Saturday, December 23, 2017

Good Tidyings of Christmas

Merry Christmas Adam! (Do you guys say that? Christmas Eve-Eve? Adam, the thing that came before Eve? Otherwise known as the corniest phrase of all time?) Aaaaaaanyway.....

With t-minus 24 hours or so until Santa arrives, I figured I better jot down a quick Christmas decor post before the magic moment passes, and someone (Dustin) expects me to start packing it all up.

The last time I did a Christmas home tour was in 2014- the year we moved into our house. A lot of our trimmings have stayed the same since then, but we've added 3 more kids, and about 4 more trees, so I thought it'd be fun to do a quick snapshot tour through the updates, and share a little bit of what things are looking like this time around.

Alright, alright...I know you've already seen the Christmas quilt, so we'll move on...(slowly though...that quilt deserves a second/third/jillionth my humble opinion).

The rest of the living room is pretty similar to days of yore...we've got the world's tackiest tree (it's real and it's spectacular). I like a theme tree (we'll get to that in a minute) but for the main event, I'm all about the colored lights, the tinsel garland and the hodgepodge disaster of homemade ornaments. Bonus points for having them all placed in clusters because the my child workforce is all enthusiasm and no eye for detail.

The lockers are making their cameo here...They really deserve a full post, because they've REVOLUTIONIZED MY LIFE..but I'm fairly certain I'll never get around to that, so the needs to know on that are: Craiglist; spraypaint; wall anchors; no maimed fingers as of this posting. 

The rest of the living room has assorted festive touches adorning our typical decor. My motto is "put a bird on it" or "put a wreath on it" or "cover it in glitter"...or "do all of those things it's Chriiiiiiistmasssssss!" And so I do. 

Oooh speaking of things that deserve their own post (and will likely never ever get it!): The sofa table. THAT DUSTIN MADE WITH HIS OWN HANDS. (Does using all-caps for emphasis ever get old? I SUBMIT IT DOES NOT!) (Also- parenthetical asides...we're for those, right?!) (RIGHT?!) You can't really see this beauty because I covered it in twigs and berries, but it's another piece of functional furniture perfection, that has changed the way we do business around here. (Business obviously refers to watching Netflix and drinking spiked La Croix. And yes...I'm getting down to business as I type this post.) I really will try to share something about this baby someday, because it's awesome, and not just because my baby made it. 

 Dustin also made this growth chart- but we've had it for years now and I JUST now started recording the kids' heights. That made for some elaborate research and backdating, but I'm nearly caught up. I hate the tag system I tried, so I'll update it with some good old fashioned sharpie, but the point is...we're getting somewhere!
(Garland arch- going strong three years in!)

The playroom is always about two pantless Kens short of being condemned, so I hesitate to add any more fuel to that fire. So I tossed up a pom pom garland and called it merry.

And now...we get to my favorite part!!! The stocking ladder!

I no joke nearly risked my life for this thing (What kind of person takes their 4 year old on an after dark mission in the rain to peruse some Craigslist poster's backyard junkheap? I won't answer already know.) but it was WORTH IT. (Lowlight of our trip: "Mama. Can we leave now? Bunny is scared.") I got new stockings for the girls to complete our knitted collection, and hung them all up (with care) using metal shower curtain hooks. It's a rustic gem (read: has splinter potential for daaaaaaays) but it's mounted to the wall, so I'm already dreaming up ideas for it in the off-season. (Thinking a quilt rack? Gonna need more quilts!)

Oh- and deserving of a close-up? Piper's library day pick: 
 "Mama, she's so Beauuuuuutiful!"

As you round the bend, you get to my other favorite view (which I will undoubtedly say 3 more times before we wrap up)- the classic cow/silver tree combo. 
I have no idea why I didn't get any detail shots of my beloved kitchen tree, but it's basically in the background of every single instagram story I do, so don't fear that it's going undocumented. It's covered in glass ornaments- about an even split between Santas, snowmen, and various snack foods. They're not vintage, but are still priceless to me, which is why I put it approximately 3 inches away from 4 booster seats and a high chair. I spend a lot of my day yelling DO! NOT! TOUCH! GO! A-ROUND! (the gruesome irony: I'm the only one who has broken an ornament so far. Unless you count the hand-printed heirloom glass ball craft our kindergartener brought home this year. Then Dustin and I are the only ones. Ugh.)

The card door is still going strong. I'm heartbroken (exaggeration? no. I feel big, people) that we're not sending a card this year. I struggled with it for weeks- hemming and hawing over if we should make it happen. In the end though, I just didn't have it in me. I couldn't figure out what picture to use, and what pithy blurb to include- all of the options felt incomplete, or wrong. I didn't to focus too much on the recent growing pains, but I also didn't want to pretend like we're all beach vacay smiles over here...So, I bailed on it entirely, and saved the money, the time, and my sanity. Thank you to everyone who sent us a card anyway...I adore receiving them, and I promise to pay back into the system next time.

 Fake it til you make it.

I'm obsessed with this vintage-inspired, Target-bought tray. But not obsessed enough to take a good picture of it, apparently. Trust that it has Santa on it, and it's adorable. The basket houses our #adventjokes (this year's no pressure/no activity version of our advent activity calendar) and the daily Paw Patrol figurines my kids argue over every morning while complaining about their breakfast options. It's the most...wonderful time...of the year!

 Even the hair/jewelry/tchotchke junk pile has a festive touch!

Ok, ok, everybody upstairs! To the trees, to the trees!
I posted an Instagram story of my newest tree purchase (one of 2 newbies this year) explaining that I'm basically the Oprah of faux greenery: "You get a tree, you get a tree, every-body gets a tree!" But sorrynotsorry, who doesn't want their very own tree?! Nobody, that's who doesn't not want that. (what?)

So it's a tree for every room, and a room for every tree, and a crib for every baby, and dang we have a lot of little people and little saplings around here. 

The gold one came to me late in the season a few years ago, and I love it more every single time I look at it. I mean that literally. It's a never ending love story between us. OH COME LET US ADORE IT.

 Oh, and yeah, I tossed some jingle bells on some art. A for effort!

The girls have a little teeny tree that they decorate with their teeny ornaments and huge opinions.

And this is Miller's first year for a tree. I originally bought a lovely big one that I irrationally fell in love with, even though I had no where for it to go (spoiler alert...I found a spot for it. Scroll on in a minute) but when it didn't fit in Miller's room, I refused to admit defeat, and went on a mission to find something appropriate for his space. I got a little fluffy pre-lit guy, and decked it out with some homemade car/truck/boat ornaments.

And guys...he is in love. The first words out of his mouth every single morning are: "I light my tree UP?!" And "Truck, Mama!" "Boat, Mama!" "A-nudder boat!" "BIG zoo truck! Aminals!" "Race car go sloooooow. No, FAST!" (Also: "My jammies wet AGAIN, Mama!" Boys.)

(it still needs a topper and a skirt, but we'll get there...progress, not perfection.) He also got some pom pom garland, and another couple little trees that he is endlessly bothered by because they "NO LIGHT UP!"

And last but ohhhhhh not least... the foster room. We've got one little lady sleeping in here (her older sister is bunking with Piper and Fin), and I may have had to rearrange half the furniture in the room to make it work, but dangit, she's getting a tree! This is the beauty I just couldn't say no to, and it ended up working pretty great in here.

After going way over my (non-existent) budget for holiday flair, I tried to throw Dustin a bone by making my own ornaments for this one too. I started a small pom pom sweatshop craft session with the girls, and we whipped up some yarn beauties to add some color to the white on beige on gold scheme.

She got a (not handmade) pom pom window garland too (it's basically my signature move this year) and some cotton "greenery" and bling. All of the vintage charm is lost on her (she's not yet unless it's covered in syrup or goldfish crackers she's kind of uninterested)...but I'm in love and THAT'S what matters.

And there you have it! The quick/not so quick walk down candy cane lane. None of this stuff is what this season is all about...but then again filling a home with wonder and love IS, so maybe it all matters in its own way after all.

I hope no matter how decked your halls are, you're finding joy this season.

For more Christmas fun, check out the archives, or #BowdensChristmas on Instagram.

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