Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas House Pics + Rambling

This year, I surprised myself by getting almost all of my Christmas decorations up before December 1. That has to be some kind of record for me. Not actually posting about it until the week of Christmas? Yeah, that’s more like it.

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For the past two years, I really feel like we’ve nailed this whole celebrating Christmas thing (in its most frivolous form, anyway). We’ve started early and taken our time, listening to oodles of carols, making cookies at least once a week, decorating gingerbread houses with friends, trolling the local neighborhoods for the best lights with hot chocolate in hand, even getting our craft on (still have a little PTSD after making 9 {!!!} handmade dolls last year).

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But this year has been a whirlwind. And I can’t even pinpoint why. Truly. I keep looking back over the last 3 weeks trying to locate the source of the time-warp it feels like we’ve all fallen into…without any success. We’ve done a lot of the things that I mentioned, but it still doesn’t feel like we should be anywhere close to Christmas day.

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Of course I know (and fully endorse) that Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with how much sugar you consume or how many times you watch It’s a Wonderful Life (we haven’t managed it yet this year). But I still love the slower pace the season seems to bring (especially considering that we don’t attend many parties or brave the shopping crowds practically ever; oh, how I love thee, Amazon Prime).

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And so, I find myself clinging to every last moment of this week, cherishing each moment of family togetherness (I’m currently sitting on the couch, weathering #babynumber7′s knees and elbows to the ribs as I watch Evy, Nola, and Theo wallow all over Shaun on the other couch and feeling very contented).

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I’m not even that desperate yet for this baby to come out.

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{Please tell me that you are shaking your head at the travesty that is my smudgy mirror. I snapped these shots with the last remnants of light on an already cloudy day and decided I didn’t have time to spare for cleaning it first; I would love to say it’s clean now, but…it’s not}

Which…is interesting because, two years ago, when I was pregnant with Theo, I had to force myself to strike a balance between enjoying the moment and wishing they would all just speed along a little more so I could meet my baby boy (and, let’s be real, not be pregnant anymore).

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Maybe it’s just that he was due two weeks earlier, and I was already “overdue” on December 20th (by two days), instead of “only” 38 weeks, but I just haven’t been as worried about when this little guy will show up.

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Partly, that’s due (hmmm…bad choice of words) to the fact that I’ve had considerably fewer Braxton Hicks “scares” this time around. If I remember correctly (no guarantees of that), I’d already had 3 rounds of, “Holy cow, this kid is coming. What the what??!” plus almost constant contracting that I just ignored as a general bad habit of my over-active (teasingly so) uterus by this point with Theo.

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This time, I’ve only had one incident of: “Um…what is going on?” at 36ish weeks, while Shaun and I were enjoying a fancy 7 course dinner we got to attend because Paint and Prose sponsored the paper goods for the event (that was fun and yummy). And I definitely wasn’t ready for him to make his entrance before the two-toned chocolate mousse came (not to mention more serious concerns about having a baby so early), so I was happy when that round of weird contractions quit after an hour and 1/2.

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ANYhoo, suffice it to say that, this time, I’ll be happy to enjoy Christmas day with a big ol’ belly to rest my plate of pie on. Once New Year’s rolls around, though…I bet you’ll hear me singing a different tune. Strangely, the chiller I feel about this kid coming in his own time, the more I almost *worry* that he’ll show up early and catch me unawares. Because my birth kit’s not ordered yet, and I have no clue where the bassinet is.

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Obviously, not THAT worried.

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{Kind of in love with my rosemary Christmas mini tree with sparkly lights + a pretty gold pot from ProFlowers; it makes the whole kitchen smell delicious}

In any case, regardless of when this little dude decides to make his entrance, I’m grateful for this last week of Advent to focus on the wonder of Christ’s birth, to read more books with the twins, to enjoy more snuggles with Theo (we have a joke that whoever gets the privilege of receiving a Theo snuggle–because he is just cuddliest little bundle of chubby, firm little toddler limbs and soft skin–is “winning”), and to finally get a craft or two made with the big kids.

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I think we may attempt snow globes as gifts for the cousins.

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{The stockings were hung from the stair rail with, um, thumb tacks; there’s a reason they don’t write Christmas poems about houses like ours}

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{See? The light was officially GONE!}

I’ll let you know how that goes. I expect there might be a glitter explosion and a hot glue burn or three, but at least we can say that we tried.

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{Nothing says Christmas like a giant cow skull festooned with fake poinsettias and ornaments}

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{A “toolbox” full of ornaments for the breakfast nook, and…done!}

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{Because I know you were just dying for a collage recap}

So, what about you guys? Anything you’re trying to squeeze in before Sunday? Did this month fly by for you too?

If I’m not back before Sunday, here’s wishing you a week full of peace, joy, and the love of Jesus, the Savior of the world!

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A Christmas House Tour

I’m chuckling to myself a bit as I type this, knowing full well that, 3 measly days before Christmas, y’all have way better things to do than check out pictures of my house all gussied up for the holidays. But you know what? Were it not for the motivation of doing this post, I probably wouldn’t have “finished” (such a slippery word when there are entire rooms which are a) untouched by Christmas decor and b) in need of some serious attention) decorating or cleaning or taking pictures to document it.

So, yeah. Thanks for the motivation. Even if you are thinking, “Yeah, yeah, Abbie. Get to the point. I have gifts to wrap!”

I think, if I’m remembering correctly, that you will be seeing some new angles of my house. Well, not new so much (maybe? can’t remember for sure) as rare since I usually only shoot one room at a time, and I usually stick to that room only so as to avoid including the chaos that is quite likely just outside the camera’s reach (think: baby eating lunch in a high chair, twins scattering toys about, half-opened drawers, a sink full of dishes, etc.).

The kids and I worked really hard to clean up the WHOLE downstairs minus our all-purpose catchall room (which we call the “dining room” but is really a glorified mudroom since it’s directly off the garage, and we never, ever eat in there), the bathroom, and the guest room where Nola was napping.

I issue all of these disclaimers because I know that, were I to see this much of the house of a woman with six kids looking this put together and clean, I would probably want to put my head through a wall, beat my chest, and cry out, “Woe is me! I am a hopeless basket case!”

Maybe that’s just me. But no. I know it’s not. Because you’ve told me it’s not.

So! Take courage, dear heart (I love Aslan). Not only is my house never ACTUALLY this clean (for more than 30 minutes at time), but as I was sweeping the kitchen one last time, I realized that if I didn’t start snapping pictures, I would lose my light, so I just swept the rest of the junk around the corner of the island out of sight and called it good until I finished shooting pics.

HA! And now you know the truth, and hopefully the truth will set you free from any twinges of unwarranted mama guilt or yucky comparison.

ON with the pictures!


I really couldn’t bring myself to do anything too crazy with the Christmas decor (I never do), so I mostly put out a few doodads plus some pillows and called it good.


As far as the above shot goes, the snowflake pillow is from Target (after Christmas last year on major sale), the joy sign is from Marshall’s (I painted the board and attached it to it), the greenery on the shelf is from Michael’s (and the heart shaped baskets are a several years old purchase from Marshall’s that will have to pried from my cold dead fingers one day), and the “Joyeux” and “Noel” pillows (see first pic) are really just pieces of burlap fabric that I hand-lettered with a Sharpie pen and then pinned on top of two other throw pillows (here’s hoping my kids stay away!).


The glitter star garland is from Marshall’s this year, the burlap cone + Christmas tree are from the Target Dollar Spot, and the sparkly silver wreath is from Hancock Fabrics. The red wreath over the windows is actually a fall wreath on sale at Pier 1, and I added the sparkly ribbon (on clearance at Hancock Fabrics) and the Dollar Store white poinsettias to Christmas it up a bit. The word tree at the bottom of the shot is from Hancock Fabrics too (I love their Christmas decor…especially when it’s 70% off!).


Here’s a better shot of the word tree. I get frustrated with the commercialization of Christmas and how generic the decor has become, so I love, love, love that each of the words on this little tree are so meaningful and full of truth.


The “Joy” sign over there on the left on the wall is from Ross.


Turning around to the other side of the room…


I loved getting to use prints from Paint and Prose for the wall. I included our Joy to the World, The Lord is Come, Noel, and Give me Jesus prints to stick with a (mostly) black and white color scheme since there are already so many other pops of color in the room.


The Christmas tree stocking holders on the little white shelf on the left are from Goodwill, and I painted the color-blocked tree art above the tv one afternoon when I should have been doing laundry.


These adorable ornaments came from a chopped up tree limb and were hand-painted by my sweet friend, Jenny.

Traveling even further across the room, we have this little bench + toy bin nook.


I scored that HUGE vintage globe at a roadside flea market and love the pop of whimsy it adds in that corner. Throw in a $3 “Joy” pillow from Target, and I was happy to leave well enough alone.


This is one of those shots that you don’t normally get of my house (especially since I was standing outside our French doors on our patio when I took it. It’s also proof that I didn’t manage to sweep all of the crumbs off of the living room floor either.



I made that duct tape flower “joy” wreath years ago–I think the first year I was blogging? And I pull it out every year and find some spot or another (usually the tree) for it. This year, it prettied up a Big Lots fake wreath, along with some more hand-painted ornaments from Jenny. I honestly can’t believe it’s hung (ha. ha) in there for so long. Duct tape. Who knew?

Continuing down the hallway into the entryway…


All of you furniture purists will rejoice that I have not gotten around to painting my piano yet. It’s not because I’ve changed my mind, though. Just haven’t found the time.christmas29

These spray-painted branches are another Christmas staple that I’ve incorporated into my decor in some way, shape, or form every year for about 4 years now. I love the way the colors in the ornaments play off of my twin Kim Parker paintings (same painting twice; just hung in different directions).


Oh, and since we’re getting dangerously close to the cluttered “catchall” room, let’s turn around and head back to the entrance, where this is first thing you would see as you walk in my door.


More carry-overs from years gone by. I made the snowflake garland a few Christmases back, and the “Thrill of Hope” burlap is from last year.


Heading back around the corner…


This has nothing to do with Christmas, but can I just tell you how stoked I was to score this Chiang Mai Dragon pillow for a measly $20ish (can’t remember exactly) on a Facebook Swap ‘n Shop? Pillows just like this sell for a minimum of $50 on Ebay and Etsy!


This is one of my favorite little shelves to style. I keep it on a pretty much constant rotation of my favorite Paint and Prose prints plus those pretty Puffin in Bloom books plus an Anthro plate. christmas21

Even the kitchen got a couple of festive touches.


(The deer head pillow is from Altar’d State, and the wood star tree is from Marshall’s, as are the gold polka dot pillows, but they’re old).

Probably my favorite is this adorable apron that I bought at Marshall’s for my sister-in-law.


Of course, now that I’ve seen how cute it is hanging in my kitchen, I don’t want to give it away. Hmm. Christmas greed. It’s a thing, y’all. Even though it shouldn’t be.


I kind of love this happy, crazy corner in my kitchen. I didn’t style these shelves anymore than they already were or doing anything other than take Steve the Scale and nestle him in between the two best “entries” from a gingerbread house making night with friends. Oh! and I crafted that super-simple little “Christ is Born” garland from a set of note cards that just screamed Christmas to me.


Continuing into the breakfast nook…


I kept things super-simple in here with a red table runner (from Marshall’s) and a–uhhh, what would you call that thing?–full of ornaments.


Throw in a little faux greenery + pine cones from Michael’s and some water glass stains (this table is hardly precious to us, can you tell?), and it was as festive as it was going to get!




And again with the crazy unstyled shelves. As far as I’m concerned, if you have a profusion of pretty things, styling is kind of superfluous since floral china–for example–will look fetching no matter what!


Aaaaand there you have it, folks!

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Waaaaaay too many pictures of a colorful, not terribly traditional, but still very “us” Christmas house tour.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, our tree is up in the “big room,” which is where we gather on Christmas morning since it gives us so much more room to move and play.

I’m signing off for the week, but I wish you the very merriest of Christmases.

May the truth of Jesus’ birth fill your hearts and minds with hope, peace, and joy this blessed season!

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