Decking the Halls: Home Tour 2014

I know, I know. I promised this a few days ago and then I promptly disappeared from the blogosphere. I’m blaming it on the non-napping 7-month-old (for reals) and end-of-the-year design crazy. As I tweeted earlier today, these last few days before the break must be what it’s like to ride a bull.

Hold on, baby!

Here we are, just days away from the fourth, FOURTH, Sunday of Advent. It’s really here. And, as I reflect back on our Advent I’d say the word that comes to mind is purposeful. We certainly didn’t go to everything I hoped we would, but as I started to generate this list below, I realize that this Advent carried its very own beauty for this season of our life.

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There was the Advent wreath that was found, lit and then promptly knocked over, with plenty of candle wax, to boot.

We managed to hunt down the perfect tree and keep it, blog_041

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The girls and I baked cookies while the boys put their fingers on the icing “to see if they were done yet.” (they weren’t) But, man, they tasted fantastic.

There were activity-free weekdays. A first.

Lots of cooking, too.

The annual Nutrcracker with Nana is coming up and we’re hosting two big family Christmas celebrations at our house.

There are DIY projects, late night movie nights and spiked egg nog on the horizon.

However, it was as I prepared our house for this stellar birthday party where I found my most peace.

This room is host to almost every major gathering at our house. I can’t even tell you the amount of laughter those walls have seen (or bottles of wine). Love sits at that table and I can hardly wait to have droves of people we adore celebrate here once, blog_026

This is my late grandmother’s dining hutch, along with a few of her old pieces. Yes, we use that china but for Christmas, I’ll bust our our Christmas dishes. China. It’s what happens when you’re born in a jeweler’s, blog_028

christmas, blog_036On Christmas Eve, this is where we’ll gather. We’ll pray over those gifts, place the baby Jesus’ back in all the mangers (I have a bit of a nativity addiction) and the room will be utterly destroyed. My parents brought that wooden nativity back from the Holy Land 12 years ago. The Fontanini is on loan from Will. It’s a gift from his Godfather. And that awesome clay nativity above the piano was made my John Paul’s third grade class a few years ago. We leave that one up all, blog_046

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christmas, blog_055These books we pull out during the Christmas season. And, thanks to Susan, we have some new additions this year!christmas, blog_049

Our entryway is filled with Santas, berries and an overflowing basket of Christmas cards. My guilty pleasure is reading through them every night and adoring all the photos. You can find me doing this throughout the year. I’m a Christmas card, blog_070

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Elise was so kind to send me that Fiat print. I cut it to fit our 5×5 frame and I absolutely love it. She has some beautiful things in her Etsy shop!christmas, blog_081

I cannot lie. Every time I glance at our fireplace, I bust out a smile. Look at all those cute stockings! Those lovely, funny, often messy people live in our house. It reminds me that our home is full of life, laundry piles and dirty dishes.
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christmas, blog_011Our living room will be host to the family celebrations we’re having in the coming days. Note, this will be the last time it looks clean. christmas, blog_016 Those Santas you spy? They were our very first holiday decoration purchase back in grad school. I was so excited to find them 75% off at a sweet little store in Ames. It was all I could afford on our tiny budget and they are among my most favorite, blog_019I hope you’ve enjoyed decking the halls for the very best birthday around. Happy {almost} Birthday, Jesus!


  1. Colleen on December 19, 2014 at 6:26 am

    You have such a lovely home! I laughed when you said “put all the baby Jesus back in the mangers” bc I too have a thing for Nativty scenes and I have a pile of Jesus babies just waiting to find their homes!
    Also, where are your stockings from? I love them!
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Beth (A Mom's Life) on December 19, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Your home and all of your decorations are so beautiful! I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

  3. Katrina on December 19, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Your home is so beautiful!
    I love the hutch. My grandmother had one that was very similar. It now lives with my parents but one day it will live with me.
    I love using my China. Sometimes we use it just because. Why have pretty things if they just sit in the cupboard?
    Merry Christmas!

    • Kathryn on December 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Amen. And everytime I look at that hutch I remember her. May you have a blessed Christmas!

  4. Verdina on December 19, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Just beautiful! Ready for a great “birthday” celebration for JESUS!

    God bless you all (or y’all)!


  5. Nora @ Savory Nothings on December 19, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Kathryn, I’m so jealous! Your house looks amazing and I didn’t even manage to put up one single Christmas decoration this year! I bow my head in shame… I promised myself I will decorate on Christmas Eve, we’ve been so busy with school, blog and baby I just didn’t get round to doing it any sooner! Love all those stockings and the nativity scene is so beautiful! My grandma still puts hers out every year and they got it when their kids were only little. It’s such a nice tradition!

    • Kathryn on December 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      My first year with a baby I don’t remember doing much either. Technically Christmas doesn’t begin until next week so you have PLENTY of time, Nora!

  6. Heather on December 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    This is just gorgeous! What a beautiful home!! <3

    • Kathryn on December 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you!

  7. Marjorie on December 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    It all looks lovely! I really admire how clean and organized you are, especially with a large family. It’s commendable!

    • Kathryn on December 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you…but what you don’t see is my piles of laundry, crazy messy kitchen and ironing board with a tubload of shirts! I gotta get some outtakes next time.

  8. Susan on December 20, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I LOVE to see your beautiful home and say to myself, “Hey! I’ve been there! I can see and FEEL the love!” Wishing we lived closer so I could personally deliver our card and some goodies for your family. *Virtual Hugs* to you, my friend! 🙂

  9. Meg on December 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    My mother has the same olive wood Nativity set (with the swinging star and palm tree which never seems to stay upright for long). One year, I found ornaments made by the same group/company and bought a few for presents for her.

  10. Amy Whitaker on December 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    My husband has the biggest stocking too. It was an accident when I ordered it, and his is HUGE next to everyone else’s. The kids get the biggest kick out of it every year:) I love all of the little stockings in a row too!

  11. Elise on December 22, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Your home looks absolutely beautiful, Kathryn. I love the way you have styled the fiat print! Thanks for sharing it.

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