My Christmas Home

So, it is completely obvious, from the pictures, that our house is still a work in progress. Try to focus on the decorations only, because if you look at the nasty fireplace which I didn't have anything with which to cover it (I think the Nester would be ashamed of the lack of decorating the fireplace) you may think that I have absolutely no decorating sense, which is completely untrue. Most everything is still in boxes somewhere between here and Timbuktu, which made decorating this year slightly interesting (Christmas and otherwise). So, without further ado, here is my "Christmas tour of home." I am going to start from the outside, in.

This is the garland that graces my front porch. When we got our Christmas tree, I got a much larger one than I needed, because I love to use the pine boughs everywhere, as you will see from my decorations.

I have three wreaths of varying size on the portico. These are two of them. I just made them with boughs and wire. For my first wreaths ever, they turned out wonderful!

Yes, more boughs and plaid fabric. I couldn't get enough this year, as you will see when you continue to scroll down.

This saying is up in my kitchen year-round. The little houses used to be in the nursery at church, but they decided to throw them out. Thank heaven Paula (my mother-in-law) salvaged them. I thought they went perfectly together.

So I absolutely love my Christmas tree. It is so quirky and fun that it reminds me almost of a Christmas tree you would find in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (which happens to be Lydia's favorite movie right now) with a Country twist. The tree is having a hard time holding up the weight of the lights--slight pause for a laugh--so I had to go minimalist on the decorations. The dried grapefruits and apples have made it through four Christmases, and they are easily my favorite decorations. There are also rusted tin stars (I love everything rusted) that I stumbled upon while up in Idaho last summer.

I love this picture, because it shows the door with the wreath. I think it makes the Christmas tree wonderful. And I have never liked tree skirts...this burlap has been used since we got married to grace the bottom of our tree.

Now we are getting to my favorites. Paula had this cool old frame in her garage (it is a treasure trove) just sitting there. I knew I wanted to put it in my tree, and that dictated the theme of the whole house this year (antique-y doors, windows, mirrors, etc.).

I do not know if you can tell, but I used clothes pins to hold up my fabric garland this year. I think it would have turned out better if I had a more full Christmas tree, but I needed one to fit a small space, so sparse had to work.

We were so excited to get a fireplace in our new home. My problem was trying to make the wood look nice. Well, after using a little innovation with hat boxes and a no-longer-used plant stand, I think it works nicely.

I think my mantle is my favorite part. There is something about grape-vine wreaths that are happy, and they made the mantle wonderful.

More garland...this is my dining table. The flowers are a perfect touch...I love that my husband gives me flowers!
And last, but certainly not least, I promised pictures of the drapes I made out of burlap a few months ago. I did not forget! So here they are! I need to make four more panels for the room with the fireplace (I don't know what to call it yet) and then I think I will never make a curtain panel again, or until I get the itch to do so, which ever comes first!


You can always tell a mom...

So I am going to get philosophical again...just a warning. You don't have to read this. I have been looking about lately when I am running errands, getting groceries, etc. and have noticed a few things I would like to share. I guess during this time of year it makes me think how greatful I am that I can see my follys and foibles (yes ladies and gentlemen, they are different). So I guess you could call this a late Thanksgiving gratitude post, or early New Year's Resolution list. I will call it a Gratitude Resolution.

First, you can always tell a mom by the far-away looks in their eyes when they are standing in line at a checkout, and yes, I am positive I have that same look 99.9% of the time. Never fail, you stand behind some woman, children in tow, hair askew, clothes a little rumpled, and you think, "That woman has seen it all." It never used to cross my mind when I was single and carefree the things they were thinking about, but I decided that it could be anything from what's for dinner, balancing the checkbook, making sure kids are on time for practices, the mysteries of the universe, even what fun things they are going to be doing when the kids are finally in bed. Imagine the full gamut, and I can almost guarantee it has been thought of with the blank stare on a woman's face. Admit it, you yourself don't always consciously think about what you are thinking about. I know, kind of an outlandish thought, but this year I pledge to remain in the here and now. To always have your mind on other things makes it hard to really truly appreciate the blessings you have right now, including the messes your children make and the burned dinner that was supposed to be perfect. Life is a huge learning experience, and if you are always searching for that veritable needle in the haystack, the little things can be lost.

Second, I have a hard time understanding the way my kids act sometimes. They whine and cry and are obstinate and refuse to eat their dinner, refuse to sleep, etc. You are thinking: "Gasp! Her kids and life are not perfect??!" Well, I guess if my kids and life were perfect, I probably wouldn't be hanging around this place...think city of Enoch. I pledge to embrace my imperfections, all of them. There is a reason I have imperfections, and that is to learn about myself. It's surprising how little we know about ourselves, and I want to learn as much about myself as I can. Another novel idea, I know, but truly empowered men and women are those who can stand on their own two feet, who don't care about the nasty thoughts others have of them, or the nasty thoughts they have of themselves (which brings me to my last point), do. (Interesting word, do, it's probably the smallest word with the longest definition in the old trusty Merriam-Webster dictionary...look it up sometime; there are some very interesting, thought provoking definitions for it.)

Third, and last, I have a habit of looking at the glass half empty sometimes. When things do not go right or I am fed up with people or places or circumstances, I like to go into the "poor Tia" mode. That is such an ugly mode, and it never solves the problem; in all actuality, it makes the situation worse. So I pledge that when "poor Tia" rears her ugly little head, I am going to squash her by looking in the mirror and telling "poor Tia" to go away. I am amazing, just as you all are, and the only way to make things better is to go about with a positive attitude.

Now, dear readers, it's your turn. I didn't put these down for you to feel sorry for me or smug that you don't have the same pitfalls. On the contrary, I wrote this post to get you thinking about how to make your life more enjoyable. Go ahead...give it a try. You do not have to post anything about hating to do the laundry or spending way too much time reading while you should be playing with your kids. What I want you to comment about, if you comment, is your little secret of how you navigate through the bumps of life, so someone might get a great idea from you on how to make their life just a little bit better. Think Gratitude Resolution!