Monday, December 15, 2014

Sharing Christmas: Link-up Party!

It's time, It's time!

(Do you own Song of the Stars? If so- you get that reference. If not, allow this to be the first and most valuable tip I share...It's the Christmas story written by the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible. Read it and weep. Literally...)

It's time...for the Sharing Christmas link up! I'm super (SUPER) pumped for this, so let's just jump right in. First- a reminder of our lovely hosts:

mary evelyn : what do you do dear  //  kacia : coconutrobot  // shannon : the scribble pad
rachael : kincaid parade  // kristi : and babies don't keep  //  kirstin : kojo designs  //  heather boersma

Not to sound like a broken record...but I seriously cannot even tell you how excited I've been for Christmas this year. And not even just the day itself...I mean, I am looking forward to Christmas eve/morning and all the awesomeness that comes with it: evening church service, matching jammies (that I might be able to wrangle the girls into), reindeer food, stocking stuffing, gift unwrapping, and general merriment...But truly I'm loving the whole season. I switched over to full-on Christmas pretty much the day after Thanksgiving (I do believe in giving each holiday its due) and have been a happy little elf ever since. I'm actually kind of hoping time will slow down and Christmas actually would be late so I could pack in a little more fun, and a lot more glitter, but alas, we're 10 days out, so I'll just have to soak it up while I can.

I'm not totally sure of the difference this year vs. Christmases prior. I guess it's a combination of factors...But the mix of a new house, a new job and a festive-loving 3 year old is making this year extra fun. We've been doing all kinds of festive fun, but for my Official (whatever that means) Sharing Christmas Post, I figured I'll focus mostly on the decor. It's certainly not the most important part of Christmas, and in fact- in years past, it's actually been one of my least favorite parts, but I've had so much fun decking the halls this time around, I'm excited to share that piece of our holiday.

Since we haven't decorated much in the past, and even got rid of some of our old Christmas decor in the move, this year is a rebuilding year, so it started with a trip to buy all the garland JoAnn's had. That lead to a big (temporary) hot mess, a floor covered in glitter, and me swearing I was just testing things and wouldn't keep it all. (spoiler alert- nothing has gone back. We've even got garland in the bathroom and I'm not sorry.)

I went on an Elf-like bender, pretty much covering every railing, doorway, and horizontal surface with sparkly greener. It was totally More is More, Aka: my happy place. Dustin humored the entire endeavor, but not without slyly ribbing me to a former co-worker via group texts:

If you've worked in get this. I'm I'm a little bit sorry for you. 

So yes...I may have gotten a liiiiiiiitle carried away, but honestly I think it's only over the top compared to scaled back years of yore. If you're used to decorating year after year, it's likely you have more flair than I do (you should see my mom's's a winter wonderland of truly epic proportions- we're talking a tree in every room. She borderline started a blog just to join in the Sharing Christmas fun.) But this is our first time back in the game, so it feels big, and festive, and warm, and magical.

Some snippets:

It all started with this arch. It was all I wanted to do....I knew we'd get a tree, but I felt like we needed one other big Christmas "moment" to make the house feel festive. And then of course, it got all, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, and I suddenly had to have faux-greenery on everything. But for real....this makes me so deliriously happy, I'm going to be hard pressed to take it down in January. (and believe me that it's staying until at least January. Aka: my birthday month. Aka: Let Courtney hang on to her garland-draped dreams for just a little longer month.)

A real disco ball, and real dutch shoes. I could just die.

And my very very favorite piano turned mantle. Seriously...I'm only barely joking when I tell you that hanging stockings makes me want to have more babies. There's something irresistible about the a line of giant coordinating socks with everyone's initials on them. I want like a million (stockings/babies). Plus this shot has at least 3 more of my favorite things: a new ampersand marquee light to add to my & collection (Old Time Pottery, how I missed you!), a tiny glittery bird that was one of those little Target splurges that made me way happier than it probably should, my absolute favorite candle scent of all time (it's seriously like you're in a forest. obsessed.)

PLUS: chalkboard gift tags. I couldn't love them more if they were made out of gingerbread. (ok...that might be a toss up). But they're pretty stinkin' awesome, no? And you can just stop it right now with those pom poms, TJ Maxx. Stahp!

Hideous picture. Deliiiiiicious candle.

And another thing tied for favorite...our Christmas Card books. We save them all, hole punch and bind them with a ribbon. We take our cover selection pretty seriously so if you're sending us a card, mail your A-game.

What's that? you wanted more garland? Ok. I guess..... (is it starting to make sense why I love ampersands so much? AND is a way of life.)

That tree. I know. I KNOW. 

Annnnnd...time for another favorite. I snagged this advent calendar from Starbucks as a gift for my mom, and before I had even paid for it, I decided I wanted to keep it. Woops! Good news though...about a minute later, I remembered that after she pined for it last year, she actually did end up getting one, so I got credit for thinking of her, and got to keep it. Win-win.

It's a little magnetic board, that comes with chocolate filled tins, but I spent the last two hours of November frantically unpacking them all, and replacing the treats with little notes- each one specifying a family activity for us to do that day. It's a mixture of simple, totally over ambitious, genius because my kids can't read yet (allows for last minute switch-a-roos) and honestly might be my actual favorite part of our Christmas this year. Turns out sappy family memories are even better than glitter.
(I'll be writing more about this over on the Thrive Moms blog this week, so if you're intreguide by how we're doing advent, stop by there later this week for the scoop!)

Oh, and don't worry...we aren't denying our toddlers their God-given right to a daily chocolate fix. Thanks Trader Joe's!

Ok...(at least) one more favorite: Christmas Cards. Obsessed with these burlap chains...hung them from little adhesive clips and our laundry room door is now a gallery of love. 
And I have to tell you- I was worried we wouldn't get any cards this year...we moved, people cut back, I get it...But I love mah cards. I gotta have mah cards- never mind that we haven't sent ours yet!!- So when my mom heard my (really silly) fear (via me publicly complaining/begging for mail on facebook), she started sending us a note Every Day. Seriously. (And yes- she lives 10 minutes away, yet she mailed each and every one of them). My door is almost filled now- with 15 different cards, each signed with a different version of my parents names. She loves me in such a specific, fabulous way.

Oh- and you know it's not Christmas without a yule log video
So those are the pieces and parts that add up to the whole... least, those are the aesthetic pieces and parts that add up to our holiday home decor whole. 
I could (and likely will) write another week's worth of posts about all the other things filling up our holiday season. No- it's not all spruce scented sparkles...There's the regular life bits that have to get done, regardless of the magical memory making we'd like to prioritize. (Last week's "regular life" included the stomach flu making the rounds through our entire family, requiring us to cancel a much anticipated trip "home" to Pittsburgh. Ugh.). But Christmas this year is also full of some really great bits of togetherness- searching for trees, having past your bedtime dance parties, and making some complete pinterest-fails that were fun at the time. We've done "santa baths" (red water + bubble beards), and played with our Little People nativity evvvvvvveryday. It's been so simple, and so full all at once. This time...especially this time with two little ones, is truly a magical intersection of routine and spectacular. I'm so very thankful for it all- the things that don't truly matter, and the things that are actually Everything. And not least of all, for the chance to share a teeny tiny bit of it with you. 

Merry Christmas!
xoxo, Courtney, Dustin, Piper and Fin

AND NOW....It's time. It's TIME. For you to share.
I can't wait to see and hear about your Christmas this year. The decor, the treats, the feelings, the struggles....The polar bear footie pajamas. Show me all of it!
We'd be delighted to have you link up...and then grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate (with some Bailey's if that's your jam, I'm not judgin') and make the rounds through the rest of our Sharing Christmas participants (and our lovely hosts!). Leave them some love...let's make this a party!

Psssst....Want to get all the Bowdenisms news delivered right to your inbox? 
YES PLEASE! Subscribe via email and never miss an -ism.  xox. 


  1. I love your decor! Plus, I feel like your garlands are almost more winter-y than Christmas specific, so you could totally leave them up until February! :)

    Sharing my Christmas, too...

  2. You had me at disco ball.
    Also, that garland can absolutely stay up until... mmmm... Valentine's Day. ;)
    Love the tour!

  3. Oh my goodness, your family is precious! And I love the decor.....sometimes the inspiration just carries you away ;) PLUS I am totally getting that book you mentioned. I'm obsessed with the Jesus Storybook Bible, so I'm sure I'll love it :)

  4. I love all of your decor but especially the disco ball and light up star and OMG with the family pic at the bottom of the post!! Please blog full time :)

  5. Link-up Party on Christmas! It’s a superb idea!! Your party d├ęcor ideas are awesome and quite unique. In Christmas NYC events I saw the Christmas tree that looked exactly like this one but the size quite bigger. Any ways, it was really great reading your post.