colorful holidays

i have been inspired by a couple of my favorite color loving instagram feeds lately…

@ohhappyday

@megduerksen

so, while we wait to cut our christmas tree until the day after thanksgiving, and the santa’s still stay in attic storage i have started planning for the crossing over of holidays that comes when thanksgiving and christmas collide.

i am also not afraid to make it smell like christmas before thanksgiving.

my parents will be visiting us for thanksgiving. while they have taken in the traditions of cutting down the tree and starting to decorate for christmas they have never actually been here for christmas.

i want a bit more christmas in the house when they get here so they can get a feeling for what it is like here on christmas morning. unfortunately, i cannot replicate the excitement of our children on christmas morning…something i will cherish even more this year as they are getting older.

my aunt gifted me with colored vintage glassware that my grandmother had collected for her. it will play a part as our thanksgiving centerpiece, and then i have some other plans for it during the christmas season!

the open shelving in our kitchen continues to be a favorite place to change up the displays for the seasons. this year i mixed up the fiesta ware and some of my vintage shiny brite collection. i also added some led uplighting which was super easy to do!

the pacific northwest continues to put on a beautiful show for us this fall.

our japanese maple is one of the last trees to lose its leaves each fall. the leaves are a purple color all summer and turn to a bright red.

the front garden is mostly put to bed except for some carrots, kale, herbs, and the strawberry plants.

i’ve been collecting leaves from our yard…we only have the douglas fir trees and the japanese maple, but we get leaves from the neighbors…this is a giant leafed maple!

are you a wait until after thanksgiving to bring out christmas?

or, do you let them play nicely together?

or, are you a “what’s thanksgiving?! it’s all christmas all the time after halloween” person?

no matter what, i hope you are enjoying whatever you choose!

{christmas collections} blow molds

it takes time for the christmas to come out and get organized.

lots of stuff to move around.

the last few years i have started to collect vintage blow molds.

it started with a small snowman and a santa…

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last year, i added another santa…

santa

today, i found this…

snowman

and, these…

nativity

it’s beginning to look a lot like, well, christmas.

home is…christmas collections {more to come}.

{31 days} joy all year

{31 days} header

~secondhand and created~

These are back at Target…

Lit Vintage Tin "Joy" Sign - Brushed Bronze

This year there is also HOPE, LOVE, a heart and a star.

Last year I bought the JOY…

When I brought it home and opened it I was in love, but I knew it could be better.

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So, I painted it.

Then I hung it on a piece of wood that had been outside since we moved into our house almost 6 years ago. It’s nice and weathered.

I thought I would like the “JOY” to be horizontal, but the letters were taller than the board.

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So, I went vertical.

And, I love it!

It hangs next to our fireplace year round.

joy year round

Last year I displayed it in our front entry as a Christmas vignette.

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I also used it in our fall decor.

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Today, I purchased LOVE and the star as they can also be  kept out year round. I hope to paint them and hang them on some more salvaged secondhand wood!

My mother-in-law arrives tomorrow night, so I am hoping that I can get some fun posts up while she is in town, and I might have some extra time for projects like this one!

{FYI…last year a lot of the stores ran out of stock on this item. Best bet is to check online and see if you can do an in-store pick up…they will hold it for you for 2 days!}

home is…{31 days} secondhand and created joy all year.

Join me while I link up with The Nester every day in October for #write31days.
Click here to find a list of all 31 posts as they are published.

annual playgroup christmas party

Can it really be only 9 sleeps until Christmas?!

This weekend we went to our annual playgroup Christmas party.

My friend Melissa hosts each year and it is always a fabulous success.

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Her home is always beautifully decked for the holidays.

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The past few years we have included the daddies which always makes it more fun!

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As always, Santa makes a special stop at the party.

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This year we took a group photo of Santa with the kids.

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There were some tears…

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a few escape artists…

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but, we got *almost* all of the kids in the photo…without crying.

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I think there are SEVEN kids missing from this photo…

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and to think we started six years ago with one child each…

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and they weren’t even crawling!

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This last photo cracks me up beacuse the kids were told to raise their hand if they were good this year…notice the boy in the teal shirt (and his partner in playgroup crime) in the front row?! They are the ONLY kids NOT raising their hands!

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She even had an adorable craft for the kids, but they were so busy playing that nobody did it…

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Reece, however, knew there was a craft and wouldn’t leave until he had a chance to do it! So, we overstayed our welcome and did the craft. I love that my boy didn’t want to leave the party with out doing the craft!

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We each bring something to eat and there is always plenty of food!

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I neglected to get a good photo of my fruit plate garnish…a sprig of rosemary from our garden decorated with mini pom-poms and bakers twine! I was pretty happy with my last minute creativity!

I love this celebration every year.

home is…sharing traditions with friends.

’tis the season

tis the season

We’re kind of confusing holidays around here.

Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday.

I love what it is about.

Being thankful.

Family.

Friends.

Food.

Football.

However, there’s not much fun in the decorating.

I love to decorate for fall, but by the end of November I am ready for Christmas decor!

And, the kids get more excited about Christmas decorations and crafts than they do about turkeys.

So, a couple more days of confusing our holidays and then we will be in the full Christmas swing of things.

Of course, after we are thankful.

No matter what, we will be jolly.

home is…celebrating the season.

 

christmas unwrapped

I haven’t had the words to write lately.

I haven’t even taken as many photos as I would have liked, but I soaked up the holidays.

snow

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christmas program

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Lorelai didn’t want to stand up on stage and sing with her classmates.

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Reece was an “old pro” as a kindergartner. He nailed his lines, kept his costume on, and even sang a little bit!

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santa at playgroup

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Reece brought a handwritten note…

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and necklaces that he made especially for Santa.

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Lorelai was brave and sat in his lap and told him she wanted a princess watch and a sleeping bag.

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After eating and drinking, we went caroling…a new favorite tradition!

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our home

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And, just like that, it’s over.

Bittersweet.

Ryan and I decided that we need to have something to do on Christmas Day after the presents are opened.

We’re thinking of heading up to the mountain for some fun in the snow next year!

What do you do on Christmas Day?

home is…Christmas wrapped up.

simplifying christmas

We are blessed that the kids school teaches them the real meaning of Christmas. It’s just something I can’t teach them. Not that I don’t want to, I just don’t know the true story well enough.

I grew up going to church for Easter and Christmas, maybe.

Or, I would go with Honey and Pop-pop when they were taking care of us {again, very rarely}.

However, I married Ryan in Catholic church and vowed to teach my children about God…so I am. With help from Ryan and their wonderful teachers at school.

What I can teach them is that Christmas is not about presents.

It an experience.

Santa.

Family.

The tree.

Lights.

Elves.

Friends.

Tradition.

Giving.

This year we are simplifying the gifts.

In the past, we have gone overboard. I buy gifts. Ryan buys gifts. We buy gifts from their aunts. They get gifts from Meme and Topher. They get gifts from Nana and Bops.

LOTS.

OF.

STUFF.

This year we are taking the money that my parents are sending and signing the kids up for swimming lessons, climbing camp, and gymnastics.

They received gifts from Nana and Bops that they will be able to open.

Beyond that {and a few small things in their stockings} they will receive four gifts.

{image from jones design company}

I have changed it up a bit and they will receive something to WEAR, something to READ, something for PLAY, and something they NEED.

I am hoping that something to wear, read, or need may also be something they want, so I changed “want” to something for PLAY.

Not only will it cut down on the “stuff” they get, but it has also cut down on my shopping.

I narrowed down the list and have stuck with it.

I am done…except for Lorelai’s “something for PLAY”.

She has so much, and has such a great imagination, that it has been hard to come up with something.

Of course, if I had been stealth and sewn the doll when she was sleeping or at school, I could have given her that  for her “something for PLAY”.

Any great ideas for a three year old girl?

Otherwise, I am able to spend the next couple of weeks crafting, driving around to look at Christmas lights, playing with friends and family, reading Christmas books, watching Christmas movies, coming up with more surprises from the elves {this may take another post…we don’t do elf on the shelf, but we surprise the kids with things, every once in a while, that the elves leave for them}, and enjoying the real magic, joy, and reason for the season.

home is…remembering what is important.