You take the good, you take the bad…


“You take the good, you take the bad,
you take them both and there you have
The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life

Blogging is funny, as many of you bloggers know, because when you write a post, you’re really writing a snapshot of a moment in time.  And as as the author (or photographer, if you will) you get to choose which moment in time you post and thus you can largely shape the perception of your self and your family life that you present to the world.

And I struggle with this.

Because, I love my life.  I really do.  I love being married to Scott.  I love being Mom to my 4 kids, and I love being able to stay home with them full time.  And so at the end of the day, I often choose to reflect on those good moments throughout the day.  Because every day has them.  And I don’t want to be one of those negative people who complains and rants and dwells on the bad.  (because oh, by the way, each day has plenty of those moments too). 

And here lies the struggle for me, because I long to keep it real, to not put on a facade of having it more together than I do.  I honestly do not enjoy being around “perfect people” or those that appear to be juggling their many roles without every dropping a ball or getting hit on the head.  I get hit on the head quite often and I want to show my real self, but I want to do it without whining. 

As I sat down to write a post for today, I thought about reflecting on our week of homeschooling.  Here lies a perfect example of the inner struggle.

We’ve had some great moments this week.  I could tell you more about our field trip to the butterfly tunnel on Tuesday and how the kids had a blast riding the Metro into DC and how the day ended so well with dinner at Chick-Fil-A on a family fun night (wahoo--- kids eat free with adult combo meal and awesome face paint lady was there too).  It was a great day!  And not only did we have fun, but I really think the kids learned about the stages of butterfly development and had a good time seeing the butterflies fly up close and personal, instead of just reading about it in a book. 

I love field trips!  (hence the good)

But, life is not all field trips.  And I could also look back on this week and tell you about the day my son spent 45 minutes, yes 45 minutes doing his handwriting… not b/c he was working so painstakingly slow to get it right and do a good job, but b/c he didn’t feel like working and so he piddled around and whined and complained… and I prompted…. and got frustrated…. and pleaded…. and raised my voice…. as we were trying to get our work done so that we could go on this really awesome field trip!  (the bad)

Or I could write about today…. we spent a good deal of time at the dry erase board reviewing blends and special sounds and reading words that “break the rules” and he was doing it.  He was reading!  (sometime I often lose sight of the magnificence of in my shortsighted focus of today’s task).   And he wasn’t giving up.  And the girls were playing nicely in the other room so we could focus.  (the good)

Of course fast forward a few hours and we have multiple children in time out for disobedience, tantrums from everyone and a hastily colored page in his book.  (the bad)

The facts of life are, much like the jingle from the 80s show theme song state, you gotta take the good with the bad.  We’ve got both.  And I long to present the full picture without negativity. (not exactly sure how to do that, but it is my goal)

This afternoon we’re going to bake scones and have high tea as an extension of our study of England in Social Studies earlier this week.  If I post pictures tomorrow of the kids all dressed up, eating their tiny sandwiches and smiling at the camera, don’t assume this is how we looked all day.  It’s a moment, an activity, I’ve been looking forward to all week and will want to cherish and remember it, and yet I also know that between now and high tea, we have to go to the grocery store for those special ingredients, and swing by the post office to mail a package and buy stamps… and since I’ve been a mom for almost 6 yrs now, I know we’ll have many of those moments before (or IF) we get to our Kodak moment. 

I’m just banking on the fact that 20 years from now, when the kids are grown and gone, and I look back on today’s snap shot…I’ll probably only remember the good.    It’s just the facts of life.


  1. Yes - it is so true. But be so thankful for those good times to bring you back up from the bad times. Life is a balancing act. You keep it real - just so overjoyed with those great moments and so willing to share them. They bring smiles to our faces and hearts (we the readers). And we keep you in our prayers to get through those tough times in the day or week.

  2. And THAT is why I love reading your blog so much. :-) You're doing a marvelous job not giving a picture of a perfect family, but rather a real family to whom I can relate.

  3. Nice, honest, appealing writing, Crystal. Remember, "Where there's life, there's a mess!"

  4. I can relate in so many ways. It's a hard balance to try to be positive but not appear to be perfect at the same time. You do a great job of that...of being real here and I am thankful for small glimpses of your life!

  5. That is a really helpful thing to remind myself of-

    "I’m just banking on the fact that 20 years from now, when the kids are grown and gone, and I look back on today’s snap shot…I’ll probably only remember the good. It’s just the facts of life."

    I think that is true. I'm going to remind myself of that often. Thanks, Crystal!

    Except for one day when you become a MOPS mentor mom and have to remember the truth about how it all went down.... :)

  6. meh, they can't all be successes. I can't imagine all that homeschooling entails ( though I want to teach my littlest at home if possible ) but I would think that there would be a lot of humdrum/not-so-good- among the field-trip/pefectly behaved days.

    Blog honestly, that is what keeps people coming back!


  7. It is so much more fun to focus on the fun times of day and the cute pictures than the screaming tantrums, isn't it? I love the glimpse into the other parts of your day :)

  8. I totally know what you mean. Its hard to be honest with out feeling like you are complaining or overly sugar coating things. I think you stick a good balance.

  9. Wow-I soo understand where you are coming from--never a dull moment ,but very few bad memories!! It is the hadn we are d ealt and we can cry or laugh thru it!! thanks for being transparent and real!

  10. I love this post. I'm so with you. Being real is so important. But I love your posts whether it's about visiting the jail cell or going to the butterfly exhibit or about saying goodbye to your nephew. You are real. But I appreciate you explaining real life isn't necessarily picture perfect.

  11. I love this post. I struggle with the same thing! Thanks for "keeping it real"!


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