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2017: The Year in Review

Yes…. we are still in full Christmas mode here…and will continue to be so for the next 10 days.  I’ll tell you more about that when we get to the end of this post, but for now, I want us to just look back at Talk of the House for the 2017 year.

We kicked off last year in January with some decorating for New Year’s Day.  That was followed by a look back at 2016.  Then our family gained a new member….Gabbie the Labbie, and it was like having a new baby in the house!

(Oh my goodness…look how small she looks in these photos!)

In honor of our new puppy, I shared a post on dogs in decorating.

 Then for the rest of January I shared posts about our trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

February began with that sad Falcons Super Bowl game.
(At least the party had good food and games!)

There were a couple more travel posts that month…one more on the Biltmore and the inn there and one on dining in Asheville.    

Then we were back to decorating the house here,
first for Valentine’s Day with a fun movie theme….

and then with yellow and green for spring.

In March, we continued the Carolina tour with a post on the Pisgah Inn, Hendersonville, NC, and Lake Lure, one on Wilmington, NC, and two on beautiful Charleston, SC.

Back at the house, because I like to change things up around here, I redecorated some spaces again for spring and shared it with you in a post about fickle females.

We looked at some green tablescapes for St. Patrick’s Day.

We explored the wonderful gardens at Charleston’s Magnolia Plantation.

We hosted a doughnut themed birthday party for my doughnut loving mother,

and for the final post of the month we explored the Disney resort on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.

That was the last of the travel posts for the year.

April began with the first of three posts about decorating our house for Easter.
(I used a lot of blue and green for a change!)

After that, I shared with you a gorgeous Tennessee farmhouse that I had been admiring for awhile on Instagram.

All during the year, my husband had been working tirelessly on repairing and painting the exterior of our home.  It was becoming apparent to me that the exterior work wasn’t going to get finished without some help.  So I then announced that the blog was going to have to go on the back-burner while I tried to help out with the painting and yard work.  The next post in April announced my blogging break and left you all with some “recommended reading.”

In May, I was able to tour James Farmer’s yard in a spring garden tour.  So I hopped back on the blog long enough to share his house and garden with you.

I spent most of the summer mowing our yard, mowing my parents’ yard and pasture, and painting part of our house, but I did manage to decorate for summer and share that with you in two posts in July.

The outside chores continued on through hot and humid August, but I did find time to share a very fun school themed wedding celebration for some friends of ours who had married earlier in the year.  That was my only post for August and September.

In late October, I could finally cut back on the grass mowing (“cut back” get it? 🙂 …sorry I couldn’t resist that.)  The exterior painting still continued, but I fit in decorating the house for Halloween and shared a post about that with you.

The outside Halloween decor didn’t make it into October’s blog posts, but it did appear on the first of November. (Better late than never, right? 🙂 )

And then there were 2 posts later in the month sharing all the Thanksgiving decorating around here.

We made a trip to very snowy Vermont for a few days in December, but I was still able to get everything decorated for Christmas and write three posts to show you all of the holiday decor here.

part 1

part 2

part 3

And now that brings us to the end of 2017 but not the end of the exterior work on the house. 🙁  When we started this, all of the stairs needed to be replaced along with the handrails that go with them, and now I am wanting the railing on the back deck also reconstructed in a different style.  Countless boards have had to be replaced due to the fact that they were rotting. The house will be better than it was when it was new when we finish. 🙂 If I can get a couple of days with mild temperatures, I can finish the long side of the house since I have done all of the trim work there, and that will pretty much leave just the back to go (and I have already done the screened porch on the inside.)  My husband says the end is in sight, but I am not so sure about that. 🙁  At least there is no grass to mow for awhile!

I mentioned at the start of this post that our Christmas decorating will be up for 10 more days.  That is because we have a photo shoot on the 12th for a holiday magazine (to be published next year.)  I am afraid I do not know the name of the publication because there were a whole bunch of them this year that sounded the same, but I do know it is a special edition type – not a regular subscription one. I will let you know when I know the name for sure. 🙂  Fingers crossed our trees are not totally crispy dead by the time they get here on the 12th!

Thank you sooo much for reading the posts here this year along with the year in review today. 2017 was by far my most challenging year to keep up this blog since I started it almost 6 years ago. I hope 2018 brings an end to our house upkeep projects and more time for fun things! And I hope your new year is filled with laughter and fun times that bring a smile to your face. 🙂

Happy New Year friends!

 

You might enjoy these posts:

   
Karin - January 15, 2018 - 8:13 am

Thanks for your inspiration. Love your house. Looking forward to next post!

Calypso in the Country - January 9, 2018 - 10:36 am

Congratulations on the magazine! I can definitely see why they picked you. Your home is always so inspiring. Gabbie is such a sweetie. I remember when my golden was a puppy and you are right, it is like having a baby in the house! Best wishes for 2018!
Shelley

Rhonda - January 4, 2018 - 12:52 pm

Thanks for sharing!! I don’t always have time to leave a comment, but there are a lot of times that I will need inspiration and go back through your posts. Or if I’m traveling somewhere, I check to see if you’ve been there, so I can possibly get good restaurant tips!! After I’m done here, I’m going to go back up and look at the Valentine’s post to find ideas to surprise my family. Happy New Year!!

Kaye Ann - January 4, 2018 - 11:39 am

Gorgeous as always. Love, love your house. May your new year be happy!!

Donnie - January 3, 2018 - 12:46 pm

Happy New Year to you as well. Have missed your regular posts over the last few months, but sure have enjoyed the holiday posts throughout the year. Looking forward to a wonderful 2018. Glad the work on the house is progressing as well as it is.
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I’m so glad you enjoyed the holiday posts, Donnie. (They are my favorites too. 🙂 ) When the weather warms up, we will get back to working on the house. Right now it is waaaaay too cold. Brrrr!
Many wishes for a blessed new year for you!
Kelly

julia walker - January 2, 2018 - 11:36 pm

Thanks so much Kelly. You are amazing! I adore you and your house especially the exterior. Your husband is amazing too! As to the interior, I really like the blue and green theme on the screened porch(I think) and the yellow and black in your bedroom. AND the ribbon Xmas wreath over your bed!

Happy New Year! Please get some rest.

Your friend, Julia
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My husband is a real keeper; isn’t he? 🙂 Seems you like all the color in the house Julia! I really liked the blue and green on the porch too.
Hope your new year is off to a great start!
Kelly

bev tippett - January 2, 2018 - 9:04 pm

How EXCITING…about time they got to your house. My favorite blog. Thank you for sharing all these lovely photos.
Happy New Year….18 is already an exciting adventure.
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Happy New Year to you Bev! I’m glad you are so excited about our magazine feature! I will be sure to let everyone know when/if it gets scheduled for publication next year. 🙂
Kelly

Nita - January 2, 2018 - 8:18 pm

I’m so looking forward to your magazine shoot. We all love your home and want others to see and love it as well.
You and hubby have worked so hard on your home I know you are looking for the finish line. Wow it was a lot of work..so energetic along with talented in decorating and again I love seeing your everything. Can you tell me where you purchase your fabric for the pillows? I love the blue ones..
Gabbie is adorable and has grown up fast!
Happy 2018..May you and your family be blessed.
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Oh Nita you are too kind! 🙂
That blue floral fabric was a Waverly print purchased about 20 years ago…not sure what the name of it is. The blue grid/tattersall plaid was premade and came with a Pennsylvania House sofa many years ago. The blue check on the rocker was a napkin from Sur la Table about 3 years ago. So I guess I am really not helping you. 🙁 Sorry to not have updated fabrics for you!
Hope you have a wonderful 2018!
Kelly

Jeanne Bell - January 2, 2018 - 6:52 pm

Thank you for sharing your home and life with us. I always look forward to your posts, so here is to a new year and new ideas.
God Bless!
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Thank you Jeanne! I hope your 2018 is full of blessings for you and your family. 🙂
Kelly

Donna - January 2, 2018 - 5:15 pm

Kelly , it is always wonderful to see your blog post in my inbox .
So excited for your home to be in a magazine . Obviously , they know a great home when they see one ! Thank you for sharing your home and adventures with us !!
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Thank YOU for reading the posts and following the blog! I hope the photographs make it into publication for next Christmas.
And I hope your new year is off to a great start Donna!
Kelly

Lynne - January 2, 2018 - 4:11 pm

Happy New Year to you! What a wonderful recap of a beautiful year. I love your inviting home and am always so inspired by your posts. Congratulations on your upcoming magazine feature!
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Thank you so much Lynne! I’m happy that you enjoyed that long review of the year. Happy New Year to you! 🙂
Kelly

Diane McKibben - January 2, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Kelly, your house always inspires me to do, redo, and look at things and ideas in a new light. I have one question. My daughter is going to redo her breakfast room and kitchen with shiplap or that type of look. What did you use on your master bedroom walls for the horizontal board look? Thanks, Diane
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Thank you Diane. I’m so glad you can find inspiration here on the blog. As far as the master bedroom walls go, it is actually real 1 x 12 pine boards. Good luck with your daughter’s project!
Kelly

Marianne in Mo. - January 2, 2018 - 2:26 pm

Keeping my fingers crossed for your trees! Have you tried Wilt-Pruf? Don’t know first hand if it helps, but we used to sell it at the nursery I worked at. Or there’s always spray paint! LOL! My tree is coming down today, Hubs wants the living room back. Good luck with the shoot, and Happy New Year!
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Thank you Marianne. I have not used wilt-pruf before, and it would probably be too late at this point. The only tree that seems to really be looking badly is the small one in the wagon on the front porch. If they photograph the bedroom first, I might un-decorate the one in there afterwards, cut it down a foot or so in height, then use it for the front porch tree. Hopefully, we can work something out. 🙂
I can understand your husband wanting the living room back to normal. A clean slate is nice for the new year!
Kelly

Paula - January 2, 2018 - 1:03 pm

Hi Kelly,

I am impressed with all the work you and your husband did on your house. Painting is a LOT of work, not to mention all the other prep and carpentry work. I’m so glad you found time to blog because your photos and notes about decorating and entertaining always spark ideas! Congratulations on your upcoming magazine feature! So exciting! I will look forward to seeing it in print–I still have the last one in my “keeper” stash (along with Tessa’s from nine + sixteen) that I take out and look through Thanksgiving week! 🙂

Happy New Year!
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Thank you Paula. It has certainly been a ton of work – especially for my husband. I am just a painter, but he has ripped out boards, caulked, scraped, replaced, cleaned, built – you name it. Prep is the key and the most time-consuming thing. How sweet that you have saved mine and Tessa’s published articles! I am glad they are keepers. 🙂 It will also be fun to see Tessa’s house when Nora Murphy’s book comes out!
Hope your 2018 is off to a great start!
Kelly

Karol - January 2, 2018 - 12:34 pm

It’s a good day for me when I see a post from you. I love your colorful house. It is much more my choice even though all white is nice.
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How sweet of you to say that Karol! It is definitely colorful around here…quite a bit of red at the moment!
Hope your new year is off to a great start!
Kelly

Kristy - January 2, 2018 - 11:36 am

Happy New Year to all! A wonderful recapping post. So glad you continue your blog. I look forward to your adventures in decorating and travel. I always find something new or different in your holiday décor. Thank you for your resources, as well. Hope the photo shoot goes well. I’m sure you will be ready to start packing things away for a clean January slate. I am ready to do so once my houseguests (grown children) have left for their homes.
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Thanks for reading and leaving such a kind comment Kristy! Hope you can get your house into its January clean slate mode soon. Yes, I will certainly be ready to get things put away here after the 12th, but I would love a bit of snow before then. I have always wanted a photo of our house decorated for Christmas in the snow. We just never seem to get any here. 🙁
Kelly

Reba - January 2, 2018 - 11:28 am

Kelly…beautiful, beautiful, & beautiful! I absolutely love every room and enjoy so much your description of each! Your rooms are so real, livable, warm, and inviting! I can’t wait to see what comes next! Thank you again for sharing!
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Thank you so much Reba! Your kindness is very much appreciated! 🙂
Hope your 2018 is filled with many blessings!
Kelly

kathy - January 2, 2018 - 11:26 am

I just had a great time sipping my coffee and clicking on all of the links to previous posts. I am so excited that you are going to be featured in another magazine! I think your daughter’s room photo had to be the one that captured the magazine’s interest. Perfect! I don’t know how you do all you do but I selfishly hope you do lots of blog posts in 2018. (I am thankful for Instagram to see what is going on with you though!)Happy New Year!!!
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Happy New Year to you! I am so glad you could enjoy this post (and all its links) with a cup of coffee. That’s the way it should be! 🙂 (Afterall, I was sipping away on a cup here while I was working on it! LOL) Not sure which room it was that caught the magazine’s eye. They asked last year, and I turned them down, but when they asked again this year, I decided we should go ahead with it. Fingers crossed it all goes well. 🙂
Kelly

Sherry M - January 2, 2018 - 11:20 am

Happy New Year, Kelly! Thank you for keeping us posted on your adventures. It is always a pleasure to see the year in review. It seems I never make it through the entire post without checking out many of my favorites. You inspire us to be diligent, persevere, and to still take time to “play” and enjoy our friends and family. Thank you! Good luck with the magazine shoot. Remember, you are an old pro at it now! 😉If this one is half as good as the last one, no one will be disappointed. I hope they include a shot of sweet Gabbie too!
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Thanks Sherry! You always leave the most thoughtful comments. 🙂 And thank you for the well wishes for the photo shoot. I too am hoping that Gabbie will make it into a shot they use. I know the photographers love dogs, so it is entirely possible. (if she behaves well! 🙂 )
Kelly

Gina - January 2, 2018 - 10:35 am

Love the recap! 🙂 And Gabbie was so little and cute,but at least she is more well-behaved now. 😉 Congratulations on the upcoming photo shoot. How fun!! I’m sure you will be quite ready for Christmas to come down after that!! 😀
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Thank you Gina. Gabbie is MUCH better behaved now..quite a contrast to that active and demanding little puppy! As much as I love Christmas (and the Christmas music is still playing around here and in my car) I think I will be ready for it all to be packed away and the house to have less “stuff.” There won’t be any “New Year’s decorating” this year though, and I will probably continue with red for February.
Kelly

Arlene@Nanaland - January 2, 2018 - 9:49 am

Kelly, your house is just so pretty and inviting. And your penmanship…A plus!! Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.
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Thank you for the compliments Arlene! And thank you for reading the round up post. I’m glad you liked the chalkboard! 🙂
Kelly

Debbie w - January 2, 2018 - 9:49 am

I love your posts and have missed them. Your home is so livable! Your eye for detail is perfect… and it deserves to be in magazines!
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You are so sweet Debbie. Thank you for your kind words here. I hope your year is off to a great start!
Kelly

Donnamae - January 2, 2018 - 9:12 am

You had quite a busy year! Your house will look fantabulous when you are done! Hope the weather cooperates so you can finish sooner than later. Wishing you many smiles in 2018! 😉
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Yes we did have a busy year! (And there were still many trips and parties that I haven’t even shared yet!) I’m with you on the weather, but with it 19 degrees this morning and cold cold for the next couple of weeks, not sure the weather is going to be cooperating any time soon. Best wishes for your 2018!
Kelly

Cheri - January 2, 2018 - 8:47 am

Everything looks wonderful and your hard work always pays off. Hope you get to have a lot of fun in 2018! Happy New Year!
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Thank you Cheri! Hope your 2018 is a good one too!
Kelly

Sandy - January 2, 2018 - 8:11 am

I enjoyed the reminders of last year. I know you are a red fan, and you make me like red as you do it so well; however, I loved those blues and greens this summer. Keeping up a house is kind of nonstop. I retired three years ago, and it seems like I have been in charge of home repairs pretty much all along. I think I have one more big project to go. We have replaced gutters, decks, doors, etc. I feel your pain.
Have a wonderful new year. I am glad you are sticking with the blog.
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Sandy, when I looked through all the 2017 posts in putting this one together, the blues and greens caught my eye too! Perhaps it is because we have overdosed on red for a number of weeks here, and our eyes need a break! 🙂 It sounds like you have made major progress on your home projects. Good luck with your final big one.
Kelly

Jennifer C - January 2, 2018 - 8:10 am

Thanks for the recap. I loved reading it and looking at all the pictures. I pray 2018 is a fantastic year for you and your family.
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Thank you so much Jennifer! I wish the same for you and your family for 2018 too. 🙂
Kelly

Louvina - January 2, 2018 - 6:58 am

Amazing!! How in this world did you accomplish so much with all the work going on around your house?!? And how do you come up with so many different ideas to change up your home decor? I truly loved walking down memory lane on this cold and frosty morning! We may get some very rare mixed winter precipitation this week in FL! So excited to hear more about your magazine shoot coming up and hope those lovely trees and greenery hold up- should with all the cold weather!! Blessings to you and yours in the New Year 2018!!
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Aw thanks Louvina! So glad you enjoyed that walk down memory lane. 🙂 I can’t believe you all may get some winter mix this week! I sooooo wish we could get a dusting of snow for our Christmas photo shoot, but I know that is not going to happen – unless there is some miracle weather headed our way that I don’t know about! LOL
Stay warm!
Kelly

Ruth - January 2, 2018 - 2:15 am

Well that just makes me want to go back and reread the entire year’s blog entries. Every one you mentioned elicited from me some mental exclamation along the lines of, “Oh ye-e-eah, that was a great one!” Makes my head swim to realize what all you managed to pack into one year. As Bob Hope would say, Thanks for the memories! And best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful 2018!

P.S. – AMAZING to see how much Gabbie grew in 1 year!
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Isn’t it amazing how much Gabbie has grown?! I find it hard to believe myself, even though the vet kept telling us at each visit, she is going to grow fast. (Guess he knew what he was talking about!) I’m so happy the round up of posts from last year made you want to go back and reread the old ones. Thank you for following along with the blog all this time. I appreciate you!
Kelly

A Merry Christmas Tour with a BIG part 3!

Merry Christmas to you!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day with family and friends.  We had a fun Christmas Eve with my parents, a leisurely day here with just our family, and dinner with my husband’s family to finish off the celebration of the birthday of the Christ child. 

Even Gabbie had a fun day with lots of new toys to chew on.
(and all of them are red!

 I knew I should not have saved soooo much for this last part of the Christmas tour.  These are my favorite spaces to photograph in our home, and there are enough pictures here for 3 entire posts!  So grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and let’s take one last look around the house before Christmas 2017 is only a memory…

The subject of our pastor’s sermon on Sunday was joy.  He spoke about how some people embrace Christmas…  soaking in each part of it with joy. They are excited for Christmas! 🙂

But other people dread it. He told of a woman whom he overheard in conversation telling how Christmas was just too much work…all the cleaning…the decorating…the shopping…the gift wrapping…the cooking, and then… more cleaning. This particular woman said, “I just don’t know if Christmas is worth it.

Hold that thought….I’ll get back to it in a minute.
………….

At 1:00 a.m. on Christmas Day (the night before Christmas) I was running the water for my bath before bed.  All the gifts were wrapped and under the tree.  All the stockings were filled and waiting in the family room.  The house was totally decorated and clean (except for vacuuming the room upstairs, but that was okay.)

We had prepared and enjoyed a breakfast-for-dinner with my parents and exchanged gifts with them.  And I had just finished making a peppermint ice cream pie to take to my husband’s family celebration on Christmas night.  We also had to take chili, but that could wait to be made (and the ingredients had all been purchased.) Everyone in the house had already gone to bed.

I was checking the last few Christmas Eve posts on Instagram when I came across one that the wise Becky Thompson had just posted…

What powerful words to read after the full to overflowing weeks of nonstop preparation for Christmas Day.

Becky went on to write that it did not really matter what was under the tree, (or not) what was cooked for the meals, how things were decorated or wrapped. No matter what. Good job.

For all the cleaning and decorating and shopping and gift wrapping and cooking…good job.

Why do we do all that cleaning and decorating and shopping and wrapping and cooking that makes its way onto our to-do lists during the Christmas season?

Why?
Because, as Becky says,
“We care so much about how everyone else experiences Christmas.”

We want to make sure that everyone we love has their best Christmas, and we do everything in our power to help make that happen.

And most importantly…

At the end of the day, at the end of Christmas Day,
we want everyone we care about to feel loved.

That’s why we do it all.

And that…that act of making others feel loved and cared about brings me joy.
Doesn’t it for you as well?

So back to the woman in our pastor’s sermon who wondered if Christmas was “worth it.”  My answer is “Most definitely yes, it is absolutely worth it!

(And even when he said it during church, I was thinking, yes it is so worth it!)

Of course, my pastor’s sermon went in a different direction from what Becky and I were thinking…

His point was if all of the cleaning and decorating and shopping and wrapping and cooking do not bring you joy, then get away from all of that.

And think about the miracle of the Christ child’s birth.  

Think about how much God loves us…enough to humble himself and arrive here on our planet as a little baby to show us how to live and love. That should more than bring us joy!

But I am really thinking that our pastor’s sermon and Becky Thompson’s words actually go together.

We should have joy because God loves us so unconditionally that He came to live among us…and we should have joy in loving others…
which, after all, is what He came here to teach us how to do. 🙂I hope your Christmas season was one filled with joy and lots of love. 🙂

It’s late, and I think I will just let you enjoy the rest of the photos of the porch in peace and quiet. 🙂

Merry Christmas dear friends.
Joy to the World!
Good job.
🙂

You might enjoy these posts:

   
Lori Lucas - December 31, 2017 - 2:12 am

Not only have you surely brought joy to your family, but also to those of us that get to peek inside your beautiful home. Truly the warmest home in Blogland.
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Lori, that HAS to be one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received about our home! Thank you so much. Many wishes to you for a wonderful new year!
Kelly

Linda - December 30, 2017 - 6:18 am

Amen and very well said. Happy New Year! The house is just lovely inside and the outside shows y’all hard work this past year.
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Thank you Linda! You can certainly see some of the exterior painting, but I am afraid there is more to go. Here’s to finishing all the house projects in 2018! Happy New Year to you! 🙂
Kelly

Judy - December 29, 2017 - 5:34 pm

I love, love, love your blog, and always can’t wait until the next one. God gave you a wonderful gift of creativity and we the readers so appreciate you and your talent! I pore over every picture and word. Everything is beautiful, as always. I also appreciate the recipes, one now being a family staple!
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Judy I am so happy that you find inspiration here on the blog. Your comment put a big smile on my face! Thank you. I hope you have a very blessed 2018. Happy New Year!
Kelly

Janice Boucher - December 28, 2017 - 9:46 pm

Your house looks absolutely beautiful!
Everything is done with such simplicity.
Could you tell us how you make those lovely red bows that hang from your wreaths?
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Thank you for the compliments Janice! I wish I could explain how to do the bows…I take a roll of ribbon, leave about a foot hanging down, pinch it at the top, make a loop left, pinch it with the other part, make a loop right, pinch it with the other part, and continue left and right until I have a bow that is as full as I want, then leave another foot hanging down. Use a small piece of wire to hold it all together in the middle, and cover that with a short strip of ribbon. That is how I would “tell” you to do it, but it is really something you would need to see. 🙁
Happy New Year to you!
Kelly

Terri - December 28, 2017 - 4:23 pm

How beautiful ….. I have read … and “re-read” this post several times now ….. The statements that this lady said are so very true… “Why do I do all that I do”… Because I so want those around me that I love to have the very best Christmas possible… The real Joy of Christmas …. The Love of family & Friends… but most of all .. of course .. the Love of a Savior who was laid in a manger….. Your post is such a great reminder of all these things…. and oh how I love alllll that Christmas red!!! My Favorite … traditional Christmas Red and White…. Thank you so much for sharing….. and Happy Blessed New Year!!!
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That is indeed the real joy of Christmas as you said, Terri. 🙂 I hope your Christmas was joyful and that your 2018 will be filled with many blessings! Happy New Year to you and your family!
Kelly

Nancy Rodrigues - December 28, 2017 - 2:34 pm

Kelly,

You never cease to amaze me! What a wonderful post. I have looked at it repeatedly so I catch every detail. Thank you for sharing.

Good Job! And all the joy in the world to you….since you bring so much to all of us!
Nancy
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What kind words! Thank you so much Nancy! I hope 2018 brings you a year filled with blessings. 🙂
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Cindy - December 28, 2017 - 1:29 pm

Hi Kelly:
What a lovely post. When I view your posts, I feel a sense of calm in your pictures. You create a welcoming environment that shows lots of love. It shows that you find joy in making your home special for family and I hope that I convey that in our homes. I wish you and your family a healthy, happy new year.
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Thank you so much for your compliments here Cindy, and I am glad that I am able to convey all that to you through the words and photos. I hope you have a very happy new year!
Kelly

bev tippett - December 28, 2017 - 9:40 am

Beautiful and inspiring. Love the quote. I am always so stressed at the last minute…every year. I don’t learn the lessons. I need to learn it’s all okay.
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It IS okay, and I need to learn that lesson as well, Bev. Hopefully I am slowly letting it sink in. Our Christmas cards never made it out this year, and I really didn’t stress over it. We just can’t do it all, can we? Here’s to a less stressful 2018! Many blessings to you!
Kelly

Nan, Odessa,, DE - December 27, 2017 - 5:29 pm

Just beautiful and inviting!
Did all your children get home for the holiday?

My all time favorite is the nativity sets on the porch.
Please, please tell me about each of them. Details!
Where can I purchase?

Also, are your red plates red, red? Brand? Where to purchase.

Happy holidays to you and yours!
PS Check out Nora Murphy Country House blog IF you haven’t already. I think you would enjoy reading it!
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Thanks so much Nan! Our boys made it home, but our daughter spent Christmas with her future in-laws.
The nativity pieces are from Willow Tree. I believe they carry all of them on Amazon, although I bought ours at various Christian bookstores over a period of a few years.
The plates ARE truly red, and I bought them many many years ago from Pier 1. I believe Dillards carries a line of dinnerware labeled “Noble Excellence” that are a good red, but I am not positive.
Yes, Nora’s home and blog are right up my alley! Although her tastes run a little “older” than mine…I like to include photographs and a bit more whimsy than she does in our decor, but I still enjoy seeing all that she does. Hope your holidays were good ones. Have a wonderfully happy new year!
Kelly

Debbie - MountainMama - December 27, 2017 - 4:00 pm

As always, your home is just beautifully decorated, I don’t know how you find the time but I’m sure glad you do – good job!! May you have the happiest and healthiest New Year, Kelly!
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Thank you so very much Debbie! I wish the very same to you for the coming year!
Kelly

paula - December 27, 2017 - 1:48 pm

Thank you, Kelly.

Your house looks so merry and bright; I hope you have a lovely (rest of the) Christmas season!
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Thank you Paula! Merry and bright are good things to be for Christmas! 🙂
Hope you have a blessed 2018!
Kelly

kathy - December 27, 2017 - 8:24 am

Yes, Kelly, it is a lot of work but it IS so worth it! I didn’t cry until I read Debra’s 4:07 comments. Your blog always inspires me with your words as well as your decorating. When we arrived at my parents’ home on Christmas night, there was my 84 year old mom cooking. (We told her NOT to cook. We were bringing food!) The exhaustion was showing on her face but I know she was doing it to try to show her love. I am not so sure she was feeling the joy though. Lol. Kelly, if you have not read The Fred Factor, you should read it. You are a Fred. (Right, DiAnne?!) Thank you for sharing your joy with us, Kelly! Happy 2018!
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I am so glad Debra shared her story in the comments. I feel like we are all family here, and her words fit beautifully with what I was trying to say in the post. And thank you for sharing about your mother. Such a perfect example of how we “do” to share our love (whether joyous or not! LOL)
The Fred Factor was shared with our faculty several years ago at one of those inservice meetings (when we would have all rather been working in our classrooms so that we would not be soooo far behind!) It WAS a wonderful story, and I consider it a beautiful compliment that you think I am a Fred. Thank you sweet friend! I hope 2018 is a relaxing year for you filled with many blessings!!
Kelly
p.s. As you can see, I am ignoring your email from earlier in the day today. 🙂

Vicki - December 27, 2017 - 6:04 am

Is the little village in the cabinet your Mitford village? I enjoyed all. Yes, it is a lot of work, a lot of stress for me, but when it is over i am so glad i did it. Your home is lovely. Great use of the green napkins on the porch from Joanna Gaines’ line. I liked those too but could not see where i could use them, but when you use them, gave me all kinds of ideas! lol! Happy New Year soon!
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Yes it IS the Mitford village, Vicki! You have a great eye! I have had those pieces for many years and could never figure out a good place to display them at Christmas. It finally hit me this year that they would fit perfectly behind the glass door of that big piece of furniture in the family room. Viola! It worked!
Glad you found inspiration in the table linens. When I saw they had “peace” on them, I had to use them. 🙂
Here’s to a wonderful and happy new year for you!
Kelly

jae - December 26, 2017 - 10:16 pm

Thank you. Wishing you joy.appreciate your taking the time to post and share your lovely home, and life, with us!
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Thank YOU for taking the time to visit here on the blog, Jae. Many wishes for a happy new year for you in 2018.
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Liz J - December 26, 2017 - 10:04 pm

Kelly, Your home is just gorgeous and full of warmth and JOY. Thank you so much for sharing yourself and your home!
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You are more than welcome, and thank you for the sweet compliments Liz. I hope 2018 is full of many happy blessings for you!
Kelly

Debbie Brown - December 26, 2017 - 9:58 pm

Kelly, Your house is beyond gorgeous! I loved every single picture and enjoyed the blog too. This was the first post I have seen but will definitely go back and look at the others too! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!
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Thank you so much Debbie. I am so glad you found your way to the blog! Our Christmas was a good one. I hope yours was as well and that 2018 will be full of many good things for you and your family. 🙂
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Cindy Lou Hoo - December 26, 2017 - 9:33 pm

Beautiful home and beautiful post !!!!
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Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed it!
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Linda Ishmael - December 26, 2017 - 8:33 pm

Beautiful!! Good Job!!! I love every nook and cranny. I wish you’d decorated and shared in November so I could have stolen some of your cute ideas. Lol!!! Glad you had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a blessed 2018. Hope to hear from you again soon.
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Aw thank you Linda! I wish I could have gotten it all done in November as well, and then I could have spent the month of December just watching Christmas movies and eating desserts! LOL 🙂 Many blessings to you for the coming year. Happy New Year!
Kelly

Paula - December 26, 2017 - 8:28 pm

I was looking forward to seeing the rest of your home and you certainly didn’t disappoint. Great job Kelly. Beautiful!
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I am glad you enjoyed the post Paula. Thank you for visiting the blog during the busy Christmas season, and thank you for your compliments!
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Jeanne Bell - December 26, 2017 - 8:08 pm

Very well said….I try so hard to make everything perfect for my family and their joy is my gift.
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Thank you Jeanne! YES, “their joy is my gift” is the perfect way to express this.
Many wishes for a happy new year!
Kelly

Sherrie Oldham - December 26, 2017 - 7:14 pm

Good Job- can’t be said too many times. Your house is a home and so welcoming .
Where did you get the red & white buffalo plaid fabric for the panels ? I have been looking forever. Thank you
Blessings for the New Year
Shertie
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Thanks Sherrie! The fabric is the 4 inch red check that I ordered from Forsyth Fabrics in Atlanta. Hope 2018 is full of good things for you!
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Sandy - December 26, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Wonderful post and everything is just beautiful!
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Thank you Sandy! And happy new year!
Kelly

Debbie S. - December 26, 2017 - 6:04 pm

Beautifully said, thank you so much! And thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us!

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy 2018!
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I’m so glad you liked the post Debbie. Thank you for reading! Blessings to you for the coming year!
Kelly

Lee - December 26, 2017 - 3:44 pm

Well said Kelly!! The peppermint Oreo ice cream pie was wonderful. So much that I had 2 servings. And yall just thought I was cleaning up!
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Thank you! Glad you liked the pie, and yes, we just thought you were cleaning up. 🙂 That pie vanished rather quickly!
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Valerie - December 26, 2017 - 2:27 pm

So enjoyed this post. It is so worth it! Good job indeed!
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Aw thanks Valerie! Happy New Year to you and your family!
Kelly

Dawn - December 26, 2017 - 2:00 pm

Kelly,

I love your home, stories and sharing. You are an amazing woman and I appreciate your insight and out look on life. I could not agree more with how much Joy this season brings. I am enjoying the tour of your home and was super happy to see Gabby and my favorite green room included in this post. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a healthy new year! Take care.
Dawn
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Thank you so much Dawn! I had to include the playroom (now Gabbie’s room 🙂 ) just for you. LOL
Lots of wishes for a blessing filled year for you and your family in 2018.
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Cindy B. - December 26, 2017 - 12:45 pm

Just~ Sniff! Sniff! Thank you!💐🎄
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Here’s a Kleenex Cindy. 🙂
Happy New Year to you!
Kelly

Lynn - December 26, 2017 - 12:24 pm

Amen! Kelly, you and your blog bring so many people JOY! I know it does for me. Thank you for sharing and inspiring others. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and 2018 brings you and your family much JOY!
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Goodness thank you Lynn! Our Christmas was a good one. I hope your 2018 is full of many good things! Happy New Year!
Kelly

Barbara (WA) - December 26, 2017 - 12:10 pm

Amen!!
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🙂

cindy hattersley - December 26, 2017 - 12:08 pm

Your home is the most festive I have ever seen. My personal favorite is your porch. I could move right in!!
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I’m so glad you like the porch Cindy. It is normally not quite as cold as it is today. Otherwise you could move right in!
Wishing you a very happy new year!
Kelly

Amanda - December 26, 2017 - 11:08 am

Your post is absolutely beautiful! Truly enjoyed reading your message and browsing your pictures. Thank you for sharing and look forward to your future posts.
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I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the post Amanda. Thank you for sharing your kind words here!
I hope 2018 brings many good things your way. Happiest of new years to you! 🙂
Kelly

Shannan - December 26, 2017 - 11:06 am

THANK YOU Kelly! That was amazing in every way!
You are awesome and I hope you have some relaxing days filled with more joy in the coming week!

Just like the joy you bring to me when I see your photos, home, creativity and adventures!

Happy New Year!
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Thank you for such a sweet comment Shannan. I appreciate you for taking the time to read the post and leave your words here.
Happy New Year to you!
Kelly

Linda Blakely - December 26, 2017 - 11:00 am

Kelly, Thank you! Your posts are always a JOY to peruse. Such a special treat to see this time of hear, especially. But all year long, really.

Linda
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You are too kind Linda! Thank you for your comment. I am so glad the posts bring you joy. May 2018 be filled with many joys for you and your family!
Kelly

Gina - December 26, 2017 - 10:57 am

Love every little detail Kelly, but most of all the sentiment. Yes, yes, yes, it is all worth it!! I love to serve others!! 😀 It brings me much joy. Haha, this was my “easier” Christmas though because our daughter was with her husband’s family. But next year it will be crazy fun with out little twin granddaughters running around. 😉 So happy your children were all home!
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Crazy fun with twin granddaughters!! Wow! That WILL be fun! I know you can’t wait.
Thank you so much for reading and writing your sweet compliments here Gina. I hope 2018 is your best year yet!
Happy New Year!
Kelly

Patsy - December 26, 2017 - 10:57 am

Good morning my sweet friend! And thank you! Reading through tears! Happy tears! I could not agree more with every singe word! Thank you so much for sharing and here to making the ones we feel loved and cared! And your home looks picture perfect….a Christmas wonderland that I know makes the ones you love feel so special!❤️❤️❤️
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Just now finding the time to respond to everyone’s sweet comments. Patsy, thank you so much for hopping over and reading the post. I appreciate that AND your very kind words! I hope that everyone is finally well in your house and that 2018 brings you and your family much happiness and good health!
Happy New Year to you!! 🙂
Kelly
p.s. Christmas isn’t coming down here until Jan. 13th!

Karen B. - December 26, 2017 - 10:48 am

Kelly,

The areas of your home you shared today (or rather yesterday?) are my favorites of your home as well.
I love the holiday and always feel a little sorry for those who dread it due to the “work”. I find my joy comes from just what you mentioned, making my home and the holiday comfortable and welcoming comes from love and I believe my family appreciates it. There are ways for those who feel overwhelmed to scale back and cut a few corners by buying some pre-made treats, etc.
xo,
Karen
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Good points Karen! I hope you and your family enjoyed Christmas, and I hope 2018 is a great year for you in your new home. Enjoy!
Kelly

Rachel - December 26, 2017 - 10:47 am

Beautiful story and your home is beautiful.
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Thank you Rachel. 🙂
Kelly

bev tippett - December 26, 2017 - 10:47 am

Lovely post. It’s always worth it.
thanks for sharing.
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Thank you Bev. Yes it IS always worth it. 🙂
Thank you for reading!
Kelly

H - December 26, 2017 - 10:41 am

Thanks for continuing to blog and sharing your lovely home with all your fans! I always enjoy your posts!
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So glad you enjoy it! Thank you for reading!
Kelly

Joan - December 26, 2017 - 10:26 am

Thank you, Kelly. And thank you, Katrina for sharing your cake story. It never does seem to all “get done”, but helping others to have joy is special.
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Wasn’t Katrina’s story just perfect?! 🙂 You are right about things not always getting done. So glad we all still find joy in doing it though. 🙂
Hope you have a joyous and happy new year Joan!
Kelly

Katrina - December 26, 2017 - 10:00 am

I just love you Kelly!!! Your house is as pretty as you are!
This post reminded me of a sermon I heard many years ago and still think of.
My pastor told us of a sweet dear very elderly lady at a previous church who was homebound and needed assistance with various daily living tasks. This sweet lady knew what a sweet tooth Pastor Paul had and many times when he visited her she had made his favorite cake from scratch. This cake took lots of time and effort and Pastor Paul worried about the effort she had taken each time she presented him with this cake. He finally just told her one day that while he loved her cake, he knew it involved too much time and effort for her and that she truly didn’t have to go to all that “trouble”. Pastor Paul said she sat quietly after he told her this and then after a few moments she said,”Pastor Paul, please do not take the joy away from me that I get from making this cake for you.”
Needless to say, he never asked her again to curtail her baking efforts for him!
Merry Christmas and Happy 2018 sweet Kelly. Thank you for all your efforts that bring joy to me!
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Gosh thank you so much! And thank you for the super sweet story of Pastor Paul and the cake. It is SO true about the joy that is brought by going to “trouble” over others. I know you had this kind of joy over Christmas. I hope that your 2018 is filled with many joyous times with people you love. Happiest of new years to you Katrina!
Kelly

Marianne in Mo. - December 26, 2017 - 9:57 am

As I read your wonderful post today, all I kept saying to myself was “yes, it’s worth it,” even though as I’m getting older, it gets harder. So I taper back on the decorations, let my husband do the gift shopping, (mostly!), and take the volunteers from family to bring a dish. The important thing, I have found, is being together in whatever way possible. We will “do” Christmas all over again on this coming Saturday – after our daughter and her family arrive for a late Christmas visit. Yes, it’s exhausting, but I hope that they all know and remember after I’m gone, that no matter how we shifted traditions around, I just wanted to do a good job for them! Happy Holidays everyone!
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Oh my Marianne. Thank you for writing your comments on the post. Loved them! (And good job. 🙂 ) Our daughter came late for a “second Christmas” with our family this year too. So I know exactly what you mean. I hope your 2018 is a fabulous new year!
Kelly

Mary Beth Bryan - December 26, 2017 - 9:46 am

Absolutely beautiful!
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Thank you Mary Beth. 🙂

Jackie - December 26, 2017 - 9:40 am

What beautiful words and thoughts. Thanks for sharing. This is one of my favorite posts of yours – it ranks right up there with your tribute to your father-in-law. Thank you!
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Wow! Thank you so much Jackie! I am happy you enjoyed the post.
Many wishes for a happy new year for you and your family in 2018!
Kelly

Tricia - December 26, 2017 - 9:37 am

Thank you, Kelly, for your beautiful message. May your posts continue to bring us joy and inspiration, spiritually and otherwise, for years to come. Wishing you much joy, good health and happiness in 2018.
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What a super sweet comment Tricia! I so appreciate it!
I wish many blessings for you in the coming year. 🙂
Kelly

Dianne - December 26, 2017 - 9:27 am

Kelly,
Best post about Christmas-ever! It’s all true!
Your house looks so beautiful and I could go on and and on about all of the little details I like, so I am sure your family in the midst of it loves it too. You did a good job. I wish you joy and much happiness in the coming year.
DiAnne
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Oh my goodness thank you Dianne! I hope my family enjoys it, but you never know with these guys! LOL
I hope 2018 brings you many blessings. Happy New Year!
Kelly

Kristy - December 26, 2017 - 9:27 am

Thank you Kelly. For sharing Becky’s post. Thank you Debra, Sandy, and all for the lovely posts you’ve replied to Kelly thus far this morning…and those who will reply yet today. Yes, it is a lot of work, and we do it because of the people we love, and want to show them we love them. My mother was in the hospital all week, and came home on Friday; her doctor was insistent she would be home for Christmas, I’m sure I know why; She is frail,(will be 90 in early March). But she was able to regale us with memories, and directions to the kitchen help — as my sister & I prepared a traditional, full meal for our family, (Mom wouldn’t have it any other way). Kelly, your message was beautiful. I love traditions, and sometimes we have to take a look at those time honored traditions, and if they still fit in our lives. A nurse I worked with many years ago, said to an elderly home bound patients, who balked at changing a family traditions, “traditions are meant to be changed.” I keep that tucked away in the back of my mind, because I see it, as my children now grown & may be living in other parts of the country, our traditions will change. Merry Christmas All. God Bless you, as your messages touch many of us out there by the blogs we follow. (Sorry this is so long) Oh – Kelly, what are those little red cards on your table? Are they conversation starters?
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Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment Kristy. Yes, traditions are meant to be changed…certainly as our lives change. Our Christmas Eve tradition changed this year…maybe for the better! 🙂 I am so glad your mother was home for Christmas. I hope that she gains strength in the coming year and will once again give you directions in the kitchen for yet more holidays to come.
The red cards on the table were holiday trivia questions in a set from Target. Lots of fun to ask questions about Christmas traditions, music, and movies around the table. My father started making up his own questions, and that was hilarious!
Happy New Year to you and your family! May 2018 be full of joy for you. 🙂
Kelly

Leigh - December 26, 2017 - 9:22 am

Beautiful decor and beautifully said. Joy to the World, the Lord has come! May 2018 be filled with joy for you and your family. Looking forward to more “Talk of the House” in the new year!
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Leigh, thank you so much! I hope your Christmas was a good one and that your 2018 is your best year yet.
Happy New Year to you!
Kelly

Debbie@debbiethisandthat.com - December 26, 2017 - 9:21 am

How wonderful to see your beautiful post today and what a special and meaningful message you gave to us!! My decorations do not compare to yours and others I have seen on the blogs, but your message tells me that what I do for Christmas is also “well done!” Thank you for that and for sharing yourself, your beautiful home and your lovely words with all of us who love, appreciate and always feel joy in our hearts when we see a new post from you!! Have a blessed and wonderful 2018, Kelly!!
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Yes what you do for Christmas is indeed well done! You did it so that others can experience the joy of Christmas and that is what counts. 🙂
I hope you have a wonderful 2018. Happy New Year to you Debbie!
Kelly

Marsha - December 26, 2017 - 8:55 am

Kelly,

Thank you for your uplifting spirit! Sharing your love and photos are so inspiring! Have a Happy New 2018!
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Thank you for your compliments Marsha! I hope you have a wonderful 2018. 🙂 Happy New Year to you too!
Kelly

Patty in Michigan - December 26, 2017 - 8:34 am

Yes! Yes! Yes! It is all worth it. I heard a saying this year early in December that Christmas is an opportunity to make someone else’s life better. So I heard that in my heart all thru December and tried to live it out. And in working on that, my life was actually better for it. Jesus said that he did not come to be served, but to serve others. Christmas is great way to serve others. I love Christmas and everything that comes with it. This post was beautiful Kelly! Thank you!
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Love that saying! Thank you for sharing this Patty. 🙂 I hope that 2018 is full of many blessings for you and your family.
Happy New Year to you!
Kelly

Sandy - December 26, 2017 - 8:21 am

Joy is definitely the spirit of Christmas. Listening to Perry Como singing Christmas songs while baking my family’s favorite cookies, seeing the faces of young and old at our annual Christmas Eve party, kneeling and praying at the sight of the beautiful nativity in our church,and visiting and watching my ninety-seven year old father enjoy every bite of each Christmas cookie.
Your home with all its red was a joy to view this morning. I do hope to see your blog posts more often.
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What a wonderful picture of Christmas you painted here with your words Sandy! Thank you so much for doing so.
I hope your 2018 is a great year. Happy New Year to you and your family!
Kelly

Shelley @ Calypso in the Country - December 26, 2017 - 8:02 am

As I sit here this morning with a house that looks like a hurricane hit it, I agree with you that yes, it is worth it!! As exhausting the preparations are, I want my family to feel loved and know that I did my very best to make Christmas memorable for them! Your post was beautiful, both visually and in the message. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Shelley
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Thank you for taking the time to leave your kind words here Shelley. I so appreciate it! Enjoy that hurricane! It means that some folks had a good time! LOL I hope that 2018 is filled with many blessings for you and your family. Much love and happiness for the new year!
Kelly

Joanne - December 26, 2017 - 6:54 am

Amen! What a blessing your post was to me this morning. I got up early to have a little quiet time, and reached for my IPad, while telling myself I shouldn’t. I was glad, and surprised, to see a blog from you pop up. While the pictures of your home are so beautiful, your message was even more so and spoke straight to my heart. It brought to my attention the truth as to why we mothers do so much for our families during Christmas. I have never heard a Christmas message put our efforts into perspective like yours … We do this because we want others to feel loved. Thank you for your heartfelt words to all of us mothers. I will be reading this blog many times during the upcoming year. Merry Christmas to you and your dear family!
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You know what is funny? I worked on the post until 2:30 a.m. Something made me feel like I just needed to get it out before morning, and from so many comments (of early risers) it seems that I truly did NEED to get it out before then. It is amazing to me how God can just “reach out and touch” people in the strangest of ways. I am so glad the post blessed you. Everyone’s comments have blessed me! I hope that your 2018 is full of MANY blessings!
Happy New Year to you Joanne!
Kelly

Denise - December 26, 2017 - 6:40 am

Well I’m up early too this day after Christmas even though I said I was going to rest and sleep in after going like a maniac for weeks now. Your post was wonderful. And the comment from Debra helped because it’s somehow comforting to know that others are adjusting to life changes too. My mom has been in a nursing home for the past 2 years and I’ve been determined to keep our traditions going as much as possible. It’s been hard but so worth it. Thank you, Kelly, for your post. You are a blessing to me! God bless you in the new year.
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God bless you Denise as you strive to keep traditions going. It is a way of honoring others when you do that. “Going like a maniac” is a good way to put some of the things we do to prepare for the holidays! Loved that! I pray that 2018 is a wonderful year for you. Many blessings to you!
Kelly

Linda - December 26, 2017 - 5:35 am

Best Christmas post, ever. Loved all the decorating ideas for next year, but loved your message also. Good job.
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Thank you Linda. How sweet of you to say that. 🙂
Many blessings to you for the coming year!
Kelly

Louvina - December 26, 2017 - 5:08 am

I woke up at exactly at 4 am – cold! And wondering when the heat was going to come on? It was 44 degrees and I am totally in charge of everything (due to my husband’s health). And what to my complete surprise did I find? But your Christmas part 3 blog!! What a blessing! And what a wonderful message!! It truly uplifted my sagging spirits—this being the very first Christmas we were not able to do all we traditionally do since I was a child and then as a wife and mother! I said it would be “ok” and it was— but in my heart there was a deep feeling of missing it all and because I, like you and other wives and mothers do what we do because of the love and joy we want for our families. So once again —you sharing your love of family and your home has gone much further than you’ll ever know, dear Kelly! I was pleased to see the red sleigh once again made an appearance!! And seeing old decorations plus some new ones and areas I hadn’t seen before in your home (little village tucked away in the bookcase)-all this and much more —has me saying “Well Done my Special Blogland Friend!” Well Done! And I am feeling the love and my heart feels the warmth you spread from your home to mine and all the others!! Happy Boxing Day! And Happy New Year 2018 ahead! 💕🎄💕🎁💕⛄️💕❄️💕🙏
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I am so sorry this Christmas was a hard one for you Louvina. The year I had pneumonia was much like that for me. Sometimes these human bodies just don’t cooperate with us, do they?
Of course that red sleigh appeared again in my holiday decorations! I couldn’t leave it out! The little village is my Mitford village that I FINALLY figured out a place for. (Took me waaaaay too many years to think of that! 🙁 )
Here is to a healthier and happier 2018 for you my friend. Happy New Year!
Kelly

Debra - December 26, 2017 - 4:07 am

Have been awake since midnight. I know they say you should “unplug” from the internet and truly give your body rest. I reached for my iPhone like a bad girl and how strange I wasn’t even scrolling through my email alerts and your post popped up. Strange. Your post was what I needed. This Christmas was hard, as I just had lost my mother on December 2nd. Joy was a struggle. Yes, I went through the motions, baking, decorating (more minimally), shopping (only for my grandbabies), cleaning and Christmas eve and Day dinners. I was feeling it would have been easier to pack a small bag and be on a beach somewhere but I needed to accept that this was life, and one must carry on, (especially a mom) and that my family needed the normalcy. It wasn’t easy but I did it. Moments of joy were found in the cookie tray I made that everyone enjoyed (that was tradition, as my mother would always bring one), or was it the happy smiles of my grandbabies faces as they opened their gifts from Nonni and Papa as my children did, or maybe it was the pretty table I set just like my mom would do and maybe it was the contentment on my husband’s face yesterday when it was all done and he sat in his easy chair with our pup. Yes, through it all, I still never wanted to lose focus of the real reason for the season. God did bless us all and keep us in his care. #mary#amotherslove#thesegiftswebring#angelsrejoicing Joyous Tidings to you and your family Kelly.
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I am glad you were a “bad girl” Debra, because your comments touched the hearts of so many readers of the post. Thank you for your words here. Even with the joy of Christmas, many still have a hard time with the holiday…especially when they have experienced the loss of a loved one. I am glad you could find moments of joy in the season. That is what counts…those small moments. And the fact that you did not lose focus on the real reason for the season speaks volumes about you! 🙂 I pray that you continue to find joy as you enter 2018. May it be a year filled with many blessings.
Happiest of new years to you. 🙂
Kelly

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