Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Undeck the Halls

The holidays are here and gone... can you believe it? And usually with the return of January 3rd or 4th comes a little bit of let-down. The family has left town or you have traveled home, the cookies and yummy treats that you've allowed yourself to indulge on for the past month have all been gobbled up, and those Christmas decorations that were fun to put up are now just taunting you with the task of taking them back down. But for some reason this year, I actually enjoyed taking them down. Christmas and New Year here in Mauneyland were spectacular, and it was a nice break from the norm, but I realized as I "undecked the halls" that I love the norm... the norm is good. Often times I can get so caught up in checking out other blogs and reading about other lives that I forget how good I have it here. I have blogging friends that seem to have it all, do it all, and have perfect hair and cute outfits all the while I sit here in my sweats and continuously figure out a way to squeeze in three minutes of me-time to blog or workout or whatever!

But then I think about the things I blog about... my wonderful family, our fun vacations, our beautiful house... and I realize that anyone reading my blog might think the same about me. I wade through our mounds of pictures to find the ones where I look the cutest, regardless of how everyone else looks (oh come on, you do it, too!) and I talk about our happiest times. With this, I do hope that I never sound like I'm boasting or bragging, because I certainly do not want to come across that way, but looking back over the past year of posts, I can see how much joy we've shared here. Regardless of whatever other struggles we are going through, and believe me, we have them just like everyone else (as to my perfect blogger friends), there is so much laughter and an abundance of joy and I love that it has been captured here in my own little blogoshere. I used to keep a journal about all of the things that I am thankful for day-to-day, but this is so much better, and it makes me excited for the "norm" of 2011. It's a new year, and with that comes such hope, such excitement, and such a feeling that anything can happen. So as you take down your ornaments this year or get beat up by pine needs as you try desperately to unwrap the lights from its grip (yes, this already happened to me), just keep your eyes focused on the promise that is to come. And most importantly, fix your eyes on Jesus and the promises of His father. I find that my years are full of joy and happiness because I continue to keep my priorities straight. And just think... if I focus even more of my day-to-day norm on Him, 2011 will be more blessed than I can even fathom. I can't wait!

And just because I love posts with pictures (and because I never got around to it in December), here are a few snapshots of our home before the undecking. Our home is truly more cozy at Christmastime...

Our snowman and woman guard the candy, but don't ever seem to do a good job. These two lucky fellows were forgotten about when we put away stuff in 2009, so they got to stay out all year long, even through the summer!

The lighted garland up our banister is always my favorite!

We don't have one- but two!- mantles to decorate. I contemplated leaving the lighted garland up all year round because it looks so bare without it!

And let's not forget the stockings!

My mom has made all of our stockings over the years. As we got married, she lovingly crafted each of our husbands their very own. And then came grandkids and of course she did the same. I searched everywhere for this one as it was a "vintage" kit (meaning they don't make it anymore) and found it on eBay. I think it's now my favorite.

And here's where the real fun begins... and a quick story. This is our living room... or was our living room until the week before Christmas. When my sister and her husband were here, they asked us if we had ever considered putting the pool table in this room and our living room furniture in the room where our pool table resided. We had always felt like our living room was pretty cramped, and the room with the pool table really served no purpose as we rarely play and it is smack in the middle of our house. So within two hours the four of us had made the switch- light fixtures and all! So for Christmas we not only got lots of presents... but we got more space! I don't really have "before" pictures of the rooms before the change (aside from this one) because it all happened so fast! So here's the old living room decorated before...

The tree in its new spot in what used to be the "billiard room"...

And the room undecked! This picture is taken from the old living room, which is the new home to our pool table... confused yet? Our new living room is so much bigger. Thank you, Mike and Mindy for all of your help! We love it!

And one more shot from the dining room. Our living room is now in a much more central location in our house and much more conducive for family and friend gatherings. Why didn't we think of this sooner? Plus (and ironically enough) our furniture actually matches the new rooms better... I never liked the green with the red pool table and the old living room was too beige. Problem solved!

So that's our extreme home makeover for 2011... new year, new living space, new hope! :) I wish you all the best for your 2011, too! Make everyday count!


  1. "I have blogging friends that seem to have it all, do it all, and have perfect hair and cute outfits all the while I sit here in my sweats and continuously figure out a way to squeeze in three minutes of me-time to blog or workout or whatever!"
    I feel like I could have written this myself.

    Love the "new" living room too...lots more space and a very familiar little green dinosaur! Your house is beautiful and has so much Christmas decorations required :)

  2. It looks HUGE now! You guys have plenty more space for small groups and get-togethers. Plus, it's perfectly situated in the middle of your house, where it should be. Thanks so much for posting pics!

    (PS. Yes, I do it too... or Photoshop them!)

  3. Haha, Channa... just find solace in knowing that you are in good company. :) I'm a mess most of the time!

    Mindy, you can redecorate our house anytime. Thanks for the suggestion!