As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Slow Decorating in the Guest Room

When Kati got married in May 2019, her room became our guest room. I called it my "consolation prize," this new room to decorate. I had purchased a pineapple post bed on Facebook Marketplace that spring, and eight days after the wedding, Bekah and I set up the bed and jumped into redecorating the room.

The bed and coverlet were new. We shopped the house for everything else.

May 26, 2019

We have been slow decorating that room ever since . . one little bit at a time, buying a few pieces, tweaking here and there. 

We found this chest of drawers at a local antique store. 

Bekah spotted this little table at another antique store, a bargain at $36.00!

The little stool was buried under stuff in another antique store. It was the perfect little landing area for a purse or a bag as you enter the room. 

Last summer, I found the the lovely matelassé coverlet and shams, also a fabulous bargain at $18.00! 

 Ron made shutters for the windows in the spring of 2021.

And then there was the succession of chairs . . . 

I bought this one on Facebook Marketplace. It had a tan slipcover which was not the right color for the room. The original fabric was a little luster that didn't fit. I could have had it reupholstered, but the chair was actually too big for the space so we moved it to the library where it became Ron's office chair while he worked from home. (When he went back to the office, I resold the chair on Marketplace for the same price I had paid.) 

This chair was another Marketplace find. Even though the fabric was faded, I liked the style and size of this chair and intended to have it reupholstered.
But, it has since moved to the library . . . 

. . . because about a month later, we drove by an antique store and saw this chair in the window display. 

Close-up view shows true color

I loved the style and I was pretty sure it was a Johnston Benchworks chair (high quality furniture maker which is no longer in business), so we went inside to check it out. It was Johnston Benchworks and it was $99!


The fabric on the arms was dingy, but the red check didn't fit my vibe for the room anyway. 

If you have a quality piece of furniture, reupholstering it makes sense, and it is usually economical. Our living room sofa is also a Johnston Benchworks piece that we purchased from a friend. When the fabric became worn, we had it reupholstered because we couldn't buy a new sofa (especially one of comparable quality) for the price that we paid. 

We planned to reupholster the guest room chair over a year ago, but there were a few obstacles. Last spring, however, I was able to order some discounted fabric through a friend from a company that was discontinuing their furniture line. So instead of ordering fabric only for my guest room chair, I also ordered fabric for the loveseat in the library (the same loveseat that was in The Farmhouse kitchen) and the wing chair that is now in the library, and we'll have those two pieces done later this year.

Are you tracking with me? Following all of those chairs around the house? 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Back to the guest room . . .  

This is what it looks like today. 

My sister gave me the rug. I'm not sure if it will stay here because the cream colored background is bothering me a little. We'll see. 

And now this corner of the room fits with the rest, with its newly upholstered chair and the shelf that my sister also gave me.

On the list of house projects for 2023 are fishtail swags for the guest room windows, but I haven't even chosen the fabric yet. I'm also on the hunt for a small table to sit beside the chair to hold a guest's book or drink or phone. Other than that, I feel that the guest room is done! (As much as a room is ever "done.") 

We are eagerly anticipating having some special guests in this room soon!  

Sometimes it sounds like fun to decorate a space all at once, but I really think that slow decorating is better . . . collecting things over time, looking for just the right pieces, tweaking as you go. What do you think? How do you decorate? 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Christmastime | 2022

During the Christmas seasons of 2020 and 2021, I was very guarded about my excitement about our plans. Everything seemed tenuous and plans were changing from moment to moment. In spite of everything (including several delays and false alarms), we were blessed to be able to celebrate together both of those years! 

And then this year, plans were derailed by an "ordinary" sickness.  

On the day that they were to fly here for a 10-day visit, our kids were struck with a nasty tummy bug (which feels anything but "ordinary" when it hits!) and their trip was delayed . . . and then cancelled altogether when the bug hung on for dear life. 

And so, it was a Christmas of "James," as much of this year was. 

At the end of my last post, I prayed that we would all find joy in our celebrations. 

Not the joy of warm fuzzies or perfect holiday celebrations.
Not the joy of an untroubled life.

But the joy of a Savior who came to save His people from their sins!

And so, even though our celebrations did not go as planned and the disappointment was palpable at times, we continued to rejoice in the coming of our Savior and we found joy, even amid the changes. (Yes, even in "James!")


We had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast on Christmas Eve. One of us balked at this "James." ("You mean we're going to have Christmas morning breakfast on the day before Christmas and our Christmas buffet the day after Christmas?!) But Christmas was on a Sunday and in our slow-ish household, no one could imagine cooking a big breakfast, eating it leisurely, taking some over to Mom and Daddy, and being ready for church by 9:30, so Christmas Eve it was. 

The menu was traditional, the same one we have had for twenty-ish years: Christmas Morning Casserole, baked oatmeal, Mom's orange rolls
(although I made them this year for the first time), fruit salad, and sausage balls. (Oops. We forgot to get the sausage balls that Mom had made, so we ate those another day.)   

We hadn't planned to attend the Christmas Eve candlelight service because it would have been late for Kati's babies, but since they were not here, we went. I was sad, but it was a lovely service. 

Fun fashion note: Bekah has two dresses that are similar and she decided to wear the black one on Christmas Eve and the winter white one on Christmas Day. Of course, it was bitter cold so she added the red cardigan. 


Nearly everything was different about Christmas Day.

We went to church in the morning, then opened our gifts to one another and had (what?!) Wedding Beef for lunch. 

That moment when you realize that you're twinning with Lamb Chop! 😂

Our Christmas Day has always been full of people and feasting and celebrations, but this year all of that was for the next day. So we made some hot beverages, put our Christmas playlist on Spotify, and took a long drive. Very non-traditional, but we enjoyed it. 

In the evening, we visited Mom and Daddy. Mom filled us with Christmas treats and I didn't take a single photo except the one of my treat-laden plate. 🤦🏻‍♀️


(It became tedious to always say "the day after Christmas" when we were making our plans, so Ryan started calling it "Post-Christmas" and that worked.)

On Post-Christmas, we had our usual family gathering, sans Kati and family and my Daddy who does not venture out much these days. Although we missed them greatly, it was a grand day of celebration, togetherness, laughter, and good food. 

Non-alcoholic Scarlett O'Hara punch served in an antique hobnail punch bowl

Hors d'oeuvres buffet

We hadn't seen Katrina on her birthday earlier in the month,
so she began the gift-opening time with a birthday present!

Trying on Katrina's Mini Mouse hoodie, of course. 

Dessert buffet

And because some of us did not get to finish watching it on Thanksgiving Day, we replayed the old home movie that Ron's family had created over thirty years ago. So many laughs! 

Ron had the rest of the week off. But since Kati and Andrew and the babies were not here, we had to adjust our plans. 

We had planned to share meals, soak up baby time (the babies are now 2 1/2 years and 18 months old, but they're still babies to me), drink coffee from our favorite coffee shop, and have long conversations with our faraway family (who we haven't seen since May). Sigh . . . 

Instead . . .

We did a lot, but with no deadlines and no hurry.

I did almost no cooking because we had Christmas leftovers. 

We spent an evening with Kristin and family.

Ron and I went out for breakfast at a new-to-us place.

We went antiquing on three different days in three different towns. 

Bekah had friends over for games . . . twice. 

We took several drives. 

We drank eggnog lattes two more times. 

We went out for dinner on New Year's Eve and then came home and played games. 

So, although we would rather have had all of our dear ones near (and not sick!), and although we missed them so much, (and this mama confesses to some self-pity and some tears),

we experienced much joy and grace during this beautiful Christmastime of 2022! Emmanuel - God With Us!

The tree lights were off and Ron yawned BIG right in the middle of it (it was past his bedtime and he had no idea I was recording), but it was a beautiful way to usher in the new year . . . with Bekah playing "Be Thou My Vision." 

🎶 Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
🎶 Naught be all else to me save that Thou art!

🎶  Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
🎶 Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

May HE be your vision in 2023!

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