Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas at Mom & Dad's

Living far away from my family, going home for Christmas is something I look forward to all year. This year we were able to spend over a week in Ohio, celebrating no less than five holiday family get-togethers between my family and my husband's family. Food, babies, gifts, and games abounded. I love going home for Christmas. However, as you will see, going home to visit Mom and Dad always inspires quite a case of "house envy".  

My mom hosted the big extended family Christmas for her side of the family this year, and so as a live-in house guest for the week, I took on sous-host duties. Like a sous-chef, but instead of cooking, I was tasked with things like filling punch cups and figuring out a seating arrangement to fit all 24 of us in the beautiful sunny dining room (not easy, but we did it).

My dad built this house when I was in junior high. It's a traditional two-story Saltbox, with wide-plank wood floors, rustic beams, divided-light windows, shaker style cabinets, and a pair of wood-burning fireplaces. Designed and built by my mom and dad, it is a truly gorgeous house and I count myself blessed to come home for the holidays to not only a wonderfully loving and fun family, but a drool-worthy house as well. And seeing as I get my love of decorating, antiquing, and rearranging in large doses from my mom, it's always fun to see what the latest tweeks and additions have been since my last visit.

The dining room, set up to hold two dozen people on Christmas Day.

Chocolate mint rolled cookie sticks in a cellophane bag, tied with name tags and a sprig of greenery, marked everybody's seat.


One of the stars of the day... cheesecake! My sister has an "in" (an in-law, to be precise) with a little home bakery in town that makes the best cheesecakes I have ever tasted, and she brought three different kinds to Christmas - white chocolate raspberry, pumpkin pecan, and fresh strawberry (my personal favorite). I think we all gained several delicious, creamy, graham-crackery extra pounds, and I, at least, count them well worth it.

Baby Cayden was the other star of the show. It's been almost 8 years since there was a new baby on this side of the family, so this little cousin is happily the center of attention. Don't you just want to pinch his cute little cheeks?

Yeah, you do!

I think baby Cayden gives my sister and me (not to mention our thus-far-grandchildren-less parents) all a mild case of Baby Fever. Just don't tell our hubbies, yet... (he he he).

A small gift for mom... a kitchen towel with her initials.

A cupboard full of antique pewter.

Hubby was dressed to match the livingroom, so he got to stay for a picture.

I hope your Christmas was as beautiful as mine!

This post was brought to you by my Christmas present from my dear hubby... a fantastic new lens for my Nikon camera. It's a 50 mm f/1.4G, and it is lovely. I'm having loads of fun learning how to use it to it's full advantage.  So is hubby... :)

Experimenting with the new lens as we drove off into the sunset!


  1. Drool worthy is right! I love how it is minimal AND warm at the same time. Just lovely. You and hubby did a lovely job on the photography. Happy 2012!

  2. Drool, Drool, Drool!! What an amazing beautiful home, I sooo love it and it's so my kinda style. I'm now going to go look round my rooms and try a bit of this style, closest I have to this is my bedroom which I love. I have a Nikon, which I'm still learing about after nearly a year but it's fun and I know you'll have fun with it and you've taken brilliant photos. Suzy x

  3. Wow ~ I can see why you would have house envy. Just beautiful! It must be like staying at a charming little inn or bed & breakfast!!

  4. What a perfect setting for an old-fashioned Christmas. I see why you LOVE "going home"... The juxtaposition of technology and pewter in the picture that includes your husband is interesting... Great photos!

    And, OH...The strawberry cheesecake! The careful arrangement of the strawberries on top is so beautiful.

  5. WOW what a beautiful home your parents have!! I can see why you love going home for visits! Sounds like you all had a wonderful Christmas!

  6. So Beautiful!
    I had to show this to my mom. We both loved it. You both have beautiful homes.

  7. Holy cow, you mean people really do live in those magazine spreads???? That is the most beautiful space I've ever seen.

  8. Hi Ellie,
    Sure looks and sounds like you had an awesome Christmas in a cozy, perfect setting! It's quite evident where you inherited your great sense of design and style from.
    Best wishes for a Blessed New Year,

  9. I am so impressed and inspired...what a beautiful and warm home....I would be envious! But I see now where you get your decorating talent and taste from ;)

  10. Wow Ellie your family home is absolutely lovely! I can see where you get your beautiful style.

  11. Your family home is lovely. It is clear you get your wonderful home decor talent from your mom. : )
    I loved the place settings for Christmas. Were those chocolate mint sticks homemade or bought? If they were homemade, would you share recipe?

  12. what a wonderful home, looks like a Christmas Card (Currier & Ives).....I just love it. Also, looks like you had a wonderful time.....smiles, Linda

  13. Wowzers! What a gorgeous home! Love everything about it, and I can see that you and your mom have very similar taste when it comes to decorating. Your home is beautiful, too. And your photography is top-notch! Cayden is adorable! Thanks for sharing these photos. Now I'm envious! :)

  14. Wow, your parents home is lovely! They have gorgeous pieces and some lovely collections that they sure know how to put together. The cheesecakes look heavenly and little Cayden is adorable (love the hat too.)

  15. I came across your delightful blog from a picture a friend pinned on Pinterest and your parents home is stunning!! Your home is wonderful as well and I too can see your mom's influence on your style. How fun to share some common decorating loves!! Your yellow ware and old wooden pieces are pure eye candy! Off to check out your etsy! hugs, Linda

    PS you were a beautiful bride!!!!!

  16. OMG!! those pictures are amazing. Your mom's home is simply STUNNING.


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