the bane of my existance.

is my kitchen floor.  i'm kidding.  really.  i'm just exaggerating, of course.

i think i need a disclaimer.  i am so grateful.  so, so, SO grateful.  my cup overflows.  please don't take this as whining... i'm not.  i'm just stating the facts, friends :)


and also, my many friends with housekeepers... just pretend you understand, k?  :)


and one more thing.  i'll throw in a couple of photos of the kids.  because really, you don't just want me to show you tons of tile pics.


i cleaned my kitchen floor this past week.  i made quick work of what was before a dreadful task... thanks to my mother-in-law, who saw a random tidbit on television.

shaving cream will clean unsealed slate.

this is revolutionary news to me.  maybe you are martha stewart, and already know this.  or maybe you are a better housewife than me, and instinctively know.

i did not.

so after a trip to the dollar store to buy shaving cream {i wasn't about to use faustino's on the floor} and 2 scrub brushes from the walmart {not my favorite place. at. all.} from last summer when i was really only thinking about cleaning my floor, i was ready to begin.

let me just say, for those of you who are not familiar with this particular thing, unsealed slate is porous.  maybe all slate isn't as porous as mine... i've only lived in one house {this one} with slate.

and as a side note, slate does best on a very sturdy subfloor.  now, i don't know much, but sturdy and or stable is not the way i would describe the flooring or foundation of my nest.  {examples:  there was the time back before i was married where the house shifted so that i had to enter through the side door because the front door lock was stuck.  that was fun... and just as recently as last weekend i was doing the victory dance because the house shifted in the last cool front and i can fully shut the kids bedroom door!  and open their closet all the way!!!!}  so some of my tiles and grout have gotten a little shifty.  and that's okay.  but i am a perfectionist sometimes, and this is a contributing factor to my inability to get it perfect!!!! 

so, when i first moved into my little home, all by my lonesome, after college, i LOVED my slate kitchen tile.  i worked all day, then came home in the evenings... faustino was in medical school, his family lived in town and his mom is an awesome cook.  what i am trying to say is that it was easy to love my floor back then.  i wasn't home to get it dirty.

and then i got married.  started cooking more.  staying home more.  using my house.  and the floor got dirty.  and it baffled me.  i would mop.  it wouldn't get clean.

getting it wet was disgusting.  how on earth could i clean it???

i did try to google it, but didn't get meaningful results.

i ended up scrubbing with rags and dawn and clorox wipes for HOURS.  e l b o w g r e a s e.

i almost finished.  but i stopped caring.  well.  nix that.  i stopped caring about finishing the last 8 tiles.  i DID care about anyone tracking dirt in/spilling things on my floor.  i was crazy.

but over time, it got grungy again.

i adopted the "we just won't eat off the floor" attitude.  if people all over the world could handle a packed dirt floor, i could handle a dirty slate floor.

when savannah started crawling, i just didn't let her in the kitchen.  i would pick her up and redirect.  oh! my baby!  get off that nasty floor!!!    

but then i heard about the shaving cream.  minimal elbow grease, people.  amazing.

but it does take a while to do it and so, while mopping up shaving cream, i was thinking.

thinking about how i am so incredibly accepting of our house now.  i am happy to live here.  really.  slugs and all.  well.  i don't know about that.

i remember thinking when we got engaged that after we got married, maybe we would move.  but that wasn't a fiscally prudent decision.  so we stayed.  and i remember thinking that when we started residency that maybe we could buy a house.  we looked at houses.  and quickly realized that this is where we needed to stay.  and then, as close as 6 months ago, i thought we could potentially be moving into a bigger house down the street.  guess what?  we didn't.



so this will be our home the entire time i have lived here.  since i graduated from baylor in 2004.  all the way until residency is over.  our little house has been the birthplace of many of my most treasured memories.  i became an adult, started a life, got married, had babies, christmases, holidays, birthdays, on and on.

i think god has been working on my heart.  my spirit.  humility.  compassion.  sacrifice.   

so as i scrubbed my tile, wiping away dark gray shaving cream sludge, i thought about our home.  and as i dug shaving cream out of the holes where grout is missing i thought about teaching contentment to my children.

how do you teach your children the peace of knowing your place in the world - being content with the little bitty home filled with love and a lack of window treatments - but at the same time, give them the energy to reject things they don't like and to strive for better?  how??  how do you teach that balance.  or rather, paradox?

it seems so contradictory.  but i firmly believe that one must be somewhat unhappy with where they are in life, in order to propel oneself forward to "better" circumstances.  perhaps i should just say "different" circumstances, since better is certainly quite subjective.

and although you can apply this to a financial/monetary scenario, it encompasses many things that are far from fiscal.

i understand, or try to at least, this in my own life.  but to teach my children... 

i want to my children to have the gift of peace.  but i want them to desire to innovate.  to stretch.  grow.  become more of what they already are.  become the best they can be.

so... i leave you with that.  shaving cream.  slate tiles.  the war of contentment and striving for excellence.  a photo of my grimy floor.  half cleaned. 


and gee, if i had a housekeeper, would i ever ponder deep subjects??


  1. LOVE this post. I too have realized what a blessing it is to be content. God bless our little, modest homes that are full of love and precious memories.

    Humility, compassion, sacrifice, removal of the scum of sin in our lives... now do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around 'cause that's it's all about! :-)

  2. Stephanie!!

    Shaving cream and slate - I had no idea!

    And who knew that cleaning would lead you to come up with this great thought provoking post!

    One of my friends has a sign posted in her kitchen that says "The best things in life are not things." I try to remember that but sometimes it's easier to get caught up in everything else in life!

  3. that is awesome! congrats on the clean floor-seriously!!

  4. I loved this post! The transparency of your blog is refreshing and why I like to read it! It is so funny how in times/situations like the one you had with your floor, that some of the most "aha" moments come about. One day your little ones will realize the ways you sacrificed for them and they will call you blessed. ps - love the last pic of your floor!

  5. This was your best blog post ever. And kudos on your bravery to show your before/after floor pic. We all have those little places we'd rather hide from everyone else... and yet we're all the same.

  6. thank you all... your comments mean so much to me. your encouragement eases my pain in transparency :) and your kind words are priceless! thank you!!


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