Bless This Mess



I’ve been staring at this computer screen for a few weeks now. I have all these words and thoughts running around my mind, but they’re stuck. I can’t seem to convince them to leave my head and make their way onto this page. The longer I delay their exit from this cracked up head of mine, the more stuck they get.

I feel lost.

I want that comfort that you feel when your mom hugs you and tells you everything will be ok. I want the comfort of late night couch dates with my sisters and brother. I want the warmth of my dad’s wood stove that keeps us cozy during the winter months. I want to eat my stepmom’s chicken curry at the family table. I want to wake up to the smell of my stepdad making his morning breakfast scramble. I want to hug my grandmother and laugh at funny stories about my Grampie.

I hope you’re enjoying my pity party as much as I am.

I’ve spent the past year hoping, wishing, and praying that I would somehow be able to drive the 880 miles with my kids to my parents’ houses on the East Coast. Unfortunately, there’s this tiny little pandemic thing that’s really put a damper on our travel plans.

Clicking my heels together three times didn’t do the trick either.

There’s no place like home.

Home is where the heart is, but my heart is all over the place. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Virginia, Colorado, England, Ireland, and California.

I’ve spent a lot of time moving furniture around, buying decorations, hanging pictures, sitting by the fire, and more. I keep thinking that those activities will make this place super homey and cozy. It doesn’t.

It feels broken, it feels unfamiliar, and it feels lonely. That’s not the kind of home I want my girls to grow up in. Recently, I was talking to my sister LeeLee about all of this. I called her up, crying and full of worry that the girls would never have the same comfort of home as I had growing up. I told her I felt like I had failed them, that this was all my fault and I’m a horrible mom. She interrupted me before I could finish that last sentence.

She said, “Katie- you are their home.

BOOM. Instant emotional happy tears cry fest. A big ‘ol mess, and ever so blessed.

When we moved from Michigan, we talked a lot about what a house was and what a home was. My oldest didn’t want to move and leave her purple and yellow bedroom behind. I told her over and over that a house is just some wood, pipes, plumbing, and glass.

That’s it. A house is a bunch of things with a roof. It gives us shelter, but it’s not what makes a house a home. A house can’t hug you or kiss your booboos. It can’t tuck you in at bedtime and it can’t make you laugh. It’s pretty easy to say those things to someone else, but I have a hard time saying them to myself.

Finding Nemo premiered when I was sixteen and my sister was three years old. I took her to see it once, and then took myself about three times. I LOVED IT. The themes of finding your way back home, family, community, figuring out who you are, and unconditional love really lightened my dark teenage angsty heart.

“Because when I look at you, I can feel it. And I look at you and I…I’m home.“- Dory

Home is inside.

Home can be anywhere your heart takes you.

Home is looking into my daughters’ eyes and wondering how I ever lived without them. It’s seeing myself in them and knowing that I’m in their heart and home too. Home is snuggling with my dog and the magical way he brings calm to our racing minds and love to our hearts. It’s the memory of my grandmother’s voice as she sang, “All The Things You Are” at her last Thanksgiving with us. My home is filled with my daughters’ contagious laughter which pulls me back in when my mind wanders far off into the dark. Home is singing them to sleep and snuggling like sardines. It’s spontaneous dance parties when our hearts need a little joy. Home is being able to acknowledge the broken home that took up residency inside of me and moving into the new homestead in my heart while shining out the light that brought us all together.

Wherever I am, wherever they are…we are home.

Just know you’re not alone, ‘cause I’m gonna make this place your home- Philip Phillips

3 thoughts on “Bless This Mess”

  1. This is definitely one of the best posts yet probably because ive felt similarly at times and it really resonated. Reading about and watching how you are with your girls makes me jealous that i didn’t grow up like your girls in a home with so much love! Lily is so right… you are their home!! Dont ever forget that. Xox

    Liked by 1 person

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