It's funny, being a blogger. I get to share pieces of my life with an almost anonymous audience, set somewhere out in the world wide web. And yet here you are… praying for me… encouraging me… challenging me.
You know that Stuart hates beans. And you know that I have two uteri.
I mean, come on, that practically makes us family! When one talks about their internal reproductive organs, you know you're close.
As I was photographing the most phenomenal dessert for our new cookbook Farm Fresh (!!!!!!) tonight, I was chuckling taking the photographs. Little hands kept coming by the table and swiping the plums.
Stuart kept removing the Americano to take sips.
And I had to stand just right to keep the dirty dishes from sneaking into the frame.
But then… I thought to myself: Self, why? Why don't you share the reality?
Because as beautiful as the food and the life look in pictures (and trust me, it IS beautiful!) there's an entire other element to life. That is, the mess around the fringes of the occasional picture-perfect dish. The disgruntled children. The exhausted mother. The dirty floors. There is life in this home! Want to see life behind the lens?
Hmm… where to begin…
Ahh yes, the kitchen sink. Try as I may, 90% of the time, this is what it looks like. What I say? I love to cook. And cooking produces dishes.
At first I thought he ventured over to the dishwasher to unload it for me so that I could tackle that ginourmous pile of dishes, but in reality, he was pulling out some clean shot glasses for the espresso machine. Coffee? How can I say no to that?
I can't. Rhetorical question.
On the other side of the kitchen is this: remnants of supper, sip cups, an almost-empty-bottle of one of my favorite Zinfandel wines from a local winery, a table cloth that the children refuse to leave alone, and that little fuzzy haired guy in the background…
Aww! There he is. Disgusting. Probably poopy. Greasy. I bet there's even chunks of zucchini stuck in his neck roll.
But dang is he cute. Well, at least he will be after a bath.
Also, if someone could explain to me how my son ended up with the hair of a 94 year old man, I'd love to hear.
And the other son? Well, he's wearing Georgia's shirt and racing tractors on the disgusting floor instead of finishing his supper. Obviously.
Georgia's busy hiding in this cardboard box, aka “the secret hiding place” so that I won't make her finish her supper either. Whatever, children.
Speaking of children (and back at the kitchen sink), the littlest pulled this jar of garlic kraut off the table while I was taking pictures. Broken glass. Stinky kraut. Ah yes. Delicious! And yet somehow, I couldn't get myself to throw it away? All that goodness? Is it worth the risk of chewing glass?
Okay, now that I type that out, it's probably not. I'll go throw it away now. Don't yell at me.
You know what else I can see from where I'm standing? My porch that always. has. stuff. on. it. ALWAYS.
Including two cats the live under the outdoor cook stove and two turkeys that live in the kennel until they're big enough to join the chickens. And a giant pot of old tomatoes for the pigs. And my harvest basket. And a bunch of other junk that never gets put away because, well, I have no idea why.
Speaking of putting things away, hello laundry room. Hello laundry. Remember earlier this morning when that basket was completely empty and all the power tools were put away? Ya. Me too.
See that apron? That's the apron of a working woman, my friends. What you see in front of the lens may be put together, structured, and beautiful. And behind the lens, I'd like to say that it is too – at least, in a way. Sure, there are dishes. There are messes. There is that little thing called reality, but isn't it all beautiful?
It reminds me that we're human. We're alive.
And speaking of alive, someone's about to be much more alive after that espresso. Maybe I can convince him to do the dishes for me after all.
Oh, before I let you go, let me really lay the icing on the cake thick with this gem from last week. I'd ventured out to the garden for herbs and came back inside to find this:
Y'all. You can't even make this stuff up.
Go feel better about yourself now.
And send help. And a cleaning lady.