Tag Archives: trees

2013 Christmas Decorations

It’s been looking like Christmas around our house for a few weeks now. I normally wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate, but this year, with Thanksgiving coming so late, I decorated an entire week *before* Thanksgiving. And I’ll tell you why.

We all tend to accumulate lots of Christmas decorations over the years. And Christmas only comes once a year. Why only enjoy that beautiful stuff for 3 or so weeks? It takes so much effort to haul all that stuff out of storage and decorate, and we usually all have lots of money tied up in things we’ve collected, so why not enjoy it a little longer? Get as much use and joy out of it as you can.
For Thanksgiving, we travel out of town to my parents’ house, and then we always bring home leftovers that last at least the whole weekend. Having the house already decorated gave us a much more peaceful and lazy long holiday weekend. It was awesome. And I will do it again next year. The turkey won’t mind. 🙂

Aside from that, since Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, we’re all really decorating and celebrating Christ’s birth **late** by the time we get to November and December, anyway. Jesus was born in the late summer, likely in September. And even that’s messed up, since many of our Christmas decor icons are originated in Pagan rituals and symbols, shouldn’t really be tied to Christ at all, and are even possibly condemned in the Bible. So, all that said, do what you want with your Christmas decorations. Do what makes it special and meaningful to *you*. And do it WHEN you want.

Now, for the decorations! This year, I was determined not to buy anything new. We’ve really been needing a new tree for a few years now, but haven’t bought one. Every year, I want to buy one, but then I come up with so many reasons not to. I love the challenge of making do and using what I have, and trying to use it in different ways each year. This year, I thought about our old tree, the one we bought for $20 at K-Mart when we first got married 16 years ago, and decided to dig it out of storage and see how it was doing after all these years. It is the old-school style, the kind where you put each individual branch into its little holder in the trunk and then you cuss and possibly punch the tree as those branches pop out a million times as you try to light the tree. Yes, I had to light this tree myself, by hand, painstakingly, with EIGHT strands of lights. But, once that was done, it looked awesome.

I even made the tree a cute little trunk using some woodgrain patterned scrapbook paper.

Here’s a wreath I thrifted for $1.99! It’s huge (and came with the berry garland already attached to it!). I hand-wrote the “merry” and then painted it and cut it out. I glued it to white posterboard for stability, and cut it out, leaving a small white border around the letters.

Here, I printed the “25” and cut it out and glued it to a doily. Then I framed it in a thrifted frame.

Got this cute Santa plate at the thrift store for $1. He goes great with my vintage Santa mugs that Mama passed down to me last year.

Here’s a 48-year-old ornament from Mama and Daddy’s first married Christmas.

A little Christmas house I made a few years ago.

Another very special, 48-year-old ornament that Mama and Daddy passed on to me. It had to have its own stand.

The dining room. Those gold tinsel trees were a new buy this year–$1 each at the dollar store.

And I made a coffee filter snowflake garland for over the dining room entryway.

Here’s a little vignette by the front door.

Some fun, shaped bokeh with the outside lights.

Merry Christmas!



Progress. It was the theme for this week, everywhere I looked.

A Dollar Tree store is coming! (See what I did there?) 🙂

Huge progress has been made on the house.
The view out the living room window, Wednesday morning. Shingles being torn off and thrown into the back of a dump truck. Bye, shingles, thank you for sheltering us for so many years!

And by Wednesday, we had this.

Funny story about this new roof. Apparently, the construction supply store that our builder uses sent the wrong shingles. Instead of sending and delivering regular, 10-year house shingles, they sent architectural, TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR shingles instead!! The roofer went ahead and used them, and since it was their mistake, we got a pretty sweet, free upgrade on our roof. This roof can last until the house is paid off! Well, unless we have any more trees move in with us.

Yesterday, a couple guys came by to patch the hole in the hallway.

They’ll be in and out over the next few days, mudding, sanding and then, eventually, painting the whole hallway. Almost good as new! At least the holes are whole again.

In other progress news, I have been hard at work on decorations for my niece’s upcoming wedding, which is now two weeks away! Eek!! I have made pinwheels and poufs, and yesterday, I bought all the silk flowers I’ll need for her bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres, and other decorations and projects. I have a long to-do list for the next two weeks!

Progress is a good thing.

Make Like A Tree…

I am starting fresh here with a new blog, mostly to concentrate on sharing my photography. But after a really tough, stressful and sad year, I just felt like I needed a new space to share and document life. (My old blog is here.)

Sometimes we coast along, with blue skies and smooth seas. And other times, the sky is angry and the sea tosses us at will, never leaving us in one place long enough to recover from the storm before the next one hits and we are lost at sea again. That’s kind of how life has been lately. And when I say “lately,” I really mean for the better part of a year. 2012 was pretty bad. There was loss. Lots of loss. Grief that I still have to manage on a daily basis. Questions that will never have answers. Faith that is tested.

With so many things happening, seemingly at once, it’s hard to figure out where to even start. So I’ll just start with recent events and go back and fill in as I have the inclination and energy.


Two weeks ago, we had a pretty bad storm that sent straight-line winds into a nearby pine tree and snapped its top clear off. The winds then carried that tree top around, swirled it and stabbed it at an angle, directly into the roof of our house. It was probably the scariest thing that’s ever happened to us. We were home, in separate rooms trying to keep our kitties calm. There were literally thousands of strikes of lightning with this storm, but we thought it was “just another spring thunderstorm” and we could just wait it out. I was sitting on the bed in our master bedroom. The tree that this top came from just happens to be outside our master bedroom, maybe 10 or 12 feet away from the outer wall and side of the house. I heard the loudest thunder, flash of lightning, and then BAM!! And dust fell onto the bed from the ceiling. I froze for a second, but called out to Brian to see if he was ok in another bedroom. He yelled that he was, so I got off the bed and carefully walked to the door, as if the floor might give way under my feet.

I opened the master bedroom door, and was literally face-to-limb with this tree top. It had stabbed into the roof, come down through the entire attic space, and now rested about six feet into our hallway. All I could say was, “There’s a tree in the house.” Scary. We made it through the rest of the night with water coming in at many places in the roof. Here are some pictures.

It was really, really bad.

About three days later, thanks to the delay of our insurance, we had the tree removed and the roof tarped.

The piece that was hanging down into the hallway:

The hole the tree left once it was removed:

Lots of tree was removed from our attic and hallway.

Today, more than two weeks since the tree first violated our home, we had our roof replaced, the broken rafter fixed, and just in time for more rain, coming in tonight and lasting through tomorrow.

Into each life, a little tree must fall, right?