I get incredible feedback from more seasoned bloggers and writers that I admire. If you have ever needed support or a network, bloggers are a lovely group of people. I have met a lot of very talented and very sincere mentors throughout the last few years. I get to “grow up” with other newbies who I have met in Facebook groups and shared Pinterest boards.

There have been many open arms. A lot of changes you have seen, throughout the last year especially, have been suggestions I have taken from writers who I look up to. I take these suggestions and stick with the Hot Mess Mama brand. I never, ever want to forget my why.

You’re my why. I want to connect with mamas. I want to celebrate them and lift them up. I want to remind them that we are all doing our very best and that it means something. I aim to expose God to every tired mama heart and to encourage mamas to follow their own dreams.

I want to bring humor and normalcy to not having all the answers and acceptance to the truth that we are all just winging it. I want to be authentic and honest about shared struggles. I never want any mama to feel as though she is going this alone.

One of the latest suggestions I have received was adding more lifestyle photography to my website. I loved this feedback and immediately ran to Google. I found images of adorably posed families and the most stunning women with perfect hair laughing as they drank from a Starbucks cup. I thought the images were absolutely beautiful.

My life has some very pretty poses and a ton of smiles. There is also endless laundry and dishes to wash. I have a clean home with portraits of family photoshoots and wedding pictures all over the walls. There are also confiscated toys on top of my very staged china cabinet. If you open my pantry on a Sunday evening, you’ll find a mess of snack boxes that have been torn through by little, hungry hands.

We definitely drink coffee, but it is Maxwell House from the Keurig. I usually use my “Mr.” and “Hubby” mug set because I have managed to break their “Mrs.” and “Wifey” mates. I will just call myself progressive instead of clumsy. The bedroom of girls tends to have clothes all over the floor and the boy’s bedroom is full of several different themes because their personalities couldn’t claim just one.

Every piece of furniture in our home is used as storage. There is a lot of us. What is pretty and decorative is also packed full of things the children have made, a prize drawer for good behavior, and supplies for arts and crafts. I am constantly cleaning the kid’s bathroom. I have decided that they may never get their aim just right or perfect the art of using the appropriate amount of toothpaste.

My life is messy and it is work. It is chaotic some days. Even if I snap a shot in my beautifully, remodeled kitchen, you can bet I have also picked up nerf bullets from behind my sugar canister and microwave. My freezer is far from organized.

My point is that life is real and messy and hard work as a mama. It is also rewarding and wonderful. The same moments that my back hurts from picking up after my adorable, little savages, I am grateful that we live in this shared space.

When I pick up the dirty socks of my husband, which are often on the floor right beside the hamper, I remember that he has worked hard to give us this life. I would never want a life without those dirty socks.

Those dirty dishes are from home cooked meals that my family came home to and that pantry is full of God’s provisions. I am grateful for the real and the messy. I do not ever want to hide it from my mama friends who I know can relate. This lifestyle is not for everyone, but it is one I find worth living. It takes guts and sweat. Some days it takes naps and bickering, but it is mine and I would chose it any day of the week.

I embrace the real. I own the truth. I love the messy because in the midst of the messy I find gratitude and YOU. I am motivated by my Hot Mess Mamas and fueled by the love of our God. I find grace in both His arms and yours. This is my lifestyle. It isn’t perfect and posed. It isn’t immaculate or without little, tiny fingerprints. This lifestyle is full of dirty socks and headaches, but if I follow the trail of dirty socks, I can find the best reasons to keep at it.

I do not have a guide book or a bunch of posts telling you how to be a better mom. I do not have a lot of perfect images or, some days, even a completed to-do list. What I do have is a place you can rest your tired, mama head and a lifestyle that proves that I understand you. Let’s own it.

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