Without even hinting it, both Alex and I were itching to rearrange the living room last month so when it came time to put up the Christmas tree, there we were, moving furniture in all sorts of different formations. We’ve settled on a simple arrangement, traditional in nature, with standard furniture placements like couches underneath windowsills and floor lamps in corners. And it’s been a good exercise in living with whatcha got. We could sure use another, say, even five square feet in this room, but we don’t and so that’s that.
We’re really big on tartan this year. Come to think of it, tartan’s always been there, but my great uncle gave us his old tartan wool throw when we visited for Thanksgiving and that really was all our plaid-loving selves needed. I mean, don’t you remember my plaid gift guide from last month? See.
I also picked up CD number three of The Snowman. Which, in case you were wondering, is the number one reason my children will play the piano. I also need to work on acquiring a piano. (Reason of the day we need a new home: a place for a baby grand.) So we’ve been listening on repeat to Howard Blake’s lovely melodies. It’s very soothing. I suggest you try it out.
And we’re smelling a lot like the three wise men these days. To be honest, I burned through my fair share of balsam and pine back in November and the home was begging for a change. So we’re embracing the frankincense and myrrh, mixing it with firewood and cigars, and finding ourselves much, much happier than we ever were with Christmas tree scented wax.
Anyway, here are some pictures of our Christmas tree and the lovely decorations we’ve dressed her in. Along with other bits and pieces of the living room. Enjoy.
There were lots of tears last week. Fighting tears and happy tears and disappointed tears and confused tears and stressed tears. I don’t know what to do tears. Overworked tears. Anxious tears. Plain, sad tears. That was all before Friday. And Friday was a heavy day to be teachers. Even tougher to be a kindergarten teacher. So we weren’t quite sure when the tears would end, really.
It was a week of big kid problems. Of realities and truths greater than ourselves. Late, restless nights and mornings where the rooster seems to have forgotten to let you sleep. But these are the sort of things that get in the way of Christmas. They aren’t that special, you see.
It’s a good exercise in perspective. Through what frame are we looking at the world? At ourselves? At our problems and our fears? Maybe, this Christmas, we’ll step back and look at the holiday from the tiniest little viewpoint. Nothing big. No expectations. Just a tiny little house and a tiny little family celebrating the birth of a tiny little guy who did good things and taught real things like unconditional love and how to help. And I think our world could use a little bit more of that little kid’s message these days.
(and so you know where to find the cookies when you stop by…..)
Yesterday, I showed you step by step how I made my living wreath. Welp, here it is. On the door. We have a minor problem, the storm door can’t close all the way. So I’m going to have to work my creative juices and figure out where it’s going to go instead. It makes me sad, but it’s too pretty to let it go to waste. Or, maybe the storm door will have to go!
Flashback to my 8th grade confirmation group in the basement of our mentor’s home, munching on salty snacks and whispering with Stephanie about boys. Above the couch where we sat, there is a collection of family photos that spans the entire wall. In my grandmother’s kitchen, looking down on the little round table, rows of ledges are filled with family portraits. The changing of pictures over time has always made for interesting conversation and catching up.
I’ve dreamt of having my own photo wall, filled with memories and people that warm our hearts. Thanks to after-Christmas sales, I finally took the initiative. It’s been a task, to say the least, requesting, stealing and copying images. We still have filler pictures in a few spots. (Ahem, family members who are procrastinating… I will steal pictures if I need to). It’s been fun, however, merging our happy memories into one, great collage.
Leaving every morning, I see the faces of people who have shaped our lives and made us the people we are today. Perfectly imperfect and definitely unique, these are the faces that mean nothing to a random guest in our home, but mean the world to us. As I build our wall, I am thankful of the memories we have- be it memories from within those frames, lost in my vivid thoughts, or in the images I am still trying to get from you. This has become the most rewarding house project to date, my patchwork story of us.