Tour Of Homes: The Stressed-Out, Iced-In Edition

My friend Sophie is hosting her annual Christmas Tour Of Homes carnival, the best party in blogland.  As of this writing, there are over 600 participants.

That’s a lot of tinsel.

I have participated in previous years (here and here, should you desire to see), and I had every intention of pulling it together again this year.  And I was even going to try a new twist, getting out the video camera to video-blog our favorite Christmas decoration

But do you know what happens when you give a ten-year-old boy a camera, some candles and a lighter? 

You get showing off, that’s what you get.  And you almost get a torched coffee table. 

We nixed the video, but that was okay, because I was planning to play a little catch-up today.  I could whip the house into shape, and surely I could still manage a few pretty pictures. 

Then we got an ice storm last night.  No school.  Lots of togetherness.  And already there is word of no school again tomorrow.  Hence, no pretty pictures.  But here are some very accurate ones.

Here’s my front door on a snow day.  Don’t you like the coats and gloves and boots we store cleverly in the middle of the floor?  And can you see the back side of that wreath through the front door window?  That’s my fall wreath.  It’s covered in pumpkins and orange leaves.  Merry Christmas!


First up is my kitchen table.  On one end are the teacher gifts I finished this weekend, although I can’t seem to get them delivered, because there is no school.  Ah, irony. 


Here’s the movie marathon that took place in my living room today: 


This is what my laundry room looks like when momma spends too much time on a movie marathon:


And this is what my kitchen counters look like after a couple of hours of a snow day:


This was our sophisticated holiday lunch:


Thanks for stopping by. For a list of home tours that don’t involve pizza boxes, get your mouse-clicky fingers ready and head over to BooMama’s!

111 thoughts on “Tour Of Homes: The Stressed-Out, Iced-In Edition

  1. MemeGRL says:

    Oh, this made me laugh and laugh and laugh, because your house on a “bad” day is still acres better than mine! All that clean counterspace for cups to congregate on! And a fall wreath! I was lucky to find my way to a pumpkin patch this year.
    Adorable post. Thanks & may you thaw quickly…our part of the country is next!

  2. Jane @ What About Mom says:

    Shannon, I love you, I do, I really do, but this is just . . . gotta agree with Memegrl, because I’m guessing you’re one of those people who apologize for a messy house when one of the couch cushions is slightly askew.
    Love the honesty, but it makes me realize how together one must have it in order to have this “unpresentable” of an off day.

  3. Tricia says:

    All I can say Shannon, is bless your heart!
    My house looks just like that a lot. Really. A stinkin’ lot.
    While I love looking at all the beautiful decorations of the Tour of Homes, your post made me smile, and not feel like a decorating looser. Well, at least not alone in my decorating looserness. :o)

  4. megan@Hold it Up to the Light says:

    Yes….I must make a confession! I moved lots and LOTS of junk out of the way to get my “Christmas Tour” pictures….
    I LOVE the honest-to-goodness-real-life-stuff here (maybe that’s what I should have done)…it is SOOOOO what my life is like! Thank you!!!
    P.S. I had to move the garbage out of the way to get a decent shot of my mailbox….just sayin’!

  5. Lora says:

    Love how you’re keepin’ it real! We had a snow day just a few days ago–and I think my kiddos went thru about 3 changes of clothes that day and they were everywhere (the clothes, that is). It’s nice to know my house isn’t the only one that’s like this:)

  6. A&EMom says:

    Also iced in today. After a week and 1/2 of baby virus followed by a double ear infection I was really looking forward to both girls going to school tomorrow. When Mom called with the sorry news, I was brave – I didn’t even cry. I ordered pizza AND cinnamon sticks. I have so conquered my emotional eating.

  7. jessica says:

    Love it! I am sure you will see the same around here tomorrow w/o the snow. Everyone in TN freaks out at the first sign of flakes, so I am sure we’ll have a movie marathon as well! Merry Christmas!

  8. Rhonda says:

    So you have a snow day, but they are still delivering pizza???
    Forgive my ignorance- its not so in alabama- where at the slightest hint of snow the world stops! 🙂
    But I love the honest pictures- still more together than me on a good day! 🙂

  9. Kelly says:

    LOVE IT! We are in the midst now of the same ice storm that hit y’all, so I totally understand how you feel. My pictures that were posted were certainly NOT taken today, or they would look about the same as yours! There’s already no school here for the kids tomorrow as well so I sort of know how you are feeling, albeit mine isn’t in school yet. Anyway, great post

  10. Tammy says:

    LOL! Thanks for sharing the reality of your home, which is just like mine 99.9% of the time. The other 0.1% is when I fix it up because BooMama’s hosting open house.
    Merry Christmas!

  11. Stretch Mark Mama says:

    Oh, I feel the pain. I have ONE picture, and it shows a sloppy mess.
    I just got Hubs to do his part of the “thankfulness journal,” so THOSE decorations should be put away just in time for Xmas.
    (I LOVE to do that! “Xmas!” The hate! Will come!)
    We sat down to put together a “meaningful” advent craft, but all that got accomplished was a honkin’ long paper chain that is now hanging above my (sloppily decorated) fireplace.

  12. Monica @ DailyDwelling says:

    I love this! As someone who feels completely inadequate when it comes to Christmas decorating, or decorating of any sort for that matter, and doesn’t have a ton of time to improve on that inadequacy, THANK YOU!!! Your home is beautiful, but I am so thankful that you showed it lived in and as is!

  13. Kelli Bach says:

    The recording today said “No school unless yuou have your own transportation. The buses are not running today du to ‘fuel gelling’ issues”.
    We live in the land of snow and below freezing temp. Surely someone thought to use some additive or something like the rest of us in our gas tanks?
    I’m just sayin’.
    Needless to say, mine are home for awhile.

  14. Kim N says:

    Thank you! Your honesty willingness to show your real world is part of what brings me back on a daily basis. Looking around my house right now makes me wonder if I could be brave enough to take pictures “as is”.

  15. Linda Sue says:

    Looks like a busy normal household – too much pressure about the whole decorating thing. I’m on the tour but mine is more the “country older couple with a digital camera” kind of post. Your house looks like fun – wish I were close by and could bring over some of the stew I’ve got in the crockpot. Stew and cornbread might be just the ticket for a snow day?

  16. prasti says:

    lol! i love it. btw, your laundry room looks waaaaay better than mine. our 11 y.o. son like to bring his dirty clothes down only when it starts overflowing out of his closet. then it overflows into the laundry room…

  17. Barb @ A Chelsea Morning says:

    This is one of the better tours I’ve visited, Shannon. I’ll bet 95% of us had to clear this kind of stuff out of the way to take our photos. I know I did – I had to move a ton of baby equipment out of my photos. This is what Christmas really looks like in most of our homes, ten days before Christmas. 🙂

  18. Grateful for Grace says:

    Ah, the humor in the truth that school was closed, but the pizza place still delivers.
    And, that’s what a homeschool home looks like almost every day (minus the delivered pizza and movies). Togetherness, every day.

  19. rrmama says:

    Thanks for keeping it real! We just moved back into our home since Hurricane Ike and it looks like someone took it off its foundation and shook it. The first thing my oldest asked me yesterday is when are putting up the Christmas tree.

  20. Sue T says:

    I always feel so fed up after seeing perfectly tidy magazine spread homes on the tour. Thank you for making me feel better about my shabby house!

  21. Melinda says:

    ROFLOL — I love it. Finally, I don’t feel like I have to “keep up with the Jones’s” because, looking at these pictures, we’re already neighbors! I love your honesty. And I have that pile of coats right beside my door, too. Thank you for a bright spot in this cold day.

  22. Superchikk says:

    We got the ice here in the NWA but not enough to close all the schools. And as luck would have it, I had to be at the dentist at 8am. Yes! 8AM! Ahhh! So I got myself up out of my warm bed and slid to the dentist in the 15 degree weather.
    Your house on a snow day looks about like mine does today. Not because I have kids home from school; because my husband was off work yesterday.
    Love the tour. Thanks for havin’ us over.

  23. maria says:

    Thank you for making me feel good about only putting the lights out on the deck, and putting up a tree, after a day of going through boxes and deciding we “didn’t need that out this year”. Then yelling at the kids who were here, that if they wanted all that junk out, they were taking it down and putting it away this year…memories.

  24. Lynnet says:

    I love this because you live in a home, not a house, that is well loved and lived in. It made me feel that we may actually be normal! Thanks for being honest and letting us have a peek! Love it!

  25. Christine says:

    Ahhh, I feel so much better! My house looks like that, and far worse, on fairly regular basis and I don’t even have the “convenience” of an ice storm to cause it. We live in SoCal. What’s the worst that I can come up with? “It was 70 today. It was too pretty to go to school. So we all stayed home and, uh, played outside”. Not so much. So I have no excuse for crazy laundry and dirty dishes on the sink. And the home tour? My pictures are all pretty strategically taken so the chaos is merely masked! It seems like a fruitless task sometimes, trying to beat the chaos into submission.

  26. DeeDee says:

    I love it! This is real life.
    And like I said in my post – it is amazing what you can crop out of pictures. I have no “room” shots. The rooms were not presentable LOL
    But this is my first Christmas tour – so much fun!
    Sweet Blessings,
    and Merry Christmas

  27. Jenni says:

    Oh you are VERY hilarious these days! Holiday stress obviously brings out the best in you ;o)
    And I’m jealous of your beautiful countertops, pizza boxes and cups notwithstanding.

  28. rachel h says:

    Your kitchen is beautiful! I love the cabinet, countertop, backsplash combo. (And if you didn’t notice, I’m used to looking around the clutter, because that’s how I live most days.) 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  29. Molly Piper says:

    HAHAHA! My friend Jenna and I were *just* talking last night about doing our own Christmas tour of homes that would definitely involve the worst Christmas kitch we could find.
    I’m really, really glad you just decided to be real with your life.
    I have nothing against anyone who can get their house looking beautiful this season, I just know that it would feed the discontent and comparison in my heart in a bad way right now. Thanks for lifting that a bit for me.

  30. Paula says:

    Oh yes, snow days. We’ve had 2 already plus and two hour delay. I think we need to get used to the idea that it does snow in Wisconsin.
    Snow days are tough for me. I have to do a better job of letting go of my planned agenda and make it a fun day for the kids.
    Why do kids always seem to get up extra early on days that school is cancelled, but want to stay in bed when there is school?

  31. Pam says:

    This is soooooo refreshing and REAL!! I love being inspired by other peoples pretty spaces…..but I could gag when PERFECTION is all that is posted….Thanks, and God Bless, Pam, South Bend

  32. Photoqueen says:

    Don’t tell the other folks on the tour, but I think your house is my favorite! I love comfy, welcoming homes – places where I can breathe and relax. And THAT is what you’ve shared with us! Thank you!

  33. Judy says:

    Loved your post! I got tickled because my husband was helping me make pictures for my Boo tour and I had to hollar at him, “Don’t get that pile of papers in the picture!”
    Two of us…empty nesters…and I can’t seems to keep the piles of stuff from multiplying while we are asleep! What is that??
    Thanks for giving me a laugh today! Merry Christmas…..fall wreath and all!

  34. Erin says:

    Hmmm, I may very well be reliving your day tomorrow. And yes, tomorrow I’m (supposed to be) picking up teacher’s gifts to distribute, but can’t pick them up and then drop them off at the appropriate classrooms if there is no school.

  35. Mrs. Pear says:

    I LOVE it! With our 14 week old having such a tough start to life we are having a very low key Christmas, and you know what, after seeing your post and laughing very hard, I feel so much better about it!
    And the Sarah and Abraham print is hanging in my daughter’s room in a place of honor, it is perfect, thank you so much for hosting such a wonderful contest! It encourages me each time I see it!

  36. Josie says:

    I’m so happy that your home looks lived in! You are real. Sometimes I get really bogged down with wanting a perfect looking house. There will be time for that once the 10 y/o, 8 y/o, 1 y/o and womb dweller are gone. And the way time flies, it will be sooner than I want it to be. Have a Merry Christmas.

  37. Sandy says:

    My laundry room always looks like that!!!! I am so impressed yours only looks like that during a movie marathon! 🙂
    Fun, fun, fun…’ the most wonderful time of the year!

  38. Marian says:

    The best tour on the list, no doubt! Apparently we have a similar decorating style this year: the dead mums on my porch would make a lovely compliment to your wreath.

  39. Rebecca says:

    I appreciate SO MUCH the real-ness of this post. It’s refreshing to see that other people have messes, too, sometimes. Especially after looking at all the holiday goodness on the tour of homes. (Which is fun but guilt inducing at the same time). My favorite part was the fall wreath on the front door. I will not tell you about the small pumpkins sitting next to my front stoop, no one will ever know they are they because they are covered with snow!

  40. Katherine says:

    Oh, Shannon — I LOVE you! I found myself needing a little transparency today.
    Hope you enjoyed the snow day, even without much snow. 🙂
    And I LOVED that candle holder when I was little — maybe I should get one for my kids to, um, enjoy.

  41. Heather says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! I really loved seeing your “home” … your real home … in it’s lived in state. It really made me feel OK with how my home looks too – when my two little boys and one big boy are here. The only time it looks like a magazine is when we are all not here living in it. Enjoy you’re “lived-in” moments!

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