I dreamed of writing a blog like this sharing my first home for years. I got within a week of buying 2 other houses that both fell through at the last minute. We've moved 10 times between 3 states in 7 years and unfortunately, many of those moves happened around Christmas.
Christmas is my favorite. I'm the person who wants the tree up the day after Halloween and to decorate the house and turn on Christmas music and soak in every bit of such a magical time of year. Christmas was always important to my family growing up and it was just a happy time. Because Ryan and I moved so many times too close to Christmas and I have always been so busy working endless hours to get weddings edited in time for the holidays, out of 7 years, we only put the tree up twice. It broke my heart every time that instead of unpacking Christmas things, I was packing up all my belongings to start all over again.
Then there is this Cottage. This place was just made for Christmas and Winter. Neither of us ever like winter but this place just makes winter beautiful. We have been in this home for a year now and even the rest of the year, because it's a cottage style home, it still has that cozy, peaceful feeling that Christmas always gives me. My stress in the past has been at incredibly unhealthy levels and just a year in this cottage out in the woods has been so healing for me. I feel content, my days are so simple and every time I'm done with a shoot, I can't wait to go home. It might sound nuts, but honestly every day feels like a vacation out here.
I spent a lot of time shopping with my mom, carefully cultivating all the cutest country, cottage elements to go on my tree and around the house (The last time we had the tree up, my house was decorated like Dr. Seuss lived there!). I spent a day making the tree just right and decorating the rest of the living room. When I finished, I just broke out into tears because as sappy as I may seem, it was perfect. It was everything I dreamed Christmas in our own little cottage to be.
Because I'm so incredibly happy and loving this Cottage Christmas, I'm keeping it and have decided to just have Christmas every month until Spring arrives. So my tree and decorations are staying up and January 25th and February 25th we are going to do something special to celebrate again! In Michigan, it's all pretty awful after New Years. Everyone just is sad the holidays are over and waits around in the gray, cold weather for spring to arrive. That is such a long wait so I'm just going to not do that and keep Christmas joy for as long as I want.
I am so excited for our future in this home. My heart will heal here from all the past stress I've gone through. Ryan is already doing so much better here with his ADD since he has routines now. I am so hopeful that we will have children here and that they will grow up loving the woods and this simple way of life as much as I do. I am especially excited for many more Christmas's in this cottage!
And finally, to all of our clients, I want to say thank you for choosing us to not only be a part of your weddings which are such a big deal, but also for being a part of such a big deal in our life. It's because of you guys that we are able to afford this home and live this wonderfully simple life. I will never forget how important our work is because I'm reminded every day of the amazing things photography has brought to us.
Oh, I totally left out Duma! She LOVES this home too! When we first looked at it, Ryan and I both immediately noticed all the places she would love to climb to get a good vantage point. Her happiness was pretty important to us. :) Duma and I have wonderful daily routines together and I love how expected and simple most of our days are together.
As I finish decorating the rest of the house, I plan to continue doing this Cottage Series one room at a time. It's a process that I am very much enjoying and certainly don't want to rush but I enjoy sharing the journey. Ultimately, I'm hopeful to have clients out to the cottage for sessions as well!
- Wooden Bead Garland: from Hobby Lobby.
- Many of the Ornaments: At Home
- Stuffed Cats in the Tree: Taken from the Cat Bouquet Ryan got me for my Birthday
- Chalkboard Paper: Walmart. Plaid Paper: Target
- White and gold vase on our coffee table: Target
- Red balls and Greenery: Hobby Lobby
- Cow Blanket: Sams Club
- Cardboard Cat Gingerbread House: Target
Every December I like to do little drawings of important events going on. This one is from the day I decorated! I was all set with my Christmas Kitty sweatshirt and cheetah pants!