It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ahhh, Christmas. I think that this holiday is actually becoming MORE fun as I age, probably because the kids are starting to really 'get' it and we are creating memories with them now. The anticipation of Christmas is pretty much my favorite. Getting out the decorations, hanging the lights, making shopping lists, snuggling up by a fire, smelling a freshly cut Christmas tree, baking cookies, busy weekends with friends and family. It's all just the best and Christmas Day is wonderful too, of course, but the whole month of December is just magical.

We have always used an artificial tree in the past but this year we wanted to finally get a real one, since both Nate and I grew up with the real deal. On Black Friday we took the kids to a local gardening store and found a beautiful Frasier Fir.


Kids love the fish pond inside and I'm partial to the awesome decorations.

Aw, my little car's first time carrying a tree!

And then the decorating began that day and through the weekend. Truman was amazing this year and actually helpful with hanging ornaments and helping us sort through the decor. Cecelia not so much yet, but she was just happy to be a part of the chaos. I think the Little People nativity scene that my mom got for the kids last year is the ultimate favorite so far. Both kids cannot stop playing with it and baby Jesus regularly rides around in dump trucks and trains throughout our house. So he's a keeper, obviously;)

I didn't mean to have a 'theme' with the decor this year. Mostly I wanted to use all of the stuff we bought last year, when we really had to stock up to fill our house for the first Christmas with more space. And yet, I got a little carried away tying red bows around everything. You'll see---it's a sickness. I'm refraining from tying a few more around lamps and chairs and anything that screams for a red bow.

So yeah, decorating the house and tree with two kids was not awful. Just slightly stressful and only two ornaments were lost in the process.


A few of the 'important' yearly ornaments.

Pre-kids yearly ornaments.

That night after decorating;)

My old trusty wreath that has made it through many a winters (outside sometimes!) and moves.

Ah, yes. Thanks for the great 'tree decorating picture', Cecelia!

I think the results were worth the effort. Kind of in love with how cozy it all feels this year. You should see it with a fire at night. Magical.IMG_6085

All of that red makes me happy. And glitter, too.2013-12-05_0011



We bought two real wreaths this year, and put them inside to add to the amazing scent of Christmas. All it took was a red bow and a few silver blubs and Ta-Da! Also in love with silver bulbs this year, apparently.
And the above tree is the kids' tree--super little and ornaments are able to be thrown and rearranged as needed. Truman loves turning on the lights to 'his' tree daily.

Did I mention that I love having a mantel for the holidays?
Our little mail table has a few decorations, too.

See what I mean about the red bows?

I just love it.

One of the only new crafts I did this year was make Truman another Christmas countdown paper chain. So far so good with it helping him be patient for the big day. He gets really excited to tear off a link each morning and regularly tells me that 'it's a long time before Christmas.'



In the dining room, you can see where we will hang all of our Christmas cards over the buffet. A favorite part of the holiday season, for sure! 2013-12-05_0005


Some of my favorite ornaments, including the bottom two which are the ones the kids picked out for this year. So glad that both Nate's parents and my own got us each yearly ornaments throughout our childhood. And that they gave them all to us once we were married! Love having a packed tree full of sentimental ornaments. 2013-12-05_0001

And outside of the house, Nate and I quickly decorated during a nap. This year I went with more red ribbon and less garland. Go figure;) Really like decorating our columns each year and the giant wreath on the second story is also a new fave. Probably because of the bow and the bulbs.


The poor little trees in our big planters have already had a rough go-round this year. A big storm blew them both over and smashed a few bulbs. I got a little more creative with their placement using bricks and JAMMING them into the soil (that was basically frozen). And my red ribbon has already seen better days in those trees, so I just hope it lasts through this month.


The only pictures I have at night are by iPhone. Nate is still really into his spotlight directed at the big wreath. I like how Truman's canvas is peeking out of the front door!Untitled


Might as well throw this in here, too: our Christmas cards this year turned out super cute. I used Pear Tree Greetings and ended up getting two different cards. One is a super fancy tri-fold (never had anything this nice before!) and one is a more simple flat card. I sent the tri-fold to our closest friends and family, or those that I thought might actually care about a fancy card. Really happy with how they turned out and everyone should be getting theirs in the mail later this week. Such an undertaking but I still really enjoy sending cards. And getting them, too;)2013-12-05_0019


Whew, is that enough of a Christmas explosion thrown at you this year? I guess our halls are decked.


  1. I'm dying to know about your toy storage situation. When looking at all of those lovely pics I couldn't help but thinking where they're all stashed. I have 2 little ones the same age as yours & no play/toy room. I'm so frustrated by trying to find a way to store stuff so it's not always sticking out.

    Beautiful décor by the way! Love real trees!

    1. Megan--we have most of the toys in our playroom/sunroom. Lots of baskets;) and these pics definitely were staged because I picked everything up specifically for them! But if you look for posts about the whole house you will see our playroom. And by the fireplace our built-ins have a lot of toys, and inside our buffet. Toys are everywhere but hidden nicely at times;)

  2. I cannot WAIT to see what Christmas card category I fall into ;) hahaha!

  3. Love the decorations! We were thinking of a real tree this year, but are waiting to save money so I was thinking about some fresh wreaths for the pine scent! Since you're living in a colder area than me, I was curious if you had tips on buying kids winter coats. The one we have for cold weather is SO puffy and I am not sure what brands to look for that are warm and not like a marshmallow!

    1. Tiffany--we love Patagonia and anything down filled, but not super puffy. We buy a lot of the heavier coats at REI for Patagonia and that works well for us.

  4. Love all the the decor! No such thing as too much red ribbon :) We went with Pear Tree this year too. Love the designs and the fact that they're semi-local!

  5. Your halls are DEFINITELY decked! Beautiful girlfriend!

  6. Very cute!!!! Your home looks so cozy and festive. Perfect for the season.

    Also, your kids just could not get any cuter. Adorable.

  7. I somehow missed this post - it all looks beautiful!!! :)


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