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I miss your sweet little faces! We are all still alive, happy, healthy and procrastinating on decorating our Christmas tree. Just like old times!

Please tell me there’s some kind of cool minimalism about putting up a live Christmas tree and then just… not decorating it… for a long time. It’s probably hipster, like a tiny house or a precariously high man-bun.

Together we can make this a thing.

The naked tree is the extent of what I’ve contributed to my children’s Christmas experience this year. I call it “Parenting to Keep Their Expectations Low.” You know, that way it doesn’t take much to thrill them.

We did one real, responsible Christmas activity so far: get photos taken!

Soooo maybe I’m supermom after all?

(Just go with it.)

We actually started and are going to finish a real-live home project. Actually a couple! Remember Weston’s room?

The one that had been on our “home goals” list pretty much every year? Except all we actually did in there was replace the crib with a mattress on the floor? Which doesn’t really count as doing anything, except maybe further training in keeping their expectations low?

That room.

I finally got inspired! And also sick of the lack of storage and function that regularly resulted in the searing pain of Legos drilling through the tender flesh on the bottom of my foot when I stepped on them!

Legend has it the most beautiful interior design results from your life flashing before your eyes as your bare foot closes down on the knife-sharp edges of a Lego Brick of Death.

We’re redoing everything! I’m going to tell you all about it, but probably in a couple weeks after all the Christmas craziness passes. It’s coming along really well (that is to say, I imagine it ending up well and so far it still has a chance of ending up like I’m picturing it in my head). Fingers crossed.

Tell me how you’ve been! I want to know everything! If we were together in real life, I’d be like your giant labrador when you get home from work: overeager, jumping all over you and staring into your eyes with intense lasers of emotion! (No crotch-sniffing though, promise.)

Let's connect


  1. Lynn Turner says:

    How great to hear from you!! I hear you on the whole procrastination thing! My hubby and I usually end up with a nativity and fireplace garland for Christmas! This year though, the boys are coming home for Christmas and we will be together for the holidays for the first time in several years… so yesterday, up went the tree. On the home decor front, we still have concrete in the living room and hallway. We have flooring to put down. It’s a lovely cherry composite. We’ve had it for about six years. The problem is that we also have seven dogs, so the concrete is far more manageable. I am trying to talk him into just staining and sealing it, but…. well, you know. Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    • Kelly! WOW I’ve missed you!! I’m so happy to hear that things are going well though. The photos are amazing–but hard to mess up when you have such beautiful subjects!! 😉 Thank you for giving me a perfect reason not to feel guilty that I barely did ANY decorating this year; love it–now I can just say I’m setting the proper expectation for my boys!
      Can’t wait to see the room–and umm yeah on the Lego injury–those things are deadly especially during the middle of the night when you can’t scream!!!!
      Have a very Merry Christmas and thanks so much for the post! You MADE my day!! 😉

      • Thank you SO much Stephanie! You and I are together doing an awesome job at making our kids appreciate Christmas — because they didn’t get overwhelmed by too many decorations at once. (Right?! Look at this justification I’m doing.)

    • That sounds beautiful. I do love a good concrete floor!

  2. Hi Kelly,

    It was so great to see your post appear in my blog feed! I hope that you will continue to inspire us with your decorating ideas after the holiday craziness is over. Your family photos look amazing, and I am kicking myself that we did not do the family photo shoot earlier, as we are now scrambling to find a picture for the holiday card at the eleventh hour. Looking forward to seeing your posts!


  3. First off, I was super happy to see your post pop up. Second, I’m incredibly relieved to hear that we aren’t the only ones to have done the mattress on the floor (sort of) temporarily before. I tried to console myself by saying our daughter was less likely to hurt herself when she fell off her bed if it was on the floor, but if we’re being honest here, that was little more than a fringe benefit. I’m excited to see how the room comes together!

    • The mattress on the floor thing is actually recommended as part of montessori thinking (I’m pretty sure), so I consoled myself by saying we were making him smarter somehow. 😉

  4. So happy to see you are well! Trees…we were minimalist last year! It got lights but nothing else. No ornaments, no garlands, no wreaths, no holiday decorations of any kind in our house except the lit tree. Baby #3 arrived the month before, so I had no care left for anything else! Merry Christmas!

  5. Welcome back! And good news: setting up your tree but not decorating it immediately is a tip I read recently about how to incorporate celebrating Advent into your every day life (since you are slowly decorating, you’re modeling the prepatory aspect of the season). I, on the other hand, decorated in 6 hours because I have no idea how long the tree will last with an almost-crawling 7 month old and I am determined to enjoy it until it is destroyed 😉

  6. Hi Kelly,So glad to see you and your happy family back. I missed you!
    I was especially thinking of you last Friday because I decided my white microfiber couch needed a little(maybe more) pick-me-up before Christmas. I thought you had devoted a blog post to that subject as well as rug washing and couldn’t find them in your previous posts. Can you tell me how I can read those again? Maybe I can pin them so I won’t lose them. Blessings and Merry Christmas. Don’t worry about the tree. A friend had a good suggestion, she is trying to put 10 ornaments on per day. Hopefully done by Christmas:)

  7. Hi Kelly! I was happy, happy, happy to see your post in my email this morning. I’m so glad all is well and can’t wait to hear how the room update goes. I’m curious; did you ever get your master bathroom update done? I can’t remember where you left off but would love to hear about it. I really want to get started on our master bath after the new year and some inspiration from you would be just what I need.

    • (Hiding my face) I have made zero bathroom progress, except thinking about it a lot. 🙂

      • I know that feeling. My husband and I (emphasis on “I” 🙂 ) think and talk about a lot of things to do with our home but hey a girl’s gotta dream right?

      • I was going to ask about it, too! No worries….it’s simply because you are selflessly putting your son’s needs above your own, right? 😉 Missed you Kelly and beautiful pics. Hope you had a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

  8. Great to hear from you again! Totally going to steal the ‘parenting for low expectations’ comment. I’ve already used it once today.

  9. I’ve missed your posts! moved to a new city, buying a new house the week after christmas and I FINALLY got a new couch! hooray! Can’t wait to see Weston’s room!

  10. It brought tears to my eyes to see your post! Missed you soooooo much!!! Can’t wait to see your future posts and so happy to hear that you are all well. Beautiful pics! Thank you for the lovely Christmas gift!

  11. My brother has a dog that does all of that. Even if I leave and return 15 minutes later after running an errand for my mom when I visit. It’s cute.
    I was so excited to see a blog post from you and even more excited to see that we have Weston’s room project coming up. I have no children but I have stepped on Legos before (after all I did leave them out along with my sister and brother as a child). I can totally see how that blinding pain can result in ideas that only near-death experiences can bring.
    I wrote a novel’s manuscript (it’s almost done I swear…I keep telling myself this) in November so that’s what’s been happening in my world. There’s even some beautiful home design IN the novel.

    • No way! I’m super impressed you wrote a whole manuscript. That’s super adult! PLEASE let me know when it’s out!!

      • It was for National Novel Writing Month. I participate every year and so far have not written something I deem publishable so it may be out never, or maybe I found my niche this year!

  12. TucsonPatty says:

    I’m so glad to see your beautiful faces! The kids have grown into big people!
    I don’t care what you write about…I’ll read it all!
    Welcome home. : )

  13. you’re alive! but i am not. according to instagram i am a spambot, so you never know if this is a genuine comment or not. 😉 LOVE you and the pics are gorgeous and i can’t wait to see weston’s room! and i am coming to haven… already talked to my sis in law and going to hang with them a few days, too!!! so you have to go now.

  14. I am so so so SO excited to see a post from you! I routinely stalk the blog to see if there’s been anything new, and this just made my day! Beautiful family pics! I wouldn’t stress about a not-fully-decorated Christmas tree…the run-up to Christmas never seems to leave enough time to get EVERYTHING done, no matter how early you start. I got all my decorating done the weekend after Thanksgiving because I decided to be an overachiever and make all homemade gifts for my in-laws this year. I thought getting decorating done was a good omen for staying on task with everything else. NOT. My poor hubby is getting Christmas-ed out watching me have a mini freakout over whoever’s gift I’m working on crafting that night. But at least the gifts are turning out super yummy and super cute so far?

  15. So happy to see that you’re back! I missed your posts! 🙂 I can’t wait to see Weston’s room! I know it will amaze! You always do!

  16. I have missed you so much! You are one of my three favorite bloggers… your outlook on life and style of writing. Hope you will be able to find time to blog for us more. Merry Christmas!

  17. The kids are so big!! No more baby face for either of them and they’re beautiful, and you two look good too! I have to tell you a quick story, when we were little (there were 5 of us) Mom and Dad would load us all in the stationwagon and we’d go pick out our fresh tree, then we’d put it a bucket in the back yard for a few days, then it would come into the house and put in the stand, where it would have to have time to fall. And it would stay that way… all the way to Christmas Eve. We’d go to bed after hanging our stockings, 5 excitedly crazy kids. And we’d wake up Christmas Morning and it looked like a winter wonderland/Christmas town. We thought Santa decorated the tree, the inside of the house after we went to sleep, gifts, put under the tree and we’d get up at 5am! My folks were just getting into bed when we were getting up! ISN’T THAT CRAZY??? Yes it is, but I have the most magical memories of Christmas. A naked Christmas tree brings to me the most wonderful feeling of what is to come. And yes, our expectations were lower than most because we went from “nothing” to “Magical” with just some decorations and lights. I love that. Hahaha, sorry about the novel. Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and an Extremely Happy New Year!!

    • WOW. Your parents are incredible! I’ve never heard of waiting until Christmas day to decorate the tree, but that both validates me (yay!) and also seems like the most magical way to do Christmas. You don’t get the decorated tree as long, but you get a pretty incredible Christmas morning as a kid. Your parents sound awesome!

  18. Your children are smiling, that makes you Supermom in my book!

  19. OH YOU ARE ALIVE! I’m so happy And projects coming! Yay!! I hope you are back to stay!!

  20. I was just thinking of you yesterday as I was sewing another pair of tab top room darkening drapes. Thanks for terrific instructions and perfect comments about the process. Glad you are back!

  21. Am almost embarrassed to say I let out a little squeal of joy when I saw there was a blog post (I was at work, lol) ! So glad to see your smiling faces, and I look forward to more down-to-earth, real people tips and projects. Yay for Kelly, Andy and View Along the Way!

  22. Hey! Long time, no see! 🙂 I like parenting to keep their expectations low. That’s a good plan. I’m so much happier when I have low expectations, because then I’m often in a state of being pleasantly surprised. My kids should live like that too. I’d say that’s an important life skill. 🙂

  23. Great photos! I can’t remember who, because I’m so behind on blog reading, but someone or other posted about undecorated trees being a thing just the other day. so there you go! ornaments are so 2014.

  24. Glad we aren’t the only ones 🙂 Put up our first real Christmas tree this year (after bargain hunting all the way down to the $15 hobo trees in the back) and enjoyed it naked in our dining room for quite some time. Finally a friend graciously “donated” a few strings of lights 🙂 Added to that the five ornaments we’ve collected so far in our 3.5 years of marriage and TA-DA!!

  25. We have a naked tree too, just lights, and I kind of like it:)

  26. Well, thank Jupiter. It was really hard being the only funny person on the internet.

    You are back, right?


  27. How nice to hear from you! 🙂 If it’s any consolation, our living room is currently sporting a bare fake tree. It is truly the epitome of class and sophistication.

    Blessings to you and yours!

  28. Hi Kelli!!! I was so excited to stop by and see your latest post!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours and thank you for sharing the family photos!!

  29. Hiiiiiii!!!! Wow, I’m a little late to this party. LOL Been just a hair bit busy.

    Glad to hear you are doing well. Miss reading your posts.

    So how am I doing? Such a simple question. Such a complicated answer! Above everything, I’m happy and content. Which is awesome. My marriage is great. My kids are healthy. We have a roof over our heads and food on our table. We are not without struggles, of course. My husband was laid off at the end of October, so we are currently living in survival mode. Some days are more stressful than others. So we take it one day at a time and do our best to practice gratitude for what we have.

    We kept Christmas simple this year too! I am all about the minimalist approach. We only put a few ornaments on our tree but I confess I like it this way. Less to put away later.

  30. We are in the midst of a full blown kitchen remodel. We did the majority of demo, the hubby is doing the electrical, I will do the painting, but other than that it definitely won’t be a DIY project for the most part. Hey we aren’t youngins anymore and feel it! Anyway, because of the reno, I put a wreath on the front and back doors, one on the mantle and we hung a lit DIY cross out front. Other than that, no other decorations, no tree, nada. We also decided not to exchange gifts because of money going into the reno. Was a bit different, but that’s ok. Pray for me as the dreaded drywall dust will commence later this week, the part I dreaded the most. 🙁 It will all be worth it, however! Bless you and your family and so happy to see your post!

  31. Oh how I’ve missed you! LOVE those family pics. I mean fan and swoon!!! Gorg. Also, cannot wait to see what you do in Weston’s room. *jumps and claps awkwardly*

  32. It was wonderful to come across this email update today – even though you wrote it in mid-December. Guess that tells you how up-to-date I am. I was running late on my decorating as well, and both my dog sitter and visiting sister shamed me so much that I told them to “have at it” while they were busy doing nothing. Five days later, they had succeeded in putting a handful of ornaments on a tree that I had already put up. So about the time you were writing your post, I was finishing my decorating – by myself. Got it all knocked out in less than 2 days. Granted, it was only the living room, but I did it!

    I have a bunch of “stuff” to accomplish – I’d love to paint the linoleum at my front door that was kind of mutilated by a charitable friend who helped me move a failing 100-lb TV to the curb. But I don’t think I can keep everyone off of it long enough to let it dry.

    Love your ideas, pictures, stories, etc. Please, please, please give us more!!!

  33. Kelly, we miss you!

  34. I was running late on my decorating as well, and both my dog sitter and visiting sister shamed me so much that I told them to “have at it” while they were busy doing nothing.

  35. TucsonPatty says:

    Miss you, Kelly. Just wanted to tell you. You are all okay?
    No guilt, okay?!

  36. I see your laundry room made it into the current issue of BHG’s Makeovers 2016.
    Wondering if anything has come of your nursery or bathroom.

  37. Hi Kelly! How are you? I really miss your posts and updates. Are you going to blog any time soon again? Love to hear something from you! Kisses from the Netherlands

  38. Glad that you update! What a heartwarming family photo too!

  39. I just love you Kello!

  40. Kelly, your children are so pretty and looking so happy with you

  41. Glad to see you’re back! I’ve missed seeing your family pictures! Although we made a bit more progress with our tree over the holidays, I haven’t had professional pictures done in about 18 months. I’m fully regretting that! Your pictures looked amazing and I hope your 2017 is off to a great start!

  42. Hey we aren’t youngins anymore and feel it! Anyway, because of the reno, I put a wreath on the front and back doors, one on the mantle and we hung a lit DIY cross out front. Other than that, no other decorations, no tree, nada.

  43. Ohhh, such beautiful pictures! Everybody looks so happy! Love it! And about the room: I’m very happy you decided what to do with it. I’m sooo curious! Please keep us updated! xx

  44. It was so great to see your post appear in my blog feed!Looking forward to seeing your posts!

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  48. So how am I doing? Such a simple question. Such a complicated answer! Above everything, I’m happy and content. Which is awesome. My marriage is great. My kids are healthy. We have a roof over our heads and food on our table. We are not without struggles, of course. My husband was laid off at the end of October, so we are currently living in survival mode. Some days are more stressful than others. So we take it one day at a time and do our best to practice gratitude for what we have.

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