Home tour: Christmas edition

I'm going to be honest--moving into our new house has been a whirlwind of emotions, and not all of them good, happy, warm fuzzies. We moved in just over two months ago, and I've spent a lot of that time wishing we had the time and money to do all the projects--big and small--that are on my already ridiculously long list. Anyone who has ever bought a house, particularly of the fixer-upper variety, probably knows full well what I'm just now realizing: home ownership, and home fixing-upping, is a marathon, not a sprint. And while this house (the finished main floor, anyway) is only a couple hundred square feet bigger than our apartment, it feels 100% harder to decorate and make "ours." Maybe it was the open floor plan of the apartment, or maybe I was satisfied with more makeshift solutions at the apartment because I knew it wasn't our forever home, but now that we're in a house we're going to stay in for awhile, I want everything to be just so. And it's hard to be a creative person, because I can't un-see the way I want things to be. Yes, I love our house. I LOVE our house. I love the life and memories we've already created here, I love that these walls tell the story of so many friends and family members who pitched in to scrub, strip, sand and paint. I love the quirks of this lovely old house and I love love LOVE those wood floors. And I'm grateful, so grateful, that we call this space our home. But it has been a hard road of finding contentment, even amidst all that gratitude, because there are sooooo many things I want to do to this house, and when I look at my living room, or the guest room, or throw boxes in the attic--I see the way I want it to be--I literally see it. I'm looking at a dirty, dusty, uninsulated attic but what I SEE is a cute kids' bedroom for two tucked under the eaves, a jack-and-jill bathroom and a gorgeous office space with a dormer window--everything my childhood dreams are made of. It's hard to unsee the way I want things to be and focus, TRULY focus, on how things are, and be grateful for them. It's a daily effort for me, one that requires lots of prayer. I say all that because I was determined to not post any photos of this house until it was done. Literally. I have said that to myself and to others. "I'll just wait until it's finished." Friends, it might not be "finished" for ten years, if ever. And what I'm really saying to myself is things don't have value unless they're perfect. Hold the phone. Is that REALLY how I view the world? Is that how I view people? Is that how people view me? Goodness, I hope not. It hit me like a ton of bricks last week--sharing the messy, the imperfect, it gives other people permission to do the same. Lara Casey said that over and over at Making Things Happen and it's so true. I don't want to be a person that holds herself to a standard of perfection, and therefore holds others to the same impossible standard. So, here's a little snippet of our house. Granted, I'm not really showing the messy, unfinished parts of our house, because they aren't decorated for Christmas and this is a Christmas post ;) But rest assured, in the coming weeks and months, I can't wait to share all the good and bad, the messy and pretty, the unfinished and the conquered.

But for today, here's a quick peek at our sweet home, fancied up for the Christmas season. We had exactly $0 in the budget for Christmas decor this year, so I'm feeling pretty good about all the DIY's I was able to do (thank you, Pinterest) and reusing almost all of last year's decor in new ways. I'll be sharing some of those projects soon!


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That Lindsay Letters print is one of my absolute favorite pieces of our Christmas decor. It greets you right when you walk in the front door.

Getting Christmas cards is one of my favorite parts of the holiday, and I love displaying them. I tacked up a strip of wide ribbon and topped it with a bow from one of last year's gifts for a super quick card display right by our front door. Just clip the cards on with clothespins and voila!

We finished the gallery wall this weekend (minus that spot by the K that is getting filled in today!) and I'm in love. I'll do a full blog post on it soon :)

We always collect ornaments from our travels, like this little Shakespeare man from a giftshop in Stratford-upon-Avon, a hand carved Moose from Glacier National Park, Montana and a bicycle license plate from Avila, Spain. Decorating the tree turns into reminiscing about past adventures, and it's my favorite tradition!

I stole the idea to stack vintage book in reds and greens from my friend Sarah. I absolutely love it! The ornament garland was a super easy DIY I made one night last week from leftover ornaments from last year's front door wreath.

As you leave the living room, you walk down a little hallway, where I strung up the tassel garland I made last Christmas, last year's Target banner and a cute pinecone garland I made this year...

....to our cute little dining room, where I end up doing a lot of work because my office is soooo freezing.

and just for fun, here's a little snippet of our bedroom, which I'll be blogging about SOON!