Masthead header

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you!  I hope that all of your holidays have been merry and bright as we have finished up 2016. It was so very nice to have our children here for Christmas, (some unexpectedly!) but two of them traveled back to their homes before New Years Day.  Our law school son is here for another week, and we are still greatly enjoying having him home.
It seems our New Years Eve partying has just rolled on into New Years Day. Why stop a good thing, right? 🙂  I wanted to share a bit of the decorating from it before you are totally uninterested in January and have Valentine’s Day on your brain.  (Can you believe Target already has Easter candy out?!)

But let me warn you about the photos today.  It has rained and rained and rained here…all night last night, all day today, and they are predicting more for all day tomorrow.  Rain means no sunlight, and that is not good for photography in this house.  My oldest son gave me a photographer’s light kit for Christmas, and I experimented with it in these shots, but I have no idea what I am doing with it!  So the colors are really off…much practice is obviously needed.  So please overlook the strangely lit photos here today.

Okay, the red from Christmas has been put away for a couple of weeks.  I am giving us all a breather from it until it is pulled out again for Valentine’s Day.  In its place is simply black and white…kind of a “clean slate” to start the new year.

Gold glitter stars and ornaments were my party decorations for the New Years celebration…

with a few clocks and calendars thrown in here and there. 🙂

We had a small party for New Years Eve, and my son and I prepped all the food in about an hour and a half.  I knew I wanted to have plenty to munch on last night and over the next couple of days, so we made a lot. The table below is New Years Eve – Take 2 (aka our lunch today. 🙂 )

We just added to the serving dishes today at lunch and partied again.

We do not drink any alcohol here, so the bottles below are of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider.  I have been hoarding those individual serving size bottles…grabbing them every single time I have seen them in our local Walmart. (Sorry if you have been looking for them. 🙁 )  They are just perfect for New Years Eve celebrations.

The dollar spot area in Target was a treasure chest of things for our party.  I used pages from a $3 desk calendar for the “runner” and stood up a $1 calendar as part of the centerpiece (and another one was displayed on the foyer buffet.)  They also had the noisemakers in packs of 4 for $1 along with black and gold dotted food picks.

The table above was the food from last night and lunch today.  Tonight’s dinner table continued the theme with black and white and clocks and calendars.  The pages from another $1 calendar became this table’s “runner’…

and Target’s 2-year pocket planners (also only $1!) made great New Years Day party favors.
(And no I am not affiliated with Target. 🙂 )

That brings us to the end of the holiday posts for awhile.  I will be back with a wrap up of all the 2016 posts later this week so I hope you will pop in again for that. 🙂

Until then, I send you wishes for a happy and healthy 2017!

See you soon!

You might enjoy these posts:

Rosemary - January 15, 2017 - 6:47 am

So lovely to be able to reflect back over your year like this Kelly. Thanks for sharing it with us ..I’ve really enjoyed reading it.
Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. We’ve had a dusting of snow but it’s just wet now which is disappointing. Meeting up with the family later for lunch though, which will certainly brighten the day! 🙂
Oh how I wish we would get some snow this year…even a light dusting would be so nice. We did not get one single flake last winter. Fingers crossed for this year (although according to the long range forecast we will have temps in the sixties until the end of the month.) Your Sunday lunch sounds nice! Enjoy the time with your family, and thank you for stopping by Rosemary! 🙂

Carole - January 8, 2017 - 1:45 pm

Is that a full calendar, the one that looks like a chalkboard? I love that. Target, or someplace else?

Lovely setting. 🙂
Yes, Carole it IS a full year’s calendar, and I did get it in Target…either $1 or $3 right at the front in the “dollar bin” type area.

Libby Jo - January 7, 2017 - 2:22 pm

Kelly: I was saving some of my favorite emails (yours are terrific) and I really like the double pendent lights with shades (3 candles each)) that you have over your table. Where did you find it? My kitchen and eating area are visible from my more formal living room with primarily silk shades, so might be a good fit.
Hi Libby Jo! After months and months of shopping to find just the light for that space I ordered it from Lighting New York…and of course it was backordered for months when I ordered it. LOL But it did eventually get shipped to us. Here is the link:

Rosemary - January 4, 2017 - 4:25 am

Hi Kelly …I love the back and gold! Yout table setting looks so elegant. As always, you’ve come up with some great ideas. I especially love the clocks!
Having been away from home for a week I’ve decided to let Christmas continue for a few more days, mainly so I can relax and enjoy the decorations 🙂
Take care and enjoy the first week of 2017!

Pinky - January 3, 2017 - 10:12 am

I am always amazed that people, (bloggers) can get all their Christmas decorations away and decorate for New Years!!! It all looks fabulous though! We are always invited to friends for dinner and this year there was also a party at our clubhouse so we had a busy evening! Here’s to a great 2017!!!!

Cindy - January 3, 2017 - 8:56 am

Happy New Year, Kelly! I love all your decorating ideas for New Years. I am saving those ideas for next year (guess I will be volunteering to have the party at our place!)

I will be on the lookout for your daughter, Saturday, as I run/walk through the 1/2 marathon.


Garden, Home and Party - January 2, 2017 - 6:59 pm

Enjoy your family. Happy New Year. I love the black and gold.

Sharon Hennis - January 2, 2017 - 3:02 pm

Happy New Year! I really enjoy reading your posts. Thank you for sharing your home and creative ideas with us!

Louvina - January 2, 2017 - 12:36 pm

Love the clean slate start to the new year! The celebration looked so inviting! Liked the colors especially the gold ornaments in the jar!! I really have enjoyed what has turned into a 3 day NY holiday!! Welcome 2017! Praying for peace, love, health and happiness!

cindy hattersley - January 2, 2017 - 12:20 pm

You amaze me!! I am pinning these gems. Clocks and calendars how clever. You must give the best parties!!

Gina - January 2, 2017 - 12:15 pm

Well, how adorable!! Clocks and calendars…perfect! 😀 Glad you enjoyed your children being home and have an extra week with one of your sons. We got all our house undecorated, but it is setting at the bottom of the stairs for me to carry up. 😛 Happy New Year to you too Kelly!!

anita - January 2, 2017 - 10:14 am

Happy New Year Kelly! Lots of fabulous ideas once again. I love the little sparkling cider bottles. Thank you for sharing all your inspirational posts. All the best for a happy and healthy new year. (It’s really cold here in Alberta right now)! - January 2, 2017 - 9:45 am

Happy New Year, Kelly! Looks like your New Years started with more great decorating and lots of good food. As a “new retiree” I’m looking forward to having lots of time to think about decorating and home decor and your blog is always my “go to” place for great ideas! Hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you and your family. Blessings!

Lanita Anderson - January 2, 2017 - 9:28 am

I loved your fun ideas for New Year’s….especially the “Midnight Kisses” party favors and your tablescape! Thanks for sharing – I’ve pinned them for future reference. Happy New Year!

Cheri - January 2, 2017 - 8:12 am

Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see your posts in 2017, you always have such clever ideas and you are my travel go to girl. Love how you incorporated calendars and clocks in your NYE decorations…what a fantastic idea. You really have a knack for this.

Barbara H - January 2, 2017 - 7:19 am

Happy New Year Kelly! Thank you for another wonderful year of inspiration and enjoyment. Your blog is an oasis that I so look forward to. I know what a challenge it must be to keep providing content that is unique and fresh. Please know that your efforts are deeply appreciated. All good things to you and your family during the coming year.

Frances in England - January 2, 2017 - 6:28 am

Happy New Year to you and your family. I look forward to 2017 with great anticipation (no reason, just a clean slate!). Your party set up looks incredibly inviting. Maybe that should be my resolution for the new year – party more!! 🙂

Barbara S. - January 2, 2017 - 2:49 am

Happy New Year, Kelly!! Thank you for all of your creative decorating ideas in 2016! I hope that you write a decorating book someday!! You truly have a natural talent for interior design. Looking forward to what you will surprise us with in 2017!! May you have a healthy and blessed New Year!!

Tricia - January 2, 2017 - 2:21 am

Happy New Year Kelly! As always, your home looks so elegant yet festive. What a pleasure for your fortunate guests to celebrate in such an environment. Wishing you all the best in 2017.

Lisa Wight - January 2, 2017 - 12:40 am

I always look forward to your blog when you post photos of your decorated home. Your creativity amazes me and your energy even more. I don’t know how you do it with a family and working. But so glad you do as the rest of us can copy! Happy New Year and thank you!

Marianne in Mo. - January 1, 2017 - 10:51 pm

Fabulous as always! I love how you can put together a theme, and it’s always amazing! You don’t hold back, and I love it. My husband’s aunt was the same way – she always set the mood with her table decor, and made everyone feel welcome. A great entertainer in OKC! She was awesome! And so are you! Wish for you and yours all the best in this New Year!

Lynne - January 1, 2017 - 10:40 pm

It looks like a fun, festive celebration! Thank you for sharing and best wishes for a beautiful 2017!

julia walker - January 1, 2017 - 10:32 pm

Hi Kelly! Just a note to say Happy New Year, thank you and so glad your children could be home for Christmas. With love, Julia

DAWN GUIDRY MONTZ - January 1, 2017 - 10:21 pm

Kelly!!! Just when I think that you could not possibly out-do yourself, well ~ You have out-done yourself once again! Simple yet elegant. Festive and FABULOUS! The overall effect of your smart and savvy decorating skills has me thinking that maybe, just maybe I might be as successful.

Thank you for sharing, as always, and BEST WISHES to YOU and YOURS for the NEW YEAR! ❤❤❤

Angela - January 1, 2017 - 9:59 pm

Happy New Year Kelly! So sad Target didn’t make it here in Canada, just love all the little things that can be picked up in that dollar spot.

Ruth - January 1, 2017 - 9:58 pm

When I grow up (I’m a mere 56 now), I want to have fabulous, creative parties like yours. I plan to steal EVERY ONE of your wonderfully creative ideas! Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!

Home for Christmas

Merry Christmas sweet friends!  Home for Christmas has been in the title of my home posts for the last few weeks.  During that time it really referred to Our Home for Christmas, and this evening we are going to conclude the season by looking at the rest of the rooms around here that you have not already seen….like the kitchen.

It was a very busy room today as we prepared Christmas dinner for my side of the family.  Every single year that I can remember we have had a Christmas Eve celebration together with a lot of delicious finger foods, but with everyone’s schedules this year, that was not possible.

So a real-deal sit down dinner with baked ham, sweet potato souffle, ambrosia, two cakes, and more was on tap for the evening, and it all turned out very well.

There was a peppermint theme going on in the kitchen and dining area this year.  A very kind reader sent me the Peppermint Bark tray and a tin of candy a few years ago, and they worked beautifully in the desk cabinet this holiday season.

The naughty and nice tags returned to the coffee jars.
(I think I might have needed a lot of that naughty kind today rather than my usual nice decaf!)

I hope 2017 brings a replaced sink countertop.
That one section has seen waaay too much use and abuse.

 I said that Home for Christmas has meant Our Home for Christmas thus far this season, but on this special day I wanted to take a minute to talk about home and what it means.  You and I both know that a home is so much more than just pretty rooms.  It is a place where you feel safe and loved.

It is a place where you can be yourself…and you are accepted and loved for it.

It is a place where laughter and joy are shared along with sorrows and grief.

Home is important, and that is why I share what I do here with you because I know that you feel the same way about it as I do.

The old cliche is so true.  It’s the people that you share it with that make a house into a home.  So today Home for Christmas is not only about our home, but also about our children getting home for Christmas.

Our middle child had a Delta flight scheduled home to Georgia last Saturday.  He attends Yale, and you may remember New England had a big snow storm last Saturday.  He kept watching his flight information on his laptop throughout the day…delayed…delayed…delayed.  He finally decided to start his train ride to the airport when it looked like his 7:35 flight was going to leave at 10:40. So he left New Haven around 4:00.

There are 2 trains to get to JFK, and both of them were delayed, but eventually he made it there and got through security, and finally to the gate.  We texted back and forth through all of this.  The shuttle from the Atlanta airport to here stops running at 1:00 a.m. so we knew we were going to have to make the hour and half drive to pick him up at this point.

His flight was delayed again, and again, and again.  They finally boarded around 1:00 a.m….began taxiing, and then… stopped.  The plane turned around, and they went back to the gate.  They told them they could not take off because of “crew problems.”  Finally around 2:00 a.m. (I think) they delayed it until 11:35 on Sunday morning.  After the group of passengers complained and complained, the airline put them all up in a hotel for the night.

Sunday morning arrived, and they were all shuttled to the airport.  The flight got delayed again…12 something, 1 something, and then…..flight cancelled.  They eventually re-booked them all for a flight home on Monday morning at 9:05…they would fly to New Orleans with a long layover, and then arrive in Atlanta at 5:00 that evening.  (Now remember this was supposed to be a Saturday evening flight..a nonstop-less-than-3-hour-flight.)

They put them all up in a hotel for yet another night.  Oh I forgot something…final exams at Yale are online.  My son still had one exam left to take on Tuesday.  He joked that it looked like he would have to take his exam in the airport!

Somehow all of their luggage went to Atlanta on Saturday night without them…so all of those passengers had to make do with only their carry-on bags.  Guess where our son’s book was that he was supposed to be studying from….in his checked baggage in the Atlanta airport. 🙁

Miraculously, Delta found him a seat on a direct flight for 6:05 Monday morning with an 8:45 arrival in Atlanta.  So he took the shuttle from the hotel at 4:00 a.m.  He got to security, and they told him it would be faster if he went to Security Gate 2.  He went there and….it wasn’t going to be open for another hour. 🙁

Back to Security Gate 4 he went…

He got through security, waited at the gate, boarded the plane.  The passengers were all ready to go.  My son texted me saying, “Amazingly we are on the plane, we will see if amazingly we take off.”

His next texts said…
Guess what.”

We are all on the wrong plane!”


Unbelievable!  They all had to get off and get on a different plane.  But they did actually take off, and our son finally made it home for Christmas on Monday morning around 9:00…and his luggage was there for him in Atlanta. 🙂  Hallelujah!  (And after contacting the administration at Yale, he was allowed to take his final exam a day late.)

So one child made it home.

Yesterday, on Christmas Eve, our oldest son was getting ready for his flight from Seattle to Atlanta.  At 5:00 a.m. he went downstairs in his apartment building to take out the trash….forgetting his apartment key…the key that unlocks the doors of the building and the elevator to get back to his floor.

He had to wait outside in his hall for an hour and a half until he saw someone that could unlock the hall door…and because of that he missed the carpool to the airport with his friends. 🙁

He then called for another ride, made it to the airport, got through security, and went to an airport restaurant to order breakfast.  It took 20 minutes just for them to wait on him….

 But he made it to his gate in time to board, and his flight took off on time. 🙂
(It even landed 5 minutes early on Christmas Eve!)

So a second child made it home for Christmas. 🙂

Then yesterday afternoon our Disney daughter (who was supposed to be working on Christmas Eve) pulled into our driveway around 4:00.  What a wonderful surprise! 🙂  She somehow managed to get a couple of days off during the peak crowd level at Disney World.  So on this day, when we originally thought only one of our children would be here, all three of our children made it home for Christmas. 🙂

It has been a full day filled with laughter and joy, feasting and fun.

We have been so very blessed.  It has been a day to celebrate the birth of God’s son who made His home here on our planet for a short while…a time when he taught us to love as He loves us.

The other day I was reading this Instagram post by Lindsay from Lindsay Letters.  She wrote that it is only 330 miles from Aleppo, Syria to Bethlehem.  Think of that….the place we celebrate as the birth of Christmas is only a few hundred miles from the place where everyone – young and old, weak and strong, no matter what, are fleeing from their home.

As I sit in my decorated home with my family all in tact, there are families with children sleeping in the desert.
The crisis is real.

 I love what Lindsay wrote:

But Jesus did not come so that I could feel peace, and then snuggle back in. He came so that He could teach us how to love. To love the broken and the hurting and the people that are different from us… to stand up for injustice, to listen to the people that no one else is listening to. 

We are called to action.  When problems seem so large and overwhelming like this crisis in Syria, it is often difficult to know what we can actually do that will make a difference.

Here is an article that can help you find that “something you can do” to help the refugees if you would like.

We normally purchase and decorate a fresh cut Christmas tree for our porch each year.

However, this year, we did not do that.  Instead, we decided a better use of our money would be a donation to help with the Aleppo crisis.  So I took Lindsay’s recommendation and donated to Preemptive Love Coalition, a group working to provide emergency relief to victims of war.I believe it will help more people than a decorated Christmas tree could ever possibly do. 🙂

But that does not mean I believe we should give up everything that is pretty and creative in our homes.  No.  Our lives should radiate joy, and our homes should be a place of comfort and joy for our friends and families, and we should help others as often as we can.Thank you for giving me joy with all your comments.  I so appreciate all of you who sent your Merry Christmas wishes my way this holiday season.  As Christmas Day draws to a close, I simply wanted to thank you and let you know that I am taking the next week off from blog posts to enjoy time with my children. I do hope to work on emails, but there will be no new posts this week.

I hope your home has been filled with wonderful people and all sorts of fun and festive things this Christmas season.


See you back here soon!
Merry Christmas.

You might enjoy these posts:

vickie white - January 1, 2017 - 10:55 pm

I was so happy to read that all of your children made it home to spend Christmas with the family!!

Happy New Year!!

Design Chic - January 1, 2017 - 8:40 pm

Christmas perfection at your house, Kelly. We hope your Christmas was wonderful and wishing you all the best in 2017!

Emily - December 31, 2016 - 8:29 pm

I was so moved by your Christmas post. How wonderful it is to have family home for Christmas! That makes Christmas perfect! So often we get wrapped up in our own little world that we lose sight of the problems of others in the world. Thanks for reminding us that many are not as blessed as we are. You really put Christ back into Christmas! Thank you for sharing your heart and your home. Happy New Year!!

Laura - December 31, 2016 - 3:50 pm

This post was very tender and touching. It is so sweet of you to share your Christmas Adventure or should I say your son’s Christmas Adventure! And all of it wrapped around lovely pictures of your home at Christmas. It was very meaningful and so worthwhile! You truly exemplify the Christmas spirit in this post. I hope your family enjoyed their holiday together.

Nan, Odessa, DE - December 31, 2016 - 3:23 pm

So enjoy your nativity scenes on the porch. Please share some details or story of when/where they were purchased.
Also, the green chairs that are look like they are made of sticks, what is the materials? Where would one go to buy them? I like the airy look and the cushion. Please share your chalk instrument for writing on chalk boards and HOW you clean the chalk off the boards.

Thanks for inspiring me!

Happy New Years
Hi Nan! Nativity…made by Willow Tree. I purchased the starter set years ago at a little home décor shop about 30 miles from our home. It has long since closed, but the Willow Tree figures are available in many places online…even Amazon. I have added a few pieces each year, and I think I have all of them now.
Green chairs made of sticks…not sure which ones you are referring to. I think you mean the wicker…most of the chairs came from Ballard Designs Outlet in Atlanta, and I have spray painted them all.
Chalk instruments – Bistro chalk pens. Cleaning – wipe down with wet paper towels then scrub with a Magic Eraser.
Hope that answers everything! 🙂

Leigh - December 31, 2016 - 1:02 am

Wonderful! It sounds like you had a very joyful Christmas with your family. Me, too. The true meaning of the great love Jesus showed is reflected in your beautiful post. We love because He first loved us. Happy New Year to you and yours.
Thank you for your very sweet comment Leigh. We did have a very joyful Christmas! Hope you did as well. Many wishes for a very blessed 2017 for you!

Nell Hughes - December 30, 2016 - 9:50 am

Love all of it. Think I may have found my check-mate. Love checks, polka dots. Plaids and stripes. Happy to have found you. Keep up the good work.
Thank you Nell! Check-mate it is! (Love that. 🙂 ) So glad you found the blog, and I hope you will continue to read it.
Happy New Year to you!

Sherry - December 29, 2016 - 9:46 pm

Beautiful! It is so very difficult for me to pick a favorite room in your home. Everything is perfect. So warm, so cozy, inviting, festively welcoming. I do love your table decor inside and out. I love the window decor in your office. I am totally in love with your peppermint accents. Would you share the source of the peppermint trees? Your love of red certainly shines best and bright at Christmas. This post was a sweet Christmas story. Thank you for sharing with us. I am so glad your entire family was able to be together this year. What a blessing and the best gift of all. May you have many of the same kind in the upcoming year, Kelly. Thank you for the gift of this blog. It is a joy!
Thank you Sherry. The large peppermint trees came from Michaels (on sale 🙂 ) and the small ones are ornaments from Walmart (less than $2 each.) It was so very nice to have everyone here for Christmas. I hope you had a joy filled holiday too. Thank you for reading and for always leaving such thoughtful comments.
Happy New Year wishes to you!

Debbie - Mountain Mama - December 29, 2016 - 4:22 pm

Oh, I just love your home and your posts – and I’m so delighted all your children finally made their way ‘home for Christmas!’ Happy new year to you and your family! xo
Happy new year to you too Debbie! Thank you for your sweet words here. We were very delighted all the children made it home as well (but awful hard to say goodbye to them…sniff sniff.)

margaret - December 28, 2016 - 10:37 am

Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year!
And the same to you too, Margaret! 🙂

Rosemary - December 28, 2016 - 5:55 am

Such a beautifully written and heartfelt post Kelly. Your house looks even more amazing than usual …you’re such an inspiration. I find myself looking at rooms and thinking “what would Kelly do in here?” Thanks for all the great posts throughout the year ..they’re very much appreciated.
Your son certainly had a complicated and overly long journey home for Christmas! Especially considering he had exams to take. .so glad it all worked out in the end and how wonderful that your daughter made it home as well. I too, was a lucky mum and had all my children and their partners at home for Christmas. Something I’m very grateful for.
Thank you for your always sweet words here Rosemary. I am thankful for readers like you who always take the time to read the posts and leave your comments. So glad you were able to share Christmas with all of your family too. Happy New Year!

Gina - December 27, 2016 - 4:10 pm

Oh my, how stressful, but I am so glad for the happy ending!! What you have written is so very true. A house is just a house, but the people inside make the home. I am so happy all your children were home for Christmas. I know you have had a wonderful few days. It is easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of gifts and decor this time of year. We have to be intentional about focusing on why we celebrate Christmas and remember why Jesus came. Have a fabulous few days with your family and a Happy New Year!! 🙂
It was quite stressful, and we were so worried that our other son was going to have to endure the same kinds of problems when he flew home on Christmas Eve. Thankfully, his flight was MUCH better. (My advice to our law school son is to fly out of any airport other than JFK in the future.)
You are right about being intentional in our focus during the Christmas season. There are so many distractions at this time of year – which makes it difficult to do. Focus..focus…focus.
Thank you for your kind wishes for our family’s time together. Happy New Year to you too!

Melon Doris - December 27, 2016 - 2:23 pm

Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas…. this post especially was wonderful. It reminds us that our homes are places to nurture our souls, so design touches do nurture our souls….they are not just fluff and window dressing. But we are reminded that not everyone even has a ‘window’ so it is important to thank ‘HIM’ for all that we do have. Side issue, I love your script on items…do you do that all free hand or do you create it on a computer with a font and then copy it? Thanks!!!
Thank you so much! Gratitude is the key to happiness to me, and we certainly have a lot to be thankful for here! 🙂
My writing…kind of a hybrid of what you wrote. I will often do things free hand, and other times I type in a phrase or two in a particular font on to give me an idea of spacing, and then go from there. If I am not in a rush, I will actually write/sketch the entire thing out on notebook paper to make sure my spacing works…adding in freehand flourishes as I go. I’m not sure I answered your question exactly! LOL

Carolyn - December 27, 2016 - 1:00 pm

I’m glad your children made it home finally. Your son’s tale makes me not want to fly, especially at the holidays. So wonderful to have the family all together. We’re expecting our younger son tomorrow after visiting with our older son and grandchildren at Christmas and driving back yesterday. Thanks for bringing up Syria. I too wanted to do something and gave to the UNICEF fund for Syrian children. It doesn’t seem like much in the face of all the tragedy but at least they are not forgotten.
While one son had the flight from “you know where” the other had a perfect not all flights for the holidays are awful. Our law school child just happened to have the worst one we have ever heard of. If it could go wrong, it did!
Glad you get to visit with your children too. Thank you for your donation for the Syrian refugees. You are right that our donations pale in comparison to their plight, but at least we are trying to help in whatever way we can.
Thank you for reading and commenting on the post Carolyn. 🙂 Happy New Year to you!

linda - December 27, 2016 - 1:05 am

I enjoy your posts, seeing your beautiful home and hearing of your children. As a middle aged, divorced woman who was not blessed with children, it is a little sad to read about descriptions of homes that assume that we all were fortunate enough to have children and spouses with us at this time of year. For many good, caring people, this just hasn’t been our “story”. My reason for writing is to remind readers that we don’t all have/take or maybe desire the same paths and our homes and lifes’ mean just as much.
Yes, they do Linda.

Jean - December 26, 2016 - 9:36 pm

Kelly, what a wonderful blog post. A (late) Merry Christmas to you and your family. It’s so wonderful that everyone made it home. Just a shot in the dark re: your cookie cutters: S&H Green Stamps circa 1980? 😉
A belated Merry Christmas to you too, Jean! Those cookie cutters….I am not sure. They were given to me by my mother, and she did make very good use of the S&H Green stamps, but I don’t know about the date. I thought I remembered her using them when I was a child, but that would have been in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I was in college in the 80’s, so that would not have worked with the date. Either way, aren’t they cute? 🙂 I also have a set of the Halloween ones…a witch on a broom and a cat. Thanks for reading the post and asking your question. Best wishes for a happy new year!

angela - December 26, 2016 - 8:21 pm

I love the colors you have here and the creativity in putting things together! Wishing you a wonderful year on 2017!
Glad you like the colors because there sure is a lot of red here! LOL Best wishes for a happy 2017 to you too Angela!

Anita - December 26, 2016 - 6:49 pm

I’m so happy for you that all your children made it home for Christmas! That’s what it’s about family, good food, visiting and celebrating the birth of our dear Saviour Jesus Christ. As always your home is beautifully decorated! I’m always in awe!!
Thank you Anita. We were thrilled that they all made it here too! 🙂 Happy New Year!

Cheryl Johnson - December 26, 2016 - 6:41 pm

Kelly, thanks for your wonderful story of Christmas with your three kiddos. It is so typical of our family too…always a travel story!
Your home looks nice and cozy and I love that you are thinking of those who are struggling. I will make a donation to a charity that helps children. Thanks for the reminder & blessings to all in 2017.
You are welcome Cheryl. Thank you for your kind comments on the post and our home, and thank you for your donation to help those in need. I hope 2017 is full of blessings for you and your family. Happy New Year!

Sandy - December 26, 2016 - 4:49 pm

Your home is simply gorgeous. I am so glad your chickadees made it home. There is nothing better than that for a mama.
Beautiful reminder of what is important in life.
You are too sweet Sandy. Thank you for the compliment! We were very glad they all made it here too…not an easy thing to do to get everyone’s schedules to work together these days. I hope you have a happy new year in 2017!

Vicky Hunt - December 26, 2016 - 3:38 pm

Your home is stunning as always! I so enjoy seeing your decorations each season. Classically beautiful! I would love to know where you purchased the buffalo checked mugs with the gold handles and the plates too. I love them! Have a blessed and beautiful week with your family.
Thank you Vicky. I’m so glad you enjoyed the “tour.” The large check mugs with the gold handles came from TJMaxx. (I also got a couple of matching platters there as well.) The plates came from Home goods. I passed up the matching dinner plates they had and now regret it. Should have nabbed it all. 🙁

Lorraine - December 26, 2016 - 3:04 pm

Thank You Kelly for this wonderful post of your home and news of your families Christmas adventure. I just love your home it is so friendly looking and inviting. Happy New Years to you and God Bless.
Happy New Year to you too Lorraine! Thank you for taking the time to read the post and comment. I’m so glad you enjoy seeing the house here.

Lisa Mechelle - December 26, 2016 - 2:50 pm

Merry Christmas Kelly and family. Your home is spectacular. I’m saving the post to read later. Beautiful!!
Thank you for the compliments Lisa! Hope you found time to enjoy the post this holiday season.

Linda Rossi - December 26, 2016 - 2:39 pm

Dear Kelly, this was a beautiful post on many levels. Your decorating is wonderful, your story-telling is engaging and your compassion is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your holiday chronicle with us! Wishing you a safe and enjoyable week with your family.
Gosh what a super sweet comment Linda. Thank you so very much. 🙂 Happy New Year wishes for all good things for you in 2017!

Janie Foltz - December 26, 2016 - 12:49 pm

Kelly,I enjoyed this lovely post.I do hope you enjoy your time with family. Can you tell me where I might find the black and white buffalo print mugs? Thanks! Blessings to you and yours in 2017. Janie
I’m glad you enjoyed it Janie. The large black and white check mugs with the gold handles came from TJMaxx. They were made by a company called 8 Oak Lane. The smaller check ones on the porch table came from the “Pet owners’ table” in Michaels.
Happy New Year!

bev tippett - December 26, 2016 - 11:48 am

Wonderful post Kelly. I had tears in my eyes by the time I finished reading about your kids getting home. Nothing like being with your children- especially at Christmas.

Merry Christmas
You are so right that there is nothing like having all the family here for the holidays Bev. I hope 2017 is full of blessings for you. 🙂

Sally Saulmon - December 26, 2016 - 11:45 am

Thanks for sharing your beautiful post. May your children all have a safe journey back after the holidays. Sally
Thank you for reading the post Sally, and thank you for the well wishes for our children’s travels. One had to travel on Monday. We just left our oldest at the airport today, and one will be with us for another week.

Karen Cacich - December 26, 2016 - 11:41 am

Dear Kelly,

God bless you for your compassionate post. We can be the hands and feet of Christ today for those suffering. While I sit among the Christmas finery in my comfortable home, with all three of my own adult children back in the nest, you inspired me to assist the people of Aleppo. My monetary contribution pales in comparison to the life-risking rescue work of others…but it’s something…anything to make a small difference. Enjoy your precious family.

Merry Christmas!
Karen Cacich
Your words here were beautiful Karen. Thank you for making a contribution to help with the crisis. I would hope that every contribution helps, and I pray that this crisis ends soon. Here’s to a peaceful new year in 2017.

Ellen Shook - December 26, 2016 - 11:22 am

Lovely heartfelt post. You are a wonderful person. Enjoy your family time in your beautiful home.
Thank you Ellen. Happy 2017 to you!

Louvina - December 26, 2016 - 11:15 am

Joy to the World! And Oh what Fun! To look at the best part of your home tour!! Loved how you worked in the black, red and candy canes! My favorite was the cookie cutters in a jar and the red beetle bug with tree on top! Oh for the little things!! What a great surprise that all the kids made it home– no matter what it took!! Another “perfect” family gathering!! Wishing you another Happy New Year 2017 ahead and lots of adventures!! 🎶Yes, Joy to the World the Lord has Come! The King of Kings!! 🎶✝️💟🕎
Louvina, you have an eye for appreciating the little details. Thank you for that! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family. Looking forward to whatever 2017 brings to us. Many blessings to you!

Donnie - December 26, 2016 - 10:04 am

Merry Christmad to you and yours, as well. I was wondering if all were going to be home at the same time. What a joy for you. Best wishes for the new year. Looking forward to hearing what you are up to in 2017.
Best wishes to you too for the new year, Donnie! It was a fun and busy time with everyone here, but it always ends too soon. I hope you had a happy holiday!

Peggy Bryant - December 26, 2016 - 9:41 am

Merry Christmas Kelly, Thank you for sharing your beautiful inspirations. Not only of your home, but of your heart. That always shows in your posts. I love reading and seeing your pictures in your posts. You inspire my creativity. You have blessed us all. Peggy
You are too sweet Peggy. Thank you for your very kind words, and I am so very glad your creativity finds some inspiration here. You all are a blessing to me!

Kayleigh O'Neal - December 26, 2016 - 9:07 am

Wow!!! What an adventure for the kids to get home. I’m so glad you get to spend time with them. Merry Christmas!
Yes it was! I hope the flights back are very uneventful for them! Hope you had a merry Christmas Kayleigh.
Happy new year to you and your husband!

Patty in Michigan - December 26, 2016 - 9:04 am

Merry Christmas to you and your family. What a blessing to have your family together for Christmas. Loved reading this. Glad it all worked out. It will be a Christmas to remember!!
Yes it will be Patty! I hope your Christmas was filled with fun. Happy New year!

monica - December 26, 2016 - 8:44 am

Merry Christmas to you and your family!! Your words, pictures, and blog show up in my inbox without my help… I just click over to your blog and I am transported to another part of the country. Through your blog, your travels, your photos and your stories I see so much beauty, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing them with the world. Wishing you a Happy 2017!
Happy 2017 to you too Monica! So glad you can be “transported away” through the posts. Thank you so much for reading them!

Jennifer Christenberry - December 26, 2016 - 8:44 am

I love your blog and I really enjoyed your post this morning. Merry Christmas! Enjoy the week spending time with your blessings
We have enjoyed our time together. I hope your Christmas was a good one Jennifer.
Happy New Year!

Linda - December 26, 2016 - 8:21 am

Just lovely, Happy New Year!!
Thank you Linda. Happy new year to you too!

Vicki - December 26, 2016 - 8:07 am

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too Vicki!

Grand Pam - December 26, 2016 - 7:53 am

May God bless and keep you. Numbers 6:22. May wonder continue to fill your mind, happiness your heart, and good health your body. Love every post.May 2017 hold only sweet memories for you and yours.
Thank you thank you thank you Pam! Love your verse for me. May 2017 be filled with blessings for you! 🙂

Calypso in the Country - December 26, 2016 - 7:46 am

What a beautiful post – to read and to look at! So glad all your children made it there even though it wasn’t easy! Enjoy your time with them this holiday and best wishes for the new year! “It’s a wonderful life..”
Shelley, I am so happy you enjoyed the post. We are indeed enjoying our time together. Happy New Year to you!

Lee - December 26, 2016 - 7:32 am

Kelly, I heard some talk of airports as I passed through the living room yesterday but never dreamed it would be that crazy! So I’m glad all’s well that end’s well. Of course you still have to get them all back. But that’s another day and hopefully an uneventful story.
The plans for celebration at Momma’s started out being for about 10 and quickly grew to over 20! Happily the food ‘grew like those loaves and fishes’ and a feast with food left over kept this Christmas from being a sad one. It was a celebrated Christmas….just like what Daddy would’ve expected.
I think if it could go wrong, it did go wrong with those flights. Hopefully the flights back will be uneventful.Fingers crossed!
Yes, it was a very happy celebration, and your daddy would have been quite pleased…and burning the hotdogs on the grill for me like I like them. 🙂 I just wish Paige and Jonathan could have been there too.
Happy New Year!

Tricia - December 26, 2016 - 4:15 am

Oh the joy of having all your children home! You are indeed blessed. You and your husband have made a home filled with love, warmth, memories and beauty and nothing was preventing the children from spending Christmas with you.

Thank you for mentioning the crisis in Syria. We must remember those in need and help anyone we can, near and far, with prayer and aid.

God bless you.
Thank you for your comment here Tricia. It has been wonderful having all the children here – if only for a little while. We certainly need to remember the humanitarian crisis going on in the Middle East. Prayers are very much needed.
Happy New Year to you!

Donnamae - December 26, 2016 - 12:23 am

How fantastic that all three of your kids made it home! It is so important at this time of year, to look out for each other…even if those neighbor’s are thousands of miles away. We are all neighbor’s on this planet after all when you really stop and think about it. Thank you for the charity referral. Hoping you and your family enjoy this holiday week together…Merry Christmas! 😉
Yes we certainly are all neighbors on this planet. Thank you for reminding us all of that. I hope you had a very good Christmas Donnamae. Many blessings for you for the coming year!

Therese - December 26, 2016 - 12:23 am

How wonderful! Three happy and healthy children, all home safely for the holidays – The perfect Christmas gift for you Kelly.
From our home in Australia, as we barbecue prawns and fish, served with salads, bread and champagne by the pool, we wish your family peace, joy and God’s blessings throughout 2017.
Much indeed to be thankful for.
It was the perfect Christmas gift, and I truly did not need another thing under the tree. Thank you so much for reading the posts all the way on the other side of the world Therese! Your meal sounds fabulous there by the pool. 🙂 I hope 2017 is filled with many blessings for you and your family!

Marianne in Mo - December 26, 2016 - 12:14 am

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! So glad your children to come home!
We had half of ours, the others arrive Monday night after a 15 hour drive. Can’t wait to see them and for them to see the new house!
Have a great time with family, see you in the New Year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well, Marianne! Your Christmas got spread over 2 days…I sometimes wonder if that is not the better way to do it. Slow it down and enjoy it more. Hope your 2017 is a great one!

Peggy - December 25, 2016 - 11:53 pm

Merry Christmas! This is my favorite blog post of yours I’ve read! Thank you! So glad your children made it home safely and you have this time together. Thank you for donation info for Aleppo.
Your favorite? Wow! I am so glad you enjoyed it Peggy. Hope your Christmas was a good one, and that 2017 brings you many things to enjoy.
Happy New Year!

martha - December 25, 2016 - 11:28 pm

I love your blog and love looking at pictures of your beautiful home. Tonight I love you for mentioning that in the midst of all our pretty things and comforts, real people are suffering horrible fates. We are so blessed, and it is easy to get caught up in the fun part of Christmas. It is so important to remember that we should celebrate the birth of our savior and the precious gift of salvation. We need to do all we can to give others this wonderful gift. Thanks, Kelly!!!
p.s. I am so glad your children were all able to be with you….all 3 of mine were too, with spouses and 6 grandchildren. I feel like the richest woman alive. Merry Christmas!!
Thank you for writing your heartfelt comment here Martha. If your children and spouses and grandchildren celebrated Christmas with you, you WERE the richest woman alive. It’s a wonderful life for sure. 🙂
Many wishes for a healthy and happy new year!

Mary Michelle - December 25, 2016 - 11:23 pm

Merry Christmas Kelly! Enjoy your week with your family in your lovely home in this season of caring and sharing.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Mary! May you be richly blessed in 2017. 🙂

S u b s c r i b e   b y   E m a i l