Christmas Tour 2008

Well, I didn't quite get my act together this week to participate in BooMama's Tour of Homes, but I thought I would still take some pictures and give you my own tour.  This way, instead of being on a list with 900+ people (yes, there are that many!) I will stand alone for my 10 readers to enjoy :)  Welcome to The Armstrong's House!
Our front door...remember we live in a condo, so our door is in a hallway, with green walls that work well with Christmas decorations.   I stood out here in my jammies this morning, praying my neighbors wouldn't open their doors and see me!  

The view of our front door, from the inside.  I bought that new wreath this year,  it goes with our tree, but I never did anything more with it except put a bow on it...Oh well, here's to next year!

Right inside our door, next to our entry mirror.  That "let is snow" sign has always been one of my favorite things.  It's especially fitting now that we live in Minnesota.

The name of my game this year is "SIMPLE."  I scaled way back on everything and made my decorating easy on myself.  I was just too tired to go overboard!  This is our hutch, inside our front door.  Normally I would empty it and fill it with Christmas greens and Christmas things, but this year, I just added some sparkly berry wreaths to all my candles and a little ribbon.
My favorite thing every year is my Willow Tree nativity.  This year I put it on our dining room table, which I really liked.  My parents have bought us new pieces every year to add and I don't have too many more to go.  I love the idea of keeping this on our table, because it's a great centerpiece and a way to keep Christ in our celebrating :)  

I hardly did anything in my kitchen, but I always put this Christmas frame somewhere with our picture from 2005.  Last year my cousin gave me those cute mugs from Caribou and that little Christmas mouse always seems to land somewhere too :)  I'm thinking I might come up with something creative for Ava next year involving that's so cute and I love hearing about some traditions that involve a little animal showing up all over the house counting down to Christmas.  I can't wait to start fun things like that with her and she must be excited too, because at this very minute, she must be doing flips in my stomach!!

My little ornament set worked on our stove this year :)  They are actually place card holders, but I like them better on a shelf or something.  I got those on an after Christmas sale for like $5 one year! 

Ryley's stocking, and yes, we fill it with treats for him!  I bought this at a dog boutique in Texas a few years ago and I LOVE it!  I'm just sure he does too!

Our stockings and our "mantle."  We don't have a fireplace in our condo, so we use this bar height counter.  We got those stockings our first year of marriage, but I think next year, I'll order some new ones when we pick out Ava's .  I like them, but I'd like some new ones with our names on them.  

We've got just enough spots for the three of us and an extra hanger for Ava next year!  I love that red and white Church.  We got that a few years ago and I love to put it out every year. 

I put our stack of Christmas cards on that bottom shelf.  I am one of those people who LOVE Christmas cards and I keep every single one that we get.  I put them in a book every year, so we can look at all the people we love from year to year.  So if you send me a card, you can rest assured that we are enjoying it and will be keeping it!  

A view into our Living Room (with a bonus celebrity reading his Bible).  Like I said, we kept it SIMPLE this year :) 

Our tree and some gifts underneath it.  We went with the easiest option this year and bought a fake, pre-lit one.  It's great and we've been really happy with it.  I miss my fresh tree, but they are just too hard to deal with in our second floor condo!  

I thought I'd show you some of our favorite ornaments.  This is one my Mom and Dad found for us and gave us on our first Christmas.  It's so cute, I always love to hang it in the front!

This is one of Travis' favorite.  I found it in a darling store in Texas.  We have lots and lots of Texas ornaments on our tree and I'm glad we do.  They remind us of Travy's "roots" :)  

Last year, we found this willow tree angel holding a little baby.  We got it to represent the baby we lost last fall.  We don't dwell on that much, the Lord has really healed our hearts and obviously replaced our sorrow with great joy this year.  But, I would love to keep this on our tree from year to year so we don't forget that we have a baby waiting in Heaven for us too :) 

Our "A" for Armstrong, although this year it could work for Ava too!  I haven't gotten any ornaments for her yet, but I'll probably look for some after Christmas.  

And of course Ryley has a spot too.  We always show this to him every year and he usually licks it, then walks away.   We got him in 2004, so I love that this one is personalized for him :) 

My lame-o end table.  Usually, I make arrangements for all my tables with fresh greens and berries, but this year I lost the motivation.  I made some for my cousins, but I ran out of steam for our house.  This candle is the best I could come up with :)  It's low maintenance, which reigned supreme this year!

A Christmas pillow on our couch.  The other side says "Be jolly."  Travis reminded me of it's message the other night when I was particularly crabby.  I'm not sure I needed to have it read to me.  That may have made me more crabby :) 

Again, a spot usually brimming with fresh greens, but this year, not so much.  My little bucket is holding our remotes instead!

I love to have Christmas candles all over the place and I like having wreaths around my candles to dress them up.

You can't really tell very well in this picture, but these candles are so beautiful.  They are covered in glitter and sparkles.  They look much better in person. 

Another bonus celebrity on our tour, the "world's best dog" himself!   Doesn't he look thrilled to have you over for the tour??  He must be tired, normally he'd be trying to sniff you and bring you a toy to throw...

As you can see, we have the perfect weather this morning for a tour.  It's snowing like crazy outside and it is gorgeous!  I'm so thrilled with the timing, because it just makes my Christmas house and Christmas carols all the more fitting!  

We are in the middle of a snow storm, so by tomorrow night, we should have 4-8 additional inches outside.  Bring it on!!  It's Christmas and it's supposed to be snowy outside.  Be thankful that you could take this tour from your computer though, as it may have been hard for you to get to me.  Hope you enjoyed the Christmas Tour of '08!  We wish you a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours!!


Jesse and Stacie said...

Cute! I like all of your decorations :) The snow looks so pretty, but I'm not excited about the traveling safe and see you tomorrow!!!!! love ya :) p.s. Ava's present is my favorite...can't wait for you to open it!

Alexandra's Mommy said...

I like things simple! Much better then over done! Looks very cute! :)

Jay & Leta Palmer said...

love the photo tour steph! :) so creative! ;)

Faith said...

I think your home looks very pretty decorated for Christmas! Hope y'all have a safe trip to visit your family and have a great time!!

all up in each others bizness said...

great job steph!!!

MissHeather said...

How in the world did you have the energy to do all that!!?? I'm sitting here in awe!!! I'll just have to enjoy the decorations vicariously through you!! ( and next year make a better attempt to decorate as there will be a little one in the house!)

Have a Merry Christmas!!!

Heather Hamilton

Jennie said...

Steph--so cute! love it all!! those little ornament/name place holders have always been a favorite of mine! love ryley's appearance :)

petrii said...

Your condo is beautiful!! What a lovely space to decorate and you have done a wonderful job.

Merry CHRISTmas,

Rebecca Jo said...

Simple is elegant - & that includes your home! Very nice... Know what I noticed that I love - the "Happily Ever After" over your wedding picture....

And love those wood wick candles... love to hear them pop!

Love the ornaments too...

amy said...

steph... i love your tour! :) it's perfectly Christmasy and simple! hope you all have a very merry time celebrating our Savior!

Jenna said...

Everything looks AWESOME!!!

Shell said...

I love it all!

AmandaHoyt said...

Your home looks beautiful!

Heather said...

I loved seeing your decorations! I am totally asking for a Willow Tree Nativity...I love that!
Merry Christmas, Stephanie!

MiMi said...

I love all of your decorations and what can I say about that beautiful snow! I just got my Willow Tree nativity this year and I can't help but look at it every time I walk by it. It is so beautiful and I love the idea of keeping it in the center of your table!

Have a wonderful time spent with family and a very Merry Christmas!