kinda wondering if i’m doing it all right..

i’ll be honest,
there’s been a few rocky days around the knudsen home this summer.

with 5 females
3 of which are teenagers
one of which has been on her own for a year
one of which is heading rapidly into teenage years
& a mom who is trying desperately to keep up with everybody & everything
{a calm dog & a calm hubby–they’re never in the hot seat}
we’ve had a few bumps in the road.
it’s hard enough to let a friend down 
but when to realize we’ve dropped the ball with one of our children
it’s a tough pill to swallow.
& our older children. wow. they can call us out mighty quickly.
maybe not so gently. but usually full of truth.
the other day one of my girls was very upset with me
because i’m “always on the phone or computer”.
at first i thought, well yes. i am always on the phone or computer.
i have a job or two missy!
she of course was right. 
i am , let’s go with often verses always, on my phone or computer.
this particular daughter’s love language is quality time
& clearly, i haven’t made spending time with just her a priority lately.

 funny thing?
just the night prior i laid in bed and thought
“what am i doing?”
i don’t know how to run one business 
much less two.
i don’t know how to best utilize my blog?
& monetize? haven’t figured all that out yet.
i mean really, who knows all these things?
i’ve never been to a blog conference where some one tells me what i’m supposed to be doing
i’ve never taken a small business course
& i’ve never taken a photography class
( if any future client would like to cancel after that declaration…)
i feel like i redefined my little life last year
made some big girl decisions, made some financial investments
& then just stepped out there & did it.
while i LOVE what i’m doing
i’m finding the balance of working from home (during the summer especially)
to be quite the challenge.
i feel like i’m never quite “there” with everything.
the anxiety of seldom being caught up is a new feeling-
& rumor has it, that’s just part of the daily deal.
trying to balance giving the appropriate necessary attention
to the lord
to my family
to my jobs
to my friendships
to my laundry
(add in exercise & the dog)
is a tough tight walk on a tightrope inwhich i’m not sure i’m doing such a great job
i need to supplement our income
& honestly, i love that i can help provide
(or atleast pay for my target & anthropologie runs)
i want to be a good steward of my talents
& i want to do things well.
i know with a small business these days
social networking really is a must.
i think of the friendships that have developed from this blog.
life long friendships that are priceless to me.
i would have never known about noonday
much less persued that awesome journey.
both of my business adventures have basically begun because facebook word of mouth or
connections via blogging.
the photography. the journaling. the blogging.
it’s all a circle
in my minds eye i see it all, my little life, as a group of circles that overlap
my relationship with the lord
my family
my friendships
my work
& my blog.
they all overlap. they’re all connected.
they’re all very important to me. 
they all require time and commitment
and somedays i can do a few well
but i can’t do them all well everyday.
it’s very important to me to be real.
to be open.
to share not only the successes & joys in my life
but to admit when i struggle & when i’ve failed
& then to grow from it all.

it doesn’t do me any good at the end of the day
if i’ve connected all day on instagram & facebook
 & answered all emails within 24 hours
one of my own is not feeling very loved or very important…


i just wanted to share today.
my real thoughts
from a real home
( a real dusty, filled with dog hair home)
where 6 people are still learning how to best love each other

& i also hope to encourage you too ~
be a good steward with your gifts & talents
let your light shine wherever you are
whether that’s a toyfilled home today with a toddler or in a swank office downtown.
open your heart, be vulnerable & share your struggles with someone you trust
allow them to be close to you.
find someone to encourage & love on today.
do all that you do well & love your work
connect with your hubby & each of your babies in the way that makes them feel loved
bottom line,
love others well today.

 i’m sure gonna try….

June 29, 2012 - 1:38 pm

Bethanie - I needed this today friend. I think it's important to be honest. Just yesterday I was thinking about contacting you about doing a Noonday party before school starts again and everyone is too busy…but then I thought, “oh my gosh, I dont think I can go thru with it…it's PAIGE….the woman who can do it all and it's all beautiful to boot!” I guess it's natural to be able to WANT to do it all and have our houses clean and looking good while we do it! Girls always being sweet to each other (not), husband happy and thinking you're wonderful… Comfortable with where you and the Lord stand, and feeling good about yourself, what you eat, whether you exercise, etc. etc. etc. I've always tried to be an “in moderation” person. I know I dont do any of it perfectly, Lord no…but I know I give it my all and that's all we can do. Trust the Lord for strength, pray our girls will survive our sometimes anal retentiveness, and just keep on keepin' on.
Thank you for your honesty and keeping it real. sooo…how about a Noonday party?! Beginning of August? 🙂

June 29, 2012 - 1:54 pm

Debby - Whew, I thought you were going to say that you were going to stop blogging. That would be too sad.
You have your plate full….esp. in the summer.I can't imagine so many ladies in one house.
When our youngest son was first brought into our family through adoption……he required so much attention. I would fall into bed thinking that I hadn't been able to talk to one of the other children. It is so hard to juggle all of this. But they grow up so fast and soon you are in your home and they have moved on. I don't mean to make being an empty nester sound lonely or something bad… isn't. But you can't give up everything while your kids are home. Sure there are rough times but they smooth out. Thanks for being so honest…..that's one of the things I love about you.
And as much as I love hearing from you……you do not need to send me a response. ((((((HUGS)))))

June 29, 2012 - 1:54 pm

3 Peanuts - Beautiful Paige!!! It is so hard when our children point out the areas we are falling short in. Believe me…I have had that happen too. After the defensiveness wears off, I realize they are almost always right. I loved our chat the other day as we shared our struggles with these very issues. I too struggle with this balance daily. My professional life REALLY suffers and I know I need to contribute more financially to our family…it is necessary. But I am always putting family first and never make time for my professional development. I need balance in the other direction.

However, I make every effort to really connect with each child every day as I told you. I know that my time with them is more important than anything else…really it is.

Harry is the only one home today and he and I are going to have a date. Sure, I have not updated my blog in a week…..yup 7 whole days but ya know what I never get a whole entire day with just Harry. I have tons of thing that “I” want to do today but I know it will mean the world for him to have all of me today.

I will pray that you can find the balance between your 2 new wonderful business and your family. I know it is really hard. You have been blessed with such talent. When you get frustrated, please remember that it is just business though and no one is going to die if you turn your phone and computer off for a few hours or a whole day. Everyone needs time completely OFF and unplugged. And family is really what we are called to.

Love you,

June 29, 2012 - 1:54 pm

Pine Tree Home - Why are we so hard on ourselves? Every day I have to tell myself that it is OK that I am tired and just want to rest a little. Getting everything done that we have hopes and dreams for it hard, it takes work. Good to hear that I'm not the only one that is challenged with this. Thanks for sharing.

June 29, 2012 - 2:04 pm

Kelli @ Life at 818 - I believe you're probably singing everyone's song :o) Thanks for the reminder! And like Bethanie said, all we can do is our best every day, and some days our best isn't as good as the day before.. Have a great weekend!

June 29, 2012 - 2:10 pm

just call me jo - The fact that you're sensitive to the needs of your family is a step in the right direction. I get after my daughter all the time for seemingly putting her children on the back burner. I can appreciate your dilemma. You'll figure it out. Prayers will help. I love you and your honesty.

June 29, 2012 - 2:14 pm

Kim - Oh, my friend, you are too hard on yourself!! Yes, we all have days where we fall short, don't measure up and just plain can't keep all the plates spinning. You have started so many new adventures and are raising a family… give yourself some grace, commit to doing your best, ask the Lord to help and you'll be just fine!!!

Thanks for your honesty and transparency. And you've never taken a photography class??? SHUT UP!! 🙂 You are AWESOME!! Love all the picts!

June 29, 2012 - 2:15 pm

Rebecca - This was beautifully written,and exactly what I needed to read today. And like someone else said, for a second there I thought you were going to say you weren't blogging anymore. The horror!! Really, though, this was a much needed read today. Thank you for sharing and being so transparent!

June 29, 2012 - 2:28 pm

3 Peanuts - P.S. I hit publish and ran out the door to take Kate to art camp and the whole way there I thought about this post and I wanted to come back to say that you are one of the MOST involved and hands on Moms I know. I am not sure I said that in my comment although I did tell you that one the phone. you are ALWAYS spending quality time with your precious girls in unique and wonderful ways and you consider each of their love languages too. I have always admired your parenting so much Paige and I do not say that lightly. As a parenting coach and marriage counselor, I have awfully high standards (maybe unrealistic;)


June 29, 2012 - 2:39 pm

Anonymous - Hi Paige,
Thank you for your heart and your transparency! I have been reading your blog for over a year now and am always so inspired! I wanted to thank you for your posting a while back about fun places in Savannah. We were on our way back from a road trip to Florida two weeks ago and we stopped there for a morning…hit Savannah Bee Company, Paris Market and Back in the Day. What a wonderful spot that is, the food, the atmosphere, I loved everything! My husband joked that he was “speaking my love language” by taking me (and our two kids) there. Indeed! Have a wonderful day, Michelle

June 29, 2012 - 2:59 pm

Birdie Pearl - This was just what a needed to hear today, as my dirty house is calling, I have my daughter's party tomorrow to get ready for, one child that has “faked” an injury to get me to snuggle with him in his bed (that one hurts) and my Bible is dustier than I would like. Thank you for your transparency. You are such an encouragement. I wish you a blessed day!

June 29, 2012 - 3:38 pm

Rebecca - “in my minds eye i see it all, my little life, as a group of circles that overlap”

Love that…love it. Its hard to find balance sometimes. We just do the best we can. I appreciate you, your dedication, and the encouragement of your blog…not to mention your a rockin' photog mom. 🙂

June 29, 2012 - 3:47 pm

AndeM1 - thanks for keeping it real…..hang in there…you will get through and master this too!!!! I just know you will!

June 29, 2012 - 4:22 pm

Kimberly - Paige, that was beautiful and a time in due season for me. Thank you for sharing your heart & being real … you have no idea how much I appreciated this post today. Thanks again! God bless you & your sweet family xoxo

June 29, 2012 - 5:15 pm

Catherine - AMEN Sister! Paige you said how we all feel! Thank you for continuing to inspire little old me. Hugs! Catherine

June 29, 2012 - 5:18 pm

Lolo @ The Adventures of Stig and Lolo - Oh my dear…you have shared the plight of hard working Moms everywhere. It is so hard to share ourselves equally and fully to everyone/everything that our heart desires to. You are an amazing Mom and role model and are doing a fantastic job! If you were not chasing your dreams (and on the computer/phone ALL the time 😉 then you would be a sad, unfulfilled person….it is this balance that makes you who you are, and above all an amazing Mom! Keep it up girlie…you are an inspiration to your daughters, and one day they will realize that (and wonder how the heck you did it all)!! XOX

June 29, 2012 - 5:39 pm

Just For Today - thank you so much for sharing where your family is. Where you are. As believers, I think we can make our lives look a bit, well, unreal. That all is well, every day, of every hour, of ever minute, of every day. Or maybe that is how we are perceived. Either way, our lives are just like everyone else's…we just have the Lord to get us through. THAT is what I always try to remind those around me. Thanks for being real. Much appreciated.
Hugs From My Heart

June 29, 2012 - 5:41 pm

Jboo - Love how you keep it real! As the great late Nora Ephron said, “life is messy, life is complicated” — that is my new mantra and is so true!

Hope you and the whole family has a great weekend!


June 29, 2012 - 5:42 pm

Simply Me Art - I feel Exactly the Same Way! The Balance is a Daily Struggle, wanting and needing to supplement our household income along with creating, keeping a house, seeing to the needs of two very different young people at very different stages, weighs on my mind every minute of every day. My motto for the last year is one day at a time,even one hour at a time. I try not to look ahead too far and focus on each need from my loves as it comes up. I know I lack in many areas and there is no one harder on themselves than I. It is the hardest Job, being a Mom, Wife, Homemaker, Business woman, Creator all rolled into one, every single day. We do the best we can, we make mistakes and we learn and move on. Your doing Great and I'm sure the very best you can. That is all any one can ask. Just know you are not alone, I can see through your Blog you have many of us in the same Boat. Hang on, take a deep breath and one day at a time.

June 29, 2012 - 8:23 pm

Leslie - Is your middle name “Leslie” because I feel like it should be after reading this post. I could have wrote almost every word myself. I have tried so hard this past year and a half to let things go, even my passions, because i was seeing my kids lives pass before my eyes and I didn't feel like I was giving them the best part of me, they got to see what I didn't want anyone else to see in me. I swear the older the kids get the harder it gets because they see the real you and call u out on it, hard pill to swallow. We just need to chit chat one of these days, I need some southern grace! I love how you open your hearts to us, we all learn so much from you, you have such a great way with words, we are all in this together, feeling the pressures to do it all, when in the end we just want a happy loving family, mothering is the hardest job! Just think vacation is coming, what a perfect time to re-charge as a family! Love ya sweetie pie!

June 29, 2012 - 10:22 pm

Amy R. - I needed to hear this today too! I am feeling the exact same way. I am a newer decorator and things have really taken off all of the sudden and just in time for summer with all 3 kids home. I have struggled with balance and questioned if working is right or not.
Thanks for sharing your heart and struggles. It goes with the “mom” territory I think. We are not perfect and don't have all the answers!

June 30, 2012 - 11:32 am

Tove - I have been following your blog for a while and I just love to read about your thoughts on life – this blog post got me thinking, so than you for that!

I am also a curious type, so I have been wondering if your Knudsen-name is of Norwegian origin! I`d be mighty glad if you took precious time to answer me…

Regards, Tove, Norway!

June 30, 2012 - 5:08 pm

RachelRAdams - your honesty and transparency is refreshing…. it's life and it's real…. and most of all it's all part of the beautiful picture He's painting. happy weekend

June 30, 2012 - 11:32 pm

Kerri - Oh my! I thought you were going to say that you were going to stop blogging! You are so talented in so many ways, I can only imagine what it is like with four girls! I have only two and that is sometimes tough! I think it is natural for us to want to take on more, don't you agree? I went back to teaching this year and now that we are on summe vacation, I have taken on two part-time jobs! Of course our finances have been a huge part of my decision!
I love your honesty and thank you for sharing with us my friend! XOXO

July 1, 2012 - 1:53 am

janet - It's nice to read that your family is as REAL as mine..All will work out for sure..There's LOVE in the air..and LOVE always wins..Have a great weekend..

July 1, 2012 - 2:44 am

Jillian, Inc - God bless you all! I am “always” on the phone and the computer too, it seems, except I have to put my little in the care of someone else for 10 hours a day while I'm doing that. {big sad face}. You HAVE championed in so many ways this year, and you need to be proud of that. I'm not an advice giver, but I've done my fair share of business building! I'd be happy to answer any questions or bat around some suggesions. Hugs to you all!

July 1, 2012 - 11:02 am

Between You and Me - i really needed this reminder.
i've got a couple of kids with “quality time” as their primary love language.

just yesterday, lydia said, “Mommy, when we get home will you play UNO with me?” I said, “Sure, sweetie!” Then, she replied, “Mommy, will you not get on your phone or your computer until AFTER you've played with me?” HEARTBREAK.

I agree with you…blogging and being socially connected is part of making these small businesses work. Answering emails is crucial.

It's all such a balance, isn't it? Andy and I talked this weekend about getting back to “dating” each of the kids just to get in good quality time with the ones that really, really need it.

Thanks for your honesty… did it very well without leaking too much info about your child who needed you. You honored her well. 🙂

I can't wait to hang out with you, eventually. :))

July 2, 2012 - 2:13 am

Holly - um it was just my sister and I – and there were some arguments for the books – I can't imagine with four girls!! I imagine you have your hands so very full! Not a mom yet – but I feel like between work and needing to sleep – i do not take care of my other half like I should or keep my house clean (oh the dog hair!) – so in agreement with every one you are preaching to the choir! Maybe you need a vacation in Seaside =)

July 2, 2012 - 3:09 pm

Heather - I so appreciate your honesty!

July 2, 2012 - 6:53 pm

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Yep we all struggle with this one in the blogworld. I'm convinced. I'm still working out a balance and I don't always do it right… Thanks for the reminder though. It always applies on some level and I always know the Holy Spirit is trying to talk to me when I hear these kind of words.
And thanks for saying you have a dog hairy house. I love the “real” stuff. 🙂
Love ya friend. And I think you're doing a wonderful job. I really do.

July 6, 2012 - 8:46 pm

Alecia - Beautiful post…thanks for being so real and encouraging at the same time! Happy Quality Time with your fam!

July 7, 2012 - 3:16 pm

Ruth - Just catching up on your posts today…I'm in tears reading this. Thank you! I'm going to spend my morning with Elly 🙂 instead of working a planned.

July 12, 2012 - 3:05 am

Ruth - Thank you for being so honest and transparent. It is so refreshing to read your thoughts and feelings and know I am not alone. To know that none of us have it all and we each struggle.
I pray you are able to find the balance you need in your life.