Merry Christmas from our Texan home! I’m so excited to (better late than never) give you guys a peak into our home all decked out for our favorite time of year! If you know me personally, you know that the past few months have been anything but merry. When I first planned this photo shoot in my mind, our family portrait was supposed to look a little different than it actually does. I was supposed to be 6 months pregnant in this picture, but I’m not.
Soon after moving into our new home over the summer we learned we were expecting a baby girl in the Spring. It was the best news of our lives as a family. But life took a turn. Fate made it’s appearance and we lost our baby girl in October. While I don’t want to make this post about miscarriage, I also don’t want to pretend as if heartache doesn’t exist during the holidays. Because it does. Not just for me, but for so many others and for so many other reasons. And my heart goes out to them.
Fortunately for me, I have an overflowing amount of things to be grateful for which overcomes any sadness. That’s why this Christmas, rather than dwell on the things that have gone wrong, I’m focusing on all of the things that have gone right. I’m counting all my blessings and fully embracing our favorite time of year with my little ones.
Christmas is a time of year where parents go above and beyond for one single purpose, and that is to see their kids happy. These Christmas memories for a child last a lifetime. So I make a very conscious effort to make sure that my kids will have nothing but amazing Christmases year after year.
This is the first Christmas in 3 years that we spend in our own home, just the 4 of us. Although we will miss not being in our home town surrounded by family and friends, we’re looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home. We’ve moved around a bit the last few years but now that we’ve somewhat settled, we’re looking forward to starting our own traditions and creating new memories as a family. This year in particular I felt the urge to spoil the boys a little more than usual. But I don’t spoil them with extravagant gifts or things, I spoil them with moments.
For the entire season in this house you’ll find Christmas movies on replay, yummy smells coming from the kitchen, an inordinate amount of sugar on an almost daily basis, Christmas music playing on the speakers, cozy lights, Santa visits, trips to as many Christmas light festivals we can make it to and Christmas bedtime stories every night. I’ve always been a big believer that we as humans remember moments, not things.
So many of those memorable moments happen in the kitchen. The non stop cooking throughout the season brings me and the boys joy. And it’s the one time of year where I let them be a little more involved in the kitchen. They’re getting to an age where they’re really starting to enjoy it! Now don’t get me wrong, with little ones, letting them get creative in the kitchen can be quite frustrating and messy to be honest, but it’s important to let them just have fun. I don’t mind cleaning up the mess, but then there’s trying to stop them from eating every last cookie!
I bought this cookie jar one year after Christmas. It has been a staple in our kitchen every Christmas. As soon as the boys see me whip out the cookie jar they start asking for cookies. Even though I’ve just taken it out of storage! No matter where I place this cookie jar they will find a way to get their hands in it!
Now, let’s get to business and talk a little bit about the decor. Since it’s a new home and most of the furniture is also new, I made sure to keep in mind that any Christmas decor I had would have a completely new life. And it did. I used a lot of the decor from previous years and just added a few new touches. I find it nostalgic to see the same staples each year rather than buying new decor each year in an effort to keep up with the trends.
One this I did a little differently this year was add a garland to my tree. That sounds so simple and meaningless but I had actually never done that before. It made a huge difference and really tied the tree together nicely. I bought a simple red and gold ribbon from hobby lobby and wrapped it around the tree in a diagonal direction. I hung fewer ornaments this year because I didn’t want the tree to look cluttered. I’ve had the same ornaments for years and each year I buy a few new ones. I’m kind of itching for a change for next year I think I’ll hit the after Christmas sales this year and see what I find!
Plaid has been the trend for a few years now so that made my life easy when I decided to use the same plaid pillows I used last year. I purchased these at Marshall’s. Marshall’s is the best place to buy Christmas pillows for a great price. They have such a wide selection and so affordable.
This year I was on the hunt for wreaths. When I purchased these arched mirrors I knew I would want to hang wreaths on them come Christmas time. But I couldn’t seem to find the perfect ones. I wanted them to be simple and small, not tacky and glittery. Although it hadn’t dawned on me to buy natural wreaths, I decided to check out Trader Joe’s selection of wreaths and found these perfect ones! They were $8 each and the perfect size. From now on I think these might be a staple in our home each Christmas. And I plan on hanging them in a few more places 🙂
The living room is where we spend most of our time especially now during Christmas as we’re watching Christmas specials any chance we get! Ideally, I wish we had a fireplace here, but we don’t. the fireplace is actually located in our “formal” living room which is currently being used as a storage unit. haha! But I still found a perfect spot to hang the boys’ stockings. I found this metal “merry christmas” banner at Target and saw a similar display of a hanging garland and banner in the Pottery Barn Catalog. I loved the look so much that I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a simple garland for 50% off. The rest of the decor are things I’ve had over the years except the $5 mini Christmas trees I found at Target. I knew they’d fit perfectly in our shelf unit and they did. I also added some garland t used in the passed around some of the decor for a festive touch. You can’t see it in this pic but I bought LED string lights and wrapped them around the garland so at night when all the lights are off, the garlands are twinkling. 🙂 Gives it that extra cozy feel.
And another way I love to add a festive touch is to swap out some of our pictures and replace them with family Christmas pics over the years. It not only brings the colors into the decor but it reminds us of sweet memories as a family.
As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to make this Christmas a little more special for the boys after all the changes we’ve been through. So for the first time ever, I got them their very own Christmas tree in their bedroom. I promised them that if they didn’t cry when they got their flu shot (which they both totally cried) that they’d each get to pick out 5 ornaments. The joy and excitement on their faces while carefully choosing their ornaments was the sweetest moment yet.
Speaking of sweet moments, A big tradition in our family is the celebration is Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve for me growing up was huge. Tons of family around, cooking all day, the smell of the pig roasting in the backyard, running around with my siblings and cousins anxiously awaiting Santa’s arrival. They were some of the sweetest moments of my life. This will be the first time we celebrate Christmas Eve outside of our hometown. We will miss our family terribly but we’re so thankful to have friends who are like family to share this special holiday with.
The table setting is simple but still elegant. Since we’re not hosting a large group of people, I can actually sit everyone, including kids, on the main table! Which I find to be really nice.
I wanted to invest in a set of Christmas Plates this year but I found these adorable plates at Target for $2.50 each and I thought they were perfect for our intimate event.
You may recognize all the other items on my table setting from last years Thanksgiving tables cape. I’m all about reusing and recycling and giving things new life!
And as for the centerpieces, whenever in doubt, throw a garland on it! haha! That’s exactly what I did here. And I had these red votive holders from an old Christmas decor piece and placed them along the garland for some cozy lighting.
Speaking of old Christmas decor, isn’t it amazing how easy it is to forget what we have until we open our storage bins the following year? I find myself saying “Oh! I forgot I bought this!” several times throughout the unpacking process. There are so many ways to give old items new life by just changing them around each year and adding just a few new things, if any. 🙂
And so, although this Christmas comes with some heartache, more so it comes with a boat load of blessings and gratitude. In order to remain true to myself and those of you reading this, I think it’s crucial for me to be honest, for me to show others that there is pain, that life on instagram is not as perfect as it may seem. That you’re not alone in your suffering and that even though life comes with its storms, it also comes with it’s rainbows. And I’ve got two of mine right here!
Merry Christmas to all!