Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Holiday Happies Tour Part 3

I guess I should say welcome. I really should have said it on the first post in this little holiday series, but I didn't even consider starting at the front door early this week when I began. Now that you are here again let me welcome you to our home. How I would LOVE to have you all here for the holidays and to meet each one of you who have loved, supported, prayed for, and carried our family over the last 6 years. I know that won't happen this side of Heaven, so this will have to do.

This is the wreath that greets us and hangs on the front door. Nothing real spectacular. Just ordinary I suppose, but all things holiday seem so much more than ordinary to me. It warms my heart to open up the door and enter back into our home with this hanging.

Now that the door is open and you have all come to visit this is what it looks like as you step inside. I love how our home opens up to the family room. Its warm and cozy and everyone is welcome here. I also love having a glimpse of the outdoors as I sit by the fire. Those french doors are one of my favorite changes made once we moved in.

If you look close enough you can see our little holiday tree that sits on the other side of those doors and you can also see the old windows hung on the wall with the holiday wreaths. Again, one of my favorite decorations this year.

Nothing too special in this photo, but I wanted to add it to show you how I like to scatter pine cones on anything that stays still. All through the house you will find two or three lying next to things, lying next to nothing but each other, or next to nothing at all. I totally love a great pine cone!

Another glimpse of the foyer. This table has been in our homes forever. Dave built if for me years ago out of some old fence panels and its one of my very favorite things. I just added a twisty, vine of berries to some garland and hung it off to one side. Sort of mirrors my mantle piece this year.

My newest favorite thing...a branch tree, wrapped in a burlap base and tied with a string of jute. I actually made it this morning after getting the idea from a friend a couple of months back. Its simple, its warm, its everything I love.

Here is another picture of it once I decorated it. I added some holiday tags, and then attached some jute onto the the top of some unopened pine cones and hung them from the branches. I love it both ways. Decorated or not.

The reason I'm loving this so much is the purpose its going to serve in our home. Its a blessing tree. A prayer tree. A need tree. We are going to hang our prayer requests, our praises, our thanksgivings, and our needs from the branches. I'm so excited to see God work in the lives of our family in this tangible way. Things like life for Ashley Kate, colleges for Blake, try outs for Allie, being a blessing to our patients, ministering to those in need, an upcoming exam, etc. , etc., will be written out for us to pray over.

I love it!

Just a shot of the patio tree. Nothing but super, super simple. Gives sitting outside a festive feel. It really helped to bring the inside out and the outside in this year. Love that I can view it both ways whether I'm out back or sitting inside by the fire.

I'm really hoping for some cold nights the week of the holidays to enjoy smores on the patio with our extended family.

This is the formal tree. Just a little more blingy than most of my decorations, but I do enjoy it. This is our formal dining room that sits just off the foyer and across from Ashley's play room. I really enjoy this view taken from the kitchen because I love the reflection in the mirror. This tree doesn't have a top made for it yet so I just tossed that star up there and now I realize it looks totally ridiculous. Forgive me for that?

The holiday table. Love to see the candles flickering through this cracked glass. Such a warm feeling. This table stays set all season long. We don't really use the formal dining that often. We tend to have a more relaxed atmosphere in our home. Just comfortable, cuddled up under a throw, watching a movie together.

This sits in the bay windows in the dining room. Love the idea. Not thrilled with the execution, but it is festive. Should be so easy to toss ornaments into glass, but I can't seem to get them to fit just right. I'm leaving it though. Like I said its the idea I love. I added a piney garland and some grapevine around the base and it helped me like it a lot more.

Like I shared earlier this week... toss in a pine cone, some greenery, a few red berries, and light it all up...nothing feels more cozy around the holidays.

So glad you guys hung in there with me. Hope this is what you were asking for. A few of you wanted to know where the lanterns on the mantle came from, I picked them up in Canton. Someone else asked about the greenery. I use all artificial, but would LOVE to have some real tossed in the mix. There hasn't been a good time for me to get Ash out to locate any. I do use several different types of greenery and mix them all up. A lot of it came from an old Christmas tree that I bought from someone for $15. You can't buy that much garland anywhere for that price. I've used it on everything(like the top of the bookcase:).

So thats our home this season. Turn on the carols, light a delicious baked apple crisp candle, and snuggle under a blanket. I love Christmas!

Its not so much about what you have to decorate with, but more about how what you have on hand makes you feel. Keep that in mind. My things aren't amazing or priceless or anything...they are nothing more than ours and the tradition of pulling them out each year brings back the memories making the house feel so warm and inviting. Happy decorating to you guys and Merry Christmas. I'm smiling as I type that!


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