on set of “Cheap Sunglasses” video shoot. PH: Blythe Thomas

on set of “Cheap Sunglasses” video shoot. PH: Blythe Thomas

I’m not the kind of girl that is real good at subtlety. I need messages to be loud and clear. I like DECISIVE. Actionable. Unfortunately, God knows this about me so he sent me a really LOUD and CLEAR  message about a year ago: YOU’RE FULL OF SHIT AND WE NEED TO CLEAN IT OUT.

The Setting:

100 year old bungalow in the Historic Richland neighborhood of Nashville. Japanese cherry trees, and sidewalks line the streets. Wide front porch. Antique pickup truck in the drive.


The Event (part 1):

Some lovely guests are visiting from out of town, and innocently take showers. The water from the showers gets backed up in the pipes and starts overflowing at the lowest point in the house, which happens to be the downstairs bathtub, and downstairs toilet.


LET ME BE CLEAR: poopy water is overflowing the tub and toilet and flooding the downstairs (and original hardwoods) of the house. I run home from my co-write to try to stop the overflow, and carry buckets of poopy water out of the house, and dumping it on the front lawn. #classy #sofreshandsoclean

The Event (part 2):

I’m shooting a music video the following morning, and happily hand off the “WTF is wrong with our plumbing issue” to my husband Jeff. BYE! KISSES! SEE YOU WHEN IT’S FIXED!

what I’m doing while Jeff’s dealing with “guacamole.” PH: Blythe Thomas

what I’m doing while Jeff’s dealing with “guacamole.” PH: Blythe Thomas

Jeff hires a plumber to try to clear the sewer line so things (things= poop) can start flowing back in the right direction (DOWN AND FAR FAR AWAY.)

Plumber shoots incredibly high pressure water (like so high that it will take off a finger) into the clogged sewer line to clear the “blockage.” Instead of clearing the blockage, the high pressure water hit the blockage and forced ALL THE CONTENTS OF THE SEWER LINE (CONTENTS= POOP!) up out of the pipe: effectively covering our entire basement, the plumber, and my husband. GUACAMOLE CONSISTENCY POOP IS EVERYWHERE.  It’s JUNE in Tennessee. #sofreshandsoclean #notsmellyatall


The Blockage:

Why would the sewer line not drain, you ask? What was this mysterious “blockage?”

Well, for this we have our favorite backyard rodent, THE SQUIRREL, to thank. The blockage was quite literally a stack of nuts that a squirrel had packed into the the sewer line (who knows when!) It was like a nut-dam. DAMN YOU SQUIRREL.

The Aftermath:

We move out, spend 4 months negotiating with our insurance company, and finally begin repairs on our house in early November. Meanwhile we’ve moved in with my mom (who is AMAZING) and was so hospitable hosting us (FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.) But let me just say, it’s not good for

your relationship with your husband, or your relationship with your mom to live with her in your 30s. That whole “leave and cleave” thing….

The Reno:

We had to completely redo the plumbing, the downstairs bath, the hardwood floors. But since we were already out of the house we decided to go ahead and renovate the kitchen as well.

It was expensive. Emotionally, and physically. We moved back into our house 2 days shy of a full year.



The Lesson:

I really truly believe that I needed to CLEAN HOUSE. Metaphorically and literally.

I needed to stop and think about the clutter in my life. Clutter of all types. Work that I’m making for myself that God isn’t calling me to. Friendships/relationships that are toxic. Belongings. Stuff. All the shit that I think I need. That I cling to in a “maybe someday in a million years when I’m doing a craft project and I’m gonna really need these scissors that cut a fancy shape” way. FOR REAL. PACK IT UP AND GET IT THE HELL OUT OF HERE.

I needed to simplify. I needed to be reminded what an AMAZING thing it is to have a home. My very own home where I can lock the doors at night and snuggle with the pugs, and eat Cheetos on the sofa and wipe my orange finger tips on my yoga pants. I needed to learn that having and doing less makes me MORE thankful. And more able to see the things I have to be thankful for. I needed a heathy dose of APPRECIATION for those things. And in order to see all the things that I have to appreciate, a bunch of other things needed to be moved out of the way.

The clutter was blocking my view.

My heart was full of shit too…of comparisons to other people, of jealousy for the successes of those around me, a multitude of insecurities and “shitty” narratives about myself and others. The decluttering process was painful. And not fully complete, but The Plumber is still hard at work.

A year is a long time to be displaced and living out of a suitcase (or 4 suitcases.) But we made it, and we grew a lot. And through all this “cleaning house” God made some much needed room for friendship and creativity and new life.



What’s clogging your pipes? What’s your “squirrel dam?” Let me know in the comments. And who’s coming over for dinner, cause I have a brand new kitchen and totally wanna show it off.  Xx

If you wanna hear me talk about this in even more depth, check out my friend Annie Downs’ That Sounds Fun Podcast.