Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015! No wait...........

I can't seem to let go of Christmas this year. I'm holding onto her with a death grip. It's December the 31st and I just caught myself replacing some of my live greenery around the house. Yes, I did say I'm still decorating for Christmas six days after it ended. See, I'm hoarding Christmas. I can't help myself. Is there a 12 step program for Christmas-a-holics???? 

Last night as I was on my way to la-la land, I started thinking about why I didn't want Christmas to end this year. Usually. I'm in a mad rush to clean it all up and move into the cold winter months all cozy and clean. What gives? What's different this year?

It didn't take too long before I realized that it wasn't really Christmas I was holding onto. For the first time that I can remember, I'm not ready to leap into the new year, you heard me right, I'm holding on tight to the whole 2015. That's just crazy, right? What in the world? 

My memories of the year started flooding into my mind and it didn't take a psych major to figure out why the stronghold on 2015. It was filled with some really good stuff, lots of accomplishments {see here}, many big goals were met {see here}, and THIS happened, and it was really, really, satisfying.  That's why I can't let go, it was satisfying. It was like having a big ole slice of Turtle Cheesecake after a delicious meal, it was that good. 

But alas, tomorrow will dawn and 2016 will march right on in with or without me. Today, I'll be sorting all that out in my head, today, I'm working on some new goals for the new year. Just wondering where you are on this New Year's Eve friends. Was 2015 a year worth hanging onto or are you jumping up and down at the prospect of a clean slate. 

Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year and a huge thank you for being my virtual besties for another whole year! Thank y'all for sharing your lives with me here in this little corner of the world! Love you all!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Away We Go

We're up mighty early this morning, the world is still pitch black out my window, everything so silent and still. My excitement can hardly be contained and I'm rushing around placing last minute items into our suitcases. I run into the kitchen, and pour piping hot coffee into to-go mugs, no time for a leisurely cup of joe this morning. Hair done the night before, check, dogs all at the kennel, check, everyone's clothes laid out and ready to throw on, check, I think I've remembered everything.

Why all the rushing? This morning, we're heading out west to witness our son say his I do's. Tomorrow's the big day y'all, tomorrow is our son's wedding day.

How can so much time have passed, how do our children grow up in the blink of an eye? It could have been just yesterday that I was scurrying around packing my suitcase and rushing to the hospital to give birth to him, and now he's all grown up and getting married.

As I think about the very first Christmas, Mary waiting for the birth of her son, I realize how blessed I am as a mother to be witnessing my son's marriage this Christmas. What a gift, what a special Christmas gift we've been given. 

I'll be back next week and you know I'll have lots of pictures, I'll try not to overload y'all too much, but it's my first baby and our first child to get married, oh my, I said I'll try not to overload y'all!

Have a merry and bright week sweet friends!

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Stroll Down Christmas Lane

I had so much fun decorating our house last Christmas. My favorite part of blogging is getting to look back at the year and see exactly what we were doing or how things looked around the house. Our house has changed quite a bit in the last year, not so many reds, but softer, calmer colors instead. My decorating this Christmas is much more laid back and transitional. I'll post some pictures early next week of Christmas around the house, but for now, let's stroll down memory lane shall we?

Welcome friends to our home. I'm so thrilled that you could stop by for a visit. Firstly, it sounds really bonkers that I'd be inviting anyone over for a home tour! This little, old house of ours is hardly show-worthy by any means, but, I'm a real firm believer in the "bloom where you're planted" philosophy, and because of that, our home is always open to friends! With that being said, come on in y'all! 

I've tried so hard to stay on track with a simple and thrifty Christmas, with the focus on ushering in Jesus' birth. You'll see lots of natural elements in our home because that is the easiest way to decorate and the price is always right {free!}. Our home is already full of color, so I try to keep the holiday decor as natural and green as possible. I love using fresh magnolia, juniper, pine and nandina whenever possible both inside and out. This year, we went to a tree farm and cut down our own tree- what a wonderful day it was! I had found this sweet old washtub and was saving it for our tree. Topped with vintage colored lights- I'm just smitten.

{To see details on our Southern Christmas Mantel, click here.}

Each room gets a little bit of Christmas love. The dining room gets lots of party traffic this time of year so I gave it a little fresh greenery and set up a hot cocoa bar for our guests.

The kitchen gets all spruced up with lots of fresh elements as well.

I went really simple this year in the bedrooms and made sure that they gave a polite little nod to the season. The master bedroom had a few playful details added to freshen it up for the winter months.

Matthew's room had some vintage C7 lights added for fun. Miles, the cat, LOVES the ambiance they add to the room!

And the girls' room, that was a fun one. Last year, Edie @Life In Grace, really got me when she dolled up her dress form in an evergreen skirt, so this year, I new it was number one on my Christmas to-do list! Edie, this room's for you!

And that wraps up our very first Christmas home tour! If you missed our Merry Little Porch tour, just click here, for that tour.

Thank y'all so much for taking the time to visit with me today. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2015

We're Going To The Chapel {well, almost}

This Christmas season is filled with even more wonder than usual. Our son is about to be married. Oh my, married. It takes my breath away just to say it out loud. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that he's not that cutie little two year old in overalls or the seven year old obsessed with Pokemon cards, he's all grown up and about to begin the greatest adventure of his life.

I can't pretend that I knew it would turn out this good. I'd be lying if I told you I always knew that the perfect one would show up at exactly the right moment and he wouldn't miss her. I've been fearful, worried and all that stuff us momma's feel from time to time. 

And yet, here we are, in the sweet spot, in that moment that all us momma's dream of, that moment when it all lines up, that moment when it all falls into place, despite our shortcomings as parents, despite our many mistakes, yet, here we are, our first baby is getting married. 

The many mistakes I made raising him, schooling him, preaching to him, what do you know, it didn't ruin him. The times I fretted over the small stuff, it all worked out for the good, for the awesome. All that, the good, the bad and the ugly, shaped this child of mine into the perfect man for this perfect woman, this gift from God. 

We raised him in a totally ordinary way and he grew into a totally extraordinary man. 

So, here I am, just me, making mistakes every single day, but despite all my mess, all my failures, God showed up and blessed my son beyond measure. 

Happy Friday friends and have a very, merry weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

Well here we are again y'all, Christmas time. Have you noticed that as we age, Christmas comes faster and faster? My goodness, I can't believe that it's here again. 

I've been thinking a whole lot about last Christmas and the moments that I really enjoyed and the moments that, well, need some tweaking. My favorite from last year, starting the tradition at our house of a Jesse Tree. Remember this post from last year? It totally altered our Christmas season, like completely shifted our whole family's focus. 

What happens? By focusing on the real of this season, a calm and quiet settles over our family. A calm and quiet settles over my spirit, and I know y'all will agree, nothing's sweeter than peace. Am I right?

Starting on December 1st, we read our devotion each night from Ann Voskamp's book and the children place an ornament on our Jesse Tree. It's a quiet time of gathering together as a family and reflecting each day on the Christ in Christmas. Priceless. 

If you've never celebrated with a Jesse Tree or Ann Voskamp's devotional, honey, this is your year. Get your peace  on friend!

*****I'm adding this little edit because in my old age {smile}, I forgot to give you the links to Ann's books that we use. Last year we used this one, and although I loved it for me and my husband, it seemed to be a little wordy for the children, so I knew that I wanted to order this one  for this Christmas and I'm so loving it y'all! *****

Friday, November 27, 2015

Early Christmas Shopping

I'm already beginning my Christmas shopping, are y'all? I used to love last minute shopping, all the hustle and bustle of it all, but as I got older {and wiser}, I began to realize that getting it done early is the way to go. I've learned to really slow the Christmas season down and a big part of that is planning ahead.
This Christmas is a really special one for our family as it will be the first Christmas for our oldest son and his new bride. I don't currently have any photos of them around the house and I really wanted a special one for my dining room shelves. I adore these shelves so much and I love being able to change out the decor on them seasonally. We added them after last Christmas, so I've been pretty excited to Christmas them up a little. This mounted photo was the perfect inspiration to freshen up our dining area.

Every year, we take a family photo right after Thanksgiving because we love to send photo Christmas cards to family and friends. We've been getting these made at Walmart Photo for so many years and have always delighted with the finished product. When I began to think about a special photo of the happy couple, I immediately thought of Walmart Photo. I went online to the Walmart Photo website and found the perfect way to showcase my favorite photo. There were so many options but in the end I decided upon an 11x14 mounted photo. I'm just tickled pink with how it turned out! Look how wonderful it looks. I love glancing over at it throughout the day.

And you know what?  I LOVE online ordering! I managed the whole process in my p.j.'s after the kiddos were all snug in their beds, ahhhhhhh! Let's hear it for online ordering! Perfection! My plan is to make several more mounted photos. One for the happy couple and the grandparents, not to mention my husband wants one for his office too, and at this price, I can afford to purchase all those! Y'all they're currently 25% off and they offer same day service on many sizes.
I chose to order online {fast, easy, simple}, but if you prefer to place your order in the store, there are more than 3,500 Walmart Photo locations nationwide. Whoa, that's a bunch. And Walmart Photo is offering free shipping through December 30th. Can't beat that, right?
I'm just thrilled with my mounted photo and I'd highly recommend you letting Walmart Photo simplify your Christmas shopping this year!  
Be sure to visit Walmart Photo's brand page on where you can read other bloggers' posts.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

Hard to believe that another year has passed. The older I get, the faster they fly by- 2014 was quite a year for me. The biggest change- I started blogging. At first, I wondered if I'd completely lost my mind. I was like a wobbly new toddler learning to walk, never sure if I was doing it right. Now, nine months later, I don't know what I would do without blogging. It was definitely a God thing. God always knows what we need and when we need it! Here's just a few of the highlights from the blog last year......

In April, I did a post on our laundry room transformation and it's still one of my most popular posts. It was quite a transformation! 

In May,  I re-did a little shelf and converted it into a potting bench that I still love and have only recently put in storage for the winter season. Looking forward to using that again in the spring.

In June,  I began a five part series on How To Survive And Thrive On One Income. It's still getting many views all these months later. It can be so challenging to live on one income, but, oh wow, it's so worth it all!

In July,  I wrote about some very personal struggles. It's hard to share the intimate details of your life, but when I started this blog, I knew that it must always remain a place of transparency, or what's the point really? 

In August,  I posted on Why We Unschool Our Children.  That post still gets so much traffic from people wanting to more fully understand the ins and outs of the unschooling lifestyle. We've always schooled our children at home, but the decision to unschool is newer for us. We wouldn't change a thing. We also made some changes in our girls' room.  To my surprise, folks are still stopping by to view that re-do. 

In September,  I shared an easy acorn wreath DIY and it has become the clear traffic winner for the year. I still have traffic every day on this tutorial. We had so much fun making this wreath and I adored how it turned out.

In October,  my clear favorite was a post on pumpkin muffins with cream cheese icing.  Now I'm hungry- ha!

In November,  I made a few fall and winter friendly changes in Matthew's room on the VERY cheap. We all love cheap, right? 

And in December,  some surprises that I never could have even dreamt of- our Christmas home tour was featured at The Nesting Place and Miss Mustard Seed

And the clear winner on Pinterest- Simplifying Date Nights.

Blogging has always been about inspiration. Inspiration in home and self. I'm so grateful to be a part of the blogging community and I'm looking forward to growing this little blog in 2015. None of this would be possible if it were not for all you precious folks that take the time to come by here and visit regularly. Thank you so much. I know that you could choose to go anywhere, yet you choose to come here- I'm so grateful for each and every one of you!

Welcome 2015!

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Monday, December 29, 2014

12 Secrets Of The Good Life- And A Sloooooow Christmas

This Christmas, I was able to grasp what has always been outside of my reach. I've watched others have it, but for some reason it was always unattainable- I even began to wonder if it were even real or a figment of my imagination. Was it like a unicorn, a holiday myth perhaps?

This Christmas, I waded in slow and easy and with great caution. Too many past Christmas' have crashed and burned. I'd been miserable, exhausted and wondering if a peaceful Christmas was even possible. This year, I started the first of December- intentionally planning to slow this Christmas season down, to focus on God, to celebrate advent with a Jesse Tree, to envelop this season fully, to be peace-filled, right up until Christmas Day. Believe it or not, it really is possible y'all- you can have a holly jolly Christmas. There is such a thing as a merry  Christmas. Now, I believe. Crazy right?

I've really been embracing this entire winter season. I've already begun switching around some decor items and crafting some other fun pieces to reflect the silvers and browns of winter's landscape. I've been enjoying sitting fireside and reading. One new book that really has my attention this season is Ruth Soukup's Living Well Spending Less- 12 Secrets To The Good Life.  

Simple living is anything but simple, but once you learn how to thrive with less- you'll never want to live any other way. Ruth has a wonderful blog Living Well Spending Less, with tons of resources and helpful advice on how to live a full life on less, and now she's written a book, filled with secrets to get you on the journey to a fuller life. It's available by pre-order right now on Amazon and will hit the stands December 30th. Such a great resource to get you on track for a new way of life for the new year. I've already read the book and I cannot say enough good things about it.

I'm so happy to be back from my Christmas holiday and I really hope that each of you had a peace-filled Christmas. I missed you all so much! Tell me about your Christmas adventures in the comments below 'cause I so love to hear from y'all!

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