10 on 10 | May 2012

Let me make a confession. I’m not perfect and I do not have a perfect house.

In fact, this scenario could be considered somewhat routine at my house, and I’m guessing (hoping?) it happens in a lot of other homes, too:

It’s a beautiful day. Mom is full energy and resolves to tidy up the house. She decides to start in the girls’ bedroom, and while she’s in there putting away clothes and toys and hair clips and books, the little girls move into the hallway to make a grand set up of ponies and other little critters. After Mom finishes the girls’ room, she tries to carry their dirty clothes to the laundry room and realizes she can’t even walk through the hall because there are toys covering the floor, so she begins to clean up that mess with the help of one little girl while the other one escapes downstairs. While Mom and girl one are cleaning up the hall, the other little girl decides she needs to color and takes out every marker, crayon, and coloring book she can find and spreads them out over the kitchen table. After Mom and girl one clean up the hall, Mom starts a load of laundry while girl one decides to play dress up in the playroom and displays her options on the floor. Since the little boy has some time to spare before soccer, he decides to play legos and dumps a bucket out on the floor. After Mom finishes starting the laundry, she realizes that the floor needs to be vacuumed, but there are legos everywhere so she helps the boy move those legos to his lego table. In the meantime, girl two decides she wants to color with her sister, but also wants glue and glitter since she is feeling very fancy in her princess outfit. As Mom is vacuuming the living room, girl two dumps entire jar of glitter on kitchen floor and because mom doesn’t hear it, the girls decide to try and clean it up themselves by scooping little handfuls and carrying it to the garbage can, thus distributing it throughout the entire kitchen. The boy decides he’s hungry and asks Mom to make him a snack immediately, at which point Mom discovers the disaster in the kitchen. She sits down, exasperated, because the house is now much messier than when she started cleaning. She feels so overwhelmed that she starts giggling, and then the girls start giggling, and finally the boy, too. It all ends with four silly, giggling people in a messy house.

While I’m in the midst of these types of days, it seems like it is the same thing every single day and I long for a day without messes. But then one starts kindergarten and is not around as much… and I start to miss his little messes and funny antics. And soon the others will start kindergarten, too, and then I’ll really miss their little messes. My mess days (at least the weekday ones) are numbered, and that makes me a little sad.

So this month I decided to capture a few of those little messes that occur throughout the day. Several of my friends in this 10 on 10 group have undertaken a project called “Kids Were Here” (Molly Flanagan and Ketti Phillips come to mind) and I have laughed more than once when I’ve seen their photos showcasing both the joy and reality of motherhood: messes, spills, crayon marks, dirty dishes, and toys found in the oddest places. So I decided to focus on capturing the silly little details that make up our days — toys left at the bottom of the tub, puppies on swings, tigers dressed up in pink princess dresses, markers piled in a bucket, and socks with holes. In every little nook and cranny of our house, there is evidence to show that kids live here. All these little messes and imperfections show the reality of motherhood. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change that my children make their silly little messes.

Our house may not be perfect, but it is filled with life and love, and at the end of everyday that is what matters most.

lifestyle photography

minneapolis lifestyle photographer

minneapolis lifestyle photographer


Up next in our circle is the very talented Ketti Phillips | Seattle Family Photographer.


  • May 10, 2012 - 6:18 am

    10 on 10 | May Edition | Sara Tegman Photography - […] Please direct your attention to the always visually delicious Amy Lucy Photography | Minneapolis lifestyle photographer. […]ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 6:55 am

    angela king - i love these! kids were here type shots make my heart smile. 🙂 thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 7:54 am

    Therese - It’s appreciating and laughing at the ordinary moments that makes our lives so rich. The images of the puppies on the swings and the chair make me smile and promise to light up my whole day! Absolutely love the “holey” socks and the multi-colored toes! Thanks for reminding us to take a moment to just simply be grateful…………ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 8:07 am

    ginger - amy, these are so wonderful!! i love the description you provide of your days and how similar it is too mine. i feel many days as if i am going in circles….but i love the mess makers and their presence here so much! beautiful work!ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 8:16 am

    Leslie - You are not alone!!! I feel like I never finish anything that I start b/c I’m stumbling on to one more mess! 🙂 It is the joy of young motherhood and I know that one day I’ll miss the Legos under my feet.ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 10:24 am

    Anika - YES! This sounds exactly like my house, minus the girls, just two boys and a husband… 😉
    Beautiful photos!ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 10:44 am

    robyn oakenfold - You make messes look beautiful Amy!ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 11:33 am

    Kirsty-Abu Dhabi - this is my favourite so far – you know every Mum reading this is sitting smiling and nodding her head with you don’t you? I’m so glad you captured their little messes!ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 12:18 pm

    ami P - These are great! You are not alone 😀ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 2:16 pm

    katie o. - I love that you can make messes look pretty. With a barely 10 month old boy, my house looks very similar. If I have to choose between cleaning up or going on a family walk, the walk wins out every single time. The messes can wait.ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 2:33 pm

    Kristi Ahrens - This is so fabulous!!! I love “real” moments:) I did a month of Kids were Here posts, as inspired by Molly Flanagan. Love your work!ReplyCancel

  • May 10, 2012 - 8:57 pm

    jen - I just stumbled across your blog – and not only your photos, but your words have touched my heart 🙂 SO glad I visited – and I’ll be back! xo jen 🙂ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2012 - 10:31 am

    sharon - love all the colors!ReplyCancel

  • May 24, 2012 - 9:35 am

    michelle - Love this Amy, you turn the mundane and everyday into visual storytelling. A heads up coming from an older Mum, the mess doesnt stop….wait till they are teens, and oh my god young adults that’s even worse. Cars,tools,sports equipment, need I go on,you will have many more days ahead with lots of “silly little messes”.ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2012 - 7:23 am

    Lacey - You even make messes look amazing! <3 I wish I could see our messes through your lens. 😉ReplyCancel

  • June 2, 2012 - 12:53 pm

    Meredith - oh my.. this has brought tears to my eyes today.. THank you for the reminder.. that God has lent us these kids for a short time.. including the messes. I often say I feel like ” I love Lucy” chasing around picking things up only to have them get messed up in my blazing trail. I am looking at the matchbox cars and legos from a different vantage point today. One of joy, not stress. Thank you for this gentle reminder….ReplyCancel

  • June 3, 2012 - 10:19 pm

    Sara T - Adore every single one. Beautiful tones and light. I love your day.ReplyCancel

  • June 14, 2012 - 10:13 pm

    Julia - How on earth did I miss this?! WONDERFUL!! I’m inspired to find some beauty in the messes that have been driving me crazy lately. I’m guessing that I will, in fact, miss them someday 🙂ReplyCancel

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