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!


  1. This year we have 10 kiddos…ranging from 14 mos – 22 yrs old. I usually love everything Christmas but I don’t feel like I have really enjoyed it as much this year. Finishing up with stockings stuffers and wrapping today and tomorrow but I wish I could relax a bit more. Oh did I mention I have had 4 with strep throat and one with a stomach bug….hmm maybe that explains it

  2. I did notice the smudged mirror, and personally was glad you didn’t take the time to clean it! Made me feel better about the smudges and hand prints all over my front door side windows. I would clean them, but the window cleaner would probably just freeze…

  3. The collage made me realize how many sets of antlers are involved in your Christmas decor…haha! So fun!
    I am glad God is giving you grace and patience for these weeks of pregnancy and Christmas!

  4. This Christmas has taken me by surprise as well. And I feel the same as u…not sure why because it hasn’t been exceptionally crazy or busy?? But, I’ve enjoyed it none the less! Trying to keep our focus on Jesus. Love your home tour!! Best wishes on your new little one coming at the perfect time. Merry Christmas!!

  5. Christmas has totally snuck up on me this year! The kids and I were at my parents for 2.5 weeks getting ready for a brother’s wedding. (oh, fun fact…while there I realized I HAVE met you! You did my sister-in-laws (Kelli) hair for her wedding to my brother Phil in TX before they moved (and moved, and moved). 🙂 So, hi again! 🙂 ANYWAY… because of the wedding we got home with only 2 weeks before Christmas and all the Fall decorations still out and maybe a little bit behind on school. Needless to say last week was a rush and this week we are TRYING to cram in the peace of the season. HA! 🙂 I still don’t have my nativity up. Our tree is only up thanks to a sweet friend. But we are getting there, and not traveling anywhere for Christmas def. helps. Merry Christmas!

  6. Your house is beautifully decorated! I’m 39 weeks (well, technically not until tomorrow) pregnant with #4 and allowed myself to take this Christmas super easy. Lots of early online shopping, skipped a Christmas card and just sent a family picture, ordered Christmas dresses instead of sewing non-stop for 2 weeks, and cut our decorations down to just my absolute favorites. It’s been wonderful! You can’t entirely avoid the last minute rush of certain things, but this has been the most relaxed I’ve been for any Christmas’s I remember! Merry Christmas to you!

  7. Your house looks amazing! The season seems to be going by quickly here, too. I have, however, wrapped my gifts because I knew the more pregnant I became, the less I would want to wrap. And, I totally hear you–I am super unprepared for this baby and I am just planning to pull it together after the holidays. ; )

I love hearing from you guys!