little girl playing without me for too long.
This may be everyday. But she is my life.