Decking the Halls . . . And Our Hearts

When you think “holidays”, what comes to mind? When we were kids we thought of school breaks and Santa, new toys and snow, sugar cookies and cousins and fun! As adults we tend to think about deadlines, budgets, endless shopping lists, travel, chaotic schedules, flu season, and  . . . oh yeah, if we have time, fun. But no matter what the stresses of  the holiday season, there is something magical about that first day when you pull out all the decorations, put on Christmas music for the first time, light some candles and stay in for a quiet evening with the family decking the halls.

It is moments like these that make you forget the cynicism that you’ve built up over the year and believe, even if only for a little while, that everyday life can be enchanting and the mundane can be magical.

Once again, it is the awe and wonder of a child that enhances our realization that we all tend to look at the world through very smudgy, care-worn glass. And, every now and then, we need to take them off and see, through a fresh pair of eyes, that tiny lights and tinsel are amazing.

So with a renewed sense of gratitude and thanksgiving imparted upon us last weekend as one holiday passed, ringing in the next, let us cling to these moments and remember that the holidays are about so much more than stress . . . not just for the children, but for us too. Let’s deck, not just the halls, but our hearts with laughter and joy this holiday season.

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Designing Daydreams Come True!

A couple posts back, I mentioned that it was really time for my big boy to have a big room to match his big personality.  (I know, I know . . . that’s a lot of big.)  It was becoming more and more obvious that, whether or not we were able to sell our house, Aiden needed his own space that was not the nursery he had occupied since he was born:

The Nursery

We decided to go ahead and move him into the other room, since we are planning for another kiddo sometime in the near future.  This room  was initially the guest room and looked like this:

BEFORE: The Guest Room

I have spent the better part of my long, labor-day weekend transforming it into this:

AFTER: Aiden's new room!

I know the sports theme is a bit out of character for us, but Aiden loves sports and balls and I thought this could be really fun.

These chairs make the room! And when I found them for $20 each, it was the last push I needed to go ahead and decide on a basketball theme.

I'm pretty sure Aiden likes them too!

As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure he likes the whole room.

And he liked helping me decorate it too.

All in all, I think we scored a “home run” with this one!  What do you think?

Designing Daydreams

There are several factors playing into my desire to redecorate. The first is the perpetual and seemingly endless search for a new house. We have put an offer on a new place which, despite the uncertainty of actually attaining it (since we have to sell ours before we do), sends my mind buzzing into frenzies of interior design daydreams on a regular basis. The second is that it’s been three years since we moved and, since that time, I have not done ANY redecorating. No matter how pleased you are with your initial design ideas, after three years, they get a little stale.  The third, and probably most pressing, is that my little baby boy is not so much of a baby anymore. He is a big kid with big ideas and  . . . a nursery for a room.  He sleeps in a crib converted to a toddler bed that he barely fits in anymore.  The mobile is still attached to it for heaven’s sake.  It’s time he had a change.  New house or not.  So I’ve started brainstorming some ideas and I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve discovered.

I love the idea of using interesting color schemes on the walls. This is a very unique reversal of how most people paint a room . . . white on the bottom, color on the top. Quite striking!

Speaking of interesting colors on the walls, WOW! I don't know if I'd be brave enough to do something quite this bold, but it sure is remarkable!

Then there's always the option to do something crazy and decorative on the walls in the form of a pattern or a mural. I could definitely see myself doing a simple burgundy sunburst pattern in the corner of a room with light brown walls and then incorporating the same red tone into other room accents. As far as polka dots go, I'm not sure I could handle them on all of the walls, but ONE wall could be really fun.

Another unique and inexpensive way to revamp a room is to use fabric on the walls. This, of course, is a rather girly example, but I loved it so much I just couldn't pass it up.

If I had unlimited funds to buy new furniture and dramatic accessories, I could totally see myself doing something like this. I LOVE the "porch" swing sofa and the map rug!

We may actually look around for some affordable bunk beds. No boy's room is really complete without them, in my humble opinion. This is a perfectly playful bunk bed that would be SO much fun, it might make sleep hard to come by!

Lastly, I couldn't help myself from veering a little in the girly direction - we are after all hoping our next kid is of the feminine persuasion. There is something so lovely about this green and pink combination. I would probably add tan to the mix and make it a bit less flowery, but I love the color palate.

Tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear some other unique ideas for kids rooms.  This is only the beginning of my brainstorming and there’s lots of room for new concepts!