Christmas Tour of Homes 2012

Welcome to our home!  I love doing this link up every year with Kelly's Tour of Homes.  It's so fun to see how people decorate, but also to share glimpses of our home with our friends and family who live so far from us.  I wish I could have you over for a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll, to kick back and hear how you are and to enjoy the things that the Lord is teaching both of us.  I love to have people in my home and this season it's been hard to do that.  Several unexpected things have kept me from doing what I love this year, so I'm extra happy to open up the door to YOU today!
However, before I let you come in, there are a few things I want to make clear up front:
1. Do not let these pictures deceive you.  My house is never this clean!  If one area is picked up, all others are a disaster :) That is the hidden truth behind every photo.  Photos are easy to stage, but if you walked in my house "in real life" picture toys everywhere, half full sippy cups, kids in interesting outfits, stains on the carpet, and Travis and I trying to enjoy it!  No need to feel like I have it all together...I DON'T!!!  I love to decorate and design is my trade, but I'm just as normal as every other woman at Christmas, trying to get it all done and fighting to maintain joy and purpose in the season. Sometimes the internet can be a place of jealousy and envy in this pinterest world, I've fought that too with all those amazing pictures of homes I'll never live in :) But that's not how we live and not the impression I want to leave you with.  All are welcome here... 
2. My goals in decorating for Christmas are to create a cozy, happy home to flood my children's memories, to keep it simple and kid friendly, and to make much of Jesus.  I have lots of things I put out every year, some that are new and some that have been given to me.  I love this time of year and I love when our home is "decked" and warm with the glow of candles and lights.  My two favorite times of the day are early in the morning when the kids come out in their jammies to see the tree and re-live their excitement from the day before, and at night when they are in bed and Trav and I get to curl up to the glow of the tree and just enjoy the quiet and the warmth.  Having almost 10 inches of snow fall last weekend has also been a perfect backdrop out every window and another reason why I try to make our home feel warm and safe from a cold world.
So, thanks for stopping by, I hope you feel welcomed here and I pray that you'll see Jesus all over our home and my life.  Grab your coffee and come on in... 
 Merry and bright! I have a pretty traditional color scheme going on and I like it.  It's seems very condusive to childhood but someday I'd love to do all white, with lots of natural and organic elements, bringing in touches of golds and browns. 
I envision that when my kids are out of the house or I have a home big enough for two trees!   
For now I love our red and white tree and all the sentimental ornaments I pull out every year.  We love unwrapping them and thinking back on all those memories.  I can only imagine how much we'll continue to love that over the years!
 I have goals to get the kids' stockings monogrammed and I'd love to replace ours (Travis and I) but I can never land on what I want.  And that's ok, the snowflakes were from our first Christmas :)  They're still sweet to me.
My kids adore this rocking chair and so do we.  It's a family treasure and now it holds one of my favorite little pillows!  If only my kids could read that...I think it would be a good reminder during the day :)
 I picked up some cute Christmas pillows after Christmas last year and they were a fun addition to pull out this year.  I find them in all sorts of arrangments every day :)
 Last year I put all of our Christmas books away with the decorations, thinking it would be fun to rediscover them this year, and I was right!  I put out this basket of Christmas books and we've had fun reading through them again.
 I'm a sucker for greens and candles.  The floral designer in me can't have enough around here!
I intended that tray to hold treats (and it has a few times) but mostly it's a stage for Ava's little princesses or the nativity characters who like to migrate from the stable every day :)  My Mom went back to a store we love to get me those cute "JOY" blocks, after my sisters bought them at a clearance sale while I stayed home with the kids.  I'm so thankful she did that, I love them!
 I picked this up at Homegoods in October and I love it! 
Candles, candles and more candles.  My indulgence all year long.  I love a candle burning and yes, I keep my eyes on it when the kids are awake and I usually put them in places they can't reach :)
This is my latest addition and my tribute to pinterest!  I've pinned so many adorable Christmas ideas and used very few, but while I've been sick this week I decided to work on this :) I love all the chalkboard printables, but I have chalkboard paint and I've been using it for a few years now here and there, so I just picked up a poster frame and painted right over it (right on the plastic) and then dug out my chalk to come up with this!  And I love it.  It took me about an hour to get 3 coats to dry, then 20 minutes or so to write it.  Probably $10 and it's my favorite thing around here!  I'll be doing at least one more for some other place in our house :)
Fun little something at everyone's seat
Our little table with our new centerpiece that we all love...
My Mom bought us this great advent tree, called the Jesse Tree, and we have have just loved it.  The kids especially can't wait to read the little devotional every night and hang the next ornament on the tree.  It's so perfect for their ages and we have been so surprised at how much they remember and retain every night at dinner. 
It's called the Jesse Tree because Jesse, who was just an ordinary guy, was faithful to teach God's word to his sons, one of whom would be annointed by God to become King of Israel (David).  Each night we read a little thing about different characters in the Bible who point us to God and one of His promises, preparing us for the ultimate gift of Jesus.  We started it December 1st and we'll finish on Christmas.  I've loved this daily time of being intentional with the kids and also focusing our hearts on who God is and what a truly significant gift Jesus, God with us, is.

Our little countdown, we move it every morning at breakfast :)
For 3 years running now, I've had empty frames from the years marking Ava and Carter's first Christmas...what are the odds I'll actually print the pictures that are supposed to go in there this year??
More candles, I told you I love them :)
Last year we decorated the kids room a little bit, which was so fun.

It's pretty rare that these little people are actually all accounted for in the same location :) 
Ava's tree
Carter's tree
I made this last year from an idea on Pintrest.  It's a colored strand of lights with lots of bright ribbons tied on.  It's hard to tell in the picture, but it's so cute and bright and the glow in their room when its dark is so fun, it's a great night light!
Better shot :)
 Finally, I'll leave you with this. My Mom recently found this at their house, it's a toddlers quiet book I made for a class in high school.  We had to design and sew the whole thing (kind of makes me want a sewing machine again!) and I chose to do a wordless storybook about the birth of Christ.  I brought it home and put it out and the kids just love it!  Which is so, so sweet and rewarding and also incredible to think I made it when I was 18, in 1998.  Definitely didn't know what little hands would hold it someday, but I'm so glad my Mom kept it all these years.  It's a treasure to me now!
Thanks for stopping by to see some of our home! It's not a castle by any means, but we are grateful for it and more importantly, for the people who fill it. 
Merry Christmas from our house to yours, can't wait to keeping touring all of your homes too!

1 comment:

Kate said...

I love the warmth you bring to your home. Well done!