Fall decorating + the back story…

Confession: I read all of these other bloggers’ posts who just can’t wait to get their “cozy this” and “pumpkin that” out (you could also insert the appropriate accoutrement for any other season), and, quite frankly, it’s a bit puzzling (not to mention a lot intimidating) to me.

Don’t get me wrong–I love Fall. And Christmas. And Spring. And I even love sprucing my house in accordance with a holiday/weather change (not that we’ve actually had one of those here or will get one before–say–Thanksgiving).

But it’s a lot of work, y’all! And none of those bloggers seem to feel any of the dread that I do mixed in with their anticipation of seasonal decor changes.

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That said, every time I overcome the dread to arrange something pretty, I feel a) happy and b) frazzled. Happy because it usually forces me to clean/organize something I’ve been ignoring for a while, and it feels really good to have that space “done” (for a little while). (Also, happy because arranging things makes me so).

(Lest you accuse me of describing my mess and then only showing you the pretty pictures, this is what my table looked like before I got after it this morning).

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(You can never doubt my love for you after I showed you that picture)

(And you can NEVER doubt my love of parentheses after reading the last few sentences).

And frazzled because, between the cleaning/organizing/arranging/photographing, there are a whole lot of requests for milk, little hands tugging on my pants, wiping of stinky bottoms, breaking up of squabbles, etc., etc., etc., etc. (add a few more, and you get the idea).

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It’s all the stuff that pushes that seasonal decor business to the back burner in the first place. (And rightly so!) And all the stuff that makes the putting up of the seasonal decor a royal pain in the tushy.

Anyway, I say that to assure you that–if you end up looking at these pictures and thinking, “HOW did she have time to do this with 5 kids running around and not lose her sanity?”–you pretty much answered your own question. I did it with 5 kids running around. And lots of distractions. And about halfway through, I thought, “For the love of Martha Stewart, forget it!” And the slim thread holding my sanity that is always threatening to snap in two, just about did for good. But then they all ran upstairs to put on a dance party in Della’s room, and while the ceiling above me shuddered with the thunder of ten small but apparently disproportionately heavy feet and light jazz filtered down from the electric piano (their dance party instrument of choice), I hustled to get everything done.

So, now that you know the truth, feel free to picture a half-dressed, somewhat inconsolable (her mismatched shoes wouldn’t stay on–cue World War III) toddler just outside these calm and composed shots of my breakfast nook table decked out with some easy Fallish decor I had lying around (code for: piled up randomly on my unused breakfast nook table…you saw the proof).   IMG_5180

As far as particulars, the white pumpkins were less than $4 each from my local Walmart.

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The apothecary jars were 50% off at Hobby Lobby (you already saw them in the twins’ party spread). And I filled them with the world’s cheapest Fall decor = more pine cones from my driveway. IMG_5197

But this time, I took 5 extra minutes to spray paint some of them Rustoleum Gold.

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Not gonna lie: I love the gold contrast with all of the somber, natural gray-browns of the dry cones. It’s a bit like a lady in a too-loud sequined gown showing up to a party full of little black dresses.

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The table runner is just two Target burlap runners ($3 each from the Dollar Spot) overlapping in the center of the table and held in place by a pumpkin.

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If I were fancy (the plates are from the Dollar Store, so we already know I’m not), or the least bit concerned about such things, I would have thrown those fabulous polka dot Anthro napkins (which I scored on major sale a couple of months ago…I looked but they appear to be sold out) in the dryer to get some of the wrinkles out. (Please tell me you didn’t seriously think I was going to say: “iron them”).

But, alas, I was too busy trying to balance a two-year-old on one hip while sort of, kind of laying out the napkins in some semblance of order and straightness to care.

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Oh, and if you’re wondering why I haven’t implemented my planned changes to the breakfast nook, see 1) the above description of what happens when I attempt to do house projects with kids around (and I pretty much always have at least two little “helpers” close by) and 2) the fact that the jute rug I wanted to use ended up being too tall for my bench legs, and I haven’t managed to find anything thin enough to replace it, which has thrown a major mental monkey wrench (say that five times fast) into the rest of “the plan.”

Also…in case you’re wondering, this is the ONLY space in my house that is remotely decorated for Fall.

I may or may not get to adding anything else.

And that’s just fine by me.

Do you decorate seasonally? Obviously, I do…to a small extent…depending on how much it affects the delicate balance of my mental well-being.

PLEASE tell me I’m not the only one who has to do basic things, like clean off her breakfast nook table, in shifts! If you guys manage to get it all done in half an hour with zero distractions, then I don’t want to hear about it. ;)

P.S. If anyone somehow manages to get out of this post that I think of my children as merely distractions or hindrances to my ability to decorate to my heart’s content…nothing could be further from the truth. They are the primary joy and responsibility of my home, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just didn’t want to show you a bunch of pretty pictures without a little bit of back story to balance them out.

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12 thoughts on “Fall decorating + the back story…

  1. I change up the decor on our mantle with the change of the seasons (except between Spring and summer). I have a couple of little ‘helpers’ and a baby who will eat stray pinecones, so I have to be both slow enough to let my preschooler and toddler help, and fast enough to get it done during my baby’s naptime. We decorated last week and it was fun for the first little bit until dinosaurs started eating (read: chomping) my decorative fall fruit. Then I had to get in high gear. (Oh, and white pumpkins are a big part of this year’s decor here too!).

    As far as my table goes, I really want to make a fall centerpiece, but right now my table is my command center for sewing projects. I’m in the middle of the write 31 days blogging challenge, and as my topic is handmade gifts, I don’t expect my table/craft area to be decorate-able before the end of the month. Maybe by Thanksgiving ;-)

    Thanks for keeping it real and reminding us that mommy’s everywhere are doing the same juggling act!

  2. Love this. Thanks for being real. Jesus is using you to show others how to be imperfectly perfect. To answer the question, yes, I do decorate seasonally but mostly just for Fall & Christmas. To be “real” myself, my fall decor has sat in the Rubbermaid bins they’re stored in on the floor of the dining room for a week now. I’ll get to it soon. I hope. :)

  3. I love that you told the backstory. I just do a little for various holidays with lots more effort at Christmas. I think some blogs make us feel like we never do enough. What’s the point in that?

  4. clean off my breakfast nook table? That’s why I don’t ever get seasonal decorating done. (Also because I have a dining room table, not a breakfast nook, but the analogy is the same.)

  5. I don’t do much in the way of decorating because, living in Australia, there is not a massive change in the seasons. This year it was HOT (30 degrees celcius) most day from November through till mid-April. And winter (tops of 15 degrees celcius) really didn’t start till the end of June. It makes it seem a bit pointless to be honest! I do decorate for Christmas but that is pretty low key (tree, some framed Bible verses and something on the dining table).

  6. I decorate for all the seasons. To me, it just helps make a house a home. I enjoy having done it (and sitting back and looking at it) more than I enjoy actually doing it. I tend to keep, it simple though, and I like the summer decor the best because it can sit out longer. I take one weekend at the start of each season and blast through, inside and outside of the house. For fall, that meant changing out all my pillow covers and setting out some white and orange pumpkins in vignettes in the entry and dining room as well as pulling up the summer garden and planting fall perenials. I have grays and creams and pale gray-blues as the neutrals in my home, so touches of orange look really pretty this time of year. I’m done until Christmas, which is me LEAST favorite season to decorate around. Ugh. I’m dreading it already. Happy fall! Happy decorating!

  7. no I really don’t decorate a lot for the seasons. I dread it too! seriously I cant stand to think of all the stuff I have to put away, put out décor, then it feels too much to me and I start getting claustrophobic, then I think of having to put it all away again. my folks do it for EVERY holiday and majorly decorate Disney land has nothing on them. even st.paddys day. which is a great thing being that we live 3 country houses down from them. big little man can ride his bike down and get all the decorating to his hearts content. Christmas is usually the tree, stockings and the handrail on the stairs. I feel you

  8. That all sounds very familiar!!! And I “only” have 2 girls under the age of 5 in my house. So kudos to you for having one spot nice enough to take photos! My kids will be doing something cute, and I’ll have to think of which angle I can take the pic to get the least amount of “stuff” in the background to be documented for all time. I only managed to get my small amount of fall decor out last weekend during naptime when my parents were visiting. I’m pretty sure my almost 3-year-old had never seen my fall decor. Oops!

  9. I am pretty obsessed with decorating for Autumn and Christmas. When the first weekend in September hits, I’m off and running dragging out my fall décor. Then the weekend after Thanksgiving (which pains me to wait that long because I’m not the most into turkey day), it becomes Christmas-palooza.

    I find the more I decorate, the more festive I feel. Of course, for everyone else around me, they may be the nicest people ever for putting up with my “but September is the month when fall STARTS, so why wait until the equinox to break out my glass pumpkins?”!

    I’ve also just turned 30, which means some of my beloved older fall decorations have to make way for newer, more adult (but still as thrifty) pieces. Every store in America helps me out with this, by stocking their shelves with Autumn items in August and Christmas in October and then marking everything down 50%.

  10. I enjoy decorating, but we keep it super simple. We don’t have a lot of shelves or nooks for things so we have a few flowers, wreath, pennant, and table decor, but it all fits in 3/4 of a bankers box. However, the first day of fall came and I didn’t have time to get it out. My 4 year old who was excited about the first day of fall, begged me and whined everyday I forgot. Took 5 days later to get it out :)

  11. I feel like this is me telling this story except it’s usually about trying to unload this dishwasher or making supper or just about anything I try to do around the house with my little ones…every day. Haha! I haven’t decorated yet but I did take out my fall decor box and the kids had a fun time digging it in and dragging pieces all over the house. :) I don’t mind seasonal decorating but I really do not like to take down and pack the decorations back up so I sometimes skip it all together.

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