10 Years Worth of Gratitude

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Happy Thanksgiving to my friends here in the U.S. and whenever you are around the world. I wish I could invite you to our table this year, but a blog post will have to do. I wanted to pop in to tell you how grateful I am for your friendship, encouragement and the joy you have all brought to my life for the past 10 years of Thanksgivings! (I can hardly believe I’ve been blogging that long, but it’s true!).

Back when I was first married and making our first home in our little condo I never in a million years would have dreamed that one day, way down the road, I would have this place in the computer where kindred homebodies and friends from around the world could gather to share seasonal ideas, swap tales of remodeling and even find contentment with what we already have.

Yet what an unexpected gift this has been to me from the very first day. I love coming here to share, but the truth is I especially love hearing from you. It brings me so much happiness knowing that you, my friends, are out there creating your home, too.

fall-bouquet

Many of you have been with me through the ups and downs of three homes now and all my related adventures and wanderings. What a commitment you have made to check in with me regularly! I know these days there are bazillions of blogs and social media people to follow so it is really a gift to have you here. It truly does make my heart and eyes well up with gratitude that YOU have chosen to be part of my home adventures, whether my house has been pulled together or torn apart or that long lull in between.

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I know this time of year will be so very hard for many and for others it will be such a special time. Blessings to all of you, friends. Wherever you sit down to dinner today I hope you feel loved and know that you’ve definitely made a difference in my life. I am so grateful for you.

I’ll be back here tomorrow!

xo,
melissa

Simply Inspired Holidays: Finding Childlike Wonder

Forest and Sea Christmas - The Inspired Room

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We’ve had quite a few changes in our life and home over the past year and a half. I think those changes have led me to crave that sense of being home for the holidays. With the stress of the actual move, a long transition and other changes mostly behind us and the light at the end of the remodeling tunnel starting to become a little brighter, we have been feeling more like we are actually home.

As I was thinking back to other holiday seasons, I remember feeling those sentiments after a move or other changes in life. Seasons of change disrupt your daily rhythms and can make you feel like you lose your footing or equilibrium for awhile as you adjust and adapt to your new normal or surroundings. Adulting sometimes threatens to steal our childlike wonder of the Christmas season!

I remember one Christmas years ago when I felt the gentle nudge to hold onto what Christmas looks like through my youngest child’s eyes.

Forest and Sea Coastal Christmas Decorations

You can read the funny (and tear-inducing) story about trying to decorate our home when our puppy Jack was only six months old and what my then eleven year old son said about Christmas when he came home from school that afternoon in this blog post from 2011. What he said that day tugged on my heart strings and left an impression that has inspired me to want to keep Christmas magical and child-like, even if I’m in full-on adulting mode and our kids no longer get up at 5AM on Christmas morning.

Christmas fireplace mantel decoratingOttoman source / Velvet stockings

A few years ago we started collecting “woodland animals” as Christmas decorations. Our family loves funny animals so it was a fun way to bring our sense of humor to our tree. From there our Christmas style morphed into what we called a “forest & sea” theme. We love to use fresh and faux greenery and a collected a mix of forest animals and coastal decor. I actually don’t really think of “forest & sea” as a “theme” but more of a tangible and quirky reflection of our story.

While we have lived in many houses as a family, each of our kids’ childhood homes and our beach house have been here in the Pacific Northwest (nestled between beautiful forests and the sea). I feel like our forest and sea Christmas is a special way to stitch together our favorite life memories and best of all, the quirkiness of our style helps bring childlike wonder to our home.

Do you have special family memories or ornaments that help inspire your Christmas decorating?

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