Christmas mantel!

It is so much fun to see all the projects going on around blogland this time of year!
I haven't had nearly the time I'd like to see everything, but here's hoping I can make the rounds today and see as much as possible!

One of the best things about decorating for the holidays is taking something out of it's spot and trying it somewhere else.  I'm kinda likin' some of the new 'homes' for my stuff! 
At least for the month of December!  :)

I moved our big bayberry leaf wreath from the entry way to the wall over the mantel.  This was a major bargain from Target a few years ago!  It was on clearance the day after Christmas for $2.99! 
I think it was around $40 originally!

We've had lots of different stockings over the years- these have been around for awhile, also from Target.  I'm thinking about switching it up next year. 

Some mercury class candle holders and glittered snowflakes.  The tall mercury holder is from Anthropologie, and the small one I got at Craft Warehouse.  The stocking holders were a purchase from Ebay several years ago- probably the same year I got the stockings!

I like to use a lot of red berries and pinecones.  They make for great inexpensive fillers!

These cute little monogram ornaments are from Pottery Barn, this year.  I got these at their holiday decorating class- so fun!

My husband gave me this cute little ice skating couple 2 years ago in my stocking.  When I was a kid, my family would go up to Lloyd Center in Portland, and my dad would take us ice skating while my mom did the Christmas shopping. 
Sadly, the shop that he got these from closed the same year.  It was one of my favorites!  :(

On the other end of the mantel, I have the irridescent hurricane glass candle holder. 
The fourth stocking and stocking holder you see here are for Bella.  I had a fourth matching stocking holder, but it broke a couple years ago, and this was the closest to the original that I could find! 
(she doesn't care- I already asked her.)

And there you have it!
I like to keep our holiday decorations pretty simple.  Less stress, less cleanup at the end of the season, and more time for the stuff that really matters!

Please join me in these fun link ups!

The Lettered Cottage

over the river and through the woods

....for our Christmas tree, that is!
We went to our favorite tree farm- Reinhart's in Silverton, Oregon!

Silverton is like stepping back in time.  They have a true main street, picket fences, church steeples- it's like Mayberry!

Reinhart's is way out in the country, and the drive is so beautiful.

We always stop off in the barn to find out which section has the kind of tree we're looking for, and then grab some hot cider and a cookie for our hunt.

We headed out towards this field...

 It typically takes us no longer than five minutes to find the perfect one- they are all so gorgeous!

 This was the one we picked.
Full, really tall, and no holes!  The top was a little bent, but we could fix that.

 My husband always cuts it down and we yell, "TIMBER!"
(except for this year, it was just me.  We have a 'mature' 10 year old now. And I'm a dork.)

Someone from the farm comes by with their quad and a trailer, they mark the bottom of the tree with your initials, and haul it back to the barn to take home.

They always shake it out to remove any excess needles (or bugs!)
and then bale it up for easy handling and so the branches don't get bent for the trip home.

I always make Gingerbread cake the day we get our tree.  Nothing fancy, it's just from the box. 
A big dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.

We get the tree in the stand while it's still baled, and bring it inside.  Inevitably, we trim some branches off the bottom and I use them for decorating. 

Then the hubs puts the lights on.  :)
And then I get to work while he catches up on football.
the view from the staircase

This is one of my favorite ornaments.  We've had it for awhile.  Our tree is a mix of vintage and rustic, in classic colors.

I've started adding in more silver to our Christmas decor- it goes better with our day to day stuff, so I can mix more of that in with the Christmas.

A vintage postcard!
The silver netting was something I had on my 'wish list' for this year.  Do you ever do that?

As we were getting ready to take down the Christmas decorations last year, I stuck a Post It note on the month of November for this year so I would remember ahead of time what it was that I was wanting.

Mission accomplished!
(I hate my handwriting!)

Our tree is a collection of ornaments- we still have some from when we were first married, some are handmade from craftspeople, a few new ones mixed in, some are gifts....

I recently started tucking in the frosty holly and berry picks for a different texture.
The wooden cranberry garlands have been a staple for a long time. 
This year, I think we have 900 lights on the tree! 
Now that it's all decorated, let's hope that we don't have the pesky strand that decides to go out right before company comes over!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 
Thank you so much to those of you who commented on Hannah's birthday post. 
You guys really know how to choke a girl up.

Happy Monday, Friends!


my miracle story

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Hannah Noel. 
It means, gracious Christmas child. 

Her original due date was December 14. 
God brought her a few weeks early so we could always remember how thankful we are for her.

Like most couples, we started trying to have a family shortly after we got married.
Weeks turned into months. 
Months turned to years.
I started to wonder why my body was failing me as a woman.
I prayed a lot.
It felt like God wasn't listening.  Or at least not telling me anything.

I hated baby showers.  Baby announcements.
A constant reminder of what wasn't happening for us. 
It sounds pretty selfish, and maybe it was. 
It was just really painful.
It seemed so easy for everyone else.

We decided to share our journey with our young married Sunday school class. 
People began praying for us, and asking if we were interested in adoption.
We were, and it seemed like the right thing to do next, since medically we'd done all we could afford.

More heartaches and disappointments even in that route.
We began foster/adoption classes through the State.

And then we went on a couples retreat with our Sunday School class.
We were excited to tell them about our next step in adoption.

 One of our leaders suggested that all of our friends come around us and pray for us. 
He also prayed for us to get pregnant.

This made one of my BFF's very angry, because she was being protective of us and our decision.
I didn't mind.  I'll take all the prayers I can get- whatever they are!

We continued the adoption classes.

And then something weird happened.  I started craving cheeseburgers at 3 pm.  Even though I'd just had lunch, and was still hungry for dinner a couple hours later. 
Didn't think much of it.

Yep.  A month after our retreat where we were prayed for, I conceived. 
An absolute miracle.

November 26, 2000

One of my favorite people in this world is Beth Moore. 
She says that when someone in the Bible is dealing with infertility, God is about to do something great. 
I believe that. 

age 3, glamour girl pose

first day of preschool

new house, and a vegetable garden

silly Christmas elf

tennis camp

8th birthday trip to Disneyland with Mimi and Papa  (and I don't mean Woody and Jessie!)

I've seen all kinds of little miracles- both through adoption and conception.
I don't know why God answers our prayers in the way He does, but I know He is faithful and good,
 no matter the outcome.
And He knows the best timing and gives us good things.  Including little miracles.

I look at my baby girl, and am so grateful to be a momma.  She's pretty amazing.

Halloween 2010

Happy Birthday Nanna.
Love you tons.

1 Samuel 1:27
I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me my petition.

a pretty fun day! (and part two of the tween bedroom makeover)

Wow, I am just absolutely giddy at the moment. 

First of all, we woke up to a beautiful little blanket of snow!  For those of us in the Willamette Valley, November 23 is EARLY for any snow!  It's rare to get it at all, but especially this time of year!!

Secondly, I won an awesome giveaway!!!!
I can't believe it! 
Mary, at Urban Farmgirl hosted a Pottery Barn gift card giveaway, and I won!? 
What the heck?! 
I never win anything!
Maybe my luck is changing!  ;)

I just love her blog.  If you haven't visited, you need to.  I've even gone all the way back to her first post, and it is so inspiring.  I can only aspire to be like her!

So, now I am enjoying my warm furry boots, a cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer, and sharing my progress on my Rocker Chick's bedroom.
Here we go:

Yesterday, I worked on her art panels, which I will show you how to make here.

Last week I showed you her canopy that I made.
I'll briefly touch on some of the items in this photo before starting my lil tutorial.
The white bedside table was an incredible deal at one of my favorite spots- Aunt Bee's of course!  I picked it up for $14.  It was red, and very cute, but obviously not the right color here.  
I spray painted it, but that's about it!

My dad made the bed several years ago for her. 
We based it off of one we liked from The Land of Nod.

Ok, so on to the wall art!
First off, we started with some foam panels.  They were 12" wide and almost 3' long.
I purchased some black foam core, and the black and charcoal gray guitar fabric.

I also purchased some of this spray adhesive. 

I layed out the foam panel and cut enough around the edges for it to cover the sides. 
Then, I took the fabric off, sprayed the foam with the glue, and after waiting a minute for it to get tacky, I layed the fabric over it, and smoothed it out.  

After the drying time was completed (about 30 minutes)

I went around the edges with some craft glue and secured the fabric to the back and sides of the foam.

Next, I borrowed a couple of her guitars that she plays with  :) 
and traced them onto the black foam core.

I then cut it out with a craft knife. 
Next came the fun part.....glitter!  Who doesn't like to glitter?
We bought a big jar of black glitter and my girl and I glittered away.
I liberally sprayed the guitars with more of the spray adhesive,
and waited a minute before sprinkling it on.

After it was dry enough to handle, I hot glued the guitars onto the panels, and for added stability, I used a couple straight pins through the foam core and panels.  The glitter hides the pin head, so you'd never see it.

Next, I stuck some velcro dots onto the backs of the panels....

I put both of the Velcro pieces together and then stuck the sticky side onto the wall. 
I dropped the first panel between her bed and the wall!  It slipped right out of my hands as I was carefully trying to hang it.
After some mumbled cussing  (my girl was out getting the mail at the moment- no worries)  LOL!
I got it hung right where it was supposed to go.  I just measured from the top of the ceiling to the top of where I wanted the panel to go.

I am so happy with the final result!
More importantly, so is my girl!  :)

I like that it has some edge to it, but also that little bit of glam.

You may have noticed the chandelier in the first picture. 
That was one of my daughter's requests. 
On Veteran's Day we went up to Ikea and found this cute lil number for $39.99.  I thought it was a great deal, and definitely a LOT cuter than the builder's light fixture!


And after:

That's all for today.  The snow is falling again, and I'm going to work on a cord cover for her paper lantern next to the bed, and some curtain panels for the window!
A great day to stay inside.

I hope you are having a fantastic Tuesday!

I'm thankful for my warm home on a day like today.  I do not take it for granted to live here. 
I know so many people are struggling to make ends meet and to keep the home they love. 

Linking to:
These Creative Juices
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Metamorphosis Monday at BNOTP
Feathered Nest Fridays

weekend at the coast and cottage tour

This past weekend we had the privelege of celebrating my in law's 50th wedding anniversary!
They treated all of us kids to a weekend at the Oregon Coast.

We had a party in their honor this last summer, but their anniversary is this week, and they thought it would be fun to get away!

We stayed at a beautiful beach cottage near the ocean. 
There were so many neat little details, I just couldn't resist!

The third floor had a gorgeous open beam ceiling.  The loft featured a gangway overlooking the dining area and living room.

These adirondack chairs were up in the loft- all made from hockey sticks.

The house had a huge dining table!  We had some yummy dinners and game nights here....
It's hard to see from this angle, but the table legs were wrapped in rope.

The front door had a port hole for the window.  I love that you can see the reflection of the ocean in the window!

I was in love with the tiles and wall color of the bathroom we used.  These octagonal tiles are what we are wanting to put in our master bathroom.

All of the doors featured these gorgeous glass knobs.

This was the view we had from the side of the house! 
We took a walk Saturday morning.  I couldn't resist snapping a couple pictures of these other gorgeous beach homes.  
I adore shingled beach houses like this one:

This pretty Victorian had two turrets on the backside of the house overlooking the beach.

And let's get one thing straight.  In Oregon, you're not going to the beach.  You're going to the coast. 
There are about two months out of the year where you can get away with saying you're going to the beach.  What's the difference you ask?
At the beach, you wear swimsuits. 

At the coast, you dress like this:

Because it is COLD!!!!  :)

On Sunday before we headed home, we had to stop at the go-to place on the Oregon Coast
for clam Chowder.  The little town of Taft, next to Lincoln City, where we stayed, is our favorite Mo's location.

You can see how the weather really changed since Saturday!!  A winter storm was coming through.

Mo's has been around for decades.  They have several locations up and down the coast. 

This particular location has a gorgeous view of the bay.  You can eat your lunch or dinner and watch the fishing boats come in.

Mo's famous clam chowder.  Always served with a little melting pat of butter on top.  And you can't have the clam chowder and pass up the cheese garlic toast!

We had a great time together.  We stretched our tummies out with all of the good food, just in time for Thanksgiving!
I am so thankful for my in laws and their lasting marriage.  I am also thankful for my in laws who love me and accept me just as I am.  It's so easy and fun to be with them!

I'm working on my daughter's bedroom today.  I should have some posts up on some completed projects this week!  Good timing since we are supposed to get some snow in the next 48 hours! 
Happy Monday everyone!