Thursday, February 4, 2016

When January Kicks Your Rear and House For Six News

Sometimes January is a cruel joke.  All those great aspirations for the new year and fresh starts foiled by the unyielding chorus of hacking coughs and round after round of colds/croup/pink eye .

Although let it be known - I AM NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PINK EYE!  Sully had a bad case of bacterial pink eye and praise God no one else caught it. #miracle #seriously #itsamiracle

We've been swapping germs back and forth for weeks, but this most recent croupy cough thing has been the straw that broke the mama's back.  I was furiously cleaning and sanitizing around all the sickos in a desperate attempt to keep the crawling, thumb-sucking baby from catching it.  But alas...she too is now slinging snot and barking like a baby seal.

And you know what?  I'm so relieved.  She caught it.  There's nothing I can do now but ride it out, and I finally feel like I can give up hang my crazy cleaning lady hat up until this thing has run it's course.

Last week I shared this pic on Instagram, along with my embarrassing admission of toddler pouting that I wouldn't be able to go on our annual "fancy" date to my husband's work anniversary party because of sick children.  I had it all ready to go - the black jumpsuit, the bling, and the shoes.  Oh the shoes.  They were going to be so sad.

But wouldn't you know, a few prayers later we had a blessed 24 window of good health where the first round of victims recovered and we were able to sneak out for the evening.

Our babysitters called towards the end of the night because Jack woke with head and ear pain marking the start of round two, but we. went. out.  And drank wine. And enjoyed good company without anyone coughing on us. #glorious

Still, I couldn't understand why I felt so exhausted.  I wasn't sick (yet)...but as we looked back at the calendar, our family has been fighting illness and/or tending to a teething baby (read: not sleeping) since before Christmas.  Guys, I didn't even know it was February.   I lose all sense of time and space and responsibility when we're down for the count and out of our routine.

So, here's the crux.  I've been working on transitioning House for Five over to the new House for Six site between caring for sick kids and feel so defeated by the S.L.O.W. progresss.  But I also have to admit that I am a perfectionist at heart and perhaps I should just share it already without it all being...perfectly done.

Yes, I should probably do that.  So here's a sneak peak at the new logo that's influenced the rest of the blog redesign.  It feels simple, fresh, and fun...and true to heart of this blog.

I'm going to do some more clean up on the back end of the new site and I can't wait to make the official switch to House for Six with you all next week!  You may start to see some things switching over on our social media profiles but hopefully it will all be a smooth transition on your end.

I hope you've all been ringing in your New Year germ free and have dug your way out of any snowpocalyptic tundras by now!  I truly appreciate your patience with me as we get the new site up and for your encouragement over social media these past few weeks.  I don't think this homebody has ever been so ready to get back to the daily shuffle.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas From Our Home To Yours!

I meant to share a quick home tour earlier in the week, but we have a couple sick kiddos on our hands.  Sully is very concerned..."Mom.  This is going to be the worst Christmas ever".  Oh, to be five and facing your greatest fear of being sick on Christmas morning.  I'm pretty sure it will still be awesome.  Just with an added box of Kleenex and maybe a bag of cough drops in the stockings.

You never can predict how the week leading up to Christmas is going to shake out.  Very dear friends gifted us a cleaning service for Christmas and we decided to use it on the 22nd.  We were set to host Christmas dinner and having the task of cleaning off my plate was such a HUGE relief.  It had been a long time since our house was cleaned from top to bottom and it was incredible!  It also gave us more time to think about our dinner menu and adding little holiday touches around the house without the rush or pressure.

We didn't pull out all the stops, but we did allow some room to get creative and spontaneous.  Basically, I found an excuse to make giant pompoms and throw them on the tree (after we used them for a snowball fight in lieu of actual snow #getittogetherohio)....

Christmas home tour
(Holiday card station - saving my butt since I made it last week) 

Christmas home tour
  (family ornaments.  always.)

Christmas home tour
(we ended up doing something different than years past for our Christmas card display, so these Santa clothespins hopped on the tree instead)

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour
 (hmmmm....missing a few key characters at the moment)

Christmas home tour
 (Mia set up this beautiful nativity set from James' grandmother and she moves the characters a little closer to the star each day)
Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour
(clearly this was a disaster waiting to happen and those bottom rows are now at the top)


Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour
 (favorite new addition that the hubs assembled two days before Christmas.  IKEA, I heart you.)

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour

Christmas home tour
 (Bakers twine.  Which I use for everything and is still going strong after two years.)

And with that, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!  
Christmas cards from Minted
We hope you are surrounded by love, and filled with the perpetual hope of this holiday season.

We'll be enjoying some time as a family to finish out 2015, and when we return after the New Year we'll be back as House For Six!  Can't wait to share the new site and a look at what's to come in 2016!  I feel so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you!


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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Friday, December 18, 2015

Goodness of Christmas Past (and Free Printables!)

As I type the kids are chugging down the sugar at their class parties and as of 3pm we'll officially be on Christmas break here!  All of the non-morning people in this family (all female) could not be happier.

We're planning to wrap up the Christmas decorating this weekend.  We've been doing a little each day, which is a much better pace for me than a frenzied weekend of holiday craze.  But our porch/yard is still bare and we're hosting dinner Christmas eve.....so you know, now I'm feeling like sprucing a little more.

However.  If I don't give myself an end point, I'll still have a running list of things I want to do/finish right up to Christmas day.  So, whatever doesn't get done by the end of the weekend, is getting the official cut. For my own sanity.

I'll be back on Monday with the merrifying that did get accomplished around the house and then I'll be logging off for some family time until the new year.  In lieu of a home tour, I've got a few oldie but goodies of the Christmas variety to take you into the weekend....

If you're planning to fire up the oven for some baking this weekend, we did a holiday dessert roundup last year with some tried and true treats from our family recipe book.  The salted chocolate shortbread is happening stat.
Yummy round up of easy holiday desserts!

And if you're brave enough to enter the land of homemade sugar cookies, I not only have the best recipe in the history of ever (thanks to my SIL) but I have some helpful sugar cookie tips for getting those perfect melt-in-your-mouth chewy batches.
tips for the perfect cake like sugar cookies

A couple years ago I whipped out the hot glue gun to give some plain clothes pins a little holiday cheer.  We've used them with twine for a Christmas card display the past couple years, but I'm thinking about something different this year - same pins, different set up.  We shall see.
Santa suit clothespin card display

I realize were about to enter the 4th week of Advent but you know what...it's never too late to start.  With any Christmas tradition.  I was late starting almost everything this year (and most other years), and honestly, I've felt a little off.  Maybe it's the 60 degree weather we're having.  I prefer my winters snowy and frigid....otherwise curling up with blankets and cocoa feels odd.  And sweaty.  Either way, we started our Advent wreath late, but it's an easy DIY from last year - candles, clippings from the tree, and a couple ornaments/twine.

Earlier this month, I was at Mama Needs Coffee sharing some of our Advent traditions and what that season looks like around our home.  You can hop over here for that read, where you can also find a few free printables that might help you keep your Advent focus.  Whatever our family does over these next few days, I want them to get us here:
(These color versions available for download in the post.) 


And if you like your walls with a little less flare, I have these versions you can grab too.


Now that school is out, I'm ready to clear the calendar and just lean into this last week before Christmas.  And by lean, I mean into my couch with some coffee.  Not into more hectic days.  I don't think it's too late to slow down.  In fact, I'm counting on it. Here's to wrapping up the to-do's so we can lean into the week to come.  Have a great weekend!


From earlier this month....

A super easy and stress saving Holiday Card Station....

How we saved bucko bucks and landed with a slew of great family photos...

Our list of best family games (for all ages, including those non-readers)....

Our DIY Advent Calendar (again - easy.  Complicated is not my game).


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Card Station

I could have titled this "Cultivating the Art of the Hand Written Letter" or "How to Body Slam Your Inner Procrastinator", but I stuck to the middle ground.

This past year has been overwhelming and challenging and really amazing....all thanks to a little girl named Livy Joy.  Admittedly, survival mode was the name of my game and one of the biggest areas to suffer was correspondence. Which is sort of important since most of our closest friends and family are scattered across the country.  I was late remembering special days and one missed thank you note lead to another.

In the coming year, I'm hoping to redeem that.  And with the onslaught of holiday cards hitting my mailbox, there couldn't be a better time to start.  To set myself up for success, I put together my own little holiday correspondence zone.
Holiday card station

I took a cue from this letter writing station we made for our daughter last year. We set up an area where she would have everything she needed to write and send off a letter.
Letter writing station
She still loves and uses this all the time.  In fact, I plan to sneak a new set of thank you cards into her stocking and pop her gift list into her station so she can easily work on thank you's during the Christmas break.

I filled my own card station with much of the same.  I wanted a spot to manage our own Christmas cards, update my address book as new cards come in, and keep track of gifts/thank you's.  I also wanted to keep a few extra blank cards in case I needed an unexpected holiday greeting.
Holiday card station

Holiday card station

Here's the run down of what's inside:

-Our family Christmas cards/envelopes
-Thank you cards/envelopes
-Blank note cards/envelopes
-Notepad for gift/thank you lists
-Address book
-Stamps
-Pens
-Clothes pin
-Branch from our tree #freearomatherapy

The Santa clothespins were a fun little DIY from a couple years ago that we use to display all the Christmas cards that come in throughout the month.  I stole one for this caddy and use it to keep outgoing mail together.
Holiday card station


Holiday card station

Having all the stamps right here instead of floating in my purse and random drawers throughout the house is (sadly) life changing.
Holiday card station

I keep this caddy on the desk in our kitchen, where most of our other household management tasks happen....making it easily accessible and super convenient.
Holiday card station

Holiday card station

The most important thing for me actually getting something in the mail is having ALL the things I need to do it in one spot.  Because laziness is strong over here and if I have to run all around the house for cards, then stamps, then my address book, well....it's a lost cause.  Throw in a large mailing like Christmas cards and keeping track of thank you's - I need all the help I can get.

And so far, so good!  Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest impact.  This is one of my favorite additions to our Christmas decor (if you can call it that) thus far. It only took me a few minutes to put together and it's already saving me time and sanity.  You can't beat festive and functional!


Thanks so much for reading! We would love to hang out!
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