[This Is] Real Life

Life before kids was exactly what I imagined it to be when I dreamed of it. It was filled with romantic dates, long hours logged at work, sweet moments spent on the couch snuggling and reading. There were dinner parties and romantic getaways. We slept. There were weekends spent dutifully working together to fix up our fixer upper.

Having kids sort of changed things. There’s more laughter, that’s for sure. Dinner parties are a little different and when there’s a babysitter I really just want to sit across from that husband of mine with a latte and stare into his dreamy eyes [that guy knows how to age, let me tell ya]. Home improvement projects are still a two man job but the labor is divided into one baby wrangler and one skilled laborer. Every year is blissfully, exceedingly, challengingly wonderful. But it’s definitely not liked anything I dreamed.

And I mean that in a good way. I couldn’t have imagined it to be this great. I think that’s partially because I’m older. With maturity has come a clarification of the difference between joy and happiness. And, somehow, a sense that joyfulness follows the economic principles of compounding interest.

These thoughts, embarrassingly enough, were spurred by Lucy asking us to paint her room purple. No really. We were in Home Depot one day, cruising the paint section and she said, “So, you mean, walls can be any color you want them to be? Well then I want purple walls. Dark purple walls. Would Daddy do that for me?” Tell me, what parent is going to say no to that? It didn’t matter that I spent hours finding the perfect shade of “pineapple sherbert” to paint her walls so that they would be a relatively neutral palette for all of her colorful belongings. It definitely didn’t matter that none of the Land of Nod inspiration rooms were dark purple. And I’m certainly not saying we should give in to every whim of our almost four-year-old. But, why not have purple walls.

So we went back to Home Depot, determined to find a color dark enough to feel dark purple and light enough to not feel like a dungeon. And, well, we couldn’t find anything. Instead we came home, put Landon to nap, and had a lesson in “how to make purple”. Using leftover paint from our previously red front door and our previously french blue bedroom we stumbled upon a marvelous pinky purpley perfectly Lucy purple. Here it is. Real life.




[this is] real life | hey, beth baker!

So I took some pictures to send to the Mimis because Lucy’s been talking about this room redux for weeks and I knew they’d want to see it. I didn’t clean her room and make it look magical. This is real life. This is how it looks every day. Honestly, this is probably it on a good day… it could look much worse. But she’s crazy happy about this room. She told me painting it was, “the best of the best things she’s ever done.” And that’s how the present is different from the past.

[this is] real life | hey, beth baker!

So it really doesn’t matter if this guy always has food on his face because there’s also usually a huge smile there, too.

[this is] real life | hey, beth baker!

And she’s not four yet but she has a “thinking face”. And uses it to muse important questions like whether she’d rather watch Busytown Mysteries or Amazing Alphabet Adventure.

[this is] real life | hey, beth baker!

And he just turned two but he can climb the rope ladder all the way up to the top of the playground.

I wouldn’t have guessed that these would be the things my heart treasured. I couldn’t have imagined the sacred moments would be so simple.

[this is] real life | hey, beth baker!

I didn’t know she would be so, so funny. Like, funnier than any comedy I’ve ever seen.

[this is] real life | hey, beth baker!

I didn’t realize how much they would mean to me. My heart couldn’t grasp that. I guess because it grows with them each day [remember that thing I said about compounding interest…].

It’s just good. Real life. It’s so painfully and abundantly good.


4 thoughts on “[This Is] Real Life

  1. lana parmenter says:


  2. amani says:

    I seriously agree! This is one of your greatest post yet!!!

  3. mandthoward says:

    Indeed, so much better than we could have asked or imagined. Love it.

  4. I really needed to read this today. I won’t even go into it, but I needed a reminder of what a gift our children are. And that my child is so much funnier than any comedy. She really is. Especially when earlier this week I told her to sit down at the table and she pursed her lips and yelled loudly, “No! I stand up!” I had a hard time not laughing. Life is a constant movie reel and for the most part (aside from these bedtime debacles as of late) make me smile. Thank you.

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