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!

’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.

 

share your joy

Well, hello there…it’s been a while.

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Last time I posted I was at the halfway point of a 12 day business trip…Ryan was on the business trip, not me.

The following weekend, and all the days combined had me wiped out.

The kids and I fell asleep together at 6:30 almost every night until Ryan got home.

We crafted, got Christmas decorations out, and snuggled together a lot.

It was good.

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When the kids were really young, and Ryan traveled every week it was HARD.

I complained A LOT.

Sent angry text messages to Ryan.

Left him messages where I was crying or screaming because I was so frustrated that he was gone.

It was what we had to do.

The sacrifice we had to make for me to stay home with the kids was for him to be gone for work.

No matter how many times Ryan told me that, or I told myself that…IT WAS HARD.

But we did it.

I did it.

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And, you know what?

I am stronger for it.

I know that I can take care of things around here.

I know I can keep my kids safe.

And, now that they are older, it’s easier.

But, man, are we glad that Ryan is home!

share your joy 1

My parents are coming to visit us for Thanksgiving. They get here tomorrow. I can’t wait!

Traveling with young kids can be tough.

Traveling with young kids during the holidays is not something I want to do.

I am so thankful that my parents will come out to Oregon to share our new traditions.

We cook fabulous food, enjoy wine, build fires, watch football, the boys go hunting, we cut our Christmas tree.

It’s awesome.

And, this year we will celebrate my dad’s retirement from a 37 year career at Xerox!

On to new adventures.

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Oh, and remember what I did with the JOY marquee from Target?

I’ve seen them all over Instagram and asked people to share them with the hashtag #sharejoymarquee.

Here are some of the photos…

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Anny (@oakhart) used a frame from Goodwill and rubber cemented atlas pages to the cardboard backing on the frame. She cut a hole in the cardboard behind the J to run the wire through (so the cord runs down the back of the frame against the wall). She used command hooks (but hot glued them to the board) to hang the letters on and used twist ties to keep all the wires together behind the letters. Don’t you love it?

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My IG friend, Courtney (@cottagemommy) used a bit of nature, and some vintage touches with her JOY. Courtney had her house featured on Life Made Lovely’s Holiday Home Tour last year…go check it out…it’s gorgeous!!

SONY DSC

And, here is a beautiful antique holiday mantle from Kelli (@alongthedirtroad). She has a lovely blog that you should also go check out! Don’t you love the pinecones, burlap, and greenery?

If you are on Instagram and were able to get a JOY marquee from Target (I also hear that Orchard Supply Hardware has something similar), please share your JOY by using the hashtag #sharejoymarquee.

If you are NOT on Instagram you can e-mail me a photo of your JOY marquee and I will share it on the blog! Just send a photo to homeis@stephanytaddeo with the subject “share joy marquee”.

Have fun, and share the JOY!

home is…sharing new traditions, new adventures, and joy.

{thrifting} curating christmas

 

I know, I know.

Thanksgiving is still 3 weeks away.

We are not forgetting to be thankful around here, I promise.

Here’s the thing.

I generally avoid Goodwill and Value Village (where I do the majority of my thrifting) from the end of August until Halloween.

However, once November 1st hits, the Christmas begins to trickle in. You see, they hold all the Christmas stuff that comes in throughout the year and put it ALL out between Halloween and Christmas.

So, I curate.

I gather to add to my collection from years past.

Here is what I have found in the last week or so…

curating christmas 4

I collect Santa’s and love these handpainted clay molds from the 1970’s.

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Thinking about painting this guy…or maybe glitter!

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I passed on one of these last year and wished I hadn’t. So, I bought one from Etsy at the end of summer. My friend, Erin, (@tweetpotatopie) told me where to find a star topper (my other one has a hole in the top) and I purchased some extra bulbs…just in case. Well, I found this beauty for $7! She was missing most of the bulbs, but that was OK because I had an entire bag of extras at home!

curating christmas 1

I can’t pass up a blow mold.

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Or, a good santa mug from Japan.

curating christmas 3

And, this stitchery…well, it practically jumped in my cart!

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This little guy is a bank…so cute!

home is…the most wonderful time of the (thrifting) year.

forgiveness

I’m not “beating myself up” for not getting this post up sooner, rather, I just would have liked to get it done the day my parents left.

The day I wrote it.

Just like I wish I had all the time {and energy} in the world to do everything I need AND everything I WANT to…everyday.

Life doesn’t work like that.

So, we make choices.

We make choices to let things that are important to us go so that we can do things to make other people happy.

We make choices to do things for ourselves and let other things go knowing that we might disappoint someone else. 

Sacrifices.

Compromises. 

And, most important, forgiveness.

Moving on…better late than never.

the day before thanksgiving

Nine years ago, on the day before Thanksgiving, a very special dog came to live with us.

Oak was one of a kind.

She made everybody that she met feel like they were the most important person in the world, but I was her most important person.

She came to me at a very difficult time in my life.

After I had a miscarriage.

After I found out my mom had breast cancer.

After I walked in on a burglary in progress at our home.

We went everywhere together.

She even got to come to work with me when we moved to Oregon…sat right under my desk.

This year, on the day before Thanksgiving, I looked out the front window as I was talking to my mom.

I had spent the morning at the kids school and was trying to finish things up around the house before they came to visit. I had just gotten caught in a freak rain and hail storm while bringing wood into the garage for the fireplace. There was one clap of thunder and that was when I decided to head inside…I’m not a fan of thunderstorms.

As I looked out the window I saw a mud covered yellow lab running down the street. I told my mom I had to go get it and ran outside.

I called for the dog, but she didn’t hear me until I got right up behind her.

When she realized I was there she came running to me and just followed me home…running under the garage door as it opened.

She reminded me of Oak.

Sweet, happy, and older.

oak

I dried her off, but she was too dirty to come inside. I took her water and gave her Odyssey’s dog bed.

She had a collar and tag, so I called and left a message.

Eventually, her owner called.

She asked if there had been thunder, and I said yes.

Kassi, as the dog was called, was afraid of thunder and would dig out of the yard to “get away from it”.

Oak was afraid of thunder, too. We would snuggle together during thunderstorms in Colorado.

In some way, Oak was giving me a little visit on the day before Thanksgiving.

It warmed my heart and made me smile.

and, finally, thanksgiving

{as written 10 days ago}

I dropped my parents off at the airport today.

The table that was filled for every meal the last 6 days is empty.

It’s quiet.

memories were made

As they are everyday, but there were special ones this week.

We celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our home.

thanksgiving
We’ve been in this house for almost 5 years, but we’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving here. We were in Colorado last year and have been blessed enough to have wonderful friends and neighbors who have invited us to be a part of their family celebrations other years.

Each morning we woke up to a warm fire in the fireplace that Ryan had started before everybody woke up. Not sure if he just stayed up all night, or if he got up extra early. Either way, we all enjoyed waking up to the crackle and warmth it provided.

You see, we talked to my parents about converting our gas log kit back into a wood burning fireplace and thought it might be a project they could help us with.  Little did they know we had already hatched a plan with a neighbor who helped Ryan out in trade for our gas log set that he wanted to convert his wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace. We had a chimney sweep come clean and check our fireplace and chimney, and the Friday before Thanksgiving week we had 3/4 cord of wood delivered. Lorelai and I spent most of the day filling our radio flyer wagon and stacking as many logs as we could before the downpour started here in Portland. I stacked almost 1/2 cord of wood to fill the log rack we bought, and left the rest for Ryan which he stacked in a steady rain on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in our unused dog run.

but i digress

We shared our own tree cutting tradition with my parents at Sleigh Bells in Sherwood.

oh christmas tree

The kids even got to “see” Santa, but were not yet ready to sit on his lap. We peeked around Christmas displays, but kept our distance from the man in red.

Our tree was up and decorated in record time with help from my parents and the kids. We actually put our “real” ornaments up this year…not the plastic and paper ones I used the last 4 years! Collected since we were married over 12 years ago…personalized…and, just like when I would decorate the tree with my mom, a story about where each one came from.

We made homemade pizza for dinner, drank wine, and enjoyed introducing my parents to Reece’s (and my) favorite, American Pickers.

Saturday morning, we took a trip to one of our favorite places for breakfast. Nothing fancy, but can you believe my parents have never eaten at Panera?! I know there is one within a couple blocks of my dad’s office because I used to go there when I worked in the same office 13 years ago! The kids love sitting by the big table next to the fireplace and for once I did not feel awkward taking up a large table for 8 because we actually had 6 to almost fill it! We split off into the “girl’s car” and the “boy’s car” to go the the craft store and the sporting goods store, respectively. That afternoon we got out of the house and caught another glimpse of Santa at Bridgeport Village. The kids, again, did not want to see him, but Ryan and Topher both made sure that they were not on Santa’s “naughty” list.

bridgeport

The unanimous decision was made to order takeout for dinner, so we had a cocktail at PF Changs while waiting for our lettuce wraps and lemon chicken to enjoy at home.

On Sunday, the boys went out to Sauvie Island and shared the Catlin family tradition of a Thanksgiving weekend duck hunt with Reece for the first time.

hunting2

When they got home I asked Reece what he thought of going duck hunting with Poppa and Topher.

hunting1

His reply was, “Best.”

hunting4

I think he liked it.

Lorelai, Meme, and I spent the morning together creating gingerbread masterpieces, searching for the perfect princess nighties (for Lorelai), and trying a new recipe with some of the Thanksgiving leftovers.

post hunting nap

post hunting

The afternoon was spent relaxing by the fire, snuggled under quilts, watching football. Eventually we made a trip to Whole Foods to get more food and wine (like we needed it) and threw together another great meal of crab cakes, salmon, chicken satay, steak, and roasted vegetables.

Monday morning we raced to get the kids back into a regular routine. It is Reece’s turn to be Star of the Week, and although we had four days to prepare his Sharing Box and other information, we were pulling it all together before 8:30 on a Monday morning. The items were strongly focused on hunting, as the hunt from the day before was fresh in his mind.

While the kids were at school for a couple of hours, the adults ran some errands, got cleaned up, and turned the last of the leftovers into a delicious potato turkey soup that we all ate for lunch.

We had a great lunch together before Ryan had to leave to work in California for the week.

Tuesday was a very special day. We took lunch to Reece to be a part of his Star Week. We brought burgers from Burgerville and sat in the gym to eat with his class. He even saved a special scooter to ride around the gym with him. I could not keep up with those 5 years olds…they move fast!

sharing a shake

hoop walking

hoop1

hoop2

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After lunch we were able to spend a few minutes in his class when I was able to read a letter that Ryan wrote about what we think is special about Reece, and Reece was able to introduce me, Lorelai, Meme, and Topher to the class.

red bike

After that excitement, we scooted to the car to drive Meme and Topher to the airport so they could get back to Colorado.

Hugs and kisses…and quiet.

Memories were made.

home is…thanksgiving with meme and topher.

gratitude and a winner

and a winner…

 

Thank you to all of you who left a comment…looks like most of you wait until after Thanksgiving to deck the halls!

There are still a few happy holiday hoops left in the shop…enter “gratitude15” in the coupon code to get 15% off your order from today through the end of the day Friday!

It might be a little quiet around here the next few days. We’re going to practice gratitude, stuff our faces, watch football, and enjoy family and friends.

home is…happy thanksgiving.

making a list…

Checking it twice…

This morning I am making a list of all the things I need (want) to get done before Christmas!

We had a wonderful time in Colorado despite the fact that the majority of us were sick the entire time.

I lost my voice the day after we got there and didn’t get it back until the day after we left.

Oh well.

I wanted a “do 0ver”, but the most  important thing was spending time with family and that is what we did.

The kids played, we saw deer and elk, and there was even a 10 minute snowstorm the night before we left!

So, now we are moving on…

Our lights are up outside.

I just ordered our holiday cards.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

home is…going home and coming home.